Posts Tagged ‘character

29
Jun
15

Are you Slacktose Intolerant?

dilbert-slackerOffer the lazy an egg, and they’ll want you to peel it for them.

– A Proverb

Slacktose intolerance, also called loser phobia and hypomalaisa, is the inability to digest poor performance, lack of initiative, and failure to accept responsibility. Slacktose-intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of desire to digest those who display repeated bouts of negativity, an inability to digest any amount of responsibility avoidance, and suffer from chronic aversion to thumb-sucking. Symptoms include disgust, irritable bowel syndrome, and, in those with a heightened sensitivity, even the primal fight-or-flight instinct

Recommended treatments include speaking to the infected individual regarding their condition. If they do not seek immediate aid they are to be removed from your world. The Centers for Disease Control should start including laziness in their list of highly-infectious diseases due to the amount of damage slackers can do to an entire organization. The good news is, once the affected area has been cut out, recovery rates are 100 percent!

I can remember hearing the late, great Zig Ziglar say, “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence of Others?” Why, yes I am!! That describes me to a “T”! I am a flexible, easy-going person, but when faced with lazy or indecisive individuals my righteous-indignation meter gets pegged! I am sensitive to the influence of negative and lazy people. In fact, I am so highly allergic that I suffer violent reactions. Charles Horace Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo clinic, said, “You must avoid sloth, that wicked siren.” Amen brother, even the medical field recognized that laziness is a horrible disease!

It’s a universal truth: if you are unwilling to learn to help yourself, how on earth am I going to help you? In the world of psychology, it’s called “enabling”, i.e., doing things for people that they could or should do for themselves. This can happen in both our professional and personal worlds and is a recipe for disaster. Nothing good ever comes of this, but once you accept there is no cure for the afflicted you can lay off taking guilt trips and making repetitive rationalizations. They simply must heal themselves.

An organization that is slacktose tolerant suffers from weak management. A relationship that is slacktose tolerant suffers from enabling behavior. In each case, someone provides excuses or otherwise makes it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior through indifference.

The greatest battle is the one within ourselves, so stop trying to “fix” other people’s issues by allowing their behavior to continue to manifest itself. Don’t let the fear of an angry response stop you from taking action. And be proud when they call you intolerant and self-righteous because that’s exactly what you are: slacktose intolerant with a supreme respect for the power of the individual to control its own destiny. Saint-John Perse said, “The only menace is inertia” and that’s one menace we can all take immediate action to avoid.

For more tremendous insights click here! Or you can listen here!

25
Mar
14

Your “A” Game is useless without your “Be” Atitudes

Ben CarsonOur “A” Game refers to what we bring to the table displayed in our outward performance. Our “Be” Atitudes are derived from the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5 and convey a series of blessedness based on our inward characteristics. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “Knowing how let’s you drive it; knowing why drives you.” Our outward accomplishments are meaningless without the right inward intentions.

Last Friday I had the pleasure and honor of not only meeting, but dining alongside Dr. Ben Carson. We talked about everything from parents who made us read and write book reports growing up, to publishing, to speaking, to marketing, to mentors, to retirements and, yes, even to future callings. But what stood out most to me was how genuinely brilliant, yet humble, this man is.  He was not boastful, he displayed no hint of ego or hubris, and he exhibited extreme control, not only of the facts, but more importantly, of his emotions.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is poor in spirit. He acknowledges his spiritual condition and the influence of God in his destiny. When I asked him about running for President, he replied, “If it’s God’s will.” He is aware of his God-given talents and places all of the decisions for their use in the hands of God.

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is meek.  Meekness is all about self-control and a quiet friendly composure which does not become embittered or angry under any circumstances.  It is an active attitude and a deliberate acceptance. “Angry people are selfish people” he said.  “It’s not about you; stay out of their slime pool.”

Dr. Carson is blessed because he is pure of heart. When I asked him about how he maintains his composure when untruths are levied against him, he shared how God dealt with his bad temper when he was a teen, healing him of a flaw which nearly put him on the road to prison.  He commented, “When God fixes a problem He doesn’t just do a paint job. He fixes it.”

When we look at leaders we tend to remember the visionary earth-movers, the fiery orators, the discerning decision-makers. But let us not forget the brilliant leaders who have changed the world through their inward spirit of humility and servitude: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Abraham Lincoln, and the greatest role model of all, Jesus Christ. And in my book, I count Dr. Ben Carson as one of them.

 

08
Aug
13

Leakproof Leadership: The Security of Character

characterYou can’t go one second without the news of some major lapse in character from someone so trusted by the public that they definitely should have known better. We all know man is flawed and the good book says his heart is wicked beyond description, but here are three ways to stay above the fray and keep your character and integrity in check. Seems like we all could use a refresher course in integrity so, just in time for back-to-school, it’s the three R’s:

Responsibility:  Peter Drucker said, “Leadership is not magnetic personality. It is not making friends and influencing people. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights and raising performance to a higher standard.” Yet with every breach that’s broadcast, those in the perpetrator’s chain of command continue to circumvent and pass the buck. No one can be a rogue operator in your team because they are in your direct chain! Just because you didn’t know, or you turned a blind eye, does not absolve you of responsibility. You cannot dodge responsibility. Doing so only shows that you are truly unfit for leadership. To learn what lack of responsibility can cost, read A Ticking Time Bomb, by Joseph I. Lieberman, which painfully details the abject failure and gross negligence of the entire chain of command throughout Ft. Hood gunman Nidal Malik Hasan’s military career.

Respect: Elbert Hubbard said, “If you work for a man, in heaven’s name work for him! If he pays you wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, stand by him and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man I would work for him.” There’s an old adage that says a wise traveler never despises his own country. Now I have worked for some pretty despicable organizations, but while I was working for them I worked as hard as possible to uphold their standards, even if my own bosses did not. You see, no one can make you do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. If your employer tries to make you do such things, you need to seek employment elsewhere and use the chain of command to bring it to the attention of others. To respond in kind to their behavior is unacceptable. Two wrongs never make a right. Recent examples of this are found in headline names such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden.

Reading: Oscar Wilde said, “What you read when you don’t have to determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” Let’s face it, you are what you read. If you are not reading books that help you grown and realize your own personal convictions and develop your courage, you are wasting your time. What a person has on the bookshelf is a far better indicator of what’s really gong on inside them than any polygraph. You can lie through your teeth to your boss and he may never suspect otherwise. But your actions will eventually reflect exactly what is going on at the core of your character.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, “Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.” To learn more about the virtues of reading in a leader’s life check out the Top 8 Ways to Unleash Success at Your Company. All leaders are readers. If you’re not reading personal development material, you’re not leading. It’s that simple.

One of my favorite reads is John C. Maxwell’s, There’s No Such Thing as “Business” Ethics. He’s right. The bottom line is that only commitment can ensure compliance. No amount of non-disclosure, background checks or polygraphs can do that. If your character isn’t totally squared away to the point that you are ready to fall on your sword to protect what is moral, ethical, and legal, then you’d better not accept one iota of responsibility. Leakproof leadership is based on choosing your thoughts and actions based upon your values and not upon personal gain. Your convictions mirror your character. So take a good look at yourself in the mirror to make sure you are fit to report for leadership duty!

03
Jul
13

TGIF! Thank God I’m Free!!

FREEDOM Flag 3I am a happy person by nature. I am also strong and tolerant. That means I tend to attract those who are, as well as those who are not. Unfortunately, on planet Earth, the latter outnumber the former, so you do the math. While some people create drama, my life seemed destined to attract it.

I became aware of this as a young girl when my father called me a “weirdo magnet.”  So, after a half century of hearing thousands of bitches, complaints, whines, and excuses, I am turning that channel off.  I am finally free to be me, and just in time for Independence Day!!

Freedom from everyone’s expectations!

I am free because I am finally doing exactly what I should with my life. No more chasing other people’s ideas of what a good job is, no more going into jobs to fix what others should have corrected years ago. Why, even my father didn’t ask me to come back and run the family business on his death bed. He knew it had to be my choice alone. I also no longer expect bosses to be fair and ethical. I know that, while there are some who are, there are many more who aren’t. I no longer have to deal with them. I am free to make as much money as I want to give to organizations that I know will make the world a better place.

Freedom from everyone’s drama!

I am free because I no longer allow myself to engage in drama with others, including family members. I just give the old stormtrooper’s wave-off, “Move along, nothing to listen to here.” This may seem harsh, but the true cruelty is when you allow people to continuously wallow in their own self pity and poor self esteem. It’s like the old Nik Kershaw song, “You gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure.” Emotional vampires don’t care about getting advice from you; they just want to suck the life out of you. Pull out the garlic cloves and holy water and tell them to be gone!!

Freedom from everyone’s manipulation!

I am free because I am true to myself and my beliefs. I don’t get drawn into arguments anymore. I don’t fall prey to subtle forms of manipulation such as false praise or subtle digs. I follow my principles even if they are unpopular, or they cost me a neighbor, an author, a boyfriend, or even a family member. We all die alone and in the end, the only person we have to answer to is God. Don’t believe? Then don’t you worry about it. And don’t try and bring me down because I have faith and you don’t.

You know you’re on the right track when you’re uninterested in looking back. The quieter you become the more you can hear. Know what you believe, and why you believe what you believe, so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.

18
Jan
13

Manipulation with an expectation of vindication

humorkharma

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey

This week international sports-cycling legend Lance Armstrong publicly admitted that he had doped during all seven of his Tour de France victories. This was after years of denial, lying during testimonies, and attacks on those who spoke the truth.

While falls from grace sometimes never happen publicly, with some taking their secrets to the grave, there is no hiding when you do bad things. It all comes out. Karma may not hit you on the head in this lifetime, but it certainly will in the next.

Armstrong’s career was built on ill-gotten gains. It’s no different than conning an old lady out of her savings even if you use that money to feed the poor. You did “good” at the expense of doing “bad” and that is inexcusable. In legalese, they call it the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine: any evidence gained illegally is tainted whether it is accurate or not.

Defenders point to the good he did to help children through his philanthropy and the Livestrong Foundation. Their rationalization is rooted in Machiavellianism where the end justifies the means. Even the Good Book says “Treasures gained dishonestly profit no one, but righteousness rescues from death.”(Proverbs 10:2)

Like any publisher, I look for authors whose work embodies the philosophy and ethics of our readership. I take their written word as proof of their beliefs since most of the time I do not meet them in person. One particular author wrote an extraordinary book of high standards exhorting the reader to live their life in a truthful manner. As soon as the book came out, I discovered the author was not who they represented themselves to be. I immediately pulled the book from our website and other promotional channels. You see, even if it sold 100 Million copies and made me rich beyond my wildest dreams, I don’t want to profit from the fruit of the poisonous inkwell.

No one should be punished for the rest of their lives for white collar crime but if they think an apology and restitution erases the consequences of their actions they are idiots. Trust is like a sheet of paper. Once you wrinkle it up, even though you smooth it out there will always be creases and it will never be seamless again. Think Before you Act, should be changed to Think of the Consequences Before You Act. We can justify anything to ourselves due to our inherently selfish, short-sighted natures. But if we take the next step and consider how this will affect everyone else on the planet, it just might save us from crumpling up everything good we’ve written on the pages of our lives.

31
Aug
11

what planet are you from?

I was at a speaker’s retreat last weekend. There is nothing like getting together with 30 of the most seasoned speakers on the planet to get your mind churning. One of them asked me why bad habits seem to come naturally instead of good ones and why it’s so hard to discipline ourselves to do the right thing. Why is sitting on the couch so easy when going to the gym is not. Why is vegging in front of the TV so comfortable while concentrating on reading and writing sometimes gives me a headache!! Why is the world like this?

Part of this cosmic conundrum is that it is simply a function of the physical order of the universe. Entropy states that everything begins to break down from order to disorder in isolated systems. The other part is the status of human nature. We are fallen according to the accounts of the origin of man in many religions. Why, just look at our cohabitants on this planet. Animals don’t become overweight on their own or lounge about when there’s work to do. Only humans do.  Why isn’t the path of least resistance the one that produces the best results for me physically, mentally and spiritually? Do you know how skinny, rich, and smart I’d be? Why was I born on a planet where discipline is so darn hard? Rats!

The eminent psychologist, Douglas McGregor, outlined this distinction regarding human motivation by describing these two worlds as Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X makes the assumption that all people are inherently lazy, self centered, and will try and avoid work unless persuaded. Theory Y states that work is as natural as play and that man can be creative and self-motivated.

So what planet are you from? Do you want to blast off from Slacktooine to colonize Achieva? Here’s how:

  1. Don’t remain isolated. Interact with great people, read great books, and be a part of great organizations. Once you begin to inject the orderly and positive into your solitary system, you’ll open yourself up to a new world order.
  2. Answer to a higher authority. Whether you’re religious or not, let’s face it, sin comes as naturally to the most pious priest as it does to the most apathetic atheist. We’ve all got to fight the seven deadly sins and all the horrible things that result from them. Find a group, religion, book, or person that helps you follow the rules and moral code of society in order to become a law-abiding citizen embedded with a conscientious character chip.
  3. Find your passion. When you love what you do, a dreary job transforms into a thrilling career where you can profit from your gifts every single day! You get to tune into what feels most natural to you and makes the best use of your talents. It’s much easier to be creative and motivate yourself to do things if you’ve got the inherent skills and temperament for the task. If you’re not in it right now, find it as fast as you can and live the rest of your life having a professional party of interplanetary proportions!
04
Mar
11

the enemy of my enemy may still be my enemy

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” George Washington

Former President George W. Bush recently declined to be on the same stage as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a leadership conference in Denver, Colorado. Whichever side you are on in this debate, I respect someone who stands on their morals and says, “I’m not going to associate with a reputation that is so at odds with my own.”

There’s an Arab proverb which states “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” There’s also the popular starlet slang term, “Frenemy”, which is an enemy disguised as a friend. In contemporary society, it is acceptable to be mixed into one big crowd. If you’re not comfortable with this, you’re labeled intolerant or unable to hold your own in a debate.

The professional reality is, however, that whom you choose to be seen with, associate with, and even share the stage with is critical. And who you can publically discredit or personally disrespect should have nothing to do with it. It has to do with your integrity and your loyalty.

We’re all big kids; I get that. Everyone has a choice to interact or to be associated with whomever they want. But it’s impossible for me to be affiliated with someone who I know has been disrespectful, vengeful, or criminal to someone or something I hold in high esteem.

Don’t just stand up for yourself; stand up for the people and values you hold nearest and dearest to your heart. They are an integral part of your character. And remember, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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