I know some very persistent people, how about you? :)
I know some very persistent people, how about you? :)
First off… I hope you are in the midst of making great summer memories with friends, family and yes, even your crazy and wonderful co-workers.
Secondly I wanted to openly confess to being slightly erratic in my summer postings. Most of you are patient and wonderfully gracious with this knowing because you know that I don’t program in my blog posts for weeks in advance. Instead I do my postings personally usually in the mornings (it’s like my coffee to get me up and going). Some mornings I miss due to late night travel, late night movies with my teenagers or late morning cuddles with my younger ones.
This is my life and I love it. So THANK YOU for allowing me to live it and for allowing me to also be a part of your life and journey.
The first is this quote I share yesterday that interestingly enough kind of themes with my attempt to thank each of you today….nice.
“Thank you for being who you are, even when I wasn’t who I should have been.” - As one man said to his friend
The second thing I wanted to share with the picture above about getting your hands dirty. The person who is willing to get in and do the work always has the advantage over the person who merely talks about it. The person who knows how to do but doesn’t do will never know as much as the person who knows how and get’s it done. That person knows how and also knows the satisfaction that comes from a sense of accomplishment. Those who do are also the ones that are in the best position to do better and make those adjustments and improvements to product and process. (unless of course they allow themselves to become mindless task doing drones but that is another blog post).
So know, and do.
(what - I KNOW) I need daily motivation to keep me going and growing.
(what - I DO) So for nearly 20 years now I have been sending out daily quotes, thoughts, and stories that have helped to inspire me. I started doing it for myself and a couple of co-workers. Blogs hadn’t even been invented yet. After a while the e-mail list grew and then grew so more. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted that many people expecting or hoping for a daily message from me.
(AS I CAME TO KNOW MORE) I quickly realized that my sense of accountability to this growing list of people who were also looking for a daily dose of some inspiration was a helpful and needed motivator for me. In a sense it was my morning cup of coffee and since I don’t drink coffee…. I needed it to help get me, going and growing.
So what is your daily cup of Coffee? What are one or two things that truly helps you get up and going each day?
Now is the time to understand more, so we fear less. — Marie Curie, Polish Scientist and Nobel Prize Winner
Perhaps this is why one of the very first things leadership and relationship expert Stephen Covey would teach is the principle “Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood.” Understanding reduces and potentially eliminates fear and provides for a clearer path forward…or at least an understandable one.
Enjoy your weekend and be a force that seeks for understanding.
Wise leaders and great teachers don’t just keep throwing words at people and hope for changed behaviors. Instead they are always thinking of symbolic ways to illustrate and communicate their message so it has a lasting and even measurable impact.
This video is a prime example.
A very dear friend shared this with me just last night and I think it’s a wonderful example of innovative and impactful messaging. Reminds me of the book “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath where they offer insights on how to make your ideas more sticky. It also reminds me of “The Leaders Voice by Clark and Crossland where they talk about the 3 elements of the most “effective” communication. Effective meaning that it’s memorable, meaningful and inspires action.
It also reminds me of the incredibly viral safety video of 2 years ago “Dumb Ways to Die” that my own children watched a couple dozen times. (Total views on the original posting of this one exceeded 85 million)
Are my children safer because of watching it so many times? Are they less likely to die in dumb ways? I can’t say for sure…but I am glad they watched it and glad for the family/team discussions it inspired. And we, as a family/team are for sure going to watch, discuss and dissect this video about texting and driving.
We might discuss it in the context of effective messaging….but we will also talk about texting and driving. 2 birds, one stone - more learning, more living.
Are you thinking of more effective ways to reach, teach and inspire your team? If you have examples to share of things you have tried or are going to try. I’d love to hear them.
Here is Dumb Ways if you don’t happen to be in the 85 million yet. (Warning… you may find yourself singing it all day.)
Aspire, Inspire, Expire - nice. But let’s unpack it a bit. Let’s forgo expire… we die when we die and barring accidents and rampant neglect of our health when we expire is largely out of our hands.
So let’s talk aspire. When we aspire to something we want it. In the context of a leader/parent we want to become it. ie ; I want to become a more inspirational leader having the confidence and competence to inspire others. This is not to say that you or I may want to be some super star Tony Robbins type of motivational speaker. (Though if you do…good for you. )
For me personally it is about being and becoming the kind of leader that inspires confidence in others. This confidence needs to exists in at least 3 contexts. Confidence in you as the leader. Confidence in the culture which represents the company and the cause for which the company exists and the work we do that enables and supports that cause. And finally and most importantly we want to be able to inspire increased confidence in the individual and collective personalities of my team. Most leaders I work with aspire to this type of leadership.
INSPIRE - to inspire others. Aspiring to inspire is certainly a worthy goal and desire. As long as the primary motivation isn’t so you can be seen as some type of hero for doing it. It can’t be about you… it has to be about them and the noble cause. If that is the primary motivation then continue on! So the big question may be this … “Of all the many things you can do to be and become a more inspirational leader what is the most important thing you can do?
I am going to suggest that most import and powerful thing you can do to accelerate your journey is simply this.
Allow yourself to be inspired.
To become a more inspirational leader… you must nurture in yourself and allow yourself to be inspired. Allow yourself to be moved, motivated excited and enthused. Allow your engagement and passion and commitment to excellence to be visible to others. If you are excited about your project, your team, your brand… let it show. Let the world know that you are inspired! This will require courage because it requires vulnerability because the enthused and the engaged are unfortunately in the minority which will make you a target to many of the less excited and less engaged who don’t get you and who will feel threatened by the standard that you are setting. As unfortunate as this is, it has always been that way and probably always will. So what… your “Aspiring to Inspire before you expire” is a desire that is bigger than the fear of being misunderstood, misrepresented and maliciously maligned by the uninspired.
It may in fact be true for you as it has for most of those who inspire that the very adversity you face and overcome creates the fuel that propels your rocket to a more inspirational part of our planet. Those seeking to truly inspire must learn to view adversity, attacks and negativity like push ups or some other unwelcome exercise that we only do because we know it strengthens us.
To better inspire… be inspired!
What do you think are some of the most important and effective things a person can do to become a more inspirational leader?
They’re your words, choose them - you’ve seen the signs:
ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT CARDS.
NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS.
BATHROOMS FOR PATRONS ONLY.
Guess what? There’s no legal requirement that signs have to make you sound like a harsh jerk in order to carry weight or to inform the public.
To keep our prices as low as possible, we only accept cash. The good news is that there’s an ATM next door.
Careful! We’d like to watch your stuff for you, but we’re busy making coffee.
Our spotlessly clean restrooms are for our beloved customers only, so come on in and buy something! Also, there’s a public bathroom in the library down the street.
In fact, you might find that when you speak clearly and with respect, you not only communicate more effectively, but people are less likely to blame you when something goes wrong.
The above post from Seth inspired the below weekly “Quote and Question” of the IT Professionals and Team at St Vrain Valley Schools… a team that is deliberately creating a more positive and purposeful workplace culture with every word they speak.
Quote: “In fact, you might find that when you speak clearly and with respect, you not only communicate more effectively, but people are less likely to blame you when something goes wrong.” From http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/04/theyre-your-words-choose-them.html
Question: Can you identify words we/you are using that, if changed, would yield dramatically better results?
I can identify a few words and in addition to those…. I think…..
If I were king for a day… I think I would like to eliminate all use of the word “unfortunately” especially by people who have anything to do with customer service. :)
The teacher if he is indeed wise does not teach bid you to enter the house of wisdom but leads you to the threshold of your own mind. - Kahlil Gilbran, Syrian symbolist poet and painter
Isn’t this the truth. As leaders we must work tirelessly to create a workplace climate and culture not only where learning can take place but where it does take place on a regular basis. One of the most effective ways we can accomplish and create this climate is by being overtly or publicly passionate about our learning.
When the people around are constantly exposed to your passion and positive energy from learning… then you have sewn the seeds for learning. We must remember in learning that only a portion is taught… another portion must be caught. Einstein created this condition with his own passion for learning.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Well Kirk that’s great, but I am no Einstein.” Well me neither! But you and both can be more public and passionate about our learning and that will be enough.
Are you excited yet? :)
Have you ever in your life spent time worrying that you weren’t enough?
NOT - Tall enough, handsome enough, pretty enough, feminine enough, thin enough, smart enough, tough enough, rich enough - or good enough!
Well yesterday Jeff Madison sent me the link to video that wonderfully says… in effect. We become truly powerful the moment we truly learn to accept ourselves. And that what we have and who we are is enough…. at least enough to begin living life and loving it and improving upon it.
Now we know we are enough to get started….let’s get started.
The Pebble (think ripples in a pond)
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? -George Eliot
The Boulder (Same Principle more words bigger ripple)
Your job is not to judge.
Your job is not to figure out
if someone deserves something.
Your job is to lift the fallen,
to restore the broken,
and to heal the hurting.
-The Essence of Life-
Ponder - (This is the Boulder, the big idea to not just think about but to put into practice , thus creating ripples around the world.)
I don’t believe that we have an *obligation* to help every single person we encounter.
I do believe that there is an *opportunity* to help every single person we encounter. Every. Single. Person.
The lost ones, the frustrated ones, the nice ones and the mean ones. And the magnificent secret that I hesitate to share with you because we took a solemn oath at the last meeting of the “Benevolent Order of Those Who Strive To Be As Nice As Possible to Everyone We Encounter”: the person who benefits the most from all the helping is often YOU! Serving others feels great; it reminds us to be grateful for blessings that we take for granted, and as a bonus it replenishes our “karma credit card” so we can be in great shape to receive help from others just when we need it most.
Just remember that helping works best when it emanates not from a sense of duty or obligation, but instead from a source of joyous opportunity. So keep your eyes and ears open for a friend or colleague or stranger who needs you..
((( The Ripples Guy )))
Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.– Nicholas Murray Butler
I don’t know the context of Paula Huntley’s statement about students and heroes…but I do know that I want to be an ever more committed student of optimism.
I aspire to be a courageous student of OPTIMISM!