Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steve Job's Special Capacity to Learn From Failure

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

Many of you have probably seen the extraordinary speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University's 2005 Commencement.  Here's an excerpt:
"So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worm path and that will make all the difference."
For my money, it's the best commencement speech I've ever read or watched. It has always struck me as so simple and yet so profound.
And I think the reason is that we live in a culture that so venerates success. People write books about it. Everyone tries to learn from it. But the essence of Steve Jobs' address was that he learned from failure. The talk is about three failures - dropping out of college, getting fired and being diagnosed with cancer. And it was about how he was able to give his life meaning, purpose and richness as a consequence.
"Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love."
Everyone tries to copy and learn from success. It takes a very special person to learn from failure.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

An Eight Point Plan of Decontamination

There's A Spiritual Solution To Every Problem
 By:  Wayne W. Dyer

When you feel that your family, social, and work environments are poisoned in any way by the negativity and slowed down energy of others, you can do something about it.  The following represents a blueprint for a broader environmental energy field permanently free of contamination.  The eight points long attributed by many to Mother Teresa of Calcutta are actually a version of “The Paradoxical Commandments” written by Kent M. Keith while he was a sophomore at Harvard University in the 1960s.
An Eight-Point Plan of Decontamination
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway. Forgiveness in your heart is like a cleansing agent for your energy field.  When you notice the low energy conduct of others, rather than allowing
it to impact and infect your immediate surroundings, send them a silent blessing and refuse to be seduced into joining them in their low energy.  When you forgive them you choose to not be impacted in a negative manner.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.  Your field of energy is protected from contamination by kindness.  Once you are independent of the accusations of others, you are unable to be angry and
hurt over what others accuse you of.  Be kind because it is you, not because of the reactions you want from others.  Kindness that comes from your heart will suffice to keep you from being dragged down into an energy field infected by
false accusations.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies. Succeed anyway.  The world is filled with people who are looking for occasions to be offended.  Your success at anything is enough to trigger such a reaction in others.  Keep your energy field pristine by focusing on what you know to be your divine purpose, and by doing so, the universe will support and sustain you with what is labeled success.  Others will be offended, but if you persist in ignoring their reactions, you will not allow the presence of false friends or true enemies to be a factor in your life.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.  Be honest and frank anyway. Your energy field will remain uncontaminated as long as you know that you are being honest and frank.  This may attract others at the lower energies of dishonesty and cheating to try to take advantage of you.  But you will not become their victim because you will have the sense of inner peace that characterizes higher and faster spiritual energy.  Those who attempt to cheat
you will respect and honor your position when you stay true to your spiritual values.  Behave toward others from your highest self and you will eventually be free of the fear of being cheated.  Ironically, when that fear disappears, the
problem of being cheated also disappears.

What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight.  Build anyway. Do not build anything only for the purpose of having it completed.  Build because
it is your way of expressing your purpose.  When you eat a banana the goal is not to finish it, but to enjoy each bite while nourishing yourself.  Building something is a means of expressing yourself.  If someone took all the books I’ve
published and destroyed them, I would continue to write.  If every tape recording of my lectures was destroyed, I would continue to speak.  Everything in the material world that is built will ultimately be destroyed.  Build not in fear of having it destroyed, but because you are giving expression to the
infinite spirit within.

If you find serenity and happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  I always remind myself that there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way. If you seek the reactions of others as the basis of your way of being then you
have turned the source of your happiness over to those whose reactions you covet.  Happiness is an inside job.  You don’t get it from anyone or anything; you bring it to everyone and every event of your life.  Keep your energy field free of contamination by remembering that you are the source of the cleansing. Others may be jealous, find fault with you, and say terrible things about you, but you are free to choose happiness for yourself anyway.  The by-product of your response is that you gradually impact their jealous and mean-spirited
energy fields with your radiating happiness.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.  Do good anyway.  Like being happy, doing good is something that you do as an expression of your invisible spiritual essence.  Stop looking for the approval and gratitude of
others as your reason to do good.  Even if no one ever says thank you, do for others as your heart dictates from spirit, which is rooted in the faster energy of love, kindness, and connectedness to all.  Your spirit urges you to express
heart energy.  Ego, rooted in the material world, urges you to do what you do so that you will be remembered and rewarded as if life were a contest.  Listen to your spirit.  Remind yourself to give love and do good because that is who you
are, and for no other reasons.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.  Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.  “The best,” as used above, implies your highest, most sacred self.  This is the fastest vibrational energy and the source of all problem resolution.  Others may attempt to contaminate your energy field by demanding more of you, or by criticizing you repeatedly, or even by ignoring your efforts.  When you return to your highest self, you are independent of those opinions almost instantly, and problems of feeling unappreciated are
nonexistent.  Give the world your spirit, and detach from the outcome of your efforts, and your energy field becomes less and less contaminated.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leadership = Collaboration

"Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved."
Mattie Stepanek 
American Poet (July 17, 1990 - June 22, 2004)

Leadership = collaboration.  That may sound like an oxymoron, but the truth is great leaders understand the power of unity.  A leader may have the vision, but it is the team that sees the dream to completion.  In order to do this, the leader needs to put aside his/her ego and let the ideas fly.  As Mattie eloquently states, "wonderful things can be achieved." 

 Here are some points to consider:

1.  Communicate your vision and expectations effectively and clearly to your team members.  Make sure everyone is on the same page before embarking on the task at hand.

2.  Encourage others to communicate and express their ideas freely by providing an open and safe environment to do so.  This will encourage creativity without the fear of being criticized.

3.  Sharpen you listening skills.  The most effective leaders are willing to hear a different point of view.

4. Be willing to compromise.  When working with a team it is impossible for everyone to get their way. That's why is important for you, the leader, to set the example.

5.  Always focus on the goal or well being of the project.  This will help diffuse egos and keep your team focused on the task at hand.

6.  Identify Challenges head on.  Whether that be a personality conflict or an obstacle that needs to be overcome, avoidance of the issue will only morph into a larger problem in the future.  Lay it all out on the table and ask the group or persons involved in the conflict for ideas or solutions to overcoming the problem. Then ask them to map out a strategy collectively for success.   

7.  Heap praise on your team for success.  However, be prepared to take the criticism when something goes wrong.  

There is something very rewarding about working together towards a common goal.  I think that is why so many people relate to athletic teams.  Collaboration sparks creativity because it builds upon each other's strengths.   Together - anything is possible!

Monday, October 3, 2011

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with 
the gift of your attention.”  
Jim Rohn
Leadership Notes - Part 4
31.     Being open and attentive is more effective than being judgmental.  This is because people naturally tend to be good and truthful when they are being received in a good and truthful manner.

32.     The leader cannot be seduced by offers or threats.  Money, love, or fame-whatever gained or lost-do not sway the leader from center.

33.     The fewer rules the better.  Rules reduce freedom and responsibility.  Enforcement of rules is coercive and manipulative, which diminishes spontaneity and absorbs group energy.

34.     The more coercive you are, the more resistant the group will become.  Your manipulations will only breed evasions.  Every law creates an outlaw.

35.     Good leadership consists of motivating people to their highest levels by offering them opportunities not obligations.

36.     Knowing that you do not know everything is far wiser than thinking you know a lot when you really don’t.

37.     The wise leader models spiritual behavior and lives in harmony with spiritual values.

38.     The wise leader knows that yielding overcome resistances, and gentleness melts rigid defenses.

39.     A leader must endure a great deal of abuse.  If the leader were not like water, the leader would break.  The ability to be soft makes the leader a leader.  This is another paradox; what is soft is strong.
Interfere as little as possible.  

40.    Interference, however brilliant, creates a dependence on the leader.