Serenity Now!

I read this blog post yesterday that I immediately had to share with my team. It is that good. It’s not long. You should take a moment and read it. (Go ahead, I’ll wait right here).

Don’t you love the author’s take on creating calm? Ah, calm! There are few things people are chasing after today like calm. We read blogs and books on the topic, we pray and meditate, we schedule me time and family time and spend a fortune on “relaxing” vacations to capture it…yet, in all that chasing, we forget that, well, calm comes from within us! (more…)

This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus, a leader we should all strive to be like. He was loving, firm, and focused. He sacrificed for others, cast vision, believed in his mission, and was passionate about our buy in. He was patient, earned his influence, and led from the heart. He was courageous, inspirational, didn’t give in to temptation, didn’t run from difficulty, didn’t delegate his responsibilities, and took a bullet (a nail) for his team. (more…)

“If you forget about the big picture, you’ll be a slave to the day to day.”

A slave to the day to day. Does that sound like today? Maybe this week? We all have those times every now and then when we feel like all we do is put out fires. However, unless you’re a firefighter, spending every day in reaction mode isn’t going to get you closer to your big picture goals.

What does slavery to the day to day look like?

  • Stuck in reaction mode
  • Feeling busy but unproductive
  • Task list items always rolling over to the next day, week, month…
  • Reluctance to commit to deadlines
  • Activities-oriented instead of results-oriented

How can we stay focused on the big picture:

  • Vision and goals – Know them and know how what you do supports them.
  • Make the connection – Track your activities for the day. At the day’s end, identify the goals your activities support.
  • Prioritize – Do the most critical things early in the day. If you don’t get your entire task list accomplished, you still tackled the most important items.
  • Focus on results – Ask, “How have today’s activities moved the ball closer to the goal?”

We’re all drawn to people who are engaged in life, who have the “it” we look for in others. These people create excitement and have a sparkle in their eyes when they talk about what they’re doing. This passion that they have creates engagement; one passionate person can engage a team, and an engaged team can bring out the passion in an entire organization! This is how a company’s culture grows.

My challenge for you this week is to be the person who brings passion to your team and your organization. Here are six ways you can do it. (more…)

Adversity, in spite of how uncomfortable or downright difficult it makes our lives, has a way of instantly refocusing our attention on what we believe really matters. I know when I go through adversity, I’m more focused because I have less choices. The path is narrow and forced because there really aren’t any alternatives.

On the other hand, prosperity offer a much wider, more comfortable path with many, many choices. And often, in times of prosperity, we allow our top priorities to become optional. These things that sustain us in our adversity no longer seem essential with all the comfort and (false) sense of security that prosperity brings. (more…)

Today’s post by Charlotte Walker, one of our Emerging Leader bloggers, is one we can all relate to at some point in our careers. Great tips, Charlotte!

Have you ever gotten smacked up side the head by something so hard it stuns you? Well about six months ago that kind of thing happened to me. I received a very unexpected call from my senior manager one evening.  He had some questions about the program I manage. There had been some developments in my industry, and he wanted to make sure he fully understood how my program worked.  I answered his questions, and he seemed satisfied. We hung up on a positive note, but I still felt uneasy about the call.

The following Monday I had an internal email letting me know my program was being audited to see if it was profitable enough to continue. As if that wasn’t nerve wracking enough, the lawyers had been called in to look at our contractual obligations regarding my program. My entire spending budget was taken away, but I was told, “Don’t worry. Just go about your business as usual.” (more…)

It is so easy to slip into a producer mode of head down, isolated activity during the holiday season. We panic (or is it just me?) over all the items that need to get done by December 25. With all the gifts to buy, dinners to attend, and parties to host, we can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we loose sight of the big picture.

For our family, the big picture of Christmas is being together to celebrate its purpose: the birth of Jesus Christ. Whenever I get bogged down in the day-to-day activities associated with the holidays, I adjust my focus towards the big picture. This helps me forge ahead with a better feel for the purpose of the season.

Business is no different. (more…)