Choose Your Reactions!

As the quarantine wears on, it’s important to remind ourselves that we can always choose our reactions.

Whatever is happening around us, our mindset is a choice we can make:

  • Positive, or negative
  • Happy, or unhappy
  • Productive, or idle
  • Taking charge, or worrying.

I first wrote about this in March when none of us had any idea how long the quarantine would go on. We still don’t. Argentina, where I live, has recently started to loosen some of the rules.

This week Jim Smith, “The Executive Happiness Coach“, sent me an excellent article on maintaining positivity. in the midst of all this.

Is it the quarantine, the election, the weather, or something in your personal life that’s troubling you? Shake it off! Put it aside, once you’ve done all you can do about it! Decide to be happy. Enjoy life. You have a fixed amount of time in your mortal coil. You can enjoy it, or you can make yourself miserable.

Remember though, that if you decide to make yourself miserable, that’s all on you. If you decide to enjoy life, regardless of your circumstances, that’s your doing as well.

Many people think more money, real estate, or whatever will make them happy. If you’re happy now, yes – you’ll likely be even happier when you achieve a sought-after goal. If you’re miserable now, you’ll be a miserable millionaire or real estate mogul – unless you change your mindset.

Happiness comes from inside you, never from anything you gain or achieve.

Which will you decide? I hope Jim Smith’s article helps you with that decision as the holiday season approaches.

Practicing gratitude every day is an effective means of bringing positivity into your life. For my U.S. readers, we get a poignant reminder of being grateful in our Thanksgiving this week. Hope you all enjoy it. Gratitude has a wonderful effect on you and those you thank. This is a great week to really focus on it.

I leave you with these brief comments so you can get on with holiday planning. Enjoy!

2021 Planning

Thinking about your 2021 plan? My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, will conduct a free class (December 8, 10, and15) to help you build a plan for 2021. Will you join me there? Click here to register for Eric’s class. He’ll send you a recording in case you miss the live class, or want to review it.

Eric is unique in that his free programs offer solid value rather than just sales hype. He will offer links to paid programs at the end of each session. The body of the class is serious training, and it’s completely free of charge.

Many wise advisors have suggested:

Failing to plan is planning to fail!

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

“Emotional intelligence”, or EQ, has become a popular buzzword in business recently.

What does emotional intelligence mean? I guess you could call it a fancy term for what we used to know as “soft skills”.

Buzzwords seem to turn up in every pursuit employing a unique skill set. People love to throw them around, because it makes them sound smart or hip. Business leadership qualifies as one of those pursuits, for sure.

As a great believer in clarity in communication, I recently found this article by David Finkel. He adds some meaning to “emotional intelligence” by describing important aspects of it possessed by effective leaders.

David lists these traits as consideration for inviting someone to your executive team:

  • Team-building skills
  • Ability to motivate and inspire
  • Self-awareness and self-management
  • Social intelligence
  • Communication skills
  • Skill in navigating differences

A few comments of mine here, to add to David’s more thorough descriptions of these traits:

These skills are all important and they are all linked.

Teamwork happens only in an environment of communication and motivation/inspiration. Is your organization is of a size such that you’re considering an executive team? If so, great teamwork is vital to your success. (It is in every organization, and even more so as you scale up.)

Communication is vital to everything else. Here’s an extreme example of the importance of communication:

Think of a left-brained expert with many technical skills. That person must be able to communicate the value of his/her skills. Otherwise, those skills aren’t very valuable.

In order to have social intelligence (why people behave as they do), you must be self-aware. Why do you behave as you do?

Self-management is about controlling your own tendencies which may be inappropriate in certain situations. This too is an important skill.

Navigating differences (gender, culture, opinions, etc) is vital to the health of any organization. David suggests that exhibition of these traits should be prerequisite to inviting anyone to your executive team. Alternatively, more coaching may get someone qualified and I agree.

If you’re building an executive team, or coaching someone who is, Finkel’s list is a great guide. Of course, there probably are other things to consider in your particular situation. However, this list provides a great basis for any executive group. Add to it to meet your unique needs.

2021 Planning

Thinking about your 2021 plan? My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, will conduct a free class (3 one-hour sessions) during December to help you build a plan for 2021. Click here to register for that class.

Eric is unique in that his free programs offer solid value rather than just sales hype. He will offer links to paid programs at the end of each session. The body of the class is serious training, and it’s completely free of charge.

Many wise advisors have suggested:

Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Keep The Positive Energy!

Here I focus on a fascinating audio interview with Donnie Tuttle and Keziah Robinson. Donnie styles his interviews as “The Purpose Driven Executive”. Keeping positive energy is key to satisfaction with your results, and a happy life. I truly hope that’s why you do what you do! Keziah Robinson was Donnie’s recent interviewee, She talks about keeping positive energy.

Of course, I recommend you listen to the entire interview to enjoy the thread of her ideas. Once you’ve done that, you may want to go back and review some highlights. Below I’ve pointed some of those out at specific time-stamps. The first short description of each is the specific point Keziah makes. The added notes are my additions to the topic.

3:45 – Business is serving others.. Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

5:30 – Avoid “playing small”. Take “massive action”.

10:30 – Scarcity mindset. Choose abundance instead. There’s plenty for everyone!

13:00 – Seeking perfection: Get it done! The last 10% of perfection usually adds very little value. It also delays your moving on to the next important thing.

14:45 – We get what we expect. Earl Nightingale: “We Become What We Think About”.

16:00 – Reluctance to change. Life is a process of evolution. Stay with it! On second thought, stay ahead of it! You can follow change…or you can create change!

18:00 – Purpose is productivity. You can be productive only if you know, with intention, what you want to produce.

21:00 – Avoid “Energy Suckers”.e.g.

  • Pointless messaging by phone, email, social media, etc.
  • Drop-in visitors, in your office or where you work remotely.
  • Your own thoughts – stay focused on doing the next right thing. Ignore the “chatter” around you, and in the news.

30:00 – Delegate. Each team member adds value by what he provides – and by what she takes off your plate.

31:00 – Make people feel important. One of the most valuable concepts in business. This goes right along with the 3:45 comment above.
36:00 – Recognize your own value. Be your own best cheerleader. You’re worth it! Recognize, and celebrate, your wins, even the seemingly small ones! Each one moves the needle for you, and usually for someone else as well.

40:30 – At the end, whoever has the most friends wins! Your relationships define your life:

31:00 – Make people feel important. One of the most valuable concepts in business. This goes right along with the 3:45 comment above.
36:00 – Recognize your own value. Be your own best cheerleader. You’re worth it! Recognize, and celebrate, your wins, even the seemingly small ones! Each one moves the needle for you, and usually for someone else as well.

41:15 – What do you want to have accomplished in your life? A very valuable reflection!

Have you found this interview valuable and interesting? Donnie interviews new guests every week on a wide variety of topics. Check it out!

What Is Your Core Talent?

Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame, followed that blockbuster with other bestsellers. Among those is The Success Principles, a book which Eric Lofholm discussed during October in his free 15-minute daily motivational call.

Teamwork In Action

Last Thursday Eric focused on Canfield’s principle #39, where he reminds us that we each have a core talent. We are so good at that one thing that it’s like “falling off a log” for us. Because it comes so naturally to us, we tend to think it’s not very valuable. Fact is, that thing that comes so easily to you is very difficult for most other people. They’ll pay you, often very well, to do it for them so they can focus on what they do well.

Discovering your core talent takes some introspection, maybe even some help from a coach. Quite possibly it seems so natural that it’s invisible to you. It is in you somewhere, whether or not you’re aware of it! You’re one of few who find it so easy and can do it so well.

Having found what you can uniquely offer the world, your job becomes:

  • Find the people who need and/or want what you do so easily.
  • Craft an attractive offer to provide it as a service or product to them, so they can focus their time and energy on their core talent.
  • Hire other people to do what comes harder for you, so you can focus your time and energy on your core talent.

(For example, I love writing about these subjects. It’s easy and fun for me. I can analyze SEO and edit to improve it, but it’s hard work for me and I don’t like it. So I hire an assistant to do that. He also takes care of some other things I’d rather not spend time, energy and attention on.)

  • Collect the benefits of selling your unique value while you feel like you’re not really “working”. And be satisfied that you’re making a positive contribution to the world.

Keep in mind, others may do the finding and offering I mentioned in the first two steps better than you do. Hire them!Do you like doing that, and do it well? Great – do it yourself!

Stories abound about people who have done something they didn’t really enjoy for years. They leave or retire from that work and do something they’re passionate about. They’re more successful doing what they love than they ever were in their “safe” job!

Assemble a team of collaborators (some may be employees) to do the things you’d rather not be bothered with or that you can both benefit from (e.g. marketing to each other’s networks). With collaborators it often works well to trade services. No monetary cost for either of you, and you both get more effective! How’s that for win-win?

Focus on what you easily do better than most, and that you enjoy.

What you do well and easily, you will enjoy. And usually, what you truly enjoy, you will do easily and well. Let your team do the rest and reward them well when they do their bit well!