Category Archives: opportunity

no opportunity wasted

“But why do only unimportant things?” asked Milo, who suddenly remembered how much time he spent each day doing them.

“Think of all the trouble it saves,” the man explained, and his face looked as if he’d be grinning an evil grin–if he could grin at all. “If you only do the easy and useless jobs, you’ll never have to worry about the important ones which are so difficult. You just won’t have the time. For there’s always something to do to keep you from what you really should be doing, and if it weren’t for that dreadful magic staff, you’d never know how much time you were wasting.”
― Norton Juster

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You have this moment in time to make a difference.   An opportunity is here.  What are you going to do with it?

Many people look at the opportunity and wonder is it real.   Others would look at the opportunity and say it is for someone else.   Others would just wait until the opportunity no longer existed.

Now is the time to take advantage of opportunity.   What opportunities do you have today that you will take advantage of?

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how do you want to be remembered?

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”
― Alysha Speer

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One of life’s great questions is:  “What do you want to be remembered for?”

What will your life story mean?  What fingerprint will you have left on this world?  What difference will you have made?

If your inner voice is filled with complaint, blame, anger, dissatisfaction or disappointment then create a new path for your life.   Start living your life by giving to the world you live in your genius, your spark, your creativity, your ideas or your time.   Give to the world and the world will give back to you, perhaps not in the currency you anticipate but in ways that will reward you far greater than you can imagine.

Here’s the  challenge.  What can you do to make a difference in this world?

What will your masterpiece be?   What will your shining moment be?  What will your Mt. Everest event be?   Describe your work of the art to the world.  Write it down and give it life.

How do you want to be remembered?   What do you want to be remembered for?

it’s your choice

SONY DSC“When faced with two equally tough choices, most people choose the third choice: to not choose.
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― Jarod Kintz

What stops more people from achieving their desired results than anything else? It is the inability to make a choice.   People make choices all of the time but when asked what they want from life, they hesitate.  Maybe you do as well.  What do you really want?   Living the life you really want comes down to making choices.

One of the more popular questions I get asked is “How do I make a decision?”  And maybe it isn’t how to make a decision it is how to commit to that decision once it is made.  Decisions often require some level of risk.   To do one thing I give up something else, or do I?

The challenging part of making a decision is living with the decision that is made.   The second guessing of the decision or the fact that there was a cost to the decision in the first place leaves many wondering if it was the right choice.    Be prepared to commit to the decision whatever it is before you make the decision.    Believe that your decision is correct and set your expectations accordingly.

What decisions do you want to make?   How will you make them?  How long will it take to make the decision?  What will it take to commit to that decision?

Listen to a commencement speech by Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com founder)  and answer the questions.  What do you want your answers to be?

as things are …

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
― Anaïs Nin

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Illusions … blind spots …we think we know and we don’t.

What do you see here?

A young lady or an old lady?

Our minds don’t see things as they are, it sees things as it believes things to be true.  We have gaps in our ability to see everything around us.   Now if we have visual blind spots we probably have other blind spots as well.  Areas of knowledge that are incomplete.  Beliefs about ourselves that are not true or beliefs we have made up to improve our own self-image.

Our blind spots are often called “weaknesses” areas in our lives that appear as shadows, that are hidden from sight, or we are totally unaware that they exist.  Removing blind spots and illuminating those areas in our lives can produce startling positive outcomes.   We could generate better work in our career.  We could build stronger relationships with others.  We could solve a myriad of problems that have eluded us for a number of years.   We could start seeing what we have not seen before.

Imagine what you could do if you knew where your blind spots are?   Imagine how businesses could start to thrive if they knew what their blind spots are?

Information can turn to knowledge if we seek what we are missing in our lives.  Just the information about our weaknesses are can set us free from a number of things that hold us back from performing our best.

So, it’s not you that experiences or has experienced change blindness.  OK, let’s see what happens.  Watch this.

How did you do?   Now, how many things are you missing in your own life, things that are hidden from you yet in plain sight of those around you?   Imagine being able to see those things, imagine what it would be like.

That is what life/leadership/professional development/relationship/career  coaches do, they work with their clients to discover blind spots.  It can be transformational.

a new story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou

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Story.   Your life is a story and throughout the pages of your story are moments of joy, regret, sorrow and excitement.   What do you want others to know about your story?

For some people their story is routine, bland and roughly the same everyday.   Year after year they go to work and come back to a place they call home.  The story repeats itself in the spring, summer, fall and winter.   There isn’t something that creates substantial meaning in their story.   It just moves from one clock tick to the next.  Life becomes more about dealing with the bills, weather and occasional routine disrupters that interfere with most people’s lives,  fixing a broken pipe in the dead of winter, mowing the grass, trying to plant a garden, tripping over a piece of worn carpet, getting to work and getting back, talking with the same group of people, complaining about things that won’t change, listening to the news realizing that the story is the same every night, getting groceries, eating, cleaning up, and life goes on.

Life goes on and living has somehow stopped.   Real goals linger as “should do” items on a dusty shelf.   Beauty gets swallowed into a sea of grey thinking.  The crisp edges of life disappear and are replaced with safe routine.

There comes a time in life where reflection of the life lived  begins to ring louder and louder, and begs the questions, “Did I live?”  For most people there is a deep desire to live a life that does matter that there was some contribution, that there was a story worth sharing with others.

What story do you want your life to tell?   What new story do you want to write?

What would make life interesting rather than routine?   What do you want your story to be about?

Start writing a new story today.

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circles not boxes

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”
Noam Chomsky

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What does your organization chart look like?   Is it the typical set of boxes showing the relationship in a hierarchical fashion?   Most organizations are structured with a top down command and control organization.  Even though some of those organizations would profess empowered leadership models there is still the idea that someone is subordinate to another.  The subordinate relationship will  reduce the ability for everyone to contribute their absolute best.

The new leadership model will be a set of interlinked circles much like that of a Venn diagram.   This model doesn’t use subordinate relationship to accomplish work.   It uses a model of collaboration to bring out the best of each person.

What happens when there is greater collaboration between all roles in the organization?   Communication improves, it gets faster, it vibrates with ideas, and is more rich.  Gone is the worry of saying something and not having it matter.   Greater collaboration leads to greater wins for the organization and for everyone in the organization.

Moving away from the traditional structures will allow organizations to move more quickly, extract the best ideas, and increase total involvement.  That is in essence the idea of enabling people to contribute.   Empowerment with action is enablement and that is what it will take to for organizations and individuals to make a larger contribution.

The collaborative leadership model is based on relationships rather than authority (positional authority).   The model will enhance organizational performance and contribute to faster implementation of change with in the structure.   The challenge is breaking free from the ways of the past to embrace something new.   The same change authors have to embrace this model and create an impetus for a new way of doing business.  Those that do embrace a collaborative model will thrive and out perform those that don’t.

How do you create such a large change?   Start with small groups, build the model, test it and watch it work.     Think about ways you can create a more collaborative environment and then implement.

authentic leadership

“Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.” ― Scott Edmund Miller

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Authentic leadership realizes and recognizes that people have lives outside of work and are willing to create the opportunity for their workforce to live a balanced life and balance doesn’t mean equal it means the opportunity to separate work from life in a way that one doesn’t feel guilty for taking time off to see their kids dance on a stage.

We live in an age where employers are trying to squeeze more out of their workforce and are getting less.  Even though there is room for people to do more at work they don’t.    Some people are overworked, some are doing boring work and some may totally disengaged. Employee engagement is a key indicator for organizational success and yet many leaders ignore this key aspect as a way to create a high performance organization.

Organizations that have high employee engagement have 21% more productivity. What can leaders  do to increase employee involvement?

Leaders need to learn how to lead their team and organization by:

1. Compelling vision (does it inspire others, creating meaning)

2. Employee input  and participating  (leaders need to listen)

3. A trusting environment (vulnerability, authentic, genuine, transparent)

4. Ensure the values and standards are consistently applied and are known by everyone.

5. People are held accountable for results (someone checks on the results)

6. An environment of excellence and environment.

What kind of work environment are you in?   What type of leadership is used in your organization? When you go to work are you inspired, engaged and happy to go to work?   If you’re not what would need to change?
What motivates you? Will you be surprised?