Archive for May 2007

The Invisible Link

May 22, 2007

j0407444.jpgWhen you are inspired to dream and that dream becomes a physical entity by writing it on paper something magical happens. An invisible link is formed between though and reality and without needing to know the How your dream can come true!

I met a fellow business adventurer this morning at a networking meeting and we got talking about goals. He said, I’d never really set goals throughout my life until about 9 months ago. At that time I really wanted something more from life and my business and decided to get serious about it. I set 2 goals, with deadlines and really focussed on them. Within 9 months I had achieved them both and they weren’t lightweight goals either! I thought WOW! This thing really works! I’m not sure how – but it works!

That’s what I love about goals. If you set them with a belief that you can achieve them and a commitment to making them happen you don’t have to know the HOW! There’s something quite magical that happens when you capture a dream, write it down and commit to it in your heart. It’s like an invisible link that is formed between your thoughts and desires and the material world. Expressing that thought and making it a physical thing by writing it onto paper that you can touch, feel, see and carry around with you makes it already real even before you see it unfold.

Dream that dream vividly every day and the universe will conspire to make it so. You will have just the right flashes of inspiration, meet just the right people at the right time, find opportunities all around you that you never noticed before. Wit h a passion for your dream will come new depths of emotions that will propel you toward your goals – courage, confidence, joy, energy, determination, assertiveness, intelligence, discipline each one there to guide you and fuel you to this new destiny.

At a gaol setting session recently a gentleman wrote down that in the future he would not only like to continue to exhibit his paintings, but to sell them too. He kept those goals to himself but wrote them down and took them with him. The next time we met he was so excited to tell me that he had really enjoyed the goal setting session, it had really made him think and he had goat a lot out of it. He confided that one of the goals that he had not told me about was the one about the paintings. He had had three paintings in an exhibition locally and when he went to pick them up to his amazement there were only 2 left! One had sold and his goal was already being achieved.

A few years ago my then 6 year old daughter passionately wanted to go to Disneyland. Every time it would come on the tv she would ask if we could go there, and of course I would say yes, one day we will, but at that time as a single parent with so many commitments I had no idea when that day would be. I did however, write it down in my long term goals and then kind of forgot about it. About 10 months later my mother decided that for her 70th birthday she would like to take the family on a trip rather than have a big party. She took us all on an all expenses paid trip to – yes, you got it! Disneyland Paris! Anther goal committed to paper formed an invisible link with reality and happened without me knowing the how!

So whether you believe it or not this stuff works, why not try it for yourself?

Lead Your Own Life

May 16, 2007

 

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Are you the Leader in your own life? or, are you following a life plan written for you by others? Your parents/teachers/friends/society’s expectations of you? Did you make a conscious choice to do what you do? or did you just go with the flow? Do the next expected thing? It’s time to recognise that we have one life and it is ours to live and be the leader of.

Familiar words – but how many people really lead their lives? How many people decide to be a leader in their own life? Live life on their terms? Following their own hopes and dreams?

For many people that’s a nice idea but I cant because:-

My family relies on me to take care of them

I’m not educated enough

I don’t have enough money

I can’t leave my job

I’m too shy

I’m too old

People from here don’t/can’t

I have too many commitments

It’s too late now

Many. many people live their lives doing what their parents, teachers. friends, employers, society said they should do, would do, expected them to do. Why? Because no-one eve told them that they had a choice!

Wow! That is so tragic! If you are one of those people then good news! I’m here to tell you that it’s your life, the only one you’ll ever have. AND you can choose to lead it your way. You can be the leader in your own life. Fantastic!

So. what do you really want to do with this precious gift of life? Where would you like to go? What job would you like to do? What hobbies would you like to pursue? What would you like to learn? Who would you really like to be? It’s time to stop following everyone else’s life plan for you and put together your own.

Go right now and grab some paper and a pen. Write down everything that you would like to have in your life if you could start it all over again. How you would like to feel, who you would like to be with? What your ideal day would be? – let you imagination run wild. Dream to your heart’s content. Don’t think about how it can be done or whether it is possible or not just let it flow.

When your pen stops and you really are all done go through each one of those dreams (or goals) and next to it write 1, 5, 10, 20 i.e. when do you want to achieve each one by? Within 1, 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

Then, go back and circle your top 3 one year goals. Take a new piece of paper for each of these 3 goals and write down what it would mean to you if this goal was a reality. Why do you want to want it? What will it give you? How will it make you feel? How will it affect your family? What will it mean financially? What will it cost you if you do not get it? How will that make you feel? How will that affect those around you?

When you have done this for all 3 goals write down what one thing you can do right now to start to make it a reality. If it is to learn to sing – go and find out where they hold singing lessons. If it’s to won a new car, go to the garage, pick up some brochures, book a test drive. If it’s to find a new job – update your CV or register with a recruitment agency. Whatever it is – take one small step TODAY to make it start to happen for you.

Have your top 3 goals written on a small card and keep it with you at all times. Read it at least twice a day to remind yourself what you want and why. Each morning before you get up and each night before you go to sleep imagine what it is like to have this thing in your life. Visualise it as though it is already here and celebrate like you already made it happen.

Go for your dreams and start Leading in your own life!

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Where did you leave your Dreams?

May 14, 2007

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When I first started to get into goal setting I thought Great! This is easy! All I have to do is set some targets, write them down, read them daily, take some action and I’m there! Magic!

 

And I did just that, however, in order to continue the momentum of achievement, once you have realised that first set of goals and you’re now moving on to the second or third set of goals I realised that they were all short term, they were all do-able and they were all a bit ordinary.

 

Someone said to me that I should set longer term goals and that I should dream bigger. And at my fist attempt I realised that not only did I find it hard to envision further than 1 year ahead, but I had the blankest mind ever when it came to dreaming big!

 

Then a few days later whilst on a shopping trip I found out why I’d lost my ability to dream big. I heard a little girl in the store asking for this toy, and that book, and a trampoline and a fish pond and a swimming pool and a chess set and on and on and on. And then I heard her dad say – For goodness sake! You can’t have everything! Just stop asking.

 

Aha! How many times as a child do we have our desires squashed, our imagination mocked and our dreams kicked into touch? No wonder as we grow up we learn not to dream any more! I realised there and then that in order to get past my goal setting block I needed to learn to dream like a child again. To go back to the age that I put my dreams on the shelf where the Get Real adults had forced me to put them take them down, open them up and play again!

 

It was a little strange at first but once I found the memories of how I dreamed as a child it got easier and easier. Pretty soon my dreams were unbelievable, totally unrealistic and very EXCITING!! Yay! Those are the kind of goals to have!! That’s when the real magic begins to happen and you realise that you can live life on your terms and have whatever you want in it!

 

So where did you leave your dreams? Go back into the child inside you and find the excitement that you had as a child before Christmas or your birthday, dreaming of all the amazing things you have on your list of present. Nurture your imagination, remove all boundaries, take off the shackles of realism and just let your imagination run riot! That’s the way to set goals!

Are you a leader?

May 13, 2007

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Leadership means so many different things to different people, what does it mean to you? Do you consider yourself a leader? Have you been called to take up a leadership role? Do you feel up to the challenge of being a leader?

So many questions I know, but these are all questions that lead us to wonder what leadership is and are we up to it?

 

Leadership comes in many guises. Most often we think of a leader as being a strong political figure or business guru. Someone who will take centre stage and speak out loudly for their cause. Some one who loves to be in the spot light, loves to take charge of a situation, loves to be in control. But is this the only type of leadership?

 

For those of us called to leadership and not wanting to fit that description the answer is good news for us! The answer is NO, this is NOT the only type of leadership and we can follow other, just as valuable leadership models.

 

Leadership is about having a vision and being committed to making that vision a reality. That vision might be in business, in politics, in finance, in religion, in you hobbies, or in your personal life and relationships. Let me give you some examples:-

 

A mother with a vision for her family can be a leader if she gently guides and nurtures her family towards that vision she has for them.  She can lead her children by setting a good example, being a good role model, setting standards for them, influencing who they will become. She can lead other mothers around her by showing them positive results in her own life and family.

 

Leadership is about influencing the people around you, those you come into contact with at home and at work. This can be done very subtly by acting with integrity and honesty doing the things that you want others to do, going first. Leaders always go first but not necessary by standing in front of the crowd and calling for action. Leadership can be a quiet, determined and gently position and still have impact.

 

A manager may step into a leadership role within his department by deciding to inspire his team to make a change, work more effectively or aim to be the best in the company. He or she might do this with lots of gusto at a team meeting, alternatively they might lead by example, sharing his or her vision one-to-one with individuals, taking time to explain the targets or the changes and getting every one on board. Quietly, gently, determinedly.

 

So next time you get inspired and have a vision, next time you feel called to lead, next time you  think about what a leader is, think a little differently and then ask Am I a Leader?

 

Are you a leader?

 

The Leadership Crisis

May 13, 2007

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According to a recent government report the business world is currently in a leadership crisis.

Up and coming managers, those who will be our  business leaders of the future do not see examples of “inspirational leadership” in their work places.  Employees long to see a genuine shared vision, real confidence and trust in teams and respect for colleagues, customers and employees. Less than 40% of managers actually see these traits on display in the workplace.

 

Where did all our leaders go? Perhaps we have placed too much emphasis on management of our businesses instead of leadership. I would hazard a guess that more people are comfortable with the thought of becoming a manager then they are with being asked to take the position of leader.  Therefore, naturally we have more aspiring managers than leaders but a much bigger percentage of managers are capable of becoming leaders in their fields that are actually stepping up to this role. Why?

 

What is leadership? Perhaps we don’t have as many leaders as we need because not enough of us understand what leadership is really all about and who can become a leader. Can you take someone who isn’t a natural leader and turn them into one?
Are we all leaders in our own unique way? What do Leaders do and what skills do they need?

Leadership is about behaviour first, skills second. Good leaders are followed chiefly because people trust and respect them, rather than the skills they possess. Leadership is different to management. Management relies more on planning, organisational and communications skills. Leadership relies on management skills too, but more so on qualities such as integrity, honesty, humility, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, confidence, positivity, wisdom, determination, compassion and sensitivity. Some people are born more naturally to leadership than others. Most people don’t seek to be a leader. Those who want to be a leader can develop leadership ability.

Leadership can be performed with different styles. Some leaders have one style, which is right for certain situations and wrong for others. Some leaders can adapt and use different leadership styles for given situations. Some leaders are big, bold and brash characters, others are quiet, unassuming but determined and visionary.

As a leader you must know yourself and know your own strengths and weaknesses, so that you can build the best team around you. Leadership is about finding the best in yourself and giving the best of yourself. Leaders always go first, setting the example, walking the talk, doing not dabbling.

 

Leadership in Social Care – Do you care?

May 10, 2007

j0321189.jpgFollowing a recent government report highlighting a leadership crisis in the business world, we now have a parliamentary review in Social Care which highlights a similar lack of leadership with in the social care sector. What’s it about and how can we ensure leadership skills are developed for the future?

Social Care Minster Ivan Lewis announced that the centre piece for the government’s vision for 21st century social care will be a skills academy, Social Care21 to focus on developing world class leadership and commissioning in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

It seems that Leadership – or the lack of it – is very topical at the moment. A government report recently highlighted that the business world in general is suffering from a distinct lack of leadership. Managers that we hope will be at the fore front of our businesses and organisations in the future do not have the inspirational leadership role models that they need around them in their work places. In social care there is no strong vision or ambition driving how services for adults can be delivered. Dame Denise Platt observes that the service calls for imagination, excitement and enthusiasm which requires leadership across the care sector at all levels.

There is an argument that owner managers in social care are the leaders in the private sector and that Dame Denise Platt ignored them in her review. I wonder were there enough of them to shout loudly enough? Why were they overlooked or over shadowed by the leaders of large organizations? How will they resolve to be heard in the future? More importantly, how will they mentor, coach and inspire leaders of the future?

A skills academy is a wonderful vision, I hope it will achieve it’s aims but it will take time to get up such an enormous undertaking up and running smoothly. I would suggest that in the meantime we take responsibility where we are to step up to the leadership challenge.

How? By understanding what leadership is and how we become leaders within our own domains and abilities. By creating a clear vision for ourselves, our organizations and our employees. By deciding to be the best and give our best in what ever our role is. By creating mentors and role models for those who work for us. You might not be (or aspire to be) a chief executive of a large organization but your part in nurturing leadership is just as important. In order to have strong leadership in the sector a t all levels it has to touch all levels, including ground level.

Are you ready to step up to the leadership challenge?

Goal Setting and follow through

May 9, 2007

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We have all heard about and probably talked about setting goals for ourselves or for others at some point in our lives whether that’s in business or our “New Year’s Resolutions”! But how many of us have actually taken the time to think about what we really want in our lives?  for each area of our lives? At different times in our lives?

 

In business we might have had targets to achieve, we may have set targets to achieve. We might have written a business plan. We might have gone through an appraisal process that set goals for us or gave us the opportunity to set a few for ourselves.

 

Did we believe in them?

Did we achieve them?

Did we focus on them daily?

Did we rush home and go through the same process for our lives??

 

If the answer is no to any of those questions then join the vast majority of people around, most people are not good at deciding what they want and actually following through consistently enough to achieve it.

 

However.

You don’t have to be like the vast majority, why not step out of the 99% who dabble and become part of the elite 1% who DO?

 

Keep your life in balance by setting goals in more than one area of your life e.g. business, hobbies, relationships, finance, personal development etc.

Imagine that you are a child again and that you are dreaming about what you would like for Christmas – remember? When you wanted everything and believed you could have it and were really excited about it? Get in that state of mind once more and then write down all of the things you would like to have or achieve for each area of your life.

 

Next pick out the most important 3 from each area and write those down. State them in the positive as if they are already yours and then write down WHY you must achieve this goal. What would it mean to you emotionally, financially, to your relationships, to your business.

What would it COST you if you did not achieve this goal? How would it make you feel? How would it affect your future, your finances, your relationships?

 

Decide when must you achieve each goal by? Set a specific date. Write down one thing that you can do TODAY to take a step towards achieving that goal. Is it a car you want? Go and book a test drive, get pictures of it to put up around you, have it as your screen saver – keep it in your vision as much as possible. Do you want to learn to sing? Google voice coaches – book a session.

What ever it is for you – do some thing RIGHT NOW!

Finally – keep those top goals, in writing with you at all times. Read them three times each day. Visualise yourself having actually achieved those things, imagine your life right now with those things. Visualise them in as much detail as possible, make the experience real because the brain does not know the difference between what it real and what is vividly imagined. It will move you powerfully towards that reality.

 

Oh – and last but not least HAVE FUN whilst you’re making those dreams come true!!