Leaders Can Save Lives

I believe that bad leadership can kill people.  Leaders can also save lives…when they want to.

Last month a Princess Cruises ship passed by a stranded fishing boat floating 130 miles off the Caribbean coast.  The boat had three dehydrated young men in it.

The next day two of them died.

 

Passengers alerted crew about the boat.  A crew member confirmed the sighting.  The bridge was called.  The leader could have saved lives.

Yet, the ship kept on going.

 

The captain claims he thought the men were waving to thank him for avoiding them.  I’m calling BS.

I’m also calling on everyone to never forget that our society depends on all of us valuing human life.

The passengers who reported the boat, the crew that called it in, and the Princess Cruises captain all slept while two young men died that night.

If you can lift someone up.  Lift them.

If you can save someone’s life.  Do it.

Let’s care for strangers tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Don’t Just Prepare Yourself to Make Important Decisions in Life

Life is full of important decisions we need to make.

“Should I get married?”  “Should I start a business?”  “Should we have a baby?”

Just when you think you’re done with the tough decisions, they get tougher.

“Should I get divorced?”  “Should I close my business?”  “Should we pull the plug?”

Last month, a friend of mine had her pregnant sister (Emily) rushed to the hospital. Major problems.  Heart stopped.  Coma.

Now this:

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Dear friends,

This is Emily. I am overwhelmed looking at all the posts saying you are praying for me and my family. Thank you so much. I am very blessed! I have been at home for four weeks now with around-the-clock supervision–gaining strength, and able to see this screen! :)

It feels strange to share this on facebook, but I want to give you an update so you can pray specifically if you wish…:

Two weeks ago, I had a 20-week ultrasound. The doctor told Andy and me that our baby will not live. The doctor further said that continuing the pregnancy is a huge risk to my life, so she recommended terminating the pregnancy. Our baby’s heart is still beating.

Last Thursday, we had another ultrasound which showed more fluid in the head than the previous ultrasound – not a good sign. However, the doctor seemed less urgent about ending the pregnancy at that appointment. We had my family with us to hear the details themselves and to be with us in case we had to make a decision then.

We have been praying and thinking and talking with each other and with our pastors and family and friends. Our current plan is to watch my health closely and to again have another ultrasound this week and see if baby’s health continues to go down or not.

Prayers for wisdom, patience, and peace of mind would be very much appreciated.

Love,
Emily (and Andy)

P.S. We are open to your thoughts and advice too.

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Some life decisions are too difficult to make alone.

Everything we’ve learned up to this point in our lives will not be enough. When faced with the really difficult decisions in life, we can’t trust ourselves.

We are weak.  We are blinded.  We need more…

We need others.

 

If you have big plans for your life, be prepared.  However, you’ll need more than education, experience, guts, or money.

You’ll need your fellow warriors by your side.

Don’t prepare yourself to make the important decisions in life.  Prepare your network. They’re the ones you’ll need.

Begin the preparations tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Why They Call Us Warriors

We’re in a war.

If you’ve ever tried to do something truly amazing, you know what I’m talking about.

Bad news. Sad news.

Back stabbing. Front stabbing.

Doubters. Pouters.

Liars.

Every time you try something truly special, you will find someone to doubt you.  Every time you make it to the top, someone’s ready to knock you down.

Your heart will get broken.  You will get tired.

It’s no wonder so many people choose to stick to their 9-5 job and forego the risk and pain of doing something special with their life.

But you are different.

You get up.   You want more.  You don’t settle.

You are a warrior.

Be proud of that tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When “The Day” Finally Arrives

There’s a point in every warrior’s life when everything you’ve worked for finally comes to one big event, one big launch, one big step forward.

Along the way you will doubt yourself.
You will get tired.
You will be tempted to turn back.

The difference between winners and losers is their mindset.  Losers turn back.

Winners just need more time.

After decades of building her practice like a true 8pm Warrior, my friend Claudia Anderson just launched her new dental office today in Park Ridge, IL.  I couldn’t be more proud for her.

This is what 8pm Warriors live for, right?

Don’t turn back tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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6 Leadership Lessons from the Costa Concordia Captain

Were there any leaders on the Costa Concordia?

 

No joke, I just got off a cruise ship today owned by the same company.  We watched the news updates of the Costa Concordia sinking while sailing on our ship off the coast of Cuba (see below).  It was not amusing.

After reading reports and watching various videos, I have some questions:

  • Why did the captain go to shore hours before the last passenger?
  • Why did they continue to tell the passengers it was merely an electrical issue?
  • Why was the evacuation so disorganized and delayed?

 

The answer is:  Leadership!

 

In this case, it was a lack of leadership.  Here are six lessons we can all take from this leadership debacle:

  1. It’s not “if” bad things will happen, but “when”.  We must always be prepared.
  2. When bad things happen, we must meet the challenges head on.  We cannot deny them.  We cannot hide from them.
  3. Leaders must care first about those under their care.  Will anyone follow that captain again when he gets out of jail?
  4. It’s okay to make mistakes.  It’s not okay to make people suffer or die covering them up.
  5. When everyone knows there’s a crisis, communication is key.  Silence creates more problems.
  6. If you don’t have a real leader, you must be the leader.  We need you!

What happened on the Costa Concordia is inexcusable.  It is wrong.  Someone must make the hard decisions.  Someone must communicate.

This wasn’t just a failure of the captain to lead in the moment.  It was also a failure of the captain to surround himself with real leaders.

Nobody had to die.

As I’ve said before, there is a place for bravery in a modern world.  Leaders must face their mistakes.  Leaders must be the first into danger and the last to leave it behind.

Leaders must speak clearly, honestly, and with strength to take scared followers and turn them into brave warriors as they face their own battles each step of the way.

Let’s learn from this.

Have a safe night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Costa Concordia Videos

Announcement that it’s only an electrical problem as crew members walk around with life jackets on. (Raw footage)


News report about the Costa Concordia captain


Here We Go! (Again?)

2012 is here.  We made it!

Does it feel like New Year’s Day keeps coming faster and faster each year?

What is changing?

 

Are you?

Every year I can’t help but think of the people I know that had big plans, huge hopes, and daring dreams for the last year. I’m always pulling for my fellow warriors, so I hate when it’s all talk, no action.

Warriors go to war, they don’t just talk about it.

I’ll never understand how some folks act like there’s an unlimited supply of days like today. Fresh starts. New years.

Here we go…again?

 

The problem is we only have so many new years before we run out.  This is a sobering thought for sure, but true nevertheless. What would you do if this was your last New Year’s Day?

Would you still keep dreaming or would you start doing?

If you need a calendar to push yourself, take it. But please don’t keep putting off what matters.

You might push it right out of reach.

Have a great year,

Aaron@Biebert

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5 Lessons Learned from Tweeting & Blogging in Pain

Disclosure:  I had surgery recently and am back on prescription Vicodin after trying to get off the pain meds too quickly.  I’m learning some new lessons and think they might be applicable to everyday life.  Hear me out.

We can learn something from my pain.



Here is what I notice as I try to work through the pain and medication:

  • I forget things and I repeat myself.
  • I won’t say things as well as I could if I wasn’t in pain or medicated.
  • I use bad grammer.
  • I get distracted from what I’m working on.
  • I repeat myself after I forget I already said something.

I ramble on.

I wonder if we all make similar mistakes when coping with the pain of going through a breakup, dealing with death, losing business (or a job), or facing other severe challenges in life.

Many try medicating the pain away so they don’t feel it.

Others try ignoring it until they break.

Some try both.

Of course surgery is one thing and life is another.  However, when we see a fellow warrior struggling to get back up after a painful incident, we should help.  For those of us in pain, we should accept help.

We can’t afford to ignore it. We don’t have time to waste.

All of us are guaranteed pain in life.


It’s how we deal with it that determines our future.  We can’t do it alone.

Have a pain-free night,

Aaron@Biebert

PS. If you’re curious how I’ve been tweeting, feel free to follow me at my @Biebert account. Unfortunately, the new new twitter won’t let me reply twice, so I’ve left some of the bad tweets. I probably should take the advice of my doctor and sleep more, tweet less. Let me know what you think.

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If Winning Means Losing, How Do We Win?

What is the cost of winning?

 

I tried something new today in the car.  Instead of tweeting/texting/emailing, I thought about the things I’ve lost in pursuit of my life goal.   Maybe you can relate?

It’s actually quite startling:

  • I was once the ultimate romantic, using my creativity to surprise my wife with special tokens of my love.  Now I’m an average husband and I sell my creativity to others.
  • When I was a kid, I rode my bike for miles to buy my mom a birthday present. In September, I forgot her birthday.
  • I have seven younger siblings.   I hardly know them anymore.
  • Old friends hear from me once a year, when Facebook tells me it’s their birthday.
  • Years ago I was in peak physical shape. Now I’m overweight and out of breath after playing with my kids.

Even though I have experienced the joy of victory, I lost much to get there.

What have you lost?

 

Why?

Despite all the talk about pushing ourselves, delegating, working harder, smarter, or longer, there remains a limit to what one can do each day.

Successful leaders must make choices. Real choices will always lead to loss. Such is the nature of scarcity.

Focus on business? Lose relationships.
Win a war? Lose lives.
Get fame? Lose privacy.

Sometimes you must lose to win.  It’s your choice.

Losers won’t choose. Winners are losers. Choosing means losing. Isn’t life complicated?

How do we win?

 

We win when we’re aware of what we’re losing, but our goals still matter more.  We win when we sleep soundly at night.

Chase worthy goals tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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