Category Archives: Pace of change

4 Skills that really matter

“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
― Malcolm Gladwell

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In his book The Global Achievement Gap, Tony Wagner, co-director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard School of Education,described seven key skills for getting a new job.  Among those seven areas are four skills that might be something that everyone whether a new job seeker or a veteran can bring to the table of employment.

In the new world of work, workers need to have in their tool box of experience and knowledge the following:

1. Agility and adaptability

2. Collaboration and leadership

3. Critical thinking and problem solving – to ask the right questions

4. Initiative and an entrepreneurial spirit

What does it mean to be adaptable and agile?    We know that the speed of change is creating more and more tension in the workforce and those who have difficulty modifying their work habits will be less and less satisfied in their work environment.   Being agile means moving quickly and not getting stuck in the past.

The collaborator, the team worker is going to be better equipped in a fast paced world.  Learning critical leadership skills, as in how to motivate from within, will be essential as more and more work is done globally.    Leading with the heart, from a perspective of empathy, understanding and humility will be part of the foundation of powerful leadership.

Having the ability to solve complex problems though rapid iteration and learning from failure (something most people are adverse to trying) is a critical asset to have.   Learning and achievement come from our ability to be resilient when we fail.  We learn more through failure than we do from success, if we take the lessons we learned and apply them in our new attempts.

Taking initiative and action are essential to increasing overall momentum.  Applying energy each and every day towards the generation of new outcomes is a valuable skill to have.  It is a skill that can be developed.  The entrepreneurial mindset is about creating new opportunities or grasping opportunity quickly and testing the value of that idea now.

We live in a world that “waiting” is no longer acceptable.  We live in the “instant” and holding back instead of acting will have a greater price than taking action and learning.   Learn quickly to grow exponentially.

Mastering today’s world will take adaptability, agility, collaboration,leadership, critical thinking, problem solving and taking initiative.    Start developing your skills in these areas and become the person that people want to hire.
Learn more about Tony Wagner’s desire to reshape our education system.

reinvention … you … your organization …

“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.’
Warren G. Bennis

Reinvent yourself.    There is no denying that the rate of change for organizations are changing fast, yet many of our processes and principles rely on methods that are old, very old in an age of exponential growth.

In many cases we are using principles and processes that were developed for the industrial age and many  of those processes are outdated.   Organizations are struggling to find their identity in a time of unprecedented change.  

The old ways are indeed the old ways.   New ways of thinking and acting are required today and certainly for the future.  Gary Hamel a leader in business thinking has some suggestions on how organizations need to change.

After looking at the model Gary Hamel explores, what do you think you need to do to keep pace in the world we live in today?  

1. Adaptability – new ideas, new methods, new processes are informing organizations and people on how to act and thrive in an ever changing world.  How adaptable are you?

2. Resilience – the ability to respond to events quickly and without becoming overly emotionally constrained.  When change occurs are you quick to respond or do you find yourself trapped in the past?

3. Outlook – what does your future look like, are you focused on the past or on what you can do today?

4. Social Intuition – I notice people their actions and emotions or people blend into the environment and I don’t notice them.   What do you notice about the people around you?   Are they visible and important or invisible and unimportant?

5. Being self-aware –  Who are you?   Do you really know the answer?  Are you open to finding out?

6. Attention –  I have the ability to put my energy into the right thing at the right time or my energy is scattered and little gets accomplished.   Where are you putting your attention?

 Organizations implement processes that support their key goals.  Anyone who is a part of an organization needs to have personal processes that support their activity in that organization.   If you are finding yourself mimicking patterns of the past and struggling to adapt to the new organizational landscape then what things do you want to change so that you can contribute to a larger measure?

Reinvention isn’t something that others or organizations do, it is something you do to respond to fast change.   Practice being more adaptable, resilient, generating a positive outlook, being aware of others, being self-aware and putting your attention into the things that are the most important.  

Practice reinventing yourself.   Here take a look at what reinvention can do in organziations.

change or perish

“With the mind-blowing velocity of change and the throng of competition, the skills needed for 21st century success are less about academic or industrial or technical training, and more about what might be called the “soft skills”: emotional intelligence, adaptability and resiliency; networking, interpersonal and relationship-development skills; self-motivation, accountability and productivity skills; personal branding, social marketing and persuasive communication skills; along with leadership, recruiting and people-building skills.” Darren Hardy, Success Magazine

Change and it is happening faster.  Information doubling increasing and on its way to doubling itself in a matter of a few months.   Information that changes so fast that college degrees will be obsolete before students exit the university.   A powerful wave of hypercompetition is starting to engulf  the world.   Ideas that can travel at the speed of light, decisions that can be made in a flash (for companies that stay light and agile) will dominate the landscape.

The shift to soft skills and right brand thinking (ideation) will be the new lingua franca of the emerging economy.   New rules will be written for organizations.   Large organizations that take months to shift focus will lose out to companies that can swarm to the solution.   Complex solutions will give way to the simplest solutions possible.   The weight and cost of complex solutions will no longer be acceptable.   Fast moving organizations that provide the right solution at the right time (no bells, no whistles) will win.

How well are you using social media today?

What do you need to know to succeed tomorrow?

What is your leadership quotient?

How would you describe your social skills?

What will it take to raise your productivity?

What are you an expert at?

When will you be ready for the sweeping changes that are happening right now?

Don’t be caught chasing the change, be in front of it and embrace it.  Learn the skills you need to walk and talk in this new era.   The world is changing at the speed of light.   Every person will soon be able to be a change agent.  Great ideas can move into the global marketplace with ease.   iPhone applications, phones that act as computers, communication anywhere in the world at anytime.   Job bidding where everyone is their own business person.  If you have the ability to work quickly and effectively you win the bid.   Are you ready?

 “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”  John Maxwell

our greatest weakness

“Our greatest weakness is the weakness of an undisciplined mind.”  Marianne Williamson

The day started off with a list of things to accomplish, energy surged as the reward of completing the list was an hour of exercise.    In a few minutes the schedule already suffered a setback.   An email that should have taken five minutes to respond to, took 45 minutes.    The only meeting of the morning was missed and that meant finding out what happened.   It wasn’t long before the items on the list weren’t the things that were going to get done.    The vision of having a whole hour to exercise shrunk to 30 minutes, then 15 and then put off until tomorrow.

Our days don’t start off with the idea that before 9:00AM all the plans for the day are ruined.   We start off with the greatest of intentions and then “IT” happens.   Something will happen to shift the day in a direction that doesn’t even remotely resemble the original things that needed to get done.   What would it be like to start and finish a day the way it was planned?

Often the disruptions to the desired goals that you had for the day really should be done.  It is those things that push you off the desired path.   Combating disruptions takes a disciplined mind.

A disciplined mind is a habit just like other routine activities in your life, it takes at first a conscious effort to create the patterns needed to stay on task.   It takes “will power” to maintain the original focus and to stay away from doing things that while interesting don’t move you towards your real goals.   Be self-disciplined and avoid being lazy.   The laziness factor is accepting that other things that enter into your day are a priority.   If the things you had planned for yourself are important to accomplish then nearly anything else that gets added should be added to the end of the list not at the top.

How do you create a disciplined mind?

1. Take action – don’t put anything off.

2. If it is important make sure it gets done.

3. If it isn’t important don’t do it.

4. Avoid being lazy.  Do it now.

It is really easy to put off what should be done and do what doesn’t need to be done.  It is easy to be lazy and hard to get what needs to be done, DONE.

If it were easy people would be able to keep a New Year’s resolution.  If it were easy people would be getting more done in less time.
If it were easy people would have the time they need to do the things they want to do.
If it were easy people would discipline their minds.

“What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.” Peter F. Drucker

 

make your life count …

“In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”  Theodore Roosevelt

There are many, many people who are just sitting on the sidelines of the game of life.  They sit there worried about the future and what it will bring and going back to yesteryear, back to the times when it was better.  Was it really better?

There is an “entitlement” mentality that is invading the minds of far too many people.   That is the belief that they should receive something without having to pay a price.   Take for instance personal development, that is education outside of formal institutions or beyond what was taught in high school or college.    There are people who believe that once you have gotten a degree that your need for further education is done.

With the advances in technology (technology is driving a lot of change in the world that is impacting everyone) no career is without need to advance personal and professional skills.   Some people believe that if training is needed the company they are working for should provide it.   That notion is no longer true.  To stay ahead of the technology and change curve everyone should invest in themselves and add to their value.

With the speed of change there are other issues that people have to work on and that is themselves.   There are all kinds of things that are changing, things that are outside of individual control and that often increases stress in a person’s life.   Stress is an epidemic.  You see it in eating habits, you see it in relationships, you see it at work, you see it just about everywhere and it is very destructive.

The number one cause of death in America is unhealthy eating habits.   Unhealthy eating is the reason that so many Americans are overweight (not just a few pounds overweight but way overweight).  Being overweight creates a huge health risk.   There are those who would rather face surgery, take drugs (the pharmaceutical industry loves people who buy weight control drugs) or doing anything but eat less and more healthily.   The food industry has found ways to make food very cheap and at the same time very expensive.   Trading cheap calories today for doctor bills tomorrow is the path many people are on.

What should be done?    Stress can be reduced by:

1. Eating healthier and less

2. Exercising more (even for short periods of time, activity matters)

3. Get the proper amount of sleep

4. Start preparing for your future, study, develop yourself so that you are prepared for the coming changes.

5. Find ways to eliminate stress.

6. Do what matters most to you.   Find your strengths and start using more of them daily.

Don’t get caught in the waves of change.

Coaching as a tool for those with ADHD/ADD

“I prefer to distinguish ADD as attention abundance disorder. Everything is just so interesting . . . remarkably at the same time.” — Frank Coppola, MA, ODC, ACGA

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects approximately 5% of the population in America.  The impact of ADHD/ADD is significant in terms of lost opportunity and decreased productivity for those impacted.   While there is no cure for ADHD/ADD there are many ways to cope with the disorder.

While coaching is an effective method to work with those to who are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD coaches are not qualified to make the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD and those who feel that they have many of the ADHD/ADD symptoms should get a reliable diagnosis to ensure that the symptoms are not caused by something else.

ADHD Categories

There are three categories of ADHD (ADHD includes ADD). 

1. Combined ADHD, which is a combination of all ADHD symptoms.

2. Inattentive ADHD (this is what most people call ADD) and shows up as having difficulty concentrating and loss of focus.

3. Hyperactive-Impulsive behavior and is recognized by high activity, high energy behavior.   These people are able to focus they just can’t sit still.

What does ADHD look like?

The symptoms that are most obvious are:

1. Difficulty paying attention, a loss of focus in a conversation, compulsive daydreaming, easily distracted, constantly shifting attention from one thing to another and not completing tasks on time, disorganization, carelessness (partially completed work, or high incidence of mistakes), inability to focus in on the conversation (switching subjects in the middle), lower social intelligence (inappropriate comments and remarks, lack of contextual sensitivity).

2. Can’t sit still, must keep moving and talking, a general restlessness.  

3. Impatient (want it now), speaking before thinking, intruding on others (with different conversations), need to be first in line

While these symptoms show up in everyone from time to time most of the time “normal” individuals are able to manage their behaviors.  The person with ADHD is going to have a history of being easily distracted, on the go and being impulsive.   In school ADHD may result in social isolation, lower grades and greater discipline problems.   The ADHD person will likely not even be aware that they are different and see themselves as normal and wonder why others are behaving as they do. 

WebMD has a quick ADHD assessment that can be taken to get a first look to see if ADHD might be what you are dealing with (you or someone you know) .

Once a reliable assessment has been made for ADHD/ADD options for treatment or coping with ADHD/ADD can be made.   While there is no cure for ADHD there are many ways to minimize the impact that ADHD can have.   One of the options for those with ADHD is to work with a coach so that the individual can start creating new positive habits.  

Coaching ADHD clients

There are numerous benefits of using a coach for people with ADHD.   A coach can work with the client to improve confidence and a positive self-image which will help in all aspects of life from career decisions to improved relationships.  Some of the topics could include:

1. Daily planning  (getting the day organized)

2. Creating small moments for focused activity (reducing hyperfocus as well).

3. Using color to create focus (as the mind is distracted, intentional distraction helps provide focus).

4. Carelessness reduction   (improve the quality of the work)

5. Accountability (non-judgmental methods to boost confidence while increasing commitment)

6. Generating positive self-esteem

7. Organization of space, clutter reduction in small steps lessening the chance of overwhelming the ADHD person.

Coping with ADHD

Getting the right amount of sleep, adequate exercise and having a good balanced diet are good first steps in managing ADHD.   Other interventions include coaching which is a great tool to help create the necessary coping mechanisms to thrive in a world that is continually getting more chaotic.    It may be that in the future that those with ADHD will be in demand as they are often highly creative and always thinking and those qualities will be what businesses and schools desire, but until then coping with ADHD and creating positive habits will help those with ADHD be successful.

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.” — Steven Wright, comedian

time … where does it all go?

“I believe in the force of time, the impetus of that dimension that seems to have baffled even the physicists, the power of that force that will, in time, cure every ill, solve every problem, fulfill every nightmare. Time. I see time all about me, like a substance. I see it in the clutter of my apartment, in the fabric of the city, in the lessons that I teach. The tyranny of time, as dictatorial as any god.”  Simon Mawer

There is never enough of it and you can’t buy more of it.   You can’t take it back nor can you give it away.  You can watch each silent tick when waiting or try to slow them down when you are late.  TIME. 

Each day the pace of the world seems to increase.   Each day demands more of who we are.  Each day demands more attention and each moment craves more of you.  If there was only a little bit more time to the day, imagine what could get done.

We either use each moment or waste it.  How do you use your time?   What would you want to do with each moment if you could?  What is the best way you can use each moment?

Marcia K. Hornok wrote,
“The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
 It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done,
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.”   

Is that your story?  Is your day filled with frantic activity that just doesn’t stop?  What do you want your day to look like?

What are you racing against?   When would you like to get off the treadmill of life?  When would you like to stop competing with the rats?