I first caught the bug for traveling when I spent a year in Seoul right after college to rediscover my roots. Spending extended time in such a different urban setting was exhilarating, liberating and stimulating. Every day was a new adventure.
Prior to that I’d spent most of my life in the southern suburbs of Seattle playing basketball in gyms or hanging out at local malls.
I’ve now lived on three continents and visited many different cities. My career has allowed me to be mobile and given me a lot of opportunities to travel. While traveling can be tiring, it is still something I really enjoy. Reflecting back, I’ve enjoyed almost every place I’ve ever visited. Every city offers something unique and interesting.
When on the road I always try to spend some time in local places. Once when young working for a global agency I was in Jakarta and left my “Western” hotel for a weekend to live in a local lodging place with shared bathrooms. While on an extended trip to Paris, I volunteered to entertain a man in a nursing home so I could be with locals. Even in Butte, Montana I spent Saint Paddy’s day drinking with the locals until I passed out.
Life is like traveling. You can choose to get involved and seek out different experiences, or retreat back to what is familiar.
I’m one who encourages you to do the former.
Read Full Post »
Leaders who I really admire are those who pass on the credit when successful but always hold themselves accountable when things are challenging. The book, “Good to Great” details how such leaders are found in companies that can make that magic leap to greatness.
In today’s difficult economic times many companies are struggling. The leadership will be a key factor of whether these companies can perform better or even survive the times ahead. Does the leader in your company blame bad results on the economy with no solutions for remedying the solution? Do you as a leader get paralyzed with indecision during times of uncertainity, preferring just to wait out the “negative business cycle”?
Executives need to hold themselves accountable and not the environment. Amid the current economic situation, many companies still do thrive. They are being lead by people who are realistic about the state of the current affairs and have set tangible paths to success with difficult decisions, commitment and consistency.
These leaders are not motivated by personal recognition. but rather by unshakeable professional will (an unwavering focus to doing the right things for the long term of their organization). In today’s tough business climate, effective leaders will distinguish themselves even more than during times of economic boom.
Read Full Post »
Life’s journey requires everyone to take some risks. However, high achievement is reserved for those who are willing to take some big risks. In order to be able to take big risks, a person can’t be afraid of failure.
Successful people actually hate to fail more than most, but they are NOT afraid to fail.
The competitive drive to succeed while taking big risks allows high achievers to make bold, but calculated moves. Entrepreneurs, fighter pilots, financial traders, creative marketers, corporate CEO’s are but a few of these high risk, high reward people.
Even at a more basic level, people who are willing to take risks with love or travel live a richer life than those who are afraid to commit to adventures because of possible failure. As the saying goes, “everyone dies but not everyone lives”.
Having been involved in six business startups with varying degrees of success, I’m a bit of a risk taker. But more importantly, I’ve also been a risk taker in how I raise my family and where I live. My children grew up partly in London and I sent my older son alone to Beijing after high school even though he spoke zero
Chinese. My wife and I’ve lived in five different cities on three continents since we’ve been married.
Risk has paid off well in most cases for me. Along the way, I’ve failed at different business ventures as well as personal initiatives. Overall, however, the rewards have been tremendous for me and those around me. And as I continue to embark on calculated high-risk endeavors, I try to remember that high risks
provide opportunities for high rewards.
Read Full Post »
As a frequent traveler, I’ve gotten free airline upgrades from time to time. If you travel enough, an upgrade can make the time on the airplane much, much better. Anyway, who doesn’t feel good when they get something nice unexpectedly?
Several times, however, I was already so tired and grumpy that an upgrade just didn’t make me feel much better. Other times, I was so busy and focused on work that needed to be done on the plane that I wasn’t very appreciative of the upgrade.
Then, there are times, on a long flight, where I feel extremely lucky for the upgrade. The whole journey is made so much more pleasant that I can’t stop miling at my good fortunate. My whole outlook on everything around me becomes just that much better. I become a better person to be around.
In each of these cases, I received basically the same thing – an upgrade of my seat. However, the manner in which I internalized the good fortunate dictated how much the nice turn of events impacted my whole aura.
In life, we get different “upgrades” all the time from loved ones, strangers and sometimes just by chance. How we let those moments impact us is up to each of us individually. Turn them into a positive that allows you to be positive back to the world.
Live appreciatively. Enjoy the upgrades.
Read Full Post »
Momentum is a part of the ebb and flow of life. It often gets magnified in sporting events because of their intense competition format. Momentum shifts in sports can be felt and seen in the results. It’s visible on the face of players, by the reaction of fans, and even in how “luck” seems to be allocated to opposing sides — the bounce of the ball.
Well, momentum is just as obvious in work places and even your personal lives. I’ve seen momentum shift in start-up in dramatic fashion: The cadence of business picks up, the energy amongst the staff increases and a start-up finds rhythm to success. As a leader in a business one needs to recognize momentum shifts one way or another. An effective leader purposefully influences the shifts in momentum rather than just being swept up in it.
When negativity penetrates a work place because of a negative review of a product or a lay off, momentum will inevitably head the wrong way. At that point, it is not just rah-rah that will stem the tide. It is hard, honest work that will fix the issues. It is effective communication. It is a well-thought out vision that people can rally around.
All businesses have ebbs and flows. There will be good and bad days. There will be momentum shifts. How a leader handles and affects those shifts is important. Some leaders actually are most negative when things turn against them. Others offer up cheers rather than good ideas to change the situation. Effective leaders recognize that momentum has turned against them and come up with tangible plans and ideas to improve the situation and communicate them to the whole group.
Of course, the same principles apply to managing your personal lives.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »