Wednesday, October 27, 2010

5 Phases to Our Measured Time/Interest

Every philosophy is the philosophy of some stage of life."

~ Friedrich Nietzsche, German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture, 1844-1900

5 Phases to Our Measured Time/Interest

In our lives, there are many stages, learnings and approaches we will take. From a perspective of stages in your learning and living, please consider the following 5 phases, and where you are now...and where you want to be:

Phase 1 - Alive

We don't have a whole lot to do with this's more on our parents to get us here, nonetheless, each of us who is able to read this message is, in fact, alive.

Phase 2 - Survive

A combination of our parents, care-givers and ourselves eventually, we learn what it takes to get survive. This is not much of a desired state, but one where a lot of Americans reside for most or all of their lives.

Phase 3 - Drive

This is where we begin to differentiate what motivates us. It is in this phase where we consciously or unconsciously start to desire things and work toward them. Oddly, some people go through life with little to no drive, and yet those who have it, share it, and act on it are among the "success stories" we love to hear.

Phase 4 - Arrive

In the arrive phase, we are not comfortable, rather pleased with where we are in life. We have accomplished goals, not lost our drive, feel alive, surpass on the survive portion of living, and are in a position to appreciate and reflect on what we are doing and what got us to that phase.

Phase 5 - Thrive

When we move into thrive, we have hit all the others and are moving onto teaching, sharing and giving back to others through our words, actions, investments and interests. In thrive, we are very aware of being alive, all that drives and have not lost sight of the survive and arrive components. We are fully engaged, with little fear, much motivation, and a true yearning to contribute and continue to learn.

While I share these in order, you may find you are in one phase for a portion of your life, say your career, and perhaps another with your finances or career, and that is quite common. Your challenge, your opportunity, should you care to embrace it, is to set your sights on Thrive in all areas and continue to celebrate the wins and successes on your way, and eventually be excited, humble, grateful and reciprocal to others for being there fully!

With appreciation, make the most of each day, and of each phase!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recognition - Encourage, Praise, Reward

"Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition."
~Abraham Lincoln

A lot of people seek recognition, and a lot of us don't readily "give" recognition. Here is a three step approach to recognition for your consideration in leading yourself and others:

1) Encourage the sharing of ideas and flow of thought openly

2) Praise those who demonstrate the application of learning and taking action on ideas/thoughts

3) Reward based on results

When you are clear and consistent with these three things, your recognition approach is something others will realize, respect, and anticipate.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

10 Times the Leadership!

"Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow."
~Chinese Saying~

While there are many lists and ideas about leadership, after speaking with a wonderful and talented client about leading during a one-on-one coaching session, I left and really reflected on what we covered, and consolidated the ideas I shared into my ten (perhaps top 10, and definitely current 10) strengths of an effective leader. The list includes (minimally) the ability to:

Envision - Seeing things for what they are and where they can go.

Observe - Looking at things with little bias and an open mind.

Inquire - Asking of others for input, observations, really listen and hear what is being said for feedback without repercussions to the person.

Care - Wanting to know about the people, the teams, the clients/customer and opportunities earned...and missed.

Cheer - Letting someone know he or she can do it. At times, just taking off the title and being a supportive person.

Coach - Being willing and able to meet people where they are and assist them in getting successfully where they are willing and able to go.

Show & Tell - Demonstrating and informing the team of what is behind, in front of and on the horizon for the company/group, and being willing to lead the way in words and actions. These are forms of effective communication.

Reflect - Making time and take time to consider competition, client desires, team interests and what to make of them and how the wins can be developed, and not just expected or taken.

Grow - Knowing others often have the answers and humility and pride can work hand-in-glove when learning and what serves well is top of mind. Being able to own decisions and seize opportunities for self and others.

Share - Being selfish enough to want the best and selfless enough to let others be a part of it. Knowing there is not just one leader, regardless of titles, and that results, victories and overall success in an effort of more than one. Sharing the opportunities and sharing of yourself by giving back in ways that work for you!

How are you, and your fellow leaders doing on these 10 traits? It's okay, be proud of what you are doing, and hone in on those areas where you'd like to see improvement...after all, you are a life-long learner if you are a true leader of self and others!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mindedness...Open or Closed?

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are just rearranging their prejudices." ~ William James

There is a funny expression shown on bumper stickers and t-shirts that reads "A mind is like a only functions when open", and having been an active skydiver in years past, I was drawn to it for the sport. Once again, in this 4th quarter, with people feeling budget crunches, year-end sales deadlines, and the elections coming, I am reminded of it internally, and now sharing here with you externally for the application of the thought versus the funny of the expression. After all, it's funny because it's true.

Remember, under pressure, we do not do what is right, rather, we do what we know. What do you know to do? Have you learned to be open-minded or closed minded?
A good assessment of how open-minded you are is to reflect on how many times you have said something like "good point, I hadn't considered that" versus the frequency of your saying "you just don't understand". It's the former that keeps us open, and the latter...not so much...

So, remind yourself to say something like "that's interesting, I'll consider it", or other expressions like the one above, and then do it...that is, if you are leaning toward wanting your parachute, or rather you mind, open!!