You know you’re getting old when

“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.”

—George Burns, 20th Century comedian and actor

Image from New York Daily News

George Burns the actor, writer, singer, and perhaps most notably, comedian, was a bit of an expert on aging. He lived to be 100. His career spanned over 75 year in vaudeville, radio, and even film, where at the age of 79, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1975 film, The Sunshine Boys.

Along with his comedic wit, George must have been an efficiency expert, looking to squeeze all the value out of his efforts, even along the short journey down to tie his shoes.

EXERCISE:

Where would a “work smarter, not harder” approach to your daily efforts make the biggest difference in the days, weeks, months, and years to come?

We would rather have one man or woman working for us than three merely working with us

“We would rather have one man or woman working with us than three merely working for us.”

—J. Danby Day, per Forbes Magazine

Image of cast of "Who's the Boss?"

Image from Zimbio

When it comes to the subjects of leadership and management, one of my biggest pet peeves is the word “Boss.”

I find myself squirming, often downright repulsed by the idea of one person managing an individual or team through the “top-down / command-and-control” manner conveyed by this word.

My 35+ years of experience working for public and private companies have shown me that people are far more fulfilled, empowered, satisfied and successful when they work with one another rather than for others.

Because of the feeling of contributing to a community, people experience a heightened sense of impact and purpose, knowing they are truly valued.

EXERCISE:

How can you become a more masterful leader, manager, and coach in your professional and personal communities so people gravitate and look forward to working with you?

In The Long Run a Shortcut Never Is

“In the long run, a short cut seldom is.”

—Malcolm Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine

Image of a "shortcut" sign

Image from wordher

In the never-ending battle between efficiency and effectiveness, the shorter “Road to Hell” may be paved with good intentions, but often results in unexpected problems.

I’m not referring to organizational initiatives such as Six Sigma or Lean, but to more common, daily occurrences, such as handling e-mail.

How often do you overlook or delete emails with the intent of greater speed, efficiency, and overall productivity, then have them come back to haunt you?

How often have you sent an important message to a client, colleague, or your boss, with one or more significant spelling or grammatical errors, and wish you could have a “do-over”?

EXERCISE:

Where and on what issues is it the wise call to slow down and not take a short cut, to assure the result you desire?