Thursday, May 31, 2018

Compete with Yourself, Not Others

"Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed - there's so little competition."
~ Elbert Hubbard
American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. Raised in Hudson, Illinois, he had early success as a traveling salesman for the Larkin Soap Company.
(1856 - 1951)

When people ask about being competitive, it conjures up ideas of being cut-throat, win-at-all-cost, aggressiveness for some. Instead of that image of what can be quite negative, shift to the positive and think of competition as being your best.  Your best you is the best competitor in sports, life, business, attitude and actions!

If we set our sites on "beating" another person or company in a sport or business conquest, we can feel demeaned if we don't "win" or can lack compassion and humanity in how we attempt to "not lose". External competition for records and opportunities can be very long as they don't get personal in the way that the person is lost in the goal.

How to keep things competitive, positive, and personal in the way it is about achieving yourself and not exceeding another person is accomplished by setting goals that relate to self and individual actions. Knowing where your strength, your weight, your medical numbers, your work output, your relationships, and more are now, and assessing them for satisfaction 1st, and potential 2nd, creates a now and later effect, meaning, you have a baseline, and then you can set a goal.

Striving for a goal where you can "win" in spite of nobody else "losing" is a health-minded approach to competition. So go ahead, take a look in the mirror, record where you are now, and get competitive...with yourself, make a plan, achieve the goal of being the best you!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

TAKE Criticism Well

Some people provide feedback, and most, who offer us "advice" sadly, provide it in the form of criticism. Even if it is constructive, sometimes it can be hard to swallow!

When you get either feedback or criticism, instead of defending it, TAKE it well, meaning, implore the approach of:

T - Thank the person or share "That's something I hadn't thought of"
A - Ask for clarification or an example if it's not clear
K - Keep calm & focused on how you can learn/grow from this
E - Explain in terms of feedback what you'll do

Once you learn to TAKE criticism, it become useful, and not so much of critical from the other person as it is a consideration on your side!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Meet People Where They Are

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." 
~ Carl Jung
Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. 
(1875 - 1961)

While it can be hopeful to anticipate someone's potential, and reflective to think about what we used to do when we were in a similar position historically in our career/life, it is a challenge, at times, to meet people where they are...and not where we think they are, or where we wish they were!

Personally and professionally, being willing to see people for whom they are, and for what they are doing, serves us well. While that is a simple concept, doing it is not necessarily easy, as we can be overly optimistic, overly pessimistic, or simply unrealistic.

Before determining what to say or do with someone in any situation, remember to see him or her for the person he or she is, and not what you want them to be or hope they'll be. That can be time consuming...and even lead to the proverbial tongue-biting! Ways to accomplish "meeting people where the are" include:
1) Consider the situation & the options
2) Consider what the person wants to do and not do
3) Discuss options openly (not in a directive way)
4) Ask for reasoning and share yours
5) Offer perspective through stories
6) Keep the others from harming themselves or others in their decisions/actions
7) Let the person make his or her own mistakes and make for his or her own success

Meeting someone where s/he is will allow for leading with empathy while allowing others to grow!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Control the Controllables!

Life is a series of choices. How we respond to things and people is a choice. We can control ourselves and our responses.

We cannot control others, the weather, or much else,a nd that does not mean we are out of control or uncontrollable!

We can choose to be mindful of our perspective, expectations, joys and disappointments, and that will impact our outcomes. Our outcomes are within our control when we embrace the idea that we control how situations and personalities impact us. Decide to control the controllables within you, and in effect, you are deciding to let go of those whom, and that which, you cannot control!

Control the controllables...choose to control YOU!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Making Amends

You made a mistake. You said or did something you regret. You were self-centered, or thoughtless. And, now, and perhaps for a while, you owe someone you care about an apology.

Making amends is not easy, and yet here is a simple approach to the challenging experience:
1) Think about the other person and not simply you
2) Approach the other person in private, and even schedule time with him/her
3) Be sincere
4) Share that you erred and you are owning it
5) Apologize for the act and your actions - not how the person interpreted the situation or might feel, and ASK for forgiveness and a fresh start
6) Expect nothing, and accept whatever the person shares
7) Be grateful for getting to voice your view, and give the other person time to process

Stay focused, humble, willing and open as you attempt to make amends in order to be true to your relationship, the other person, and to yourself.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Value of Vulnerability

"When you stop caring what people think, you lose your capacity for connection. When you're defined by it, you lose our capacity for vulnerability."
~ Brene Brown
American Professor at University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation - Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.
(b. 1965)

Often leaders are described as charismatic, smart, visionaries, and vulnerable. Sadly, many of us work, yes, work, at not letting anything detract from our impression on others as someone who "has it all together", meaning there is nothing that can shake us, and that things are nearly perfect! The reality is nobody is perfect, and nothing goes perfectly all the time. We have fears, disappointments, missed opportunities and more. We are human, and as humans growing, we are vulnerable people.

Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability and exposure provide an opportunity to find strength, to bond with others, and to learn from situations and people. Vulnerability is real, and really important.

Sure, sharing everything is not appropriate. Sharing some things - challenges and past experiences, ways you've overcome push-back and set-backs, and choices you've made, all allow others to get to know you and get a chance to potentially learn from what you've experienced.

When you think you'll look foolish, "less-than" or weak, remember that sharing in a positive, non-complaining, realistic way, that is vulnerability, and that is leadership. There's great value in that. So, be a leader and be vulnerable!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Expressing Appreciation in a Note

"Thanks" is nice, and "Thank you" is great, too. Still, saying words of gratitude are not the same as sending words of gratitude.

Yes, say your thanks at the time of your experience, post gratitude (and even a photo) on social media, too. And then, consider sending a hand-written note to the person or people who have impacted you with a gift, a kind word, including you at an event, or even simply the way s/he has presented him or herself at a meeting or talk.

To make the best impression in the note, please:

Start with a greeting and the person's name (we don't use names very often any more)
Skip starting the first sentence with I (makes it about you and not the recipient)
Offer something special you gained from him/her
Close with an uplifting message
Sign it following a sign-off, such as "With gratitude" or something else
It's not ever to late to show appreciation, and while someone receiving the note two days to one week following your exchange is recommended, dig out those nice notecards and get moving! Here's an example:

Hello Joe!
What a spectacular evening it was Friday! Thank you for including me at your table of so many wonderful leaders.
It will be pleasure to follow up with each of them to share how much we each appreciate you.
With gratitude, make it a productive and enjoyable week!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy People Experience Challenges

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
~ Albert Schweitzer
French-German theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician.
(1875 - 1965)

Too often people look to others for their happiness. Happiness does not come from others, or from external influences, rather happiness comes from within.

Happy people are happy. Happy people choose to be happy. They laugh, they smile, they share in the joy of others, and they are happy for the success of people who are thriving!

Still, happy people experience challenges. Happy people get disappointed. Happy people get down, and happy people get distracted. The difference in happy people experiencing these challenges is that happy people know they are challenges, categorize them as such, and they allow themselves to get, grieve, process, and flow through the emotions that come with the challenges. Happy people, truly happy people, do not act like all is okay, or fake their feelings. They may only share them with a few, and yet most importantly, they are honest with themselves about what is happening and how to overcome and learn from what is in front of them.

So remember, you may see a happy person with a look of concern or disappointment, surprise or dismay, and yet that same happy person will show resilience and belief in what lies ahead instead of staying where they are for that moment. They happily traverse the rough waters to get to higher ground and moments of joy. They choose to be happy, and therefore, they are. Choose happiness in the up and down times. Choose happiness in the celebrations and the defeats. Choose happiness in life!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

By the Numbers: Forwarding Goals

"I'm looking forward to the future, and feeling grateful for the past."
~ Mike Rowe
American actor.
(b. 1962)

Goals are often set at this time of the year, and as long as they are for advancing realistic plans, purposes, and growth, goals are worthwhile and rewarding.

There are many ways to enhance goal achievement. Three insights to consider include the following "by the numbers":

Speaker Jim Rohn famously said "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Considering that, to achieve your goals, surround yourself with 5 people who are your personal board of directors, including a cheerleader (believes in you no matter what), a confidant (listens and does not share), a critic (shares ways to improve without concern) advisor (shares advice to assist you), and someone who you aspire to be like (aspiration can serve as inspiration).

20 minutes maters. Whether it is about outlook or mood, how you spend 20-minutes makes a difference. Start your day with 20 minutes of positivity and action that will lead you to positive results. If you feel like you don't want to do something, commit to 20 minutes of effort with the attitude that you will get something done, and you will shift your mood and energy by the time that 20 minutes is complete. Likely you will continue to move ahead as a result.

28 days creates a habit. Some say it's 21 days, and yet I believe it's 28 (perhaps the last 7 are for good measure). Doing something repeatedly for 28 consecutive days (note that is not 3 days on and 2 off with 17 on, four off, and then 8 days, rather it is day after day for 28 sleeps in a row )means you have the best opportunity to continue with commitment . Goals are accomplished through positive, well-serving habits, so get good habits, and get to your goals!

Incorporating these three insights by the numbers will assist you, and empower you to not only set goals, they will, with diligence, empower you to attain goals!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 2018 Lundberg's Life Tip

Similarities with Differences

When you meet someone who reminds you of someone else, someone you don't like, push yourself to find something about that person that you like, admire and/or respect. 

When you meet someone who reminds you of someone else, someone you really like, push yourself to find something about that person that is different, something you like, admire and/or respect about him or her separate from the other person in your life.

By putting yourself in a position to see the person differently, you will treat the person for whom s/he is, and not disrespect or favor someone unfairly.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Avoiding Airplane & Airport Angst!

Since many of us fly commercially, and the glamour of travel is less than it used to be, let's keep some style, consideration and humane-ness to taking flight with the following tips: for avoiding airplane/airport angst:
~If you get on an airplane with a bag, be able to put it away, yourself versus thinking the rules of efficiency for boarding and deplaning don't apply to you.
~If you get on an airplane, be wearing clothes (as opposed to pajamas).
~If you get on an airplane with a cold, get on with tissues and hand sanitizer (and use them instead of sniffing and snorting).
~If you get on a plane with an infant, get on that plane with a pacifier or some sort to assist them/their ears with when the plane is ascending and descending.
~If you get on a plane with food, skip the onions-especially the raw, lingering ones.
~If you are waiting for your airplane, and you make a phone call, make it on earbuds or the old-fashioned holding-the-phone-to-your-ear way, instead of on Facetime or speakerphone.
~If you are going to get on an airplane, and you are on the phone, disconnect before engaging with the gate agent.
If you get on an airplane with a device with sounds, get on with earbuds or a headset (and use it).

In other words, if you get on an airplane with others, remember there are those other people on that plane...and their journey matters, too!

Honing In on HOLIDAY Happiness

"Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you're giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism." 
~ Caroline Kennedy

American author, attorney, and diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017.
(b. 1957)

Honing In on HOLIDAY Happiness
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Or is it? That, is up to you.  Check out the HOLIDAY options below...
Are you on the Grinch-less side, or are you Scrooge-full?  You can move from one to the other with your attitude, your words, your actions and your responses. While some button-pushing may push you in a direction you don't enjoy, pull yourself back to being a Grinch-less, holiday-happy person...whatever you celebrate! Check in on your HOLIDAY spirit below, and choose well!
Are you Grinch-less:

  • Happy
  • Opportunity-seeker
  • Loving life with cheer
  • Immersed in gratitude
  • Dedicated to joy
  • Available for fun
  • Yearning for more

Or are you Scrooge-full:

  • Hectic
  • Overscheduled non-sleeper
  • Longing to hide
  • Inclined to cop a ‘tude
  • Desperate for a drink
  • Avidly avoiding others
  • Yelling in stores

And, when you decide to be less Scrooge-full, and more joy-filled, you find the Grinches move away from you more and more, for you have less and less in common! Happy Holidays, and make the most of all of the season!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Giving Thanks All Year

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving."
~ Betsey Farrell
American Actress

With the turkey (and leftovers) fully enjoyed, and the pumpkins and fall decor put away, Thanksgiving 2017 is "in the books", so to speak. Or, is it?

Sure, the day has gone by, and hopefully there was plenty of thanks, and a lot of love-giving involved that recent Thursday, and yet the spirit of, and the actions associated with Thanksgiving, do not have to be a memory or simply a day of the year that falls between Halloween and Christmas or Hannukah. How so?

Remember the excitement (not the stress) you had thinking about the holiday. Thanksgiving is a combination of appreciation and sharing. These things are not reserved for days of overeating and football. Instead, these are attitudes, actions and feeling for practicing all year long! When challenged, or seeking inspiration, or both, please think THANKS:

T - Tell someone how much you love them each day
H - Help someone without telling them you're "helping"
A - Appreciate little things in life (big things, too!)
N - Name someone good & kind & tell others about him/her
K - Kindle the flame of kindness by spreading and sharing it
S - Smile & give your pearly no-cost gift to friends/strangers

These simple ways of living life include keeping the spirit of Thanksgiving alive and all year long. You can gobble up all thanks, and all the giving every day, and include the leftovers to share with all you meet!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ps of Photo Fabulousness!

Say "Cheese!"

Since social media savvy people, non-stop posters, and simple sharing can make almost every gathering feel like holiday, and with many actual holiday events upcoming, the photos will be taken, posted, liked and commented on before you can say "cheese"!  In order to resist that "let me see" and all the retakes, enjoy the event, don't miss out on much, and feel fabulous and embrace photo taking, by please considering the following Ps to Photo fabulousness:

P - Pick your best side (we each have one, and yet it could vary by the day, so check it out!) and make an effort to get that side facing, so to speak (and resist saying "this is my best side", rather consider saying "I'll happily take this end" when you are in a row of people, or even it is just two of you).
P - Plant your back foot and lean your weight on it(this serves to keep you from leaning, and pull in your abdomen for balance, creating a lean look).
P - Point your front foot (without bending your knee, rather keeping that leg straight).
P - Place hand on your outer hip, or put hand at your side with a slight bend (most men, and some women prefer this latter option to the "hand on your hip" look).
P - Position shoulder (on camera-facing side by rolling your shoulder to get good posture, get your shoulders aligned, and keep your chest up and out).
P - Peer out of your eyes (by widening them and looking up as you dip your chin).
P - Play up those Pearly Whites (finish the powerful and fun photo by giving a real, sincere smile.
P - Pop your personality! Photos are best when they are reflective of the best, grateful you!

By quickly giving your pictures these Ps, you'll likely feel great, and even desire to share, tag, and even print the shots you are in this year!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Effective Introductions

One on one, and in group/networking settings, people often say "I'd like to introduce you to..." instead of simply making the introduction!

Adding useless filler before connecting two, or more, people takes time, so instead, get to the introduction(s) by:
1) Smiling at the people involved.
2) Stating the "Higher Ranking" person's name as you look at him/her
3) Saying "Please meet" or, "this is,"
4) Sharing the "Lower Ranking" person's name as you look at him/her
5) Offering some positive/connection details about each person in order to "seed" the conversation with ideas to get them started

With that approach, you can stay or go, and know that there is more than an introduction, and that you have started the beginning of a real connection!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Banking on Your Emotional Currency Investment

"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness."

~ Abraham Maslow

American Psychologist

(1908 - 1970)

There are a variety of "currencies" we use daily. We have cash, we have credit, we have time, and we have emotional currency.

In order to "bank" on good things for you, and those you impact, ensure that emotional currency is in tact through the following ten approaches/actions:

#10 - Get your sleep. Resting your mind and your body are ways you can reinvigorate yourself, and keep yourself well as your emotional currency earns interest!
#9 - Assess your habits. Are your habits well-serving, or not? Keep the well-serving habits, and adjust or abandon, change or correct the poor-serving habits.
#8 - Set & Respect Boundaries. Realize what is important, what your "hot buttons" are, and ensure you protect your vulnerabilities while setting boundaries to keep wellness possible and probable.
#7 - Unplug. You can live without devices...and by minimally doing so for an hour each day, you will truly connect with who you are with and what you are doing.
#6 - Have an outlet. If you like yoga, walking, running, collecting stamps, or something else, find something that takes you away from your stressors, distractors and otherwise non-grounding thoughts and actions.
#5 - Say no. Sure, say "Yes" when the opportunity and your interest and time align. Say "No" when they do not. There is no reason to explain your "No", and adding "thank you" after the "No", may make the rejection of the offer/idea, even more comfortable to say.
#4 - Practice positive self-talk. Ensure you are not saying to yourself "I'm so dumb" or "I don't know if I can do it", as your external speak is tremendously important, and your self talk is 10 times more important, as you set yourself up for success and forward momentum with the well-serving self talk. Your emotions, and therefore, your emotional bank, gets filled and/or depleted by others, and you!
#3 - Talk it out. Having someone who you trust for getting positive discussion and perspective is huge. With that person, or people, to offer realistic engagement, if you are going to talk about challenges, please have a "vent vacuum" whereby you only keep the griping to only a few moments (set a timer), and that you turn things around with, and for, positivity.
#2 - CARE. Use your Communication, Appreciation, REciprocation, and Expectations in being well, and using your emotional currency in a positive effort.
#1 - Know you are now, and always will be, more than what you do for a living. What you do is important, and who you are is more important!

To get, be, and stay well, use your emotions, and your bank of this currency to "buy" yourself the opportunity to be get there...with an investment in you!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Personal Offense AND Defense

"The best defense is a good offense."
~ Jack Dempsey
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey, nicknamed "Kid Blackie" and "The Manassa Mauler", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926.
(1895 - 1983)

While college football may be on the field, on our minds, and on our TVs at this time of year, it brings to consideration an age old argument of what wins games...offense or defense?

The answer is least in life. Winners of confidence, relationships and presence use both offense and defense thoughtfully and strategically, kindly, and appropriately for leading and navigating opportunities and challenges.

How so?

Demonstrate a sound offense by:

  • Being prepared
  • Planning ahead for the "What next?" approach to ideas and execution
  • Surrounding yourself with those who think similarly and differently than you do
  • Going deeper in your line-up than originally planned
  • Practicing your delivery of ideas and answers
  • Avoiding saying things that will directly offend others (avoid "always" and/or "never")

Demonstrate a sound defense by:

  • Taking alternative views/perspectives into consideration
  • Playing "What else?" questions through your mind in order to answer them
  • Saying "You may be right..." before answering a contradictory statement or question (keeps you calm, and does not insight defensiveness from others)
  • Staying professional by responding with "It sounds like..." or "What it seems like..." if/when you are offended by someone or something said (versus getting personal)

Keeping both your offense and your defense in game-day form will likely have your enjoying your opportunities, and facing your challenges with good plays, good blocking and tackling...and even better results!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Skip "Tough" & "Hard" to Bring Focus & Direction

People often respond to questions about a situation or experience they are going through with "This is so hard" or "This is tough", and in response, we often say things such as "It seems hard" or "It has to be tough".

While we mean well, how we speak to/with others and how we think and speak to ourselves (yes, we talk to ourselves!), matters. "Tough" and "hard" can bring us down, make us feel like we are battling, and position situations and people in a way that seem heavy and burdensome.

Using words and expressions such as "Things are challenging AND I'm tackling them" or "While some things have not gone as smoothly as I had wanted, I have been facing them head on", or even "This has been a learning experience", or "This has been challenging", or "This was an unexpected opportunity to learn a few things" may seem like a stretch, they can be. That stretch puts you in a position to grow, and in a position to focus on positive direction and moving forward rather than being stuck in a position or feeling of "tough" or "hard"!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Passive Vs. Polite

"Be as polite to the custodian as you are to the chairman of the board." 
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
American author best known for his inspirational book, Life's Little Instruction Book, which was a New York Times bestseller. 

Being kind is not being soft.
Being thoughtful is not being indifferent.
And, being polite is not being passive.

Passive people are not yes-people or no-people, they are under-the-radar-people. Passive people don't step up, speak up, or rev up.

Polite people say yes. Polite people say no (and no, thank you). Polite people are on the radar, and they step up, speak up, and yes, they get revved up!

The difference in the passive person and the polite person is a combination of appreciation, learning, respect, belief, confidence and presence. Sometimes, when polite people are misunderstood, they get called passive, when they are assessing, considering, gaining information, and being thoughtful...and even kind in thinking about his/her approach.

Once the polite person has his/her position, the politeness becomes present through the body language and words. With openness and words that demonstrate consideration and professionalism, the thoughtfulness of intent becomes a result of respect and thoroughness.

So, if you are ever tempted to wait and wait, instead, wait, see, and share. You are not passive, afterall, and you are kind and thoughtful. With that, you are not soft or are polite!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meeting Invites - Demystified

Meetings are a way of life!
Often people send me meeting invitations, and a surprising number of them look like this:

Subject: Meeting with Debbie Lundberg
Location: My Office

Seriously? If I accept this invitation, it goes on my calendar as: Meeting with Debbie Lundberg at My Office. That means absolutely nothing to me!
When sending an invitation, think of the recipient and not just yourself. Instead of the other person's name, please include both names, or the name of the company or group, and the actual location (with address, preferred if inviting people outside your company). The same invitation would read as:

Subject: Meeting: Steve Smith and Debbie Lundberg
Location: XYZ Company (123 W. South Street, Oakland, CA)

Additionally, including an agenda and notes on what is expected from each attendee, are terrific, too! By including minimally all involved, and the actual physical location, you will make a calendar invite that works, and is useful, on everyone's calendar!