Category Archives: Persistence

Are you practicing the right thing?

Are you practicing the right thing? Q: Is quantity or quality more important? A: Yes! Quality – are you practicing the right thing? Quantity – are you practicingthe right thing? Summary: Are you practicing the right thing?

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Agile barnacles

Leaders want their teams to be more agile. Change happens more quickly than yesterday, and tomorrow it will be moving faster than today. They want their people to be able to respond and move quickly. Meanwhile, team members have issues with other team members. There’s cynicism and suspicion of more change initiatives. There’s low-level stress from trying to do more with less for so many years. Every team has barnacles. Old stuff has grown over and attached to the team ship, slowing it down. Curiosity has calcified into certainty. Teams usually want to skip over this stage and leap into agility. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. The barnacles will continue to get in the way until they’re acknowledged and addressed. And people don’t feel valued…until they’re actually valued. If you want to be agile, first face the barnacles. Learn more: Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.

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How to Re-charge Your Battery if You Have the Introvert MBTI Preference

Pause. Take a short break from what you’re working on. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and undisturbed. Close your eyes and take some deep slow breaths. Let the demands of the outer world drain away each time you breathe out. Return to yourself. Then allow your mind to freely wander on its own inner exploration. The quieter the spot you’re in, the more quickly you can rejuvenate yourself, whether it’s a park bench outside, alone or a walk on a quiet path. If you can’t find a quiet spot in your office or outside go out to your car on your break, close your eyes, breathe and relax. If you’re in a very busy, loud environment, a bathroom stall will do in a pinch. It’s important to let go as much as possible of the external demands that are tugging at you, just for these few moments and return to yourself. It’s also helpful to take a short pause between activities. For example, if you’ve had a long drive in traffic, take a quiet moment by yourself before you go inside and meet whomever you are expecting at your destination. This gives your active internal life a chance to catch up with all of your external interactions. Another recharging method is to have a meaningful one-on-one conversation with a person you have a strong connection with, either in person or on the phone. This conversation often will give you even more energy than just quiet, alone time. However, don’t try this when your internal battery is on empty. It works best when you’re just a little depleted. Track what works bests for you. Whenever you are able to take a quick vacation from all externalities pulling at you, you will return to your work refreshed and ready to re-enter the challenges ahead of you. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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How to Re-charge Your Battery if You Have the Extravert MBTI Preference

When you’re tired, worn down and you need some energy to get your work done, try this tip. Extroversion Pause. Take a short break from what you’re working on. Get up from your desk and seek out someone to have a short conversation with. What – The topic isn’t important, but try to make it not be about your work at hand. It could be about sports, weather, politics, current events, an interesting bit of trivia you picked up. Or it could be curiosity about their family, favorite vacation spot, anything. Get curious – what would you like to know about this person? Who – Choose someone, even a stranger is fine, anyone that you’d feel comfortable talking with very briefly about anything you choose. Offer to get someone a cup of coffee or a snack, then have a quick chat with them. How – Try to have this conversation in person. A face-to-face conversation will give you the best shot at recharging your battery. If that isn’t possible, pick up the phone and call someone you know. Emailing and Instant Messaging is a third option, and will do in a pinch. After you’ve had your short conversation and you’re heading back to your work at hand, notice your energy level. Is your battery a little bit re-charged? If so, what about the conversation energized you? Get as specific as you can. The more clearly you can understand what energizes you, the more powerful a tool you can add to your re-charging tool-box. Now, head back to your work, refreshed and ready to re-enter the challenge ahead of you. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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What ‘no’ will get you to ‘yes’?

This is the 10-year anniversary of the newsletter. That’s 120 newsletters. This month I’ll post my 1,300th blog post. It’s something I’m very, very proud of – perhaps what I’m most proud of persisting at this past decade. And I’m grateful for you reading these words. If you weren’t here, I wouldn’t be either. This kind of persistence comes at a cost though. Something else had to be given up in order to write each word I wrote. Again and again I had to say no to something enticing or demanding or relaxing or meaningless enough to not have fear attached to it. There is something you want to do, isn’t there? There is something meaningful to you, something that will be helpful to others. Something that will make your world and the worlds you intersect with a better place. There’s lots of persistent work to be done to make that something to come into fruition. But now, what’s even more important? The seed of that something is going to need to some space to begin to grow. You’re going to need to say no to something else. Something is going to have to be left behind. The journey ahead is long, and you’re going to need to travel light. We have a fascination with the TV show Hoarders. How can people compulsively hold onto so many things that are no longer important? How, indeed? You and I? We’re also hoarders of something. What am I holding on to that is no longer important, no longer helpful to my work? What are you? What can you say no to that will clear the space to do the most important work you were meant to do this year and beyond? What ‘no’ will get you to ‘yes’ – to being the change you so want to see in the world?

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Quest Story: Around the World In Twenty Days – Savoring the Adventure

On March 1, 1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones set off in a balloon from Switzerland in an attempt to become the first piloted balloon to fly around the world nonstop. Here is Piccard as he savors his adventure in this journal entry from the night before their triumphant landing in Egypt twenty days later. During the last night, I savor once more the intimate relationship that we have established with our planet. Shivering in the pilot’s seat, I have the feeling I have left the capsule to fly under the stars that have swallowed our balloon. I feel so privilege that I want to enjoy every second of this air world. During our three weeks of flight, protected by our high-tech cocoon, we have flown over millions of people suffering on this earth…Why are we so lucky? Very shortly after daybreak, [our balloon] will land in the Egyptian sand. Brian and I will be lifted away from the desert by helicopter, and we will immediately need to find words to satisfy the public’s curiosity. But right now, muffled in my down jacket, I let the cold bite of the night remind me that I have not yet landed, that I am still living one of the most beautiful moments of my life. The only way that I can make this instant last will be to share it with others. We have succeeded thanks to the winds of providence. May the winds of hope keep blowing around the world. (National Geographic, Sept. 1999: p44)

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What do you want to see in 2020?

In 1968, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke dreamed up the film and the book 2001: A Space Odyssey. George Orwell published his dystopian novel 1984 in 1949. It’s 2018. The next number with meaning is the year 2020. That is now about 100 weeks away. Numbers like these are tools to help us think bigger. What do you want to see 2020? What do you want to see clearly 100 weeks from now? The time to start on what you want is now. Today. There is no need to look back when you hit 2020 and wish you had worked on something else more important for the last two years. There is something in you, something about you that is unique to you. Some change you want to make and help the world with. What is it now? How will you be the change you want to see in the world when you can see clearly – 20/20?   Learn more: How to Lead Change -  Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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Strategic or Tactical?

There is a tension between thinking strategically and tactically. We tend to just live tactically. We humans don’t do well with tension and tend to just go to one side or the other. And the daily grind is where we usually go. It’s the path of least resistance. Carl Jung said the sign of a true adult is to be able to live in the tension of the two opposites. You have 100 weeks. What do you want to see 100 weeks now from now 2020? What’s your tension between now and then? Today is day one of not giving up. Today is the day to happily rest in the tension.

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What are your New Year’s Curiosities??

We’ve been making New Year’s resolutions all our lives. They usually don’t work out too well. 60% of those resolutions are toast by July. And they never end the way we wish they would. These intentions always end up differently. It’s hard to gather enthusiasm, isn’t it? Let’s try New Year’s curiosities instead. Curiosity recognizes that when we step forward, we step into the unknown. We don’t know the ending yet, we haven’t lived it. And curiosity keeps us in our frontal cortex, the smartest, wisest part of the brain. Here are some curiosities: What important projects will we finish this year? What projects won’t we finish? What will we begin? How much kindness will we give – to ourselves and anyone we meet along the way? How brave will we be with the hard, emotional work – the real work? How well and long will we sleep? What and who will inspire us? What and who will no longer inspire us? What change will we make in the world? How will we make things better? What is the path ahead like – 365 days of unknown – and where will we travel on it? What’s our quest this year?   What are your 2018 New Year’s curiosities?   Learn more:  40 Days to Change For Good - Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts.

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Quix Tip: Be generous and make it public.

  Everyone wants a change. Being part of a group that’s changing helps everyone reciprocally. You’re much more likely to persist in your change if you’ve told people. But the people you tell are helped even more. We do what those around us do. If everyone’s exercising, we think exercise is normal. If everyone around is on their phones, we think being on our phone is normal. If everyone around us is eating junk food, that’s the thing to do. We do what others do. It’d feel about as weird to have a beer in the workout room at the local Y as it would to do calisthenics in the local bar. If everyone’s working on positive change, of course you too are working on positive change. Be generous and help the people you care about by making your change public. List who might be on your support team to support you and help you stay accountable to your change. Reach out to all of them and tell them what you’re up to. Tell them your hopes, fears, triumphs, failures with the change. Thank them for helping you keep accountable, even if they don’t do anything. Ask them if there’s a change they want to make. If so, ask, “how can I help?” Support them. Feel gratitude for your change community you’re a part of. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s charity-based team building activities: 40 Days to Change For Good- Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts. Change Quest - Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is. How to Lead Change-  Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.

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