I see the world in themes. Usually, when there’s a message brewing inside of me, I see that same message throughout the day, week, or even month. I’m a spiritual guy and I’ve seen the power of astrology, and I do believe that there are ebbs and flows to our energy and areas of focus. We’re all in this together and experiencing similar challenges, opportunities, and cycles.
This week definitely had a theme, and I heard that theme rattling around inside me all week. It started about 5 days ago. There was a little whisper that said “F*ck your excuses. (FYE).” I thought about my journey from a 300-pound, suicidal, hopeless alcoholic, to a purposeful, internally powerful, fit, executive coach, speaker, and author who serves men all over the country. That little whisper inspired this Facebook post that flowed right out of me, almost like I wasn’t even the one writing the words:
When I ate like crap and didn’t exercise, my wife and kids did the same.
I was an alcoholic and my wife was in chemical addiction as well.
When I started taking care of myself they all challenged me.
I halted alcoholism, replaced garbage food with fuel, implemented daily exercise, and started losing weight…
And my child told me I was making too many changes.
Even people that love you will challenge better choices.
Now all 4 of us are clean and sober, eat better, exercise, and are more fit.
Be the example…
Not the reason the problem continues.
F*ck your excuses.
They’re watching you.
I posted the same message on here and got the most interaction of almost any post I’ve ever made on that platform. A celebrity in the coaching, speaking, and author space even interacted with that message. It was powerful, and the energy flowed. It started with a faint whisper, but that whisper got louder and louder as the week went on. I started listening to a new audiobook (which I do a lot), and the message was stated again “F*ck your excuses.” I saw another Facebook post with an image that represented the same message: “You know what you want. Stop making excuses.” The message was everywhere! I love this theme!
Leadership Orientations for Success
As I reflect back on my life I can see that when I’ve recognized my greatest successes, there were always a few common elements in my leadership and my personal operating system. This new revelation and theme helped me get into a space where I got to dive into the top three leadership orientations that have made me successful, and when neglected have brought me pain.
- Ownership – Own everything in your life. There are no victims, no villains, and no heroes to save you. You are your greatest investment, and your outcomes are 100 percent created by you. Own and take full responsibility for your results, outcomes, beliefs, actions, health, wealth, relationships, and every other circumstance in your life. Never cast judgment, blame, threats, guilt, shame, or manipulation on others for your life. You own it all. If you don’t assume full ownership, you’ll make excuses and look for villains. Excuses are a sign of victim-thinking, not leadership.
- Humility – You are better than no one, less than no one, and equal to all. Your self-worth and value as a human being rests in the fact that you breathe, not in your title, position, power, outcomes, wealth, materials, or anything outside of you. You are equal to all, better than none. As leaders, we must remain humble yet still press forward. Understand that achieving results at someone else’s expense is abusive, not leadership. You do not need to allow them to impede you, however, leadership is handling others with empathy and compassion, but never pity and sympathy. Make and accept no excuses, and stay humble. Never attach your self-worth to your net-worth. There will always be someone who has more than you, and someone who has less.
- Growth and Results – I tied these two together because they are a natural feedback loop for each other. Your results will only grow when you grow as a human being and a leader, and your growth as a human and a leader will be reflected in your results. Both are non-negotiable as leaders constantly raise the bar in every area of life, and growth is the fuel that drives results. Assuming growth without results means that growth did not happen. Accept no excuses from yourself or others.
Our Decisions Determine Our Results
I recently spoke at a local business club of professionals about leadership and leading yourself, leading your society, and leading your family. I tied those elements of leadership into creating personal authority, purpose and impact in your career, and L.O.V.E. in your family, and I shared the message of FYE and shared how choices and decisions 100 percent determine outcomes, circumstances, and results.
I showed them pictures of Sergeant Mike Kitko who was ranked the #1 Non-Commissioned Officer in the Avionics Division in my last unit during my time in the USMC in 1996, a picture of a 300-pound Mike Kitko who lost ownership and leadership orientation in 2016, and the reinvented Mike Kitko of today who shows up with personal authority, purpose and impact, and with a powerful family unit. I told them that where they were not showing up in their lives or where they were being a victim, they were not leading, but surviving. They were not owning their outcomes, but playing victim. I said it doesn’t matter what their business cards say, but if they aren’t leading in all areas of their life, they aren’t really a leader. I called them to action for their own benefit.
I Told Them What They Needed To Hear
Eyes dropped to the floor as some of the professionals suddenly realized where they were leading and where they were surviving. They realized where they weren’t taking full ownership, accountability, and responsibility for their outcomes and circumstances, and where they weren’t demonstrating a solid example for those they loved. Their eyes didn’t drop because the message was too intense, their eyes dropped because I held up a mirror for them to see their own excuses. They needed to see them. That’s the only way we get better – by being honest with ourselves and those we serve. I had multiple people in the room thank me for calling them to task. They agreed that they needed to hear it. One of my colleagues in the room, with whom I already had a relationship, mentioned to the group that he’s grown because I will never tell him what he wants to hear, but what he needs to hear. Anything less is less than they deserve. I deserve the same and am surrounded by people who do the same for me. It’s how we grow the most.
Is My Coaching Right For You?
I know not everyone craves growth at this level. When I speak with folks interested in working with me directly, I hit them early. I ask them a few simple questions to make sure we don’t waste time, money, and energy:
- Are you sure you are prepared to grow?
- Are you sure you are ready to hear what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear?
- What do you want more – comfort or growth?
- Are you ready to grow?
- Are you really ready to accelerate your outcomes and results?
- Are you ready to let go of your excuses?
If they answer yes to all of those questions, I know where we are. I just smile, nod, and pause. After a few seconds of silence and with a smirk on my face, I lean in and whisper, “Good. Me too. F*ck your excuses.”
If you are interested in an intense coaching experience, I’d love it if you would schedule time with me. I will be your guide to overcome your challenges, obstacles, and excuses to achieve the personal authority, purpose, and impact, and powerful family unit you desperately want. You are telling yourself a story and that’s showing up as excuses why you can’t have what you want. I will guide you to overcome them. Schedule time with me. I’ll show up for you. The only question I have is will you show up for yourself?