Monthly Archives: August 2010

quit the blame game

You’ve seen them, you’ve heard them and you’ve been one.    A blamer, a person who shifts the emotional energy of disappointment to another person or thing, to get out of range of the person who’s inquiry is stirring a negative emotion.

Blaming is a form of judgment on another person or thing.   It robs energy from what could be a positive discussion.   “Who is at fault?” announces someone and to a group or an individual.   No one wants to stand up and say “it was me” and feel the negative energy shift towards them.   Who really wants to take up blame and own it?   Not many do.   Why is that?

For a minute imagine a place where there was no blame, a place where comments or issues could be brought up and looked at objectively and then resolved, and no blame.    It takes a high level of maturity and a non-judgmental attitude to create an environment that is that safe.    It takes an environment where issues are worked on rather than affixing any type of blame.   Why is that important?

Every day you can see a headline where someone is being blamed for something, or an organization is being blamed for not taking the right steps.   Someone will inevitably get fired, reprimanded and have a letter written up and placed in their employee record that explains what they did wrong.   What did that solve?

In most instances the issue of blame is not attached to the intention of the event that causes the poor outcome.   A decision was made, perhaps with incorrect information, an assumption, or not enough analysis to produce a correct decision.   The inquiry is usually about affixing blame on an individual rather than the underlying system that permitted the fault in the first place.

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. “  Albert Ellis

What would happen if blame disappeared?   What would you do then?

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Sail the open seas …

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”  Helen Keller

What you think about your future might come true?

Think about being successful and you probably will be.   Think about being a failure and you probably will be.

Think about losing your job you probably will.   Think about making your job great and it probably will be.

Think about losing a relationship and you probably will.  Think about strengthening your relationship and you probably will.

Think about having less and you probably will.   Think about having abundance and you probably will.

Think about not keeping pace and you probably will.  Think about leading and you probably will.

What are you thinking about?

author of destiny

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney

Consider for a moment your past, the past you have lived for the last number of years, what did it look like?   Your past brought you to this moment right now in some shape or fashion.    You were curious, you were seeking, you were looking or you stumbled to this point.   No matter how you got here you arrived.    Your past is over, your next thoughts, your next actions, your next desires are going to take you from the present to the future.    The small steps, the small ideas, the small actions you take today will start to shape your future.

While the past may have played an important part in getting you here, what will play an important part of getting you there, to your new destination?    What new thoughts ,new actions will you have to take to start creating a better future for yourself?   What will you need to start doing?  What will you need to stop doing?    What will you need to learn and what will you need to unlearn?

Your future, you are the author of your tomorrow.

For some people the past is the author of their future.   Some people are so stuck in the old stories and beliefs that they can’t see another way forward.    What story are you listening to?   

The past certainly has shaped the “who” you are for today.    With effort, with time, with desire and with persistence a new “who” will be created.

Career path not working for you, then what steps do you need to take?

Relationships are on the rocks, what new steps do you need to take?

Life flowing in the wrong direction, what new steps will you take today?

Imagine

“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine. ”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is true for art is true for life.   The life you imagine is the life you can live.   The first objective is to imagine and then to believe that image can become true.  

The secret to success is not a secret, it is a formula that  has been time tested, it is a formula that most people know but fail to apply.     To succeed one must first believe that the dream is achievable.  Believe to achieve.   Success starts with an idea, and idea that ferments in the mind until it is believable. 

What the mind can perceive the mind can achieve.    It starts with a thought, an image, a need that hasn’t been addressed and a desire to see that dream come true.    Organizations like Tom’s shoes, Kiva, Hewlett-Packard and scores of other businesses and non-profits leaped off the page of imagination and in to reality.  

It doesn’t mean that fantasy will come true, but realistic, idealistic and far reaching ideas can be achieved with time and work.   What do you want to achieve?   What are you willing to believe? 

What can you imagine today that could become true tomorrow?

create a new reality

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 What are you creating?   What new dreams are you cultivating in your thoughts?    Will that next thought, dream,  or creation become the next big thing?

Imagine what it could be like – imagine a future so bright so filled with potential that everyone would be able to enjoy a full  satisfying fulfilled life, what would that mean?

Imagine if … this is your story of creation, imagine if there were ____________________.  You fill in the blank, describe what your story would be if you could imagine it without any restrictions, just let your imagination go wild.   Let your imagination paint an image so vivid that it lifts itself off of the page and literally becomes before your eyes real.  What would that be?

Too often people are stopped by limits, limits they put on their own imagination and that creates a barrier, a wall that looks impenatrable, too large to be hurdled and the dream stops there.   Imagine if …, imagine if there were no barriers then what would that dream look like?

Imagine if there was a a way, what would your dream look like then?

Describe your dream – describe the world if your “imagine if” became true. 

Leadership limits

Maybe you’ve seen a leader who has been successful in the past run into a large barrier, a barrier where all the sudden the leadership model changes to a high touch management model.     Leadership limits are reached when the belief is that while leadership is good, maybe it isn’t good enough to deal with the current crisis.   Instead of letting go there is more control and more demands made of the staff.   Initially the results seem positive with more action taking place but eventually the results start to decline.   The decline leads to stronger and more forceful limits being imposed and again there is a surge of energy and then poorer results.

Leaders who start to constrict their organization soon choke the creativity and passion out of the staff.   Customers start feeling like they aren’t cared for as the organization slowly inhibits communications.  Transparency shrinks and eventually open communications is silenced.   A thread of fear starts to run through the internal network and rumors sprout.   What used to be a supportive organization suddenly becomes defensive, the posture of more control is better.   

The cycle of negativity grows in a spiral, more taken away, more rules put into place and eventually the top performers start to move away from the pressure and seek placement in roles in other places.

Leaders that have reached their limit should try to let go to grow.   That is a leader needs to back away from close in management and be willing to listen to the voices throughout the organization.    

What do you think?

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”

~Confucius

Success starts when

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the  betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;  to know even one life has breathed easier because  you have lived.  That is to have success.”

What is your success story?   What do you believe success looks like?