The book, Stick with It: Mastering the Art of Adherence, describes how reinforcing rituals creates connections that ignite passion for any team or family.  Rituals help ignite passion, which is one of three components in the Adherence Equation:

For years, I have written personal “Letters from Dad” to my wife and each of my three children on birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Christmas, and other special occasions.  It might contain a blessing, a poem, words of wisdom, encouragement, or all of the above.  It has become a special ritual for us.

On a recent birthday of mine, I decided to write a letter to my entire family (vs. the usual personal letters) to share my beliefs in writing, just as a leader expresses values and beliefs to his/her team. Then, I thought it might be worth sharing it with you. So, below is an excerpt.

Regardless of your personal beliefs, I hope you find an encouraging nugget for your team, family, or even for yourself. I also hope you choose to share what YOU believe with those who are most important to you.

One important note:  I perform some of the supporting behaviors below reasonably consistently, but most of them I have to work at every day … and have a long way to go.  I am a work in progress.

My 10 Beliefs

1.     Respect the 3 P’s:  People, Property, and Perspectives

  • Leave people, places, and situations in a better condition than when I arrived. Leave places in better physical condition by cleaning up, and leave people in better emotional/psychological condition by building them up.
  • Look for common ground vs. differences.  No matter how different people might appear, typically, we have more similarities if I look for them.
  • Seek first to understand others before seeking to be understood (thanks to Stephen Covey).

2.     Do more than is expected before it is asked of you (take initiative, anticipate others’ needs).  This only occurs when I think of others first.

3.     Give more grace to others than I think is necessary, because at some point I will need more grace than I think.  It is not my job to judge others.  I can leave that to God.

4.     I will make mistakes in action and judgment.  When I do:

  • Apologize for what I did or thought (not for the consequence but for my actions).
  • Ask what I can do to make it right (if the answer is nothing, then I need to think of something to do).
  • Do it as soon as I am able, no matter how uncomfortable.
  • Then, move on.

5.     Success in any form is not my own – it is owned by God who blessed me with:

  • Certain gifts that make me unique.
  • Parents who afforded me the opportunities to develop certain skills.
  • People who supported my efforts along the way.

6.     Everything starts and ends with our relationships – with God first, then family.

7.     I can serve God by encouraging and equipping others to be and do their best:

  • Show genuine interest by asking questions and listening without distractions (tame my technology).
  • Be a resource to connect people to other people, tools, or places that can help them.
  • I believe what Zig Ziglar said, “You can have all the success you want if you only help enough other people get all the success they want.”

8.     Perseverance and hard work beat natural talent every day.

  • Continue pressing on long after the feeling to do so has left me.
  • Don’t let my mood control my actions and choices.
  • Every success and trial is an opportunity to become a better version of myself.

 “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:4

9.     I believe that Jesus died and was resurrected to renew my spirit.  I can keep him in my heart through:

  • Daily reading of scripture, prayer, and yielding to His will.
  • Doing my best and trusting Him to do the rest.
  • Faithful, daily actions to serve others and glorify Him.

10.   There are few, if any, neutral thoughts, words, or actions.  Frank Outlaw expresses it this way:

Watch your thoughts;
They become your words.
Watch your words;
They become your actions.
Watch your actions;
They become your habits.
Watch your habits;
They become your character.
Watch your character;
It becomes your destiny.

So, what do YOU believe?