You are a Marvel

Pablo Casals, the famous cellist, composer, conductor, once said (modified a bit):  

“Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all of the world there is no other person exactly like you. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another person like you… You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. You must cherish one another. You must work—we must all work—to make this world worthy of each of us.”

Do you approach your day with this mindset? What would change if you did?

I’m inspired. Oh, how our world would change for the better if we all worked “to make the world worthy of each of us.”

You are a marvel.

Gourmet Chicken Salad – Making My Wife’s Lunch

I love to cook, and I love to create. I also love my wife very much! So I make her lunch on the days she goes into the office.

So today, I’m sharing a simple lunch salad recipe my wife loves. Why? We are called to serve others – for me, this starts at home.

Gourmet Chicken Salad by Jim Johnson

Ingredients:

* 2 boneless, skinless grilled chicken thighs (or half of a chicken breast) – note: this is a great way to use leftover grilled chicken from the night before. I marinate mine in a sesame ginger marinade. I find this makes the best tasting chicken for the salad.)

* 5-7 green seedless grapes cut in half

* 1 Tbsp of a great relish – I use Sechler’s Hungarian sweet relish. It’s made about 40 minutes north of my city. Simply the best relish!

* 1 overflowing Tbsp of mayonnaise (use your favorite)

* iceberg lettuce chopped

* fresh spinach chopped

Putting it together: Simply mix the grapes, relish, mayo, and chopped chicken together. Place on the lettuce/spinach.

Try this easy and incredibly tasty salad.

From Depression to Stronger Together

In Shawn Achor’s book, Big Potential, he shares this sobering data:

“The average age of being diagnosed with depression in 1978 was twenty-nine.  In 2009, the average age was fourteen and a half.  Over the past decade, depression rates for adults have doubled, as have hospitalizations for attempted suicide for children as young as eight years old.  What could possibly have changed so much to account for this?”

Achor points to rise of technology and social media.  For kids, there is a never-ending need to announce accomplishments and the whirlpool of competition (from boyfriends to athletic prowess to stupid tricks to selfies) keeps spinning faster and faster dragging more and more people in.  And then there is the pressure that continues to ramp up in schools and on the athletic fields and arts platforms.   Better grades.  Higher batting average.  Flawless performances.  Pressure! Pressure!  Pressure!

For adults, it is not much different.  Promotions, projects, and performance all set the stage for continual pressure points.

Achor’s challenge and call is for us to understand that our potential is “interconnected with others.”  “We need to stop trying to be faster alone, and start working to become stronger together.”

Good words for today, right?

We are about to enter a time when we need each other more than ever.  When the economy opens back up, we face choices.  Everyone for themselves or everyone helping each other to recover.  People want and need to get back on their feet.  Each of us can help someone succeed.  How?

  • Be an encourager.
  • Help someone find work.
  • Listen to a hurting friend.
  • Support a local business and encourage others to do the same.
  • Celebrate someone else’s win.

“Because when we work to help others achieve success, we not only raise the performance of the group, we exponentially increase our own potential…making others better takes your success to the next level.”

happiness Achor

Change the Way You See Situations

As I stated in my last post, I have been reading Change the Way You See Everything.  In fact, I just finished it during my lunch break today.  This is probably the fourth time reading through this incredible book.

In the closing pages I read today, authors Cramer & Wasiak challenged me to change the way I see situations.  What is the current situation right now on April 27, 2020?  The ongoing quarantine due to the corona virus.  The economy of the world is crippled.  Millions in the US are unemployed – and this happened in a mere matter of weeks.  Small businesses are closing never to reopen.  There is a lot of depression, fear, and despair.

If we’re honest, most of us focus on that last paragraph.  The 24/7 news channels feed viewers a never-ending diet of gloom and doom.  It seems as if everything is focused on what has gone wrong.

But what if we could see this differently?  

Think back to September 11, 2001.  When that day happened, I’m sure many thought New York would be forever devastated.  But Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided this vision:

“Tomorrow New York is going to be here…and we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”

And New York did rebuild.  One year ago, I stood at the World Trade Center Memorial.  I walked the streets of the city.  It has rebuilt.  Our nation became stronger and more vigilant.

How did that all happen?  How will we climb out of the hole we were thrown into these past few months?  Can we?  Yes, we can!

foucsCramer & Wasiak challenge us to apply the 80-20 rule…in reverse.  “Instead of focusing 80% of your attention on problems and 20% on opportunities, concentrate 80% on opportunities and 20% correcting what’s wrong.”

 

So what are your opportunities?

  • Devoting time to invest in your personal growth and development.
  • Investing time to discover a better/more efficient way to get work done (hey, you already changed where you work – focus on how you work!)
  • Ask, “How are my customers interacting with me now?  What is working with this?  What small tweaks can I make that would make it even easier for my customers to do business with me?”
  • Ask, “How can I become more financially fit during this situation so I can better be prepared for the future?  Who can I turn to for help with this?”  (locally, here).
  • Ask: “Who can I help right now?  Who needs encouragement, support, or a friend?”

“…what if you could reach into the depth of that problem and extract a treasure – a wealth of information that could propel the situation forward in a way that benefits everyone involved, exponentially!”

Cramer & Wasiak offer solid advice:

  • Get a new vision of your world today.
  • “Turn yourself on by sharpening your vision” of what could be.
  • “Link your passion, vision, and skill set with the strengths and capabilities of those you have attracted into your circle of influence.”  
  • Change how you think about problems and set-backs.

This is not an impossible situation we are all in.  But those that will rise to the next level and challenge will be those who focus on the 80% of the opportunities this time is presenting to us.

“How can this be the best problem we’ve ever had?”

Building Your Company’s Culture in the Moment

Scenario: You witness a situation at work and it is clearly evident that this will lead to a culture-killer for your company.  What do you do?

Most people do one of 3 things:

1. DO NOTHING.  Look the other way.  Ignore what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.

2. JOIN IN.  This is the mob mentality.  “A riot is an ugly thing…I think it’s high time we have one!” (Young Frankenstein). This only fuels the fires of negativity.

3. PROMOTE, PRACTICE, and PROTECT the culture.

in the moment

Easy. It’s just as easy to not act as it is to act.  Just like losing weight or exercising or reading or being intentional in a relationship….it’s easy to do something and it’s not easy to do something

 

Fear.  We fear taking a stand.  We fear retribution from our peers (“who does he think he is?!”)

Deflection. “It’s not my job.  I’m not a manager, VP, CEO…”

Since when is protecting our culture the sole responsibility of a supervisor?

hey

 

Self-worth“Who am I to say something/take a stand?”

Too many times, we don’t take a stand because of what we say to ourselves.

  • “I’m just a line worker/entry-level accountant/etc.  I have no authority.”
  • “People will make fun or treat me differently.  I don’t want to risk that.”
  • “I’ve only been with the company for 6 months.  I don’t know enough to speak up.”
  • “I’m an idiot.  I should shut up.”

Please realize that there are people who applied for your position and did not get it.    YOU are in!  YOU made it.  YOU are worthy!  Your company believes in YOU.

But in order for your company’s culture to grow and be cultivated, each team member has to make the right decision at those critical moments.

  • And every time you and I stand up to PROMOTE, PRACTICE, AND PROTECT our culture, we build momentum.
  • And when momentum builds, it becomes the norm.
  • We raise our standards.
  • We don’t settle.
  • We refuse to live to the lowest common denominator.
  • The culture becomes alive.
  • WE become the culture.

 

protect your culture

The Transformation “Doings” by Jim Johnson

Transformation requires work.  We all know that.  Years ago I read that to realize change, we need to start doing some things and stop doing others to get us to where we want to be.

Transformation requires these 2 “doings”  – START and STOP

If you want to transform an area of your personal and/or work life, you will need to START doing something new, in different ways.  Why?  As I wrote last time, if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.  So, transformation requires that we START to do something new – the CHANGE.

If you want, for example,  more energy, lose weight, and improve the overall sense of health in your life, you can START doing something new by:

  • Drinking more water.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Choose healthier food options.
  • Visit your doctor on a regular basis.

But in order to improve your health, you will most likely need to STOP doing things that will hinder this goal:

  • Stop drinking soda pop.
  • Stop eating junk food throughout the day.
  • Stop going through the drive-thru lane at a local fast food restaurant multiple times per week.
  • Stop plopping yourself in front of the TV for hours each evening.

START Here:

So on this 2nd day of the new year, think about where you need transformation. Write it down.  Next, create a 2-column list and write as headings START DOING and STOP DOING.  Fill out each column.  This list is not a wish list.  It is a doing list.  If you think you’ll waiver on this, share your list with a friend who can help with accountability (in fact, why not ask a friend or two to do this along with you).

We can tend to think of transformation as some sort of dramatic life event that will catapult us to a new level.  Maybe in the movies, but in the real world, transformation takes planning, determination, work, and intention.

And it can be as simple as this:

START doing the things that will move you closer to what you want to be, achieve.

STOP doing the things that put up obstacles on the road to your transformation

 

start stop doing

Global Leadership Summit 2019 Registration

GLS 2019Make an investment in your leadership development. The GLS is coming to a city near you! I participate in the largest remote site in the world here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There are sites all over the world as well. If you haven’t registered, there is still time. Use this link to register and learn from top leaders: Global Leadership Summit Registration link

Speakers included: Craig Groeschel, Bozoma Saint John, Patrick Lencioni, Jia Jiang, Jo Saxton, Bear Grylls, Ben Sherwood, and others

SPECIAL PRICING ENDS TODAY!  (June 25)

James Clear on: How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest

This is a great article by James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits.  Here is an excerpt and the link to his entire article.  

 

What Do Experts Do For 10,000 Hours?

10000 hoursMalcolm Gladwell published his blockbuster book, Outliers, in 2008 and the most talked-about idea from the text was the 10,000 Hour Rule. Gladwell, citing research by K. Anders Ericsson, explained that the key to becoming world-class in any field was to practice a specific task for at least 10,000 hours.

As you might expect, people quickly latched onto the number 10,000 and forgot the details of the argument.

Obviously, there is no magic in the 10,000th hour, but it is true that you need to put in a lot of work to become world-class in any task. However, the important question is this, “What should that work look like? If you want to become great at your craft, what exactly should you do with your 10,000 hours?”

You can’t simply put in your time and log 10,000 hours. You have to practice deliberately on a specific skill.

But what does that mean? What, exactly, does deliberate practice look like?

What is Deliberate Practice?

During a 2012 talk, programmer and author Kathy Sierra explained deliberate practice with a very simple and elegant answer. 

Deliberate practice is when…

 

Find and read the entire article here:  10,000 Hours: how the experts practice better than the rest

GO Destination Services

GO Destination Services logo“GO is quickly becoming a premier destination services provider for relocations and assignments to all destinations in the United States and to many locations throughout the world. Founded in 1998, GO Destination Services is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis.

GO’s ability to consistently deliver world-class personalized destination service is reflected in a 97% satisfaction rating and extraordinary accolades from thousands of relocating associates.

GO believes that people on-the-move should have the finest orientation and destination experience. This is why we maintain a robust, expansive network of professionals to connect relocating associates to their new city with confidence and comfort.”

Are you planning a move to a new city because of a new job?  Are you in HR and are tasked to help an new executive relocate to your city?

I’ve just been introduced to John Merriweather , CEO, and his team at GO Destination Services based in Carmel, Indiana.  They provide valuable services such as:

  • Area tours giving a new family the ideal “lay of the land” as they prepare to make their move to a new city.
  • School searches
  • International assistance
  • Spouse/Partner assistance
  • Cultural training
  • And more!

Learn much more by clicking on this link: https://www.godestinationservices.com/

John Merriweather quote

Event Notice: John Merriweather will be the inaugural speaker at First Fridays Indianapolis on June 7.  For more information and register for this free event, click on this link:  First Fridays June 7 Registration Information

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To learn more about First Fridays, where leaders grow & network, visit them at:  www.firstfridaysfw.com