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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 “selflessness”

Using this Easter holiday to reflect and be grateful – plan your life using two great books


Using this Easter holiday to reflect and be grateful – plan your life using two great books 

Today’s post is about two books that will help you put your life in high gear. Use the Easter Holiday for some downtime and deep reflection.

The first book is by friend Alvin Brown. He is a personal trainer for top notch athletes who are determined to achieve excellence in whatever field they are in. 

Alvin wrote and released his first book “Journey to Personal Greatness: Mind, Body, & Soul: A Blueprint for Life Balance & Self-Mastery” (Discover more of the book here). It is based on his personal journey that took him and his family from Jamaica to Eastern Canada. His mom could make barely ends meet and he was living in the poorest conditions. Yet one decisive day he refused to live a mediocre life any more. He choose nothing but greatness and along the long way to success he managed to work himself up to where he is today: I consider him one of the most inspiring personal trainers and coaches I know.

I am glad that he took what he learned and placed it into a powerful book that invites you to also invite greatness into your life (that in itself is a sign of him being a great coach). Please make it a point to read his book – you will not regret it.

The second book is by friend May Lore. It is called Managing Thought. Stop letting people who do so little for you, control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. Easier said than done, right? The problem is actually not with the person you are having an issue with. It is your own thoughts that make your life miserable. 

Mary Lore @ManagingThought is a battle hardened thought leader on this subject. I am totally with her assertion that you are not your thoughts. A thought is only a thought and we can learn how to shape our thoughts so they work better for us.

The process is surprisingly simple. If you are older then you may remember the Viewmaster kids toy that featured all sorts of discs with neat pictures on them. You inserted them into the main red body of the device. Then you pulled a lever to advance to the next picture while viewing them through the lenses while holding the whole thing facing a bright light source. The significance lies in likening the discs to your thoughts. When a thought does not work for you, take that mental disc out and put another one in that works better. This mental re-framing works really well. It rests on the premise that you actively choose whether or not you allow someone to have control over your thoughts and how you feel about this.

NO ONE has power over you – power is granted. When someone is making you mad or sad realize that they are not doing that, but you are. Next time you feel getting angry etc make sure to take a deep breath and take that bad mental Viewmaster disc right out and substitute it with one that works better for you.

 

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

5 ways of being better about being in the moment


5 ways of being better about being in the moment 

Social media are great. I just love using all sorts of platforms as they have really enriched my life and I can get and stay in touch with so many old and new friends. And then again, nothing beats a great warm hug – person to person. One thing that social media has not been able to do is to genuinely connect us humans the same way as sharing a moment together in person. So how do you balance the two?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Use social media and all its bounty to the fullest. At the same time scan for opportunities where you can connect with folks at a deeper level. Seek face-to-face meeting time wherever and whenever you can. Do not be afraid of personal contact like a hug either. Here are some examples where personal connection can foster a much brighter future:

  1. Moments of collaborating genius: No matter where you meet, there are tremendous opportunities getting to know new people, and / or meeting folks at a completely different level.
  2. Major disagreement: Using texts and e-mails when you are upset are mind-numbingly ineffective. Get up and meet in person.
  3. Friends in need: This is the positive version to number 3. When friends are in dire need of help, meet in person. Flush out the real back ground of the issues. Your active listening may lead to finding a solution, and you earn respect and trust.
  4. Meeting your future significant other: You may be able finding your mate online, but you had better eventually meet in person sooner rather than later.
  5. Funerals: Filled with emotions they can be really tough. As tough as it is, try making a genuine new connection or rekindle an oldvvvv one.
  6. What are your greatest moments of meeting with folks in person? Please share in the comment section.

Don’t get me wrong, I just love connect over the Internet and use whatever new tools come our way enhancing my relationships and helping other folks wherever I can. At the end of the day, I still make sure that I go out into our interesting world seeking personal contact. A truly genuine moment between two or more people can still take our breath away, and it will be with us forever. I’ll give you a hug before you can get out your smart phone…

Ralf

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas! 

I wish everybody a peaceful Christmas holiday. May it be filled with plenty of time spent with people who mean the most to you.

Ralf

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