Being limitless, and tips on how to be this way as a leader or individual.

I’ve never been the type of person who imposes restrictions upon myself, or others. The funny thing about this, is how many people I have seen do this to themselves. Whether this is something they are doing intentionally is up for debate. When I encounter someone who is doing this, I will ask them if they are aware of my perception of them that this is something they are doing? 

Generally, the answer is that they are not aware of this perception, and will typically ask me for examples of them doing this. The curious thing for me, is that the examples I give them are from my perspective so obvious. More puzzling to me is that my examples appear to be ones they never have heard of before, yet when I point them out, they have an “aaahh-ha” moment of complete clarity. Why is this happening, and is it possible for people to course correct on this challenge themselves?

The answer is that yes, people can course correct, and become more aware of them seemingly being blind to not seeing how they place restrictions on themselves. However, one thing they will need to do first, is to be open-minded and willing to accept the fact they are doing this.

Let’s face a reality here. We know that not everyone is open-minded, but I will stress that everyone does have the capacity to be so. This is one of the keys to allowing yourself to become limitless in terms of how to set yourself up differently as both an individual, or leader. Potentially leaders could be constricted with being open-minded based on rules and regulations they may have imposed on them from others they need to answer to. Not always, and there are always exceptions to this.

Being open-minded and independent as a leader does not mean you have to completely compromise your desire to exercise these characteristics. Although chances are greater that you may need to be more creative and influential to obtain your goals to maintain your or other’s ability to be limitless in your thinking. This should be a challenge most leaders are familiar with, and I’m not suggesting it is easy to accomplish this. However, it will be worth the effort to pursue making this happen.

Focusing on you right now, consider a time in your life when you felt you didn’t have any restrictions imposed on your life or thinking. For context, this is in terms of your thinking and actions which could be coordinated to help you to have unlimited possibilities to pursue and achieve. Yes, responsibilities in one’s life will somewhat hinder unlimited thinking opportunities, but again the strategy is to find work arounds for them. Think of challenges as being simply obstacles that need to be overcome, and that every one of them has at least one solution to do so. This is ideally when your open-mindedness thinking is going to come into play, and yes, you can be open-minded, even if you don’t think it’s possible to be this way.

In terms of tips to help you to become more limitless with your thinking, below are some suggestions I have for you to consider applying.

  • Do you have a clear idea of what you actually want to accomplish? Is this written down anywhere, or have you expressed your vision about what you want to achieve?
  • If you have not written down a list of what you want to accomplish, this is the perfect time to do so, and yes, right after reading this story.
  • Once you have your list, write down next to the items what would be obstacles which would prevent you from accomplishing what you want to achieve.
  • The next step will be for you to come up with a third row which will provide you with solutions to overcome the obstacles you have factored in.
  • The fourth step is going to be putting your list into action, and potentially sharing it with those who it will impact. You are going to want to have others bought into what you are trying to do, and when they are, it will make it much easier to partner with them to help you to do so. Particularly if you are a leader, or sports team coach.
  • Thinking retrospectively, have there been times in your life when you limited yourself? Be honest with yourself, of course there were. This is fine, and even better to admit. More importantly is to peel back your thinking in terms of why you did this. Take some time to think this through, and consider whether there is something similar in your life you are faced with right now, and which you might be doing the exact same thing?
  • Is there a pattern you have established which has contributed to closing off your mind and life or professional world from being able to achieve what you want to because you have self-imposed restrictions on why you can’t do something? You fill in the blank on this, as I guarantee there are more restrictions you have placed upon yourself than you might have been willing to admit. This is one of the reasons why people succumb to being closed minded and introduce restrictions on what they can accomplish personally or professionally.
  • Are you fully committed to attempting to be more accepting of the fact you have not been able to allow yourself to be limitless in your thinking, yet, want to make a concerted effort in achieving being this way?
  • My final suggestion is to give yourself permission to think differently, and to slowly accept that it is possible to do so.

I have personally seen many people transform their way of thinking to be more open-minded, and yes, this does take some practice. No, you will not be an overnight success in attempting to master this, but you will get there. Even better is that once you are solidly on the path to being limitless with your thinking, I can guarantee you will have a lot more fun in your life, and be able to achieve things you never imagined would be possible.

TAGS: #Leadership #Business #Motivation #Success #Tipsonbeingunlimitedinyourthinking #Unlimitedpossibilities #Sportscoach #Thinkingdifferently #Empoweringyourself #Teams #Openmindedness #Beingopenminded #Howtobeopenminded #Tiponhowtobeopenminded

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Waiting to live. Are you one of these people?

When I hear people talking about how they wish they could do something or go somewhere, I have to resist telling them to make it happen. Yes, I realize that there are circumstances which would make it difficult for everyone to do everything they talk about wanting to do. However, with some planning and focus, I firmly believe anything is possible.

There is a concept of manifestation that intrigues me. I am by no means an expert on this topic, but I like the potential opportunity it provides people to achieve what they focus their mind on. Sure, it would be fabulous to be able to simply focus on something positive and have it happen, but what if it could? At least some of the time. Would you give this concept a try? I don’t think you have anything to lose except some time concentrating on what you desire to have happen.

Although it is not exactly the same, the concept of visualization seems partially related to manifesting what you want. Numerous pro athletes and high achievers leverage visualization to help them see themselves in the place they want be, or achieving what they desire to do so. If you are not familiar with the concept of visualization, it’s worth taking some time to read up on it.

Upon doing a quick Google search on what are the “best books on visualization techniques”, there were numerous ones which came up. There was one book which dated back to 1975 called ‘Seeing with the Minds Eye – The History, Techniques, and Uses of Visualization” by Mike Samuels and Nancy Samuels.  I have not read this book, but the fact it has been around for numerous decades means it has stood the test of time with its relevancy.

One of my motivational drivers is having many things to look forward to. For me, sometimes looking forward to the things I will be doing are as exciting as the activities I will be doing. When I realize I don’t have a mental play list of what I am looking forward to, I then begin the process of queuing up what I’ll be doing. For instance, this weekend I’ll be going to The Who concert at Fenway Park in Boston, and seeing the debut of an independent film on Saturday that was produced and directed by someone I know. The following week I’ll be speaking about entrepreneurship and running my business at a sold-out women’s conference and then enjoying some down time in Napa Valley, CA at the end of the week.

For some people, they feel it takes a reserve of energy to keep up with the pace of my life. However, it is the pace which fuels me and provides me with the energy I need to enjoy the things I set out to do. I realize everyone is different, and wouldn’t expect most people to keep up with me. As you may know, relaxing isn’t one of my strengths, but I’m okay with this, and have come to accept it is how I am wired. I also do not expect people to compare themselves to one another, although some do, but I do not find this to be personally helpful.

If I were to ask you if you are someone who would be in the “waiting to live” category, would you have to think about this? Or, have you given this some thought? My belief is that life can be fulfilling with many of the simple pleasures in life, but that sprinkling in fun, creative and interactive things to do is equivalent to adding spice to your food. You will laugh at this analogy if you know anything about my culinary skills, but it’s true.

Although the ‘waiting to live’ category might be fine for you, I encourage you to give some thought to whether this is how you are currently living your life. Most people who would either classify themselves, or have others do so, might realize this isn’t the category they want to be in.

Taking steps to begin moving towards enjoying your life more, isn’t always easy to do. However, with the right motivation, focus and asking others to help you, will soon steer you in the direction you want to go! Before you know it, you’ll also be having a great deal more fun and happiness in your life too. Who doesn’t want to sign up for that?

Note: For context, I wrote this article in the fall of 2019.

Tags: #Motivation #Manifestation #Visualization #Inspiration #Life #Bucketlist #Business #Work #Life #Living

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Why do you make fake plans?

Can you think of a time recently that you were engaged in a conversation with someone you know, and how the topic of planning to do something came up? When this happened, you likely talked about following through and making these plans happen, but what is the percentage of time this actually happened?

Sure, most people have good intentions of following through with the plans they verbally commit to, but I’m going to suggest that these plans are fake. They are fake because if they were real, and the person really wanted to have the plans materialize, they would have acted to see them through. Although perhaps not, as maybe they didn’t follow through with the plans they talked about for a number of different reasons.

The first reason is perhaps they forgot about the conversation, or were only going along in the spirit of making the other person feel good about having another time when they would be getting together to do something. Or, is it possible that people are just lazy, and lack the diligence, energy and commitment it takes to follow through? I suspect the reason is oriented more around this possibility.

Can you think of a time when you made plans with someone, and you genuinely intended to have these plans occur, but they never did? How many times would you say this happens? My estimate of this happening is potentially higher as a percentage than I’m willing to state, but it’s not a favorable number. Although I wish it was. What would your percentage estimate be?

As I was considering some of the other reasons people in general make fake plans, and these occur both in business and in our personal lives, I was discouraged by this phenomenon. Namely because when I personally consider either these fake plans that I have tried to follow up on, how difficult it can be to get people to commit to the reality of them happening. Yes, people are busy, but it’s also a matter of being true to your word. Something that is also woven into this issue of fake planning.

Depending on your lens of looking at the problem of people making fake plans, in my experience, I have both been witness to, and subjected to other people’s verbal commitments, which were often disappointingly not committed to.  This non-committal situation is a foundational problem which has been supporting the issue with fake planning for a long time. The good news is that this problem can be addressed. Taking it a step further, I have personally acted on in my own life to prune fake planning type of people out of my life both personally and professionally.

If I were to ask you right now how many fake plans have you made lately, or let’s refer to them as opportunistic plans that have not occurred yet, would you be in the percentage category of people who are making fake plans with others? Perhaps on a regular basis. As you stop to pause to think about this, consider why you have been doing this. Have or will there be repercussions of not following through on plans you verbally committed to? Do you care, or do you accept this as it’s just that way life goes?

I chose a long time ago to not accept associating with people who are fake planners, and when I meet someone new, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt to prove to me that they don’t fall into this category. When they don’t, I’m pleasantly surprised, and always happy to find someone who has a similar conviction of being true to their word.

When spoken plans are followed through with, they tend to enrich our lives. If you are someone who is a fake planner, or perhaps know someone who is, and are interested in how to stop doing this, below are some suggestions for you or them to consider.

  • Yes, this is going to be painfully obvious, but if you make plans with someone today, follow through today on making those plans happen.
  • Consider why you are making fake plans with others. Do you have valid reasons for doing so, and are you doing this more often than not?
  • What would happen in your life if you actually followed through and made all of the fake plans you talked about occur?
  • Have you noticed that others fall into this category? The first step to breaking a habit or to change the course of action, is to acknowledge you are doing it.
  • Are you aware of some people who are amazing at following through with plans you spoke about? Could you attempt to try out some of their methods and follow through with plans like they do?
  • What if you surrounded yourself with more people who are true to their word, and follow through with what they say they are going to do?
  • Imagine how much more enriched your personal and professional life will be by being able to actually looking forward to plans that will occur?
  • Do you want to be a role model for others? Following through and not being labeled a “fake planner” is a great place to start.

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What are you waiting for?

I find myself frequently asking people the question “What do you want to do with your career?” When I ask this question, I am often surprised by their response, as many of them either don’t know, or have not considered thinking about their options in awhile. The next question I typically ask them is “What are you waiting for to determine what you want to do with your career going forward?”

The second question isn’t generally a question they have been asked, or at not least recently, so I often feel like I catch people off guard when I ask this question. However, for context, I ask these questions when I hear people making declarative statements about not being happy or fulfilled with the work they are doing, or the career they have chosen to pursue.

When someone shares with me their dissatisfaction with their current career, I will then ask them if they were the one who decided to pursue this career, or if they were advised to do so. More often than not, the response to this question is that someone suggested they should pursue the career they are in. Of course, the person or people who recommended a career path generally had good intentions with their advice, but not always. For example, I am amazed by how many times I have heard a sales professional tell me they feel stuck and unfulfilled in their role. When I ask them why they feel this way, the response is typically that someone told them they should go into sales to make lots of money.

Sure, making lots of money isn’t a terrible scenario to be in, but what if you are miserable in this role? Feel trapped in it? Or worse, that you don’t feel like you have any alternative options? The good news is that we always have alternative solutions, and that we might simply need to be a bit more creative with thinking about what they are.

A common thread I find in speaking with people who are in sales roles, is not that they are unhappy with their career, it is that they took the “easy route”. Or, essentially allowed someone else to influence what their career path would look like. Sometimes it feels easier to do this, but in the long run, not everyone is going to be highly satisfied in a sales role, or fill-in-the blank for whatever role you are in and feel this way too.

Thinking about what you like to do, are good at, and can make a reasonable living doing is quite the tri-fetor equation to get right. We also know many people who don’t get this right. Perhaps not the first time, but in the last few decades it has been more common for people to have multiple career types. So, if the first career you choose isn’t the right match for you, you can take solace in knowing you are in good company with many others who have already been in your situation, and likely have advice for you. However, if they don’t, I’ve got you covered and will share some options for you to consider.

Now, let’s get back to reconsidering what you are waiting for if you are not satisfied with the current occupation you are in. If someone hasn’t asked you this question, I will. “What are you waiting for to make the change to be focused on being in a career you would be more satisfied with?” If you are waiting for someone to give you permission; which you don’t need, but if it’s helpful, I’m giving you permission to begin exploring options to do something different than the career you are currently in.

What does exploring options involve? It could be as simple as thinking about what activities or hobbies do you have that bring you joy, or that you are naturally good at? When you think back to when you were less than 10 years old, what did you find held your attention? Considering these few questions can help to provide you with valuable insight into the core essence of things in your life you may not have considered, and that can have a positive influence on your path forward direction.

For me personally, I think back to when I was making my decision to choose a major in college. I chose my major based on the fact it was going to be something that would hold my interest, and also that it was a practical choice, as I could always find employment, and a variety of options in terms of how I would use my skills. My major was focused on communication, and my minor was focused on psychology, and I found that the combination makes a great deal of sense to me. Fast forward to today, and I am still actively leveraging both of these areas that I studied decades ago, and they continue to hold my attention as my career has changed over time.

Whether you are early on, or well into your current career, I want to re-emphasize that you always have options to change your career. Below are some suggestions to consider to help you to become more comfortable with making the shift towards this becoming a reality, if this is something you are committed to doing.

  • Do you know what your top abilities are? If not, there a many options out there to explore to help you to determine what they are. I have a few favorites, but I’m not going to bias your decision.
  • If you had a day to do exactly what you wanted to do every minute of that day, what would you be doing? There should be some clues provided to you by thinking about this, in terms of having a better understanding of what holds your attention. Perhaps this attention could be directed towards a different career?
  • Ask 5-10 people in your personal and professional network to tell you what they see and appreciate your talents and abilities are. Is there a pattern in the responses you are seeing?
  • When you were younger, was there a profession you always told people I want to be “x” when I grow up? Surprisingly, you may have been more aware of what you wanted to do when you were quite young. Sometimes we lose our ability to perceive ourselves well as we become older, as this information is either clouded or dismissed if your talents are not pursued or developed past an initial level of competence.
  • Have you always admired someone who seems to have an ideal career or professional expertise that is well aligned with their talents?
  • Could you see yourself having that kind of alignment with your talents either in that career or a different one?
  • The expression “the grass is always greener” may not always be true. There are people who are exceptionally happy in their career. If you know some people who fall into this group, consider asking them how they determined their career would make them so happy or satisfied?

If you have made it to this point in my article, I hope I have provided you with some inspiration to do something different about the career you are in, and perhaps unsatisfied with.  You don’t have to be in this situation, but only you can decide if you are going to do something about this. Or, if you are going to continue to wallow in your lack of contentment. Which decision will you make?

TAGS: #Business #Careerdevelopment #Personaldevelopment #Career #Leadership #Sales #Salesprofessionals #Salesprofessional #Strategy #Salespro #Salesleader #Teams #Careeradvice #Careeroptions #HRprofessional #Humanresources #HR

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Why are you on that team?

Yesterday I was watching a live sporting event, and I was intrigued by what I was anticipating on seeing. The reason I was intrigued had to do with the fact I have an allegiance to both teams, and because one of the teams isn’t performing at a level they could be. Yes, I’m being polite, but as I was watching the underperforming team, I was looking for certain clues that would provide me with insight about why their performance results were disappointing.

The thing that I really like about watching and working with sports teams is that no one ever shows up on game day and announces that they can’t wait to lose today! This is probably the single element that is highly appealing to working with a sports team versus a corporate team, as you know exactly what the motivation of each team member is. Yes, corporate teams can tell you individually and collectively that they want to be successful, but there are many elements which can impede this and their ability to make this happen.

The corporate team leader is also included in the equation of doing their best to bring out top results in their team, but there is something they lack, and which sports teams’ leaders have an advantage over them. What is it? It is a singular focus during their performance on “game day” that everyone has an opportunity to rally to bring their “A” game. Sure, there are opportunities for corporate teams to rally to do this too, but not nearly as many, and realistically they are not motivated the same way sports teams are.

As I was watching the two teams compete yesterday, I took notes on what I was seeing both teams and their coaches exhibit as behaviors which contributed to what was happening on the field. Was there a difference between the two teams? There absolutely was. Was it obvious? Let’s just say there were glimpses of what was obvious, and if you were not paying attention, you might have missed what was contributing to each teams unmeasured performance.

However, there were moments during the game performance when you could clearly see which team had an advantage over the team. I’m stating this with the thinking that if you didn’t know the team’s seasonal win/loss performance, you could see via my lens which team was going to win.  The funny part, was that what I was observing had nothing to do with their sport ability. It had to do with what I was observing from a leadership and team dynamics perspective.

In observing the team that has struggled to win this season, I began to wonder about what it must feel like for the team members to be on that team. Or, what challenges the coaches must be having in trying to recruit players to a team whose performance over the last two to three years has been dismal at best. Would I want to be on that team? Apparently, there are some athletes that do, or they are locked into a contract that makes it difficult for them to consider other options. Although we know that we always have options, and sometimes we just need to look harder to uncover them.

So, in thinking about why someone would lead or remain on a sports or corporate team that has disappointing performance metrics, I started thinking about the reasons they would do this. Perhaps they are eternal optimists and think their situation will turn around soon? Possibly they are comfortable with their scenario, even though from the outside it looks dreadful to observers. Or, maybe they have given up hope, and are just trying to get through a commitment they have made to being on that team, and because they fundamentally really like being with their teammates. Worse case, is that they don’t think they deserve to lead or to be on a better team.

In any of these potential scenarios, it’s entirely possible all of these could be different. However, the difference will have to be a collective difference that the majority of the team, or that the leader will need to rally the team to consider making changes to improve. Let’s face it, situations can only seriously change if people want them to, and are proactive about doing so. Especially since a team is made up of more than one person.

If you are leading or on a team whose performance isn’t what you want or expect it to be, there are some actions you can take to turn your situation around, and I have included some suggestions for you below to consider applying.

  • Some people are inspired by measuring their performance against others, for those individuals, mutually develop metrics they can realistically reach, so that they have some “small wins” to build off of.
  • For those individuals on your team who are not motivated by others performance, you will need to be more creative to determine what inspires them. Don’t be surprised by what they tell you that motivates them, and be sure to apply what you hear and tie it into performance metrics they can relate to.
  • Does your team truly know and appreciate each other? What have you done to develop your team in these areas?
  • As a leader, does your team know that you sincerely care about them succeeding? Do you tell or demonstrate this appropriately and on a consistent basis?
  • How is your attitude? If you are on an underperforming team, it’s likely not the best. What is something you could do every day to improve your attitude? A positive attitude can be contagious, and this is something you should be spreading.
  • Are you doing anything fun with your team that is unrelated to the sport or work you are doing? We are all kids at heart, and the majority of us still delight in doing fun activities from time to time. They don’t have to be expensive activities, you just need to leverage your creativity to accomplish this.
  • As a leader or individual team member, have you had any conversations with others on your team about how you would like the team to be better? Not just conversations that are complaint oriented, but ones that are infused with potential solutions.

With over several decades of experience, I have seen teams that others have given up on, or that were underperforming turn their team around when others didn’t think it would be possible to do so. Yes, there are plenty of other factors that will need to be integrated into your teams “turn-around” plan, but you need to ask yourself if you can do this, if you want to do this, or if you need someone from the outside to help you? Every team deserves to be a winning team, what’s holding you back from having your team claim this title?

TAGS: #Leadership #Teams #Success #Work #Sports #Sportsteam #Management #Teamdevelopment #Personaldevelopment #Humanresources #Hrprofessional #CEO #Teamdynamics #Motivation #Winning #Winningteams #Productiveteams #Interdependentteams #Aspirationalteam #Underperformingteam

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