What’s the least I can teach that will be the most useful

“What’s the least I can teach that will be the most useful?”

Michael Bungay Stainer, author of The Coaching Habit

Image from Unsplash by Kenny Eliason

My first career after graduating college was as a science teacher. My second career was as a pharmaceutical representative working with physicians and other medical professionals.

For the past thirty-two years, I’ve worked as a business and personal coach supporting individuals and organizations to reach higher and achieve more, personally and professionally. I suppose in many ways I’ve always been a teacher.

These days I am still a coach and teacher to my adult children and more recently as Pop-Pop to our two precocious and rambunctious grandchildren. Today’s quote is especially relevant for these little ones with their often limited attention spans.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life do you play the role of a teacher?

How would focusing on quality versus quantity in your wisdom sharing efforts make the biggest difference with the people you serve and support?

Deconstruct the cool things you see

“Deconstruct the cool things you see… Don’t just taste the recipe, look for the ingredients.”

James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits

Image from Unsplash by Gareth Hubbard

I consider myself a better than average cook, and can whip up something tasty from my fridge and cupboard on most days. I have a modest number of go-to dishes, and find myself using the same ingredients and seasonings over and over.

A few weeks ago, while waiting during a doctor visit, I found myself captivated by a cooking show called The Kitchen.  Watching the masterful chefs and celebrity cooks create simple and tasty dishes with ingredients I have on hand — and never considered using — was a breakthrough in my thinking.

EXERCISE:

What would be the benefit of deconstructing other aspects of life besides what’s for dinner?

What are the ingredients you can use to whip up better relationships, career success, and a healthier, more meaningful life?

Friday Review: Career

FRIDAY REVIEW: CAREER

Consider your career thus far.  Here are a few career-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full messages.

 

“I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

 

 

 

 

 

“To set the world on fire, warm up to your job.”

 

 

 

 

Careers are a jungle gym not a ladder

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”

—Sheryl Sandberg, Founder of LeanIn.ORg

Image of a jungle gym

Image from Indiamart

To what degree does your company or organization offer a well-defined career path?

Prior to entering the working world, many of us in the Baby Boomer generation experienced an educational system that was very linear and predictable. This approach won’t work for our 21st century workforce, and thankfully, things are changing.

For all of us, especially members of our younger generations, there will likely be far more zig-zagging, climbing, and leaping due to the exponential nature of change occurring in our world. Continuous learning of new and diverse skills will be an absolute necessity for motivated and hard-working people to reach the top levels in their chosen fields.

EXERCISE:

How can you, your colleagues and perhaps most importantly, your children and other young people be better prepared and engaged in navigating the jungle gyms of their current and future vocational playgrounds?

Friday Review of Posts on Career

FRIDAY REVIEW: CAREER

Consider your career thus far.  Here are a few career-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full messages.

 

“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together.”

 

 

 

“All the arts are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”

 

 

 

 

“I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.”

 

 

 

To Set the World on Fire

“To set the world on fire, warm up to your job.”

—Arnold Glasow, 20th Century American Humor Writer

Image of a match on fire

Image from Jayroeder.com

If time is the “coin of life,” then what we do and who we do it with in our careers has a huge cost.

How satisfied and fulfilled are you in your career?

To what degree do you think and feel it is time well spent?

Unfortunately, 60-70% of the workforce doesn’t leap out of bed every morning. That fire, or even a hint of a spark, is missing.

What if we could rekindle the flames of enthusiasm and passion we had when our careers were just starting, or when we transitioned into a new venture?

EXERCISE:

Examine your current job through a fresh set of eyes. Look for what is working, what can be improved, and what’s possible, to fire up your engagement and fulfillment.

Consider picking up Adam Grant’s book, Originals, to explore many new and innovative approaches to making this important part of life more “toasty.”

Stay in Business

“I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow.”

—Horatio Nelson Jackson, 20th Century American physician and automobile pioneer

The word “agile” is often used in the software development and project management arenas. Today’s quote points to the need for agile strategies for career development and advancement.

In their 2009 book, Agile Career Development, three IBM human resources innovators show how they support initiatives that benefit the individual as well as the organization.

Critical to this work is the need for adaptability, flexibility, and the ability to change in the marketplace to meet the needs of today’s clients and those in the future.

EXERCISE:

Regardless of whether you work for a multi-billion dollar enterprise, work for yourself, or are somewhere in between, how can you better take an agile approach to your own job and career development to remain in business tomorrow and for years to come?

 

The Big Art is Our Life

“All the arts are apprenticeship. The big art is our life.”

—Mary Caroline Richards, 19th Century American Poet & Potter

Image of a potters wheel

Image from Flickr by pax-h2o

Do you live to work or work to live? Regardless of how you answer the question, it is clear that we spend a pretty high percentage of our lives engaged in our work.

How many different jobs have you had so far in your life? Many of my coaching clients have multi-page resumes, often including five, ten, or more positions. Quite often, one reason they hire me is to support a transition in their professional life.

They almost always simultaneously seek to live more artfully and include a high degree of focus and effort in their personal lives.

EXERCISE:

What artistic efforts are most appropriate at this point in your life? What would make it a more beautiful masterpiece?

Friday Review: Career

FRIDAY REVIEW: CAREER

Consider your career thus far.  Here are a few career-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full messages.

 

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

 

 

 

 

“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together.”

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be part of.”

 

 

 

Plan A Doesn’t Work

“If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters—204, if you are in Japan.”

—Claire Cook, American Writer and Speaker

Image from kiameshaglobal.com

Image from kiameshaglobal.com

A friend and business colleague named Joel recently popped into my office to say hello. He, like many people I know, is a time-crunched business owner finding himself working too much in his business rather than taking it to a new level by working on his business.

He shared that he likes to have at least one new big idea to implement each year. This helps him keep things fresh, remain highly relevant in the marketplace, and provide even greater value to his clients.

EXERCISE:

How and where can you allocate 10-15% of your time to brainstorming new and better ways to run your business and live a better life? Imagine having 25—or 204—options from which to choose!