Archive for the ‘Self-Growth’ Category

Ethics over the little things

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

I remember it like it was yesterday. My baby brother was about three when he came home with a pack of gum in his hands from the grocery story.

It wasn’t paid for. And by my parents’ reaction, you would have thought the bank was robbed.

Everything stopped, and three kids were loaded back up in the car for a long ride to return the gum and apologize to the store owner.

Now, at three years old, he wasn’t exactly destined for a life of crime. But he was setting up one of the most memorable dinner table lessons. My father said, “If you steal, you may as well steal millions, because the impact is the same—you’ve ruined your reputation.”

You don’t forget a moment like that.

It would have been easy to ignore it—it was no big deal. But it was a HUGE deal.

As for my brother, don’t worry—he’s a standout as an example of an ethical husband and father.

We are all faced every day with our humanity and the temptation to tell the “little white lie.” We are all tempted.
In fact, in the classic book The Day America Told the Truth, author James Patterson’s research showed that 97 percent of people lie regularly.

The question is, do you want that to be your legacy—or do you want it to be one of greatness?

Practice Isn’t Enough

Monday, October 6th, 2014

You’ve probably heard the old joke about the man stopping a cabbie in New York to ask for directions. “Excuse me, can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?”

“Sure,” said the cabbie. “Practice, practice, practice!”

Nice gag, but practice by itself in any field will not guarantee success. Practicing the right things in the right way will. Winners find the best of the best as their mentors and coaches and are relentless in applying and practicing the guidance they receive. The greatest artists, scientists, and athletes hook up with teachers that know more about the craft than anyone else, then they follow their advice.

The same thing applies to business. Don’t think that doing something over and over is enough to achieve mastery. Find people who’ve been there before who can tell you where to focus your attention and how to practice your skills. That’s the ticket to success that really works.

If You Were The CEO

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Let’s imagine for a second that your fairy godmother comes along, and “poof” you’re now the CEO of your organization AND you are featured as running the #1 organization in your industry, AND you’re doing it without breaking a sweat.

Let me ask you: Would you be operating on the same habits, decision-making skills, and thinking as you have now? Of course not.

Well, what if today, you made every decision, managed your calendar, and thought and performed AS IF you were at that level? Would that change your performance on the duties you currently are in charge of? Of course you would!

AND would it make you infinitely more promotable and allow you to get more done with less time and effort—and focus on what really matters? There’s no question!

Imagine your success if you grew by 10 to 25 percent every quarter in your ability to do your job and the job of the person you report into. Think of how much more effective and promotable you would be. The way to get there is to let go of the “story” about why you’re too busy to sharpen your skill-set. Start sharpening it every day without exception.

Authentic communication

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

If you’re like me, you’ve known some people who you’d trust with your very life. And if you’re like me, you know others who you wouldn’t trust to put the non-dairy creamer in your coffee. There are probably a million reasons a person goes one direction or another. But the reasons matter less than the outcomes.

All you can do is watch for clues about who’s who, and do everything in your power to be the trusted one for other people by using nothing but authentic communication.

In his bestselling book The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey calls trust “the new currency in the new global economy.” Nothing builds trust more than authentic communication, and nothing breaks trust quicker than inauthentic communication—especially with your boss.

Sweet-talking to someone’s face and badmouthing behind their backs—that’s inauthentic. Lying, spinning, posturing, manipulating. Hidden agendas. Saying one thing and meaning another. These are behaviors that erode trust.

Every time you talk around your boss or don’t do what you said you’d do, that trust is eroded further until there’s nothing left to build a relationship on.

Instead, own your intention to communicate authentically. Be transparent. Say what you mean. Follow through on your commitments. And when you do, you’ll find that others are more likely to communicate authentically with you. Everybody wins.

Be direct

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Every employee who disagrees with a policy or a decision has a choice: ignore it, whine about it, or be direct.

Ignoring something you don’t agree with is fine, so long as you feel the difference of opinion is not a serious error. If you feel that a policy or decision is harmful in a way that really matters, you have an obligation as a member of the team to voice your concern.

But here’s the thing: Don’t whisper your concern in a “meeting outside of the meeting.” That’s destructive to the team. Don’t cross your arms, roll your eyes, and whine to your colleagues who have no way to influence the outcome.

If it doesn’t matter, forget it! But if it does, you have an obligation to put on your grownup pants and head straight for the decision makers who can do something about it.

If those decision makers are worth their salt, and you present the idea calmly and clearly, your stock will only go up in their eyes.