credit belongs to the man who is actually
in the arena; whose face is marred by
dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs and comes short again
and again; who knows the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions, and spends himself
in a worthy cause; who at the best knows
in the end the triumph of high achievement;
and who at the worst, if he fails, at
least fails while daring greatly."
Am - the Arena of Values
Should the Arena of Responsibility
Could - the Arena of Possibility
Would - the Arena of Negotiation
Want To - the Arena of Vision
Will - the Arena of Dedication
Do - the Arena of Accomplishment
In this article we are going to be looking
at the Arenas that every person,
organization, or business
can operate out of. They are Values,
Vision, Dedication, and Accomplishment.
The degree of our success
is directly related to the degree in which
we excel in and balance these arenas.
As you go through each segment, think
practically, because these are intended
to be more than intellectual ideas. They
are intended to help you solidify them
into your life and turn your potential
into performance. Though this article
is specific to business and industry,
the principles here are easily translated
into personal application.
I Am - The Arena of Values.
person, organization and business has
values. They may not know what they are,
or they may not be able to articulate
what they are, but they have them. The
values of a business are what they believe
in. What do they think is important?
What do they hold as dear to the organization?
satisfaction is a simple value that
a business may hold, for example. What
a company values will affect the way the
business runs and the employees act and
work, so it is important to know what
your business values are. Here are some
questions for you to ask. I would encourage
you to involve as many top-level people
in this process as possible, as well as
others, even down to the lowest levels
of the organization. What do we think
is important? What do we hope to accomplish?
What do we believe in as we go about our
work? Another item to deal with is Values
Dissonance. That is when you state your
values and find that they are not in action
in the company. This then, takes teamwork
and leadership to make sure that everybody
is on the same page with your corporate
values. The first step in a successful
organization, or for your own life for
that matter, is to determine your values.
I would encourage you to spend some time
on this if you havent already. And
if you have, continue to make sure that
everybody in the organization knows and
believes in them.
excellent books on the subject are Leadership
Jazz, and Leadership Is An Art, both by
Max DuPree. Is there clear indication
in your place or work that you are operating
in the Arena of Values? Can you say without
a doubt that I Am, or We
Are? Hopefully you can, and if not,
you can be, with a little work.
Should The Arena of Responsibility
understand that responsibility is in some
peoples minds a four-letter word,
but not in those who want to achieve true,
lasting success that benefits not only
themselves, but a great number of people
around them. Those who would lead the
way to accomplishment must also understand
that they have responsibilities. And the
man or woman
of honor, integrity, and success, lives
up to those responsibilities. So what
are these responsibilities that we must
live by? While I want to encourage you
to think about them specifically for your
own life and business, there are a few
that I believe are for all of us.
be a person and company of high integrity.
Ultimately, we are only a success to the
degree that we are honorable people. This
means that we are honest, hard working,
and forthright. I dont think it
matters how much money
one accumulates if the are not a person
live by the golden rule.
And the golden rule isnt what one
of my best friends grew up thinking it
was: He who has the gold, makes the rules!
No, it is that we will treat others as
we want to and expect to be treated.
Regardless of the work
we do, it is of utmost importance that
sit atop the priority list. Sometimes
I think of all the people I help and work
so hard for day by day and realize that
none of them will be at my side when I
breathe my last breath. My wife and children
will fill those spots. Therefore, they
get the most from me. I owe it to them.
They are important to me and it is my
responsibility to be there for them, no
matter what my opportunities are elsewhere.
give to charity.
The more you hear from me, the more you
will realize that I am big on the idea
I think one of the things that rounds
us out as healthy, successful people is
to give away money, time, and possessions,
free of all strings. Simply give it away
to a cause that you believe in. Make it
big. Make it a sacrifice. Instead of a
$10 check every now and then, put it into
your budget to give away a certain amount
every month. At first you will think it
is impossible but it will come around.
And one of the great benefits to this
is that at the end of your life, you will
be able to look back and see the difference
you have made.
These are just a few areas, but they are
the umbrellas that cover the rest of our
lives. If we get these right, we are 95%
I Could The Arena of Possibility
we cover the arena of possibility.
seems to me that many businesses, and
and organizations often get so caught
up in the day to day that they lose their
zest for life. They get the nose to the
grindstone, and may even be doing important
work, but they forget to dream. They forget
to think of what could be. (for more on
achieving your dreams, see my article
Dare to Dream Again) How is your
business in the arena of possibility?
What would happen if at your next staff
meeting, whether you have 30 people or
its just you and your partner, you
asked the question What could we
really do if we put it all together? If
we really stretched ourselves as far as
we could? Or how about What
are the possibilities for this business
to really do something great or dynamic?
I think that you would probably be astounded
at what you would hear. People have great
ideas, dreams, and possibilities inside
of them. They just need someone to stop
the treadmill and ask the question, surrounded
by an atmosphere of acceptance.
are some areas to think about possibilities
Community service projects
Would the Arena of Negotiation
After you have recognized your corporate
values, understood your responsibilities
and then had your staff possibilities
session, there comes a time of reflection
upon those possibilities. Every possibility
has a cost associated with it. At this
point an organization not only says we
could but they also need to determine
what the cost will be and whether or not
the successful implementation of the possibility
is worth the cost. This is the arena of
negotiation. It isnt negotiation
in the traditional sense of the word,
such as negotiating a price with a client
or vendor, but is primarily an internal
negotiation. This is where you ask qualifying
questions. I would if
this is to come about, what will the cost
be? Is it worth it? If this comes about,
what will the ramifications be in other
areas of my business? What other adjustments
would have to be made, and are they worth
it? What would the reward have to be in
order for me to pursue this possibility?
How long will it take me to reach this
possibility? In light of that, do I want
to readjust the organization for that
period of time? In other words, would
the outcome be worth it? What trade-offs
will I have to make with my time, finances,
staff, customers, or family? Are these
trade-offs worth it?
are all examples of negotiation questions.
You are negotiating internally, with yourself
or your staff.
example, you may find that your possibilities
include substantially more profit
for an extra five hours of your time per
week. But your family life may be such
that it wouldnt be the overall best
situation for you to increase your workload
five more hours a week at this point in
your life. Perhaps it is still a possibility,
but should be delayed for a year or two
You may see the possibility of giving
better customer service by adding two
new employees, to bring the ratio of employees
to customers down. What would the cost
be? What would the reward be? Perhaps
you will find out that the reward, be
it financial or otherwise, is more than
sufficient in your mind to spur you on
to pursue the possibility. You may want
to get a comprehensive view of your current
customers satisfaction. There is
any number of ways to go about obtaining
that information. Giving a response card
to each person that visits. Calling past
customers on the phone. Visiting each
client personally. What are the costs
of these? Which ones are right for you
and your staff at the current time? Every
possibility has a cost associated with
it. Take some time this week to measure
the costs of your possibilities. Then,
when you find those that are good for
you go for it!
Want To The Arena of Vision
one of the best ways to determine what
you or your company or organization should
do is what you want to do! Two sections
back we asked what the possibilities were
for your business. We decided to dream
a little. Now, of those possibilities,
what ones would you really like to do?
The reason for this is simple:
those ideas that stir our passions for
excellence become things that we can easily
see. They can become our vision.
Vision is a word that is used a lot in
leadership development these days, and
for a good reason. In order for something
to happen, someone has to first see it
happening long before it actually does.
Sure, there are lots of things you could
do (possibilities), but what do you want
to do? What can you see yourself doing?
If money, and time, were no object; if
you knew that you couldnt fail at
your attempt; what would you want to try?
Then, why not try? This can become your
vision. And a vision is a powerful thing.
Vision is what drives success and accomplishment.
Just think of the great accomplishments
of mankind and about what vision must
have been behind them. So, what do you
want to do in your life? What would you
like to accomplish with your business
or organization? Great things come when
we dream, when we gain a vision of a better
tomorrow. Vision drives us to attempt
things far beyond where we are right now.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from
old Rough and Ready, Teddy Roosevelt.
I hope it encourages you to stretch for
greater things. Far better it is
to dare mighty things, to win glorious
triumphs, though checkered by failure,
than to rank with those poor spirits who
neither enjoy, nor suffer much, because
they live in the gray twilight that knows
neither victory nor defeat.
Will The Arena of Dedication
say that the three most important things
estate are location, location,
location. That may very well be
true, but I have decided, after being
involved in numerous start-up ventures
(both for profit and non-profit) that
the three most important things in work,
especially during the start-up process,
are perseverance, perseverance,
perseverance. I have come to believe
that much of what separates the successful
from the unsuccessful is simply determination.
The successful are not always the brightest,
the best looking, or those with the most
prestigious diplomas. Instead, they are
the ones who say I will do this!
and Hardship will not deter me!
These people have entered into and continually
live in the arena of dedication. Staying
there long enough usually puts them on
top. Dedication is a key to success. So
far, we have had you determine your corporate
values, and had you dream and think of
the possibilities for your life, work,
and organization. What now? Hard work!
Once you and your staff have determined
what your possibilities are, you should
also spend some time to recognize all
of the hard work that will be involved
in achieving your dreams. Then spend some
time preparing to meet the challenges.
Here are some questions to help you get
through the process, prepare yourself
for the job ahead, and come out on the
end of success.
are the obstacles we will face?
How will we overcome those obstacles?
What kinds of attitudes and dedication
will we need to exhibit when the time
comes to face difficulties and up-hill
What are the rewards our dedication will
bring to us as individuals and corporately?
Focusing in on these questions will help
you prepare for the times when you will
need to show dedication, perseverance
and inner fortitude. The mental preparation
now will strengthen you to succeed later.
I Do The Arena of Accomplishment
we close this series, it is important
to remember that these phases are all
constantly rotating through different
areas of our lives. In some areas we will
be in the values formulating arena, others
the dedication arena. And of course we
will at times be in the accomplishment
arena. It comes when the job is complete.
What is important at this stage? Well,
a few things actually.
Notice I said a little. It
isnt time to sit back for good,
but resting can be a much-needed reward
for all of the hard work you have shown
up until now. After the pace of pursuing
your dreams, your body and mind need some
well deserved rest.
Celebrations are great for us. What is
all the work for if one cant enjoy
the fruit of his labor? Maybe it is a
small dinner out. Maybe it is a huge celebration
like a party for a hundred of your closest
friends and business associates. Maybe
it is an exotic vacation?
sense of fulfillment.
The greatest reward is, as the old saying
goes, the satisfaction of a job
well done. Not many people make
it to the accomplishment arena very often.
Enjoy the satisfaction!
new high bar.
One of the great things about life is
the challenge of new heights. You have
accomplished your task, and thats
Now, Whats Next?
::: more Success
::: more Motivational
::: more Leadership