Many years ago, I did go through a period of time where my work wasn’t necessarily inspiring. However, I always believed it would eventually get better. Rule number one: if you don’t like your reality then change it.
History has proven that societies that bond together during difficult times through shared common goals and a higher worthy purpose always emerge stronger as a result. Let’s make history by not unraveling!
I have been a Charles Handy fan for many years and find that his work only becomes more prescient and meaningful with time. It’s amazing how he could envision the world we would be doing business …
M. Scott Peck had a big impact on me many years ago. I often look back to the writers who have influenced me in the past to help navigate the present. There is a lot of …
You don’t have to be Catholic to admire and appreciate the life of Saint Patrick – the Patron Saint of Ireland. He was born more than 1,600 years ago but his memory still lives on. It certainly …
There are quite a few people out there who claim to know what will make us happy. I am always a bit suspect of accepting general answers to mostly subjective questions. One person’s happiness can be another person’s obligation or chore. My contention is that most people don’t spend enough time truly trying to get in touch with themselves as individuals and what honestly makes them happy. In fact, we often feel a bit sheepish or odd when we don’t follow a conventional formula for happiness. There is this overriding sense that it is better to fit in than be different – which is nonsense and direct pathway to personal malaise and/or unhappiness.
As we wind down another year, I thought it would be useful to share some best practices I have observed over the years by leaders who tend to end every year on a high note:
I am regularly flabbergasted by the number of professional people I interact with who think it is okay to just miss meetings and/or deadlines as it suits them. This is especially true when it come to philanthropic or voluntary responsibilities. I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand that they can be stretched way too thin, but after awhile, why should this be anyone’s problem but their own. Whatever happened to personal responsibility? We are all busy. We are all striving to find work-life balance. Life is about making choices and establishing priorities.
I’ve heard many leaders tell me they always wait to do something until the last minute because they perform best under this type of pressure. Sounds like a bit of rationalization to me. I know that when I procrastinate on something it’s not because it is the best way to work – it is often quite the opposite. I just don’t want to do whatever it is because I view it as drudgery, am unsure how to proceed or I’m not sure I’ll be pleased by the outcome. I cannot imagine any scenario where purposefully putting yourself under time pressure until the last minute makes any sense.
In small business settings once you get past the obvious knowledge and competency screens, success decisions are most often a matter of personal choice.
I find that most of us tend to avoid the emotionally difficult or awkward conversation. Instead of addressing an issue head on, we “beat around the bush” or try and avoid the issue altogether. This puts the onus on the other person to become a verbal detective and/or force the issue. This isn’t fair to them or us. Moreover, I find that most of these types of exchanges devolve into a passive-aggressive dynamic which is unhealthy for the relationship. You ever notice that avoidance never works – it just delays the inevitable. In matters of importance to you or someone else, when you don’t say what you truly mean (or feel) this is the textbook definition of be inauthentic as fellow human being.
It seems like almost every day we read online or in print media about another famous person or business leader who commits self-sabotage. It’s almost as if they can’t help it. There is something about success …
Most of us will start the New Year with a list of goals we would like to achieve over the course of the next year. Making New Years’ Resolutions has become an American pastime. Unfortunately, a majority of us will end up falling far below our initial expectations. For some reason we either lose interest, become distracted by other things, or find the goals end up requiring more than we are willing to give to get there. Over the years I’ve observed a much smaller number of people who actually achieve what they set out to do. From this experience, I’ve developed the following tips to help you become one of these lucky few:
If leading was easy, then everyone could do it. I’ve had a number of conversations lately with clients and colleagues who are complaining about how hard they have to work. More often than not, the average …
A mother is a very special person in a child’s life and if you are lucky, a lingering positive presence throughout your adult life. Much of what we first learn comes from our mom. She is often the calm in the midst of the many storms we encounter. She is there for you no matter what. I am blessed that my mom had so much to offer. The following lessons are just a small sampling of her overall impact on my life:
Life can be a roller coaster at times. There will be highs and there will be lows. The important thing is not to overreact or think that everything has to be perfect all the time. Perspective is important. There is no silver bullet. There is nothing you can buy or pill you can take that will make you happy for any extended period.
In business and in life it’s very important to know who you truly are before you attempt anything dramatic. There are so many messages out there telling us who we ought to be that we sometimes get caught up in a web of self-deceit because that’s what we think we should be doing.
Leadership is about embracing personal responsibility and putting in the hard work to be successful. Recently I have been having a lot of conversations with my clients about work-life balance and the need for boundaries. I …
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to be what you are not. There are a lot of books out there that tell you that you can be anything you want to be, but this simply is not true. No matter how hard I try, there are certain things I just can’t do or won’t be able to do well. It has saddened me to watch so many people regularly set themselves up for failure with unrealistic expectations about what is possible for them and others. Instead of trying to force yourself into a role/career/opportunity that isn’t right for you, why not embrace who you are and what makes you special and tap into that?
I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend lately amongst many entrepreneurs. They want to work the hours of a successful person without yet attaining actual business success. I think all this talk of work-life balance has people a bit confused. It you want to run a business that supports a flexible lifestyle, you can certainly choose working for yourself as an option, but financial success usually requires very hard work especially at the beginning. You can’t enjoy the experience of having climbed the mountain without having done the hard work to climb it in the first place. You can’t be all things to all people including yourself; you must make some tough choices about how you spend your time.
A while back a colleague’s comments encouraged me to revisit the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. I am very glad this happened because it resonated much differently with me twenty years later. I’ve decided to end the year sharing some excerpts from the book which I have found especially enlightening and helpful: