Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are You An Introvert?

When I was younger I always intuitively knew that I needed time alone after being around large groups. In high school and in college I always viewed this as a weakness and that I needed to change who I was. How could I do well in life if I came away from social events feeling tired when so many around me seemed to thrive on the action?

After a few years of work our management team took a Myers-Briggs test and I found out I was an introvert. At first I didn't want to believe it because it seemed like a weakness but the more I learned the more I realized it has nothing to do with good or bad only how I recharge my batteries. I just needed some down time to recharge.

After a few years in business I moved to the sales side of the business and that is when the introvert side of me hit home. After spending my entire day interacting with clients and co-workers, I would come home and be whipped. I had to ask myself if there was a better way? I couldn't ignore my family and my other responsibilities so I had to turn my drive time into my down time so when I got home I was more refreshed. There are always solutions to challenges.

The world is full of introverts: Barbara Walters, Albert Einstein, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Chevy Chase and many others. Being one way or another is no excuse to not succeed - no matter what you are like there are opportunities to improve, grow and become more tomorrow than you are today.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Will You Fail As A Leader?

Fear of failure if a major issue with men and women who are trying to improve, grow and increase in life. Many ask themselves if they can handle what is coming if they get the new promotion or the increased area of responsibility? In a recent Inc Magazine article, Les McKeown, wrote about the 4 Signs You Will Fail as a Leader.

In this article Les covers four areas we can look at in our lives and see if we are heading in the wrong direction. He begins with the person who knows everything and how that is the type of person who is destined to fail. I have never met a person who has 100% percent knowledge in any subject but I have met people who believe they possess this perfection. Often they end up babbling on and on in order to answer a questions because they are not sure what the truth is and then if they end up being wrong they can't admit to the failure. Isn't it better to just accept we don't know everything and then treat others with respect who may know more than us in a given field? Learn to ask questions and then listen to what others know. The counter to this is that a leader does need a wide range of knowledge so s/he is snowed by smooth talkers. It's a failure of leadership to be lead down the wrong path and then blaming it on others.

Les then covers the other three areas and I would highly recommend you click through to the article and read them. Ask yourself how much these four signs apply to you and work on improvement.

Being a leader is a lifelong pursuit - go ahead and get started in the right direction.

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day Message

President's Day is a great day to work. Some of our clients are off and there are usually a few minutes to consider the Presidents we remember on this day. Living in a country so full of opportunity and with a background designed to allow these opportunities is an incredible blessing. Thinking back on the beginning of our country and on the principles that allowed us to have what we have gives some insights into how we can improve our lives today.

When I think of our history as a country and what we have gone through politically and financially it is telling that some lessons are hard for us to learn. In the last few decades we have seen bubbles in our economy - the internet bubble, the housing bubble and possibly soon the commercial real estate bubble or the education debt bubble. How is it that we can't learn from our lessons but instead we need to repeat them over and over. These bubbles all tell me that getting something for nothing or getting something for less than it's worth will lead to problems. When I receive something without putting in the proper work, I don't respect or value it the way I should.

If I buy a house for no money down or if I have an internet company with a high valuation and no sales or profits I begin to live a lie. I have to provide value for what I receive. There are no shortcuts in the long run. In my current business I can only charge our clients for the value I bring. If I find that I am doing something that isn't bringing value to our company, meaning value to our customers, then I am setting myself up for trouble.

Always remember that without putting in the work, the value, you shouldn't take something, the reward. This type of life will end up with bad results and future heartache.

Hope you enjoy President's Day and on this day bring value to your family, your customers, your company and to your country.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Don't Sleep Until You Succeed!

There is a Youtube video I first watched a couple of years ago and today I ran across it again. In thinking of today's major sporting event, the Superbowl, it always amazes me to find out how hard athletes work and how dedicated they are to their craft.

This same dedication is seen in business when companies grow or succeed at levels greater than those around them. The message of the video, in my opinion, is to push harder than you think is possible and then enjoy the benefits of winning. Hope you enjoy the message of the video.