Tag Archives: persistence

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future gamble

Future Gamble and What You Should Bet On

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What is your future gamble? Are you taking some risk or just moving along from day-to-day? Do you have a plan?

Many people get an automobile loan for five years. Homebuyers may secure a mortgage for fifteen years; some will go thirty. There is a gamble on what your future will look like financially.

In the 1980’s I scraped wallpaper off the wall of an older home. Someone wrote on the wall underneath and provided the date in 1914 when they hung the paper. Was that paper hanger still alive? What was his or her thoughts as they scribed the date? What was the story?

It is difficult for nearly everyone, or perhaps it is better stated as, anyone, to forecast their own future. Yet, some will stumble into something, and others will hold regret or perhaps place blame for a future that never developed as they hoped.

Your future happens for you, or to you.

Certainly, there are always unexpected circumstances. There are roadblocks, surprises, and dead-end roads. It has been said many times that without a plan, you’re planning to fail.

What is your future gamble?

Future Gamble

Your future is a long-run game. It is made up of thousands or millions of moments. Choices, decisions, and outcomes, they are all part of those moments.

Persistence pays the most dividends in the long-run game.

It is about what you do every day across time.

That is precisely why having a plan is so important. Without a plan, you don’t get where you are going. You get where you end up.

Every January people are thinking about what lies ahead. It is a bet placed on what will happen next.

Metaphorically, they write a date on the wall and then cover it with wallpaper. It is a marker placed in time with or without a prophecy for the future.

In the future someone will peel back that paper.

What happened in-between?

If that is your story, will it be worth telling?

Have a plan. Be persistent. Bet on you.

-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 streaks

Workplace Streaks Lead to Greater Success

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Does the success of any business or entrepreneurial adventure depend upon workplace streaks? What matters more, the one and done, or the approach applied often across time?

The chatter is often about habits. Break a bad habit, revise a mediocre habit, or build new habits.

Habits are often connected with persistence. A person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities put to use across time.

Luck happens. A lucky break, an unlucky situation, or sometimes people believe that their luck has run out.

Each day people enter their workplace. A plush office, a hard concrete plant floor, or a makeshift desk on your kitchen island.

Regardless of where you go, or where you stay, whether it is indoors or outdoors, in your home or across town, you likely operate from a pattern of repetitive tasks.

Some professions are more mixed than others. Some people base their day on tactical approaches to addressing the next emergency. Others analyze and crunch data, plan the next strategy, or test their theory of something new.

All of it is based on patterns. Patterns of behavior or ways of doing things.

Repetitively, over and over again.

Workplace Streaks

In sports people often look to identify streaks. Three wins in a row, or two consecutive championships.

Success in the workplace often develops from streaks. The process of applying behaviors, habits, or ways of doing things.

Workplace streaks are often not about perfection as much as they are about the pursuit. Consistent persistence. The American folktale tale of The Little Engine That Could applies even in the grown-up world.

The bigger picture across time.

In a single day, it may be hard to see change. Efforts that you’ll apply during the next year may clearly show results.

You can’t do a few pushups once a month and expect a significant change in your health or fitness. Pushups done each day for six months will make a difference.

Get on a streak. Keep it moving every day.

-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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Continuous feed

Continuous Feed is Persistent and Attainable

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Popular in the 1980s, continuous feed forms for computer printouts kept the information flowing. Your work and what you’ll achieve is a practice across time. It flows, one page linking to the next.

Do you realize what your cable and internet bill will cost you across the next five years?

Have you considered how many hours you’ll spend surfing eComm websites for things you’ll buy and the amount of money you’ll spend?

Have you calculated how many hours you’ll put into your craft by 2025 or 2030?

Some people consider that in every career there are dues to be paid. Across time the effort and hours stack up, costing more and more until finally a milestone is achieved.

Yet onlookers often have a different point of view. They believe that you just hang a shingle, start a podcast, or simply get lucky and success is achieved overnight.

Luck often plays a role, but how you manage luck and what happens next will have more to do with long-term outcomes than any single luck event.

Most success does come with a price. It is the price of continuous feed.

Continuous Feed

Moment-by-moment and day-by-day the persistent process of stacking one piece on top of another adds up. It is the single drop in a bucket repeated so many times you’ve lost count until eventually, you fill the pail.

What you want to attain is not so far away. You just have to feed it a little bit each day, repetitively, across time.

One other aspect of continuous feed, just like thousands of pages all connected with a perforated tear, unless you rip it apart, you’ll always be able to see where you came from.

Don’t lose track.

-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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persistent commitment

Persistent Commitment Is Not About Time

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At least not directly. Persistent commitment emphasizes the value of the journey, and in most cases, it shouldn’t alter the destination. Assumptions that it takes a long-time shouldn’t weaken the focus. In fact, it may serve to strengthen it.

Destinations are often connected to hurdles, problems, and cannot happen within the moment. It is often why people fail to reach them.

The business or organization you work for has a journey and a destination. The same may be said about your career.

Destination Focused

In hospitality businesses, people sometimes refer to their operation as a destination location. The restaurant outside of town may have to be a destination location.

In these scenarios, it’s important to be persistent in providing the ambiance that draws people to you. Successful operations focus more than just food.

Whether you are problem-solving for your business or planning your career, staying persistent, and being committed matters.

Identifying that the journey may be long shouldn’t alter the commitment.

A career is considered to be comprised of many years. Yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be focused, committed, and taking action towards the destination every day.

Some good things take time. It’s true.

Persistent Commitment

Time shouldn’t be confused with weakening or lessening the commitment. It doesn’t mean you should just cruise, lose your focus, or wait on the perfect time.

Feeling that it’s taking too long to get to your destination may make you settle for something less. Not because you can’t get there. Perhaps because the feeling connected with the journey to reach your destination makes you less committed to the requirements of the goal.

It happens for people with diets, exercise routines, and managing personal finances. It may be the cause of business failures or connected with the frustration of navigating your career.

Bottom line, it shouldn’t.

It just shouldn’t happen.

Stay persistent and be committed.

-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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competitive challenge

Competitive Challenge and Processing the Outcomes

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No one wants to be a loser. Who would want that label? Are you facing a competitive challenge and are feeling a little nervous about the potential outcome?

You’re not alone.

People face challenges of various types every day. It may be a challenge to get motivated, it may be to get through traffic without road rage, or it may be an attempt to gain buy-in from the committee on your new idea.

There are other challenges too. Like, closing the sale, getting hired, or coping with a significant setback or failure.

The loser label is a significant fear. Your pride, your hard work, the embarrassment and the insults, no one wants it.

Facing the outcomes in a competitive situation can be tough.

Reality of Outcomes

You’re not always going to close the sale, you won’t always get buy-in from others, and, sometimes you won’t be the selected candidate for the job.

Most people feel like they can accept one or two losses. Even in professional sports, perfect records are very rare.

It is often the stacking that gets people down.

Like a stacked pile of books sitting on the floor, as the stack gets taller, the weight and pressure get progressively worse. Some books may suffer from damage or get crushed.

The stacking of problems, feelings of rejection, and the sometimes self-imposed labels hurt.

There are lots of ways to get out from under the stack.

One way is to quit. Which brings up another label, quitter.

For many things in life, there is a time to move on. Forget any labels. There is a time. However, that doesn’t mean it is this time.

Competitive Challenge

Better candidates do appear, the committee doesn’t always like the proposal, and losing the sale to the competition does suck.

The best thing is to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and analyze your efforts and results.

Was there personal improvement? Did you really put in the right kind of effort to be successful? Did you self-defeat, lack appropriate confidence, or illustrate a beaten down persona?

What about the homework? Did you do it? Including the research, proof reading your work, and asking the right questions?

Even if you feel like you did everything right, the outcome still may not be what you wanted.

It might be about timing, or maybe they just don’t know you.

Maybe they don’t realize how persistent you are, how hard you’ll work, or the tremendous pressure you will endure.

It’s never over until you say.

Sometimes the most competitive challenge is with yourself. Keep building, keep growing, and stay persistent.

I don’t think it’s over.

-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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building skills

Building Skills Comes From Persistence

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Are you good at what you do because of raw talent or is your success based on persistence? Building skills may be a combination of talent and learning. Persistence will make you better.

Some people are known to have an eye for art. Others are said to be great with their hands, a fast runner, or have an amazing voice. Is this talent, or skills built?

The person with the fanciest cell phone who seemingly works magic, is that a talent?

A person who knows seemingly endless amounts of historical information is that a talent?

Talent or Persistence?

People are often described as having talent when they have capabilities that appear above average. Yet, sometimes it is not so much a talent as it is persistence in getting better.

Most basketball players are tall, yet arguably, that may not be directly related to their ability to shoot the ball from beyond the three-point line.

Horse jockeys are small, not a talent. Distance runners are not overweight, not a talent.

We often confuse talent with persistence.

Building Skills

Someone who is good with numbers may be related to how they’ve been taught to think about math.

An archer gets better with practice. The same is true for good students, house painters, and gardeners.

What you work hard at, you’ll do better. You’ll build more skill.

In some cases, there are somewhat natural limitations. Being short in basketball is not an advantage, and perhaps no amount of persistence can overcome a short stature.

For most things in life, and for most professional careers, it is much more about persistence than it is about talent.

A great lawyer, works at it. So does a home builder, an engineer, and an accountant.

Persistence makes the difference.

Build more skill.

-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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repetition creates learning

Repetition Creates Learning or Ignoring

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Teaching a dog a new trick involves repetition. You do it over and over again until it becomes a behavior. The idea is, repetition creates learning.

Is this always true?

Sometimes, it would seem, that repetition invites shutting down or shutting out. The idea that we’ve heard it so many times we now choose not to listen.

Another harmful side effect of repetition is the element of safety. We’re reminded of this in the fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

It might really be about balance. A balance between enough repetition to create learning and not any more than just enough.

Repetition Creates Learning

In our workplaces we struggle with repetition.

We have the recurring email threads. The information asked for or the information being pushed out. The length of the courtesy copy list grows, readership declines, costly mistakes occur. Balls are dropped. Customers are unhappy.

Commerce struggles with repetition.

It’s in the marketing, in the message, and in the email blast. We see the television commercial for the tenth time and we’ve already started to ignore it.

Government struggles with repetition.

It is the warning message. The surgeon general’s advice. A governor’s opinion. The color code of your county. Wear a mask. Social distance.

Too much and we shut it out.

Just Right

Athletes practice for repetition and learning. The presenter practices her speech. An actor memorizes a line, the body language, and the feeling of the scene.

It doesn’t seem to matter which direction we go with repetition and learning. There is a maximum for return on investment.

The key then, is to provide enough repetition to get noticed, get the point across, or improve the skill. Everything beyond that starts to take away from everyone’s level of interest or desire.

Getting it just right is a hard skill to practice, and to 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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achieving goals

Achieving Goals Has a Runner-Up

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The day a marketing campaign launches. When the big order ships. The sale that puts you above the forecast. A high school graduation, college degree achieved, and a bank loan paid-off. Achieving goals is a feel-good experience. Yet, there just may be a runner-up.

Managers everywhere want team success. Success may be measured in many ways and is usually compared to a key indicator, a forecast, or some form of metric.

It’s been said in racing and other sports, “Second place is the first loser.”

Loser is a harsh word. Sure, it may motivate some by sparking anger, creating a feeling of disappointment, and invigorating a competitive spirit. Yet, it is certainly not a confidence booster.

I don’t like it.

Meeting and exceeding goal is fantastic. However, coming up just a little short doesn’t always mean the effort was wasted.

Is there a runner-up?

Achieving Goals

Perfection is a nice thought. All or nothing can be inspiring. Being the runner-up in any situation can still mean a lot of value.

Did you make something better? Have you achieved something more when compared with your last best effort? What have you learned?

Life has many second chances. You may have a second chance to close a sale, another opportunity to exceed customer expectations, or a refreshing reset as a new month with new goals begins.

The next best thing to winning the race is to be the runner-up. If you didn’t achieve the goal did you break a personal record? Did you overcome an adverse condition, or make something better than it was before? Maybe you learned what not to do.

Runner-up just might be the second winner.

-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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good decisions

Good Decisions Come From Good Character

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Is it easy to make good decisions? Considering a lifetime of decisions and choices, does your character define you?

A good friend of mine asks the question, “How does someone get discovered?”

He is referring to things like musicians, authors, and even great business leaders. Evidence suggests that there are many talented people who go through life undiscovered.

Why?

Has the playing field been leveled? Are there too many in the category of average?

What will set you apart?

Wealth of Information

We live in a World saturated with information. There is so much information, so many media options, and so many opportunities worthy of consideration that nearly everyone has an opportunity to contribute or learn something.

In professional settings there are countless sources for business information. There are thousands of schools and universities, and even more books, seminars, and other learning opportunities.

It would seem that both knowledge and opportunity are everywhere.

What makes a difference for people in their career? If information and knowledge are abundantly available, what sets some apart?

Good Decisions

Setting aside the concept of luck or being at the right place at the right time your best moves probably develop from your character.

When you consider that all of the people who seek knowledge have similar resources for knowledge gain or accessibility to information, then it really comes down to decisions.

The missing skill becomes your sense of good judgment.

Every decision made today will have consequences. Some of those may be labeled as good while others may be labeled as bad.

Everything that you do and become is a part of the decisions you’ve made. Across your own lifetime, it is part of your character.

Perhaps the most scarce resource of all, is the character required to make good judgments that lead to good decisions.

Decisions made are part of who you are. How you change what happens next is part of who you’ll become.

-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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remote team connections

Remote Team Connections Still Matter

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Are you staying connected? Remote team connections will matter because not only do they keep everyone up-to-date, they create camaraderie that is irreplaceable.

Human interaction has mattered long before we had sophisticated systems that enable commerce opportunities. Long before quality was measured and before customer service became a thing.

As modern people we rely on the people that serve us.

It may be friendly help at the hardware store to make sure we get the right kind of screws. It may be the pet food supplier who gives us comfort that we’re giving our pet the best. Perhaps it is our medical doctor who pauses long enough to really listen and make us feel that someone understands.

In your workplace, there is often more happening than just the art of the actual work performed. There is the fulfillment of other human needs that may not be what the CEO is directly paying people to accomplish.

Remote Team Connections

People working together accomplish more than what a single standalone person may achieve.

There are different talents and abilities, backgrounds and education, and even motivation and team enthusiasm styles.

This is the root why connections still matter. Sure, there are many other aspects of your connections. However, when things split apart and more and more people are working remotely for the greater good of the organization, those relationships are still going to matter.

People are disrupted, disconnected, and many are afraid.

It is during times like this when reaching out, doing the hard and exhausting work, listening, caring, and demonstrating empathy make a difference.

During a disaster or major disruption connections take center stage.

-DEG

Two important webinars are happening soon. Managing Remote Work Teams and Mastering Work From Home.

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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