Category Archives: Strengths

positive intelligence … what is your score?

“People forget they have options. And they forget that those things don’t really matter. They should concentrate on what they have and not what they don’t have. And by the way, wishing and dreaming doesn’t mean concentrating on what you don’t have, its positive thinking that encourages hoping and believing, not whining and moaning.”
― Cecelia Ahern

Have you heard the voice of the critic?   It’s a voice that says “You’re not good enough”  or “who are you to do this?”.   It is a voice that diminishes your potential and success in life.   Have you heard this voice lately?

Inside all of us is a little voice that criticizes, complains, whines and tells us we aren’t able.   For some, all they  hear is the voice of the saboteur and it stops them from making progress in their life, career, relationships and more.  Learning how to manage the voice and shift it from negative to positive can greatly alter how you experience life.

Do you want to know to what degree that voice is influencing your life?   Take the Positive Intelligence Assessment and find out.   It only takes a few minutes of time and will give you an idea of where your energy is going.    Simply click the link and register and take a two quick assessments (for FREE).   Knowing where your energy is going, to what voices you are listening to will help you understand what changes you can make today to live a better life.

Here,  find out more about Positive Intelligence, listen to Shirzad explain what it is about.

core values

“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. ” Freya Stark

What are core values?   These are values that are important to you or the organization you work for.  These are deep-seated values that you identify with as necessary components of you or you work.   Some people value honesty, integrity,  trust,  intelligence, or a strong work ethic.   No matter what they are if they are in alignment with who you are the more satisfied you’ll be.   Your identity is wrapped up in your core values.  It is what you believe in.

How well do you know your core values?    I have found that looking at a list of over 300 values that most people find it difficult to winnow the list down to just a few values, just 3 or 4 values that are the most important to them.   With too many values it is easy to get lose focus on what is really important and identify with values that are tangential to the real you.

Why is it important to have just a few values?    You can certainly have many values that are important and without a focus on a few it leads to less intense focus on the values that are the most important.    There are probably just three to five core values that you can develop with sufficient intensity to make substantial improvements on.

Identify your values

1. Take a look at a list of values and quickly choose 10 values that you identify with

2.  Narrow the list of 10 values down to 5

3. Now choose the 3 values that you strongly identify with

What can you do to strengthen your values?

Take a look at Zappos values and how they apply those values in the work environment.

How are you living out your values?

If you are interested in finding your core values Taylor Protocols offers an assessment that will identify your strengths in four areas.    The information is useful in finding the right career and how to resolve conflicts with others.    When you know what values are being challenged in yourself you can develop strategies to reduce that conflict.

Take some time and get to know your core values today.

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?

resilience …

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.”  Michael Jordan

Top performers have learned something that many potential top performers haven’t learned yet.   They know how to bounce back from disappointment, loss and great challenges.

Resilience is the propensity to bounce back from a fall.    As a ball contacts a surface it compresses and that stored energy rebounds and causes the ball to bounce back.    When we fail or make a mistake we also need to find a way to bounce back.    Resilience is the story of winners not whiners.   Winners find a way to come back and finish strong.

Those who have found a way to bounce back.   When Jack Canfield got rejected time and time again before getting his “Chicken soup for the soul” published he could have let the first rejection stop but he didn’t he kept pressing ahead not after 1 or 2 or after 50 but closer to 100 rejections before a publisher printed his book.

Fred Smith could have turned thrown his dream into the wastepaper basket after his professor gave him a “C”on his idea for Federal Express.   SouthWest Airlines could have folded before it started if it weren’t for the resilience of Herb Kelleher.

Winners find a way to bounce back and achieve their goals.   When they do they have success stories that can be told and used in case studies about business success.   When Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer he didn’t let the cancer define him, he used it as a stepping stone for greater success.   He bounced back.

How are you at bouncing back?    Do you feel like a setback is a reason to quit?   Do you feel like you aren’t good enough and you’re not the right person to take up the challenge?

People who are resilient take charge of their life rather than letting the circumstance take charge of their life.    If you are having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or a bad year, step back and assess your situation.  Are you taking charge or are you letting the circumstance dictate your next step?

If you’re ready to make a change and become resilient and you don’t know how … contact a coach, work with someone and become a resilient person.

asking for help .. a sign of weakness?

“Whenever I have knocked, a door has opened. Whenever I have wandered, a path has appeared. I have been helped, supported, encouraged and nurtured by people of all races, creeds, colors and dreams. ” Alice Walker

We live in a society that revere’s independence and strength, a society that says “I can do it” and we believe it to be true.   Asking for help then is admitting you don’t have what it takes to get it done.   It is that idea of rugged independence that holds so many people back from asking, “can you help me?”.

Asking for help has been or is a sign of weakness for far too many people.   As a result not asking for help has left people stuck for long periods of time.   “I am not going to ask for help because I can do it.”, says many a man.   Asking for help is often the right thing to do.  It accelerates the desired result.   It frees you up to do other things, more important things.

What is it costing you not to ask for help?   For many people life is just way to short as it is and to achieve the very things they desire most (pride isn’t going to get in the way) asking for help to get there is one of the first things they do.  They realize that the cost of a mentor, coach, guide or teacher is far less than the cost of missing opportunities for creating the life they want to live.

We do the same thing with retirement.  Some people start saving  in their 20’s and by the time they are 62 they can have a large saving account in place due to the fact that their money is gaining interest each year.   There are those who wait until later and have to pay over twice as much to reach the same goal.   The truth is that if you start early (ask for help now) you’ll get much further much quicker than waiting.

Why is it that people wait until it is unbearable before they decide to make the changes they want?   It might be the belief that something will happen that will allow them to get the result they want sooner and that rarely happens.   For example think about the person who is lost and won’t stop to ask for help.   Their appointment is now just five minutes away and they not even close to the destination.   Maybe the next street will be the right place they think, and it isn’t and now they are just getting frustrated and more frustrated.   It would have taken far less time to ask for help and arrived at the destination early.

What is it that you want to do?   What are you waiting for?

If you don’t know how to get where you want to go then ask for help?   Not sure what you want to do then ask for help?   Each day you wait is a day you can’t get back.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength.   Why wait another moment, start getting more out of your life today.

 

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”  Victor Kiam

find your strengths

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . .  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

It seems more and more people are going to work in disguise.   That is they are going there and using their weaknesses or just suffering through the day and work isn’t fun.  It could be bad management/leadership but more often than not people are in jobs they shouldn’t be in.   Work shouldn’t be painful to do, it should be engaging and even fun.   Work should be “hard” but not “hard to do”.

The experts would say, use your strengths and so often we don’t get to use our strengths each day most of the time.   We get to use our strengths some of the time and when we are not using our strengths it is like someone just stole all your energy.   You tend to feel drained and incomplete when you don’t get to use your strengths.

Marcus Buckingham, probably the lead “strengths” guru, has found that using your strengths matter.   Now what do most people do then?  They focus on what they aren’t good at and beat themselves up over it or their manager says, “Here, you can improve on this”, and “this” is your set of weaknesses.  How do you feel working on your weaknesses?   You are probably not too energized about improving your weakness.

What if you could strengthen your strengths?   Wouldn’t that be energizing, to work on what you love to do, of course it would.   We don’t live in  a society where working on what you are good at is emphasized that much unless you are an athlete and then you are working with a coach to refine the goodness of your strengths.

So, what do you do?  How do you find the strengths that you already have?

1.  List what you are naturally good at.

2. Check to see if you are using those strengths/gifts/talents most of the time.

3. Examine where you could put your strengths to use.

4. Create a plan, a strengths based utilization plan.

5. Execute the plan and see what happens, measure the results, measure the effort, measure the joy.

What if you can’t figure out your strengths?  There are a couple of ways to do that.    Martin Seligman has a website which has a free strengths test on it and you can start looking there.   You can purchase a copy of Strengths 2.0 by Tom Rath and use the code inside the cover of the book to take the Gallup version of the Strengths test.

Take the first step and find out what you are really good at.   Then create a plan so that you can be the best you can be.  You will be happier in the long run when you are living a life that is congruent with your strengths.

“Always remember, there is more strength in you than you ever realized or even imagined. Certainly nothing can keep you down if you are determined to get on top of things and stay there.” Norman Vincent Peale

at the crack of dawn

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”    Og Mandino

Sometimes the early morning comes to early for some.   Early on May 11th a program aired that gave the viewers some insight into the power of coaching and how coaching can transform the way people interact with the world.  

Coaching is transforming businesses so they are more efficient and effective.    With coaching employees are more engaged and more productive.

Individuals that receive coaching start to make great progress towards the achievement of their goals.   Coaching provides the accountability people need especially in the world we live in today where change is happening at breakneck speed and getting faster.     Coaching clients can learn how to manage stress, reduce anger and understand what triggers their emotions and coaching can help people live a more positive and inspired life.

People with ADD/ADHD can learn coping skills that will allow them to perform at much higher levels.   Overall coaching is a process that can make a great impact in all areas of life.

Find out what coaching can do for you.