Monday, August 26, 2013

Golden Nuggets #1

I once heard someone say that information that can help you improve who you are and develop you professional and/or personally is called golden nuggets.  Here is my first installment in sharing my golden nuggets from the past few weeks.

Over the past week, I've had the pleasure of going to a leadership conference and obtaining feedback on the previous six months of my work in my new career track.  All of the information obtained has given me a reason to pause slightly and think through where I've been and where I'm going.  Yes, it's, it's great to be back on a professional path!

The leadership conference allowed me to be exposed to our senior leadership and hear from them where they think the company and industry is headed and how they approached their careers along the way.  The largest thing I learned is there is no singular pathway to success within our company, you simply have to have two things, the desire to work hard and well and possess an open mind willing to learn new perspectives and approaches.  Now, those are not the words spoken, but the overall message was just this.  The theme of the conference was Building Connections.  I believe the year prior was Making Connections, but since I wasn't there, I could be wrong.  Now, if the theme-line continues, I would love to see next year's become Managing Connections.

Now, back to the two items needed for success, let's focus there for today.  The desire to work hard and well seems simple enough, right?  Not really!  Everyone has the ability to work hard, but the desire has to come from owning a drive...a drive to succeed, own your work, take responsibility for your results, and a drive that comes from within.  No, it's not that simple really.  Own your work and take responsibility for your results.  That sentence right there is perhaps the simplest, yet most difficult to do as a human.  Human nature allows us to own everything that produces excellent results.  However, owning those failures is not quite as fun or rewarding.  What I've learned over the years is that even failures build leaders and success.  If you never fail, how hard are you really trying for success anyway?  You are following a path already blazed.  If you try something with great intentions and for all the right reasons with sound logic and it doesn't pan out...well, you learned what doesn't work and are that much closer to what does work.  Simply because something you did failed does not mean you are a failure, that only happens when you give up!  So, think about this and ask yourself if you really have the desire to work hard.  I can honestly answer I do!  I have much to learn and will continue to strive to learn every day in this new venture I'm in, by doing so I become better and more valuable.

The second item was never spoken out loud either, but the messages all pointed back to here.  The intent of the seminars were well received and carried the absolute right messages.  However, when combined together, the related thread and requirement was possessing an open mind willing to learn new perspectives and approaches.  Human nature also provides us with this little thing called comfort in routines and patterns, they make us comfortable.  Yet, stepping outside this comfort is where the real work gets done.  In order to be successful, change is where it's at!  Doing the same things over and over and refusing to change has been at the heart of many previously successful companies either at the brink or over the edge of collapse.  Be excited by change, this means you are being challenged and get to learn.  Change can bring new, easier, better, and more successful things and processes into play.  For the most part, these changes are already tested and ready to implement.  Take charge, take the horns, drive the change, own the the change.  If we change and are excited about where it is going to take us, then so will those around us.  Step out and step up!  This is where leaders are born and reside.  What's your address?  Out of the two tokens to take away here, this one is harder for me as well.  However, having recognized this, more of my energies are focused on this...I shall overcome my resistance and answer the challenge as well.  I am a firm believer leaders have traits unique to them, but without development, they never come to light or are honed.  It's my time to see what I've got!!

Life is a journey, not a destination.  The same with success.  After the feedback I received this week, I feel I'm on the right road and heading in the correct direction.  How many milestones I pass won't be fully known until retirement, when I reach the professional destination point.  In the interim, I'm travelling this road, it's what I am meant to do.  You in?

Monday, August 19, 2013

How Did This Happen? Life is Speeding Up!

When I first started writing again 5 or 6 years ago, I wrote every week...sometimes more.  I wrote about things I was feeling, experiencing, or simply thinking.  But, I wrote.  When I was looking for my next career after I left the military, I wrote even more.  I channeled my time and energies to ensure I remained sane.  Writing was my therapy.  And now?

It seems that I stay so busy these days that to sneak a few moments to write is stealing from something else needing to be done.  How did life become so busy that I forgot to record events, feelings, and dare I say, happiness?!

I do believe that is simply what has happened!  Family events, work events, and life events simply have taken up the empty spaces in time.  Yet, I must try harder to remember what got me through those times when things weren't so good.  Writing was easy when life was hard.  Now, writing seems to be hard now that life is easy.  I need to accept this challenge and return to the pages, document this happiness, and reflect on the journey.

I shall do better!  Life deserves documenting and life is indeed good.