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If you’re working remotely as the pandemic continues, you know the line between work and home has become more blurred and, in some cases, no longer exists. When you’re home is your office, you’re always at work, and more so than just checking email on your phone before going to bed (you know you do this!). So what can you do to try and have some separation? The answer depends on you, but there are options. Every option requires discipline, similar to knowing you need to step away from the chips and salsa about twenty chips before you do. You…
One spark can become a blazing fire. Think about that. It means every idea starts the same way: it comes into your head and you choose to act on it or not. This is why many people keep a pen and paper near their bedside in case an important spark of an idea comes to them in the middle of the night. Others may allow sparks to turn into an ember that will go out before the light of day. One thought can start a revolution. What the revolution is depends on the thought. Someone had to first think people…
We are just a few days away from a new year. Many of you have or will make New Year’s resolutions. It could be one of the standards such as losing a certain amount of weight, starting an exercise program, drinking less soda, eating less candy, etc. Maybe it is something different and more personal to you. Or maybe it is work related such as meeting new professional contacts, listening better to others, or having more balance in your life. The problem is resolutions are hard to keep. How many times have you had a resolution and it lasted for…
The title is a quote attributed to Ghandi, but he didn’t actually say it. I have no doubt he would have if he had thought of it. Even so, it’s a quote that has and continues to inspire people around the world. I read it to say don’t just talk, take action. The quote comes from a longer statement from Ghandi including “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world also change.” He also implores the listener to change now and not wait to see what others do. Again, it’s a call to action. Whatever you try may…
Beginning in 2014, many of you probably read my blog regarding having a checkup for you and, if you have one, your business. This does not involve the doctor, but it does involve all the other professionals in your personal and business life. Since that time, I decided to make this topic an annual tradition. This is based in part on the range of feedback I receive every year. Some of you said “What a great idea. I am definitely going to do that.” Others said “Sounds like a good idea, maybe I will look into that.” Another response was…
Community is important. It unites people and allows them to be part of something greater than themselves. It’s possible to be part of more than one community. Examples of communities you may be a part of include your family, people you work with, people you work out with, people you worship with, and people who share other similar interests with you. Note that not all communities contain similar people. Just because you are related to someone, work with someone, etc. doesn’t mean there isn’t diversity in some or all of your communities. This is a positive because diversity allows you…
In a few days it will Thanksgiving in one of the oddest years most of us will have ever experienced. In thinking about writing about being thankful or gratitude, I thought back to posts from the last few Novembers. I can’t say it better, so here is my annual blog for the week of Thanksgiving. This is a good time of year to think of gratitude generally and what you’re thankful for specifically. At the same time, it’s a great time of year to spread good feelings, which you can do by letting others know when you appreciate something they…
Success doesn’t just happen. Show me an “overnight success” and I’ll show you someone who worked hard for a long time to enjoy what seems like overnight success. True success usually only is possible where someone has put in the proverbial 10,000 hours to master their craft or business. Hard work and investing in yourself pays off, in the long run. If you aren’t willing to put in the time, your chances of success are minimal to none. You also have to know that working hard doesn’t guaranty success, but it provides a better chance. It breeds luck and opportunity.…
Where does inspiration come from? There isn’t a single answer. Something that inspires you may not inspire me and vice versa. What inspires me today may be different than what will inspire me tomorrow. The source of inspiration is ever changing, which is why it is different day to day and can hit you at times that seem unlikely, such as the middle of the night or when you are in the shower. Inspiration may be conscious or may sneak up on you . This reminds me of a lyric from the Pearl Jam song Release: “I’ll ride the wave…
Delivering a great experience to every client every time you interact with them is important. You want to treat them so they feel like they’re your priority even though they know you have many other clients and matters you’re working on. To do this you need to be conscious of the experience you’re providing no matter the type of communication. It’s easier to do this in person than on the phone or through email or text because of the immediate feedback you receive from observing what your client is saying and their body language. When communication is in writing, it’s…
Recently, a client told me about an employee who not only quit, but burned bridges with the company, its management and many co-workers on his way out the door. This accomplished nothing. Worse, before the bridge was burned (to the ground), the company would have considered rehiring this person in the future. People get mad, disagree and are frustrated at times. This certainly can happen when someone is leaving a company. This is short-sighted. These type of actions can seriously affect your future opportunities.  In business, acting on emotions can have a long lasting effect. You may never even know…
Making hard decisions isn’t easy. But as my wife says, “hard decisions, easy life or easy decisions, hard life.” This is true in your personal life and your business. In business, employees and peers are watching. If you fail to act, or delay acting, people will notice. This will negatively affect you effectiveness as a leader. This is about credibility. When you deal with issues, others on your team learn how their actions or inactions will affect their responsibilities and roles, and, ultimately, their employment. Many leaders leave negative situations to chance positing the situation will work itself out. Most…
The divisiveness in our country because of partisan politics is disappointing on many levels. People demean others they know and don’t know on social media and anywhere else they can leave comments. People physically attack others at protests and even drive cars into crowds. This really is unbelievable if you think about it. In many ways, our country is coming apart at the seams. I know people’s positions on political issues are shaped by their core beliefs. No one is going to change another’s core beliefs through an online comment, an in person confrontation, or even a courteous conversation. What…
It’s a skill to fully listen to one or more people in a conversation. If you want to test how people are listening, ask them to repeat back to you the message or direction you were trying to convey. You will be surprised at how often the other person wasn’t fully listening or took something different from your words than you meant. That’s right, someone can be listening, but take something different from what you said than you meant. I struggle with active listening because my mind goes into overdrive on what I want to say or how I want…
A few years ago I read a quote that resonated with me. I happened upon the quote this week and had the same reaction. The quote is “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”  This insightful statement is by Buckminster Fuller, and he is correct on many levels.  We all have potential, but realizing that potential takes work.  Think about the intelligent people you have known who are disinterested in learning or otherwise do not apply themselves. No matter your definition of success, in most settings, hard work beats intelligence. Learning goes hand in hand…
Teams are important. It takes people to have a team. For a team to perform optimally, each person must have a voice and be allowed to contribute.  This has been on my mind in relation to a corporate client who, while having a management team, really has a top down decision making process driven by a single person, the owner. I was asked to participate in a meeting on issues related to a legal matter. Each member of the team of four was allowed to speak. After each one spoke I watched and listened to the owner kind of acknowledge…