Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

Sorry if I am the one to burst your bubble but nobody is perfect. Not even you. You do not need to handicap yourself by carrying around that kind of burden. Aim for the bull’s-eye? Absolutely. Strive for perfection? Yes – always – but understand that sometimes you cannot attain the unattainable. Sometimes you are going to fall short and miss the target. Do not beat yourself up over it. You can take pride in the fact that you did your very best. That you gave it your all. And if you truly gave it your all, then you have no more to give. You can only give 100%. Learn to accept that what is is, short comings and all. Eliminate the stressors in your life, chances are you will live longer.

Worth Remembering … “An environment that calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good progress.” – Thomas Watson Jr.

According to most psychologists’ people move in the direction that is opposite to the direction they want to avoid. In other words, perfectionists strive for perfection because they do not feel that they are perfect. Because they somehow feel inferior to other people in certain situations and try to overcome their perceived short comings. In the long run, striving for perfection can destroy your self-confidence. In most cases perfection is highly overrated.

Worth Remembering … “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

Paralysis by analysis. Over thinking can be a deal breaker. There is no such thing as the perfect plan. You cannot think of everything that could or would go wrong. If you wait for perfect before executing your plan, when early action would have been preferable, you stand the chance of missing your opportunity for success. In most cases perfection is highly over rated. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about \Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at: brian@briansmithpld.com

Are You Dangling Carrots or Using Sticks?

How do I motivate others to do what I need them to do? The truth of the matter is – you can’t. You can’t motivate anyone to do anything that they don’t really want to do. Whether you are dangling carrots or using sticks won’t matter. People do things for their own reasons – not yours. Just because you say it – it doesn’t make it so. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. The key to motivating others is by creating an environment in which they will want to motivate themselves. To create that environment you need a clear understanding of what motivates others into taking action.

Worth Remembering … “It is only when a person has their own genertator that we can talk about motivation. They need no outside stimulation. They want to do it.” – Frederick Herzberg 

The key is to find out what they want, and then use that understanding to get them to do what you want.  You have to figure out what’s their WIIFM. (What’s in it for me). I believe  for the most part that people are inherently self-serving and will only do something if they believe they are going to benefit from it. If they aren’t going to get their WIIFM, then they won’t be motivated enough to put in the effort. Even people who volunteer their time or donate money for a good cause are getting some kind of WIIFM or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Worth Remembering … “The common wisdom is that managers have to learn to motivate people. Nonsense – Employees bring their own motivation.” – Tom Peters

If you have the power to grant them their WIIFM, then you’ll have their attention. If they want theirs – and you want yours – then all you have to do is create a win-win. They win because they got their WIIFM and you won because you got them to do what needs to be done to complete the task, to  accomplish the goal. If you want to motivate someone to do what you need them to do – then you need to put down the stick and offer them a carrot. When you can do that everyone gets their WIIFM.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Entrepreneurship – Look Before You Leap 23

Have you alentrepreneurship[1].jpgways dreamed of being the one that makes all the decisions – the one that calls all the shots? Are you tired of working for someone else? Before you take the plunge and jump into the deep end of the pool have you done the market research – put a business plan together – and really thought it through? Have you thought about the impact it will have on your family and your personal life?

Before you quit your job and strike out on your own you might be interested in my answers to a series of questions I was asked by a former business student of mine. I hope my answers provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to be successful.

What made you decide to get into business for yourself? Timing – it really boiled down to timing. I knew I wanted to make a career change. I was beginning to feel stuck and unfulfilled. For me – it’s never been about how much money I made. Now don’t get me wrong – money is important – but if it’s your only reason for getting into business for yourself – then you’re going to be disappointed – especially in your first few years. Make sure you have enough money saved up to pay your bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over your head for at least a year.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own small business? I faced – and continue to face some of the same challenges everyone entrepreneur faces. Self-employed persons don’t have the luxury of a steady pay-cheque coming in. That puts a great deal of strain on your personal and family life. Everyone must give up something to get something. You need to decide what you and your family are willing to give up so that you can live your dream. Everybody needs to be on board. You need to be committed to doing whatever you need to do to be successful. If you and or your family aren’t willing to pay that price – then it’s best you stay where you are.

Any lessons learned that you can pass on to anyone wanting to start their own business? You need to be really passionate about what you are doing. You need to be prepared to work 80 hours a week for very little money. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend money you haven’t generated yet. Find your niche Become an expert in something not a generalist in everything. What do you know or what product are you selling that someone else will pay you money to learn or have?

Food for thought: The two major reasons businesses fail are (1) Lack of management skills – and (2) Lack of financing. Most businesses fail within the first three years of start-up. (When I say most I mean over 90% fail) We have a tendency to overestimate revenue so divide your sales projections by half and run it by those numbers. You need to live and die by the numbers. Make business decisions – keep your emotions out of it. Always think worst-case scenario. That will help keep you grounded.

If I haven’t talked you out of getting into business for yourself after reading this article – then maybe – just maybe you have what it takes. Maybe you’ll make it to year five. I’ve been self-employed since 1998 and I’m still having fun. I wish you all the best.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit: https://briansmithpld.com

The Way We Manage is Changing – Are You?

management-training-1[2].jpgI’m old enough to remember working in the 1960s. (Yes – I’m that old.) Back in those days, you didn’t question authority. When management told you to jump – the only question you were allowed to ask was how high. Social Psychologist Douglas McGregor branded that style of management as Theory X. Management believed that people were inherently lazy and needed to be bullied or brow-beaten into performing their work. Unfortunately, there are still managers out there who use that style in an attempt to motivate their workforce. Times have certainly changed. What you need to decide now is – will the management style that got you here – be the same style that will get you to where you need to go? Would you work for you?

There’s been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes towards work. Worker’s wants and needs have changed. For the newest generation, life outside of work – is just as important as life at work. Today’s managers and business leaders must manage differently to keep pace with that change if they want an engaged and productive workforce. Productivity is still the name of the game and that equation will never change. Management’s role is to minimize input and maximize output. Unfortunately downsizing, another word for layoffs and thin margins have put added pressure on managers to hold the line on the expense side of the ledger while still growing the profit side. In order to accomplish both managers must switch from being task-focused to people-focused.

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – Working with Emotional Intelligence, said it best. “We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle our selves and each other”. If you can’t make an emotional connection with the people you work with and interact with, you stand little chance of managing or leading. The good news is that managers and leaders aren’t born – they’re made. You can learn how to communicate and interact more successfully, build collaborative teams, problem solve, negotiate win-wins and motivate others to perform at their personal best. It just depends on how willing you are to change. Trust me – If you don’t, you’ll go the way of the dodo bird and dinosaurs.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com