Mission Possible? You Can Turn Your Ship Around 9

Change-GraphicYou are the captain of your own ship. If you don’t like the direction you’re going, then you have the power to turn your ship around. If you don’t like the direction you’re headed, then you have the power to plot a new course and take action. Because chances are if you keep sailing in the wrong direction, you’ll either end up on the rocks, stranded on a sand bar, or float aimlessly like a vessel without a rudder. Change can be difficult. Change means getting out of your comfort zone. But without change, you can’t move forward. Without change, you most likely can’t even stay where you are because everything around you is changing. And if you don’t keep pace with that change, you will get left behind.

Worth Remembering …  “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” – Andy Warhol

You can change, but you will only change if the will to change is greater than the will to stay where you are. An early model of change developed by Kurt Lewin, universally recognized as the founder of modern social psychology, described change as a three stage process.

  1. Unfreeze: Stop what you are doing and decide what needs to change. Decide what is getting in your way of you making a change? As Dr. Phil says “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge”.
  2. Change: Stop doing one thing and start doing another. When you change the behavior you change the result. What you need to do is replace one habit with another. Adults can change if they believe the change will help them accomplish their goals.
  3. Re-Freeze: Once you have made the change keep doing what you are doing. If you do it long enough it will become part of you. Successful people keep doing what made them successful. Successful people do what others won’t do so be patient, stay focused, and keep on course.

Worth Remembering … “Change what you can – influence what you will – and give up on all those things that you cannot control.”

You can only do what you can do. You can only change you. You’ll have to navigate your ship around the odd rock formation and sail through choppy waters and rough seas. And there will be times when you think you aren’t moving at all, but that’s ok. Keep sailing your ship on the course you’ve set for yourself. That’s what good captains do. Mission possible? Absolutely! You can turn your ship around. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and presentations on a number of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Life Lessons – How to Get The Life You Want 11

1475825_10202358184503139_292663748_nI’d like you to take out a blank piece of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind. “In a perfect world, your world, what would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now?” Don’t over think it – just write down the first thing that popped into your head. Now I know there is no such thing as a perfect world – nothing is perfect – but I think we can get close to it by doing those things that we are meant to do. And we are meant to do those things that make us happy. What is getting in the way of you doing what you’d rather be doing? Life – your life, is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so.

If you aren’t excited about what you are doing – excited to the point that you can hardly wait to get up in the morning and get at it  – then it’s time for you to choose an alternative career. If you aren’t excited about what you are doing then it’s time you gave some serious thought to how you are going to get to where you’d rather be. It’s time you gave some serious thought to what you need to do to get the life you want.

Worth Remembering … “A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step” – Lao-tzu

First things first. Take a moment and list all the things that need to fall into place for you to accomplish what you are wanting to do. What pieces of the puzzle need to fit together so that you can accomplish your goals? Look over your list and prioritize what needs to happen and when. (I must do A, then B and move on to C, etc.) Congratulations! You now have a game plan.  You now know what you need to do to get the life you want. The only thing left for you to do is to start working your plan. I know it sounds simple – and some times it’s easier said then done. But if you have the strength of your convictions and believe in yourself – you will succeed. The only thing getting in your way is you.

Worth Remembering …. “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have discovered 10,000 ways that do not work” – Thomas Edison

Always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect plan. Trust me – there will be road blocks, detours and traffic jams along the way. We all experience those. However, DO NOT let that stop you. Stay focused, stay committed to completing the journey you’ve started. If you have to adjust your plan or tweak it here and there along the way – so be it.  Stay strong. You will succeed. You will realize your full potential. YOU WILL cross the finish line. And most importantly, you will have the life you want. Now get to work. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking or for delivering a seminar on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Stop The Madness – You Are Producing a Generation of Wimps 9

Stop the MadnessStop the madness!!! You are producing a generation of wimps. Too much of a good thing – is not a good thing. In the “real” world not everyone gets to make the team, regardless of their skill level. In the “real” world they won’t be praised or promoted for being just good enough. And in the “real” world they may not get a second chance to make the wrong thing right, without paying the price for being wrong in the first place. In the “real” world there are consequences.

You are doing this newest generation a dis-service by not preparing them for life “outside” of the nest. The world can be a cruel place for someone who hasn’t been taught the skills needed to take on life’s challenges. The world can be a cruel place for someone who hasn’t been knocked down because they never learn how to get back up. The world can be a cruel place for someone who rarely heard the word “NO” while growing up.

Worth Remembering … “The depths and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back of their reserves.” – Leon Trotsky

Tough love, applied at the right time – for the right reasons – is not a bad thing.  Tough love teaches you that life is not always fair. That you don’t get everything that you ask for. That bad things can happen to good people. Tough love teaches you to stand up on your own two feet and compete for what you want. Tough love teaches you that “You aren’t in Kansas anymore”. Tough love builds character, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Worth Remembering … “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.” – Thomas Jefferson

You can still be someones soft place to fall – just don’t make it too comfortable. When you eliminate honor rolls or deans list in schools because you don’t want to make those who just want to skate by feel inferior – you take away the incentive for the achievers who want to excel. You can’t build up someones self-worth by taking away someone else’s. When you no longer keep score because you don’t want the other team to “feel” discouraged – you take away a persons competitive spirit. If you don’t teach them the value of money, what it means to be independent and the feeling they’ll get from making it on their own – you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Stop the madness!!! You are producing a generation of wimps.

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker? Planing a lunch-n-learn or training seminar? Contact Brian. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you, your organization and your people visit http://briansmithpld.com 

What’s Getting in the Way of You Leading? 5

images (36)If dolphins, lions and wolves can do it – why is it so difficult for humans to do it too? Why is it so difficult to put a group of people together and have them perform as a team? Teams, or at least the concept of teams, are the primary force of most organizations today but, without a strong leader, teams stand little chance of being successful. Team success or failure rests solely on the shoulders of the leader. If your team isn’t as successful as they could be or should be – it’s time to take stock of your leadership style and make some changes.

Worth Remembering … “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay 

You can increase your chances of leadership success by avoiding or maneuvering around these ten obstacles to building collaborative and productive teams. What’s getting in the way of you being a more effective leader? Are you guilty of committing any of these offences?

  1. Lack of a competent leader: Leaders aren’t expected to know everything. But, they are expected to know who to go to and find out.
  2. Lack of goals and goal alignment: Leaders need to be very clear on what it is they want to accomplish and have a general idea of how to go about accomplishing it.
  3. Individual focus on themselves and not their team: There can’t be any hidden personal agendas. There can only be one agenda – the team’s agenda. Everyone needs to understand that if the “team” wins – everyone wins – including the leader.
  4. Lack of understanding team members: What motivates you may not motivate them. Leaders need to take the time to find out what their people’s individual needs are. And then work very hard to make sure their needs are met.
  5. Lack of clarity on team roles: Everyone has a strength that they bring to the team. Leaders need to put people in positions where they will be able to play to their strengths.
  6. Lack of trust: If they can’t trust your word – they won’t trust you. Your word must be your bond. What ever you say you’re going to do – do it!
  7. Lack of accountability: You must hold yourself and others accountable. Standards aren’t open for debate. Standards must be met and maintained. However, how you go about accomplishing them can be.
  8. Lack of team focus: – Leaders must never lose sight of why you do what you do. Everything you do and say must be congruent with your purpose and vision, or you must not do it.
  9. Lack of spending time together: People want to feel important. They want to feel needed. Take the time to establish a relationship with the people you work with and interact with. People perform better for leaders they like and respect.
  10. Poor Communication: Leaders can`t communicate too much. People want to know what`s going on – good or bad. Especially if it`s going to impact them. If you can’t communicate – you can’t lead.

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or training seminar? Brian will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian visit http://briansmithpld.com