The Best Gift to Give Yourself and Others by Jim Rohn
I’m often asked the question, “How can I best help my children, spouse, family member, staff member, friend, etc., improve/change?” In fact that might be the most frequently asked question I receive, “How can I help change someone else?”
My answer often comes as a surprise and here it is. The key to helping others is to help yourself first. In other words, the best contribution I can make to someone else is my own personal development. If I become 10 times wiser, 10 times stronger, think of what that will do for my adventure as a father… as a grandfather… as a business colleague.
The best gift I can give to you, really, is my ongoing personal development. Getting better, getting stronger, becoming wiser. I think parents should pick this valuable philosophy up. If the parents are okay, the kids have an excellent chance of being okay. Work on your personal development as parents; that’s the best gift you can give to your children.
If you have ever ridden in an airplane, then you might have noticed the oxygen compartment located above every seat. There are explicit instructions that say “In case of an emergency, first secure your own oxygen mask and then if you have children with you then secure their masks.” Take care of yourself first… then assist your children. If we use that same philosophy throughout our whole parental life, it would be so valuable.
If I learn to create happiness for myself, my children now have an excellent chance to be happy. If I create a unique lifestyle for myself and my spouse, that will be a great example to serve my children.
Self-development enables you to serve, to be more valuable to those around you; for your child… your business… your colleague… your community… your church.
That’s why I teach development skills. If you keep refining all the parts of your character, yourself, your health, etc., so that you become an attractive person to the marketplace, you’ll attract opportunity. Opportunity will then begin to seek you out. Your reputation will begin to precede you and people will want to do business with you. All of that possibility is created by adopting and applying the philosophy that success is something you attract by continually working on your own personal development.
Vitamins for the Mind by Jim Rohn
Take time to gather up the past so that you will be able to draw from your experiences and invest them in the future.
Don’t let the learning from your own experiences take too long. If you have been doing it wrong for the last ten years, I would suggest that’s long enough!
Life is not just the passing of time. Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity.
It’s easy to carry the past as a burden instead of a school. It’s easy to let it overwhelm you instead of educate you.
Be like a sponge when it comes to each new experience. If you want to be able to express it well, you must first be able to absorb it well.
The Elephant in the Room
By Lee Colan
The Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia happens to have been built next to a mango grove that one family of elephants has always visited when the fruit ripens. When they returned one year and found the luxury accommodation in the way, they simply walked through the lobby to reach their beloved grove of trees.
Although this circumstance in Zambia literally depicts an elephant in the room, the phrase “the elephant in the room” is more commonly used to describe an issue that goes unacknowledged by a team. The elephant might be inferred or subtly acknowledged, but in most cases, remains unnamed.
Since I have worked with various types of teams for 25 years, I have seen lots of elephants in the room. You have seen them, too! It might be the dysfunction in a family that everyone is aware of but nobody wants to acknowledge. I often see a lack of team accountability or trust as the big elephant that goes unnamed.
Our limiting assumptions, unchecked egos and weak operating agreements keep elephants lurking among us. These can also lead to significant failures like we have witnessed with the NASA o-ring disaster and Bernard Madoff’s betrayal of his clients’ trust.
The goal for the team leaders is not to prevent elephants from entering your team–issues will always arise. The real objective is to create a team dynamic that encourages the quick and risk-free identification of an elephant that can have a negative impact. There are complex dynamics that create and keep an elephant in the room, so here is one simple thing you can do to help your team call an elephant an elephant.
The best defense against an invisible, unnamed elephant trampling your team’s performance is to agree to rules of engagement. Rules of engagement make it easier for team members to take a stand and do the right thing.
Think back to your school days. Each teacher, usually on the first day of the year, explained the classroom rules of engagement: raise your hand if you have a question, request a hall pass to use the restroom, place your homework on your desk each morning, respect others’ property, etc. These rules helped both the teacher and students focus on the most important things in the classroom–learning.
Defining the rules of engagement can help your team focus on what is most important–performance. They might address how to make decisions, share information, consider ideas for improvement, coordinate hand-offs, review work, challenge prevailing thought, prioritize and resolve conflict.
Rules of engagement do not have to be wordy, but they must fit your team and be embraced by them. Here are some other examples from teams I have worked with:
• If an issue is not resolved after five e-mails, you must meet (phone or in person) to resolve the issue. • All reports must be reviewed by at least one other team member before leaving our department. • Customer-related tasks are always a higher priority than internal tasks. • No team or committee meeting lasts more than one hour. • Every project is debriefed for lessons learned within one week of project completion.
Excellent leaders keep their rules of engagement visible and apply them to decisions they make, even small decisions. These leaders also rely on their entire team to ensure each member (including themselves!) is performing within the rules of engagement. This encourages and empowers the team to uphold the rules and point out elephants as they appear. Here’s to identifying elephants!
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Smartphone ownership has now reached the majority, albeit by a slim margin, says a Nielsen survey.
As of March, 50.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned a smartphone, up from 47.8% last December.
The smartphone is particularly attractive to adults age 25-34, with more than two out of three owning the mobile device, the survey finds.
Nielsen also says Apple was the top smartphone manufacturer, thanks to its popular iPhone, but Google’s Android was the top smartphone operating system.
The survey found 48.5% of smartphone owners had a device running on Android, followed by 32% running iOS. BlackBerry was a distant third with 11.6%.