Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What time is it?

Time management is a skill that any & every serious-minded person must have. Time, once lost, can never be recovered. Jesus knew and taught the importance of right timing. In John 7:6 & 8b, Jesus said: "This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose... It’s not the right time for me.”*
 
If you do things before your time, you'll very likely lose something. King Saul lost the kingdom because he went ahead of time to sacrifice rather than wait for Prophet Samuel as he was instructed to.**
 
On the flip side, if you do things after your set time, you'll have already lost - except God in His mercy restores what was lost in that time.***
 
I'm sure you've heard the saying that:
"Today is a gift - that's why it is called 'The Present.'"
Time is also a gift - that can be invested, spent, wasted or lost outright.
Time will always tell what you did with your time (pun intended). Put differently, "Today is the tomorrow, we talked about yesterday." (Anon)
 
There at least 2 things we need to know and note about time:
  1. Everyone's time is different. Just as you cannot live by another city or country's time except you need to align your work to that time zone, likewise, you cannot use another person "timing" in life to determine or do what you need to do.   
  2. You cannot create time, you can only manage it & put it to good use. Any time not put to good use is lost forever.
To make the best use of your time, you have to know what your priorities are, plan your work and work your plan.

With 90 days (Q1) gone forever,
What are your goals?
What are your priorities?
What are your plans?

"What time is it?" It is time to create your future...your future begins today..

References:
* MSG
** 1 Sam 13: 8-12
*** Joel 2:25-26 - I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the great locust, the grasshopper, and the caterpillar, my great army, which I sent among you.  You will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied, and will praise the name of Yahweh, your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; and my people will never again be disappointed. (WEB)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Women as Leaders: What is different about leading other women?*

When I finally got around to reading the edition of the Glass Hammer where this article was, I was glad I did and just had to share a portion of it because the tips resonated with me.
As you read these tips, 3 things I encourage every woman (manager or not), to remember is that:
1.      You are a woman and will only be effective if you remain one in all your dealings – whether you’re leading women or men.
2.      Another thing that has worked for me when I manage people is “tough love” – women are great at this too.
3.      These 3 tips are already wired into you. We're good at delivering results through others. Just think back to how your mother got you (and your siblings) to do house chores or even how you're doing that successfully in your home now. So just function as designed…be authentic.
     
So here’s an excerpt from the article
Three Tips for Leading Women*
Here are some actions you can take to address your staff’s expectations:
1. Be friendly and relational with female staff members. Show an interest in the personal lives of your staff by asking about their weekends and vacations and inquiring about sick spouses or children. But be sensitive to cultural differences. In some cultures, it is not appropriate to share personal information outside of the family. The only way to be sure you are being sensitive is to ask people what is comfortable for them.
2. Share some personal information about yourself, within limits. For example, share stories about your weekends, family, and hobbies.
3. Listen to complaints and problems—but put a limit or boundary on how much time you are willing to do so. Let people know that you want to know when something is wrong in their personal or work lives and that you will help find solutions if you can. You need to know if something is distracting them from their work or they are facing other barriers to their productivity, and they need to feel that you care about them as human beings.
 
We can adjust our leadership styles to meet the different needs of women and men who work for us. Differences in our socialization mean that, as women, being relational at work is probably easier for us than for our male colleagues. Our challenge is to use the leadership style that works best for those we are leading.
 
When we take our "leadership" seriously, we can become healers because our care and compassion would help people at home and at work. When all is well with people at home, they show up at their best at work and everyone wins. Lead and empower others as the woman you are… When you do your best as who you are, one thing is sure amazing results and rewards will follow.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The heart of the matter...

...is the matter of the heart.

When you think about how successful you are or want to become/remain, it goes without saying that it takes more than willpower or "gut" - it takes heart and a lot of it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Value-add

"Value-add" has been a common term for several years - such that in some countries there's the tax for value-added (i.e. VAT). Well, it's not enough to mouth these phrases so we "sound" as if we're in tune with current phrases...we need to know what they mean and how to be part of that movement i.e. live it.

I like Albert Einstein's recommendation:
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

John Maxwell takes it one step further in saying that:
To add value to others,
one must first value others.
 
Hence you must seek and know what is of value - knowing that one person's trash is another person's treasure and vice versa.

The easiest way to check if you know what's of value is how you manage your time - and what you do with it.

Until you add value to yourself,
you won't value your time.
Until you value your time,
you won't do anything with it.
~ M. Scott Peck

“Time is more valuable than money.
You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
~ Jim Rohn
So as we start the 2nd month of the year, think about your values, your value and how you can add value to those around you. You're only as valuable as the value you add.
 



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Choosing the right mentor

Mission: A mission is defined as a specific task or assignment - which implies that it requires work in order to succeed. Likewise, entering into a Mentoring relationship is a mission. It takes a lot of work - on both the Mentor and Protégée's part. So you need to be clear on your mission - Why do you think you need a mentor? What do you hope to achieve in order to declare "Mission accomplished!"?

Oprah Winfrey said "A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself."

Empowerment: Prof Shawn R. Hitchcock* said, “A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future, and believe it can be obtained. It’s that feeling that someone is concerned about you, that they want you to succeed.”
So it is important that in seeking out a mentor, it must be someone with a positive outlook to life - theirs and yours. Without a positive outlook to their own life or feel motivated to move forward, how can he/she empower you? 


Networker: Your mentor should be someone who is a good "Networker."  

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn put it well: "One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you."  A good mentor should exemplify good networking skills.

Teacher: A good mentor must be someone you're willing to learn from. Like John Crosby said: "Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction."

Indeed nothing is learned until something is taught...and something is caught. So it's not enough for your Mentor to be a good "teacher," you also need to be a good/willing learner. 

Remember "Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere." ~Chinese Proverb

Optimistic:  You need to seek out and have a mentor who is an Optimist. Now that is not to say that the person should not be realistic, but like Helen Keller said: "Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
This ties in with what Bob Proctor said "A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."     


Reachable: Your mentor must be someone you have access to. It doesn't have to be 24/7, daily, weekly or even monthly but you need to be able to reach the person from time to time and you need to mutually agree on the frequency.

Face-to-Face meetings are encouraged but answers to questions or guidance can be provided by email or over the phone.


Wishing you a productive Mentoring relationship...and in time, if you're not already one, you'll become a value-adding mentor to others who come in contact with you.

Another good resource: http://franchisegrowthpartners.com/mentoring


Reference:
* http://mediarelations.illinoisstate.edu/identity/1213/nov/Hitchcock.asp

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Are you on the leading edge...

...or on the bleeding edge?

All of us have an edge* in life. And some of us also we want to be on the leading edge in our careers. And rightly so. As we know "Leading edge" refers to having the most advanced position in an activity.

The challenge is that in trying to do a lot and more, we stretch ourselves. In doing that, there is a high tendency to overstretch. When we overstretch ourselves and then stress ourselves and before long, you've gone over from the leading edge to what I'll call the "bleeding edge."

I believe that the best way of remaining on the leading edge is by being the best version of you...and doing your very best each and every time. As Oprah Winfrey said:
"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."

As we start this brand new year, aim to be on the leading edge, not the bleeding edge. Do your best. Be your best. Give your best and you'll be the best you.

Welcome to your best year ever...may it be blest in every way. Happy New Year!

Footnote:
*An advantage - something we're better than others at.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ready, Set...

... Relax

As I thought about this piece, I contemplated sharing some tips about how we can prepare to make more strides professionally next year. In the same thought, or shall I say mid-thought, I decided that even I needed to relax...hence the title of this post.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lasting success...

...is one that outlasts you.

Women particularly work hard to move up in life. So if all your hard work starts and ends with you, it is a waste of time - yours and others. Why should anyone need to jump through all the hoops you've had to when you can help them through?

To truly have "successful success" it must be sustainable and that is possible when we learn to live by Michelle Obama's advice:

When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. ~ Michelle Obama

As this year winds down and we prepare for next year, start looking out for opportunities to be and remain a successful success...