Tag Archives: success

Let Me Add Value To Your Values

The world we live in today seems to be getting more and more about the materialistic things in life. Who has the bigger house, number of vacation homes, most plastic surgery, craziest parties, most popular kids, most visible job, etc. We only need to turn on the TV to see that today’s shows, advertising and news have changed in a negative way and they have changed us as a society.

It is sad to see that so many  have truly lost touch of strong, sustainable and ethical values. It seems many have been willing to compromise their beliefs and values to gain position, more money and even a physical edge. With all that said, I ask this simple question, have you lost touch of your own values? What are the things that are influencing what you stand for and why you stand for them? Are you willing to hold tight to those values when the storms of adversity come crashing in?Add-Value

I may not have all the answers but my hope is that I might trigger something in you to want to bring your best values forward. As each individual, company, organization and culture does this, we can take back this great world we live in and find greater purpose, happiness and fulfillment. We will achieve exceptional results in all that we do as we focus on ensuring that our values are the foundation for all that we do.

Let me help you identify, develop and strengthen your values by being your personal Values Coach or for an organization, your Values Consultant.

Contact me today by visiting www.exceptionalcg.com or sending me an email at exceptionalcg@gmail.com.

Let me add value to your values.

Seth

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Quotes-Do they really mean anything?

Often times we see people share quotes. It seems to be all the craze with Social Media right now and I am one who has made a regular part of communication and touch points with different audiences. So what do these quotes really mean? Well, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes and why I like them so much. Let’s get started:quotemarks

Quote#1

“The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause; who at the best, know the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if they fail, fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

thinking questin markMy thoughts:

To me there is so much within these profound words of the great president Theodore Roosevelt. I guess one main reason I like this quote so much is that it can be applied in almost every situation. I know that having spent quite a bit of time in leadership roles professionally, religiously and in other areas of my life, this quote has always come to my mind. At the end of the day, the credit truly does need to go to those who are making great things happen every day. Whether you are a parent, teacher, leader, professor, whatever role you want to list, think about how this quote might change the way you see others. For parents, your teenagers are in a serious battle, every day, they are in the arena trying their hardest to do good, are you giving them the credit for their efforts or are you always looking for what’s wrong? Just something to think about. I know as a parent I can lose sight of just how blessed I am to have teenagers who strive every day to do good. This quote helps me remember that and do all I can to be there should the slip and fall.

Quote #2

“Life is about adding value to other people’s lives.” Lou Holtz

My thoughts:

I love these short but sweet quotes. There is a ton of meaning in these few words. I was actually attending an event where Coach Holtz was speaking and heard him share this and it pierced my heart. I can remember the feelings I had about how this had been my goal throughout my life but he stated it in such an effective way. I can honestly say that this quote was truly a turning point for me. It has helped me to push forward in trying to set myself up to truly add value to other people’s lives. So what do you think about his quote? It is important that this not be applied just to one’s professional life. Think about what your life is made up of, now how does this quote relate to you? The last thing that made such a profound impact on me was that these words of a college football player who truly believed and lives these words. He wanted to add value to the young men he coached. He walked the talk. I am trying every day to do the same.

So there are just two examples of how quotes can be used for more than just nice Tweets, Intsagram pics, Facebook Status, etc. I will share more of these in the future as I liked the exercise of reflecting upon these words.

Time to go add value.

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Get your teen motivated to do well in school.

Help your teen catch the homework bug

 

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January 27, 2013 · 8:36 pm

Passion vs Paycheck

Given current economic conditions, it’s no surprise that many people are considering returning to college or a change in careers. AsPassion vs Paycheck some who has spent the past 13 plus years in higher education, I naturally endorse this strategy of looking to return to school or wanting to go into a career you are passionate about. The issue becomes the inability to focus on the right things to achieve ones ultimate goals, doing what they are passionate about. Here are some steps to take to help ensure you chase your Passion not just a Paycheck.

  1. The first thing to do is spend more time thinking about your interests than you do thinking about money. That sounds counter-intuitive  but returning to college or changing your job has to be about more than chasing a paycheck. It’s been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. So finding and following your passion is time well spent.
  2. If you are not sure where your passion would take you let alone what it may be, then sit down with pen and paper and make a list: things you like to do in your free time, different talents or skills that come easily to you, people whom you admire, subject areas and classes you enjoyed while growing up, topics you relish reading about and people you prefer to be around. The answers you provide to these questions will sharpen your focus. 
  3. After you have identified a career path that not only uses some of your strengths but one that also engages you in the type of activity and thinking that you most enjoy, meet and interview people currently working in that field. In some cases, they may let you shadow someone in their office. As you evaluate your options, consider both the positive and the less attractive aspects of the desired industry. For instance, if you like helping people, you might be inclined toward healthcare; but think about how you will respond to sick or sad people on a daily basis.
  4. It’s important to determine what you are willing to sacrifice in order to do what you are passionate about. So ask yourself: can I devote the time and energy necessary to be a successful?  Will I set priorities, budget my time and money and impose discipline in my life? Once you have decided what you are willing to sacrifice, time to create your plan.
  5. Don’t let any opportunity slip away where you don’t set goals for yourself. This is especially true as you are looking to make changes in your career future. Your goals should lead you down a path where you are following your passion. The longer you chase a paycheck, the less time you have to do what you really want. Money is important and needs to always be a apart of your formula for success but don’t to get caught up making it the only focus.

As you stay focused and determined, you will achieve the success you truly dream of. It will not be easy and the reality is, it shouldn’t be. You want to feel rewarded and accomplished. This can happen with greater peace, happiness and joy as you are allowing yourself to do what you feel you can do best and are most passionate about.

Now, go make something great happen!

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The Stress to Impress

The Stress to Impress

 If you haven’t noticed, we live in a stressful world. No matter what your current situation might be, stress is no doubt something that influences you in some way. The world continues to try and control so much of what we do, who we are and where we go. Because of that we find ourselves trying to impress others. Maybe its your friends, family, teachers, neighbors, community, co-workers or boss.

As a leader, you cannot afford to lead with the only goal in mind of impressing. If you do, you will create unnecessary stress that can often lead to failure. I am not saying that you don’t want to impress your boss or your team but you have to understand how and why you want to impress them. The problem is that there is often a selfish type of feel that comes when one is trying to impress. Although we try hard to convince ourselves we are trying to impress the other person, at the end of the day we are really just trying to impress ourselves because we are looking for acceptance and validation.

It is important that we find ways to have others see that we are of value and that we can achieve results. This will often lead to impressing others but we need to be sure we are properly defining what our goals are. A good leader has the ability to know how to define these goals and what will happen when they achieve their goals. If your boss is impressed, what a great added benefit. If your team is impressed and it leads them to wanting to work harder to achieve their goals, nice. The key is that you are leading for the right reasons. Selfish leaders have a very short shelf life.

It is important to remember this concept of stressing to impress outside of the office as well. There is a statement I have heard many times and it goes like this, “trying to keep with the Jones’s.” The significance of this statement is saying that people often see their neighbor come home with a new boat so they go buy a boat. Then that same neighbor comes home with new snowmobiles so they go buy snowmobiles. They are not really concerned if they can afford this stuff, they are just trying to keep so they can continue to impress others. We see this phenomenon with teenagers and the pressures they endure daily at school. We see this with our family, friends almost any part of our life. What ultimately happens is that the stress of trying to impress leads to some unpleasant outcomes. I have seen this happen many times to people who I am close with. One thing I do know, it never has a happy ending.

As a leader you should not try and keep up with others just to try and impress others, including your boss. It is just too stressful to keep up and you will become very ineffective. What you need to do is be sure you continue to build your strengths and control your weaknesses, leaders that can do that are impressive in my eyes.

Learn to manage your stress to impress and you will achieve great things, inside and outside the office.

 Heroes don’t stress but often impress.

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Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

Perspiration, not Perception Leads to Inspiration

There is something energizing by listening to an inspired speaker or leader. As he or she stands at the front of the room sharing inspirational stories, presenting a new vision or providing ways to help improve our lives we listen, take notes and imagine the possibilities. We may even start to think things like “wow, they are so good”, “I wish I could inspire people like that”, “I wonder how they got to be like that”. Then as you watch that person when the lights are off and they are no longer on stage they don’t really do anything. In fact, they are not inspiring at all when it comes to their actions. It is almost as if they live two completely different worlds. When this happens, and unfortunately, it happens quite often, the impacts can not only be uninspiring, but negative and frustrating.

The truth, actions are what ultimately inspire others to action. Sure, inspiring leaders must have the ability to communicate in ways that give others chills and cause them to have a desire to do better. However, when we see our leaders taking action and doing the things they ask others to do is when true inspiration can take place. Here are ways to help ensure you are Inspiring through Perspiration not just Perception:

1. Don’t just help others set goals, help them achieve them.
2. Be sure that those you lead see you taking action, not just hear you talk about it.
3. Communicate where you need to go then roll up your sleeves and lead the way.
4. Be consistent and genuine so there is no reason to question your authenticity as an inspiring leader.

The reality is that it not only takes hard work to rise up the management and leadership ranks, it takes even more hard work when you are a manager and leader. There are have many inspiring leaders who have shown through example what it takes to achieve success. There have also been many “perceived” inspiring leaders only to come and find out that their words overshadow their actions.

Some of the best bosses I have had were the ones who could inspire through word and action. It didn’t mean that they stayed at work the longest or worked every weekend, it meant they knew what needed to be done and were humble enough to help make it happen. They would make calls, visit customers, stuff envelopes, run reports and vacuum classrooms. Through their perspiration they created inspiration and thus I had a positive perception of them.

One last thing, there is something very empowering when we are taking action. A great leader gets energized when they know what needs to be done.  An inspiring leader stays energized by actually doing the things to achieve desired outcomes. We all love the feeling of success and when we are working smart and putting in the effort necessary to achieve our goals, we feel invigorated and that is very important. It is impossible to push a boulder up a hill by simply saying it needs to be done. When you start to push, others will see your effort and put their efforts towards helping you move that boulder up the hill. Once you have reached the top, you can’t help but feel energized while at the same time feeling tired. You achieved your goal and inspired others to help along the way. I have to warn you, this type of leading is very addictive.

We can all inspire, we just need to be willing to perspire.

Go out and be a hero. Inspire through action.

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The Importance of Feedback

Most people have been in a place where you have experienced that piercing, loud body cringing sound when there is feedback from a microphone. People quickly cover their ears and begin to look around to see what is going on. You then see the person with the microphone either step away from the speaker or other type of potential interference or they may just turn off the microphone temporarily. If we take a different view on this situation we can find one of the most important aspects of leadership.

Once the feedback from the sound system became loud enough, it caused an action. For the audience the action was to cover their ears and look around to see what was going on and for the speaker or person setting up the sound the response was to move away from potential interference or turn off the microphone. What we have here is a clear example of how important it is to learn from feedback.

As leaders develop the ability and skill in learning how to receive, accept and utilize feedback, they will begin to elevate themselves to an higher level of leadership. See, when you find a leader who is willing to not only receive feedback but accept it and then try to get better, you have found a rare leader. It is this rare leader that possesses the right balance of confidence, humility and understanding. When a leader is willing and open for feedback the lines of communication become clear. But more importantly, it allows communication to happen. As a leader listens to find ways they can improve, they are actually helping to empower the person providing the feedback. It is this empowerment that can create a culture where people can reach their greatest potential.

Here are some ways to help accept feedback better as a leader:

  1. Proactively Seek Feedback: Although some may look at you skeptical at first as you ask for their feedback on how you are doing, they will eventually open up if they know you are sincere. You must allow them to share what they need to share so they can be honest and true feedback can take place. Be specific on what areas you are looking for feedback so you can focus on the information provided to you.
  2. Don’t Get Defensive: This sounds much easier than it is in most cases. As a leader, you have to be able to separate your feelings from situations when needed. You cannot take everything personal or you will set yourself up and your team for failure. You need to have the confidence and trust that what the other person is sharing is indeed important enough to them that they felt the need to share with you. Being humble really helps to eliminate the feelings of defensiveness.
  3. Take Action: Whenever possible, once you have received feedback, take action. Nothing will show someone you value their feedback more than when you actually do something. Some actions may be simple and easy to do while others may take time. Either way, find a way to show that you actively listened to the other person and want to support them. If action is not possible, provide potential solutions or ideas and find ways to work together. This will help ensure your credibility as a leader.
  4. Be Appreciative: You don’t need to go overboard in thanking someone for providing feedback but giving thanks and true appreciation goes along way. When you do this you ensure that communication channels stay open. When you are genuinely thankful for someone being willing to provide feedback, you show that you are a team player and you want success for everyone. Maybe most importantly when you show your thanks, you truly empower others as they will feel valued.

It is important to realize that receiving feedback is not always easy. We are human and when we are told that we aren’t doing something right or that we are causing more issues by doing what we are doing, it can be tough. However, we also have to realize that without feedback we would be left up to our own perception of ourselves and as a leader that can often lead to disaster. As with the example of the feedback from the microphone, we can either learn and make changes to improve things or we can simply ignore and watch those we lead cover their ears and look around to see what is going on.

Decide now to become the type of leader that is confident and humble enough to accept feedback. You will inspire your team to greatness as you learn from them and with them. Feedback can be an incredibly positive way to ensure success.

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Reflection cannot be overlooked in Leadership

There are times when as a leader you need to have the ability to take a step back from all that is going on reflect. Reflection can often be the difference between good leaders and great leaders. What is so important about reflection is that it can tell you just as much about the future as it can the past. To use reflection as a leadership tool can help separate you from all the other leaders.

I can remember a time when I was going 100 mph in my career. I was trying to accomplish as much as possible as quickly as possible. I wanted to impress everyone as new executive. I felt that I only had a small amount of time to change the world. I would have slowed down but I felt I didn’t have the time too. I just kept on going. I would have my direct boss say, “you are moving too fast” and I would say “thank you.” I know crazy but I felt it was what others expected of me and I felt it was what I expected of myself. As I reflect now on that experience, it is actually difficult to remember what I did accomplish. I know I accomplished a number of things but because I was moving so fast I cant even think of the successes I had. I never reflected on what I was doing. Because of this, I missed opportunities to build important internal relationships with other leaders. I lost the opportunity to see the indirect impact of things I was doing. Had I taken the time to reflect on what I was doing and why I was doing it, there is no doubt in my mind I would have felt more successful and most likely accomplished even more.

As a leader or one who aspires to be a leader, don’t allow yourself to get caught up with trying to accomplish too much too fast. Build into your leadership plan time for reflection, allow yourself to take a look at what are doing, the successes you have accomplished, the mistakes you have made and use that to help shape your future. The most important reflection you will ever see is the one you see when you look into the mirror. You need to ask yourself:

What do you see in the reflection?

Do you see a leader who is so caught up in titles, salary and status that you are not actively leading but rather idly leading?

Do you a leader who is tired, worn out and feels like they can’t keep up with all the demands?

Do you see a leader who is achieving success and balance in life?

Do you see a leader who is still passionate or one who has lost all desire to give it their all?

Asking these questions to the person looking back at you in the mirror can help keep you grounded as well as honest. Don’t underestimate the importance of reflection. Keep your focus on the future while using the past as a tool to help you get better. This world needs more leaders who reflect on the past to create a better future.

Heroes reflect!

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