Focus On Significance – Not Success

Focus On Significance – Not Success

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps will take on a greater meaning.” ~ Oprah

We do tend to focus on “success.” Probably because it is measurable. Either you met your goal or you didn’t. You you are somewhere along the continum of progress toward meeting the goal.

Oprah is suggesting that you need to focus more on the significance of what you are doing, rather than just the end result. I think she has a good point. Often you overlook the steps you have taken to get to a certain point along the path of success.

This ties into my recommendation to “Celebrate Success” as part of your goal execution process. Celebrate a successful end result, of course. But also celebrate little successes along the way. This will keep you and others motivated to continue.

If the going gets tough, find something to celebrate to realign the focus. Focusing on the positive will encourage you to stay on your plan to the desired outcome.

If you are challenged by sticking to your plan, check out our “Get What You Say You Want-Goals” Program. This behavioral approach to setting and executing your goals could make the difference between success and what you have been doing in the past!

The Challenge of Vacation

The Challenge of Vacation

I have been on a “sail-batical” for most of the past six months. It was a test: a test of my skills and courage; a test of my ability to work from a virtual office; a test to see if I can live in a space of 48 feet by 14 feet (with a v-shape eliminating floor space; a test if I could live with a limited wardrobe in a 12 inch wide closet!

But the real test was could I keep my mind and spirit busy in such an enviroment. Trust me, it is hard to keep you mind on work when living in the Caribbean islands! However, everyone needs to take some real time for rest and relaxation.

  • Are you one of those who is too busy to take time off?
  • If you do take time off, do you short change yourself with long week-ends instead of a couple of weeks together?

Our minds need the break. Our bodies need the break. It takes a few days just to wind down before you begin to relax. Then your metabolism resets itself and actually allows you to relax internally as well as mentally. Take some time to unwind and rest. The work will always be there, but your friends and family may not. Or you may not if you push yourself too hard all of the time.

Part of success planning is planning ways to boost your personal health. The most important part is disconnecting from your electronic tethers and let yourself rest. Make this summer a time to regenerate yourself.sunset

Sharing Leadership Roles

presentation 1” Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal. “   ~  Vince Lombardi

While some people are more inclined to step up to leadership roles, everyone can develop leadership skills, if desired. Many times an individual just needs steady reinforcement of their ability. This can happen through coaching and mentoring. Or it could happen from being put in a situation where they have to lead and have the support of others.

While not every behavioral style is comfortable being in front of a group or taking the responsibility for success of the team, even the quiet, conscientious person has the ability to lead. It will be in a different way.

Regardless of one’s leadership style, it is important to give everyone an opportunity to develop their leadership strengths and put them to practice. Bring less experienced employees into the role by giving small leadership assignments to help them increase their confidence and comfort.

When a few others accept parts of the project and take the lead in those areas, you are developing talent. At the same time you are giving yourself more time to mentor and coach those future leaders.

The Impact of Modeling Behavior

coaching 3We can change the way people view us and influence their behavior through role modeling. By modeling a more positive behavior and self-image, we can set examples for others. We can become the role model for the ideal leader or team member. We can be better role models in our families and communities. The benefit to us is an enhanced self-image.

Too often individuals believe they can improve their position of power among peers and feel better about themselves if they belittle others. By putting down others, they build themselves up – but only in their minds! Others observing such behavior have less repect for the “stronger” individual.

Ask yourself:

  • What image do you project to others?
  • What could you do to improve it?

Leading with Values

leadership-circle gray“Leadership is a reciprocal relationship between those who choose to lead and those who decide to follow.”   ~ Kouzes & Posner

Do you know anyone who called himself a leader,but hasn’t noticed that no one is following?

Have you observed a group who has self-selected their leader even though there is an individual who has been appointed leader but hasn’t earned their support?

Leadership is both a right and a privilege. If you have the ability to bring people together, step up to the opportunity. Having others trust you to lead the way is a privilege.

A key to successfully leading others is to recognize what they value. By aligning your leadership style to the values of others, you gain greater trust and support. If your values reflect their values and you lead with both your head and your heart, you will find that your followers will stay focused on the mission that brought you all together.

Continuously be mindful of the values they share and you will find success as a leader. By modeling this leadership awareness, others will learn to do so as well.

Accepting Our Differences: The Key to Success

Accepting Our Differences: The Key to Success

Each of us is different. By learning how to interact with all behavioral styles more effectively, we can improve communication and reduce conflict. Once we understand behavioral styles, we can identify effective behaviors in various environments.

We can increase self awareness and self confidence in all aspects of life. We can interact with others in such a way as to encourage trust, respect and rapport.

Behavioral style is an outward expression of who we are. It is a distinct way of responding – acting and reacting – to life. Behavioral style indicates a tendency to act in a predictable way. It also helps us to identify our needs and how we are motivated by them.

The Law of Becoming

The Law of Becoming

The Law of Becoming states that each person is in a continual process of becoming or evolving in a direction of his dominant thoughts. As individuals we are in the process of living for tomorrow or dying for tomorrow. It is your choice!

Your negative thoughts or negative self-talk takes a little more out of your life each day. You must focus on the more positive aspects of life and dare to dream your dreams – then take the chance and execute.

Your life is what your thoughts make it. Your thoughts are the most powerful source in the universe. The Law of Concentration: Whatever you dwell upon continually grows into your reality. (Sounds somewhat like the Law of Attraction.) Get out of your own way!

Communicating For Successful Outcomes – Building Relationships Through Understanding

Communicating For Successful Outcomes – Building Relationships Through Understanding

Successful people and effective teams accept and value the diversity of others. In today’s diverse workforce, we have to set aside prejudices, preconceived notions, biases, assumptions and judgments about others. By appreciating the contribution of diverse talents and uniqueness that each of us brings to the world, we can truly respect people and maintain effective relationships.

People see the world differently. Respect and appreciate those differences. They are no more right or wrong than you are. They are just different. It does not make it good or bad — just different. Our interpretation of situations is influenced by our personal paradigms, values and needs. No one else has the same unique combination.

The more we can understand about others, the more we can set aside the need to judge their behavior by our personal standards. Once we understand the basic styles, we can adapt our communication and actions in ways that will enhance understanding and develop better relationships.

Here is a guide to improving communications with each DiSC Behavioral style:

DOMINANCE:

To communicate effectively with the Dominance style, realize that their main interest is in controlling for results.

  • Get to the point; be specific
  • Do not waste time, speak and act quickly
  • Keep the conversation focused on business
  • Provide options
  • Provide an overview, but have details ready
  • Be decisive and self-confident
  • Let them make the final decision

INFLUENCE:

To communicate with the Influence style, realize they value interaction, new ideas and recognition.

  • Let them do most of the talking
  • Allow time
  • Avoid arguing; look for alternate solutions if you disagree
  • Make your presentation stimulating and exciting
  • Look at the big picture without getting bogged down with details
  • Be open to their new ideas

STEADINESS:

To communicate with the Steadiness style, realize their main concern is relationships.

  • Spend time on relationship before jumping to task
  • Be patient; draw out their ideas and concerns
  • Be cooperative, not pushy
  • Show sincere interest in them and their feelings
  • Gently explore areas of disagreement without open conflict
  • Be encouraging, building their confidence

CONSCIENTIOUS:

To communicate with the Conscientious style, realize their main interest in analyzing for risk avoidance.

  • Present facts and data rather than ideas
  • Give them time to work through the details before making a decision
  • Avoid surprises; minimize risks
  • Ask them to help in finding facts
  • Be organized and logical
  • Be patient and cover each point thoroughly
  • Give them time to be comfortable with the situation

“Another leadership quality that contributes to all this is the willingness to see the other’s side of a question, and not must have your own unshaken views. Conviction in your beliefs is important, yet you also need to be open to everyone’s creative input.” ~ Kathy Keeton

Optimism Rebounding

Optimism Rebounding

A 2010 Survey Shows 61 Percent Feel the Health of the U.S. Economy Is Improving

When the first signs of life appear from the most challenging economic environment in decades, it will be critical for businesses to think and act quickly to capture opportunities. A 2010 survey of members of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shows that women business owners believe that time is now. A 61-percent majority of NAWBO members surveyed feel the health of the US economy is improving, and will be better at the end of 2010 than it is today. This is up from 54 percent in 2009 and just 26 percent in 2008.

Other NAWBO survey highlights include:

  • With respect to their own business prospects, 65 percent expect improvements in 2010, while 11 percent expect them to worsen and 24 percent remain about the same. Last year in contrast, 54 percent believed things in their business would get better, 15 percent thought they would worsen and 30 percent thought they would hold the line.
  • Plans for employment are likewise on the rise: 34 percent of NAWBO members will hire new workers this year, compared to just 24 percent who said they’d be adding jobs last year. Just 9 percent will be trimming staff levels in 2010, compared to 17 percent who said they would be doing that in 2009.
  • NAWBO members’ capital investment plans are also on the rebound: 21 percent plan to increase capital investment this year, while 33 percent will stay the same. In early 2009, just 17 said they would be increasing capital investment, while 40 percent were planning on holding the line.

NAWBO logo“This year’s NAWBO survey is an excellent example of the growing optimism among women business owners in particular,” says NAWBO President & CEO Helen Han. “While women business owners are optimistic about the year ahead, they remain concerned about key issues such as the state of the economy, business tax issues and the cost and availability of health care. Issues like access to capital, national security, education policies, federal contracting opportunities and immigration reform also rank high.”

For example, when asked what President Obama and Congress should address in 2010, health care prevails (at 51 percent), followed by:

  • The economy (37 percent)
  • Reducing taxes/tax cuts (24 percent)
  • Access to capital for small business (17 percent)
  • Reduce government spending/less government/reduce deficit (16 percent)
  • Jobs/unemployment (14 percent)
  • Terrorism/national security (12 percent)

As the unified voice of more than 10 million women-owned businesses across the country, NAWBO—in partnership with international advocacy services firm Hogan & Hartson—will be addressing many of these issues that impact women business owners in 2010, beginning with access to capital and federal procurement opportunities “The mission of NAWBO encompasses propelling women entrepreneurs into political spheres of power worldwide,” says NAWBO Public Policy Committee Chair Kelly Scanlon. “We are excited to be in a strong position to actively engage in the political process to make an impact for women business owners both now and in the future.”

Time Management Challenges-Ineffective Multi-Tasking

Time Management Challenges-Ineffective Multi-Tasking

As women, we often snicker at the whole concept of multi-tasking. Who hasn’t had several pans on the stove while answering the phone, opening the mail, switching loads of laundry and making a kid’s snack – all at the same time? The only way to make it through each day is to double and triple our efforts in the same time slot. Is this the most effective way to function? Maybe not, but it is often the most efficient way for us.

This is not to suggest that men do not multi-task. I am merely suggesting that multi-tasking is often so second-nature to women that we don’t even give ourselves credit for what we do accomplish in a day. In fact, more often than not, we beat ourselves up for not getting enough done that day! 

There is a difference in the effectiveness when multi-tasking in a setting where we really need to focus on content and details. Those household tasks described above have become learned patterns or habits so our brain often does not have to fully focus on what we are doing. It is like driving the car. You don’t really think about each action you take to start the car, buckle up, adjust your position, back out, etc. But you do think about specific actions such as checking behind you when you back up, watching for other vehicles and signals, etc. This group of tasks requires your focus.

Recently it has been reported that multi-tasking does not make us more efficient. It is suggested that we have less satisfactory results than we would have if we would just focus on one thing at a time. Carnegie Mellon University researcher Professor Marcel Just used MRI imaging to study what happens in the brain when a person multi-tasks. He measured the number of “brain units” that were activated when subjects performed tasks separately and then at the same time.

The results indicated that when the subjects took each task individually, 37 brain units in different areas were activated for each of the two tasks. When the subjects combined the tasks as in multi-tasking, only 42 units were activated. This indicated a 44% reduction from a total of 74 units (37 from each task) when the tasks were done separately.

What does this mean for those of us who multi-task frequently? We could experience: 

  • reduced efficiency
  • lower levels of performance
  • mistakes
  • forgetfulness
  • less than desirable outcomes
  • frustration
  • exhaustion
  • stress

To function at our highest level, we should approach important tasks one task at a time. It is important to set aside a specific time when you will not allow interruptions. Make an “appointment” with yourself – actually write it down in your planner or Outlook calendar. Then keep the appointment just as you would if you were meeting someone else. Now go out there and focus on one important thing at a time and let others know you will handle the next task later. Here’s to your effectiveness!

Page 2 of 3123