Sunday, December 30, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Many businesses conduct a year-end review during which they compare the goals set for the past year against the accomplishments made. This is a very helpful process to undertake as an individual as well. Some quality time spent reviewing both this year’s successes and failures can help dramatically improve both your level and number of achievements during the year to come.
Assuming you have a written list of goals from last January (and even if you do not have a written list keep reading anyway) take out your paper and review the goals. Answer these three questions:
1. What items on your list did you successfully accomplish?
2. Which items on your list did you try but not accomplish?
3. Which items on your list did you not even work on?
These are relatively easy questions to answer at the top level. But each one requires some deeper thinking and quite a bit of personal honesty.
Did you accomplish easy goals? Perhaps goals that you knew you could complete before you even wrote them on your list? Many people add items to a list that they know are easy simply so they can feel good about completing them and “crossing them off the list”. C’mon –don’t be like that. Taking the easy way is not going to really help you grow and succeed at the level deep down you desire.
Did you accomplish stretch goals? Items that when you wrote them down you were unsure how you would take them on and get them done. Good for you for doing so. That is where real growth resides. It is in the pushing into the unknown that we find out who we really are and what we can truly accomplish.
What caused you to fail with some of your goals? Did you fail to truly commit? Did you let other things in your life distract you or throw you off course? Really think about your failures and learn from them. What could you have done differently to change to trajectory ad the final outcome? What will you do differently in the future when similar circumstances arise? Our failures can be our best teachers, but only if we take the time to analyze what happened and to absorb the lessons into our entire being and not just our brain.
What caused you to not get to everything on your list? Did you skip some and why (possible commitment issue), or did you run out of year (too ambitious in your undertaking)? Careful with choosing “ran out of time”. It’s easy to say that time was short but harder to be honest and admit your time management needs work.
Even if you do not have a written list for the past year (but you will for the next year, right?) you can still evaluate your successes and failures from the past year. You will not have a list to refer back to but you can still think about where you are in relation to where you wanted to be in any area of your life (Head, Heart, Health, Wealth, and World).
Goals are great. Without them we often find time has elapsed without our even noticing we are in the same place doing the same thing over and over. But even more importantly than setting goals is to take time to analyze overall performance. It is in the analysis that we uncover truths about commitment, ability and drive. It is these truths that will help propel us to higher and higher levels of success in all areas of our lives.
I wish you nothing less than an awesome 2013. Act boldly, set big goals and get after them. You will be amazed at just what you can do.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
How can I get more done? That’s a question we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. Our days are packed with meetings, emails, projects, to-do lists, errands, etc. How often have you reached the end of the day and wondered “just exactly what did I accomplish today?” You do not need more time; what you need is to take control of your days. Your productivity will skyrocket when you take back control of your day.
What controls can I put in place you ask? Try these five:
1. Schedule your email. Do not leave your email window open at all times and un-click the option to play a sound when emails arrive. That little chime is like a siren’s song – calling you to come and see. And every time you react like a pavlovian dog your productivity drops. Check your email at scheduled times. Say four times a day, and not first thing in the morning. Remember – you need to control your time and if you check email first thing when you get up or when you get to the office you are immediately entering a reactionary mode. The email requests and updates now have your attention and end up dictating your agenda. Better to wait, formulate a plan for the day and prioritize your must do’s before charging into your email. I tell all my associates that email is for non-urgent communication. If something is urgent and I need to know or make a decision immediately then they better be ringing my phone and speaking directly to me.
2. Prioritize tasks. What are your must do’s today? What deadlines are approaching? Take a few moments at the beginning of your day to list out the tasks you need to work on today. Not want to work on. The want list is easy and pulls us in the wrong direction. Focus on the needs. Circle the top two or three and make that the focus of your time today. Completing the “need” to do items each and every day adds up. Instead of doing a little work on a lot of different things you will complete the really important tasks in their entirety. You will feel better and others will notice.
3. Schedule Power Blocks. Make sure to schedule uninterrupted blocks of time into your day. Two to three 45-90 minute blocks of time. Close your door, imagine your legs chained to your desk chair and really dig into your “need to do” items. One at a time. This one tip alone will push your productivity to a much higher level. Set a timer if you want and keep your head down and working for the full time. Chances are you will get more done in just one power block than the rest of your entire day. Don’t believe me? Try it for a few days; you will be glad you did.
4. Daily Contact List. Make a list each day of people to reach out to. Colleagues that you need to give information to. Business contacts that you want to stay in touch with (keep your network strong). Vendors, companies, or co-workers you need information from. Keep the list short and focused and then make it a point to make contact before you go home with each person on your list. Try to include at least one networking contact each day.
5. Take a break. That’s right. Take breaks during the day. Get up. Walk around. Get the blood flowing and the muscles working. Every 90 minutes at the most, get up from your desk and move. Even a short two to three minute break helps increase circulation to re-energize your body and your brain.
Productivity is all about taking control. You need to control your day and work in focused bursts of activity. By taking some time each morning to make a plan, and then working your plan, you will become more and more productive.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Today is your day. Yesterday is history and tomorrow has not arrived. You are in the here and now. The question is: “What are you going to do with the day?”
Are you simply going to ride along with whatever happens? Are you going to allow yourself and your emotions to be blown by the winds of the day to a destination not of your choosing? OR are you going to have a plan and work that plan? Are you going to choose to step up and own it?
This is your life you are living. And this day, today, could be your last. That statement is not meant to be a downer. But a reminder that time is precious and that you need to be conscious of the fact that every second, every minute, and every hour that goes by is lost forever. You cannot back up, you can only move forward. There is no rewind button for time. You must be fully engaged in the now or you’ll find yourself somewhere down the road (perhaps a road not eve of your choosing) asking yourself how did I get here.
Only you can own your day. Only you can choose what is most important this day. Only you can choose where to focus your time, your energy and your passion. We all live in a world of choices – they are all around us. You control your attitude and you have a choice – Am I going to be happy, energetic and excited throughout this day or am I going to again be a victim to the whims and emotions of others. You will never be able to control what goes on around you or what happens to you but you ALWAYS have the choice on how you respond.
You have to deal with the facts of any situation. I am not suggesting that you ignore reality. You cannot simply whistle a happy tune and make everything better. But you do have a choice. Do you wallow in self pity or do you take ownership of the day and move forward with a plan of action. Making a plan and working the plan is not necessarily easy but you have to own each day and continue to push forward.
You know you have the internal resources to not let the criticisms or comments of others, or the events of the day bring you down. Maintain a positive narrative in your head. By rising above the muck and the mire you show not only yourself, but all those around you just what you are made of and how truly awesome you are.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Vance Harner is quoted as saying “Many people are in a rut and a rut is nothing but a grave with both ends kicked out.” Vance could not be any more accurate. Spending your days in a rut is mind numbing and mind dumbing. Your brain craves change, it craves new stimuli. This stimuli helps create new pathways in the brain, helps improve overall mood, and adds variety to keep you sharp.
Need some suggestions on breaking out of your rut? Here are 10 quick suggestions:
1. Take a new route to work or when running errands. Have you ever driven to or from work, arrived at your destination and realized that you do not remember part of the trip? You have followed the same route so often your brain is in autopilot. Change the route and you force your brain to pay attention.
2. Try new restaurants, or, at the very least, try something different on the menu. It’s easy to pick your old reliable restaurant or entree. You know what you are going to get and you know you are not going to be disappointed. But again your brain (and taste buds) can remain in autopilot. Shake things up and you’ll discover new flavor combinations and add to your list of favorites.
3. Attend a sporting event or the theatre. Live events require more attention. You are not sitting in your living room and you do not have control over the outcome. Your senses become more fully engaged when you are in the environment of the activity and not watching it on a screen.
4. Take on a new project at work. You need variety at the office/work site as well. Ask to get involved in something not necessarily in your normal range of duties. The novelty of the assignment helps get your mind fully engaged. Plus, you get bonus points for being a go-getter.
5. Travel. Even a long three-day weekend to a rented cabin changes your everyday routine and helps re-charge your batteries. Take a 12 month calendar and divide your vacation time equally. Every 90 to 120 days get way. You will enjoy the off time and the planning/anticipation also help to stimulate your mind.
6. Plan a Date Night. Weekly or monthly you and your significant other need time together as a couple. Take turns planning. The anticipation and the surprise of the evening will definitely lift you out of your rut.
7. Start/Expand a hobby. New skills engage your mind. Think about painting, gardening, cooking, woodworking, golf, fishing, etc., etc. Expanding the variety of activities you are involved in keep the synapses in your brain firing and strengthening.
8. Re-arrange your furniture. How long has your office or living room been the same? Move the furniture around. Change is good. And if after a few weeks you don’t like it – change it back.
9. Change seating/parking arrangements. Do you have a particular seat at the dining table? Sit in a different seat. A different position changes your view of the room. Do you park on the same side of the garage every day? Switch to the other side for a while. Try it tonight. You’ll be surprised on how “odd” it feels at first but that is just your brain becoming re-engaged. Change it up and your brain is forced to take notice.
10. Expand you social circle. New friends have lots to share with us, lots of new information to take in a process. It’s hard to stay in a rut when your brain is absorbing new information and learning all about these new people.
The goal is to get your brain dealing with a familiar subject/task/activity in a new way. When you change things up your brain is forced to take notice. You cannot operate on autopilot when dealing with a change or when learning something new. Change things up starting today and that narrow rut will become a wide expanse of super highway that can take you anywhere you want to go.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
It gets very old listening to people talk about how they want a better life but blame others for what has or is happening to them. These folks want things to change but when it comes time to look squarely in the mirror these same people are no where to be seen. It’s so much easier to blame others. “They” are the reason for my problems; “They” just don’t understand. I hear “they” in my workplace quite often and I am quick to point out that “they” are not on the payroll. People are often confused and ask what I mean. I tell them flat out that “they” are not an employee and do not get a paycheck. I tell them that if they have an objection with a policy or established procedure they need to speak to the person who created it.
Let’s focus in on your and your life. Instead of casting blame in the generic you should be getting specific. And of course by specific I mean on you. By blaming “them” you can more easily ignore the part that you play in your life. You need to realize that you have the starring role in your life. You are the lead character and you are ultimately responsible for how things turn out.
And yes, I know bad things happen to good people (just watch the news each evening) but you cannot become a victim to circumstance. There will always be things that you cannot control, but the one thing you can ALWAYS control is how you choose to react to what is going on around you. “They” are not out to get you. You may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or you may have made poor decisions in the past, but that was then and this is now. You cannot go backwards and change history so stop complaining about what has happened and get focused on what you are going to do moving forward.
“They” are not out to get you and “they” do not have the responsibility to improve your life. You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for how you affect the lives of those around you. Are you a build everyone up type of person or tear everyone down type? No one wants to be around a tear everyone down type. No one wants to help a tear everyone down type. But if you are a person who accepts responsibility for your life and truly are working to make improvements you will be amazed at how much help comes your way. Positive people are like magnets attracting other positive people. And by working on yourself and with these like minded positive individuals you will find your life altered and improved and a wide variety of ways.
Push the “they” mentality out of your head. Get specific, get focused, and get busy changing your life.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
So, did you do it? Did you keep a notebook with you to track your activities for the last week? (See previous post here). I sure hope you did because if you are like most people you discovered that you spend a lot more time in non-productive activities than you thought.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. Do you realize that equates out to 2 months of non-stop TV watching per year? Just think how much farther you would be on your road to success if you had just half of that time back. A whole month of time to devote to improving your education and skills, or a whole month for new experiences and challenges. 720 hours of “found” time.
And that’s just the average TV time. Don’t even get me going on surfing the net or reading gossip magazines. Free time is all around us if we just stop, realize what we are doing, and make some better choices.
Now, let’s talk about these better choices. I am not living your life. I do not know what long-term interests, challenges or goals you have. But I do know that the only way you are going to end up where your heart truly desires is by taking action. You have made a start. You have decided that you need to spend your time much more wisely. My suggestion is to start slowly. Don’t try to go all cold-turkey on TV or internet use. It may not sound like it but I do watch some TV and I am online as well. But I keep balance and have slowly weaned myself off the dependence of easy and cheap entertainment and info-tainment.
I suggest you go slow. Decide the one or two things you want to do more of. Maybe it’s going for a walk each evening with a loved one, maybe it’s reading more, or maybe it’s developing a new skill. It’s up to you to decide but please keep a few things in mind:
3 Steps to Better Time Choices
1) Decide on what you want to do and make a schedule.
Decide where you are going to stop wasting time and what you are going to do in its place. You must have a replacement activity lined up and ready to go or you will just slip right back into your old routine.
2) Give it 30 days.
Studies have shown that is takes a minimum of 21 days for habits to form. I like to give it a full month. Four full weeks of daily focused practice will help establish a new routine.
3) Make only one or two changes per month.
Don’t try to make a whole host of changes all at once. You’ll likely get frustrated if you try too much to fast. Yes, the brain thrives and grows on challenge and change but that is with practice. If you have been in a set routine for a while then change will take more commitment and practice. Set yourself up to win by initially taking smaller steps.
Only you can make the choices on how to live your best life. And only you can follow through to make it happen. Make now the moment that you take action. Make now the moment that you start the journey to a happier and more successful life. The main question is: If not now, when?
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Rohn who said “Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.” You have to change what you are thinking and what you are doing if you expect to change the results you have been getting.
I do not care what your present circumstances are. You cannot let your present dictate your future. As the saying goes, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Your brain is a wonder of nature, a wonder we have yet to fully understand, and your brain wants to be used. The more you challenge your mind the more it develops. Scientific studies have shown that the brain is not static at all; the brain is elastic and can continue to develop throughout your life – as long as it is worked. Your biceps will only get bigger if you continually add weight and stress the muscle. Over time the muscle gets stronger and larger. (ask Arnold Swarchenegger if you don’t believe me.) Your brain is similar – it may not get larger (so no, you will not be able to impress the chicks by flexing your brain) but it will get better at calculating, creating, expressing, wondering, exploring, etc., etc.
The biggest obstacle to developing your mind and drastically improving your life is you, and the way you budget your time. Do you even think about time in terms of budgeting or do you simply let each day float on past. Do you come home in the evening and plunk down in front of the television. TV is junk food to your brain. There is no challenge to watching a bachelor slowly weed out prospective mates, or starry-eyed want-to-be’s audition and compete for a recording contract.
You need to STOP! Stop wasting time, stop wasting your life. We all get only so much time on this planet. 24 hours a day until our time is over – and the real kicker is that you have no idea when your time runs out. There is no countdown clock on your forehead or chest (although that might help with motivation). Everyone gets 86,400 seconds per day. Richard Branson gets 86,400 seconds and he has used them day after day to start and run 300 different businesses and amass a fortune over a billion dollars. What have you done day in and day out with your precious seconds? We will not all be a Richard Branson, but I know we can all make huge strides in our lives when we focus on what we want.
You have to get out of the mindset of not having time. Bull-pucky! You have the time; you are simply not using it to your advantage. Perhaps by choice, perhaps by ignorance.
You will never “have the time” to do what you need to do in order to change your life if you do not get focused and stop wasting your time. When you stop a time wasting activity you open up a chunk of time. The more you stop unproductive activities, the more time you suddenly have available. You have not created more time on the clock, but you have taken control of the time you have. And with this control comes the opportunity to completely change your life: to improve relationships, to expand your understanding of business and finance, to regain your health and vigor, or to become the person and have the life you have always wanted.
Think you are not wasting time? Try this for the next week. Keep a small notebook with you and make a note every 30 to 60 minutes about what you are doing. You have to be honest with yourself here – do not alter your routine just because you have to keep track. At the end of the week add up the time spent on various activities. Look at the list of activities and ask yourself the following question about each one – Is this activity helping me to attain the type of lifestyle or become the person I truly want to be? If the answer is not a responding yes you have found an activity you should stop.
Next week’s post will discuss how to start using all the time you are going to discover you have. Until then, get your notebooks and start recording.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
An integral part of being successful is continual growth. In order to succeed in your personal life and your professional life you have to stretch, learn and grow. Intellectually and emotionally. And in order to remain successful you have to keep stretching, learning and growing. You are either developing and enhancing your abilities, or you are slipping backwards. There is no status quo in life. It is always moving, things are always changing.
This need for constant growth can either motivate you or it can stop you in your tracks. The reason people get stopped is fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of failure. When you push forward you may stumble, but that stumble is part of the learning process. Successful people are constantly pushing themselves to get better. They realize it is the experiences they go through in life that teach them the most. I am an avid reader – but I know that book learning is only a part of my overall development. Just like you, I need to get out of the chair and embrace challenges.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to face your fear. When faced head on you will find that the reality is much less a problem than what you imagined in your mind. Your mind exploits and expands upon a fear. There is a part of your primitive brain that works very hard to keep you out of dangerous situations. You need to be aware of this and understand that a large portion of your fear is just your subconscious doing what it is programmed to do. Most of the fear is unfounded.
You can help move past this fear by doing a few things.
First – do the prep work. Athletes practice for months and years to compete at a high level. Investors research business fundamentals before laying there cash down. If you need to make a presentation (one of the most common fears of all) learn your subject forward and backward and then practice. In all these cases, by having done the background work you know you are well prepared.
Second – give yourself permission to fail. I know this sounds a little nuts, but by giving yourself permission you lessen the fear of it happening. The fear of embarrassment and of failure can lead physical and mental paralysis. When you tell yourself that it is okay to stumble you lessen the chance you will freeze if you do. Everyone makes mistakes – but the most successful people just keep on moving forward. They know it can happen but they do not let it dictate where they are going.
Third – Say yes to new experiences. Don’t let an automatic “no” come out of you mouth. If you are invited to an event that in the past you would not have attended - attend.
If you are asked to make a presentation that you normally would decline – accept it.
If you are asked to participate in a group activity – go for it.
Acknowledge the fact that your primitive brain is trying to keep your out of danger, but that these are not “dangerous” situations.
Through these new experiences you will retrain your mind as to what is possible and you will find that a whole new world of opportunities opens up to you. Don’t let your primitive brain hold you back. You have too much to offer and share with the world. Let everyone around you benefit from their interaction with you.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
During last year’s championships, The Wall Street Journal wrote about a study done by researchers at Cal-Berkeley. The VERY academic title of the paper was “Tactile Communication, Cooperation and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA.” (Trust me when I tell you the Journal piece was much easier to read than the white paper!) The basic premise: The team that shares the most “physical contact” with each other is an odds-on bet to win it all. The Cal researchers watched every game from an NBA season and reported that the teams that “touched” most often were more trusting, cooler in tough times, played better and won more games.
In last year’s NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks were 82 percent more likely to high-five their teammates than the Heat were, according to the Journal’s review of games. The Mavericks won four games to two, despite the fact they were serious underdogs to the “star-studded” Miami team.
The greatest coach of all time, John Wooden, made it a requirement that whenever his players at UCLA scored a basket that they acknowledge the player who passed them the ball. It could be as simple as a nod or a slap on the behind on the way by, but each player HAD to recognize his teammate. Once, Coach Wooden told me, a player asked: “Coach, what if my teammate isn’t looking when I say thanks.”
Coach Wooden’s response: “Trust me, when you recognize your teammate, he’ll notice.”
There is no doubt that taking time to deliver a high five to a teammate has an impact.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Coaching a bad attitudeNo matter how good we are at hiring and motivating a team, there almost always comes a time when we have to deal with an employee who has a less-than-stellar attitude. Coaching a bad attitude, I find, is one of the more challenging aspects of management.
A bad attitude is hard to quantify, and the person in question often doesn’t agree that there is an issue. However, if you don’t address and turn that attitude around it can spread throughout the team, affecting teamwork, the customer experience, and ultimately sales.
Here are some tips for coaching an employee with a bad attitude.
1. Address the problem as soon as it arises. Everyone can have a bad day, including you and me. It happens. But when it happens on a regular basis and starts to have an impact on the team and the customer, then it’s a bad attitude that needs addressed. Some managers hope it goes away without his/her involvement. It rarely does.
2. Separate the person from the attitude. Just because someone has a bad or disruptive attitude doesn’t mean he/she isn’t a good person. It just means that his/her behavior is not meeting the expectation within the position, but with your coaching hopefully the person will be able to stop demonstrating those behaviors.
3. Identify the behaviors you see and hear that add up to a bad attitude. This is really the key. Most people aren’t even aware that their attitude is affecting the store, and a lot of them don’t even know what they are doing to cause a negative impact.
These are some of the things you see and hear that create the bad attitude label.
* Being argumentative or short with others.
* Speaking negatively about other people or of new products, programs, and/or processes.
* Not being an active participant in meetings or in the store.
* Walking away while others are talking to them.
* Having improper or inappropriate conversations with customers.
4. Meet one-on-one to voice your concerns and set new expectations. Tell the employee you are concerned about his/her performance, and need to see some changes in behaviors. Avoid using the word “attitude” altogether. I think it makes people defensive and gets in the way of a productive conversation.
Share specific examples of the behaviors you’ve observed, and how those behaviors are impacting the rest of the team and the store’s performance. Then, set future expectations of the behavior you want to see. Don’t focus on what not to do, but what you want the person to do. It’s also often a good idea to put together a plan covering how you can work with the employee to successfully make the change.
5. Define the consequence for not changing. Most people will immediately improve their behavior, but some won’t change unless there is a well-defined time frame to change, and the consequences for not changing are clearly spelled out. The good news is that a dedicated employee who slipped into a bad attitude will quickly turn it around. Those that don’t probably are hurting your business in other ways and may need to go.
6. Continue to give the employee regular feedback on how they’re doing in meeting expectations. If the employee is improving, praise him/her for the changed behaviors and thank her/him for their effort. If expectations are not being met, the person needs to be told immediately, and work towards changing behaviors or changing jobs. What they can’t do is to continue to work with a bad attitude.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
This Month’s Tip:
Delegate and Develop
Insecure leaders worry about their position and standing. They have a hard time investing in others because they fear someone will take their place. To be an effective leader you must overcome these fears. A strong and confident leader, who can develop others, will always be in demand. John Maxwell tells leaders who work within his company that “their job is work themselves out of a job.” When they have hired and fully trained their replacement they are ready to move up to the next position.
Not only does people development bring an organization success and team members advancement, but it also gives them great satisfaction. We are most fulfilled when we forget ourselves and focus on others.
Many leaders do not want to share responsibility because they do not want to lose any of their power. But when good leaders share power, it doesn’t take anything away from them. It actually gives them something valuable: Time. Leaders who have time are freed to do important thinking, envisioning and strategizing, which will take the team to the next level.
Delegating can be difficult, especially if you believe the person won’t do the task as well as you would. It’s short term thinking to do the work yourself rather than developing others to do it. Here’s a good test for delegating: If someone on your team can do the task as least 80% as well as you can, give him or her the responsibility. To be an effective leader you must move from perfectionist to pragmatist.
(Summarized from The Fourth Level of Leadership by John C Maxwell, Success magazine, March 2012)
Check out TED
TED is a non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing people together from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become much broader. Along with two annual conferences TED also includes the award winning TEDTalks video site and an array of other programs.
As a way to introduce yourself to TED and to help all you think about and develop your leadership aptitude and skills plug the following link into your browser and check out the 20 recommended leadership talks. (One of the cool things about TED videos is that the presenters are given a max of 20 minutes- short but focused).
The main TED site is (surprise, surprise) www.ted.com. I recommend also going to the main site and bookmarking the page. That way you can easily come back and search for interesting talks in the future as well as those grouped together by the Online University blog.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Sure, it’s frustrating to be passed over for a promotion you really wanted at the office, or to be underwater on your home loan. Perhaps you just found out you need a new transmission in your car. It’s natural to get angry but you have to also realize that you need to move past the anger. Anger keeps your brain from thinking about solutions and from making plans. And without a plan you cannot solve your problems.
In order to successful solve a problem you need to engage the rational part of your brain and put your emotional part in neutral. You need to think creatively and then logically to develop a plan of action. Your emotional brain, especially when in an angry state will block any creative or logical thoughts. Your emotional brain likes to be in control and will sabotage any planning you are trying to do. You need to acknowledge that you have been angered and then tell your emotional brain that you are now moving on. It may sound silly but by thinking about and telling yourself that you are done being emotional and are now ready to rationally deal with the issue you open up pathways in your brain to allow yourself to do just that.
I am not saying that you should never get angry or upset. Even if you are good at hiding it from others you cannot escape having emotional reactions to the events around you. What I am saying is that you cannot allow your anger and emotions to take control. You need to move past the initial reactions and engage your rational brain to find a sensible and plausible solution to whatever problems present themselves.
Don’t be a victim to circumstance. Step back, analyze the situation and make a plan to move forward. That is how you chart a course to success.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
This Month’s Tip:
Minute-by-Minute Recognition - Less than 60 seconds. That’s all it takes to make someone’s day, using on-the-spot recognition. The next time you notice an employee doing something right, immediately follow these four simple steps:
- Tell them exactly what they did that was right (“Wanda, I noticed that you picked up the phones today, since Bess was sick.”)
- Tell them what value or goal they met. (“That shows a lot of teamwork.”)
- Explain how that impacts the company. (“We might have missed that emergency call from our biggest customer without your help.”
- Express appreciation. (“Thanks so much.”)
Note: In less time than it took you to read this page, you could have recognized someone. Now, how easy is that!
How to run an Effective Meeting
Good meetings don’t happen by accident. They happen because someone has taken the time to prepare themselves and their meeting participants. When you have a well planned meeting - magic happens. They begin (and end) on-time; massive action takes place during shorter meeting time frames; and people walk away with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. And when you have a poorly planned meeting – you can get the meeting from hell.
Here are some ideas to help run a high-powered, results-focused meeting.
- Define the purpose
- Define the specific outcome (e.g., inform, make a decision, provide status, a working meeting to complete a deliverable, etc.)
- Identify the attendees (i.e., who needs to attend, why and what’s their role?)
- Create the agenda
- Send the agenda and any associated background materials prior to meeting – this allows participants to be more prepared
- Send a confirmation notice one day prior to meeting, along with the agenda and any associated materials (Yes – repetition is the mother of memory)
- Set aside a few minutes at the beginning for idle small talk – building rapport can help set the tone of collaboration and partnership
- Kick-off meeting by reviewing the purpose of the meeting; the desired outcome of the meeting; and walk through the agenda along with proposed timing for each agenda item
- Have the purpose and desired outcome visible for all to see – this provides a great visual aide for everyone to reference during the meeting
- Stick to the agenda
- Encourage group discussion and feedback by asking questions
- Look to gain consensus on key decisions
- When assigning action items, make sure you answer the specific question of, “Who is agreeing to do what and when are they expected to complete it?”
- Call out time-checks and/or reference the agenda and desired outcome to ensure the meeting is moving in right direction
- Summarize key agreements and any action items during the “wrap-up” portion of the meeting
- Identify if you need to meet again. If so, when should that meeting occur
- If the meeting is going over its time, set a time-limit so people have an idea of when they can expect to end (e.g., “Can we go another 10 minutes, then if we need more time, we can reschedule?”, etc.)
- Thank your attendees for preparing and participating in your meeting
To reinforce the importance of a meeting and ensure momentum, try the following:
- Send out a follow-up email with reminders of key decisions made and/or any follow-up action items
- Add any reminders to your calendar to follow-up on any assigned action items
At first, these steps may seem like a significant effort. However, with some diligence and practice, you will find these steps can quickly become habit. More importantly, you will find the time spent to prepare will mean your meetings will have more engagement, energy, momentum, and stuff getting done!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Let’s think about the title of this blog entry. Be the Difference. Three simple words. Five little syllables. But when put into action make a significant impact on everything and everyone you interact with. Yet this seemingly simple idea does require a bit of reflection. To be a difference maker requires thinking about and answering two questions.
First – What difference am I trying to make?
Second – What do I need to do in order to make that happen?
Start with the end in mind. Envision the difference you are going to be and then determine what you need to do in order to make it happen.
Make this a daily practice: Ask yourself every day when you first get out of bed or when you step into the shower: How can I be the difference today? Think it through and make a plan. Head into your day with this plan and put it into action. You do that and when you lay your head back down at the end of each day you will do so knowing that made a difference; Knowing that you made your world and someone else’s world a little brighter and a little better. In my book that makes for a pretty great day.
Don’t hold back. Share your talents and abilities with the world and enjoy a lifetime of great days.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
This Month’s Tip:
Become a Servant Leader
Bossing around employees is so passé. Developing people, treating them with respect, encouraging their talents and input – these are the trends that research has proven build strong companies and give them the competitive edge. Servant Leadership – the philosophy of focusing first on the needs of employees and customers – has gained popularity in recent years with numerous fortune 500 firms like TDIndustries, Aflac and Synovus subscribing to its principles.
The essence of servant leadership – serve the employees first and success with clients will follow –might appear to be the antithesis of modern business. The roots of this philosophy are thousands of years old, with examples dating back to the 4th century B.C. in India and China, as well as in the New Testament and texts of Islam. In contemporary practice, it means actively listening to employees. Treating them as people with needs, interests and failings, and respecting their roles in the company and world.
Southwest Airlines former CEO Herb Kelleher believed that his company’s flight attendants were the airlines most important leaders because they had the biggest impact on the customer experience. Thos who have flown the airline know that Southwest flight attendants are some of the happiest people in the air. The corporate culture is often identified as an example of servant leadership and the company is one of the industries most profitable, say Jim Hunter, a servant leader consultant and author of The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership. “The test of true leadership is whether employees leave the company better than when they got there,”
Hunter says. “You want everyone growing and changing and improving, That is the only way your company will grow and change and improve.”
Unfortunately the concept of servant leadership tends to evoke high-level philosophical meanderings with little practical application. However, advocates say, there are everyday habits leaders can incorporate into their management routines that can have powerful results.
1. Listen. Pay attention to how you interact in face-to-face conversations and meetings. How do you communicate with your peers, subordinates, vendors and customers? How much do you really hear what they are saying? Do you understand what they need? Find meaningful ways to invite employee feedback and suggestions, like peer evaluations or an idea box.
2. Appreciate. Instead of trying to catch people doing things wrong, shift your attitude to look for people doing things right. Tell them about it both routinely – as in annual evaluations – and spontaneously.
3. Respect. Do you treat the assistant the same as the executive? The waiter the same as the banker? The leader sets the level of respect within an organization.
4. Develop. Do you offer employees the tools to become the best they can be? What do you provide in terms training, new job development, book clubs or other personal growth tools? The emphasis should be about coaching as opposed to controlling.5. Unleash. People have power and energy. They can use it or not use it. How can you
help develop it? Focus on decentralizing as many decisions as possible so employees can
use the power of their experience to help the company. Everyone is already showing up
and getting paid. Why wouldn’t you want each one to make the biggest contribution he or
she can make?
(Article reprinted from Success Magazine January 2012)