Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Take an Idea and Run Away With It

In this day and age of “like” buttons, it’s fairly easy to show appreciation for good ideas. We see them every day in social media and when we like them, we “like” them. And then we move on to appreciate and “like” other things. Here’s the problem, we often end with clicking the like button and nothing else. When that happens, all the good ideas we see do not contribute to our growth. 

Here’s my recommendation. When you see a good idea, pour over it, reflect on it, ask how useful it can be for you and figure out how you can apply it. Allow yourself to be excited enough by the idea to run away with it.  When Steve Jobs went to Xerox’s Palo Alto research center in the 70’s he got excited by a demonstration of  a $300 computer mouse that he pulled all stops to make a $15 mouse for Apple. Read the whole story here to find out how much more ideas Steve Jobs ran away with.

Here's a personal story. Last year, I was invited to talk about social media marketing in one of DTI's public seminars for people who are interested to start a business.  It was pretty uneventful. A few people came. I shared what I know, they asked questions, I answered  and then we're done. I was never invited again. I already forgot all about it. Last week, one of the participants connected with me on Facebook. She told me that she like what she learned from my talk last year, she is now applying it as she starts her peanut butter making and distribution business! You can just imagine my happiness on knowing that the short stint (2 hours) I had with her last year paid off! The message here is this; its not about how much knowledge you gather, it's about how you use the knowledge to pursue your goal or push an agenda.

Here are a couple of questions to get you started. What idea have you read, hear of or thought of that excited you so much lately? What did you do with it?  

Now, here’s an instruction; APPLY IT!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Practice Being Self-Driven

Some people thrive on recognition. I know this to be true because I am one of them. You probably are too. This is why managers should learn to inspire, appreciate other people's work and be generous with recognition.

Nothing wrong with that. However, to be paralyzed by lack of recognition or to be unmotivated because of poor supervision is self-destructive. I often hear people complain about their supervisors' lack of concern that leads to their lack of motivation or commitment to perform well.  Valid or not, having someone else to blame for one's poor performance doesn't change the fact that one is performing poorly and will likely lead to poor career outlook.

My suggestion is to learn to be self-motivated. We all need to learn to be our own source of inspiration and recognition. Being self-motivated is a good training for leadership. Up there at the helm, recognition come in trickles. You create your own source of inspiration. It often comes from the fact that you set your own challenges and the hurdles only make you strive some more. Being self-driven therefore means setting your own bar of performance and keeping your eyes on your goal in the horizon. When what you want to achieve is clear and compelling, very few things can stop you from pursuing and eventually achieving it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Be Assertive

Think about it. How many times did these things happen to you?
  • You knew the answer but you did not raise your hand to answer
  • You knew the problem and had a solution in your mind but you did not speak up
  • You did not understand but you didn’t ask
  • You needed help but you did not ask or wanted to offer it but you did not reach out.

What could have been?
You could have built your reputation. You could have helped someone. You could have done better.  You could have shown leadership. You could have gotten help. Of course it could have backfired, you could have been embarrassed. But what is the price you’re paying for avoiding embarrassment?
  • An opportunity to lead
  • An opportunity to get what you want
  • An opportunity to know better
  • An opportunity to build relationship
  • An opportunity to succeed
  • An opportunity not to be afraid of being wrong

Assertiveness is the ability to speak in a manner that’s forceful but not  pushy, humble but not in a pushover manner.  Assertive is neither  aggressive nor passive. It is adult  and professional.  I enjoin you to explore it, build your skill in it, see how it  will open doors for you in the immediate and the long term.


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