Tag Archives: growth

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personal growth

Personal Growth Is Your Ticket To Workplace Success

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Many people talk about personal growth. Likely, more than eighty percent of those discussing it stick with it long enough to make a significant change.

A lack of luck is often to blame. Yet, most people experience luck often. In reality, how you manage luck, good or bad, will make the biggest difference long-term.

Considering short-run management versus long-run change, are you able to balance both?

Plenty of short-run decisions have an impact on long-run change.

A bowl of ice cream on Saturday evening may feel good while satisfying the short-run. A bowl of ice cream every evening may have some impact on long-run weight management.

When you break it all down, nearly everything you do and the associated outcomes are predictors of what happens long-term.

Personal Growth

Most executives don’t start at the top.

A great car mechanic wasn’t born that way.

The fittest athlete didn’t get fit by laying on the couch all day, every day.

Your level of personal growth seldom just happens. It is a collection across time. A collection of little or nothing never gets very big. Yet a little bit collected often starts to add up.

A picture of a tree in the park, the one in the courtyard at your workplace, or outside your kitchen window. One taken now and one taken five years ago. Things have changed, yet you barely noticed.

Every tiny piece. Every bit of information. Successes, learning opportunities, and even every calorie burnt versus calorie consumed.

One nugget at a time, adding up across days, weeks, months, and years. That is the path to achieving more.

Many people like to focus on salary or money.

Your success isn’t always about what you get paid along the way. What you get paid for it may be stark in comparison to what you become for it.

Bit by bit, drop by drop, season after season, adding a little more across time is the surest way to achieve more.

Growth isn’t an accident.

-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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story change

How Will Your Story Change? Should It?

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Sometimes, but not always, change is about choice. Decisions you make or actions you take have a way of changing things or keeping you stuck. Will your story change?

Whether it is the end of a year, a decade, or just the end of a current path that you are on, your story is your creation.

Future Connected to Choice

The recognition of choice is often hard to comprehend. As people we often tend to blame people, circumstances, or even the economy. While there may be some truth in all of those, we still have direct involvement through our choice.

When we dig a little deeper, we even make choices about our happiness, sadness, and the energy spent (or wasted) on either.

The stories that we repetitively tell ourselves will condition the choices we make next.

I could never do that job.

The client screwed me on the deal.

Jane got the promotion because she kisses up to the boss.

The story that you allow to play out for your future is connected to the decisions you will make because of your mindset.

Story Change

Do you want your story to change?

Thinking about a potential change and making a change are completely different things. Many people think about shoving a donut in their mouth because of the high caloric content, yet, it doesn’t stop them.

If your story is going to change it is going to be because of your choices, actions, and behaviors.

Knowing isn’t doing. Doing is doing.

-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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energized action

Energized Action and Learning Something New

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It isn’t always about what we know. Often it is more about what we do with what we know. Do you have energized action?

We hear about it before the meeting, the workshop, or the conference breakout session.

I’m not attending because I already know that stuff.

That’s about as basic as it comes, I’m going to a different session.

These meetings are so boring, we always talk about the same stuff.

There is a difference between knowing and action. How you react to opportunities will often depend on how you look at them.

Open to Opportunity

Many people stop listening, often before they even start listening.

There are the stereotypes, biases, and the “set ways” that often keep people from learning more.

Our mindset and how we approach opportunities with differences depends on what happens next. What happens next is your action.

A coffee shop owner may have different business experience from the clock shop owner. One business author writes about finance, the other about marketing. The YouTuber gets a million hits from the skateboard event, another from an artistic display of human generosity.

Energized Action

When we block out new or different information, we set limits. We shelter and close the frame on our design. Having a frame can help us digest new or large volumes of information but never adjusting the frame will limit future outcomes.

Energized action comes from the willingness to adjust the frame. It comes from exploration, risk, and a propensity to see opportunity in differences.

You may feel like you already know it all. You may feel that you’ve mastered the craft. Yet, you may be surprised how things look through a different lens.

You want your next opportunity? You want energized action?

Give opportunity a chance.

-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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professional growth

Professional Growth Begins With Trust

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Are you seeking professional growth? Does it surprise you that trust matters for growth?

Consider the small business CEO. He or she has a knack for doing many things. It is not uncommon that this knack is exactly what derails growth.

Sure, the business entity will grow to a point, yet when the responsibility and accountable don’t scale everything will stop and start with the CEO. In the absence, or unavailability of the CEO, nothing starts or finishes.

Workplace Roles and Careers

The same is true for the supervisor or manager. If the working supervisor decides it is easier to do it herself rather than train someone else, boom things fail to start or finish.

That eager board person on the non-profit board, you know the one, she raises her hand for all the volunteer assignments. Nothing starts and nothing finishes.

One person shows are hard to scale. In fact, more than hard, it is nearly impossible. Sure, there may be some scaling but only to a point, then nothing starts and nothing finishes.

Professional Growth

Professional growth starts with trust. When you discover that you can let go and trust another person with the assignment new growth begins.

It doesn’t begin just because you asked. It begins because you stopped, even for just a moment, you stopped being tactical and started being more strategic.

Tactics matter and they are how we execute the strategy. Yet, they can never become the strategy or there won’t be any growth.

Your growth begins with giving trust to others and then maintaining accountability for the quality, accuracy, and completeness of the work.

No trust, no growth, every time.

-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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being average

The Frustration of Being Average

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Are you planning to excel in your career? Is being average the norm? By definition most people would fall into the average bracket.

It seems funny to me how controversial the subject of being average can be. I’ve had people unsubscribe and delete me from social media because they didn’t like a discussion about being average. It’s true.

Is it okay to be average? Certainly, but if my work was geared to just becoming average there wouldn’t really be much work to be done. My business depends on people who are working for something more.

Being Average?

When you consider the definition of average, you have to think about the middle. In manufacturing, if you build to spec, you are really building to the middle. In any service sector, most of your transactions are probably average.

This is a simple concept, because what falls below spec or is less than spec is poor quality, and once in a while if we stretch, we can go beyond average.

Most organizations are actually trying to hire for average. They look for what they define as “best fit.” Best fit is really about being average. Lousy work and you fall below, exceptional work and there isn’t enough room for you. At least, that is how things seem to shake out.

Frustration of Average

The argument for average is that we need certain levels achievement, but not so much achievement that you blow away the spec.

For most careers then, the goal of excelling in your work is counter intuitive. That is, unless there is room for advancement.

This is one of the cultural frustrations for the organization. It is what causes work in motion to slow down. It causes quality to be only about good enough, not about as good as it could be.

Sometimes we have to look beyond best fit. Yet, that is a risk that many choose not to take.

-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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something new

Try Something New, That’s Learning!

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Are you interested to try something new? Are you the first one to taste the unknown dish at the picnic or try the unknown from the menu?

At the dinner event hors d’oeuvres are often served. The well-trained staff will likely explain the dish, the teenage volunteer will just hold it out in your space to see if you’ll take the plunge.

Fresh seafood in North Dakota may be risky, but the beef is probably a safe bet.

Exploration helps us learn. It may also be known as research.

Learning Moments

Many people will learn from mistakes. Yet sometimes they keep doing the same thing over and over. The fear of the unknown seems greater than the risk of the consequences of bad moves.

It may feel like there is safety in the known. Other times, the last thing we want is the known.

Hiring managers often have a choice between internal candidates and external candidates. It is common that they know the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the internal possibilities. Yet they are more interested to risk an outsider who they’ve spent an hour or two with during an interview.

When it comes to change, we often want safety.

Very few people are convinced that when they jump, the net will appear.

Something New

It is risk that we may evaluate incorrectly.

At the meeting, the risk of speaking up seems more threatening than the risk of watching the team make another wrong turn. You can help, or offer alternatives, but you may retreat to a place of safety.

Fear of separation may be a root cause, which then leads to action anxiety and ultimately negative fantasies. You assess the situation and become convinced that the worst outcome will result. It’s too risky.

Trying something new may be the exact thing that is holding you back.

Don’t make the same mistakes over and over. Give up some safety for calculated risk.

That’s how we learn.

-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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workforce learning

Workforce Learning, it Sticks and Grows

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It is all about culture. At least that is what most experts will say. Does building your organization have anything to do with workforce learning?

A couple of entrepreneurs get together and start a company. A few years later and they have a company of fifty or one hundred. And so the organization is growing, or so it appears.

What is creating the culture?

Culture and Change

Growth means change and change means learning. “Go get buy-in. Get everyone bought-in.” the CEO requests.

Yet many people struggle to understand how buy-in is achieved. Shouting about buy-in may disrupt the flow, yet getting traction often requires something different.

Marketing, advertising, and selling matter, they help spread the idea. Yet adoption of the idea may still require a different approach.

Difference Makers

Every day there is a person who sings in the shower. A person who paints a picture, and a person who demonstrates great leadership around the workplace.

Yet, the shower singer may not become an Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, or Mariah Carey. The picture painter may not become as well known as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Picasso. And the workplace leader may never make it to the C-Suite.

However, each one of these people bring something forward. The extent of their interactions may make a difference for someone’s day or even positively change a life, or two, or three. They help others learn, grow, and perhaps identify with a culture.

Workforce Learning

Organizational culture is made up of many things. Mostly, things that are driven by people. People who share with other people.

Buy-in is created by shared experiences. People who participate together build it together. It catches on, and it sticks. It has value and no one wants wasted effort.

Workforce learning helps people decide how they’ll shape the culture. When they discover value, they share it and then suggest that their friends try it too.

They’re bought-in, it sticks, and it grows.

-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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professional seminars

Professional Seminars, Sit Through It or Grow?

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Continuous learning, lifelong learning, what is your approach to professional seminars? Some of the approaches I hear are comical.

If I have to sit through it, you’re going to sit through it too.

I’ll sit through it, but I probably have more important things to do.

I don’t think I need this but I’ll sit through if it makes everyone happy.

Sit through it?

I’ve heard these and dozens more as training is being organized or as people assemble for the event. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, “What kind of attitude is that?”

Fear of History Repeating

Then I remember. I remember sitting through slide after slide of someone reciting the work of someone else. I remember the endless barrage of slide decks with words, paragraphs, and executive summaries you are expected to read. In another unfortunate twist the presenter will read it for you.

It doesn’t stop there; we also have charts. Not a simple pie chart or bar graph but five years of key indicators data that is in font size 8 or 10. Huh?

Participants have a choice. A choice about sitting through that or doing something better. The presenters have a choice also. Their choice is about what and how they’ll present.

Professional Seminars

Just this week I presented three different seminars in three different towns. I heard and felt some of the grumbles and groans before the start.

When finished, I welcomed and appreciated the handshakes and kind comments. I am always grateful and sometimes humbled by the generosity of eager and inspired participants. It is my biggest reward.

My suggestion is not new, but still relevant. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case don’t judge a seminar before it starts.

Most people don’t care for just sitting around. Professional seminars will inspire you to grow.

As a participant you have a choice. You can come prepared to just sit through it, or you can come prepared to grow through it.

There is a saying which I don’t know who to give credit. It goes something like this, “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

-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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workforce relevance

Workforce Relevance or Self-Deception

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Once upon a time it mattered to ensure you stocked enough green bar paper. You were state-of-the-art. This may also be true for the number two pencil, the Rolodex, and the pink “While you were out” memo pads. Workforce relevance changes too. Skills, approaches, and service themes.

The sales funnel is important. Keep a good supply of potential leads, work them down into the yes and no pile. Keep going, keep moving, the sales funnel means life. Build operational support to keep the funnel flowing and you’re set.

Stay Relevant

Organizations often face irrelevance because the theme of keeping the flow moving becomes a standard. The idea is, when we do just this, and just that, and get everything just right, the flow will continue. Then it slows, or stops.

What built the organization and the teams that keep it moving, aren’t necessarily the same aspects or indicators of what will keep it alive.

Likely every organization that has worked to standardize and then lock it in, eventually stop, things slow and then end.

For the small business it is often the hard work of the owners, the second or third generation of family, or the subconscious vision of, “We finally have it all figured out.”

Workforce Relevance

It is safe to say that all organizations are driven by people. People are not tools; they are an investment. Manage them as a cost of doing business instead of the reason you have the business and you will have a short run game.

The relevance of your workforce will condition everything in the long game. The knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need to continue to grow, change, and adapt.

If you get stuck in the world of green bar paper, number two pencils, and your Rolodex, everything will pass you by. In a world of constant change being convinced your formula will stay the same is self-deception.

-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 purpose

Does Your Team Understand Workplace Purpose?

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One of the most basic elements of building a successful organization is the ability to rally the people around a workplace purpose. Have you considered lately how that is working in your team or department?

Setting the Stage

The development stages of the organization are simpler. There are fewer people, less moving parts, it is easier to watch over the entire operation.

Across the months, years, or decades things start to shift a little. More people join, more problems have become apparent and more rules and policies are put in place. Without careful and purposeful intention, things often start to get lost in the shuffle.

Often larger work groups and teams are doing tasks or following guidelines that they either don’t understand, or worse, they misunderstand.

The big picture with strategy is out there. It may be in the publicized mission statement, unfortunately from the strategy room to the front-line things get lost in the translation.

Department managers sometimes become confused about the true strategy, the why of the business. They respond to measurement, metrics, and performance criteria, but their response lacks the understanding of purpose.

As time moves forward some disorganization may occur. The purpose is confusing, the front-line works towards metrics, but they often do not understand why. Managers insist somewhat blindly that this work, their work, is part of the strategy, however, they too suffer from understanding why.

Workplace Purpose

When groups of people and teams are employed to create work, provide a service, and do great things it is very important that they understand the purpose.

Understanding workplace purpose is everyone’s responsibility, yet it often doesn’t exist.

In the best organizations everyone leads at some level. Otherwise, you have a bureaucratic conundrum.

-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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