20 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

toys

toys

Owning a digital camera doesn’t make someone a photographer.

Buying a guitar won’t instantly turn anyone into a musician.

Having a collection of pens isn’t a magic wand to become an author.

With a computer sitting on your desk, the programmer within doesn’t automatically emerge.

The hammer, chisel and saw in the garage won’t produce a carpenter out of you.

A gym membership isn’t an instant conversion for the member to athlete status.

The tools are unimportant. You will have undoubtedly heard this many times before: to do something, anything, that you really want to do takes time and hard work. Break your back hard work. Stay up all night hard work. There isn’t an easy way. I’ve searched for years and it’s not there. There are tools that can make the path easier, but there is still a path that needs to be walked.

To break through the hard work you have to have a goal you’re aiming for and want to reach it. You can visualize it, it makes sense and there’s a burning fire inside you that feeds you the persistence you’re going to need during the hard work to keep you going to the end.

You will learn a lot more than you know now. You will have to rely on and ask for help from others. Your ego and pride will have to take a back seat. Your heart will grow and the desire you have will be so big others will want to attach themselves to it.

You will have to depend on yourself, point the finger back at you and trust your own drive and judgement. One of your first major battles with yourself will be about having patience and giving yourself time to concentrate, learn and carve a path. Nothing big has ever happened overnight or in a few weeks. Nothing. Ever.

Routine forgoes the need to have to have build willpower every day. You’ll need to build that routine.

Tools are toys and mostly irrelevant. Work is hard and, ultimately, will give you what you were looking for.

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06 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

leaders in trouble

leaders in trouble

This post was originally written in August 2008 at a time when not a lot around me in business was making much sense to me. It has a heavy corporate focus, but the principles can be applied to other aspects of life.

We all work for someone. Even if you work for yourself, you’re working for the people who buy something from your company.

In the perfect world you would arrive at the office knowing what you have to do today. Better still, what you want to do. In an ideal world, you’ll arrive at the office knowing where you are aiming to be in your career and life a year from now. Maybe even two years from now. (if you’re in the public sector, maybe five years from now).

All credit due to John C. Maxwell and his book “Developing the Leader Within You” for the direction for this article.

Not surprisingly; the people above you in the corporate feeding chain are very similar to you. You have a lot in common with them. You work for the same company, understand the same products and have to deal with the same people – albeit from different perspectives.

When you’re looking over the shoulder of someone who’s controlling a keyboard and mouse, you’re going to see what needs to be clicked next to progress on to the next screen before they do. I can’t explain this… it just happens. In a very similar scenario, it’s really easy to see what management needs to do next when you’re looking over their shoulder. You know what needs to happen next, and you know what to ‘click’ to get there.

However, there are differences between a manager and a leader. And it’s not difficult to figure out when either is in trouble.

When a leader is in trouble, they:

1. have a poor understanding of the people they work or interact with

2. lack imagination

3. pass the buck

4. are not organized

5. cannot control emotions

6. will not take any risks

7. are defensive and insecure

8. stay inflexible, despite surrounding wisdom

9. have no team spirit or vision

10. avoid change

What do you do if you come across someone like this? Even worse – what if they’re your boss?

Make them feel like they are right. You cannot call them out and you really should not. The absolute best scenario is to visualize the outcome that makes the most sense, figure out a way to make the leader or boss gracefully recover from the situation (do NOT make them publicly look stupid – they are still your boss and may seek to change your employment status shortly afterwards!) and work as positively as you can to reach the desired endpoint. Your leadership qualities will shine through brighter.

Then watch closely for people peering over your shoulder telling you where to ‘click’…

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