What do you want your obituary to say?

What do you want your obituary to say about you after you are gone? Will it refer to you as a loving mother, caring person, philanthropist to the needy or will it refer to you in a somewhat negative way?

Take a moment and write out what you would like your obituary to say and then work to become the person that it describes.

This might seem like a useless task but it’s a simple goal setting technique used to make sure you are going in the direction you ultimately want to go

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Being polite doesn’t cost more

Organizations are constantly looking at ways to decrease costs and increase revenues.

What if there was a way to improve your organizations service at no additional cost? What if there was a way to make the people you are working with feel better and more important without increasing expenses? What if there was a way to make your customers or clients feel like they really mattered to you and the only effect to the bottom line is possible future business without increasing costs?

The simple way to do all of these things is to be genuinely polite to the people you deal with. Whether you are a front desk clerk, a high powered attorney, a business mogul or a coach, doing simple things like saying hello, saying thank you, looking a person in the eye when you speak with them or any other simple polite act can make a huge difference to the people you are dealing with and ultimately to the bottom line.

Address someone by their name when you can, thank them for helping you and ask if there is anything you can do for them and see how much more receptive they are in the future.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

It’s my fault, I will fix it

How often do you find a problem with something and when you bring it to the responsible parties attention, rather than addressing how they are going to get the problems resolved, they are more intent on giving excuses and explaining how it wasn’t their fault?

Rather than making excuses and diverting blame, take responsibility and get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.

Realize, when someone points out a mistake, they are, in most cases, not doing so to place blame but rather because they want a resolution. They don’t care whose fault it is, they simply want it fixed.

Next time someone comes to you with a problem, be willing to take responsibility (especially if it’s your fault but even if it’s someone else’s fault in your organization) and get it resolved as quickly as possible.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Your goals might not be my goals

Frequently, we assume that others have the same goals as we do. They might not be stated goals but people tend to transfer their beliefs and goals to others.

If an opportunity comes up for someone we frequently don’t look at the opportunity from their perspective but rather from our own perspective.

You might look at an opportunity and see great long term stability while they might look at it as a dead end job with no excitement

You might look at an opportunity and see financial freedom and they might see it as lacking in other types of freedom.

When looking at situations for others, try to look at it from their perspective and not from yours.

Have a great day

Lawrence

Do you know you?

Do you know the person people think you to be?

Do you think of yourself as a bright, insightful person yet others consider you to be a “know it all” who is so full of yourself you aren’t worth talking to?

Do you think of yourself as someone who is on the rise in your organization but your boss thinks you are at the highest level you can attain?

Do you think of yourself as a sharp dresser but others think of otherwise?

Do you think of yourself as a hard worker who will work all night to meet a deadline yet others think of you as a procrastinator who should have been done much earlier?

When you look in the mirror, do you see the same thing that others see when they look at you?

It’s important to know how others think of you. If their view of you is different than your view of you, it doesn’t mean you need to completely change, but it would be something that could encourage you to change for the better

Have a great day!

Lawrence

Can being too good be a problem?

People and organizations want to be the best but they don’t see the problems with being the best frequently until it’s too late.

Some of the problems that arise include complacency, delusions of grandeur, delusions of invincibility and a general lack of motivation.

The things that made an organization or person great usually include hard work, risk taking, discipline, commitment etc. However, when you become complacent, you don’t feel the need to work as hard. This might be because you feel you are so good hard work wont make you any better (delusions of grandeur). It might be because you think you are so much better than everyone else that even if you don’t work as hard as you used to, no one can catch up.

Top organizations sometimes forget that some of their best people were somewhat risky when they first joined the organization because they might have had some downside but also had great upside. When the organization gets to the top, they stop looking at those same people that made them great because they are no longer willing to risk the downside so instead they make the safe choices who don’t have the potential downside but might not have the great potential upside either.

The people who used to put in the long hours and who made the great sacrifices to get to the top are now being invited to do other things (speak to other groups, go to parties etc) and all of a sudden, they aren’t doing the small things that it took to get to that level (this would be where the lack of commitment and lack of discipline come in).

The real problem is that the people at the top of these organizations frequently suffer from the “Emperor has no clothes” syndrome and the people around them are so intimidated by the supposed greatness of these individuals that they wont point out the weaknesses that should be apparent.

There are numerous examples from history of top organizations being knocked off the top when most people thought it would never happen.

In sports, just last season the New England Patriots were considered a lock to win the Super Bowl after going through the entire season undefeated. After the New York Giants beat them, people started looking back and noticing some of the problems the Patriots were having in recent games but those problems were overshadowed by the fact they kept winning. Their superiority hid many of the problems that might have been apparent if they had lost a game or two.

In technology, when PC’s first became available, it was assumed that IBM would always be the dominant player in that industry. While still a strong company, they aren’t dominant in that field and in fact, when people talk about what their next PC purchase will be, you rarely hear the name IBM. Netscape was the dominant browser, if you wanted to get online you almost automatically went when with AOL. If you wanted to search for something online you went to alta vista or to Lycos.

When automobiles first came out, you got a Ford (and more specifically, you got a black Ford).

Is it possible to be an organization on the top and not suffer from complacency and the delusions? Certainly, but it’s something you have to work on every day. If you are much better than your competition, don’t compare yourself to your competition but instead, compare yourself to what you are capable of achieving. Continue the things that got you to your level and as the head of the organization, realize that even if you are aware of the dangers from being at the top, the people underneath you might not. Heads of organizations frequently are hardest on their groups when things are going bad but that is sometimes when they need to hear more positives than negatives. When things are going well, that is the time to make sure they are aware of the all of the negatives because others are telling them how good they are, it’s your job to keep them level.

Most importantly, surround yourself with people who can look beyond the obvious and when they see problems (even when the others don’t) are willing to point them out and make sure those problems get fixed.

Success hides many problems while failure hide many good things. Look objectively at all situations, whether you are at the top or trying to get there and good things will happen

Have a great day!

Lawrence