Monthly Archives: October 2010

no time for it

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg

Time slips through your life like fine sand.   When you need it there is none left.   Where did it go and how can you get some of it back?

Time management strategies

Better use of time.

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
– Henry David Thoreau

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Managed by time?

Time there is never enough of it or at least so it seems.  People working more than two jobs scramble to make all the pieces come together.   Living with just a few threads of success life seems twisted and out of balance.   Choices fly by at supersonic speeds and decisions need to be rendered in what seems to be seconds.  Will it be the right choice or the wrong choice?   What is right or wrong?  Why me? Why do I have to make a choice in the first place?  Life would be so much easier if someone would make the choice for me.

 stops people!

So, if you can have someone else make the decision for you then if it doesn’t work out you don’t have to take responsibility for that choice.   The most powerful decision you can make is to make the decision to be responsible for all of your life.   You have the choice, you have the power,  and you are in control.  Why turn your life over to a bystander, one that will never have to live with the advice, recommendation or the decision?   Make the decision and take control.  

What if the decision wasn’t the one you wanted?  Your choice is then to aim the decision in a different direction. 

In boot camp the drill instructors carefully instruct the recruits in the process of shooting a gun.  The instructor yells out  “READY”, “AIM”, “FIRE” and the recruits make sure they have everything ready and then they carefully aim at the target and then finally squeeze the trigger.   The bullet moved forward by rapidly expanding gasses moves with great velocity towards the target.   Once the bullet is in flight there is no way to change the path the bullet is on … it is going exactly where it was aimed.   For many people that is how they view the decisions that they make, it was made and it is only going to go where it was aimed.  

What if the decision was more like a guided missile?   The target is aimed at and then the button is pushed and off goes the missile but …    what if it was the wrong target?    With a guided missile there is a choice, a choice to change the trajectory of the missile directing it towards a better target.   That is “READY”, “FIRE” , “AIM”.   Make the choice with all the ability you have and then make a decision to go for it, FIRE and then as you learn new things make changes or even look for a different target.     

Who do you want to be responsible for your life?

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

finishing the race

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory. ~ William Barclay

Energy is there enough of it?   Courage is there enough of it?   Patience is there enough of it?  

The night is the darkest before the sun rises and so it is with the challenges of life, the darkest moments seem the longest.   It is those who endure patiently with courage that stick through the challenges that are dumped into the lives of most travelers through life find the light they so desire.

 

   “If you are not concerned about the outcome of a circumstance, you will experience no fear. When you attach yourself to expectations, anxiety and fear will overcome you.”
Chin-Ning Chu

 

 

brave in a new world

It is a new world.   Reports of the economic shifts that are present today, higher unemployment, more and more layoffs, renting homes and turmoil in the world we live in is becoming the new landscape.

People are wondering when they will get hired.   People have been out of work for over a year and there still is no call.  Their resume is gathering dust as they wait for the phone to ring.   People are watching debt pile up and hope dry up.  

Welcome to the new world.    A world that is shifting rapidly and reshaping the world of work as it goes.   So, where is the hope?

Start with letting go of the past.  Whatever was, was!  Leave the past and begin a journey that you create, that you make the decisions, that you manage.   This journey may include building a new model for success, one that doesn’t include working for a corporate giant, but one that includes you.  Now where would that be?

The new world of work is starting to be filled with micro-businesses of one, you!   What if you worked and sold your services to organizations, businesses or individuals as a specialty contractor?   In many places, especially in the IT world more and more companies are turningto contracting agencies and hiring for the short term.   This is the new world and you have to be brave to enter into it.

Why now?  Why you?   This is part of the cataclysmic shift in the the world of work.   The sooner people embrace this model the sooner they can being to move forward. 

What do you need to do?  Sharpen your skills, there are others just like you searching for work as well.   No longer are the corporate walls going to protect you, the world is open and the competition just got serious.  

“The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step. ”

 Jim Collins

 

Leadership is self-development

A lot has been written about leadership, leadership development and being a leader and yet more and more books are written about leading.   Top leadership development experts like John Maxwell pump out books year after year exhorting would be leaders to “be” a leader.

The top leadership development experts continue to inspire and move people to develop their leadership skills?  Why?

What would happen if we had great leaders in every organization, every non-profit, every community activity, every neighborhood and in every household?   Things would change.

Here are a few things from a list of things people can do to become a better leader and they aren’t hard to do.  It just takes thinking about leadership consciously, practicing leadership consciously and living leadership consciously.

Here’s a good one, “don’t micromanage“.   How many people in leadership positions micromanage?   Some say they don’t and then out of habit give direction rather than helping others find direction.   Micromanagement is faster some say and micromanagement leads to an exact result.   Certainly working with someone to develop their skills and talents takes more work initially.   The end result though is someone who is more passionate about the work they do and it takes less time to “manage” someone if they can solve problems rather than asking for permission to own their work.

Micromanagement is often a result of a manager/leader who is not confident in themselves.  They don’t trust who they are and as a result they don’t trust others either.   A micromanager  has difficultly in letting go and letting others get going.   In most cases the result of someone that is being micromanaged will never be good enough.   The micromanager will insist on a level of perfection that is unobtainable thus setting up the employee for failure.   The micromanager will assert a “BLM” (Be like me) attitude that all their cohorts should exhibit.   Differences in opinion, style and thoughts are often discarded by the micromanager as it is only their agenda that matters.

Those who work for a micromanager may never fully be able to utilize all their strengths and talents.    The micromanager has to first realize they are not leading effectively and then to get help so that they can become a leader and develop the potential in others.

For the micromanager a good first step would be to absorb the advice of John Gailbraith  when he wrote,  “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”

more power to you

With unemployment hovering around 10% there are plenty of unemployed people looking for work.   In a recent discussion the topic turned to “how do you get a job?”.     Of course there is the standard answer of having an excellent resume and top notch network and great interviewing skills.   Now think about that for a moment.   When you are unemployed you are selling, you are selling yourself.

In this new economy the message is if you really want to work create it and sell it as a service, become an expert in your field and build your own business.   It’s not easy to do that but then again hoping for someone to come along and employ you isn’t easy either.

More and more people are joining the contingent workforce selling their services by bidding for a job.    Because businesses of all sizes have moved away from long term employment to model of flexible employment you must become a business of one.

The idea of guaranteed employment for any length of time is now becoming less and less prevalent.   The upheaval in the workforce is dominated by economic pressures in part a result of greater competitive positions of countries like India and China.    Think of the substantial shift of manufacturing to overseas locations and now many service sector jobs are being exported as well (call centers, software engineering, electronic engineering, and more).

What would give you the most power and fulfillment in your career?

true to self

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.–Dr. Suess

Life is too short to find yourself at the wrong end of a job or a career.   In today’s tight employment market people are working in jobs they loathe.  They are putting up with manager’s who are pushing employee’s to the limit and people are putting up with it, for now.    Recent studies show that nearly 40% of workers want to do something different.

The dire news of high unemployment is causing people to retreat in fear and that fear is keeping them tied to jobs that are not a good fit.   As people wait for the economic engine to rev back up and with the hope of  new job opportunities a new wave of change will shift the job landscape.  

Prepare for that change today, find a coach that will help you find a career that aligns with who you are.  Find your passion and you will find success.  Identify and move towards the career of your dreams.  Start today!