Posts Tagged ‘leadership

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!

26
Sep
14

that’s gonna leave a mark

RobertLouisStevensonThe natural growth of a leader is from doer to developer. But it is so rarely put in these terms. Those that are good as individual contributors are promoted to positions of leadership, but the skill set required is quite different.

In my younger years I made my professional mark as someone who got the job done. I was an executor of various tasks. But when I moved up the ranks I found that my job revolved around developing those underneath me. Some in positions of leadership lament that the majority of their time is spent “baby sitting” adult behavior.

But if we find ourselves in this funk, we need to re-evaluate the criticality of our roles. In, Leaders Without Borders, author Doug Dickerson points out teamwork should be a blessing, not a burden.

Leading a team takes a blend of coaching, disciplining, and motivating. In essence, we are the sower of the seeds into the fields of those whose development we are entrusted with. If we resort back to the role of reaper, as is often the case, we leave the role of leader vacant and future fields barren, incapable of bearing any fruit.

At the dedication ceremony of Disney World in Orlando, Mrs. Disney was asked to give the comments as her husband had already passed. The emcee commented he wished Walt could have been there to see this development. Her response, “He did”. Leaders see the possibilities of future developments long ahead of everyone else. It’s called discernment and is the rarest of leadership traits.

Do we see the potential in those we are leading and sow the seeds accordingly? We are responsible for the eternal harvest that they will eventually reap. Making sure your team continues bearing fruit long after your departure is the surest mark of a true leader. Your legacy is your eternal harvest as a leader. Make sure it’s a bountiful one.

11
Sep
14

full of knowledge or just full of it?

10347643_10154390695845296_5449585575170190089_nAs a publisher and personal-development enthusiast, I hear varied opinions about the influence of reading such material. Much to my surprise, I had two highly-successful individuals tell me on two separate occasions that they don’t read it. Their reasoning? They already know it.

While I agree there is nothing new under the sun, it’s also true that the facts don’t change; we change. When we deafen our ears and hearts at one time, at another we have the capacity to see through the glass darkly and be transformed.

Clifton Fadiman said, “When you re-read a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in yourself than there was before.” But if you already think you know it all, this continuous self-awareness is not an option.

If you have any issue going on in your life right now I implore you to open a book on the subject matter. Pain, like pleasure, has the capacity to get us to listen and to seek out the truth, to find a way to either eliminate the negative or accentuate the positive.

We are not programmed robots who perform based on a singular input. We are not “one and done.” It takes some of us a lifetime of hearing and re-hearing, reading and re-reading the same basic principles before they finally take hold. And even then it’s a constant discipline to make sure the transformation sticks.

Those who are genuinely high achievers know all too well how much they still have to learn. Muhammad Ali said, “A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life”, and the legendary cellist Pablo Casals, when asked why he continued to practice at ninety years of age, replied, “I’m beginning to notice some improvement.” Don’t turn a blind eye to self-improvement. Chances are the more you think you know the more you have to learn.

16
Apr
14

We all have a brain, but do we have the mind to use it?

83238_f520We may tout ourselves as the most technologically advanced, sentient beings in the history of mankind, but do we really use our minds when it comes to researching facts, formulating opinions, or even challenging our own previously held convictions?  In the modern world, opinions trump facts, disagreeing or debating has been ditched for demonizing, and civil discourse has become very uncivil indeed.  Ignoble ignoramuses repeat their talking points ad nauseum, to hell with the facts or consideration of someone else’s personal, religious, or even cultural convictions.

 

And because we believe that modern man is so technologically brilliant, we allow anything from any source to infiltrate our brains, without so much as a moment of pause for consideration. If we read it or hear it, we blindly support it, deny it, or obsessively regurgitate it. Facts used to mean something; not anymore. Anyone anywhere can create a platform to blast out their views regardless of the truth or the author’s motives. Words attached to a graphic meme have now become the gospel, and celebrities have replaced subject-matter experts. Swiping an electronic screen has replaced diligent research and trolling/name calling has replaced debating your point. Actions are represented either positively or negatively depending upon the reporter’s personal views. We are no longer a planet of independent thinkers but rather drones who are told—and who accept—who is right and who is wrong.

 

Remember when you were growing up and you were told not to believe everything you read or hear, and never to assume because it makes an ASS out of U and ME? Critical, pragmatic, and contrarian thinking has gone the way of the dinosaur. I am mortified by the things that are posted on social media or blogs and then endorsed by people who assume they are true simply because they saw them somewhere. Trust, but verify has been replaced by Trust, then vilify. After all, if I am offended by a viewpoint that does not align with my own regurgitation, it must be condemned!

 

The Foundation for Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as “…actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication…” The key words here are right at the very beginning: actively and skillfully. This implies that we make a conscious effort to understand and evaluate, and that we practice it habitually; but instead of honing our discernment, too many of us have settled for spoon-feeding. How can we all be better critical thinkers and begin to stem the tide of intellectual apathy?

  1. Consider the source: Are you reading the Washington Times or the National Enquirer? Where do the stories that get passed around on the Internet come from? Why is an expert qualified to speak in his or her area of expertise? It’s imperative to think carefully about the source of your information. If there is no basis for credibility, ignore it. We hear a lot about the difficulty of finding unbiased news. The truth of the matter is that it’s very difficult to report the news in a completely unbiased fashion. That’s where critical thinking comes in.
  2. Think about the issue: Never believe a word you hear or read without doing your homework. We can defeat the repetition of falsehoods by gathering information from several sources, thinking about it from a multitude of angles, and synthesizing it into a unified whole. Hopefully, you’ve surrounded yourself with people whom you consider to be smart and rational, the ones who can distill the hype down to the real meat of the issue. Ask them to synthesize the points being discussed as an objective frame of reference. And then carefully take a look at them to see if they make sense to you!
  3. Draw Your Conclusions: It may seem like it goes without saying, but we really do need to put all of the pieces together and form a conclusion about the topic at hand. Too many of us allow our threads of thought to trail off without tying them up. Discipline yourself to form cohesive and well-thought-out conclusions about the important topics of the day based upon careful gathering and analysis of credible sources of information. And never forget that your conclusion must be congruent with your core set of values and convictions, otherwise you’ll be a double-minded man, unsteady in all his ways, and speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

 

All of which leads us to the simple but profound question: What do you think? If you rigorously follow these guidelines you’ll be surprised at how rapidly you will improve your understanding of important issues, along with your ability to really discuss them—not just state your position—spontaneously and with authority. And remember, once you rise to a higher level of thinking, you will definitely stand out from the masses. This can make you a target for imbeciles. Don’t indulge them in arguments. As the good book says, When arguing with fools, don’t answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are. (Proverbs 26:4)Think critically! Each of us has a brain; we just need the mind to use it.

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.

 

29
Jan
14

“Victory is Mine!” Sayeth the Leader

Reaching for StarSuccess is defined as a triumphant struggle against difficulty. If that doesn’t describe leadership I don’t know what does. People don’t like to change, develop, or do the right thing. They’ll fight it tooth and nail. It’s not part of our inherent nature and it takes great resolve and discipline because the more we settle into organizations and bureaucratic tendencies, the harder the struggle.

For the leader this just sweetens the challenge. To deny the struggle is to deny the victory. And leadership in any capacity is a battle and the true reason why the extra mile is rarely crowded. Joshua J. Marine said it best: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Stake Out Your Domain! One size does not fit all when it comes to being a leader. Everyone is born with a specific temperament and inherent skill set. You may have never thought of yourself in these terms so here’s a good rule of thumb: what comes easily and naturally to you is your special gift. Next, the leader forms the basis of their principles which allows them to differentiate between a mountain and a mole hill.

Defend Your Realm! We all have an obligation to lead. If you are breathing, you should be leading. If you do not, you will have left the planet with fewer resources than before you arrived. That is a terrible, negative karmic imbalance and you will go down in the annals of history as a lazy, self-indulgent sloth. A lack of involvement in decision making is the height of disrespect.

Savor the Victory! Leadership is so rewarding because it’s so hard. You can’t fake it and you can’t dabble in it and truly savor the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. It’s a bittersweet symphony that’s life. General Patton said, “You can never grow until you push yourself past the point of exhaustion.” So once you’ve done that, be sure and look yourself squarely in the mirror and give yourself an “atta boy”. Victory is yours. Savor it.

12
Dec
13

All I Want for Christmas is Humility

C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_I’ve been a huge advocate of acronyms since my time in the military. I came across one years ago that has been one of my favorites:  SLICC—self-licking ice cream cone; n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.

When I refer to someone as SLICC, it’s not a compliment although, true to form, that person or institution probably thinks that it is. SLICCs aren’t just found in the bureaucracy of the military, they exist everywhere! And the more downtrodden our sense of respect for hard work and humility, the more this trait takes root. The amount of self-aggrandizement throughout the media and everyday life is staggering. I feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I seek to find one truly authentic and humble soul.

When I was a little girl my older sister caught me looking at myself in the mirror and called me conceited. I was mortified and vowed to never spend an inordinate amount of time fixated upon myself. And perhaps this remembrance irritates me the most around Christmas time because self-absorption is the antithesis of the Lord’s arrival.

Christ was born in a manger, an actual feeding trough. He was gentle, he was approachable, he was worthy of all the entitlement and adoration in the universe, yet demanded none. Here’s how you can get your “Christ” on this holiday season and stop considering yourself God’s Christmas Gift to the Universe. That blessed event already took place in Bethlehem several millennia ago.

Stop Quoting Yourself: This includes taking pictures of yourself, otherwise known as selfies. These are a definite no-no in professional settings but equally weird in personal settings. If your LinkedIn profile pic is a selfie, take it down now. I find it strange when people put their own quotes on memes and then put their name on them and then put them on their Facebook page. I can understand if a third-party fan page does this, but for someone to do it on their own seems a bit braggadocious to me.

The Narcissus Syndrome: This egocentrism manifests itself in many forms, but beware of giving one of these birds a microphone unless you’ve got a hook handy and are prepared to use it. If it’s all about you, then just start a cult and hang out with your own special weirdos. Please don’t assume I’m one of them.  I was once at an event where someone was asked to give a two-minute presentation. When the time came, he delivered his assigned talk, and at then proceeded to speak for 15 minutes about his pet project—a topic that was not on the agenda. He finished and the meeting got back on track, but everyone in that room will remember his inappropriate display of self-importance.

My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned author, speaker, and motivator. If anyone had reason to be a little big for their britches it was him. But his humility was a huge part of his attraction. He knew what Christ had done for him and it was woven through every word he spoke. One of my favorite lines of his is about men who would come up to him and proclaim, “I’m a self made man!” To which he’d retort, “Well, good for you! That relieves God of that responsibility!”

But perhaps the best illustration of humility comes in the form of this anecdote from his speech The Price of Leadership:

Remember the young minister writing his first sermon, spending his time in seminary preparing for that great day when he would stand before the congregation and lower the boom, telling them how to start living. He polished the sermon. He refined it. It was really getting better, week after week, month after month, and then the great day came. After two or three minutes, he realized he was in deep trouble. He began to feel around on the podium for a button he could push that would open the trap door and let him slip out of sight. But there wasn’t any push button. Within five minutes he realized he was whipped and that things were different in real life than they were in seminary. He said a hasty benediction and went down off the platform beaten, broken, and dejected. As he departed the podium, one of the old gray-headed warhorses slipped his arm over the young minister’s shoulder and whispered in his ear, “Son, if you’d have gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.”

Here’s wishing everyone a gloriously blessed Christmas this year. May we all find our stockings and hearts so filled with humility that they overflow far into 2014!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

Join Me On:

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

%d bloggers like this: