34. Command Voice

The room, capable of filling many more people was only filled with 15 people. These people, diverse and different had come from all over the country to learn and experience, but also to meet others.

It was time to begin but everyone was still talking.

The person who was supposed to be leading the group, did not know what to do. Every time an attempt was made to get 1 or 2 people to quiet down, they would rope the speaker into talking with them. But yet, the group was missing out on the instruction that they had arrived to receive.

Without further notice, something happened.

At this very moment, something arose from inside the leader that was least expected and yet difficult to explain.

“Everyone over here!” – Yelled the speaker

Some heads started to turn, but they ever so slightly started facing back where they came.

“No hey! Everyone circle round here! Come on over! It’s time for us to begin!” – The speaker spoke in a very loud, non-angry voice.

A few people started walking over, ceased talking and focused on the speaker. But it wasn’t everyone, a few in the back could tell that someone was speaking louder than them, but it wasn’t clear to them that anything was going on.

The leader could now see this, and yet somehow, without thinking about it, knew what to do next.

“Excuse me one moment, I am going to go grab these people.” the leader boomed out, and immediately power walked to the back.

“Hey we are starting over here. You guys will want to come join in.” the leader said, booming at a near uncomfortable volume for someone who is only 6 feet away.

The leader power walked back over to everyone, who, no surprise was staring at them. It worked, everyone was now huddled together in a single area, quiet and focused.

The leader began the event, loud, relatively fast, and with extremely high energy.

“Welcome to this weekend my name is John, I will be helping you throughout the whole process.”

As the leader continued to speak about where the attendees were and what was going to happen, there was internal dialogue within the leader.

The leader, whom had never spoken this loud this consistently, was shocked and surprised by what was going on. Not only was everyone paying attention, it was clear from their faces that they were satisfied that someone was finally taking their attendance seriously. They could see that a few people were really, truly paying attention and wanted more, and yet the leader couldn’t quite realize how this was happening.

As the leader paced about while speaking to the audience, out of the corner of their eye they noticed that someone was distracted and was beginning to distract others.

“Hey! You there. What is your name?” – The leader boomed, slightly even louder.

“Uhh me?” – They replied.

“Yes you.” – The leader retorted without missing a beat.

“My name is Matt.” – Matt said.

“Hey Matt, come up front here for a few moments.” – The leader invited them.

Matt clearly had the “deer in the head lights look” and was a bit shocked that he was being called out, and brought out in front of everyone.

“Matt, why are you here this weekend?” – The leader boomed, in somewhat friendly but neutral way, focusing their eyes on everyone else.

“I am here to learn, a lot.” – Matt said.

“That’s great Matt. is there anything in particular that you are hoping to pull away with?” – The leader asked back?

Matt replied with an idea that he had been interested in. All the while, this had turned into quite a show for those in the audience who were watching.

“Thanks for sharing that Matt, please take a step back over there.” – The leader with an open, up facing palm pointed with their hand to the back of the crowd.

At times the leader, got invigorated and spoke louder, and now and again went back down to a regular conversation volume. Now that everyone’s attention was squarely on them, it was no longer necessary to boom so loudly, but occasionally, without consideration of why, it would come back on.

Following through with the instincts, the leader allowed themself to show people what they were interested in seeing and tell them what they were interested in hearing about.

What happened to this leader?

They discovered command presence.

This spirit, called command presence, is real. It has the power to grab attention, hold attention, convey information, and ultimately create the environment that people need in order to learn what they desire to learn.

If you find yourself in a situation where the group you are working with is meandering and moving in different directions, it is because there is a lack of focus and alignment in the group. To change this, and set the team in a direction that will get them to succeed, it requires increasing command presence.

Command presence is vital to the employment of leadership.

The command “voice” is the particular mechanism that makes command presence possible. It arises from inside of you, and takes you over. Yes it can be intentional, but you can also be subordinated by this power.

Consider for a moment why. If this power has the ability to direct the attention of others, do you not think that it has the power to direct yourself as well?

The power of the command voice, has the power to instill deep confidence in other people. It has the power to fill their physiology with energy. When people have that much energy, it needs to be directed.

You have this power.


33. Leveraged Influence

For every person, there are actions that increase our influence disproportional to the amount of effort required to earn it. Just like a lever in physics, a little bit of action on onside results in a lot of return on the other. I am calling these actions “Leveraged Influence.”

For some people, buying them a gift results in a lot of earned influence. For other people it is helping them take out the trash, or answering the phone when they call. For others, simply writing them a thank you card can result in a substantially different relationship.

Leaders who are trying to figure out how to compel actions of others, should consciously take into account how others see the world, and then give people that which they value most.

But all actions are not for all people.

However, these same actions applied to other people will not have the same leveraged results. In fact, some of them may actually cost us influence rather than earn it. One has to get to know who a person is and what they value, to really understand how leveraged influence can be applied.

Consider using their Personality Temperament.

Using Personality Temperament can be a shortcut way of figuring out what others deeply appreciate and wish from others. Below is a cheat sheet chart that gives some ideas about how a person can do small actions that have a large influence on the other person. It is organized by “how you can lift the spirits”, “how you can get them gifts” and “how you can physically do actions for them.”

1. Praise their helpfulness
2. Gift them thank you notes, greeting cards, and literal pats on the back.
3. Act on the small actions they ask of you.
1. Praise their willingness to uphold high values.
2. Gift them political, spiritual or “alternative idea” books in the areas they like most.
3. Act by giving them an audience that really listen to their feelings.
1. Praise their skill set.
2. Gift them access to resources or tools that improve their craft.
3. Act by providing physical assistance on their bigger projects.
1. Praise their ingenuity.
2. Gift them non-fiction books that invoke deep thinking.
3. Act on what they ask, but go above and beyond showing great competence.

32. The Influence of Dreams

When most people awake from sleep they do not use their dreams like they should be used. It is true, that dreams are difficult to “control” and often can be about the most random of material. However, this isn’t always the case.

When you dream, subconscious messages that you already know, can be beamed into your consciousness.

Your dreams, essentially yourself, try to influence you every day, but do you listen?

I have four books waiting to be published.

I have been “unable” to release four books that I wrote from beginning to end because “life” seemingly gets in the way at the very end. Every time I get “close enough” to the end of a book, something else in my life “just happens” and all of a sudden it becomes harder and harder to get back to working on what I was originally working on. Close to the end my mind often wanders and is allowed to be captured by other things because the “task” seemingly feels like it has been done.

But its not done.

The book is done when its published, and even then, when its been released for the world to consume.

I had a dream that reinforced, what is needed to get things done.

In the dream, I stopped and realized what I could have achieved in the previous years, had I only stopped being swayed by all of the activities of the day. In the dream, I snapped into this understanding and walked through a maze of people in my life trying to get me to do things for them, instead focusing entirely on doing what needed to be done. In the dreams case, it happened to be writing a book.

I am writing this to you now, because there are likely few things in your life that need your focused attention, and none of them are the “daily” activities.

They’re answering and acting on the biggest questions that you can conceive that make up who you are. They might be “what are you doing and where are you going”. They may be, “who are you becoming if you keep going in this direction.” It could be about your financial situation, your job choices, how you treat your spouse and children, or even your parents.

I am stopping here to continue work on the book.

Consider letting your dreams influence what you chose to do.


29. Being Too Knowledgeable

If you are busy sharing and “educating”, you will fail to ask questions. There is definitely a time and place for education, but it isn’t all the time. Those that share too often fail to listen to others when they want to report information to you.

If you habitually try and education others, consider for a moment that the following is true, and what it really means:

The person is seeking validation.

Those who need to share what they know constantly are so low in personal worth, that they try to claw some back by being informationally-superior to another person.

One’s “knowledge sharing” attitude puts them in the physiological state that will actually refuse knowledge.

What a paradox.

Believe you’re ignorant and seek to fix it.

If you believe you’re ignorant, you won’t fall into the trap that so many people do. At some point in human progression people, men in particular, begin to try and “one up” each other with what they know. This “one upping” behavior is a form of “water-coooler-chatter” that ought to be avoided by those aspiring to lead.

Consider using these opportunities, to seek out what people actually know. Rather than accepting everything said as “the gospel” consider it an opportunity to learn about the issues of concern to others.

The “smarter” you are, the harder it is to convince others.

A person I once knew believed he was the smartest person in the room. He was, erroneously, given a leadership position. Everyday he would try to “work” by involving everyone in discussions he would run. What was quickly discovered was that he did not know what he was talking about.

As time went on this man quickly created enemies and detractors because of his poor knowledge, and yet, he was able to seek out the few people who were appreciative of him being around. Who were these people you might ask? They were people who knew even less than he did. This included bumbling government employees and 20 year olds. Every person with actual knowledge despised this person and pushed them away for his contradictory position in life.

Everyday instead of asking questions and seeking out knowledge, he instead sought to impose his erroneous beliefs on the world. Even worse for his influence, as other people’s ideas would come in and contradict his own, he had this peculiar habit of getting frustrated and fighting the ideas, but the next day would absorb and accept these ideas. This person would use these ideas, outside of a knowledgeable context, as though they were his own. Not only did he frustrate the person who was trying to share knowledge with him by becoming frustrated, but he never gave credit for ideas that were “so good” that even he decided to use them. With every one of these interactions he lost influence.

He will forever be the man who believes he knows everything, but yet knows nothing.


28. Be Yourself

The internet, mass media, and even the wide distribution of books has brought with it an unbelievable number of heros, super humans, and popular people. With this, there is an incredible push, to make others to be just like others, especially “the most successful.” If you step into the personal growth space you may find yourself saturated and over-whelmed by how much messaging there is, to be like someone else.

But you should be you.

What I mean by this, is you should be authentic. This doesn’t mean necessarily that you should wear your weaknesses on your sleeves out in front of everyone to see or that you shouldn’t attempt to improve a particular trait that you have, that someone else has as well.

But you should do so in a way that uniquely is you.

People are influenced by those who are authentic, and in order to be authentic you have to drop trying to be just like someone else.

You are not that other person, you are you. They’ll be influenced by who you are, where you came from, and where you are going. If you try to be like someone else, instead of focusing on where you are going, nobody will be able to see how they fit into your story.

And this is the problem with most messaging today online. It’s self aggrandizing at its absolute worst.

Those that want to solve the big problems that they see, need only influence others to adopt their own piece of that problem.

In order to do this, you need to accept that your role isn’t to be somebody else, but to be you, and get others to be themselves and fill the role that they need to fill.

When people are “out of place”, that is, they are in a position that they shouldn’t be in, things grind along. Whereas, if people do the roles that they are supposed to, (arguably the one they were destined to do), things move very smoothly.

How can you fill the shoes that only you can fill, if you try to fill shoes that other people either fill now, or have filled in the past?

There are some who say “you aren’t good enough, instead, you should be greater than you are now.” While it is true, that in order to tackle the problems of the future you need to grow, this doesn’t mean that you should become someone that you are not. I might recommend instead you consider it as a sign to “take action on what you can see.”

In the fullest sense, we all change over time, but our core self doesn’t change. This, commonly called our strengths, is the part of us that we ought to embrace because they are unique to ourselves, even as we are set against the larger mosaic of “others”. To try and be someone else, is an exercise in futility.


27. Set the Example

If you want others to do something, do it first.

Don’t talk first do first.

Do first, talk later.

Others are different than you. Some, many, require others to go first. Going first unlocks them. Once you go first, there is no doubts about whether what you say is possible.

Trust me. Convincing others and more importantly getting them to act, is easier by doing it first. You don’t have to do everything, you just have to act first.

If you don’t do the action first, it won’t make sense when you describe it to others. Everything you say will not feel whole, rather it will be full of wholes. People do have the ability to detect if you don’t know a lot about something. Some call this “faking the funk.”

However, if you do act first, you will be able to speak about doing the action, much differently than a person who hadn’t. You can describe sensations, and positive and negative experiences. You can describe, convincingly, how one might think while performing the actions so that one can arise over the bad, to get to the good.


26. Why did we choose service over responsibility?

We didn’t.

The core values of Sanctuary Leadership are Trust, Service and Family.

Responsibility is implied with service.

Sanctuary leadership is about being conscious and intentional with our actions. Responsibility is good but we can do our responsibilities even without being intentional. People generally know that they are responsible for, but they are not knowledgeable about how they should serve. In fact, usually people intentionally decide not to do what they know they should.

But with service requires being intentional.

To know what to do requires being conscious. Those that join Sanctuary Leadership intentionally commit to performing service.

Why is service a requirement?

Service is a requirement, because it is the intentional manifestation of the belief that one’s fellow man is the greatest asset.

Service, or the act of doing actions for others, is the key to unlocking and opening up the potential for action from others. It is through the combined value of others’ actions, directed towards a purpose, that gives leadership its unique and powerful value.

Without adopting the belief of service, leadership is simply not possible. Without leadership, decay and collapse are inevitable.

Becoming a leader, requires accepting more than responsibility, it means accepting service.


25. Once you see leadership, you cannot un-see leadership

Do others care about your concerns? Who? How?

Are they helping you get what you want?

Here’s the truth.

People can feel bad about what’s happening to you, they can empathize and sympathize and put themselves in your shoes.

But that doesn’t mean they’ll get involved and help lead you to your own personal victory.

While they miss the opportunities to influence, you can.

You do not have to leave a person whom is asking for help, hanging in the breeze. You can give confidence to others by saying “let me get this.” By taking ownership and sharing the burden, you’ll gain influence, immediately.

You can put yourself out there. You can put yourselves in to what may feel like harms way.

It matters to at least one person. And that one person may be a spokesman for many. If you influence one, you influence the many.

You don’t have to be like everyone else. Instead of waiting for superman, you can be superman.


24. The Effect of Clothes

Clothes have a very peculiar effect of speaking for you. Depending on what you wear, and where you are wearing it, clothes themselves have the ability to influence.

Have you ever been around a person who is wearing a nice suit but you aren’t wearing nice clothes? Have you noticed how you feel just a little uncomfortable like “something is going on?” Maybe you even feel “under-dressed.”

This is one example that happens from nice clothes, but this effect isn’t just for suits. This effect occurs with “spiritual robes”, medals and awards, police uniforms, and more.

Consider intentionally dressing to influence

If you are not already conscious in your clothes choices, consider being more intentional. People respond to what you wear, even if they don’t tell you. When you are in public, consider wearing clothes that if a person met you for the first time, they leave with the impression that you want.

First impressions matter, because that is the stepping off place that people begin their relationship with you. If that relationship is “we’re just casual buddies” then don’t be surprised if you are building influence from square one, instead of ahead.

In some cases, the “uniform” of the day is most important.

When people are wearing uniforms, and you are not wearing the same uniform, the reverse is affect is true. Those wearing the uniform can often feel a bit uncomfortable being around a person who isn’t wearing a uniform. It is almost as though they naturally cannot place you in “their tribe”, the one that has the uniforms.

Sometimes it is necessary to put on the same clothes as other people, especially when you want to work “at their level” to drive forward. People who work together as a team, feel comfortable when they “dress together.”

Probably the best example is outdoor work clothes for working on around the farm. If you are helping lead outdoor projects, wear similar outdoor clothes as the people doing the work. This is the time to fit in.

Never underestimate the power of clothes for setting the tone of a relationship.


23. There is No Replacement for Hard Work

Clever people like to think that they can out maneuver hard work. While it may make them feel good about themselves to occasionally receive more than they put in, they are painfully mistaking.

There is no replacement for hard work.

Working long and hard hours, builds your ability to work at a higher level, even when you aren’t working long hours. Hard work makes your work have greater impact, even when you aren’t working hard.

There just is no replacement for hard work.

Sometimes when working hard and long hours, you can feel like giving up. This natural feeling that everyone has, occurs when your mind and body has finally reached what it considers hard and long. However, this isn’t the time to quit, but rather to acknowledge this is when the real work actually begins. Pushing through these feeling is where all of the gains are found.

Muscle memory develops when your muscles are tired, but you will them to go further. Your mind sharpens when its hazy and tired, but you continue to make it operate.

There is simply no replacement for hard work.

Marines have a saying. “If it ain’t raining, then it ain’t training.”

Marine’s train in the worst conditions because those are the perfect conditions for warfare. When you are capable of focusing in cold rain in complete darkness, you will always have a leg up to out maneuver and out think your opponents. While others use think of those “poor conditions” as an excuse to feel pain, others consider them “perfect conditions.”

While creativity can innovate tactics and strategies, without hard work, newly created tactics and strategies will never work. This is why cleverness doesn’t beat hard work.

There is no replacement for hard work.