Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Intentionality’

It’s funny how things pop up, isn’t it? Some people call it coincidence, but I’m not one of them. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe all things happen for a reason, whether we are privileged to peer behind the curtain and discover the reason or not, and a lot of energy is involved.

So, as I’m thinking about this a great deal lately, you might imagine the smile on my face when one of my mentors, Chet Scott’s latest blog post popped into my inbox. Here’s the link. 

I must be channeling Chet. To say that he’s often in my thoughts is an understatement. Chet has what I refer to as “clear vision.” He’s one of those people truly gifted at stepping outside what’s going on and cutting thru all the crap (Chet would simply say “shit”) to what’s really happening. I appreciate that about him, as well as in others when I see it demonstrated. Perhaps because I do it, as well (based on feedback from numerous sources over the years, not my own wishful thinking).

Everything in the universe is made of energy which continuously moves into and out of form; it cannot be created or destroyed…really, simply channeled. It flows between objects and people and between people and people.

So, other people’s energy affects how you navigate in the world. It truly does matter with whom you spend your time. This is why it’s so critical, especially when you are trying to effect change in your life, that you surround yourself with a like-minded community. Seth Godin would call it a tribe…those people who share your values, are on a similar path, passionate about some common idea or thing, and who lift you up, encourage, and support you, who complement you where you are weak.

Take inventory of those around you today. Determine if some of the people in your life have passed their “use by” date, and make the necessary changes you need to make in whom you surround yourself with. Your very future depends on it.

Read Full Post »

I read this story a while back about a young woman whose bike was stolen while she was at work. She worked full-time to put herself through school, attending only part time, and the bike was her only source of transportation. Out of frustration, she posted an angry note to the thief on a nearby lamp post, knowing the thief would likely never see it; she said it felt good to “vent.”

Someone did see the note, tweeted a photo of it, and the story ended up on the news where it attracted the attention of someone who had had a similar experience when he was in college. He replaced her bike, with a catch: She would have to buy a bike for someone in need by her 59th birthday (within 40 years)!

I firmly believe in paying it forward and do so whenever I am able…sometimes even when I feel like it’s a stretch for me financially. It feels good. And it pays off. In recent months, at a local toll bridge I cross a couple of times a month, I’ve benefitted from the person in the car in front of me paying my toll (this is a habit I practice every time I cross the bridge), so I have paid the toll for the car behind me anyway. Usually, what I see in my side mirror as I drive away is the person in the car behind me pull their hand — with their money — back into the car and drive thru. Most recently, however, the truck in front paid for me, I already had a dollar ready (the toll is 50 cents per car), so I gave it to the toll taker anyway, and pulled away, watching the car behind me. The woman behind me also handed over a dollar…I’ve been wondering how many cars went thru that day — before and after me — before someone broke the chain.

I hadn’t thought about the concept of paying it forward with a catch, until I read this story, but I like it. On the one hand, we would hope someone would do this because they genuinely had a desire to give of themselves and help someone else. The truth is, I think, that most people are so busy being busy, they simply don’t think about these kinds of opportunities. And we often discover that people who are given what they need don’t value it as much as if they have to work for it or personally invest in it themselves…So, perhaps, by paying it forward with a catch — setting the expectation that the recipient also participate in paying it forward in some way — might jar enough people out of their habit of running on auto-pilot, and start them thinking about how they can make a difference in the life of someone else.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Perhaps buying a bike for someone else is not in your budget. That’s ok. But what about a toll on the road? Or a cup of coffee? Perhaps you could spring for someone else’s lunch?

What are your thoughts on this? What stories along these lines are you reading and how have they impacted your behavior?

Read Full Post »

Last week, I spent some time in Huntington, WV, meeting with clients. One of them was kind enough to join me for lunch, and she suggested we dine at Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti. The place is truly a landmark in the city! And it’s a shining example of crystal clarity on who they are and what they stand for.

The Jim’s menu is very simple and clean. They offer a few sizes of spaghetti (meat sauce or marinara), and few sandwiches, a few salads, a few drink options, and several choices of home-made pies. Nothing fancy, just good, solid home-cooking presented and served in a no-nonsense way by very friendly staff.

When I arrived, about 30 minutes early, the place was bustling, with booths and counter space full throughout the restaurant. As I waited for my “date” to arrive, I observed the place. It’s decorated as I imagine it has been for years — reminiscent of an older coffee shop or diner; simple, serviceable fixtures. The front counter has a sign that clearly states the establishment does not accept debit or credit cards; although they do provide one of those slim-line ATMs if you need to get cash (I assume they prefer to not deal with the fees charged by credit card companies, but are not averse to their customers paying them, if need be!). Note that this lack of accommodation for a mode of payment we all take for granted these days has not slowed business at Jim’s one iota! Pictures adorn some of the wall space — clearly, many a dignitary has dined at Jim’s, including JFK and Senator Joe Manchin.

My lunch companion grew up in Huntington and has been a customer at Jim’s since high school. She shared stories with me of what a local icon the place is and how it hasn’t changed much in the many years she’s been going there, even though it is now managed by Jim’s daughter.

I’ve been thinking about Jim’s for a whole week now. It’s a great example of knowing exactly who you are, what you stand for, and what you’re good at. Jim’s puts on no pretenses and that’s exactly why its success has stood the test of time.

There are valuable lessons to be learned here. Can you state, with equal clarity and simplicity, who you are (as an individual or as a representative of some organization) and what you stand for?

If not, I encourage you to spend some time working on this. If you aren’t clear, imagine how fuzzy it is for your employees, suppliers, customers, and potential customers…and what the implications of that lack of clarity has for your success.

Read Full Post »

Over the course of my career — 24 years — as a professional communicator — I was frequently responsible for community relations. What that amounted to was interacting with various members, and organizations, within the communities where my employer did business. This could be participation in Chamber of Commerce activities, fundraisers put on by local/regional non-profits, Rotary, and other similar activities.

One thing that always stood out to me was this: People attending these so-called networking style events often stay in their little clusters of friends and colleagues…the same people they see all day at work!

I understand it from an emotional level. A lot of people don’t like having to strike up a conversation with someone they don’t know, or barely know. It leaves one feeling somewhat vulnerable and exposed. It requires us to step out of our Comfort Zones and take a risk. I speak from experience here; I would prefer to be on stage speaking to a full ballroom rather than have to walk into it during networking time only to be faced with countless tight clusters of people already engaged in conversation and have to try to break into one of the conversations uninvited.

But this defeats the whole purpose! If I make the effort to attend an event in my community, I am there to mix and mingle and get to know people outside my company. It’s an opportunity for a group of employees from one company to spread throughout the other attendees and function as Chief Marketing Officers for your organization; telling stories about what you stand for, what you offer, how you serve your clients, how you grow and empower your employees. It’s a chance for them to make important connections with people who may become a critical resource, a new employee, a new client at some point in the future.

And, yet, we allow fear and discomfort to hold us hostage and stay — safe — in our little clusters of office mates!

I was blessed to have a co-worker (still a valued friend and mentor) who pointed out the importance of doing “missionary” work. When attending any external function with any colleague (one or many), he encouraged the others to go off on their own and meet new people…and would simply walk away from you and model the behavior if you didn’t get started on your own. It was simple and brilliant! A practice I carried forward in my various roles with employers after that point. I admit, however, it didn’t make me popular among my co-workers; they appeared to resent my insistence they step out of their comfort zone and interact with strangers…but it’s important for the business.

How do you think about “missionary” work and what can you do differently the next time you’re in a networking kind of situation?

How might it serve you in your future endeavors?

How might it impact your business?

Come back and tell me your stories — I want to hear them!

Read Full Post »

Folks, I was honored to be invited to share the radio waves with my friend, colleague, and business partner, Tracy Worley, on her Gracebreak Blog Talk Radio on Monday.

We shared a half hour (a very fast half hour, from my perspective) talking about finding meaning in your life, discovering your purpose, knowing what motivates you, and how to recognize and reward your team. I’m confident there’s some nugget of wisdom in here that will help you, if you will take the time to listen. And I say this because I have been blessed to have been mentored, coached, and taught by some amazing minds — John Maxwell, Paul Martinelli, Christian Simpson, Mac Bledsoe, and others — throughout my life, and I do my best to be a river (picking up and sharing wisdom along my journey) rather than a reservoir (holding in all I’ve gathered for only my own use).

Here’s the link. Be sure to share it with anyone you think might get some value out of it. And be sure to come back and tell me what you think! And in the meantime, have an intentional day.

Thanks for taking the time to listen.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been involved in a couple of different situations of late that have brought the principles outlined in the Drama lesson of the Empowerment Mentoring program front and center for me. Follow along, and spend a few minutes reflecting on these thoughts to see if you may be creating some unnecessary drama in your life.

The key principle that is most active around me, recently, is this: Assuming malicious intent from others OR acting with malicious intent. Specifically, assigning motives to others, in the belief that one knows what someone else is trying to accomplish in a given situation, without the benefit of having a conversation with the person to discover what is actually going on.

Have you participated in a relationship in which you made certain assumptions about another person’s motives, that later turned out to be a misunderstanding or misinterpretation? First, it’s human nature to make up stories about what’s going on around us, because we like to have closure and we have a strong need for things to make sense. So, we pull in bits and pieces of information, snatches of conversation, and we make up stories that make sense to us, based on our values, beliefs, and life experiences. This doesn’t mean that the stories we come up with are based in reality, only that they make sense to us. The problem here is the stories we concoct are often far from the truth…simply because we are missing key facts.

The other consideration is that Intent does NOT equal Impact! It’s important to consider that there are times when we speak or act  that what we intend to happen is not the outcome we get. What that means is, we are sometimes the author of some of the drama in our lives, because we are not fully self-aware or as intentional as we might be. And we also tend to make assumptions about the intent and behaviors of others in our lives.

If you’re experiencing drama in your life, I encourage you to spend some time in reflection and come to an understanding of the role you are playing in the situation.

Read Full Post »

In many measures, being among this large a group might be a good thing, but in the case of today’s topic — Thinking — being in this particular statistic is not a good thing.

73% to 92% of people go through their day on Auto-Pilot

It should be astonishing, but if you are observant, you’ll not be surprised one bit. I say this because I believe you are not in that group. Just the fact you are here, reading this blog, is proof that you do think…you do, at least in part, go through your day with some intentionality.

I’m working through a process called the 4 Pillars of Mastery, developed by one of my Coach/Mentors, Christian Simpson. If you are interested in moving beyond your current level of achievement in life, and really propelling yourself forward, you’ll want to sign up for this (amazingly!) free program. Don’t be fooled when you do, however; it may be free in terms of a financial investment, but it’s far from free in terms of an intellectual, emotional, and introspective investment. Like anything else, you will get out of it what you put into it.

What I’m putting into it is a considerable amount of time, energy, and thought. You see, the results I’m experiencing in my life are caused solely by me; as are the results you are experiencing caused by you. So the only way I will improve my results is if I continue to improve myself at my THOUGHT level.

Today is the result of my best thinking — today. Fortunately, I have reserved the right to be smarter tomorrow, and I’m taking advantage of that reservation — every single day!

How much time do you dedicate to actual THINKING each day?

Do you have a special thinking place?

Do you use a journal, or other tools to help you thru your reflection, introspection, thought processing?

I highly encourage you to think on this today…and determine what you can do differently tomorrow to improve your results. I guarantee you, if you do this, you will win.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »