At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap, as a result, someone else’s actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid, while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, they are problems and we are paid to solve them.
To effectively solve a problem, you have to have a clear understanding of its cause and impact. However, many of you spend way too much time and energy focusing just on the problem – its cause and its impact – and not enough time and focus on taking action to get to the solution. In essence, many find themselves “obsessing” about the problem, leading to detrimental results for the individual and their organization. It’s almost like digging a hole and pulling the dirt back in on top of you. Your frustration, stress and negative emotions grow unchecked. As this occurs, you basically eliminate any chance you might have to get past the emotional “clutter” (yours and others) to find a way forward to a solution.
None of us can maintain a high level of unchecked activity every minute of every working day. Often, this type of “work as fast as you can” approach leads to mental and emotional exhaustion which invariably leads to anxiety and causes overwhelm. And, that brings on the frustration at the end of this downward spiral. Productivity is lost, service goes down the drain and it basically turns into a lousy day.
Most of the time when we are stalled and frustrated, we get easily side-tracked and distracted, then get caught up in “busy work” which usually has no value.
There is no better time than the present to reset your personal and business GPS. Here are 10 simple – and I mean simple – suggestions to guide you in your “adjustment.”
What was the best thing that happened to you or your business in 2017? Why? Figure out a way to do it again in 2018.
What were your activities on the best days you had in 2017? Do it again in 2018.
What were the skills you used on some of your most productive days in 2017? Find ways to use those skills again in 2018.
What were the moments with your family and friends in 2017 that gave you the most pleasure, satisfaction and happiness? Do it again in 2018.
What were the things that you were most grateful for in 2017? Don’t lose sight of them in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you miss an opportunity to help someone or make someone feel good about themselves? Don’t miss those opportunities in 2018.
How many times did you sell yourself short in 2017 and play it too safe? Start looking for ways to build your self-confidence in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you put your business or career ahead of your family? Stop abusing the real gifts and wealth in your life in 2018.
How many times did you laugh at yourself in 2017? Find more reasons to laugh at yourself and have fun at your own expense in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you miss or put off an opportunity to invest in yourself and learn something that would make you better? Set a goal in 2018 to invest in yourself. When you get better, everything and everyone around you gets better as well.
Often driven individuals like to “go it alone.” They see this as their defining characteristic. They brag about it and heap upon themselves unlimited amounts of self-praise. They boast how they don’t need help. While a healthy dose of self-esteem and self-confidence is needed to achieve success, these individuals are over-dosing on it.
These “driven ones” get so caught up in their “go it alone” mentality that they eventually lose sight of reality. Their obsession to go it alone becomes madness. When this happens, they become consumed by their reality until anxiety and overwhelm overcome them, and that usually ends up with a self-created crisis.
Rather than going deeper into their foxhole, alone, they need to stick their head up just enough to assess their new or changing reality and quickly determine what help they need to keep moving forward.
Here’s a fact: The business climate today is more complex than it was 5 years ago. Things like evolving technology, growing customers’ demands, increasing government regulations, availability of skilled and engaged employees are all having significant impact on all businesses and their leaders.
The leaders of today will only become the leaders of tomorrow when they abandon their “go it alone” mentality and surround themselves with the right advisors who share their vision of success. To do otherwise, given the challenges we all face, would be foolhardy.
We all know someone who, regardless of the challenge, always seems to land on their feet or benefits from “lucky breaks.” The question I have often asked myself is whether or not it really was luck? Or, was the “event’ the result of the approach the person took to give them the edge? In other words, did they create their own luck?
Let’s take a closer look at 5 simple steps others take do to gain the edge or put the odds in their favor: Continue reading →
If you’re in a leadership role, it’s your responsibility to find that “common ground” when you are communicating with a team member. A “one-size-fits-all” approach to communication does not work, especially when you’re delegating work to be done and attempting to set specific expectations.
Far too often, non-performing leaders give minimal instructions (that only they understand) and quickly move on. They do no training. They then get frustrated when the work doesn’t get done properly and then launch a personal attack on their team member. They are also extremely good at writing vicious e-mails condemning an individual—who may in fact be deficient. Non-performing leader are basically insecure in their own abilities and compensate for their insecurity by attacking others.
Non-performing leaders tend to do things “to people” as opposed to working “with people.” Continue reading →
As I look at the most successful clients I have worked with, the one common link between them is their ability to make timely and quick decisions even in the face of incomplete or imperfect information. They know that decisions result in action which can lead to the growth of their business. Hence, the quicker they make the decision and act on it, the faster they will be able to put their business on a growth path.
Given how quickly the competitive landscape changes, taking too long to make needed decisions can be a business killer. Some will justify their reason to decide and act slowly as their need to “get it right.” In fact, they are really showing their aversion to risk and their need to want to be perfect. Trying to be perfect is also a business killer.
When running a business, nothing is ever perfect. You collect and evaluate the information you have, come up with a plan, decide and then take action. If you make the wrong decision, you make another one to make it right. It’s that simple. There is no need to study all of the sides of a circle!
A while ago, I wrote about “quiet confidence.” In that Wake-Up Call, I stated that quiet confidence means that you consistently believe in yourself – 100% – to the point where you know that success is the only outcome. Individuals who possess quiet confidence know exactly what they have to do to achieve their goals. They don’t talk about what they’re going to do, they let their actions (and results) speak for them. Individuals who practice quiet confidence possess a healthy dose of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is an important element of success. When you have it, you’re bold and are willing to take smart risks. You’re willing to question the “status quo” and try new approaches if that’s what it takes to be successful. You compete with yourself to be better from one day to the next.
If you’re a leader, you have the responsibility to instill self-confidence in each of the members of your team if you want them to perform at an effective level. Some leaders don’t see instilling self-confidence in their team as a necessary part of their role. That’s too bad because individuals who have doubts about their abilities do not perform at 100%. This could drag down the performance (and results) of the entire team.
Some of the ways a leader can pump up their team’s self-confidence are: Continue reading →
Over the span of my business career – and more recently in my role as an executive/business coach – I’ve witnessed what business owners have done to hurt their businesses and themselves. In some cases, they’ve even managed to run the business down to such a level that there was no way to recover.
Here are 3 ways to “kill” your business. Hopefully from this advice you’ll do the opposite. Yet, I know out there, there are some of you who unfortunately need to experience the pain before you realize that it is too late. Continue reading →
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.