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Discuss NiCk Da Posts..!! within the Articles !! forums, part of the Mirror View - Ebooks Links & Miscellenous Reading Material category; It takes effort to focus your mind -- not physical effort but mental effort. Though it is may be difficult, ...

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*:*Focus and Achieve *:* - April 20th, 2006

It takes effort to focus your mind -- not physical effort but mental effort. Though it is may be difficult, you can, through practice and experience, become better and better at keeping your mind focused. It is indeed worth the effort.
Many shortcomings and disappointments result from the inability to keep your mind focused. Consider how very often you are distracted. Think of the many things you decide to do and then never take action toward. Now, imagine how solidly effective you could be if every effort, every moment were focused on a single objective until it was achieved. The power of a focused mind is enormous.
Focus is difficult at first. The world is so full of distractions and we are naturally attracted to them. But that can be overcome with will, desire and intention. Practice staying focused for longer and longer periods. Make it a priority. Soon, focus will come more quickly, more dependably, and naturally. Get yourself in focus. Point your substantial energy in a specific, positive direction. It's one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your life and the world around you. -- Ralph Marston
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Biggest Weakness Can Become Your Biggest Strength !!!
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Biggest Weakness Can Become Your Biggest Strength !!! - April 20th, 2006

Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?""This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the Sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.

Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the Sensei intervened.

"No," the Sensei insisted, "Let him continue."Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
On the way home, the boy and Sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

"Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
"You won for two reasons," the Sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."

The boy's Biggest Weakness had become his Biggest Strength.

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The Top Six Ways To Stay Motivated !!!
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The Top Six Ways To Stay Motivated !!! - April 20th, 2006

I receive many emails from people that basically ask the same question: How can I keep myself motivated long term? This seems to be quite a common dilemma for many people so I want to address it because it can be done! Here are my tips for staying motivated:
GET MOTIVATED EVERY DAY .
Zig Ziglar was once confronted about being a "motivational speaker." The guy said to him, "You guys come and get people hyped up and then you leave and the motivation goes away. It doesn't last, and then you have to get motivated again." Zig reminded the gentleman that baths are the same way but we think it is a good idea to take a bath every day!
It is true that motivation doesn't last. We have to renew it each and every day. That is okay. It doesn't make motivation a bad thing. We simply have to realize that if we want to stay motivated over the long term, it is something we will have to apply to ourselves each and every day.
HAVE A VISION FOR YOUR LIFE.
The root word of motivation is "motive." The definition of motive is, "A reason to act." This is the cognitive or rational side of motivation. It is your vision. You have to have a vision that is big enough to motivate you. If you are making $50,000 a year, it isn't going to motivate you to set your goal at $52,000 a year. You just won't get motivated for that because the reward isn't enough. Maybe $70,000 a year would work for you. Set out a vision and a strategy for getting there. Have a plan and work the plan.
FUEL YOUR PASSION
Much of motivation is emotional. I don't know quite how it works but I do know THAT it works. Emotion is a powerful force in getting us going. Passion is an emotion, so fuel your passion. "Well, I like to work on logic," you may say. Great, now work on your passion. Set yourself on a course to have a consuming desire for your goal, whatever it is. Do whatever you can to feel the emotion and use it to your advantage!
WORK HARD ENOUGH TO GET RESULTS.
You can build on your motivation by getting results. The harder you work, the more results you will get and the more results you get, the more you will be motivated to get more. These things all build on one another. If you want to lose weight, then lose the first few pounds. When the belt moves to the next notch you will get fired up to get it to the notch beyond that!
PUT GOOD MATERIALS INTO YOUR MIND.
I can't say this enough - listen to tapes. I still listen to tapes regularly. I buy tape clubs from other speakers and I learn and grow. Their successes motivate me to get my own successes! Read good books. Read books that teach you new ideas and skills. Read books that tell the stories of successful people. Buy them, read them, and get motivated! Buy great music and listen to it. I just did a spinning class at the club today. Whenever a good song came on I was actually able to get motivated to ride faster! It gets you going and motivates you!
RiDE THE MOMENTUM WHEN iT COMES.
Sometimes you will just be clicking and sometimes you won't. That is okay. It is the cycle of life. When you aren't clicking, plug away. When you are clicking, pour it on because momentum will help you get larger gains in a shorter period of time with less energy. That is the Momentum Equation! When you are feeling good about how your work is going, ride the momentum and get as much out of it as you can!
THESE ARE THE TOP SIX WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED:

  • Get motivated every day.
  • Have a vision for your life.
  • Fuel your passion.
  • Work hard enough to get results.
  • Put good materials into your mind.
  • Ride the momentum when it comes.

These are simple principles, that when you put them to work regularly, will change your life by keeping you motivated all the time! GET GOING !
By Chris Widener


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Take Yourself To the Top !!!
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Take Yourself To the Top !!! - April 20th, 2006

Everybody wants to get to the top, whether it is the top of a career, a company, the earnings scale, or the many other ways that we as individuals can define the "top" in our own lives! But with so many people trying to get to the top, how come so many people aren't moving up? I think there are some fundamental reasons why. Reasons that can be addressed and changed! What are some things you can do to get to the top? Here are some thoughts for you this week!
First of all, define what the "top" means for you. This is extremely important because if you don't know where you are going, you will never get there! Some people don't want to be the CEO of the company. In fact, many think they are better off than the CEO even though they don't make as much money. Instead, they think they are at the top because of less stress, weekends with their families, etc, and I see their point. It doesn't matter what others think is the top, only what you do, since you are only gauging whether or not YOU get there! So where is it for you? That is the first question for you to answer.
Be passionate about your goal. Passion is the energy that drives us, or, as Alexander Pope said, passions are the "gales of life." Passion is the wind in the sales of work. Find some thing you love and you will find something you can get to the top of. If you don't love it, you may still make it to the top, though highly unlikely. And even if you do, there will be no joy. Let your passion carry you, because it will carry you far! Thomas Fuller put it this way: A man with passion rides a horse that runs away with him.
The will to continue in the face of hardship. Another reason most will not get to the top is because they simply refuse to scale the mountains of hardship that separate them from the top. If you want to get to the beautiful view from the top, you will have to climb over any obstacles. Instead, many choose to stay at base camp!
One would think that Bjorn Borg, one of the greatest tennis players to ever live, would consider his skill his greatest asset. Instead, this is what he says, "My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories." Continue until you get to the top!
Love people and treat them right. What? Love people? That's right! Why? Because if you are going to get to the top, you are going to need other people. Be a jerk and you will find people dragging their feet on you. Treat them right and you will find them helping you and even cheering you on!
Master the appropriate skills. Average skills will get you to the middle. Top skills will get you to the TOP! This is most assuredly true when combined with the points above. Are you achieving excellence in the skills you need? Are you growing day by day, month by month, year by year? You can always get better and getting better will take you closer to the top! Even if you only improve a little, you can keep improving that small amount and it will eventually become a big amount! Demand the best from yourself and you will get to the top. Remember the words of Jose Ortega y Gasset: "We distinguish the excellent man from the common man by saying that the former is the one who makes great demands on himself, and the latter who makes no demands on himself."

  • DEFINE THE TOP

  • BE PASSIONATE

  • PERSEVERE

  • LOVE OTHERS

  • SKILL MASTERY!

THESE WILL TAKE YOU TO THE TOP!

By Chris Widener


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Do You Know Where You're Going To?
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Do You Know Where You're Going To? - April 21st, 2006

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

Tom Peters said, "Effective visions prepare for the future but honor the past." Do you have a set course in your life, an established direction, outlined with purposeful thought?

Or are you simply a boat floating on the water with a broken rudder, able to be pushed whichever way the wind blows,
governed by the tides and external forces?

Productive people have given a great deal of thought and time to planning their courses of action and life goals. Their daily, weekly, and monthly activities all roll up to a mission statement, life goals, long-term and short-term goals, and project plans.

To be the guide of your own life, you have to get a hold of the rudder. Much like a corporate mission statement, your personal mission statement defines who you are, what you're all about, and why you're here. Why do you need a personal
mission statement?

- It helps you make difficult decisions when faced with the myriad of choices life presents to you.

- It helps you realize how very little time you truly have to accomplish the important things in your life.

- It helps you recognize when you're off course and steers you back in the right direction Life is precious, and time
is short.

The best engineer cannot create more time, and the best scientist cannot invent more time. We all have the exact same amount of time -- 24 hours a day, 168 hours every week, 86,400 seconds every day. Once it's gone, you can't get it
back. You cannot accumulate time or borrow tomorrow's time. Since it feels like we have plenty of time left, we take for
granted our 86,400 seconds every day. Discovering Your True Priorities - The main objective of a personal mission statement is to define what's important to you. Many people say "this is important," and "that is important," but how do you narrow it down to what's truly important in your life? I like to use the following visualization:

Scenario A ...

Picture a thick, banded-steel cable about 2 feet in circumference and 100 feet long, stretched out across the floor. You are standing at one end, and I'm on the other. I call out to you, "I'll give you $100 if you can step onto the cable and walk across it like a balance beam over to me without falling off onto the floor." Would you try it? Sure!

Most people would. Why? Basically, it involves a fairly low risk with a relatively high payoff for the effort required. It could be fun and a little challenging.

Scenario B ...

Now we're going to suspend the cable just a "bit." In fact, have you ever been to the Royal Gorge bridge in CanonCity,
Colorado? It's the highest suspension bridge in the world, with a cable like ours spanning a chasm, with a little tram
that travels across the cable. Except you don't get to ride the tram. You are standing on one end of the chasm, and I'm on the other side of the chasm, with the cable suspended between us. I yell out, "HEY!" (Echo: "hey..hey..hey") "If you can
cross the cable like a balance beam without falling off into the river below, I'll give you $100!" There is no way anyone in his or her right mind would attempt that. The risk is too high for the reward involved. So let's up the ante. Would you cross it for $250,000? No? How about a million dollars? How much would I have to offer you? What if I let you crawl across on your belly? For some of you, the reward would never be high enough to risk your life.

Scenario C ...

Let's add a little wind (maybe, oh, a slight 40 MPH breeze) and a tad of rain to make the cable a bit slick. I'm on one side of the chasm, and you're on the other. In my arms, I hold your child hostage. I yell, "If you don't cross the chasm in two minutes, I'm throwing your child in the river." Would you come now? Of course you would! Despite the incredibly high risk to your own life, that child is so priceless to you that you'd risk your own life to save another. Perhaps if you don't have children, it could be your parents, your significant other, or your friend.

Clearly, that person is a core value in your life. What other things exist like that in your life? What principles, values, or character traits are most important to you, such that if I were to rip it out of your life and throw it into the chasm, you would be willing to cross the bridge to save it? What things are so integral to who you are that you cannot imagine existing without them?

Determining Your Core Values

1. Holding that visualization in your mind, read through the following list of values below. They may be important to
you; they may not be.

Go though the list, and this first time, circle any and all of the values that you'd cross the bridge for. Add any to the bottom that aren't listed here that are important to you.

Values list

* Peace
* Integrity
* Power
* Wealth
* Joy
* Influence
* Happiness
* Love
* Justice
* Success
* Recognition
* Spirituality
* Friendship
* Family
* Career
* Fame
* Truth
* Status
* Authenticity
* Wisdom
* Acceptance
* Health
* ____________
* ____________
* ____________

2. Go back through the items you've circled and narrow it down to only six. Which items are more important to you than
the others? Place a star next to your top six values.

3. Picture this: you've got those six items lined up with you on the side of the chasm. I have the ability to make you
choose between them.

You've got to throw three away. What things would go? If all you had left in your life were three values, what would they
be? Cross out three of the six, so that your top three values are remaining.

4. Lastly, rank order your top three values. Which one would go first? Label that #3. Which one would go second? Label
that #2. So if all you had in your life were one single thing, that would be remaining until the end. Label that #1.

Defining Your Core Values - You have just listed the top three most important things in your life. Rewrite your top three values in order on the blanks below.

Then for each principle, write a definition, a statement of what it means to you to be successful in that area. At the
end of your life, how will you know if you've succeeded? If you put "family," what does a good family man or woman look
like to you? If you put, "Spirituality," how will you know you've succeeded at being a spiritual person?

1. Value: ________________________________________

"Success to me means..." ________________________________________

2. Value: _________________________________________
"Success to me means..." ________________________________________

3. Value: ________________________________________
"Success to me means..." ________________________________________

Sit in front of a computer with a blank word processing page and type the three paragraphs together, merging them into
one statement. It could be several sentences or several paragraphs.

You've just created a personal mission statement for your life. Think of it as your constitution. It will become your
benchmark, your standard of excellence. Then you can get your behavior in line with your mission. You will measure
yourself against it. Continuously ask yourself if an activity is moving toward your mission in life. This statement will whack you upside the head if not.

For example, if you say taking care of your health is important to you, then you eat 8 slices of pizza and watch
15 hours of television, it is very apparent you're not supporting yourself with your actions. When you're making
changes in your life and setting goals, refer to this statement of purpose.

I promise this activity will have an impact on your productivity. It's been said that "true character is the ability to carry out a goal long after the mood in which it was created has passed." That's when the real challenge begins. Make it a productive day!

(C) All rights reserved

___________
Laura M. Stack, MBA, CSP. Laura Stack is a professional speaker and the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc.
She's the bestselling author of Leave the Office Earlier and Find More Time. Laura presents keynotes and seminars on time
management, information overload, and personal productivity. Contact her at 303-471-7401 or http://www.TheProductivityPro.com


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Leadership and Real Change !!
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Leadership and Real Change !! - April 21st, 2006

One of the most frustrating things about change is that no-one can see the benefits as quickly as you can, as leaders. Why is that? Why are people so stupid, defensive and traditional. Why can't they be more like you? You've done all the hard work. You've looked at the strategy, weighed up the pros and cons. You've even carried out a cost-benefit analysis to prove that it's worth it. Yet still they won't change.

Well there are some very good reasons. The first would be because you, as instigators of change are in a pretty good position. It's your change. You own it and have bought into it. It really means something for you.

Also, you really are ahead of the game. In terms of the Coping Cycle you've gone past the denial, defence and discarding stages. Your self-esteem and performance may have been on the floor a few weeks ago, but now - hey - you're all for it. Of course you are but your team aren't there yet.

They'll be at various stages of the cycle. There'll be some with you and there'll be others in the 'why?', 'you are joking?', 'change again?' stages. These people need to be helped through this cycle and supported as their self-esteem dips, their performance hits rock bottom. You know what this is like.

Remember that new computer system we had installed. They said it was the best, state of the art, superb, blah, blah. A week later you couldn't even send an email - it had all changed. God how you hated it. How you wished you could have your new system back. However, as time went by and you learnt to use it properly it was 'so much better than the previous system', and even 'I don't know why we didn't introduce this years ago?'. So, that's another good reason.

There's also a really interesting model that explains this in a different way. It's a very simple formula for change. It says that to overcome resistance to change you need a Vision, an idea of the first steps and enough dissatisfaction with the current situation to make it happen:

Dissatisfaction x Vision x First Steps > Resistance
The Vision is usually the easiest. Well, it's all relative. However, if you haven't got something to aim for then why on earth are you carrying out this change process. Unfortunately people who have the vision are not always the best at communicating that vision to others. If this is something you, as a leader, struggle with then perhaps getting others involved at this stage would help. These could be people at all levels who are committed to the change. Choose the cynics in the Organisation as well as the starts. Cynics frequently have great networks and once they are won over the task gets a lot easier. Invest time and effort into these 'change champions' ( not my favourite word either), and communicate, communicate, communicate. Use every medium you can think of - people are different. They pay attention to different things - you know that.

The first steps can prove tricky. If people are sold the vision properly and the benefits explained it's a great start. People, already under threat from this change process want to know what's going to happen and when. There's nothing wrong with that. The problem however is that life isn't that simple. If it's a large change programme that will take months, years - then there's probably no-one in the Organisation that knows every step of the process. Yet, people expect you to. They expect that you'll know what will happen to their part of the office on April 24th 2007. It's not logical. It's not reasonable but there it is. What is logical and reasonable is that you'll know with some certainty what the first steps will be. You have to let people know what you know, and also what you don't know.
A useful analogy to help with this is to think of the change as a journey across the sea. Your Organisation is the boat and the vision is somewhere out there. The vision is fairly clear. OK it may change slightly but it should have been defined clearly so you at least know where you're heading. The journey is not entirely under your control. There are numerous factors that will affect your route. In nautical terms; wind, tide, expertise of crew, condition of boat, etc. In business terms; finance, resource, expertise of crew, condition of Organisation, etc.

The only reasonable expectation would be to chart out the first few weeks, stages of the project. If you try to do anything more than this inevitably it will fail and you would have failed to meet peoples' expectations. Then you'll have the whole 'told you it wouldn't work' scenario to deal with. Don't set yourself up to fail.

The difficult part (which doesn't seem to occur in other models) is the element of dissatisfaction. For this process to kick off the dissatisfaction needs be real and significant before any change happens. It's generally not until this dissatisfaction reaches epic proportions that you'll do anything. This applies to change in all areas of life, not only the business world.

For instance I'm 47 years old. I used to play rugby and football but that was a while ago now and .. well let's just say I like a drink, good food and I could do with losing a few pounds. Really I should start going to the gym and eating healthier (my first steps). I would quite like to see my daughter grow up and have grandchildren and live a good few more years yet (my vision). So why on earth aren't I doing the right things now? It make total sense, logically for me to eat healthier, take more exercise yet I haven't done it. I guess my dissatisfaction level isn't sufficiently high yet. If I started having some heart murmurs, or had a friend of a similar age in hospital that may well do the trick.

I'm not suggesting for one minute that you go out and make your staff miserable with the current situation. That would certainly raise their dissatisfaction level but they may well decide to leave instead of change. No, what I'd suggest is that you talk to people and raise their level of awareness. One consequence of being stuck in 'denial' is that you won't see what's going on around you. Something obviously needs to change - hence change initiative. People need to address that problem. Once they do and accept there is a problem their resistance should be significantly lowered. This takes time. People need to be communicated with and their fears addressed. Change is scary. But it's a lot easier when you've people with you than agin you.


By Byron Kalies


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Like Your Garden Your Mind Can Grow Weeds Too !!
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Like Your Garden Your Mind Can Grow Weeds Too !! - April 21st, 2006

Like garden, like our mind ; weeds do grow, which need to be periodically removed.

Here is an article by Seth Francis on such concept.


How many of you have a garden in your backyard where you grow your favorite vegetables. You plant them from seeds or seedlings and give them everything they need in order to grow and thrive. You water, fertilize and provide adequate sun. After several months they grow to be big and strong. You run out to pick them daily as they ripen and think to your self. “ I grew these and they taste so good.”

What happens though if you plant your vegetables and forget about them? WEEDS! That’s right your garden now begins to become overtaken by nasty weeds and other plants you have no idea what they may be. Your precious vegetables start to have problems thriving and eventually die or produce fruit you have no desire to eat.

Your garden is like your mind. When you are a child you are given the proper care and nurturing by you parents to give you good habits, a good education and the tools you need to succeed and grow up strong and confident.

What happens along the way is kind of sad. You are exposed to weeds. Just like your garden. Bad influences in your life sometimes become planted in your mind if you can not fight them off. Things such as smoking, nail biting, procrastination, having a bad temper, being lazy, using drugs or being overweight. Theses are only a few of the many habits or should we say weeds, which your mind is susceptible too.

With all these negative influences one might think that there in no chance of changing habits or negative behavior. Well, This is not the case. The mind is a very strong. In fact what you say and think about yourself does come true. If you believe that you want to change your mind will follow. Once your subconscious is reprogrammed the negative things or weeds will be replaced with positive thoughts and behaviors. The unconscious labels we have created for ourselves are changed releasing us from our old behavior patterns or habits. As we remove the old labels new positive ones are created leaving us feeling better about ourselves and what we have accomplished.

Just like the happy, joyful feeling you have while eating the big juicy red tomato from your garden, which you worked so hard on. You will feel ecstatic and excited that you changed the behaviors you disliked about yourself. That feeling can not be matched by any other, The feeling that you are in control.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Does Your Organization Have a Balanced Culture?
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Does Your Organization Have a Balanced Culture? - April 21st, 2006

Navigating increasingly complex business challenges in today's world requires leaders with fresh approaches and sharper tools. If vision defines where the business is headed, and strategy is the road map for how to get there … culture is the engine which determines the speed, performance, and comfort of the trip.

To get peak performance from the culture engine, today's leaders must deliberately shape and manage culture as an asset and a process. In fact, during periods of change, your company's culture is a critical leverage point. Any change throws a system out of balance. In business, the acceleration of change is creating paradoxical tensions that can't be easily resolved -- long vs short term focus, speed vs stability, consistency vs adaptability. Finding the balance point in these paradoxes lies in addressing your culture.
And while the link between culture and performance is proven by research, culture remains largely untapped - and unrecognized - as a resource in most companies.

What is Culture
Simply put, culture is "how you get things done" in your organization, including how you:
  • Coordinate and collaborate across functions and geography

  • Solve problems and make decisions

  • Launch and support teams

  • Hire, fire, pay and promote people.

  • Respond to stress and handle conflict (a particularly visible way to assess culture)

The Importance of a Balanced Culture
Like the health of any system, lack of balance in a company's culture may take years or decades to erode the business, but it will -- and often in ways you can't see.
In creating a balanced culture, all factors are not equal. The latest research shows that balance among specific cultural traits is the winning combination for driving exceptional and sustainable business performance:
Top down mission plus Employee engagement
Customer responsive plus Consistent and stable
Short term performance plus Long term growth
Innovation plus Reliability
Measuring Culture and Linking it to Performance

Using a balanced culture to drive business performance begins by knowing where you are. A powerful approach to measuring culture is the Denison Culture Survey. This tool compares your culture against benchmark data of over 3000 companies and links the strength of your culture directly to seven common measures of business performance:
  • Profitability
  • Market share
  • Quality
  • Sales growth
  • Innovation
  • Employee satisfaction
  • Customer satisfaction

Further, the Denison Survey shows the highest leverage points for bringing a culture into balance and accelerating performance. It avoids the all too common "spray and pray" approaches, where ROI is questionable or non-existent. And the language is intuitive so that everyone from the CEO to line employees can understand and relate to it.

How to Build a Balanced Culture
Once you have a clear picture of "your culture today", what is the process for creating a more balanced culture?
There is no recipe that works for every leader and company. Variables are endless: Market timing. Leadership maturity. Product or business life cycle. Acquisitions.
The following six steps provide a framework and model that is scaleable and effective to restore balance during any change - whether launching a team or undertaking a 10-year culture change to bring a company back from death row:

1.Establish Urgency. This is where motivation is built.

SUCCESS SECRET: Any change requires that people come out of their comfort zones. You can motivate anyone short-term with money or incentives, but if you want sustained energy and aligned action, you have to constantly remind people how "something new" is better than the familiar. The story must evoke emotion and feeling, vs just facts and analysis.


2.Define Direction. This is where the dream is built.

SUCCESS SECRET: An effective process of creating a clear and specific image of where you are headed aligns powerful leaders and influencers toward a common direction - no small feat. Ensuring that this links to a well-defined business strategy is important in this step … but it must begin with an inspiring vision.


3.Charter a Change Team. This is where sponsorship is built.

SUCCESS SECRET: One bold, impassioned believer who has power and credibility needs to launch the change effort, then organize a team to actively drive the change effort. These people must be courageous, creative, and have a high "like-ability" factor. But the sponsor must stay engaged and not delegate the responsibility to HR, a team, or outsiders.


4.Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! This is where engagement, ownership, and empowerment are built.

SUCCESS SECRET: Don't communicate too much before creating visible change in a point of pain - "doing before telling" is a much bigger convincer than the opposite sequence.


5.Align and Empower Leaders & Employees. This is where momentum is built.

SUCCESS SECRET: Leaders must show they are willing to get their hands dirty and make changes themselves. "Be the change you want to see." People will make hard changes more willingly if they see leaders doing it first.


6.Align Infrastructure and Increase Accountability. This is where true balance is built - the capacity to continuously reinvent your company.

SUCCESS SECRET: If you want real change, work to create an endless, relentless, persistent feedback-culture. Do it through daily behavior, through systems, through metrics. Do it with employees, customers, and vendors.


If you utilize the success secrets above you will build a more balanced culture, and therefore drive greater performance.


By Gerry Schmidt and Lisa Jackson



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Nikhil Gadodia
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The Factors of Leadership Motivation !!
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The Factors of Leadership Motivation !! - April 21st, 2006

Leaders do nothing more important than get results. But you can't get results by yourself. You need others to help you do it. And the best way to have other people get results is not by ordering them but motivating them. Yet many leaders fail to motivate people to achieve results because those leaders misconstrue the concept and applications of motivation.
To understand motivation and apply it daily, let's understand its three critical pillars. Know these pillars and put them into action to greatly enhance your abilities to lead for results.

1. MOTIVATION IS PHYSICAL ACTION.
"Motivation" has common roots with "motor," "momentum," "motion," "mobile," etc. all words that denote movement, physical action. An essential feature of motivation is physical action. Motivation isn't about what people think or feel but what they physically do. When motivating people to get results, challenge them to take those actions that will realize those results.

I counsel leaders who must motivate individuals and teams to get results not to deliver presentations but "leadership talks." Presentations communicate information.. But when you want to motivate people, you must do more than simply communicate information. You must have them believe in you and take action to follow you. A key outcome of every leadership talk must be physical action, physical action that leads to results.

For instance, I worked with the newly-appointed director of a large marketing department who wanted the department to achieve sizable increases in the results. However, the employees were a demoralized bunch who had been clocking tons of overtime under her predecessor and were feeling angry that their efforts were not being recognized by senior management.

She could have tried to order them to get the increased results. Many leaders do that. But order- leadership founders in today's highly competitive, rapidly changing markets. Organizations are far more competitive when their employees instead of being ordered to go from point A to point B, want to go from point A to point B. So I suggested that she take a first step in getting the employees to increase results by motivating those employees to want to increase results. They would "want to" when they began to believe in her leadership. And the first step in enlisting that belief was for her to give a number of leadership talks to the employees.
One of her first talks that she planned was to the department employees in the company's auditorium.
She told me, "I want them to know that I appreciate the work they are doing and that I believe that they can get the results I'm asking of them. I want them to feel good about themselves."

"Believing is not enough," I said. "Feeling good is not enough. Motivation must take place. Physical action must take place. Don't give the talk until you know what precise action you are going to have happen."

She got the idea of having the CEO come into the room after the talk, shake each employee's hand, and tell each how much he appreciated their hard work physical action. She didn't stop there. After the CEO left, she challenged each employee to write down on a piece of paper three specific things that they needed from her to help them get the increases in results and then hand those pieces of paper to her personally - physical action.

Mind you, that leadership talk wasn't magic dust sprinkled on the employees to instantly motivate them. (To turn the department around so that it began achieving sizable increases in results, she had to give many leadership talks in the weeks and months ahead.) But it was a beginning. Most importantly, it was the right beginning.

2. MOTIVATION IS DRIVEN BY EMOTION.
Emotion and motion come from the same Latin root meaning "to move". When you want to move people to take action, engage their emotions. An act of motivation is an act of emotion. In any strategic management endeavor, you must make sure that the people have a strong emotional commitment to realizing it.
When I explained this to the chief marketing officer of a worldwide services company, he said, "Now I know why we're not growing! We senior leaders developed our marketing strategy in a bunker! He showed me his "strategy" document. It was some 40 pages long, single-spaced. The points it made were logical, consistent, and comprehensive. It made perfect sense. That was the trouble. It made perfect, intellectual sense to the senior leaders. But it did not make experiential sense to middle management who had to carry it out. They had about as much in-put into the strategy as the window washers at corporate headquarters. So they sabotaged it in many innovative ways. Only when the middle managers were motivated - were emotionally committed to carrying out the strategy - did that strategy have a real chance to succeed.

3. MOTIVATION IS NOT WHAT WE DO TO OTHERS. IT'S WHAT OTHERS DO TO THEMSELVES.
The English language does not accurately depict the psychological truth of motivation. The truth is that we cannot motivate anybody to do anything. The people we want to motivate can only motivate themselves. The motivator and the motivatee are always the same person. We as leaders communicate, they motivate. So our "motivating" others to get results really entails our creating an environment in which they motivate themselves to get those results.

For example: a commercial division leader almost faced a mutiny on his staff when in a planning session, he put next year's goals, numbers much higher than the previous year's, on the overhead. The staff all but had to be scrapped off the ceiling after they went ballistic. "We busted our tails to get these numbers last year. Now you want us to get much higher numbers? No way!"
He told me. "We can hit those numbers. I just have to get people motivated!"

I gave him my "motivator-and-motivatee-are-the-same-person!" pitch. I suggested that he create an environment in which they could motivate themselves. So he had them assess what activities got results and what didn't. They discovered that they spent more than 60 percent of their time on work that had nothing to do with getting results. He then had them develop a plan to eliminate the unnecessary work. Put in charge of their own destiny, they got motivated! They developed a great plan and started to get great results.
Over the long run, your career success does not depend on what schools you went to and what degrees you have. That success depends instead on your ability to motivate individuals and teams to get results. Motivation is like a high voltage cable lying at your feet. Use it the wrong way, and you'll get a serious shock. But apply motivation the right way by understanding and using the three pillars, plug the cable in, as it were, and it will serve you well in many powerful ways throughout your career.


by Brent Filson.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Removing Obstacles to Great Performance
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Removing Obstacles to Great Performance - April 21st, 2006

Unleash the creative talents of individuals and allow your people to deliver great performance to your customers. Identifying the ‘right’ direction is the first step. Removing the obstacles that prevent great performance is the second step.
Obstacles are generally in two areas: mind-sets, and organization structures and systems. We tend to focus on the mind-set issues of motivation, teamwork, attitude, and communication and wonder why efforts stall when you stop ‘pushing’. Perhaps the attitudes are outcomes - of the systems, structures and practices of the environment. So focus on what you can directly influence - especially in how performance is defined, measured, and rewarded.
Set standards between performers and their customers - performers must meet regularly with their customers to agree on the standards of performance;
Reduce expectations to simple, specific, and measurable numbers - measure the ‘right stuff’, which is what makes the difference to customers;
Make performance visible to every employee - let performers get the feedback directly, in real time, not through third parties; ensure that those who have to perform measure their own performance - do your performers know how well they are doing?
Performance must have consequences - performance must matter to individuals; ‘A’ for accomplishment, ‘F’ for effort. (period!) Reward those who achieve, and ensure less desirable outcomes for those who don’t.
Involve the performers in the design of the reward systems - as long as someone else is responsible for the design, fairness, and motivational aspects of rewards, someone else will also be responsible for performance.

Decentralize decision making to the point of customer contact - those closest to the customer have a more complete understanding of what great performance looks like for their customers!
Manage the present and the future - the past can’t be managed - it’s gone! What information do we need to manage and improve what is happening today, and plan for the future?
Make teamwork happen by structuring important work in teams and cross functional groups and rewarding team performance;
Ask yourself - what systems are causing my people problems? Then change the system to change the people.
And better yet - what’s the best way to identify and remove the obstacles that prevent great performance? Ask your people what prevents their great performance and get to work on those obstacles!

By Rick Sidorowicz


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