Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Get Introspection You need Retrospection

Sometimes you need to look in the rearview mirror in order to adjust your forward direction. The tough part is knowing when to look and how to interpret the view so you can be more effective as you move forward.

If you haven't read the book 5 People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Bloom, I recommend you do but not for the reason you might think. It is not because it is a literay work of genius but because it is a book that challenges perceptions. The lead character goes to heaven and meets 5 people. Each person shows him an event from his life and they give him a new perspective on it. He in turn sees how much of his life was shaped, not by what happened, but by how he interpreted what happened.

After reading the book, take some time to jot down events that have happened to you at work, at home or growing up. Check out what meaning you have applied to those events and how it has shaped the choices you make today. Then take all of the events that are holding you captive and try to spin a new way of looking at the event so you can learn from it. This is how you use retrospection to get better introspection.

The rearview mirror is a handy tool if you know how to use it well. You don't want to live there, but you need to grow from there.

Don't let the past hold you captive. Instead be defined by your future.

Anne Warfield

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Doom and Gloom or Chance to Advance?

Your brain has a tiny region called the Basal Ganglia that loves to repeat negative messages over and over. It is your panic center. For many people, that region of the brain is running rampant now as they look at the economy and think, "doom and gloom."

Here is the rub- when that part of your brain kicks in it SHUTS DOWN your part of the brain that is your executive reasoning. It actually stops you from being creative, calm and thinking through things logically.

So, if you believe the doom and gloom, then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy for you. You will look for ways to protect, defend, and stop losses. What you won't do is look for gains, ways to explode and ways to create big wins.

So be rational, realistic and opportunistic during these times. For these are the times that define who we are and what we can become!

Anne Warfield

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Never Let Anyone Tell You It Can't Be Done!

Whether your person got voted in today or not, you were an important part of history. No matter which way the race would have gone we were rewriting how the future will be.

Never again will a person say "a black man can't be President." The more hurdles we cross the less barriers we have.

I remember learning how no one could run the four minute mile and doctors said t was impossible. And then one man dared to defy the trend and ran a 4 minute mile. Within a year tons of people ran a 4 minute mile. All they needed was one person to break through so they could see it happen.

So no matter who you voted for, this is a time to think about what challenges you need to break out of and use this time to make it your year!!

Anne Warfield,

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Much Is Miscommunication Costing You?

In today's market you need to be astute about where you spend your money. You can't afford to spend it on something that won't give a good return.

At times like these, it seems most logical to spend your money on sales and marketing solely in order to drive business. Words like "cost cutting" run rampant through organizations.

But there is another way to look at it. Look at what it is costing you to NOT have good processes and communication in place.

Here are some startling statistics recent research has showed that large organizations lose $62M a year in employee "misunderstandings." Confusion on company policy, processes and job functions get really expensive! 89% of pharmaceutical companies say this is causing them reduced productivity and 52% OF Petrochemical companies say is causing them health and safety compliance problems.

In other words, what employees can't understand, they can not execute on. This means it is imperative at this time that your employees have a universal culture that shows them how to communicate positively, think proactively, and execute professionally! Outcome Thinking is a great way for you to change your culture and save money! You can start simply by getting your team the Outcome Thinking book and use it as a weekly "change our culture" meeting. Every week take a new chapter and go through the exercises as a group to start transforming your culture and save you money!

Anne Warfield

Shift Paradigms To Shift Thinking

To Shift means to move over. We have a close election here and each candidate is doing what they can to shift our thinking. McCain is trying to do it by talking about "Maverick." He wants us to NOT associate him with President Bush. Obama is tying to do it by talking about "change." He wants us to see that it is a chance to get some new direction.

Now one of the things at the core is taxes. You hear people up in arms and fighting about who should be paying what taxes, when and how the wealth should be distributed. That would be a prime situation where a candidate would want to use a story or anecdote to get us to see their side of the equation.

Here is an example of what McCain could be using: "Who should pay taxes and what is fair is on the minds of all Americans today. I am for keeping taxes as they are or reducing them even. Now my opponent says that is not fair. That those who make over $250,000 should pay a higher percent taxes than those that make less. The theory being that the wealth should be redistributed. Let's take that theory and apply it to another situation. Imagine your child comes home from school. He has worked hard to achieve grades of As. But the teacher feels it is not fair that some kids get As while other kids don't. After all, not all kids have the same brainpower, not all kids have parents that work with them on their home work and not all kids have a great home environment to encourage studying. Therefore, the teacher is going to redistribute some of your child's points to other kids so your child will now go from an A to a B. Would you, as a parent, vote for that or would you fight it?"

You can see how the example used can shift our paradigm from seeing it as a "tax issue" to seeing it in a new light.

As a leader you want to take controversial points and issues and always anchor them with a unique twist that gets your audience seeing them in a new light.

Take ACTION: Look at a point that clients or prospects challenge you on about your company and twist it with a great story or anecdote that brings it to a new light. For leaders, take a company initiative or change you want in place and think of an anecdote that will fit and shift the thinking!

Anne Warfield