Category Archives: Travel

Why you should be a leader!

leadership

Why You Are Not A Leader

Here is a thought. Out of every twenty people nineteen will follow and one will be a leader of sort and to be numero uno the odds are 1000 to 1. We might all want to be but for every General there are minimum of 25,000 troops and 300 officers in a division. So how does one get to the summit? While there is doubt that you have to be good at what you do and then better than good don’t fall for the line that luck has a lot to do with it. Sure, you get some breaks but, by and large, if you don’t  deliver you are going to be prematurely knocked off that pedestal. The truth is that getting to the top is a lot easier than staying there.

So, what is the road map, the route to the top and why do only so few make it? So often we watch others climbing past us and we find it so easy to blame other circumstances without ever recognizing the possibility that we might be the biggest brake on ourselves.

The energy exhausted in moaning and groaning and could be better channeled into positive growth but we do not do it. Instead we like to con ourselves that the other party got ahead by underhand means, by using nepotism and influence, is corrupt or simply lucky. While these elements may be short cuts in themselves and do kick a person up the ladder the rungs they stand on are the weak ones and can break any time. The ones who stand on strong rungs are the ones who work a plan.

The word ‘vision’ is often misused and put out of context. But vision is integral to doing well because if you cannot think of the next ‘x’ number of steps and also consider other options in case the first plan fails then you will be leading yourself into the proverbial rut. Who is to blame? You, ‘for getting through the day, getting through the week, getting through rather than building a career’.

The other area where we lose out in the long run is by doing a job we don’t like because we just needed the job so we took it and now it has been five years and there are no choices, we are stuck with it. If you did not fit into the job from Day One how can you get into the front line, there is too much resentment in you to give your best, so you will settle for survival. If you are still young enough or gutsy enough get off this but and take the one going the way you want to go. It is one life; don’t travel in the wrong direction.

The third aspect that impacts on one’s career negatively is negativity. Many of us spend our lives living in the shadows, afraid to take a chance and making a pact with ourselves that we will stay mediocre. Consequently, that is all we do, keeping our noses above the water but never going into the deep end. So, we never inspire, lead, give others a benchmark or show the way, we are happy being anonymous. The cruel fact is that anonymous people do not become leaders.

Four and this is vital. You must bat for your team, take responsibility, create an atmosphere where they can trust you and believe you and know that you care for their welfare. You also must be fair, and as they say in the army shoot straighter than your staff. If they are actually better than you, why would they want you to lead them?

Finally, one line common sense. Maybe you don’t want to be a leader, maybe you are happier being one of the 999…………………. Some folks are. ‘Nothing to be ashamed of, just don’t complain, that is all.

How To Think Like Bill Gates

bill gates

10 Ways to Think Like Bill Gates
While I don’t think Bill will lend you his brain, you can do the next best thing. You can take some of this thought patterns and practices for a test-drive. Here are ten patterns to get you started:

  1. Prioritize. “What’s the next best thing you should be thinking about?” It starts here. Time is your most limited and precious resource. This is about asking whether the problem is even worth your time. Before you throw cycles at it, figure out whether it’s worth it. Is it significant? How much time should you spend on it? For an example of how Bill Gates figures out how to prioritize.
  2. Ask smarter questions. If you want better answers, ask better questions. Rather than getting stuck in one line of questioning, such as “what’s wrong with this?” or “what’s right with this?”, you can explore your thinking more deeply, by asking a range of questions. One of the skills we learn at Microsoft is Precision Questions / Precision Answers. In this approach, there are 7 categories of precise questions: 1) Go / NoGo – Do we need to talk about this? 2) Clarification – What do you mean? 3) Assumptions – What are we assuming? 4) Basic Critical Question – How do we know this is true? 5) Causes – What’s causing this? 6) Effects – What will be the effects? 7) Action – What should be done?
  3. Make data-driven decisions. This is one of the toughest switches to make. By default, most people make emotional decisions and then find data to support the decision. This means asking questions like, “what’s the data say?” This means getting informed, before you make your decision. This means evaluating the sources of data. It’s an extreme exercise in emotional intelligence to pause your emotional response, while you check your logic and critical thinking.
  4. Divorce your ego. This is where you separate yourself from the problem. This is also about separating yourself from the solution. Instead, you hold the problem or solution out in your hands and inspect it from different angles. Rather than focus on whether you’re right, it’s about whether the solution is right. It’s about being able to beat up the thinking, without taking it personally.
  5. Frame the problem. Framing a problem is simply how you look at a problem, just like how you frame a picture. It’s about choosing what to focus on, what’s in and what’s out. When you frame the problem, you bound it. Framing also helps you get a better perspective on the problem, as well as share the problem more effectively with others. Some questions to help frame a problem include: Who’s the customer? What are their needs and priorities? What’s happening in the market? What are competitors doing? What are our options for responding? How do we differentiate? How is technology changing and what possibilities does it offer our customers? What are the priorities for our business?
  6. Get perspectives on the problem. This means being able to switch your perspectives. Rather than see the glass half-full or the glass half-empty, you should see both. Challenge yourself to switch back and forth from finding flaws to finding opportunities. If you only know how to play the Devil’s advocate, you have a limited view. Like a mulch-faceted diamond, you should be able to look at the problem from different angles. This also means being able to broker in experts and get other people’s perspective on the problem. Problem solving is a team sport. It’s also about leveraging smart people without domain expertise. For example, you can take a dev manager in consumer devices and have him/her move into the enterprise or business applications.
  7. Model the problem. By abstracting the problem into a model, you can think about it in simpler ways, without being bogged down by the implementation details. One of Bill Gate’s favorite tools is his whiteboard. A whiteboard makes it easy to sketch out ideas and visualize them. A whiteboard can help whether you’re trying to map out the problem or draw a solution. Keep in mind that George Box taught us that, “all models are wrong, but some are useful.”
  8. Think of the system and the ecosystem. Bill Gates has an engineering mind. He can see the problem as a system. You can map out the system by asking yourself questions along the line of, what are the bits and pieces? … How does it work? … How do the bits and pieces work together? … what’s the flow through the system? … what are the inputs and outputs? After you have a handle on the system, you can ask yourself about the ecosystem or the system of systems.
  9. Think of the problem over time. It’s easy to look at the problem and just see it as a static snapshot. The challenge is playing out the problem or your solution over time. Time can dramatically change what it looks like. Consider the impact of trends. Consider sustainability. Some things that look good only temporary, and really break down when you apply time to them. Sometimes time is on your side. You might find that there may be better windows of opportunity.
  10. Think strategically. Strategy guides your actions. You can think strategically along different lines. Consider the core of what you do (mission, vision, values, and goals.) Consider internal analysis (strengths and weaknesses, resources and capabilities, and benchmarking.) Consider external analysis (competitive analysis, opportunities and threats, and industry conditions.) Consider the organization design (structure, controls and incentives, culture and people.) Consider execution (roles, responsibilities, resources, action plans, measurement, and accountability.) Consider functional strategies (marketing and sales, operations, human resources, and R&D.) Consider strategic choices (corporate strategy and business strategy.)

Happy New Year Wish

  My Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expediencies.

I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

Here’s to the crazy ones-a tribute to Steve Jobs

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. 

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,

disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.

They explore.    They create.    They inspire.

They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

 

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail.  The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle.  In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep  more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals.
Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.

To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist.
When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve.  As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential.  People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit.
Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty.  Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs.  Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point.  In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it.  People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have.  If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong.   As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed.  Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.

8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.

Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.

Outlook

Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sheer
Wherever you may meet it.
Remember every kindness done
To you, whatever its measure.
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure.
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid
And be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress;
Be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth,
Remember Heaven’s above you,
And you will find, through age and youth,
True joys and hearts to love you.

It Isn’t Costly

Does the grouch get richer quicker than the
friendly sort of man?
Can the grumbler labour better than the cheerful
fellow can?
Is the mean and churlish neighbour any cleverer
than the one
Who shouts a glad “good morning,” and then
smiling passes on?

Just stop and think about it. Have you ever
known or seen
A mean man who succeeded, just because he
was so mean?
When you find a grouch with honours and with
money in his pouch,
You can bet he didn’t win them just because
he was a grouch.

Oh, you’ll not be any poorer if you smile along
your way,
And your lot will not be harder for the kindly
things you say.
Don’t imagine you are wasting time for others
that you spend:
You can rise to wealth and glory and still pause
to be a friend.

 

Grammar

Live in the active voice, rather than passive.
Think more about what will happen than what is happening to you.

Live in the indicative mood, rather than in the subjective.
Be concerned with things as they are, rather than as they might be

Live in the present tense, facing the duty at hand
without regret for the past or worry over the future.

Live in the singular number, caring more for the approval of your own conscience
than for the applause of the crowd.

Time to Breathe

If you only knew the reason, For the sudden change in season. For the trouble that was caused, And the life you put on pause. Halting this life in such a way, Made it hard to see a new day. Burning this day in my skull, Made it hard to reach even for a pull. Almost losing all of my grasp, Not much to grab on to nothing to clasp. And in the end the message is clear, With much to lose but nothing to fear. Even though at times with nothing to see, Strong perseverance will set you free.

May You Have

May you have……

Enough happiness
to keep you sweet,

Enough trials
to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow
to keep you human,

Enough hope
to keep you happy;
Enough failure
to keep you humble,

Enough success
to keep you eager,
Enough friends
to give you comfort,

Enough wealth
to meet your needs;
Enough enthusiasm
to look forward,

Enough faith
to banish depression,
Enough determination
to make each day better than yesterday.

My Creed

To live as gently as I can;
To be, no matter where, a man;
To take what comes of good or ill
And cling to faith and honor still;
To do my best, and let that stand
The record of my brain and hand;
And then, should failure come to me,
Still work and hope for victory.

To have no secret place wherein
I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
To be the same when I’m alone
As when my every deed is known
To live undaunted, unafraid
Of any step that I have made;
To be without pretense or sham
Exactly what men think I am.

To leave some simple mark behind
To keep my having lived in mind,
If enmity to aught I show,
To be an honest, generous foe,
To play my little part, nor whine
That greater honors are not mine.

This, I believe, is all I need
For my philosophy and creed.

Believe In Yourself

There may be days when you get up in the morning
and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be,
that’s when you have to tell yourself
that things will get better.

There are times when people disappoint you and let you down,
but those are the times when you must remind yourself
to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your
life focused on believing in yourself
and all that you are capable of.

There will be challenges to face and
changes to make in your life,
and it is up to you to accept them.

Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.

It may not be easy at times,
but in those times of struggle
you will find a stronger sense of who you are,
so when the days come that are filled with
frustration and unexpected responsibilities,
remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be,
because the challenges and changes will only help you to
find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.

Keep believing in yourself.

A – Z of Quotes

A—”Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

B— “Believing in yourself is not for you; it’s for every person who has touched your life in a significant way and for every person your life will touch the same way five minutes from now, or five centuries from now.” Jaye Miller

C—”Change is as inexorable as time, yet nothing meets with more resistance.” Benjamin Disraeli

D—”Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the action stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” Anais Nin

E—”Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.” Norman Vincent Peale

F—”Focused will is incredible. If you have a dream and you don’t give up no matter what obstacles come up, then life’s problems will fall away and you will get what you want. It happens. It works.” Yanni

G—”Goals are like a map. They help us determine where we want to end up, and give us personal direction on which to focus our energy.” Catherine Pulsifer

H—”Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle

I—”Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them.” Alfred North Whitehead

J—”Joy is not in things; it is in us.”Richard Wagner

K—“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.” Samuel Johnson

L—”Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.” Arnold Glasow

M—”Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups.” Peter Davies

N—”Nature does nothing uselessly.” Aristotle

O—”Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

P—”Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Quincy Adams

Q—”Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Anthony Robbins

R—”Results! Why, man I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” Thomas A. Edison

S—”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo DaVinci

T—”Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Diogenes Laetius

U—”Use your unique abilities to shake the world.” Wendy Hearn

V—”Victory belongs to the most persevering.” Napoleon Bonaparte

W—”Wisdom is the daughter of experience.” Leonardo da Vinci

X—”X-ray your life, are you where you want to be, if not set your goals, take action.” Catherine Pulsifer

Y—”Youth teaches, age puts what we have learned into practice, teaching us wisdom.” Catherine Pulsifer

Z—”Zone into your comfort zone, and, then zone into where you want to be. Be all that you can be.” Catherine Pulsifer

Making Life Worth While

Every soul that touches yours –
Be it the slightest contact –
Get there from some good;
Some little grace; one kindly thought;
One aspiration yet unfelt;
One bit of courage
For the darkening sky;
One gleam of faith
To brave the thickening ills of life;
One glimpse of brighter skies –
To make this life worthwhile
And heaven a surer heritage.

Success

Success is more than arriving – it is also attempting; more than realizing -it is also reaching.
Happiness comes not from having much to live on but having much to live for.
Success never resides in the world of weak wishes, but in the palace of purposeful plans and prayerful persistence.
Pessimism achieves no success over persistence.
Temporary defeat never spells total failure; one victory never assures permanent success.
A real success is one who makes his mark in life without smearing others.
Excellence without effort is as futile as progress without preparation
Work can be our friend or foe, or joy or our woe.
Success, like happiness, is more than a destination – it is a venture; more than an achievement – it is an attitude.
The greatest failure is the failure to try.
Alter your attitude and you will change your life.
Who seeks success, let him prepare.
Improvement is the son of discontent; success is the offspring of preparation.
To emphasize the positive – the affirmative – is to travel the high road of joy.

 

It’s The Journey That’s Important…

Life, sometimes so wearying
Is worth its weight in gold
The experience of travelling
Lends a wisdom that is old
Beyond our ‘living memory’
A softly spoken prayer:

“It’s the journey that’s important,
Not the getting there!”

Ins and outs and ups and downs
Life’s road meanders aimlessly?
Or so it seems, but somehow
Leads us where we need to be,
And being simply human
We oft question and compare….

“Is the journey so important
Or the getting there?”

And thus it’s always been
That question pondered down the ages
By simple men with simple ways
To wise and ancient sages….
How sweet then, quietly knowing
Reaching destination fair:

“It’s the journey that’s important,
Not the getting there!”

Just One

Smiling couple.

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,

One heart can know what’s true,

One life can
make a difference,
You see,
it’s up to you!

Big Mud Puddles and Sunny Yellow Dandelions

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard.
My kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and I look away.
My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can’t carry a tune and don’t have much rhythm so I sit self-consciously and listen.
My kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don’t know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.
My kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that.
My kids say, “Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don’t want to go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mommy and Daddy.”

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.
My kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross, and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to learn from?
Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

I wish you Big Mud Puddles and Sunny Yellow Dandelions!!