Positive Reflections

Thinking hats in Business Strategy

Did you know that there are many similarities between business and war? In both cases, the victor is the one who uses superior strategy against his or her competition. Think about it. Are you a victor or are you falling behind?

There are three principles of military strategy you can apply to your work every single day. The first idea from the military is called the Principle of Maneuver. The principle of maneuver says that you should be clear about the goal, but be flexible about the process of achieving it. According to the Menninger Institute, this quality of flexibility is the most important single quality that you will require for success in times of rap id change.

Be Open to Continuous Feedback

A key peak performance quality for you is to “accept feedback and self-correct.” Peak performers are those who can take information from their environment and even if the information is contrary to all of their planning, they can accept the information, modify their plans, and continue moving forward. They are always open to new ideas and insights.

Learn What You Need to Know

The second military principle you can use is the Principle of Intelligence. This principle of intelligence means simply, “get the facts!”

The most important thing in business decision making is for you to get accurate information. Facts don’t lie. It is important that you get the real facts, not the assumed facts or the apparent facts or the obvious facts, or the hoped for facts, but the real, provable facts.

Make Better Decisions

Perhaps the key job of the executive is decision making. The quality of the decisions that you make will be in direct proportion to the amount of time that you take to gather timely and accurate information. The very best thing that you can do, if you have insufficient information, is to delay making a decision at all.

Invest Your Resources Wisely

The third military principle applied to strategic planning is the Principle of Economy of Force. Economy of force means that you expend only the resources necessary to achieve the objective and not more. It also means that you commit sufficient resources to achieve the objective once you have decided upon it.

Since your own personal energy is all you really have to invest over the course of your lifetime, the military principle of economy says that you should be very selfish when deciding how you are going to use your self. Keep asking your self, “How important is this?” and more important, “How important is this to me?”

Action Exercises

Here are two ideas that you can apply immediately to be more strategic in your work and personal life.

First, remain flexible when you are working towards your goal. In times of rap id change, all of your best ideas can be contradicted by new information. Be willing to try different things. Be open to new inputs and ideas.

Second, get the facts! The more and better information you can acquire before you make a decision, the better your decision will be. The very best managers spend a good amount of time getting the real, provable facts before they take action.

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Neutralize worry situations…

Do you find yourself constantly organizing your life and working to minimize surprises and problems, but can never seem to stay one step ahead? In spite of your best efforts, this is not always possible.Are you already facing a fear- or worry-inducing situation? Don’t panic. Here are the four steps of what we refer to as the “worry buster.

“Clarity is EverythingStep Number One: Define the worry situation clearly in writing – fully half of all problems can be solved just by clearly defining them. Remember, “Accurate diagnosis is half the cure.”

Determine the WorstStep Number Two: Determine the worst possible outcome of the situation. What is the absolute worst that can happen?

Be Willing to Have it SoStep Number Three: Resolve to accept the worst should it occur. The first step in dealing with any negative situation is to be willing to have it so. Once you resolve to accept the worst, your mind will become calm and clear and you’ll be ready to take some constructive action?

Take ActionStep Number Four: The final step is to immediately begin doing everything you possibly can to improve upon the worst.The Real Antidote to WorryRemember, worry is merely a sustained form of fear caused by indecision. The only real antidote to worry is purposeful action. Get so busy doing something about your situation that you don’t have time to worry. As you take action, your confidence, courage and sense of control will return and wipe away your fears.

Action ExercisesHere are two things you can do to get rid of your worries:First, make a list, down one side of a page, of all the situations causing you any stress or worry at the moment.Second, on the other side of the page, write out the worst possible thing that could happen as a result. You’ll be amazed to see much of your worry disappear with this exercise.

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The Qualities of Skillful Leadership

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.

What’s important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

1) Learn to be strong but not rude. It is an extra step you must take to become a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

2) Learn to be kind but not weak. We must not mistake kindness for weakness. Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and not deal in delusion.

3) Learn to be bold but not a bully. It takes boldness to win the day. To build your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first sign of trouble.

4) You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. You can’t get to the high life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars. So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction. It can be cured, but it is a problem.

5) Be proud but not arrogant. It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in cause, in accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without being arrogant. In fact, I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from ignorance. It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

6) Develop humor without folly. That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not foolish.

Lastly, deal in realities. Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony. Just accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call it tragic, but I’d like to think it’s unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating. And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home.

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Has the water entered your ship???

In 1923 , eight of the wealthiest people in the world met . Their combined wealth , estimated, exceeded the wealth of the government of the United States (there was no Apple and recession then). These men knew how to make a living and accumulate wealth . It’s very interesting to read about what happened to these 8 wealthiest people in the world , 25 years later …..

So 25 years later……. 1. President of the largest Steel Company , Charles Schwab , died bankrupt . 2. President of the largest Gas Company , Howard Hubson , went insane . 3. One of the greatest commodity traders , Arthur Cutton , died insolvent . 4. President of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney , wassent to jail . 5. A member of the President’s Cabinet , Albert Fall , was pardoned from jail . 6. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street , Jessie Livermore , committed suicide . 7. President of the world’s greatest monopoly , Ivar Krueger ,committed suicide . 8. President , Bank of International Settlement , Leon Fraser ,committed suicide .

So, what happened? Where did they go wrong? They most certainly made lots and lots of money. They were very wealthy . But what did they lack then? In fact , as much as they knew how to make a living, they forgot to make a life! Instead, they just made Money! Money provides comfort and status, so true. It also provides food for the hungry, medicine for the sick, clothes forthe needy; and shelter for the homeless, yet, noteworthy to mention that is only a medium of exchange.

Our education system needs to share two kinds of education . One that teaches us skills on how to make a living ; and one thatteaches us values on how to live life , free from entrapment of chasing after anillusion of happiness . Many people are entrapped in that chase neglecting health , family ,the social responsibilities , the environment and moment by moment of real deep fresh breathing .The kids are sleeping when we leave home . They are sleeping when we come home . Twenty years later , we WILL turn back , and they’ll all be gone . Same goes for our health, dreams , and purpose in life . Twenty years later , they will all be gone or afar distant memory .

Without water , a ship cannot move . The ship needs water . Yet , if the water gets into the ship, the ship will face problems and potentially sink. Similarly , we live in a time where earning is a necessity ;

but let not the earning enter our hearts ; for , what was once a means of living , will become heavy chain, an entrapment and a means of destruction !!!??? So take a moment and ask yourself …. “Has the water entered my ship ?”

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Einstein’s Formula for Success

Albert Einstein had a formula for success. Can you believe that? One of the greatest minds of all time developed a math formula for success! I suggest you read this carefully—this may be the most important math equation you will ever see.

Einstein said, “If A equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. X is work. Y is play.

Z is keep your mouth shut.”

Einstein no doubt had an excellent sense of humor. Let’s look at the 3 variables in this equation. They are:

1. Work 2. Play 3. Keeping your mouth shut!

1. Work: Albert Einstein had a tremendous work ethic and because of that gave more to society and modern science than any person in recent times.

2. Play: Einstein, however, did not work 24 hours a day and made time for fun and relaxation. His idea of fun may have been different than yours, but that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t play.

3. Keeping your mouth shut: Finally, my favorite part of his success formal is to keep your mouth shut. I genuinely believe that the person who talks the least says the most. A friend of mine complains that the woman he is dating talks too much. I don’t know how to break the news to him; the problem is not that she talks too much. It simply is the fact that he is irritated that he isn’t able to talk. Now, let me just say this is not a generic man and woman statement. I am speaking about a specific person I know. His desire is to constantly talk and because he likes to talk so much, he will talk in circles. If you let him talk long enough he will repeat the same thing three times and then contradict himself. His desire is not to hear but to be heard.

Albert Einstein, on the other hand, had nothing to prove. He felt no need to be the “Chatty Cathy” he could have been with his knowledge. It wasn’t important to him to talk to everyone he met and talk over their heads to demonstrate his IQ. Instead, he learned the value of quietness and solitude.
Shift your mindset from being a talker to a listener. It has been said that you can make more friends in five minutes by becoming interested in others than you can make in five years of trying to get others interested in you! How do you become interested in others? You ask questions and then keep your mouth shut!

Dale Carnegie wrote the best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People. One of the key premises of this book was that everyone’s favorite subject is actually themselves and that the sweetest sound to their ears is the sound of their own name. Einstein knew this and realized he could influence others by choosing his spots to speak and validating others by extending them the courtesy of listening.

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Great Leaders Have Vision

One of the most important leadership qualities of great leaders is vision. This is the one single quality that, more than anything, separates leaders from followers. Great leaders have vision. Followers do not. Leaders have the ability to stand back and see the big picture. Followers are caught up in day-to-day activities. Great leaders have developed the ability to fix their eyes on the horizon and see greater possibilities. Followers are those whose eyes are fixed on the ground in front of them and who are so busy that they seldom look at themselves and their activities in a larger context.

The best way for you to be motivational and inspirational to others is to be motivated yourself. The fastest way to get others excited about a project is to get excited yourself. The way to get others committed to achieving a goal or a result is to be totally committed yourself. The way to build loyalty to your organization, and to other people, is to be an example of loyalty in everything you say and do. These all are applications of the Law of Indirect Effort. They very neatly tie in to the quality of vision.

One requirement of leadership is the ability to choose an area of excellence. Just as a good general chooses the terrain on which to do battle, great leaders choose the area in which he and others are going  to do an outstanding job. The commitment to excellence is one of the most powerful of all motivational and inspirational techniques. All great leaders who change people and organizations are enthusiastic about achieving excellence in a particular area.

The most motivational and inspirational vision you can have for yourself and others is to “Be the best!” Many people don’t yet realize that excellent performance in serving other people is an absolute, basic essential for survival in the economy of the future. Many individuals and companies still adhere to the idea that as long as they are no worse than anyone else, they can remain in business. That is just plain silly! It is prehistoric thinking. We are now in the age of excellence. Customers assume that they will get excellent quality, and if they don’t, they will go to your competitors so fast, people’s heads will spin.

As a leader, your job is to develop leadership qualities that exude excellence as your own individual, to be the best in your chosen field of endeavor. Your job is to have a vision of high standards in serving people. You not only exemplify excellence in your own behavior, but you also translate it to others so that they, too, become committed to this vision.

Great Leaders Have Integrity

The second most important of all leadership qualities is integrity. Integrity is complete, unflinching honesty with regard to everything that you say and do. Integrity underlies all the other leadership qualities. Your measure of integrity is determined by how honest you are in the critical areas of your life.

Integrity means this: When someone asks you at the end of the day, “Did you do your very best?” you can look him in the eye and say, “Yes!” Integrity means this: When someone asks you if you could have done it better, you can honestly say, “No, I did everything I possibly could.”

Integrity might be one of the most challenging of the leadership qualities because it means that you, as a leader, must admit your shortcomings. It means that you work to develop your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. Integrity means that you tell the truth, and that you live the truth in everything that you do and in all your relationships. Integrity means that you deal straightforwardly with people and situations and that you do not compromise what you believe to be true.

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