Tag Archives: progress

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your work count appreciative strategies

Making Your Work Count and Outlasting Critics

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People start their work every day. Every day they may question why am I doing this, why does it matter, and why do people only care enough to find fault. Do you make your work count? Does it speak for itself?

There are days when it feels like everyone is a critic. The project your team worked tirelessly on, the new idea you mentioned at the meeting or the marketing campaign that you know will be a huge success.

Some critics may be trying to be helpful, some are jealous, and some see you growing and they don’t like it because they now have to move up or move on. Your worst critic, sooner or later, they will find someone else to give their attention to, because you’ve moved on.

Different is Better than Average

When you work with the intent to make your work count, to make a difference, to advance the team, it becomes momentum. It is hard to stop momentum. In fact, that may be exactly what critics are calling for. They want to slow the train.

Your work will count the most when it is unique. It is hard to pick the best donut from a rack of two dozen. It is hard to find the nicest rose in the bunch. The work you do, the accomplishments of your team, or the success of your organization will benefit the most when it’s not the same, but different.

Unfortunately, trying something new is exactly what the critic wants to stop. It is different, odd, ugly, or simply won’t work. Especially when the critic suggests that, others have tried it in the past.

The critic invites the challenge to prove them wrong.

Does Your Work Count

You’ll make your work count when you dare to be different. When you dare to improve the quality, the delivery, and the customer experience.

Critics will tell you a different story, but you’ll outlast them.

Critics have little patience for progress.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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how change develops

How Change Develops and Early Adopters

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Some of the best businesses are not who they once were. They may still offer some of the original products or services but they aren’t the same. Have you ever considered how change develops?

Mention change and people are going to become nervous, uneasy, and likely afraid. Change feels like a risk to most and anything uncertain may create fear.

People often talk about, no risk, no reward, or they may suggest that the acceptance of change is better than staying in the status quo. Certainly, there is often value in shifting our thinking.

Everything Changes

Everything around us is changing. Given a little time, a lot of time, or sometimes in no time at all.

A vacant lot gets a new home.

The video store becomes a small medical office.

The computer system tells us when it’s time to reorder.

Sometimes change is perceived as developing from past failures. In other cases, it may be labeled as required progress. In nearly all cases, it sparks an emotion for someone.

There is a good chance that the emotions are the result of letting go of something that felt stable, dependable, or even desirable. Things that someone probably worked hard to create, establish, and cared for.

We used to have to make a call from a wired phone, percolate our coffee, or get our music on a record, 8-track tape, or cassette. Yet no one really considers early telephones, coffee percolators, or music records a failure. Perhaps they are not even obsolete.

How Change Develops

Change often develops from need, or an idea to improve.

If you’ve been around long enough, things have changed. As individuals, we learned to tie our own shoes, complete our schoolwork, and report to work.

On the first day of at a new job, it is all new. We don’t always know the people, the culture, or even where to find the restroom.

Just because change is different doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it, that the past was a failure, or a waste of our time.

What feels like progress to some may be undesirable to others but we are not stopping change.

Understand what to hold on to and what to let go of, because things will continue to change.

How change develops may not be as important as the bravery to be an early adopter.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Progress isn’t Always Perfect and Perfection is Temporary

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Is progress always perfect? Is the concept of perfection permanent, or only temporary?

always perfect

Many people get stuck on the concept of perfection. They are stuck because perfection is often not what is required, but progress is.

Always Perfect

We might paint a picture or look at a piece of art and say, “perfect.”  If we are launching a rocket or satellite we might need perfect weather. A manufactured part that is within tolerance might also be perfect.

What we sometimes lose sight of is the fact that many of our jobs or the reason for a business is because things aren’t perfect. Many businesses exist because they solve a problem. The problem exists because the system or outcome isn’t perfect.

Consumers often measure costs. They compare the price to fix against the price to replace. Perfect is seldom permanent, it is often temporary, or only perfect for right now.

Therefore, perfection might have the highest price tag of all.

Perfect is Temporary

What is your job or your business?

If you repair, maintain, or fix something, it is because perfect was temporary.

If you change, innovate, or search for better ideas it is because perfect was temporary.

The lawyer, the doctor, or the road construction crew, they’re all employed because perfect is temporary.

Perhaps the risk is not that something will break or become outdated and useless. The bigger risk is the tragedy that occurs when it sits on the shelf, gets stuck in R&D, or just never becomes perfect enough. It never exists.

Some will discover that the risk of existence, like perfection, has the heaviest price to pay. If you don’t believe me just ask a Kodak historian (or former employee) about bringing ideas to market.

Progress

Many people believe that they have an idea for a book. The manuscript is floating around in their head.

Start to write it and eighty percent of the contents would spew out very quickly. Perfecting it, the final twenty percent of the contents, would take much more time. That final twenty percent of the contents likely requires eighty percent of the time and effort.

Some will never produce it, because it’s not perfect. So it will never exist.

Paint your picture, build your product, or write your book. If perfect is temporary then the failure to exist always has the highest price tag of all.

I believe that progress might be more important.

It isn’t always perfect.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Is It Worth The Risk?

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Talk is easy. There are a lot of people and organizations that talk about change, but change requires risk. Do you believe change is worth the risk?

Have a look

Many people operate in their safety zone. They never get too close to the edge, color outside of the lines, or risk something that they feel they might later regret.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about change is that by its very nature it requires risk. Staying the same feels comfortable, largely because you believe you already know the outcome, but outcomes change too.

People and businesses often believe that they want change, that they need different outcomes. They want something that works better, lasts longer, or is more efficient. All of those are noble thoughts and those who turn thoughts into action believe that they are ready for change.

Might the question then become, “How bad do you want it?” or for others perhaps, “How bad do you need it?”

Being worth the risk is often measured after the fact. It is measured in success or failure and is seldom measured for the performance against risk. Should it be?

  • A business might run one advertisement, on one television network for one month, or they might spring for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl.
  • An employee might speak up adding one suggestion to solving a problem in a staff meeting, or they might spend additional hours at the office developing a corrective plan of action and then present their idea to the Board of Directors.

We’re often taught or reinforced with the concept of taking a risk which results in success is good, but a risk and then failure is bad. The trouble with this mind-set is that makes people risk adverse.

It makes them risk adverse since they often feel they can’t be wrong if they stay within the safety zone. Their confidence is higher for actions which occur within the zone.

Do you believe that change is happening all around you? Do you believe that change is happening every day? Do you believe that some of this change might be considered good, and that some of it might be considered bad?

If you agree that it surrounds you, then you can probably also agree that problems change too, and that changing problems require different solutions, and that new or different solutions require taking additional risk.

If you agree with all of that, then you might also agree that the value of risk should not be expressed as good or bad, it should be expressed as progress. Largely because a risk that results in change is progress.

It’s always progress as long as you are moving forward with your successes and learning from but not repeating failures.

Is progress worth the risk?

Some believe it is, do you?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Boomers to Millennials, Comfort Slows Progress

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If asked, many people would probably agree that one of the things they look forward to in life is to be comfortable. Work hard, study hard, be disciplined, be persistent, stay motivated, be committed, the list is long. The desired outcome might be to earn more money, have a better life and most of all, create some comfort.

044404688-architects-work

In business, one of the worst things that can happen is to become comfortable. By definition comfort may indicate that you are becoming more relaxed, are satisfied, or perhaps taking a rest. A business that lacks drive, determination, or becomes comfortable is probably a business that is falling behind, losing market share, or in one way or another slowly (or rapidly) being outperformed through the creative use of technology.

Traditionals and baby boomers are often associated with the stereotype of being technology adverse, in contrast younger generations including generation X, millennials, and generation Z are more typically associated with a desire for technology, but who is really the most comfortable? Those avoiding technology (comfort) or those encouraging it (comfort)? According to a recent article by Thomas D. Williams, PH.D., Pope Francis recently spoke to 1.5 million young people urging them “to resist the temptation of a passive life of comfort and entitlements.”

Are millennials more comfortable than boomers? What is your story? Are you comfortable, comfortable in your job, your business, or life?

Generational differences often become validated by those who have the loudest voice. People of any generation, or every generation, will see the world based on their interactions with it.

I believe one thing is certain; comfort slows progress, every time.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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