April 24, 2014

Anticipation vs responsiveness

Share via email

individuals and organizations still struggle with being proactive and preventing problems. My explanation comes by way of a saying I once wrote on a whiteboard in a co-worker’s cubicle when the powers-that-be in that organization were touting the virtues of responsiveness:

Responsiveness is required only by those who have failed to anticipate.

It’s easy to instruct others to be proactive, mostly because the virtues of being proactive are so intuitive. If you have a keen enough understanding of your environment, however, it becomes possible to predict what might happen and prevent the problem for arising. That, of course, necessitates that you actually have an understanding of your environment. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

It’s just a half glass of water.

glass of water
Share via email

The old question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” draws the line between optimists and pessimists. Deciding if the glass is half empty or half full, however, is more about seeing the future, or believing that you can, than it is about seeing what’s right in front of you.

Why must the glass be on its way to gaining or losing? [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

If the student has not learned, the teacher has not taught

presentation teacher
Share via email

For all of us with children, we understand that each of our kids understand things in their own way and, to complicate things, the way they absorb information tends to change slightly as they develop.

As business professionals, however, we tend to ignore learning styles and simply dump information into emails, shared workspaces, and whiteboards expecting everyone else to understand our words and our intent. The worst of us will then proclaim that anyone who doesn’t understand simply isn’t qualified for their position. Sometimes this goes all the way to the point of exercising hiring/firing authority to simply dismiss people who don’t see the world according to the same point of view, or not hiring them in the first place. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Pushing through disillusionment

Struggling Tree
Share via email

Achieving a goal is often just about working through the grind. There will be disappointments and more than enough rejection, and dejection to go around at times, however, that’s when determination comes in to play.

Humility is necessary, because when you fail, you have to recognize that it’s not everyone else who is wrong, short-sighted, stupid, ignorant or lazy. They simply have a point of view and a set of preferences, as well as maybe a few bad habits, that you haven’t yet figured out a way to overcome. The problem might not be with your message, but with your ability to deliver that message. Understand that there’s something in your ability that’s lacking, which is why you’re unable to penetrate theirs. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Delegating by capacity

overflowing
Share via email

Delegating is supposed to be about understanding the work flowing through your organization and then assigning that work based on skill sets and availability of the resources within your control. What I’ve experienced in far too many situations, however, is where delegating work takes place via a mechanism of “I am going to horde as much work for myself as I can and when I simply can’t do it all any more, I’ll leak out small bits of tasking for you to take care of.”
[Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Career advice? Listen to yourself and believe in what you believe in.

Four Hands
Share via email

TweetI was approached by someone recently who was seeking some career advice.  Worn out by the politics of his current environment, he felt under appreciated and at serious risk of being put out to pasture, mostly for trying to do his best, yet misinterpreting the daily “bring me a rock” exercises. His questions clearly caused [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Things I hate: “Too Busy to be Bored”

bored gargoyle
Share via email

TweetI hate when people say, “i am too busy to be bored.”  Just because I have something to do doesn’t mean that it is the cure for boredom.  In fact, many of the things I have to do are the cause of boredom, much less the antidote. What is even worse is when someone with [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Snowy boots: A reminder that enjoyment enhances skill

snow covered bridge in the woods
Share via email

On a walk in the woods this weekend with my sons we discovered the trails were still covered by a good foot of heavy, compacted snow. I contemplated turning around but the boys were having a blast and convinced me to just keep going. Falling into the snow up to their knees at times didn’t sway them in the least. We worked much harder than was needed had we decided to walk on an asphalt trail in a park, but we carried on just to enjoy the day and be near each other.

While you can do work for money and do a fine job, imagine how much greater of a job you could do for a belief in addition to a paycheck. As my boys demonstrated, even children will work hard for something they believe is worthwhile. If you can combine that kind of belief with a skill so well developed people are willing to pay you for it, I can only imagine the degree of success that could be attained. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

A powerful habit: commit to being a better person

climb
Share via email

You are flawed.

Accept it.

I don’t care what age you are, or gender, or what you’ve accomplished in your lifetime (or not) – you are flawed. There are things about you people don’t like, even if you’re unable to admit that that is true (which is a flaw) or you don’t see yourself the way those people see you (another flaw).
Here’s the truth: you’ve got problems and things you really need to work on, personally and professionally. We all know that’s true, so here the real question: What are you doing about it? [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

If passionate, failure firms resolve

Don Quixote
Share via email

There’s a lot said about the need to invoke people’s passions in the workplace. I don’t think it happens nearly as often as it should, since for the vast majority, employment is not about passion – it’s about income. Nonetheless, it’s at least intuitively obvious that having people who don’t just enjoy what they do, but believe in its importance, is a good thing. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner