I believe in empathy, caring, giving. I believe in serving and empowering others. It does not mean I cannot negotiate or make tough decisions.
Once, just before a business meeting, a client joked that he was just waiting for me to come in and say I’m pregnant. We’ve never discussed my personal life in that manner. I realized he was saving the business conversation for my male colleagues who were soon to arrive.
I wear skirts. And heels. I paint my nails and have a penchant for bright colors. And I am damn good at my job. If that last statement makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself why.
I know how to turn the other cheek–to look the other way and go on doing what I do. I know that people don’t always think about the stereotypes they uphold. I’m able to ignore it and get the job done. But I also know that I have a little sister and two small nieces that are watching what I do.
They should not have to learn to get the job done in spite of being a woman. I want them to celebrate every iota of who they are. I want them to know it’s not about being a man or a woman–it’s about being authentic and real and spectacular.
Let’s not shield girls from how unbalanced the world can be. Let’s show them how to blow it all up, cut through the bullshit and lead a remarkable life.
If I could change one thing about my days, it would be to succumb less to distractions. And that’s no easy task. By the time I finish writing this blog, I will likely have been tempted with over 10 distractions–my desire to make a coffee run which results in a hallway conversation, a little fact checking which leads me to scan twitter for a few extra minutes, the email that pops in to my inbox–just to name a few.
Life is filled with distractions and we are fighting a losing battle against time. But the more prone to giving in to these distractions we become, the less accomplished we often feel in terms of our goals. Have you ever looked back at the end of an extremely busy week and realized that you didn’t get done even a quarter of what you set out to do? And at the end of it all, did you still feel like you didn’t have a moment to spare? Welcome to the club. Club Distraction.
Chances are, you probably won’t even get through this article without stopping for a few interruptions. But distractions can be costly. Our more is more, communication-driven, multi-tasking preferred society suggests that distractions are just a part of life.
And that may be, but there are certainly things we all can do to take more control of our lives and filter out some of the unnecessary distractions. Good leadership is about knowing when to do just that.
Good leadership is learning how NOT to get distracted from the ultimate vision and goals.
5 Distractions That Take You Further From Your Vision
1. Procrastination. Don’t delay the inevitable. Get the hard stuff out of the way. Often, if you put off the difficult stuff, your day will be open to many other distractions, causing you to feel anxious about the process and increasing your likelihood of not accomplishing what you need to do.
2. Email. Yeh, this is obvious. We all know it. We all say it. Email is a major distraction. But it’s become so readily available on all of our devices that it’s automatic to check that inbox without evening realizing you’re doing it. It’s not going anywhere. It will be there when you get to it. Schedule specific time to handle it and don’t let it consume you.
3. Pleasing Everyone. It’s impossible but yet we spend a lot of time trying. Don’t forget you’re just one person. If you try to please everyone, you’ll always end up disappointing yourself and eventually letting others down that are depending on you.
4. Trying To Do It All Yourself. Of course you have pride in what you do. But sometimes it’s just not necessary to do it all. Learn to ask for help and to rely on others.
5. Saying Yes To Everything. Politely refuse things that don’t contribute to your ultimate goal when you know you’re crunched on time. People won’t remember the project you declined to chair as much as they will when you take it on and fail to do it well because of lack of attention. Choose what’s important.
Sometimes it’s necessary to go with the distractions. No one should spend 100% of their time in complete focus. Distractions, when balanced well, can help you feel more connected and even bring joy and playfulness to your life. But in order to really enjoy the important distractions, you’ve got to balance them with equally important windows of focus.
No one is normal. But most of our lives, society tells us we need to fit in. Conventional schooling rewards us for following the rules and adhering to standards. It doesn’t get better in adulthood either. We model ourselves after unattainable celebrity lives and buy in to the pressure to do as everyone else does in the workplace.
But the truth is, we’re all a little weird. And there’s on point spending the greater part of our lives trying to hide that innate weirdness. In a culture where innovation and creativity is revered, it can really pay off to embrace those inner quirks.
Write your own story instead of living someone else’s. No matter what you do or how you try to manipulate life, it never turns out as predicted anyways, so you might as well live authentically.
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Social media has changed our world. One of the best things about it is that it gives people the forum to put themselves out there more. Yes, it can also be seen as a digital curtain that some will hide behind but there are plenty of people finding the courage to be more real and reveal more of their authentic selves with every tweet, every post and every snapshot.
Social media facilitates the connections between like-minded people and has led to the creation of many online forums that foster compassion, innovation and encouragement. It has provided the space for people who once may have felt to be the “odd man out” in the world so they can connect with others and feel a part of something real.
So now that it’s changed us all personally, what does this mean for business?
It’s evidence of the obvious shift away from selling people and towards creating real, genuine connections with them.
This type of communication is all about content and using that content to create actual human connections. It lends brands the opportunity to show people who they are as opposed to simply what they do.
And now, the big question–How should businesses do it and do it right?
Know your customers. Know who they are and know what they want. And then, respond to their needs. Listen to the conversations of your potential custom
ers and then provide the solution to their problems. Don’t just hear what you want to hear either. Listen to it all–the good and the bad. People are talking and they want to be heard. Be the one that hears them.
-Be Real, Reachable And Human
People want to interact with people not enterprises. You’re listening to your customers and you know what they want. Now show them that you’re capable of adapting based on their needs. Social Media 101
-Remember, It’s Not About The Product, It’s About People
People want to belong. They want to engage and be heard and they want to feel understood. Sure, your product is important but they want to feel as though it’s about them, not the product.
It does not matter if the business you work for is a small local business, a national non-profit or a branch of a major corporation–the thing that people are looking for is the same everywhere–engagement. The businesses that listen, adapt, reach out and allow customer’s to shape their brand have a phenomenal opportunity to create a tribe of people that will follow and essentially become ambassadors for their brand.
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What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose. -Margaret Thatcher