And…Action!

Guy Kawasaki’s blog entry: "The Art of Panels" from yesterday, speaks volumes about the impact of internet video.  He also gives some useful tips on making the transition from "old world" exposure.  Things are changing rapidly in the world we live in today.  In case you didn’t know:-)

You should live anticipating change…of all varieties.

Winning and Losing

I was asked yesterday by a friend what makes the lessons we learn "stick."  Obviously, that depends on the person and their will to make a change.  But one of the most powerful tools for making a lesson stick is losing. What!  Yes, losing is a teacher that should not be ignored.

It is clear to me that no one wants to lose.  It can be embarrassing, frustrating and downright painful.  But the principle remains; losing teaches us in ways that winning doesn’t.  By the way, I hope and expect The Ohio State University football team to win tomorrow!

I wrote earlier this week about a new film titled "A Good Year."  Here is the link to the film’s site.  Click on the video link and look at the trailer titled "Tennis."  It won’t give away the story…go see the movie for that.  But it does illustrate well what I mean about losing. 

So what are some of the by-products of this process?  Here are some that have taken root in my own life:

  1. Our greatest loss can be the source of our greatest awakening.
  2. Others can be influenced mightily by our story…if we’re willing to tell it.
  3. You find out who really loves you when you lose.
  4. The opportunity to lead with character (not position) appears in front of you.
  5. Managing your life becomes vital

The Living

Are you trapped?  Many are…some have given up on finding a way out.  There’s a another group that’s trying to find a new path.  Sometimes art imitates life. 

All of the above is to set you up for this link to A Good Year.  It’s a new movie by Ridley Scott that might resonate with you.  I highly recommend that you take the test link titled "Live to Work or Work To Live."  I smiled after my results…wouldn’t have been able to say that some time ago.

What will you do with the life you’ve been given?

Is She Ready to Lead?

Vert_pelosi_cnn_03 I don’t write about politics, but I thought it was timely to talk about the implications regarding leadership.  The biggest question I have about Nancy Pelosi is not whether she’s for higher taxes or a higher minimum wage.  The question for me is whether she’s read to lead.  Now you may say that Ms. Pelosi has been the minority leader for years and therefore can handle her future assignment without blinking.  I would say pause…getting promoted doesn’t mean you’re ready.  What is or what will she do to prepare?

I don’t have any idea what Ms. Pelosi will do, but I can help you and Ms. Pelosi (if she’s reading this blog).  The following are some tips to remember when preparing for the "next" assignment:

  1. Make sure your character is as strong as your skills.  If you’ve been leaving your character alone then you’re in trouble.
  2. Go to trusted (I MEAN TRUSTED) advisers/mentors to help you get the resources or input needed for a bigger role.
  3. Don’t believe your on press.  In other words, just because you were promoted doesn’t mean you’re ready or the best person for the job.  It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be there, it just means be humble and do the things that successful leaders do.  For example, if Thomas Jefferson recommended that kindness is essential in leading, then you should start working on your kindness.
  4. Don’t get comfortable…people who get comfortable think that things don’t change and they begin to relax.  Ladies and gentleman, I don’t care how many years you’ve been doing something.  THINGS CHANGE!
  5. Be who you are…and follow that end…

                  

Is Apple Flattered?

As you may know, Microsoft has introduced a new product (Zune) to compete with Apple’s I-Pod.  This article from Business Week gives a review and comparison.  I wonder if Microsoft’s strategy is now related to waiting to see what’s "hot" and then duplicate.  I just don’t see how waiting and seeing helps you in the long run.

As in business, your life was not meant to be a duplicator.  The best life lived is found in what you were "wired" to be.  Go ask the average eighty-year old about this and you might be shocked by the tears of regret.

Be who you are!

Google Disruptions

  Google_1                     

As this Forbes article states, the newspaper industry is finding their traditional business model (advertising) disrupted by Google.  Is that a bad thing?  I don’t think so. 

Businesses are run by people, so they sometime prefer predictable and comfortable environments.  You know, the old if it ain’t broken…In many cases change is to be avoided at all costs.  Leaders can talk a good game about managing change when it is thrust upon them.  The best leaders welcome it before that day arrives…that day has arrived for the newspaper world.

I think about the number of years I sought security and comfort…it leaves me laughing and crying.  Fortunately my scars give me something to speak from.  2006 has been a year of experiencing changes that look so different from my "normal."  The familiar has been swept away.

But I’m Alive!  I am more alive than ever before…welcoming change as friend and not an enemy.  The musician Seal once wrote: "The future is my friend.  It hurts, but it treats me well."  He’s right…I’m a living example.

Remember, if changing (yourself or a business model) bothers you, then learning does to.  You can’t have one without the other.

                                        

Productive Inspiration

This profile of Jim Donald, CEO of Starbucks, in a recent issue of Fortune is truly inspirational.  I especially like his approach around meetings and returning phone calls.  Many organizations and their leaders should take Mr. Donald’s counsel to heart.

How productive are you?