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An Attitude Of Gratitude

November 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

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Thanksgiving was established as an American national holiday in 1942 by President Roosevelt, however “thankfulness” is by no means exclusive to America.  Thanksgiving was (and is) meant as an opportunity for everyone to reflect on and appreciate success and the overcoming of adversity, in addition to the religious connotations. The idea was that success should not be taken for granted and that it is important to actually set aside time, officially and unofficially, to appreciate those who contribute to the collective success – and that concept, my friends, applies to everyone!

From this perspective, no matter where you may come from, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate all of the contributions made to organizational success. Particularly when people are expected to do more with less, work long hours, cross global time zones and move quickly from crisis to crisis, it’s important to pause and say “thank you.” If you want your people to continue working with unbridled energy and commitment, it’s vital to remember that money alone is not sufficient currency – appreciation, in fact, goes a long way toward building an emotional bank account with those who are ultimately responsible for that “collective success”.

The power of creating a culture of thankfulness is unlimited. Recognizing people for going “above and beyond” creates a positive dynamic that motivates individuals and teams to commit their very best to you and the organization.  The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list highlights simply “Thanking People” as one of 9 key practice areas in their Culture Framework. According to Fortune, the Best Companies thank employees personally and in unexpected ways; they thank people frequently and cultivate a “climate of appreciation”. Think about the implications of simply saying “thank you”…

Thanksgiving is a traditional time to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with in our lives – including those we serve, those we serve with and those who serve us. People remember how they are treated in good times… and in bad. Demonstrate “an attitude of gratitude” and it will come back to you many times over.

Have you given thanks to those you work with for all they do for you and the organization?

I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.  Have a happy Thanksgiving – whoever you are and wherever you may be from!

Please feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Next week we will continue with Part 2 of “Influence”.

Of all the amazing experiences I have been so fortunate to have, across many different boundaries and borders, one of my very favorites is the unique opportunity I had to walk with lions in Zimbabwe.  While canoeing down the river Sabi (avoiding the hippos) was exciting, going on an elephant safari proved adventurous, swimming in The Devil’s Pool at the top of Victoria Falls was amazing and staying in the historic, luxurious Victoria Falls Hotel was, well… historic and luxurious, nothing compares to walking with lions. Many of you probably think I must be crazy – who wants to walk with wild lions? But this was a fascinating opportunity that offered many insights – and besides, how many chances do you get to walk with lions?

As I watched the lions approach, with only a walking stick in my hand and a pre-brief on lion behavior in my head, I wondered how I would engage these powerful creatures and what I could learn from them…

Here is just a bit of what I was reminded of through my encounter with the lions:

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As those of you who read my posts frequently know, I travel internationally a lot and I truly love experiencing other cultures and different ways of life! This past spring I had the opportunity to return to Turkey for pleasure instead of business… Here is what I was thinking about:

I returned to a city with an ever-evolving modern character that is still, at its core, bound by tradition. As I was observing the frenzy of activity going on around me in the only city in the world that resides on two continents,  I began to think (once again) about how there are unique leadership lessons in every environment.  It is easy to overlook the reminders that abound and think to yourself, “what can I learn from a country that has been riddled with unrest, struggles with human rights issues and is in a constant state of flux?” Yes, these things are true… but it does not negate the fact that Turkey is a beautiful country with beautiful people and there are some important reminders (lessons) that impact how we interact with people as leaders and how our views, as leaders, affect those around us. I have found that often, a change in scenery offers a valuable change in perspective.  Here are just a few of the things that came to my mind as I experienced, once again, one of the most amazing cities in the world:

  1. Business and personal relationships do not have to be mutually exclusive…

Living and visiting countries all over the world on a regular basis throughout most of my life, I remain very aware of how unique one location is from another. However, it also reminds me that despite the differences, there are some core foundations that we should all observe and deploy. In the western culture, we tend to believe that work and life are separate. However in Istanbul, where East meets West, business and personal relationships are heavily intertwined.  The diversity and complexity of individuals is shaped not only by their culture, but through relationships that are consistently valued and continually evolve throughout a lifetime. As I attend client meetings that are focused solely on getting know one another better, I am always reminded how the Turkish people, in general, only do business with people they know, like and respect.  In Turkey, business will only materialize if effective personal relationships are built. This is not only important in the moment, but throughout a lifetime. Later, as I made a visit to the world famous Spice Bazaar, I was reminded once again how relationships can thread through our lives –  both as people and leaders – as I stopped to chat with a shopkeeper and was invited in… not just for a sale, but to build a relationship. We chatted for twenty minutes, shared some delicious apple tea (a hospitality must in Turkey), and exchanged contact information. On my next visit will I stop in and purchase from Iskandar? Of course, but I will also recommend this particular shopkeeper to anyone I know visiting Istanbul!  As leaders, it seems to me that we could be infinitely more effective if we slowed down (both in our personal and professional lives), borrowed a page from the Turkish playbook, and took the time to get to know our colleagues on a more personal level – facilitating an extensive and priceless network of not only colleagues, but friends, that will benefit us for a lifetime.

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A positive attitude is a frame of mind – our perspective, as leaders, has much to do with how we engage and deal with challenges.

Like it or not, you are in the superhero business.  As a leader, whatever industry you are in, you need to always remember that the energy you bring to everything you do will be noticed and amplified. Your personal attitude is a huge part of what you project to your team and organization. If you aren’t demonstrating a positive, supportive and encouraging attitude, how can you expect others to?

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If you want to have a positive, lasting impact on others, realize that as you evolve your attitude it will be reflected in your actions – positively influencing your work, your team… and your world. In order to be seen as a superhero by your superiors, colleagues, employees and customers, focus on becoming: Continue Reading…

Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.

~ Jim Rohn

Many people, often senior leaders, feel as if they’re adrift in the world – not sure what their ultimate purpose or legacy might be. They work hard, they get the promotions, and advance somewhat successfully through life from day to day, but they don’t seem to get anywhere worthwhile – anywhere that is self-fulfilling.  One critical reason this happens is because they typically haven’t spent enough time thinking about what they want from life  – and they haven’t set their coordinates for success!

Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Unless you clearly define exactly what you want and understand why you want it the first place, your odds of success are significantly diminished.

Here are some broad guidelines to help you not only to set effective, achievable goals, but also to keep the focus on the why:

  • Make each goal a positive statement – Express your goals positively – “Execute this initiative to my highest standards, while remaining on schedule and 10% under budget” is a much better goal than “Don’t fail to execute this initiative.”
  • Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. This provides a mechanism to know exactly when the goal is achieved, and you can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set clear priorities – When there is more than one goal, give each a priority. This will help you to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed by having too much to focus on at any one time – while also directing your attention to the most important priorities.
  • Clear, purposeful steps that are taken along the way will guide you to where you want to be. Your big, scary  audacious goal may take a year (or significantly more), however shorter – daily, weekly or monthly – excursions will help you to stay on course and focused in the right direction.
  • Keep tactical goals small – Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. If a goal is too big, it may seem that you are not making adequate progress. Keeping goals incremental, marked as milestones, provides the means to keep you motivated – not to mention more opportunity for reward.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals – Set goals within your control as often as possible. It can be discouraging to fail for reasons beyond your control. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you maintain control over the achievement of your goals, and draw personal satisfaction from your successes.

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Re:Create…Yourself

April 11, 2011 — 7 Comments

Last week I was at a conference that happened to be on a Caribbean cruise  – what a great experience!  The main purpose of the cruise was to re:create – to realize the creativity each of us has within. There was time built in to actually enjoy the cruise, but more importantly to ponder our own creativity and discover how to continuously re:create ourselves.  There were several very wise speakers – Mike Hyatt, Randy Elrod, Ken Davis, and Pete Wilson – each with their individual area of expertise and focus. They each caused me to stop and think in very different ways, and I really appreciated the opportunity to be reminded that, as a leader, I am creative and need to  continuously broaden my thinking in different ways.

Often people think, as leaders, that we are not creative.  Fortunately, that is a myth. Creativity is problem solving: just as a painter sees a beautiful scene and recognizes it needs to be painted so others can enjoy it, a leader sees unmet needs and brings resolution to those challenges in creative ways. If we were not creative we would not have the capacity to lead effectively – constantly providing guidance and direction to others that may have little in common with us, deriving new policies and processes that will evolve our domain, or creating new business models that will evolutionize our organizations or industries in unforseen ways. You may not paint, take incredible photographs, write songs or beautiful prose – however, if you are out there making a difference in peoples lives and trying to change your world, chances are… (yes, I will say it!) you are creative.  If you are not doing these things, perhaps you should consider the opportunity you have missed – and re:create!

How do you constantly Re:create to impact your world?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how you are creative in your leadership role. Feel free to contact me at  Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.comor by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Check back soon for the next post on Leadership Across Boundaries and Borders.