Is Your Leadership Energy Positive or Negative?

Editor’s Note: Success Is Voluntary is very excited (and proud) to introduce you to Bryan Yager of the Bryan Yager Group. Bryan writes a very popular newsletter that is delivered each week titled Monday Morning Minute. To find out more about Bryan, and the fantastic work he does, just head on over to

Do people follow you like sunflower follow the sun?

Monday Morning Minute

First a quote: “Become the kind of leader people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position.” 

Brian Tracy

Did you know young sunflower blooms follow the sun across the sky every day until they are fully mature? I certainly didn’t. However, I noticed the phenomenon on a 2-week road trip I took with my dad across the western United States in late summer three years ago.

As we passed fields of commercial sunflower crops in the morning, I noticed every single bloom was facing east in the direction of the sun. It was as if they were standing at attention and ready for whatever the day might bring. I didn’t give it much thought until I made another observation about those blossoms in late afternoon; they all faced west in the direction of the setting sun. The next day, I paid attention throughout the day… sure enough, entire fields of sunflower blossoms followed the sun across the sky from east to west! Absolutely amazing! At least I thought so. I was curious enough to do a little research which confirmed my observations to be true.

There seem to be several scientific theories behind this phenomenon, but one thing is for sure, the blossoms are attracted too, and follow, the warm energy of the sun across the summer sky. (Those of you with house plants already know how plants will grow in the direction of sunlight.)

I submit there are leadership lessons to be learned from Mother Nature about the power of not only the sun, but of warm, positive, growth-stimulating, life-giving energy. As leaders, the energy we radiate will either attract people, turn them off or worse yet, turn them away! Our style and approach to leadership can either be energizing on one end of the spectrum or completely stifling and paralyzing on the other. This is an important leadership concept! In today’s competitive environment, our organizations must attract and retain the “best & brightest” if we are to not only survive, but flourish and grow, well into the future.  As leaders, we must lead in such a way that the “best & brightest” want to work with us and support our organizational mission and vision. If you’re following the generational trends in the workplace, you already know many people from Gen Y and Z tend to value leaders who are willing to make an investment in their growth and personal development.

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Are You Taking Your Health for Granted?

Editor’s Note: Success Is Voluntary is very excited (and proud) to introduce you to Bryan Yager of the Bryan Yager Group. Bryan writes a very popular newsletter that is delivered each week titled Monday Morning Minute. To find out more about Bryan, and the fantastic work he does, just head on over to

Invest in Your Health

Monday Morning Minute

First a quote:Health is not valued till sickness comes.”— Thomas Fuller

Bill Gillispie, Jr., a good friend of mine, recently suggested I write an article on the importance of valuing, and appreciating, your health before it is gone. It’s true isn’t it, far too often we take our health for granted until it is too late. It almost feels like an epidemic; poor eating habits and/or too little exercise, too little sleep, maybe a sedentary lifestyle, could be too many cigarettes or too much alcohol, or perhaps a combination of bad habits with little desire or effort to change, all because we take our health for granted.

Bill should know. While his health challenges are not related to his personal habits, he was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and has been fighting this disease for almost 20 years. His MS progression has been slower, and his symptoms are currently manageable, making him one of the more fortunate people fighting this crippling disease. More recently, Bill was also diagnosed with prostate cancer which required the surgical removal of his prostate gland. All of this prompted his suggestion of imploring people to not take their health for granted.

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Is Your Attitude Intentional or Accidental?

Editor’S Note: Success Is Voluntary is very excited (and proud) to introduce you to Bryan Yager of the Bryan Yager Group. Bryan writes a very popular newsletter that is delivered each Monday titled Monday Morning Minute.

He has agreed to share it with the SIV tribe as a regular contributor each and every Monday morning! To find out more about Bryan, and the fantastic work he does, just head on over to

Monday Morning Minute

First a quote:“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.”— Robert Braathe

I’m going to ask you to do something I often ask of workshop participants. This is an experiment of sorts. Know up front the task is only possible as a mental exercise because doing it would be impossible. It is a three-step process. Here it is:

First, I would like you to visualize all the people you know, from all aspects of your life, facing you in one single line from left to right. (For some, this will be a very, very long imaginary line.)

Second, I would like you to mentally arrange these people from “most successful” on one end of the line to “least successful” on the opposite end of the line in a continuum.  For this exercise, you may use your own personal definition of success.  For some, it might be financial or career success, for others, it might be relational, family, or spiritual success. For still others, it may be a happiness index of some kind. I have learned that for this activity, the definition doesn’t seem to matter much.

Now, looking at all the people from “most successful” on one side to “least successful” on the other end, what do you think is the biggest differentiator between the people standing on opposite ends of the spectrum? What do the successful people tend to have in common that separates them from those on the other end?

Based on my experience, with most workshop participants and groups, I can predict your answer. Almost always, the number one answer I get in that mental activity is… ______________?  If you guessed “attitude”, then you agree with most people who have participated in this experiment over the years.

I find this puzzling! If most people know that “one’s attitude” is a key factor in “one’s level of success” in almost every aspect of life, why do so many people persist with a negative attitude? It seems the correlation is obvious to even the casual observer. I offer three possible explanations:

  1. People truly don’t know how important a positive attitude is to their level of success in life.
  2. People have low self-awareness and don’t know how their attitude is received or perceived by others. (They believe their attitude is just fine and not a problem. Simultaneously, they often see other people as the primary source of problems in their life.)
  3. People have come to believe their attitude is justified. (“If you had my boss, my spouse, or my upbringing, you would have a bad attitude too.”)

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

John Wooden

I was once taught that attitude is nothing more than the outward expression of inward thoughts. How we think on the inside determines our attitude on the outside. I’d like to suggest another definition; attitude is nothing more than a person’s “habit pattern response” to life. In other words, a bad attitude has become a habit. To change our attitudes, we must change and upgrade our thinking… and we must do so intentionally.

I would like to convince you that attitudes are a choice we make, minute by minute, day by day, person by person. Here is my challenge to you for this week; think and act intentionally. If you’re not proud of your recent attitude, choose to be more positive this week and see what happens. Don’t leave your attitude to chance or habit this week. Choose your attitude, your “habit pattern response to life” intentionally!

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”

Helen Keller

How will you lead differently, or better, this week? Be your best and the best shall be returned to you if full. I promise.

Bryan Yager – Expanding your capacity for success

This post was first published on January 21, 2019 at

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