Saturday, August 1, 2015


What comes to mind when you hear the letters ABCD?

For most of us it will be "Above & Beyond the Call of Duty" - and rightly so too. However, the letters ABC popped in my mind as all we need to excel in our careers - "D" was added later.

So for this post, ABCD stand for Attitude, Brains, Connectedness, Determination.

A lot has been said & written about our attitudes and how they impact the rest of our lives. I even shared a few Attitude quotes over 3 years ago* When I think about "attitude" my favourite quote is:
"Your attitude, not your aptitude,
determines your altitude."**

Walter Scott's opinion is that: "For success, attitude is equally as important as ability." I believe Attitude is more important because attitude is about your perspective and response to people and things around you. It's good to have aptitude/ability (aka brains), but best to have a great attitude. A great attitude is what makes you humble enough to learn from others what you don't know - which leads us to "B."

B stands for Brains. To excel in your chosen career/job, you need to know and grow in your knowledge too. Having some knowledge is a good starting point...gaining more knowledge and skills is making progress. Anyone who wants to rely on all they knew...and don't want to know more/new things (pun intended), is already regressing because others will continue to progress. One way to progress/advance our knowledge and skill base is by the connections we have. So let's move to "C."

Connectedness is the wise realization that "no (wo)man is an island." We all need at least 1 other person in order to progress in life. It's one thing to stretch out your hand to connect with another person and another to know which outstretched hands you want to take a hold of.

It takes both discretion (using our brains) and Determination to stay connected with the right people. We also need determination to focus on self-improvement, despite the challenges we face, in order to advance your career.

So as you think about your career, think ABCD...and you'll experience success.

** Zig Ziglar

Monday, June 15, 2015

Who helped up...who can you help up?

5 quotes for you to think about, take to heart and "take to act"


Which of these quotes resonate the most with you?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Focus on your feathers...

I'm reading a really interesting book by Valorie Burton - one I recommend to you too. One of the things she stresses is the importance of knowing and focusing on your strengths versus being drained by your weaknesses - or areas for improvement - as we now like to refer to them. In her words, "...both Scripture and research show that when you focus on building on your innate strengths rather than fixing your weaknesses, success flows more easily and authentically."*
Thinking about strengths, the peacock comes to mind. I cannot remember if (or where) I heard this or whether it was dropped in my heart. It went something like "The peacock is proud about it's feathers until it sees its feet." Now that speaks to remaining grounded and humble - as we should all be - but the peacock's feet don't ever stop it from spreading out it feathers.
Likewise, we must never allow what seem like weaknesses or shortcomings hold us back from fully expressing our strengths and succeeding. What we need to do is pay attention to is improving our strengths...and where necessary, reach out to others who can complement us. Valorie puts it this way: "Leverage your strengths and the strengths of others."** Marilyn vos Savant who once had the highest recorded IQ per the Guinness Book of Records, puts it this way:
"Success is achieved by developing our strengths,
not by eliminating our weaknesses."

Moving that to "Feather-phrase," the peacock doesn't (and can't even succeed, if it tried to) do away with its feet otherwise it will not be grounded... so it just chooses to focus on it's feathers. One more thing to note when focusing on your feathers is that the quality of a bird's feathers plays a critical role in if and how well or even how high it can fly - if it's a bird that can fly. So to successfully focus on your feathers, strengthen your strengths & success will come more naturally. I know because it's worked for me.

* Successful Women think differently by Valorie Burton, page 74.
** Successful Women think differently by Valorie Burton, page 98.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Impactful investment

As we aspire to advance in our professional and personal lives, it is imperative to look beyond the money can or feel we should make.

I was chatting about a few colleagues about how people decide on who to vote for. One colleague shard a story about how a few years earlier, she'd decided on who not to vote for. According to her, a well-respected female leader was approached to give a talk to some young girls. The intention of the organizers was to get a leader to inspire the girls to follow their dreams and put in the hard work to make them come true.

When one of the organizers approached this female leader and asked her if she'd be available to speak to the young girls, she said that evening was free and also told them what her "speaking fee" was. Thoroughly shocked the representative shared the outcome of the meeting with the other organizers. Needless to say, the rest is history - especially the fact that that female leader lost the opportunity to make history herself.

Now I'm not saying that not speaking for free, rather than for a fee, was what made her lose the election - but I'm sure it contributed to it. How do I know? People pass on the story...that's the only way I got to know. I'm deliberately being vague about some details so I don't inadvertently pass on the story. For me there's a bigger lesson here.

Whoever said this - which I got from the internet - is spot on. Imagine for a moment if this lady took the time to speak to this impressionable young girls and even went further to donate her speaking fee (from her own funds) to the NFP organization. Yes Wow! What an impactful investment of time that would have been.                                                                              As we aspire to be better and get more in life...spend as much time, if not more, thinking about how you can give back - investing your time to empower others - girls and boys alike. Although we may not all be mothers, most women have a natural nurturing instinct and the best of us, nurture and empower those around us. Strive to be one of the best.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The stairs

When I stumbled on this quote I smiled and decided to share it because I agree with it.
I know that there may be a few people who have gotten to the top very quickly and in some cases, time has shown that "speed kills."

After reading this, I looked up the benefits of stair climbing and found a few that have some relevance to career advancement and even success in other areas of life.

  1. Stair climbing strengthens your lungs and heart. Stronger lungs allow you to take in more oxygen. A stronger heart allows you to rapidly deliver the oxygen-enriched blood to your muscle fibers. As a result, you’ll feel better. A more efficient body has greater immunity, so you may not get colds as often, and your likelihood for developing chronic health problems such as Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure will be significantly diminished.* EWE: Talking about success, when your success or elevation is gradual, you develop stronger emotional muscles and the chances of your being easily discouraged reduces.
  2. Every time you climb a flight of stairs, your body releases chemical endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter, making you feel happy and calm. Over time, your ability to focus and concentrate will improve, and you will feel less stressed out. Your self-esteem and self-confidence will improve as you successfully meet your fitness goals, become more toned and muscular, and are less distracted by physical fatigue.* EWE: Again, taking the stairs to success helps you develop and deepen your stress management skills. Taking the stairs to success has a way of grounding you so that you're not easily (re)moved.
Taking the stairs are about personal effort - except someone carries you up the stairs. That personal effort makes you appreciate the challenges others face and make your more compassionate and willing to support them. The power has to be in you in order to take the stairs, so then you are in-powered to empower others. Enjoy the stairs...

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..

** 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... 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.