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Archive for the ‘Workplace’ Category

* CD sets * DVDs * Binders * Home Study Systems * Checklists * Mp3 downloads * Instruction manuals * Bookmarked websites * Newsletters * Free reports * Books * Journals * Magazines * Piles of articles from other magazines  *Journals and idea notebooks *

 

This describes the “decorations” I often have in my apartment and office. Piles on the floor. Media cabinets and bookcases filled. And of course the computer with beautifully created folders and iTunes accounts with seemingly endless digital versions of programs.

And with every moment  (or decade) of chaos comes a lesson.

What did I learn from all this?

  • I learned that I spent money on things I never looked at or listened to
  • I learned that reorganizing these materials did not help me absorb by osmosis
  • I learned that every time I looked at one or a cluster of these materials, I felt defeated.
  • I learned that I had accumulated EDUCATIONAL CLUTTER!

I needed a solution to this madness.  What I discovered is that without a plan, I was left feeling lost, frustrated and disappointed with each day that went by. I was letting myself down and setting myself up for defeat each time I let my intellectual curiosity lose out to some other aspect of my life or business day after day.

So, I created a simple system to make this all more manageable and allow me to actually accomplish some advancement of my education. And really it is so simple that I wanted to share it with you with the hopes that you will implement it in your life and business as well.

  1. Make a list of all the categories of learning you have. Could be by topic. By expert. By method of learning (audio, video, book). There will be a logical way that it appears in your head when you set out to organize.
  2. List the top activity beneath each. The most important book. The meditation CD that will help you the most. The blog you have been meaning to research. You get the point.
  3. In your calendar, carve out an hour of “Learning Time” a week. I know. I know. You want to do so much more. But honestly, how much learning time have you been utilizing each week? So add an hour to that number.
  4. Now, decide right now which of the top activities in your categories will move your business forward the fastest, will bring you the most happiness, will feel the most amazing to have crossed off the list… prioritize using your own drivers and goals.
  5. Spend that hour studying, reading, listening, watching or absorbing the new information.  When one is done,  move on to the next – adding new activities to the master list as need.

Do this every week and you have 52 more hours of studying, learning and educating yourself than you did last year and so much less frustration and disappointment. It is only one hour a week!

 

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During this holiday season, there is so much encouragement to spread hope and good cheer.  I encourage that wholeheartedly myself. However, for many the holiday season also comes with a tremendous amount of pressure- both in terms of time and financial expectations. And yet, it is also the perfect time to be connecting and spreading that cheer to people you will want to build deeper relationships within 2011 and beyond.

You might think, “Bryn, it is difficult enough to finish all the holiday shopping, attend all (or at least some) of the parties, and decorate for the holidays.  I have no time or energy left to connect with MORE people”.

No worries!  Below I have offered a few ideas to help you leverage both your limited hours in the day and your drained bank account during this celebratory season.

Strategy, it all begins with Strategy! Not the kind that requires a business plan (but gosh, if you have that business plan handy, you may want to pull it out and take a look at the goals that were not quite fulfilled this year or perhaps the goals you have in mind for 2011.)

What I am suggesting here is to do the following 10 minute exercise: Clear your mind. Put yourself in a quiet spot where there is little chance of interruption for 10 minutes. Grab a piece of paper and a pen write down:

Brainstorm about 10 people who you want to connect with, meant to connect with (darn!) or who you connected with earlier in 2010 and never followed up properly (you know who they are-they have been nagging at you in the back of your mind)

Now go research how you will find them. Email, address, phone number, parties they might be attending, people you can call who can put you in contact with them.

Now put their names on your calendar. Literally. Bob on December 21. On December 21 you will call Bob and invite him to coffee or lunch. Lily on December 27. Stop by her office or email her and ask if she plans to be at the Martin’s New Year’s Party. You could catch up there (because isn’t it so nice to actually SEE someone- to really connect face-to-face?)

Do not bite off more than you can chew, as they say. No marathon days of connecting. Spread it out so each exchange can move closer to a face-to-face interaction which is always more satisfactory than a phone call which is far more connected than an email.

But you will do what you can. And maybe the point of this reach-out for you at the holiday time is to get on this person’s radar for 2011 when things are less hectic. Plus, you just made connections or reconnections with 10 people over a few weeks! FUN!

Spread Holiday Cheer!

 

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Why do I have such a longing to be locked away somewhere- anywhere- a Starbucks, the airport, my house- really any makeshift office? As long as they have internet and coffee, I would be completely content. Even ecstatic!

It used to be funny. A funny line that I would use with corporate colleagues.

“My parents live in the black hole of technology”.

Funny, but true. They live in Upstate New York. In gorgeous apple orchard country. In a fabulous farmhouse nestled in a valley. At the top of the hills on either side of the house, homes have cable internet. But not in the valley. So for 9 long years since they bought the house, each time I have come home I have had sporatic cellphone/ blackberry/ iphone use and dial-up internet.  Running to CVS to use my wireless in the parking lot was not uncommon.

However, this Thanksgiving was the first time I had been home for an extended period of time as a business owner. Not a corporate executive trying to escape for a few days, but a business owner. I actually did not want to escape my business (such a wonderful feeling really!) But I had to escape because there was only dial-up internet connection (translation: 15 minutes to pull up each graphic heavy page and reading gmail in “basic” format).

I adore my family.

I relish the unplugged time.

But I love my computer, social media, email, and connection with friends, colleagues and clients via the internet.

I feel like I have been suffering from withdrawal and need my fix… I could barely get through the security line before I happily bought an Americano and plopped myself at the table here at Rochester Airport. My sister dropped me off 3 hours before my flight so she could get to work on time. No worries here. Just me and my free wifi… happily chugging along.

Feeling a little more like me by the minute.

And good news, people! They are getting hi-speed internet on Wednesday so it is the end of an era but a great self-reflection moment for me .

It is what it is. I am who I am.

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Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 9 of the Virtual Blog Tour for Healing the Corporate World by my dear friend and author Maria Gamb.

Written by former Fortune 500 executive, Maria Gamb, who spent more than 20 years trailblazing businesses valued at upwards of $100 million, Healing the Corporate World is a cutting-edge book examining the deep, and usually unspoken, ailment of the modern corporate world, offering solutions for healing at a personal, financial and even spiritual level. By showing the reader “the four cycles of transformational leadership”, Maria provides business leaders, from solo entrepreneurs to corporate senior executives, practical answers on how to transform their organizations from the inside out, and become “Change Agents”, consciously creating their own reality.

Yesterday, Maria visited Suzie Cheel at http://suziecheel.com.

For today’s stop on the tour, I decided to ask Maria some questions about being authentic in the workplace. So many of you struggle, as I have, with being “me” in my work life and using those values and characteristics I cherish to change the environment in which I work. Risky? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely. Here’s our conversation:

Bryn: As a Corporate Leader, I know that I felt most authentic in my roles when I could really embrace who I was- all sides of me including my spiritual being, my emotional self and my passionate self. How do people get to the level of comfort necessary to “expose” themselves this way in the workplace and trust that this is the right path?

Maria: Bryn your question is really a valid one. People often struggle to integrate all these aspects into their working environment. However, I think the misconception is that if you are a spiritual person and want to bring that into the workplace you have to make some formal statement. The most powerful way to “expose” yourself, as you put it, is by your actions not merely your words. This is the art of “being” that authentic person rather being someone others believe you should or ought to be. Here’s the practical application – because it’s got to be something you can express in a very tangible way. Look at how you interact with others. What are your rules of engagement? What are the values by which you conduct yourself? This is not a moralistic question as much as it is about your own value system. Values are based in 3 grounding principles – they are rooted in love – the care of others, compassion – the connection to others and acceptance – the engagement of others. Most people haven’t considered it this way, but it is so. If you want to integrate this spiritual side of yourself use these 3 principles as your guiding force in how you operate in the world. Period.

Bryn: It seems that true success and strong teams has a lot to do with giving- giving not getting- would you agree?

Maria: A healthy team is one that is harmonious, happy and engaged in what they do. They have shared values, dreams and goals. In order to create that dynamic it’s essential to install a system of giving. Most people think of this in monetary terms but it goes well beyond money. Encourage the team to share resources, help, time, ideas and solutions with each other – without judgment or competitiveness. When judgment comes in you have a team that shuts out and down possibilities and opportunities. If a team competes with itself, they are only out for themselves and everyone else be damned. This is a splintered team that produces very little, which means, your bottom line will suffer no doubt.

If you want greater success then a team has to be rooted in “giving” rather than “getting”. Giving is the stuff that great ideas come from and people become excited to be part of a process rather than separate to it. It helps them to feel like they are part of not only their own but others success. Even the most introverted person blossoms within this type of environment. But most importantly if you can set up a giving environment as I’ve described then those around them and including themselves will be more apt to receive. This is the flow of giving. When you give you receive. Perhaps not from the person YOU gave to but it will come from somewhere else. You will be much more open to allowing someone to help you and share with you without feeling threatened or suspicious of motivation. It’s interwoven: give and you receive, receive and you will give even more. But first give so the cycle continues and the comfort and confidence builds.

Bryn: Where do people start who really want to make a change in their workplace? What characteristics should they be focused on for themselves?

Maria: People do need to start with themselves first. Often times it’s easier to blame the boss or the vendor who annoys you for your unhappiness, lack of fulfilment in your work or a bad year. I hear this all the time. The truth is that you are responsible for yourself and your own happiness. So if you’re unhappy it’s time to look within and go through an assessment process. Now this can take a long time. Especially when there is no roadmap or “how to do it” to follow. I personally have felt like if someone would have just shown me what to do and where I was in the process I would have felt so much better. It’s not easy to look at yourself if you don’t know what you’re looking at or why. Right!?

In the book “Healing the Corporate World” there is a system called the “Cycle & Seasons of Transformation” that outlines what is required for an organization and an individual to transform. It illustrated the challenges, the risks and the antidote for each season. This system is so powerful because it asks the individual to really look at themselves on a personal level as well as how they are operating in business. You cannot correct your problems at work until you correct your underlying mindset (beliefs) conflicts. So this provides an opportunity to do both at the same time. Each step is explained and you are given a glimpse into the next phase so you know what is to come. As you learn these techniques you assist yourself in making the transition easier and smoother. As you become more comfortable with this you can then help others around you; including your team, vendors and colleagues to do the same. It helps relieve a whole lot of anxiety when you know what’s going on. The bottom line is this. Healing business is about healing the minds and hearts of the people who work within in on a deep profound level first, then the business shifts into high gear bringing greater returns, more security, affluence and influence to those who participate. It starts with the individual.

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with Maria Gamb and that you’ll check out her new book Healing the Corporate World, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday October 12, 2010. I am so excited about receiving my copy!

You can receive a complete library of beautiful personal development gifts when you buy the book on the day of its launch, including one from me:  5 Connection Strategy Tips to Help Jumpstart Your Business!

In addition, Maria is hosting an exciting FREE 4-day telesummit entitled “Transforming Business from the Inside Out” on October 4th – 7th with a distinguished panel of 9 of today’s most innovative authors and speakers on becoming the ‘Change Agent’ in your business, in your life and in the world!

Although it began yesterday, you can still jump in and get caught up! If you’d like to attend, all you have to do is request a “launch reminder” about the book, and you’ll receive all the information to attend. If you cannot make the live event, you can download the audio at your convenience.

To find out how to buy Maria’s BOOK and receive these gifts, including the FREE pass to the 4-day online telesummit, go to http://www.healingthecorporateworld.com AND you can read all about the TELESUMMIT and the guests at http://www.healingthecorporateworld.com/telesummit.html

Be sure to follow Maria tomorrow when the next stop on his Virtual Blog Tour is Rich Gallagher’s blog at http://www.pointofcontactgroup.com.

As usual, please do feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

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