What am I working on?

I believe that wisdom can only be created through our own action and effort. We do that by exhausting our own resources working on problems, ideas, and asking ourselves tough questions. Here you will find (almost) daily posts of the things I'm trying to figure out for myself. Have a quick scroll through and see if you can find something that interests you :)

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5 questions to help you review, plan and improve for 2022

Rather than a full-blown goal setting program, I thought I’d lighten the load by crafting three groups of five pointed questions for reflecting on 2021 and setting an intention for 2022.

Grab some paper and a pen, print this out, or copy and paste this into your favourite note taking application and get to work 🙂

1-5: What went well in 2021?

  1. Looking back over 2021, what’s the one accomplishment that I am the most proud of?
  2. What’s a new habit I developed in 2021, and how did it positively impact my professional life?
  3. What was my single greatest lesson in 2021? How has it impacted me?
  4. What’s something I did for the first time in 2021? What did I learn?
  5. Who supported me the most in 2021? How?

6-10: What would have made 2021 better?

  1. Looking back over 2021, what didn’t go well, or go according to plan? Why?
  2. What’s an area of my professional life I neglected in 2021?
  3. Where did I waste time in 2021?
  4. What’s something – a bad habit, a trait – that held me back from achieving more success in 2021?
  5. What or who do I need to leave behind in 2021?

11-15: What needs to change for 2022 to be my best year yet?

  1. What would I like to achieve in my professional life over the next 12 months?
  2. What’s one thing, that I am not doing right now, that if I paid more attention to that area I believe that it would generate a greater level of success for me in 2022?
  3. What’s one thing that I will stop doing (say no to) to in 2022?
  4. What’s a rule or boundary I need to create that will help me to spend more of my time in the right areas in 2022?
  5. What’s a single habit I need to develop and work on that will have a dramatic impact on my professional life in 2022?

Once you’ve answered the questions, and you have some direction for 2022, have a think about what books, resources and people can help and support you to make 2022 your best year yet.

All the best!

Chris.

What do I *really* own?

There are many things that I used to think I owned.

However, if someone can take it away from me, I don’t truly own it. And if I don’t truly own it, then I don’t have complete control over it.

Here are two short lists to help compare…

List 1 – Things that people can take away from me (things I don’t have complete control over):

  • Status
  • Reputation
  • Salary/money
  • Job/work

List 2 – Things people can’t take away from me (things I have complete control over):

  • Character
  • Philosophy
  • Wisdom
  • Self-control
  • Mindset

So, looking at these lists:

Q. Where am I focusing my attention and effort right now?
Q. The external, or the internal?
Q. The inputs, or the outputs?
Q. Where am I likely to find true happiness?

…List 1, or list 2? 👇🏻

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Stoicism at work…

  1. I don’t need to have an opinion about that
  2. Manage my expectations
  3. Never shocked or surprised
  4. Hope for the best, plan for the worst
  5. If it can be taken from me, I don’t truly own it (salary, status, reputation, job, etc)
  6. Don’t speak unless what I’m going to say isn’t better left unsaid
  7. Pick my battles carefully
  8. Know that people don’t make mistakes deliberately
  9. Learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others
  10. Focus my energy on what I have complete control over
  11. Everyone is better than me at something
  12. Focus on the person, not the problem
  13. Know that I could be wrong
  14. Don’t take things personally
  15. Don’t take myself too seriously
  16. Don’t let fear control me
  17. It’s not about me

What’s a number from the list that you’d like to work on more in 2022?

Head over to LinkedIn and jump into the comments.

Never knowing what you’re great at…

We assume that someone who’s great at something knows why they are great at that thing. As a result, we don’t ever tell them.

What’s more likely to be true is that they can’t see themselves like you see them. That you can see that greatness, but they can’t. It’s obvious. But only to you.

Worst case scenario: that person goes through their career never really knowing what they’re truly great at and they live each day believing they aren’t enough.

As leaders we must get into the habit of giving people specific recognition for what they are truly great at. Making sure they know that what they bring is enough.

Pick one person today and go tell them what they’re great at, and why.

They deserve to know.

PS This works ‘up’ the way, too.

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What’s good for the organisation is good for me

As an employee there will be occasions where I won’t understand fully why we’re doing things. Sometimes I won’t be able to see the bigger picture or have clarity on the context.

And there’s one thing that I need to accept and get clear on – there’s only one person that has the principal responsibility for charting and protecting the future of the organisation…and that’s the CEO.

Instead of complaining and resisting change, can I trust that the leader of the organisation is doing their best to protect the future of the company? Can I allow them do their job? Can I accept that what’s good for the organisation is good for me?

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“If you don’t care, than why should I?”

One of my most common self sabotaging thoughts is “if you don’t care, then why should I?”

I lose sight of my own values and principles by allowing other people’s actions and behaviours to affect me. I start behaving outside of my integrity, and it leads to resenting myself and others.

Not that long ago I would allow this to ruin several of my days, and as I’ve worked on it I’d let it ruin a few hours, until today, where I can work through it very quickly, sometimes only in a few minutes.

Here are the questions I ask myself to evaluate the thoughts and get myself back to where I need to be:

  1. Why am I so angry right now?
  2. In what ways are my ideals and values becoming the expectations for other peoples behaviour?
  3. How am I making my life more difficult than it needs to be?
  4. Why am I allowing other people lead me astray from my own values?
  5. Why am I allowing other people dictate my attitude?
  6. Why am I allowing other people take control of my happiness?
  7. Am I going to continue to let other people ruin my day?
  8. What would be different if I didn’t take this personally?
  9. What would be different if I believed that they are trying their best?

What’s the lesson?

I may not have control other people and their behaviour, but I do have complete control over how I respond to their actions and behaviour. There’s always a choice, and I get to choose how it affects me.

Why make life more difficult than it needs to be?

Why be miserable when I can be happy?

If you can relate, head over to LinkedIn and join the conversation

Getting your priorities in order…

Before I was able to set clear boundaries I needed to get the important things in my life into an order of priority.

And if you were to ask me what my order my priorities are today, this would be my honest answer:

  1. Me
  2. Partner
  3. Kids
  4. Family/closest friends
  5. Work

Sure, there’s some movement from time to time based on the context, and it’s not always clear cut, but for the most part this is the order.

So, the first task is to get your priorities in order, then set boundaries, then use that framework to make better choices.

What does your framework for making decisions look like?

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A real life example of boundaries at work…

“Hey Chris, I noticed you declined the meeting. Everyone else is available, can you clear your schedule and be there?”

“No, I can’t be there. Can it go ahead without me?”

“It’s really important that you’re there. Everyone else can make it, what can I do to help you be there?”

“There’s nothing you can do, when the meeting is on I’ll be putting my kids to bed and reading them stories. Either we rearrange it or it goes ahead without me.”

***

What’s the lesson?

If you don’t know what time is important to you, you won’t protect it and you’ll allow others to take it from you.

What’s the challenge?

Create a new boundary today. What time do you need to protect?

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How to respond when you make a mistake at work

You made a mistake at work. It happens to us all. However, it’s how you respond to the mistake that matters the most.

How can you turn this mistake into an opportunity for personal and professional growth?

  1. Admit it, own it, apologise for it
  2. Take responsibility and clean up my own mess
  3. Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’ve got nothing left to learn
  4. Show respect by listening to my manager and peers
  5. Take on the feedback so I can learn and grow
  6. Am I Being coachable in this moment? (If I was coaching me, what would I be thinking?)
  7. What am I learning about my own level of self-awareness?
  8. There’s always the possibility that I could be wrong?
  9. Making a mistake is painful, but staying ignorant will be more painful in the long term
  10. How is my behaviour being observed by my peers?
  11. What can others learn from my mistake?

What’s something you’d like to work on? What would you add?

Head over to LinkedIn and share your thoughts.