Posts Tagged ‘Rotary International’

Mindfulness Over Multi-Tasking

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

A five-week trip to Australia a few years ago left a lasting impact on my life in so many unpredictable ways.
During the adventure, which was funded as a cultural exchange by Rotary International, I was fortunate to stay in 11 different homes to experience life as an Aussie.  One of my most important takeaways from the sojourn was to learn how different the Australian relationship with time and with work are compared to ours in the U.S.

Research has shown us that when we multi-task it takes us 25 percent longer to accomplish a task. That’s right… instead of getting more done in a short period of time, multi-takings, doing two or more things at once, actually lengthens the time that it takes to complete something.

Think about it. You are working away on an email when you remember that you forgot to pull the file for your next meeting. So, you stop working on the email, go over to the filing cabinet, find the file, return with the file to your desk, only to sit down and say to yourself, “What was I doing?  Oh, yeah, I remember now.”  You now have to re-read your half-composed email before finishing and sending it. You know in your gut that you aren’t accomplishing as much as you could.  You secretly wonder what is wrong with you and why you can’t get all of this work finished.

The Aussies would say, “No worries, Mate!” and invite you slow down and do one thing at a time. Also called mindfulness, it is focusing on being present, really, really present, with the one task that you are trying to complete or the one thing that you are doing.

Have you ever had the experience of being so fully engaged and present in a project that you lost all track of time? This is the opposite of multi-tasking- that crazy randomness of doing several things at once.

I learned from my Australian friends that they do what they can do at this moment and they do not worry about the rest. And they do this moment-by-moment.  This results in a more relaxed and easy going demeanor. They experience less stress.

The Australians also know and understand the value of “taking a break, Mate.” (more…)

Follow Your Passion

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
“If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that would not have opened for anyone else.”  – Joseph Campbell

During a recent speaking engagement  a 30-something year old man in the audience rasised his hand and asked, “Do you think passion is important for business leaders?”

My response was, “I think it is the most important ingrediant for success.  You can be intelligent and have great skills as a leader, but without true passion you don’t really reach the zenith.  Without true passion you settle for mediocrity.”

Chances are you are a passionate person.  People who become leaders usually do so because of their enthusiasm for their work, their mission,  for life itself.  We’ve all been around those people.  The air around them seems to crackle with the energy that their excitement radiates.  Wouldn’t you like to be one of those charismatic and passionate  leaders?

Passion drives your purpose.  It’s an internal motivation that keeps you going even when there’s no tangible reward in sight and no reason to stay the course.  It’s a fire that burns despite others’ attempts to extinguish it.

Reflect on the steps you can take to live your passion and then TAKE ACTION:
Be passionate about the work you do.
Have genuine concern for the people you lead.
Express your enthusiasm for what you do both in your work life and your personal life.
Keep external forces from robbing you of your passion.
Continue to strive to make a difference in the world.
Encourage others to live their passion, too.

Live your passion!  Share it with others every chance you get.  I make it a point to mentor and coach others to find their passion and, as Joseph Campbell states,  follow their “bliss”.  You wil feel a great sense of fulfillment and happiness in life and work.

Your Influence as a Leader

Monday, March 21st, 2011
“ There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.  ”  – Booker T. Washington 

Who is watching you?  Who are you influencing with your words and actions?  Are you proud of the influence you have had in your volunteer role, family or workplace?

Leadership is such an integral part of directing others that John C. Maxwell defines leadership as influence.  Both leaders and followers alike are influencers, for good or for not-so-good outcomes.  But a leader’s influence is more extensive and carries greater immediate consequences as a result.

As a leader, your responsibility is to ensure that you are an influencer for the good of the organization.  One question, “What’s best for all concerned?”, should guide your minute-by-minute decisions.

Per Maxwell’s definition, if you aren’t influencing, you aren’t leading, no matter what the sign over your office door or your website bio indicates.  Here is the key:  Genuine leaders have a group of followers who have willingly placed themselves under the influence of the leader. Bosses may think of themselves as leaders, and many of them are, but in some cases their “followers” only follow because they have been told to.  And they resist their boss’ influence as much as possible.  Haven’t you seen these sort of passive-aggressive employees who are sabbotaging their supervisor?  It is ugly!

True leadership occurs when your life, your wisdom and your expertise “flow in” to the lives of the people you lead. Because we as leaders are so visible, both inside and outside of the workplace, it’s our responsibility to be sure that our behaviors and  influence produces positive results.

Steps you can take to increase your positive influence on others:
Remember that what is flowing on the inside is also flowing into the lives of others.
Make sure your influence is a positive one.
Be aware of your own role models and who is influencing your decisions.
Realize that the quality of your followers is partially a reflection of your ability to lead.
Be honest about your leadership weaknesses and seek ways to improve.

Being an influencial leader can be very rewarding.  Seek to always be the person of great and positive influence that you know you can be.

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