Procrastination: Innocent or Guilty as Charged?

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2020

I am not a felony procrastinator, but I do practice misdemeanor procrastination. 

My rap sheet is a mile long for minor infractions on tasks that I know I should do but feel hard or uncomfortable, or tasks that are just unpleasant. Because I keep putting it off, the task starts to grow in my mind, getting bigger and harder and more unpleasant. As a result, I avoid it even more.   

I even have a category in my task manager titled Eventually. I don't want to forget about these things, but I still haven't committed to doing them.

These open loops, as Jack Canfield calls them, suck up time and energy because you're thinking about them all the time!

Take my kitchen buffet for instance.

It's right inside the most-used door to the house.  The top catches all the things we have in our hands when we walk through the door.  The two cupboards and four drawers have become the place to put school supplies, power cords, cables, dog stuff, misc. stuff,...

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GASP! When You Don't Know the Answer

Uncategorized Sep 09, 2020

Let’s face it: We are smart people. We wouldn’t be considered professionals if we weren’t. We were hired to have good answers, and we usually get paid good money to provide those answers at the appropriate time.

 

But every now and then, someone throws us a curve ball. Or something comes from so far out of left field that we are left wondering “where in the heck did THAT come from!?”

 

How we handle those moments can make or break our credibility for the future, so tread carefully.

 

Sarcasm is usually not appropriate, as tempting as it might be.  So refrain from the “does anyone have any good questions?” response! Or the “do I look like the budget guy?”

 

Perhaps a “can you help me understand what’s behind that question?” answer might be more helpful. Let them do some talking, which helps you understand more context AND gives you a few seconds to think.

 

Or the...

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My Leadership Journey and My Ah-ha Moment

Uncategorized Sep 02, 2020

 

Someone asked me recently how I ended up in leadership development when I started with an engineering degree.

The answer is simple, yet complicated and has to do with a key leadership skill.  It is self-awareness.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of my self-awareness was based on hindsight and reflection!  It was only later in my career when the true self-awareness hit me with an ah-ha moment.  Ever since then, career decisions have been easier.

Here's what I mean.

My organization had four branches: research, development, engineering, and an operations arm.

My first ten years there was as a practicing engineer in the research areas of vehicle electronics and then (briefly) software. 

I didn't enjoy embedded software systems very much, so I quickly took the opportunity to move to the development area, where I was doing mostly project lead work. I stayed there for eight years handling bigger and bigger projects until boredom and an ethical dilemma forced me to...

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Positivity During a Pandemic

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2020

We are entering the fifth month of the pandemic in the United States where working from home, social distancing, and wearing masks is now the norm.

It's easy to see the downsides.

I haven't hugged my mom in five months, I've put on a few pounds, I worry about my family and friends a lot more.  I worry about MY future a lot more.

The list could go on and on.

It's easy to feel like there are no upsides, but there are. You just have to look for them. If I look, what are my upsides?

I rescued a German Shepherd when having a German Shepherd was literally on my bucket list. 

I got to ease into retirement from the Army a little more smoothly than expected because I was working from home the preceding two weeks anyway. 

My daughter gets to have an extended stay with her previously long-distance boyfriend, and that has been great for their relationship.

Frankly, the pandemic has allowed me to set up my new business better, because I had the time.  While other...

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Meditation: The Science Behind the Recommendation

Uncategorized Aug 19, 2020
Meditation to the brain is like a shower to the body – a way to cleanse and renew

Meditation.

When we hear the word, it’s hard not to conjure up certain images.  These vary from robe-clad monks and their Gregorian chants to hippies sitting in the lotus position repeating “Ohm” over and over again.

The truth is that meditation includes both those things but so much more!

I hope I don't have to tell you if you shower regularly you'll be a more effective leader.  I DO think more busy leaders need to shower their mind more regularly to be a better human.

In case you’re not involved with a regular practice yet, let me appeal to that logical brain of yours.

Here are 9 scientific reasons (with links to the actual studies) why everyone needs to start meditating today:

Meditation and Your Physical Brain

Most leaders know that to be effective, the brain must be in peak condition. Not many leaders realize, though, that meditation can change...

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Happy March 173rd

Uncategorized Aug 12, 2020

This strange reality we are living in these days has caused many of us to have what I'm calling The COVID Fog.

If you find yourself asking questions like:

  • What day is it?
  • Wasn't the 4th of July like two weeks ago? or
  • What happened to May and June?

You are infected with The COVID Fog.

It's like March never ended as the days blended into a stay-at-home routine.  So let's acknowledge it and name it.  Today is officially March 173rd.

Humans have evolved to grow and learn, and it's deflating for us mentally, physically, and emotionally to be uncertain and play the waiting game. We can handle a temporary holding pattern, but when it lasts months and has stress and doubt piled on top of it, our resilience suffers.

Physically, the Quarantine 15 is real, as we face a convenient refrigerator and the closure of our gyms. 

Mentally and emotionally, we've been on a roller coaster.  People are facing lost jobs, furloughs, increased workloads, a difficult business...

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Turning the Invisible in the Visible

Uncategorized Aug 04, 2020

Sometimes that overwhelmed feeling we have is because we feel stuck.

It's not visible to anyone; after all, we are getting a ton of things done.

But inside, we feel as if there is just...MORE to give and have.

I know I can't be the only one out there who feels that!

I mean, I had a great job, with a great boss, and job security like nobody's business.  And yet, I leave that and start my own company.

Even I look crazy to myself when I think of it that way.

But I did it and here's why.

I was reading an article today and part of it really resonated.  "When we are tired, it is most often a symptom of boredom. When no real challenge faces us, our brains relieve its natural tension and no longer pays attention and exerts effort."

This lack of energy is caused by a lack of challenge. I think it feels like you're stuck.

So if I'm to believe Mr. Robbins (and I do), this invisible feeling of stuckness (not a word as my spell checker is desperately...

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Conflict at Work? Plan Your Way Out of It!

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2020

Let's face it. We all have that coworker (or boss, or direct report…) that we think of when someone asks "who's the biggest thorn in your side at work?". No one needs daily workplace conflict in their life.

But it doesn't take very long to develop a game plan that sets you on the path to office nirvana.

I like to make things very simple (life is complicated enough, in my opinion!). To execute this four-step plan, you need a pen or a pencil, a piece of paper, an optional adult beverage, and your best brain cell.

And it wouldn't hurt to download the free guide that accompanies this post!  Just click here.

Figure Out if the Conflict is Worth Resolving

Before we can begin to resolve a conflict, we need to think about the cold hard facts of the situation. Grab your paper and jot down all the things you can objectively think of regarding the situation. These are facts only!

Now jot down how those facts made you feel.

For example, what was said is fact. That you thought it...

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