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It is estimated that our brains receive information through our senses that result in some four billion neuron impulses per second. Of these four billion pieces of information we are only consciously aware of about 2,000. That’s a mere 0.00005%.
It is happening to you right now. Possibly, until we mention it now, you were not even aware of the sense perception of your clothes on your skin. Or, aware of the noise in the background. Or, aware of all the multitude of objects just inside your peripheral vision. Until we mentioned them you were paying attention to something else.
If you had to be fully aware of all the information that you receive at all times you probably would be so overwhelmed you wouldn’t be able to function. Unwanted information is filtered out through a process of Deletion, Distortion and Generalization. This filtering process is driven largely by our beliefs of how things are at any given time.
Whilst this can be tremendously helpful in keeping you from being overwhelmed it can lead you into making assumptions about situations that might not serve you well; you can easily become a victim of the vagueness that you accept as fact.
To make matters worse, when you communicate with others you pass on your assumptions, with the additional assumption that the recipient makes the same assumptions. Your assumptions create gaps in your communication that you expect the other person to fill in with the SAME understanding. All too often because of your assumptions you do not deliver what is or was expected.
Here are some examples of vagueness. What assumptions are you making as you interpret them?
“Go and increase the morale in the team!”
“Make sure that they fully appreciate your efforts!”
“Spend more time on customer relations!”
Now try this: Being a Champion of Clarity
First off, to be a Champion of Clarity you have to recognize that communication is filled with assumption. A Champion of Clarity recognizes the pitfalls of assumption both as a speaker and as a listener.
As a listener they are very aware of the following phrase:
“The meaning of your communication is the response that you get!”
As such, a Champion of Clarity takes full responsibility for ensuring that their communication is thoroughly understood.
As a listener they recognize that they all too often interact with Victims of Vagueness, and they take steps to avoid relegating from a Champion of Clarity by ensuring that they fully understand the intention of the communication behind the words that they hear.
A good way to ensure proper understanding is getting sensory cues that provide evidence of the successful desired outcome.
In response to the vague statements above, a Champion of Clarity would ask something like:
“And when I have increased morale in the team, what will let you know that it has been done well?”
“What is it that will let them know that we put in effort in a way that should be recognized?”
“And when we are spending more time on customer relations, what will you see and hear?”
Give it some thought. Don’t be a Victim Of Vagueness, become a Champion Of Clarity.
Turning Your Wheels: 8 Steps Towards Becoming The Leader You Need To Be To Succeed!
An important part of success in life is the ability to lead. It is important that we not only be able to lead others but be willing to lead ourselves. No one succeeds in life by simply following others. Sometimes we simply must strike a bold new path for ourselves.
Being a good leader is more than simply being at the forefront of the crowd. A leader must act, and act skillfully. Too often in America, we simply accept that someone looks or sounds like a leader and too rarely do we actually look at the actions that leader performs — and that is the true test of leadership.
However, in order to become good leaders ourselves, we need to concentrate on solid and wise actions rather than simple appearances. The title of this article refers to eight steps, but do not think of these as progressive steps like so many recipes or instruction manuals describe. Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis.
First, be alert to new potentials. “Reality” is not absolute but rather subject to constant change. Think about inventors, explorers, and agents of social change who have achieved greatness. Some might simply say that certain people are successful because they are lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Maybe so, but if they hadn’t had their eyes open for the opportunity, then it wouldn’t have mattered if they were in the right place.
Second, accept inspiration from wherever it comes; even your opponents. The wisest leaders constantly study their peers and their competition. In war, politics, and business we constantly see examples of this research and reconnaissance. Too many times though people concentrate on finding a weakness to exploit. If you want to be a leader of positive change don’t fall victim to this trend. Instead, if you find a weakness, make sure to avoid that pitfall yourself. If you find the strength then find a way to strengthen your own qualities to match.
Third, learn something new and promote in new ways every day. This means you must continually seek to expand your horizons, internally and externally. Feed your mind with new lessons and knowledge, but constantly expand your social horizons as well. Seek out and meet new people and immerse yourself in new social situations. You never know when these new experiences will help you in your leadership role.
Fourth, search for and find answers in subtle clues. Look beneath the surface and constantly question. This is an extension of the third step in that you are seeking new knowledge. But this also means that you will need to step off the traditional paths of knowledge. Don’t simply read books in the literary canon or the bestsellers list. Take seminars rather than classes as there is more room for questioning and debate. Seek out the unconventional thinkers, teachers, and writers. Stay thirsty for expanding your horizon.
Fifth, improvise if no existing solutions are available. No excuses. Necessity is the mother of invention. How do you know it won’t work if you’ve never tried it before? Remember, not all approaches need to come from the front. Look at your problem from all sides and systematically attempt different solutions in various combinations.
Six, make at least one person you care about happy every day. If you make it a point to be thoughtful and caring for one person every day then soon this thoughtful, caring behavior will become a habit and that habit will spread to the others around you. Making someone else happy also feeds your own personal happiness. Just imagine how much better the world would be if we all did a little bit more to spread happiness.
Seven, offer help, even if there’s no apparent advantage to you. This means more than writing a check. It means giving of your time and energy and yourself. Sometimes it will mean helping someone you don’t know and sometimes it can be a very personal action.
Finally, never let negativity be your last word on the subject. If your final words are negative than no matter how hopeful you may be about the potential of a project or action the lasting impression you give to others is one of negativity. Accentuate the positive and you are more likely to see a positive outcome.
If you follow these eight action steps not only you will be a better leader but also lead yourself to a more successful life. Start turning your wheels…
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“Leaders who don’t believe that results are limitless are selling their jobs and careers short. Here is a four-step process for manifesting a “results are limitless” mind-set.”
Results are limitless. That’s not a supposition. That’s a fact. Leaders who don’t believe that don’t understand the power of leadership to achieve great results. Leaders who believe it and live by their belief have an unmatched advantage over those leaders who don’t.
To begin to understand how and why results-are-results are limitless, consider these facts:
* In 1878, Jean Bouillaud, member of the French Academy of Sciences, said upon hearing a demonstration of Thomas Edison’s phonograph, “It is quite impossible that the noble organs of human speech could be replaced by ignoble, senseless metal.”
* In 1899, Charles H. Duell (Commissioner of U.S. Office of Patents.), urging President William McKinley to abolish his office, said: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
* An 1909 article in the Scientific American stated, “The automobile has practically reached the limit of its development as suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.”
* Popular Mechanics stated in March 1949: “Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps only weight 11/2 tons.”
The point isn’t that experts are wrong. Experts, we know, have been wrong countless times. The point isn’t that things change. That’s obvious. The point is this: BECAUSE THINGS CHANGE, RESULTS ARE LIMITLESS. IN OTHER WORDS, WHATEVER RESULTS YOU ARE ACHIEVING, YOU CAN ALWAYS ACHIEVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT OR MORE.
This may seem like a non sequitur. After all, leaders know that things change. But many leaders whom I have encountered don’t make the connection and fail to realize that results are limitless.
But there is a connection — a profound connection. And leaders who don’t make that connection, don’t live that connection, are giving short shrift to their leadership and the people they lead.
Living by the results-are-limitless credo can set you apart as a leader who consistently gets results, no matter what the challenge you face.
Start to take a small but well-defined step to manifest results-are-limitless leadership:
(1) Identify. Identify one thing you think is NOT BEING QUESTIONED. Make sure it is something people believe has “reached the limit of its development.” It may be a product or features of a product. It may be the way your organization is structured. It may be a successful engineering program.
(2) Question. Treat it as if it’s fundamental premise were false. Can you shoot holes in the logical reasons for its existence? If it ain’t broke, see what would happen if you break (change) it with one end in mind, achieving more results.
(3) Change. See if you can come up with answers that will lead either to replacing what you’re questioning or improving it.
(4) Continue. Don’t look at this as an academic assignment. It’s not homework. It’s the beginning of making the credo part of the DNA of your leadership.
Repeat: This as a leadership endeavor. Determine who are the cause leaders you need to make the change happen. Talk to them about how they would take leadership to affect that change. You should not only have “What if … ” discussions but more importantly, “Why not … “discussions.
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What separates those who succeed and those who live their lives feeling that things could have been better?
Ask any truly successful person why they achieved and they will all tell you they had a dream, a vision for their future. Those who are successful leaders have been able to share that dream with others with such conviction that they have convinced others to join them on their quest to achieve that dream.
Can anyone achieve their dream? Having a clear strategy can help you make your dream a reality. It isn’t rocket science, or magic. Take the following steps and fulfill your dream. Make it your reality.
The first step is to understand that in order to achieve success you must take action. Inertia is the most common reason for lack of success!
What is your dream? Your goals for the future? What do you want to achieve in your life in the next week? month? year? 5 years? What would you like people to remember you for after you have left this world?
Think big – challenge yourself. Reach for the stars!
Be clear about where you are now. Audit your strengths and areas for development
What needs to be done to eliminate the gap between your dream and the reality?
- Prioritize. Don’t just look for quick wins, consider those things which will have maximum long term impact. Build solid foundations, think of sustainability!
- Set challenging but realistic targets. Aim high.
- Communicate your vision, and keep doing so. Ensure that all stake holders understand and subscribe to the same vision.
- Who do you need to involve? How will you ensure they sign up to and stay committed to the vision?
- Think about the language you use, be sure to sound positive, if others think you are confident it can be achieved they will gain confidence too. Develop a “I can do it” mentality within your staff. For every problem there is a solution, encourage others to see themselves as problem solvers not problem givers.
- Create clear lines of communication which operate at every level and in all directions.
- Break each priority down into small achievable steps, involve your team. Who needs to do what by when? Set a timetable.
- Identify the roles and responsibilities for all staff; ensure that staff take ownership of their work.
- Ensure that people are appropriately trained and that training is constantly updated.
- Build in the monitoring and review process from the start so you can evaluate performance and be prepared to adjust as necessary. (By creating a culture of development rather than blame huge potential will be released.)
- Celebrate success! and remember to thank people for their contribution, give credit where it due and be generous with it.
- Develop professional honesty within your staff, constructive feed back can be invaluable.
Finally leave your ego behind as it will simply get in the way of your success.
This article is designed to provide valuable guidance for you — entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders – involved in mindfully leading the strategic direction of your lives and businesses.
For all of us, emotional intelligence encompasses five basic areas of mastery. They are:
- Knowing your feelings and using them to make life decisions you can live with.
- Being able to manage your emotional life without being hijacked by it — not being paralyzed by depression or worry, or swept away by anger.
- Persisting in the face of setbacks and channeling your impulses in order to pursue your goals.
- Empathy — reading other people’s emotions without having to be told what they are feeling.
- Handling feelings in relationships with skill and harmony – being able to articulate the unspoken pulse of a group, for example.
The scope of these skills means there is indeed room for all of us to learn, grow, and improve. There is a lot to learn here. Learning about emotional intelligence, learning about the tools for energy efficiency; that’s only the beginning. It’s like reading all the books on flying and small plane piloting. You then have the theory mastered, but you have no hands-on practice. It’s only with practice that we gain mastery of anything. That’s true of our feelings and emotions too!
How do you address so many broad areas?
- Assessment Tools are a great way to learn to identify your emotions.
- Energy Efficiency Tools are invaluable in helping you tap into inner wisdom and resources to manage your emotions and understand what the best choices are when you are making life decisions.
- Persistence can be learned. In fact, providing challenges to children, to give them an opportunity to develop persistence and perseverance, is intrinsic to many cultures. Goal-Setting and the 6 Most-Important-Things List are just two tools you can apply immediately.
- Developing empathy is powerful in critical business situations like sales calls, closings, your management style, etc. Using your energy efficiency tools will allow you to pay attention to your instincts in this area instead of second-guessing yourself.
- Once you learn to be the leader and custodian of your feelings, it becomes an easy habit to apply in any business or personal relationship.
Mastery of all the basics does not occur overnight. But with practice it comes very quickly – just like learning to ride a bicycle. Once you experience how it’s “supposed to work”, how energy efficiency is “supposed to feel”, it’s easier and easier to reestablish in a variety of circumstances. That’s where mastery is achieved. That’s where you and everyone in your business benefit from your mastery.
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This article is designed to provide cutting edge guidance for you – entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders – who are involved in leading the strategic direction of your own lives and your businesses.
This short article will provide you with a powerful birds-eye view on what being an organizational leader is all about on a personal level. Take your time with it. Read it once and read it again. Like a good wine or a great friend, it develops its clarity, flavor and value over time.
You will discover the main areas of expertise, knowledge, and understanding, that are needed to successfully lead your organization in today’s complex and fast-changing world.
The area we look at today is that of Personal Attributes. This is the blend of your knowledge, expertise, character and competencies encapsulated in your approach, your behavior as a leader.
In organizations of all sizes and in all sectors, public and private, these characteristics are key to your effective leadership. Your essential personal attributes are as follows:
Behaving Ethically- by learning about the ethical issues and concerns that impact your business sector; adopting a balanced, open-minded approach to the ethical concerns of others; considering the ethical issues and implications of all personal actions and organizational activity; raising and discussing ethical issues before proposing or agreeing to decisions; resisting pressures from your organization or its partners to achieve objectives by unethical means. Basically, it boils down to being decent in your dealings with other people. Can’t stress this point enough.
Thinking Strategically- by learning and understanding how all the different functions, systems and layers of your organization should ideally work together.
Understanding the complexities of, and the changes happening in, your external environment, and considering how your organization can best respond the these; understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your organization, and the opportunities and threats facing it; understanding how the strategic objectives are influenced by all the current and forecast influences that will impact your organization; understanding that the operational objectives and targets must be in line with and support the values, guiding principles and strategic objectives of your organization; being aware of and responding intelligently to the behavior of current and potential competitors.
Supporting Personal And Organizational Goals- by helping to create and communicate a vision which can be understood and supported by people at all levels; helping others to understand and contribute to the strategic goals; giving visible personal support to the strategic direction and specific goals set by you and your organization.
Communicating Effectively- by being responsive to messages and signals from the internal and external environments; making effective use of communication channels from and to all levels within your organization; pro-actively encourage the exchange of information within your organization, and amongst suppliers, customers and partners; listening to others, including those with opposing views, carefully and thoughtfully; selecting personal communication styles that are appropriate to the different situations and audiences.
Gathering Information- by establishing multiple channels and networks which generate a constant flow of information, from within and outside the organization; regularly and consistently gathering, analyzing, challenging, and using the information gathered.
Making Decisions- by establishing a consistent approach to the analysis of information; drawing on personal experience and knowledge to identify current and potential problems and opportunities; considering a range of solutions before selecting the final one; ensuring that the selected decision is feasible, achievable, and affordable; considering the impact of the decision on all stakeholders, at all levels, before approving implementation.
Developing Effective Teams- by appreciating the contribution of others, at all levels in your organization; ensuring that individuals and teams are kept informed of plans, developments and issues that will affect them; ensuring that individual and team development schemes are given appropriate priority; providing personal support for the implementation and maintenance of development activities for individuals and teams at all levels.
Behaving Assertively- by understanding and responding to various personal roles and responsibilities; adopting a leading role in initiating necessary action and decision making; taking personal responsibility for decisions and actions; being properly prepared for involvement in activities and events; remaining confident and professional in dealing with change and challenges; refusing unreasonable demands; defending and protecting individuals and teams from unfair or discriminatory actions; attempting to remain courteous and professional in manner at all times.
Concentrating On Results- by contributing to the establishment of an organizational culture that serves the whole person, sets high standards and aims at high levels of meaningful performance; focusing on relevant objectives and planned outcomes; dealing with issues and problems when they arise; planning and scheduling personal work and the work of others in ways which make best use of the available resources; delegating appropriately; giving personal attention to the critical issues and events.
Managing Yourself- by reflecting regularly on your personal development, performance and progress; pro-actively asking others for feedback on personal performance and blind spots; changing personal behavior in the light of feedback received; being responsible and taking responsibility for your own personal development needs.
Presenting a Positive Image- by adopting a leading role in initiating continuous right action and conscious decision making; behaving in a professional manner; being open-minded and responsive to the needs of others; visibly working towards personal and organizational development goals; adopting an ethical approach to all personal and organizational activity; being even tempered, positive and supportive to your colleagues; demonstrating fairness and generating integrity at all times.
These essential attributes are many, and difficult to maintain consistently, but they are the attributes needed by, and expected of effective conscious business leaders.
The size of your organization, the business sector, whether public or private, is of little consequence.
Leaders who do well continuously aim to be role models for themselves and others, be visible champions of high standards of insightful, professional and ethical behavior, be leaders who others in their organizations can be proud of and that competitors can inspire to.
Not many of these characteristics are imbued in our leaders by default. They have to be learned, can be learned, and should then be continuously developed, practiced and enhanced with joyful enthusiasm and perseverance.
With these personal attributes in place, and being demonstrated in behavior and actions over time, you will continue to not only feel more balanced and empowered in your task but also experience your leadership as more effective and more successful.
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