As The Clock Strikes 14

As the clock strikes 14 what will be different this year? How can the resolutions made on January 1st be real accomplishments by December 31st?

Happy New Year14-1In a few hours, we will reach the dawn of the New Year; and with The New Year will come new hopes, new opportunities, and new resolutions. Yes, resolutions will include promises we make annually to lose weight, work fewer hours, and save more.  We entered into the New Year of 2013 with the best intention to change, to do better, and to keep our resolutions.  However, for many of us, we did not keep our resolutions. The change never happened, and now we find ourselves in the same boat as we did last year, and the year before, and the year before that.

As the clock strikes 14 (AKA 2014), what will be different this year? How can the resolutions I make on January 1st be real accomplishments by December 31st? Consider these tips as you make your 2014 resolutions.

1. Make resolutions only on goals you truly want to accomplish.

Wayman Tisdale3Wayman Tisdale did not want to play basketball; however, at 6′ 9 and blessed with great ability, he played becoming an All-American in college and a star in the NBA.  However, Tisdale’s true love was music, and he resolved that he would make his mark by becoming a recording artist.  He did recording, including nine bestselling jazz guitar records before dying of cancer at age 44.

My friends, life is short, and we have no idea how long we have here on earth. Our resolutions often fail because, not so deep down inside, we were never committed to achieving our goals when we made our noble resolutions.  We made each resolution because it was something that we thought our friends, family members, or acquaintances expected us to make, or because it was something that we thought we should do and not something that we truly wanted to do.

Therefore, as the clock strikes 14, take the pressure off. Wayman Tisdale 4 Commit only to resolutions you truly want to accomplish.  Wayman Tisdale was fortunate that he spent a large part of his life doing something that he was good at doing, sometimes at the expense of the thing he was passionate about. He was great at music; however, at the end, he resolved to do the thing he truly wanted to accomplish.  Will you and I be as fortunate and blessed to accomplish our goal in life?

2. Make fewer resolutions.

Thomas EdisonLess is indeed more when we make resolutions.  The secret to Thomas Edison’s success as an inventor was that he focused on a limited number of ideas for an invention each year.  The discoveries Edison made in the accomplishment of those limited ideas made him a prolific inventor.

 

3. Make resolutions with a project statement.

Steve JobsSteve Jobs was unyielding in turning his resolutions into project statements, using time-sensitive milestones to measure progress.  Granted your resolution might not produce the next IPhone, but your achievement of the things you resolve in 2014 is just as important to your feelings of success in life.  For example, last year, my resolution was to run in a 10K race. This is the project statement I used to turn the resolution into a reality:  “In 2013, I am committed to train and run in one 10K race per quarter for a total of 4 for the year.” This project statement clarified my resolution and enabled me to measure my progress.

4. Make your resolutions public.

Diana Nyad 1In 2010 Diana Nyad resolved publicly to do something no one had ever done before, swim the 110 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida without a shark cage.  On September 2, 2013, in her fifth attempt, Diana accomplished her goal.  How did she do it?  She did it by publicly announcing her intentions.  Nyad captured the attention of the nation, and more importantly, she captured the attention of a decided 35-person support team who assisted her in training and logistics.  Your family, friends, and co-workers are the support team members you need to accomplish your resolution. They are eager to help, so let them help by making your resolutions public and asking them for help.

5. Make 2013 resolution failure the key to 2014 resolution success.

All the people profiled in this post have two elements in common; they experienced failures, but they also achieved a resolution.

  • Wayman Tisdale missed game winning shots.
  • Thomas Edison had failed inventions.
  • Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, the company he started.
  • Diana Nyad attempted the swim from Cuba to Florida four times before succeeding on her fifth try.

Looking back, why did your 2013 resolution fail?  Was it because:

–        You were not really committed to the resolution when you made it?

–        You made a higher number of resolutions than you could possible keep?

–        Your resolutions were not turned into project statements, leveraging time and milestones to track and measure your progress?

Whatever the reason, failure is a catalyst for turning 2013 resolution failures into 2014 resolution successes.

Hears to a Happy New Year and successful resolutions as the clock strikes 14.

The Gift of Hope

If you are suffering this holiday season, there is a gift of hope for you. It is the promise of a better life guaranteed by Jesus Christ himself, who commands us, “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14: 1-3 NLT)

Hope

The majesty of this season makes more acute the suffering many individuals experience. Perhaps it is problems with money, a relationship, or loneliness in the absence of friends and family members. However, regardless the cause, this wonderful season of hope reduces many individuals to a feeling of hopelessness.

Job, who feared God, was a man of complete integrity. Yet, he found himself in a spiral of hopelessness.  In the space of a few days, he lost his children, his wealth, and his health.  He was left with a sharp-tonged wife, four inquisitive friends, and most importantly, his faith. However, all was not lost.

Like many of us who face suffering, Job questioned why these things were happening; his wife told him to “Curse God and die.” His friends questioned Job about being punished because of a hidden sin committed long ago.

As result, Job was depressed, confused, and dismayed, by the turn of events in his life; but he never lost faith in God. In the midst of his trials and tribulations, Job exclaimed, “The Lord has given me everything I have and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord” (Job 2:2).

The Gift of Hope

In his anguish, Job goes through a period of analytic self-examination. He debated with God, while wondering aloud why his faithfulness was rewarded with suffering.  He complained and debated with God, demanding to know the reason for his present condition. Job cried out to God, “Don’t simply condemn me – tell me the charge you are bringing against me” (Job 10:2).

While Job lost the debate, he gained something much more important; it was the gift of hope. Job lamented that there was not a mediator to stand between himself and God. He explained, “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none….Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength” (Job 9: 32-35).

As God answered Job’s request, He also presents us with a gift of hope and a mediator, His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. He was given to us as an innocent baby to grow into a perfect man, destined to mediate on our behalf by suffering on the cross.

If you are suffering this holiday season, there is a gift of hope for you.  It is the promise of a better life guaranteed by Jesus Christ himself, who commands us, “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14: 1-3 NLT)

Jesus suffered for us

Jesus mediated for us

Jesus is the gift of hope

Five Leadership Tips for the Terrified Leader

Leadership is the relationship that exists between people, organizations, and purpose all directed toward accomplishing a goal.
Fear is a human emotion, as leaders, and as individuals, we are all afraid. However, as leaders we must learn how to understand how to lead with the fear factor, use our fears, and the fears of those that we lead, to become the confident leader who people and organizations, must have to achieve our goals.

m32Last Sunday, I was assigned as the worship leader at our church service.  My job was to open the service, lead hymns, give the alter call prayer, and generally keep the service moving along smoothly. So how did it turn out?  In a word, it was horrible!!!  I flubbed references to scripture; I miss-quoted song titles, and had the choir singing at the wrong time.  Now, why was I a horrible worship leader?  In a word, I was terrified!!! Yet, I am an accomplished “Professional Speaker”!

We have all seen it; perhaps you have had the same experience as I had, trying to fill in at doing an unfamiliar task.  You were called on to lead and were terrified about the prospect of failure in leadership.

Traits of a Terrified Leader

  • Incapable of making a decision because of fear of the outcome.
  • Fearful of communicating a vision or direction for the organization.
  • Frightened about comforting the facts or about making the hard decisions that have to be made.

What do these traits have in common?  Fear. Let’s face it; the terrified leader is an afraid leader and a leader leads badly when they are afraid.

Leading With the Fear Factor

Leadership is the relationship that exists between people, organizations, and purpose all directed toward accomplishing a goal.

Fear is a human emotion, as leaders, and as individuals, we are all afraid.  However, as leaders we must learn how to understand how to lead with the fear factor, use our fears, and the fears of those that we lead, to become the confident leader who people and organizations, must have to achieve our goals.

Five Leadership Tips for the Terrified Leader:

1. It is not all on you.

Leaders never do it alone. Even if you are leading, just yourself, there is a cadre of people in your corner just waiting to help you, not only with the things that you are trying to accomplish, but also to help you with your fears.

  • o Fearless Leadership Tip: Don’t be a Loan Ranger; get people involved because they want to help.

2. Understand your fears and the fears of those you lead.

Fear can cripple us as leaders and organizations, stopping progress on anything we want to accomplish.  Making decisions based on fears or based on how to avoid fears, can be a toxin to the organization. Over time, fear stifles innovative ideas, creative thinking, problem-solving, and passion.  Additionally fear distracts employees from the vision of the organization. In fact, the Gordon Institute of Business Science estimated that fear-based decision-making can cost organizations from 20% to 80% of their potential.

  • o Fearless Leadership Tip: Use fear to your advantage only by leading the fear .

3. Communicate and Listen  

Terrified leaders communicate, and more importantly, listen in fear. It is simply impossible to lead without interpersonal communication skills. Fearless leaders find their voice and become skillful at expressing both their hopes and fears to the ones they lead.

  • o Fearless Leadership Tip: Effective leadership is about finding your leadership voice. For nearly a century  Toastmasters has helped people worldwide become better communicators and leaders.  Find out more at  www.Toastmasters.org

4. Trust Yourself

Leaders cannot lead without trust. When people sense that a leader is worthy of their trust, they will invest time and take risks in ways they never would if their leader had a reputation built upon poor character or lack of integrity.  However, the first place leaders must build trust is with themselves.

  • o Fearless Leadership Tip: Build self-trust with a personal commitment to transparency, authenticity, and integrity

5. Knowledge Can Overcome Fear

A leader with a lack of knowledge is a terrified leader. If you do not possess subject matter expertise, you will lead scared.  The fake it until you make it days have long since passed, because in this information Internet age, the people you lead can and will have as much access to knowledge as you have.

  • o Fearless Leadership Tip: Embrace knowledge develop a technical command over your subject matter.

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is…

FDR 1933When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States on March 4, 1933, Americans were griped with fear as the county was in the clutches of The Great Depression.  The fear was warranted; a quarter of the workforce was unemployed. Farmers were in deep trouble as prices fell by 60%. Two million people were homeless. In more than half of the states the banks were closed.  In this backdrop of fear and trepidation, the new President challenged the nation about fear saying, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The potency of that statement is revealed in a closer examination of the man making the remark.  For Roosevelt to lead the nation, he had to overcome his own fear, the terror of living with polio. Which made the simple act of Roosevelt standing to deliver a speech on fear, a fearful event for him because of his concerns about falling during this important moment.

Fear is real, but we do not have to be terrified by fear, for scripture tells us: “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid. Deuteronomy 31:6

Go out and Lead!

 

How to Power Up Your Holiday Job Search

Welcome to the holidays, that joyous time of the year full of family, friends, food, and job searching….yes, job searching. While many people think that job searching is the last thing they should be during over the holidays, the days leading up to the New Year are actually the perfect time to power up your job searching activities. Therefore, my holiday gifts to you are a few suggestions on how you can power up your job search during the most wonderful time of the year.

Gifts

Welcome to the holidays, that joyous time of the year full of family, friends, food, and job searching….yes, job searching. While many people think that job searching is the last thing they should be during over the holidays, the days leading up to the New Year are actually the perfect time to power up your job searching activities. Therefore, my holiday gifts to you are a few suggestions on how you can power up your job search during the most wonderful time of the year.

Gift 1: Have  a Holly Jolley Networking Vacation If you are working and also planning to take a vacation, use the time on vacation to schedule some meetings for networking. If you are not working, you could use the same tactic. The holidays are often a slow time at many companies; therefore, the holiday season is an ideal time to connect with those busy potential hiring managers. Take them to lunch or have a cup of coffee with them to celebrate the holiday season. Then let them know you are in the market for a job.

Gift 2: Deck the Halls with a New Professional Image

Use your holiday downtime to redo these important elements of your professional image:

  • Your Resume – Take the time to have your resume professionally rewritten.
  • Your LinkedIn Profile – Your resume and LinkedIn profile are separate beasts; use the slower time of the holidays to reinvent your profile and online job search strategy.
  • Your Thought Leadership Campaign – I strongly urge my clients to be engaged vigorously in thought leadership by writing blogs and being active in trade groups and professional organizations.  Use your holiday downtime wisely, writing blogs, joining professional groups, and reviewing your network.

Gift 3: Become A Party Animal    

Social events are ideal for letting people know you are in the job market. Be brave and accept all the invitations you receive, both personal and professional. You never know who might be able to help. Friends and family members as well as business acquaintances are typically more than happy to assist, especially while they are in a festive holiday mood.

Gift 4: Spread Holiday Cheer Within Your Network

With 80% of all jobs acquired via networking, your network is a valuable job search tool. Use the holidays as leverage to connect with people in your network in various ways including:

  • Phone Calls – It is amazing how effective and novel a phone call can be in this social media age. In addition, you are likely to reach your intended target during the slower than normal holidays.
  • Greeting Cards – Care enough to send the best by taking the time to send a holiday card to select people in your network.
  • Online Greetings – My annual holiday update greeting is a big hit with my network. Send an email blast to your network, updating family accomplishments and announcing your job search.  

The Bottom Line: The Job Search Never Takes A Holiday 

Gifts2While the job search never takes a holiday, it does not mean that you cannot. Please take advantage of this season to relax and enjoy family and friends, but by all means, keep moving with your job search.  By keeping the power up you will be able to get one of the best . t holiday gifts of all…a shiny new job.

Let’s Get To Work!!!

A Shout Out To Family Caregivers

CareGiver2

I will be your God throughout your lifetime- until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.  Isaiah 46:4

Across our country, more than 90 million Americans take up the selfless and unheralded work of delivering care to seniors, people with disabilities, or individuals suffering from various kinds of illnesses. The role caregivers play in our healthcare system is one we must recognize and support. November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time set aside to thank these tireless heroes for the long, challenging work they perform every day behind closed doors and without fanfare. The month is our opportunity to recommit to ensuring the well-being of our loved ones and ourselves as caregivers.       

Caregiver Facts (Source: Caregivers Action Network)

Each year, more and more Americans are caring for a loved one, suffering from a chronic condition, disability, or the frailties of ageing. Here are some facts about this growing segment of our population.

Two out of every 5 adults are family caregivers39% of all adult Americans are caring for a loved one who is sick or disabled – up from 30% in 2010. Alzheimer’s is driving the numbers up. More than 15 million family caregivers are providing care to more than 5 million loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not just the elderly, however, who need caregiving. The number of parents caring for children with special needs is increasing due to the rise in cases of many chronic conditions among children in early childhood.

Wounded veterans require family caregivers, too. As many as 1 million Americans are caring in their homes for service members who are suffering from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other wounds and illnesses, which resulted from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Caregiving is not limited only to women; men are also giving care. Men are now almost as likely to say they are family caregivers as women are (37% of men; 40% of women). In addition, 36% of younger Americans between ages 18 and 29 are family caregivers as well. These statistics include 1 million young people who care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Care for the Caregiver. The Caregiver Action Network (previously known as the National Family Caregivers Association) began promoting a weeklong celebration of family caregivers in 1994. President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation in 1997 and every president since — Democratic and Republican alike — has issued an annual proclamation honoring family caregivers. As awareness of family caregiving grew, National Family Caregivers Week evolved into National Family Caregivers Month, which we celebrate every November (Read the Caregiver Action Network Top 10 Tips for Family Caregivers).

The Bottom Line: Family Caregiving is Serious Work.

“Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy 5:16    

Care Giver1According to the Caregiver Action Network, almost half of family caregivers perform complex medical/nursing tasks for their loved ones. Tasks include responsibilities such as administering or managing multiple medications, providing wound care, and operating specialized medical equipment. As advances in medicine have prolonged life, the need for care has become more acute. So a shutout goes to the women and men who care for our love ones. We value your devotion and skills.

This blog post was written with source data obtained from the Caregiver Action Network website.  www.caregiveraction.org