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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Peter Drucker: Are You an Effective Manager of People and Resources?



"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done." Peter Drucker

Asking the Right Questions

'Are you a good manager of people and resources? Do you make it easy or difficult for people to get things done in an effective and satisfying manner?'

These are the questions management giant Peter Drucker asked of leaders to help us think about what we were doing so we could better see and act on the obvious. His was a rational voice calling us to take a more practical, thoughtful approach to managing resources and leading people. He understood people are our greatest resource.

As an 'ENFP' on the Myers-Briggs, I gravitated towards Drucker's leading with questions to determine how to be more effective, rather than just efficient--a way of thinking that lead me through most of my work life.

Drucker  greatly influenced my thinking about how to properly manage people and resources--helping me be more effective by considering where to place my focus and how to best manage my time--by dividing my attention between an external customer focus 2/3 of the time and internal issues only 1/3 of the time. I quickly learned you can spend all your time perfecting internal systems and dealing with internal conflict, or you can refocus your attention on better ways to attract and maintain customers, and build the business.
For me, the two most important questions became 'how do you free people up to do their best work, and how do you keep the focus on the things that matter?'


"The purpose of a business is to create a customer." Peter Drucker

What Problem are you trying to Solve?

"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things." Peter Drucker

Too often in the workplace managers lead people down a path without knowing what problem they're trying to solve or even IF it is the right problem to solve. The goal quickly becomes to LOOK PRODUCTIVE rather than to be productive. This waste of time leads to frustration and apathy for the team, and people working on the wrong things without actually accomplishing anything. Nothing dissipates enthusiasm faster than wasting people's time.

If you want to be an effective manager, you need to constantly evaluate your effectiveness. To be effective you must know what problem you're trying to solve...and then you need to question if it is the right problem to be solving.

Looking over the past week, how effective were you? 

  • Are you straightening chairs on the titanic?
  • Are you  doing the right things or just keeping busy?
  • Are you productive or just busy?
  • Do you know what problem you're trying to solve? Is it the right one?




ShutUpImTalking.com

Are you focusing too much on the internal workings of the 
organization to the detriment of  the outside customer view?

Do you or your Organization Suffer from Internal Think?

How much time do you spend solving problems or perfecting systems inside the organization vs getting your name and product or services promoted outside the organization?

'2/3 of the organization's time and effort should be devoted to looking outside the organization and only 1/3 to internal issues.'  Peter Drucker
Internal Time Traps--What to Look For

 "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."  Peter Drucker

  • Do you constantly redo your website frustrating customers or readers who can't see what they need through all the stuff on the page? Too much change is exhausting. "I need to be able to see how to get into my account and pay my bill"
  • Do you spend more time on internal communication and systems than you do on delivering services or goods?
  • Do you lose sight of the true goal in your quest to be right?
  • Are you so focused on being efficient you're ineffective because you're efficiently doing the wrong things?
  • Are you wasting time perfecting efficient systems that should never be done at all?
  • Do you spend more time thinking about how to impress the stakeholders or how to best your colleague than on how to deliver excellent products and services?



 In 1967, in his classic book, The Effective Executive, management expert Peter Drucker wrote:

 "The effective executive makes strengths productive. To achieve results one has to use all the available strengths — the strengths of associates, the strength of the superior, and one's own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities. To make strength productive is the unique purpose of the organization. It cannot overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is endowed, but it can make them irrelevant."

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.


If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stuck? Afraid to Make a Mistake? Get Over Yourself!




'Doing one fool thing after another is not so terrible when you consider the human proclivity to do several fool things at once'   Robert Brault


Stress is who you think you should be--Relaxation is who you are

Are you so afraid of making a mistake or looking stupid you fail to take the 1st step toward your heart's desire? Lighten up! Get out there and mess up. 


As Bertrand Russell said, 'The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.'  

Rather than being a sign you're about to do something foolish--your fear of looking stupid is a sure sign you're on the threshold of courageously stepping in the right direction to fulfill a dream or to solve a problem of importance. Your self-doubt is an intelligent way to pause to reflect before you jump in, not a cause to abandon your direction.

Step into Life Courageously

We are wired to learn from our mistakes. The key to moving your life forward is to continually take a step--any step--that has the potential for a positive outcome

'Don't belittle yourself be BIG yourself', says Corita Kent. It takes a big person to get out there, be foolish, and make mistakes in the course of living life. Set your sights on what you want -- a good job, a healthy relationship, a healthy body--and continually take small steps in the direction of that goal. Sometimes playing the fool isn't so foolish after all.

'One is more apt to become wise by doing fool things than by reading wise sayings.'  Robert Brault


The Foolish Factor: Face What Makes You Feel Foolish Despite the Fear

Ask someone out.
Let others know you're looking for a relationship.
Let others know you're looking for a job.
Let others know you've been on unemployment long enough and you really want a job.
Apply for a job you know 100 others applied for.
Speak up in a meeting.
Say 'I Love You'.
Admit you made a mistake.
Ask for help.
Admit you feel foolish.

Go on--choose to look foolish pursuing your dreams. Fail big; fall on your face; embarrass yourself big time--just stay involved experimenting with life.



'It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.' Ralph Waldo Emerson
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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.


If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, sign up for free e-mail subscription.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Saving Grace of Denial



Denial--A Soft Cushion Against the Harsh Realities of Life

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball we didn't see coming that overwhelms us on impact. In that moment--when we need time to garner our inner strength and resources before meeting an issue head on--a shroud of denial envelopes us.

Being in denial isn't a bad thing. Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism, born out of the body's wisdom, designed to protect us when we're overwhelmed and frightened.

The saving grace of denial is it provides us a soft cushion against the onslaught of the harsh realities of life and gives us time to wrap our minds around something we just aren't ready to deal with.

Denial allows us to sit in the situation awhile as our brains work off-line preparing us to come to terms with our need to acknowledge what's caught our attention and what we're going to do about it if we are to move on with our lives.



Welcome Denial like a Compassionate Friend

Treat denial like a good friend, acknowledging and welcoming it when it comes to visit--instead of chastising yourself for letting it stay. Let it rest undisturbed awhile before engaging in conversation with yourself about the secrets you've sequestered from view.

Understand the time you sit in denial does not weaken you. You are merely idling while you're feeling vulnerable and afraid. Your strength and courage are still there ready to emerge when the time is right for you to competently handle the issues that initially overwhelmed you.

Turning Fear into Faith

Moving Beyond Soul-Crushing Experiences

Sometimes you can live in a state of denial for years--too bruised by major soul-crushing experiences to do anything but push the horrifying experience deeper out of consciousness sometimes with the use of drugs or alcohol. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or other life trauma--especially in childhood can have you living a life of denial.

Yet when you're ready, these things that happened to you--leaving you feeling weak, vulnerable, hopeless and helpless--can be moved beyond with the assistance from others to help you rediscover your courage, strength and personal power.




Unwrap the Gift of Knowledge Lurking Behind Denial

When you're ready, allow yourself a quick peek behind the curtain of denial to see what you're hiding from yourself.  No worries if it's dark back there and you can't see anything when you 1st look. Close the curtain, acknowledge your wisdom in letting it sit awhile longer, and get back to doing what you were doing. Don't give it another thought.

If you find you're now ready to apply your strength and resources to dealing with the issue at hand, allow the veil of denial to slip open and look at what you were previously afraid you were unable to handle. Consider whose counsel you might seek to help you find your strength and courage to move you from the fear you can't handle the truth to having faith in your ability to handle life--and emerge healthier and stronger.

When you peek behind the veil of denial:
  • What little niggling thoughts rise to the surface of your consciousness? 
  • What gems of knowing come through that you can now act on?
  • What inkling of issues too-big-to-handle yourself emerged?
  • Who comes to mind to help you create a bridge from denial to acknowledgement to action?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to move yourself toward unloading the burden you've been denying?

Seek support from family and friends, and if necessary, professionals, to help you find your way forward.




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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, sign up for free e-mail subscription.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

5 Life-Changing Habits to Blast Your Life Wide Open!



'Most people spend their entire life indefinitely preparing to live.'  Paul Tournier

Small Daily Decisions Over a Lifetime Add Up

Who doesn't want to love their life? So what stops us from jumping in with both feet to fully engage in the life we want NOW? What we decide to do on a daily basis--those small daily decisions--adds up to the life we live.

As Swiss Psychologist Paul Tournier said most of us spend our entire life indefinitely preparing to live. If  you don't want to be one of those people who fails to jump-start your life, learn to change how you think. Choose to create life-changing habits that blast your life wide open NOW. Here are 5 simple habits to guide you.

'What you are is what you have been; what you will be is what you do now.' The Buddha


Habit # 1: Start with the End in Mind

'If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.'

Consolidate your thinking and focus your actions by considering what you want to build in your lifetime. How do you want to contribute? Who do you want to share your life with? What would make you feel safe financially? What would a satisfying life look like to you?

Without being morbid, estimate how long you'll live--then use the total years left to help you focus. You are never too old or too young to focus your thinking in this way!

Me? Based on my age, life satisfaction, and family genes I'm guessing I have 35 more years to pack a lot of living into!

Unscientific Chart for your use

Age
Years Left
20
67
30
57
40
47
50
37
65
22
70
20
80
10



Keep a dream journal and at least once a year revisit 3 questions to use as measuring sticks to guide your journey.


  • When you get to the end of your life and look back what do you want your life to be about?
  • When you look 20 years down the road, what do you want your life to look like?
  • Where would you like to be in 5 years? What have you achieved? What have you built? 



Habit #2: Start each day asking 'What problem am I trying to solve today?'

Our brains like to solve problems and I've found it useful to think of life as a series of problems or puzzles to solve.

Every morning I wake and let my mind freely scan my inner and outer world until something captures my interest and I begin the free-flowing experience of discovering and naming what problem I'm trying to solve.

Approaching your days by determining the puzzles you want to solve can help you zero in on and act on the things that add meaning and impact to your life. This helps you see yourself as a problem solver who has the ability to handle whatever life throws at you.

Solving daily life puzzles lets you see yourself as a problem solver who has the ability to handle whatever life throws at you.




Habit # 3: Do Weekly Wellness Checks

Only a mediocre person is always at his best.W. Somerset Maugham

Be growth oriented and strive to be the best you can be. Get in the habit of doing weekly non-judgmental wellness check ins.

To stay on a healthy growth track, ask yourself  3 questions each week:


  • What went well?
  • What could I do better?
  • What's the most important thing I think I could do this week to improve my life or move  closer to my desired lifestyle?



Habit # 4: Practice Changing Your Thoughts through Taking Action

There are two good things in life - freedom of thought and freedom of action. W. Somerset Maugham

 Did you know that if you create a discrepancy between what you believe and how you act, your beliefs will change to align with your actions? That's why taking positive action is so powerful.

For example, if you sit in the thought 'I can't get a job' it can lead to a self fulfilling prophecy. But  cut off thinking and take actions you know can lead to getting a job despite your 'non-belief'--networking, distributing resumes, volunteering to gain skills, upgrading your resume--you see yourself taking actions that can lead to a job. Taking action changes your thoughts and increases your chances of success.

Or if you sit in the thought 'I can't find a partner' it can lead to a self fulfilling prophecy.
When you cut off this thinking and instead focus on engaging in actions that increase the probability you'll meet people your mindset will alter.

Give yourself the opportunity to create a positive belief about your ability to create a great life by taking positive steps without concern for the outcome. Keep taking steps in the direction of the life you want NOW.




Habit #5: Set Aside Money for Retirement 

You rarely feel like you have enough money to put some away for retirement when you're young. Do it anyway.

Before you fritter your money away on impulse purchases, commit to putting money into your future.

Feeling safe financially will give you a solid foundation for fully exploring life on your terms. When you create financial freedom by paying yourself 1st,  you'll give yourself a gift that grows over time. Don't put off contributing to a retirement fund. Strive to contribute to your retirement with money from each pay check.

If you work for a company that matches your retirement contribution, find a way to contribute the maximum amount to get the maximum matching. If you don't know much about investing seek out someone you trust to help you.

Feeling safe financially will provide you a solid foundation for fully exploring life on your terms. Small daily decisions over a lifetime add up--decide to save for your future.

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.


If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, sign up for free e-mail subscription.