Monthly Archives: June 2012

the inspiration age

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho

The industrial age may be dead yet many are still living in that era.   The industrial age lived by the notion of perfectionism.   The industrial age perfected the art of manufacturing reducing defects so that there were the fewest defects possible.    The age of no-defects infected our schools where achievement blocked the door to inspiration and innovation.

To grow is to fail.  In the industrial age to grow meant to not make mistakes.   When the predominant thought and action is to reduce mistakes, to stop mistakes from occurring we limit our ability to grow and learn.

The education system is based on mass production, minimal failure and following a prescribed set of instructions. The mass production mindset must shift to new consumer demands which is based on experience rather than massive quantities of stuff. The era where material goods were supposed to create happiness is coming to a close. What people are demanding now are enjoyable experiences (Look at FarmVille, World of Warcraft, or Angry Birds).  It doesn’t mean that a whole life will be spent in the pursuit of entertainment, it means that the world of work will need to shift to work life of experience rather than mass production.

What does experience based work look like.

1.  Life without cubicles

2. Work without command and control

3. Worth of people over worth of work

4. Flexibility to meet family demands

5.  Gender equality

6. Dynamic work roles  (as opposed to just one job a variety of interesting work)

7. Meaning in the experience

8. Collaborative contribution

9. Dynamic leadership

10. Work becomes play

What do you think the innovation age will bring?   What will work look like?  What will life really be like in a few years?

Look at this model as explained by one of Google’s employees, would it work in the age of innovation?

Living with the shame of “I am not good enough”

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”  Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Give that title of the post some thought.   What is the one thing that has stopped you from living out your life fully?    Is it the inability to admit that you failed or that you could fail?   Is it not being good enough and the fear of letting someone down is paralyzing?

Vulnerability is a key ingredient for trust.   Trust in organizations hides because there isn’t a culture of vulnerability and why should there be vulnerability when you can’t be vulnerable.  We stop short of being vulnerable because we fear what would happen if we were and even if we have permission there is a silent voice in our mind saying “Don’t say another word”  and we hesitate and withdraw our voice and our contribution.    “What if I am not good enough?” and that is what holds so many people at bay.

It is no wonder that 85% of people desire to do something other than what they are currently being paid to do.   What would happen if everyone raised their voice and said, “This isn’t the right job for me … “.    They won’t say it because they don’t have something better to go to and fear holds them back chained to work that sucks the life out of them.     “Who am I … “, and that voice kills innovation, kills creativity, kills excitement and kills contribution, “who am I” to have a voice, to have an idea, to have a dream and to make a difference.

It comes across as “who am I to have a purpose”.    The question “what is your purpose?” most often has a response of “I don’t know.”     Living without purpose  is like being a robot just “doing things” and hoping something good will come of it.   Purpose is the foundation for living a meaningful life.    What crumbles that foundation is the inability to be vulnerable to admit failure, to admit that it wasn’t perfect the first time and to believe that there was fault behind that failure that belonged to you.

Take a look at this video clip from Brene’  Brown, listen to her story, her explanation of what vulnerability is and isn’t and what shame is and how it leads down a path of personal destruction.

So much of what coaching is, is restoring that faith in the person that they are worthy of great things because they have greatness inside.   That greatness has been swallowed up in shame and that keeps vulnerability from doing its work, bringing you to greatness.

Take a look!

And if the video spoke to you or if the words on this page spoke to you then … click on that purple thing just below these words … and vote for your favorite coaching blog.

I know how to do that …

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Maya Angelou

Have you ever been to a conference, lecture, seminar or read a book and said to yourself, “I how how to do that?” and thought I could do that.    It’s not what you know how to do, it is what you do with what you know.    The difference between high performers and the rest is that the high performers take action on what they know.  They do it!  They take action and get results.

So where are you?

Idea
Plan
Action

Many people have great ideas and they’ll tell you all about the great ideas they have.   No plan … and no action.   You may have heard about “the great idea” that someone had.   No action, no results.

A great idea with a plan is at least a step further.   A great plan without any action is just  a plan.

Recently someone was telling me of this book they had written.   It’s written and waiting to be put into an envelope to be sent to a prospective publisher.   Written  and sitting.   Some people would say, “What are you waiting for?”.    Without action you’ll never know what the results would be.

What are you waiting for?

What one great idea do you have that is just waiting for the “right time”?

It is what you do that matters.

Check out the best coaching blogs … click below.

— best coaching blog — you answer the question.

“As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can; by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.”
Mary Lou Retton

It’s a coaching blog contest and you can vote by clicking on the link.   The whole idea behind blogging is to provide useful information or reminders that can help you live each day a little better.

So, check it out, check out the blog contest, and vote for the best coaching blog.

focal point … the daily goal

“He well knew his mind’s natural tendency to be endlessly on a thousand subjects at once, to flit from this to that and to the next thing to no particular purpose–indeed, he called it his “butterfly mind.”   Eric Metaxas

Focus – on the one thing.   Our society is turning more and more into a society with more ADHD like attributes.  People are being asked to do more than one thing at a time and it is killing productivity.   You’ve read the hiring ads, “must be able to handle multiple tasks” or “handle multiple interrupts and work on several projects in parallel”.   Study after study show that the mind can not do more than “one” thing at a time.   What employers are asking for are people that are willing to fail to deliver results.

There are people who say they can multitask, that can do more than one thing at once.  Try solving 2 math problems at the same time in your head.   Try typing and listening at the same time (really listening).   If you’re typing and listening then try repeating back what you heard.   Type at your normal rhythm and then listen to something with some level of thought required, what happens?  Now try that same exercise only focusing on the typing and then just listening?   What were the results?    Try that exercise and time it.   Time how long it takes to do the typing and listening alone.   Then do those same two tasks at the same time.   What was different?

Focus, the brain works better when you focus on completing just one thing at a time.    Perhaps some of your day is going to be interrupt driven, where requests  come flying at you from all sides.   Dedicate a part of the day to being inefficient. Also dedicate a part of the day where there are no meetings, just focused, one objective at a time results driven work.    Make the chunk of time to dedicate to focused work about 90 minutes.   If possible get two 90 minute blocks of time to focus only on getting work done.  No calls – no email – no interruptions – just focused work.

Experiment – just try doing one thing at a time.

Write down the key goal for the day.   Why are you doing that one thing?   Is that the most important thing that should be done today?   What will it take to get it done?    When is it going to get done?  And then break down the big goal into some tasks – things that are easier to digest and attack them with all vigor.   Note the results, what was the outcome and did you achieve the intended outcome?

Six steps to failure

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”   Paulo Coelho

There are many ways to fail as there are many ways to succeed.    Knowing how to succeed has been a challenge for many people.  How do I achieve success?   One of the ways is to understand what leads to the undesired results.

Here are six ways to fail.   Add your own.

1. Sleep in.   Don’t take an interest in making a contribution.

2. Stop learning.  The world is changing quickly, failure to keep pace will lead to fewer opportunities.

3. Be self focused.   Focus on you and you alone.  Without strong networks of people you become invisible.

4. Take rather than give.   Giving of your time and talents without the intention of getting a “reward”  can result in good things happening for you.

5. Don’t take a risk.    Risk is necessary for growth.   Learn from taking a chance, learn from trying something new.

6. Focus on the past.    By looking back to the past and only thinking about what was is a good way to stay in the past.   Put effort into “Now” and plan for the future.   In fact think about where you want to be in 20 years.

 Here’s some thoughts from a recent TEDx talk.   How are you living?

challenge – what is yours?

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
 Paulo Coelho

Write a response to this question …

What is your greatest challenge?