Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quick Tip - Get Sharp!

Thank you to the Project Management Institute, and especially PMI Tampa Bay, for continuing to include me in your symposiums since 2007! One of the things I shared on September 12th during my keynote on The Four Questions Many Leaders Overlook was this:

Each of us has a dream, or many dreams, and imagine there was a guy who had the dream to be a lumberjack.  So, instead of just dreaming, he set out to make it his reality. So, he bought a few flannel shirts and an axe, and he moved to Minnesota to live, practice, and eventually pursue a position as a tree cutting lumberjack. With some practice, he found he could cut down 14 trees a day consistently. Off to a tree farm/ranch for a position he went! He got the job, and sure enough, he got 14 trees cut and the manager was pleased, and so was he. Weeks later, he was struggling to get to 14. Days following, he only got 12 trees, and then 10, and eventually, he only got 5 trees per day...even though he was arriving early, staying late and skipping lunch. Finally, deflated, he went to the manager, and said he had a few questions for him including "What could he do?", "How do people do it?", "Were there supplements he could take?", and more. Instead of answering the questions, the manager replied that he only had one question for him, and that question was "When was the last time you sharpened your axe?". The new lumberjack said "Sharpened my axe? But I was far too busy cutting down trees all day every day!!".

So, I ask you: When was the last time YOU sharpened your axe?  And, are you busy cutting down trees?  Get sharp, and sharpen your axe by:
  • Surrounding yourself with successful people
  • Knowing how you define success
  • Investing in yourself and others
  • Keeping an open mind to change (sound familiar?)
  • Be willing to work for results
  • Ask others for input
  • Share ideas for the advancement of others
  • Be happy for those who are doing well
And, stay open to what will serve you, and your dreams well as you spend time and energy to fuel those dreams into reality! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

CHANGE-ing Change

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
-  George Bernard Shaw 
Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics.
(1856 - 1950)
Sayings such as "Change is the new constant", and "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the expectation that the results will change", have become commonplace. Reflecting on these, it's clear that change is all around us, and that change is not something new, or temporary, rather it is something that exists, and our responses to change are what can be changed, and/or are CHANGE-ing, meaning:

C - Check in with people regarding what they are hearing, expecting, concerned about currently 
H - Have an open mind to people's ideas and interests, gossip and concerns 
A - Answer things honestly with straight talk and direct information 
N - Note what themes there are and consider sharing them all with everyone involved 
G - Give options for ways to address things 
E - Encourage communication over speculation
C - Check in with what you and your emotions and thoughts on what may happen  
H - Have an open mind to other people's ideas and interests 
A - Answer questions or statements presented honestly with straight talk and direct inquiry  
N - Note what themes seem to be and gain confirmation or clarification of your perceptions  
G - Give yourself time to process the news 
E - Embrace what is coming with the approach of what you can do to make the most of it 

In either situation, change is coming whether there is a consideration for yourself and others or not.  To change how change is welcomed and shared, make the approach to it CHANGE to get changed results...for the positive!