Best Laid Plans ……….

What factor do you build into a project or life for unforeseen challenges?  Things beyond your control do happen, in spite of the best planning.

A project close to home has had its share of delays.  First an unusual lengthy snowfall and heavy frost made the groundwork impossible as did the rain which followed.  A poor contractor created further chaos in the project.  There were further complications with putting in the utilities as the construction industry is the busiest it has been in many years, so the providers are playing catch-up.

This is a one-time project so while it is inconvenient, it is not a major problem in the scheme of things.  But what about life, that ongoing project?  There will be many barriers and challenges along the way.  How will you approach it?  What will your attitude be?  Will it be like Edison when asked about the failures when inventing the light bulb.  He said there were no failures, he just discovered 10,000 ways it would not work.  Can you approach the challenges of life that way?

We tend to look at the things that do not go our way as failures but in reality, it is building our experience base, our knowledge bank.  It equips us with the ability to work around issues because we have been in similar situations before.

Many successful entrepreneurs have had to abandon a business venture, but the difference is they carried on.  They did not look at it as a failure, they learned from it and built a better mousetrap.

As Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Try new things, make mistakes, learn, try again.  Life is too short to dwell on what didn’t work.  The excitement is in moving forward!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Community Futures, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Human resources, Leadership, Life coaching, Managing stress, self-employment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retirement  …… ????

Does anyone else find it difficult to retire?  I have retired three times and am still working.  I must admit I am closer to retirement this time and am actually learning to sleep until 6 a.m.!  Feels odd just to check emails and Facebook posts and not leap into action as soon as I arise.

I still run into people who say, “I’m retired, I love it, I don’t do anything.”  Personally, I would go stark raving mad if I did not have a list of things I needed to do, prioritized by urgency!  Many at this point are volunteer tasks, others honey-do, and yes, some paid work.  After all I am a ‘J’ and need to keep things organized!

The thought of not having my mind wrapped upon something to challenge me is uncomfortable!  I thrive on being useful to someone, which may ego, but for me a reality.  I take on ‘widow work’ for friends who no longer have a male around to do tasks.  This satisfies my need for hands-on work, but it is not usually mentally challenging.

Of course, there is Sudoku, but one can only persist at it for so long and it either is boring or hurts the mind.  One has to be careful!  It is great to develop a routine, (‘J’ kicking in again!) which helps to make sure you do not miss anything on the list.  Lately a variance from the list and mindless coffee on the patio because of the unusual June weather.

Life is short, whatever floats your boat.  If you need to work, whether financially or from a mentally stimulating point of view, do it!  It might be paid work, it might not.  If it makes you feel good and helps others, it is worthy work!  Lastly, ignore other opinions, do what is in your heart.

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Posted in Assessments, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, Empowering people, FaceBook, Life coaching, Lifestyle, LinkedIn, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Retirement, Service Clubs, Social Media, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Determination Wins the Game

Not quite.  Determination and a well executed game will win.  I just watched the Blues win the Stanley Cup against the Bruins.  Were they determined?  After 52 years, you bet they were!  But it wasn’t only determination that won the cup.  The seventh game was one of the best defensive games I have seen in many years.  The Bruins only managed one goal to the Blues four.  A well executed game!

Whether sports, business or love, while determination is key, you must have a well executed game plan.  You need to know who you are up against.  In sports you watch their games, employ videos to rerun their plays over and over.  You develop strategies to counter their plays.

In business you research the competition.  Who are they?  What can you do differently?  Who is my target market?  What is my potential geographic market?  Then you keep your business plan updated, dancing to the numbers and making the necessary adjustments to the living document.

In love, you find the common ground in your interests, accepting as they are, not what you would like them to be.  If you find you are drawn to them and don’t want to be away from them, you may have found the one.  You need to offer your authentic self in the execution of the courtship.

In all these cases determination definitely played a part in it. If you have no will for the win, you will not achieve the goal.  Without ‘seeing’ the prize, it is difficult to win the cup.  If you are in business, you need to see past the bumps in the road and be confident that there are answers to the problems.  In love, you need to know who you are, your values, and who you want to share your life with.

Be determined, but also play the game well!

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What is Life?

Is it work?  Is it play?  What constitutes the life we lead?

We start life with play, part of the great learning cycle of life, but unfortunately many of us forget to do this much past adolescence.  Yes, we play golf and perhaps take part in a team sport, but that is not play.  It’s not the same as the inventive games that we enjoyed growing up.  Things that developed the mind through humour, exploration, and stretching beyond our comfort zones.

We get entrenched in ‘education’, (the real education takes place in life), writing exams, and being pushed to decide on careers.  Once we decide on direction, we become mired in the mud of earning a living, paying rent, or if lucky enough, a mortgage.

Then relationships enter the picture, if they haven’t already.  This creates an outlet for fun and play, but also creates commitment, which either adds to, or takes away from fun and becomes work!

We sometimes forget how valuable it is to play.  No matter what you choose as play …. Do it!  It might be golf, a play, fishing, a day with children (where you learn to play again!), or simply a walk on the beach.

Whatever it is, just do it!  If it isn’t fun, find something else.  Revert to childhood and savour the lost moments.

Life is short …..………….

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Empowering people, Family, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Culture and the Community

Every business, every community, every country; all have their own culture.  They reflect our values, ethics and demographics. We tend to associate culture with those who bring their traditions and values from another region or country, but we all have our own culture.

If you are in business, thinking of going into business, or coordinating volunteers, you need to be able to read the culture of the ‘community’ you are in.  Who are you selling to or working with in the community? You need to be able to connect with them.

This is especially important when selling a product or service.  Where will you find your target market, the ones who will be your prime customers or clients?  Small communities sometimes rely on local connections such as the radio, or community page on social media.  Seniors tend to rely on newspapers, the media they grew up with.  Some like Facebook, while others prefer Instagram.  Then there are those who rely on word of mouth and referrals.

Organizations have their own culture or ‘community’.  Two businesses may have the same staffing and qualifications but may operate quite differently even if producing the identical product.  Two communities may have the same population, same industries, but the feeling in each of them is quite different.  They have their own culture.

Job seekers need to be cognizant of the culture they like to work in and be sure to target those businesses that match their needs.  If an employer does not match your values or personal culture, it can seriously impact your well-being.

Our personal culture needs to feel comfortable in life and work.

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Posted in Assessments, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Clients, Coaching, Customers, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Relationships, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Competencies

Employers and job seekers are always concerned with competencies.  Employers want applicants to have the right competencies to fit the position being advertised.  Job seekers are trying to show they have the competencies to compete for the positions, cognizant that they need to be brief and not have more than a one or two-page resume.

Where many employers, especially in larger organizations, miss the boat is in tracking the other competencies of their employees.  The ones that did not appear on the targeted resume.  In larger organizations it is difficult for managers or owners to know all of their employees beyond what they do on their job on a daily basis.  Who are they?  Do they have a family?  What other skills do they have?  What do they aspire to be?

One way is to create an employee profile.  Some of the things that the profile might track are;

What is the employee’s history with the company?

  • What positions have they held?
  • What were their accomplishments?

Education

  • What is their educational background?
  • Are they taking any training currently?

Professional Designations & Tickets

  • Do they have a degree?
  • Are they a Red Seal?

Associations

  • Do they belong to any professional associations?

Skills and Abilities

  • What skills and abilities do they have including ones not necessarily related to current work?

Languages

  • What languages are they fluent in writing and speaking?

Training and Development

  • What training have they received both on and off the job?  This can be formal and informal.

Career Experience

  • What other careers or work experience have they had?

Volunteering

  • Have they had experience as a volunteer?  If so, what was it and what skills were gained from it.

Hobbies and Interests

  • What do they do when not at work for relaxation or recreation and what skills are gained from it?

Career Interests

  • What are their goals?

One example of the value of such an exercise occurred when I worked in the forest industry.  We constantly had visitors from other countries touring our operations to gain knowledge and our employees visited other countries for the same purpose.  When this happened, we employed the services of a translation company at considerable expense.  When the employee profile was completed, we found that we had employees who not only could communicate in all the major languages, but they also had the knowledge of the industry.

For employers who are looking to grow their organizations, an employee profile can show you how you can do it from within, possibly keeping your experienced talent!

Know who your employees are, not just a position description and title.  The dividends can be huge, for the organization, and for the employees!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Human resources, Leadership, Relationships, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Money’s Worth

Don’t get me wrong, I like staying at hotels that have all of the amenities.  What I don’t like is staying at high priced hotels that are not maintained to my picky standards.  I’m not talking about how you are greeted at reception or the fantastic location.  I am talking about the facility itself.

I do not want the doors to squeak.  I want them to close properly.  I expect them to be plumbed correctly and not have cold where it says hot and vice-versa.  When it says it has a kitchen, I would like it have pots with lids and a frying pan that has retained its non-stick coating.  I expect the coffee carafe to be compatible with the coffee maker.

I recently had the above experience and while we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, these little items bugged me and did interfere with my enjoyment to some degree.  Am I too picky?  Perhaps, but where does one draw the line?  Some would probably say that I’m the one to blame for choosing to let the nit-picking interfere with my enjoyment.  And, they may be right!

How many times do we let insignificant things interfere with our daily appreciation of the things around us?   We get wrapped up in things that are beyond our control.  We need to sometimes ask ourselves if anyone is going to get hurt or suffer as a result of what is happening and, if not, walk away and enjoy the moments in front of you and those you are with.

Choose you battles carefully and be aware if you are actually battling yourself!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment