Posts Tagged ‘energy’

The last blog focused on pushing through the Peter Principle by building interdependence. The power to move the project forward radiates from this interdependence, which includes power being shared by key stakeholders.

That interdependence has a very short half-life. So, the obvious question is, “How is it kept alive and encouraged to grow?” The answer lies within the story. The story is what binds people together to work as a team and move the project forward. There are a few things to consider when generating and disseminating the story.

  • Honesty. This is foremost. The moment the team senses they are being played the project fragments. Honesty requires being open and vulnerable regarding the consequences associated with the project including big payoffs that some might get. Not that they have to have every detail. They just need to be included as to the consequences. If the team is put on a “need-to-know” basis the members can feel diminished and it puts the interdependent bond at risk.
  • Discipline. Emerging from the Peter Principle typically has a lot of positive energy but there also are few rules present that work. New rules need generated or the old ones need modified.  You must be able to deal with the ambiguities of the situation and rely on core principles in pushing through to create a new gestalt as to how the team will work and the project will move forward.
  • Energy. With the old rules sitting in a jumbled mess the team instinctively will look for leadership as to what to do next. Here is where a big challenge is present. You must substitute yourself for the policies and procedures that fell apart in order to hold the team together. This can be sustained only so long. A plan is needed.
  • Delegate.  You can’t do it alone. Having key people willing to pick of some piece of the power and hammer out new rules/guidelines/etc. will go a long way towards re-establishing order, building the plan, and lowering the demands on your personal energy. It’s impossible to stress too much the need for a critical mass of people who can commit to something bigger than themselves. Falling short of this critical mass by even one person can cause the situation to implode.
  • Clean House. This is a corollary to delegation. Those who are creating difficulties need to either turn around or be removed from the team. This may seem a bit harsh. It simply is the reality of the situation. I’ve worked on projects and organizational changes where inability to get rid of a key gossipmonger torpedoed the changes.
  • Know where you are going. All of the above comes together to support your moving towards the end goal. Know what it is and state it clearly.

By doing the above the story will unfold from within you. You’ll find it spontaneously arises and you will instinctively know when to pause and reflect, talk with others, or push forward. This may sounds crazy but you will become the story. Think of El Cid. The myth, the story overtook him to the extent it was bigger than his own death. (Not that you want to have your career die!) What works best is having the aura of the project’s story radiate from you. This sounds corny but it isn’t. You know it is happening when people take your lead, when they listen to you in meetings and suggest ways to achieve goals, when the team looks forward to the meeting, when the milestones begin to be met.

Who knows? Maybe someone will write an epic poem about you, too!

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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Flexible Focus #17: Determine your destiny

by William Reed on September 2, 2010

Do you believe that you can determine your destiny? A lot hangs in the balance of how you answer that question.

Destiny is a word often associated with fate and inevitability. Destiny is how you face up to that which you cannot control. But it is also your destination, the place where you are destined to go. It is both your lot and your luck,  but how it works out in the end depends on your attitude and focus.

In this series, we have compared the Mandala Chart to a lens. Flexible focus is not just for clarity and perspective, it also applies to concentration and action. A magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight into heat and burn a hole through paper. The Mandala Chart is like a lens that can focus your mental energy to get results.

In fact, it can add a new dimension to the Law of Attraction, one which is practical and action-oriented. Start small to gain focus in getting things done, meeting a deadline, or start a new project. Determining your destiny need not begin on a grand scale. Though your destination might be far away, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Whereas wishful thinking is aversive to action, flexible focus enables you to reach out through the mist and make use of all of the resources you have at hand.

We are far from having explored the limits of the possible. The history of human experience has shown time and again that when the mind can visualize it can materialize. The important thing is to give shape to your thoughts. Write them down, sketch them out, speak your dreams and make them happen.

The attitude for this is known in Japanese as kokorozashi (志),  literally the soul (心) of the samurai (士), and all that it implies in terms of courage, calling, and conviction. The biggest thing that stands between you and your destiny is not something outside of you, but the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in your own mind which saps your energy (迷), literally the loss (辶) of energy (米).

Regardless of how many reasons or resources you have, if you lack the energy to determine your destiny, then everything will come to nothing. Energy is the great multiplier, and the real measure of your strength. You cannot have enough of it. If you have a surplus, then share the wealth. It is one of the good things in life that is contagious.

If your energy is low, there are a number of things you can do to increase it.

  • Motivate yourself with music. It keeps your attention, tells a story, taps into memories and emotions, and is ever enjoyable. Here are some great resources you can access online to get you started.
    • Make it Happen, by Mariah Carey (lyrics and video): Mariah moves Madison Square Garden, and she can move you. Read the lyrics too.
    • 40 Motivational Songs for Goal Setting: Incredible playlist of music videos by artists who have rocked the world. Watch them all.
    • Runner’s World’s Music for Motivation Playlists for Runners: Playlists of top world runners which you can download from iTunes. Give them a run.
    • Tap videos from my own favorites at http://blip.fm/willreed: Top artists of Tap will get you grounded and ready in rhythm. Put energy and finesse in your footwork.
  • Get your body moving. Once you get on your feet, whether you choose to walk or run, you can gain inspiration from the marathon. The change of pace and environment, the fresh air and sunshine, the sheer momentum of moving your feet will generate enough energy to put the process in motion.
  • Eat properly. Food is your basic fuel, providing your body with the ingredients it needs to stay alive and healthy. But eating too much of the wrong kinds of food can not only sap your strength, over time it can kill you. Food can make or break you. Get the facts, find what works best for you, and eat properly.
  • Get coaching. Sometimes we need a catalyst to get moving. Whether you are looking for clarity, focus, or motivation, the right coach can be a key partner in your success. Personal chemistry is critical in choosing a coach, but first inform yourself of the many options and approaches, and select the one that fits you best.
  • Put life in perspective. When you lack perspective then all of the reasons why turn into reasons why not to take action. Procrastination is the thief of time. After getting the broader picture it is easier to return to the field with conviction on the most important question of all, Why are you here?
  • Declare your commitment. The desire for internal consistency is very powerful. No one likes to lie to themselves. If you have a sincere commitment, then declare it to others and watch how this puts positive pressure on you to keep your word. Don’t take your promises lightly, or you may stop believing in them yourself.
  • Read for inspiration. Well-selected reading gives you access to a vast library of ideas and approaches that can fire your imagination with inspiration. Read for emotional and practical motivation, for new ideas, and for pleasure. Whether you read books and articles, or dip into the digital world, make sure that your environment supports a pleasurable reading experience. This will encourage you to come back for more.
  • Get traction through action. The most powerful and persuasive factor in determining your destiny is taking action. When your actions are in alignment with your destiny, then you carry the torch which will light your way.

Eight ways to increase your energy and determine your destiny. Consider them in combination by downloading the PDF file Mandala Chart DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY.

From the lyrics to the song by R. Kelley, I Believe I can Fly

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

William ReedWilliam Reed specializes in applying practical wisdom from Japanese and Asian culture to solving the problems of modern business and living. He is the author of the Flexible Focus column on Active Garage, the syndicated column Creative Career Path and the book A Zoom Lens for Your life. William is also a Representative Director and Co-Founder of EMC QUEST Corporation, which provides Coaching for Communication and Change, World Class Speaking™, and Accelerated Action with GOALSCAPE™.
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When shopping on line when do you decide to purchase? If the features are fairly close to what you want do you go ahead and buy? Or, do you search and search until all the facts have been gathered before making a decision?

What about when you are on the road? At the end of the day would you like to go explore a new restaurant with one of your fellow team members or does going back to the hotel room to just “be” feel best?

In the previous blog gathering and processing information preferences were discussed. Here we will look at the two other major components that go into determining one’s temperament, orientation and energy source. As with the gathering and processing of information what is discussed below is about preference. Each of us practices all the temperament traits but, based on neural wiring, we have preferred ways of orienting and getting energy.

Orientation

Orientation refers to how we prefer to interface with the outside world. There are two approaches:

Judging, or J, which means there is a desire to come to closure on an issue. The person who buys on-line once fairly close to the desired goal is J, and;

Perceiving, or P, which means there is the desire to get more information. The person who researches on-line (even after making the purchase) is P.

Let’s avoid some common misperceptions regarding these terms. Judging is different than being judgmental. To repeat, judging is the desire for closure and is neutral. Being judgmental is making value statements, e.g., “That person is good (or bad, as the case may be).” Perceiving is the desire to gather information. It is separate from having insight or a crystal ball.

Energy

There are two possibilities for gaining energy:

Extraverts, or E’s, gain energy from being around others, socializing, and wanting to deal with exterior things. E’s can tend to make a lot of contacts without going deep, and;

Introverts, or I’s, who prefer going off by themselves to gain energy and turn inward. I’s can tend to have few contacts and go deep into relationships.

E’s are often called “solar panels” because they like excitement and going around soaking up other’s energy. I’s are often called “batteries” since going off and recharging depleted energy stores is a must.

Keep in mind; it’s where one gets energy that determines whether their temperament is E or I. In other words, you can have quiet Extraverts and energetic Introverts. A shy person can be an E and someone who is “out there” can be an I. Culturally, there is a good deal of confusion over this issue which leads to misunderstandings. You can thank Freud for a lot of this because of his big investment in trying to tear down Jung through trash-talking. But that’s fodder for another blog.

Energy, Orientation, and Teams

What value does all this have? The answer is simple. Knowing how a person gets energy and their orientation can both explain and help resolve conflict. For example, an EJ (Extraverted-Judger) may get tired of working on a task, feel he’s done enough, and want to improve his sense of well being by talking with someone and getting their attention. If the person whom they approach is IP (Introverted-Perceiver) then sparks can fly. Why? The IP could get his sense of well-being by being left alone to both stay centered and go deep on a particular task and get more information. You can see where this is going.

When we look at the combinations associated with E vs I and J vs P it becomes increasingly obvious how holding a team together can be a big challenge. But let’s not stop there. Throw in Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N) and Feeling (F) vs Thinking (T) from the previous blog and we are off to the races!

Future blogs will look at issues associated with all the combinations. As Dickens would say, “It can be the best of times and the worst of times.”

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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Social Media ROCKSTARS!

by Deepika Bajaj on February 1, 2010

social-media-rockstarEvery day I come across people who either love or hate social media. Some say they get it and some DON’T. Some say it here to stay and some say it isn’t. Whatever the case, there are people who are leveraging it to build their identity, relationships and followers.

So, what are the characteristics of these ROCKSTARS…???

Like traditional ROCKSTARS, these social media ROCKSTARS have similar characteristics.

1. Talent par excellence – For any ROCKSTAR to get a celebrity status, what is needed most is talent. Similarly, the social media ROCKSTARS have a inherent talent to make their presence felt with their blogs, articles and videos. They seem to produce this with their focus on what is meaningful to their readers. They don’t talk about their hobbies or pets or travel plans – they know what their readers are looking for and offer that information in a powerful manner.

2. Performance – Traditional ROCKSTARS like Van Halen, Pink Floyd were brilliant performers. They took over the stage the minute they got on it. The crowds loved them and they kept them engaged with variations in their music and styles. Similarly, Social Media ROCKSTARS steer away from monotony. They innovate their writing, thinking and presentation. They keep the audience keep coming back for more.

3. Energy – Ever seen ACDC or Metallica on stage. These ROCKSTARS are powerhouses of energy. They keep going on. It is there energy that gets the entire stadium energized at a rock concert. Similarly, social media ROCKSTARS have tons of energy to come with new thoughts, new material and consistently deliver it to their target audience. It is their energy and stamina that gravitates the readers to them…they always have new material and their followers, readers can’t get enough of them…

By now you must be wondering what these Social Media Rockstars look like in real life – well! To me, people like Kevin Rose (co-founder of the top social news site ), Matt Inman (who consistently produce viral hit, after hit, or bloggers like Chris Brogan or Marshall Kirkpatrick (who spend a great amount of their time online creating guides and resources designed to help people) are the genuine social media rockstars!

ROCK ON GUYS….

DD-new-pic-headshot Contributed by Deepika Bajaj, President and Founder, Invincibelle, LLC and co-founder, ActiveGarage (the company behind 99tribes). Deepika is also the author of the book DiversityTweet: Embracing the growing diversity in our world and Pink and Grow Rich:11 Unreasonable Rules for Success You can follow Deepika on Twitter at invincibelle
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A little more about Projects

by Himanshu Jhamb on December 7, 2009

ProjectA while ago, I had written about “What a Project is Not”? This post is an extension of that post in which I will discuss why projects are needed and what projects, in fact, are. You will probably get as many interpretations of what a project is, as the number of people you talk with and most of them, are probably right in their own way. But, we are not talking about right or wrong here; we are concerned about what makes for a more powerful interpretation and that’s that. This obviously leads us to the question:  What makes something powerful? The answer is really simple – Anything that is in alignment with why it was invented in the first place makes up for a powerful way of existence. In Projects speak, this would be the purpose of the Project.

So, Why are Projects needed?

Projects are needed when old practices and ways of doing things no longer generate effective results or worse, generate breakdowns that we have to cope with. One of the most common sources that generate the need for projects is the rapidly changing marketplace. Today’s marketplace (as opposed to the one that existed 30-40 years ago) calls for the invention of new projects at breakneck speed. All you have to do is nothing for a month (probably, not even that) and you’ll see how your competition edges you out to obscurity.

What do you need to Invent a Project

The most fundamental thing that is needed even before a Project can be invented is – You must be “Up to” something. It can be as simple as going from point A to point B OR as complex as going to the moon. What you are “Up to” defines why you are inventing the project.  Entrepreneurs are inventing projects all the time. Projects teams are enrolled in this “Project mission” and “execute” on a “plan” towards achieving this goal.

How are projects brought into existence?

Projects are brought into existence by making specific declarations of what it is that will be produced at the end. There are, of course, other parameters on which specific declarations are made around – scope, time line and resources, to name a few but, at a fundamental level these are all declarations of producing a specific result by a certain time frame.

Projects are Costly, yet Unavoidable and Necessary

This is perhaps, the only guarantee, a project carries. Yes, it’s unfortunate, but true. Projects are inherently costly (we obviously see this as an investment – that’s why we incur the cost, but I’ll continue using the word “Costly” for now)  and what makes them so is that it takes time, energy, money and lost opportunities to learn the new practices & tools that are needed to run the project, efficiently. Then there are the costs associated with resources and then there are the many unknown costs – that only show up during the execution of the projects.

It would be a disservice to the topic of projects if I ended on the rather somber “Projects are Costly” note… Projects are also unavoidable and necessary … in that, they will continue to exist and invented as long as the marketplace continues changing and businesses find themselves coping with the changing landscape. Projects have an immense capacity to produce exceptional results to take care of the concerns they are invented for – as long as they are planned for, managed and executed well.

<Shameless Plug Begin>

At Active Garage, we keep tinkering on projects. We have two projects (one completed and one still going on) and more to come. Please check out our current projects here:

1. defiant, a social media powered eBook

2. BLOGTASTIC series

</Shameless Plug End>

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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