Monthly Archives: April 2010

your destination

“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal. “
Helen Keller

The lines of battle have been drawn, you have a destination in mind and you’re ready to move forward and reach the destination with purpose and zeal.  You’re on an adventure in life to experience life to its fullest, that is your dream and you’re on your way.   What will you experience when you get there?

a powerful idea

It started as an idea and your thoughts took this idea you had and it grew and grew and grew and you became more and more exited as you played with the idea.  The idea grew into a vision of what could be, of what you could do in life if you only had …

Then the dream stopped.   It took a backseat to everything else that was happening in your life.   The dream that was so alive, so real, that you could touch it, slipped away.

“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” Bernard Edmonds

 Then one day that dream woke up and spoke to you.  You remembered that dream and a little spark of that memory grew, a flame started to arise out of that dream and it awakened a sleeping passion.   A smile formed for a few minutes, a laugh, a burst of joy and then silence.  “How could that dream from so long ago come true?”, you wondered, “How could it come back to life?”.   

What idea lives deep within you that you’d like to see it come to life?

lift others up …

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,
 a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential
to turn a life around.”  Leo Buscaglia

Lifting others up is a powerful leadership technique.  Look for the good in a person and then build them up.   Everyone is doing the best they can all of the time.   Now that may seem like a strange statement.   It is only when we judge others that we see them in a light that appears they are not doing the best they can.  

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”  Booker T. Washington

teams to teamwork

“The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress.”
– Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French Philosopher

 When two or more people engage in a similar activity to achieve a common goal, teamwork will produce a higher quality result.   The ideal team size is between 4-6 six people; this is where the combined IQ of the team reaches its peak and where the greatest synergy can be obtained.  Teams are powerful combinations of people committed to achieving uncommon results.

Teams,  when they are working correctly can work through difficult issues and solve complex problems.   While teams can produce outstanding results in many cases they don’t.   People who work in teams have to let part of their ego and judgment go.  People engaged in teamwork have to yield to the higher good and often they let their ego stand in the way of team results.

What then makes a good team?

  1. Communication
  2. Trust
  3. Being able to discuss tough issues without attacking individuals
  4. Being able to let go of judgment
  5. Being willing to neutralize the ego

For some people items 2-5 are difficult to do.   The first item, communications is something everyone thinks they do well with.   For some people talking is good communications, if they are speaking that is, for them that is what good communications is all about.   Communications is more than actively emitting sound waves.   Communications is more powerful when it is done from a non-judgmental point of view and when it is done with the intent of understanding.   The most powerful aspect of communications is listening to understand and speaking to clarify.  Powerful communications is done when it is without the participation of the ego.  The ego lives just to go for the ride.   The ego is the backseat driver that is in the mode of adding critical commentary that is usually not beneficial. 

When the ego is involved in listening it means that judgment is occurring during the narrative that someone else is providing and that distorts or silences the intent of the message.  If there is a reply sitting, or if there is a reply taking shape when someone else is speaking there is no listening being done.   The brain is a single channel device it is either receiving or sending information.   Two thoughts can’t reside in the mind simultaneously while listening.

 What would happen if people could listen with the intent to understand and to suspend judgment?   If people could suspend judgment they would more forward towards greater contribution and generate higher group energy which would allow for the generation new ideas.   New ideas become the soup for the genesis of solutions to problems; teams after all are solving some type of problem.  Teams are in the process of creating something new, whether it is a problem or the act of discovery, something new will be generated.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The first and most difficult task of dialogue involves parking the ego and listening with an open spirit. From this receptivity can come questions which lead to understanding.

“What is it you see that I don’t?”
“How do you see this differently and why?”
“Please help me understand from your perspective.”

To ask these questions requires that one no longer need to have the best or last answer. Expanding one’s understanding becomes more important than being right or getting one’s point across.”
—Dr. Ann McGee-Cooper
from the article Dialogue: The Power of Understanding

Teams need to communicate effectively in order to thrive.  Effective communication, honest, open, vulnerable communication begins when there is a high level of trust.   When one person on the team holds the cards the trust in that team is going to be lower.  There will be reserved participation or there will be the kind of participation that is done for the benefit of the person who is not holding the conversation in trust.  

In organizations where hierarchy and rule of position is still the method of operation unless there is an authentic and genuine regard for all forms of communication the ability for those who are in subordinate positions to express their ideas that are controversial will be muted.  

Looking at the teams you work with, what kind of communication takes place?  Is it authentic, open, genuine, honest, and generative?   What do the conversations look like?   What new ideas are being generated?   What does the energy in the team look like?   What is the sound of the conversation?   How do you feel when you are engaged in real teamwork?

read on…

“In a very real sense, people who have read good literature
have lived more than people who cannot or will not read.
It is not true that we have only one life to lead; if we can read,
we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.”
S. I. Hayakawa

What is your best source of new information?  How do you stretch your mind?  Where do you find creative inspiration?

Books are a great source of leading information that can change your life and the lives of others.   There has been no time as the time we live in now where books really matter.  The world is spinning faster it seems and change is happening a breakneck speed and without some tools to master change you can easily become a victim of change.

Speaking of books, Robin Sharma, one of the leading leadership guru’s just wrote a new book.    Here’s a link to a program designed to help you become a better leader.

Become better by reading.  Turn off the TV and turn to something that really can enhance your life and lifestyle.

Change your world and change the world

“Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”  Charles Dickens

You’ve come to a fork in the road.  The road to the left is the safe road.  It is the road that is familiar, that is surrounded with comfort and peace.   The road to the right is the road of courage.   It is the road to growth, it is the road to a new future with unlimited possibilities.   Which road will you take?

“Two road diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”  Robert Frost

Which road are you going to take?  The road that is well worn and clear, the road that has been paved and trodden by many a man.   The road that is worn and well traveled is the road that will take you nowhere.   The road that is difficult to see and traveled rarely will bring you insights and wisdom.  It will be the road where you can change the world.  

“Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark wood, for the right way had been missed”  Dante (Inferno Canto I).

Which path, which road will you take?

become all that you were meant to be

Everyday we start new – we start with the ability to change what we have become and rewrite that script to become what we desire.  It is possible and all it takes is a change in attitude – a switch – a desire to become all that we were destined to become – to be all that we were and should be.

What is stopping you from becoming all that you were designed to be?