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 →
The other day, while I was conducting a leadership workshop for entrepreneurs, one of the attendees asked the best way to give constructive feedback—especially when negative performance issues are being addressed.
In responding to the question, I counseled the person that first they needed to be clear on their purpose for giving the feedback. What the consequences were to them, their company and the employee if the issues were not addressed; and what specific actions they wanted to address and/or correct.
With that information shared as a backdrop, I suggested that the person take these specific actions when they met with their employee/team member: Continue reading →
At the beginning of each week, sit down and review where you are as compared to the goals you need to achieve. Based on this review, determine what activities you need to initiate – these activities will determine where “you” will use your time. To the extent practical and possible, your activities (tasks or to do’s) should fall into one, several or all of the following four categories: Continue reading →
Finding yourself in a tough situation often comes with the territory when you are in a leadership position. I describe these situations as being comparable to swimming with a bunch of hungry sharks. I learned through my experiences that the one thing you never do is bleed when the sharks are in the water with you.
In these tough situations, leaders sometimes get bruised and battered and they bleed. Once the sharks sense that there is blood in the water, the intensity of the crisis accelerates and the urge to start a feeding frenzy increases. A feeding frenzy in business terms is when there is a complete lack of discipline, which results in a loss of focus. Fear of the unknown becomes the dominating emotion.
It’s these moments of crisis that become a defining moment in your professional career. You can’t waste any time treading water and “hoping” that the sharks will get bored and leave. You have to act with purpose while in the midst of the situation. You can’t call a “time-out” or” a “do-over”. You’re in a “real-time” situation that requires real-time deliberate and committed action.
So, what are you to do? First and foremost, when you find yourself among the sharks – a crisis – a bold plan is needed to help you navigate your way to safety. Let’s talk about some of the components of this plan. Continue reading →
I learned recently that a good friend of mine has, on several occasions, travelled to Spain to “run with the bulls”. If there was ever a good example of evaluating risk and managing fear, running with a bunch of angry and powerful bulls down a narrow street with people shouting and cheering would be it!
What my friend did first was assess the risk versus the goal that he wanted to achieve: to test the limits of his capabilities and bring them to a higher level. This in turn would give him the self-esteem and confidence to tackle bigger challenges in his career or personal life. Or in other words, build his self-belief.
In evaluating the risk, fear and reward factors, he concluded that if he prepared appropriately and studied what needed to be done, he could bring the risk and the fear down to an acceptable level to achieve his goal. Continue reading →
Recently, I coached several folks through situations where they were comfortable or complacent with their current status quo and were “frozen” with respect to what to do to break out of what is often referred to as “comfortable inaction”.
Since comfortable inaction can be damaging to those who “choose” to practice it, I thought I would share what I previously wrote about the topic back in 2013. So as Yogi Berra so famously said, “It’s Déjà Vu all over again.”Continue reading →