America’s Leadership Expert : Follow The Footsteps

Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert with Tulsa Business Leadership, with podcast number 31, What do I do now that I have reached the mountaintop? I had a phone call just last week with a gal up in Missouri. It was a follow-up phone call from a speaking event that I had done with a bunch of realtors. And this person that I was talking with was saying, “Clay, you know. I had these goals that I wanted to meet by the time I was 30. And, the thing is, is that I’ve met all of them. I’ve actually been able to reach each of these goals, and I’ve met my financial goals, and my professional goals, my emotional goals,” and so on.

She was really happy about that, but the problem was, is that here she was at 30 years old, and she didn’t know what came next. She felt like she had peaked early and the rest of life was just going to be a slow, slow decline into death. So, she was really depressed about this, as we talked on the phone. So, once again, this is Clay Staires, America’s Leadership Expert Tulsa Business Leadership. This is an area where I want to help somebody grow, help somebody expand. Yes, you may have reached a mountaintop early on, but I promise you, there are more mountaintops in your future. The problem was, she didn’t think about what would life be on the other side of this.

As the phone call went on, and she began to say, “Clay, I spent seven years getting to this goal and I have finally hit it, but now I feel stuck. I don’t know what’s next.” Well, what I began to talk with her about is, “Tell me about what it feels like to be at the top of the mountain.” As she began to say how fulfilled it was, how wonderful it was, how good it was, she began to talk a little bit about what the path was like, and the journey. The difficulties, the things she had to overcome, and so, as I began to talk with her more, I began to say, “The important thing that you do now, once you have reached the mountaintop, true success, Jack Welch talks about true success is not just getting to the mountaintop. But, it’s getting as many people to the top of the mountain with you.”

That was a concept that she had not even thought about. At Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert Tulsa Business Leadership, this is one of the most fulfilling things that I experience in my job, as I talk with business leaders, and entrepreneurs, and managers, is when I’m able to bring a new thought into their thinking, that they had not even considered before. As we began to talk about how do we get other people there, she goes, “Well, Clay. I have no idea how to do that. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

I said, “Yes, you would. You know exactly where to start. What you need to do is go back and retrace your steps. You just told me about some of the things that you had to overcome. That’s part of the path. To help other people get to the top of their mountain, they’re going to have to overcome some of the very same things. They’re going to experience some of the same emotions, some of the same setbacks, some of the same frustrations, some of the same exhilarations and joys. You can now use your own story to help other people navigate their mountain to get to the top. Once again, true success is not just getting to the mountain yourself, but it’s getting as many people as possible to the top of the mountain with you.”

We began to talk about how she can create a map. Now that she’s done it, now it’s time for her to create a map to help other people do it. Get your systems in place to help others with the step-by-step processes that they’re going to need to follow to get to their mountaintop. Also, begin to talk to other people that have reached their mountain for inspiration on what’s next. Again, this was an important thing for her to do, as she had reached her mountain, to begin to look at other mountaintops to reach.

That began to make her frustrated, as she began to think of having to slow down. She wanted to just keep going, and keep going, and keep going. Again, unfortunately, what this does is it keeps the primary focus of success on you, and it doesn’t consider helping others. It doesn’t take into consideration bringing other people into a place of fulfillment in their life. It just keeps the focus on you. And, yes, you can reach a measure of fulfillment, in that, with that mindset. However, true fulfillment can never be reached all by yourself. True fulfillment will never be reached until you are able to take your mountaintops and translate that to other people, and help other people get to their mountaintops.

At Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert Tulsa Business Leadership, this is what we do with our business leaders and our entrepreneurs in coaching, helping people follow maps, and create maps to help other people follow their footsteps. If you don’t have a map, you can only be led by emotion. Oh, then when the emotion is gone, you’re screwed. This is exactly what was going on with my friend on the phone. They had had all this emotional energy to get to their mountaintop, but once they got there, because they were primary led by emotion, once they got there, the emotion had done, and now they didn’t know what do to, because they didn’t have a map. They didn’t have a system. They didn’t have a process. They didn’t have a view or a vision on how to move to the next mountain.

So, we want to follow the map and use the emotion as fuel. Once again, we want to follow the map and use your emotion as fuel. Unfortunately, this gal, her desire, her goal was for her to get to the mountain. I find this very often with people in 20’s, in their 20’s. This is how I was in my 20’s. I remember early on, reaching some significant personal and professional goals and feeling like, “Oh, boom. I’ve made it.” But, unfortunately, I was just very limited in my thinking. So, we want to follow a map and use the emotion as the fuel. But, don’t let emotion be the map and the fuel. Or else, you’ll reach your destination and have no drive to go further. And, you’ll set up camp and stay or settle, but it will always offend your inner-destiny.

It doesn’t mean you won’t be happy, but there will always be something inside of you, some urge, some drive saying, “There’s got to be more. There’s got to be more.” You do have a destiny, but the path to achieve it isn’t always at the same pace. There are times to move fast. There are times to run. There are times to walk. And, there are times to stop, and do the scenic outlook, and appreciate where you have come. It’s important for you to have a tour guide, and now that you have reached this mountaintop, it’s important for you to become America’s Leadership Expert  a tour guide for other people. You have to stop along the way to get the full experience.

I don’t know about you, but I have spent time going to different museums, and if I don’t have something that helps guide me through the museum, I’m like Chevy Chase in Vacation. I’ll look at the Grand Canyon, nod a couple times, and go, “Okay, next,” and move on. My wife and I, we went to the Vatican on our honeymoon in Italy, and we did the entire City of Rome in one day. We didn’t have a tour guide. We didn’t have any brochure or anything that was telling us to stop and read about the long history of the thousands of years of all of this stuff. We were just kind of walking around looking at the sights. It allowed us to get through the entire City of Rome in one day, which was our goal. However, we did not fully get to appreciate all of the things along the way.

So, it’s important for you to become America’s Leadership Expert, once you have reached destinations, it’s important for you to become a tour guide to help other people reach their destinations. To turn around once you have made it to the top, to turn around and help other people get to the top of their mountian. Once again, this is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership with podcast number 31, What do I do now that I have reached the mountaintop?

Clay Staires