We are all challenged daily to not only make plans, but to actually “be in the moment” and keep the commitments inherent in those plans. We find ourselves constantly pulled in a number of competing directions – that we bring upon ourselves – with the result being we just can’t do it all. The results are sad: business opportunities are missed, we disappoint customers, co-workers and even our family and friends. When will it stop?
It stops when you exercise a healthy dose of self-discipline and make the decision – no the commitment – to stop! Start by stepping back and getting clarity on what’s important in that “moment.” You have to be 100% committed and present when at work and then 100% committed and present in your personal family life. Wherever you are, or whatever you’re doing, “Be in the Moment” to make the most of it.
Stop looking “to find or squeeze in” those important business appointments or special family moments between your self-imposed impossible schedule. Start by first determining what those important things are and then book them on your calendar right now! Stop waiting for the last minute to book it or when you happen to remember that you have to do something or be somewhere.
Occasionally in business, we experience mistakes or missteps, breakdowns in communications or service breakdowns that result in “surprises” and serious business challenges (i.e., problems that need to be solved).
Similarly, in our personal lives we experience events or illnesses for ourselves or family members which result in a family crisis.
In many cases, whether in business or in our personal lives, when something unexpected and usually bad occurs, our first reaction is to ask “why.” When we ask “why,” there usually isn’t a very clear-cut answer or explanation. Asking “why” doesn’t offer solutions. It leads to guilt, blame, anger or frustration. When we experience these feelings, they eat at us and consume us emotionally, and eventually, physically. Asking “why” even leads to excuses being made, which really don’t help relieve the pain you may be feeling.
That’s right, fire yourself! This act will probably be the most important thing you can do for your business and your career. Make sure you do an in-depth exit interview so that you understand completely the reasons for this harsh but necessary action.
Oh! Don’t forget to throw yourself a “going away” party and buy yourself a gift (not too expensive). You will want to take this occasion to tell the boss (you) exactly what you think about them…and what you would do if you were in-charge! And, when you’ve done all of these things, figure out what you need to do and who you have to be to re-hire yourself.
Here’s where you need to tell the boss (that would still be you) what needs to be done. First, what areas or skills does the boss need to enhance or even develop to be able to lead more effectively? Is it leadership, delegation, better communications, etc? Next thing is what should the boss (still you) stop doing or do differently going forward? Continue reading →
The other day in a conversation with a colleague, one of my favorite books – The Art of Racing in the Rain – a 2008 novel by Garth Stein came up in our discussion. The novel became a New York Times best seller, remaining on the list for more than 156 weeks. What makes it different is that it is told from a dog’s (named Enzo) point of view.
I read the book about four or so years ago, having selected it from the shelves at Barnes & Noble strictly by its cover. It had a face of a golden retriever on it, so it immediately caught my attention. What I didn’t know, at that time, was that after I read it I would’ve learned several important success and life’s lessons.
Through Denny (the dog’s owner who is also a race car driver seeking success on the track and in life), Enzo gains tremendous insight into the human condition. He sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.
Distractions: We all experience them and we all have to deal with them. But did you realize that you are the cause of most – if not all – of them? For example:
You’re busy, but not productive – If you don’t have clear and specific goals for your day, week, month or year, distractions will pull you in different directions and waste your time, and in the end you will have nothing to show for your effort.
You’re an expert at “fire-fighting” – It’s nothing to be proud of. You may actually be the cause of the flare-ups. A big distraction is solving everyone else’s problems. Make sure everyone on your team knows what they must do, why they do it and how to do it.
Nothing gets done, unless you do it – Are you properly training your team to do their jobs as intended? Have you set clear and achievable expectations, and does your team understand them?
There is never enough time for you to have time for you – Do you schedule a 1-hour appointment each week with yourself? Put it on your calendar. You need the time to re-group and re-focus on the right things.
Your open door is a revolving door of constant visitors who all ask, “Hey do you have a minute?” – If you do, say “No!” Saying “no” when you have to is critical for your sanity and ability to properly lead. Fight for and guard your time. Stop giving it away.
Graduations have come and gone and now it’s time to enjoy summer – so with the pressure of finals, etc. gone maybe that graduate will be open to some advice.
As you begin your life’s journey, you will come across more things that you will not like before you find that one thing that “clicks.” That search is a good thing because you are learning a lot as you go.
You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game”. Here are several points to keep in mind: Continue reading →
Intentions are those things you “plan” to do. Depending upon how strong your belief in the intention is, it may be distorting your reality making you believe that you are acting on it. Just knowing what you intend to do it seldom results in action taken or a particular outcome.
All of us either have or can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be very good at what we do. However, the best intentions will not make that happen by itself. Only the decision to act on those intentions can bring about the desired change.
So how do you go about translating your best intentions into the right actions to achieve the desired result? Sometimes in our effort to create the best intentions we continue to ask more questions and require more information than is necessary which leads to procrastination. Consider the following: Continue reading →
I’ve always encouraged clients, readers and audiences to control their daily destiny by owning the first 15 to 20 minutes of each day before they “officially” start – you know, answering e-mails; text messages and responding to missed calls. These first 15 to 20 minutes are really designed to help you get the right mindset in place for the day. I believe that your mindset will determine the type of day you will have. Hence whatever you can do to put in place the right one, you should do. Right? So here are 7 very simple steps you can take. As you will note, they represent positive and specific “self-talk.” Continue reading →
Complacency is the single most dangerous threat to a business. It shows itself throughout the culture within the organization. The symptoms become evident when we see actions that support beliefs like “maintaining the status quo” or “it worked fine the last time” or “don’t rock the boat” or “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” or the most infamous statement of all: “That’s the way we always did it.”
When you let complacency take hold in your organization the following outcomes are likely: Continue reading →