Posts tagged ‘success’

February 11, 2017

Playing to Win

No matter who you rooted for (unless you were rooting for Lady Gaga), what a thrilling Super Bowl it was last weekend, with New England coming from way behind to win in overtime. At one point, the young, upstart Atlanta team raced out to a 28-3 lead, but somehow did not score a single point after that.

There’s been plenty of analysis in the sports columns about how they lost, what the key plays were that turned the momentum, and which plays should or should not have been called. It’s easy to second-guess after the results are in. So I’ll add my own contribution to this debate, but from a completely different perspective.

As young as the Atlanta team is, I happen to think that there’s a possibility that two collective thoughts doomed the team in the third quarter when the score first reached 28-3: (1) “We’ve got this well in hand, everyone was saying we couldn’t do it,” and (2) “Don’t blow it now.”

Those thoughts together lead to a strategy of playing “not to lose”. If you have thoughts of playing not to lose, or playing not to make a mistake, then you generally stop doing whatever it was that got you to that point of success. And because you change your style of work, you often won’t get the same successful results.

I wonder if playing “not to lose” was indeed the beginning of the end of the game for the Falcons. What do you think?

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January 3, 2016

Top 2 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail …

There’s all sorts of data out there supporting the fact that most people do not succeed in keeping their New Year’s resolutions, if they even make them at all. Research from the University of Scranton suggests only 8% of folks succeed in meeting their resolutions.

There are 2 main reasons for this:

#1. Not understanding the reason for change

Don’t change to run away from something, change to run toward something. Since I spend most of my time working with businesses, I’ll use a business start-up analogy: Don’t start your own business because you hate your job, start one because you’re passionate about doing something better, or providing a better solution, or helping to improve the world in some way.

If you have a positive reason for making a resolution instead of a negative one, it can motivate and inspire you, which increases your chances of fulfilling the resolution.

#2. Setting goals that are not specific or realistic enough

If the resolution is too general (like “be healthier”), you won’t meet it because you won’t know if you met it. Too much wiggle room. Be specific (as in “lose 12 pounds over the next 6 months and then maintain it”). But if your goal is not realistic (as in lose 70 pounds in 6 months – not something you’d usually do without medical supervision), then you won’t stand a chance to meet the goal.

Be realistic about your resolutions. Do your research and know what is likely vs. unlikely to accomplish. It’s fine to be optimistic, but too much of it leads to being unrealistic.

Happy New Year to all!

May 19, 2014

Getting Fired a Favor?

I’ve been fired a couple of times during my past corporate career, and though I say so myself, it wasn’t because I messed up or didn’t do my job. What I could have done better is to see the change of the political tides earlier, and understand how that would affect me independent of how well I was performing. Back then, I just assumed that doing a great job would be all that counted.

Here’s an article from Fast Company that covers 5 people who felt that when they got fired, it was a blessing. I’d have to agree with their general sentiment, because I found afterward that the circumstances I was in wasn’t matching what I considered to be the right situation. So getting shown the door put me on the path to a better destination each time.

It feels lousy to get fired, but if it happens to you, and as long as you didn’t create the reason to fire you, be sure to listen to the signal for a new direction.

December 21, 2013

Keeping Your Cool

You know how work can be sometimes, whether it’s your own business or whether you work for someone else. Once in awhile you just have it up to here. And because you figure it doesn’t happen often, you’re entitled to blow off steam in some loud or nasty way to try to make a point. Or maybe you didn’t even have a point to make.

I have to admit, early in my career while I was still learning, I lost my cool once or twice in a professional setting. Hey, I was young. Subconsciously, I probably thought I’d create more impact by losing my cool. By the second time I did it, I started to realize that the reverse was probably more true. And that’s why I remember those instances after all these years, because I didn’t want to do that again.

Don’t do it. Don’t lose your cool. Even if someone loses their cool with you first. If you lose your cool, you put yourself on a level from which you have to raise yourself afterward. People who lose their cool, contrary to their beliefs, do not get respect. They do get attention, at least temporarily, but they don’t get respect. That’s why you sometimes hear people say, after another person blows up suddenly, that they “lost a lot of respect” for that person.

Be cool! And have a great holiday season…

November 14, 2013

8 Things You Need Before the Start

In business, the hardest thing is the start. And there are often factors that prevent us from launching successfully, or that create distractions after we launch. On my other blog, The Second Boom, I wrote about 8 things Boomers need to have in place before they consider starting a business, but those 8 things are not restricted to just Boomers. Jump over to that post and tell me if you’re thinking of those 8 things:

Do you have these 8 things in place?

Where do you stand in regards to these 8 things?

October 7, 2013

The FORE Leadership Cycle

In my second book, Let It Fly! Defy the Laws of Business Gravity and Keep Your Company Soaring, I introduced the FORE cycle of leadership. FORE is an acronym which stands for focus-offload-review-encourage. I’ll let you read the book and learn the details of each stage of the 4-stage cycle, but in this post, I want to point out that FORE is a complete cycle. You can’t just do some of the 4 stages, you have to do all of them. Here’s what happens if you leave out a stage while doing the others.

If you leave out the “F” or focus, you might still offload, review, and encourage your team, but they’re all over the place because you supplied no focus. Lots of unfocused work just passes the time.

If you leave out the “O” or offload, you never trust your team enough to offload the responsibility to them. Then you become a micro-manager, even though you review and encourage, because all you’re doing is reviewing and encouraging them on exactly what you told them to do.

If you leave out the “R” or review, you’ve focused your team, offloaded responsibility to them, and encourage them, but never check on whether they’re executing properly. Things that break could be broken for awhile until you finally discover them. Plus, if you’ve been encouraging them all along, they might be reluctant to bring you bad news.

And finally, if you leave out the “E” or encourage, you have a good team that’s focused, takes responsibility, fulfills your reviews of them, but never gets thanked or encouraged about what they do. That could become a thankless job for many of the team members.

See how focus-offload-review-encourage, or FORE, is a complete cycle of stages? Those of you with leadership responsibilities, please take note.

September 24, 2013

Making the Technology Habit Work for You

Sometimes it seems we’re wedded to our technology toys. Before you know it, it takes away from the productive things you could be doing about your business or your career. However, unlike what some might preach, we can’t just leave our toys either, because there are useful purposes for them.

A recent article on the Fast Company website entitled 4 Ways to Cure Your Technological Distraction Addiction gives 4 tips on how to make technology our friend (enhance productivity) instead of our enemy (create distractions).

So here’s my question for you … do you think we can get people to stop tweeting pictures of their dinner entrees, any time soon?

September 3, 2013

The Meaning of Success

Last year, in a survey of 26,000 Americans, Parade magazine and Yahoo! Finance found that almost 60% said they regretted their career decisions. I find that an astounding revelation, and feel even more thankful that I have forged my own path with my own business pursuits.

Success is something that means different things to different people, but part of this involves making your life meaningful to you. In a recent Fast Company article, Wharton Business School professor Richard Shell offer 5 insights on what could make life more meaningful. One I was happy to see was #3, “Discover what you do better than most.”

In my mind, that’s how you start laying the foundation for success and fulfillment, whether you have your own business, or work for someone else.

July 8, 2013

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

The Second Boom has arrived, for Baby Boomers who want to start their own businesses. It’s not too late — I talk about it in my series of 3 training videos that are absolutely free just for opting in. Go here to find out more:

http://www.TheSecondBoom.net

Some people say that Boomers are past their primes. I say, baloney, it’s not too late to figure out a business that fits your passion and knowledge. And an old Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Start your Second Boom. Make it big.

September 2, 2012

Wisdom from the Original of the Mad Men

George Lois is known as the one upon whom the Mad Men, the popular cable series, is based. In his recent book Damn Good Advice, he offers a number of tips for success, with foundations in the advertising industry, but applicable to all types of businesses. Some of those tips are summarized in this Fast Company online article, which includes excerpts from the book.

Sound advice from the guy who created the brand names “Lean Cuisine” and “Aunt Jemima”, and the cult ad phrase, “I want my MTV!”.