Jan 13 2016

Business AND Family Freedom Now!

Entrepreneurial Leadership?

 

FREEDOM

… Practice “The 5 Freedoms”

 

World renown family therapist and author Virginia Satir spoke with me once after a workshop she ran at the University of California. She told me that small business growth and strength, and family growth and strength could both be most readily achieved with the acceptance and conscientious practice of what she aptly called “The 5 Freedoms.”

I share these with you here, now, not as some plaque to hang on your wall, or slogan to bang into your head, but as a road to travel. You may want to slow your brain down and digest each, then ask yourself how your family, small business or professional practice might grow stronger, quicker, by following your commitment to pursue this avenue.

 

The 5 Freedoms

by Virginia Satir

To see and hear

what is here,

instead of what should be,

 was, or will be.

 

To say what one

feels and thinks,

instead of what one should.

 

To feel

what one feels,

instead of what one ought.

 

To ask

for what one wants,

instead of always waiting

for permission.

 

To take risks

in one’s own behalf,

instead of choosing to be

only “secure” and

not rocking the boat.

 

How and when and where can you use this road to help guide your business and family development interests? Please be sure to let me know if this message works for you, if it helps you think big, and to share it (together with your own thoughts if you choose) by clicking on your choice of social media buttons shown below.

# # #

 

Hal@Businessworks.US     931.854.0474

   Make today a GREAT day for someone!

Open Minds Open Doors 

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

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Jan 04 2016

IN LESS THAN ONE WEEK, YOU WILL HAVE 340,666 MINUTES LEFT IN 2016!!!

What will you do with

                      
sleep

your time this year?

 

 

FACT: As of Jan. 10th, you will have already spent 14,400 minutes of this new year that you’ll never get back!

QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10 (10=best), how would you rate your 2016 accomplishments so far? 

ONE MORE QUESTION: What will you do with the remaining 340,666 minutes (511,000 minutes minus 1/3 for sleep) in 2016?

~~~~~~~

 

Can the last question really be answered? Of course not. How could you possibly know what situations and circumstances will impact your intentions? So maybe intentions are not such a great thing. We’ve heard, after all, that they pave the road to hell, hmmm. And they’re kind of like expectations, right? And expectations breed disappointment, yes?

So where does all this quibbling over semantics actually leave us? Hopefully . . . (aw, wait a minute, isn’t “hopefully” like an intention and expectation combined?). Well then, is this an end to planning as we know it? Do we throw the goals out with the posts? (A little pun there for football fans.) Do we stop having objectives to pursue?

Planning is essential, but it is not a trigger for compulsive pursuit at all costs. Why is this important to consider NOW? Because:

Entrepreneurs are business junkies.

                                               

How do we know that strict, rigid planning fails? Because planning (i.e, goal setting) has been long proven to be successful only if the process of goal setting adheres firmly to specific criteria, and one of these is flexibility. The less flexible, the more stress. The more stress the greater the odds for failure.

There is something to be said for the thrust and direction of many, if not most, entrepreneurially-spirited engines . . . something that is most succinctly put as “living for the moment.” Entrepreneurs instinctively seek immediate gratification and are more focused on the “here and now” present moment than those in other careers.

It’s that old thing grandpa used to say about not putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. Entrepreneurs have a powerful need for a quick fix when things start to flounder or deteriorate, or when last week’s “high” begins to wear off. Sound familiar? It’s true.  Look around. Ask around.

Small business owners and operators have mostly learned the hard way –through trial and error and intuitive “street smarts”– that ongoing quick-fix actions are the only ones that get results, and keep businesses moving forward when the tide is changing or the current is a backwash.

But swimming upstream for any period of time can be exhausting to say the least, so the idea of taking immediate corrective/adjustment action needs, in reality, to be tapered only with the commitment to take only reasonable risks in the process, and to always imagine the worst case scenario before proceeding.

Try repetitively asking yourself the following question all during any crisis or critical period, hourly if need be:

“Is what I’m doing right this very minute

leading me to where I want to go?”

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US          931.854.0474

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

No responses yet

Jan 05 2015

340,666 minutes left in 2015!

Published by under Uncategorized

In 1 week, you’ll have 340,666 minutes left in 2015!

What will you do with

                             

your time this year?

 

upsidedown clock

 FACT: As of Jan. 10th, you will have already spent 14,400 minutes of this new year that you’ll never get back! QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10 (10=best), how would you rate your 2015 accomplishments so far?  ONE MORE QUESTION: What will you do with the remaining 340,666 minutes (511,000 minutes minus 1/3 for sleep) in 2015?

~~~~~~~

                                         

Can the last question really be answered? Of course not. How could you possibly know what situations and circumstances will impact your intentions? So maybe intentions are not such a great thing. We’ve heard, after all, that they pave the road to hell, hmmm. And they’re kind of like expectations, right? And expectations breed disappointment, yes?

So where does all this quibbling over semantics actually leave us? Hopefully . . . (aw, wait a minute, isn’t “hopefully” like an intention and expectation combined?). Well then, is this an end to planning as we know it? Do we throw the goals out with the posts? (A little pun there for football fans.) Do we stop having objectives to pursue?

Planning is essential, but it is not a trigger for compulsive pursuit at all costs. Why is this important to consider NOW? Because:

Entrepreneurs are business junkies.

 How do we know that strict, rigid planning fails? Because planning (i.e, goal setting) has been long proven to be successful only if the process of goal setting adheres firmly to specific criteria, and one of these is flexibility. The less flexible, the more stress. The more stress the greater the odds for failure.

There is something to be said for the thrust and direction of many, if not most, entrepreneurially-spirited engines . . . something that is most succinctly put as “living for the moment.” Entrepreneurs instinctively seek immediate gratification and are more focused on the “here and now” present moment than those in other careers.

It’s that old thing grandpa used to say about not putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. Entrepreneurs have a powerful need for a quick fix when things start to flounder or deteriorate, or when last week’s “high” begins to wear off. Sound familiar? It’s true.  Look around. Ask around.

Small business owners and operators have mostly learned the hard way –through trial and error and intuitive “street smarts”– that ongoing quick-fix actions are the only ones that get results, and keep businesses moving forward when the tide is changing or the current is a backwash.

But swimming upstream for any period of time can be exhausting to say the least, so the idea of taking immediate corrective/adjustment action needs, in reality, to be tapered only with the commitment to take only reasonable risks in the process, and to always imagine the worst case scenario before proceeding.

Try repetitively asking yourself the following question all during any crisis or critical period, hourly if need be:

 

“Is what I’m doing right this very minute

leading me to where I want to go?”

 

# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US     931.854.0474

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

God Bless You and Thank You for Your Visit!

No responses yet

Sep 14 2013

Leading Followers and Following Leaders

When Followers Lead Leaders

 

You think only a weak leader would step aside when followers close rank and try to take over? Maybe you’ve seen too many wild-eyed-pirate-and-rats-desertion-of-sinking-ship themed movies. You may want to revisit your thinking because in a lot more than some cases, stepping aside is an indication of truly superior and truly successful leadership!

There are probably as many avenues to leadership roles as there are leaders, yet none of them reflects the inherent strength-of-leadership qualities of authenticity and transparency as –like raising world-class children— being able to move confidently out of the way when followers (or your kids) take up the flag and charge forward with it.

No one ever said that being a parent or playing a parental role in business and professional practice development would be easy. In fact, parenting of any kind may well be among the hardest of life challenges. On the heels of committing to the ongoing practice of nurturing and investing in self-responsibility, personal and career parenting is certainly job one.

Why would self-development come first? Because if you cannot be true to yourself, you cannot be true to others. If you don’t know and aren’t continually searching out what makes you tick, you can’t possibly be in a position or mindset to lead others. If you don’t value your self and appreciate your own strengths and weaknesses, how can you measure and guide others?

When followers lead leaders, it may be because the leaders have faltered or it may be because the leaders have thrived on showing the way, on lighting the path, on motivating others to see that light AND the path, and on stepping out and onto it.

Weak leaders work at keeping followers following.

Truly great leaders

inspire followers to become leaders.

 

Which are you? Which are you becoming? Where are you aiming? What’s your target? Your goal? Your objective? How will you get there? The more you help others to grow as leaders, the more you grow as a leader. And since all of this swirls around what you think and how you behave, it’s worth remembering that thoughts and behaviors are a choice.

# # #

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone! 

No responses yet

Jun 28 2013

KNOWING YOURSELF!

So, you think you know

 

who you are, huh? Really?

 

Entrepreneurial Leaders are responsive (instead of reactive). They take reasonable risks (which means they don’t bet the farm, or even buy lottery tickets!). They are goal-driven, but focus more on the steps to reach the goal. When something doesn’t work, they make adjustments and try again (vs. corporate/government thinking that produces analysis paralysis!)

Guess what the number one ingredient is in entrepreneurial leadership — any kind, any level (from running a company to running a work crew or department, to running a family or sports team)? It’s knowing yourself. Your SELF. Because unless you know what makes YOU tick, you can never know what makes others tick.

When you don’t know what makes others tick, you’ll never be able to communicate clearly with them . . . because they do NOT think like you think even if you think they do. They don’t. You are unique. No one else has your brain. No one else can reach inside your brain and control it because every one of your behaviors is your choice!

So, are you still with me? If that little bit of awareness is true for you, it is equally true for each person who follows you. To be truly effective as an entrepreneurial leader (as opposed to a robotic leader!), doesn’t mean you have to be a shrink. It means you have to accept that everyone does not think like you, and you need to do your best to figure out what makes them tick.

Just because you may think you’ve “been around the block a few times,” that you’ve “been there, done that and got the t-shirt” doesn’t mean you can dismiss the need to keep learning about yourself and others because these are different times. What worked for you before is not likely to work again for you without some kind of adjustment.

The place to start adjusting, then, is with how, when, and where you absorb new information. Just as you and your life are constantly changing (even, and usually, when you least expect it or are aware of it), so too are the lives of those who look to you for guidance. I’m not suggesting you become a Google-aholic psych student. Just keep yourself alert. Observe. Listen.

Keeping up with all of that is challenging. But isn’t that why you took the job or accepted the responsibility in the first place?

# # #

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

3 responses so far

Apr 19 2013

What’s Your Expiration Date?

Are You Expired

                               

Or Inspired?

 

When did you last check your expiration date? What did it say? What does it say now? What happens if you go past that date? You rot? You crumble? You turn green? You become poisonous? You get taken off the shelf? People pass you up and reach way in the back behind you to bring up some fresh dude who doesn’t expire until 2015?

If this describes you, or you worry about it, or you think it’s inevitable, you’ve got a problem, brother (sister), and it’s time to take a few steps on your own behalf. First off, do a few chin lifts and take some deep breaths.

Don’t run to look in the mirror. Just imagine yourself looking driven and productive and successful as you once were, or perhaps you presently are but feel like you’re on the wrong side of the hill.

Contrary to popular belief, life is not all about discovery. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got to get yourself and others to where you and they want and need to be. It’s about energy and drawing on strengths, acknowledging but by-passing –not struggling to overcome– weaknesses. It’s like knowing what you can and are willing to spend before you go shopping.

Yes, you’re right! That’s called leadership! Genuine leadership has no expiration date. It may shift gears at certain ages or after certain accumulated experiences, but true leadership –like true grit, true integrity, true honesty, true passion– doesn’t fade or need to reinvent itself. It simply is.

How to get it? How to keep it? How to have it take you far beyond someone else’s (or your own) imagined idea of your expiration date reduces itself to being forever on the alert to what INspires you rather than to what EXpires you. So it’s a matter of attitude? Hmmm! That’s over-simplified! Hmmm? There’s more to leadership than attitude! Hmmm?

Well then, if leadership is all about attitude, what does anyone need to read a blog post for, since attitude is a matter of choice, and we can just choose it? Do you trust yourself to just choose it, and stay with that? So maybe the difference between expiration and inspiration is self-trust? Hmmm.

# # #

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

No responses yet

Oct 21 2012

The 3rd of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

LEADERSHIP STARTS

                

WITHOUT FOLLOWERS

                                                         

Now what exactly do I mean by such an apparent contradiction? Answer: That leadership begins (and thrives) with attitude. “Yeah, Hal, right! Sounds great, but what kind of attitude and HOW does someone get it? Like it falls from the sky, or what?” Good questions. No it doesn’t “fall from the sky,” but it does begin at the beginning.

Leadership begins at the beginning, without a following, without an entourage, without an expedition, without a master plan, without a goal line, and without intentions of superiority or competitiveness. Effective leadership starts simply, with a mindset that exudes integrity at every turn in the road.

Leadership starts with an attitude that explodes in words and actions which set examples. Exemplary words and actions– by their very nature, by their very implementation– attract the attentions and admiration of others. True leadership attitudes ignite, engage, motivate, and sustain without ever having to ask others to roll up their sleeves and dig in to work alongside you. When people step it up and rise to the occasion, others rise as well to follow.

A TRUE LEADER DOESN’T START OUT

WITH A GOAL TO BECOME A LEADER.

                                  

A true leader simply demonstrates the qualities of behavior that set her or him apart from the pack, but this is accomplished by taking action, not by talking about taking action, or by aiming to play a leadership role.

Neither do great presentation or oratory skills make a great leader. Walk the walk beats talk the talk. Track-records speak louder than words. Show me what you’ve done and show me how to do it are far more important follower requests than tell me how great you are.

Effective leaders are great activists who consistently strive to teach and motivate by quietly doing. He or she is a great innovator, and a great solutions creator who takes entrepreneurial pursuits to completion, who doesn’t stop short with an idea, and who thrives on the sense of accomplishment that accompanies each step of bringing an idea to fruition.

Leaders move constantly forward. They turn over every stone and readily adjust themselves, their approaches, and the processes they use along the way, unafraid of taking action without having all the information.

Focusing on the finish line is not leadership. Focusing on each step, as the fortune cookie might say, prevents one from falling on one’s face, and almost always wins the race. 

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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com     Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jun 16 2012

TRANSPARENT LEADERSHIP

Seeing through it all

                        

…maybe, maybe not.

There’s an awful lot of talk in top management circles trending to the favor-ability of transparent leadership, but reality often dictates the need to exercise the exact opposite, at least for certain situations. Two-facedness? Manipulative? Irresponsible? Lacking integrity? Ruling by exception? Well, even open windows do not always afford a clear view.

When every word you say and move you make is public to all around you, it can be inhibiting to decision making that might be for the good of all involved. Adhering to a policy of transparency can instead take on a neurotic life of its own which can prevent meaningful forward motion.

Consider, for example, the advisability of sharing content of investor or prospective investor discussions as they occur, with all employees. . . or, publicly airing the private meeting critique of an under-achieving employee. Actually, many if not most sensitive-type bits of information might best be kept private and only be shared on a need-to-know basis.

We badger government officials to maintain transparency because they are elected and paid by us to represent our interests, and we are entitled to know what they think and say, and how they behave. But business (thankfully, for the cause of cultivating entrepreneurial spirit and the capitalism that fuels our economy) doesn’t conduct itself that way.

Private enterprise shareholders are entitled to know how business management represents the interests of a given company, but not have a say in every issue. Shareholders are instead invested in the integrity of the management that represents the company they are invested in.

Effective transparent leadership may translate to open-door management for many, but even those who take their doors off the hinges have been known to beef up their effectiveness with periodic whispers and private notes. Because sharing everything with everyone can easily create more problems than it solves.

Another way to think of it is simply that not every organization member is capable of understanding areas of specialization beyond what she or he is directly involved with, and to expect that that’s the case is to invite confusion and delay that will block progress. It’s healthy to look at the total leadership picture before throwing all the doors and windows open.

To paraphrase Lincoln’s famous quote: “You can be transparent to all of the people some of the time, and you can be transparent to some of the people all 0f the time, but you can’t be transparent to all of the people all of the time.”

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Hal@Businessworks.US    302.933.0116

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jun 07 2012

Black & Blue Leadership

ENTREPRENEURIAL

                  

TRIAL-AND-ERROR

                                   

BEATS CORPORATE

                          

ANALYTICS!

                                                

Small business owners and operators invariably run their businesses –and practice human resource, industry/profession, and community leadership– by trial and error. The trade-off for not following all the latest corporate mumbo-jumbo leadership trends and fads, and time-consuming “time-proven” techniques is instantaneous adjustment.

That translates into what Grandpa always used to say was the most desirable of all business traits: “being able to turn on a dime.” Of course Grandpa ran a five and ten-cent store and could hardly have known that in 2012, no one would much care about a meager dime. It won’t even make a phone call or (Thanks to Starbucks) pay for a cup of coffee anymore.

Only by being able to ‘turn on a dime,’ or ‘shift gears quickly,’ can a business adapt to rapid market changes without skipping a beat. This, of course, may not be so critical an asset for an insurance broker, as for a retailer… or for a repair shop, as it might be for web design or writing services, as just a couple of examples.”

                                                                   

Nonetheless, all the big-time, extravagant methods that corporate muckity-mucks use to justify their existences with overkill assessment processes –from weeks worth of focus groups to statistical analysis paralysis— don’t add up to anything close to what can be achieved with the entrepreneurial respond-adjust/trial-and-error method.

This is not to suggest that all leadership decisions should be seat-of-0the-pants, knee-jerk, shoot-from-the-hip reactions. It is rather to say that the amount of time it takes to plan and analyze every step tends to be proportionally related to failed decision making.

Leaders lead by leading.

                                                     

No one was ever a successful business leader who spent inordinate amounts of time and energy studying past actions and events, and then planning and worrying about the future.

What separates entrepreneurial success from corporate lethargy is acting out possibilities on the spot, making adjustments on the fly, taking reasonable risks, and living most of the time in the present, here-and-now moment.

Entrepreneurs are invested in making their ideas work, instead of covering their butts and justifying decisions.

Trial and error may produce some black and blue bruises along the way, and probably a great many more than your big-business counterpart will encounter while slogging along through the white shirt and tie quagmire. When the focus is here and now, there’s no time to dwell on errors or worry about where you’re going.

Flexible goals? Yes! Stifling long-term plans? No! . . . Think it. Try it. Do it. Adjust it. Do it again. Make it happen.

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Hal@Businessworks.US Thanks for visiting and God Bless You! 

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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May 13 2012

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, BOSS!

If you own or operate a

                                   

business or professional

                                         

practice . . . . . YOU are

                             

“The Mother of Invention”

 

If you work anywhere in that vast sea of government or private mega-enterprise incompetence, click off here and visit some other website that lets you be corporately lethargic and obscure. If, however, you’re running or managing your own business or some innovative part of a business –real parent or not– read on: YOU are the “Mother of Invention.”

Now Peter Drucker who’s referred to as the “Father of Management” may not like that idea, but–I would challenge him. I mean, when did “Mother” ever lose to “Father”?

                                         

Today, in other words, is also a day to celebrate YOU being your business’s parent.

First off, anyone who works for you sees you in a parental light. You are looked up to for guidance and leadership. You are a role model. You may not like providing inspiration or being thought of as something special, but you ARE.

When you can face up to it and make the most of it, you’ll be helping your staff, your self and your business to grow.

Don’t just provide leadership. Provide leadership by example; people want to learn by watching and trying and doing.

Don’t just provide leadership. Provide leadership that’s transparent. Keep all your business dealings clearly defined and out in the open. Forget that you have a “Bcc” setting on your emails. Stop closing doors. Share information freely.

If you’ve hired good people to start with, you’re only toying with risk levels that are reasonable. If you’ve got a bad apple or two, your open-and-above-boardness will flush them out.

In other words:

Give everyone a chance to give you a chance

for your business to have a chance to succeed.

Now, Mothers and Fathers, let’s look at that “Invention” word that you’re parenting. And this, by the way, includes the world of healthcare– especially hospitals! If you’re not CONSTANTLY creating and inventing and innovating . . . coming up with new ideas, ways, methods, designs, plans, steps, contacts, messages . . . EVERY DAY, then you are investing in the status quo.

Keeping things the same, not rocking the boat, and “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” are the prevalent nonproductive notions anchoring most stagnant corporate giants, every government agency, and all unsuccessful small businesses.

                                                    

Business owner Job One is to stay out of that trap. Don’t let anything interfere with your daily birthing of inventive thinking. It’s how you started your business. It’s what’s carried your business. It’s what will will make the difference between your business surviving and your business thriving in the months and years ahead.

This doesn’t mean every lightbulb that goes on over your head needs to light up the world, or even that little dark corner of your workspace, but it does mean that you and your business cannot afford to pull the plug on that open socket; keep trying out new bulbs; follow up with some and discard others. [Edison made 10,000 tries before inventing the lightbulb!]

Innovation, remember, is taking the rarest of those good ideas and seeing them all the way through, every specific step of the way, to their final destination markets — even if only on paper or the computer screen. Together with your business itself, it’s those parented ideas that become the inventions that you mother and nurture into adulthood. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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