Many organizations establish missions, core values and principles by which they operate. Good ones reinforce them frequently to make sure they become an integral part of their operations. Sometimes however, there are unstated values in an organization that may not be as obvious as stated ones. It is helpful to be aware if there are any unstated values in your organization, as expectations may exist that you follow them.
What can bring about unstated values in an organization? Here are a few reasons: leaders do not want to acknowledge the value exists, only top leaders know of and follow the value (exclusivity), leaders are not proud of the value or simply neglect. Here’s an example: an organization’s stated highest value is customer service; however, in reality, their highest value is profit which wins out over customer service when they come into conflict.
Know the values of your organization and others that you deal with. It can help you better understand the environment you are in, realistically assess your own performance and judge whether your own values are truly in alignment with your organization .
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As a manager, do you have favorites in your team? As a team member, do you see evidence of your team leader’s favorites? Is it outlawed to have favorites? Not at all – we are all human and resonate with certain types of people more than others. It is okay to have favorites. Where the challenge comes in for a manager or team leader, is to assure that all are evaluated by the same standards and are treated without personal bias.
How can you assess whether favoritism is an element of your management style? You can start by first, looking at your feelings and attitudes towards each team member. Do you have favorites? Second, look at how you treat each team member – do you show your favoritism in your interactions with them? This will get you started in creating a culture within your team that performance and productivity are what matters.
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Have you been caught short lately – unprepared, missing something, lacking information, short-staffed? It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Sometimes it is avoidable and sometimes not. Preparation is so important to your success. When, even with preparation, you get caught short, what do you do? Usually, you have to regroup fast to respond. Best to be honest, propose a solution and stay off the defensive. Getting caught short happens to everyone. When despite your best efforts you get caught short, be ready to get back in the game and make it right.
What does it take for you to be “on point”? Being on point increases your influence, productivity, self-confidence and effectiveness.
There is a lot in our world that can pull you off point. These things can be: creating distractions, unsettled emotions, stress and anxiety, poor preparation, being tired, losing focus, being late, falling into dull routine or disliking what you are doing.
Keep yourself on point by being aware of what you need to be at your best!
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Sometimes, you can go along for a while without a lot happening or without knowing what’s next. It can be a kind of quiet growth period. Then, you get restless and want to know what’s next. It is like the newly formed butterfly wanting to break out of the cocoon, without knowing what awaits it outside. As with the butterfly, you want to make sure you are ready to make the best of your next move.
Sometimes, you can jump ahead without being ready or knowing where you are going. This is okay, but has its risks. Best to be prepared. There is also the other, sometimes mysterious, factor of timing. You don’t always control the timing of things. If you push before the time is right, your move can backfire.
When you are ready to break out, make sure you are aware, at your best and ready. That way, every move can be a positive one.
Sometimes you have a choice between letting something go and pushing it through to completion. When that choice shows up, usually it takes a lot to push through and you have to decide if you are up for it. Say, something has gone off-track in a project through no fault of your own, but you are the only one around that can fix it. Doing so means extra hours and a lot of effort. How do you get yourself ready?
There are several ways to gear up for pushing through. First, mentally prepare by accepting what’s ahead. Second, make sure you have what you need to get done what you have to. Third, make sure, even though you are pushing, that you do not burn yourself out physically. You may have to stretch a bit, but then you can make sure to make space to rest once you are done.
If you feel you cannot push through alone and get a job done, ask for and get the help you need. Pushing through is not an every day thing; however pushing through, when it’s warranted, helps your career and has many rewards.
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Is there something you are “done with” relating to your career? It may be a consistent aggravation, something you are tolerating, a significant lack of recognition for the work you are doing or a pursuit that no longer interests you.
Depending on what it is that you are done with, you may be able to let it go right away or letting it go may take some doing. Either way, best to get started. As you let go of things that no longer serve you, your life gets better and you make room for the new.
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After writing my last blog post, Your Past Informing Your Present, I thought about how your present might inform your past. Yes, that’s not the usual way we go; however there is something to it.
If you look at your past actions, attitudes and decisions from the vantage point of now, there’s a good chance you are wiser and more experienced than you were then. Evaluating past actions is a practice of continuous improvement, if you do it well.
You carry your past throughout your life. Why not use it to your advantage? What might you have done differently in the past, if you knew what you know today?
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Do you know the phrase “light a fire under it”? It refers to getting something going fast. Lighting a fire can be called for when something you are doing is in crisis or there is great urgency. However, you can light a fire without a crisis or great urgency and doing so, can serve you well.
If there is something you want to get done, but haven’t gotten to or something you can do that will advance your goals in a major way, why not light a fire under it? You could set your own deadline, start moving on it now or otherwise get in action.
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do or complete? Try lighting a fire under it. You’ll be glad that you did.
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1. Not paying attention
2. Failing to understand the culture of your organization
3. Having a poor relationship with time
4. Becoming resentful
5. Not sharpening your skills
6. Getting tired and out of balance
7. Not thinking ahead
8. Failing to see signs that something is wrong
9. Missing deadlines
10. Thinking it’s okay if you are unhappy
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