Books And Words: How Dad Tricked Me And Lessons For All Of Us

Dad tricked my siblings and I when it comes to reading as a habit. This is why I read. A lot. From blog posts to books. Being a little more grown up, I appreciate it.

He took us to the bookstores, and besides our textbooks, bought extra reading material for us. He made us value the books by covering them with us. Then he’d wait a few weeks and kinda give teasers on some of the books he’d bought for us.

Now that I think about it, there is no way he could’ve made up trailers to some of them if he hadn’t read them. This means that I read some books as boy dad also read. Am I getting a little sentimental? Oh well…

books and words

Anyway, books, have become my nemesis

Reading, from my much younger years helped me fall in love with words. The first time I wrote a book I was thirteen. I just never published it and I don’t think I’d let it see the light of day. Terrible writing but a great clue. A great clue in that it got me thinking about having a go crafting words.

This is testimony to how some passions and pursuits are formed over decades. Decades. Time either makes us hunger more or retreat. Some of all this is our choice and some of it is a sifting to fling interests.

If you’re looking for a point to this post I’m sure there are some and maybe not so many. Maybe I should think about one or two:

Dad

Like my dad did for me, you can be responsible for helping others, by nudging and or mentoring. If you’re a parent, you have more influence than you can imagine.

Creativity is often overlooked, underused yet. It makes a critical component for influence. Think about how to influence creatively.

Leading and making a difference in people’s lives is more than just telling them what to do. It is dong it in such a way they follow through and remember it as a tether.

Time

You have to be patient to develop and grow in your craft or passion. Instant growth or maturity is a myth. Keep thy hustle and be intentional about your growth.

Retro

It can be helpful to look back and get clues about some your passions. There are a many things you could uncover relevant to reinventing yourself, if you’re at that point.

Sometimes we have abilities or “passions” we neglect through time or circumstance. I use “passions” loosely. To get a better idea on what some of what “passion” means, go here.

Outro

So, uhm, thanks dad for the many lessons in one…

[Photo Credit: NatalieMaynor]

Don’t Be THAT Speaker: Tools

In the previous post, on speaking and microphones we looked at how speakers need to work with microphones. If you have not checked it out, I suggest you do. While speaking is the primary medium of communication, a lot more contributes to it. Being a great speaker involves more that just actual speaking but everything else affecting it.

Platform communicators often make the mistake of only focusing on their message in preparation. Do not get me wrong, it is of utmost importance that the platform communicator prepares his message and presentation well, but he must remember that is not the only thing he needs to prepare.

Continue reading “Don’t Be THAT Speaker: Tools”

The Best Ways To Acknowledge Your Shortcomings

We may say we’re not but act like we are. Perfect, that is. The truth still stands; no one is perfect. Everyone generally accepts this for everybody else except when they feel violated by others.

Worse, still, when it is a leader that has failed. Whether you’re a leader in particular context or a part of a team being led, you’re aware of the shortcomings of those you serve with and those whose supervision you serve under.

Continue reading “The Best Ways To Acknowledge Your Shortcomings”

Why You Must Respect Your Work

Doing something repetitively can be enabling force in getting better at whatever you do. On the other hand, if we are not careful the same repetition can be seeds for apathy.

Repetition is not a bad thing in itself; it is how we manage the times of iteration. Apathy is not the only possible fruit of iteration but a loss of respect also. When you are constantly engaged in the same activity it is easy to take what you do for granted.

respect your work

respect for your work can be easy to lose; guard your respect for the work you do ||

image by Henri Photography | cc

The counselor to young people can easily get used to success stories that they rarely move him compared to when he started. The leader can get used delivering results and what is expected of him that he doesn’t see as much value in it as it had earlier.

The doctor can take for granted her role to help people get better. Not that the value of what we do gets lost, we just stop recognizing and acknowledging it.

We all need to be reminded that what we do matters. Your leadership matters. Taking care of your household matters. Your work and leadership matter immensely. They could be the difference between life and death for some.

What you do can mean the difference between uplifting others or leaving them in the mire of despair. Hope dies when you disrespect your work. The possibility of innovation ceases when you do not respect your work. Humanity needs you to value what you do as a reminder that others matter.

When we have no respect for our work we abuse the resources that are supposed to enable it.

When we stop respecting our work and leadership we trifle with it and give other people the right to do the same. We devalue ourselves. Our work must not be the totality of our (self) worth. However, some of it comes from our ability to positively contribute to something greater.

Not respecting our work is synonymous with disrespecting ourselves. We insult others. We must recognize that we are all connected. Our actions, no matter how isolated they may seem have an impact on those around us and many we cannot see. These can include people who are indirectly in the chain of recipients of our work and leadership.

when we have no respect for our work we forfeit the possibility of changing the world in ways we cannot imagine

Respect is necessary for us to value what we do. Understanding value of what we do also feeds respect for our work. It is cycle that perpetuates itself. When you do not respect your own work you will eventually stop respecting the work of others.

When you’re constantly throwing stones at other people’s work it might just be that you have stopped respecting your own. We can easily become agents of demeaning value on others and their work.

Do you still have respect for your work? What are some of the instances you’re seen where respect for ones own work has been lost?  

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The Underrated Problem Solving Tool

Problem solving is a normal part of leadership and life. Challenges are inevitable and how we deal with them always becomes a part of our legacy. People are paid to solve problems.

If we act wisely, when we cannot solve them we seek out those who can. We all approach problem solving based on worldview, education, experience and the list goes on. There is often more than one way of solving a particular problem.

If you think about some of the times you were stuck in solving a problem you may discover that you were locked in one line of thought. Many heads are often necessary in solving complex problems.

not every solution needs to be complicated

The wise King Solomon also said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. You cannot have success without solving problems.

You can never be a successful leader if your strategy is problem avoidance instead of problem solving. Problems can be success enablers or killers depending on your approach.

People often fail in problem solving because they do not have the skill set for the particular problem, lack of resources, pride (in the form of a self-sufficiency front).

Another reason people fail is that they complicate their approach to the problem. Complex problems can be solved by simple solutions.

The sign above is what actually inspired this post. Instead of them making five signs to warn motorists they made one and simply put “X5” to tell the motorists there are five speed bumps. Putting up one sign like that saved them time and money yet did the job.

We tend to complicate the problem solving process by ignoring the obvious. You may feel stupid but the best place to start solving any problems is by asking the obvious questions.

In coming up with the solutions, start by exploring your solutions in a vacuum. What would you do if you had to make the decisions without all the pressure of the moment?

Complications arise when you add more pressure in addition to that of the challenge. You may need an inclined plane instead of a crane. Start with the simple things.