Weeding Your Daily Habits

Weed garden habit.I spend a few minutes each morning and evening in my garden. I find it relaxing. I’m not a great gardener, but it is fun for the whole family.

The other day my youngest questioned why I was pulling these little plants from the garden.

I told her they were weeds, and that if unattended they would overcome the garden and hurt our crops.

I think many of us, including myself, have a lot of weeds in our daily productivity. We could benefit from being a little more intentional about removing some bad habits that act like weeds and overcome the goals in life that would bring us the most happiness.

They are easy to spot, like the weeds in our gardens, and they are pretty easy to pull out when they are small. When they grow into daily habits, however, and have taken root in our lives, they are much more difficult to eliminate. It is hard to distinguish the diversion from the goal, just as it is difficult to distinguish the full grown weed from the crop.

There is no spray or tool in life that will do the work for you. That would be great! You must identify and yank those weeds out to be more productive. You must do it with intention and consistency. It isn’t painful and it doesn’t take any time. Rather, it is a reallocation of time, or making the next best choice with your time. It’s that simple.

Don’t beat yourself up about how the garden has been over run, just get in there and yank a few out today, then a couple more tomorrow.

Diversions, like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, video games, and our hobbies are important. We need them to make life fun and worth living, but too often we get lost in our diversions and give our true goals the minimum of our day, week, and sadly life.

If we want the gardens of our life to be plentiful and healthy we must put some daily intention to getting those results.

The greatest goals in life are not  met with a single, massive action, but rather small, daily habits.

Take a look at your day and ask yourself one very simple question: What negative habit have I developed, that if eliminated could free up some time for something I have always wanted to accomplish?

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 

One Simple Change for a Lifetime of Results: The Kaizen Way

Kelly Croy Productivity Speaker Writer Artist kaizen

The Kaizen Way is a concept that I believe can dramatically impact your personal and professional life without stress, guilt, and anxiety. It’s simple and effective. It leap frogs fear and procrastination and gets results. 

I recently asked a friend if he had any resolutions for the new year and he replied, “Yes, I plan to do one push-up a day.”

I smiled, knowing there had to be more to the story, and I asked, “One? That’s a bit small isn’t it?”

My friend then introduced me to the concept of the Kaizen Way. He explained to me that when he gets down on the floor to complete his one push-up for the day that he always does a few more than just the one.  He doesn’t overthink what he has to do. He doesn’t worry about how he is going to fit three sets of forty pushups into his schedule, or anything like that.  He just gets down on the floor and does his one push up aiming for improvement.  It’s simple. It’s neat. It works.

This is a new area of focus for him. He doesn’t already have a massive amount of upper body strength, so doing some pushups every day of the year will be a big boost. The word “kaizen” is the Japanese word for improvement. It was once poorly applied in the workplace as forcibly making employees discover and apply constant improvement, all the way from the head of the company down to the newly hired, to a point of creating a work environment of stress and undue pressure. Kaizen, or constant improvement is a great concept, but I like my friend’s version better because it eliminates the stress and allows the participant to self-assess and reflect on how deeply to apply the improvement. This contemporary version of The Kaizen Way is personal and enchanting. In essence, the Kaizen Way asks you to take one small step each day to make an improvement in your life. 

I decided to try this concept of the Kaizen Way in my own life. You see I own a guitar, but I do not know how to play it. I have always wanted to learn. I have thought about lessons, and books, and YouTube videos, and other educational tools, but success always eluded me. 

Why haven’t I been able to learn anything on the guitar? Easy.  I haven’t really tried. The process itself stops me cold: get the guitar out of the closet, take it out of the case, use the tuning app on my iPhone to tune it, start the lesson, practice, put it all away, etc. No wonder I have never learned even a little bit of how to play the guitar. The key of course has been to simplify the process and redefine what I need to do.  Yes, this is a mind trick. 

This year I applied the Kaizen Way to my desire of learning to play the guitar. I decided I would learn to play just one chord a day. Just one chord. That’s it.  Guess what happened?  In a matter of a few weeks I have learned a couple of chords! They aren’t the greatest sounding chords in the world, but it is more than I have learned in my entire life of owning that guitar due entirely to my friend’s simple explanation of this Kaizen concept. 

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I took the guitar out of the case and keep it in plain sight. I have to walk by it now. I see it, I grab it, and I play a chord. I have actually never played just one chord; I always play a few. It’s working. I don’t set a timer or anything like that. It’s a carefree exercise that is building a habit of improvement and it’s enjoyable and relaxing. That’s really the secret; the Kaizen Way builds habits. It simplifies the process, leapfrogs the fear, and builds positive habits without guilt. 

Setting goals and making plans is great. There are many places in our life for rigor. Sometimes, however, we need to relax and apply small bits of improvement without the anxiety of multi-step procedures, timed intervals, and measured improvement. 

Imagine if we all took one very small action each day to be a better neighbor, a little more productive at work, or to read just a page of a book. Well, don’t just imagine it, apply the Kaizen Way to your life and see how it works for you.  

If you would like to learn more about how to apply this concept to your personal and professional life, grab a copy of the book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer.

(Note: A thank you to Michael Matera for introducing me to The Kaizen Way.)



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 

Christmas Presentation for Your Organization: All Dates for 2015 Will Book Fast!

Kelly Croy Christmas Presentation Speed Art brought to life with computer animation best funny inspirational

Is your organization looking for a dynamic Christmas presentation?

My name is Kelly Croy and I am a speaker and speed artist. I would like to share a wonderful Christmas Chalk Art Presentation with you.

My presentation is powerful and fun. It combines the raw energy of a live performance, the astonishment of speed art, the beauty of an artistic masterpiece, a powerful musical score, the inspiration of a masterful storyteller and the magic of literally bringing the art to life with computer animation. Yes, the art will come to life right in front of your eyes. 

Chances are you have never seen a performance quite like mine. I encourage you to visit my website www.kellycroy.com and watch one of the demo videos available and read some of my posts. Every member in the audience will leave inspired, motivated, renewed, challenged, and with a smile on their face. This is one of my absolute favorite presentations and I cannot wait to share it with you. There is a surprise every other minute during the presentation. You will hear audible “ooohs and ahhhs” during the performance. You will laugh, cry, feel loved, challenged, motivated, and forever changed. I am the speaker you are looking for. 

I am extremely proud of this presentation that I have created to help celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in a unique, fun, and memorable way. My Christmas presentation includes a large six foot by eight foot chalk drawing choreographed to some amazing Christmas themed music. The art is then brought to life with the use of computer animation. It will surprise and delight everyone. Each member of the audience can even go home with a small signed print of the artwork I created on stage at your event, complete with your organizationʼs logo and message. Experience the Nativity scene and the Christmas story like never before. It fun for the entire family.

My only concern is that there is a very limited number of dates possible to book between now and Christmas. I anticipate every performance night available being booked by Thanksgiving. so contact me at your earliest convenience to reserve the date. I look forward to working with you to plan an amazing evening for your group. 

This presentation has been customized and shared with every organization imaginable including: civic organizations, schools, churches, business Christmas dinners, youth programs, community leaders, and more. Contact me and reserve your evening before it’s booked. 

This year I have a special package available that allows the organization to keep the original eight foot by six foot art and every participant to go home with a signed art print, and a signed copy of my book, Along Came a Leader.

Organize a night to remember. 

Kelly Croy

Inspirational Speaker & Performance Artist

www.KellyCroy.com

info@kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825 

 

October is Bully Prevention Month: Here’s a Tool to Help

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October is bullying prevention month. In truth, as a educator, I know every month is, but this is the month that we try to bring national and global attention to solutions that help those impacted by bullying.

I am proud that schools invite me each year to speak and share my art to help students, educators, and families take action to reduce bullying.  I wish I could share my message to every school; I believe it makes a difference. I recently shared my art and words with 1400 students and staff at Perrysburg Middle School in Perrysburg, Ohio. It is always a joy talking with teachers and students about the importance of leadership.  In this particular presentation I was asked to kickoff the schools Owelus Bullying Program to help build leadership within the classes. It was a great day. 

I wrote the following article to help students, families, and schools take action against bullying.  Please download it for free here and share with everyone you know. What Everyone Needs to Know About Bullying by Kelly Croy.pdf

The opposite of bullying is leadership.  We’re all in this together.  Let’s build leaders.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He entertains and amazes audiences across the nation

with his art and words. The art is brought to life with computer animation.

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

 

How to Get My Book

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I just released my new book, Along Came a Leader, last week. We had a fun book launch with friends, family, community leaders, and others who were just excited to be part of the event. The launch was held at the beautiful Rocky Point Winery in Marblehead, Ohio.  I gave a brief talk and signed copies of my book.  I also mentioned two upcoming projects, but more on that later.

I am very pleased with the success of Along Came a Leader.  I believe a large part of the success is due to the coverage in the local papers, especially the article in the Toledo Blade. Still, I have received a few emails asking where to purchase a copy of Along Came a Leader and I realized I need to make that much easier on my website. 

I will be adding a link today so you can order the book directly from my website.  (I really should have taken care of that earlier.  My apologies,)

You can order softcover and digital copies from Amazon.

If you would like to order a signed copy of my book, you will need to order it from the book’s website: www.AlongCameaLeader.com or attend one of my speaking events.

If you are interested in ordering multiple copies for your organization, I offer a discount on any order over ten copies. Just send me an email.

I hope this is helpful and I want to thank everyone that has ordered, read, and left a review of Along Came a Leader.

I will also be giving away one FREE copy of Along Came a Leader each month to thank those that leave comments on the blog, send in questions, or interact with me via social media.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support.

Kelly

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He entertains and amazes audiences across the nation

with his art and words. The art is brought to life with computer animation.

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

info@kellycroy.com

Book Launch! You’re Invited!

ACAL invitation

Thank you to my talented friend Sean Junkins for creating this awesome invite!You are invited to celebrate with me this Thursday, July 30th from 5 PM to 8PM as I launch my very first book, Along Came a Leader. There are several ways you can join in on the book launch.  First, you can attend the book launch party at the Rocky Point Winery in Marblehead, Ohio.  You can order a softcover or a digital copy from Amazon.com, or you can order a personalized signed copy from www.AlongCameaLeader.com and have it shipped to your house. I will also be sharing some of the book launch event on the Periscope App, using my @WiredEducator user name.

I am really pleased with how well the book turned out and I believe it has the potential to impact organizations both big and small. Leadership is very important and something we teach and nurture.

Hope you join me in celebrating the launch of Along Came a Leader.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He entertains and amazes audiences across the nation

with his art and words. The art is brought to life with computer animation.

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

info@kellycroy.com

The Importance of Celebrating Others

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Nobody wants to be around people who just tolerate them.

Everbody loves to be around people who celebrate them.

Leadership is a skill which can be learned and taught, and one of the most important lessons is celebrating the success of others.

It’s a refreshing change in a “Me First” world: First and foremost, celebrating others is not only the right thing to do, it places those who practice this unique and powerful craft at the top 1% of people others want to be around. It’s easy to celebrate others and it doesn’t have to cost anything. In an age where “selfies” are the mainstream of social media, celebrating others is a refreshing change of pace. People are enchanted by those who place others above themselves. The greats practice celebrating others. Oprah, Ellen, Jimmy Fallon are all quick to congratulate and share the success of those they are around. We love it! We love seeing others genuinely happy about the success of others.

Great leaders celebrate others.  You don’t have to spend money on a party, you just need to take interest in those you work alongside. Be aware of the accomplishments and success of those you know and congratulate them in any manner you feel will make them feel great.

It’s healthy! Would you believe that celebrating others is good for your mind? Well, it is. Researchers are finding that people who celebrate others are more grateful, happier, and have lower stress levels. They reduce the stress created by false needs, and the unhealthy emphasis society places on competing with others.

Set a great example and leave a legacy.  Now, I don’t celebrate others so I will be remembered well, but that certainly doesn’t hurt. I celebrate others because I enjoy it. It brings me great satisfaction to share in the success of others. The fact that other people admire this unique quality of celebrating others, and that it sets a good example for my children and associates, is just an added bonus.  I have no complaints if someone chooses to remember me as a man who celebrated others. What a great legacy that would be!

It’s good for business too!  There is no doubt that businesses mail newspaper clippings and throw celebrations for organizations because their hearts and minds are focused on the well being of others, but it is also good for them financially too.  Customers and clients choose to associate with those who celebrate the success of those in their communities. It also creates a culture of positive morale and nurtures individual leadership. Higher employee retention and dedicated workers are also a result.

Ideas for celebrating others:

1) Take a “Themsie” and send it to them. Maybe I have coined a new term, but it’s an old school thought. Take a picture of someone, have it printed and mail it to them. Sure you can post it on social media too. That’s great, but there is something magical in a tangible photograph.  I have an app on my phone that allows me to send the picture to a printer, have it laminated and mailed via USPS, with a personal note from me.  It’s awesome.

2) Mail them a newspaper clipping.  Yes, this is really old school.  I enjoy it when someone shares a post on social media, but getting a positive clipping in the mail is still really cool and classy.

3) Make your social media 3:1.  For everything positive post about yourself, post three about others.

4) Personal notes are the best! Everybody loves a handwritten note, or a phone call, or text message remembering them. Experiment with many ways to celebrate others.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and speed artist. 

He entertains and amazes audiences across the nation

with his art and words. The art is brought to life with computer animation.

 Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825