This past Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to speak at the convocation ceremony for the regional high school where I serve as chairman of their Governing Board. As it’s only been a year since I’ve been a member of this school community, the main challenge I had with my speech was trying to find a message that would connect with the students at this pivotal juncture in their academic careers.
After giving this some thought, I realized this moment encapsulates a key aspect organizations and their leaders have to address in today’s competitive market – change.
For many of us, change is something we fear because it’s disruptive. It forces us to shift our perceptions or approaches about what we do and how we go about doing it. At the very least, it leaves us questioning our current assumptions and how close they really are to reality.
Looking at the students mingling about, sharing hugs with parents and friends alike, there was no such fear of change despite the fact that the very purpose of this celebration was to mark their departure to new areas of unexplored potential and hardships.
Indeed, it was clear that these students recognized how the challenges and opportunities, the failures and successes they achieved had not only lead them to this moment, but revealed a truth within themselves about their ability to learn, adapt and grow.
Of course, it’s easy to dismiss such notions as Click here to continue reading »”Celebrating Change And Creating Opportunities To Begin”
When you head off to work, do you feel passionate about the challenges and opportunities you’re about to face? Looking at the numerous studies that have shown the rise in employee disengagement found in today’s workplaces, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see most of you responding in the negative.
Of course, just to be clear, when I’m talking about being passionate about work, I’m not referring to those sentimentally-driven aspirations we had as children; of those feelings that had us dreaming about being an astronaut, a firefighter, a doctor or a teacher when we grew up.
Rather, I’m talking about that sense of passion that exists in all of us which fuels our drive to be a part of something bigger than our personal aspirations. That part of us which we use to gauge whether our lives matter because we’re making a difference in the world by doing work that has a purpose and meaning
Unfortunately for most of us, it’s this sense of passion that becomes the greatest casualty from the pressures of ‘growing up’ and entering the workforce. If there’s one thing most of us have experienced in those formative years early on in our careers, it’s being told by those more experienced than us that there’s no place for passion and its associated emotions in business or work.
And yet, in light of the evolving nature of today’s workplace, we’re beginning to appreciate just how vital that sense of passion is to Click here to continue reading »”Bringing Your Passion Back To Work”
The following is a guest post by Tom Salonek.
In technology, a big part of our job involves solving problems. Perhaps we’re trying to figure out how to integrate a new software package into our existing architecture, or maybe we need to find a way to make a program run faster. But no matter what the work situation, problems are always challenges to be met with creativity, energy and persistence.
Some think that problems in a business are evidence that people are doing something wrong. Sometimes leaders deny or ignore dealing with problems because they’re afraid of such negative judgments. Others simply feel too busy to focus on problems until they become big, fat, hairy monsters.
Running a strong business, writing software, working with others. . . or whatever else you’re doing on this planet means there will be challenges. I’ve found if you don’t accept these little monsters, embrace them and meet them head on – early on – they can turn into insurmountable ogres pretty quickly.
Voltaire is usually credited with the saying “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” When you change your mindset to one that sees problems as challenges to be conquered, it’s pretty easy to find them and solve them. Although dealing with problems is part of any job, leaders must be particularly skilled problem-solvers.
Here’s a simple process I’ve used time and again to help define problems and slay them early: Click here to continue reading »”How To Catch And Solve Problems Before They Become Insurmountable”
As this is the last week of the year, many of us are understandably looking back at the past 12 months and discussing what we consider to be the significant events of 2011. In most cases, such discussions tend to focus on the numerous challenges and upheavals we’ve either watched from afar or witnessed first-hand. From natural disasters to political uprisings, there’s no question this year has placed our collective humanity within the frame of adversity and unimagined change.
Of course, adversity in and of itself is not necessarily a good or bad thing. Rather, it’s what we do and whether we’re open to learning from it that should decide whether it’s been of benefit or harm to us.
Certainly for businesses, the state of the global economy and the growing level of competition coming in from multiple fronts counts as one of the biggest challenges organizations and their leaders have had to contend with. And yet, contrary to what we might be reading in the papers, this doesn’t mean that weren’t some bright spots to be found amid all that doom and gloom.
One such example of this comes from the article, “Business Lessons Learned in 2011”, where a number of business leaders look back at the past 12 months and share their experiences of the lessons they’ve learned which will help them to improve and build on their business in the coming months.
Some of my favourite lessons shared in this piece include: Click here to continue reading »”What Has 2011 Taught You About Business and Leadership?”