Recent Blog Posts

By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Pick ONE of these and practice the same one each day for the next 21 days.

  1. Gratitude – Practice gratitude.  Make a list three times a day of what you are grateful for and why.
  2. Journaling – Spend two minutes writing about a meaningful moment, with details, to relieve the moment.
  3. Fun Fifteen – Spend fifteen minutes daily in a mindful exercise you enjoy.
  4. Random Acts of Kindness – Start each day with one positive email written to someone in your network.  Praise them.
  5. Smile – Change one positive nonverbal behavior.  Connect deeply with the person you’re smiling at.

 

  • Which happiness habit are you going to practice?  Why?
  • What other habits of happiness do you practice?

Source: Ades, E. (2013).  The positivity handbook

By: Beth Flynn, Monday, June 09th, 2014

“Our natural instinct when someone questions what we’re doing is to defend our position.  When someone appears to completely ignore rules we get even more irate.  But in doing so we miss the point: why is this person being challenging?

Definition of Maverick: One who refuses to abide by the dictates of his group: a dissenter!  So says the Readers Digest so it must be true.  But Mavericks should not be classed as trouble makers but rather as a valuable asset that can help your business become more robust and exciting. 

·         How do you handle mavericks?

·         What are some ways that we can find out why she/he is being challenging?

·         How can we value these dissenters to help our organizations be more robust?

 

Source:Smithson, D. (2014). What managers don’t know: how to be a better manager, leader, and entrepreneur?  Theinformbook.com

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By: Beth Flynn, Monday, June 02nd, 2014
  • Manage for the best and not the worst.
  • Don’t engage in police work.
  • Be honest.
  • Trust everyone.
  • Let your first response also be the caring response.
  • Care about yourself too.   (Ray Ferch & Spears, 2011, p.131-132)

How can you utilize these guidelines into your life?

What other guidelines would you add to this list?

From:  Ray Ferch, S. & Spears, L.C. eds. (2011).  The spirit of servant-leadership.  Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist Press.  
By: Beth Flynn, Sunday, May 25th, 2014

 “Many people think that Einstein was just a simple scientist who went about formulating the laws that govern the Universe, but he was so much more than that.

Apart from being the man who had the greatest single impact on the advancement of our understanding of the laws that govern the physical universe, Einstein was also a philosopher king!  Following are some of his musings (ESP), along with how they can relate to your business. 

ESP 1:  ‘The search for truth is more precious than its possession.’ This of course links back into the idea that you should never stop learning, asking questions so that you can learn.

ES2:  ‘Imagination is more important that knowledge.’ This ESP is one of those ideas that has no direct application, but is such a powerful belief to install within your psyche; it can influence everything you do.

ESP 3: ‘No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.’  In science, nothing is ever 100% true.  Think about that axiom.  True science merely posits a theorem that should be successful tested and validated by other independent scientists, raises up a ranking to being a theory.  This relates to the ideas of leadership.  A leader is often only ever as good as his or her last successful decision. 

ESP 4: ‘Most people say that intellect that makes a great scientist.  They are wrong: it is character.’ Apart from having a brain the size of a planet, Einstein was a man of constant inquisition, determination and almost child-like playfulness.  So whilst you are getting your business qualifications, do so without sacrificing your social and thinking skills.  If you are lacking in some areas, then go outside your comfort zone and learn how to gain those skills.

ESP 5: ‘It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.’ Einstein was an amazingly humble man, but this typical self-effacing statement reveals much of the secret of his success.  He simply refused to give up.  In everything he did, Einstein took the approach of an outstanding man who wanted to achieve outstanding things.   

ESP 6: ‘You learn the rules of the game.  And then you have to play better than anyone else.’ If you want to become a success you have to first get into the game, and to do that you have to understand what the rules are.  Once you’ve got that locked down, you have to practice and compete constantly – and if necessary, push for a change in the rules!!!    

ESP 7: ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ I have made (and continue to make) mistakes, ranging from minor inconveniences to absolute oh my lord pass me on a gun now! But I never stop trying because I have a very simple philosophy: I never fail, so long as I learn something new (even, as I said, if that something new is a mistake– I won’t ever do that again.

ESP 8: ‘To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and childlike desire for recognition.’ My outlook on life is simple, I want to experience everything I can before I get to the final destination. 

ESP 9: ‘Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.’ It is said that we go through three stages of development. First it is met with derision.  Then it is confronted with hostility and aggression.  Finally, it is accepted as playfully self-evident.  This is especially true when your great idea is a challenge to the established way of doing things, or contrary to the idea of the one who sits above you (p. 211-291).”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Which of these ESP principles had the biggest impact on you?
  • What are some ways  you can integrate these principles into your work life?

 

Smithson, D. (2014). What managers don’t know: how to be a better manager, leader, and entrepreneur?  Theinformbook.com

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By: Beth Flynn, Monday, May 19th, 2014

Run a Social Club, Not a Sweatshop!

Smithson, D. (2014). What managers don’t know: how to be a better manager, leader, and entrepreneur?  Theinformbook.com

“How many times do you hear people say: ‘There can’t be much work going on here with all the talking?’ Do you say it yourself? If you do, why do you?

The fact is that we spend almost half of our waking hours in a working environment!  If we’re not enjoying the time then we’re going to be miserable.  And if we’re miserable then we’re hardly likely to be very productive are we?

It never ceases to amaze me how many managers fail to understand a very simple premise: a happy worker is a productive worker (p.80)

·        What are ways we can create a happy/fun culture that increases productivity?

·         How can we educate leaders to understand that happy workers equal a happier work day?

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By: Beth Flynn, Monday, May 12th, 2014
  • I am a leader
  • I'm not afraid to decide.  When anything goes wrong, I face reality, and decide what's best for everyone, not just myself
  • I know how to respond in an instant.  Just do what's best.  Just do the right thing.
  • I'm candid in the moment
  • I think on my feet, and when someone knocks me on  my ass
  • I'm not afraid to talk without a script
  • I'm not afraid to make a mistake
  • I take responsibility for my decisions and my errors - I take "blame" out of the leadership equation
  • I tell the truth, so I don't have to mince my words, or have to remember what I said
  • I earn respect
  • I earn trust
  • I select the best people to help me lead (not my best friend's) - I will attract the best people in the country and the best people in the world.
  • When people offer their help.  I will accept their offers as often as I can
  • I set goals with my people, not for them
  • I stand up for what is right
  • I won't back down from those who seek to harm us
  • I won't back down from those who oppose freedom
  • I speak from strength and conviction
  • I listen with the intent to understand
  • Id don't ask for respect, I earn it
  • People may not like my decisions, but they will like me personally
  • I am resilient
  • I recover quickly and with a resilient attitude
  • I resolve to do better next time
  • I do everything I can to build and maintain my reputation
  • I'm not just a leader, I'm a student of leadership (Gitomer, 2011, p. 216-217).

 

What are some leadership affirmations that you use?

 

 

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By: Beth Flynn, Friday, May 02nd, 2014

Positive People Triumph

Stuff happens but how we respond determines whether an environment is negative or positive.  If you believe that only good things will happen, then you’re naïve.  Positivity doesn’t mean you’re immune to bad things happening.  What if means is that if you are a positive person-you will triumph.

Please share an example where, as a leader, you have triumphed when stuff happens.

 

From: Ades, E. (2013).  The positivity handbook

 

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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, April 01st, 2014

1.  Assume people are hungry for information.

2.  Abandon management-speak.

3.  Do a 360 degree stroll around your messages before delivering them.

4.  Watch your creative language.

5.  Know when to speak in specifics and when in generalities (p. 86-88).

 

What are some tips you use to improve communication?

What is the best communication advice you have ever received?
 

From:  Geisler, J. (2012).  Work happy: what great bosses know.  New York:  Center Street.

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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, April 01st, 2014

Kings, heads of government, and corporate executives have control over thousands of people, and endless resources, but often do not have mastery over themselves.  From a distance, larger-than-life leaders may look firmly in control of their businesses and their personal behavior.  What about up close?  Personal mastery is a difficult thing.  For example, can you think of any politicians in recent years whose personal behavior was revealed as opposite to their espoused values?  Or consider Fortune magazine's article a few years ago about why CEO's fail.  The records of thirty-eight ineffective CEO's revealed that all were good at cognitive stuff - vision, strategy, ideas and the like.  Things broke down during execution.  The CEO's behavior did not follow through on their thoughts and words.  Action did not follow intention.  Things as simple as sitting too long on decisions, not confronting underperforming subordinates, or not delivering on commitments ended up harming the company.  The CEO's had plausible excuses, but it seemed clear that their actual behavior did not reflect their stated intentions.  They seemed to know what to do but were not doing it. 

Have you ever had a clear intention and then failed to follow through (p. 5)?

What are some ways as a leader you can execute your vision, or strategy?

How can you make sure that your actions reflect your intentions?

 

From: Daft, R. L., (2010).  The executive and the elephant: a leader's guide for building inner excellence.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

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By: Beth Flynn, Tuesday, April 01st, 2014

“For the most part, many of us encounter visions whilst working for some corporation or government organization.  And for the most part, visions are boring, bear little relation to the reality of wider organizations and become nothing more than a plaque behind the reception wall.  But we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss how powerful a vision can be at creating real excitement and momentum and become a driver for change!

Stop and consider – when you’ve been at your best, at your most stoppable, hasn’t that been when you’ve had a clear idea of what it was that you wanted or needed to achieve?  You weren’t willing to quit until the job was done, or take no for an answer, or be slowed down by the negatives coming from others.  And these successes have arisen from ad hoc and very narrow visions of what you were aiming for – just think therefore about how much more effective you would be if you had a clear vision for all of your life!

The same is true for your business.  You must have a vision, and your vision must excite you and if you have employees it must excite them too (p 31-32).

·         What is your personal vision?

·         What are suggestions for making your personal and/or business vision more exciting?

 

Smithson, D. (2014). What managers don’t know: how to be a better manager, leader, and entrepreneur?  Theinformbook.com 

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