Being Passionate About Something Isn’t Enough

Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about golf. I love watching it, playing it and reading about it. But just because I am passionate about golf doesn’t mean I will be good at playing it. Being passionate about something isn’t enough. To be good, to be really good at something takes commitment, dedication and hard work. To be good, to be really good at something, you must be consumed by it. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book – “Outliers – The Story of Success.” wrote about the ten thousand hour rule. Researchers believe that ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness. They think it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery. (That works out to someone practicing at least 40 hours a week for 4.8 years)

Worth Remembering … “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when the circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock

How committed are you to be the best version of yourself? How committed are you to do all you must do to reach your full potential? Mozart started writing music at age six, but his first masterwork, No. 9 – K. 271, wasn’t composed until he turned twenty-one. Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest hockey player of his or any previous generation, started learning his craft at age three on his backyard rink. Tom Brady was seventh on the quarterback depth chart when he enrolled at Michigan, and Michael Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team.

Worth Remembering … “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.” – Vince Lombardi

There is no such thing as being too old. Colonel Sanders, at age 65 when most people are looking to retire, founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians became the oldest head coach to win the Super Bowl at age 68. Are you satisfied where you are – or are you looking for more? Keep in mind that wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Success, your success, is a planned event. What are you prepared to do to excel in your chosen field of endeavour? Are you ready to commit to a new beginning? Start now!

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith-PLD. 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

PLOCers Make The Best Managers and Leaders

I can still see Ron Knowles standing up on his desk, plocking like a chicken and flapping his arms as if they were wings. Ron Knowles, professor extraordinaire, mentor and colleague, always tried to come up with interesting and unconventional ways to make learning fun. PLOCers make the best managers and leaders; he would tell me. If they can’t PLOC Smitty, they will have a difficult time trying manage and lead others. If you want to be a more effective manager or leader, take a page out of Ron’s book and learn to PLOC. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did and the people you work with will be better for it.

Planning: – Managing and leading others is a planned event. What gets planned and executed gets done. A great plan always starts with the end in mind. It would be best if you had a clear understanding of what it is you want to accomplish. Once you decide your goal, put a plan together to get there, outlining each step you need to take.

Leading: – Great managers and leaders lead by example. Be the kind of leader that you would follow. Honesty, integrity, empathy, open-mindedness and trustworthiness should mean more than fancy platitudes. Having the ability to manage and lead others is a learned behaviour. Decide what new skills you need to learn and take the time to learn them.

Organizing: – Great managers and leaders excel at managing their time and their teams time. In a standard 40 hour work week, you have 200 hours to accomplish what must be completed that week. It’s crucial to prioritize what needs to be done and when. Remember, you can’t do it by yourself so delegate, delegate and delegate some more.

Controlling: – There are several ways you can control without mirco-managing the outcomes. You control the purse strings. You control promotions. You control who gets to do what. You control the perks. You control who gets hired and who gets fired. Forcing others to do what needs to be done by bullying or intimidating them no longer works. The key is to find out what they want and help them get theirs, and you’ll get yours. Use the carrot, not the stick.

PLOCers make the best managers and leaders. Are you ready to PLOC?

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

Throw Out Your Business Plan and Pivot

If this current pandemic has taught us anything at all, it’s that putting together a 3 to 5 year business plan is a total waste of time, energy and money. If this current pandemic has taught us anything at all, it is that our crystal ball is a little murky and it’s impossible to predict the future. Burying your head in the sand and waiting for it to be over is not the answer. What this current pandemic has taught us is that those who learn to pivot have a better chance of having a future.

Worth Remembering … “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

Restaurants expanded their patio to provide outdoor dining and encouraged customers to order online for curbside pickup or have it delivered to their door. They reduced their indoor dining area to create a safer environment for their customers and their staff.

Manufacturing companies retooled to produce and sell personal protective equipment. Distilleries used their expertise in making spirits to make sanitizer. Clothing manufactures switched over to making masks and garments.

Small businesses have had to change their flow patterns to help their customers social distance and they put up plexiglass barriers to protect their staff. Administrative and sales people started working from home and connecting online.

Worth Remembering … “A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision.” – Eric Ries

What this current pandemic has taught us is that the future, although not ideal, can be brighter if we learn to look for the possibilities. A basketball player learns to pivot, not to give up on their chance of scoring a basket, but to change direction and give themselves a clearer path to reach their goal. Conditions have changed. Throw out your business plan and pivot.

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

Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

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 please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com