Archives For Daily Success Secrets

Your Biggest Mistake is Not Asking What Mistake You’re Making                                           

I can’t even think how many times I don’t ask what kind of mistakes I’ve made, and that’s just in one day!

Do you get upset when someone points out a mistake you made? I have to admit, I even get short with some people who tell me I made a mistake. I think to myself, “if you don’t like it do it yourself,” instead of asking, “how can it be done better.”

You should welcome criticism, shouldn’t you? But it all depends on how it is given, and by whom. Whenever you need to talk to someone about a mistake they made be sincere, tell a story about the time you made a similar mistake, and offer some guidance.

It all sounds good doesn’t it, but asking others about your mistakes is really hard for some people. Some bosses don’t like to let their employees know that they are even capable of making a mistake, their ego will only hamper motivation, but also decrease morale for those that work with them.

John Maxwell outlines in this chapter five things that you need to do to fail successfully;

  1. Admit your own mistakes and weaknesses.
    • This is one of the hardest things to do for some folks. The shocking truth to it is that most people already know what mistakes you’ve made and what you’re weaknesses are. If you talk to them about it, you’ll ease their fears because they think you don’t know!
  2. Accept mistakes as a price of progress.
    • Do you know how to not make any mistakes? Easy, don’t do anything. Of course then you have to give up your dreams, motivations, and passions. If your pursue any of those, you’ll make mistake, so get over it.
  3. Insist on learning from your mistakes.
    • How do you learn from your mistakes? One way is to reflect on what went wrong and what you should do differently the NEXT time. Those that don’t reflect on their mistakes either make them again or give up. Another good thing to do is to keep a journal. Thomas Edison did as he made 10,000 mistakes while perfecting the light bulb.
  4. Ask yourself and others, “What are we missing?”
    • Everyone sees things differently, to some extent. Other people have different experiences, so they may be able to help you fix the mistake.
  5. Give the people around you permission to push back.
    • Does your boss let you push back? If you do, how effective have you been? If the people you work with won’t give you honest feedback when needed, quit your job immediately. I say this because if you ever resisted feedback from your employees they’ll find pleasure in seeing you make mistakes. They may even help you make some mistakes.

The main thing needed between the leader and those he works with is trust. Without it you’ll definitely struggle to succeed. If they don’t trust you they won’t be honest with you when you ask, “What mistakes have I made in this relationship?”

Leaders are also responsible for future leadership. They need to identify, develop, and nurture future leaders. Leaders are responsible for such things as a sense of quality in the institution, for whether or not the institution is open to influence and open to change. Effective leaders encourage contrary opinions, an important source of vitality. I am talking about how leaders can nurture the roots of an institution, about a sense of continuity, about institutional culture.

~ Max DePree, Leadership is an Art

SPIRITUAL meditation and self-discipline are inseparable; you will, therefore, commence to meditate upon yourself so as to try and understand yourself, for, remember, the great object you will have in view will be the complete removal of all your errors in order that you may realize Truth. You will begin to question your motives, thoughts, and acts, comparing them with your ideal, and endeavoring to look upon them with a calm and impartial eye. In this manner you will be continually gaining more of that mental and spiritual equilibrium without which men are but helpless straws upon the ocean of life.

Soar upward on the wings of aspiration; be fearless, and believe in the loftiest possibilities.

~ James Allen, Daily Meditations

Overcome Worry                            

The person who worries is always expecting things to go wrong. They brood or worry over a great many things that never happen. Such a person tells you all of the reasons why something bad should happen, and not one reason why something good should happen. This constant worry debilitates their entire system, resulting in physical and mental disorders.

Your worry can be cured. Do not spend time looking at your troubles or problems; cease all negative thinking. Your mind will not work when it is tense. It relieves the strain to do something soothing and pleasant when you are presented with a problem. You do not fight a problem, but you can overcome it.

~ Joseph Murphy, The Miracle Power of Your Mind

Humility is a key trait of outstanding organizations—and of individuals. Humility helps people be more likable and approachable, work better with others, and give better service to customers. It enables departments and teams to collaborate with other departments and teams. Perhaps most important, it allows people to communicate more freely, creating a culture of authenticity and accountability that every outstanding organization requires. Beyond all this, it might even win us a hug or two—and maybe there’s nothing wrong with that!

~ John G. Miller, Outstanding, 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional

Make no mistake about it. You are judged by the company you keep. Birds of a feather do flock together. Fellow workers are not all alike. Some are negative, others positive. Some work because they “have to”; others are ambitious and work for advancement. Some associates belittle everything the boss says or does; others are much more objective and realize they must be good followers before they can be good leaders.

How we think is directly affected by the group we’re in. Be sure you’re in the flock that thinks right.

~ David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big

It’s so simple that it’s revolutionary. The fact is, this formula or principle is misunderstood enough, or overlooked enough, that it can truly be called magic by those who understand it. Ready? Here it is.

You beat 50 percent of the people in America by working hard.

You beat another 40 percent by being a person of honesty and integrity and standing for something.

The last 10 percent is a dogfight in the free enterprise system.

~ Art Williams, Leadership Principles for Graduates

Never Write a Nasty Memo                                       

Never write a memo that criticizes, belittles, degrades, or is hurtful to a colleague. Never write a memo that is cynical, condescending, or unkind. Never send a memo written in anger or frustration.

The world of business is very small. People get promoted, change companies, change jobs, have powerful friends, and do all of this around the world and throughout your forty to fifty year career. Companies merge, acquire, and get acquired. Your self-made enemy could show up anywhere.

Never give a company rival a smoking gun. Spend your energy on positive things.

~ Jeffrey J. Fox, How to Become CEO

Think as the few, speak as the many. To swim against the current is just as useless for setting a matter right as it is dangerous for the swimmer. Only a Socrates may try it. To disagree with another is deemed an insult, for it is a condemnation of the other’s judgement. The offended soon multiply, at times because their cause, at times because their champion, has been hurt. The truth is for the few; the false is for the populace because it is popular. A wise person cannot be recognized by what she or he says in the public square, for there the wise do not speak with their tongue, but with that of the general foolishness. By this means they better disguise their inner selves. Just so do the prudent not expose themselves to contradiction, because they do not contradict. Quick in judgement, slow in making it public. Thinking is free, and it may not be, nor can it be, strangled. Let wise persons take refuge in silence, and when at times they permit themselves to speak, let it be in the shelter of the few and the understanding.

~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Don’t Manage Your Life – Manage Your Time                               

Here’s a controversial subject, some folks think that they can manage time. I agree with John, time cannot be managed, its infinite and you can’t buy more.

But if you think about it, you can buy time. If you’re in a position financially, you can pay someone to do the tasks you don’t want to, the things you’re not good at. That way you can have more time to do what you are really good at. As Charles Spezzano writes in his book What To Do Between Birth And Death: The Art Of Growing Up, “You don’t really pay for things with money, you pay for them with time.”

So let me get this straight, you don’t pay with money, but time? It takes time to make money.

If you pay someone to do the things that are not in your strengths or priorities, then you can make more money working in your strengths.

John outlines three things that people who manage themselves poorly are guilty of;

1)      They Undervalue Their Uniqueness Doing What Others Want Them To Do.

  • If you don’t control your time others will. Your life will follow their agenda. Make sure you schedule time to work and learn in your strength areas.

2)      They Ruin Their Effectiveness by Doing Unimportant Things.

  • Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It is not enough to be busy. The question is, ‘What are we busy about?’” How do you decide what is important for your most valuable asset, time?

3)      They Reduce Their Potential by Doing Things Without Coaching or Training.

  • It always amazes me when managers don’t encourage or even expect their employees to go to training. As John points out in this chapter that a if a organization invests 10 percent in capital expenditures they’ll get a 3.8 percent increase on productivity. But a 10 percent increase in training led to a 8.5 percent increase in productivity.

What do you do to manage your time? Everyone has the same amount of it during the day. The difference between success and survival is how you chose to use your time.

Think about the top two or three things that would give you the most value and focus on it till it’s done. You have to have a process and what works best for me is to just do it, even if you don’t feel like it.

~ John C. Maxwell, Leadership Gold