Category Archives: Learning

leadership lost

“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
― Beth Revis

 

You may have heard about the recent event on United Airlines that resulted in having a passenger forcibly removed from a plane.   It was an event that you’d think would never happen unless that passenger was threat to others or the plane.  In this case it was just someone unfortunate enough to be “randomly” selected to give up their seat to an United employee.

The event is a great lesson in leadership or the lack of leadership.  Years ago a great experiment was conducted, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” which demonstrated that just following the rules can lead to unwelcome outcomes.  Something similar happened when the gate agents followed their rules and asked for some help from the security contingent.   The security team decided to forcibly remove the passenger (just doing their job).   In the process of removing the passenger, the passenger was injured.   As it turns out people will conform to their roles and act accordingly.

When leadership doesn’t empower their employees to provide great customer service they rely on the rules, rules that don’t take into consideration the meaning and real value of the people who are to be served.

What would need to change for United to be a customer focused organization?

 

motivated

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
― Steve Maraboli

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Follow the path to your dreams

“I’m just not that motivated” said one client.

What does that mean?  What does it mean to not be motivated?   Isn’t motivation a choice that you make?    It almost sounds like there are no choices, no goals, or no actions that could be taken.

What do you do when you don’t feel motivated?

  • Wait
  • Watch TV
  • Dream

Dream.  That would be the starting point for creating something worthwhile pursuing.  It isn’t likely that waiting would help you get motivated.  TV is certainly not a motivational tool.  Spend some time writing down some things you would love to do.  Dream BIG.  Step outside the boundaries you have and dream about things that are just absolutely beyond what you know you can do today.

Write down those dreams.   Then pick one of those dream ideas and just think about what it would take to make that dream a reality.   What elements would be needed to make that dream a possibility?   Money, Time, Knowledge, Experience, People, …  What would you need to make that dream start to take shape?

Understand the gap between your dream and your current reality.  What would need to change to enable you to pursue your dream?   What are those big gaps?  What can you do to close those gaps bit by bit?

Create a plan that enables you to realize your goal in small bite-sized chunks.  Then take action.  Do a little each day.   Push through the resistance.

 

Don’t wait … motivate.

five ways to lead better

“As we live out of such a mind, we become generous, with no sense of tolerance. We become patient, with no sense of putting up with anything. We become compassionate, with no sense of separation. And we become wise, with no sense of having to straighten anyone out.” 
― Steve Hagen

Growth

Leadership means something different to just about everyone you meet.  Some people have the title of leader and believe they are.  Some don’t have a title to lead, they just do.    John Maxwell, a leadership master, has written over 70 books on leadership, and yet we are still debating what leadership is and what a leader is.

So, what can be done to lead better, to lead effectively and lead others near and far from you?  Let’s look at five ways to lead better.

1. Let go.  Leadership is about letting go of control.  It is about letting others contribute.  As a leader ask others what they are thinking and instead of judging their thoughts give their thoughts life.  How would you take that idea and make it bigger?  Value the contributions of others.

2.  Listen more.  Listen always.  Be the first to listen and the last to speak.  What do you really hear?   What is being said that isn’t being spoken?   What is on the hearts of the people?   Listen to what is being said between the words.

3. Be vulnerable.   The last thing that some leaders want to reveal is their own weaknesses as they are hiding behind their own insecurities as a leader.  They believe if people really knew who they are they wouldn’t be in the position they are in.  The lack of vulnerability disables the full contribution of the followers.   They will do as commanded, but rarely do more than that.

4. Be open.  Sometimes leaders feel that they have to be “right” all of the time.  Being right shuts down the contributions others can make.   Why would you contribute if you knew your ideas wouldn’t be valued?  Leaders who have to be right disable the contributions of others.

5. Invite others in.  Sometimes leaders believe things just have to get done and they get it done.  Visions are cast in close quarters and given to the followers.  Decisions are made, directives delivered and pronouncements made.  The more a leader does things in isolation the less the leader is leading.  Let others give voice to ideas, visions and direction to initiatives and embrace the rich variety of creative energy that can be obtained from inviting others in.

What can you do to be a better leader?

intentional change

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen Hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Laugh.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher

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Is your life working for you?   Are you at the weight you desire to be?  Are you working at the career you love?   Do you have great relationships with others and yourself?  Are you learning and growing?   Are you finances where you want them to be?

If you answered “no” to any of those questions then what are you doing to create the outcomes you want?   Many people would like to change and attempt to start and then stop.   Dieters do this all of the time.     They get on a diet and lose some weight and think, “wow, that was good and now I can celebrate”.     The celebration goes on and on and so do the pounds.   The rebound is greater and the weight gain is greater.   What sets in after feeling terrible about not losing the weight, eating more.   Eating food is the pain-killer for being overweight.

Finances, it just feels right to spend and buy things.   It feels good to buy things and then it feel terrible to see the bill come in the mail.  The budget is out of whack again and it feel terrible.   Why not spend a few dollars for things you don’t really need, it will feel better.

Is your career killing you?   Do you dread dragging yourself into work everyday?   Oh, you’ll get yelled at again.  No one but you appreciates the work you do, and if you’re the only one that cares about the work then why do it.  Have your ideas been tossed aside when your manager says to your great idea, “Yes, but …”?

What do you want to change?

This is a good news, bad news scenario.   If you want to change it is possible and if you don’t want to change than nothing can be done.  A therapist, coach or counselor isn’t going to be able to help you or encourage you to change.    Change is something you want to do.   If things aren’t working out in your life and you just want things to be different then it might not happen unless you are willing to do some work.

Change is intentional and you have to be intentional about make change happen for you.

Intentional change theory has been explored by Richard Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve University, here is part of the concept.

…”yes, but” …

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.” — Lewis Carroll

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What do employees want?   What do you want? Are you working in an organization that is helping you grow to be the best employee ever?  I thought so.   Perhaps you’re wondering why you come into work every day.  You have ideas and you want to see things improve and as soon as you present your idea, you hear , “yes, but …”.   The “but” erased every ounce of that idea and threw it away.   We would “but” we can’t because of X, Y or Z.  That one little but said, “your idea isn’t good enough.”

Employees want their place of work, their manager to exhibit four key characteristics.

1. They want to feel like they belong and they are cared for.

2. They want the ability to grow and advance.

3. They desire feedback and encouragement from their manager’s.

4. They want to know feel like they matter, that they are respected.

Now, most companies would say, yeah, that is what we do.   In reality it is what most companies say they would do.  The daily pressures of performance have driven caring into “we only care about results”.    Maybe you hear, “Our budgets have been cut so we can’t do that.”  What they are saying is that you don’t matter and we don’t want to hear what you have to say. What is it that you hear from those you work for, “yes, but” or “yes, and”?  

The “yes, and” manager is going to be the one who is looking for ways for you to succeed or to provide options for your growth.    

As you go through your workday listen to what is being said.  What do you hear?   What is the typical type of language that is being used?   Are you hearing more “buts” or more “ands”.  

Yell them out …

“If you’re trying to be miserable, it’s important you don’t have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don’t read anything informative, don’t listen to anything useful, don’t do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”
― John Bytheway

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A New Year is coming.   It is goal setting time.   Not like last years goals which you kept quietly to yourself, but goals that you will share with others.   I want you to write down your biggest goal for 2013 and share it right here.   If you want to reach that goal someone has to know about it.   Make it big, make it bold and share it.

Keeping it a secret will be that the goal is likely to live to the end of January and you’ll save it for next year.

Thinking about losing weight … how much weight?  Not the initial number of pounds but the real number of pounds you want to lose.    Then write down “why” you want to lose that weight (you can keep that a secret if you want to).

Thinking about doing something courageous then shout it out, write it down and put a comment into the blog.   Share it!   Make it happen.   You’re doing it for you.  You’re doing it because you’ve waited long enough.   Be bold, be brave and share it.

Have you ever thought of running a marathon?   Maybe you’ve had this goal for years and you think about it and then don’t do it.   Make this the year you do it.

Some people don’t have goals because they feel that they will fail and they don’t want to share with someone something they might not do and it there would be a feeling of shame if they shared the goal.   Make this the year you decide to make the change.

Maybe it’s time to change something about work.   You’re really not happy where you are but you need the job.   Set a goal and find work you can love.  Make it happen.

Perhaps you want to take a class and you’re afraid that you might not fit in.    Then take an on-line class at Coursera (high level schools with high level classes).

Whatever it is, life and happiness surface when you have real goals and a desire to make those goals come true.   Isn’t it time?   Isn’t it time that you make this year the year you make some real changes.   Tell us!   Shout it out!

Do it now!

What’s my goal?   It is to write a book on managing ADHD and have it completed before Dec 2013.

What’s your goal?

live a longer life …

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. JoyBell C.

What if you could live longer?   Would that be something you would be interested in?   Some people would be.  Some people would love to live a few years longer.

Jane McGonigal, a game developer would argue that playing games can add time to your life.   She uses the premise that people who are at the end of their life often have some regrets.   The Guardian reports that people do have end of life regrets.  They regret working so hard. They regret not spending time with friends and family.   They regret not the person they weren’t meant to be.   They regret not being happier.

If you could do your life over again what would you do different?   Well today is that day you can start living the life you want to do.     Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are reasons you can’t do what you really were meant to do.   There are reasons you can’t live a happier life (you like being miserable).   There are reasons you can be the person who you really are (you’ve developed a persona that every one knows and you don’t want them to know the real you).    There are “buts”, lots of buts why you can’t do what you really want to do.

Think about it.   How many times during the day do you use the word “but”?    Just try observing the number of times you use the word “but”.     I could …. “but”.    How many times do you use the word but?     But’s become a convenient way for not something that would move you forward in life.     But …

If you can live without “buts” then you can live a longer life.

Now, what can you do to add more to your life?   Take a look at Jane McGonigal’s TED talk,  and add minutes to your life today.  TODAY!