Get-A-Grip – Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make it Happen

The life you imagine for yourself is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. Like the title of my soon to-be-published book suggests – nothing worth hanging around for ever happens by chance. You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other and make it happen. You’ve got to learn how to get out of your own way by pushing self-doubt aside and stay focused on what’s important to you. Be patient – there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes dedication, hard work and a never-give-up attitude to end up where you want to go.

Worth Remembering … “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch” – Mary Kay Ash

There will be detours and road blocks along the way. Others will try to talk you out of pursuing your dream. (Don’t let them)  They’ll tell you they are doing it for your own good. (Don’t believe them) Believe in yourself instead. Believe – truly believe – that you have what it takes  to achieve any goal you set for yourself. If you truly believe it – than nothing will distract you or get in your way from accomplishing it.

A journey of a 1000 miles begins with that first step. Others have taken that first step and have come to realize their dream. If they can do it – why not you? What is stopping you? Will it be scary? Yes – Will you get lost now and again? Yes – Will there be times that you question your own sanity? Yes – Will there be times that you feel like giving up? Yes – A thousand unanswered questions – and a thousand yeses. But so what. Why let that stop you from doing what you really want to do. Why let that stop you from becoming who you are really meant to be.

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

Know for certain that you have at least one person in your corner. One person who wants you to be successful. One person who believes you have what it takes to do what ever you set out to do. That person is “YOU”. Listen to that voice inside your head. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. Listen to that voice inside your head and keep pressing on. Keep in touch. Let me know how it’s going. I’m in your corner too. – Cheers. 🙂

Suck it up Butter Cup and Get Back in the Game

It is what it is – either change it or change the way you’re thinking about it because you’re letting it hold you back. As Larry Winget  would say “Shut up – Stop Whining – And Get a Life“. Stop complaining about it. Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy. Use that energy to put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Your future is not in your past – so don’t live there. Stop playing the victim of circumstance. Reality is – bad things happen to good people – so suck it up butter cup and get back in the game.

Take a moment and try this exercise. Grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to think outside the box for a moment. In a perfect world what would you love to do? What would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now? Don’t set your sights too low. I want you to think big and dream bigger. What would be your ideal career? Think about that question for moment and then write it down.  Now list all the things that need to happen for you to land your dream job. What new skills will you need to learn? What clubs, associations or networking groups should you join? Do a “Google” search and find out who is already doing what you want to do. I want you to contact at least five people and interview them to find out how they did it. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know who to go to and ask.

Congratulations. You’ve taken the most important step towards your future. You’ve taken the “First” step. The first step is sometimes the hardest step to take . Nothing happens by chance. You’ve now put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Now go out and start working your plan. Have faith in yourself. You are capable of doing anything that you truly believe you can do. There is nothing getting in your way of doing what you truly want to do – but YOU. All you need to do is learn how to get out of your own way.

I want you to take that “To-Do” list and post it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your desk – post it where you’ll see it everyday. “To-Do” lists are great because they give us a sense of direction. They help us focus on what’s important. They are a constant reminder of where we’ve been – but more importantly – where we are going.  You’ll love the feeling you’ll get when you complete one of the tasks on your list and you get to cross it off .  It will motivate you to keep going.  There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to spur us on to do more. It’s like licking a 9 volt battery. If you love that feeling – you’ll do it again.

Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to write that book, record that CD, sign up for those art lessons and paint that landscape. Anytime is a great time to get into business for yourself, to go back to school or become a conisour of fine wines. You are never, ever too old. The brain has the capacity to learn new things – to get rewired – to take you to where you want to go. Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning so you might as well start now. Think BIG – Dream BIGGER – 🙂

Leadership Lessons – If You Aren’t PLOCing You Ain’t Leading 3

Chickens do it, good managers do it and leaders need to do it too. If you’re not PLOCing – you’re not leading. If you’re not PLOCing you’re just wishing and hoping things will turn out all right. When managing or leading others you can’t leave things to chance. You have to be both an efficient and effective PLOCer.

To be a good PLOCer you need to be able to do three things very well. You need to be able to communicate, educate and delegate both effectively and efficiently. You can have one without the other – but that’s not going to get you to where you and your organization need to be on time and on budget. You can be effective in completing a task or reaching an objective but not efficient because it took you and your team too long to accomplish it – or you had to redo it because it wasn’t done satisfactorily the first time.

Worth Remembering …

“For all the fashionable hype about leadership, it is unfashionable management that is being practiced and its fundamental characteristics have not changed.” – Hales

Learn to PLOC your way to success.

Plan:  You need to be very clear on what you want to accomplish and then put a plan together that will accomplish that task. If you can’t explain what you want to do and how you want to go about doing it to a 5-year-old – than you don’t understand it well enough yourself. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect plan. Don’t wait for perfect before you start. You can tweak it as you go along. Stop procrastinating and get doing.

Lead: You need to lead by example. Your team is looking to you for direction. You set the pace – You set the tone. And you can’t do that by sitting in your office. Leaders need to be both seen and heard. Manage by walking around. Be prepared to roll-up your sleeves when the situation warrants it. You shouldn’t ask someone else to do something that you aren’t prepared to do yourself. However, good leaders allow others to lead if there is someone else on their team who can perform a task better than they can.

Organize: Productivity is still the name of the game. You must minimize the input to maximize the output. You need to ensure that you are getting a significant return on your most precious resource – your time and your team’s time. Start off each day knowing what needs to be accomplished that day – who is going to do it – how it’s going to be done – how long it’s going to take to complete the task and when it needs to be completed by.

Control: People do what you inspect not what you expect. Your job is to monitor your team’s performance and remove any obstacles that are getting in their way. You can control the outcome by making sure they know what is expected of them. You can control the outcome by making sure they have all the tools they’ll need to do the job and complete the task on time and on budget. You can control the outcome by making sure you have the right people, doing the right task – at the right time.

Remember to Communicate often – Let your people know how they are doing (good or bad). Educate them by making sure they know how to perform the task and if they don’t teach them how. And Delegate the task to those who are capable of accomplishing what you set out to do. And then get out of their way and let them do it. (Resist the urge to micro-manage)

PLOCing may be for the birds – but, it’s good for managers and leaders too. 😉

Life Lessons – Selling Yourself is a Contact Sport

Everybody sells. We are always selling something.  Selling involves one person communicating with an individual or group to make a sale – to persuade a client to buy something  – a product, a service, a good idea or something that satisfies your needs or their needs on a personal level , or on a business level when an individual is purchasing for a company. David Ogilvy, one of the fathers of modern advertising, said it best: “We sell or else.” If you don’t ask – you don’t get. But to get – you’ve got to learn to ask for what you want the right way.

When you think about it – your life is a series of sales presentations. Children develop selling skills early on in life to get what they want. When you want something or someone to do something, you use your selling skills. When you attempt to get a date, ask for a pay raise, provide cost-effective solutions to solve a clients problem or deal with customer service representatives, you are using your personal selling skills. (Mind you some are better at it than others)

Selling is about making a personal “Connection” with your perspective client. Selling is about building a relationship with the person you want to do business with. Selling is a contact sport. If people aren’t buying what you’re selling – than you need to re-evaluate your sales approach. You need to figure out how to get people to like you. (People do  business or hang around with people they like)

Successful salespeople are no longer adversaries who manipulate others for personal gain. Successful salespeople are consultants, partners and problem solvers. A successful salesperson’s goal is to build a long-term relationship with their clients. The most important characteristic for establishing a lasting relationship with a client is a salesperson’s willingness to provide service. Your only competitive advantage to separate yourself from your competition is the level of customer service you provide. It’s not your products, (Everybody is selling a comparable product) – it’s not your price (Someone is always willing to sell theirs for less)  – its service. Customer loyalty is established over a long period of time. Your clients must believe that you truly care about them and their welfare. Clients must believe that you have their best interest in mind.

How do you get someone to like you? The first thing you do is run out and buy a copy of Dale Carnegie‘s  book ” How to Win Friends and Influence People” What was true back in 1936 when he wrote the book – still holds true today. Treat people with respect and they will respond in kind. Keep in mind that respect is reciprocal. It’s not something that you can demand. It is something that you earn. You’ve got to give it first before you get it back.

Keys to Developing Personal and Professional Relationships Built on Mutual Respect and Trust

  • Different is just that – different. Just because others go about doing things differently than you – it doesn’t make it wrong. Embrace and celebrate the differences in people.
  • Listen to the other person’s point of view and don’t interrupt. (I listen to understand not necessarily to agree)
  • Be open-minded. Try to see things from the other persons point of view.
  • Be flexible. Does it have to be your way or no way? Will their way of doing it get the same results? Resist the urge to micro-manage.
  • Don’t argue – don’t try to bully the other person into agreeing with you. You are adults. You can agree to disagree.
  • Don’t be condescending or talk down to the other person. You are dealing with an Adult – treat them that way.
  • Don’t resort to name calling and putting the other person down – especially behind their back.
  • Don’t verbally or physically attack the other person.
  • Treat the other person the way you want to be treated.
  • Respect the fact that they have an opinion and they have a right to express that opinion – even if you don’t agree with it.
  • Effective communication takes two – the sender and the receiver. Make sure you are communicating with the other person in a style that they like.

One more thought worth thinking about. You communicate 93% of the time non-verbally. (38% by the tone of your voice and 55% of the time by your body language alone) Your words and actions must be as one or the other person will believe the non-verbal to be more accurate.  If you are sincere and truly want to build relationships with others that last – then it will be reflected in the way that you treat them. If what you are currently doing isn’t accomplishing that – then you need to change what you’re doing and try something else. Trust me – they don’t need to change – you do.  – Cheers. 🙂