“The Power of Reflecting” by Scott Burrows
As a Motivational Keynote Speaker, I have been invited to speak to different industries, associations and Fortune 500 companies around the world sharing my success strategies that revolve around Vision-Mindset-Grit. Three simple yet powerful words that, when put into action, can absolutely help you conquer your goals and push the limits of what is possible regardless of the challenges standing before you today.
Vision helps you set manageable but far-reaching goals. Mindset allows you to stay focused on those goals by making adjustments as circumstances, personnel and other elements change. Grit is the everyday determination and willingness to persevere and be resilient in your pursuit especially when all else beckons you to throw in the towel, or worse, stay in your paralyzed state, your comfort zone while maintaining the status quo.
During a keynote, I typically use my own life-changing story as the backdrop to bring the concepts of Vision, Mindset and Grit to life. Lately, I’ve been encouraging my attendees to Reflect back on their own lives and experience self-awareness, to Reflect back on how far they have come, on the choices and decisions they have made, the challenges they have overcome, as well as the contributions they have made to their organization, other employees and members of their team. In doing so, I have found that Reflecting is a Mindset technique that can help you tap into your inner strength and be more productive while keeping your Vision clear and always in the forefront of your thinking.
Due to my physical handicap, I cannot ride a traditional bike; however, with new biking technologies and modifications I’m able to ride a hand-cycle, which is a 3-wheeled bike. It’s aerodynamic, sits a few inches off the ground and can now be seen by Paralympians using it to compete in distance runs at the Paralympics.
When I bike, I enjoy letting my mind wander. On one ride, I found myself Reflecting back on some of the choices and decisions I’ve made in my life. In doing so, the words leaders leading leaders kept speaking to me. My mind drifted back to 1983, when I was 18 years old and playing college football as a walk-on wide receiver at Florida State University under head coach Bobby Bowden. During that season, I noticed that Coach Bowden was a delegator who led from the bottom up as opposed to the traditional top down. He would encourage assistant coaches and frontline players like me to take charge and lead on and off the field and challenge each other, day after day, to perform to the best of our abilities. It proved effective and became a powerful life lesson that I teach and have incorporated into my everyday existence.
That reflection triggered another memory that I consider to be one of the most defining moments of my life. On November 3rd, 1984, while a sophomore in college, a bunch of us planned a weekend on those gorgeous white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, at a place known as St. George’s Island. We arrived around 8:00 PM, set up our camp, built a fire, started drinking (as the drinking age in Florida was 18 back then) and telling story after story with our best teenage hormonal sense of humor.
As the hours passed, my friend Ed challenged me to a foot race. Being competitive, like you, I stood up to the challenge and bent down into my running stance waiting to hear “GO!” Imagine right now hearing that word echoing in the air and the first thing you can feel is the cool night air blowing through your hair, and with each step you can feel sand Gritting between your toes, and as you lean across that imaginary finish line you can even taste salt in the ocean breeze. That run turned out to be the best, but I could have never imagined that it would be my last.
After that run, we walked back to camp. Waiting for us was another friend who said, “Do the two of you mind taking a ride down the beach to find some more firewood to keep our bonfire burning throughout the night.” We said, “Sure, why not!” And it wasn’t long thereafter that it happened. On our way back, in a car loaded with wood debris on a dark, otherwise empty road, Ed lost control of the wheel, ran off the road and crashed into a mound of sand. The impact sent the car hurtling into the air before tumbling back to earth end over end. In that one moment, everything about my life was forever changed.
Ed survived with minor bumps and bruises. I, unfortunately, broke cervical 6 & 7 vertebrates in my neck and suffered a serious spinal cord injury that left me paralyzed from my chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. As I was fighting the fight of my life in hopes to turning an impossible dream of walking again into a reality, the oxygen levels in my red blood cell count unexpectedly plummeted and were dangerously low.
My doctor said the only way to get those levels back up to normal was to get a large quantity of pure oxygen into my weakened system over the next 24 hours. “There are two ways to do it: Hook you up to a machine to breathe for you, but it would require surgery—we would need to drill a hole into your throat; or, we could put a mask over your face, pump oxygen through it, and you could do it on your own. But there’s a catch.” (Have you ever noticed there is always a catch when it comes to someone else’s ideas?) He said, “You would need to stay awake for the next 24 hours and monitor every single breath to ensure you are taking in as much pure oxygen as possible. I’ll be back in 10 minutes. Let me know what you decide.”
Sometimes in life we have to make quick decisions, don’t we? But why can’t we make more decisions quickly? Why do we have to think and worry so much? This goes back to Mindset. What is Mindset? If you think about it, it’s really your own philosophy of life. It’s how you see things through your own experiences. Most importantly, it’s how you respond to a new unexpected challenge, your next setback or perhaps the changing landscape of your industry or organization—or your competitors and the products and services they offer.
For me, I came to realize that this doctor was giving me the opportunity to stand up to the challenge, metaphorically speaking. If I was not willing to muster up every last ounce of Grit I had in this paralyzed body, I would be risking even more. So, I’ll have you know that those 24 hours fighting for every breath turned out to the longest hours of my life. When I crossed that imaginary finish line I came to believe you cannot always choose the precise outcomes of the choices you make, but you can take ownership over whatever results occur. Then and there, I made the decision to take ownership over what had happened to me as opposed to blaming Ed, especially considering that we were both drinking.
It’s really no different than anyone—perhaps you—accepting accountability and responsibility versus playing the victim and blaming someone else, like someone on your team, your competition or the markets or the economy, when things don’t go as you planned. This was not only a turning point in my life, it became my defining moment. It gave me the resiliency to stand up and fight to walk again.
I had another experience on that bike ride, this one about Sue Lopez, an HR Director who hosted a conference for her company in Fargo, North Dakota that I presented to. Afterwards, she mentioned that she wished I would have talked a little more about my girlfriend, Kim. She said she couldn’t help but notice how I consider Kim one of the best speaking coaches I’ve ever had even though that is not actually her profession. “She’s very astute,” I said, “and I consider myself coachable.”
Kim has heard me speak a dozen times. When I’m through, we often have a conversation about the organization I spoke to and, when prompted, she offers me her feedback. One day, she asked me to email her a copy of my latest keynote so she could go through it while the presentation was still fresh in her mind.
A few days later, we reconvened. Armed with notes and questions, she asked about my family, my upbringing, my involvement in sports and more details about the auto accident I was involved in that changed my life 32 years ago. She also wanted to know more about Ed, my friend who was driving the car at the time. This conversation continued for hours—and days. It was not the most pleasant experience, truth be told, and I found myself emotional and vulnerable at times. The more open and vulnerable I became, the more heart-wrenching the questions grew.
“After I read your book, Vision-Mindset-Grit,” Kim said, “I thought you could go even deeper with your feelings. I love writers who share their deepest thoughts, the places where the ego is shed and exposure is the greatest, and then bring the reader back to the surface. That’s how I learn that I, too, can overcome any challenge confronting me by digging deep and seeking the truth. It’s scary, but effective.”
Kim also suggested that I change some sentence structure in order to appeal to more women. “As you know, both men and women communicate differently,” Kim said. “Right now, you’re sharing your story from a male point of view. That’s fine, but with a few subtle changes, you might reach even more people in the room.”
After some Reflection, I made the necessary adjustments—just like back when I was working with speaking coach Lou Heckler, an expert in presentation and organization skills. It took time to digest everything, and it took courage and Grit to deliver it confidently on stage. As I did, however, I was happy to see that I was connecting with the audience on a deeper level than before. People were more engaged, laughed harder and became emotional in new places.
My presentation style is direct. I engage in a very intimate and candid conversation with an audience for one hour, articulated with emotional storytelling that captivates everyone’s attention. I’m proud to say that, when I’m speaking, no one reaches for their mobile devices. As Kim says, “That’s powerful storytelling!”
The Power of Reflecting has been a very useful tool to help me understand where I’ve been, what I’ve learned and what I can improve upon. It has allowed me to tap into my inner strength during times of adversity and push the limits of what is possible in both my personal and professional life while putting my concepts of Vision, Mindset and Grit into action.
So, remember to take the time to Reflect!
For more blogs from IPMA 2018 Conference Keynote Scott Burrows CLICK HERE
Pay Attention: 5 Ways to Focus in Everyday Life Timetables, schedules, and plans are drawn every day, every week, every month, and at times yearly. They are drawn with the promise that when followed this time, better results would follow. However, after a very diligent first week, a slightly slacked second week and a lazy third week, you come to the realization that you have lost focus. In life, your focus is lost in different ways, in relationships, careers, and at times with family. The one question everyone asks is how to stay focused on life and love, and the list below is a few of the methods that you can use: 1. Make a New Routine Every Time You Feel Lost I am sure you have experienced the adrenaline feeling that is accompanied by the making of a new routine. The promise that the next day, you will wake up earlier, be more specific with what you want to do and sleep late to ensure that the day is most productive. Try and capitalize on that adrenaline and you do this by changing your routine when it feels like it is getting old. Every time you get too comfortable with your routine, to the extent that you start not following it, spice it up a bit to reawaken the adrenaline and get focused once again. 2. Clear the Distractions Focus is at times lost when distractions supersede the task at hand. You might decide to binge-watch Netflix when you should be working out to burn the carbs you feel are in excess. Other times, you might get more concerned about the drama happening in your best friend’s life and forget that you need to read that book. These distractions may take up just an hour of your day, but they really affect your goals in the long run. Clear these distractions from your life today to ensure that they play no role in distracting you from your life goals. 3. Take Control of Your Own Life In the morning, you wake up to a call by your bestie, asking you if you could be so kind as to do this and that for her. At the office, your boss keeps sending you on these unorthodox appointments since he might not make it. In the evening, it is probably a spouse asking for a favor or two. By the end of the day, you realize that you have not achieved anything that you set out to do. What you need to do is take control of your own life, and unless you are done doing what you had planned, don’t let other people’s favors and requests harbor you. 4. Be Intentional with Your Relationships The thing with goals and staying in focus is that every distraction has to be gotten rid of. Sometimes, random relationships that really don’t add value to your life and goals are the distractions, and they, therefore, need to be gotten rid of. Moreover, ensure that the people you associate with have the same goals as you do. When you have the same goals with your friends, you can keep each other in check, and encourage one another when you are both feeling slack. 5. Take a Break Sometimes, you need to take a break from everything...read more
5 Lies That Prevent Lasting Motivation Everybody knows how important motivation is for success. It feeds your energy, enabling you to take on the toughest of challenges in your journey. However, motivation may be represented in the wrong light. Ever felt that rush of energy when you exit a motivational workshop, only to find yourself deflating after a while? You realize that the motivation you experienced was more hype, less encouragement. There are facts that lead to sustainable motivation, and then there are the lies. It’s time you stopped believing in these: “All you need is motivation!” Motivation has no substance. It is your fuel, and you need action to utilize that fuel. If a person says they feel motivated to get a certain promotion, but in fact does nothing to achieve it, then they cannot actually reach their destination despite all the motivation they have. “Motivate people by telling them what to do.” Telling people what to do has the opposite of the intended effect. People left and right tell us what to do. If that is all it took to motivate people, there would be no one left uninspired. Actions speak louder than words. Lead by example; if you truly want to motivate people, show them what you did. “Setting goals does not motivate people.” Goals remind us that we have a direction. While not all goals are great goals, they let us know which way to go. Setting goals is like setting up signs on your road to success. “Setbacks lead to demotivation.” Setbacks are frustrating. They disappoint us and can temporarily pause our pursuit of success. However, setbacks are also inevitable, and are in fact the setup to a comeback. If setbacks were truly de-motivating, then Hollywood producers would never use them as the reasons for your favorite characters to gain determination and achieve their happy endings. “There is no such thing as lasting motivation.” Yes, we know the title promises lasting motivation. In truth, motivation is always eventually countered by an opposing force, and you need to revisit your sources of motivation. While you can use the same tools or techniques to get motivated again, never indulge the idea that ”once was enough.” People need motivation to re-energize. Scott Burrows delivers his keynotes on change management, overcoming adversity, goal setting and other subjects of professional encouragement in a realistic and empathetic manner to motivate professionals across different organizations. Call Scott at 855.841.9225 to hire him as a speaker at your next corporate event to motivate your employees. You can also check out some of his videos here. Posted in Mindset by Searchberg on November 9, 2017. Share this: 2Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)2 Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) 1Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)1 Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...read more
Relax and Go with the Flow! Sometimes, in our quest to get ahead in life, we forget to actually live it. From deadlines to meet to presentations to prepare for, life is quite busy. However, you need to let go of things and relax. In your fast-paced world, you have got to learn to go with the flow. Here are some ways you can actually do that: Breathe When things seem to get out of control, it is a good idea to sit down, relax and take some deep breaths. It allows you to calm down and regroup your thought processes. Learning breathing exercises will mean that you do not need to go somewhere or need someone to calm you down. It gives you a sense of control. Understand That You Can’t Control Everything Talking about control, remember that you cannot control your universe. From getting fired from a job to accidents, mishaps occur. Your goal is to learn to accept this fact. Being frustrated will not take you anywhere. Make sure you get perspective and learn to move on with a more focused self. Laugh In the midst of our busy lives, we forget to have fun. Spend some time with your friends. Watch a funny movie. Laughing will give you a sense of detachment from life’s absurdities. It will help you see the funny side of things, and that’s quite productive for you. Become Good at Determining the Urgency Level Learn to figure out the urgency of a situation. Is the task too important to leave for tomorrow? Can it have negative consequences if delayed? Determining the urgency levels will help you prioritize and manage life more effectively. Keep a Journal Having a journal allows you to write about life as you observe it. This can help great deal in giving you perspective. Whether you have been upset about something or are facing a big problem, getting it out on paper really helps. It can be a great way to blow off some steam – a cathartic effect. Embrace Imperfections As we go through life, we realize that neither we nor anybody around us is perfect. The key is in embracing these imperfections and continuing to enjoy life. The world will keep changing whether you like it or not. Let go of that perfectionist attitude and keep learning from new experiences. With a deeply inspiring story, Scotts Burrows has a message that really resonates. As one of the most engaging and impactful business keynote speakers, he helps people learn to live better. This corporate speaker delivers many entertaining and uplifting speeches on overcoming adversity. Have a look at some of them. Posted in Mindset by Searchberg on May 17,...read more
What is everyone planning(for In-Plant Awareness Month)? We were a little early this year. We had planned to do an open house but our students came to us and asked that instead, we support something new they were trying this year. They called it an “office involvement fair.” The purpose of the event was for our Messiah College Community to gather together in one location so that individuals could better understand what resources, offices, and services exist on campus in support of students and all Messiah business. By visiting the Fair and getting to know and learn face-to-face from the offices or groups, attendees would be better equipped for a successful semester. So we supported every office that participated by helping them with their displays and communication materials. AND of course – we had our own booth as well. Dwayne Magee Director College Press and Postal Services Messiah College...read more
5 Ways to Master Your Fears In as much as it is part of what makes us human, fear is one of the greatest challenges and obstacles people face in life. Though helpful and important in some life situations, fear can hinder us from exploring and experiencing life from a whole new perspective. Mastering your fears can open your years to a whole new perspective of life. It allows you to experience happiness fully live a more lively and fulfilled life. Here are five simple ways you can face your fears and conquer them and their negative effects to your life. Identify, embrace and get comfortable with your fear You can identify your fears by determining what you cannot do, why you cannot do it, and what you are afraid of when you do what you are scared of doing. After identifying it, embrace it. Get comfortable with it by engaging in things that give you a fright more often. As you do this, your confidence builds and your being grows stronger. Learn that fear is a state of mind Fear comes in when we condition our mind against engaging in some things with the thought of protecting ourselves. The good thing is that we are in control of our fears; not the other way round. When you feel it creeping inside you, acknowledge it, but do not let it take over your mind. Instead, you can use it to your advantage. Sometimes fear helps to bring out the best in us. A simple way to keep your fear in control is taking slow deep breaths to keep calm. Focus on the positive aspects of your life Get to document the positive things that happen to you every day, the things you are grateful for and the good things you do to others. This continuous act helps your notice some positive things you may not have noticed if you gave room for fear. Things like compassion, fun, style, and humor. You will feel more positive and less fearful. Identify the worst-case scenario and get ready for failure Worst-case scenarios, in as much as they do not look good most times, they actually are not as bad as you imagine. It is important to know that you will always be held back and hindered from achieving success in your life if you do not come to terms with the worst case scenario. A good example is the extreme athletes like downhill skiers and skydivers. Their worst case scenario is death. Somehow they come to terms with it, and that is why they are able to do what they do and achieve success in their paths. Coming to peace with your worst-case scenario helps you focus on the present rather than building up on what you fear, which in turn influences your thoughts and actions negatively. So come to terms with your worst-case scenario and embrace the facts. Take a new and creative action Constant actions ensure that you do not succumb to your fears by focusing on it. There is more to it than just acting. You have to be accountable and honest with yourself. Do not come up with excuses and reasons why you have to avoid facing your fears. Be true to your course if at all success...read more
Posted in Mindset on January 1,...read more
Ravings of a Mad Printer……………. Looking ahead while things in the mirror are closer than they appear. By John Sarantakos One of my favorite cartoons growing up was “A Far Side” by Gary Larson. Incredibly hilarious stuff because it always made you go “hummmm”. I’ll beg forgiveness for using this image, but it was always one of my favorites. So how many of you worry about what is coming up on you or breathing down your neck? I’ll guess it is probably all of us (including me). The problem arises if we focus too much on what’s behind and don’t bother to look where we are going. Honestly, there are a lot of things chasing us. Budgets, FM’s, staffing issues, costs, rework, schedules, our bosses, and probably the real world. I can see where folks could lose their way or easily miss a turn. Nobody can ignore the rearview mirror and only look forward. But you must find the best balance so that nothing sneaks up and you keep the operation heading in the right direction. We can control the things chasing us thru better planning and communications. Plans are good although they can be time consuming to develop. Communication is always good especially when it includes the higher ups. IPMA’s recent study “The Future of the In-Plant”, revels that planning is the single biggest contributor to success and growth. Failure to plan does not necessarily mean failure, but not knowing where you are going may make you look behind more than you should. Communication with bosses, customers and staff are key to smoother operations. When everybody is on the same page it simply helps reduce questions, conflict, costs and more importantly customer complaints. I know there is no great hidden revelation exposed here. My goal was to remind each and every manager to do the things necessary to minimize those things in the mirror and plan ahead for those things coming down the pipe. Failure to do these fundamental management practices may result in being caught from behind or running off the road. Drive defensively while staying on the offense! Past President John Sarantakos, Director of Printing, Mailing and Document Services University of Oklahoma 2101 W. Tecumseh Rd. Suite A Norman OK 73069 Contact John Phone: (405) 325-4176 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org...read more
Kindness is often never celebrated. It is so important in everyday life, yet incredibly vague; most people want to be kind, yet don’t know where to start! I challenge all of us to step outside our comfort zones and do things we wouldn’t normally do. We don’t need to do grand gestures to be kind today. People simply appreciate the little things you can do for them. Kindness often starts in small acts, but it grows exponentially, changing our behaviors, and pushing us to find ways in which we can always be helping others. Try these 10 easy ways of being kind today! Kindness often starts in small acts, but it grows exponentially, changing our behaviors, and pushing us to find ways in which we can always be helping others. Make kindness not just a resolution, but part of your everyday life. To learn more about how to gain more perspective in kindness and generosity, consider reading Live, Love, Explore: Discover the Way of the Traveler a Roadmap to the Life You Were Meant to Live. Available Now Part travel memoir, part self-help book, Live, Love, Explore is a guide to finding meaning and adventure in your everyday life and discovering the road you were always meant to walk. Learn More February 2017...read more
Dear IPMA Members, Another year is coming to a close. At IPMA, we have much to celebrate as we look back on the events and accomplishments of 2017. We are celebrating 53 years of supporting in-plants and advocating for the in-plant business model. A lot has changed in the world of print and mail since IPMA’s inception, but the value that in-plants bring to their parent institutions still remains the same. We knew then and we know now, in-plants contribute positively to the overall business success of the organizations they serve. In addition to cost savings, they provide: Total focus on the business needs of their parent institutions Intimate knowledge of the needs of their internal clients Confidentiality Cost Control Consistency of content and graphic identity As the only in-plant association providing for all industry segments, we proudly serve our community by offering a variety of events and programs throughout the year to promote networking, education, professional development and business growth. This year alone we hosted 16 events; creating opportunities to connect with vendors and with each other. These events included webinars, road shows, and appearances at PRINT17, SGIA, SUPDMC, DScoop, PIA and the IPG Innovation conference. Then, there was our very own conference in June. IPMA 2017 was one of those conferences our members will be talking about for a long time to come. Our gathering in Pittsburgh brought together 160 members, 52 vendors, an arts festival, two rock concerts, and a championship hockey parade. We all face a variety of challenges in our work environment these days. By growing a stronger network we can gain insights on addressing these challenges. Together our network is stronger. As advocates for in-plants through a unified voice we can all grow together. Since I assumed office of the president of IPMA in January, I have been happy to see this community grow and flourish. IPMA’s accomplishments during these last 12 months were made possible by many individuals—members, volunteers, supporting partners, our friends at In-Plant Graphics, the board of directors and a dedicated staff. The growth in our community reflects the growth of IPMA. Five years ago our membership consisted of approximately 400 members. Today, there are nearly 700 members. Of course IPMA’s many accomplishments would not be possible without our most important asset: YOU. Our association thrives because of your activity in our community and your attendance at our events. It is the experiences, the stories, the contributions, and the skills of our members that make IPMA prosperous. As we plan for the future, IPMA is excited for the many opportunities that await us in 2018. We are looking forward to the In-Print Awards contest in January, In-Plant Awareness month in February, IPMA Awards in March IPMA Road Shows in Norman, OK and Charlottesville, VA and the IPMA 2018 Educational Conference in Costa Mesa, California in June. We will remain committed to providing a value to the in-plants we serve while pursuing growth and investment in our community. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities for involvement, please contact IPMA Headquarters at 816-919-1691 or by emailing email@example.com. We hope this year was one of advancement and growth for you. It’s been a privilege to form new relationships in the community, and deepen existing connections with in-plants throughout the year. We would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy...read more
After deciding to write a blog my first thought was…I’m not a blogger I’m a mudder, referring to race horses who do better in the mud than on the soft smooth surface of a dirt track. I’ve heard about blogs, seen speakers on talk shows who write blogs, but have never written one. So, knowing what I knew about blogs, I reached out for help. Thankfully I have contacts that were more than happy to offer guidance. As a manager, I rely on others to complete many tasks and projects. I think about who can complete the project, who has the time, and sometimes who will need the least oversight. Now I know that sounds bad, but we all do it whether you want to admit to it or not. We are all stretched thin and we can’t complete all project ourselves. We must depend upon our staff to make us successful. Projects that are lengthy are the perfect opportunity to trust and develop our employees. Give them the opportunity to not only grow but to shine. The questions of capability and oversight should not be major factors. We should choose employees who are trying different things or taking on more without being asked. Even someone always looking to make operations better would be a good choice. These folks like challenges and need to be challenged. They will take the project and run with it. But more importantly we can’t forget about those who are less inclined to jump in when the opportunity arises. These are not “bad” employees, they simply like to stay within their comfort zone. These folks are capable too and often have ideas on how to improve. They need to be encouraged and offered the same motivation then given the same opportunity to grow. They will require help, they will ask questions, and they will require some of our time. And yes, they will also make mistakes. Mistakes are how they learn. We all have had someone at some point in our careers that gave us an opportunity to step up and do more. These mentors guided us when needed, they gave us room to work and they were there when we needed them. Mr. Green is the person who did this for me. Even to this day when I feel I have accomplished something special within my job I say a big thank you to him. We as managers owe our success not only to our hard work but to our employees and to those who helped us along the way. Is this the perfect blog? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Is it a bad blog? Debatable. What it is though is an opportunity. An opportunity for me to move outside my comfort zone to learn and grow. This is something we all need to do regardless of where we are within our organizations. As managers and leaders, it is our responsibility to promote and encourage those learning opportunities for our employees too. Member-at-Large Representative Kelly Hogg, Director of Printing & Copier ServicesThe University of Virginia P.O. Box 400728 2474 Old Ivy Rd Charlottesville, VA 22904 Contact Kelly Phone: (434)924-7186...read more