Hello, It’s been awhile…and what a great day to be back by honoring our Military Heroes! I was a military family member for many years and understand the sacrifices that are made to keep our Country Free. What a better way to stay motivated on a cold and snowy Monday than to honor all Veterans. Sometimes it is difficult to get up and lean into the day – especially if you know it is going to be a rough one! It’s easy to stay in bed all cuddled under the blankets. Throw them off and lead the day with courage! It takes a lot of courage to wake up and walk out into danger…but we dig down into our hearts and know that we have a purpose and there is meaning it what we do. We inspire people…we motivate people…we provide direction to people.
Let’s honor those who have sacrificed the most…those who got up every day and looked danger in the face…who left behind sons and daughter; husband and wives; moms and dads…to protect the most valuable thing we have has Americans…Freedom! For this we are forever grateful! To all the Veterans out there…Thank you for your services – we appreciate your sacrifice for our freedom!
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up” – John Holmes
Today is a day of appreciation…remembering and honoring those who have lost their lives fighting for us…the ultimate sacrifice. We owe our freedom to those soldiers so we can go to the beach, so we can eat hamburgers and play tennis…so we can take pictures and scroll the Internet. Our freedom is valuable! Think about the motivation it takes to go into battle everyday…to fight for our freedom. In many situations for someone in the military, motivation is the key to success. Motivation can be described as something which compels a person to act with determination. A true passion to serve and fight for something so meaningful!
I’ve known a lot of military people in my life. There are many reasons they signed up…Maybe it is to take care of their family, maybe it is to get an education, maybe it is for the friendships…but at the end of the day…they joined to protect this country! They are motivated by their deep passion to serve and protect the freedom we all enjoy! We honor those individuals who sacrifice for us so we can enjoy this day. Those who serve sacrifice time with their family and in many cases sacrifice their mental health…but today we honor those who have sacrificed the most by giving their life so that we may live in freedom! Let us take time today to remember those who have fallen. Let us not take for granted the sacrifice they made!
Life gets in our way sometimes. A friend is sick and you don’t know how to help or a close family member passes away and you don’t know what to say. These life situations can bring us down. We feel like we take two steps forward and one step back. We must first feel the emotions and then push past them. We must pick ourselves up and move on. Dig deep to find the motivation to continue to live life. Self motivation is well with in your control. What you say to yourself and how you respond to the world around you will effect your ability to move forward.
We must expel those negative thoughts…to do so, release your frustrations. Get rid of it! It serves no purpose. You should also know that you are not alone in your thoughts. Everyone has them… it is natural…we just need to work on passing through the negative thoughts. Another thing you can do is focus on what you can do. If you don’t know how to help a sick friend, ask, or maybe offer to bring lunch or dinner. By concentrating on what we can do, we can move forward doing something. Life is a journey. You will grow and learn if we have our eyes wide open…looking for those things we can do. Take action which serves a higher purpose. Get up and get moving. “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” — Benjamin Franklin.
In order to continue to shape our leadership we must learn to be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to feel, share and understand what another person is going through without passing judgement. Why, as a leader, do we need to be empathetic? Leadership is about the ability to relate and connect with others in order to inspire them to be better tomorrow than today. So when we can put ourselves in someone else’s shoes we can feel where they are. This builds trust and connectivity. When there is a higher level of trust others feel safe. When we feel safe, we will open up to listening more, learning more and performing more. As a leader, when we show empathy, it creates a bond with team members and you become more insightful which helps you understand the root of the problem and can discover solutions more quickly.
To be empathetic you must listen intently to the other person without judgement. You should listen for understanding. Most importantly, you listen to provide support. It doesn’t mean you must solve or fix their issues or that you are in agreement, it just means you are there to have a better understanding from their point of view. Team members need to feel valued and just asking the question “are you okay” goes a long way! When someone has stopped performing at the level you are used to, instead of becoming upset and frustrated, stop and listen; find out what is going on! Taking the time to find out how your team is doing and truly listening will only build a better connection and a higher level of trust leading to better performance and a personal sense of satisfaction.
Let’s be more empathic this week. Slow down and check out the small details…tune into the mood of your team. Then take a moment to listen. Best of luck this week. Let me know how it is going! “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” — Stephen Covey
Hello…It’s Monday! Let’s get this party started! I was recently reading an article on the Goldilocks Rule and was intrigued by this philosophy. Think of a time when you were playing a game – maybe a board game. The first game you play is a children’s game – it’s super easy and you could win every game. How did you feel? After awhile you get bored right? There is no challenge in this at all except maybe figuring out how to let your opponent win – but even that gets boring. The second game you play is a game of chess and your opponent is a pro – now the situation is in reverse – you may hold your own, however, you lose every game – very frustrating right? Even though you are not a quitter…your motivation to continue waivers – why lose all the time! Now the third game you play is with an opponent who is equally skilled. You win one, your opponent wins one…and you have a good shot of winning the entire game…now this feels pretty good…challenging enough that it keeps you going. You want to come back for more…you may even want to learn more about the game so you can be even better!
Today analyze your day. Are you bored with what you are doing? If so, ask for another project or find a purpose that inspires you to do better. Are you stressed to the max? Is it because you are in a job or working on a project that strains your knowledge base? Don’t let it get you down, find a co-worker who may be able to assist you, or ask questions. Break down the project into smaller projects so you can have a sense of accomplishment! The point is to find the sweet spot of challenging yourself just enough to keep you coming back for more because it is exciting and you feel invigorated and successful! It’s not too easy. It’s not too hard. It’s just right!
Continue to monitor every day to see where you are. If you stick to the Goldilocks Rule…working on things that stretch your ability but are not too easy or too difficult…then measure your success…and solicit feedback quickly whenever possible you will want to get up every day with enthusiasm to tackle the day. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” — Vince Lombardi
Have you ever had several weeks go by and feel like you haven’t accomplished one thing? This happens all the time. Life gets in the way. Not only are there 10 work projects going on at the same time, but personal life is just as busy…maybe you have visitors, sickness, new babies, landscape projects or just things that need to get done! Life events happen and they take your full focus! You shouldn’t feel bad about that. Life throws us curves all the time…but what is the most important thing in life? What is the most important thing you need to focus on at this very moment? If you are feeling guilty or overwhelmed…STOP…nothing else really matters at this moment. Take a step back to break it down into more manageable steps.
This is difficult to do! Our first thought is “we can do this”…we are very good at multi-tasking…we can just get it all done at once…we work on writing that policy and procedure while we are on the conference call…trying to pay attention to both. Doing this is a sure way to accomplish less work. The quality of the work is not near what you are capable of and then you missed the major message in the conference call. AND now you have to redo the policy and procedure or spend more time on it and you didn’t truly listen on the call so now you are delayed at starting the next project. So what do we do…we must get things done! Start with scheduling your day. If you know you have a conference call and you must complete the policy and procedure (among other things) then make a list of tasks your must accomplish putting them in order of priority. Keep the promise to yourself to turn off the bells and whistles of your phone and computer and truly focus on the conference call without anything else in front of you…take notes if you must. This will help keeping your hands busy and maybe you will capture the very essence of the call.
Challenge yourself today to focus on what matters…take the time to plan your day…structure it in a way where at the end you will feel AMAZING! Head into the weekend with peace knowing you have performed with purpose. Good luck and let me know how it is going! “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” ~ David Rockefeller
It can be difficult to look in the mirror and ask the question…”Who Am I?” We often do not know who we want to be or truly who we are. It takes some deep soul searching sometimes. Our thoughts can get in our way. We look at that person staring at us and think about all those concerns we have…am I good enough, am I strong enough, do I have what it takes, do others like me, do they think I’m good enough! As I have mentioned before we are going to stop the negative thoughts and concentrate on all those good things about you…because there are many. Finding out who we really are is exciting.
Improving self awareness requires you to get to know yourself for who you really are. Understanding what makes you happy, sad, angry, etc. is required. Knowing this information helps you control your behavior or at least helps you focus on acknowledgement and accepting those emotions. It takes courage and discipline to increase our self awareness. You must be vulnerable. It takes analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. Most of us are pretty good about knowing our strengths and talking about them, but have difficulty identifying and expressing our weaknesses. If we admit we have weaknesses we feel we may be rejected or not valued. We all have weaknesses and we must identify them so we can put them into perspective and accept they are a part of who we are. If we can laugh at ourselves and show a sense of humor we will be on our way to becoming more confident.
For example, I am directionally challenged…I get lost just about wherever I go…even if I have been there before! It’s true! I used to be upset about this but now I just laugh it off and make fun. I typically get to where I am going…maybe just not as quickly as I wanted to. I know what you are thinking…with today’s technology… use GPS! HA! I do use my GPS…that’s why I get there eventually! Of course, I know this is a weakness of mine so I accept this, make adjustments and work on overcoming…and sometimes I do pretty good! So let’s look back in that mirror…dig deep…see who you really are. “Practice self-awareness, self-evaluation, and self-improvement. If we are aware that our manners – language, behavior, and actions – are measured against our values and principles, we are able to more easily embody the philosophy, leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.” – Frances Hesselbein
Hellllllooooooo Monday! Let’s get this week started. As I was considering what to talk about today, I was fortunately sent an article on a 90 year old who is graduating on May 5th from Northeastern Illinois University with his first Bachelor’s Degree! WOW. At 90 his motivation was not to get a better job or that something was missing from his life but to be better and to learn more. Getting your first degree at 90 is not something we hear about every day. So where do you think this is coming from. I am sure there are so many other things he could be doing. Well, he had a goal and he was bound and determined to complete his goal. AND it is never too late to achieve our goals.
We know that completing our goals are not always easy and getting motivated and out of the rut can be even more difficult! So what do we need to do. One thing you can consider is taking another look at your goals. Are they really yours or do they belong to someone else. Sometimes we take on goals because someone else thinks it is what we should do. If this is the case then we need to let them go. If we do not have skin in the game…we are not committed. We are not excited and therefore will not take the steps necessary to get to the next level. This can be discouraging and so we get in a rut thinking we are never going to accomplish our goals.
So let’s get out of that rut…first acknowledge you are in a rut and get out there and get some exercise. Once you have done that…we will need to break down the issues into small doable steps. If you need to…talk to a friend…talk about the details and get specific. You will have a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step. An important thing would be to celebrate every step of the way. Don’t let one obstacle get you down. Dust yourself off, stand up, and move on with your life and think happy thoughts!!! Bets of luck and let me know how you are doing!
As we continue to shape our leadership, this week I want to remain on the path of self awareness. Have you ever had interactions with co-workers or your boss and you know for sure there is absolutely no self-awareness on their part? You know who I’m talking about right? That person who is so full of themselves, they are always right and it doesn’t matter what you say…or that co-worker who always makes excuses on why they just can’t get things done…it is always someone else’s fault. That other person who doesn’t take any responsibility or is completely passive aggressive! The kicker is when ‘those people’ say they are self aware and then blame someone else for why they act the way they do and then have the guts to tell you – that YOU should become more self aware like they are! Is it possible to ‘change’ them, to help them see the light in how they are perceived?
It is impossible to help others if they are not ready to go on this journey of self discovery. The best we can do is to continue in our own growth. The more self aware you become and the more visible you make yourself, the better the possibility of them becoming self aware. They will see in you who they want to be…someone who is self assured, confident and assertive, someone who is courteous to others and leads by example, someone who stands up for others and follows your own path. By being self aware you are more at peace with life and those around you. That shines through when you are working with others. You become more respectful and respected! The main reason for lack of self awareness is fear…fear of what others will think about us, fear of not knowing the answer, fear of … (fill in the blank). Let’s take the first step to self awareness…DO NOT JUDGE.
This is a big task isn’t it…we are judgmental people aren’t we? We talk about others faults all of the time…it is no wonder we are not willing to be open and free. This week take the time to ask yourself this one question… “Who Am I?” And then listen. Don’t be afraid…this is the first step in becoming more self aware. Our goal here is to be better tomorrow than we are today. Take that first step…
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” — Marie Curie
In order for us to accomplish our goals…we must be motivated. Motivation comes from within…now you might be inspired by others, but if you do not take some sort of action you won’t get done what you want. So let’s start with positive thoughts. If you find yourself thinking negatively then turn that off and think about something that makes you happy…maybe it is a beautiful memory, or a place you have been or would love to go. Go to that place that makes you smile! Next, let’s find some confidence…you are an amazing individual…think about all the successes you have had…go on I know you have had a lot of them. Now let’s apply this thought process to the week…
Pull out those goals we started a few weeks ago…what steps do you need to take this week to get closer to accomplishing those goals? Is there one goal closer to completion than another…or is there a goal that puts a smile on your face…makes you feel good to get one more step closer…then choose that one. Great! Now let’s break down that goal. What can you realistically accomplish this week? For example, if your goal is to loose 50 lbs…well we know that won’t happen this week, however…loosing 2 – 3 lbs this week is certainly doable…let’s take this more manageable step to close the gap to our ultimate goal.
Finally, tell someone what you want to accomplish this week! Have an accountability coach. This will help you stay focused and inspired to get it done! Don’t worry if you have set backs or ‘stuff’ gets in your way…stay positive and keep taking action. Best of luck this week…let me know how it is going. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” –Roy T. Bennett