Food For Thought Friday


💡 Managers make it run. Leaders make it better.

💡 How inspired are your followers?

💡 Use your strengths that benefit the team.

💡 Hire for their character.

💡 Set a goal to have fewer meetings.

💡 Develop the skill to communicate, and it will provide power to all that you do.

💡 Some will, some won’t, so what!

💡 Encourage your team to tell you what they think.

💡 See the potential in the team and give them the responsibility to use it.

💡 What should you be doing that you aren’t doing now?

High Performance

An important factor in creating a high-performance workplace is instilling a high-development culture – one that values the growth of individuals. So, where do companies go wrong with employee development?

1. Hiring the wrong person from the start. Systematize how you hire (E.g., Use a validated assessment for key organizational hires such as managers/leaders).

2. Managers hoarding talent on their teams. Build-in strategies to bust talent hoarding (E.g., Establish a program that enables employees who have been in a role for a set period to apply for new assignments).

3. Assigning projects that meet business needs but don’t develop humans. Leverage managers who use project resourcing as a vehicle for development (E.g., Regular conversations with associates help ensure that assignments align with both organizational needs and individual strengths-based development).

4. Promotions that only look upward. Promote value in alternate development paths (E.g., Diagonal growth could mean doing the same tasks with a new division/client).

5. Career arcs that leave tenured associates without a clear path forward. Strategically plan options for tenured associates (E.g., Senior employees become paid consultants/mentors).

Source: Gallup

Remote Leadership

Managing Remotely

Building effective leadership skills is a challenge many managers face. Remote work only compounds the issue, as leaders must now balance their job and home life. A recent survey identifies the top five core competencies managers lack.

1. Team Building – Under enough pressure, even a high-performing team may buckle. What are your team’s natural workplace habits? In times of stress, who likes to take charge? Who prefers to listen and implement? Encouraging behavioral awareness helps everyone play to their strengths and address any weakness.

2. Providing Feedback – Feedback loops are essential to team development and should be timely and specific. Celebrate your teams’ successes while reframing missteps as constructive learning opportunities.

3. Time Management – When leaders are ineffective with their time, it creates blockers for direct reports who need input from above to proceed.

4. Delegation – Holding onto a task creates a bottleneck. Put the right work in the right hands to ensure your team works smarter, not harder.

5. Communication – Make yourself available to answer questions and address concerns. Managers who hold frequent 1-on-1 meetings are often better received.

Source: Inc. | Image: The Enterprisers Project

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing is crucial for driving improvements in the workplace. Yet, it is often infrequent. If sharing knowledge is an easy and seemingly obvious behavior, why are our well-intentioned team members not practicing it?

When we take the time to ask individuals “the why,” we find that their mindset for adopting these behaviors is inconsistent with their worldview.

Getting “below the iceberg” to understand these beliefs requires asking the right questions to determine why they aren’t behaving a certain way, and developing solutions that address and fundamentally shift the limiting mindsets standing in their way.

Sample questions to uncover limiting mindsets:

  • What are some situations where knowledge sharing should be happening more and it isn’t?
  • What’s in it for you to share knowledge with others?

Common mindsets:

  • I’m too busy to stop and share my knowledge with others (I can’t)
  • My knowledge makes me an asset to the team (I won’t)
  • I don’t have enough expertise to share knowledge (I’m not allowed)

When it comes to changing behaviors in the workplace, the more questions you ask the more action you see.

Source: McKinsey

Human Resilience

The ability of leaders to address people’s physical, mental, and relationship needs is the foundation of trust. While all of these needs have equal importance, there is an order in which they make the biggest difference. Here are 10 things leaders can do now.

1. Gather feedback from all areas of the organization and all types of workers.

2. Relieve people from unnecessary work and activities.

3. Educate and coach leaders on five elements: stakeholder inclusion, emotion and intuition, mission and purpose, technology and innovation, and intellect and insight.

4. If you aren’t used to working in cross-functional, agile teams, now is the time to begin.

5. Elevate your most visible leaders based on compassion and caring.

6. Integrate your company’s purpose and values into every communication and initiative.

7. Tell a story. Don’t spew data. What people want is the larger story, the insights.

8. Rally leaders around consistent communication.

9. Now is the time to accelerate human and machine collaboration and support people as they transition to digital ways of working.

10. Reserve two hours per day for work focused on getting your organization and your workforce to the future.

Source: Accenture

Purposeful Leadership

Direction comes from what we do, but motivation comes from why we do it. Here are some ways to lead teams with purpose.

1. Explore to execute. Look inward. What inspires you to do what you do and how can you clearly articulate it?

2. Inspire to empower. Share your purpose with the company. Use it to motivate your team. Nothing drives people like passion.

3. Permeate to persevere. Infuse your purpose into every aspect of the business (internal messaging, policies, and practices), and align your team.

4. Unite to thrive. A team must work well with one another to be successful. If they believe in the same cause, they’ll better serve it.

5. Communicate to motivate. Go beyond describing the tasks you assign to explaining the meaning behind those tasks.

6. Trust to be trusted. Develop mutual respect through common beliefs and lead the company through respect, not fear.

7. Cultivate culture to curate success. Focus on achieving purposeful results, not the minutiae of strict procedures.

8. Reflect to grow. Every leader should continually reevaluate their words and actions to be as productive and purposeful as possible so that their team will follow.

9. Exemplify to enlighten. Lead by example.

Source: Forbes | Graphic: Thoughtful Leader

Six Leadership Mindsets

There are six key components, or mindsets, that leaders must have for organizational success. Asking questions from these viewpoints uncovers what has happened, what is happening, and what is likely to happen, arming leaders with a comprehensive assessment.

1. Inventing Mindset: What new products or services can we develop? What better methods or approaches can we find?

2. Catalyzing Mindset: What will grow and retain our customer base? How can we beat the competition and seize opportunities to grow rapidly?

3. Developing Mindset: What will deliver seamless infrastructure and operations? How will we manage risks? What systems would be effective in producing consistent high-performance levels?

4. Performing Mindset: What can we do to improve quality, productivity, and ROI? How can we increase results and improve our processes and procedures and fine-tune resource allocations?

5. Protecting Mindset: What will develop and retain our talent and support our culture, engagement, and collaboration? How will we improve competency? What is our succession plan?

6. Challenging Mindset: What needs and opportunities are emerging? Can we discover new niches to ensure our future success?

Source: Training Magazine

Whom Do You Serve?

One of the most revealing questions leaders can ask themselves is “Whom do I serve?” Their answers to that question say more about their style of leadership and field of influence than their personality traits or emotional intelligence.

1. Sociopath – Exhibit a reckless disregard for anyone besides themselves. Typically charming and highly effective at manipulating others and the organization’s systems.

2. Egoist – Driven by their own accumulation of wealth, power, and status. An organization can grow and profit under someone like this, but only if its interests align with the leader’s.

3. Chameleon – Extremely adaptable. Typically characterized by a combination of low self-esteem and a strong need to be liked. As a result, they often lack courage and struggle with tough decisions.

4. Dynamo – Tend to exceed their sales quotas, deliver large projects on time, and generate profits. They excel at mobilizing resources and the efforts of others.

5. Builder – Promote the collective good of the organization. They consider the entire pie – not just their favorite slice – and they manage for the long term rather than getting distracted by short-term profit and stock market valuations.

Source: MIT Sloan

Change

Change can be a difficult pill to swallow, especially in organizations accustomed to systematic routines and practices. However, as society advances, change is the only link to future success. Here are five insights into becoming a catalyst for change.

1. Don’t push harder – Adding more information or more good reasons to do something will not move people into action. Adding more pressure only creates more resistance.

2. Offer a choice – Give people two to three options. This makes them feel more in control of the decision and therefore, more open to change.

3. Point out the costs of the status quo – People tend to ignore small problems, but by shedding new light on these flaws and pointing out how they compound over time, you can make the inconvenience of change look more appealing than the cost of inaction.

4. Ask for less – Start by asking for a small, manageable change, and when that has been made, ask for another. Big shifts do not happen right away, but one step at a time.

5. Lower the barrier – Whether it’s a new product, service, idea, or #behavior, a new way of doing things means uncertainty. Offer a “trial run” to allow people to convince themselves of the value they’re being offered.

Source: The Catalyst – Jonah Berger

Coaching

Coaching is just as essential in the workplace as it is on the field or court. A coach’s job is to encourage, support, and motivate – to bring out the best in their players. And the only way to do that is by providing frequent, in-the-moment performance feedback.

Effective coaching has to be a well-thought-out process and adapted to the skill level of the employee.

Novices are in the “telling” stage of learning. They need a lot of instruction and constructive correction. Be mindful of micro-managing.

Doers haven’t yet mastered the job. There’s still a lot of “tell” coaching going on. Encourage new #behaviors and praise Doers for good results.

Performers carry their full share of the load and they’re doing the task the way it should be done. Much less “tell” coaching. Feedback focused on recognizing good results and points for improvement.

Masters accomplish tasks to standards efficiently and effectively. They have a deep understanding of what should be done that they can train/coach others on the task.

Experts don’t need a lot of direction – they’re highly self-sufficient. They can provide direction to others.

Source: Biz Library

Patterns of Culture

No one wants to work in a toxic culture or with dysfunctional coworkers. But ask them why it happens, and very few can name the root cause. There are four overarching patterns of workplace culture.

1. Conflict-Avoidant Culture: Need approval. Underlying fear is rejection. Excessive need to be nice and to take care of everyone, even when they don’t perform. What’s missing is courage (integrity, confidence, and boldness).

2. Autocratic-Dominant Culture: Need power. Underlying fear is vulnerability. Excessive need to be forceful under the guise of protecting the vulnerable. What’s missing is humanity (trust, likability, and empathy).

3. Elite-Bureaucratic Culture: Need status above others. Underlying fear is inferiority. Excessive need for a hierarchy to overcome feelings of inadequacy. What’s missing is resilience (openness, creativity, and inspiration).

4. Chaotic-Narcissistic Culture: Need freedom and attention that arises from rebellion to authority figures. Underlying fear is being trapped in sadness/boredom that comes from previously feeling neglected. Excessive need for the freedom to pursue lofty ideas and delusions. What’s missing is wisdom (perspective, diligence, and focus).

Source: Training Industry Magazine

Food For Thought Friday


💡 How much have you helped your team members this week?

💡 What have you learned about yourself that you are committed to improving?

💡 Thank You – two words with magical power.

💡 Selective ignoring is the key to productivity.

💡 How do you practice whatever it is that you do?

💡 Choose opportunities that you will learn the most from.

💡 You are constantly starting at zero.

💡 When you help others, you also help yourself.

💡 Have the attitude that others would want to catch.

💡 Imagine what you would do and accomplish if there was only “Today”.

Photo: workiq

Imposter Syndrome

Studies show that 85% of working adults feel inadequate or incompetent at work and 70% of people experience ‘imposter syndrome’ at some point in their career.

Imposter syndrome is the name given to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their success and accomplishments despite strong evidence to the contrary. Impostor syndrome often begins with an accomplishment, like a new job, completion of a degree or another competency or milestone.

One or more of these workplace indicators suggest that team members are prone to imposter syndrome:

1. Being a workaholic – working longer hours than everyone else, not taking time off, struggling to relax.

2. Being a perfectionist – never satisfied with anything less than perfection, struggling to delegate or micromanaging.

3. Being strong – never asking for help, being independent, not fully working with the team.

4. Being the expert – needing to know everything yet never knowing enough, constantly seeking more knowledge and facts.

Source: Training Journal

Trained or Transformed

There is a difference between trained leaders and leaders who are transformational. Here are five characteristics all transformational leaders possess:

1. They See Things Others Do Not See – While many leaders ask “Why?” they ask, “Why not?” because they’re always thinking about how they can create a better future.

2. They Say Things Others Do Not Say – Transformational leaders speak up. They leverage their influence by speaking bold words about a better future.

3. They Believe Things Others Do Not Believe – Adopting the belief that you can make a difference changes everything. When transformational leaders believe their cause can change things for the better, they bring conviction to their leadership

4. They Feel Things Others Do Not Feel – Passion is a leader’s energy. It creates momentum and tenacity for the challenges that all leaders face. Passion fires up leaders and the people they lead, and that fire carries them forward and helps them endure.

5. They Do Things Others Do Not Do – Transformational leaders know they exist for a reason, and they tap into that sense of purpose whenever fear arises.

Source: John C. Maxwell

Dare to be Different

Top Challenges for Future Leaders | by Jacob Morgan | Jacob Morgan | Medium

What makes a great leader in the 21st Century? The answer lies within these questions:

1. Where are you looking to anticipate change in your business and your life? Who are you spending your time with? What are you reading? What topics? How are you distilling this to understand potential discontinuities, and then doing something right now so that you are prepared and ready?

2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? What is your capacity to develop relationships with people that are very different than you? Do they connect with you and trust you enough to cooperate with you in achieving a shared goal?

3. Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past? The “go along to get along” attitude doesn’t work here. Great leaders dare to be different!

What makes a great leader today are the men and women who are preparing themselves not for the comfortable predictabilities of yesterday, but also for the realities of today, and all of the unknown possibilities of tomorrow.

Source: Roselinde Torres Ted.com

Managing or Leading

The distinction between leader and manager has been the subject of much debate and research. In an era of rapid change, new ways of working have emerged and are impacting every aspect of our lives. As a result, leadership and management have become complementary systems of action and necessary for success in today’s business environment. The key is to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other.

Food For Thought Friday

💡 Help others.

💡 Believe in something that brings you peace and joy.

💡 How do you show others you believe in them?

💡 When was the last time you challenged your beliefs?

💡 Your attitude and mindset make a significant difference.

💡 When was the last time you checked your ego?

💡 The success of any company depends on the people it employs and develops.

💡 Appreciation has significant value.

💡 What do you love about your life?

💡 Why not (what’s holding you back from making a decision)?

Mentorship

Diversity is instrumental to a company’s growth. Studies show minority representation in leadership drives innovation, greater returns to shareholders, higher profitability, and an uptick in financial performance.

Gartner asserts 75% of companies with frontline decision-making teams that embrace diversity and inclusivity surpass their targeted business goals. Another study found a formal mentoring program boosts minority and female representation in management by 9 – 24%.

In developing or evaluating a mentorship program, consider these questions:

1. Does our program advisory board or planning committee include diverse representatives?

2. Is our program information accessible and widely available to all employees?

3. Are employees invited to self-nominate or apply for mentoring opportunities?

4. In training, do we provide opportunities for participants to discuss cultural differences and how they may impact mentoring relationships?

Reference: HR Technologist

Leading Through Tension

Leading through tension isn’t fun. It requires us to challenge our team’s way of thinking, their attitudes, and their emotional responses. There is a relational shift from pleasing people to challenging people, and we have to manage people through this process.

One way is by using the 25-50-25 Principle of Change. Whenever we cast vision and challenge people to become part of achieving an endeavor, they tend to fall into one of three groups. Typically, 25% of the people will be all in, 50% will be undecided, and 25% will resist change. Our job as a leader is to help the middle 50 percent join the first 25 percent.

Here are some tips for doing that:

1. Understand that the resistant bottom 25 percent is not going to change no matter what we do.

2. Don’t waste effort trying to make the resistant 25 percent happy.

3. Don’t give the bottom 25 percent a platform or credibility.

4. Create opportunities for the middle 50 percent to spend time with the top 25 percent.

5. Ask the 25 percent who are all in, to help positively influence the 50 percent who are undecided.

6. Give the supportive 25 percent credibility and a platform to speak.

Reference: John C. Maxwell, Leadershift

Ongoing Learning

If you’re not learning, you’re standing still. But how do we get feedback on what we’re learning? And how do we go about learning new subjects and identifying gaps in our existing knowledge?

Often, we don’t realize we lack an understanding of something until it’s too late. We tend to focus on knowing the name of something versus actually knowing something.

The Feynman Technique is a 4-step process for learning that you can use to understand just about anything.

Step 1: Helps you embrace what you don’t know, it requires you to be specific, and you have to start small (a page or two).

Step 2: Makes it harder for you to trick yourself and others, as well as helps you build confidence.

Step 3: Learning becomes an iterative process, you’re actively engaged, and you expand your knowledge base.

Step 4: Simplicity provides greater understanding, and using analogies makes it easier to recall and explain.

Reference: Ambition and Balance

Pay Attention

Many of us plan our days around managing minutes and hours in an attempt to extract the most from each day. Focusing on time, however, is a flawed approach to productivity and won’t deliver the best results. To practice attention management, we need to understand our four brain states and how they impact our productivity.

Source: Fast Company

Food For Thought Friday

💡 If the world was blind, how would that influence what you buy, what you say, and what you do?

💡 Allowing people the creative freedom to reach the desired goal may surprise you with the end result.

💡 Monkey see monkey do. Garbage in, garbage out.

💡 Leadership is a product of inspiration, not manipulation.

💡 A negative mind does not produce a positive life.

💡 Positive and negative energy is contagious. Choose wisely.

💡 What will your eulogy say?

💡 Don’t be afraid to live a colorful life.

💡 There is purpose in each day. Be grateful for what the day brings.

💡 The only competition is you.

Influential or Dysfunctional

The difference between influential leaders and dysfunctional leaders is rooted in their mindset. Our mindset consists of general attitudes that shape the way we think about things and how we make sense of the world. Here are some damaging mindsets to have as a leader.

1. They need to change. I am just fine (fixed mindset).

2. I am going to ignore this feedback because they just don’t understand me (closed mindset).

3. I am not going to change because that’s just the way I am (victim mindset).

4. I want and need everyone to like me (people pleaser mindset).

5. I am going to wait for an opportunity to come to me (fear-driven mindset).

Reference: Moberly Monitor – Tony Richards

What We See, What We Say, What We Believe

Culture is made up of three layers, represented here by an iceberg:

  • Behaviors, systems, policies and processes surrounding the way things are done
  • Ideals, goals, values, and aspirations set by leadership
  • Underlying assumptions that guide behavior

A leader’s influence on an organization and its culture can be subdivided into three general #culture types:

1. Constructive – encourage the attainment of organizational goals through people development; promote teamwork and synergy; and enhance individual, group, and organizational adaptability and effectiveness.

2. Aggressive/Defensive – lead people to focus on their own needs at the expense of those of their group and organization and lead to stress, turnover, and inconsistent performance.

3. Passive/Defensive – lead people to subordinate themselves to the organization, stifle creativity and initiative, and allow the organization to stagnate.

Sources: CultureIQ, HumanSynergisticsCircumplex

Active Listening

Listening is difficult because it involves suppressing our #ego long enough to consider what is being said before we respond. When someone starts talking, our minds listen for:

1. Reasonably guess what they are going to say. (E.g., “I know what you are going to say.”)

2. Identify a pattern. (E.g., “I know where you are going with this.”)

3. Something we disagree with (E.g., That’s wrong.”)

When that happens, we stop #listening and our mind starts preparing for a response. At that moment, the conversation becomes about us. A conversation is not a race to make a point, but rather an exploration of someone’s mind. You don’t have to agree and you don’t have an obligation to understand. Just listen.

FS BrainFoodNo.356

Open-Minded or Close-Minded

Here are some ways to distinguish closed-mindedness and open-mindedness in others

1. Don’t want ideas challenged vs. Curious about why there is a disagreement.

2. More likely to make statements than ask questions vs. Genuinely believe they can be wrong and ask genuine questions.

3. Focus more on being understood than understanding vs. Feel compelled to see things through others’ eyes.

4. Say things like “I could be wrong, but here’s my opinion” vs. Know when to make statements and when to ask questions.

5. Block others from speaking vs. More interested in listening than speaking.

6. Have trouble holding two thoughts in their mind simultaneously vs. Can take in the thoughts of others without losing their ability to think well

7. Lack a deep sense of humility vs. Approach everything with a deep-seated fear that they may be wrong.

Principles by Ray Dalio

Manage Time Better

Who can relate to these statements “manage time better,” “be more productive,” and “focus on what matters”? Mastering the art of time management requires saying no to something. If that doesn’t sit well with you emotionally, consider this, every time you say yes to something, you are simultaneously saying no to something else.

Here are some questions to ask yourself based on The Focus Funnel.

Eliminate – Can I live without it?
Automate – Can it be automated?
Delegate – Can it be done by someone else?
Procrastinate – Can it be done later?

Multiply your time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today, that will give you more time tomorrow.

Source: Rory Vaden

The Jungle of Chaos

jungle1

Do you ever get tired of navigating the jungle of chaos? Many say they do, but their behaviors, belief systems, and actions perpetuate a chaotic environment.

Human beings have an innate desire to feel valued and often go to great lengths to be seen and heard. Whether it’s exuding power or some other attention-seeking antic, at some point, it becomes taxing on the mind and spirit.

Everything in the jungle has a relationship and purpose. Many diverse forms of life have learned to coexist to fulfill this purpose. It would behoove us to take notice of the beauty that surrounds us versus taking extreme measures to create separation and inferiority. Don’t let your discomfort ruin the experience of others.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable, requiring us to look beyond our differences and finding the same value systems that underpin the way we engage as a community.

Facing Reality

1746996-Buddha-Quote-All-human-unhappiness-comes-from-not-facing-reality

Sometimes people try to escape their reality by changing jobs, moving to a new city, or even changing partners. These measures may be necessary at times, but escapism is only a temporary solution.

If you are not willing to face the source of your problems, running away only makes solving them more difficult. Moreover, you will find yourself experiencing similar challenges down the road.

We also fall into the trap of blaming others when we’re part of the problem. Our problems don’t go away with a change of scenery. Often, it requires a change of heart and an adjustment of our ego.

Never Say Never

never-say-that-wont-happen-to-me-life-has-a-6329804

There is a saying that everyone has a price. Even the most upstanding citizens have fallen prey to making foolish decisions when money is involved.

We hear about bribes given to judges, police officers, and witnesses for the sake of overlooking the truth, but bribes only hurt the victims more.

Our obsession with money is often responsible for the mistreatment of others. It may not appear so on the surface, but it happens in subtle ways. For example, you decide to dine out for the evening without making a reservation, and upon arriving at the restaurant, the host/hostess tells you it will be a 30-minute wait and adds you to the waiting list.

After waiting a while, another patron enters the restaurant. They also don’t have a reservation, have inquired about the wait time, and have the same number of people in their party. Next thing you know, they are being seated before you.

More than likely, money exchanged hands. The host/hostess accepted the money to his/her benefit, the patron used it to his/her advantage, and the restaurant stands to lose a displeased customer (and get a bad review) for the actions of its staff member.

These types of transactions happen frequently. We don’t think we are doing any significant harm, but in reality, someone is experiencing the impact.

When You Look For Trouble, It Will Rear Its Head

trouble

Sometimes curiosity can cause us to stumble. There are times when we dig for answers to only discover our suspicions were unfounded. The lack of trust revealed by taking such measures creates a divide that isn’t easily repairable.

No one likes to be accused of wrongdoing when they’re making every effort to do what’s right. Our past experiences or guilty conscience can cause us to be overly suspicious of others – questioning every move and second-guessing motives. While we should be cautious and wise in our dealings, we should not assume that every action is ill-intended.

On the other hand, you may have one thing in mind that you are searching for and happen upon other things not meant for you to see. Ultimately, you have to deal with the consequences of your actions.

Self-Control

Self Control.jpg

Self-control may be limiting, but it is often necessary. We may flirt with temptation, rationalizing that we are technically refraining from the act itself. But, when you become so preoccupied with something that affects your perspective of anything else, you have moved from restraint to recklessness. It’s wise to identify your weak spots to avoid these temptations versus falling victim to them.

Message in the Music

Music

Music evokes emotion and conveys messages in various ways. Many people have a song they can relate to that inspires them, makes them sad, brings back memories, relaxes them, and sometimes annoys them.

You can listen to the same song at different times and have a different experience depending on what you are going through at that moment.

Whatever your pleasure, there’s music to fit the occasion. Think about:

  • The way teachers use music to teach their students.
  • How companies brand their product or service with jingles or popular songs.
  • How lyrical references in songs can inspire change, influence what we buy, and how we treat each other.
  • How incorporating the element of music into a film helps the audience emotionally connect.
  • How rhythmic chanting invites cultural healing.
  • How music elevates your mood when working out.
  • How music uplifts you spiritually.
  • The therapeutic benefit of music for those with physical disabilities and the list goes on.

Now imagine a world without music.

What Would You Do

what-would-you-do-logo2

After leaving the gym this morning, I stopped by a nearby Kroger to pick up a few items. I arrived at the store around 7 am. During this timeframe, the only lanes open are self-checkout.

I was the first one in the self-checkout lane and opted to use the register in the very back. After I started scanning my items, two men with separate transactions proceeded to the self-checkout kiosks near the front – which were across the aisle from each other.

During the time this was taking place, the attendant on duty was having a lively discussion with someone within several feet from where I stood.
After I finished scanning my items, I selected the option for entering a coupon that triggered an alert for the attendant to assist me.

Shortly after my register triggered an alert, the other two check-out kiosks triggered an alert. We all turned in the direction of the attendant to get his attention. When he turned around, he had a surprised look on his face and exclaimed, Oh! Everyone needs help!

At that precise moment, I could tell he was processing who to help first. As a recap, my register signaled the alert first. The attendant would also have to walk past me to assist the other two gentlemen.

He decided to help the gentleman then backtrack to help me.

Could this have been a result of him being an older white gentleman and the other two gentlemen were also white?

Could this have been because they were men and I was a woman?

Could this be because they were at the front and I was at the rear?

Could it be that he felt he would get pushback from the gentlemen if he helped me first?

Could this be because I was in gym attire and they weren’t – which gave an impression that I didn’t have any place to be?

I patiently waited for him to assist the other two gentlemen, paid for my transaction, and kept it moving.

What would you have done if you were the attendant?

Having Prejudices Limits You

Prejudice

Prejudice grows out of personal pride when one considers himself to be better than the other and refuses to look beyond ill-conceived stereotypes.

We are all on different paths and have different levels of understanding, but that does not make any one of us less human.

It is destructive to hate, so don’t let your prejudices get in the way of those you are to set an example for, nor those that are in positions of leadership.

The Importance of Organization

money-down-the-drain

Organization in the workplace helps keep systems operating smoothly. It also helps people work together in harmony to achieve their goals.

Disorganization, on the other hand, kills productivity and fuels missed opportunities – which results in money down the drain.

Disorganization starts from the top. If the leader is disorganized, the staff will be disorganized because talented people will not stay around a disorganized leader.

In the highly competitive business world, a disorganized company, shortage of talented staff, and upset consumers lends itself to a non-profitable company.

Get to Know You

roadmap-icons-01-exit-v2-250x250

Working on self is an ongoing process, and your needs will change throughout your lifetime. One of the easiest ways to get to know you is by spending time alone. This period of reflection will help reveal your behaviors, your outlook on life, what makes you happy, and what needs improvement.

It’s challenging to discover who you are searching outside of yourself. When you search for yourself through the eyes of others, it increases the odds of losing your perspective and adopting theirs.

If you are unclear of what you stand for, how can you expect others to know?

The Power of “Re”

The prefix “re” has power in our lives.

It can show up in the form of repeated behaviors or rewriting the script.

Think about something you wish you could redo.

Our experiences in life are often a reflection of our thoughts and are closely associated with the past revisited and repurposed to justify the present moment.

When we refuse to see the err in our ways, it results in the reoccurrence of learned behavior that is resistant to growth and the relinquishing of the ego.

The beauty of life is that it offers daily opportunities to hit the reset button and to recalibrate the energy we are emitting.

Remember that moments of uncertainty allows us to reprogram our thought process, rediscover our life’s purpose, and move forward with renewed energy.

What are some “re” words that you could benefit from in your life?

Entrepreneurship

Vice President Joe BidenSecretary SebeliusSecretary Anthony FoxxSecretary Sylvia Burwell 7

Greetings Friends! In light of my many professional endeavors, entrepreneurialism runs through my veins. I realize that entrepreneurship can be a risky undertaking for many, but applied knowledge is power. I have developed teams that have soared to great heights by keeping these four principles ingrained in their psyche:

  1. Put GOD first!
  2. If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it!
  3. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be NO!
  4. If you do not step FORWARD, you will ALWAYS be in the same place!

I help others take charge of their lives by uncovering their motivation and helping them reach their fullest potential. Experience doesn’t matter. I HELP CREATE WINNERS!!

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” Mark Cuban

The Journey

journey

Your travels create your life story. It’s a lifelong journey of asking questions and seeking answers, seeing things more clearly, listening more carefully, embracing change, and ultimately learning how to walk with the Creator each step of the way.

Regardless of the mistakes, disappointments, and setbacks you have encountered, where you are now is where you’re supposed to be. We are to trust and be grateful for each set of circumstances along the way.

When you focus on the blessings that emerge from your trials, you gain the strength and courage to continue moving forward. Remember to reflect on how far you have come versus how far you have to go and live out your purpose each day. Look for the Creator’s way in each moment and each decision and be grateful for the experience.

Choose Your Mate Carefully

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Be cautious in your choice of companion. The person you choose to settle down with will have a significant effect on your life – physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

It’s best to align yourself with people demonstrating qualities you would like to develop in your life versus characteristics that raise concern. You must also exemplify the traits you desire in a mate if you expect to have a fulfilling relationship.

It takes time to get to know someone, and most often, you meet their representative first. After peeling back the layers, you sometimes discover that your selection wasn’t all that you expected.

Consider the following:

  • If an irresponsible parent blames someone else for their lack of responsibility, this is not someone you rush to have a child by.
  • Someone who mismanages money should raise a concern with your financial stability.
  • Two people in a relationship practicing different religions must identify how this will affect their household and their future.
  • Someone with an abusive past or addiction may require special care and support.
  • Someone that can’t maintain employment may create more pressure for you in the long run.
  • Someone with a selfish perspective may have difficulty respecting your opinions and belief. Remember, respect comes from mutual regard and appreciation for one another, not by forced obedience.

Your well being should be the primary goal when choosing a mate. People can change, but it would be wise on your part to assess if you are willing to take that risk.

Self Esteem Is Derived On Self

self-esteem-and-self-love

Our experiences have a lot to do with the mental picture we create of ourselves and influence our attitudes and behaviors throughout life.

Having healthy self-esteem is an integral part of happiness. You are entitled to feel good about yourself. We tend to give others more credit than we give ourselves instead of taking inventory of our strengths and value.

Low self-esteem is self-imposed and often linked to emotional states such as depression, paranoia, and anxiety. Basing your self-esteem on external factors such as the amount of money you have, your physical appearance, or other people’s opinion broadly affects your emotional state whenever these variables change. Relying on external factors to make you feel good about yourself also makes you codependent upon them.

Envision yourself as the best you can be, to create the reality of your life that will be true to your most sincere self-image.

Meditation

meditation

If you take an objective view of your mind, you’ll find that many thoughts drift through it. Meditation is an effective way to clear the mind and gain focus. There are many things you can focus on, various ways to meditate, and no time restraints as to how long you do so.

It’s difficult to hear the answers we seek during the daily hustle and bustle of our lives. Stepping back from the noise and activity allows us to listen humbly and quietly for guidance.

When you have something troubling you and desire to gain more clarity, say a prayer about the subject matter and meditate on it. The answer may not come immediately, but meditating on it will help relax you and release negative energy within you.

Setting Standards

standards

When you desire to perform at a certain level with someone you measure yourself against, you must first figure out how this became the best standard for you to follow and what you may have to do to get where they are.

If this person had to lie, cheat, and steal to acquire what they have, are you willing to adopt the same behaviors or identify with someone who outwardly appears to be at the same level but did so through hard work and personal integrity?

They may both be packaged differently in perception, but one worked smarter in the long run and the other in a way that will have them looking over their shoulder for years to come.

Whatever choice you make, be sure to consider the long term effects of the standards you set for yourself. Accomplishing a feat in the wrong way can set you up for future failure.

Humanity

Living in a developed country that has a system of order and plentiful resources shields us from the reality that most of humanity faces. It’s not until you travel to a poverty-stricken country and witness the hunger, violence, and disease that signifies life for its inhabitants that you realize the artificial world in which we live.

While some countries are rich in resources, the income derived from those resources rarely reaches the poor. The inequalities prevalent in these countries include unclean water, inadequate medical care, deadly viruses, and limited education. Furthermore, the children in these countries are most affected, many times, succumbing to death due to hunger and malnutrition.

We have a moral obligation to be more appreciative of the opportunities and resources afforded us while finding ways to give of ourselves for the greater good of humanity. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership

Many people want to be leaders, but the majority of us are followers. We may be good followers in following a good leader, but no leader is perfect. Many people fail to realize that leadership can appear glamorous at times, but it is often lonely, thankless, and sometimes filled with pressures to compromise values and standards.

The essential quality of leadership is credibility. If people don’t trust you, they won’t follow you. The most effective followers understand their role and follow the ideas and beliefs of their leader. However, if a leader goes against ethical practices, you must be willing to stand alone.

As we rise to leadership positions, our priorities should be finding productive ways to serve people versus our praise, prestige, and power. Although many seek recognition for their accomplishments through these channels, they are poor substitutes for the substance gained in serving someone other than ourselves.

Blaming Others

You cannot run away from yourself, so blaming others is worthless. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions, as well as what unfolds before you. As long as you blame others, you will continue making the same mistakes.

It is not uncommon for us to shift the blame to someone else to avoid feelings of guilt. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the underlying issue. When you encounter trouble, take inventory of your attitude and behavior and see if that could be the source of the problem.