Monday, July 18, 2016

Provide Value: Be Cutting Edge

Article:  Provide Value: Be Cutting Edge

IPhone, MAC, Twitter- innovative systems, tools, thoughts and actions create value. Value creates opportunity. Opportunity creates wealth and some financial security for a time.

You need to be an autodidact, you need to create your own personal development program so you can stay ahead of the competition. Failure to do so leads to irrelevance.

The late Charles Darwin allegedly said:  "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."  There's debate Darwin on the internet that he ever said this, but social proof in our 21st century society seems to support the statement.

With the internet we see people without degrees become millionaires and overnight successes, while the alleged educated find themselves scraping for jobs.  It appears that being innovative, taking initiative and applying skills to real problems lead to success.

Just a thought...

Making and Impact: Think in Ripples

Article:  Think in Ripples

I believe, and observed, that everything has consequences. Saying a kind word or cursing at someone have effects. Saying a kind word may get you a hug. Cursing someone may get you shot. These are first order effects.

Second order and follow-on effects. You say a kind word that gets you a hug. That person may like you and do additional things for you in the future.  In the case where you get shot, your family has to bury you; you may be the financial breadwinner, but not the family is broke.

When we do positive things on a consistent basis, we develop a pattern that others may appreciate. That pattern may turn into positive momentum.  When we do negative things on a consistent basis, we develop a pattern others may not appreciate. Positive, or negative, our actions and attitudes generate momentum.

You can shape that momentum in your favor and generate opportunities. you can shape momentum against your favor and generate failure.

You create your luck through a sum of consistent actions and attitudes. You cannot always directly control or shape the follow-on results/impacts, but they very likely exist.  The impacts we consistently shape and create turns momentum. That momentum can work for you, or against you.

Contractors, You Are a Tool

Contractors, You Are a Tool

Contractors are a tool. The government sees you this way. Companies see you this way.

You don't work for your client as a permanent staff member. You don't work for the company that contracted you out to the client. You are the person in the middle.

You may work for a company; where a company shirt; get company benefits, but this is all contingent on the company being able to pimp you out to customers who may pay the company double, or more, for the services you provide under the company name.

You are the first person to get fired if the contract ends. You are the first person to be fired if you have a personality conflict, and may not have any idea you are in a conflict until you are let out the door.

The sad fact is you are a cog in a wheel that is simply replaceable.

As a contractor, you need to build a depth of options and relationships. You need to be skillful in reading people and adapt as your conditions allow.

Contractors are not entrepreneurs. Contractors are employees. Contractors are employees, because if the job stops so does their pay. Entrepreneurs are businessman who are able to scale capacity and live off the income of the capacity they build.

Being a contractor is good if you are transitioning and/or trying to develop credibility in a field. However, being a contractor is not stable for the reasons listed above. If you want some stability, you will want to be an employee of a company, or the government.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Danger of Success and “The Power of Broke”

Danger of Success and “The Power of Broke

Here’s a thought for the day. Have you ever considered the danger of being successful?  If not, you need too.

Look at what happened to Rocky Balboa when he became a champion in the Rocky series. Sure, the Rocky series were movies, but people live similar lives.

After achieving his goals, Rocky finds himself unable to deal well with his success, and unable to adapt to a new life post boxing. He loses his edge and finds himself blind to achieving his goals and lacking the right motivation to continue being a champion. He goes broke, but eventually returns as a champion again. This is a good news story, but many real life stories don’t turn out so well.

You also hear about companies, music/film personalities and athletes losing their edge, their money, their success, and worst of all themselves. Read about companies like Enron, Kurt Cobain, and OJ Simpson. Organizations and people with high levels of talent and success, only to lose themselves, sometimes hurting others in the end.

So, at the end of the day, should you become successful in achieving your goal via passion, focus, hard work and dedication; you need to think about where you need to go next. You need to think about shaping the next stage in your life. 

While I cannot claim the level of success as Enron, Cobain or Simpson, I can say I achieved my goals. But, I can also say I’ve hit ruts because I failed to think about how to redefine the next level of success in a positive and healthy way.  I failed to transition. When you hit ruts, you may start unnecessarily gain weight, become apathetic, etc. You get sloppy and then you hit a jam. You can lose focus, drive, initiative, momentum and persistence. The very qualities that made you top of your game.

We can mitigate such challenges by remembering that rivers always move and are full of life, while ponds and stagnate and eventually die. We need to make life count.

Success if not an end-state, it’s a journey. If you fail to realize this, you may find yourself crumble to nothing. Take time to pause, think and reflect what you want to do next with yourself.

This is easier said than done. So, I close with the thought for now. The next post will address some solutions to address this challenge. One recommendation is reading Daymond John’s book, The Power of Broke. Excellent read so far.

Here is the link: 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Different Types of Credibility

Different Types of Credibility

There are generally two types of credibility; there is high credibility, and there is low credibility. Credibility forms the basis for relationships. The context and purpose of those relationships determine how much credibility is needed to achieve a specific ends.

High credibility exists when all four core elements of credibility exist e.g. competence, integrity, inspiration and vision. People with high credibility are generally viewed as leaders and/or are influential positions.

Low credibility exists when only one to three of the core elements exist. People who fall under this category are generally seen as employees or followers.

There are exceptions to the general rule. Exceptions always exist. Employees may have all the core credibility elements, but are not in an environment where they can be exercised because of the specific job or position they hold.

Now ask yourself, who is likely to make a more profitable living; a high credible person, or a low credible person? Where do you see yourself? Where do you want to be? What core elements do you need to develop to get there?

Four Critical Components of Credibility

Four Critical Components of Credibility

Researchers specifically noted that out of over 50 leadership traits, competence, integrity, being inspiring and having a vision/focus were the top four desired traits.i These four critical components form the basis of credibility in effective leaders.ii

Competence refers to having the technical and interpersonal skills highly regarded within one's immediate sphere of influence and assigned professional responsibilities. Technical skills refers to one's ability to masterfully apply knowledge and skills aligned with a specific craft to meet an intended objective. Interpersonal skills refers to one's respectability and/or likability. People tend to comply, follow, or go out of their way to help someone they like. This requires effective use of social intelligence. Social intelligence refers to a person's ability to be self-correcting and adaptive to their environment, and to other people. This requires a capacity to maintain self-awareness in various surroundings and situations.iii Of the two forms of competence, interpersonal skills are of greatest value. This is because a persons deep understanding of people, their feelings and motivations allows them to achieve their will, and the groups will, through other people.
Integrity is about holding oneself accountable, as well as other people. This also involves being honest with oneself, as well as other people- being transparent. This opens the door to humility and empathy necessary for prime human interaction and compassion. Integrity also forms a solid foundation for trust, camaraderie and inspiration.

Inspiration surfaces when motivated by a person or event to take action. Leaders who are competent, have integrity and are inspiring become well-position to move people into action to meet personal and group goals. The more a leader can make a goal of mutual interest, the more people will be inspired.

Leaders who are able to form close bonds with people become trusted and begin to establish enough credibility to mobilize people into action. But leaders need something people can perceive within their own minds and hearts that they can achieve. People need a vision to align all muscle, mind, energy and soul towards a common interest.

iKouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012.

iiKouzes, James M., and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2012.

iiiBradberry, Travis, and Jean Greaves. The Emotional Intelligence Quick Book: Everything You Need to Know to Put Your EQ to Work. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. and Stein, Steven, and Howard E. Book. The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success. Mississauga, Ont: Jossey-Bass, 2011.

What is Credibility?

What is Credibility?

Credibility refers to being trusted and/or believed. It is also about being likable and/or respected. If one cannot be liked, respected, trusted or believed, one's credibility will be likely limited.

Being trusted allows you to mobilize people and systems in a manner in line with your will. The more your will is in line with the interests of others, others will support you as you move toward your objective(s). Your credibility will expand as your results expand, thus increasing your influence through new people and systems even more. You become a brand, a go-to person, the person everyone knows about, a leader, an advisor and counselor.

In the job market and social market, if you do not have credibility, or are perceived as credible, you will not be successful in any effort outside your immediate self. You will have to continuously start anew each time with new people and situations. This is important to understand because until you expand your credibility, your income, circle of friends and circle of supporters will be limited. In practical terms you will not be rich, you will not be in the social circle or strata you desire within the greater population. Additionally, understand that income and social circles come together. If there is no aura of credibility about you, nobody will invest time, effort, communication, resources and money to ensure you are successful. Your credibility expands through communication.

An example of credibility in the job market may come in the form of having certifications for a particular trade, good personal references, or being personally referred to a position based on personal relationships without having to be interviewed.

Credibility in the social market may be in the form of word-of-mouth advertisement such are on-line referral services that contain reviews of business services and products. Angie's list is one example.

Thinking About Credibility

Thinking About Credibility

Credibility is a subject not often talked about, at least not clearly. Yet, credibility has a huge impact on your life in terms of quality, level of economic influence, social status and prosperity. You cannot live without credibility. Leaders cannot lead without it. Job promotions do not come without it. Marriage and relationships cannot exist and last without it.

Credibility can take you across economic and social boundaries resulting in life-changing impacts from poor to rich. Credibility can help you bypass standardized qualification barriers, such as degree/certification requirements, financial costs, etc. This is not an exaggeration. I lived it.

I started learning about the impacts and benefits of credibility starting around the age of 13. I did not know the concept of credibility by name, but I knew what it was by its being popularity. Popularity is not credibility, but it is a fruit of being credible. This low-form of understanding credibility carried over into my high school years.

When I left home and became a Marine, credibility took a different form. My popularity in school and sports no longer mattered. I had to rebuild myself into another person. Credibility in the Marine Corps was based on medals/awards, rank, performance and whether one was a commissioned officer or noncommissioned officer.

When I retired from the Marine Corps many years later, credibility took a different form again. My identity and credibility that came to me over a several decades military career did not matter to the civilian world. I had to transition from one culture and world, to another. I had to start living and earning my keep like the normal guy next door. I had to create and form a new identity. To be successful, I needed credibility in the civilian world to put food on the table.

As a civilian businessman, credibility took on a new form yet again. Consulting is a tough environment. You support clients, and their organizations, to enhance their operational capacity and profit margins. However, you don't come in trusted. Your clients, generally do not know who you are, your real capabilities, levels of experience; or really even care. You have to prove yourself by providing value. As you provide value, credibility develops. And, as organizational members depart, you have to rebuild your credibility with a new cadre of personnel.

As a informal and formal life-long student of strategic and organizational leadership, I learned even more about the importance and substance regarding credibility. This time however, I learned more about the terminology, and how to develop it in a deliberate fashion.

I sincerely want you think about the importance of credibility in your life. I grew up from humble means. Its taken many years of my life to present this information to you in a cogent and concise manner. The knowledge, and failure to apply this knowledge, has cost me approximately enormous amount of money and influential relationships over the years. It's embarrassing, and I want to help save you that heartache.

I know what its like to cross socioeconomic barriers. I know what its like to struggle to become respected, but without prostituting your personal beliefs, family, culture and ideals.

Look at credibility as a transportation medium that can take you anywhere by land, air, sea and even time. It can increase local mobility or global mobility. Credibility can shape a place for you in history, and provide security for you and your family in a manner you may have never considered.

The price for not consciously creating, developing, shaping and evolving credibility is immeasurable. I hope these observations will help explain why.

Cheers M8s, Bob

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Strangest Secret - “We become what we think about” (Audio)

“We become what we think about”.

This video is about the power of the will and the power of making a focused decision. It tells you what guides a man to become rich or poor, and how.