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Just One Thing…

January 10th, 2012

JG-Standout-PPT-graphics-2-150x150by Motivational Keynote Speaker Jean Gatz

Do you remember that famous line from the movie City Slickers? As they ride along the trail Jack Palance (as Curly) tells Billy Crystal, “The secret to life is just one thing.” Crystal asks, “That’s great, Curly, but what’s the one thing?” He answers, “That’s what you’ve gotta figure out.”

Curly’s advice is a smart approach to take as we start a new year. If you set an ambitious list of goals on January 1st, you’ll probably toss it by February 1st. That’s about how long most resolutions last because we get discouraged by our lack of progress. So instead of setting yourself up for frustration and failure, why not take Curly’s (and my) advice this year and focus each month on Just One Thing?

You get to decide. Each month I’ll give you a quick tip to help you STAND OUT in a positive way.

This month’s tip: Re-think your choices when life throws changes your way. When it comes to your future success in your job, your relationships and your life, you have two choices in how you respond to change. You can choose to feel powerless or powerful.

You may be thinking: “Hey, wait a minute! I didn’t choose to let the economy tank, have my computer crash, or have to work longer hours just to keep my job. I didn’t choose for life to be so unfair.” I agree! Life isn’t always fair. While you can’t choose the changes life sends your way, you CAN choose how to respond. You may not be in charge of change, but you ARE in charge of your attitudes, beliefs and behaviors when it comes to dealing with change.

So … what’s holding you back and keeping you from getting where you want to be? What’s ONE choice you can make towards positive change in the next few weeks? When you re-think your choices you can move from feeling “powerless” to “powerful.”

Of course you do have another option. You can always choose NOT to change – to fall behind the competition inside or outside your company. If you choose to fall behind, you’re choosing to be left behind. And catching up will be very hard to do. Remember that the choices you make, and the actions you take as a result of those choices, can make this year STAND OUT for you – in your job, your relationships, and your life!

Wondering what I’m working on this month? Here’s my one thing: delivering a better Return on Investment for my clients when I keynote their events. Check out my ROI Guarantee here. And remember – making 2012 YOUR best year EVER starts with changing just one thing. What will that be for you?

Where Is Your Focus?

July 20th, 2011

Standing on my hotel balcony I watched as early morning beachcombers searched for seashells. Suddenly I noticed several dolphins about 100 feet from shore, putting on quite a show! Surely one of the shell gatherers would notice them and alert everyone else to this spectacular sight! But no one ever looked up. They plodded along, heads bent in concentration, eyes focused only on the task at hand. Even though no one could hear me above the sound of the waves I started shouting, “Hey! You’re missing the dolphins!”
Today’s organizations are focused on finding every competitive advantage – including streamlining the ways work gets done. While this approach can have a positive impact on the bottom line, it can have quite a negative impact on the people doing the work. Profits are not achieved through streamlining alone, but also through the impact of the attitudes and behaviors of the people who get the job done. How are the attitudes and behaviors of the people on your team?

If you want your organization to STAND OUT from the competition, take a look around. Observe how management and staff interact with customers and with each other. How are they handling change and dealing with increased pressure to produce? How are their attitudes and behaviors impacting morale and productivity? What choices are they consciously making to contribute to team success?

Remember, we all get to choose how to respond to our daily challenges. While you may not be in charge of everything that happens in your workplace (including the decisions others make without your input) you are in charge of the attitudes and behaviors you bring to your job every day. You can choose to gossip, whine and complain. Or you can choose to come to work with a positive attitude, support each other, work together, stick together and take pride in a job well done.

The ability to STAND OUT from the competition depends both on what you do and how you do it. To improve leadership performance, increase personal accountability and encourage your people to accept and embrace change, you must be aware of negative attitudes and behaviors – whether they’re coming from one department or one person. You must focus on long term goals while you focus on short term projects.

It’s so easy to get caught up in daily workplace ritual and routine that you fail to see problems or make time to celebrate progress. How are your leaders, colleagues and co-workers doing? Where are you concentrating your attention, time and effort? Are you so focused on gathering seashells that you’re missing the dolphins?