Your people are octopuses not robots

YOUR

An octopus has two large, complex eyes that are camera-like in structure and their vision is sharp. They learn very quickly by observing their surroundings.
In an experiment, octopuses were trained with food rewards to attack specific color balls. Another group of octopus observing from an adjacent tank were released. Those watching the activity with red balls attacked red balls and those which had seen white balls attacked those.
The response of the octopuses based on observation were faster than those which had been trained.

As leaders, we can learn from this study with octopuses.

People behave the same as the octopuses. What we see influences us. We learn more by watching the behaviors of others more than training.

Training is key to building a great organization,  but those you lead will be influenced more by the way you behave.

As a leader, you are training others all the time.

  1. You are training others through your speech.
  2. You are training others through your actions.
  3. You are training others through your mood.

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn

In organizations, we like to train people and offer rewards for the correct behavior, but like the octopuses that observed, those around you are always watching. Your team are octopuses not robots. You can train people to respond a certain way when there are rewards based on performance but in the long run they will mirror the behavior you model. Leaders must model the environment they expect from their organization.

Question: In what ways are you training others through your behavior? Leave a comment on my Facebook or Twitter! I would love to hear from you.

A day to be thankful for our freedom

Soldiers Saluting

Today is Memorial Day. What ever your thoughts are on war or the military. Its is because of the soldier that we are a free nation. Thank you to the men and women who have fought and died to keep this country free. Because of you I continue to have the freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly.

As you spend time with family and friends today, take a moment to pray for our military, those who have lost loved ones in war and be thankful for the amazing privilege we have as Americans.

 

 “It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag.

And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag.” – Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

 

What to do when your schedule buries you

WHAT-2
An avalanche can occur  at any moment on a mountain when there is increased load due to snowfall and can be strongly influenced by sunshine.
So you can be buried by an avalanche on a sunny day when everything seems sunny an beautiful
This month my schedule has felt like I was skiing down a mountain at breakneck speed trying to escape an avalanche on a sunny day. I had so many great things happening but felt completely overwhelmed.
One of the definitions of “overwhelmed” is: to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche.
That definition explains how I have been feeling…buried.
In May, I have moved, I rented my old home out beginning in June so I’ve been getting it ready for our new tenants in the evenings after I leave the office.  I’ve had end of year events at my kids schools, my oldest daughter turned 16 and we took her out of town for her birthday, I’ve had speaking engagements, board meetings, consulting appointments, and meetings at my church. This has all happened in 21 days.  It’s all been wonderful, but I have felt buried at the same time.
What completely thew off my schedule was moving and getting my other home ready to rent. It was going to happen. It was headed straight at me and it was something that I couldn’t avoid.  I saw it coming but underestimated the amount of load and force it would place on my schedule.
When you are buried, it’s okay to ask for help – KC Cupp
When our schedules bury us, we can choose to stay buried or invite others to help dig you out.
I chose to ask for help.
During the last 21 days I have constantly asked myself:
“Who has the kind of shovel I need to help dig me out and help me breathe a little easier?”  I didn’t just need anyone with a shovel. I needed specific shovels, with a specific purpose.
  1. I needed someone with a speaking shovel to dig me out of my speaking engagements
  2. I needed a construction shovel to dig me out of my projects at the rental
  3. I needed a meeting shovel to dig me out of my meetings
This question helped me to:
  1. Hire people to work on my home even though I had the skills to complete the projects my self
  2. Ask others to lead some of my meeting that I really wanted to be at
  3. Delegate speaking engagement to some great leaders

When you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself: Who has to right kind of shovel to help dig me out?

Finding people with the right kind of shovel helped me to breathe and make room for the move and rental project.

We will always have seasons of our life when we are overwhelmed with our schedule.When the avalanche hits, are you willing to ask for help and let go of the things that you would normally take on?

Questions: What do you do when your schedule feels overwhelming?  Leave me a comment on my Facebook or Twitter

 

[New Post] How to become a super achiever

HOW
What does it take to become a super achiever?
What holds us back from maximizing our productivity ?
It comes down to four things: 
  1. Failure to admit our weaknesses
  2. Not asking for help
  3. Working outside our strength zone
  4. Unable to learn from others area of expertise
Super achievers understand the few things they are great at and the thousands of areas they need to stay far away from.
The three areas defined above have to do with the internal battle with our own ego. We are fearful to admit where we struggle. We want to believe that we can do it all. We want to believe if we just work harder,  we can grind out this task.
This just isn’t true.
Super achievers understand they need to surround themselves with people that “Play at what they wort at”.
I had an amazing employee working for me in a past organization named Kelly. Kelly is a high detail, every I dotted and every T crossed worker. She was my go to person for helping me work through processes and systems ensuring I didn’t miss anything. Every time I had her check a process or system she would always find things I missed and holes that needed filled. I delegated projects to her because in these areas she “played at what I worked at”. This just isn’t my strength.  I knew that asking her for help would allow me to stay in my strength zone and have an greater impact on the organization because I remained in my sweet spot.  Today, I have grown in this area because of the years I worked with Kelly.
She helped me to achieve more because I was first willing to:
  1. Admit my weaknesses
  2. Ask for help
  3. Remain in my strength zone
  4. Learn from her expertise
Super achievers are able to lay aside their egos because like John Maxwell says:
“One is too small a number to achieve greatness”.
Kelly and I both knew what we were great at and what we struggled with. It’s been years since we have worked together and there are many days that I still think “ I wish I was working with Kelly on this project”.
Here are a few great resources to help you on your journey to become a super achiever:
  1. Strength Finders
  2. Myers Briggs
Question: What areas of your work do you struggle with the most? Leave me a comment on my Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear from you!

4 ways to find fulfillment over happiness

4

You want to be happy. I want to be happy.

I have never met anyone who didn’t want to be happy yet, you can be happy and still feel very unfulfilled in life.

Happiness is a temporal emotion attached to momentary experiences. Seeking happiness isn’t wrong, it’s just limiting. When we chase happiness we are all actually searching for fulfillment.

When we chase happiness we are often choosing instant satisfaction over long term gain. We do this to cover over our lack of fulfillment and meaning in our lives. Finding fulfillment and meaning is what brings depth to our lives. Happiness will come and go but fulfillment will give you depth beyond one single emotion like happiness.

Fulfillment speaks to our inner soul, it connects us to something greater than ourselves. Happiness will give you temporary joy, but fulfillment will give you purpose.

It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of the pursuit. – Denis Waitly

So how do we find fulfillment over happiness?
1.Always remember you are special and important to humanity.
Accept that there is only one YOU and YOU are on this earth to make a difference. I don’t believe that we are all on this earth by chance. Your life matters.

2. Never make money and things your main focus.
Decide today that true fulfillment has nothing to do with any amount of wealth or things you can accumulate. There is nothing wrong with wealth or owning stuff. We just have to remember they both bring temporal happiness but never true fulfillment.

3. Help people.
True fulfillment is found when we help others. You can rake your elderly neighbors leaves, bring a hot meal to a friend, volunteer at a local homeless shelter, or take a philanthropy trip to help starving children in the Sudan. Helping others is key to finding fulfillment.
4. Forgive and Let Go
When you live a life of forgiveness you find that your life is filled with greater fulfillment. Forgiveness causes our spirit to feel unchained from the hurt and pain that people have caused us. Forgiving others does not mean becoming friends with the person that hurt you or if you have been hurt in a horrible way such as being molested (like I was as a child), forgiveness does not mean speaking to the person. You can forgive someone in your heart with out telling them face to face.

Letting go of past hurt and pain is essential to finding fulfillment. As long as you live your life feeling physically, emotional, or spiritually robbed in some way, you will never find complete fulfillment. It took years for me to forgive the person that molested me. It messed me up as a child, but true freedom and true fulfillment came when I forgave and let go.

We live our best life and do great work when we top chasing happiness and pursue what brings true meaning and purpose…true fulfillment!

Questions: How do find fulfillment in life? What would you add to the list? Let me know. I would love to chat with you! Leave a comment on my Facebook or Twitter

Why you need to start dreaming again

WHY

Have you stopped dreaming?

Have you given up on your dreams because life hasn’t work out the way you had planned?

When we stop dreaming, something moves in and fills our hearts where our dream once were.

Rather than our hearts being filled with dreams, they become filled with disappointment.

Disappointment is deceiving. It disguises itself as maturity, adulthood, and rational thinking. When disappointment sets in, we stop believing, stop hoping, and stop dreaming. We stop making room for our dreams because: “It’s time to grow up”, I need to stop kidding myself” or “Who am I kidding…” 

Have you ever felt this way?

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
― T.E. Lawrence

Maybe it’s time to make room for your dreams again. Making room for our dreams begins when we resist disappointment and the statuesque.

Having dreams and being a dreamer is one of the beautiful parts of being human. We get to try new things, take risks, and work to see our dreams become a reality. But what if some of our dreams don’t come true? Is that a reason to give up?

Dreams don’t work unless you do. – John C Maxwell

I don’t want to look back only life and one be able to say “I’m glad I played it safe and never took a risk. I want to experience the ups and downs, hills and valleys, tears and joy of life. I want to dream and explore. I want to look back on my life and say “what a wonderful ride”.

In order to live our best life and do great work, we have to be willing to take risks and address our past disappointments. Disappointment is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to keep us from pursuing our dreams.

You need to dream again.

Why you need to start dreaming again:

  • You are capable of doing great things
  • You have just as much time as everyone else
  • You have the power to kick fear in the face
  • You are never too old to start
  • Your dream may change the word for the good
  • This is your only life
  • Why not!

 Questions: What are your dreams? Leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter. I would love to hear from you! 

[New Post] My stress free approach to social media

MY

I love social media.

I use multiple platforms to communicate every single day. My blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the four platforms I use to connect with the world and share about ways to life your best life and do great work.

What I have found though is while social media is a wonderful resource, it can also get in the way and cause way too much stress!

We can become so stressed trying to get noticed  that we forget to connect and add value to others. – KC Cupp

The goal of social media is not only to “get the word out” or “get MY message out”. It’s about connecting, adding value and receiving value from other like minded individuals.

This is why I have a stress free approach to social media that keeps me focused on connection and free from the emotional clutter and pressure to get MY message out.

My stress free approach to social media looks like this:

  1. I blog two times a week.
    1. Saturdays and Wednesdays.  I write my blog post for Monday sometime between Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I write my blog post for Thursday either Monday or Tuesday.
  2. I use the program “Buffer“.
    1. Buffer allows me to schedule everything I want to post on Twitter for the entire day. Notice that I said I schedule everything I want to “POST”. I post Life Organized tips, links to my blog and promote other like minded bloggers and businesses, but I interact personally with real people all the time on social media. I want my posts to be scheduled but my interaction to be a wonderful connecting point with friends that happen throughout the day. I get to hear how I am adding value to them, I  let them know how they are adding value to me, and I try to encourage and promote others anyway I can.
  3. I use Facebook to post links ( through buffer)  to my blog and then interact in real time with my “Life Organized Tribe”. BOOM!
  4. I use Instagram.
    1. I occasionally post pictures to Instagram of each blog post, family stuff and pics that will be helpful to my “Life Organized Tribe”

This process keeps me from becoming overwhelmed with the pressure to do more just for the sake of TALKING and allows me to connect. While I do want my content to be shared and get noticed, what I have found is, the more I add value to others, the more I promote them and connect, the more my “TRIBE” grows naturally.

I don’t have to stand at the top of the social media mountain with a virtual bullhorn TALKING, TALKING, POSTING, POSTING constantly. If my content adds value to others, it be will be shared…and I don’t have to stress about it.

Question: How did this post speak to you? Leave a comment on my Facebook or Twitter.  I would love to hear from you! 

6 ways to create a sustainable schedule

WAYS

 

I enjoy doing all sorts of things.

I love helping people live their best life and do great work. I love hiking, spending time with my family, blogging, writing, reading, running, working, planning and social media.
I am constantly being asked to do more and more stuff that takes…time.

Do you feel there is never enough time to do everything you want to do? Have you ever committed to things you couldn’t keep up long term?

Me too. I have felt and done both.
Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. -Jim Rohn
It is easy to fall in to a lifestyle that is unsustainable because we deceive ourselves in to believing that doing more good things is a good thing.

This is why I try to ask myself this question as new opportunities come my way: “Is this sustainable?”

The definition of sustainability is:  able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed,  able to last or continue for a long time.

When my schedule is unsustainable, I do feel like I’m being completely used up and could be destroyed!

Have you ever felt this way?

This is when I have to pull back, analyze my calendar and cut out everything that is unsustainable. It’s even better to review your commitments BEFORE you even come to a place where you are feel that your activities are unsustainable.

Here are 6 ways I create a sustainable schedule: 
  1. Make a list of all my commitments
  2. Number them in their order of importance
  3. Decide what I can discard or delegate
  4. Follow through discarding and delegating
  5. Create a schedule around the top 6 items on my list (See my last post!)
  6. This process helps me to sort through my life and delegate and discard everything that gets in the way of sustainable living.
 When your schedule is sustainable, you do better work. When your schedule is sustainable, you take care of your health. You develop a rhythm to your live instead of always being in reactive mode. Take some time this week to develop your sustainable schedule!
Question:  In what ways have you struggled with sustainability? Leave me a comment on my Facebook or Twitter