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 “leadership”

Gratitude – it’s not only for Thanksgiving


Gratitude – it’s not only for Thanksgiving 

Gratitude for the many things that you have been blessed with is one of those things that very few think about and even fewer do that regularly. If you want to life a long and rich life, being grateful plays a vital role in your mental and physical wellness.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough”

I saw a statistic on TV recently that stated fewer than 3% of the U.S. population gets their minimum of physical activity per day. I venture saying that is most likely no different with the mental jogging part – how many times per week do you make room for meditation, self-reflection, or truly listening and collaborating with people who mean the most to you? There is not enough curiosity around and there is complacency and irritated folks surrounding us.

In the attached photo you can see the “1000 Thanksgivings” project at our local church from a while back. Everyone was to ponder what he / she is grateful for, write it down, and share it on the wall. On one hand you will really be taken aback by having to slow down your brain long enough to put your own ideas down. As you place your sticky note on the wall you notice all the other entries. In my particular case the things other people put down took my breath away, because face it, there are plenty of disasters and messes out there. You automatically feel better and most of all grateful for the “little” mess you are blessed with.

One cool mental exercise I can recommend to you is to write down what you were grateful for every night. You can do this mental stretch with your kids too. They learn a great routine that can last and benefit them for a long time. Gratitude determines how content you are with your life. It requires continuous reality checks that can be exhausting, and that is why life is a marathon; do not pretend it’s a sprint.

Ralf

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5 examples why having success in business is the worst case scenario


5 examples why having success in business is the worst case scenario 

In business most of us would think that the worst-case scenario is when you open for business and do not get enough customers. While that can be a huge problem, with a well-executed concept and your “why” in place the diametrically opposite thing can happen to you: The worst case scenario is when you have success and you get all the customers and business that you want.

You do not believe me? Well, let’s go over a few case scenarios then.

  1. Business is so great that you book orders in record numbers. If you have to buy more equipment, need more people, need to make progress payments for long term delivery items, etc you can ran out of cash really quickly. It gets tied up elsewhere and how about those customers that do not believe paying on time or ever?
  2. You are a startup company and with few folks can do the impossible. Ship on time and attract more business. Everyone knows everything and the “why” (the entrepreneurial idea) is well known and applied by all of your folks. Enter rapid growth into this equation and you will need to formalize processes and learn how to hire the best people.
  3. In the event that you have partners and / or investors they can throw major monkey wrenches in your way. What if they all of the sudden want to get out, sell out, or do something completely different with the earnings? Money can change your best friends and definitely family overnight.
  4. Success breeds success. Ideas will start flowing how to refine things, do them differently and perhaps other things should be pursued. While this is great, only a few good concepts and only ones with a tie in to your company’s purpose will get you anywhere – the rest are bunny trails that suck cash and manpower out of your organization.
  5. Your business grew beyond expectations. Now you are putting in more hours than ever. It is no longer fun. Adding people adds overhead costs and it can take a while looking for people. You are stuck in the muck.

Before you even start with a project or a new business make sure to ponder what you and your organization’s purpose is. If at all possible, think and then write about the vision and mission of this endeavor. Yes, that is correct; no eyewash just good pieces of information that will later make it so much easier providing a shared picture with any employee later. Generate goals and flesh them out with strategies and tactics. Implement and execute your plan and follow it with almost ruthless accuracy. It is tough to do that especially when business is fun and you enjoy working in the trenches every day. If you fail to do this you are standing on proverbial railroad tracks and the freight train that will hit you soon is already headed your way.

Ralf

You get what you tolerate – on the job and at home


You get what you tolerate – on the job and at home 

Another close relative of candor is tolerance. It is not necessarily the polar opposite, but in fact it can be worse as tolerance comes close to indifference. Tolerating a pattern of performance issues, incompetence and a pattern of mistakes will only get you and the other party into trouble. Yes, you will have to put some will power into being honest with yourself and then others. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages almost all the time. The moment you put it out there what you would like to see, people will naturally change on their own in order to help you. If the pattern still continues you now know that you must make tougher choices: Do you need to change yourself or is it time to abandon your current relationship? Thinking and acting upon your choices will bring peace of mind.

Take some typical examples from work. You have a co-worker that annoys you with his loud telephone conversations. You could just leave it be, complain to others about this and finally just be miserable about it. On the other hand, you could choose to speak with the colleague and tell him how you feel and ask if he could possible do something about this. Catch the drift?

Here is a tip how to bring your issue up with others: First and foremost you need to have a plan what and how you wish for change to occur. Why is a plan important? You need to keep the meeting with your other party as constructive and factual as possible. Confrontation is not the way to go as you pull feeling and emotion into the discussion, which can put everybody’s brain into flight or fight mode. That would not be good. Identify the issue and think about what would happen if nothing changes.
Write it down and share this thought with your counterpart during the meeting. Now think really hard about what the change look like that you are asking about. Voice your desired outcome in the meeting.

This topic is just as relevant in your social life. Take for instance you being a parent. Especially kids will push the envelope to what they can get away with. Every time that they nudge and push you it takes quite a few nerves to sticking your proclaimed boundaries. The moment you give in because you are too exhausted anymore they win and it gets to be even tougher for you regaining control of the situation the next time around.

Life is all about the choices you make. Choose speaking about this and affect a change even if it is hard at first to make the start. Remember that you will be feeling better about yourself when you make the choice to not tolerate things that upset you. Are you ready to make some tough choices? Where can you make a start that you can experiment with this?

Ralf

4 touch points for more successful meetings


4 touch points for more successful meetings 

Which is more important: Consensus or consent? This is a question that should beg itself to anyone who attends one of many business meetings. Most often, people attempt to reach consensus. A lot of time is spent striving for the all but impossible consensus. Problem with that is that it is a close relative to compromise. I give a little, and you give a little, and voila we have reached a compromise and thus can reach consensus on an issue. The counterproductive result is neither party gets what they really wanted. Perhaps worse, the issue is so watered down that the initial intent is totally missed and the whole team loses.

Why spend the time and energy convincing the others that everyone needs to approve and also needs to like the final result?

  1. It is much better to make your point and see if it can get the majority supporting it. That is best done by the meeting facilitator who lists all the solutions to the issues at hand.
  2. This is followed by putting this list up on e.g. a whiteboard and letting everybody vote for their top three solutions. This way you will shrink down and perhaps consolidate your long list.
  3. Now instead of focusing on getting everybody to give a little to take a little, drive home the point being able to consent to an idea / concept.
  4. Consent is different as it only requires for everyone to be committed to moving ahead with whatever the team finally decides to do.

The fine but important line between consent and consensus is worth hours and oodles of frayed nerves none of which any leader-manager ought to jeopardize in regular business meetings. Don’t settle, but seek consent and commitment to the agreed upon goals. Get involved and make sure your designated meeting facilitator is on board with the concept.

Ralf

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