Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “being a good teacher”

44 that will make you smile and think


44 that will make you smile and think 

Spring is still struggling to finally come through for us. Don’t let the bad weather and cold get to you. Hopefully the following brainteasers will help lift your spirit. Remember that while you may consider your life to be a mess – this maybe somebody’s nirvana because they have it so much worse than you do.

  1. Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.
  2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years
  3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.
  4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.
  5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their weight is determined by their mother.
  6. If a part of your body “falls asleep”, you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.
  7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing – food, attractive people and danger
  8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side
  9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.
  10. According to Albert Einstein, if honey bees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years.
  11. There are so many kinds of apples, that if you ate a new one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all.
  12. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.
  13. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.
  14. Laziness and inactivity kills just as many people as smoking.
  15. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia
  16. Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!!
  17. Our body gives enough heat in 30 minutes to boil 1.5 liters of water!!
  18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell(!).
  19. Stomach acid (conc. HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!!
  20. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day and while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.
  21. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  22. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.
  23. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  24. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
  25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  26. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  27. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
  28. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  29. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything!
  30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  31. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  32. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  33. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  34. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  35. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
  36. Help the needy, Be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’
  37. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  38. Time heals everything – everything.
  39. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  40. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you’ll accomplish, today!
  43. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  44. Common sense is not common practice.

Forward this to anyone you feel could use a little boost. Please send any of your favorite ones my way to include them in an upcoming blog post.

Ralf

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13 ways how to become a leader and a manager


13 ways how to become a leader and a manager 

I have just read yet another article on LinkedIn about how you are either a leader, or a manager. It separated leaders being the folks that do the lofty dreaming and entrepreneurial stuff, and managers are the drones who just make the stuff leaders come up with happen. I have grown to believe that this is absolute nonsense. There is always a combination of the two. If you are the CEO you still need to possess better than average managerial skills. Conversely, as a line manager or team lead you still need to be able leading your team members by creating a purposeful and engaging work environment. Here are 13 quick tips that can make a huge difference for how well you lead and manage your team.

  • Park your personal agenda and ego: Did you ever like a boss that is only concerned about his / her own issues, but never yours? Turn that down a notch or two. Have you ever seen the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? In it there is a great line about leadership: “Never gripe down, always gripe up.” Your folks are not interested about your woes; their’s are big enough the way they are.
  • Be fair: Kick up the old golden rule to platinum level. Treat others how they would like to be treated. Never treat people differently. You will regret it in the end. The moment you lose their trust you will no longer be privy to vital people and company information. There has to be clarity about what applies to everyone.
  • Help promote your team members: Nothing shows more respect than to be a great career steward. Help your team advancing in their careers.
  • Give them a great reason to spend their time at work: Purpose and impact is what people are looking for. Especially Millennials will emphasize on this point.
  • What happens at the work place, stays at the work place: Other than the heavy hitters of employee safety, harassment, discrimination, moral, and ethical problems, no other team member information is supposed to leave your lips. Confidentiality is the keystone to how much you will be trusted as a leader.
  • Make sure having a great one on one contact with your team members: Nothing beats being able to help and assist your team members on a one on one basis. You get to know about their struggles and aspirations and you can help make a difference happen.
  • Listen, listen, and listen: Your organization can tell you anything you want to know about the state of mind of your folks and also the strategic and tactical progress you are making (or the lack thereof). Boy, did that take me a while to learn how to do this better. Asking engaging questions is the tougher but better thing to do and you get to listen to your organization’s creativity come alive.
  • Embrace transparency and collaboration: This builds trust. Trust begets creativity. Realize that you cannot and should work alone. You need all the help you can get working toward common goals. The worst that can happen in business is to have success. Success can outgrow and outspend you in a heartbeat. You need a team that is nimble and fully engaged in order to make it through the ups and downs of the economy.
  • Be humble and grateful: Nothing beats a little self-depreciating humor when you make mistakes. Admit them and make them public. No one – not even you – should be able getting away with not learning from your mistakes. At the same time you want your team to stay informed enough such that they will not have to make the same mistakes either. Be grateful for the openness your team affords you. Not allowed are intentional or pattern of mistakes.
  • Do something with what they tell you: When your team is trying to tell you that there is a systemic problem with a process, policy, people, etc. do something with this info. That is why you became the leader-manager in the first place. Do not let anyone else handle this important detail for you. This needs to come from and through you. Taking charge of difficult situations is (unfortunately) something you will to get to deal with. Do it well and people will trust you.
  • Be mindful of other people’s time commitments: Knowing when to end a conversation is tough. Sometimes it feels great speaking with like minded folks about issues you are mutually facing. Cut it short if it no longer serves the purpose. Do not fall victim to scope creep either. One issue leads to the next and then there is another one, etc. etc. Trust me, there are more challenges than you can shake a stick at. Keep it to solving one short and effective issue at a time.
  • Prepare meetings well ahead of time: Most meetings are really not necessary, or the are simply not effective. Too often leader-managers look at them as a “working meeting”, meaning that the problem, problem statement, and possible solution finding happen with the attendees hearing about this issue for the first time.
  • Start and end meetings on time: Do this religiously. Yes, there are times when it may be necessary to run over. Attempt your very best to get a reputation for beginning and ending on time. Your folks want to get their tasks done.

Do not be afraid to fail with any of the above topics. Only very few business schools are providing leadership and soft skill training – yet. I am hoping that one day leader-manager training will become a mandatory topic at graduate and undergraduate level. Plan, Do, Reflect, and Correct your future behavior and you will have made the biggest change already. Remember that you are a leader-manager. Good luck!

Ralf

Stop to Think – How to save your career and life


Stop to Think – How to save your career and life 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

It was just yesterday when my son and I helped clear storm damaged trees and bushes away at our local Scout camp. I noticed the sign on the chipper: Stop to think! There are so many dangerous areas and devices on this thing and when you are busy to feed this beast you will get hurt if you do not slow yourself down to think about a safer way putting material into the hungry and eager jaws of the chipper.

It is an ingenuous sign that I wished would be affixed to the rearview mirror of your car, or even as a sign put on your desk. We get triggered so easily into actions we later regret dearly. Road rage can only happen when you let your lizard brain engage into fight, flee, or freeze mode. Same at work were we may easily get engaged into a battle of wits with a co-worker just because we don’t give ourselves enough time to think about a more thoughtful response. We duke it out with our spouses when certain trigger words or actions happen.

We are not our thoughts. A thought is a thought and we control our thoughts. We have to make an active choice how we want to think about any situation though. Oftentimes there is no right or wrong, but there is a better or best way to handle any situation. That can only work if you stop and give yourself plenty of time to think about your choices. That will save your life and limbs working with a tree chipper as it does in all other aspects of your life.

Stop to think!

Ralf

One of the most effective ways to make any conversation effective


One of the most effective ways to make any conversation effective 

How many friends could you make with your mouth versus your ear? Oh my, this question hit me square in the forehead quite a while back. Here you have all the technology to reach out to so many people in real time and yet nothing matters until someone starts to listen. The key to making a difference is learning to keeping your mouth closed and to just listen. You can inject your knowledge and experience etc into the dialog depending on the questions that you will be asked in the process of listening. This is the most effective way of making any conversation a win-win situation.

It remains one of the toughest things to do for me. How about you? You have so much to share. You have bundled up so much experience. You have been on an excited life’s journey that should be shared. There is a time to share all of this, but you need to scan for the best time to do so. Best practice is to park your desire to make statements and assertions – that is if you are interested in learning something new about the other conversation partner. It is takes a little exercise, but the rewards can be remarkable. Then you need to literally force your brain to think about how to switch from questions that would give you a yes/ no response to open ended ones. At first, you will not fell easy about this, but just recall that these questions had better start out with a W or an H (where, who, why, what, when, how).

Stand back and then stand by what ensues. The greater percentage of people will enrich your life by blessing you with their experience, talents and most of all they will give you two elements of human interaction that are the most scarce these days: They are now giving you their attention and a little bit of trust that if you do this well can last a life time. That is how you make any conversation highly effective.

Blessed beyond measure,

Ralf

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