FFP 001: Three Absolute Musts for Setting Goals

The Future Focused Podcast Episode 1

Welcome to the Future Focused Podcast, Episode Number 1.

In this episode: speaker, author and artist, Kelly Croy shares with you three absolute musts for setting your goals. This episode will help you set some great goals for the new year, design a dynamic life, provide you with three tools to help keep you on track and accountable, and an inspirational edge that may just push you to accomplishing something that has escaped you time and time again.

Kelly shares his vision for the Future Focused Podcast and outlines what he aims to accomplish in this new endeavor.

Visit Kelly’s website at www.KellyCroy.com to learn more.

Mentioned in this podcast:

Moleskine Journal: This is the journal Kelly uses to brainstorm, plan, set goals, and stay on track.

Special Index Cards To-do List: This is what I use to use with a special lined surface on front & back.

Things 3: A To-Do App for Mobile Devices

The Wired Educator Podcast

Kelly Croy

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com

Click Here to email Kelly. 

1-800-831-4825 

Invite Kelly to speak at your event.

 

Introducing The Future Focused Podcast

I've Started a New Podcast Focused on Leadership, Productivity, & Designing a Dynamic Life

I am excited to announce a new project that I have been working on for quite awhile. I have started a podcast titled The Future Focused Podcast. 

(I have been podcasting for three years now as the host of The Wired Educator Podcast. It has been a joy to interview amazing educators around the world and share their stories and successes with other educational leaders.  It has been featured on iTune’s “What’s Hot!” list of podcasts and has received numerous recognition from educational institutions and leaders as one of the top influential educational podcasts, including a rave review and recommendation from ISTE. What I am most proud of though is that The Wired Educator Podcast has really made an impact in education. That was my goal. So, I fully plan to continue hosting the podcast and interviewing amazing educators. It is also a lot of fun to host the show.)

The Future Focused Podcast is brand new and officially starts this January, however, you can sneak an early listen here. The Future Focused Podcast is aimed at people who want to level-up their leadership both professionally and personally. The podcast will be under 20 minutes and focus on an actionable message that inspires, challenges, and provides valuable content to help you make the most of your life.

Since publishing my book, Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal & Professional Leadership, I have recognized an even greater need to help people become a stronger leaders in new forms of media. Many people who need this message do not read books or simply would benefit from micro-doses of audio inspiration and tools. So, the idea for the Future Focused podcast was formed.

I kicked around a lot of ideas for the title of the podcast, but finally settled on Future Focused because that is what leaders are about; they want to become their best-self and help others along this same path.

The Future Focused Podcast will help you: level-up your leadership, design a dynamic life, become your best-self, secure a set of unshakeable skills, inspire you to become a life-long-learner, and make incremental, but consistent growth each and every day.

I hope you will: take a listen to the podcast, subscribe, leave a review and share it with others. 

I don’t just want to wish you a happy new year, I want to help you make it happen.

~Kelly

Kelly Croy

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com

Click Here to email Kelly. 

1-800-831-4825 

Invite Kelly to speak at your event.

 

Seven Ways to Address Teen Mobile Device Addiction

I just read an article in USA Today citing a report from Common Sense Media that 50% of teens say they are addicted to their mobile devices.

I am sure if you think about it, you would most likely agree with those finding as well. It seems everyone has their head in their device.

So, what do we do about it?

Here’s my advice:

  1. Model the use of mobile devices that you wish to see. They are watching us.
  2. Limit their alone time with their devices.
  3. Encourage “creating with their device” over consuming with their device. Work with them to create movies and other creations.
  4. Enforce bedtimes for devices. That’s right, the device is put away at a certain hour for the night and it does not go with them to their bedrooms.
  5. Establish device-free zones and device-free times. (e.g. No device in the bathroom or during dinner.)
  6. Have them show you what they do on the device. Sit with them. Remember that time you spent with them when they were little? Get that back.
  7. Create alternatives for your children and play with them. (Board games, walks, workouts, any type of social interaction will trump device consumption. They grow up so fast!)

These seven methods to help address teen mobile device addiction may be a little challenging to set-up at first. I recommend not trying to implement all seven at once. Start with one, but be firm.

Ultimately, begin this conversation with your child using a mobile device regardless of their age.

Technology is awesome when it is used well, and it can be destructive to families and lives when it is used poorly. Teach your children and students to use their devices properly.

This same advice can also be helpful to you.

Kelly Croy

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com

Click Here to email Kelly. 

1-800-831-4825 

Invite Kelly to speak at your event.

 

 

It’s Not Just Okay to Dream, It’s Required

I’ve always been a dreamer. Always.
As soon as I reach one goal or accomplishment, I am usually plotting three more.
My dreams are typically out of reach, far fetched, and unattainable. Still, I go after it, reminding myself even if I am off, I’ll be better for having tried. You know what? Sometimes I hit the mark.

I’m a big fan of dreamers too. I have always been fond of inventors and entrepreneurs who set their sights on big acccomplishments. Their epic-sized dreams impact the world and make a difference.

Currently, I am a big fan of Elon Musk. He’s this far-out thinking inventor-entrepreneur that created PayPal, the Tesla’s self-driving electric car, and rocket technology that lands itself on floating, moving barges, and he has been tapped by the United States government to assist on a Mars expedition. He’s a dreamer. His dreams have paid off. Why not mine?

Tesla has a big announcement for tomorrow: First of all, I want to declare that I am a dreamer and I am never, ever, ever correct about product releases. My track record is horrible. Now, with that being said, here is my prediction for tomorrow: a flying car.

Elon Musk is the closest thing we have to a Tony Stark. The guy has self-driving electric cars, has partnered with the USA to send people to Mars in his rockets, and has built self-landing, reusable rockets.

How difficult would it be for this genius to extrapolate our existing hobbyist, quadcopter technology (GPS guided drones Like the DJI Phantom 4), enlarge it, combine it with his existing technology, and show us a prototype tomorrow? My rationale: Musk does BIG things. He would want a flying car. He is not afraid of putting ideas out there.

While tomorrow the company will probably only deliver a software upgrade to the existing Tesla models… I will be dreaming tonight of flying cars.

Here’s your permission slip everyone: it’s okay to dream, so dream big.

6 Things Olympic Athletes Do That We Should Implement

Photo 1465487031582 bbc9519cc957

Image by David Schap

The Olympics are amazing, but while I am utterly amazed I think most of us still really have no clue to how incredible these athletes truly are.  I really like comedian Bill Murray’s recent tweet, “Every Olympic event should include one average person competing for reference.”

What makes these athletes so incredible? Well, I won’t argue that genetically they have a lot going for them, but you would be a fool to underestimate how much they do mentally and physically to help themselves stand out and excel.

Olympic athletes have amazing focus and discipline. What can we learn from these incredible athletes to help us live better lives?

Olympic athletes: 

1) Visualize Success: Olympic athletes don’t just think positively, the speak positively using affirmations and verbal mantras and goals. They try to involve all five senses in this visulaization. They do this regularly. They literally see and practice success. I write about this in my book.

2) Have great coaches: Maybe you can’t afford a coach, but you can afford a book, a CD, or conference attendance. What resource can you obtain now to help you advance?

3) Don’t Believe in Life Balance: Olympic athletes are ‘all in.’  They realize sacrifices must be made. This may not work for you and me on a regular basis, but from time to time we need to ‘fully commit’ to realize and accomplish a life goal. I’m sure you can recall a time you did this and it made the difference. What needs more attention in your life?

4) Invest the time needed. Olympic athletes do not “find time” to work out and they certainly don’t “try.” These athletes train and schedule the time they need to practice. During that time they are distraction-free and focused. When they succeed, it is not a surprise; they were expecting success because they have been training for it. They leave the floor sopping wet with the sweat of their labor. Where do you need to invest time, and how & when you plan to schedule it?

5) Surround themselves with people who make them better. Olympic athletes are successful because they surround themselves with helpful people. When they put themselves out there, the people around them ‘get it’ and support them. The people in their lives are encouragers. They want their friend to be successful. Who in your life is making you feel like your dreams are silly, holding you back, is unsupportive? Spend less time with them, and more time with people supporting your dream.

6) Eat like ‘what they put in their body’ really matters. Most of us can do better with what we are eating. I know I can. Some people think that this doesn’t impact their work, creativity, parenting, energy, sleep, etc., but they’re wrong. How can we be just a tad more intentional about what we are putting into our bodies to advance our output?

There are many more ways that Olympians live differently than the average person, but by applying any of these six I know we will live life just a little bit better.  Join me.

I also hope you will consider adding my book, Along Came a Leader, to your list too. Maybe you can add it to your “cart” the next time you are shopping on Amazon.

Kelly Croy 

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com 

info@kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825 


Interested in having Kelly speak at your event?

 

Conversations and a Gathering of Great Minds

Bag and hands by Alejandro Escamilla

Image by Alejandro Escamilla

I recently had breakfast with an old friend at a restaurant. He told me he meets there with a group of men regularly, and they talk about education, kids, curriculum, and the world. They even had a little brass plaque on wall with their initials engraved on it.  It was early, but the conversation put my mind in the right mode of thinking for the entire day. New perspectives were shared. I saw topics in a new light, and, well, I shared some of my ideas too.

Today, I was listening to a few minutes of a show titled GPS on CNN. I caught it just by chance. Just one of those moments where I was getting a snack when I shouldn’t have, and the TV was on in the kitchen.  What a great show! I’m not sure I am intelligent enough to grasp everything it covered, but I enjoyed the variety and richness of discussion. The show focused on solutions and big ideas.

I was inspired by the host’s guest too, “Homeless Billionaire” Nicolas Berggruen, who has recently  started a ‘think tank” where the top minds of the world will gather and well… think. He is building an institute that focuses on free speech, curiosity, and diversity. Nicholas calls this institute a “secular monestary” where scholars will live, work, host meetings, and talk about a range of topics from technology, philosophy to government, and more! He says he wants to give the world a place where people can have conversations.

These two events, my friend’s gathering at breakfast and the CNN story, are the same concept at different levels. Both groups, one big and one small, are focused on getting great minds together and having a conversation.

Are we doing this? Are we having discussions? This is more than liking pictures and status updates. These are face-to-face conversations in real time. This is setting aside a time to meet in person, spend time together, talk and then collaborate on solutions.

I was fortunate to have been invited to Berlin, Germany this summer to do just that with amazing educators from all around the world at the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute 2016. It was amazing and beneficial. This was thinking big on a big scale. This should happen often and so should smaller discussions too, at smaller levels.

How can we do more of this?  How can you or I get a group of thinkers together to talk and collaborate?

I challenge you this week to do just that. Start something. Join something. If you accomplish it online, well, I guess that is okay,  but if you can find a way to meet in person I think you will see many added benefits.

As an English teacher I am reminded of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and G. K. Chester meeting at a pub regularly for a talk. They called themselves The Inlkings. What came from these “talks” is some of my favorite literature and essays.

On my podcast I recently interviewed two authors about a trip they took home after a conference. They rode together in a car and talked. From this conversation sprang forth the idea for a book which was recently published on a very important topic.

These ‘think tanks’ or conversations are important. While they of course can “just happen” from time to time, imagine the results if we actually planned a few.

Kelly Croy  • Speaker, Artist and Educator • Invite Kelly to speak at your event!
www.KellyCroy.com  •  info@kellycroy.com  •  1-800-831-4825 

Leaders Promote Others!

WE Promote others; leaders promote othersWhether you are the owner of a business, a manager of a team, a parent, or just a good friend, know that leaders promote the work of others.

I had a wonderful neighbor years ago that I  loved to talk with while she tended her flower gardern.  One day she said to me, “Do you know what I like best about you? You speak so well of others. You talk so well of your wife. You share the joys of your work. You recommend your friends to others. That’s a wonderful quality.”  While I enjoyed the compliment, I also thought long and hard about her words, and I wondered why more people don’t do the same.

One of the greatest joys of being a leader comes when we have an opportunity to  recognize others for their hard work. Recognizing is important and something all leaders should do.  Recognizing and promoting are not, however, the same. Recognizing could be accomplished in private, but when we promote someone, well, that is the ultimate form of recognition because you are attaching yourself to it and sharing it publicly.

My mom would always compliment my artwork, but the greatest memories I remember were when she hung it on the fridge, or told her friends about it. I loved that.  I still do. So… hang someone’s work on the proverbial fridge and promote them.

Don’t promote others expecting something in return for yourself.  It very likely will happen, but that is the wrong reason to do it. Promote others because you are genuinely impressed with their work.  Make note, however, when you promote the work of others routinely it always benefits you down the road. It doesn’t benefit you occassionaly, it benefits you regularly, but again, that’s not why you do it, and you can’t do it occassionally. Your promotion of others needs to become a part of your leadership style.

And once you get a reputation for promoting the work of others, you won’t believe the work people do for you!   (Click “Read More”  to find out how to really apply this leadership skill.)

Look at your workplace and find someone doing a great job. Look for someone who went above and beyond on a specific project or just in general. Maybe it is a trait you wish others possessed. Now you can provide some recognition for their work, and you should, but instead consider promoting the work to others. Nominate them for some community, state, or national recognition. Regardless of whether “others” choose them, you nominated them. You can do it publically or anonymously. Maybe they will cross-promote your work too, but do it because it is the right thing to do. It’s what leaders do.

Make a point as a leader to promote others. There are so many ways to do it and it all really matters.

  • Promote the work of others within and outside your organization.
  • Be first to share and recognize the success of others.
  • Be first to purchase someone’s product or service.
  • Call another organization and recommend the outstanding service or product you received.
  •  Write a book review for a friend who published a book.
  • Make some calls for your buddy that is in a band.
  • Use your social media to promote others, not yourself.
  • Don’t just hit like. Share it.
  • Write a comment. Yep, forget the emojis and type some words.
  • Write a letter of recommendation without even being asked.
  • Write a testimonial.
  • Introduce them to others prefacing their accomplishments.
  • Tell others when the person isn’t around.  You know… good gossip!
  • Get on the loudspeaker and make an announcement. Be loud. Be proud.
  • Start your own recognition or distinction if none exist. You’re a leader! Get on it!

What about self-promotion? Marketing is important. Sharing good news is fun. You need to do both, but may I make a suggestion? Most people self-promote. Why? They do it because others aren’t. Promote the work of others ten times to every one time promoting yourself. You might be happily surprised when someone returns a favor and promotes your good work to their tribe.

I see so many people using social media wrong. They complain. They point out the flaws. They are trolls. Anyone can ridicule. Few can identify the example. Leaders promote.

Kelly Croy  • Speaker, Artist and Educator • Invite Kelly to speak at your event!
www.KellyCroy.com  •  info@kellycroy.com  •  1-800-831-4825 

Five Steps to Building Leadership in Your Organization

Fill in the moat KC speaker motivate team

Low productivity and morale can surface within any organization, and it’s really not that difficult to get everyone back on track. Every workplace is different, and there isn’t always a one-method-fixes-all solution. In this post I’m offering five great techniques to implement to get your organization from complaining to leading.

1) Show You Care: If you want to end morale issues in your organization and build leaders, then you need to build a rapport with your team. When you show your team kindness, that you care, and develop a genuine and consistent rapport, morale issues will fade. In its place, you will find team members looking out for one another, representing your agency with pride, and leadership at every transaction. Show you care.

2) Provide Leadership Opportunities: A lot of people read leadership books, watch clips on leadership, and talk about leadership, however, they don’t always put to action what they’ve read, heard, or discussed. If you want your organization to be full of solid leaders, you have to provide team members with leadership opportunities.  That’s right, you have to give them the authority to lead. You can’t expect a perfect outcome either, and I suppose that’s why a lot of people are afraid to let others take the lead on a project, but that is what it takes to build leaders, genuine opportunities and responsibilities. You can always sit a distant second-chair or check-in and let them know you can mentor and counsel, but you have to allow real opportunities with real consequences. You will be happy with the short term results, and you will be elated with the long-term impact on your organization. Provide leadership opportunities.

3) Take Action: The biggest morale buster in any organization is when committees are formed, meetings are held, and surveys are taken and then there is no follow-up or action.  It’s frustrating.  You might as well send a handwritten note to each member saying, “I don’t care what you think.”  Yep, it’s that bad.  If you ask for someone’s feedback, honor it.  Even if you can’t provide what they’ve requested, let them know that the feedback was important and it helped shape the outcome. Let them know they are important. When they offer feedback that you don’t like, don’t go to their supervisor trying to “get to the bottom of it” and smear some make-up over the blemish. Be thankful that they were honest and upfront. Don’t surround yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear.  Leaders take action.

4) Reward Solutions: You will find what you look for, and when you reward it, it will grow. If you look for team members leading and making solutions to problems you will find them, and when you reward them with praise and recognition you will see this type of behavior grow and spread. Recognizing others is one of the most important actions of a leader, and recognition is also one of the most fun. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to recognize either. A small personal touch can go a long way and screams, “You are awesome! We are so lucky to have you!” Others will notice and lead similarly. Reward solutions.

5) Fill-in the Moat: There cannot be a moat between administration and staff. There is no them. If your organization feels that there is a separation of employees, there will always be complaining and morale issues. Just because you say there is no separation, doesn’t mean there isn’t a separation. Get to know your team. Listen to them. Your organization needs to adopt a team leadership model that clearly outlines what everyone’s job is to benefit the team, not themselves. When everyone understands they are a contributor and feels like they are a contributor, and especially when they are recognized as a contributor, morale begins its upward swing and all areas begin to shine again. Shrink the separation between team members.

When you work with a team, and when you make building leadership a priority, you will see morale improve, productivity rise, and problems decrease. In times of accomplishment, leadership made the difference. In times of strife, a lack of leaders is the culprit. Always work on building a culture of leadership.

Kelly Croy 

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com 

info@kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825 

 

A List of The Most Influential Books to Read

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I love to read.  I’m one of those people that has more books than I have time, yet I always reserve a portion of my day for reading. Reading is my workout for my brain. 

I have a stack of books that I am looking forward to reading later, a list I am reading now, a wish-list of books to checkout and I am always adding to my “books to read” list in my journal from the recommendations of friends and people I admire.

I am thankful for my middle school English teacher, Mrs. Romick for providing me with a list of books that made me fall in love with reading. I am thankful for my mother for being a great model of the importance of reading. I am thankful for my father for surrounding me with good books. Books change lives.

I wanted to share with you a list of books that I believe are life-changers. I have read every one and recommended them to others many, many times. Perhaps you can add them to your list or order a copy as a gift for a friend. Books are wonderful.

I also hope you will consider adding my book, Along Came a Leader, to your list too. Maybe you can add it to your “cart” the next time you are shopping on Amazon.

Here is a list of some of the most influential books in my life:

1) The Bible

2) The Boy Scout Handbook (Yep, I’m serious.)

3) Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

4) The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly

5) The Last Lecture by David Pausch

6) The Noticer by Andy Andrews

7) The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn

8) Linchpin by Seth Godin

9) The New Toughness Training for Sports: Mental Emotional Physical Conditioning by James Loehr

10) Financial Peace and EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey

11) The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

12) The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

13) The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund morris

14) Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey

15) Blog by Hugh Hewitt

16) The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

17) The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

18) Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

19) The Autobiography of Ben Franklin

I also hope you will consider adding my book, Along Came a Leader, to your list too. Maybe you can add it to your “cart” the next time you are shopping on Amazon.

Kelly Croy 

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com 

info@kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825 

How to Introduce Someone: Make it Memorable

Handshake

I’ve been in awkward situations when someone didn’t properly introduce me to someone in the room. It happens. I’m not shy, so I stick my hand out and introduce myself.

Introductions don’t have to be complicated, but there are some tricks to giving a good one. 

When it’s our turn to introduce someone, let’s agree to do it the right way. In fact, let’s create a memorable introduction.

Here’s a short excerpt from my book, Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal and Professional Leadership at Any Age:

How to Introduce Someone: There are three types of introductions: good, bad, and memorable. In order to create a memorable introduction you must complete six important steps:

1) Say their name and often. Say their whole name clearly and slowly. Say it several times in conversation.

2) Put your hand on the shoulder of the person you are talking about.

3) Look into the eyes of the person you are speaking to, not about.

4) State how you know the person.

5) State something they do incredibly well professionally.

6) State something else about the person that is positive and engaging.

Then you do the same for the other person.

The result is amazing. The two will learn each other’s name, have some admiration for each other, realize how they can network, and have something to talk about. Also, each will admire you for speaking so highly of them. That’s a memorable introduction.

Ideally your introduction looks like you are showcasing a dear friend and presenting them to someone else to have in their life. The hand on the shoulder, the eye contact, the three statements you make about the person, all combine into a memorable introduction. You can now walk away and rest assured the two will be able continue on without you.

Example: “Tom, this is my good friend Mark. Mark and I met when I worked in Watertown, Massachusetts at Perkins School for the blind. Mark is an amazing physical therapist. He works with physically challenged children and helps them better engage with their world. Amazing guy. Mark also plays a guitar pretty well too.”

When you are introduced, you extend your hand and say your name, and something nice like, “A pleasure to meet you, Mark.”  Yes, say their name.

Also note in the example how many times I said “Mark” so that the listener would ‘get’ the name.  Once is never enough.

If you are going to speak somewhere it is always best to write out an introduction. You can’t imagine how important this is for speaking in front of an audience of any size. If you have asked someone to speak, remember to ask them for a short introduction. It really matters.

Keep your introductions short, but memorable.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

with his art and words. 

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825