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 “focus”

Letting go of what you want the most in order to get it


Letting go of what you want the most in order to get it 

Sounds counterintuitive but it makes sense: Picture yourself in a canoe going down a small stream and around a bend all of a sudden you see a bunch of boulders directly in your current path. You paddle like crazy and you focus all your attention on the boulders in trying avoiding them. Guess what? You just doomed yourself because you will surely hit them straight on anyway, because you trained your brain to lock in on the rocks – and not where you should have gone.

Anyone playing golf, soccer, football etc gets to use this concept. Getting the ball hitting the target works best when you imagine the ball in the place where it needs to go. Now reflect upon your social and work life. What and where are the boulders that you have your eyes set on? Do you want to hit them? Flip this around by pondering and imagining a desired and positive outcome for yourself. Voila! You have reset the clocks and can now tap into the power of hitting your target.

Ralf

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7 delegation strategies for entrepreneurs and business owners


7 delegation strategies for entrepreneurs and business owners 

Entrepreneurship and leadership are fun, but they also can be a huge challenge. How do you grow your business in a way that is long term sustainable whilst also rendering enough profits such that you can invest in your people and infrastructure? How do you do this without totally giving your own life up because you have to work exorbitant hours? How will your family see you again and how will you manage stress to a manageable level?

Chances are that you have asked yourself these questions over and over again. Regardless whether you are the key leader in a small business or are the CEO of a large corporation the questions are typically very similar. Fortunately, the answers are amazingly simple as well. Key question here is only how comfortable you are to commit yourself to opening your organization up to an open platform. The more you are ready to open up to true collaboration the greater the chance that you will soon enjoy your co-leaders and employees becoming your co-entrepreneurs.

What I am inferring here is that you have the opportunity developing your own brand that can become self-sustainable. This allows you to focus on planning the future development of your organization without you having to worry about that the day-to-day operation goes awry without you being there. It helps reducing your stress and that of everyone in your organization.

  1. Start with a quality product of service: Absolute important is having a quality product and/ or service to start with. Do not get this wrong and mixed up with clever or really unique. Excellent execution of what you have to offer to customers is essential in making sure that there is long term sustainability for your organization.
  2. Ego management: Skip this blog if you are not willing to of your ego. Long term sustainability can only happen when you as the leader are willing to not be the only one who speaks, directs, manages, generates ideas, etc. Egomaniacs make for miserable working conditions and no one needs another toxic work place.
  3. Safe working place: This is more than the physical safety at work. I am speaking about candor. Candor is the best antidote to your ego and that of others. Only when it is safe to speak about your company’s challenges will you get to the bottom of what your folks will need to fix.
  4. Communication management: Great conscious leaders make a huge commitment to open communication. Department meetings held regularly and also allowing for your managers meeting with their team members one on one regularly will provide ample information about where and how your organization and people need help. If you are really good, you will hold weekly company meetings where everybody can get a pulse of the organization and where their contributions make a difference.
  5. Collaboration heaven: Collaboration amongst your leadership team is just as important as allowing for this to happen with your customers and all of your employees. How else can you tap into the brain power and creativity of the people who do the front line work every day? Create a conduit and place where this information exchange can happen at strategic and tactical level, step back, and be ready to be amazed what your folks can help create.
  6. Servitude: This point of course assumes that you have made it beyond point 2. above. Really great leaders realize that they need to view their role as the one who serves the folks who work for them. That does not means that leaders must do the work of the people reporting to them. What is more important than anything else here is that the team members feel respected, are taking seriously, and that their contributions count. Helping develop your employees by helping them excel increases the trust in you and the company and makes for very loyal followers – team members and customers alike.
  7. Commitment management: First and foremost that is your commitment to invest all your efforts to make the changes happening that your team members helped develop. That fosters even more trust and ensures your organization making a lot of progress. Once your team knows that when they come together and help co-create their future with you and you deliver the commitment allowing for continual improvement to occur, you will enjoy success almost guaranteed.

This is not an easy road to travel and definitely not a fast one. It represents a cultural change and those typically take a few years to fully come around to full fruition. If you expect your people to change, make sure asking yourself first how you must change. Invite your team members – and I mean all of them – to help collaborate about if and how / what kind of changes need to be made in order to serve your organization’s purpose (your “why”). Then leave them be, check your ego at the front door and be ready to be amazed how many people step forward with the desire helping to achieve your growth goals.

Ralf Weiser

10 Questions for the progressive business leader – create a work place that will be attractive to Millennials


10 Questions for the progressive business leader – create a work place that will be attractive to Millennials 

What is a servant leader? This is a leader-manager who understands that he is the one who serves his team and not the other way around. It is great to see and hear that more and more old-fashioned toxic working environments with their command-and-control antics are being thrown to the curb. Our newest part of the workforce is drawn to an employee centric company culture. Attaining Millenial talent is tough. Retaining them is even tougher. It does not need to be that way though.

Servant leadership has a solid foundation in self-awareness of the leader. But how can you pursue it? The best tool in your servant leadership tool box is reflection and meditation. Know thyself is a phrase that you should make your mantra. Please find below a variety of questions we should ask ourselves frequently:

  • What can I do to have my feedback meetings on time? Timely feedback reviews and making them a priority is key to team members feel that they are taken just as serious as an “important” customer, or project.
  • How can I show that I really am listening to my conversation partner? Being present in any one-on-one or team meeting is one of the main commitments we must make to our team members. Body language and mimics and the phone not being on DND can be a major obstacle in creating great rapport.
  • How should I prepare a meeting such that my team members can constructively partake in it? Is my meeting about a conversation for understanding, interpretation, exploration of opportunities, or for action? How does the meeting facilitator make sure the meeting is about the “is” condition and not about the “should-be’s”? How can I make sure we start and stop our meetings on time?
  • How do I as the leader get the respect of my team members? How do I get to know what they do every day and would I be able to do what they do?
  • What is my best method approach to getting buy-in and collaboration from my team members towards minor and major changes in the organization or the team?
  • How do I make sure a yearly feedback meetings, one-on-one meeting and department meetings are held periodically?
  • How do I best provide feedback on how and when to deliver performance feedback to the people I serve as quarterback?
  • How and what do I do to show that I appreciate each individual’s personal contribution to the team’s effort?
  • When an employee says something, what is he/she really saying? What and how (also how much) something is said is often indicative of personal, process, product, or team issues.
  • How can we best facilitate change – any change? How do we guide our employees through resistance, sorrow, exploration of opportunities, and finally the commitment to change? The direct path from A to B for change is a leadership illusion.

 

Here is my request to ponder the questions and finding answers for them that we can implement expediently. Can you see the underlining issues dealing with communication, prioritization, meeting preparation, job shadowing, servant leadership, and perhaps a few more challenges that any leader-manager struggles with? No one is an exception to the rule, and I know that I am frequently challenged and reminded of my own short comings. Key to becoming a great leader-manager is a greater self-awareness. We owe this to the people whom we serve and Millennials demand of us to pay more attention to their needs.

Ralf

12 things people say that lead to a busy and unfulfilling life


12 things people say that lead to a busy and unfulfilling life 

Busy is bad. If you do not believe that you are solidly on the way to oblivion. Busy may make us feel like we are moving ahead and we are making a difference. Problem is when we do not have enough quiet time to really ponder what we should be doing and who we should become, we can veer off course and therefore be heading toward a life and identity crisis. Up until recently I caught myself saying that I was too busy doing this and the other thing. I still hear it from other folks: “I am sorry, I would love to pursue something else, but I am too busy right now. I do not have enough time.” Well, it is not like they do not have time – they just do not make time for what they would and should be doing. Compare and contrast the following 12 things other people have said that did eventually lead to such life crisis moments.

  1. “I am too busy right now making a living; I cannot think about live right now.” Sadly I meet people every day who actually think that they can push off not stopping regularly to think, reflect, read, or otherwise reset your mind. Do you enjoy being constantly on the run, always plugged in, or always need feel you are “on”? To get ahead in life sometimes the best thing you can do is to stop running. Make time for your brain and body to reset and refocus.
  2. “If I do a little bit of both I can compromise splitting time between work and family.” Just because stuff fits into your tight schedule does not mean that you should do it. Work and family are in constant conflict and very often that mean that you try to go to work events and you may make it to a movie you want to watch with family. Problem is just that trying to make both events happening you are not really present in either interaction. Do not compromise. Choose one or the other and be fully in the moment and present. It is ok to choose family over work.
  3. “If it is the popular thing to do, I should do it too.” Let it be the next best thing on social media, new smart phones, checking e-mail and social media every other minute, the newest show on Netflix, etc you want to be just a popular and “in” as the next person. Meanwhile there is a quiet little voice in your head that is telling you that life could and should be different. You fight it though and you go with the flow and you are busy and on – 24/7. Well, listen to that voice and stop. You need to follow your road to full potential. Quit doing stuff just because it is popular. There is also a joy in missing out sometimes.
  4. “Everything is important.” Just flat out do it all. It is too difficult making a decision what takes priority. Come on, you can fit everything in – it is important. This does not work in math and it does not work out in life – ever. Why even try then? Pick your battles and prioritize the things that you want to get done and then delegate or outright say no to things that do not add value.
  5. “I am part of the team and I must say Yes and I do it with a smile.” Sure, you do not want to let down people and perhaps you like your boss and you do not want to let her down either. Result is that you work yourself into oblivion. Saying yes to everything though is a form of madness. You get what you tolerate. You will go postal eventually and there are always more tasks coming your way. Stop that avalanche though by starting to say “no”.
  6. “It is not enough to help people, I need to save them.” This is a really tough one. You listen to someone’s life story and you feel a lot of compassion. Something should be done. Something must be done. Why stop there? Heck, I can do this and step in and make this person’s problem go away completely. Challenge is that your time and resources are impacted and the person may be helped now, but it may not last. The person did not learn from your helping intervention and heads for the same mess again. Lesson learned here is to help, provide a blessing, but do not rob people of their problems. They can fix it just like you can.
  7. “If I said I would do it, then I have to do it.” Let me make this really short and simple for you: If you should not do it what you are doing, then you should not do it – no matter when, what, and how you said it. It is a waste of your potential.
  8. “I must finish this project. I will stay up late to get it done.” Ah, the martyr approach to life. You will hear about it the next day at work about how folks worked all hours of the night to get a project out the door. They look exhausted and tired. Hello? It is no weakness or laziness if you do not get the work done. There are some instances that warrant working extra, but you are literally killing yourself if you routinely work like this. Sleep is for high performers that are super productive when they are working on manageable tasks.
  9. “When things do not fit right I just make them fit.” When others say that it cannot be done, you feel like this is something you need to do just to prove them wrong. It may be fun to add such a personal challenge. It is stupid to constantly force this kind of a load on you and others. Cramming and manipulation leads to unwanted other results. Do not do it.
  10. “I HAVE to do this.” Ownership of a problem is one thing. Stubbornness and believing that you do not have choices is just stupid. You have to take a breath, eat, and sleep. Everything else is your choice.
  11. “More is better than less.” I can only say that I have never seen I headstone that read: “If I only could have had more time to stay at the office.” Would you like to be the first one to change that? Less is more in the vast majority of the cases you come across.
  12. “I have plenty of time to do the other things.” Oh yeah, really? Life holds no guarantees for anything or anyone. Life is tricky and there are so many instances where you just do not know if another day is coming around for you to enjoy. Make sure to pursue the significant things and give those a priority. Spend the time with people that mean the most to you. Make your life count.

As my friend and mentor Brett Blair always says: Busy is bad. I could not agree more with that. Busy is a mental sugar rush that usually will leave you feel empty after it is gone. Pursue significant instead of success. Pursue fulfillment over happiness. The word “no” is your friend so wield is wisely and more often. You can do it!

Ralf

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