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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Dare To Soar: Inspired By Eagles

July 31, 2011 1 comment

Do you enjoy going through the routine of life? Have you ever felt like you were created for so much more? The fact is, most people just don’t know how to leverage their true potential. This blog post is the first in a series about rising above the status quo, finding passion, and increasing personal effectiveness each day…

Eagles are fascinating creatures! They stir our adrenaline and captivate our attention like no other bird in the world. When we see an eagle flying high in the sky, time just seems to stand still. These “King of Birds” overcome the law of gravity simply by stretching their wings. Next thing you know, they’re soaring effortlessly through the sky. While all other birds are busy flapping their wings trying to get from place to place, the eagles just soar through the mist of every storm.

For centuries, the eagle has been the symbol of royalty, power, and authority. Eagles are referenced at least 32 times in the Bible, and they have appeared on statues, flags, and currency for centuries. While Benjamin Franklin strongly supported the turkey, the Founding Fathers ultimately selected the Bald Eagle as the national emblem of the United States of America in 1782. The eagle also has symbolic meaning for most Native American tribes, who still perform the traditional Eagle Dance when they have a need for divine intervention.

A bald eagle.

Image via Wikipedia

Eagles are known for their strength, size, keenness of vision, and gracefulness in flight. An interesting fact is that eagles almost always feast on fresh food. Unlike a vulture, an eagle does not eat what it finds, it finds what it wants to eat! In the same way, we have to be careful when choosing what we consume (remember, we are what we eat!). Our diet has a direct impact on our strength, energy, attitude, and effectiveness. Thus, discernment for our appetite must be clear: we must hunt, find, and consume that which we most desire.

Why do we get so uncomfortable with things we haven’t experienced before? Because, at the very core of our nature, we don’t like change. Yes, I said it: we don’t like change. We spend way too much time conforming, when what we should be doing is transforming! Many of us have wings, but always seem to be flapping them all over the place. Some of us lack passion and act as if our wings were clipped. We are neither hot nor cold, and we splash around in a bird bath of lukewarm water. We want more excitement in our life, but don’t know what we are really passionate about. What do we really need to focus on? To find out, answer these two questions:

1) Each day, what do you primarily spend your time and energy on?

2) Where would you like to spend most of your time and energy each day?

How you answer question #1 will help you to identify the priorities in your life. The answer to question #2 will help you define the gap between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.

There is more to come in this blog series, including the topics of Eaglets, Vultures, Molting, and Soaring. If you enjoy this blog, please share it with others. I welcome your questions and appreciate your comments. Thank you!

To Your Success,

-Tom

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Bridge The Generational Gap

October 19, 2010 3 comments

“DUDE, YOUR BLOG IS SICK!” This statement was a serious contender for the title of this week’s blog. As we all know, TITLE is everything in attracting readers. Since my intention is to attract people from all generations, I decided to tone it down a bit… but that’s where it ends! The rest shall have flavor for everyone: Hot & Spicy for the Millennials, Exotic & Colorful for the Gen-X‘ers, Low-Salt or Sodium-Free for the Baby Boomers, and Bland with a bit of Honey will be served to the Traditionalists with a smile.

Bridging the generational gap is very important to enhancing communication, effectiveness, productivity, and profitability across all levels of an organization. In reviewing The New Map of Adult Life (Sheehy 1995, 10-11), I first thought I was looking at a map of Middle Earth (ref: Lord of the Rings trilogy). Many of the descriptions and diagrams under Provisional Adulthood and First Adulthood hit home. Suffice to say, I have dipped my toe in Middlescence with the recent purchase of a bright red BMW. Manual transmission, all-wheel drive, and tan leather interior.

It’s PHAT!

Could I possibly demonstrate a better expression of an early midlife crisis than this?

I don’t think so!

But how can we more effectively work with “The Others” (people from other generations, I mean)?

Today I propose one unique approach that may help bridge some of the generational gaps. The concept is Informal Mentoring. “Informal mentoring is about being in the right place at the right time and fostering boundless professional support and guidance within organizations” (Lois J. Zachary). Young employees often struggle with finding a perfect mentor match, while significantly tenured employees struggle with swallowing their pride and asking for help (often with technological challenges). Informal mentoring is casual, spontaneous, self-initiated, personal, unstructured, and self-managed. The success for implementing an informal mentoring strategy is dependent upon how effectively an organization trains all employees on its benefits. After all, every unique individual is motivated by the question of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)?  This is a question that drives engagement from all employees, regardless of their generation.

Although informal mentoring is still regarded by many organizations as both less significant and less legitimate than formal mentoring, it is a much better approach to helping employees who need mentoring actually get it when they need it. Why? Because the employee is personally investing their time and energy into their own growth and development (as opposed to doing something they were TOLD to do). More importantly, it can be a catalyst for effectively breaking through the generational walls of misunderstanding and foster more effective communication across wide variances in tenure. By creating an action plan to support and enhance informal mentoring in an organization, generational gaps will shrink and all types of mentoring will be enriched.

So what’s the word, POPS?

In the words of President Ronald Reagan:

“Tear Down This Wall!”

(June 12, 1987)

Sincerely, Cheers, Yours, Dude, CU L8R, I’m Out,

-Tom

Mile High and Taking It Higher!

October 4, 2010 5 comments

Attitude Determines Altitude!

Attitude Determines Altitude!

Attitude Determines Altitude! It’s a phrase that has been used many times to highlight the impact attitude can have on individual behavior, learning, and success. Have you ever been amazed by how quickly your attitude improves after achieving a small success? Or how a complete stranger with a poor attitude can drag you down in a matter of minutes? As much as we try not to admit it, the truth is that our attitude is constantly shifting and can be dramatically affected by external forces.

But why is ATTITUDE so important? Because the more positive our attitude towards gaining new skills, stretching our creativity, and enhancing our perspective, the better we learn as adults. The better we learn, the more we retain. The more we retain, the more effectively we apply. Effective application leads to increased competence. Increased competence enhances our self-confidence. Enhanced self-confidence leads to personal success. Personal success leads to increased motivation to succeed again, which positively influences our attitude towards learning. Simply put, our attitude plays a key role throughout the cycle of adult learning, motivation, and success!

ALTITUDE: How high can your motivation to learn and succeed take you? Denver sits at approximately 5280 feet above sea level and is appropriately labeled the “Mile-High” city. While leading high-performance teams in the past, I consistently reinforced the importance of each team member’s attitude towards learning and how motivation can help everyone succeed. Attitude really does determine altitude, which is why our slogan was “Mile High and Taking It Higher!”

-Tom