“Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.” – Hamilton Mabie

Positive Quote: “Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.” – Hamilton Mabie

 

One of the reasons I like this quote is that it reminds me that we are all unique personalities that each bring something different to the table. By being unique, odds are there will be many a time we don’t see eye to eye and will disagree with others. That is okay. However, I would also add that it does matter how you disagree. It should not be inflammatory or at the expense of others. Being able to respectfully disagree is what is important. If you are more apt to take this approach, others will be more apt to listen and then it becomes a conversation versus an escalation into lands we do not want to dwell in.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a fantastic Friday.

 

Priscilla

 

The two Cs: Concentration and Composure

Positive Quote: “Every great player has learned the two Cs: How to concentrate and how to maintain composure.” – Byron Nelson

 

The words, concentration and composure appear fairly straightforward, yet they are not the easiest to achieve or maintain.

 

For me, it is about finding your inner calm space, finding a point of reference that is your idea of a super, horrific bad day and everything else, well that is not, so it becomes easier to be calm, to be composed, to concentrate.

 

This quote reminds me of a time, back many a year ago, where I was interviewing for a team manager position in an IT help desk environment. I had prior managerial experience in the same company, yet on the retail store side. I’ll be the first to admit that managing retail staff is a whole different story than managing IT technical staff. I digress, well, I knew my interviewers, I worked with them day in and day out and they knew me, both my strengths and my areas of opportunity. Unbeknownst to me, they wanted to ruffle me and get me off kilter during the interview process and wanted to see if I could maintain composure, if I could concentrate. They threw some very outlandish questions at me and some that I could have found as insulting. However, throughout it all I was calm and did not go down the path of emotion or loss of control. Looking back on it, I don’t know why it was how it was, perhaps it was the culture. If I got the position (which I did) I would be the only female manager in the IT help desk, where more than 80% of the employees and contractors were male. It was a different time and era back then.

 

One of my friends and mentor at that company once told me that whoever lost their cool first lost, no matter how right about something they were. I have seen this to be true, not only in the workplace, but in life overall.

 

As you can tell, this quote echoes for me.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a terrific Tuesday.

 

Priscilla

 

“In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future, then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.” – Edward de Bono

Positive Quote: “In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future, then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.” – Edward de Bono

 

I know that I cannot predict the future. I can make assumptions based on information I have, however, true prediction, no, I cannot do that.

 

This quote reminds me to have a plan b or even a plan c available. Flexibility and the ability to be nimble can have more value that rigidity with a believe that the future will pan out one way versus another.

 

For example: Imagine a scenario where a manager believes that the volumes of a certain widget will increase and based on that assumption makes a decision to build a new manufacturing plant. However, 2 years later the widget volumes are stagnant,. However, this manager continues to move forward with the new plant. 5 years down the road and the new plant is operational with double or even triple the staff, yet the widget volumes continue to be flat. At this point there is not much this manager can be flexible with, in order to maintain without folding. If this manager had been flexible with possible futures, it would have been a different outcome and a different future.

 

Another example: Imagine a scenario where a hiring manager has a top pick for a candidate, however others who have interviewed this candidate were not as impressed and had hesitations. Imagine that manager believing they saw something others did not and the candidate is a good fit for the position, they get hired. Fast forward and this new hire is not fitting into the company culture, the overall team morale is being negatively impacted. Before the manager is able to recognize, coach, and counsel half the team has either quit or is working at a disengaged level. If this manager had been more flexible, they would have sought specifics from the other interviews, valued the feedback, and perhaps done a second round of interviews and perhaps, perhaps made a different decision leading to a different outcome and a different future.

 

I know that not all poor decisions can be avoided, just as I know that not all poor hiring decisions can be caught in the initial rounds of the interview process. However, I am a firm believer in that one can be flexible in being open to multiple methods of remediation and that this by itself may increase the possibilities of success.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a marvelous Monday.

 

Priscilla

 

“The most important single ingredient is the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people” – Theodore Roosevelt

Positive Quote: “The most important single ingredient is the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

This quote sounds simple, yet is more complex than one would think. Getting along with people does not mean being a ‘yes’ person, nor does it mean agreeing with everyone’s ideas and suggestions. To me, this means treating people with respect, being empathetic, and most importantly listening to what they have to say.

 

This can be experienced in many ways. For me personally, I try to do this by….

 

  • Letting someone complete their sentence, rather than talk over them
  • If someone stops by my desk to talk to me, I either stop what I am doing, turn around and face them front on and talk, or I gauge what I am working on and say, absolutely, can you give me 15 minutes to wrap this up and I’ll come by your desk to talk? This sets the expectation and awareness that you will talk and listen, yet enables you to finish if you were in the middle of something.
  • When I disagree, I don’t use words that are emotional triggers, such as ‘what were you thinking’, ‘your idea’, or ‘you don’t know what you are talking about’. Yes, I have been in meetings where people have said this and more.
  • I try to use a person’s name when talking to them, to keep engaged in the conversation.
  • I look to work with others collaborating knowledge, ideas, and expertise.

 

The opposite, well I think we all have experienced the opposite or been in a meeting with someone who gives the appearance of not being collaborative.

 

I would also say that if you are meeting your metrics and goals, yet doing so at the expense of others or by creating an environment of negativity, then that is not true success. In those cases, as a manager, those people would not be top performers.

 

I hope to be viewed by others as supportive, collaborative, and demonstrating a team work mentality. I don’t want to be someone where if I am on a meeting invite, others attending say to themselves ‘I don’t want to meet with her’, ‘she is not helpful’, or ‘why is everything so difficult with her’…..I believe who you are is your brand. You should take care of it and look at how you are being viewed by others.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a marvelous Friday.

Priscilla

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – Halford E. Luccock

Positive Quote: “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – Halford E. Luccock

 

Can you imagine a single person symphony? I can’t. I picture chaos, with one person either running around from instrument to instrument or even having multiple instruments on them at one. Either way, not a way I want to hear or enjoy a symphony.

 

This quote reminds me that no one person can do everything. People must and should collaborate, share ideas, leverage the strengths in others. Not everyone is good at everything, yet together, unique individuals can create something as beautiful as a symphony.

 

For the majority of my career, at least the last two decades, I have been in a position or role where the large percentage of my success hinges on others; either as a team manager or leading a project where I have no direct authority of the project team. In all cases, it was I who had to learn to adapt my style to learn what communication style worked well with whom. I couldn’t tell myself that someone else would do it or someone else would take care of it or even that if someone didn’t do something I would escalate to their manager.

 

Being a part of a large organization, both now and in my past roles, I have learned that I cannot do it all, that each person has something of value to add to the table and most importantly, that people prefer to be asked for their help or guidance rather than be directed to help. Granted, there will be those that nothing seems to work with, where the communication and relationship suffer, and ultimately the project or goal. Yet, I am thankful that in my career that number of people has been less than a handful.

 

Also, this quote reminds me to thank others for their efforts, for their part in the process, for their role. Yes, one must coach, counsel, and work to hold people accountable…yet one must also recognize efforts, when they are warranted. As a leader, I would prefer my interactions with people to be where they don’t cringe when I want to talk to them or they don’t automatically think I have something negative to say. Like any orchestra, to be a success, it takes practice, coaching, counseling, direction, and most importantly, two way communication where each person knows what the end result needs to look and be like. That way, we are all working towards the same goal.

 

So next time you hear a symphony, or listen to your favorite band, or even reading your favorite book… know that it took more people than you can imagine to create the song, the music, the book that you are enjoying so much.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a fabulous Thursday.

 

Priscilla

 

“A wise man will make tools of what comes to hand” – Thomas Fuller

Positive Quote: “A wise man will make tools of what comes to hand” – Thomas Fuller

 

I like this quote. To me it speaks about creativity and resourcefulness. The ability to make something out of what is on hand is a skill. I believe it can be used in both a personal and professional way.

 

For example, imagine cooking dinner and realizing you don’t have an ingredient, can you substitute or do you have to stop and go to the store. It depends on what you are missing. You can replace baking soda with baking powder (amount differs, not a 1:1), you can replace heavy cream with a milk and margarine combination. Or if you don’t have a certain tool you can use what you have there; from a wine bottle for a rolling pin to a juice glass to replace a cookie cutter. I personally do not like to stop and put things on ‘hold’ to go to the store and do my best to locate something can use to make things work.

 

Also, from a professional perspective, imagine you are assigned a new task or project and you don’t know anything about it. You have to assess what the current environment is and then determine what the end result should look like. With that knowledge, you would reach out to others, leverage past projects lessons learned, and determine your best approach, while having a plan b and c readily available.

 

As you can tell, this quote resonates with me. When things go awry, I stop and take a few moments to think, ‘ok, what else can I do, what can I leverage, and what new path could I go down’. Sometimes it can take multiple attempts to see progress and one method does not work for all.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a marvelous Wednesday.

Priscilla

 

“The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” – Peter Abelard

Positive Quote: “The key to wisdom is this – constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question, by questioning we arrive at the truth.” – Peter Abelard

Wisdom and questioning, yes, I do believe they go hand in hand to a certain extent. I believe it depends on what you are learning and what you are questioning. It also depends on your motive for asking. Do you question because you truly want to understand and learn or for another reason?

 

I know I will never be an astronaut, a fire fighter, a ballerina, an Olympic athlete, or many other things. Yet, I do know what I am good at, where my strengths are, and by building on my strengths by questioning and learning, I (hopefully) gain wisdom. That wisdom will become circular, and continue to evolve and grow. Yet, I do believe another key component of wisdom is teaching; teaching others what we know, what we have learned, and to help them question, learn, and grow.

 

I don’t have all the answers, I am not an expert, yet, the one thing I consistently strive to do, is to seek to understand and find the experts, find the people who have answers and seek. This has served me well in my career, as I tend to not give up easily. I tackle projects like a puzzle, where I know what the end result needs to look like, now I have to jump in and decide where to start, and then follow it through. If I hit a dead end or can’t seem to make progress, I step away and come back focused on another area of the puzzle (project) and see if that makes inroads to connect across. In my experience, sometimes you have to try different methods to achieve a goal.

 

This reminds me of a book that I leverage consistently for growth, both mine and others. It is called FYI, For Your Improvement by Korn Ferry. It is not a book you read cover to cover. It is organized primarily by competencies and once you locate the competency you either want to further strengthen or build strength in it, it provides insight on ways you could focus on that area and remedies you can try to use to build on that specific competency. It also recommends example stretch goals to further build practical experience on that competency. It then includes specific suggested reading around the competency that is not general and more targeted. I have had the book for years and I have not read it cover to cover, it is a targeted style approach which speaks to me as it also ties to Situational Leadership methodologies.

 

One must question to gain wisdom, yet not question just to question.

 

What do you think of this quote?

 

Have a phenomenal Friday.

 

Priscilla