Category: Uncategorized

Overcoming Obstacles To Your Goals

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” As we discussed in the previous article, there are so many reasons why people abandon their goals. What can we do to overcome some of these obstacles and start moving towards accomplishing our goals? Here are a few ideas:

Acknowledge Fear: There’s an acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. We’ve all experienced fear, but the key is to acknowledge where you fears lie and what fears are true and what aren’t based in reality. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” And then, “what’s the best that could happen?” Almost always, the good outweighs the bad.

Quiet those Nagging Thoughts: You know the ones: “I don’t have time to work towards my goals.” “I’m already maxed out!” “I’m not good enough to achieve [insert goal here].” Bring them to the surface and acknowledge them. They’ve been there all along and they’re holding you back. By becoming conscious of those nagging voices in your head, you can face each thought and develop a plan to move past them.

Just start: Maybe it’s 5 minutes a day and you set a timer. Put aside the “someday I’ll do it” and “when I’m ready” and just accomplish one task. However small it may seem, the act of doing SOMETHING can build confidence and start to put a goal-achieving plan into action.

There are so many things that can stop us from making our goals a reality. But with the right tools and mindset in place, we can calm the voices in our head saying we can’t do it and move towards meaningful change. Leah M. Joppy and Associates is ready to help! Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s work together to make your goals a reality.

Starting Points for Achieving Long-Term Goals

All too often, we buy into the idea that we have no control over our lives. The circumstances of life make it too impossible to plan for the next month, let alone three or five years into the future. It’s challenging to own up to the fact that we make choices all the time that determine our future and do have responsibility over our lives. Once we realize we can determine the outcomes of our life and external circumstances don’t always control us, we can begin mapping out long-term goals. It’s not just about 2019, it’s looking into 2020 and beyond.

As we mentioned in the previous article, achieving long-term goals requires commitment and not just interest. You need to be all in or else the excuses, circumstances, and challenges of life start to derail the process. But how do you get started? Here are a few tips to get you thinking about your long-term goals and how you want to achieve them:

  • Write goals down to crystallize them and give them force.
  • State each goal as a positive statement.
  • Be precise by adding dates, times, amounts, etc. to increase your level of accountability.
  • Set priorities to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Invest in a coach. An objective and non-judgmental sounding-board can be very helpful.

Maybe some of those ideas gave you food for thought. It’s just the beginning of what you can do to set attainable long-term goals, both personally and for your team. Please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and let’s work together to plan your long-term goals and make them a reality!

It’s Not Just About 2019: The Importance of Long-Term Goals

A new year is upon us and that means you’ve probably heard this question dozens of times: “What is your New Year’s resolution?” Whether it’s losing weight, organizing our homes, or finding a new job, our society is in love with making resolutions at the start of every New Year. But we’re not so in love with keeping them. Only an estimated 8% of people keep their New Year’s resolutions and those are only short-term goals! Ask someone the dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” and you’ll likely be met with a little bit of fear and anxiety. Why are long-term goals daunting to so many? Are we doing ourselves a disservice in life by merely thinking short-term and not planning for years in the future? The short answer is “yes.”

What if you positioned this year differently and lived your life based on what you intend to do 3 or 5 years from now? Although you don’t have a crystal ball and can’t plan for what will happen in the future, you can position yourself to achieve the goals you have for your life. One key is how to view your goals: they’re a means and not an end. Ask yourself the question, “Am I merely interested in achieving these goals or am I truly committed?” Commitment means there are no excuses and you’re willing to do whatever it takes. Interest simply means there will be excuses and circumstances along the way telling you why you can’t do something.

True commitment means you’re willing to put aside the idea that you’re not in control of what happens in your own life. You’re ready to live a consciously designed life based on the following principles:

  • YOU are in control of what happens to you; you are capable of positioning yourself and making a plan.
  • YOU have the ability to make things happen and won’t let external circumstances derail your goals.
  • YOU are responsible for the choices you make.
  • YOU are willing to stay motivated and value your goals, even when life is difficult.

The idea behind long-term goal planning is: Don’t just plant a tree, plant an orchard. And don’t view 2019 as just one year, but think of how you can begin writing your story for 2020, 2021, and even farther. We have some powerful activities that will help you and your team think beyond the typical New Year’s resolutions and begin creating meaningful and attainable long-term goals. Call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com.

It Takes All Kinds – Relationship-Oriented Vs. Task-Oriented People

It’s often said that “variety is the spice of life”. And you’d be hard pressed to find more variety than when you walk into an office filled with all different types of people. Communication can certainly be challenging when you’re dealing with individual personalities and preferences. The following list breaks down four different types of communication styles based on whether an individual is relationship-oriented or task-oriented and slow-paced or fast-paced. Do any seem familiar to you?

Type 1 is slow-paced and relationship-oriented:

  • Likes to talk about family, activities, and other personal information
  • Appreciates you taking time to develop a personal relationship or business friendship
  • Prefers to be given information verbally and face-to-face
  • Doesn’t like to be pushed into making quickly decisions

Type 2 is fast-paced and relationship-oriented:

  • Likes to tell stories based on personal experiences
  • Takes time to develop a personal relationship or business friendship with you
  • Wants key facts and not a lot of detail
  • Makes decisions quickly primarily based on personal relationships

Type 3 is fast-paced and task-oriented:

  • Prefers to get down to business quickly
  • More interested in getting the job done than being your friend
  • May ask a lot of questions and makes you feel like you’re being “grilled”
  • Makes decisions quickly based on facts

Type 4 is slow-paced and task-oriented:

  • Prefers to not make small talk, but talk about the business at hand
  • Likes to have a lot of backup data
  • Doesn’t like to be pushed into making quick decisions
  • Tends to analyze all details before making a decision

So, which communication style do you think you have? Do you definitely fall into one category or are you a combination of 2, 3, or all 4 styles. Many people differ based on their environment. For instance, a person’s communication style at work may be completely different than in a social setting like a party. We have some fun, high-energy team activities that will help you learn more about your distinct communication style, as well as those you work with closely!

Please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com to learn more.

Why A Positive Culture Is Important

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a job that made us dread getting out of bed in the morning. Whether it was unfulfilling work, an uninspiring and toxic atmosphere, micromanagement, or a combination of all three, there are few things worse than going into a work environment that you just can’t stand. On the flip side, when you find a workplace that feels like the right “fit” and it’s an atmosphere where you feel valued, challenged, and encouraged, it’s truly invigorating and inspiring. The culture of an organization is what makes the difference. It’s not a tangible element or a fixed asset, but rather the atmosphere – the environment, values, expectations, goals, and attitude of employees. Think of it as an organization’s personality! And it’s incredibly important for both employees and employers.

So, why should an organization focus on its “culture” or even care about it in the first place? It’s important because, no matter what your industry, organizations are made up of people. And people care about the environment where they’re spending the majority of their waking hours. Lack of attention to a positive culture can result in unhappy, unproductive, and potentially disloyal employees that will start costing your organization time and money. The benefits of a strong and positive culture include the following:

  • Employee Retention and Productivity: Environments where employees feel comfortable, motivated, and valued as individuals enjoy a boost in morale, which leads to increased retention and productivity.
  • Improved Communication and Teamwork: A positive workplace culture suggests an open atmosphere where workers feel comfortable and free to communicate their ideas or concerns without fear. Teams are built on respect for others’ ideas and lead to innovative problem solving.
  • Reputation and Brand Image: Want to attract the highest level of talent to your organization? Look no further than cultivating a positive work culture. It differentiates you from the competition and builds a solid reputation that adds value to your products and/or services.

Managers and executives have a direct influence on their organization’s culture since they generally set the tone and expectations. How would you describe your organization’s culture? Are you making strides, but still have some areas that need improvement? Please call Leah M. Joppy and Associates at 301-670-0051 or email us at leah@lmja.com and we can help you cultivate a positive culture that will benefit everyone.

Do You Have The Right Leaders?

Are the leaders you have now the right ones for your organization? Think about how technology has changed the way we work. Technology influences our work life in how we communicate, how we meet, how we plan projects, how we keep track of progress and even how we inform our clients. With all of these changes that focus on technology, should our leadership change?

In the past, a valuable leader had a strong command of the company’s mission. Revenues and profits were top of mind. But today, companies have to consider not only the industry they are in, but others as well. How are other industries changing the face of business?

There is a premium today on leaders who can manage differently – leaders who have a grasp on the technological changes within the business environment. Here are some of the strengths now considered most important in leaders.

The Ability To Innovate. Instead of following some predetermined strategies for growth, leaders today must understand how business is evolving rapidly. Leaders should have the ability to envision new solutions and be willing to create something new. It’s not just seeking out and delivering on new possibilities, but also helping to redefine the organization for the future.

Early Adopters Of Technology. If not the adopters of technology itself, leaders must be early adopters of the advantages created by the use of technology. While we may not expect our leaders to write code, they should have the knowledge to understand the capabilities that exist. Technology is not just about working faster anymore, but being more effective at what we do. In order to improve organizations, our leaders must be skilled in recognizing the core technologies that will help businesses and organizations remain competitive.

High Emotional Intelligence. Leadership is not just about putting people and pieces together anymore, and following a plan. Instead, leadership needs to evaluate people. Leaders need to be accountable and know how to design process that will work for the benefit of the organization.

Understand The Value Of Disruption. Our world, and our work, is chaotic. A leader that can thrive in the unknown, a leader who likes the challenge, is the leader that will take the team into the future.

Work With Both Technology And People. Using technology to effectively communicate with people will influence the success of the leader. A good leader who knows how to apply technology to optimize the role of his/her people will encourage better decision-making throughout the organization.

Need help developing the right leaders in your organization? LMJA has a complete Leadership Series available – view our webpage for more info. Give us a call at (301) 670-0051 and let’s discuss your needs.

 

How Do Successful People Spend Their Weekends?

In our article on the intriguing habits of successful people, we really only looked at the normal work week. So that got us wondering, how do successful people spend their weekends? Here’s what we found.

  1. Many successful people do not go to the office on weekends. Instead, they use their time to think more deeply about work and their particular industry. It’s their chance to reflect on bigger issues.
  2. Most successful people follow the same schedule on weekends as they do during the week. They are up early, but more often than not, engaging in an activity that is for themselves.
  3. They plan mini-trips, excursions, events that center around some passion they have. That could mean a bike ride through the countryside, a hike in the woods, a day of skiing or a play on broadway. These events not only further work-life balance, but they help successful people enjoy life to the fullest.
  4. More successful people plan for an “unplugged” weekend. They recognize the need to renew mind and body. If you’re constantly plugged-in, that’s hard to do.
  5. Finally, according to our research, most successful people take real vacations. Not long weekends or “stay-cations” but real, honest-to-goodness get away from it all vacations. Savoring experiences is important to relaxation and creativity.

Ditch Bad Habits This Year

Can 2017 be the year that you get rid of bad habits and make real strides forward? It can, but it requires new thinking. Moving forward means we have to drop some of the things we hold onto, even though they may be things we’ve come to expect, and accept. I’m one of the worst at letting go! I know it. The people around me know it. But sometimes, it seems that I just HAVE to keep those old habits going. Not this year. I’m going to make a concerted effort to let go of these bad habits. Do you want to join me? They say that if we join forces, there’s a better chance we’ll succeed in ditching our bad habits. Here’s a list of bad habits often seen in the workplace.

Striving for perfection. While we all want our work to be correct, striving for the perfect result does not pay off. We lose time, the project takes longer to complete and the end result is not significantly improved. Instead, we overstress ourselves and those around us.

Addiction to our phones. Have you noticed sometimes when you’re out, that everyone’s on their phones? Whether they’re playing games, on social media or checking email, it’s a habit most of us need to break. There’s a difference between responsible communication and not interacting with the people around you.

Accepting a high level of stress. I blame this one on the “east-coast-culture.” Truthfully though, it’s prevalent everywhere. There is so much going on in our lives that it’s easy to accept a high level of stress as normal. We sometimes contribute to our own stress. Even before we begin work, our thinking turns negative. We say to ourselves, “I’ll never get this all done today!” It’s up to us to break our own stress habit. We can turn our attitude around by saying “Let’s see how much I can get done on this project today.”

Sticking with the way we’ve always done things. There are so many tasks that can be done faster and more efficiently today than in the past. These tasks may require learning new technology – which can be frightening to many. But spending time to sit down with someone who can explain a faster way of accomplishing a tasks broadens our minds and keeps us current.

Acting too quickly. When I can’t answer emails quickly, I notice that some problems solve themselves.  The same thing happens in meetings. When we listen to the discussion for a while, rather than come to a quick decision, the best way to solve the problem surfaces naturally. Holding back, rather than jumping in too quickly, is often more effective.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn this month. I’ll provide more information on bad habits we should kick and how to succeed! Share your ideas with me!

Steps You Can Take To Break Bad Habits

Build Good HabitsLooking at the list of bad habits commonly found in the workplace, I’m pretty determined that I’d like to break myself of at least some of them. To be successful, the experts say to follow these steps.

  1. Find a partner who will work with you to help ditch these bad habits.
    2. Put a voice to your bad habit. Admitting your habit to someone makes you accountable. Sharing your habit with a friend will also make you more conscious of it when you fall back into the habit.
    3. Write it down. Whatever your bad habit, when you find yourself repeating it, write it down. Write down how you feel – what’s going through your head. This action will also make you more aware of your bad habit before it happens.
    4. Think of a good response for the next time. If your bad habit is accepting too much stress, try a one-minute meditation. Or get up from you chair and take a 5-minute walk. Find something that can replace your bad habit.
    5. Reward yourself. Start small. How can you reward yourself when you’ve avoided the habit? Then keep rewarding yourself and plan for a big reward when you finally feel like you’ve ditched the habit for good.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn this month. I’ll provide more information on bad habits we should kick and how to succeed! Share your ideas with me!

Deriving Pleasure From Results

fotolia_65748140_xsLast month, we talked about recognizing accomplishments and doing what matters! As humans, we get pleasure from accomplishment. So it makes sense that as we approach 2017, our goal should be to create a culture of accomplishment in the workplace to engage our employees even more powerfully.

This video appeared in 2015. It’s been viewed time and time again. It’s pretty simple. It’s about accomplishing the first task of the day and the importance of that task. Take a look. The video resonates with many of us. We somehow find great comfort in checking off a task. We recognize that something has been accomplished.

As the manager of your department, organization, project team or company, your job is to set goals. But it’s also your job to help employees reach those goals. So starting now, begin 2017 as the year of accomplishment. Here are some tips for making that happen.

  1. Celebrate the small wins. If the team has an enormous project ahead of them for the year, break it up into small projects. Seeing success along the way makes the entire project more palatable and doable! And small celebrations help to keep everyone on track. You recognize their efforts and progress. And in return, your team gets a boost of energy. The feeling of satisfaction permeates throughout the office!
    2. Be present. That seems easy, but sometimes leaders are in such a hurry, they forget to touch base with individuals. Keeping a team on track is important, so regular meetings and constant feedback is fuel for your team. Being present doesn’t mean micromanaging – it’s just keeping in touch and providing positive reinforcement.
    3. Be clear and concise. I once had a manager that would give a task and then talk about it for 10-15 minutes. By the time he was finished, we were more confused than before our meeting! Instead, be clear. Explain what the goals are and what your expectation is for every member of the team.
    4. Be positive. Besides celebrating small wins, make sure you celebrate milestones. Give credit to the team. And point out how well they’ve accomplished a project. Emphasize the positive.

Helping your team measure and track success instills a culture of accomplishment. The next time you have an opportunity to celebrate, be sure you do – no matter how busy your day!

Working Effectively as a Team, Motivating Employees, Building Trust and Integrity – these are just some of the courses we’ve developed for organizations. How can we help you? Give us a call at 301-670-0051. Let us help you put a plan in place to instill a culture of accomplishment in your organization.