Monday, July 22, 2013

My Take: Chapter 6 of Maxwell's 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - The Law of Environment

Zen (Photo credit: Josefe aka Hipnosapo)
The summary of this chapter is really that it is impossible to grow without changing. However, it is possible change without growing.   Therefore, the focus is growth.  And to grow, we need the right environment.  Six steps are recommended for growth. 
  1. Assess your current environment. There are a number of ways to do this, so figure out what works for you and do it. You may ask a set of questions like, "What ideas speak to me?", What music lifts me?", and "what dreams inspire me?".  If you are not getting what you need in your current environment then make some changes - this is not easy.
  2. Change yourself and your environment. Change both for maximum growth and more successful growth. Define your growth environment.  List the key points of your environment, and mark each one with true or false for your current environment.  If you answer false to more than five of these statements,  your current environment may be hampering your growth.  My key environment points list is a variation of the authors:
    • Others are ahead of me.
    • I am challenged at the right times.
    • My focus if forward.
    • The atmosphere is affirming.
    • I am often out of my comfort zone.
    • I wake up excited.
    • Failure is not my enemy.
    • Others are growing.
    • Growth is modeled and expected. 
  3. Change who you spend time with. The most signficant factor in a person's environment is the people.  If you change nothing else in your life for the better, change that and you have increased your chances of success.  This is not an easy thing to do, but face the facts and clean house if needed, and things will change. 
  4. Challenge yourself in your new environment. Make your goals public, pick a growth opportunity each week, etc.  A post by Bruce Kasanoff about how to help structure your week is a great start at this, and I have added to his one page, weekly activity list by putting my quarterly goals in the same document. This enables me to review my quarterly goals each week and then plan my week with my goals in mind, knowing what I have achieved previously.  By the way, I have posted my quarterly goals up on bathroom mirror as well so I see them every day. This is a huge step - much bigger than you realize until you do it. 
  5. Focus on the moment. The only moment we have control over is the "now".  "Today is when everything that is going to happen from now on begins".  Do what you can do in each "now". 
  6. Move forward despite criticism. "Growth always comes from taking action, and taking action almost always brings criticism." Reach for what you want, make your own decisions, and then stick with them no matter what people say.  
Finally, leaders can take responsibility for creating an environment that helps people achieve what they are striving for.  Take the features of your environment and create that environment for the people you lead.  It will be one of the most important investments you will ever make.  If you have children, create it for them.  This is my goal as a leader and a father. 

Thoughts? Comments? 

Please repost this if you think it is worth it!  


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Social media - more personal power than ever before

Psy (Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer)
Diesel has a new ad campaign called #dieselreboot.  You can find it at dieselreboot.  Very creative and some would say "weird", but that is what diesel apparently wants to be.  What is really compelling about this campaign and what I want to focus on is the message that social media gives power to the individual.  This, I believe, is a new "power" that will change our world.  The essence of this change is that this is the first time in the history of the world that an individual can so quickly become "recognized" because they are giving something that people want. 

Having the ability to individually become recognized globally (whatever your definition of global is) is truly brand new for the human race. Think about the evolution of "recognition".  Before newspapers, people were recognized in their community, primarily face to face interactions that enabled us to tell our story and be "recognized".  Then newspapers came along and as the newspaper became well known and shared around the world, people were recognized... if the paper felt the information about you was "news worthy" (good or bad).  However, the newspaper people were in control of our recognition.  Then news (from newspapers) migrated to the internet via websites and the recognition happened faster and more globally, but it was still controlled by the newspaper.  Then people became more active on the internet, creating websites and then blogs, tweets, and facebook posts.  This was the turning point... when people published what they wanted to publish.  The last component required to complete this transformation was that there were enough people "listening" that the individual could have a following and be recognized.  Today, if we have the drive and the ability to give people what they want, we can become recognized, quickly and globally, and simply because enough people are listening and recognizing the value.

Some good examples of this new phenomenon range from the popularity of Psy, a Korean singer that had a number 1 hit single sung in Korean (more or less :-)) to my cousin Adele who has a following of about 75 people on Facebook and she posts almost every day about her life and travels.   Diane Nyad, the swimmer that is attempting to swim from Cuban to Key West, is another good example.  She has taken on the challenge to push herself as well as encourage others to do the same. None of these people would have the impact they have today without social media helping them get their message out, and people listening and responding.  It is truly a new (and mostly wonderful) world if you ask me.

This ability has a whole new set of challenges for us as a society, and I have not yet spent time thinking through these challenges.  I do believe this new world makes us more responsible as individuals because we can no longer blame a newspaper or a company for what we "hear" and make popular.  We listen to and promote who and what we want, so we have the power and responsibility to promote "responsibly".  Sounds like a new tag line, doesn't it? "Promote responsibly". In my opinion we should adopt this mantra because we don't have a choice - social media is here and it will change our life whether we participate actively or not.

Your thoughts?


Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Barnes & Noble at The Shops at Tanforan mall i...
Barnes & Noble at The Shops at Tanforan mall in San Bruno, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Barnes and Noble appear to be working hard on defining their future.  It seems to me they need to refocus on their retail power and become great at using technology in the store.  How about  letting people browse books, read books, talk about books in the store (the physical environment) and they provide the best network and downloading capability ever so a person can get the book in the most desirable form when they are ready to buy?  After all, it boils down to selling books, right?

What is your answer if you were Riggio?


Enhanced by Zemanta