September 29, 2009

Strengthen your CORE

In order to condition your body to become more fit and powerful, you have to start with strengthening your core. It is the foundation of your overall strength and flexibility. Today, let's focus on optimizing our "professional core" by working on our A.B.S.:

A - Alignment: Are your values and beliefs in unison with what you are trying to accomplish? Passion and engagement flow at work when it is an extension of who you are.

B - Brand: What is unique about you? What makes you stand out?
Focus on what differentiates you from the crowd. Start developing those strengths on a daily basis.

S - Strategy: What is your game plan?
Once you've figured out what you believe in and what makes you different, draw up a plan to achieve your goals. Effort and perseverance are the difference between success and failure.

Strengthening your A.B.S. will make you a more valuable asset in the professional world. Take some time today to evaluate where you are and what direction you are headed in. A strong "core" is vital to optimal performance!

September 22, 2009

Accidentally on Purpose

Last night this Gen Y focused sitcom debuted on TV asking the question, "How should we handle our mistakes?"

1) Take Responsibility. In this day and age, we see public figures lie and avoid the truth by hiring lawyers and pleading the 5th. By denying something never happened, it usually means you are hiding the facts. We're all prone to making mistakes so the next time you make one, ADMIT it!

2) Apologize
. Is it that hard to say sorry? Push your pride aside and be humble. Whether you intended to hurt someone or not, ask for forgiveness. Regardless of their response, at least you did the right thing.

3) Learn & Move On.
Time heals. If you've done steps 1 and 2, learn from your mistakes and get on with your life. Don't bury yourself. Shame and guilt are self-inflicted feelings. Only you can release yourself from them. Don't dwell on your shortcomings because you can't change the past. If you don't make the same mistake twice, you've learned and become a better person!

It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN we make our next mistake. It's how you handle your mistakes that shows your true character. Take responsibility, apologize, learn and move on! Sometimes a huge mistake can turn into a tremendous learning opportunity! Learn from it and continue to grow forward!

September 15, 2009

Happy Gilmore

Happy Gilmore was full of raw talent, but he needed help from several coaches throughout the movie in order to succeed.

Virginia helped him be more professional. Happy used foul language and inappropriate behavior on the golf course. She helped control his temper and think about what type of impression he wanted to leave on his audience.

Chubs provided training and skill development. Happy had a lot of power, but no touch. One part of his game was strong, but Chubs helped him with the other parts of his game that were lacking.

Grandma provided the motivation. Grandma's house was evicted and the only way to get it back was to play golf. Whenever he got down on himself, he remembered his goal of playing: to save grandma's house.

Happy Gilmore is a great illustration of the coaches we need in life. They give us perspective, knowledge and guidance. If you want to develop and grow forward, turn to a coach!

September 8, 2009

Broken Windows

Chief of Police William Bratton has produced extraordinary results in New York and Los Angeles. One of his successful strategies is the "Broken Windows" program. Here is a summary of the theory:

"Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows.
Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars."

The theory thus makes two major claims: that further petty crime and low-level anti-social behavior will be deterred, and that major crime will, as a result, be prevented.

What if we applied this theory to being professional?
This is what it would look like:

1) Pay Attention to the Little Details.

* Proofread your e-mails before sending

* Be punctual to meetings

* Dress to impress

2) Little Changes Produce Big Results.

* Communication is clear and concise

* People feel respected

* Great first impressions are made

Minor fixes cultivate major advances. People observe what we do more than they listen to what we say. Start today by paying special attention to the small things that make a big impression! Being professional means taking pride in the small things that make a big difference!

September 1, 2009

Don't Take it Personal!

Hearing criticism is challenging to deal with. Regardless where it comes from, our natural reaction is to get defensive. On the other hand, without feedback, you cannot measure your performance. How would you benefit if you changed your perspective on feedback?

Listen Objectively. Feedback is tough to take because we filter it subjectively. We take it as someone judging us and we miss the message. Some feedback can be painful, but if you can hear the objective message, you can go forward from there.

Learn From It. "Whatever doesn't hurt me, makes me stronger." This statement is both true and false. Feedback can hurt, but there is much to prosper from. Get past your ego, improve and move on. If you don't repeat the same mistake again, you've probably learned from it.

Sense of Urgency. Past successes easily produce complacency. We react negatively to feedback because we think too highly of ourselves. I'm not saying to have low self-esteem, but don't think you're above reproach. Everyone can get better, including you! Don't bask in your past glories. Act with a sense of urgency by focusing on the critical issues and be driven to win now!

Feedback gets easier to take, when you welcome it. Think about it. You learn more from your past failures than successes. What worked before, won't necessarily work now. Make this attitude adjustment and personal growth is just around the corner!