Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Change the Outcome

I attended an amazing training session with The Coaches Institute this weekend...more on that to follow over the next year.  In the meantime, I want to share with you one of the things that occurred to me.  We all have patterns in our life.  Some of them are good and some of them are not.  For example, for me, it always seems that just when I've found an area in which I can contribute quietly and effectively (because no one else cares about it) there is that person who suddenly cares just as much and beats me out for the job.  I'm not proud to admit that for a couple of years, I wondered why I should bother caring about anything because this will always be the outcome.  This weekend I remembered why I should care.  Because caring is so much more fun than not caring.  I also thought a lot about how to handle that person the next time they showed up in my life to take something I care so much about.  Then it finally occurred to me.  If I want a different result, I need to do something different to achieve my desired result.  After all, Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  And you might be wondering what it is that I'm going to do differently?  Well, thanks to a wonderful weekend of insight through coaching by the best group classmates I've ever had...I realized that I have a tendency to undermine myself by floating ideas rather than proposing them.  It may sound like word-play, but it is more  than just the words.  It is the attitude with which an idea is floated until it finds a champion or actually championing the idea from the beginning.  It means putting my ideas out there as my ideas and gracefully handling rejection if they aren't enthusiastically embraced.  What sounds like the easiest thing to fix is now my main professional focus for 2012.  What will you do this year to change the negative repeating pattern in your life?  Join me in this ambitious goal!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Everybody Can Be Replaced

I will admit it, I can't stop watching Dance Moms.  If you've not seen the show, it is based on a dance instructor and her troupe of young girls who compete in contests and of course, their moms.  Last week was the season premiere and in it the dance instructor repeatedly stated that everyone can be replaced.  This hit me so hard and I spent a lot of time thinking about why.  I concede, the dance world is probably more competitive than I could ever survive, and that type of realism is probably a good thing for future dancers to learn at an early age.  However, my first boss out of college used to love to throw the "everyone can be replaced" in my face...repeatedly.  And I have heard some version of it, more or less, from more than one boss since.  So it got me thinking.  It is probably true that people can be replaced.  However, what does it say about the leader who uses that as a primary motivator?  Does the phrase come from a place of fear?  Either you are going to leave because this is a dead end job or if I'm not careful you'll take my job so I'd better put you in your place.  Or does it come from a place of wishful thinking?  Everyone can be replaced and I'd really like to start with you.  Either way, it seems to indicate some deeper meaning that the leader is choosing to leave unspoken.  So, next time you hear that glorious phrase...start sharpening up your resume.  And if you hear it coming out of your own mouth, examine what is motivating you to say it.  Let me know if there is another meaning I am missing.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Have you found your passion?

"Purpose and passion are the internal drivers that determine employees' performance and their commitment to the organization, factors that ultimately have a very real impact on business results. ... Without [individual purpose, an employee's] journey meanders, their actions lack meaning, and their passion is left unexpressed in their work - a combination likely to leave them disengaged, dispirited, restless, ... or worse."  The Purpose Linked Organization:  How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results by Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon.

We all know people who don't seem to have their heart in their work.  And it shows.  Some may not actively try to let everyone know how unhappy they are, but it doesn't work.  No matter where you work, when you are passionate about what you do...it shows.  And if you aren't...that shows too.  How you got there doesn't matter, but it is how you are going to get out that is the key.  The most important thing to do is to find out what drives you.  What makes you feel like you are contributing.  Is it something you can do in your current position?  If not, where should you look for it?

The Purpose Linked Organization provides short stories of what disengagement looks like and how following passion makes a positive difference for real leaders.  In addition, it provides a link to the Passion ProfilerTM and a short version of your Passion Archetype Cluster.  The book provides a in-depth look at each archetype, including roles or functions in which the archetype thrives.  As the new year begins, many people add finding a new job or progressing in their career path to their list of New Year's Resolutions.  If you seem to be less than satisfied with what appears to be a great job, I encourage you to check out this book and take the Passion ProfilerTM.  The profiler is eerily accurate and the book challenges you to look outside the box for ways to incorporate your passion into a meaninful career.