We often rely on the reflection of a mirror to assess our physical appearance. But isn’t the reflection only as good as the mirror? Partially. In reality, it’s based mostly on our own PERCEPTION of ourselves. For example, someone who’s anorexic sees fat where none exists. This truth is not limited to our physical being, but to all areas of our self-perception. Think professionally, relationally, spiritually … or wherever we’re seeking excellence. Our perception may be totally off the mark, and that’s when we need to throw out the mirror and stop lying to ourselves. Often only mentors and loved ones can truly reflect reality to us. Who are you using to reflect your true image? Are they bold enough to share the truth? Are you courageous enough to listen?
When it comes to opportunity, it’s rarely just a matter of good fortune. Not often can we say it was simply meant to be. And only sometimes can we attribute it to being in the right place at the right time. Most of the time, opportunity comes from serving others first, generating good word-of-mouth, expanding our sphere of influence, creating our own opportunities from nothing, and working hard to achieve excellence in every piece of work we put our name to. Building on our credibility, serving others, and demonstrating results will get us there. Where will your next opportunity come from?
Sometimes, no matter how organized we are, too much of our day is spent answering questions. Rather than getting through our own to-do list, we spend a disproportionate time with our team, helping them move forward with their own workloads. It’s times like these that having a daily or weekly routine can boost productivity. For example, meeting with the team each morning for a short block of time (in the hotel/restaurant industry this is called a “line up”) will cut down our time answering questions throughout the day. Also, marking out blocks of time during the week for undisturbed work, encouraging the team to do the same, works wonders. What would be the effect in productivity and morale if you tried one or both of these?
Making daily decisions is challenging for many and forces some into a severe case of analysis-paralysis, preventing them from taking action. Those gray areas of life can be difficult to negotiate, as there may not be a clear right or wrong, winner or loser. But, if at the very core of all our actions is being true to ourselves, our values and our goals, and acting in the best interest of those involved with our ventures, suddenly putting ourselves out there isn’t as challenging as we imagined. If we only take actions consistent with our values, even if the results are less than expected, at least we haven’t compromised who we are. How have you made speaking the truth on a daily basis part of who you are?
Opportunities are problems waiting to be solved; those that solve them reap the rewards. Being a problem solver is not just for ourselves—those around us MUST be adept at it. But can we promote more effective problem solving? Consider it two sides of a coin. Each individual must: (1) possess the desire to problem solve and think creatively and (2) be comfortable with and capable of problem solving together with others. So why not emulate a sports team and practice? Do a fun problem-solving challenge at the next team meeting. It will provide insights into how each person thinks and raise the collective skill level of the team. How well do you problem solve as a team, and what can you do to increase that?
As our teams and dreams grow (and sometimes fail), it’s important to remember we’re getting closer to our cause. Too often, we’re so caught up in our own personal & professional development & training programs that we forget to cast our eyes & energy on the development of those around us. Check your priorities and ensure your team has sufficient tools & resources to act successfully; give them ample opportunities to learn; and be driven by your desire to serve others. Most importantly, ask your teammates what they hope to accomplish by being part of your tribe (using private one-on-one meetings, confidential surveys, group meetings, etc.), then seek to make this their reality. How can you help make the hopes & dreams of your teammates a reality?