To be successful, especially in a leadership role, there will be times when you will be faced with making tough or difficult decisions that will, in many instances, also be seen as unpopular.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions on a timely basis because they fear the outcome. So, to avoid this “perceived” result, we either make a series of small and less effective decisions or we take no action hoping the matter will take care of itself. When we do this we actually do more harm because we are prolonging a bad situation and, in many cases, making it worse. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions using not-so-perfect information.
Nothing is ever really as hard as it first appears to be. Personally, I tend to over-simplify things. Sometimes I’m wrong and pay dearly for my miscalculation. Fortunately, more times than not, I’ve been right and have avoided a fair amount of frustration and wasted time.
The fact is, we sometimes tend to make things harder or more complicated than they need to be. Why? Because we do. We over-think the situation. We get emotional and even mad. We lose site of the root cause, the real facts and the best solution.
Some view resolutions as statements of intention. However, to be meaningful, resolutions require action.
Success in business (or for that matter anything else) requires action in the form of hard, focused, disciplined and committed work. There are no shortcuts to success.
We can all agree that to be successful requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. However, without the proper mental foundation there is no way you can use that knowledge and skill effectively. I refer to this foundation as your “mental toughness”. Developing this mental toughness is a choice. Here are 3 key steps that will get you going in the right direction: Continue reading →
At one minute past midnight on January 1st, we all had the same opportunity presented to us. We all were given a clean blank canvas to use to draw our future success. So with the New Year now 9 days old, let me ask: What did you draw?
Did it show more of the same or a bold picture of what you are truly capable of achieving?
Did you draw a future that is below your capabilities or one that will offer you growth and success?
Did your picture show your knowledge and skills getting stale or did you draw what it looks like when you truly invest in yourself and your future?
Did your picture show you being victimized by distractions or circumstance, or did it depict you as a master of your circumstances?
Did your picture show how you will be different in 2017 or did it show you “stuck in the mud” and re-living all of what you wish you had changed last year?
We all make the choice to suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is born from one, or a combination of, the following:
Trying to be a perfectionist.
A lack of self-discipline.
The inability to fight off distractions.
A lack of specific goals and fear.
How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do, but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? Whatever your reason might be, the fact is, you are procrastinating.
Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you overcome procrastination: Continue reading →
One of the biggest challenges I see among the people I work with – and for that matter the many leaders and entrepreneurs I observe – is the lack of a key success skill: persistence.
Persistence requires that you forge ahead, work hard and not give up at the first, second or even third obstacle you encounter. You need to relax and accept the fact that no one gets it right the first time, or even the second or third time. It’s okay to make a mistake. In life, there are no mistakes, just lessons. Mistakes offer each of us meaningful opportunities to learn and perform better. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over. If you are, then you’re just lazy.
It’s been said that a day without learning is a day without living. When you stop learning, or close your mind to learning, you become stagnant and you die – first intellectually, then emotionally and then…well, you know. As Stephen Covey wrote in his “7 Habits…” series, work on always how to “sharpen the saw.” Legendary Coach John Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.”
Always ask yourself, “What can I learn and do to improve or get better?”
Once you’ve learned something, practice it until you are good at it. I mean very good at it. Real success comes from those who practice. In life, there is no room for “winging it”. Coach Lou Carnesca of St. John’s University said it best: “Nothing takes place on the court that doesn’t first take place in practice.”
Let me share with you some of the things that I have learned over the years:
You should not confuse your career with your life.
A person who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter or a waitress, is not a nice person.
Your friends love you anyway.
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
So now that you’ve finished reading this, get moving and learn something today that will contribute to your success tomorrow!
Well, we just completed what I hope was a restful Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that you let the spirit and intent of the holiday guide you in all that you did. If so, great! If not, you don’t have to wait until next year to take the time to reflect on all of the good things and people in your life.
The fact is we only get one life (and I know we are dead for a long time), so why not get the most out of it? Make it a point to have fun. Taking life too seriously will kill you. You work hard so there should be no guilt associated with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of your life. Look, there is some degree of suffering in each of our lives. Many of us choose – that’s right choose – to suffer longer than we have to or need to. Don’t be a victim of self-induced suffering brought on by all that surrounds us.
If fun doesn’t happen spontaneously, then plan it and make time for it. Just have fun!
Make time every day, to be grateful for all that you have; maybe the first thing in the morning or the last thing every evening. Many of us spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in our lives. If you want more, then pursue it. Look in the mirror daily—you are your own solution to the challenges you face every day. Continue reading →
All of us in a leadership position get to carry the brunt of the problems and challenges we face every day. We sometimes cause these problems. And in other cases, we must clean up the mess made by someone else.
In most cases, we serve as the “buffer” between the problems and our teams. Then once we have confronted the problem we have to sift through the emotion and clutter that comes with it to determine what caused it and more importantly how to solve it—while still doing everything else you’re supposed to do!
Working through and managing bad days comes with the territory if you are a leader. But, when the number of those bad days starts to take place on an ever increasing basis and the severity intensifies, you’re then experiencing days that “you don’t want to go to work.”
However, as a good leader you pick yourself up and go to work on those days you really don’t want to be there. You fool yourself into thinking that “it’s what you have to do” but, you’re not having any fun
When you reach this state, it’s time to come to a complete stop and put yourself in time out! You need to give yourself some time to catch your breath and think about what you’re doing versus what you “should” be doing. Why? Because if you don’t stop the madness, you’ll “burn out physically and emotionally, and run yourself and your business into the ground—permanently.
With the possibility of the demise of your business staring you in the face, you should consider taking all of these key steps: Continue reading →
It’s that time of year…again! We’re rapidly approaching the end of the year and you’re all starting to realize you still have a great deal of work to be done! But, let me ask you: Does all of it have to be done? You are right in the same place – again – that you promised yourself last year you would do everything to avoid.
Why are you here – again – because over the course of the year you lost your focus. Or, you never really had it. Consider these facts:
The biggest challenge we all have is that there’s never enough time in any given day to get everything done.
Staying focused on your priorities is one of the toughest challenges we all have. Yet we make it harder by not understanding what a real priority is.
Many of you think that making a list of “to do’s” (the longer the better) makes you effective planners. Again, another fallacy because you don’t question whether some of the things on your list should be there at all!
Here 5 simple steps you can take – starting today – to gain and stay focused on getting the “right” things done: Continue reading →