“Being a nice person can be an effective strategy.”
Image from Unsplash by Tim Mossholder
During my senior year of high school I worked as a Deli-man at the local Jewish delicatessen. My responsibilities included serving a high volume of customers delicacies such as pastrami, corned beef, and smoked fish for Sunday brunch, from 3pm Saturday to 3am Sunday.
I was 18 years old. The majority of the other deli-men were in their fifties or sixties. It turned out that being able to slice lox razor-thin was paramount to being a brain surgeon in this community, and these veterans were simply the best.
One downside of this work was the significant number of challenging customers who saw themselves as superior to everyone else, and demanded “only the best.”
When those customers entered the store, most of the veteran deli staff quickly took their 30-minute breaks, leaving ME to the wolves, and most of these customers strongly objected to an 18-year-old rookie taking care of them.
Clearly, fighting fire with fire was never going to work, so I took the kill them with kindness approach, and in time, won them over.
Where and with whom in your personal or professional communities would being the nice person you are be the best strategy to follow?
“Success is not to be pursued. It is to be attracted by the person you become.”
—Jim Rohn, 20th Century American motivational speaker
Image from jimrohn.com
Jim Rohn, who passed away in 2009, was a personal development pioneer.
His over 6,000 seminars, countless books, tapes, learning programs and, of course inspirational quotes, have influenced millions.
Many of his wisest lessons were focused on our abilities to work on ourselves and contribute to others in our various communities.
One of his many students was a young, broke, down-and-out Tony Robbins, who has said many times that Rohn was the man who turned his life around. Tony, as we all know, has been working on himself for decades, and has paid forward similar lessons to millions.
What are the strategies, habits, and behaviors that help you continue your personal best journey?
What additional approaches can you incorporate in your days to both contribute to others and attract the success you desire?
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
Image created in Canva
As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”
This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.
Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:
- What is the current reality?
- What is the vision or goal?
- What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?
The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.
Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.
“To keep a warm heart in winter is a real victory.”
Image from Livestrong
We are currently in the grips of winter here in Michigan, and today’s quote reminded me of a story a friend shared at a holiday luncheon.
As a little girl, she would often wait outside in the cold for the school bus. To keep her warm, her mom would bake small potatoes in aluminum foil and slip them in her pockets to hold through her mittens, making her wait a bit more comfortable. Once in her seat, she had the extra benefit of a tasty snack to eat on her way to school.
To this day, she attributes this heartwarming story from childhood for her current fondness for hash brown potatoes for breakfast.
What heartwarming strategies can you employ to show your love and care for others this winter, and all year long? If you happen to have one of your own heartwarming stories, please hit reply and send it my way!
“It takes two to argue: One to initiate, and the other to take the bait.”
Image from Unsplash by Carl Heyerdahl
One of my favorite clients is an avid fisherman. Bring up the topic of fishing and he lights up with excitement. He is full of stories of the nuances and mysteries that result in success.
He is an expert on the many lures and baits that entice fish to bite, which result in a strategic “win” for him, and at least the temporary “lose” for the fish. On many occasions, he releases the fish – which rarely occurs in arguments between two people.
How do various people in your personal or professional worlds lure you into arguments? What are some ways you can be far more aware of their strategies, to resist the bait and swim on through your day?
“Play the tiles you get.”
Image from Flickr by Joe King
In her book, 365 Days of Wonder, R.J. Palacio shares a charming story of her grandparents. Both avid Scrabble players, they played every day for more than 50 years.
Her grandfather, known as being the “intellectual,” almost always lost to his wife, who was primarily a homemaker, not the lawyer who graduated from Columbia.
Grandma Nelly was quite smart in her own right. She loved crossword puzzles. She had a miraculous ability to make the most of the tiles she was given rather than waiting to use the highest value tiles on double or triple word spaces. That was grandpa’s strategy.
In what areas of life are you waiting to get better tiles? What would be the value and benefit of learning to play the ones you currently have, and those you receive each day?
“He who will not economize will have to agonize.”
—Confucius, ancient Chinese Philosopher
Image from LinkedIn
Over many years of coaching, I’ve noticed several interesting trends.
In general, my clients in their twenties, thirties, and forties are most often on a highly intentional growth trajectory. They want to build wealth, pursue success, and increase their standard of living. This almost always involves accumulating possessions, and often increases the demands and complexity of their lives.
As they reach their fifties, sixties, and seventies, they seem to be more focused on scaling back, simplification, and greater balance. It is often because their many years of living in the fast lane, carrying too much stuff and stress, has become more of a burden than they care to shoulder going forward.
Where would a “less is more” strategy, regardless of your stage of life, provide you the added freedom and peace of mind you desire?
“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.
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?
“It is high time to step out of your own shadow.”
Image from Flickr by Matthias Uhlig
What do tall buildings, trees, and dark clouds have in common?
Given today’s quote, the answer, “They cast a shadow” would be correct. Shadows can be of great benefit, reducing the damaging rays of the sun or offering a bit of relief from oppressive heat.
We humans, as thinking, self-aware creatures, have the ability to create our own sunshine and yes, cast shadows of doubt, fear, pessimism, and general gloominess throughout our days.
Where and in what ways are you casting your own negative shadow on your world? What actions, attitudes, and strategies could you use to reach for the sky, and let in more light, enthusiasm and possibility?