Tag Archives: success

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career narratives

Career Narratives Shape What Happens Next

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Is it really a self-fulfilled prophecy? Are you working for a career? Is your career working for you? Consciously or not, career narratives may be shaping your future.

When I go to the meeting today, no one will listen.

This is too expensive; the customer will never go for it.

I’m not getting promoted because no one see’s my value.

If any, or all of those are in your head, you might be limiting your own career.

There are thousands of other examples of the narrative people recite to themselves and the associated outcomes.

That narrative is a prediction of the future. Often a fairly accurate prediction because somehow, people allow it to unfold exactly as it was created in their mind.

There is a good chance it is based on past experiences. Even second hand experiences. Across time, these experiences have a way of stacking. They add up.

Conclusions about career directions may be true or false. Accurate or a complete insecurity.

How it all plays out, is often exactly as you predicted.

Career Narratives

If someone suggests, “You can’t be successful doing that.” You just might believe them. Of course, another route may be to prove them wrong.

The difference then is what is in your head. It is the narrative that you have created or accepted.

Every career has a narrative. It’s built from experiences, learning, and is largely invented. That is, until you bring it to fruition.

Since it is your career, you have the responsibility for its creation.

It is a great story.

If you want it to be.

-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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one chance

Just One Chance To Tell Your Story

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Actually, there are many chances but there is only one first chance. If you had only one chance, what would your story be?

Your resume might be a story. Perhaps you tell a story in the job interview. Your reputation is a story and so are the things that keep your friends interested in what’s next.

Your life is full of stories.

There are the stories that you tell yourself as you start your day, the story in your mind before the meeting, and the story you consider as you check your progress on your goals.

Everyone around you has a story too. Some will listen to yours and some only want to tell their own.

The news media has a story. So does the politician, the financial analyst, and the meteorologist.

For every person what happens next depends on their story.

Perhaps the life lesson is to learn how to listen to your own story.

One Chance for Your Story

It is possible that you could tell a better story? How would that shape what will unfold for you tomorrow? What about overmorrow?

The story that you tell depends on you. If you want a better story can you create one? Do good stories lead to more good stories?

When you care about your story it may be important to consider how you’ll tell it better. What will make it more powerful with greater impact. Will it be a catalyst for others on a similar quest?

If you care about what happens next it might be wise to listen to your own story.

-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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best starts

Best Starts Come From Where You Are At

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Seed money is nice. It gives you a better chance for a stronger start. A head start in the foot race might be nice too. Realistically, the best starts come from recognizing where you are at and getting to where you are going.

Small and large businesses alike spend much energy and resources on carefully crafting their mission and vision. Then they build a brand around it.

It should be true for successful professionals too.

What is your mission? What is your vision?

People often want to highlight the disadvantages. They may not have strengths in certain areas, or what they want to do may not exactly fit with what they need to do.

Great Visualizers

The best athletes visualize their success. They visualize the perfect dive and stroke in swimming. The perfect swing in baseball or golf. And for the track athlete, it’s getting off the blocks perfectly.

Many people talk about great starts. Great starts matter. They’re also conditioned on starting where you are at. In other words, everyone has an individual starting point. Amateurs can’t expect to start at the Pro level.

Visualizing where you are at and where you want to go may lead to a good start.

Where do you belief the best starts come from?

Best Starts

For everyone, in your business or in your career, you have to start at the beginning. Where ever the beginning is for you, that’s where you start.

You can’t expect to start at the top. You can’t expect a head start.

Know and understand your mission. Have a stretchy, yet appropriate vision. Consider things will need a certain amount of fluidity. Not everything is carved in stone, nor is it black and white.

Best starts come from where you are at. They follow your mission and vision.

You’ll get better along the way.

Get started.

-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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book smart

Book Smart, It Only Takes You So Far

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Are you a good reader, a good test taker, or exceptional student? Can you easily memorize the information and spit it back out? Have you been identified with being book smart?

Being book smart isn’t a career, yet neither is your ability to excel when you lack education.

Who Needs Education?

Sure, someone might quickly point out Bill Gates, Michael Dell, or Steve Jobs. Yet, these folks are anything but normal. And certainly, I mean that in a positive and respectful manner.

It seems that the most successful people, whether on their own, or in a workplace career, have something different going on.

The something different is often connected to their drive, their passion, and their persistence.

Chances are great that the best of the best have good study skills. Only, it is not in preparation for the exam.

It’s in preparation for life’s test.

Passionate people work hard. They are interested in the knowledge gain. Some of that knowledge gain may involve knowing where to look, who to ask, or even what relationships they seek to build.

That’s smart.

Memorizing Isn’t Enough

You can memorize the spec, look it up, ask the right people, or perhaps some of all three. Only memorizing it thought doesn’t guarantee you’ll know how to apply it.

In school, many great students have mastered how to study for the test. They are able to memorize and answer the questions exactly how the teacher asks. After all, the teachers success is conditioned by the students achieving good test scores.

Education matters. It matters a great deal. A lack of education is almost guaranteed to not be a sign of being smart.

Maybe more employers should look for passion as a driving factor?

Beyond Book Smart

One measurement of passion should be an interest to learn.

Sure, you may learn something by walking around. Yet, it doesn’t guarantee the ability or interest to become more.

We can learn that a rocket can lift off from the Earths surface, but that doesn’t mean we can build it or replicate it.

Perhaps we can learn that people can accomplish a lot through the shared expertise of the team, but that doesn’t mean we’re good at building teams.

We might also learn the technical spec, yet the only thing we have is the memory of the spec, not the aptitude to solve a problem outside of it.

Interest, passion, and education matter.

Book smart only takes you so far.

-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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future forecast

Future Forecast and the Reality of Accuracy

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What is the future forecast? Do you have a prediction?

Ask around, most people have something to say about what the future will hold. They have a prediction about the fate scheduled for tomorrow or the next day.

Some see opportunities, some see bigger challenges, and some will predict total doom and gloom.

There are parallels to the weather forecast.

When you get it correct:

See, I told you so.

I knew it.

This is exactly what I said would happen.

When you get it wrong there may be a tendency for silence, some withdraw, or keeping a low-profile.

What is your percentage of accuracy?

Future Forecast

Most people are always forecasting the future. Consciously or subconsciously they are making predictions about what will happen next.

Certainly, some things are beyond our control. Yet, in other cases we control our future. Perhaps, it is a little of both.

What would happen if you put a good plan into action? What would happen if you followed the plan, monitored it, and kept a fluid approach making changes as necessary?

Imagine if everyone just dug in, dug deep, and put forward the best that they could possibly do?

Is the underdog ever a hero? Yes.

Do people sometimes get the positive benefit of a little luck? Yes.

Are there opportunities to create the future you have been imagining? Yes.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply work towards the goal.

A strange thing often happens.

As you work towards the goal you realize that the gap isn’t as big as it once was. You realize that through effort and hard work the future has started to shape itself.

Don’t lose sight of what you can build today and tomorrow. You just might create the reality of accuracy.

See, I told you so.

-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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fast pivot

Fast Pivot and Your Ability to Stop on a Dime

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Are you doing the fast pivot? Are you able to stop on a dime, start on a dime, or change direction on a dime?

The origin of the idiom, “Stop on a dime.” is unclear. It is different from, “a dime a dozen,” or, “at a drop of a dime.”

Some searches seem to date these phrases as least as far back as the 1920’s.

Stopping on a dime means to stop quickly, or perhaps precisely.

Considering the Worldwide pandemic that has halted the economies of every first world country what will change? What is going to be different tomorrow, or the next day, as compared with just a month or two ago?

Recognized change always feels like it is happening fast. Unrecognized change on the other hand, is a much slower pace.

A tree grows almost unknowingly. Grass in the lawn is a little more rapid. Seasons change, but always with a signal or sign.

The current situation requires businesses to change quickly. Change will be apparent and associated with some discomfort.

Fast Pivot

Sure, somethings will be similar. Most of our cars will have four wheels, we’ll acquire food from a market, and humans will wear clothing appropriate for the climate.

Many businesses will be different though. How people come together for performing work has already changed in many sectors.

Technology will lead the way and physical space will widen or distance.

The most successful businesses haven’t really stopped. They are working fast in an attempt to preserve jobs, keep customers, and survive an unexpected situation.

Hats off to all of the essential workers who are helping everyone survive.

And for the other for profits and non-profits, for the CEO, Executive Director, and the entrepreneur, it is time for the fast pivot.

You may have been forced to stop on a dime, but the playing field has been leveled and the new beginning has already started.

-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 curiosity

Workplace Curiosity and Why You Should Have More

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Do you have workplace curiosity? Is the culture creative, interesting, and inclusive? Are there good listeners?

Have you ever felt so busy that you completely miss something happening right in front of you? You are concentrating so hard that you don’t even notice?

That could be a very positive and intense level of focus. It could also be a signal that you to dig a little deeper in your patience reserves and pause for long enough to notice.

Work and Curiosity Matter

Businesses are about work. They work to create a product or service that is attractive and compelling to their audience. They may also serve society or do something for the greater good of mankind.

Yet, work is still about work. There is a job to do and it is always measured against time.

Productivity, efficiencies, and profit matter. So does your organizational culture.

Are you genuinely curious about what is happening in your workplace?

Workplace Curiosity

I’m not referring to drama filled destructive behaviors, political views, or what happened last year. I’m referring to curiosity about the work at hand, the difference to be made for the customer, and the things that could improve efficiency while also creating more opportunities.

Some of the best cultures have the most curious listeners. Those that listen with their ears, head, and heart. Hearing is not necessarily listening. Listening needs intellect and it needs heart.

Are you engaged with what is happening around your workplace? Do you listen for understanding and not to refute? Are you appropriately generous with your time?

Workplace curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it builds the culture.

Be genuinely curious.

-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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capture attention

Capture Attention or Face a Bigger Challenge

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For the majority of the people in the workforce today, the World has changed. Some suggest we are in an information overload society and we filter much more than we consume. What are you doing to capture attention?

When I was a kid, after school I would jump off the school bus and run as fast as I could to my house. It was an exciting time. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Get started on what? What captured my attention?

Whatever it was that a few friends or one of my siblings may have established for what you do after school. At times I played alone. It may have been with a ball, a matchbox toy, or throwing around a few sticks in the nearby woods.

Pace of Technology

Consider this, just a little over a decade ago there were no smartphones. Text messaging really started to take off around 2005-2007. YouTube was founded in 2005, and didn’t start to become largely known until a few years later.

What does this technology history lesson indicate?

If you are in the workforce today and you are more than 25 to 30 years old, things have changed dramatically. It has all happened, right in front of you.

If you lean towards the younger side of the workforce scale you may not really remember much difference. If you are in the middle to older side of the scale, change is very noticeable.

The challenge today for every career conscious workplace professional and every business endeavor is not so much about change as it is about attention.

How do you capture the attention of your marketplace?

Capture Attention

We’re all selling, whether it is our expertise and why we are the right choice for the job or promotion, or whether it is our products and services, or a third category is perhaps, both.

When I was a kid, on a lucky day I had just a couple of friends to play with.

Technology hasn’t made us more reclusive; it has opened up the World.

The challenge then, is being interesting and valuable enough to get the attention of your market.

-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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educational illusion

Is an Educational Illusion Stopping You?

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It seems that there are always two sides. On one side people worry that they’re not enough and do nothing about it. And on the other, they never stop trying to prove their credibility. Are you suffering from an educational illusion?

It is quite simple really. People make decisions about the reasons why. They decide on the placement of blame.

Why you weren’t hired, promoted, or respected by peers. Many blame education, and throw their arms up in disgust, or are constantly enrolling in the next degree program.

Make no mistake that education matters. It matters a great deal and often, especially in an on-line World of “punched cards” coming up short can be problematic. If you can’t check the box, you’re not getting in.

A medical doctor isn’t going to be able to practice without the degree. A lawyer needs a degree and to pass the bar exam. Most university professors need a doctoral degree.

Educational Illusion

Outside of specific professions there is wiggle room. Some career opportunities, good paying ones, only require a high school diploma.

Which camp are you in?

Are you working hard, taking advantage of gaining experience while also exploring opportunities for additional education?

Or, perhaps you are working hard and have tried to explore advancement, yet have come up short? Are you convinced that the reason you didn’t advance was because of a lack of education?

In either case, additional credentials may not be the obstacle.

There are many cases where the advanced degree, the credential, the certificate, or the card punched is not the real obstacle.

Sometimes the real obstacle is a lack of persistence, determination, and courage.

Sometimes there is a difference between reality and where you place the blame.

-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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false start

False Start and the Lessons You Learned

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Have you ever experienced a false start? No, I’m not talking about football although that could apply. Have you ever started to jump forward only to jump back?

In your workplace there are often questions about motivation. Does motivation come from within or can you inspire motivation in others?

A closely connected cousin is, initiative. Are you willing to take initiative or are you more withdrawn?

Often there is an expectation for jump. Yet, the rules aren’t clear.

Perhaps there is a time from your past when you took the leap only to be later be criticized for the outcome.

Anticipation of criticism causes people to hesitate, step back, and withdraw. A leap may feel within reach yet as quickly as you spring forward, you hesitate and jump back. That’s a false start.

False Start

Have you ever let past experiences or teachings from a younger age hold you back or create a false start?

We’re often taught about patience. We’re told not to jump in line, let others go first. Hold doors, make room, stand back, and that, “life is not only about you.” Valuable lessons on courtesy, etiquette, and patience. Yet, sometimes patience results in lost opportunity.

Are you missing opportunities because you aren’t taking initiative?

Do you believe that you can and should take more initiative? If so, what is holding you back?

Could it be a childhood lesson?

Past Lessons and Learning

Perhaps it was show and tell, and people laughed when it wasn’t intended to be funny. Now, you fear the presentation.

Maybe you weren’t picked for the team, so you’ve decided you won’t raise your hand in an offer to join. It is too risky to expose yourself to that vulnerability.

Maybe you started eating dinner before a prayer was said, or ate all of the potato chips when you got home from school. You were instructed not to do it again.

We’re often taught to hold back, get back, or stand back. Probably meaningful lessons at the time.

As adults, we sometimes have to shake off some of the things that we’ve learned.

-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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