We could spend the rest of our lives chasing happiness. There are books, seminars, retreats, and workshops galore to help us get there. I do not disparage any of that. Happiness is wonderful.
Is there a faster way?
Here is a consistent way. Yes, it does involve changing habits. None of the habits are too strenuous. It's balance. It's consistency. It's health. Here are five keys to happiness:
SleepExerciseEat healthy foodsDrink more waterSpend time in nature
You knew all that already, didn't you? Consider this a gentle and happy reminder. Five keys to happiness. Sure, there are more. Work on as many as you like. These five will not let you down.
-- doug smith
Are you working hard on your goals? I hope so. Goals require attention, effort, and energy. And you know what else goals benefit from? Help. Specifically, help from other people.
And where do those people come from? They could be your team. They could be your peers. They probably START though with people you have helped before. When you help others to achieve their goals, they become remarkably more available to help you with yours.
When you help other people achieve their goals they become more powerful allies.
Whether you are working on goals that need help or not right now -- reach out to see who else you can help. Maybe they'll reciprocate and maybe they won't -- but there's nothing TO reciprocate unless you help first.
-- doug smith
Leadership Call to Action:
Think about a friend or co-worker who is working on a project that you are not involved with. Sometime in the next week, call them and ask how you can help.
Feelings are part of who we are. The challenge is, how do we know when to trust our feelings? It's possible that our feelings are out of balance or even irrational given the circumstance. Our imaginations can fool us into feeling things that are of no value and are not necessary. Jealousy, envy, insecurity, paranoia -- while any of these feelings could sometimes be appropriate, they are very often inappropriate and even harmful to our well being.
But sometimes we have to trust our feelings, don't we?
Yes, and here is when. Trust your feelings when first feel centered, healthy, and rested. Trust your feeling when you can differentiate facts from feelings. Trust your feelings when you are willing to confirm facts and stay curious about contradictory facts.
Feelings are too important to ignore. They are also too powerful to let them rule. Find a balance. Sort through the total picture. Stay in charge.
Are goals selfish? Is it self-centered to pursue your goals?
Our goals are important. Successful goal achievement brings positive results along with a healthy sense of self-accomplishment. It builds our esteem. Even when those goals are dedicated to outcomes that benefit others more than ourselves, in fact, perhaps more so.
Serving others as we achieve our goals builds good will, strong relationships, and more sustainable results. When others are happy, in addition to ourselves, the results are more likely to persist.
It is at once unselfish AND self-improving. It's a winning combination: creating and achieving goals that serve others.
We are best at achieving our goals when they are in service to others.
I'm in favor of the best results possible for all. How about you?
From the Life Hack Bootcamp series featuring the cheerful and direct Demir & Carey comes this 13 minute video offering useful tips for creating teams that are productive and less stressed. You could call it Knowing When to Manage and When to Get Out of the Way. Good stuff!
We have so many simplified solutions these days. Our web sites give us big fonts to read, our phones send us reminders and even count our steps (got to get those 10k per day!) and our cars give us automatic transmission, power brakes, automatic lights, and soon will even drive themselves so that we can sit absorbed in our phones.
We've been getting used to easy answers. I'm not advocating giving back those easy answers - without a GPS I'd spend considerable time lost - but too much leisure also takes away muscle. We need the struggles of a tough solution to keep fit.
As tempting as it is, easy answers are not the only answers. We need a second light to see the shadows behind that all too easy to find solution. What are the complications? Who else is affected? What happens later?
Easy answers often play out hard.
We need more than easy answers because easy answers sometimes play out hard. It's not all grab-and-go, sometimes we need t…
Here are four ways to develop your leadership skills now: Leadership tool box - Click on any of the labels for any entry on this site to find more useful content, much of which will contain suggested actions for developing your skills and leadership calls to action to prompt you. Teleclass Appointments - You do not need to wait for a teleclass or webinar to be offered to sign up for it. Using our teleclass appointment system you can schedule the teleclass you want, when you want it. Just click here.Supervisors Coaching Calls - Attend our group coaching opportunity for front line leaders to discuss your leadership goals, action plans, insights, and challenges. Designed as a way to extend and apply the learning from previous workshops and teleclasses, but this coaching call is open to anyone who is working on developing leadership skills. Register to participate here.Supervising for Success - Bring our live, in-person training program to your location. Get more information here.
What roles do you take on as a leader? Front line supervisors must own many roles, including some they may not enjoy. Supervisors must lead, consult, advise, counsel, discipline, confront, defer, decide, revive, inspire, deny, build, reduce, cut, maximize, minimize...all depending on the state of the organization and the mindset of the team.
When I was a supervisor, I did not enjoy the role of enforcer or disciplinarian, and yet those roles became necessary. I did have to enforce the values of the organization, even when they were inconvenient. I did have to discipline team members who had lost the ability to discipline their own behavior. Sometimes, sadly, that even involved saying goodbye.
Know the roles that you must play. Follow your roles when they harmonize with your values and your goals.
It's easy to ignore our most important roles, but it is a critical mistake to do so. As Grandmom Smith once said, "mind your roles." You'll be glad that you did. Maybe not t…
The Five Why's is a famous and useful tool for conducting a root cause analysis in problem solving. I've applied the idea of asking why five (more or less) times to get at the root cause and applied it to mind mapping. Since many problems have more than one cause, applying the process to a mind map keeps the door open for identifying many possible causes. While any one may appear to be the root cause, it is only in comparing all of them that you can clearly see the best opportunity. Here's the process that I use:
Start your mind map by writing your problem in the center. (In the example above, Stairway Accidents is the problem.)Radiat out reasons why there is a problem. What are the causes? What causes that cause? ("what causes" is as useful as "why" and without the emotional turmoil.)For each cause, ask why it's true or what causes it. Why that cause? What causes that - and radiate out your answers.Some "what causes that" may produce more…
Leaders, of any team, have limited vision. We can only see so much. What we see is also filtered thru our own beliefs and perceptions. A healthy self-image may add a positive spin to an otherwise cautious moment. An unhealthy self-image might make an otherwise positive experience incomplete. We need help seeing it all.
High performance leaders seek, receive, and utilize feedback. That means asking your team how you are doing. It includes talking (frequently) with your boss about your goals and how you are doing on your plan. Getting opinions from your customers also helps balance out your viewpoint. To truly know what's going on, leaders need to ask.
Are you asking? Are you getting the feedback you need from every direction that you need it? Today is a good day to ask someone who works with you, what's working great. And then, ask what you can do better. Because we can always do something better.
-- doug smith
Leadership Call to Action:
Ask someone on your team to share with …