Archive for the ‘People’ category

The Amazing “IF”

July 11, 2010

Words have extraordinary power. Each day we speak thousands and hardly give them a thought. Our mouths open and out comes a flow of words which may, or may not, make sense. The words that come forth can bring hope to another or they can crush dreams. Our words can excite unknown emotions or rekindle long forgotten feuds. In the English language, I do not believe there is any other word that carries so much weight than the word, “If”.

Think of spending a day refusing to let the small two-letter word escape your lips. Think of not hearing that word from a colleague or superior. Think of a day in which that word seemed to not exist.

What would be the resulting differences in our emotions, self-esteem and personal drive without that word?

Of course I am speaking from the perspective that “if” is used to procrastinate action and proliferate stubbornness. “If” I could do this, then I could have that; or “if” my decisions had been different, my life would be better. I could go on, but we have all spoke those words and heard them from enemies to lovers. When used in this manner, “if” should be banned and forgotten and shunned by linguists everywhere.

But…

There are times when the unaffable “if” can bring the first glimmer of sunshine in a long time. There are moments when just one, single, positive “if” can whisk us away to a place where blue birds fly and dreams really do come true. “If” can take you somewhere over the rainbow.

The small problem with the word, “If” is that it doesn’t bring any hope on its own. It doesn’t bring any despair either. “If” is one of the most revealing words in the English language because it takes on the character and nature of whoever speaks it. When spoken by a person driven by confidence and the knowledge that life is what you make it, “If” can be so positive your fingertips begin to tingle. However, when spoken by someone who has given up on life and believes that they can do nothing to change their personal situation, “if” sounds like the pound of hammer to nail as the internment inevitability grows ever more clear.

Take “if” today and make you character bring it to life. When you have done so and do not like what you see – be aware and make the changes that are necessary for your sullen “if” to become a celebrated “if”. You need not wait on someone else to come and change your life, all you need to do is to take your life in your hands and step into the action that needs to happen.

Ali and Change

April 6, 2010

Make room for changing opinions and views for yourself and for others. Muhammad Ali once said, “the man who views the world at fifty, the same as he did at twenty, has wasted thirty years of his life”.

He could not be more true. Our minds should always be seeking to learn and expand our views and knowledge of the world around us. As we learn more, our views become panoramic as the depth and breadth of humanity is taken in.

The longer a man lives, the larger the world should be.

Failure is a What not a Who

March 24, 2010

When talking about business, many people talk in absolutes. Wins – Losses…Good – Bad Investments….Smart – Stupid moves….Success – Failure. In discussions like these it is imperative that we remember that a failure is “something ” that happened; not “someone”. With that context clear in our mind, we make it alright for others and ourselves to pursue great things and risk incredible failure. The reason is simply that whether great or not, they are just events and not people, like ourselves.

Too Much Change?

October 20, 2009

Back in August I discussed perfection and it’s illusory draw for many leaders. Here is another look from a different direction. In the pursuit of perfection (and attainable excellence) leaders will change many things. There is a danger to look for in the midst of these changes.

An organization is known by its people, product or philosophy. When a leader issues too many changes and violates either the company’s people, product or philosophy there is a problem.

Instead of looking for externals that can destroy the viability of an organization if changed too much, perhaps the aware leader, in any level of management, should look for a place in another organization where his desires and interests are already in play.

What is Professional?

September 9, 2009

Most of us would consider ourselves to be professionals in our particular fields, but would others?  Are we professionals simply because we have the right degree or position or popularity? There once was a time when being a professional was a character trait and not just an addition to a title. To be a professional is really to have an “on with the show” mentality. The true professional does his best work even when he doesn’t feel like it.

How about you?

The Trifecta Employee

September 3, 2009

In looking for people to work “for us” or “with us”, we ten to look at abilities. The truth is that abilities are only one part of the Trifecta necessary for one to find in  a new hire (or one that’s been around for a while) that can complement any organization.

The first part of the Trifecta is ability, but the second is Motivation. Your capabilities are covered in your ability, but what is actually done, is covered in Motivation. Early on there is the excitement at a new place or job. Motivation is crucial if leadership expects to get the most out of a person. Inner motivation only goes so far. It is clear communication and directed motivation that are key to a leaders relationship to those they lead.

Ability and Motivation are great, but when you add the third, Attitude, you get a proven winning combination every time. While leadership has a lot to do with Motivation, Attitude is a trait that comes uniquely from within. Attitude comes from the heart.

Ability – Motivation – Attitude…a winner every time!

Momentary Silence

March 17, 2009

A lot has been said about centering prayer, a unique Christian form of prayer. Some people just say that it’s meditation, or some way to allow Eastern ideas into the Western way of Christianity. One quick point of information is that Christianity itself is an Eastern religion. Picking up from roots in Judaism, Christianity has at its core many concepts that definitely have a flavor of other religious practices and forms.

The major idea is to look at what the practice seeks to do. Not what it looks like or what someone else has said about it. Centering prayer seeks to connect the individual with an aspect of God’s personality that is similar to the awareness of God’s “everywhereness” and “nowhereness” that Moses felt as he saw the back part of God when God walked by. It is both a seeking and a desire to experience God in a new and old way.

Many who have practiced centering prayer find a complexity of the new and familiar surrounding them as they move toward God in stillness and quiet. For me, it is a Momentary Silence within the ebb and flow of sound that comprise each and every wonderful day created for us to revel in by our Creator.