Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Resolutions or no resolutions: leading to a new you.

Resolutions or no resolutions: leading to a new you.

Recently in a meeting with other leaders, we began a discussion about making resolutions and whether making resolutions is still in vogue. Interestingly, the discussion had just two sides: yes and no. One leader representing the negative stated “No one makes resolutions anymore.” Another, representing the positive, stated: “We need to help people turn resolutions into reality.” The following are six reasons why we should develop and complete resolutions.

Resolutions are not passé.
Ironically, in 2013, CBS conducted a poll. The poll basically stated that “sixty-eight percent of Americans surveyed said they don’t make New Year’s resolutions — up 10 percentage points from two years ago.” Other research shows that making resolutions are still in vogue. In fact, resolutions can offer you a fresh start. In a December 2014 research article from the Wharton School, researchers Dai, Milkman, and Ri called the idea of making resolutions the “fresh start effect,” concluding that many of the fresh starts began at the beginning of the year or at the beginning of “temporal landmarks.” These landmarks can be birthdays, marriage dates, the first of the year, or any time the person wants a fresh start. Perhaps, instead of naming them resolutions, we should call resolutions “fresh starts.”

Resolutions propel us toward self-improvement.
Most of us want to improve our lives, one way or the other. What we need to realize the making and completion of resolutions help us improve our lives. During the leadership discussion, one leader mentioned that we should “accept the burden of self-improvement. In a Forbes magazine article, Ashley Feinstein discussed some research Gail Matthews from Dominican University wrote about goal settings. Feinstein stated that “those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals.” Making and keep resolution help improve our lives.

Resolutions lead to intentionally planning our lives.
Throughout history, particularly in recent history, people believe they should live spontaneously. One of the leaders in the discussion called this spontaneity “accidental living,” just doing whatever comes up and not caring for what comes after, causing us not to worry about the potential consequences. This spontaneous living creates challenges and maybe even life-threatening actions. Usually somewhere along the way, people stop and confess that they have wasted their lives. Many work hard in making the appropriate changes through making goals and resolutions to change and then sticking to them. Making and completing resolutions lead to intentionally living well. We ultimately have the choice to do or not to do.

Resolutions help us answer the question “Where do I need to improve?”
Sometimes our boss asks us in our annual assessment or evaluation: “Where do you think you need to improve?” Our boss knows exactly where we need to improve because most good leaders do not ask questions they do not already know the answers to. They want us to be conscientious in acknowledging our short comings and/or our performance. Consequently, we create goals to improve our performance and then work hard so our next performance evaluation is a stellar one. Additionally, we also ought to do a personal periodic review to propel us to determine what we need to improve our personal lives.

Resolutions are what leaders do.
Great leaders make goals/resolutions, create objectives that are measurable, develop strategies to achieve the objectives, and then assess how they successfully or unsuccessfully completed their goals and objectives. Some years ago, the Holden Leadership Center at the University of Oregon wrote: “Goals help define your organization, give direction and avoid chaos.” Thus, leaders do not haphazardly follow a path. They know what they want and seek diligently in accomplishing their tasks..

Resolutions do not allow status quo.
In reality, there is no such thing as status quo. Either you are progressing or retrogressing. Most of us—thankfully—have to be doing something. Making and completing resolutions propel us forward for the most part. Granted, some of us do not keep our goals. In the CBS Poll, only “three in 10 Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions — but only about half keep them.” The challenge for not completing hinges not making obtainable goals or making too many. According to psychologist Dr. Lynn Bufka “Setting small, attainable goals throughout the year, instead of a singular, overwhelming goal on January 1 can help you reach whatever it is you strive for. Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

Whether you call it setting goals, making New Year’s resolutions, creating lifestyle changes, or developing a fresh start, doing something to improve your life, health, attitude, eating habits, exercise, or spiritual being will eventually lead you to self-improvement. When we gang up on ourselves by making dozens of resolutions or changes in our life at the same time, we will melt into oblivion and pound ourselves for not accomplishing all of the tasks. The key is to do like Dr. Bufka counsels, you must take one step at a time.

Monday, January 4, 2016

10 patterns of leadership that will change your business and your life

This article comes from Familyshare.com. I published it a month ago, and I wanted to share it here: http://familyshare.com/growth/10-secret-things-successful-people-do

The original title is:

10 patterns of leadership that will change your business and your life

If you're looking for ways to inspire people and create remarkable results, read and adopt these
Recently, Brittney Helmrich from Business News Daily wrote an article titled "30 Ways to Define Leadership." She quoted a number of thought leaders and CEOs from around the country after asking 30 business owners and experts to define what leadership means to them. 

Consequently, I too have been thinking about leadership. Most of my experience comes from being a leader in a variety of capacities and being around good and not-so-good leaders throughout my career. What I have discovered is there is a pattern of leadership, and good leaders share the following ten patterns.
  • Have and share a vision
Good leaders have a vision. They know what they want to do. But the amazing thing is they don't keep it to themselves. Rather, they share that vision far and wide. They gain vision from the different perspectives of every corner of their organization. Their vision encompasses everyone, and soon the leader's vision is the organization's because everyone helped create it. Warren Bennis once said: "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."
  • Share leadership
Hoarding leadership at just the top will eventually topple the organization when that leader goes away. Some leaders may think they are indispensable. An old farmer once said how indispensable people really are: "Most people will be missed," he said, "about as much as when you plunge your hand in a bucket of water and pull it out." Good leaders share and teach leadership skills to those in their organizations. They raise leaders and help emerging leaders become more engaged and more effective leaders.
  • Exhibit strong values
In today's ever-growing, vigorous workplace good, solid values are hard to come by. Dishonesty, disloyalty, disrespect and other "dises" run rampant in our society. A few years ago, Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. wrote a Forbes article entitled "The Only True Leadership Is Values-Based Leadership." His point was essentially that good leaders exude strong values of honesty, integrity, persistence, positive attitudes, consistency, trust and many, many other good and positive values.
  • Help others progress
Exceptional leaders continue to discover the skill sets of their employees and help them grow and progress. If the skill set is just emerging, then the good leader will equip those employees with experiences that will enhance their skill sets, thus making the employees more valuable.
  • Stand up for and do the right things
Being a leader is difficult. Often, the decisions they make are hard ones. But we all know that making right choices can be challenging, especially with all of the noises that shout at us from all levels. Standing up and standing strong, while simultaneously making right choices, will separate good leaders from mediocre ones.
  • Think clearly
Trends of making money and gaining more power often cloud the real vision of what needs to be done and the decisions that need to be made. This causes a good leader to deviate from a proven pattern. Good leaders follow the pattern of having clarity of thought. They can continue to see the big picture despite the boulders and debris that periodically clutter the working mind and the pathway to a successful enterprise. Good leaders can shoosh away the clamor and clutter by keeping a clear head and clear mind and by maintaining sound principles.
  • Care about people
More times than not, some leaders are bent on making the organization great in order to gain a greater market share, create financial collateral for themselves and their shareholders and plow through the competition, all the while overlooking the greatest asset of any business: the people who work there. Good leaders care deeply about the people within the organization first and foremost. They want them to succeed because when the people succeed, so does the organization—all parts of the organization.
  • Inspire people to do extraordinary things
All organizations are blessed with people who are pulling their full weight. Good leaders follow the pattern of inspiring those people and others who may not be pulling their full weight to do things they wouldn't normally do. Think of coaches who have put together a group of mediocre players and created a championship team because they can inspire their team to work hard, think smarter and do things they wouldn't normally do. The Leadership Institute touts, "Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn't have happened otherwise."
  • Lead from the front
Leaders are not backseat drivers but neither do they use whips to get the job done. A good leader is with his or her people all of the way. From many viewpoints, the leader is out front, waving the flag of we-can-do-it. The irony is this: They literally lead from the front while guiding from the side, the back, the middle, above, below and from other angles. They are everywhere.
  • Simplify the complicated
General Collin Powell once said, "Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." That is one of the challenges of leaders. Complex ideas face all of us at one time or another. The key is how to break down the complex so that the rest of us can understand it.
Good leaders show these patterns of leadership and more. They are the ones who reach down and pick us up while moving rapidly toward the goal. They take time to show compassion and exhibit a willingness to give a sense of clarity that will trumpet us to the front of the line with them. When the people following are successful, leaders will be successful. So, good leaders will always include the people along the path of an organization's success because they know the patterns, live the patterns and, sometimes, create the patterns.