Most of this unhappiness, conflict and stress I see in the workplace and life these days comes down to an inability to establish healthy boundaries. By their very nature boundaries define us and indicate what are willing and not willing to tolerate. They are also a means to carve out what is important to us. Without boundaries you are simply making it up as you go along and dealing with life reactively without a compass.
One thing I see plaguing most organizations today is a lack of clear standards. And, when these standards do exist, there is minimal adherence to them on a regular basis. We all like to talk a good game when it comes down to what we value and expect of one another, but do we […]
Employee engagement doesn’t mean coddling or succumbing to every employee’s need or whim. Employers, you will always have more leverage in the relationship. Lately, I’ve watched as many of you have allowed the power dynamic to shift upside down. Given the dearth of talent and supply of qualified candidates, you are slowly letting the “inmates […]
There is a fine line between being good at what you do for a period of time and achieving sustained success. If you are not careful short-term success can lead to long-term complacency. Once you scale the mountain, start looking for the next peak/challenge. Don’t spend too long enjoying the view from the top. I see it all the time: leaders who once had really high standards and big dreams start lowering their expectations and/or getting distracted by other things. They start to spend more time enjoying the fruits of their success than planting the next crop to harvest. Of course, you should bask in the glow of your accomplishments and take some time to appreciate what winning feels like. However, never forget what it took to get you there.
I’ve always been a bit annoyed with people who are grouchy in the morning on a regular basis. Sure, everyone has a tough morning every once in awhile, but to wake up every day in a bad mood is hard to comprehend. What could have happened between the time you first put your head on your pillow and when you woke up that is so bad you need to make everyone else around you unhappy? If you are too tired, then go to bed earlier. If you are having problems sleeping, then do something about it. Part of growing up is learning how to act like an adult.
I’ve always believed that life rewards focus and persistence. If you keep working at something you will eventually make progress. What you have to be careful about is managing your expectations. You also need to take responsibility for the outcome(s) you want and not expect someone else to create the reality you want. Happiness is no exception. Happy people work at being happy and start with themselves first. They have to deal with unhappy moments like everyone else, but have trained themselves to practice acceptance rather than resistance and have fine tuned their own capacity to muddle through and make positive changes.
2009-2011 has been a difficult period for many people I know and care about. It’s almost as if the heavens opened up and terrible storm decided to descend on a vast number of unsuspecting people. In many cases, the signs may have been there, but none of us expected the difficulty it to be so prolonged and discouraging. They say “what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.” I’m not sure I agree with this point of view. Not every challenge leads to strength; sometimes it just forces us to alter our perspective. Change doesn’t always mean growth or better, it often just means different. In addition, certain wounds don’t always heal as we would like them to, but they heal nonetheless – time will see to this.
My whole life I have been accused of being too optimistic. I have always perceived this to be a compliment whether it is meant as one or not. The world has enough pessimism. Pragmatism does have its place, especially when it come to financial matters, however it shouldn’t be a primary mode of being. All our great leaders have been idealists and/or romantics.