Pebble on the shoe, dirt under the nails, sliver under the skin -
Little things that hurt the body. Little things that undermine your performance. Little things that derail you from your objective. It hurts like crazy, it is annoying, it is derailing, it gets in the way.
What is the pebble in your life that does affect your performance? Remember, it is insidious, inconspicuous, obtrusive, alien, and absolutely annoying.
Most of the time, you do not know that you have it because it doesn’t feel like it until it hurts like crazy.
Take time to identify areas in your performance that gets in the way of your best.
Take them off before you stumble or ask someone to help you get it out of your system.
There is so much thinking, investigating, consulting, checking things out, and consulting back and forth, including more people, and more networks for an executive decision that should be done by a strong executive. This is utterly useless!
There is no strong executive to do that obviously. The time is slipping away. There is too much time lag consulting too many people whose views are not that important in the long run.
Take that decision and recalibrate as you go. There is no such thing as a perfect time to make a decision. When you have 60% of facts, go and dive in.
A few days ago I got an inquiry from a manager of one of the growing community programs in Central Alberta. She inquired about evaluation and how they should go about it.
One of the things I noticed is that from all the other networks that I have traveled is that she is the only one who had the courage to inquire about evaluation as one of the elements of her program development. The word “evaluation” conjures feelings of fear of being found out that they have failed, fear of being found out that their work is insufficient, just plain fear.
It is a normal feeling but evaluation is a standard program requirement these days. And the “no money, we are a non-profit” doesn’t work too. Don’t use these excuses to know about this important topic. The initiative to know is why good managers stand out from the crowd.
The question is how you are going to deal with the “you don’t know what you don’t know” challenge.
· The first thing is to do is to ask the right questions and acknowledge that you don’t know anything about it. Organizations refuse to seek outside help because they want to keep their independence but there are no resources internally that can actually provide enough momentum for the kind of change/result they want to see. Staying independent but not knowing what to do is not the smartest move.
· The second thing is to seek experts and people and organizations who have done it before and learn from their success or failure. Look around your sector and talk to organizations that are in better shape in this area and learn how they came to be. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.
· The third thing is to seek ways to get a beginners knowledge and understanding that will propel you to commit to small actions that are building blocks for something greater in the long-run. It is about being a champion or an initiator in your office. Tell your boss that you want to improve your program development skills and get the best practice in results-orientation out there. It will help your organization move incrementally as you seek to be enlightened and later champion progress in this area.
An inquiring mind is a good start. The more you learn about something new, the more you can begin to see its value and usefulness in your organization. Take small steps and you will never regret it.
A single parent mom aged 25 years old with two kids less than 5 years old each managed to finish her college education, get a degree, get a good job, pay the mortgage, raise her two kids, and now looking to get a Master’s degree after saving some monies.
A paraplegic has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro helping fundraise a million dollars for building schools in Africa. He trained for one year and with the help of trainers get him into shape to accomplish his goal.
How can they do that? Do they have superpowers?
No, they are just regular people with an extraordinary sense of commitment to a certain task or a goal. Their bodies, environment, circumstances, and conditions were never perfect for those goals but they set out to perfect and harness their assets- strength of character, wholeness in their lives, and getting support they need from loved ones to get to the place where they want to be.
Capacity is not what you have in the present moment. Capacity extends and grows out of the abundance of your vision to change, to advance, to grow, to move forward. Capacity goes with you in the direction where you want to go.
When organizations say they do not have the capacity but are not able to invest either their time, staff, and resources to build capacity, they are simply saying that” it is not a priority.” Because capacity-building is never without a cost.
When people refuse to build personal capacity because they are lazy, ill-motivated, disillusioned, given-up on life and work, it means that they have given up on themselves.
Capacity is not about the size of your wallet or your mansion or the type of the car you drive.
Building capacity is building oneself. Building capacity is loving your self to work on how you can be a better person, a better manager, a better employee, a better husband/wife/son/daughter.
Capacity-building at the personal level is not the crash diet that is never effective.
Effective capacity-building is operating on the basis of why and coming up with accountability measures so that change is internalized into the core being of your person. The ‘who’ you are inside is dying to be fully freed from the shackles of mindless and thoughtless self-defeating thinking and action.
It is time to build your capacity muscle. How big is your capacity? It is as big as your vision.
My two-year daughter knows how to pull the right strings. When she wants to play with the dog, she would say, “Nemo” a hundred times until we give in to the demand. This incessant demand will drive us crazy and will not stop until she gets what she wants.
In life and in business, are you persistent (not overbearing and spammy) enough to endure the momentary hardships that accompany the task of getting your products out to the door, getting donors to support you, getting to the right audience for your content, or getting to the right customers that know and value what you are offering?
Are you persistent and ever-acknowledging that getting to the goal is incremental? It is not that one shot, one sale, one product. The basketball player has to get hundred (or thousands) of shots to perfect their shoot. The athlete has to prepare for the Olympics one to two years ahead of the game. The farmer has to persist with weather, prices, and regulations that made harvest a truly happy result. The juggler in the circus act has to perfect his stunt for two years before he can confidently perform on stage.
Have you asked enough to get what you want? A promotion, a raise, a referral, a testimonial, a developmental project, a speaking engagement? A product endorsement? A Board Trustee for your non-profit? A mentor? A sponsor? A friend of a friend of a friend that can get you to the right venture funder? Have you figured out in your head or have you really tried asking?
Ask more. Ask often. Ask until the door is opened for you. There is no reward for not asking. You get nothing.
My goal of winning this year is not just a matter of scoring few assignments. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have those assignments to keep me busy for the last quarter of the year. A great kick-off for next year’s work actually. But yet, the consistency of my work has to be there, day in and day out, in bad and in good weather, in slow times and in fast times.
This consistency is what I would like to celebrate and further strengthen. This is not the goal itself but looking at what I have done since January, I am pretty set up for a more disciplined and targeted approach to acquiring the kind of business that I want for the next five years.
To the organizations, individuals, and companies that are putting in the right effort and the right strategy to use to achieve their goals, hang in there. Michael Angelo painted the Sistine Chapel. It took him a long time but each time, he was getting closer to his “ Obra Maestra.” Your work of art will not be an overnight success.
Nobody is an overnight success. Their discovery is an overnight success but their journey from zero to getting there is never done overnight. Show me one and I will prove to you in million times over that it was never what it appeared to be. Easy on the outside, difficult on the inside.
There is a lot of pruning that needs to happen on a daily basis. Discarding those that no longer suited you or have become irrelevant in your life is important. You do get sidelined sometimes but as long you keep your goals in the frame of your mind, it will stay as priorities.
Eliminating things that no longer fit your own frame of mind and future you have set for yourself is crucial. Those are beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that are self-limiting. It tends to slow you down and its weight will make you paralyze from inaction. Some of these are good for when you were younger and have those conditions that are sort of set for you by your parents, school, etc. But you have evolved as part of maturity. A 42-year-old person will no longer afford to just ” go with the flow.”
The winning behavior, attitudes, and beliefs will increase your traction, create the change that is balanced and sustained, and set you for the long-term achievements to come.
What elements in your life can you discard, retain, and accept as part of your winning formula?