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Archive for the ‘Optimism’ Category

In March, my collegues presented me with an Asian Pear tree in the remeberence of a lost loved one.  It was one of those mail order trees that are shiped without dirt and the roots are wraped in plastic covered diaper filler to keep the moisture in.  It came w/ specific instructions for planting and care.  When I openened the plastic, the roots as promised where 3/4 wet but it looked like a dead stick.  My six year old was witnessing this and after 5 minutes of searching she came up with a good home for it.  We planted it and watered the tree every day for two months as the directions stated.  Nothing happened.  A sprinkler repair person asked me “why do you have a stick in your flower bed?”  He wanted to pull it out.  I agreed but my six year old offered a stay of execution and said she would water it from now on.  This she did every night  with her orange watering can.  I was preparing my “oh it’s OK, somtimes things dont work out the way we want” speech and dreading the dissapointment she would feel after so much work, faith and commitment.

For three weeks during the hot summer she faithfully took care of this stick in the ground that appeared lifeless to most.  One morning on the way to a swimming class she rushed back to in the house screaming with joy “Dad Dad Come look!”  She lead me to the stick and pointed to four small green buds near the bottom of the tree.  That tree is now coverered with foiliage and and because of her innocennce and commitment,  that tree; for it’s life will be known as Adi’s tree.

Sometimes having faith in the process and the commitment to move forward when other “wise minds” have given up, reaps the literal reward of fruit and nourishment.  Be open to the potential possibilities in all of your employees even if they appear to be dead wood.   “The grass is always greener where it is watered.”  Robert Fulgam

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Growing up we hear (hopefully) that we can accomplish anything, or be anything when we “grow up”.  You can be a Nurse, a Firefighter, Airline Pilot, Doctor, Lawyer, Entrepreneur or Inventor, Artist or musician.

Some of these roles require more education or certification than others, but all are achievable if one works hard enough and puts their mind to it…

Imagine two siblings, each growing up in the same household, with the same teachings, access to education, experiences etc.   Both graduate college in the middle of their class.  Both average or above average intellect and seemingly at an equal place in life.  But for one, life appears easy.  She can accomplish her dreams, achieve goals and have fun in the process.  For the other life seems difficult, she struggles to achieve, is overwhelmed by the massive challenges that life presents.  At some point she stops dreaming of achieving more, because it is just too difficult.

In another chapter of my career I was a district manager of retail stores; working with Store Managers, I would  discuss maximizing the ‘potential’ of each of their employees as being limited by two things:  One being the individual ‘Talent’ of the individual, which at the time I defined as their smarts, skill-set, know-how or technical skills.  And the Second being their ‘Mindset’.   As a manager I would argue that you could teach technical skills to anyone, but what made the largest impact on their ‘potential’ or productivity was their ‘mindset’. 

We used an equation to facilitate those discussions:

                (TALENT) x (MINDSET) = (POTENTIAL)

Think of each on a 1 – 10 Scale.  If someone had a slightly above-average talent of say 6, but a mindset of 1 (sibling # 2)  the best they could achieve is

                6 x 1 = 6

Wherein sibling number one from the above example has the same talent level of 6, but a mindset of 6, that person can achieve:

                6 x 6 = 36

Obviously exponentially greater achievement, which drives engagement, happiness and satisfaction in (and of) life.  Life might seem ‘easy’ to the individual with the higher ‘mindset’ score, which in itself helps elevate your outlook on life or mindset.

When I started working with PeopleSmarts earlier this year I was introduced to the equation:

 IQ (Intellectual Quotient) x EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is a predictor of your success.

The research and trainings that PeopleSmarts provides are much more researched than the rough models I used in my retail life, but I think you will agree that the concepts are solid.  If one can improve their outlook on life, learn skills to handle stress, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, accountability they are able to achieve at a greater level, despite their technical ability. 

Is your ‘Mindset’ where it needs to be?

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