Archive for Achievement

Fear and Decision Making

Decision Making

On July 4, 1776, Samuel Adams and John Hancock were persistent and got Congress to make a decision that we all benefit from today and will continue to do so for many years. This decision was the United States’ Declaration of Independence.

We all make decision on a day to day basis, some major and others minor, but they need to be made. When we have an intense Desire, Purpose or Goal, we are persistent in achieving it and we do all we can to overcome our FEARS.

Indecision, Doubt and FEAR

I am sure you have heard what FEAR stands for; False Evidence Appearing Real and that is exactly what it is.

As indicated in Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think & Grow Rich”, INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR! Indecision crystallizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR! The “blending” process is often slow, but that is one reason why these three are so dangerous, they grow without their presence being observed.

Fear is basically a state of mind and is subject to control and direction. Take for example, Physicians, without fear or hesitation, have been known to physically contact hundreds of people, daily, who were suffering from such contagious diseases as small-pox, measles or tuberculosis, without becoming infected. Their immunity against the disease consisted, largely, if not solely, of their absolute lack of FEAR.

The Economy may have made us cautious, however, do not have FEAR hold you back in decision making.

The Six Basic FEARS

There are six basic fears, with some combination of which everyone suffers at one time or another. Most people are fortunate if they do not suffer from the entire six.

Click on the links for more details on each category. Named in the order of their most common appearance, they are:

  • The fear of POVERTY
  • The fear of CRITICISM
  • The fear of ILL HEALTH
  • The fear of OLD AGE
  • The fear of DEATH

All other fears are of minor importance and they can be grouped under these six headings. Read more about it in Napoleon Hill’s famous book Think and Grow Rich“.

Thiink & Grow Rich Ebook

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Effective Leadership

In John W. Garner’s book On Leadership, he makes a number of insightful observations about the work of organizations and the attributes of leadership and I would talk about three areas. First, Gardner argues that the opportunity for leaders is to inspire and release the full creative, imaginative, moral and disciplined power of the men and women who comprise their organization. He writes:

The greatest asset of any society is the talent and energy of its people. Yet no society has ever fully recognized or honored that asset; indeed, most societies have effectively stifled both talent and energy. The release of human possibilities is one of the most basic of social objectives and leadership goals….

There are great, untapped reservoirs of human energy and capacity awaiting leaders who can tap them and societies that deserve them.

Implicit in Gardner’s observations above is a sense that many factors block the flourishing and development of human creativity and possibility. We may see our jobs as ones that silently encourage us to be strategic, inflexible, protective of self or a narrow interest. We may fear change, innovation and new paradigms. We may have lost the passion, idealism and fervor that once inspired our professional lives. Our leaders may have failed to awaken us from complacency or mediocrity. Whatever our excuse, Gardner suggests that human societies, communities and nations can only grow, prosper and flourish by a process of continued regeneration and renewal. He writes:

Continuous renewal is necessary. Leaders must understand how and why human systems age, and must know how the process of renewal must be set in motion. The purposes are always the same:

· To renew and reinterpret values that have been encrusted with hypocrisy, corroded by cynicism or simply abandoned, and to generate new values when needed.

· To liberate energies that have been imprisoned by outmoded procedures and habits of thought.

· To reenergize forgotten goals or generate new goals appropriate to new circumstances.

· To achieve, through science and other modes of exploration, new understandings leading to new solutions.

· To foster the release of human possibilities, through education and lifelong growth.

Much of this is implied in the valuable distinction made by James MacGregor Burns between transactional and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership accepts and works within the structure as it is. Transformational leadership renews.

Effective leaders heighten both motivation and confidence, but when these qualities have been gravely diminished, leaders have a hard time leading. He writes:

Most people in most organizations, most of the time are more stale than they know, more bored than they care to admit. All too often it is because they have not been encouraged to use their own initiative and powers of decision. And if they are not expected to use their decision-making powers, they are off the hook of responsibility. That is the damaging element.

Unrelenting autocracy down the chain of command undermines initiative. It says by implication that your responsibility is not to identify problems beyond those implicit in your orders, not to think about solutions. Wait for the next order! If something goes wrong that is not strictly within the scope of your orders, you need not worry about it. Followers who are passively awaiting orders have lost much of their capacity to be of help.

It is a loss we cannot afford. It is in the very nature of large-scale organization that its only hope of vitality is the willingness of a great many people scattered throughout the organization to take the initiative in performing leaderlike acts, in identifying problems at their levels and solving them.

We need leaders who can bring alive in individuals all down the line that kind of capacity to share the leadership task.

Your thoughts?

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In troubled times, businesses need to retain and nurture their talents

Throughout the business world, the battle continues, cut costs to the bone. However, in the midst of downsizing it is dangerous to view the continued development of your people as a cost. The truth is that training is more imperative in a recession than when things are stable. Employees are a company’s long term advantage and organizations that fail to continue to invest in their people will risk their own survival.

It is important to create an environment that supports the participant’s successful transition from program learning to producing valuable results on the job. The programs that we offer at K&A Solutions covers how to apply the Universal Principles, learned during the courses, to real life situations at work or in your personal life to add value, linking to business objectives and key result metrics.

Businesses need to organize leadership efforts around high performance and excel in every aspect of their operations. To achieve that, they must develop high performance leaders throughout their organizations, who in turn must build high performance teams. These teams must develop and implement high performance strategies, and all of these ‘musts’ need to be perfectly aligned in order for the whole to work.

Building a high performance organization requires a special blend of leadership, strategy and teamwork. The recipe for success is different for every organization, but the ingredients are much the same. If you are not sure where to start, my recommendation is, if you ‘must’, start with leadership. Outstanding results can be achieved by changing the way work is organized and empowering the people who do that work. This is known as high performance work systems! A survey of the literature found that high performance companies achieve an average of 37% higher productivity on various measures of success.

At K&A Solutions, our purpose is to help businesses or organizations become high performing, to enable them to achieve:

 Excellent Customer Service
 Increased Profitability
 Reduced Operating Costs
 Improved Efficiency and Cycle Time
 A Culture of Commitment, Trust and Collaboration among Employees

Empower your employees, provide them with the appropriate training and you will not need to tightly manage them, they will take ownership and view their job as their responsibility and they will be prepared to deal with changes brought on by the environment. Take Southwest for example, due to environmental changes, they developed their 20 minute turnaround time due to cash constraints, they had fewer planes but they got them back in the air quicker. They developed a discipline in this adversity, which has served them well through today.

We all know that real change requires commitment and hard work. Therefore, take action to eliminate waste, improve quality, provide better customer service, redefine your leadership role from one of controlling to one of empowering others and become high performing and competitive. Call us NOW to assess what your needs are, you cannot go wrong with that move.

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Set your GOALS for 2009 and ACHIEVE them for REAL ……….. no kidding.

Happy New Year!!!

Goals help you see things as they could be, not as they are. Ask yourself “why not?” instead of “why” and live your dreams now, set goals for 2009 and beyond and turn things around and make life better than it was in 2008 for yourself, your family, your friends, your community and ………….all.

If you want to achieve success beyond your wildest aspirations, live a life of passion and purpose; live your BEST life NOW; achieve all your dreams and goals, no matter how grand they may be, you CAN. Simply Perform on Purpose, by moving from the SYMPTOMATIC Performance up to the SYSTEMATIC High Performance.

This article may be long, but it is interesting, so read along ……..

The Competency Grid

Let’s take a look at the competency grid, which clearly shows the progression from “Not Knowing and Not Aware” clueless and blundering through life to “Intuitive and Instinctive” where every action you take moves you effortlessly towards success.
Where do you see yourself on the grip? Be as honest as you can with yourself, because guess what, you do not need to tell anyone, this will help you look into your inner self and figure out what you need to do.

Stage-1: Unconscious Incompetence.

Stage-2: Conscious Incompetence.

Stage-3: Conscious Competence.

Stage-4: Unconscious Competence.

Have you ever wondered what the most successful people in the world, men and women alike, in every walk of life have in common? How did they achieve such spectacular success? Each transformed his or her VISION into outstanding Results over Time. You can too!

Stage-1: Unconscious Incompetence.

You may or may not know something is wrong. You may not even be AWARE that you have a problem, let alone serious issues with your performance. It seems like dark forces are holding you back from all that you are meant to be. You work hard, but have the feeling that there’s an easier way, a smarter way, but you just don’t know what it is.

Going through the same motions, day after day, you hope and pray that someone will step in to help you. You know that something is not quite right, but fail to see the warning signs. Of course you are willing to do the work, but have no clue what you need to do differently to break free of the self-imposed bondage you have put yourself and your family in. So you wish and wait, burning up precious time in the endless cycle that we call “getting ready to get ready.”

The key is to recognize the SYMPTOMS, and quickly find or get the CURE!

Stage-2: Conscious Incompetence.

At this stage, you can SEE exactly, step-by-step, what you need to do differently to produce far greater results in far less time. You become VERY AWARE of your strengths and weaknesses. You are CONSCIOUSLY AWARE that all your symptoms are the logical extension of Stage-1 Performance issues, manifested in your life.

You are highly AWARE that these symptoms will persist until you DO something to make them GO AWAY. You still haven’t DONE anything differently YET, but you feel better because you KNOW that these symptoms all have a common CAUSE. The good news is that almost NOBODY stays at Stage-2 for long. The great news is that once you KNOW there is a CURE for Stage-1 Symptoms, almost NOBODY moves backward to oblivious cluelessness!

Stage-3: Conscious Competence.

Now that you can actually SEE what’s standing between you and your goals, it’s easy to systematically take smarter actions. You are now AWARE of your performance positives and negatives, you quickly amplify your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses. Put simply, you know what to do, and you do it!
You become a paragon of efficiency and effectiveness, you find new ways of working smarter, competing smarter and living smarter.

You are “working” your Personal Bookmark daily.
Stage-3 Competence becomes a simple matter of doing your 4 R’s with increasing frequency:

You do the RIGHT Things consistently…

You do things the RIGHT Way consistently…

You do them at RIGHT Time consistently…

You do them for the RIGHT Reasons consistently…

Stage-4: Unconscious Competence.

This is the fun part! You instinctively take smarter actions. You intuitively make smarter choices. Your performance is on cruise control, quickly moving you towards the success you desire.

Stage-4 performance is where you do the impossible and make it look effortless! At this stage, your self-confidence virtually explodes, your self-esteem is magnified a thousand fold. You are at the pinnacle of success, looking down from amazing heights with no fear of falling and no fear of failing!

You are living your Purpose, because you are Performing on Purpose. You are a Purpose-driven Success. This stage is what makes great athletes, top sales people and executives. It gives you the power to achieve all your dreams and goals.

Stage 4 performance gives you the power to ACHIEVE the success you truly desire, both personally and professionally. This is High Expectations coupled with Brilliant Execution. This is where all your hard work pays off.

Put simply, the “secret” to success is only 4 words long: High Expectations - Brilliant Execution.

2009 is right around the Corner

Therefore, for 2009 if you are not already there, why not become successful on purpose? Get out of the heartbreak of Stage-1 performance and live in Stage-4. If nothing else, it is easier to be a success rather than to put up with all those Stage-1 symptoms!

After all, who WERE the most successful people on Earth BEFORE you ever heard of them? That’s right, people with a dream… just like YOU… but along the way they developed the POWER to meet or exceed growing Expectations.

You CAN too! Just move up to Stage-4 Unconscious Competence.

You can achieve results beyond expectations. You can become all that you are meant to be. You can live the life of your dreams, live your best life, starting right now, not sometime, someday, maybe. The secret to success can be stated in just four words: Expect More - Execute Better.

Want to be WEALTHY; POWERFUL; HAPPY; Greater Peace of Mind; More Fulfilling Relationships; Greater Job Satisfaction; Be Your Own Boss; More Energy; Unstoppable Achievement; Greater Freedom; Make a Bigger Difference; More Exciting Dreams; Realize Your Dreams; Greater Self-Confidence in difficult situations; Freedom from Bad Habits; Great Adventure; Freedom from Monotony; Stop Worrying; End Procrastination; Relief from Stress; Reason to Get Up in the Morning; Passion to Live; Become Inspiring; Become Amazing; Stop Wishing and Waiting; Make Every Day Your Best Day?
Then Expect More - Execute Better.

How do you do that? Raise your Expectations, perform so that you meet or exceed them.

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10 Characteristics that Separate the Winners from those who Struggle…

This is an interesting article on ten characteristics of winners and we owe it to ourselves to make sure we are accountable for our growth and development if we are interested in advancing in our careers.

  1. ENERGETIC: If you want to get ahead, maintain a high commitment to health and fitness. There is a direct connection between sweat and success!
  2. PASSIONATE: People with a strong sense of mission and purpose have a strong sense of direction. Perhaps more than any other factor of performance, your passion for your work is a highly visible indicator of long-term success.
  3. OPTIMISTIC: To compete successfully in this perform-or-perish global economy requires a positive and enthusiastic attitude. When was the last time you saw a person with a negative, self-defeating attitude get ahead? I have never seen a monument dedicated to a pessimist, have you?
  4. SELF-DIRECTED: The ability to connect the dots from your organization’s mission to crystal-clear goals is the hallmark of vision-inspired leadership. People with a poor ability to transform their mission into clear targets spend a great deal of time running in circles, rather than in direct pursuit of the goal.
  5. WELL-PLANNED: The ability to make plans to support your goals and objectives is critical the higher up you rise. People with the inability to plan ahead quickly find themselves left behind.
  6. FOCUSED: How often do you confuse the urgent with the important? The ability to quickly prioritize projects, tasks and “To Do’s” is a major driver of success, and is a highly visible indicator of your career power. People with a strong ability to focus on getting the right things done, right now, are 8 times more likely to rise to the top of their respective professions than people who are consumed by distractions and urgencies.
  7. SUPPORTIVE: The ability to build strong teams and develop powerful interpersonal synergy is a major driver of personal and professional success. If you have strong communication skills, with the ability to share your goals and visions, you are more likely to work at the top than people without those attributes.
  8. SYSTEMATIC: It isn’t how hard you work, it’s how smart you produce results that matters. If you frequently confuse effort with results, your career horizons are limited. Find a way to systematically get more done each day, and if nothing else, you’ll drive your co-workers crazy!
  9. TIMELY: If you do not have outstanding time management skills, you may want to immediately focus on improving this area of your performance. In an instant-everything internet-driven economy, it is no longer a survival of the fittest model… but a survival of the fastest new world order. A little too little, a little too late might have gotten you by 10 years ago, but is now seen as a fatal flaw.
  10. PROACTIVE: If you are frequently seen as someone who is perpetually “getting ready to get ready”, you will not experience the career growth you desire. The key to growth in this action-oriented, hotly-competitive global economy is, in a word, Action! You can quickly rise to the top if you learn to quickly take action, especially in the face of the three great killers of motivation: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Yes, to successfully compete in today’s results-driven global economy; you need to be Energetic, Passionate, Optimistic, Self-directed, Well-planned, Focused, Supportive, Systematic, Timely and Proactive.

If your performance, day in-day out, could be described with these 10 words, you would not only be the highly successful employee that employers would fight to keep, but have the career of your dreams and would be exposed to opportunities that will even advance your career further.

The line is clearly drawn between people who have the ability to turn their career potential into career power, and those who look outwards for job security and income growth. Therefore, take charge of your career, be the best you can be and be truthful to yourself - get the developmental tools and training needed to become a better you.

E. R. Haas & Kent Madson of ThinkTQ

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The Focus of Leadership

Choosing service over self-interest.

American newspaper commentator Walter Lippmann defined leaders as “the custodians of a nation’s ideals, the beliefs it cherishes, of its permanent hopes, of the faith which makes a nation out of a mere aggregation of individuals.”

Custodians. The word means a keeper, a guardian, or a caretaker. It is a proactive word that implies action on the part of the bearer. Custodians hold something in trust on behalf of others. It is not a behavior motivated out of self-interest.

A custodian then, is an individual who upholds what is best for all people even if it may not be in their own interest to do so. A custodial role must be approached as a temporary role, preserving something greater than the self—principles of enduring and lasting value. This is an attitude of mind that focuses on the task at hand and not on what the leader may gain from the position. It implies a caring and concerned relationship between leaders and followers; individuals motivated by their constituents’ best interests.

This idea seems at odds with what we see happening around us today. In all too many arenas, we see many of our leaders holding nothing in trust for those they purport to serve but advancing only their own ideals and hopes.Today, it is often difficult to tell if our leaders are serving themselves or us. And it is all too common to find leaders simply helping themselves to privilege and power. Mismanagement, deceit, greed, and frying-pan-into-the-fire problem solving all beg the question, “Where are our leaders leading?” “To whom can we look to for the direction we need?” Is Lippmann’s statement merely an idealistic, unrealizable dream?
» Continue reading “The Focus of Leadership”

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