Archives For Change

How Will They Meet Change?

It is usually easier to present change as a simple refinement of “the way we’ve been doing it” rather than something new or different. When a proposal for change is introduced in an organization, people fall into five categories in terms of their response:

Innovators—They are the originators of new ideas and generally are not acknowledged as leaders or policy makers.

Early Adopters—They are those who know a good idea when they see it.

Middle Adopters—They are the majority. They will respond to the opinions of others.

Late Adopters—They are the last group to endorse an idea. They often speak against proposed changes and may never verbally acknowledge acceptance.

Laggards—They are always against change. Their commitment is to the status quo and the past. Often they try to create division within the organization.

~ John C. Maxwell, Developing The Leader Within You

If we want to change a situation, we first have to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.

~ Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 

Make Each Day Your First Day on The Job

Welch loved to tell GE executives to start their day as if it were their first day on the job.

On other words, always think fresh thoughts. Make it a habit to think about your business. Don’t rest on your laurels.

Make whatever changes are necessary to improve things. Reexamine your agenda, and rewrite what needs to be rewritten.

To many both inside and outside the company, it appeared that Welch could have left well enough alone. After all, GE was a model corporation, right?

Welch knew better:

“I could see a lot of [GE] businesses becoming … lethargic.

American business was inwardly focused on the bureaucracy.

[That bureaucracy] was right for its time, but the times were changing rapidly. Change was occurring at a much faster pace than business was reacting to it.”

~ 29 Leadership Secrets from Jack Welch

To Accept/Manage Change Better

  • Remember that change is inevitable.
  • Have a vision for successful change.
  • Build on your change skill set.
  • Have the courage to transform.
  • Associate with positive people.
  • Track your progress.
  • Fail but never stop.
  • Continue learning.
  • Celebrate your success.

~ The Walk the Talk Company

Five Key Skills for Leaders;   

  1. The ability to accept people the way they are, not as they would like them to be.
  2. The capacity to approach relationships and problems in terms of the present rather than the past.
  3. The ability to treat those who are close to you with the same courteous attention that you extend to strangers and casual acquaintances.
  4. The ability to trust others, even if the risk seems great.
  5. The ability to do without constant approval and recognition from others.

~ Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus, Leaders, The Strategies For Taking Charge (1985)

Knowledge with good intentions: These two assure the happy outcome of every undertaking. A good mind combined with a bad purpose has always yielded a monster. Evil intent is the venom in every capacity. Supported by knowledge, it is a subtle poison, an unholy sovereign, that devotes itself to destruction! Science devoid of conscience is doubly insane.

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

Extraordinary Achievers Create Opportunities and Embrace the Change.

Resistance to change is the norm. Few initiate change for themselves or their organizations. But the best know the futility of resisting the inevitable and use change to their advantage. But they are not mastered by change. Instead, they are change masters. They make the most of changes that are necessary, and they pursue the changes that are profitable.

Achievers don’t waste energy trying to put more time in their lives. They know this is impossible. Instead, they demonstrate that you can put more life in their time.

 

Stress

July 4, 2016 — Leave a comment
This Friday I had the unfortunate opportunity to attend a friends funeral. We never worked directly together or hung out, but we briefly talked when we’d run into each other. So I would call Glenn a friend because he was so easy to talk with, and I think that was why the church was full, not a single empty pew.
Glenn was one of the good guys, who was eagerly waiting for retirement, but didn’t make it in his physical life but I’m sure he’s enjoying it in his afterlife. Like most of us he had a stressful job with high demands. Now, I’m not saying the job was the reason he passed away, but stress can contribute to it. And that’s why we need to take a deep breath, (literally, take a deep breath), and slowly exhale.
And that’s the first tip to relieving stress, when you feel stressed, close your eyes (unless you’re driving, or walking) and take some deep breaths. Breathe through your nose into your belly and then up into your chest and slowly exhale. After about four or five deep breaths let your breath return to normal and just focus on your breathing until you’ve calmed down. Of course when you start to do this you’re actually meditating in its simplest form. Focus on your breathing and when the outside thoughts creep in, because they will, refocus on your breathing. The point of meditating isn’t to always have a silent mind, it’s to realize when you lose focus, push away the outside thought and refocus on your breathing or whatever it is that you’re focusing on. It helps to train your super computer to stay focused better. Making you more productive. I’ve been using the meditation app Headspace for over a year and you can try it for a free ten day trial period.
The second tip is to go for a walk. If you get breaks at work do you use them to get moving, or do you just skip them? You may feel like you’re being more productive if you work through your break, but in reality you’re more productive when you take breaks. You may even be more creative due to getting more blood and oxygen into that super computer between your ears. Even better, at least I think it is, is to do some Tai Chi/Qi Gong. Tai Chi is called moving mediation, you breath as you focus on the movements, getting a good workout, and building internal energy (Qi) instead of depleting it. If you’re interested you can do 15 minutes for free online at TaiJiFit.net at 8:00 am and 7:00 pm ctrl time, Monday through Saturday. And there’s plenty of demonstrations on David Dorian Ross’s YouTube channel, he has a good sense of humor and may even make you laugh.
The third tip is to laugh. I know, it sounds simple enough but it helps with stress because it releases feel good hormones. Put something funny in your Mp3 player and listen to it while you walk. Who cares what other people think as you walk past them laughing, just don’t stare at them as you laugh. Mayo Clinic reports that some of the short-term benefits is that laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Long-term effects of making laughter a regular practice is that it improves your immune system. Negative thoughts cause a chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and illnesses. Laughter may even ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers and can help lessen depression and anxiety.
The forth tip to relieve stress is to take a vacation. I’m not one to preach here, but I know I need to take a vacation, sooner or later. It’s hard to take a vacation when you get to do what you like to do. I think the key is to find an activity that lets you lower stress and cortisol levels, the stress hormone that damages our body when we get too much of it. The Harvard Business Review articleWhen a Vacation Reduces Stress — And When It Doesn’t reports that positive vacations have a significant effect upon energy and stress. In their study, 94% of employees had as much or more energy after coming back after a good trip. In fact, on low-stress trips, 55% returned to work with even higher levels of energy than before the trip. We all know that vacations can be stressful, so to create a positive vacation make sure you; 1) focus on the details, 2) plan more than one month in advance, 3) go far away, and 4) meet with someone knowledgeable at the location.
Unfortunately, most of these stress relieving tips we’ve heard before, so why don’t we do them? It’s the big space between knowing and doing, called the potential gap. We can’t even imagine our potential so we don’t do the simple things. Which in turn cause us stress, it’s almost like our subconscious is having us do things to keep us in our own reality, that life is stressful.
Oh wait, our subconscious does keep us in what we think our reality is. Change starts with the thought that you can change, once you know you have control over your life, your stress levels may decrease. Once you believe you can change, you’re more likely to take action, not stress about not taking action.
So the fifth tip is to take control of your thoughts, as the book As A Man Thinketh states, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In the chapter “Effect of Thought on Health and the Body,” Allen states, “Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body.” He continues to write, “Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up that body in vigour and grace?” 
You are what you believe, if you want to get out of a stressful situation then believe that you can be out of it, then start to plan to do it and then of course, take action.
But it begins with belief.

It’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. It steals away your attention from anything else, and forces you to focus on its discomfort. And yet, no matter the size of the object, we press on when all it would take is a short break to remove the shoe and shake out the coarse disturbance that rattles within.

We’ve all been there. While walking, hiking, or running, we’ve managed to get rocks and other debris in our shoes. But what about that discomfort do we enjoy that seems to prevent us from shaking out the shoe? Why is it, that we cannot be bothered to pause and stop such a distraction when we know that if we do not, the rock will eventually create a blister which can lead to more intense discomfort and possible leave us unable to walk for a while.

It’s a juvenile lesson we think we learn at a young age. I remember being younger and neglecting to put my shoes on before I left the house to play. Eventually we learn that we need those rubber soles to keep our feet safe and free from injury so we can keep moving forward, yet when we get those shoes on, sometimes we don’t want to waste the effort of taking them back off, even if there is a rock in them.

This is relevant to the distractions we encounter on our path to success or while following our dream. The mountain is your dream, and the top is your desire. One would think that the actual journey would be exhausting, however, if that mountain is your passion then the work takes on a different connotation. Now, place the tiniest, most insignificant piece of stone in your shoe, and see how much fun that journey is.

That stone, similar to the pebble Mr. Ali speaks of, symbolizes the distractions we face while achieving our purpose, or following our dreams. But here’s the kicker, any distraction that hangs you up on your journey, is your fault.

That’s right, distractions will always be there. They come in many shapes and in many sizes, but it is inevitably how we deal with them that affects how we pursue our dreams.

Variations of this quote have been published since 1916 in a trade publication for the insurance industry. More commonly attributed to Robert W. Service’s quote,

It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.”

It is difficult to find when and where Ali said his variation, but one of the first uses of his variation was utilized in a satirical fashion in Bryan Burwell’s November, 2003 article; Tossing Off Pebble Costs the Cardinals Mountain of Bucks, in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Whether it is a grain of sand, or a pebble, either signifies an inevitable boulder of distraction that can send you careening off of your desired course.

So the next time you feel something rattling around your shoe, or you acknowledge the distraction ahead of you, take a moment and shake free the debris and take a few breaths. Meditate or pray and be on your way. Be ready for the next distraction and plan to take the time necessary to find the correct path around that boulder so you can continue on your way to the top.

By: David Joseph Leingang

Patrick Lencioni hits another home run in his latest business fable, The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues. Lencioni tells the story of Jeff Shanley, a leader who is looking for a career change and agrees to take over his families construction company. He begins to work with his uncle Bob to slowly transition into the CEO position.

Not to spoil the plot of the book, Jeff becomes the CEO sooner than expected and needs to lead the company through the most trying times of its history. He realizes that the company’s culture will not support the changes needed due to behaviors that destroy teamwork. Jeff must crack the code on the virtues
that real team players possess, and then build a culture of hiring and development around those virtues. His Human Resources Officer and Chief of Operations call the process the “no jackass” rule and in order to be an ideal team player the person must embody three virtues;

Humble: Ideal team players are humble who lack excessive ego and are not concerned about their status. They share credit, emphasize team over self  and define success collectively rather than individually.model

Hungry: Ideal team players are hungry who are always looking for more things to do, to learn and looking for more responsibility to take on. Hungry people work harder because they are self-motivated and are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.

Smart: Ideal team players are smart and have common sense about people. They know what is happening in a group situation and have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

Like past Lencioni books he presents a practical framework and actionable tools that you can use if you’re a leader trying to create a culture around teamwork and how to identify and hire real team players, and to see how your current team embodies the three virtues.

I would consider this a must read for any leader to take not only their team, but themselves, to the next level.

 

Links

The Ideal Team Player  – http://amzn.to/1VFxSAm

The Table Group – Book Resources – http://www.tablegroup.com/books/ideal-team-player