Thursday, February 25, 2010

7 Rules for Deeper Inner Peace

Leadership skills are not one skill set, but rather an amalgam of many different skills involving communicating, delegating, recognizing, empowering, and of course "inner peace". Leadership emerges from doing whatever it takes to do the right thing for others as well as the organization. Leaders can talk about what is right, but it only has meaning if they live by their words. To a member of a jump rope team, leadership is example. And so it must be for us.
Leadership is a cornerstone attribute that many in positions of power have used to better themselves, their people, and their organizations. As such it does not belong in the ivory tower; it is part and parcel of the fabric of a successful organization.

One integral part of being a good leader is having inner peace. When your heart and mind is focused towards your goals, it is just one step towards leading yourself and your followers towards it.

But it cannot happen if our hearts and mind is not focused. To focus our hearts and minds towards our goals, we have to gain inner peace in them.
What is leadership to a child? All of the below and more, of course.

1. Feel things fully
Expanding your capacity to feel things more fully – is one of those things that can dramatically improve your capacity to experience inward peace.

2. Remove tolerations
As humans we have this amazing ability to “make things OK” and to allow things to drain our energy in our environments.

3. Regret proof your life

There are many ways to regret proof your life : Do your best – always. When things get off track start fresh. Lower your implusivity – do things with your feelings and your thinking in alignment with intentionality.

4. Have a “connection” practice
Inward peace that comes from meaning and inspiration is one of the most rewarding elements of inward peace. Whether it is a meditative practice like walking, meditating, writing, or just being out in nature or being of service to your community.

5. Know what you want and don’t want in life
There are so many people in this world with out a clear definition of what they want, what success would look like – that when they actually reach it – they loose out on the opportunity to relax .

6. Take a positive stance
Attracting more ease in your life through the use of language is one of the more simple changes to start making on your own. There are many words we use for example which can keep us further from a state of inward peace.

7. Do the work
Doing the work or the practice that is needed to accomplish is not often talked about as a way to create greater inward peace. The key here is to understand what happens to us when we are willing to do the work towards our goals and intentions. When there is a full willingness – there is more allowing that happens, and it is that allowing that brings us closer to peace. When we resist – we often take ourselves into a place of frustration and isolation. Two places that are quite distant from peace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Micromanagement and Macromanagement


In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. In contrast to giving general instructions on smaller tasks while supervising larger concerns, the micromanager monitors and assesses every step.

Micromanagement may arise from internal sources, such as concern for details, increased performance pressure, or insecurity. It can also be seen as a tactic used by managers to eliminate unwanted employees, either by creating standards employees cannot meet leading to termination, or by creating a stressful workplace causing the employee to leave.

Regardless of the motivation the effect can de-motivate employees, create resentment, and damage trust. Micromanagement can also be distinguished from management by worker to boss ratio. When a boss can do a worker's job with more efficiency than giving the order to do the same job, this is micromanagement.

Micromanagers are managers that oversee their workers too closely. They are constantly looking over your shoulder, commenting positively or negatively. They tend to look at the details of an employees job many times during the work day, usually making unwarranted remarks.

The worker who is micromanaged will reason, "Why can't my boss just let me do my job and leave me alone? What mistakes are they looking for now?"

Micromanages will do compulsive overseeing with both good employees as well as those who are not performing well.

They engage the lowest frequency emotion, FEAR, in the workplace. Fear ----> frustration -----> Depression ---->Sabotage ----> Accidents ----->or Lack of Productivity. Too much micromanagement can cost a company its best and brightest.

This often taps into childhood issues for workers who had dictatorial parents and are now reliving that pain.

Remember that adulthood is often about moving past childhood traumas created in the first 20 years of one's life. In the 21st century we recognize issues, and hopefully deal with them, or else dwell in dysfunctional behavioral patterns, using them as a crutch to not function.

Micromanaging is a compulsive, behavioral disorder similar to other addictive patterns. People who micromanage generally do so because they feel unsure and self-doubting. Sometimes they are pressured by a supervisor above them.

Employees may see them as controlling, dictatorial, judgmental, critical, bureaucratic, snooping, and more.

Do you micromanage? If the answer is Yes and you wonder why no one has brought this to your attention, the obvious answer is that they are afraid of repercussions. Micromanager do not see the 'big picture' because they are too busy dictating font size and controlling everyone else's moves that it totally escapes you and your workers. They are probably not getting your job completed because they are doing everyone else's. They lose the respect of co-workers and fellow employees.

Micromanagers should seek out professional help, perhaps offered by their company. Seek out other fellow managers and discuss how they operate. Have group discussions with your employees to resolve issues.


On the flip side, we have the Macromanagers.

For the most part they leave their employees with a lack of decision making, especially when the details of the job change and they need immediate assistance.

Employees need guidelines and someone to talk to if they have a problem. Macromanagers leave their employees too much on their own. As a result the lack of direction and input is so lacking that an employee wonders if they are doing the job correctly.

Macromanaging can lead to inefficiency on the part of employees in regards to time spend on the job, work completed, and who they seek out for answers.

A boss who takes on too many projects, moving from one to another, and is therefore not easy to reach for guidance by anyone as he have overextended his time, will never get any of the jobs done properly, will always consider his employees incompetent, and will have to waste company time and money correcting mistakes.

For the best efficiency, there must exist an ongoing communication between employer and employee, that is not dictatorial, but gets the job done in the most efficient way.

There are souls who are very efficient, who do not micromanage, but cannot tolerate the inefficiency of those they work with. Yet they often have to work with people who are not equipped to get the job done, or they just goof off all day playing on the computer, coming in late, leaving early, talking on the phone, gossiping in the office, flirting or having sex with co-workers, etc. Often the efficient employees has to complete or correct the work of the other person. That must be very frustrating.

This takes us to another archived article about firing employees who do not do their job efficiently.

Behavioral scientists propose the presence of three psychological states that could result in a highly motivated and productive worker. The worker must experience:

1. Meaningfulness or significance of their job

2. Responsibility for outcomes

3. Feedback on the work performed

Wise management never underestimates people's pride and dignity for work. Recognition goes a long way. When the environment is happy, work translates to play. Money matters but that's not all there is.

At the end of the day we have to wonder whose fault is it if things go wrong, an inefficient employer who micromanages or macromanages, or an efficient employee who is wrong for the job?

This is almost like balancing a marriage or friendship!


Monday, February 8, 2010

Solve Problems Like a Genius!

Genius level thinking is not reserved only for highly mentally gifted. Geniuses have a system for how to work through problems, which they may or may not be conscious of. Once you learn the system, you can use it to solve problems the way geniuses do. The difference between them and you is that they've simply used their system longer than you have. Once you gain some practice with it, internalize it, and begin to use it automatically, the people in your life will see you as a genius to.

Here are the 7 steps to genius level problems solving.

1. Identification
In most cases, we tend to think that the symptoms of a problem are the problem itself. We then set off to address the symptom. After our time and effort has been spent, the symptom has been temporarily eliminated. Since we did not solve the root cause of the problem, the symptoms will return again and again. Geniuses spend a large portion of their problem solving time in identifying the true problem. They understand that a problem can be resolved once and for all if they can identify its causes. When the root causes of a problem are found, all of the symptoms of that problem also vanish. It's the equivalent of killing 10 birds with one stone. Plan on spending a lot of time and thought on finding the real problem. If you begin with a symptom, ask yourself what causes it to be a problem for you. When you find an answer, ask yourself again what cause it to be a problem for you. Somewhere between 5 and 10 "why's" deep, you'll find the root cause of the problem.

2. Mindset
When we have a "big" problem in our lives, we sometimes become overwhelmed by it. We see it as insurmountable. We don't believe we can get passed it and it becomes a major source of stress and worry. Since we can't see life without this problem, it seems unsolvable. Our thoughts repeat on the phrase, "it's impossible". Our mindset is that this problem has us in its grasps. Geniuses believe that all problems are temporary and solvable. Think about a major problem in your life 3 years ago. Remember your mindset at that time? You didn't know how you would ever get passed that situation. Yet, here you are 3 years later. As you look back to 3 years ago, you realize that the problem that was gigantic then is either greatly reduced or not a problem at all today. Geniuses start with that perspective in mind. They know that it's usually not as bad as it seems today. Also, they don't waste their time thinking about aspects of the problem that they cannot change. They know that a major part of any problem is their thoughts about it. So, if they can't change a circumstance contributing to a problem, they focus on the aspects of the problem they can change. Understand that new problems create new perspectives. Therefore, welcome the challenges because they stretch your minds. It is that mental stretch and growth that allows you to see major problems from 3 years ago as minor today. Fast forward the process. View problems as challenges, know that they are temporary, and that a solution can be found.

3. Vision
We typically direct our minds toward what we should do as the first step towards solving a problem. Then, we focus on the next step, and then the next. Eventually, we may hit an obstacle that makes the solution path we were following ineffective. So, we try again with a new first step, and another, and another to see where that leads. This can often result in frustration, lack of faith in how things are going, and the creation of brand new problems while trying to solve the current one. Geniuses make their first step visualizing the end state. They focus on a vision of the true problem and all of its components and symptoms solved. By doing this, they begin to understand how it will feel once the problems are solved, and they receive clues from that vision as to the correct solution path. In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey lists one habit as "begin with the end in mind". This is what geniuses do, and you can do it too. Know where you are going before you try to get there. Knowing the end state, and keeping it in mind until the problem(s) is/are solved is a major contributor towards resolution.

4. Brainstorm
When someone begins to think of solutions to a problem, they tend to think about problems in their past and how they solved them. Sometimes there are great clues there. Other times, the current problem is unique enough to require a fresh perspective. Also, fixing the real problem may require a multi-layered solution verses a standard one-action reaction. Geniuses brainstorm. They will sit down and think through dozens of solutions. Even the solutions that at first glance they may think won't work are viable solutions for them at this stage. Even when they think they've found solutions that are perfect, they keep going. They come up with as many solutions as they think they can, and then squeak out a few more until they have 20 - 30 possibilities. Then the magic happens. Combinations of those possibilities jump out to sometimes form brand new solutions to completely solve the problem. When they are done, they know that the problem will be solved, and they know exactly how it will be done. Take out a pad and a pen. Write down 20 - 30 possible solutions for the real problem you've identified. You'll find that it's easy to get the first 10 down on paper. Typically, you'll find that the next 5 are a bit off the wall and unrealistic. However, those last 5 to 15 possibilities are where your creative juices start to kick in. You switch from pulling solutions from your memory and begin creating new possibilities. This is the stuff of genius level thinking!

5. Plan
Most of us never plan our solutions out. We keep throwing stuff at our problems until something sticks, we go with it, and we hope for the best. Geniuses plan. Armed with the vision of the end state, and a solution or a group of solutions, they create a plan to implement those solutions. They determine what they need, help they need to request from others, the timeline it needs to be done within, and they move forward. Many of us have no problem planning out a vacation, a birthday party or a night out on the town. Those are the same skills you'll use here. The difference is that instead of a fun evening, you'll successfully eliminate a major problem from your life permanently. Isn't that worth taking some time to plan for?

6. Act
Procrastination, perfectionism, and denial are the enemies of action. When we know there is something major we must do, many of us all of a sudden find 10 other things that we think we need to do right now. We spend the time on things that can wait and ignore the major problem we could resolve right now. Also, we often stop our own progress because we don't think we have everything perfect. We'd rather not act and wait until we have everything perfectly laid out than to begin making strides towards resolution. Geniuses act. They act now, they act swiftly, and they act with confidence. It's not that they know all of the answers. They are confident in knowing that they will make mistakes and learn from them along the way. They don't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good, as Barrack Obama often says. When the time comes to act, they do so. Don't wait. Now that you have a solution to a problem you once thought was big and overwhelming, don't sit on it. Know that mistakes are a part of the process, and that you will make far less mistakes moving through these steps than just trying anything. Trust the process, trust your solutions and trust yourself.

7. Adjust
There are some folks that are going to do what they want to do, even when they know their plan has a flaw. Rather than change course along the way when necessary, they move forward as if their plan was written in concrete and they have no other options. Geniuses monitor their progress against the end state vision they have in their mind and adjust course along the way to ensure they fulfill that vision. They understand that as they proceed along their plan, they learn more, get smarter and need to make adjustments here or there if they are going to succeed. They are committed to their end state vision. They understand that their plan is a means towards that end. Observe the results you are getting, project your thoughts forward to see if you are on track towards your end state vision, and adjust your plan as needed. No plan is perfect, and all plans need fine tuning as you move further down the solution path. Adjusting the plan here are there doesn't mean the plan was bad. It's a natural part of the process that should be embraced if there is a need to succeed. These seven simple steps will aid in solving any problem you come across.

Practice using this system and you can become a genius-level thinker.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Skill Management and Success Needs Only 7 Essential Habits

According to statistics, more than 100 thousand people become millionaires each year in the United States alone! Overwhelming majority out of them is self-made and owners of business. This means, if you would like to pursue your goal of becoming rich, you have to start your own venture.

Having said that, the most important factor about one's success is belief in Oneself. It takes a lot of hardwork to believe in yourself and your goals because it is a natural phenomina that, not everyone would like to watch you reach the top of the ladder to success. For that to happen, there are few tips and tricks to start towards the journer to success. Mind it, these habits and thought processes are found in many successful individuals.

1. Take care of your body.
General health is conducive to mind power, of course, but you should also develop a few specific habits, like eating fish and other brain foods daily, or taking walks three times a week.

2. Take care of your brain.
A routine of weekly chess matches, regular reading, intelligent conversation, or crossword puzzles can exercise the brain and keep it strong. If you find music that help you think, get in the habit of using it.

3. Question everything.
Make it a habit to identify reporter biases every time you watch the news, or to challenge the assumptions hidden in every conversation.

4. Identify essentials.
McDonalds doesn't make better burgers, so why are they successful. Start looking at every concept, thing and situation with the question in mind, "What is essential here?"

5. Be a problem-solver.
A fun and possibly productive habit, is to look at everything with the thought, "How can this be done better?" Practice a few specific problem-solving techniques until you find yourself using them "before you know it."

6. Be self-aware.
It's crucial to maximum mind power that you learn to see your own strengths and weaknesses. You also need to know what's going on in your head, just below consciousness. There will be more on this in the next lesson.

7. Use your knowledge.
If you don't put your thoughts into action regularly, your brain may engage in fantasy more than productive thought. You're basically telling it that thinking isn't relevant to the real world. Play mental games for fun and training, but also be sure to apply the lessons learned to real problems.

You probably noticed that each of these 7 habits is really a collection or category of habits. Don't stress over how many you develop or how fast. The important thing is to just keep working on yourself.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

Source(not limiting to):