A number of years back whilst still heavily involved in electrical engineering it was one of my responsibilities to carryout regular maintenance on vital electronic equipment. Most of the time the first sign of a problem would be a major system shutdown, everything would come to a grinding halt, the alarm bells would ring and it would be action stations and panic as the rush to restore services began.
The equipment and its associated controls were, to say the least, very temperamental. They had been designed to operate either at 100% capacity or 0%. Many days I wished that someone who would come up with an early warning system to help our team to pre-empt system failure, and then one day somebody did.
If you cannot manage your time something or someone will manage it for you. Last week I paid close attention to how I was spending my time, not just the day in general but the minutes and the hours. If you are tired of not having enough day at the end of your diary and important tasks remain undone what I learned will give you a new perspective on your chores and may help you to change the way you think about your priorities and how best to manage your time.
Q: “If everybody is doing something, it must be correct, right?”
Q: “Surely 80% of the population can't be wrong, right?”
Q: “Should we question convention?”
Q: “If we do will we be labelled as rebellious non-conformists?”
A: Wrong, wrong, yes and maybe.
I recently heard a lovely story which demonstrates the need to question conventional wisdom. The story is about a woman frantically trying to get the Christmas dinner completed for an ever gathering number of family and friends. During the preparation her 14-year-old daughter asked her why she was cutting an inch off of what seem to be a perfectly good joint of beef. The mother replied that her mother had always done it that way. The mother went on to explain to her daughter that after the off-cut piece of meat had been cooked her grandfather would enjoy eating it after it had been fried separately in a pan on the stove thus supposedly to ensure that the joint was up to standard for the family Christmas dinner.
My family and friends had begun to joke about me and, to be fair, it was a little funny. Even I started talking about the way I could simply drop off to sleep anywhere and anytime. I began to refer to these times as “screen-saver mode” and the only difference between me and my laptop was the fact that at least I could set my laptop not to go into screen-saver.
I am a very fortunate person, I am blessed to be surrounded by many highly motivated people and I have also had the great fortune of being taught by leaders in the field of personal development.
I was first introduced to the idea of personal growth and development by Professor Arnold Mol at a time in my life when personal motivation was becoming a genuine issue in my career and life. Arnold Mol has trained hundreds of CEO’s in some of the world’s largest organizations. I remember very clearly the moment I stepped out of one of his afternoon seminars and into the bright sunshine of that Friday afternoon; the sky seemed a different colour, I have never been the same since.
What can I say about this man that has not already been said a zillion times in the last few weeks? Anyhow, what is my opinion worth to the world when some of the greatest leaders and personalities have painted such incredible images of this visionary? Apart from the general articles in the news papers and magazines which I have read over the years, it was not until this speech that Steve Jobs grabbed and held my attention. A good friend sent me a TED link and I am so glad he did. I was deeply moved and inspired and , just in case you have never seen or heard this speech, I have decided to place it in this short blog, I hope it inspires you like it did to me.
The recent television series Lie to Me featured popular actor Tim Roth as Dr Cal Lightman of the Lightman institute, an organization specialising in assisting individuals and organizations in identifying threats to business and security from deception and lies. Dr lightman and his team are experts at reading facial expressions or microexpressions through FACS or Facial Action Coding thus identifying when someone is lying or being deceptive in anyway.
It was the loss control guru Frank Bird who first coined the phrase, “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”, and what a truism that statement is. This week I want to throw this idea at you; Success can be measured in millimetres. OK Ed, so explain…..
There is so much conversation going on at present around the effects of “suicide pricing” in the construction and related industries that I thought my two pence worth might interest you. Is it just me or does it seem that the market place, and in particular the construction industry has lost its mind? Perhaps some of the unsound business practices we are witnessing are the result of a concussion caused from too many economic head and body blows to an industry in crisis.
I was talking to a new contact at a business breakfast recently and our conversation had progressed to the, “so what is it that you do” stage.
“I’m a Life Coach and a Goal Mapping practitioner”, I answered.
“Oh!” he said, “there seem to be an awful lot of you guy’s out there these days…..why do you think that is”?
To be really honest I had never thought of it like that. I had never done any market research into Life Coaching as a career; it’s simply what I have always loved doing and since one is only ever going to be successful at what one loves doing the most, I guess that was my reason. But if there really are so many life coaches, motivational speakers and personal development professionals out there…….then why?