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Get Your Growth Opportunities or They Will Get You!

When I was a struggling CPA/Management Consultant, I changed jobs about every 18-24 months. It did not matter if I was in tax, auditing or consulting. It did not matter if my Boss was male or female. I had a daily conversation in my head that when something like this. ” Bob (Fill in the blanks with the Boss’ name) is an Idiot”.

You can imagine that with this perspective and negative mindset, I was not able to win a lot of friends or influence many of my bosses.

The growth opportunities were always therefore me. The problem was that I wasn’t picking up on these opportunities. I was in a victim mindset. People like my Mutha supported me in staying stuck. She said…”it’s not your fault you are really smart!” and she went on to say, “it’s not your fault you are a really hard worker!”. I would say “…you are right! It’s not my fault”.

That mindset kept the growth opportunities coming my way with more and more velocity. By the time I was 32 years old I had been diagnosed with a stress related chronic illness.

We can either get these growth opportunities when they come to us as a whisper, floating by our ear. Or we can wait until they feel like a rock in our shoe. If we continue to run from meeting to meeting in maniac mode, we will not be able to connect the dots or see these escalating patterns. Eventually the growth opportunity will be like a brick, hitting us on the side of our head!

Timothy Gallwey, Author of The Inner Game of Work, says that we all have to be a Student in the greatest seminar on Earth. The seminar is called: My Life. He goes on to say that maintaining this mindset of a student exponentially expands our intellectual, creative and emotional capacities.

Let’s all commit to take time today to give ourselves the gift of think time to reflect. Let’s start to put the pieces of our puzzle together. What are we putting up with? Where are we feeling frustrated and when have we felt that frustration before?

Don’t do what I did, spend almost 20 years of my life in a reactive, victim mindset, where the Boss du jour was controlling my career success and my quality of life.

We All Have Issues, The Question is….Can We Laugh About Our Issues?

For some decades now, I’ve been saying to clients, colleagues and friends, ‘We all have issues….the question is…are we working on our issues?”

About 6 months ago I had a shift and I realized the opportunity for growth for all of us, individually and as teams, is not to continue to beat ourselves up, working on our issues. The real opportunity for growth is to be able to share our vulnerabilities freely and with lightness and humor.

We all have vulnerabilities. If you’re breathing, you have them. We over-utilize our strengths and get the volume turned up too high. We move too fast and can’t think strategically. We clam up and withhold when we need to find our voice and share our needs, preferences and objectives. We confuse activity with results.

As Brene Brown, PhD shares in her TED Talk, vulnerability is the birthplace of Joy, Creativity, Belonging and Love. In a business setting, think of your team’s need for greater alignment, clarity, innovation and connections. Being able to laugh about our vulnerabilities and issues is the key to creating an environment where others bring their best selves and thrive. Record results will follow.

If you’d like to watch Brene Brown’s video, click here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html