Leadership Not A One Day Event!

To Finish Strong, Start Small

Growing up, my family knew more lean times than days of plenty. Sometimes there would be so little to go around that I would go without lunch at school. Now, let me clarify that there are people who have been in more dire situations than I was.

Leadership Not A One Day Event!

But back then I would watch my classmates munching away at hot dogs, sandwiches and cake while I consumed copious amounts of air-burgers. This was tough to deal with, both mentally and emotionally.

I did not want to bother my poor mother. She cared (and still cares) very much about all her children. Voicing my thoughts about the food would only spike her blood pressure off the chart. So instead of bothering her, I chose a very interesting method to block out the torment I was going through: books became my solace.

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Building Habit That Matters

5 essential components to hacking new habits

I am thrilled to bring you Michael Bungay Stanier’s guest article. He is the author of The Coaching Habit, a book that has added great value to my coaching practice. Michael is also the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work.

Did you know that you may not be in charge of your waking up this morning? Your behavior is driven more by habit than your conscious mind!

Building Habit That Matters

It is less surprising when you realize that a Duke University study says that at least 45 percent of your waking is habitual.

There’s always been a lot of information out there on how to change the way you behave. Or more accurately, there’s a dense misinformation that grows particularly lush at the turn of each year, when resolutions are in the air.

Fortunately, there has been an increase in grounded findings, based on neuroscience and behavioral economics. These have helped establish a better, clear path over the last few years.

To build an effective new habit, you need five essential components: a reason, a trigger, a micro-habit, effective practice and a plan.

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Unsettled – My Manifesto

Get busy living or get busy dying

Frustrated and unmotivated, I knew there was something greater my life had to offer.

Unsettled - My Manifesto

But I felt stuck, like trying to walk in a sea of thick mud. My life was like a square peg being hammered into round hole. I wanted to thrive but this animal-in-a-cage mentality held in a vice-grip. I ran fast, but to nowhere.

These three thoughts plagued my mind in the dead of the night. Waking up in a cold sweat, they resounded above the chirping crickets and barking dogs:

  • I need a break!
  • I desire joy.
  • I can’t merely exist.

Shackled between my ears

I had heard this many times, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade!” Well, I got fed up with the lemonade business. I felt an urgency to see a break in the ominous grey clouds that hang over my head.

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Why I Love Risk (And You Should Too!)

Are you willing to jump?

When Steve Harvey starts to speak, laughter is around the corner. However, this versatile TV host has spent a few weeks as a laughing-stock.

Why I Love Risk (And You Should Too!)

His sin? Steve had announced the wrong winner of the 2015 Miss Universe. But that is not the gist of today’s post. This event reminded me of Steve’s video from 2014: “You gotta jump to be successful”.

As Steve says, your gift is like a parachute. But parachutes don’t work unless you jump. How far you soar depends on your willingness to risk that first jump.

His message provided for deep reflection for me. I thought and agonized about the year ahead. “What do I need to do different?” I asked myself. It isn’t just about setting goals. I need to make sure I get them done too. Otherwise, I’m toast!

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Lessons Of The Year

Why 2015 was my watershed year

To know goodness needs just a taste. Greatness, on the other hand, requires a mastery and a willing soul.

Year That Was

Consider the katana, a Samurai’s sword. It is a confluence of strength, finesse, and deadly artistry. In the right hands, the katana will cut through bone as easily as a razor blade on paper. But what keeps this millennium-old weapon so treasured?

The answer lies in the purest of steel in the hands of highly skilled smelters, smiths, sword blade polishers, and carpenters. To create one katana takes 15 men nearly six months. It is a tedious, patient and meticulous process.

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Why Patience Is Pivotal In Leadership

5 reasons leaders must practice patience

Put your hand up if you don’t mind getting stuck in traffic. Where I live, traffic snarl-ups can be legendary! My patience is tested at every turn.

Patience Pivotal In Leadership

Depending on the time of day, a 10-kilometer run takes fifteen minutes or two to four hours. If it rains, roll out the cameras. The same trip transforms into an epic. But more disturbing narrative is the abhorring behavior of some drivers.

They try to get ahead by all means possible. Some drive on sidewalks or overlap straight into oncoming traffic. The worst kind merge into an already busy intersection, with nowhere to go!

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What To Do When Conflict Strikes

A 5-step solution from coffee

The aroma of fresh ground coffee can prove irresistible. It evokes a deep sense of relaxation in me.

What To Do When Conflict Strikes

The only caveat is that its quality must be right. I don’t particularly appreciate the acrid taste of over-roasted beans.

Poorly roasted coffee beans are an assault on my taste buds. This when combined with the smokey smell of the burnt grind to evoke an emotional response. Immediately, my face contorts in protest.

At that moment, all systems activate to resolve this conflict. I will either request for a fresh cup of coffee or order another drink. The coffee barrister has to accept their poor choice of beans. I, on the other hand, need to give them an opportunity to redeem themselves. And this is the key to resolving conflict.

We can learn a great deal about conflict resolution from Starbucks Coffee Company. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg describes how Starbucks’ employees undergo rigorous training to respond to customer needs. It is called the LATTE method.

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Words Matter. Watch Them!

Your Words Can Inspire Growth Or Sow Death

Many of us live in communities that identify with free speech. In this arena, the words we speak may seem trivial. But are they, really?

Words Matter. Watch Them!

Words are a powerful catalyst to life. They make war and instill peace. A carefully chosen word can incubate love or instigate strife. Our relationships depend on words we choose to share or withhold.

Andrea Gardner produced a short video that spoke straight to my heart. In it, an elderly man sits on a cold sidewalk. He has a small tin can and beside him is a sign that reads, “I am blind, please help.” A few passersby toss some change in his direction.

Then comes a smartly dressed lady. She picks up the sign, scribbles something on it and puts it back in its place. No sooner has she walked away than more coins swamp the blind man faster than he can pick them up. People bend over to drop their donation.

“It’s a beautiful day and I can’t see it,” read the new sign. The lady had written the same message but in different words!

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Goals – My Dreams On A Deadline

5 reasons why goals are in my survival kit

You wake up and think, “Oh my, here’s another day! What am I going to do?” As your brain begins to fire up, the magnanimity of the tasks ahead slam your head back on the pillow.

Goals - My Dreams On A Deadline

This was my exact daily morning ritual a couple of years back. I hated my work environment. I would drag myself out of bed, take a long shower and fix a strong coffee.

Routine filled my life. Rather influence my environment, it felt like the routine was sucking the life out of me. For years, what I did drove a major part of my identity, rather than who I am. I was frustrated, angry, tired and confused.

After I quit my job, I did a deep-dive into why I felt and acted the way I did. My discovery was amazing as it was simple. Never at any time had I written down my personal goals. As much as I knew what my vision was, I sabotaged my life by not articulating my goals.

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