Archive for Courage

Today I was pFear graphicondering the concept of Hope.

What does it mean to be hopeful?  How do we build hope in ourselves?  How do we build hope in others?

Why Hope on a blog about Change?

Because Hope can be a is a critical part of Change.  Both personally and professionally.  We must Hope for a different outcome, Hope for a different experience, Hope for a different result.  In order to Believe that Change is possible, we must have Hope.

As I pondered Hope further, I recalled a definition I once heard of Fear.

Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real

This made me think that it’s time we come up with a definition for Hope.  What came to mind was the following.

Hope = Having Optimistic Periods Everyday

To me the critical part of Hope was that we do not have to be optimistic all the time to have Hope.  After all, few of us are truly Pollyannas who continually exude Happy Happy Joy Joy.

This definition simply means that we need to find a bit of time each day to focus on the positive.  To look at the glass as half full rather than half empty at least once a day.  To have just a bit of belief that things can be better than they are.  If we have that belief, even if just for a few minutes at a time, then we have Hope.

That’s what Hope is.  A belief.  As long as we can grasp that flicker of light in that sometimes dark tunnel, we have Hope.

My wish for you today is that you let go of Fear, recognizing that is is often based on false evidence.  Look for that glimmer of light.  Find the bright spot and focus on it for a change rather than the dark.  Bring a bit of Hope to your day.

A bit of Hope can make the Happy Happy Joy Joy a bit easier to both feel internally and exude externally.

Here’s to Hope, Joy, and a bit of Happiness.  What do you think?

 

 

May
16

The Benefits of Simplification

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Today I read an article by a colleague, Patti Johnson, titled “Why Stepping Back and Making It Simple Solves Everything.”  While I do not completely agree with the title, I absolutely do agree with the premise.  We need to step back and simplify.  While I don’t believe it will solve everything, I do believe it will help – in many ways.

Work, life, business and even relationships have all become increasingly complex.  Often times significantly more than they need to be.  We work to “manage” life, rather than simply living it.

I believe that there are many drivers for this – some intentional, many unintentional.  Most of us do not create complexity “just because,” but as a result of other drivers, including:  thoroughness, lack of analysis, focus on the wrong issues, disconnects in strategy, fear of failure, desire to “get it right”, and concern about perceptions, to name just a few.

I could write a bunch of additional words here but in an effort to simplify, I’ll simply leave you with some questions to ask yourself (yes, pun intended).  Over the next week ask (possibly repeatedly):

  • Why are you doing that task?
  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Are you seeking to “hear” and understand or are you busy talking?
  • What would happen if you didn’t do it (process, task, activity)?
  • Is that REALLY what would happen…?
  • What can you do to simplify not just your work, but your life?
  • Have you sat outside in nature lately, just being present in the world?
  • Have you walked barefoot in the grass or on a sandy beach, grounding yourself?
  • Do you really need that suit, dress, piece of furniture, car, or is it actually a want?
  • How come we often teach children about the differences between want and need but forget it ourselves?
  • What does reduce, reuse, recycle really mean to you? 
  • Could it mean more than that?
  • Can you get by with less “stuff”, rather than more?
  • What might you get back if you simplified your life?

Simplification isn’t always easy.  In fact, it can be darn hard.  It can take guts, sweat, a few tears, and facing our own fears.  But in the end you might find that you have given yourself something very important.  Perhaps a closer connection with yourself, your family or friends, more free time, more money back in your pocket, less stress at work, or even a new respect for nature and the circle of life.  You might find a bit more peace in the midst of the chaos we call life.

May you find ways this week, month, and year to simplify your life.  I think it’s time to go work on simplifying mine.  Peace my friends.

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What Hand Are You Holding?

There is an old song that goes like this:

  • You’ve got to know when to hold them.
  • Know when to fold them.
  • Know when to walk away.
  • Know when to run.

Sometimes, no matter the metaphorical cards and literal money on the table, the right thing to do is to fold. 

If accountability and responsibility do not align with authority and control you will not be able to do what you were hired to do.  In this case, you should fold your hand and walk away. 

Sometimes you run. 

Don’t under estimate how challenging it can be to do this.  Expecially when the anticipated income you walk away from is significant.

What does it take? 

Trust, Faith, Belief.  Trust in yourself, that you are doing the right thing.  Faith that there is a better opportunity awaiting you.  Belief that the opportunity will find you.  You just need to be there to see it. 

You won’t be able to play in that new sandbox of opportunity, where authority and accountability are in alignment and you can make a difference, if you are still sitting at the table, playing the old game.

I’ve put my cards down and walked away, can you?

If you find yourself in this situation, remember you have a choice.  Find your courage and the Lionheart Inside Yourself, to know when it is the right time to leave that game and find another.  I dare you.  I double dare you.  I double dog dare you.

Do you want to drive positive changes around you?  Can one person really make a difference?  Absolutely.  A greater difference than than you might think!

Yesterday I was interviewed for a BlogTalk Radio Show by Heather Stagl of Enclaria.  During the interview we discuss my own personal Change Revolution, how to start a revolution, courage, fear, and other related topics. 

 
Why does change require courage?  Change is hard!  You might need to rock the boat, rattle a few cages, or eh gads, talk about the elephant (or elephants) in the room!  You need to stand up and be counted.  You need to be open and honest.  You might need to go against convention and cultural norms.  But there may be others just waiting for someone to take the lead.  Can you be that leader?
 
Is there something that is really bothering you?  Is it something that you can control or do something you need to let it go in order to focus your energy in other, more productive ways?  Might it be something you can start your own revolution about?  Unsure?  Here’s some questions to help think you think about whether to start your own revolution:
  • Do I really care?
  • Why do I care?
  • How can I have an influence on this?
  • What action can I take?
  • What outcome am I looking for?
Did you know that fear can be False Expectations Appearing Real?  Can you let your fear go?  Can you redirect this energy into a more positive direction?

Each day you get a fresh start to decide how you want to approach life and your interactions with those around you.  How do you want to behave today? 

Do you have the knowledge in your head and the belief in your heart that you can make a difference?  You absolutely can.  One person, one interaction at a time.
 
Want to make changes but need some help?  If you would like help working through your challenges, driving your individual or business changes, drop me a line.  I’d love to help you either change yourself, change your business, or drive your own Change Revolution.  I can provide individual coaching and support as well as spearhead organizational and strategic change efforts.  After all, that is what my own personal revolution is about…driving positive changes in the world around me.   One person, one project at a time. 

 

What is the Change Revolution?

It’s many things.  The most important part being YOU! 

You impact the people around you each day in more ways that you can imagine.  How you act, react, and behave influences those around you.  

I’m personally on a mission to bring positive change to both businesses and to the people around me.  It’s not about dissatisfaction but rather about driving positive change.  I first wrote about this in my article The Revolution of One.  

We as individuals have more power than ever before.  We can each take accountability for our own behaviors.  Too often people slip into behaviors because it is easy.  They think “I don’t want to rock the boat.”  To this I ask if not you, than who? 

I believe that we should say “I can make a difference.”  I’ll do the right thing even if it might be harder to do. 

I believe that we each set an example, whether positive or negative, for those around us.

I firmly believe that if enough people act as individuals to be accountable and behave collaboratively we can gain momentum and begin the change process, even if organizational leadership is on board. 

For the American Revolution, it started somewhere, with someone believing things could be different.  There was no leader at the top.  It was individuals banding together because they believed things could be different.  Eventually leaders emerged.

 

Who’s Involved in the Revolution?

I wrote about a few individuals who I believe are positive change leaders in my article about Penguin Leadership.  I have another name to add to the list of Penguin Leaders, Heather Stagl.   Heather is a blogger and radio host of “The Change Agent’s Dilemma: How to Influence Change Without Authority” on BlogTalkRadio.  She is the author of the book, 99 Ways to Influence Change.  Below I’ve included a copy of her favorite blog from last year, 3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need.

Last month, Heather interviewed Garrett Gitchell (one of the Penguins), President at Vision to Work  for her Radio Show.  To listen to Garrett’s show click here.  I’m up tomorrow, June 21st, for her 11 am ET show.  Click here to listen to my show live.

The title for the show is the “Revolution of One: Finding the Courage to Drive Change.”  A few of the questions we will seek to answer include:

  • What it means to be a Revolution of One?
  • Who can start a revolution?
  • How do you know you need to start one?
  • What about driving change requires courage?
  • How do you build courage?
  • Where does it come from?


Need Some Help?

If you would like help working through your challenges, driving your individual or business changes, drop me a line.  I’d love to help you either change yourself, change your business, or drive your own Change Revolution.

As promised, here’s Heather’s article…


3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need

“It is common knowledge that in order for your change initiative to grow beyond your own span of influence you need leadership buy-in.  The truth is you need much more than approval; as a change agent you need leaders in your organization to take action that supports your initiative.

The trouble is, leaders often don’t do what is needed to implement change, even if they agree it should happen. You may think, If only they would (fill in the blank), you would be able to make some real progress.

This lack of proper leadership support is the top challenge for most change agents.  It frequently stays that way because change agents get stuck by the following traps.

1.  “It’s not my place.”

Allison was a supervisor who had been given a special assignment to implement the recommendations that resulted from an employee survey.  The biggest roadblock to improvement, she decided, was her boss’s boss, the very person who had commissioned the survey.  Allison’s boss agreed but would not do anything about it.  “What can I do?” Allison asked, “It’s not my place to address the issues with my boss’s boss.”

The organizational hierarchy can seem like an insurmountable hurdle over which to affect change.  When the person whose support you need is outside of one degree of authority, it can seem like political suicide to attempt to do something about it.  From this position of helplessness, it is easy to get stuck hoping he will figure it out on his own.

2.  “That’s just the way they are.”

Dan was a senior manager who worked directly for the CEO.  Dan’s key initiative to improve the company was to develop and solidify accountability to procedures.  The CEO, while supporting the initiative verbally, did not want to abide by procedures himself.  It was the CEO who had embodied the previously lackadaisical culture.  “I can’t do anything about it.  That’s just the way he is,” Dan lamented.

We often assume that the behaviors of others reflect an inner character trait.  This assumption is so common that psychologists call it the fundamental attribution error.  When you consider that someone will not support you because it is part of his DNA, of course you would automatically chalk it up as a lost cause.  You get trapped knowing it is impossible to change someone else.

3.  “He just doesn’t like me.”

John was a project manager who needed key data from the manager of another department.  However, John’s phone calls and e-mails requesting the information were repeatedly ignored.  John asked his boss to request the same information, and it was immediately handed over.  “Maybe she just doesn’t like me,” was John’s reasoning.

This trap is the mirror image of the fundamental attribution error.  Instead of thinking the lack of support is caused by her character, you think the lack of support is your own fault.  Whenever you interpret her behavior as a personal slight – she doesn’t respect you, she doesn’t like you, she doesn’t trust you – it traps you with self-doubt.  Insecurity is a lousy place from which to exert influence as a change agent.

Allison, Dan and John are composites of real change agents who were stuck.  But none of their traps were inherently real.  The traps were assumptions they made about the leaders and the organization.

The first step in getting out of a trap is to recognize that you may be in one.   Separate the facts from your assumptions about them.  From there, you can select a new point of view and step out of the trap, so you can find new ways to get the support you need to implement change.”

If you liked Heather’s article on 3 Traps that Keep Change Agents from Getting the Support They Need, you can read more of her blogs by clicking here.

A few weeks back I wrote Are You an Entrepreneur? … or Maybe Not?  In that article I mentioned a book soon coming to market by Carol Roth, The Entrepreneur Equation.  I’m thrilled to announce that the book has arrived.  Not only has it arrived, it arrived in true Carol Roth style.

I met Carol last year at the World Business Forum.  She is a savvy female executive, who not only plays in the big leagues, she does it on her own terms and with her own style.  If you doubt that, check out those pink shoes!  Carol has never shied away from hard facts and uncomfortable realities, especially when it comes to the business world.

Carol’s book can help you answer more than just “Could I be an entrepreneur?” but rather “Should I be an entrepreneur?”  We all probably can be if we wanted it bad enough.  If we threw enough time, energy, and money at it.  However, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.  You can jump off the roof of a house, but should you.  It’s your choice.

The Entrepreneur Equation outlines a framework for both new entrepreneurs evaluating whether to start a business as well as current entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed and overworked or even evaluating the future of their business model.  It’s unlike other books out there that promise “seven steps to success”.  To quote Carol, “those seven step are B.S. – entrepreneurship isn’t one size fits all.”   

Success as a business owner is dependent upon your own circumstances, goals and objectives at any given time.  What’s a good risk/reward tradeoff for you is entirely different from what’s a good tradeoff for anyone else.  Carol’s book gives you a framework to maximize your own personal success, based on your goals and objectives, not someone else’s.

During this week, you can take part in Carol’s Power of Three.  So what is The Power of Three (other than a Charmed episode)?  Well, for every copy of The Entrepreneur Equation you pre-order through http://theentrepreneurequation.com/special-offers/ by February 18, 2011, you:

1 – Help yourself (or perhaps a client, colleague, friend or family member) stack the odds of success in your or their favor;

2 – Help a small business succeed, as Carol will match your purchase by donating a copy to her non-profit partner SCORE (www.SCORE.org) to give their volunteers another tool to help them grow successful small businesses; and

3 – Help both Carol and myself to achieve our personal goals of spreading this important message and seeing this book succeed.

In addition, if you buy even just one book through the site, you will also receive a free 3-part audio series: Strategies for Getting Your Company, Your Product or Yourself on TV & Other Free Press with Emmy award winners, TV anchors and PR veterans, as well as Carol’s own insights on how she landed her tv pilot deal and other press.

Check out Carol’s other offers, which includes an amazing contest where other entrepreneurs have offered generous prizes, such as Michael Port (private mentoring session at his house worth $1999), Les McKeown (a seat in his Predictable Success workshop worth $3500), a strategy session with the amazing Liz Strauss, a mega-star membership to Online Videopolis (worth $2364), and many, many more.  Visit http://theentrepreneurequation.com/special-offers/ for details and to purchase.

Want to know more?  Here’s a few of the examples of those “right questions” in the book :

  • Are you going to create a “salable” business, rather than a “jobbie or a “Job-Business  
    • There’s a great chart in the book that breaks this down.
  • How are you with your personal finances? 
    • If you can’t manage your own finances, then “you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur trying to manage a business (and implicitly, the business’s finances)“. 
  • Are you willing to put in a LOT of hard work and practice? 
    • The “Secret” of success is not just a great idea, a positive attitude, and venture funding. 
  • Are you a “Santa or an Elf”? 
    • Are you better at giving direction, or taking direction?  If you are the latter, it will be very, very hard to run a business on your own.
  • Are you “too smart for your own good”? 
    • Do you have problems giving up control over anything because “nobody can do it better than you”?  Carol has quite an interesting take on this one. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone even remotely thinking about starting their own business – it’s a great reality check that covers all the bases.  It’s caused me to stop and assess where my own business as well as what my personal goals and objectives really are.

Here’s to Doing Your Own Math (not someone elses) and finding your own answer to The Entrepreneur Equation.  Whatever your answer is, it’s the right one for you, rather than for someone else.

Back to that unique Carol Roth style, here’s a link to a story about her Carol Roth doll.  It’s fabulous.   Here’s a link to win one of the Carol Roth dolls for those who are interested.  And yes, I did enter the contest myself.

Nigel Marsh at TEDxSydney

Work/life balance is a topic that has gotten a fair amount of press in the last decade or so.  My observation is that it has been an increasingly difficult thing to achieve with the advent of “social media” and the ease of communication via email.  There are so many channels and ways to connect…but are we making the right connections, the important ones?

I found a wonderful 10 minute video by on this topic from TEDxSydney.  You can pack a lot in 10 minutes, let me tell you.  Nigel Marsh is the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” and “Overworked and Underlaid.”

As this is a Ponderings & Insights article, I’ve got some questions for you to ponder:

  • Do you find it difficult to balance work and life?
    • How do you define the balance?
    • What do you do to set boundaries?
    • What timeframe are you measuring with?  A single day, a week, a month or something else?
  • Do  you have a clear idea of where life ends and work starts?
    • How do you define work?
    • How do you define life, what do you include?  (e.g. is working out really “life”, for me it isn’t)
  • What would your ideal day look like?

Here’s an interesting quote from Nigel’s video (click here to see the video):

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who work long, hard hours, at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.”

So here are some of the thoughts and insights I took away:

  • Some jobs choices and careers are fundamentally in opposition to balance. 
    • Many of mine have been. 
    • Time to do a bit of reassessment…at a deeper level that I already had been.
  • There are multiple dimensions that need to be cared for – the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of each of us.
    • While I do know this, I’m asking myself if I am focusing enough on balancing all of them.
    • Should I “schedule in” meditation time or is perhaps even needing to schedule it in a sign of a potential issue?
  • Small things matter.  That there is great value with focused time.  Especially with your kids. 

I know I’ve reached a critical point with the last one.  One of my daughters has twice said this week that I am on the computer too much and has directly asked me to get off.  She went on to talk with Dad about computers – that she thinks people use them too much.  Not just our family, but everywhere.  This wisdom…from a 9 year old. 

We tell our children that winning isn’t everything but are we demonstrating that.  I wonder?  How often are we letting our Ego drive decision making and run the show?  It needs to be heads and hearts together – feeding the mind, emotions, and soul in equal proportion.

It’s time for us to have a family meeting and talk about balance.  How we want to interact.  How we as a family want to define balance.  Our definition of success, not the Ego’s definition.  It’s time to really “put the money where the mouth is” as the saying goes.  Or perhaps, better stated as choose the option with less money, but more family time.

I don’t know what you thought, but for myself, Nigel’s ideal day doesn’t sound so bad to me.  I wonder how many of us wish we had days like that?  How life might truly be different if we did?  Could we do this?  Something to ponder.  That, and how am I really going to spend my day today.  What boundaries will I set?  What activities will I participate in?

Here’s hoping that you find ways to have more special moments, more connected time, and more…

The Energy Elephant. Do You Bring Positive or Negative Energy?

This morning one of my favorite bloggers, Jonathan Fields, had an interesting story about a creative marking approach.  Jonathan’s article made me smile (as it often does) but at the same time left me feeling a bit hollow.  The marketing example he shared was funny and seriously creative.  

The pitch was to shop while you are bored at work.  It even included a  “Boss Button”.  You press the button if your boss walks buy when you are shopping.  Your shopping screen is covered with a page showing “corporate jargon” and a fake pie-chart.  I agree, it was funny.  I applaud the creativity.  

What bothered me was the root of the humor.  The humor wouldn’t have held true if it wasn’t directed at a fundamental underlying problem or experience.

  • How people feel at work, their emotional state. 
  • What they bring to work (i.e. attitude)
  • How they are using their time, or rather not using their time (i.e. manifestations of boredom/procrastination).

Here’s a link to Jonathan’s article if you are interested. 

Here’s the comment (ok, rant) I left on his site. 

At the same time I was laughing, I was also quite sad and feeling a bit depressed.  Why, at what the “work world” seems to have come to.  The attitude people tend to bring with them to work, and how many spend their day…not working.

Often times it’s not just “the company” at fault when the environment is poor.  It’s also what the employees bring or don’t bring to the metaphorical table.  Positive energy breeds positive energy, negative breeds negative.

There is a great difference between procrastination and boredom.  Much of what appears to be boredom is actually procrastination.  It’s not that they don’t have things to do, they don’t want to do them.

Just imagine if everyone kicked in gear, left the attitude at home and wanted to make a difference not matter where they were or what they were doing.  That they recognized that they may not be at their optimal job doing what they love best but that a) they were employed, b) were lucky to be employed, and c) could have a positive impact wherever they are.

What they are doing doesn’t have to be forever, but rather than making the worst of it couldn’t they make the most of it for both themselves and their employer.  After all, they took part of creating the situation.  They accepted the job offer…otherwise they wouldn’t even be there.

Own up and own your experience. Ok, rant over.

My questions for you to ponder today are:

  • What attitude do you bring with you to work?
    • Are you bringing your A game?
    • Do you look for ways to make positive changes or do you wait for others to “fix” problems for you?
  • Do you ever reflect on the fact that you are privileged to be employed, yes privileged? 
    • If you don’t feel priviledged, go read about the state of the world.  Don’t just rely on what you see around you.
    • If you are employed, you likely have a roof over your head and food on the table.  Many people do not.
  • What might you accomplish today if you “turned off” the unnecessary social media?  I hear complaints (and complain sometimes myself) about the overload of information. 
    • How much of that is within your control? 
    • What are you doing to yourself?

If you are unhappy with where you are, I encourage you to remind yourself that it doesn’t need to be forever.  Things rarely are, even when we want them to be.  In the interim, bring your A game.  Make a difference where you are at this moment in time.  Just think about how things around you could change if you did.  As I said in my rant above, positivity breeds positivity and negativity breeds negativity. 

Are you adding positive or negative energy when you are on the job?  What can you do to change things for the better?  Bring the Attitude of Gratitude on-line and into your life.  It makes a difference.  Really, it does.

Hum, time to take my own advice and buck up little doggie.  I’m thankful for:

  • The roof over my head – even if I dislike my too large mortgage that comes with it.
  • My mostly healthy family – which is better than seriously unhealthy or passed on.
  • The ability to read and to write – many cannot – and I couldn’t write this article without those basic skills.  (ok, who snickered out there…thinking maybe it would be better if I didn’t have them)
  • The fact that I have those extra lbs. on the hips.  After all, they indicate that I have food available to me, unlike many in the world. 

I’m also thankful that you found it in your heart to read this entire article.  Really, thank you.  May we all find ways to move ourselves and others from the negative to the positive side of the equation. 

P.S.  Tomorrow I’ll work on writing my list without the qualifiers attached.  One step at a time, one day at a time.  All forward progress, not matter how small, is good.

Oct
20

Let’s talk about Courage and how to Find Your Lion: A conversation with Bill Treasurer

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The concept of courage has been front and center in my mind lately.  For those of you reading for a while, you may have observed that I have been building up to this.  There are connections, both directly and thematically in many of my blogs about driving change.  Most specifically within The Revolution of One, Stop, Look and Listen, Anatomy of a Change Agent, Penguin Leadership, and Being Lionhearted©.

I believe that we are at multiple crossroads.  I see the need for significant changes within businesses, within the political arena, and within social structures.  All three of these are connected in multiple ways across multiple dimensions.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t just need Change Agents, that we need Lionhearted Change Agents ©.  That to truly drive the changes we need, more people will need to step out of their comfort zones.  Many of us need to be more courageous more often.  We must be aware of “social norming” and combat it at the source.  Not just how we act, but also how we react.

After writing Being Lionhearted©, I posted the following question in Linked In.

What does courage cost? How is it rewarded or suppressed? It takes great courage to drive long term, sustainable change? What can be done to build courage in today’s environment?

I had several motivations for doing this.  Not the least of which was to generate a dialog within a group of individuals who should already be Change Agents.  To ask them to think further and deeper about courage.  To encourage and challenge them to become more courageous themselves.

One of the participates in the on-line dialog is Bill Treasurer.  Bill is founder and Chief Encouragement Officer at Giant Leap Consulting (GLC), a courage-building company.  Bill established this company in 2002 to help people and organizations live more courageously.  He is the author of Courage Goes to Work, a book about how to inspire more courageous behavior in workplace settings.  His first book, Right Risk, is about how to take smart risks.  It draws on Bill’s experiences as a daredevil athlete.  Personally, I can’t imagine diving off of 100 foot platforms like he did!  Yikes.  Talk about Courage.

I had a chance to speak voice-to-voice with Bill regarding his background and experiences.  Bill believes “…that with less fear and more courage, workers take on harder projects, deal better with change, and speak up more willingly about important issues.”  I agree wholeheartedly with him.

Bill’s view is “…that individually and organizationally, people can generally be divided into two camps: safety-seekers and opportunity-seekers.  During times of heightened anxiety or uncertainty, such as NOW, the Camp Safety swells with refugees.  There is a danger in this flight to safety.  Just when our organizations need us to provide ground-breaking (and tradition-defying) ideas, we are, instead, hunkering down underneath our desks.”

Below are some of Bill’s tips for helping you be more courageous at work.  This list was extracted from his latest article, The First Virtue.

  • “Be Mindful of the Risks of Not Risking. The risk of inaction is usually more perilous than the risk of action.  As you consider a risk, be clear about the dangers of not taking the risk, too.
  • Ask the Holy Question. Here are the four most important words you’ll ever learn in the English language: What do you want? Most people don’t take the time to answer that question with specificity.  Those who do, however, are in a much better position to figure out the actions they need to take in order to get what they want.
  • Have Something to Prove. Take on challenges that cause you to have to prove yourself to yourself.  When the going gets rough, having something to prove can be a source of energy and motivation.
  • Make Forward-Falling Mistakes. Making no mistakes is just as dangerous as making too many.  Have a “mistake ratio,” a good balance between not making enough mistakes and making too many.  As long as the mistakes you make are forward-falling, you’re making progress.
  • Harness Fear. Fear is a normal, natural and necessary part of the work experience.  While uncomfortable, fear has energy, and that energy can be useful when facing tough challenges.  Harness your fear by spending time with it.  The more you experience the thing that you’re afraid of, the more desensitized you become to it.
  • Jump First. The best way to encourage those around you to be more courageous is to be more courageous yourself … first!  Ask yourself, “When was the last time you did something courageous that probably left a favorable impression on the people you work with?”  In other words, when did you last jump first?”

You can learn more about Courage Goes to Work, Bill’s international bestseller, at www.couragegoestowork.com.  Bill’s newest courage material, Courageous Leadership: Using Courage to Transform the Workplace, comes out in early 2011.  It’s an off-the-shelf courage-building training program being published by Pfeiffer.  Personally, I can’t wait to see it.

My hope is that you can find a bit more courage within yourself.  That you not just Own Your Elephant , but that you Find Your Lion Inside.  That you take positive action rather than just observing or standing aside.  It takes time, courage, and energy.  I’m hoping that you can find a bit more inside yourself and join my Change Revolution.  Cheers.

Comments Off on Let’s talk about Courage and how to Find Your Lion: A conversation with Bill Treasurer
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Are you Being Lionhearted © or are you just one of the crowd?

The second day of the World Business Forum 2010 is complete.  The speakers today talked about economics, the environment, politics, culture, product selection, survival, and the film industry to name a few.  One theme that emerged for me was the need for courage. 

This is something that I have been pondering for a while.  The courage that it will take from many individuals, both on their own and working together to drive true, lasting, sustainable change.

Do you have the courage to:

  • Focus on the Long-term, not just the Short-term? 
  • Change the way you make decisions?
  • Make the less “popular” choices?
  • Make the choices for sustainability?
  • Speak the truth, not just what sounds good?
  • Dig into the details, not just the sound bits?
  • Be a Leader, not just a Manager or Executive?’
  • Talk about the Elephants in the room?
  • Change yourself?

Courage comes from many places and many sources.  But must come from within to be sustained.  Are you courageous?  I’m working on my Lion’s heart.  Come join me.

More to come about Being Lionhearted:  The Courage to Change © soon.  In the interim, see the WBF Bloggers Hub for comments and questions about being courageous.

Book to come – ebook or other tbd. 

In the interim, visit the Ponders & Insights over the next weeks and months for more on this topic. 

I would love to hear back from you about how you are courageous, when and where you have had the courage to change, and what you feel it takes to stand up and go against the crowd to do what you feel is right. 

Do you have stories about having the courage to change yourself and to be an example to others?  If so, I would love to hear them.

Guiding Principles

- Think Holistically
- Seek the Root Causes
- Respect the Individual
- Demonstrate Accountability
- Collaborate with Clients
- Work with Integrity, Always
- Relate to the Business Strategy
- Ensure Alignment
- Demonstrate Responsibility
- Transfer Skills

Thoughts and Quotes