My Favourite (Work) Feeling

Done. Completed. Accomplished.

I’m one of those who like to tick the to-do list, track the plan, use the schedule. Simply see the small progress. Some used to call me „structure freak“, some just called me plain crazy 🙂 But this works for me.

After a couple of months, when I was extremely unstructured and reactive, I put together some kind of schedule for my day. Before I came often into the situation, that I was so overwhelmed with the number of „big things to do“, that I actually didn’t get anything done. But the schedule helps.

It is simple:

  • Wake up, exercise, meditate
  • Get to work, get the work done
  • Get home, rest, eat, run
  • Work on personal projects for next 2-3 hours
  • Read / paint / write
  • Sleep for 7 hours min

The beauty of the schedule is, that following it forms the habit. And it helps me to go step-by-step, without being scared of having too much to do.

Once in a while, I need to sit down and revise the things from the bigger perspective. And then back to schedule. Inch by inch I will get there.

And that is my favorite feeling. Knowing, that today I made another step towards achieving something.

What Footprint You Leave Behind?

Recently on our company event we discussed the topic of our „sales footprint“. What is the impact, impression we leave after our sales encounters.

Do our footprints get washed away by first wave, or we leave a lasting impression?

It’s very important to clear out for yourself, what YOUR impression is about. Are you professional, creative, innovative, structured, inspiring, hardworking…? What are the characteristics you leave behind?

For me my footprint is defined by my ambition, my goals. So here are couple of methods I find useful in defining my footprint:

PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT:

I made this exercise of setting up my personal „mission statement“ some months ago. It’s inspired by the 7 habits book by Stephen R. Covey. For me I have 3 roles, 3 types of impressions I want to leave with people I meet and projects I get involved with:

CONTRIBUTOR – a person who gives in the best possible contribution to the idea that matters.

CHANGE AGENT – someone who helps driving positive change and generates the change in others.

LIFELONG LEARNER – someone who is willing to learn and improve for whole life and inspires others to do so.

You can also read more about my mission in this presentation.

BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL:

When I was still active in AIESEC we were putting together the ambition for year 2015, something like a long-term vision. The interesting concept we used was BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

BHAG, as Wikipedia defines it „is a strategic business statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.“

AIESEC set it’s BHAG as „Engage and develop every young person in the world.

My BHAG is to significantly help 1.000.000 people.

It does not matter which way you choose to define your footprint. It’s important to define it, commit to it and act on it.

So what is your footprint?

The Spark In The Eyes Makes The Difference

Last weekend we were running an innovation workshop for the guys from AIESEC Slovakia. As a part of it we had a short presentation from a Jozef Porhincak from Challengest project.

What mostly inspired me about his talk was not the content. Though the idea and success of the project are really interesting. What caught my attention was the spark of enthusiasm and full commitment that he displayed.

It’s great to see people fully devoted to the idea they believe in. And it makes me think „what does make me feel this way“? What is the thing that would light the spark in my eyes?

Do you have something that lights your spark? If yes, what do you do about it?

Acting vs being

Have you ever wanted to be different than you are? For me it happens. Mostly when I’m disappointed with what I have / haven’t done.

In fact, I think when we wish for being different, what we really mean is that we would want to have acted differently. When we wish to be more „outgoing“, what we mean is „I wish I would have gone out and spoke to those people.“

We are the sum of our habits. And habits are formed by actions.

So if you want to BE different, just ACT differently.

Jump Over Knowing Doing Gap

There’s so many things we know. We know exercising is healthy. We know taking care for client is productive. We know planning makes sense. We know…

I know for example that to achieve my goals I need to plan and track activities. But still I fail in doing that properly. That means, that my knowledge is useless.

To know is not enough, knowledge has to be applied. Good intention isn’t enough, we must act.

This is the „motto“ my boss, Martin, uses. And all our company lives that motto. Whether in work with our clients or in our internal improvement.

Knowing is not enough. The knowledge is as much as passive acknowledgement of needed change. If I know I am not good at presenting, it’s a start. Even if I know good techniques to present, it still is not enough. Until I start using those techniques, I won’t get better. Ever.

Once you acquire some new piece of information, you should ask yourself simple question:

What will I do about it? When?

And then act. Don’t expect the change to happen without action.

It applies to skills improvement, personal change, as well as to company improvement. If you know there’s something that can be done better, but you don’t act, you don’t contribute.

So what do you know and don’t act on?


Short information point (not intended as promotion, just to let you know):
The key thing that distinguishes DEVELOR from other training and consulting companies is the fact that we walk the performance talk. We are one of few companies who are certified by Kirkpatrick Partners to use Kirkpatrick Model of measuring development impact. We know and educate our clients to pay as much (or even more) attention to application of skills, as they pay to „traditional“ training of employees. Because even the best training has limited influence on behavioural change and results. To act is necessary.

Create a NOT-TO-DO List As Well

I already wrote about setting good boundaries. Now I want to share some DO-NOT-DOs, which help me to contribute my best. Maybe you can find some of them helpful:

  • don’t criticise without an alternative,
  • don’t judge before fully understanding,
  • don’t assume you know best,
  • don’t hesitate,
  • don’t underestimate people,
  • don’t argue, use arguments,
  • don’t hurt intentionally,
  • don’t postpone an apology,
  • don’t regret,
  • don’t lie (to others and yourself),
  • don’t repeat mistakes,
  • don’t quit.

Do you have your DO-NOT-DOs? Share some of them 😉

PS: for those interested, here’s a great post by Ivana Sendecka on Why Having „NOT To-Do List“ Can Save You (Time).

Achievements Should Be Celebrated

I finished my first half-marathon today. I’m proud and happy.

Strange, how unnatural it feels to write about achievement. Most of the time I write about overcoming obstacles. Very little I celebrate the victories here.

Today it’s time to do so.

I started running couple of months ago. Actually it was in May 2012 when I got back to Slovakia. First run was 1.88 km. I almost fainted after it. I did my first 10 km run in July 2012. It took me total of 11 months to get to finish half-marathon.

When I signed up for Bratislava marathon, I set a goal to finish it (and if all goes well, get there in 2h 30min). I finished in 2:08:15, which I didn’t even dream of.

What I also loved about the experience is that I enjoyed it. Yes, there were couple of moments when I thought I will lay down and cry. But most of the time, I was having fun, jumping, changing pace, trying longer and shorter stride. It was real fun!

There are 4 things that helped me to get at the end of my first half-marathon:

  • clear goal
  • enjoying the way
  • not stopping
  • support from friends

If you want to achieve something, set a goal, make sure to find joy in the process, don’t stop and find friends to support you. Than just go and do it. Enjoy your achievement.

Four Simple Tasks To Build Trust

The biggest honour you can get from your family, friends, partners or clients is trust. It’s the prerequisite of any fruitful relationship. Without trust it just doesn’t work.

No one can love you, help you or collaborate with you without trust. Maybe for short while.

But once trust is lost, it’s all gone.

What can we do to build trust?

  1. care – just care for the other person, truly and deeply. Pay attention to their needs, problems and happy moments. Show empathy and share their feelings.
  2. be there – just be there, whenever they need you.
  3. know – know what is happening in their lives. It’s so great to see someone is paying attention and knows something about you that you wouldn’t expect.
  4. keep promises – maybe the most important. Whenever you promise something, keep your promise. Every broken promise just drains your trust well almost to the bottom.

Trust is essential. Build it. Keep it. Don’t lose it.

This Helps Me In Tough Times

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in life. There are times when you are in a sh*t storm of everything going wrong.

When I’m in that state, there is couple of thoughts that help me get over it:

In couple of days it will be over, no matter what.

People think that in stress time is an enemy, but actually, it’s a friend for me. Because time flies no matter what. And that means that in some specific time, this particular „issue“ will be over, one way or another.

You will learn from this experience.

Every experience has a potential for learning. Even the worst one. So go ahead and take what it has to offer.

Bad emotions are also emotions – the spice of life.

Without emotion we would be just robots. So enjoy the fact that you have some. Be it even anger, sadness, worry or whatever „bad feelings“, those are also important.

Come on, don’t be a whining little girl.

When nothing else works, I just start making fun of myself. That usually kicks my spirit up.

In the end, it is true what Charles R. Swindoll said:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

What about you? What do you tell to yourself, when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows around?