Not Knowing It

I read somewhere that the people who encourage you the most are those that don’t even know their doing it.  These people are "lovers" and "encouragers" by habit and passion.  They know no other way to be.  Thankfully there are a number of these folks walking the planet.  Certainly, Corporate America is in need of more of them.

When you encounter someone who encourages you, thank them.  They’re pouring gold into your life.

Here are a few tips to identify the "lovers" and "encouragers:"

  1. Look for those that are more interested in you than the circumstances (current numbers, process flows, etc.).
  2. Look back and see the "milestones" the person has left you.  If you see a pattern of love and encouragement, you’ve found someone special.
  3. Look for vision, someone who believes in the unknown.

Value the encounters because we’re only granted a limited time to do what we must do.

ROD (Return on Development

What attracts people to your organization?  Is it the reputation of the firm?  Or, maybe the "brand" is highly sought after.  Whatever the reason most organizations would say attracting talent is essential. 

The "eight hundred pound gorilla" is asking why so few organizations concentrate on development…in the hunt for, and the retention of talent.  One key reason for this derelict behavior is fear.  A number of corporations fear losing top talent to competitors (if they grow they’ll want more and leave).  Incorrectly, they think of more ways to make talented people dependent, than nurturing their strengths.  They fear removing executives that have stopped growing ("Bob has been hear for fifteen years we could never turn his world upside down, and besides he could sue").  I could list many other fears, but you get the point.

Some who believe development is "soft" want proof that leadership development, growth planning and vision casting works.  These folks want something tangible before the risk the capital investment.  Needless to say, I’m amazed that we’re suspicious of developing HUMAN BEINGS.  This suspicion is directly connected with our obsession with numbers (profit).

As the shortage of top talent increases the idea of ROD (Return on Development) will get more attention, and hopefully more action too.  Organizations that ignore the reality of the future ahead will go the way of the dinosaur.  Ironically, we’re getting the warnings, the dinosaurs didn’t.

In the end, think about organizations that don’t develop their top talent.  Maybe you work for an entity that doesn’t spend much of anything on development.  Either way the results of leaving top talent alone are evident.

Holding Onto Vision

When you’re surrounded by opposition and detours, what’s your path…in light of the "vision?"  If the vision is clear, you’ll see the fight as a test.  Tests are necessary when we are on the path of our dreams.  They prove us and prepare us.  Greatness is formed in the midst of struggle.  Greatness doesn’t come easy, but it is birthed as we experience…no matter what you’ve heard (directly or indirectly).

Holding onto the vision is essential.  We are prone to giving up, giving in and succumbing to our fears.  Some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been wrapped around the principle of "keep going."  Often breakthroughs come once we’ve withstood the force of opposition.  Chuck Swindoll once noted that the stronger the winds, the stronger the roots.  He’s right!

Believe me, I know what it feels like to think that all is lost.  I also know that just standing firm while circumstances blow has helped me tremendously.  The journey is long, but I would rather do what I was born to do, rather than compromise or give up.  Join me in holding on.

One Regret

When I look back to ponder decisions made, I can’t help but have one regret.  That regret is not slowing down to experience the “moments.”  Through many, too many to note, chapters of life, I’ve spent so much time running…usually chasing success, not significance.  Many times I heard God’s small and still voice telling me that He had my life covered.  When you’re running fast, you don’t pay attention.

Now that I’m heading into forty, I am practicing the art of slowing down.  You should consider this art as well…regardless of your age.  The sooner you learn it the better off you will be.  Oddly enough, the more you slow down the better (and more successful) you’ll be. 

I’m Willing To Wait

I had a conversation with a young lady this week who struck me with her patience.  In an age of quarter-by-quarter statistics and "give it to me now" careerism, I’m encouraged when I meet someone who is willing to wait. 

In our conversation she relayed how thankful she was that she didn’t get a certain promotion.  She was practicing the art of connecting the dots.  I feel for those that never do that.  The essence of life is the "lifetime."  Without a doubt this lady was sharp, and I have no doubt she’ll do well in her career.  People that don’t expect overnight successes usually live out their dreams.

If you’re struggling with waiting, take a cue from history.  The following article is a great example to learn from. Link:

Do You Know Your Success?

As a culture obsessed with success, you would think we’d be more knowledgeable regarding that success.  But so often I meet people who think they’re one step away from utter ruin.  You’d think that their success began yesterday.  Life is full of mysteries…this is definitely one of them.

If you’re in the category of ignorance, let me give you a few tips:

  1. Ask yourself what scares you most.  This is more than likely the source of your insecurity and stress.
  2. Look at the reasons for your success.  Most truly successful people can figure this one out.  If you’ve never done this, just write them down and reflect.  The reasons are good for rain or shine.
  3. Get a vision and make it your own.
  4. Stop embracing the "foreboding!"
  5. Get to know the Designer, he has the keys to unlock the code of your success.

Outgrowing Your Boss

Do you work for someone who is your junior?  Statistics say that this describes a number of leaders in Corporate America.  Don’t get me wrong, its no sin to be further along than your boss.  But the danger comes when you’ve outgrown your boss.  Growth should be paramount to your boss and you, and I’m not talking about a performance appraisal engagement. 

Leaders that have decided (it always comes down to decisions) to stop growing, create environments that are extremely dormant.  Leaders that are growing, conversely, create environments of discovery and innovation.  Sadly most organizations don’t realize they have this issue until very late in the game.

If you’re a boss and find that you’ve stop growing, wake up!  If you’re a leader (who is growing) working for someone who has stopped growing, consider your options.