Thursday April 9, 2015 #715
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Most of us are taught at home, at school, and at work how to plan effectively to minimize and avoid risk. This has been an ineffective way to prepare for today’s reality of exceptional speed and change, and frankly has never been a good strategy. Change has always been a constant, and the difference today is the speed of that change. What we must all develop is the capacity and courage to take frequent and appropriate risks. The environment around us is changing so rapidly that we must move more quickly than may be comfortable and this requires taking risk. We can and should prepare for our decisions regarding risk through developing intellectual curiosity, learning as much as possible and paying attention to what is happening around us. The risks we take will be necessary and more likely to succeed. Standing still and avoiding risk is not an option. Prepare as best you can, but act, even if it is risky.
Tuesday April 7, 2015 #714
“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.”
~Marjorie Pay Hinckley
We overcomplicate our lives. We search endlessly for techniques to “find” happiness, when the reality that happiness is a decision. No one has everything they want and no one ever will. We all have challenges, unfair occurrences, losses, and frustrations. The question not about avoiding these things, it is a matter of deciding how we’ll react. Life is not fair or unfair. It simply “is”. Choose to enjoy life, accept the challenges and notice and celebrate the everyday small positives that are your path to joy.
Thursday April 2, 2015 #713
“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal which is worthwhile.”
Yes, for some, leadership comes more naturally than others due to innate intelligence, charisma, and confidence. However, sustainable success as a leader requires not only some level of these talents, but also the exceptional drive, motivation and perseverance required to push through inevitable challenges. Even someone with limited charisma and confidence, and average intelligence, can rise to effective leadership success if they are willing and able to fight through obstacles and failures with determination and grit. And highly intelligent and charismatic individuals often fail to lead due to laziness and hubris. Regardless of your level of talent, if given the opportunity to lead, focus on your character and drive and you can be the leader you are capable of and that your people need.
Tuesday March 31, 2015 #712
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.”
Each of us has innate skills and talents, as well as activities and interests we are most passionate about. If we are fortunate, we are able to bring those skills and talents to work and activities that bring us joy. If not, we may find ourselves trudging through a life in which our talents are not utilized, and our passions are not realized. Too often, we expect people to be something they aren’t. Or others expect this of us. It is important for you to understand your unique strengths and utilize them in a way that brings you satisfaction. If you are in a position of leadership, it is important to recognize the talents of each of the people in your team, understand what they are passionate about, and strive to match these to tasks and roles that maximize their contributions and engagement. Don’t stay in roles that require you to be something you are not or do not make use of your unique talents, and do not ask this of others.
Thursday March 26, 2015 #711
“I can’t understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
We live in a time of accelerating change which, because of most people’s abject fear of change, creates anxiety and bad behavior. Often this translates into closed communities of like-minded folks who fight to keep their way of thinking unchanged. This is most obvious with religion and ethnicity but also is seen in corporate silos and even family factions. This can lead to xenophobia, prejudice and discrimination.
In my view, other than core ethical areas such as honesty and human kindness, we are at our best when we allow our beliefs to evolve. When confronted with differing views, rather than finding fault, seek to understand. You do not need to adopt the other viewpoint, but neither do you need to be afraid of it or fight against it.
Change is the only constant – learn, understand, evolve.
Tuesday March 24, 2015 #710
“Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.”
~Thomas J. Watson
Most people, teams, and organizations react in the same way to success: An assumption that they have the right formula for success and so they decide to use that formula again and again. Logically if you consider the extraordinary level of change occurring in our macro and micro economic environment today, it is obvious that the formula for success today can’t possibly be relied upon to continue to work. Interestingly most people will never understand this. They keep trying the same formula and are surprised, even devastated, when it doesn’t work. The key is to pay attention to your environment. Observe, learn, and adapt. So be part of the unique few who not only understand this but act on it: reinventing success daily through their curiosity, observations and ability to test new ideas.
Thursday March 19, 2015 #709
“Things never happen on accident. They happen because you have a vision, you have a commitment, you have a dream.”
~Oscar de la Renta
As you work to achieve the things you want in life – personally and professionally, the key is to have clarity on what you are striving for, and intentional actions to get you there. As you think about your progress, ask yourself if you are truly clear on how you define success and whether your actions are in alignment with the path to achieve that success. Is your time being well spent or are you drifting? It is important to do this status check regularly. Have and know your vision, stay committed, and act.
Tuesday March 17, 2015 #708
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.”
I suppose it is just part of being human, but I have come to realize that the time spent worrying about things that may go wrong is an exercise in pure futility. If you reflect on the many things you worry about, you will know that the vast majority – if not all – of these worries never happen. The positive aspect of “worry” is that you stay aware of things that could go awry and intentionally take steps to avoid these things. Beyond that logic though, worry serves no purpose. The lesson is to be pragmatic and intentionally avoid obvious pitfalls, and to avoid obsessing over things that not only are easily avoidable but are highly unlikely to happen.
Thursday March 12, 2015 #707
“To believe in your choice you don’t need to prove that other people’s choices are wrong.”
Social media and daily conversations are filled with people attempting to persuade others to accept their views and their vision of reality. Often this leads to heated arguments and worse. All this shows is people with weak character and insecurities which require them to “prove” they are right. When you possess true character and courageous conviction, you have no need to convince anyone in your beliefs. Stop trying to persuade others and calmly go about your life, secure in your core beliefs.
Tuesday March 10, 2015 #706
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”
Not always, but often, our true path lies in a direction we had never envisioned. The moment of recognition may come as a shock as you realize that your purpose, and your path to real joy and ultimately success, requires letting go of what you and others expected of yourself. It’s the career person who realizes they must become an entrepreneur. It is the financier who recognizes their true passion is in charitable works. Or a million other less dramatic choices. What is your true purpose, your true passion? Is your current life fulfilling your potential? Alignment to your gifts and passions will create true joy and contentment.
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