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What Leaders Stand For


“Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” – Rev. Peter Marshall, U.S. Senate chaplain (1902–1949)

I have a new practice. I got the idea from Steve Jobs. He was known for his “walking meetings.” Recently, I took a coaching client on a walk in downtown Seattle… A stones throw from the Space Needle.

We only had one question for our coaching discussion… “What do you stand for?”

Every great leader, every great organization, knows what they stand for.

A great example is the Navy SEALs ethos, which serves as an insightful glimpse into the mindset of an elite warrior. Though the SEALs ethos is a team ethos the power it holds makes a great guide for one’s “personal leadership stand” as well.

The readers digest version is:

  • Maintain loyalty to country, team, and teammate.
  • Serve with honor on and off the battlefield.
  • Be ready to lead and follow, and never quit.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates.
  • Excel as a warrior through discipline and innovation.
  • Strive to live in the power of the present, resolve the past, and create your ideal future.
  • Earn your Trident every day.

Leading with excellence requires that we first know ourselves, our true nature, inside and out. When we live in full awareness of “our stand” we can face any challenge with courage.

Can you pause and jot down a few ideas as to what you stand for? Your rock-bottom personal tenants and beliefs?

I encourage you to get clear… It will make you strong and secure like an elite warrior. An elite leader!

Know thyself. – Ancient Greek proverb, found that the gates of the Oracle of Delphi

Your partner in success,

-Steve Gutzler

Contact Steve for information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching at:




In 1604 a shipload of voyagers landed on the Northeastern Coast of North America. The first year they established a town, and elected a town government. The third year the town government made the decision to build a small road five miles westward into the wilderness. By the fourth year the people tried to impeach their leaders, claiming the road had been a waste of time and resources.

Who needs to go west?

What went wrong with this picture? You have a courageous group of bruised and battered pioneers who had a compelling vision that drove them thousand miles across the ocean.

In five years time they could not see the value of venturing 5 miles west. They lost their motivation and pioneering vision.

I have discovered it is not just pioneers who lose motivation and vision. Scores of leaders toss aside real hopes and dreams which could have meant a better future.

While reading this post I want you to be brutally honest. How is your motivation?

  • For your personal leadership?
  • For your family relationships?
  • For your entrepreneurial dreams?
  • For your health?
  • For your sense of the future?

Here are my Five Sure-Fire Ways Leaders Stay Motivated

1.       Step up and take 100% responsibility to keep your passion hot!

There is momentum in motivation. Each day is fresh and I am responsible to keep it hot. Not my boss, clients, coach, or good friends. I am responsible. Remember, if you are not motivated, chances are you are not staying the same – you are sliding backwards. Do what you need to do to regain a spark!

2.       Take on a physical challenge!

You don’t have to sign up for a half-marathon or an Iron Man competition. But, perhaps you could sign up for a 12-week fitness class or a try a new workout for 90 days. Personally, when I feel good, I do good.

3.       Fill your mind with a Healthy-Mind diet!

King Solomon was right, “As a man thinks, so is he.” My personal battleground for motivation begins with my mind, my thoughts. I graduated from college and cannot remember taking a single class whose goal was to teach students how to think correctly. But, I know from personal experience that what goes on outside is a reflection of what is going on inside. I encourage you to fill your mind daily with a healthy-mind diet. I read spiritual literature and biographies of great men and women who motivate me.

4.       Meet up with new and exciting people!

This last Friday I had lunch with an international speaker, a best-selling author, a  film producer, and a world class marketing agent. You could feel the energy, passion, and resolve for excellence. The conversation and ideas were stimulating and broadened my leadership world. I drove home motivated and thrilled to follow-up with each person I met. I encourage you to press yourself to meet new and exciting people. It will spark your motivation!

5.       Become Brilliant at the Basics!

Sometimes when I lose my motivations it’s because I have lost my daily disciplines. All personal motivation is the result of some basic fundamentals: how I start my day, how I frame my schedule, etc.

I challenge you to distinguish yourself and do what you need to do to stay motivated, aggressive, and keep your pioneer spirit alive!

Here’s to better motivation!

-Steve Gutzler

Contact Steve for information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching at:



Originally published June 18th, 2013

The Best Leadership Question:

“How Am I Doing?”


Julie and I recently got a well-deserved three-day break to Suncadia. It’s a couple hours east of Seattle. In the summer you can play golf, swim, and hike. In the winter, it’s a winter wonderland.

On our first evening we went to a neighboring winery for a quiet dinner. I hadn’t pre-planned my conversation opener… but simply asked: “Honey, how am I doing as your husband?” What followed was perhaps our best heartfelt conversation in months. She was tender in her critique. She was humble in her suggestions. She lovingly shared how I could improve.

She built me up with some nice positives too! Bottom line: I came away with valuable intel… The kind that can really help improve a husband, a father and a leader.

Question: If you lead – At any level… when was the last time you asked, “How am I doing?”

I heard once managers ask, “How are you doing?”

Leaders ask, “How am I doing?”

I have found every time I’ve asked my children my wife my clients… How am I doing? I received valuable feedback that accelerates my personal leadership, growth, and influence in their lives.

Part of my leadership manifesto is to be humble enough to ask for feedback and then make adjustments in order to be a joy to those I love and serve. Try it this week… four words: “How am I doing?”

Your partner in success,

Steve Gutzler

Contact Steve for information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching at:




Photo credit: http://sathiyam.tv/english/life-style/plan-special-date-guy