The End is in Sight

If the rate of change outside your organization is greater and faster than the rate of change inside your organization, the end is in sight. –Jack Welch

Jack was talking about business and a company. The organization I am talking about today is YOU.  Yep , You are the CEO, President, COO, VP you name it of your organization.   What is the rate of your change?  Are you trying new things and learning new skills?  Do you think the skills that got you here today, will get you where you want to go?

Here is my challenge for you today.  Ask yourself and be honest, When is the last time you made an investment in yourself to learn something new?  Do something different?

The world is moving at rapid pace.  The iPhone 6 just came out.  How many phones is that now?  Don’t be sitting there with the same skills you have today, when the same knowledge and education when the next iPhone is released. Make a change today.

To your success and your future.

 

Getting out of the pile..C

As you have read I have been discussing what I have determined, based on my experience are some of the most beneficial things you can do to separate yourself from the pack within a company or organization.  As I write this last blog on this topic, I quickly want to re-cap what I have stated are the principles for you to successfully get out of the pile.

  • Results
  • Ideas/Solutions
  • Set the pace
  • Candor/Diplomacy
  • Personal/Self Development
  • Give more than what is asked for
  • Never be satisfied
  • Choose well

Volunteer: I had a friend tell me that when he went into the Navy, a group of officers asked a group of these new seaman if they would like to volunteer for a special assignment.  He said that he volunteered.  He spent the next 4 years on a submarine.  He suggested to me to never volunteer for anything.  I obviously disagree.  I have volunteered for things even when I know I don’t want to do them.  But by putting myself out there over and over, it allowed me to separate myself from the pack and get out of the pile.  It has also exposed me to things that I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to.  This not only included experience, but people as well.

Attitude: I personally believe that many of the things I have already talked about illustrates what an attitude is. However, I guess I probably have to put this on the list as being a principle.  I don’t consider myself a naturally optimistic person.  I honestly feel like pound for pound I am like most people, I am kind of neutral most days.  But I spend the first 2 hours every day getting my attitude in a place that has allowed me to be successful.  I think to do many of the things I have suggested in this series is an attitude and your attitude is what will determine your willingness to adhere to the principles.

Gratitude:  3 years ago, this would not have been on my list.  I didn’t think this way.  I always thought of more, and what can I do to get more, I didn’t appreciate what I had enough.  I never had an attitude that I deserve more, because life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you deserve (another blog by itself).  But I never took the time to actually acknowledge and appreciate what I do have.  I now do this everyday.  Some of this things are pretty basic as well.  Like a home, a great family, close friends, a great career, and health.  These things are easily forgotten. So be grateful for what you have within your company.  Your manager will notice this and again will help you get out of the pile.

Don’t wait:  I honestly didn’t know what else to call it, but this encompasses a lot.  Don’t wait for your boss to tell you what to do, Don’t wait for your boss to ask you what you are doing for self-development, Don’t wait for your boss to suggest for you to go to training, Don’t wait to tell your boss about a good suggestion, Don’t wait for anything.  Be pro-active. I tell most people that we all have to “Lead Up”.  Leading up means you are helping yourself by setting the agenda with your boss.  I can tell you that when you are doing the 11 above things very well, you will be leading up (meaning your boss will be following the agenda you are setting, because you are out in front).

I hope this has helped some of you.  Again, any suggestions on principles you would add to the list, I would love to hear them.

  • Results
  • Ideas/Solutions
  • Set the pace
  • Candor/Diplomacy
  • Personal/Self Development
  • Give more than what is asked for
  • Never be satisfied
  • Choose well
  • Volunteer
  • Attitude
  • Gratitude
  • Don’t wait

Getting out of the pile…A

Getting out of the pile was something I just did by being who I am, but later learned what it meant from another great leader and quasi-mentor for me, the famous Jack Welch.  Jack Welch says it best.  In every company, every organization, there is a pile, a pile of people all (well most) trying to climb the ladder within that organization.  So how do you get out of that pile?  I accomplished getting out of the pile in three organizations that I have worked for and reflecting on my ascension of getting out of the pile was unique, but revolved around the same core principles in all three company’s no matter what the challenges were in the very different businesses.

I am planning on writing on this topic over the next three blogs.  I don’t really have a defined number of principles, maybe I will after I blog, just a lot of philosophical beliefs and passion that I hope to illustrate.

Results:  This one is number one for a reason:  It doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t have good results, none of the other stuff I write even matters.  In the Five Major Pieces of the Life Puzzle: Jim Rohn says “Results are the best measurement of human progress.”  “We must make measurable progress in reasonable time.”  Your results are in direct proportion to the activity and effort you put in to pursuing results for a given goal.  In the first sentence I carefully chose the word “good” results, because I believe you don’t have to have “great” results to get out of the pile, when you have good results along with some of the other principles I will discuss, I have shown you can get out of the pile.  I have had great results in some cases and good results in some cases.

Give more than what is asked for:  Nothing earth shattering here, but profound nonetheless.  If you are sitting there reading this. Ask your self:  “Are you really giving more than what is asked of you?”  Zig Ziglar says it like this:  “When you do more than you get paid for, eventually you’ll be paid for more than you do.”  I have worked with lots of people who think they are doing more than they are asked to do, and I have been one of those people. Ex: My first leadership position I had a terrible boss. This person, was the one who didn’t give any credit, always criticized, and we really just had a bad relationship.  Guess what: That person wasn’t going anywhere. So I had to change.  So what did I do?  I just worked harder.  I made sure I beat them to work everyday, I went way above and beyond in everything I did. Our relationship changed after that, but for things to change I had to change, the only thing I have control over, is me.

Never be satisfied:  This is a hard one for me to articulate and it is also one that I struggle with everyday on trying to find that perfect balance. As a leader you do have to celebrate the little wins, if not your team will want to shoot you, because you are never happy.  However that is when you are a leader, as a person trying to get out of the pile, your manager will appreciate the fact that you believe that there is always a better way and you can do better next time.  Never being satisfied will keep you hungry, it will keep you pursuing, it will keep you striving. Leaders in an organization appreciate the people who are constantly seeking excellence and those who seek more, better, and faster.

Choose well:  Who do you associate with.  I learned this lesson a few times.  In every organization there are different people within a team, or department, and the organization. Typically four groups.  The Ninja’s:  They are the ones that are the silent killers.  The ones who gossip, they are not bought in, and really hurt the culture of a team.  Good leaders typically sniff them out.  Hostages:  They are the ones that don’t want to be there and think that every thing sucks and in their minds they feel like they are a hostage, and really they do have an option to quit, but they never do, they just complain all of the time. Vacationers:  Just seeing how long they can hang out and not do too much.  Don’t really add very much to the organization.  Hanging out for the time being until something better comes along. Learners and Doer’s: These are the ones that seek to add to the organization, they constantly volunteer and go above and beyond in everything they do. So if your want to get out of the pile who should you associate with?  I think it is obvious.

Stay tuned for future blogs and insights on how to get out of the pile.

What’s easy to do, is easy not to do…

My mentor Jim Rohn taught me this little saying almost two years ago.  It is a really simple phrase, but it has a lot of meaning.  Since I read this, I am not saying it is easy to follow.  But as I continue to grow in different areas of my life, I find myself repeating this phrase to myself when there are things I don’t want to do.  What I have done is taken this little phrase and modified it to provide me the extra motivation that I need to make things happen the way I would like for them to happen in my life.

“What’s easy to do, is easy not to do”.  I have turned this into, “What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it”.  A slight modification to this phrase, but one that applies to me.  In my mind when things are hard, I tell myself that I can either do this or not, nothing will happen today when I make this decision, but choosing not to do something for a long period of time has major impact on my life.  The double-bacon cheeseburger at White Castle doesn’t hurt me today, tomorrow, or a month from now, but do it for 20 years and what happens.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: I will be 35 years young in about two weeks.  My goal is to be in the best shape I have been in since my early twenties.

  • What’s easy to do: get up a little earlier and work out, modify my eating habits, watch my calorie intake.
  • What’s easy not to do: get up a little earlier and work out, modify my eating habits, watch my calorie intake.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: My personal brand is to add value to myself so I can add value to others. Value=worth and to increase your worth (value) to the marketplace it requires you to increase your skill sets. Also, I can’t add value if my value never changes.

  • What’s easy to do: Read 30 minutes a day, get out of my comfort zone, make networking a top priority, intentionally grow and develop, ask for feedback.
  • What’s easy not to do: Read 30 minutes a day, get out of my comfort zone, network, be intentional about growth and development, be open to feedback.

What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it: Build a portfolio of opportunities for myself personally and professionally that deliver revenue streams, assets, and leveraging business contacts to make a difference with many kinds of organizations and businesses.

  • What’s easy to do: take calculated risks, be growth minded, associate with different people, colleagues, and business associates, get involved.
  • What’s easy not to do: take calculated risks, be growth minded, associate with different people, colleagues, and business associates, get involved.

To sum it up, I define “Easy” as something I can do, which means it is not beyond my ability to do it.  So when I find myself overwhelmed and tired, I remind myself of “What do I want, and what do I have to do to get it”, and the difference between getting it and not getting it, really comes down to doing what’s easy to do, and most things are easy to do, you just have to do it.