Little Things Matter

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Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
-Mother Theresa

The small seemingly insignificant act can have a big impact on your performance when executed consistently. Practices like setting time aside to reflect or documenting insights may seem small, however when performed daily are powerful sources of insight.  Small tasks are a type of discipline that help keep you on track in achieving the big things.

The misconception is that  large achievable goals somehow exists apart from  day-to-day and moment-by-moment behaviors.  In reality the audacious goal is not achievable without the small mundane practices laying the foundation.
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The Power of Self-Reliance

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“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self -reliance is an important 21st century skill. The ability to visualize an outcome and work towards its creation is critical to business success. Self-reliance requires that we expand our knowledge and capacity to meet the demands of a new vision.  In assuming the responsibility of self- reliance we must make decisions regarding our learning and development. In a business environment defined by complexity and change only professionals guided by an internal drive will thrive. Self-reliance does not mean “going it solo” or being a “lone wolf”. Self-reliance means that a professional proactively seeks the means and the resources to achieve a desired outcome. This is easier to do when a desired outcome aligns with our personal values.

A few recommendations are:
  • CLARIFY YOUR VISION : What does it look like?
  • CLARIFY WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: How does it align with your values?
  • WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS? What knowledge and skills do you need? What people do you need to connect with?
  • WHERE CAN YOU FIND THE RESOURCES? How can you can gain access to the needed people and resources?

Deliberate Practice is The Key To Champion-Level Performance

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I have been thinking about what it takes to develop expert skill in any field or discipline and in my view deliberate practice is a critical element. What I mean by deliberate practice is the pre-meditated and disciplined practice of a skill. Taking time to reflect on the specific requirements of a job or one’s areas of growth is essential. It comes down to creating a practice, establishing an organized routine of activities around certain skill sets.

Tracking the daily progress of our practice is essential as this creates awareness. Awareness allows us to learn from our journey. An experience by itself is just an activity unless it is reflected upon.

Four deliberate practice recommendations:

1. Reflect on the requirements needed to achieve a job or desired goal

2. Identify areas of needed development

3. Create a daily routine of activities and exercises that will develop the desired skill

4. Review progress daily

Way of the e-Lightened Mind

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We live in an age where the transfer of information and knowledge flow at an unprecedented level. We live in the information age. The ability to grow, learn and collaborate allows people in contemporary society to evolve in ways unimaginable by their predecessors. For the leader, the path of evolution and “e-lightenment” is more accessible than ever.

However, as in the times of old, success is built upon the fortitude found within the hearts of men and women. Striving to become a better person and leader is an endeavor that requires constant effort. Leadership is perhaps one of the most noble and challenging undertakings, a person could accept. The way of the leader is a way wrought with courage, reflection, and endurance. Leadership is an endeavor, which tests every aspect of a person’s character.

To Succeed You Must Connect Beyond the Walls Of Your Workplace.

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I believe the 21st century economy requires that professionals take responsibility for their own development as well opportunities to provide service. To reach higher levels of achievement it is essential for professionals to maintain their personal networks, and engage with others inside and outside of their current workplace. In a fast changing and competitive landscape, professionals must continually learn new things and meet new people.

These practices will help to foster innovation and lifelong learning. On the social media frontier, professional communities are growing and thriving. Connecting with other professionals in these communities are great ways for people to expand their knowledge and support base beyond the boundaries of their current employer. Innovation and growth tend to happen at the outer edges of a person’s network rather than the inner circle.

Enjoy Your Practice

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Stay personally invested in your work. This level of attention will bring with it a greater degree of learning and mastery. Insights flow from being mindful in one’s practice. Karen Horner psychologist and theorist identifies mindfulness as a central ingredient in effective learning and growth. What we enjoy we tend to be more actively engaged in.Sometimes we can become disconnected from our practice. Other things take our attention from the joy we get from the activity. When we are no longer mindful in what we do this impedes our growth and estranges us from the source of our continual progression.