BYOM – Bring Your Own Motivation 4

images (28)If you are waiting for someone else to jump-start your career, promote you because you’re a nice person or get your life back on track, you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. Everyone has a long list of things that they’d like to accomplish and making sure you’re happy isn’t one of them. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. No one can motivate you – but you. Until you take that first step and show some initiative, everything will remain the same. Nothing changes until you do. Others can help you by creating an environment that is conducive to getting you off your couch, but until you’re convinced it’s the right move to make – it’s a safe bet that you’re staying put.

If you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing, then what’s it going to take to get you doing what you’d rather be doing? What’s getting in your way? What needs to happen for your circumstances to change? Take a moment and write a list of all those things that are holding you back. (Lack of finances, no experience or credentials, etc.) Now for each item that you put down on that list, what do you have to do to change it? Take a part-time job to earn extra money? Go to night school to pump up your resume? Gain some valuable life experience and networking opportunities by volunteering for a worthy cause?

Stop complaining. Put a plan together and start working your plan. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go when you stop making excesses and start producing results. You’ll be amazed at how far you can go when you stop blaming others and start putting the blame squarely on your own shoulders where it belongs. If you don’t believe in yourself – then how to you expect others to believe in you? Repeat after me “Anytime is a good time to start a new beginning. So I might as well start now.” I have faith in you. You can do this.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session? Contact Brian today. He will customize and deliver a program that is right for you, your people and your organization. To find out more visit http://briansmithpld.com

Selfless or Selfish – Depends on Your Point of View

7-ways-your-wasting-timeOne of my three “Action” words for this year is “No”. If  I’m going to accomplish what I want to accomplish then I need to say “No” to those things that will distract me and pull me away from doing what I need to do, to get to where I want to go. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favor of paying it forward – however, I think there needs to be limits to the number of times I say yes. How about you? Are you accomplishing all that you want to accomplish – specially those things that are most important to you – or – are you saying no to yourself so you can say yes to someone else?

Worth Remembering … “How you manage your time is how you manage your life” 

You have 168 hours in the course of a week. No more, or no less. How well are you managing your 168? Keep track of where your time goes over a 2 week period and then analyze the results. Are you spending it wisely? Who is robbing you of your time? Are you wasting it by spending it on things that won’t help you reach your goals? You are the boss of you. Only you get to decide where you spend your time. Be sure you are spending some of it on things that matter most to you and that will help you get to where you want to go. Don’t allow others to steal yours away. Time is not a renewable resource. It’s OK to be stingy. Learn to say “No” to others, including your family and friends, so you can say “Yes” to yourself. Are you being selfless or selfish? I guess it depends on your point of view.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for speaking engagements and conducting seminars on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, leadership development and dealing with difficult people and challenging situations.

Soft Skills for a Hard Place

millennials-200x192Daniel Goleman in his groundbreaking book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” might have 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 we handle ourselves and each other”.  Times have certainly changed. I think there has been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes. Their wants and needs are changing. For the first time in our lifetime we have the potential of working with 4 different generations in the same workplace at the same time. Each generation communicates and interacts differently and want to be managed and manage differently. Each generation have a different set of values and career aspirations. For the newest generation – the Millennials – life outside of work is just as important,  if not more important,  then life inside work. Each generation is motivated by different things. What you need to decide now is – will the management style that got you here – be the same style that will sustain you or get you to where you need to go? Is one style of managing and leading others good enough?

Worth Remembering … “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result” – Albert Einstein

Productivity is still the name of the game and that will never change. One of your roles as a manager or leader has always been to minimize the input and maximize the output. In today’s ever-changing, competitive global marketplace you need to produce more with less. Your survival and your company’s survival demands it. To accomplish both – managers and leaders must change from being task-focused to being people-focused. People like to work with people they like. People like to feel wanted. People like to feel that they are appreciated and respected.

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of every business and that’s people”. – Oprah Winfrey

Technical skills are important but, for the most part, you can get that out of a book or Google it. What is needed to be successful managing and leading others in the 21st Century are soft-skills, sometimes referred to as people skills. Successful managers and leaders will be those who have developed great soft-skills for a hard place. Successful managers and business leaders are F.O.C.U.S.E.D. (C) on their most important asset – their people.

Friendly: Someone who can smile and say hello. Someone who can make the other person feel important.

Observant: Someone who can recognize those that need help and those that don’t. Someone who will get out of their way and let them do the job.

Consistent: Some who is consistent in the way that they apply policies and procedures. Consistent in the way they treat people and deal with situations.

Understanding: Someone who tries to see things from the other person’s point of view. Empathy is a valuable 21st Century skill to have.

Sincere: Someone who truly wants their people to be successful at what they do. Managing and leading others is a team sport – create win-wins.

Energized: Someone who is enthusiastic. Someone who looks and acts like they want to be there.

Dependable: Someone whose word they can depend on. Someone they can trust. If they can’t trust your word they won’t trust you.

Are you F.O.C.U.S.E.D.?  🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith-PLD. Brian is the author of “Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak – The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them”. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or organizing a workshop? Contact Brian. briansmithpld@gmail.com

 

Trust Matters – Without It You Have Nothing 3

Trust 2People won’t trust anyone they don’t respect first. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Oh, yuck – What a dink”? (And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids.) You didn’t know why – you just knew that there was something about that person you didn’t like. But, after you spent some time with them, and got to know them better, did you ever change your mind? Building relationships and establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with is crucial to your overall success as a manager and business leader. Trust matters – Without it you have nothing. Once you lose the trust and confidence of your team mates – you lose your ability to manage and lead them.

Worth Remembering … “If you want to be interesting – you first must be interested.” – Dale Carnegie

Trust and respect do not come automatically just because you’ve been given a title. You must earn both, one person at a time. Establishing trust between you and the people you work with is a 3-step process that I refer to as the 3 R’s – Rapport, Relationships and Respect. It’s a process that everyone must go through when meeting someone for the very first time. Some people will go through these steps more quickly than others. But it’s a journey that everyone has to go on. A close friend of mine is great at this. She can meet someone for the very first time and within minutes they are carrying on a conversation as if they have known each other for ever. People just naturally open up to her. She is also great at remembering names. (I have to admit I’m not so good at this) Think how powerful it would be if you could remember someone’s name, their children’s names, their birthdays and interests and you were able to remember them and use it in a conversation.

The 3 R’s – Building Relationships to Last

Step One: Rapport.  The first step is to build rapport. Find out something about the other person other than the job that they do. Do they have hobbies? Are they married? Do they have children? What do they like to do in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they enjoy talking about. Idle chit-chat is important if you want to develop rapport. You can’t take the next step without first establishing rapport.

Step Two: Relationships. The second step in establishing trust with the people you work with and interact with are relationships. Successful salespeople understand the value of building relationships with their clients. They understand that people choose to do business with people they like. The same holds true for the people on your team. People like to work with and hang out with people they like. No one wants to let a friend down. A recent Gallop survey revealed that companies with less than 10 employees or small teams within the organization have the most committed workers.

Step Three: Respect. The final step in establishing trust is respect. Always keep in mind that people won’t respect anyone they haven’t built a relationship with first. Respect is reciprocal. Try this little experiment. The next time you go into a shopping mall or office building that has a double set of doors – open the first set of doors for the people behind you. I will bet you that someone within that group will hold the second door open for you. Respect works the same way. If you give it – you’ll get it – but you must give it first.  People feel obligated to return the favor. It’s part of our DNA.

Worth Remembering … “Trust is to human relationships what faith is to gospel living.” – Barbara Smith

If you have navigated the 3-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with your team. Without mutual trust and respect, your team will abandon you and you will eventually fail. You might be able to bully them into doing things they don’t want to do in the short-term but, it will come around to bite you in the end. (Pun intended) What goes around comes around. Having trouble establishing trust? Try my 3-step process and let me know how things work out. – 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or training session on soft-skills or leadership development? DM me – Let’s talk. briansmithpld@gmail.com or visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.