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Elevating your leadership | “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.” – Nikola Tesla

Surround yourself with amazing people

Promote, encourage and even demand learning and exchanges of ideas across your organizations and your teams. As I often say, best ideas must win and as such it is essential for leaders to create environments where it is safe to fail, safe to dissent and have respectful, collaborative conversations.

Surround yourself with amazing people. People who are passionate, excited and positive about the opportunities and your collaborative future. Work with people who are intelligent, creative, knowledgeable and brave to speak up when they believe it is necessary for the benefit of everyone you work with.

Don’t blame others, it’s all you

Don’t blame anyone else for your performance, as it is YOUR performance. While I have said this time and time again, I was reminded of it and humbled by it a few days ago as a number of people have been waiting on my contributions in order for certain processes to move forward. It was all me, my fault, my inability to be effective at that time and as such I took full ownership and responsibility for my lack of contributions.

Now, I could have blamed traffic, weather, government…and so on, but I haven’t as that wouldn’t be honest and sincere, it wouldn’t be the truth. Instead, I apologized, I acknowledged my shortcomings and have worked diligently to catch up and address them without additional delays. It took some re-prioritization of my schedule and some calendar “magic”, but it was done as it is something I committed to a while earlier and I make sure to always deliver on my agreements.

Your ability to anticipate is a major advantage

Anticipation is the key! Well, one of several major keys to progress and success. Your ability to anticipate the needs of your team, your boss, your organization, your industry, clients, partners…your CEO, is crucial to say the least.

While it is important to be present in the moment and make progress, it is equally as important to look some 3-5 years ahead and anticipate where you want to be and where you are going (which may differ at times). Once you “know” what is ahead, it is up to you to reverse engineer the process and needed steps that will get you there in due time. You anticipatory skills improve each year based on your experience, skills, talent, education and awareness and should be actively developed with consistent self-education, improvements and growth.

Motivation is nothing without action

It’s Monday and people are motivated, once again. 😉 Well, they are either motivated to begin something new or are somewhat unhappy doing what they have been doing for a while. Either way, most are looking for a change, a change that will rarely arrive in time, mostly due to the lack of daily, consistent actions.

Motivation is needed, it is a prerequisite to progress and advancement, but motivation alone won’t get you far. Instagram, Twitter or Facebook motivational posts, images, comments, videos…are all great, but they won’t help you move forward either. At the end of the day, it is up to you and your actions which will determine where and how you will end 2017. Own your responsibilities and opportunities and decide what you want, need and deserve…punt other less important items. Go put in work!

Opportunities are created, not found

Oopportunities are created, not given on a silver platter. Take ownership of your life, your business and take actions necessary to make progress, necessary to be successful. You know what you need to do, you have certainly spent enough time contemplating about those plans, actions, hopes, dreams and goals. Now, however, it is time to make progress and take that first step.

Remember, today will never come again…how are YOU spending it?

Don’t sweat the small stuff

99% of things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Keeping this in mind and in perspective it is essential to spend your time, energy, effort and resources on things that do matter. Focus on what matters and what is important, not on those who are loud and in desperate need of attention or on responsibilities which don’t really move the ball forward. Enjoy life, enjoy and love today as that is what you have. Tomorrow, on the other hand, is not guaranteed and as such never take what you do have for granted.

In the end, health of your family and friends certainly outranks that project scope change at work, doesn’t it? Happy new year to you and your family and may 2017 be the best year to date! I wish you all the best.

Challenge status quo

Challenge status quo! Now, that’s easily said, but it has to make sense, serve a purpose and be done with value and improvements in mind. In all you do, look for improvements, advancements and opportunities to contribute to a great good, one that would benefit everyone you work with.

A certain path to irrelevance and becoming obsolete is lack of creativity, innovation and improvements. Get off that path and work each day to making everything better and more valuable.

Basic resume tips

For most of us, resume is where the process of change and transition begins. You write it summarizing your experience, contributions, skills and education. It is used as the first point of contact and reference by your prospective employers. While each of our experiences and careers vary each of the resumes could benefit from some fundamental guidelines.

  1. Format: keep it clean, consistent, professional and submit it as a PDF
  2. Contact: name, phone and e-mail (without descriptors)
  3. Color: black or dark blue on white background works
  4. Length: list only relevant experience for the job you are applying to
  5. Keywords: match your resume with the job description

Don’t take yourself too seriously

While most of us do or at least hope to be able to do important, meaningful and valuable work, it is important to remain playful and to not take yourself too seriously in business and in life.

Take a cue from your children (if you are fortunate to have them) or from those you see in a course of your daily life. Children are playful, happy, fearless and in their minds, nothing is outside their reach, they can do it all! Keeping all of that in mind, it is important to do great work, but don’t be too serious over mediocre issues and concerns. Focus on your long-term goals and do your best each day, the rest is outside your control. Remember, life is way too short to be frustrated or angry over things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Be happy, positive, work hard and go after everything you want and deserve. Good luck!

State of leadership, plan your future

How many leaders do you know personally? How many great leaders have you had an opportunity to work with? While experiences certainly vary, I am willing to bet that your list is small, very small. One of my passions and unwavering beliefs is that EVERYTHING ties to LEADERSHIP in one way or another which is why this trend of a growing number of decision makers and managers (yet not true leaders) is troubling.

Having said that, it is important to do what we can to work towards improving our current state across all levels, organizational, local, state, national, global…we all need exceptional leaders who focus on people ahead of profit and self-interests.