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John C. Maxwell tells this story in his book, Leadership Gold.

A couple of redneck hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground.

He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head.

The other redneck starts to panic, then whips out his cell phone and calls 911.

He frantically blurts out to the operator, “My friend Bubba is dead! What can I do?”

The operator, trying to calm him down says, “Take it easy. I can help. Just listen to me and follow my instructions. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

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Photo by neeravbhatt via Flickr

Crocodiles are one of the most successful predators on the planet.

Sitting at the apex of the food chain, they are massive beasts that have a tried and true method of hunting that has remained consistent for thousands of years.

They are one of my oldest son’s favourite animals and we have watched numerous documentaries and read books together, giving me the chance to identify a few principles that I think we can learn from these iconic reptiles.  They all start with the letter P, making them easier to remember:

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As a father of three young children, I’ve bought and assembled dozens of toys over the past few years that contain those dreaded words:

“Batteries Not Included”

It’s annoying isn’t it?

Why can’t they just come with batteries?

Alas, they’re not the only things that don’t come with the energy needed to operate effectively.

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PowerPoint is a great communication tool.

It allows us to present our ideas in creative and visual ways that previously were impossible.

If used correctly, PowerPoint can be a real asset to anyone who has to speak publicly, whether it’s a group of less than 10 or an audience of thousands.

However, there are also some pitfalls in using PowerPoint that we should be aware of if we want to increase our effectiveness as public speakers.

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a lift that took you straight to the top?

Where all that you had to do in life was step in, press a button and you arrive at your destination in a matter of seconds?

How much easier would it be for our faith, finances, careers, relationships, health and parenting if the elevator did all of the work, while we just stood there listening to nice relaxing music, until the door opened and we stepped out on the top floor, ready to enjoy the spoils of success?

It would be great, but the lift is broken.

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At half-time of the 1989 AFL Grand Final the Hawthorn coach, the late Allan “Yabby” Jeans, looked around the rooms and saw a team in a lot of pain.

Although they were leading by 37 points, there were multiple injured players after a tough and spiteful first half against Geelong.

Yabby looked his players in the eye and told them this story:

A young boy went into a shoe store to buy a pair of shoes.

He had a choice between buying a cheap pair or an expensive pair.

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We’ve seen it happen over and over again.

A new, exciting artist releases their debut album.  They top the charts and win the acclaim of industry experts and peers.

Then, after much anticipation, they release their second album.

And it’s just not the same.

Why is it so difficult to replicate the success of the first effort?

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Photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the need to not give up after one failed job interview.

But what happens if you have applied for dozens of jobs without success?

There are many people who have been unemployed for weeks, months, even years and have been rejected too many times to count.

What should you do in those circumstances?

Here are six tips that I hope are helpful:

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Many people would be aware of the famous “Footprints in the Sand“, the inspirational piece written by Mary Stevenson during the Great Depression.

Personally, I prefer this poem, titled “Butt prints in the sand” which I first heard from Paul de Jong when he was the guest speaker at a Men’s Conference at CityLife a few years ago.

It has a great message at the end, that’s relevant for so many of us.

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Photo by ImaginaryGirl via Flickr

I used to think of books as luxury items.

I would spend $20-30 on a book that sits on the shelves for a few years with perhaps only the first chapter or so being read.

When the budget gets tight, I can’t justify buying them any more and so I don’t.

But perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.

Perhaps they’re not a luxury, but a necessity.

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