Innovation and creativity are pretty big buzz words right now. Read any leadership book, and you’ll find stories of leaders like Steve Jobs using their creativity to transform not only their business, but also their industry.
While these stories are inspiring, they can also be overwhelming. We may see these innovations as something practiced by an elite few leaders, way beyond our reach.
But we all have the ability to release our creativity. We just need to give ourselves permission.
In reading John C. Maxwell’s book, How Successful People Think, I was reminded how the key to being a successful leader is to embrace and explore creativity.
So, what does this mean? John C. Maxwell writes about first recognizing that your ideas matter and valuing these ideas. Creative people don’t have all the answers, but they are open to and explore the options, looking for new ways to connect ideas (not always their own). They don’t fear failure,...
Jonathan Swift said, "May you live every day of your life." When we get caught up in worries about what went wrong yesterday or yearnings for what we'd like to happen tomorrow, we miss what is happening now.
As we mentioned in our earlier blog, Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal, success plays out on a daily basis. The only thing any of us really have is our time.
That's why for this blog, we decided to give you seven easy tips for making the most of out today.
1. Review Your Big Goals
There is a popular saying from an unknown source: "If you aim for nothing, you'll hit it every time." Start each day by reviewing your big goals. Otherwise, they will never happen.
2. Set Aside Time for Important Tasks
Whether you're preparing a proposal or developing a marketing plan, the task is unlikely to be completed if you don't set aside the time. Manage your calendar and you manage your success.
3. Be Accountable
Goals are inspiring, but they gain momentum by being shared. Tell the...
How much of your life have you spent waiting? Maybe you have important goals, but you've convinced yourself they won't be possible until something else happens first. You won't return to school until you can attend full-time. You won't apply for the job you really want until you're sure you will be selected.
John Kotter said, "Most people don't lead their own lives--they accept their lives." They wait for things to happen to them.
If you treat your life like a dress rehearsal, you will miss the main show. Instead, try the powerful approach recommended by John C. Maxwell in his book "Today Matters". Make your decisions now and focus on them every day.
We all know life consists of decisions and we want to make the best decisions we can. Did you ever consider that it is not only about making good decisions? It is also about knowing which decisions are the most important.
As leaders, we naturally think about finances and values. But as John C....
Do you know what it takes to reach your full potential?
Finding your potential involves a unique set of steps which require you to take action.
Ask yourself these questions:
The answers to these questions circle around personal growth. If you want to reach your full potential as a leader and help people grow, you must first take care of your own personal growth.
John Maxwell talks about the Law of Contribution in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. This law states that:
"Growing yourself enables you to grow others."
You may be asking why you need a personal growth plan, or how growth helps make a great leader.
Leadership is built on growth.
A growth plan has purpose; a...
In these challenging times, it can feel like things are out of your control. We might wonder what we as individuals can do about the economic cycle or decisions made by organizations bigger than we are. But the truth is that we are always in charge of one thing and that is ourselves. Even in difficult times, there is hope within us.
I once coached a woman who was in a period of intense transition. She’d been let go from a position she loved. It was unexpected and the sudden change was overwhelming. It’s natural to feel a loss when we suffer disappointments like losing a job. But if we linger in the disappointment, it can lead us away from our goals.
When she came to me for coaching, this woman had already been sending out job applications and she was disappointed in the results. Our first step together was to rebuild her self-esteem. Together, we reviewed her skills and personality traits, and began fostering her ability to lead...
We’ve all seen what happens if we are negative. Our thinking narrows, making us more and more fearful. We experience stress and all of the medical conditions that can result.
Think about a time when you were experiencing high stress. Did you find it hard to concentrate? How did that negative state of mind affect your productivity?
Most of us prefer to be positive. After all, it feels good to be happy, and we all like to be near those who are light-hearted. But did you know that the impact of being positive goes way beyond mood?
According to Barbara Fredrickson at the University of Michigan, people who think positively see more possibilities and it doesn’t end there. Because they see more possibilities, they have an enhanced ability to build new skills and develop resources they can use later in life. You can read about it for yourself in “The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions” paper".
Some of the best lessons in life come from the youngest among us. As adults, all we need to do is watch and learn. In fact, we'd do well to copy some of the attitudes and behaviours of children. Recently, we were in Newfoundland visiting family and we took our three-year-old granddaughter out for pizza at a popular restaurant. Waiting for food to arrive can be difficult for children. In most restaurants, there are a few children getting antsy and starting to fuss. That's human nature when a person is bored. Children feel boredom sooner than most.
But this pizza joint was different. Although the place was filled with children, none of them were fussing. Every child in the place was busy and happy. Here's the reason why--they were being creative. A waitress came to our table and took our order. Then she asked our granddaughter if she'd like to make a pizza of her own. Wow, you should have seen our granddaughter's face. She said yes with enthusiasm and they...
There are many kinds of thinking–big-picture thinking, focused thinking, strategic thinking, bottom-line thinking to name a few. My favourite is creative thinking because the outcome is always fresh and surprising.
You know you're in the process of creative thinking when you find yourself scrambling around in unfamiliar territory looking for the best way forward. All that uncertainty can feel uncomfortable, I know. Creative thinking reaches beyond standard answers.
Not long ago, I was challenged to come up with an innovative way of celebrating the training completed by a board of directors. My client saw what had been accomplished and wanted to encourage more, but they wanted to do it in an exciting way. They didn't want rolled parchment tied with a golden bow or gift certificates.
According to Steve Jobs, "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because...
James is at the dinner table with his wife, Cheryl. She can see he's distressed and asks if he's okay. The answer is larger than she expected. As far as she knew, James was happy in his job.
“Cheryl, I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ve worked long and hard for the company. I’ve been loyal and I've given my all. In the past, I was rewarded for my performance, but they’ve passed me over for a promotion again. Guess I better find another company that appreciates my experience and effort.’”
Only three years ago, James was excited about his future. He'd been promoted to a manager position at the manufacturing company where he works. They'd valued his university degree, but they'd valued his 10 years of experience even more.
James was ready for the learning curve his new role demanded. Never afraid of work, he committed countless hours to management courses and self-study. After all, he'd never held a leadership position before. He knew he had...
Several of our friends keep koi fish in their outdoor ponds. One friend has a pond surrounding his patio. Because they recognize our friend as the one who feeds them, the koi swim towards him whenever he comes onto his patio.
The fascinating thing about koi is they grow to fit the size of their environment. Keep them in a bowl and they will grow to 3 inches. Place them in a small pond and they will grow to 1.5 feet. In a large lake, they can grow up to 3 feet.
Like koi, our growth potential can be small or large. But unlike Koi, our environment is not forced upon us. We create our environment by the choices we make. When we choose familiarity over challenges, we place ourselves in a small pond.
When we embrace the unknown and open ourselves to challenges, we place ourselves in a large lake.
There was a time when I placed myself in a small pond. In an effort to remain comfortable, I limited my choices. Then I recognized what was happening and let go of that limiting reality. Today, I...