A litmus test for centering your Attitude
One of the most powerful questions we can ask ourselves is, “Am I a fountain, or a drain.” There is precious little good news in the media today. If we stay wired to TV newscasts we’ll be in a foot race for the ledge of a tall building. The question means that we have options. Choose wisely is the caution.
We learn that along the way that we should be asking ourselves questions like: “What would I do, if I could do anything in the world, and knew that I could not fail?” And we find that however we answer that question, the response we will get is: “then do it anyway.” Whether you have a guarantee or not, do it anyway. Why? Because you are your own guarantee! When we accept responsibility for our success and acknowledge that silver bullets don’t exist, then we’ve raised our game to that of successful people. What determines our level of effort? Whether we will get up after we’ve been knocked down? Whether we will try when we’ve been told we can’t do something? Again the answer is: ATTITUDE!
A litmus test for centering your Attitude
Invisible forces are at play in organizations when a change of direction is in the wind. Larger businesses require more time, effort, and resources to change direction. We find that human nature is a powerful force when working in organizations. Fear, skepticism, and the avoidance of pain or discomfort are usually the causes for resistance to change. If you have ever seen a mule resist being urged to move, the effects of change can cause people in the organization to make mules look tame. The fight is on. Excuses flowing. Heels dug in instead of embracing it. Human nature at work.
So, how do we address these human factors? Make the changes. I find that resistance eases with knowledge and information. We communicate, engage people and spread the agenda throughout the organization. There are formal communication channels and then there are the ‘best’ communication channels…the informal. Find the right team members who are the mainstays in that informal channel. Get them on your team. And, when the boss has absolute clarity on where she’s going, the staff all of a sudden is motivated, on the team, alert. Funny how that is…
Know the truth about yourself, Know the truth about others.
Self-Awareness, Self-Knowledge. This is not about sitting on the mountain top chanting and humming. It is about clarity in your Purpose. Knowing Why you do what you do. That’s when CEOs and business owners can clearly see another’s perspective and deal with leadership issues. Build awareness/knowledge through self-appraisals. You’ll need someone help you with this. A coach or consultant. “Read your resume” is a practice I encourage, especially when the tide seems to be against you. What shaped you? what are the sources for your values? what decisions have affected me? What are my values and what do I stand for? Then focus on your Goals, Purpose, Why. That’s when our clarity provides the compassion and empathy required of a leader. It starts with knowing yourself.
Leaders Seek Un-biased Help to be more Effective
We see a lot about leadership. Layers of experts telling us what is important. For me one of the ‘absolutes’ about leaders is that the business owners or those who go higher into an organization must be more adept with psychological and relational issues. You’ve got to know about other people. That just uncovered a sea of discussion, but we’ll tackle that later.
How many times have I been told “my people aren’t motivated”, “we can’t get the right people”, “there’s a disease in my company.” Then I come in to ‘fix’ it. Well, guess with whom we begin on the fixing stuff. Right, the boss. In 30-60 days guess how well the team is doing on all issues… right again, they are getting in step with the boss. This isn’t sometimes, it’s every time.
So, the rest of the message is that owners, executives , leaders, and oh yes Board Members, must become more Self-Aware. Their ability to see others’ needs and perspectives gives them a real advantage in finding solutions, leading to successful conclusions, motivating the team . More to come on Self-Awareness.
They sound like odd bed fellows!
I was reminded recently by a client and again by a friend how Attitude effects everything. Everything is kind of a big area! But Attitude reaches all of it. It’s one of the few things we alone control. No other person or thing has that control. There may be influencers, but no controllers.
I watched as a client’s Attitude started to dip, severely. No new business coming in. All the Networking wasn’t working. Finances getting tight, and so on. Then! wham! The Networking started paying off in New contacts. Renewed interest in talking to him. New clients. Guess what happened to the Attitude. Guess. Yep, right back up. New level of positive.
We will have those ‘bad’ moments where Attitude comes under attack. As my Ranger buddy says, “Dawg, you gotta go forward, backward or to the sides. Sittin’ there will get you killed.” We have to decide and we have to move, because we are the only ones who completely control our Attitude.
This client got himself moving again by Networking his way back into the new business game. What can you do? What WILL you do? In addition to Networking, what can we do to maintain the positive mental Attitude.
Reminders seem to appear in just the timely sequence when I need them. As a mentor to executives,I can tell you how to do it…and then I have to remember for my own benefit some of those “pearls” I’m casting about for my clients.
One reminder that keeps re-appearing has to do with sticking to the basics. You know, that old saw about blocking and tackling. Well, I observed a client recently move his business ahead significantly by just sticking to the basics of business development, client service and pursuit of one’s goals. There had been some frustration over the past several months about not achieving financial goals, not able to find the time, didn’t have enough prospects, and more. From time to time there was push back on suggestions to fix these dilemmas. Not much seemed to work, to solve problems.
But we persevered on the basics. All of sudden the pipeline is full. He’s smashing through goals for the first quarter. Attitude is 100% positive. There is time for everything. Yep, just sticking to the basics. Oh, I think there’s a little bit of that “nothing succeeds like success” mixed in too. It truly sometimes just takes one little success-thing and then the gates open up.
What’s he doing? What are the basics?–Glad you asked: Reviewing his goals every morning. Focused on his Why, his Purpose. Acing the Productivity challenge. Committed to his tasks. Mastering Change. Insuring one’s Attitude is positive. Taking Action.
It’s a great reminder to me and I wanted to share it with you.
I came across this quote from Harold Koenig:
“Having purpose and vision during retirement is one of the most important determinants of mental, social, spiritual, and physical well-being in later life.” – Harold G. Koenig, author
Of course the more I looked at the quote the echo became not just for retirement, but for life. If you know me or my content here you see Purpose and Vision in most of what I say and how I coach clients. While I have several clients who are nearing retirement most are not. This kind of direction is applied to both.
Nourish these 4 elements. Have fun, be serious, work hard, relax….whatever you do, make it count. Get the Purpose and Vision “things” going and watch what happens to your future.
Family and Friends. Turkey and football. Jingle Bells and Oh Holy Night. The scent of a Christmas tree. Smiles and laughter.
I hope I am the first to wish you a Happy Holiday Season! Starting with
Here are some thoughts as we go into the season I’d like to share with you.
I am thankful for Stefanie Wargala, Griff’s finance, and Erin Burris, Drew’s wife. They are great additions to our family!!
I am grateful for My Marilyn and our boys; My brother & sister and their families. We need to tell our families how much we love them.
I am asking God to give a kiss to the loved ones we no longer see.
I am grateful I have a spiritual life.
I am thankful for my friends. There aren’t enough words to express my love and devotion to the true friends in my life. I wish health for you in our journey through time.
I am grateful for the opportunity to work. I cannot imagine sitting down. There are just too many people yet to meet.
I am thankful for the friends I have made through my work, my clients and associates. I see you more than my family.
I am thankful that I need a moment when they play TAPS for a soldier. Please say ‘thank you’ to our older veterans too.
I am thankful I can vote.
I am thankful for the people who believe in me and for those who along the way gave me a chance with their confidence and trust.
I’m glad there are those of us who still believe we should say “Merry Christmas”.
I am grateful when you stand up for what is right. Not just soldiers and first responders. Ordinary folks like us who will not allow an injustice to go unchecked.
Most of all, I am thankful for you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.
How Big Achievers Do It
TAKE ACTION: It’s time to Take Action. I see too many people waiting for someone else to do it. Waiting for someone to help them. Looking for someone to deliver the silver bullet. I see a lot of people waiting for the perfect plan, perfect time, perfect whatever. An 80% plan well implemented is better than a 100% plan never developed. You know hundreds of stories, yourself included, of people who have Acted. Some succeeded and some didn’t have the great success they wanted. But they moved. That’s just the way it is. But not trying is not an option. An old Army sergeant, veteran of Korea and Viet Nam, told me in Ranger training, “Son, either go forward or backward, to the right or to the left….but do not stand there. They will kill you!” Here is what we learn: Good intentions don’t count! We cannot build something based on what we are going to do.
Vision without Action is merely a Dream…
Action without Vision passes time…
Vision with Action can change Your Life…
How the Big Achievers Do It!
Commitment: Commitment to a vision, a business and Goals. Your Focus. Are there degrees of commitment? Probably. You know the story about breakfast right? About Commitment vs. Involvement. See, at breakfast the chicken is Involved, but the pig is Committed!! So–Are we committed until something better comes along? –Do we commit to losing weight until we drive by Dunkin Donuts? –Is commitment the thing that makes us “Go the Extra Mile?” –Do we commit to doing the hard yards when the easy ones seem to be so …EASY? –Are we committed enough to find a solution when everyone around us is telling us “it can’t be done”. Commitment is being passionate enough to succeed. Not procrastinating and not delaying decisions. It is also a lifestyle choice. It is an attitude. It is believing that what we are doing is important enough to stay the course.
Being committed to our purpose, our vision requires effort and action. It is easy to quit. Doing a good job is good,… doing more and in a great way is the way to success.