Tag Archives: discipline

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flexible resilience

Flexible Resilience May Be The Change You Need

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Do you demonstrate flexible resilience? Having persistence and being resilient doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for flexibility.

It all starts with the mission or goal. It is a form of beginning with the end in mind. A vision for the path to arrive at a specific point at some future time.

People value the concept of being disciplined, persistent, and committed to the goal.

What happens when the goal seems out of reach or across time the vision may hint of needing a slight shift? What happens if the estimates or forecasts were wrong? Maybe the budget wasn’t enough or the human side of change slowed the projected progress?

Should you continue on the same path?

Chosen Path

People will sometimes go to great lengths in an attempt to prove that they were correct. Their wish is to illustrate that they have been correct all along, often in spite of any associated costs.

It may be wise to adjust the mission, shift the goals, and still achieve a higher level of success. Being stuck with a locked-in focus sounds like persistence and commitment but it may be a slippery slope down a never-ending rabbit hole.

Flexible resilience seems like a better choice.

Flexible Resilience

You can attempt to continue to pursue the original path or you can learn from missteps, correct the direction, and still achieve more than you have before.

The act of being resilient, persistent, and committed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning, changing, and growing along the way.

Sometimes the cost of ego or pride is much higher than the cost of a slight shift in direction.

The most resilient know how to spot a rabbit hole before getting lost in it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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weighing alternatives

Weighing Alternatives is a Matter of Principle

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Big decisions or little decisions, short-term or long-term, what helps you decide? Weighing alternatives typically boils down to principles.

Some would suggest it is ethics or integrity. Others may decide the decision was based on outside forces or pressure.

Most of our choices are connected to principles. Your morals, a guideline, or your values and beliefs help shape the principles you will adhere to.

Recent high school graduates often base more advanced education choices on principles. In the short-term the opportunity cost is more. In the long-term, across many years, the theory is that it pays off.

Parents are influencers, so are other family members, friends, and the admissions staff.

This may be true about the car or home you’ll buy. It may be true about what you’ll eat for dinner. Pros and cons, short-term and long-term outcomes, or the consequences of action versus inaction.

Weighing Alternatives

When there are more alternatives you need to rely on your principles less. You can make a choice and the consequences of undesirable outcomes feel less risky. There is always another choice, at a later time, or on another day.

Often there are group dynamics connected to how you’ll weigh the options. Some of that is connected to your principles and some of it is connected to the social discourse you’ll choose to follow.

Your principles will guide you.

If your choices are only about the right now. Your principles probably lack the integrity or ethics you’ll need for the long-haul.

In a family of four, someone eating the whole bag of potato chips while no one else is watching seems like a reasonable choice. At least at the moment, in the right now.

The alternative requires discipline, caring, and compassion. It doesn’t satisfy the right now.

It’s about the principle.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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working holidays

Working Holidays and Other Addictions

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Do you get time off for holidays? Do you find yourself working late, working when off the job, or working holidays?

What about ice cream, chocolate candies, or some form of caffeinated concoction? Are those things that you need or just want?

Self-Control or Addiction?

Can you put your smartphone down? And keep it down? Are you constantly checking for text messages, social media updates, or incoming email messages?

Do you have self-control?

Certainly, there are many people who work holidays. Their shift is important to keep things going. It may be the maintenance crew at the manufacturing plant, hospital employees, and civil services personnel. Many people are paid to be on the job, sometimes especially on holidays.

Assuming that isn’t you, do you still work? Are you addicted to your work?

Working Holidays

I’m not referencing being devoted, committed, and caring, I’m referencing lacking the ability to break free. Some business owners, entrepreneurs, and other professionals use it as a time to get caught up or jump ahead.

There are always needs and requirements. And there are things that just feel that way.

I need something to eat, or am I just bored?

I need a coffee, a cocktail, or Big Gulp from the 7-Eleven.

Check my text messages, email, or social media feed…

Our habits make up much of our daily life. The difference between requirements and niceties is often hard to determine. The difference between “have to” and “want to” is also often confusing.

Are you working holidays? Is that on you or is that part of what you signed up for?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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following advice

Following Advice Should Get You There

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Everyone has an opinion. Nearly everyone has some advice. Following advice seems to make sense but does it always?

First, there are some people who shouldn’t be advising anyone. There is plenty of advice out there, especially on social media. Self-proclaimed experts lurk around every corner and in every shadow. Buyer beware.

Let’s assume though, that the information you seek, good information, is abundant. What will you do with that information? How will you use that advice?

Tweak the Plan

Often people modify the directions and information they receive.

When you make your IKEA purchase are you going to follow the directions? That may be good advice. Will you take a quick glance and then start assembly only checking in when you get stuck?

The same is true for the frozen pizza, the pre-cooked Easter ham, or the Thanksgiving turkey. It is true for the Cowboy Casserole, the chocolate fudge brownie, and the banana bread. Do you follow the directions or sort of do your own thing?

Chances are good that advice surrounds you. Much of it may be good. When we don’t follow it, follow it exactly, it may become bad advice.

That is often the difference. What we receive gets modified. It gets bent a little, twisted a little, turned upside down, yet the partial followers proclaim it must have been bad advice.

Following Advice

If you substitute milk for heavy cream in the recipe, you’re going to get a different result.

When you try to run a business or manage a department on hope, instead of hard work or action, you’ll likely get a different result.

If you believe your marketing and advertising will work just as well when you cut the budget in half and replace it with free advertising, you better think twice.

Finding good advice probably isn’t the biggest challenge. The bigger challenge is following it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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daylight savings

In Your Workplace Daylight Savings Still Requires You

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People may ask, “Do we move the time forward or do we turn back the clocks?” Confused they may say, “Are we losing an hour or gaining an hour?” Are people asking you about the effects of daylight savings time?

I have two grandmother clocks in my home. They don’t run on electricity or batteries. You must pull the chains to raise the weights every week. The pendulum must swing and then the hands of the clock spin.

Telling time then is not accomplished through a digital display. There are not buttons to push or indicator lights.

Most importantly, the time setting in these clocks is accomplished manually. You can’t tap “Settings,” and then, “Date & Time,” and toggle, “Automatic.”

An Excuse

Surely, as the official time change occurs during the weekend people will show up at the correct time on Monday.

No, not everyone. A few will find it a convenient excuse to be running late.

Although we are in a digital age. An age where most of our cellular phones and computer devices will automatically spring forward, people still have something to do.

In your workplace, the people are going to need to spring forward. They are going to need to bring the energy, put in the effort, and bring the change to life. It won’t happen automatically. It’s not a digital setting.

Daylight Savings

Our digital age is part of society. Things happen for us and we barely even notice. It is all so automatic. Beyond that it is thoughtless, no real effort required. Follow the time on your phone or computer and you’re set.

Our lives benefit from technology. Things making life easier, simpler, and requiring less background knowledge to navigate.

On the human side of daylights savings, we still have a job to do. Spring forward will only happen when we pull the chains, raise the weights, and turn the hands.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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productivity fact

Productivity Fact or Perfection Myth, Which Is It?

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Productivity is important for every workplace. The idea is that efficiency drives profit. Are your daily habits driven by the productivity fact or the perfection myth?

What is the difference and where are you spending, or wasting your time?

Perfection Myth

People spend a lot of time and money on perfection.

There are hours spent on perfecting the product. It happens with goods and it happens with services.

There are hours and hours of fine tuning and making it just right. Hours are spent on the meetings, the waiting for decisions, and on rejected work.

In extreme cases, work is produced that is never used. It is only discarded, no longer needed, or locked in the closet being viewed as too risky for release.

We do it with our written communication to the CEO, the board of directors, or for the project proposal.

We may spend 80 percent of our time proofing, rewriting, and tweaking. In the end, much of that 80 percent of time was wasted because the initial 20 percent of time fulfilled 80 percent or more of the requirement.

All of this lends credibility to the idea that perfection is a myth. Perfection means more time wasted, less time producing.

Productivity Fact

What about the productivity fact?

Kittens and puppies are picked every day not because they are perfect, but because people aren’t judging for perfection.

Your best friend probably isn’t perfect. Your favorite book isn’t perfect. The car you drive, nope, probably not perfect.

Your house may be clean, or the lawn may be cut, but neither are probably perfect.

The work that we do, the product we produce or service we deliver, is probably good enough long before it is perfect. Sometimes everything beyond good enough, is productivity wasted. Time spent that we’ll never recover.

Perfect is often a self-developed illusion. One that we can’t live up to, and one that wastes our time.

Productivity fact is much more important than the perfection myth.

Do great work, but keep moving. The clock is always ticking.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Discipline leads

Why Discipline Leads To Change

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Are you disciplined? Do you do things when you don’t really want to, when it is not ideal, or when it feels like you have no energy? Do you believe discipline leads to change?

Being committed, being disciplined in your approach will nearly always lead to change.

Saying no to the chocolate cake.

Going for a run even though it is raining.

Working extra hours to finish the job on time.

All of these are leading to change. What does it all mean?

Meaningful Change

It means that when you don’t want to work on the spreadsheet, but you still do, the work gets finished. That’s change.

It could also mean that when you don’t want to have a conversation about the project, but you do, the outcomes become clearer. That’s change.

Perhaps when you want to speak out, strike out, or quit, but you don’t, the collaboration becomes easier and the work of the few is more powerful than the work of the one.

All of this is change, it’s showing you the value of discipline. It means you’re taking a different approach. It means that you’re putting in the emotional labor to get the results. Could it be that the bottom line will also improve?

Discipline Leads

The power of discipline is often underestimated. Discipline transforms from the power of the push, to the power of the pull. It makes the work a compelling argument, not one to be avoided. No more push, all pull.

Discipline and commitment are attractive. Attraction breeds more community and engagement. In a connection economy you couldn’t ask for more.

When was the last time you were tested for discipline? When were your buttons pushed? What about your energy, do you have the emotional stamina to work beyond adversity? Will you feel the pull?

The next time you absolutely don’t want to do something think about what will change. If it will create a positive impact find the discipline and you’ll see the change.

You’ll pull through.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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big promises

Big Promises and Buying a Solution

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People are fascinating by media. They watch traditional television, surf their phone, and spend hours on YouTube. Are advertisers making big promises that they cannot possibly keep? Do buyers really care?

Advertisements Move Us

We see the commercial for the franchise restaurant and the food looks delicious. When we order it in the restaurant it looks like something is a little different.

There is the promise that the new automobile will make our family happy, the dog enjoys the ride, and haul all our goodies without any trouble, all while achieving better exceptional gas mileage. Does it do all those things?

We can’t forget about the diet supplements, the meal plans, and why we should buy gold. Are the implied promises kept?

Perhaps one of the most important points about all the things that are pitched to us is understanding who owns the responsibility for what works. Looking at it another way, who owns the responsibility for what doesn’t work?

“Just eat the meals and lose the weight.” may sound familiar. Are you buying the meals, or are you buying the idea that for some reason you’ll change your eating habits?

We can’t forget about the prescription drug advertisements. How does that work? We tell our doctor we want what the television is advertising? She then prescribes what we want?

Big Promises

Most people are buying something based on big promises. Promises that the advertisers probably can’t keep. Don’t blame them though, you didn’t do exactly as described. You didn’t eat the meals, so you didn’t lose the weight.

Perhaps the best way to get to where you want to go is to make the big promises to yourself. Most advertisers leave you with the feeling of finally finding a solution and that buying their product is just that, a solution.

In many of these cases people aren’t buying a solution, they are buying the hope of creating change. How much will you pay for hope? What about discipline, persistence, and motivation?

Really it is all still up to 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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New habits

New Habits Are a Decision You Can Make

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Personal or professional change is always a topic that invokes interest. Many people consider that they want to make a change, make a difference, or discover something new. Have you considered how new habits are about decisions you make?

Wanting New Habits

Someone will suggest that they want to get more exercise, read more books, or learn more about something they have always wanted to do. What is required to make this happen? The quick and easy response is change.

Your days are likely filled with activity. Depending on your work, your personal responsibilities, and your discipline (note discipline, not motivation) you can make a change. The question you may have to ask yourself is what will you give up?

Out with Old Habits

Old habits are hard to kick. Attraction to the path of least resistance is easier than the discipline required to make a change.

I want the chocolate cake is more desirable than I won’t eat the cake because of the outcomes that will follow.

Taking a little snooze while watching some television is easier than getting dressed in some workout gear and heading to the gym.

Having a nice cup of coffee and processing emails or joining in the office chat is easier than calling some clients to ask about the recent service you provided.

Sometimes we can this motivation, but it really is more about discipline.

Requirements

New habits require at least two things. They require you to give something up, and they require you to have the discipline to continue to do the new repetitively.

When I’m coaching people they often can’t see how they will make a change. Their day is full, their time is committed, and their energy and work to life balance is set. It makes me smile because that is exactly why we are talking. They need a change.

New Habits New Steps

Recognizing the need for change is the first step. Next, you have to consider what you will give up. Will it be the chocolate cake, the television snooze, or the smooth and easy flow of what you call the daily grind?

If you’ve decided you need a change. Identify what you’ll give up and commit to the discipline to stick to it.

New habits are possible but only when you decide.

– 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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make tough decisions appreciative strategies

Leaders Make Tough Decisions

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Leadership can be glamorous, or so it would appear. Some leaders do well when an organization is thriving. Others are at their best to bring an organization out of trouble. Do all leaders make tough decisions?

Leadership isn’t just an office on the top floor, a bigger salary, and a few nice perks.

Leaders

True leadership requires hard work, extra effort, and the ability to make tough decisions. The supervisor, manager, director, or vice president, or the CEO, president, or the board of directors, they all apply, titles aren’t important.

Whether you’re making budget cuts, building a five year plan, or selecting the next vice president to join the team decisions need to be made. They aren’t always easy.

The most important decisions might be the ones that tug at your emotions. They’re often tugging because the easy choice, the option that you really want to choose, isn’t the right choice.

Make Tough Decisions

Tough decisions are tough because they require discipline. They need high levels of integrity and ethics.

Consider these simple examples:

  • Watching the telephone ring but not answering seems like fun, but the customer needs some help.
  • It’s a beautiful day and a long lunch with a walk through park seems like a good idea, but there is too much work to be done.
  • A vacation during crunch time sounds appealing, but we know the business needs our services during this critical time.

We probably all know somebody who would eat the ice cream, take the lunch and a walk, and vacation regardless of any work related concerns.

There is probably a good chance that same person will come up short during the toughest decisions.

Confusion

They’ll confuse the tough decisions with easy decisions either because they lack discipline or they never have to deal with the outcomes. Or at least they don’t have to deal with them right now.

Are you a leader who can make tough decisions? Will you let your emotions control the outcome?

If you’re not sure you might want to consider who is left holding the bag.

– 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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