Spring makes a statement.
Encouraged, my heart blossoms.
Johnny Jump Ups cheer.

Don't let Reluctance Negatively Impact Your #100HappyDays in a Row!

Johnny Jump Ups Cheer Away Your Winter Reluctance and Let You Jump into Spring!
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

This is my haiku offering to Carol Varsalona (@cvarsalona). She tweeted me an “invitation to find the connection between digital photography and poetic expression”; asking me to submit a photo and original poetry to be part of her “Reflect with Me, April Awakenings Literary Event”.

And from that …

On Day 3 of #100HappyDays
I celebrate leaving my cocoon!

In a cocoon, there is no dancing, no walking, no breathing, not even a wink of the eyes. It is comfortable and sleepy; an intense and very familiar home.
When we begin to examine that comfortable darkness – look at it, smell it, feel it – we find it is claustrophobic.
We want to stretch out and walk, dance, even jump.
from Chogyam Trungpa, “Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior”.

Though afraid to Jump.

I pushed off the reluctance

To write Spring haiku.

It wasn’t simple.

Reluctance with its comforting scent of status quo can tug hard at me.

Even when I know all the benefits of jumping and I want to jump, the cocoon calls.

“Jump” was one of my 2013 #Threewords.  I wrote about it in the comments of Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter’s post.  Thank you, Jacqui (@ValueIntoWords – Master Resume Writer / Sailor), for introducing me to the #ThreeWords concept.

But, I did not jump at Carol’s invitation.  I tweeted to her that I was not a poet.

Does reluctance pull at you in the same way?

My advice:

When reluctance pulls,
pull back fiercely;
pull it out like unwanted weeds
by asking these 2 Q’s …

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 Who Can Resist 

Texas Chewie Pralines from Lammes  

and 

Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Chocolate  

from The Chocolate Makers Studio?

“Yum-O” as Rachel Ray would say.

 

#100HappyDays: “There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy ...” ― Betty MacDonald

“There’s nothing as cozy as a piece of candy …” ― Betty MacDonald
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

 On Day 2 of #100HappyDays 

Sweets are on my happiness radar.  

I’m the type who asks for the dessert menu before ordering the entree.

My favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and  Christmas.  (Chocolate, anyone?)

And My Advice to New Leaders: 

“Lead through a Bowl of Candy”

My candy bowl was filled with Reeses®, Snickers®, 3 Musketeers®, Milky Ways® and more.

A bowl of candy can become one of your best and favorite leadership tools.  Here’s why: 

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Details, details, details.  

It’s in the details.  

Lovely, delicate, intriguing details.  

… On Day 1 of #100HappyDays … 

The details are the harbingers of happiness

from my garden to my heart.

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe Photo credit: Jackie Yun of JackieYun.com

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
Photo credit: Jackie Yun | JackieYun.com

I say: “Hurrah to Being Detailed-Oriented!” because

 

  • The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. ~ William Morris
  • It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen. ~ John Wooden
  • This is what customers pay us for — to sweat all these details so it’s easy and pleasant for them to use our computers. ~ Steve Jobs

 

I say: “‘Being Detailed-Oriented’ is NOT the answer 

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Your leadership will face untenable constraints.

How will you respond to the Tsunami that awaits your Leadership?
Image courtesy of federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

T S U N A M I !

Crushing, demolishing, relentless.

Then, miraculous

L I F E !

The son, focused on getting his injured mother to safety amid destruction,

purposely ignores a whimper.

Until his mother speaks.

“What if that boy was Simon or Thomas?

You would want someone to help them…

Even if it’s the last thing we do.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Those words of extraordinary heart-centered leadership are from Maria Belon, the real-life mother who wrote about surviving the 2004 Tsunami that hit Thailand.  Her book is the basis for the movie: “The Impossible” and the powerful “Even if it’s the last thing we do” scene:

 

 

From which a question emerges for us as leaders:

When the tsunami-at-work hits, 

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Are You Being Authentically You, Like Ginger Zee? Photo From Ginger Zee's Twitter Bio

Are You Being Authentically You, Like Ginger Zee?
Photo From Ginger Zee’s Twitter Bio

Did you catch Ginger Zee doing a snow angel as part of her weather segment on Good Morning America?

She’s not shy about showing her fun and exuberant personality.  She’s being authentic and this engages her audience.

I’ve written about Ginger Zee before in my post, “Makeover Your Too Technical Resume”.  Ginger is my muse for good reason.  Since my post, Ginger’s gotten a promotion from the Weekend Edition of Good Morning America to the Weekday Edition of Good Morning America!

And that prompts me to ask you and my coaching clients…

Are you like Ginger Zee? 

Or are you suppressing the authentic you in your job search?

Many of us are hiding ourselves.

Take a look at the majority of LinkedIn profiles or listen to the typical answer to the interview question: “Tell Me About Yourself”.

It’s a robotic litany of roles, dates and skills.  Assembly-line, boredom-inducing sameness from one candidate to the next.

Are you feeling your mind drift?  Is the gray matter in your head turning more gray, tipping into the blackness of zone-out?

Guaranteed that’s what happening with the hiring manager’s mind.

You Are More Than Roles, Dates and Skills

You say “Sure, I know I need to highlight my accomplishments, not just roles, dates and skills”.

You've Got The Job! Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ve Got The Job!
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Absolutely, right — accomplishments are key.

But, reciting dry facts and figures and even awards and recognition aren’t enough.

The beef is still missing (paraphrasing that iconic Wendy’s Hamburgers commercial) — and the beef is you.

Let’s say you’ve made it into the final round.  It’s between you with your accomplishment of a 35% increase in productivity and that gal with her accomplishment of a 45% increase in productivity.  Will she beat you out for the position?  Will that 10% be the deciding factor?

As a former hiring manager I can attest that what can count more is you being you and getting a resonance going between us.

If you can do that, the extra 10% achieved by the other candidate will be looked at as a rounding error — and you’ll be able to say “I’m so excited to accept your offer!”.

Here’s The Best Way To Get “YOU” into Your Job Search…

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Some leaders say that Empowerment is passe, cliched.

I disagree.

There is still power behind empowerment.

Don't forget about Empowerment as a Leadership Tool

Empowerment is still a Bright Idea!
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Review this definition from BusinessDictionary.com and see for yourself.

“A management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.

Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.”

Empowerment is a Basic Tenant of Good Leadership.  

My question to you, as executive to executive, leader to leader, manager to manager —- do you empower your people?

Before you blithely say, “I certainly do!”.  Tell me how you would answer the following 12 questions to see how you fare.

If you still don’t agree about the power of empowerment, please humor me.  Spend just a few minutes to answer these same 12 questions and see if you feel differently.  You might be missing out on having a more effective, efficient and happier team.

12 Questions To Gauge How Much You Empower Your People

1. If someone on your team makes an appointment with your boss for a 1:1 meeting just between the two of them, how do you feel?

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Letter From A Pumpkin

October 28, 2013 — 10 Comments

The wisdom of trees has long been written about.  You can find this wisdom in the works of the literary trifecta of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Oliver and John Muir — works that leave us loftily moved about life and leadership.

Wisdom directly from a tree is just as illuminating.

Life & Leadership Wisdom from a Tree

Life & Leadership Wisdom in Nature

These words are from “Advice from a Tree” written by Writer-Artist-Imagineer, Ilan Shamir.

Inspired, I took my pen (that is, keyboard) to create an homage to Ilan Shamir and to a well-loved large squash — because nature, being abundant, doesn’t restrict wisdom to trees.

A Pumpkin’s Message

Dearest Friend,

Sometimes there is a mask carved on our outsides, put there for protection.  I say to you: “Shine brightly through that mask.”

Be the Authentic You!

Let Your Inner Flame Glow!
Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Be the authentic you and #leadfromwithin — be willing to lead not just yourself, but others, too.

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50 Ways To Kindness At Work

September 30, 2013 — 4 Comments

If we don’t lead with kindness, who will?

S. Max Brown

S. Max Brown makes a good point.  Let’s meet his challenge and raise our hands.  Let’s bring on kindness at work!

With so many hours of our adult lives spent at work, we would all welcome more kindness, but how to do it?

Implement Those Sandbox Rules To Encourage Kindness at Work

There’s Leadership Wisdom in Those Sandbox Rules!
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many years ago, our executive leadership and HR rolled out the sandbox campaign. We didn’t realize the good leadership wisdom contained on those wallet-carrying-sized cards sent with fanfare to all employees. We threw the cards away or those of us who were more politically-savvy displayed the cards on our desks, becoming dusty and forgotten until replaced with the next employee engagement initiative.

Laminated on the cards were these simple rules:

  • Throwing sand is never OK.
  • Being mean will eventually result in you playing, unhappily, on your own.
  • No taking of other peoples buckets without asking
  • No kicking or breaking other peoples sandcastles
  • Playing nice with others is best.

If we had only embraced those rules!

We do have a second chance. You have a second chance. Did you catch the HuffPost Healthy Living article about the advice from sage third graders (!) on how to ripple kindness throughout the world? I’m gathering inspiration from them.

How about you?

Would you be willing to apply these 50 ideas for kindness from third graders at your place of work?

Try a few today. See the difference manifest in your work world and then try a few more. Note: Words in brackets [ ] are my additions.

1. Smile at a stranger.

2. Say thank you to the bus driver. [...or your project manager]

3. Help someone carry her heavy groceries. [What’s on our plates at work can be heavy if we have to do it alone.]

4. Hold the door open for someone else.

Kindness #5. Leave a kind note for someone whom you usually don't get along with.

A kind note is always appreciated!
Image courtesy of gubgib at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5. Leave a kind note for someone whom you usually don’t get along with.

6. Give your Mom a hug and tell her you appreciate her. [How about a hug for your mentor?]

7. Sing a song to your teacher! [Early in my career, I worked in the “pit”, a communal room full of programmers. We, in the pit, would break out in a pop tune, changing the words to suit our situation. What an energy changer ~ even with songs sung on the dark side! What a relief from the dreariness of the pit.]

8. Let someone else choose the game and play it — even if you don’t like it.

9. Let someone else have a seat on the bus or subway. [Encourage someone else to sit in the good seat at the meeting and let them be heard.]

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I’m a Ginger Zee fan!

She’s the meteorologist on the Weekend Edition of “Good Morning, America” and I try to catch her every weekend.  As I was watching Ginger today, my mind started to imagine what her resume might be like.  I’m thinking it must be fairly technical.  Meteorologists need to talk authoritatively (and Ginger does!) about the technical aspects of all things having to do with weather from haboobs, ball lightening, shelf clouds, macrobursts, tropical storms to the Arizona monsoons and much, much more. 

Is a Meteorologist's Resume Too Technical For the Co-Host Position?

Should Ginger Zee “De-Tech” Her Resume If She Wants the GMA Co-Host Position? (Image courtesy http://americanprofile.com/articles/why-gma-weatherman-ginger-zee-became-a-meteorologist/ )

Her resume would need to highlight her technical prowess.

But, not so much if she had eyes on Bianna Golodryga’s or Dan Harris’ GMA co-host positions (not that I have any inside information!).

If Ginger used the same resume for her meteorologist position as for the co-host position, she would be told:

“Way Too Technical!”

Worst yet, she might not even be told, as her resume is tossed overhanded into the wastebasket.  You certainly don’t want that to happen to you.

My musing about Ginger Zee and her resume came about because recently a couple of my clients (engineers) had the feeling their resumes were “too technical” for their next position, plus a TwitterFriend was looking for help to rewrite a friend’s resume with less technical jargon.

A change to your resume is certainly called for when your next job or position is one where the technical no longer serves or won’t play as prominent a role.

Here are 3 things that I coach my clients to do to “De-Tech” their resumes — and if you are finding yourself under similar circumstances, you can easily do these, too!

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Independence Day Songs Will Re-Ignite Your Work Passion

4th of July Celebration Songs – A Way to Re-Ignite Your Work
Image courtesy of emptyglass at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Flag waving, parades, hot dogs, lemonade, family and friends. It’s the 4th of July and you’re looking forward to a break from work.

How about if you not only get a break, but return to work with a new sense of excitement, boldness, ownership, inclusion, and pride?

These 5 Independence Day songs (plus a bonus song) might just do that for you…

 

1. “Coming to America” by Neil Diamond

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America…

You’ve lost the dream and work is pure drudgery. Your energy and anticipation have dissipated. Revitalize by remembering when it was new. Feel what our forefathers and foremothers felt with the awesomeness of “Coming to America”.

If the song isn’t enough to re-kindle your spirits, read Alli Polin’s “Clear the Dust Off Your Passion”. Alli will get you re-directed. I like her observation and suggestion that “If your current perspective is ‘this sucks’, clearly you need to tap into a more powerful perspective”.

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