Lead a Good Life

Daily hints and tips to enhance your life

What You Focus Will Expand

The sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful! (Alan Pariser)

The law of attraction is currently a hot topic within self improvement field. One of the basic of this law is the power of focus. One would have greater chance to get what he want, if he focus on acquiring it. This focus is what becoming their daily thoughts.

Unfortunately, many failures happen because people misuse this great power. Instead of focusing on the goal, they focus on another things which are irrelevant to their primary goal.

Have you been giving more focus on fear than the exhilaration of benefits that you might get if you take actions to fulfill your dream? It’s like two faced coin, and just like everything in the world, it’s all about risk and opportunity. It’s about being half full or half empty. Aim your focus on whatever opportunity that lies ahead, then you will become more passionate to chase your dream.

A single 100 watt light bulb can immediately lighten a room, however, when the same light being funneled through lens tube with a very small diameter, it can turn the light into laser ray capable of splitting any rock into pieces.

Remember that the greatest force within ourselves, whether our thinking, feeling, or actions, when directed correctly will delivers overwhelming results. Successful people are those who are able to focus on whatever they want, instead those who fail focus on another irrelevant and unimportant things.

Make your decision today and try to focus on things that you want the most in your life, and in no time you will achieve what you want

This post is very related to my previous post about information overload, self purpose, or check the life purpose series .

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Discipline, Intra Personal Skill, Life Purpose | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Deploy Innovation And Have Everyone Participate

innovation

One of many myths about ideas that lead to innovation is that it comes from individuals or by a small group of creative human beings working together in an isolated room. But in fact, if we take a closer look in Thomas Edison, Ted Turner, Jeff Bezos, or even Steve Jobs, they are able to develop great ideas as results from interactions with many sources.

Anticipation on innovations, no matter how small, is a good basic for an invention, still, leaders has to nurture the right condition for innovation to grow. Here are 4 ways to connect as well as to grow and to make innovations possible:

1. Change The Organization Structure

For many years, organization structures has directly or indirectly isolated changes and innovations from the other departments, where these kind of conditions will not bring any effect on the company. To make changes in organization definitely need a structure which can actively help growth of cross function interactions.

If you are a leader, try to raise these questions:

  • Do we have the infrastructure for innovations to be possible, which can delivers these innovations matching roles in every level of the company and involves everybody? Or whether the organization structure keeps on positioning innovations as an exclusive responsibilities for certain function or group?
  • What steps has been taken by the company within the past year to promote functions and departments to share ideas and knowledge?
  • What can we do to facilitate direct communication, person to person in all parts of the company instead of developing the traditional system that sticks on top-bottom approaches?

2. Create Open Market For New Ideas

In many companies, new ideas are scarce commodities, strangled by company cultures that disregard opportunities and need. Companies that are serious about changes must create a climate (culture) where every person within the company can contribute ideas, whereas the ideas are considered workable, they will be supported with financing and proper resources to make it happen.

Few questions that can be asked by leaders:

  • Does the management really believe that mediocre worker can also innovate?
  • Does companies develop a “change democracy” where anybody from any level within the company can raise their ideas?
  • What have we done to communicate – verbally or by actions – that everyone in the company are encouraged to be a pioneer?
  • If someone or some groups come up with new ideas, how difficult it is for them to gain supports, morally and financially from the top management?
  • What have we done within these 12 months in using imaginations, know-hows or ideas from people outside of the company?

3. Use the Web In Developing Imaginations

Usually, information technologies utilized in companies end without any clear articulation of the benefit and functions only for simple and explicit knowledge management tools. Instead they have to learn to use this as a system for boosting innovation, which involves peoples in the company – and millions outside – in a global dialogue with innovation as it’s primary focus.

Questions to ask:

  • Have we create discussion forum, where conversations about innovation is the main topic within the last 24 months?
  • Have we use information technology infrastructures to distribute needed responsibilities to propel new ideas throughout divisions in and out of the company?
  • Does the intranet has something to do with inspiring people to develop their thinking as to show them how an innovation project can be initiated?
  • Can we use the infrastructure to create opportunities and rebuild projects that had no clear purpose?

4. Spend More Time For Interaction

Companies who want to promote innovations better create opportunities for their workers to interact with people working outside their business unit, people outside their geographic region and ideally outside their corresponding industries. Find ways to connect between different groups directly to share their point of views and create ideas together.

Another questions to ask:

  • Within the last 12 months, has everyone in my division has the opportunity to participate in company held innovation projects?
  • How often my company/division/business unit held events and forums for knowledge sharing and cooperation?

With those all 4 steps, companies can ultimately possess a field full of innovations, which in turn boost the organization to a new unprecedented level.

Image by scleroplex

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Career, Change Management, Leadership, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Invaluable Abilities

When you hear the word “work”, you probably imagine sitting in front of computer, or cutting grass in the front yard. In fact, there are three important aspects that lots of people don’t realize

1. Ability to Pay Attention

Paying a good attention requires a lot of efforts, To do it right, you have to listen, and maintain proper eye contact. That’s not all, you will also need to think and digest about those things you are hearing at that moment. On another note, even you have this urge to cut the conversation and speak, you may not. You have to wait your turn for giving comments or to ask something back.

2. Ability to Admit

Admitting that you don’t understand is a way to gain additional information or knowledge. We can have this by asking, but admitting that you need help to finish a job or project that you run is even more important.

Many people do not want to admit they have messed up. They worry that it will ruin their perfect images, result in more works for them, or being blamed by others. Nevertheless, keeping on pretending as the perfect one makes us incapable of learning and growing.

3. Ability to Show Gratitude

Thanking someone for helping us should not be something that has to be told. It should be spontaneous. They just helped us and they will know the sincere-ness in our gratitude. There’s been a lot of stories about decent people that return lost wallet, saving lives, didn’t get any gratitude at all.

Sometimes, however funny it sounds, people feel embarrassed that they need help or have just lost something, but that should not block their way to show their form of appreciation.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Career, Intra Personal Skill, Leadership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Gray Areas

Using company’s resource for personal issues, especially during working hours, is a big fat NO for workers in many companies. However, supervisors often have to deal with what we always call the gray areas, while at the same time closing one eye on activities and behaviors that legitimately forbidden. They realize that to expel these activities is more harmful than to benefit from it, because many employees have interest, and mainly personal interest, to be within the gray areas.

In some factories, where tools and materials are available, we can find some workers making personal stuffs out of it. Kitchenware, toys for their children, or window frames – all within working hours. Managers often deliberately indifferent about this, because they need these people when jobs need to be completed as fast and as good as possible.

And let’s take a look within a publishing house where a competent junior editor and a productive one, completing his personal novels within working hours. His managers somehow tolerate him, hoping in return they can count on a hardworking, loyal, and motivated junior editor.

So why does even all these talented workers have the same urge to break the rule? Research showed that they have the need to play their “job identity”. An identity that describe self picture showing someone trained within a specific field and making them part of that profession. A profession, perhaps goes as far as “profession”; the most important thing is how colleagues assess someone in the job

Many senior executives fail to understand the needs of “job identity” (so they often think negatively about this gray areas), could be that they themselves haven’t got their own identities. Executives often see themselves pursuing their own personal challenge, and that’s why, when they enter a company, they don’t understand the importance of job identity for their people. For example, an executive in a fashion company might not be a designer, and because of that, he could probably ignore the needs of a designer within the company of recognition from colleagues.

Instead of considering that gray areas is a dangerous issues, leaders can always try to understand the cause of why the gray area appears. It doesn’t mean that they have to accept all the activities within the areas. They would probably spend their time monitoring misuse of working time and other resources – with proper understanding of course, that these gray areas show that there are higher aspirations within workers; one thing that soon will be considered by leaders as a character of employees they look for.

Finding the right person might not always possible, but workers will be more involved and productive when their capabilities is admitted by their boss.

 

Source: Michel Anteby, Harvard Business School Publishing

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Career, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons From Tiger

“One of the thing that my parents have taught me is never listen to other people’s expectations. You should live your own life and live up to your own expectaGolftion, and those are the only things I really care about” – Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is a legendary golf athlete and perhaps the only athlete who could generate an income of USD 1 billion at 31 years of age. But this is not about his income we’re going to talk about. It’s about his life lessons and beliefs that led him to success. He has three simple principles; simple yet powerful that he persistently use in his way up, both in his career and his life.

Principle 1: Smile at Obstacles

You might be caught with surprise with his statement that said he smiles whenever faced with obstacles. Instead of complaining and whining, like most of people do, or avoiding, even run away from problems. He smiles because he sees an opportunity that could make him tougher if he solved it, and even though he failed, he believes he will learn something from it. Also, he smiles because he thinks that his faith is far more greater than any obstacles he faces.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s has quoted “Whatever happened now and in the future are small compared with what resides in us“, that means a champion knows that he will always overcome challenges, because he has what it takes to do that.

The heart of champion will not fear from problems, instead challenged by them. Challenges were created for us to overcome with. It is indeed a gift from Above.

Principle 2: My Will Can Move Mountains

His enormous will has many time separate him from the typical. He believes that when he wanted something, he will get it. It is true, however that he did not necessarily won all tournaments. But he is the best from the rest, because his strong will create focus, which lead to concentration on one single purpose.

Principle 3: I Will Do It With All My Heart

His love in golf is so deep, he thinks, talks, and does, all has relation with the sport. It is almost impossible to beat someone who loves his job that much. It is nonsense for anyone who is enthusiastic in his work have to worry about his life. Every opportunities in the world are waiting for these people to have them. He spends hours everyday to work on his swings. When someone loves his job, no obstacles are big enough for them.

Image by mslikk

December 7, 2008 Posted by | Career, Change Management, Life Purpose, Self Confidence | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Monkeys Off Their Shoulders

One of the primary duty of leaders is to develop their people, that includes sharpen their competence in problem solving and decision making. So you have to realize that the danger from load of tasks that will occur if you take over their works. But what if you are being held on a deadline and somebody ask you to handle ‘one or more monkeys’ – problems that should be dealt by sub-ordinates, popular terminology that was introduced by William Oncken Jr. and Donald L. Wass in their article “Management Time: Who’s Got The Monkey?” from Harvard Business Review 1974.

Here are few tips that you can possibly do.

1. Let Them Work

To many people, the pathway to effective delegation starts with studying two basic assumption of their roles. First, a lot of managers believe that handling their people’s problems is a faster and more effective than teach them to handle it themselves. Second, they also believe that they know more from their people.

These assumptions, will only raise the need of managers to break the problem and make decisions, instead of delegating and empowering their men. To deal with this problem, you have to position yourself as a leader, not a manager. Managers deal with details, while leaders, on the contrary, raise sense of belonging and responsibilities in their people.

2. Ask, Don’t Tell

Professional delegator choose to ask their men, rather than dictate the solution to them.

The question “What is it that you think should be done?” stimulates people to come with solutions when they approach you. Another additional questions like “What is the effect of this action?” or “What is it that we need to pay attention to if we are to go your way?” could also reveal how far have they think about the solution to the problem.

3. Match Person With The Job

Avoid adding your current jobs with handling your people’s problem. This can only happen if managers delegate the right job to the right people, according to each competence and potential.

Steven R. Covey stressed about delegation based on interest. “Find out the best outcome and the most preferred job of your people” he said “Then combine their unique talents and interests with job needs. When people work with interest and desire, they don’t need guidance. They will eventually create creative solutions independently.”

4. Cultivate Independent Thinking

If someone manages to think independently and feel that he own his job, then he will definitely bring less problem to his boss.

Shane Pliska, Business Development Director of Planterra, a landscape interior company, uses “monkey rating”, a method extracted from Oncken and Wass’ article. “We ask the workers to self assess their problems with numbers,” she said. “One means your manager solved it for you. Two means your manager told you the solution and you follow the solution, three means you proposed a solution and seek approval from your manager, while four means you took action, solve the problem, and let you manager know afterwards.”

When people came to their boss’s chamber, managers will ask “what number is on your current problem?” To raise the sense of belonging, Planterra managers encourages their people to have number four on every problem as much as possible.

5. Connect Them With Resources

Connecting your people with resources will also help you reduce your load. Think about the term “resource” in wider perspective, like human, tools, information, and opportunities that can help your men to work independently. Being the matchmaker between your people to the resources is actually not hard at all, like “You can talk to Mr X in marketing division.”

 

So, take that monkey of their shoulders immediately, let them deal with their own monkeys, because you already have your own, right?

December 7, 2008 Posted by | Career, inter personal skill, Leadership, Stress Management, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Attitudes That Lead To Success

Have you ever felt that life is plain and quiet? Claude T. Bissell gives practical solution to have the passion back and make everything sparks.

1. Take Risk Beyond Safe LimitHandshake

Life will be less challenging because we never let ourselves in challenging situations. Of course, there will be risk also behind every challenge, but the risk is the only thing that can get us moving forward.

Bill Gates, richest man in the world is a very smart person who willing to take risk. When IBM need an operating system for their personal computers, their representative Jack Sams called Gates. Bill was unable to fulfill the demand, thus recommend Gary Kildall, owner of Digital Research to Sams. Kildall did not see the monstrous opportunities that laid before his nose and told his wife to do the negotiation. This has let IBM down and they wanted Gates to find another partner.

That time, Gates knew that this is a huge opportunity. He didn’t waste it this time, even knowing that he had nothing of what IBM wanted, he scrambled for solution. Later he was able to develop the MS-DOS (Microsoft – Disk Operating System).

2. Be Attentive More Than What Others Do In General

Whatever it is your profession and your job, must involve human interactions. By increasing care and attention to customers and people around us, success and happiness will follow.

Joe Girard, a salesman who understand well the concept of customer comes first, hold a world record of car sales which listed in Guiness Book of Record after registered 13.001 units of car in 15 years of service. His ability to understand his customers had caused his customers to refer him to their friends and families.

3. Dream Beyond Your Wildest

Big dreams can give us

bigger boost of unleashing inner potential. Steven Spielberg is a true dreamer. His box office movies have already generated USD 8 billion. Jaws, E.T., Jurrasic Park were among them.

4. Expect More, Be Passionate

By having positive expectation in this life, you will become passionate and stay positive no matter what lays ahead. Colonel Sanders is a perfect example of someone having such expectation. He was so passionate to convince chicken restaurant owners to buy his mom’s recipe – an expectation that led him to finally knock on the 1,009th door for his idea to be accepted.

These four solutions have been proven by them in their way to success. Now it’s your turn. Live your life with passion!

Image by thinkpanama

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Career, Change Management, Intra Personal Skill, Life Purpose, Self Improvement | , , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Very Simple Steps to Free Yourself From Stress

This post is a sequel to my previous posts about stress management.

Never let stress disrupt your performance. Get over with it with these simple 8 steps:

1. Breathe

A long and deep inhale can help your mind and body relax

2. Have an Eating Pattern

Diets with high calories and fat can cause your body weaker and dysfunctional in the long run.

3. Exercise

Coordinated body movement can make you feel calmer, more controllable mood, and easier to handle pressure

4. Get a Good Quality Sleep

A deep sleep of 6-8 hours every night can raise your energy level. Making you ready to face any challenge the following day

5. See Bigger Picture

Don’t take your job as daily routine, instead, it is your pathway that leads to overwhelming success.

6. Empower and Delegate

You are neither Superman nor demi-God; learn to trust others to help you do your job. Only by this, then you can aim for a far more strategic role in works.

7. Perfection Can be Very Evil

If you spend most of your time trying to fix a working machine, you will never gain from that machine effectively. In short, you are wasting your valuable time.

8. Celebrate

Small reward to indulge yourself that comes in every accomplishment is a good motivation factor.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Career, Change Management, Intra Personal Skill, Stress Management, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Office Politics

According to a research from University of Minnesota, Psychology effect caused by office bullying is far scarier than sexual harassment. Office bullying might consists of:

  1. Attacking commentaries or looking down to others
  2. Specific yells (even work related issues) – especially in front of many people
  3. Disrespectful of job rank and our role
  4. Disrespectful of our working results

If any of you ever experienced one of the above, you have to immediately confront the abuse right on spot. For example, when someone mocks you, look the person on the eyes and tell him/her that you don’t find it amusing and that you want that person to stop doing that. Tell him/her that you are a professional and you deserve to be treated politely.

Bear in mind, that when you say that, maintain your tone and emotion, because your emotional weakness is what that person is trying to proof. So, whenever you don’t think that you can control your wrath, you’d better stay away and calm yourself down.

However, if you think that everything is out of line and has gone from bad to worse, please write a written report, stating every detailed aspects, including places, time, type of abuse, plus eye witness of the harassment,

And know when to stop, if the written report is proven ineffective, instead, making things worse, it is time that you find a better working place. Never mind with the thought that the abuser will be thrilled to see you walk away that door, because your pride and mental wellness are far more important than what others might think.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Career, Stress Management, Workplace Improvement | , , , | Leave a comment

Blessed Those Who Are Grateful Everyday

On Monday, December 1st 2008, I’ve managed to walk again without crutches. About 3 weeks ago I’ve suffered from a terrible knee injury during my routine Sunday sport. My left knee ligaments were torn bad and at that time I couldn’t even raise my leg. Plus it hurts like hell. If I have to illustrate how that happen, I can make it easy explaining to you that my body and thigh turned, while my calf did not because my foot was deeply ‘planted’ on the pitch. So, the knee joint sort of twisted 90 degree to the counter clockwise generating the sound of a smashed cracker inside my ears. I couldn’t stand up at that time until my friends helped me. The shocking thing was, I felt my lower leg can rotate like shoulders, which of course it wasn’t suppose to.I’m getting better now, even though I still can not bend my knee as used to be and it still feels funny inside.

Before this, I never ever imagine that I would be standing and walking with crutches for 3 full weeks and I feel that people are supposed to be healthy walking on their own feet. Not until the day it happened of course. Now, I look at people walking down the street, run forth and back, jogs, and the feeling was like ,”How lucky these people are with pair of healthy legs.” A sentence that never before reside in my head. It is a mystery how life can turn from good to bad to one person, vice versa. And still human can’t tell when those days would come.

I tried to analyze my feeling and had come to a conclusion that I’m not too grateful before. I always look for more and more. While never show enough gratitude for what I’ve acquired. Indirectly, this is also exhausting for my mind. I tried to practice myself of being more grateful these past few weeks and I have positive results from it. I feel more energized, more positive, better sleep quality, and I can ate more. Knowing this, I think that the wisest thing to do in my future is being more grateful for what I have in my life, while still being optimistic for the forthcoming days. The balance will be the key for a more life quality.

December 3, 2008 Posted by | Change Management, Life Purpose, Stress Management | , , , | Leave a comment