Monday Quick Tip ~ Take Stock of What Matters

hands together

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There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven…

 A time to plant and a time to uproot.  Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b

My current leadership responsibilities include helping the organization I lead to take stock of how it is doing in light of the current reality.  To do that, we are closely examining our programs and people.

I’ve been thinking about what is important and what isn’t important in the life of the organization I lead.  I’m challenging the organization with the questions found in Peter Drucker’s small yet powerful read, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. Here are the 5 questions:

  • What is our mission?
  • Who is our customer?
  • What does the customer value?
  • What are our results?
  • What is our plan?

The questions get to the heart of what is most important.  Not a bad thing to examine, both in organizations and in our personal life.

Answering the questions lead us to make some decisions about what to uproot and what to plant.  They help us move forward in why we are here.

The beauty of the questions is that they also apply to our personal relationships.  Our mission in life is to be as loving as possible.

Our “customer” is our friends and family.

Our friends and family value time with us, laughing, having fun, and sharing great experiences.

The result is ever deepening and more meaningful relationships.

So what is your plan to build the relationship with those who love you most?

Loss of relationships can come swiftly and unexpectedly.  All the success in business can’t make up for the time we lost with those we love most.

Build relationships and the rest will take care of itself.

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Monday Quick Tip ~ Take Down Your Worst Enemy

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We have met the enemy and he is us. – Pogo, comic book character

In a recent post I talked about “stinking thinking” that we can fall prey to in our role as leaders.  (Read it here.)  The same phenomenon also happens in our self-leadership.  Self-doubt can grip us in its scaly tentacles and we find it hard to break free.

When I find myself in this state, I know it is time for me to check out “the view from someone outside my head.”  It’s like staying inside the same house all the time.  Our view becomes only what we see from that limited perspective.  Soon we believe that is reality, but in fact it is only our perception.

The voice of self-doubt shouts to us to err on the side of safety. It says:

  • You can’t
  • You shouldn’t
  • You won’t
  • You will never
  • That won’t work
  • You must not
  • That’s too risky
  • What are you thinking?

It’s helpful to pay attention to our emotions when we are caught in periods of self-doubt.  The voice of self-doubt becomes louder during times of stress, exhaustion, risk, and as deadlines draw near.

Our best strategy for silencing the voices of negativity is to listen to our cheering section, our fans, our positive partners and our encouragers.  They give us the perspective we need to break free from the hold of self-doubt.

No one makes it alone.

These treasured people remind us of what we have going for us and how far we’ve come.  Sometimes we need them to come along side to give us a good swift kick in the behind to get us back on track.

Take down the voice of self-doubt. Go find your eagles, so you can soar once again.

Who are your positive partners?

Monday Quick Tip ~ We Are What We Think

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor & Philosopher

Our life is what our thoughts make it ~ Marcus Aurelius

It’s true that garbage in leads to garbage out.  We can get a serious case of “stinking thinking” when we continually think about what could go wrong instead of the potential of what could go right.

As leaders, our thinking is critical to the attitude and morale of the people we lead.

If we feast our minds on a diet of the worst case scenario our actions will reveal our thoughts.  Playing it safe instead of going for it or giving up on pursuing our dreams started when we tasted the fruit of negativity.

Examples of stinking thinking include:

  • Overgeneralization – using words like “always” and “never”
  • Habitually looking for and finding the negative in people and situations
  • Discounting the positive
  • Predicting negative outcomes before giving it fair trial

When we give our minds clean, wholesome positive information and images, positive words and actions will follow.

The bottom line is that we become what we think about.

Think good thoughts this week and the people we lead will thank us.