Friday, November 30, 2007

Chuck Norris is afraid of choking

The Chicago Tribune reported today that movie star Chuck Norris re-affirmed his intent not to run for public office ... for fear of "choking." Norris? Afraid? Choking? Well, sort of ...

In the tough-guy's own words:

"Let's say I run for a position in politics and I am debating my opponent and my opponent starts attacking my character and I leap over the bench and choke him unconscious, it's not going to help my campaign."

Ohhhh! Norris! Afraid! Choking! I get it now!

Isn't it interesting how a little context can so completely change the meaning of a message?

The underlying coaching questions, of course, are these:
How might YOU be misinterpreting others and how might THEY be misinterpreting you? And assuming it's happening, what do you want to actually DO about it?

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Favorite New Quote

Here's my new favorite inspirational quotation by, poet and gardener, Genine Lentine:
"The question I am asked daily by the world is this: Was that all you wanted?"
And here's my new favorite recipe for having an incredibly-awesome day: Ask the world for something that will have it sit upright in its chair and say, "Wow! You've got my attention. Now let me see what I can do for you."

Try it and see for yourself. (Just don't get greedy.)


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What Next?

On his "Nether Lands" album from so many years ago, Dan Fogelberg asked the musical question, "Where do you go when you get to the end of your dream?" Now, in the premier issue of AdvantEdge Magazine, self-improvement guru Earl Nightgale asks a similar question: "What happens when you run out of goals?"

For many people, success has a real down side ... Getting there. As counter-intuitive as that may seem, many (most?) people are far better at striving for success than enjoying it. To quote Nightingale:
"A person often feels when he's accomplished everything he's worked and struggled
for so long to achieve, he finds himself depressed more and more of the time ...
In fact, everything is finally just as he'd planned it for so many years. And
for no reason that he can put his finger on, all the fun and enthusiasm has
strongly disappeared. He's listless and unhappy and he can't think of a single
reason why."
Well the reason why is simply this - there's no "What Next?". After a lifetime of striving for success, where DO you go when you get to the end of your dream.

Now some may say this is a pretty high-class problem to have. And it is. But that doesn't mean it still isn't a problem. Fortunately, the answer is pretty self-evident:
  1. Congratulate yourself on your success to date.
  2. Get yourself some new goals.
  3. Start working on them with all the vim and vigor you can muster.
So what goals are YOU working on?

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Thursday, July 10, 2003

Why We Work

William Butler Yeats once wrote: "The intellect of man is forced to choose perfection of the life, or of the work". Yeats, like many of us, could not imagine a proper balance between work and life. (Note that he died in 1939 - the year that the Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind were first released - the year that new cars cost only $750.) Who knew the work/life balance conversation had being going on for so long?!

Apparently the Harvard Business Review did because in a side-bar article titled, "Why We Work - That Is the Question," (June 2003, page 99) Yeat's quote is referenced. "Although Yeats's extreme view does not hold true in Europe," it reads, "it does in the Unted States where a fierce work ethic has imposed a certain rigidity on assumptions about what motivates people on the job." It then goes on to deliniate four misconceptions American leaders then to have about employees:

(1) Everybody is the same;
(2) Everybody wants the same thing out of work;
(3) Everybody wants to be promoted;
(4) Everybody wants to be a manager.

What do YOU think about this? Because chances are good that the views you hold are dramatically affecting the way you interact with people up, down, and across your organization. Why? Because the assumptions you bring to the workplace are "deeply tied to ways that we reward, motivate, hire, and fire" employees. That would explain why your people-plans never seem to work as well as you expected, wouldn't it?!

Dorothy said, Oh, Auntie Em ----- there's no place like home!"." And for many, work is like a home-away-from-home. But it's essential that you realize that not everyone is coming from the same place ... and act accordinly.

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Monday, June 23, 2003

Learning New Skills

I did a search through BlogStreet this morning because I've been thinking about learning new skills and wanted a few links to point to in today's entry. One site I came across is called McGhee's Musings which, by the way has a FABULOUS quote as it's subheading: "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker.

Hmm. There's no cure for curiosity?! I think I really like that! As a business and personal life coach, a large part of my job is helping my clients become more engaged with their work - more curious with what's going on in their lives. Somehow it's comforting to know that there's no cure for that!

In McGhee's post, he reflects on the 'paradox' of us needing to spend more time reflecting on our learning (so that the learning occcurs) but being unable to do so because of the general lack of time available to us. It reminded me of another quote, not by Dorothy Parker, but by Doug King:

"Learn to pause.... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you."

.... (pause) ....

McGhee also referenced an entry from the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site by Stever Robbins called, "Organizational Learning is No Accident." In it Robbins writes about how organizations seemingly fight 'tooth and nail' AGAINST learning. "Ultimately," he warns, "organizational learning is doomed to failure unless people can learn."

Strong words. But spot on. And great validation for retaining the services of a business management coach and mentor because in my view, organizational development does not occur without a groundswell of new INDIVIDUAL learning. "Work with the managers whose employees are affected to direct money, people, and time in support of the learning," he says. "Schedule time for learning. Make learning an explicit part of your job, rather than something you hope happens."

If you don't take the time to learn new skills, and if you don't MAKE the time to recognize the new skills you've recently learned, then you're truly missing out on one of the absolute best parts of working for a living. The personal satisfaction that comes from doing something you didn't know to do is sweeter than any pat-on-the-back, kudo, or thank-you-very-much that your boss may happen to give you.

Besides organizations, by and large, do a pretty poor job of employee recognition. So why would you want to leave something as important as that up to someone else?

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