Archive for August, 2011

THE WARNING SIGNS OF DEFENDING THE STATUS QUO by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, The Warning Signs of Defending the Status Quo with tags , , , , on August 31, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

THE WARNING SIGNS OF DEFENDING THE STATUS QUO by Seth Godin

When confronted with a new idea, do you:
• Consider the cost of switching before you consider the benefits?
• Highlight the pain to a few instead of the benefits for the many?
• Exaggerate how good things are now in order to reduce your fear of change?
• Undercut the credibility, authority or experience of people behind the change?
• Grab onto the rare thing that could go wrong instead of amplifying the likely thing that will go right?
• Focus on short-term costs instead of long-term benefits, because the short-term is more vivid for you?
• Fight to retain benefits and status earned only through tenure and longevity?
• Embrace an instinct to accept consistent ongoing costs instead of swallowing a one-time expense?
• Slow implementation and decision making down instead of speeding it up?
• Embrace sunk costs?
• Imagine that your competition is going to be as afraid of change as you are? Even the competition that hasn’t entered the market yet and has nothing to lose…
• Emphasize emergency preparation and the expense of a chronic and degenerative condition?
Calling it out when you see it might give your team the strength to make a leap.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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WHY ACCEPTING CHANGE IS VITAL TO YOUR YOUR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS by Connie Podesta

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Why Accepting Change is Vital to Your Professional Success on August 26, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

WHY ACCEPTING CHANGE IS VITAL TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS by Connie Podesta

Like it or not, change is an integral part of today’s business climate. Those employees who embrace and initiate change will thrive, while those who complain and fear change may be headed for the unemployment line.
Employers feel strongly about the need to have employees who are successful change agents for their team and their organization as a whole. What exactly is a “change agent?” An agent is someone who represents the interests of another person or organization, and his or her job is to take care of business and make sure everything goes smoothly. Thus, a change agent helps take care of an employer’s business by facilitating change.

Are you a change agent for your organization? Can others count on you to make sure things go smoothly? Do you continue to take care of business in the midst of change?

Although some employees have been conditioned to fear change, we must not lose sight of the fact that change is normal, and most of us will experience unpredictable changes in both our personal and professional lives. In the workplace, changes can occur as a result of new thinking, advances in technology, innovation and progress, knowledge and communication, as well as mergers, takeovers, layoffs, and downsizing. These organizational changes can directly affect our professional lives as well as our personal lives. They may also lead to feelings of sadness, frustration, grief, and anger, especially when jobs are lost or worse, when an entire organization ceases to exist. So let’s discuss how we can make this normal life experience-change-as positive and beneficial as possible.

What’s Wrong with Change?
Employers want commitment to change when it’s necessary. Knowing that, then, why are so many people resistant to it? The number one reason is fear, although very few people are willing to admit it. None of us want to acknowledge that we doubt our ability to integrate new ideas, use new technology, or adapt to new organizations. We don’t even want to think about what’s ahead: new management, new ways of doing things, new terminology, new titles, and new job description. Fear can have several components:
1. Fear of the unknown: What will happen to my organization, my job, my life, as I know it now? How secure is my future?
2. Fear of not being in control: What should I do? Should I just wait around while they make decisions that could seriously affect my life?
3. Fear of being inadequate: I know how to do this job now, but will I be able to do it as well as they expect me to when everything has changed? And if I can’t, what happens then?
4. Fear of moving outside your personal comfort zone: I’ve been doing my job this way for years, and I’m very good at it. Why do we have to change what has worked so well for so long?

No matter which category your fear falls in, one thing is for sure. The more we fight and resist the change, the more painful and frightening the changes will be. Resisting doesn’t keep a new idea from taking hold; it simply makes the process longer and more painful. Change will happen no matter what. We will handle it better when we learn to move with the change-not against it. Plus, this is definitely not the time to drag your feet because managers are not inclined to take employees by the hand and lead them through the change process.

Communication is Key
There is no doubt that employees often view change from a different perspective than their supervisors. Many employees believe that management doesn’t understand their side of the story, and managers often feel it is the employees who don’t understand why the change is necessary. This is why communication is so vital during any change circumstance.

It’s been said that lack of communication is the number one reason why personal relationships can develop problems, and the same holds true for relationships between employers and employees. Change will require open communication on both sides. Unfortunately, fear has the power to freeze employees in their tracks and prevent them from expressing their ideas and opinions.

When faced with change we must always ask ourselves this important question: Does my resistance to change have anything to do with my own fears? That’s a tough question and one that’s not easy to answer honestly. It’s natural to fear the unknown and lack of control. We know that we won’t be quite as proficient at our tasks while we’re in the process of learning to do things a new way. We know we will have to work a lot harder. Are we willing to let go of the present to embrace the future? We may not know what the future will bring, but we are responsible for what we bring to the future.

The Positive Side of Change
If you routinely describe your current job as boring, mundane, or menial, then perhaps a change is good for you. One of the most positive aspects of change is that it is never boring. On the contrary, it can create passion. And passion-and the excitement, creativity, and energy that accompany it-is the spark that keeps us going.

Passion could be called the charge for our life’s batteries. Without that charge, it’s hard to get our engines revved up. That igniting charge is sparked by the challenge of change-learning new things, meeting new people, growing as professionals, and taking risks that push us to reach our potential. None of that can happen unless and until we are willing to experience the fear that inevitably arises when we move out of our comfort zones. No risk, no fear; no fear, no passion; no passion, no fun.

If we want passion back in our lives, we must be willing to meet the challenge of change. What might that mean for you? Perhaps it might involve going back to school, learning how to work with a computer, working with a team, taking on new responsibilities, or redefining a career path. If you want to remain employable, you may have to change more than just your attitude and your reaction to change. You may have to change some of your ideas and goals to create a better future for yourself.

Embrace Upcoming Changes
Many people are content to live their lives by playing it safe. If fear, pain, and hard work are prerequisites of change, it’s easier to understand why some people are so dedicated to resisting it. They might be good at giving all the best-sounding reasons why this particular change is not right for the department, the organization, the team, or the customer. However, their underlying concern may be their fear about how the change will affect them-their job-their lives.
If you’ve been reacting negatively to change, it’s important to modify your attitude and your behavior before it’s too late. Think about what you really want. Comfort at all costs? The status quo? The good old days? If those are the aspects you desire-if that’s what you’re waiting for-then you will probably soon be out of a job. If, instead, you want challenge and welcome change, you will always be employable.

– Connie Podesta

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

WAITING FOR THE FEAR TO SUBSIDE by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Waiting for the Fear to Subside with tags , , , , on August 10, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

WAITING FOR THE FEAR TO SUBSIDE by Seth Godin

There are two problems with this strategy:

A. By the time the fear subsides, it will be too late. By the time you’re not afraid of what you were planning to start/say/do, someone else will have already done it, it will already be said or it will be irrelevant. The reason you’re afraid is that there’s leverage here, something might happen. Which is exactly the signal you’re looking for.

B. The fear certainly helps you do it better. The fear-less one might sleep better, but sleeping well doesn’t always lead to your best work. The fear can be your compass, it can set you on the right path and actually improve the quality of what you do.

Listen to your fear but don’t obey it.

– Seth Godin

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

A SELF-CREATED STATE (Worry) from Daily OM

Posted in "A Self-Created State (Worry)" from Daily OM, Life Management on August 7, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

A SELF-CREATED STATE (Worry) from Daily OM

Worry is an extension of fear and can also set you up for attracting that which you don’t want in your life.

We have all had the experience of worrying about something at some point in our lives. Some of us have a habitual tendency to worry, and all of us have known someone who is a chronic worrier. Worry is an extension of fear and can be a very draining experience. In order for worry to exist, we have to imagine that something bad might happen. What we are worrying about has not happened yet, however, so this bad thing is by definition a fantasy. Understood this way, worry is a self-created state of needless fear. Still, most of us worry.

One reason we worry is because we feel like we’re not in control. For example, you might worry about your loved ones driving home in bad weather. There is nothing you can do to guarantee their safe passage, but you worry until you find out they have reached their destination unharmed. In this instance, worry is an attempt to feel useful and in control. However, worrying does nothing to ensure a positive outcome and it has an unpleasant effect on your body, mind, and spirit. The good news is that there are ways to transform this kind of worry so that it has a healing effect. Just as worry uses the imagination, so does the antidote to worry. Next time you find that you are worrying, imagine the best result instead of anticipating the worst outcome. Visualize your loved ones’ path bathed in white light and clearly see in your mind’s eye their safe arrival. Imagine angels or guides watching over them as they make their way home. Generate peace and well-being instead of nervousness and unease within yourself.

Another reason we worry is that something that we know is pending but are avoiding is nagging us—an unpaid parking ticket, an upcoming test, an issue with a friend. In these cases, acknowledging that we are worried and taking action is the best solution. If you can confront the situation and own your power to change it, you’ll have no reason to worry.

– DailyOM
http://www.dailyom.com/

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE FROM PETER DRUCKER — THE MAN WHO TAUGHT THE WORLD HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS by Bruce Rosenstein

Posted in General Management, HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE FROM PETER DRUCKER, Life Management with tags , , , , on August 1, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE FROM PETER DRUCKER — THE MAN WHO TAUGHT THE WORLD HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS by Bruce Rosenstein

Peter Drucker is known as the “father of modern management.” His business writings remain widely read and highly influential six years after his death at age 95. Yet even Drucker’s disciples might not realize that the famed guru was an expert in life management as well as business management. What can we learn about succeeding in life from the man who taught the world so much about succeeding in business? Bottom Line/Personal asked Bruce Rosenstein, author of Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, to identify three of Drucker’s core life strategies…

STRATEGY 1: LIVE IN MORE THAN ONE WORLD

Most people assume that the best way to achieve success in any one area is to devote themselves completely to that area. Devote all of your energies to your career… your family… or your favorite cause… and the odds of a positive outcome in that area seem certain.

Drucker strongly cautioned against such single-minded focus. He recommended that everyone find at least one interest outside his/her primary area, then expand that secondary pursuit into more than just a hobby. Example: Drucker devoted considerable time to the study of Japanese art. He even taught college courses on the subject.

Drucker noted that people who have just one goal or one passion tend to wind up unhappy for several reasons…

* If you have just one interest, your circle of friends and allies is likely to be very limited. That’s unfortunate, because having lots of friends is highly correlated with happiness… and having lots of allies means more open doors, increasing your odds of success.

* Having only one goal leaves no fallback position should you be dealt a setback. Example: Devote yourself completely to a political cause, and you will feel crushed if the vote goes against you.

* People with multiple interests tend to spend less time ruminating over mistakes and missed chances. Obsessing over failures only reduces the odds of future success.

* A single-minded person tends to feel like a failure unless he/she is 100% successful in his focus area—and total success is rare.
Example: Anything short of reaching a desired spot in a company can feel like failure to someone who has devoted his life entirely to his career.

* Outside interests provide unique viewpoints, which can increase the odds of success in one’s area of primary interest.
Example: Drucker found that studying Japanese art gave him insight into Japanese culture, which helped him find perspective on—and gain influence in—the Japanese business community.

STRATEGY 2: CHOOSE A NONFINANCIAL PRIMARY GOAL

Peter Drucker observed that most of the people he knew whose life goal was to make lots of money did, in fact, make lots of money. But Drucker also saw that despite their wealth, most of these people were miserable.

Drucker was not opposed to wealth. He simply believed that there never is a true sense of satisfaction when wealth is the main motivator of achievement. Set out to earn $1 million, and you probably won’t feel successful when you do it—you’ll decide you need even more money… or wonder why money doesn’t make you feel fulfilled.

Drucker thought a better goal was to leave something of value behind when you’re gone. You could leave behind…

* A happy, loving family
that will continue to be happy thanks to your positive example.

* A history of treating everyone you meet with respect, encouraging them to treat others with respect, too.

* A profitable company
that will continue to provide employment and products or services after you retire.

If you’re not certain what you can leave, spend some time teaching, mentoring or volunteering with a charity. These are among the surest ways to feel you have created a worthwhile legacy.

Added benefits: Teachers and mentors tend to improve their own mastery of the material… while volunteers benefit from a halo effect—others view them more positively because of their public service, increasing the volunteer’s odds of success in all aspects of life.

STRATEGY 3: KNOW AND DEVELOP YOUR CORE COMPETENCIES

In 1990, a pair of management experts named C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel coined the phrase “core competencies.” The crux of their idea was that a company should focus on the things that it does better than its competitors. This philosophy has been widely adopted in the business world.

What few realize is that Drucker advanced a similar idea more than a quarter century earlier, only he called it “strengths analysis.” This strategy works just as well for individuals as for companies. Three ways to put strengths analysis to work in your life…

* Abandon whatever isn’t working.
Regularly question your habits, your hobbies, your relationships, your projects and your time commitments. For each, ask, Would I start this again today knowing what I know now? If the answer is no, end it or at least scale it back—your time is better spent elsewhere.

Drucker disagreed with the saying “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” He advised, “If at first you don’t succeed, try once more, and then try something else.” Example: Drucker published two novels. Neither succeeded, so he never wrote fiction again.

* Engage in ongoing self-reflection.
Consider what you expected to happen in the past year… what actually happened… and if those two answers differed, why they differed. This analysis could point you toward areas where your abilities are greater than you realize—or away from areas where your abilities are less than you think.

* Focus forward.
People get too caught up in day-to-day tasks and activities. They don’t spend enough time focusing on future opportunities and how to make those opportunities happen.

Our future is more important than the distractions and errands that absorb much of our time in the present. Do not treat the future as a low priority just because it has not yet arrived.

– Bruce Rosenstein (www.BruceRosenstein.com)

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.