Tag Archives: focus

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wide focus

Are You Using a Wide Focus or Narrow?

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There is a mindset today, more is better. Certainly, more can make a difference but it may not always be the path to greatness. Is your focus wide, big, or for everyone? What is better a wide focus or narrow and targeted?

Wide Focus

Bernie Sanders wrote a book and sold a lot of copies. Part of his recently self-proclaimed millionaire status seemingly developed from book sales.

Someone creates a YouTube video and they hope that it goes viral bringing fast notoriety and perhaps some wealth thereafter.

It is also true for many social media posts, the podcast, and the daily blog. More hits, a bigger audience, and therefore, success.

In some of these cases, the popular approach or thought is, “Go as big and wide as possible, attract everyone!”

It seems to make sense. Create a sensation, a wave, and an overnight success.

Is Narrow Better?

If mom and pops dinner, with seating to accommodate 75, suddenly had 250 people show up for breakfast, it would be a problem.

When the small bar in Nashville reaches capacity, those who can’t enter have a different experience.

When the Boeing 737-800 reaches 162 passengers, no more will fit. The flight may be oversold. Anxious and angry passengers are the result.

Imagine the disappointment for all the kids who didn’t get a Cabbage Patch Kid, a Teddy Ruxpin, or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle because the stores sold out during the holiday season.

Wide or Narrow?

The work that you are doing right now may feel like it needs a wide focus. Yet there will still be many people and businesses who focus narrower.

The commitment is different, they scale differently, the goals and objectives hint more about quality than about quantity.

The mom and pop restaurant may win big by always being near capacity but not over. The flying experience for passengers is probably better when the flight is slightly less than sold out.

Sometimes being just right is better than being too much.

Just right will probably win the long game.

What is your plan?

-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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workplace endurance

Workplace Endurance or Getting Through the Day?

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People often say, “I just have to make it through this day.” Does this feel like a challenge you’ve faced? Do you have workplace endurance and what is most important?

Funny, I often ask seminar participants about workplace motivation. Somewhere the obvious initial response is about money, “We have to pay the bills.”

Another question, or rabbit hole, is related to focus. Focus is critical, focus on the wrong things and you get poor results. Focus on nothing and you may get nothing.

Getting Results

In order to make it through the day people often break down their tasks or duties. Shorter vision, get through the hour, past the lunch break, and now you are more than half way through.

However, the organization often measures results across more than a single day. Results are the outcomes of each minute, hour, and day, repeated across time.

Making it through the toughest of days often conditions your success. The day we feel most challenged is the day we either decide enough is enough, or we make it through, adding to our continued contribution.

The challenge of all of this comes down to vision and focus. Often the frustrated employee has a very short vision. They believe in just making it through the day.

Workplace Endurance

What is important to keep in mind is that while making it through the day is critical, their workplace life or career is really about a bigger vision.

The contribution that you make today may be assessed, but it is your endurance, the long-term, that ultimately has the most impact.

One thousand jelly beans get in the jar, bean by bean. Your glass of water fills from the bottom up, one drop at a time. A tree grows each day, but we seldom notice, only gaining appreciation after years of making it through each day.

You’ll do something today. It is important, yet your endurance will matter the most.

-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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job appreciation

How Long Does Job Appreciation Last?

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Is appreciation important? At your workplace is job appreciation plentiful?

As with most things in life, job appreciation may be the result of our efforts.

When was the last time you heard, “Thank you, nice work!”?

This is a question I often ask in leadership or cultural development seminars. Reactions vary, but largely it stumps the group. They can’t seem to quickly remember when they’ve heard it, or said it. Some will scoff and shout, “Never!”

Good Focus

We have good days and bad days. When was the last time you said, “Thank you, you just made my day!”?

The best workplace cultures have the determination to place value on appreciation. Not to the extent that praise is overcooked and it becomes a mild form of sarcasm. It must however, have significant emphasis and focus.

We seem to remember vividly the last time someone hurt our feelings, harshly criticized our work, or when we somehow missed the big opportunity.

As a natural human reaction to avoid hurt and pain, our brains try to learn. Yet to learn, we analyze and replay those memories much more than our successes. Some would suggest we are hard-wired this way. It is our evolution, it is in our genes.

Job Appreciation

Should we make job appreciation last longer? Should we try to consciously use our energy to remember the good, relive the success, and focus vividly on accomplishments? Is giving encouragement and praise a cultural value?

The answer seems clear and easy.

In order to do this though, it requires effort and strength. It requires us to put emphasis on the positive. We need to use our energy wisely, share success, and congratulate others.

It is easy to state that you are trying to be positive. Much more difficult is putting it into motion.

In the workplace, it may start by seeing the value that everyone brings to the table. It may start by saying, “Thank you, nice work!”

-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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managing time

How Are You Managing Time?

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Time management sounds like a boring topic. It seems like everyone should just get it. We often think, “Do it right, do the right stuff, be effective and efficient.” Are you managing time properly?

What’s Your Focus?

The golden rule that we’ve all heard is that we all have the same amount of time. Certainly, it’s true. Twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week, and we’re all counting.

Consistent with that thinking, time, it seems, isn’t really our problem. It is how we decide, or feel forced to decide, how we will spend it. What space will we occupy or what activity will we do during our time.

Here lies the real challenge. Do you have the dedication, the devotion, and the focus to really be productive? Are you committed to making the most of your time?

It may require emotional labor. Emotional labor feels hard, exhausting, and makes us question the return on investment. However, it may be necessary to make the best use of your time.

Managing Time

The first step to understanding how we manage our time comes from self-assessment. How are you utilizing your breaks? Are you taking a short brisk walk? That may be productive if you need better fitness.

What are your distractions? Are you creating them or are the result of others? Walking to the coffee pot or the break room may be a distraction. How many trips are you making?

Asking your co-worker across the cube if they watched the Grammy awards the night before, or the latest episode of the Walking Dead, or the Presidential Rally is likely inviting a delay of the real work to be done.

Assess the next three or four hours of your work. What are the time wasters? What activities are you substituting into the mix to procrastinate about the real work to be done? If you’re honest, you may be surprised.

Managing time, we all have the same amount.

-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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magic marketing

Magic Marketing for Business, Career, or Life

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It often seems like more should be better. More coffee, more dessert, or more menu options. How are sales? Are you satisfied with your career or life choices? Do you need more of something? Magic marketing could be required.

It is funny how our first approach to solving many problems is to do something more.

Is More Better?

In the workplace, when teams believe they have communication problems they often suggest more communication.

When we need more sales, we often contemplate how to increase the budget for more advertisement.

If we aren’t getting where we want to be in our career we think about more skills, more credentials, or just more job opportunities.

Sometimes this logic is known as the spray and pray approach. While I’m not sure of the exact origin of spray and pray, the analogy often described is the farmer spraying pesticides all over the field and praying that it keeps the insects away.

Another common analogy is the Chinese restaurant menu. Hundreds of options, so many that you don’t know what to choose.

More options, choices, people, jobs, careers, skills, customers, and products, none of these in more quantity may create the outcome you desire.

Magic Marketing

Is there such a thing as magic marketing?

Marketing is sometimes counterintuitive. People dream of that place where the lines of supply and demand, opportunities and sales, and job openings with applicants perfectly intersect.

In all these cases, more is not necessarily better. One job opening with the right applicant is perfect. A menu with three choices may be better than a menu with thirty-three choices.

Position your business marketing, your career pursuits, or nearly anything in life on not being more, but being better.

Magic marketing is about focus, not spray and pray.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Next decision

Consider How You Will Make Your Next Decision

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We decide on things every day. What we’ll wear, eat, or do. How we’ll interact, if we’ll smile, and if we’ll take out the garage. Bigger decisions feel more challenging. How will you make your next decision?

It may come down to your list. The list you have floating around in your mind.

Our complex brain power often has us evaluating circumstances and situations through two possible narratives.

Good Narrative

One narrative is optimistic. It is the consideration of things that could go right. We reflect on possibilities, good fortune, and that it may just be our time.

We have faith and believe. In this case, at this time, luck just may be on our side. We’re due. In fact, we’re overdue.

We decide that we’ll focus on our advantages, who we can tap in our network, and we’ll see the inspirational stories flash through our mind.

By choice, we will anchor to the positive.

However, there is another narrative. It is the other side of the coin.

The Other Narrative

Any obstacles or past roadblocks will be strongly present in our vision. We’ll think more about a friend who failed, had bad luck, and the hardship and agony of things that don’t work out.

We’ll be reminded of the criticism that was on our performance review last year. The door that slammed before we could enter, and the goofy slip of the tongue that we believe cost us forward momentum once before.

By choice we’ll see the list of all the lucky people. Only we aren’t on it. We’ll choose to recite and focus that their luck is at the expense of our own.

We’ll recall the time that someone struck out at us, gave us the shaft, and made us feel like less.

Next Decision

We decide on things every day. The choices you make today will be linked to your narrative.

When you feel the big decision, have some doubt, or your instincts are kicking in. You’ll think about it over and over again.

Be aware of your narrative. Make your next decision, a good one.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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correct lane

Are You Choosing The Correct Lane?

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For all the highway drivers out there, you know being in the correct lane is important. You would also quickly recognize that you can’t be in more than one lane at a time.

If you’re halfway in between, things aren’t so good. Not for you, and not for the other drivers sharing the road.

In business or in your career, many people talk about the idea of staying in your lane. It is a metaphorical expression mostly targeted at keeping a specific focus and not being spread or scattered to thin.

Focus is important, so is knowledge and expertise. I love the entrepreneur spirit of businesses, people, and ideas that are on the move, but is there a time to stay in your lane?

Yes, of course there is.

Which Lane?

I can read a lot medical information online. I can even manage a cut on my finger with some peroxide, antibacterial ointment, and a Band-Aid. I can tell friends to take a couple of Tylenol capsules and get some rest.

It doesn’t mean I can hang out a shingle and self-proclaim I’m a medical doctor.

Balancing my checkbook and managing a personal budget I’ve been doing since my teens.

In business, I’ve been responsible to manage multiple tens of millions of dollars. I have a solid understanding of an income statement and balance sheet. I can even explain it to others.

It doesn’t mean that I am a CPA and I should hang out a shingle and start an accounting practice.

Correct Lane

Today it is easy to hang out a shingle for just about anything. Buy a domain name, put up a website, create a Twitter and Instagram account and self-proclaim that you’re an expert and open for business.

Unless it is your focus. Unless you are committed to operating in that lane you may be better off staying positioned in the lane you are in.

Halfway in between doesn’t work out so well. Not for you, and not for others sharing the road.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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consistency

Consistency May Be Exactly What You Need

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People spend a lot of energy being persistent. They also spend a lot of energy being persuasive or influential. Those ideas are important but is consistency what you’re really missing?

For the marketer, the pizza shop, and the career builder, being consistent may be the most important factor you are overlooking.

Consistency matters in nearly any profession. It matters for your personal brand. It certainly matters for product quality and reputation.

Importance of Consistency

Why is consistency so important? Here are three of my favorite reasons:

  1. Trust. Consistency builds trust. When people know what to expect and when they are more trusting. It is one example of why surprises aren’t necessarily fun. It is also why the boy who cried wolf got in trouble.
  2. Accomplishment. When you have a confirmed path for a solution, consistently applying the process will allow you to achieve the goal. It is the deviation from the process, or a lack of consistency, which often slows results or creates a less desirable outcome.
  3. Promises Kept. Connected with trust, but not always the same, is keeping your promise. Your brand has a promise. You make a promise to complete the work, have high quality, and deliver on time. Insisting on consistency means expectations and perceptions become reality.

Not Scattered, More Focused

For your business or for your personal brand, consistency is sometimes overlooked or underrated. Being too scattered or lacking a focus may be exactly why your product is not chosen or the job opportunity is missed.

Consistency helps everyone understand and identify exactly what is in the box. It builds confidence. Confidence is connected to our emotions, so is the choice that buyers or hiring agents make.

Is consistency exactly what you need?

-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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wasted energy

The Big Frustration of Wasted Energy

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Do you need your go juice in the morning? Bottomless pots of coffee, maybe an energy drink or two? Have you ever thought about wasted energy? The things you do that don’t provide value?

What’s Your Fix?

I’m a coffee drinker. I know it is a sin, but often it is decaf.

Someone once said to me, “Why do you drink decaf? That doesn’t make any sense.”

There are probably several reasons. The best reason is because I like the taste of coffee. No sugar, no cream, nothing added, just coffee.

Certainly, I’ve had a few energy drinks in my day. I’ve drank bottomless pots of caffeinated coffee. Chocolate, soda, and other energy products.

The question really is, do we need more energy or do we need to stop wasting energy? Perhaps it is some of both.

Daily Routine

Everyday people make their move to work. They have a routine, a commute, stops they make and things they do to pass the time. How is that energy spent?

Once on the job, or in the surroundings of other people, there is often chatter, discussions, and usually some gripes and complaints.

Are you wasting energy on non-productive things?

While this may not be you – be sure you self-assess – many people waste gobs of energy reliving the negativity of the past. What this creates is negativity of the future.

Wasted Energy

In very limited measures there may be some relief in getting something off your chest. When most of what you talk about is doom and gloom, you’re going to experience doom and gloom.

Worry, anxiety, and anger, they are not positive energy. When you talk about it, relive it, and tell others, there really isn’t anything positive about that.

Everyone probably has something to worry about and at low or moderate levels worry can help us navigate life and even grow better. Anxiety or feeling anxious can sometimes be twisted and redirected. Even moderate levels of anger can be redirected for a positive outcome.

On the other hand, all this negative energy can eat us alive. It makes people depressed, inappropriately anxious, and in extreme circumstances causes other health problems.

It is your energy. How will you use it?

What does your day look like?

-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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your list

Your List Is Your Treasure, Unless It’s a Bad List

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Competition excites many people. It positively excites me. I like analogies connected to winning and being appropriately assertive. People sometimes suggest that they are, “taking names.” Who is on your list?

Taking Names

Many connect the concept of taking names to mean you’re creating a list. Likely, it is a list of people to be excluded, removed, or otherwise outperformed. There may be a few other variations, but I think you have the picture.

Your list is something you may keep track of, stew over, and get angry about. The question to ask then is, “Are you keeping the right list?”

People often want to track those who work against them. They want to be sure that when opportunity knocks, the list will be pulled out, and someone is going down.

I remind people all the time that what you focus on is what you get. A focus on negativity will produce more negativity. You can count on it.

If you are making a list, would it make more sense to keep a list of people who are helping you succeed?

Is there more value to creating a list of the people who support you? The people who really have your back. Those people who are giving of time, attention, and spreading goodwill?

Your List

You may not owe anybody anything, but reciprocity still always has some value.

When you use your time to focus on a list of negativities you’re not only hurting yourself but you’re not honoring those who honor you.

The next time you offer up that you are taking names, make it a list of the good people. Remember their consideration, caring, and unbridled support.

If you are going to have a list, make it worthwhile.

List the good ones. Tell others, find more, build connections, and start a tribe.

You’ll be more successful. Your list is your treasure.

-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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