The Unknown As Adventure

ID-100280272Acceptance of the unknown is central to our ability to risk, to move forward and to master new skills and experiences. To succeed in work and life, we must face the fear we have of the unknown. It is not an easy task to let fear go completely, but we must face it and not let our fear of the unknown control how we work and live our lives.

One way to begin to release our fear is to start looking at the unknown as the adventure it truly is. We can create small unknowns such as taking a day off, making no plans and seeing what shows up. Or, leading your team in a time of uncertainty, by directly identifying the presence of the unknown and finding ways to navigate it and see it as an adventure The definition of adventure is: an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. Note the use of the word hazardous in the definition. That speaks volumes about our society’s view of the unknown. We can prepare for hazards, yes but also put our focus on the exciting and unusual.

The unknown can lead to innovation, unexpected successes, new experiences and exciting discoveries. The next time you encounter the unknown, approach it as an adventure and see what happens.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

An Anatomy of Trying

ID-100272868Sometimes people look at a challenging situation and say to themselves “I am trying so hard.” Or, justify disappointment by saying their team “tried”. Let’s look at this word try. Its definition is to make an attempt or effort to do something. An attempt or effort is not completion. How often do you stop your analysis of a failure (to meet a deadline, for example) at “we tried”? It doesn’t stop there. To move forward, best to look at what you did do, what went awry, what you may have done in hindsight and what you can do about it now. That keeps the situation in motion, hopefully to a satisfactory conclusion and informs you for the future.

The next time you say “I tried”, take a look at what’s behind that statement.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rating Your Employer

ID-100288031I recently came across a job site,  Glass Door, that offers employee reviews of companies. I was curious about low ratings and found reviews such as: high stress and long hours, great people, poor operations, required to handle responsibilities that may fall outside the scope of job description, very schizophrenic priorities and initiatives, decisions not well delegated, targets move and speed takes precedence over quality.

What are your top three criteria for a good working environment? Are they met in your current position? What are three non-negotiables that you cannot have in your working environment? Are any of them present in your current position?

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At Your Best

ID-100281002What does it mean for you to be at your best? Is your answer influenced by others’ views of what a good manager is or your own view? Being at your best asks that you manage in a way that allows you to excel. It asks that you continually improve your skills, honor your values and stay true to yourself.

Be aware of people or situations that hamper your ability to be at your best.

Being at your best is your gift to the world and to yourself. When you put your focus on being at your best, it is a win-win all around.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Getting Real

ID-100135697Every once in a while, it’s good to “get real” with yourself. Crisis and opportunity are times when a realistic appraisal of what is happening serves you best. Getting real involves being honest, getting back to the present moment, taking off any rose-color glasses and a bit of courage, as well.

If you were to “get real” with yourself today, what would you focus on? Is there something asking for your attention or something that is getting out of control? If so, go for it. By getting real, you move your life forward in the best possible way.

 

photo: winnond, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Teetering On An Edge

ID-10054314Sometimes you can find yourself on the edge of something and feeling a bit unsteady. It can be an edge between two options, or decisions, an edge that you are starting to step off involuntarily or an edge of conflicting emotions. When you are teetering on an edge, gather your awareness; you don’t want to fall.

You can get yourself to an edge unconsciously and be surprised that you are there. Or, your actions can lead you there step-by-step. When you find yourself on an edge, best to regroup immediately, figure out what got you there and steady yourself. Then, you can take the action that is in your best interest.

Have you found yourself teetering on the edge recently? Did you get yourself back to solid ground?

 

photo: Just2shutter, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Do You Prioritize?

ID-100288876I guess you can manage your team without prioritizing, but what a ride that is! How do you prioritize your work and make sure that you and your team meet your goals? Best to find a way that works for you, or your prioritizing will become a burden and ineffective. Here are some things to consider in finding the best way to prioritize your work.

• Have a realistic sense of the time available to you and what you can get done.

• Align your priorities with those of your organization and customers and, if conflicts arise, address them.

• Make the hard choices regarding what is most important. There are so many demands on our time, that these choices are inevitable.

• Be clear about priorities with your team – no mixed messages, unrealistic deadlines or conflicting priorities.

• Don’t slack off. Keep stated priorities front and center for you and your team. If priorities change, inform your team and set a new course.

• Develop a “system” for prioritizing work – a process for communicating priorities, revisiting them when necessary, receiving team feedback, keeping a record and tracking progress.

An effective way of prioritizing your work gives you a level of control, a way to create efficiency, a path to achieving your goals and a little peace of mind.

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ten Manager Tolerations You Can Do Without

ID-10071537In a previous blog post I wrote about  the effects of tolerating negative people or situations. Here are ten examples of manager tolerations you are better off without.

1. A team member who is disrupting the flow of your team’s work.

2. A colleague who uses intimidation to get what he or she wants.

3. A messy, unorganized desk.

4. A culture that defines productivity as the number of hours you stay at the office, rather than the results of your work.

5. An unclear mission.

6. Too many unproductive meetings.

7. Compensation way below your contribution.

8. Sloppy performance reviews.

9. Disrespect.

10. Work that has no meaning for you.

 What are you tolerating now that you could do without?

 

photo: scottchan, FreeDigital Photos.net

 

What Will You Accomplish In October?

calendarSometimes focus is a challenge. One way to create more focus is to name a short-term goal and get it done. Doing this sets your focus and, when you accomplish it, you create momentum that you can build on.

What short-term goal can you establish for October and set about to getting it done? Choose something that will move your and your team’s 2014 goals forward in a significant way. You’ll find your focus sharpening before you know it.

Ten Ways To Shine As A Leader

ID-1002063901. Be your authentic self. This means no “shoulds” and being true to your values.

2. Get enough rest, so you can be at your best.

3. Treat all with respect and fairness.

4. Continuously sharpen your skills and know that the growing and learning never stops.

5. Do your best to live fully in the present moment.

6. Enjoy your work and encourage others to do the same.

7. Develop a positive relationship with time (See my previous blog post)

8. Use technology to create efficiencies.

9. Go to 10,000 feet every once in awhile, in order to see the bigger picture.

10. Acknowledge your accomplishments and those of others.

 

photo: samarttiw, FreeDigitalPhotos.net