Category Archives: passion

Making a difference and you can

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

 John F. Kennedy

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It takes a few helping hands to make a difference and maybe you can help.  You are looking at a picture outside Kashari, Uganda.

Zion Kids Palace Nursery School – Kashari, Mbarara

There is a school there that is being run by Herbert Tushabe and Rachael Nsimenta in a rural part of Uganda and they are on a mission to help the children in this area thrive.

Here is their story in their words:

Racheal and I , undertook a decision to tackle this challenge in July 2012  With a few tools and resources that were  available, we  started Zion with an emphasis  to bring long-lasting measurable social change to an urgent social need for the people in and around Rwobuyenje Kakiika -Kashari.
 Due to lack of affordable and accessible early learning and childhood development Centers and  the demand around its  neighborhood (more than 800 children between age 3 and 6)  don’t access early childhood learning (KG education) because the cost of  doing this is so high not mentioning the transportation of  these kids to and from the available  schools in town which costs so much that the poor peasantry parents in this area can’t afford and hence the vulnerability of this young rural children in this area, so they wait to join directly to primary school at age 9 or 10.
After witnessing the adversities that children in these  villages encountered, even when  those parents that struggled to do so would use motorcycles to ferry

Transport

toddlers to school very early in the morning  (6 or 7 -3 year olds) on one motorcycle very early in the morning ,that cold…I  was moved. Inspiration struck through the startup of  this facility so that these services can be availed to these people so accessible and affordable.
Nearly after 3 years of  involvement, our  dedication grew, and has manifested itself into the a Community Based center -Zion Kids Palace.   Four  teachers,Racheal Nsimenta, and Mr Tushabe Herbert  are now running  a full early learning   center with 100 kids ,providing them a full KG program with lunch and breakfast.
The philosophy,  teach man how to  fish, and  feed him for a lifetime’ fueled Racheal and I to found Zion. That philosophy still drives our mission to  enhance and lift quality of education during early learning stages at the Grass-root. Our desire is that these children will grow active and creative minds, develop a passion for others, and have the courage to act on their beliefs.We focus on the total development of each child’s spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, and physical growth via a faith-based perspective.
What do they need?   They need funds to expand the program, to build a school and provide safe transportation for the kids along with materials such as books and toys to improve the outcomes of the school.
Here’s what you can do.   You can donate to the program.   You can tell others, you can pass this link on to others.   One dollar will make a difference.   Give a dollar and pass the message to 10 other people.  Let Herbert and Rachael change the world for the kids they serve.    Will you do that today?
You can play a small part and make a difference that will last a lifetime.

Thank-you!   Please send the link to fund the project to those you know.

the best place to work

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”
― Marvin J. Ashton

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Do you work for an organization that would be characterized as a “best place to work”?   Do you feel motivated to come to work?  Do you feel like there is a clear path of advancement?   Are your skills and talents being used?   Is the company ethical in all aspects?   How would you describe your place of work?

Great places to work don’t just happen, they are created, they require great leaders.   Great companies have great cultures.   Great cultures reflect great values.   If your values are not in complete alignment with the values of the company there is going to be some cognitive dissonance that you’ll experience and that may impact your ability to thrive.  Do you own the values of the company as your own?  Do your values fully align with the company you work for?

Great places to work value people.   Leaders recognize the value of relationships and nurture and foster opportunity for growth within the staff.  People who can stretch and engage all the talents you bring.   In a sense a great place to work is going to have an environment that is consistent with a coaching culture.  A culture that enables the best out of each person on a consistent basis.

A coaching culture works by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system which leads to better performance.   Imagine a culture which is committed to your success and developing and improving your social and emotional awareness so that you could develop professional and personally.  In that type of environment employees would feel empowered to speak with honesty and candor about significant issues.  Organizational transparency would exist and  lead to less conflict, less withholding of information and better engagement.

In a sense the best place to work would be an environment of compassionate understanding with high performance objectives.   It would be an environment with excellent performance objectives that challenge and require the best of everyone and with a culture of compassionate understanding people would want to perform.   That is different from a culture that “needs” to perform.

What kind of culture does your place of work encourage or discourage?  How do you feel about going to work each day?  Are you working in a place you’d consider the best place to work?

Is this the best place to work?

start with one

“Everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of feeling more or less alive on different days. Everyone knows on any given day that there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call forth, but which he might display if these were greater. Most of us feel as if we lived habitually with a sort of cloud weighing on us, below our highest notch of clearness in discernment, sureness in reasoning, or firmness in deciding. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.”   William James

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If you read the quote above you probably have had days where the energy to live fully just wasn’t there.   It was a day that you felt you needed to take off and just find a place to do nothing.   Where does your energy come from?   What makes you excited to participate in a new day?

What do you think is the biggest thief of energy?
1. To many things to do and no clear priorities
2. Nothing very interesting to do, not challenging or valuable
3. No external motivation, others encouraging you forward
4. Physical ailments or negative thinking

What would it take to activate you so that your day was filled with energy and positive outcomes?     You do realize that your energy doesn’t come from somewhere else, it comes from within you.   It comes from lifting your energy level up when it is down.  It comes from thinking about one thing that will produce a desired result.

Clarity and focus.   That is one way to get energy flowing.   Be clear on achieving one goal and focusing on achieving that goal.   Stay clear of distractions, email, conversation, or other activities that pull you away from that “one” thing.

secrets of super-performers …

“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.”
― Winifred Gallagher

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Are you a super-performer?   Do you want to be one of those who is able to do more, live more and experience more than others?

So what do these super-performers do that makes such a difference?   One thing they do is capture an idea and with intense focus that they that idea and do something with it.   Most people have an idea and think it is great and then do nothing with the idea, other than say, “I had a great idea …”.   The high performers do something with ideas.  They take a risk.  They focus and they execute.

What else does a super-performer do?   They enable their genius.   Everyone has the ability to be a genius and yet only a few enable that genius in them.   Instead of expecting instant results genius thinking involves time and focus.   Putting both time and energy into one idea equals genius.   This isn’t about having a high-IQ, it is about doing something with what you have.   Think of those who have had startling breakthroughs in their lives, what really was different.   They maniacally pushed through those that said, “you can’t do that.”, and did it.   They took their dream and pursued it.    They didn’t give up.

You knew that didn’t you.   Did you know that super-achievers spent time with the thought leaders they wanted to emulate?   Top performers spent time with those they wanted to be like.     They raised the bar of their own thinking by learning how those who have achieved great things thought.    In a sense our beliefs and actions are limited by those we associate with.  As we raise the bar, we raise the bar for those who surround us.    That isn’t as easy to do as the others, and that is one of the key differences between average performance and super performance.

Here’s a story of a peak performance.    What did you notice about the story?

my career my choice

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards, they try to have more things or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. ”
― Margaret Young

Career choices …

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People are desiring to look for a new job.  A recent survey by Right Management indicates that many people are dissatisfied with the work they are doing right now.   This means there is the potential for a substantial shift in what and where people work.   While the sample size is relatively small it indicates that the work and amount of work that people have to do are not matching up with what employers want their employees to do.

People who desire to look for new work in 2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Yes, I intend to actively seek a new position.

86%

84%

84%

60%

Maybe, so I’m networking.

 8%

9%

 8%

21%

Not likely, but I’ve updated my resume.

1%

2%

 3%

 6%

No, I intend to stay in current position.

5%

5%

 5%

13%

Source Right Management

Are you one of the many who are polishing up their resume and checking out the want ads for a new position?

If you are you might want to look all around you for ways to make that career transition work for you.

1. Search for your name on Google.   What shows up?  What is your on-line reputation?  Will those who are looking for you find the “right” you on-line.   What does your Facebook account contain?  What do you tweet?   What does your linkedIn profile say about you?   Know what your on-line presence is and know how others see you.

2. Understand “who” you are.   If the job you are in right now isn’t working for your skills and needs aren’t being satisfied by the work you are doing.   Know who you are before you start your job search.   This is a dig deep process into who you are.   Take the time to know your strengths, talents and abilities before you touch up your resume and look for work that you are doing today.   Doing the same work in a different location may not be the best thing for you.

3. Create a strategy.    Have a plan.   Know what you want before you start looking for a new job.   Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, research job positions that align with your purpose.   What skills are required?  What training is needed?    If you need to develop skills make that part of your plan to get the skills needed to transfer to a new role or career.

4. Tune your resume to match the job  you are looking for.   Often people take adjust their work to match who they are.   That is even given a role with a certain set of expectations they will slowly change the job to match who they are, and do what they like rather than do what is expected.   If you find yourself changing what your role is in your job then you might be in the wrong job.    Do what you like doing and find the job that allows you to do that.   Fighting your way through each day is an indication that you may not fit the job you were hired to do.

5. Adjust.   Looking for a new job is one of adjustments and tuning.  Be willing to make small changes in your resume to match job descriptions and needs.   Be willing to adjust where you are looking and how you are looking.   Find out what is getting you results and what isn’t.

Prepare – Plan – Succeed.

Listen to a TED talk about Careers and jobs.

Alignment

“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and it is secondary. Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence. Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person. Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose. It is the basis for true success. Without that alignment, you can still achieve certain things through effort, struggle, determination, and sheer hard work or cunning. But there is no joy in such endeavor, and it invariably ends in some form of suffering.”  Eckhart Tolle

As a coach who works a wide variety of people it is important that the client knows “who” they are.   In many cases they have an idea of who they are that has been shaped by external influences and over time their belief about “who” they are is merely a mask of their real self.    People take assessments to help define better who they are (MBTI, DISC, …) and while those assessments provide value they are often reflections of what other people have declared them to be.   Even 360 degree assessment fail to provide the truth about “who” a person really is.  

 

What happens when people don’t know “who” they are is that they fight against themselves in many cases in terms of career choice, conflicts, learning styles, and working with others.   If people knew “who” they were naturally they would experience greater career, relational, and personal success and fulfillment.   The very things people are looking for are obscured by not knowing who they are.

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” writes,  “You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.”     Research indicates that only about 28% of people in their work love what they do.    That means that 72% of the workforce is doing work they don’t really like to do.  Companies spend billions of dollars training and trying to get people to fit their roles and can’t.   When people are not in alignment with “who” they are and what they do they will attempt to mold the job to their core values and ultimately the both the employee and organization suffer.  

For organizations getting the right people in the right seat would make a huge contribution to the bottom line and increase employee satisfaction.    Imagine if you knew what your core values were so that you could find a job that aligns with your strengths and abilities.    Taylor Protocols is one such company that knows how to get the right people in the right seat.     Their “Core Value Index” reliably shows what matters most to people and when they know their core values they are able to:

1. Find out what career is a good fit.

2. Find out how to manage conflict.

3. Find out what creates conflict in their life.

4. Find out their best learning style.

5. Find out how they can make their biggest contribution.

When people are in alignment with “who” they are their level of fulfillment increases, their productivity increase and life gets better.   That is what many people want, a better life and yet they struggle with daily fighting against “who” they truly are.    The CVI is something that can be purchased and the results can be used to fashion a purpose filled life.   It is worth the few dollars to find out what really works in your life.   It is far cheaper than therapy or counseling that often takes place after one has fought against their natural values for years.

Do you know “who” you are?    Are you living with your “values” or against them?

Here’s a short clip about the value of the CVI.

 

 

Work

“To have a great purpose to work for, a purpose larger than ourselves, is one of the secrets of making life significant, for then the meaning and worth of the individual overflow his personal borders and survive his death.”  Will Durant

Work … what is it?   Why do you do it?   Why do so many people hate the work they are doing?

The FreeDictionary defines work as

1. Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.

So, why do so many people disengage in the work they are doing?   What would allow you to engage in work in a way that you were able to produce positive results and enjoy it?

George Bernard Shaw the renowned poet opined that life has a special meaning and that  is to say, “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.”   Not that many people say that their life is filling a purpose never mind a mighty one.

As a coach I come across many people who are less than satisfied with the work they do.  For some people their work has resulted in depression.   The work is so unsatisfying that they can’t do their work.    They feel trapped in doing work that is meaningless because of some benefit that their employer offers that they feel unsure that they can get somewhere else.    Who am I to get a better job some think.    Asked what their purpose statement is and most people can’t think of one and it is no wonder that they are stuck doing work that doesn’t agree with them.  They don’t know how to align their purpose, their gifts, their strengths and their talents with the work they do.

When we are able to use our natural talents and are able to express those talents in the engagement of work we become more productive.   When we know what we love to do and are able to do what we love we are happier.  It seems to make sense yet close to 80% of people are doing work they don’t like.   Perhaps it is possible to say that most work isn’t enjoyable and that something has to be done to make money (earning a living is still important) to live on.

Read what Jim Collins wrote about having the right people in the right job doing the work that they love to do.

Disciplined people: “Who” before “what”
“You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.

Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.

In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances. Take David Maxwell’s bus ride. When he became CEO of Fannie Mae in 1981, the company was losing $1 million every business day, with $56 billion worth of mortgage loans underwater. The board desperately wanted to know what Maxwell was going to do to rescue the company.

Maxwell responded to the “what” question the same way that all good-to-great leaders do: He told them, That’s the wrong first question. To decide where to drive the bus before you have the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus, is absolutely the wrong approach.

Maxwell told his management team that there would only be seats on the bus for A-level people who were willing to put out A-plus effort. He interviewed every member of the team. He told them all the same thing: It was going to be a tough ride, a very demanding trip. If they didn’t want to go, fine; just say so. Now’s the time to get off the bus, he said. No questions asked, no recriminations. In all, 14 of 26 executives got off the bus. They were replaced by some of the best, smartest, and hardest-working executives in the world of finance.

With the right people on the bus, in the right seats, Maxwell then turned his full attention to the “what” question. He and his team took Fannie Mae from losing $1 million a day at the start of his tenure to earning $4 million a day at the end. Even after Maxwell left in 1991, his great team continued to drive the flywheel—turn upon turn—and Fannie Mae generated cumulative stock returns nearly eight times better than the general market from 1984 to 1999.

When it comes to getting started, good-to-great leaders understand three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” you can more easily adapt to a fast-changing world. If people get on your bus because of where they think it’s going, you’ll be in trouble when you get 10 miles down the road and discover that you need to change direction because the world has changed. But if people board the bus principally because of all the other great people on the bus, you’ll be much faster and smarter in responding to changing conditions. Second, if you have the right people on your bus, you don’t need to worry about motivating them. The right people are self-motivated: Nothing beats being part of a team that is expected to produce great results. And third, if you have the wrong people on the bus, nothing else matters. You may be headed in the right direction, but you still won’t achieve greatness. Great vision with mediocre people still produces mediocre results.”

There is a company that know how to get the right people in the right seats on the bus.   Taylor Protocols can do the type of individual analysis to see if the seats on the bus have the right people on it.   It makes sense to have the right people engaged in the work they do.   Imagine what would be possible if everyone was able to be engaged in their work.   It is currently estimated that organizational output is only at 33% and that means hiring more people to get work done that could be done with fewer people if they were fully engaged in their work.

Shawn Achor has been doing research on happiness, and positive psychology and asking some great questions and getting real answers.   Happy people perform better on the job and in the job.

Take a few minutes and listen to the arguments Shawn puts forth.

Now, what are you going to do?    Are you going to continue to work at things you don’t enjoy?    Are you going to stay stuck in a job that you wish would go away?

Take a few steps and identify what would be better for you.

1. Define your purpose

2. Define your strengths

3. Define your natural talents

4. Create a plan so that your work or your new work, works for you.

William Dubois put down his thoughts like this, “The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work bring you and the world’s need of that work.  With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get.   Without this – with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need – this life is hell.”

What do you want to do?   Work in heaven or work in hell.    Most people have chosen to work in hell.  Where do you want to work?