Sunday, May 27, 2012

Are You REALLY Connecting?

We have a major problem facing us today that most people are unaware of.  This plague is wide-spread and is negatively affecting our relationships, our ability to communicate, and our personal well-being.

The issue?  We think we are connecting with others and we're not. 

Human beings are hardwired to be social creatures.  We seek to reach out and connect in any way we can.  Proof of this is how we are using today's technology.  Think of the many high-tech tools that have been developed to help us connect: Phones...The internet...Email...Texting.  The list goes on and on.  People are using these options to fulfill the primal urge to connect with others - but are failing miserably.  Why?

People have mistakenly viewed the passing of information over these technical venues as connecting when, in fact, in many ways, these tools have served to further distance ourselves from those we wish to most engage.  We are "touching base" with one another - sharing information and assuming that this effort is "connecting" us...but then being disappointed that we don't feel more connected afterwards.  Sound familiar?

The reason is that the technology strips out most of the human element.  The emotion/feelings - the actual humanity of the other person is simplified ("dumbed down") into electronic bits.  Ones and zeroes.  There's no eye contact, no touching, no real time body language...only data.  NOT the stuff good relationships are made of.

This superficial "transaction" leads to the atrophy of our relationship muscles.  Ironically, in the midst of us "connecting" with people all day long on social media, we become less genuinely connected than ever before.  What a shame.  And what a disaster for our human race.

There's nothing wrong with using technology as a tool.  The problem comes when we expect it to be the foundation of a REAL human relationship.  That requires humans who actually interact.  In REAL life.

Technology can start the conversation, but really connecting requires meaningful, personal contact.  Put down the device and make time to put REAL life into your relationships (and life).

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Being Adaptable Is A Weakness?

We all deal with life's ever-changing circumstances.  Often, we hear that "going with the flow" or "getting along" can help grease the "gears of the community machine".  While it is true that being adaptable can be a valuable strength, it is also true that a strength overdone actually becomes a weakness.

Certain things, such as principles, are constants (and rightly so) and, therefore, should never be compromised.  To do so, ultimately, invites a lack of integrity - which leads to ineffectiveness and sub-optimization.

Adapting to certain things in life is all well and good, but it should be a conscious decision based on the bigger picture.  Overdone, too much compromise leads to settling for the status quo.  Settling too long leads to a rut.  Ruts never lead to growth and good health.

The key consideration is whether or not adapting for short-term gain allows for long-term growth.  If two people cannot collaborate for some reason, then compromise CAN be a fair option, but ONLY if there is an agreement to revisit the situation with a commitment to continued mutual growth. If all interests are not served by the decision in the long-run, then the "loser" is settling for mediocrity.

And being sub-par is NEVER healthy.  Finding that "sweet spot" of being adaptable enough to adjust effectively to the every day changes is critical to success.  Simply latching on to adaptability as a way to get through life with the least confrontation merely guarantees a life based on the lowest common denominator.

Something NO one will ever get passionate about.  Ever.

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

New Projects Goal: Thrilling...and Terrifying?

One of the Producers of this year's Academy Awards made a very interesting comment. He said "I know a project is a good one when I'm 50% thrilled and 50% terrified."

What a surprising...and profound statement!

Imagine if that were your new criteria from now would your career change? We love the thought of experiencing the thrill of making a difference and achieving things that we are passionate about. Then, couple with that the terror of not being completely in control - of not being sure how to accomplish what must be done to be successful. Maybe even not even being sure that you have the skill or resources or (whatever) to pull it off without "going down in flames".

Wow. Kinda intriguing, eh?  For me, it sounds like a pretty good definition of being fully alive.

Actually, if we really analyze our very best moments - when we've done transformational things beyond our expectation - we have done just that. We expect to be able to do what we currently can do...but that never stetches us or causes us to grow. The only time we can really exceed expectations is to attempt more than we can successfully this moment.

The striving for a risky goal just out of reach is what builds skills, knowledge, and ability...and reveals character.

How far we go depends on how much we grow. How much we grow depends on how much (and how often) we risk beyond our current abilities.

Isn't it interesting how a single comment can be a catalyst for deeper thought - and, if we choose to truly act - an improvement in behavior/direction.

Now excuse me while I go terrify myself...

Think about it...but more importantly, act on!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Doing" World-Class

One of my greatest disappointments - and frustrations - is how people view the success of legitimate world-class organizations.  I often hear how "normal people" can't possibly hope to achieve the amazing results of such industry leaders because of some supposed "special" abilities, resources, people, or circumstances that all others do not have.

To that I say "What a load of garbage"!

Working directly with dozens of Fortune 500 companies, I have seen first-hand exactly what they do (and don't do) to achieve the outcomes that everyone marvels at, and one thing has become evident: Other than some technical patented widget/process/design, they all have the same access to resources as you or anyone else.

An outrageous claim?  I challenge anyone to identify one thing they have that you don't (besides the scale that results in success over a period of time).  They have offices, computers, paper, phones, budgets, products, customers, employees, leaders, money, time, etc.  Just like you do. 

The only significant difference is the WAY that they utilize those resources.

They have better results than anyone else because they approach all the same issues that you have (leadership, teamwork, passion, time management, creativity/innovation, hiring, training, communication, recognition, etc.) BETTER than anyone else.  Period.

The other thing world-class companies do consistently better than anyone else?  How they implement.

If you examine every huge success and you'll discover a series of actions that created the ultimate outcome. 

All do-able (they proved it by doing it - with NO superhuman powers.)
All started with a first step (which was followed by every other step until they succeeded.)

The truth is that ANYone can attain world-class results...IF they improve HOW they approach their business.  Stop working harder on things that don't optimize your potential and start adapting proven success practices - then improve them daily to stay on your A-game.

Want help?  Go to for proven results.

Think about it.  But more importantly do something about!