Setting and Achieving Your 2013 Goals

Are you having problems coming up with good and substantive goals for 2013? Are you confused by all the options that appear to be available to you? Are you tired of hearing the admonition – “We have all been given gifts, you should resolve to develop yours.”

Yes, we have all been given gifts, but they are all different! And how do you even identify them, yet alone develop them? Well, one of the best tools for this purpose was developed by Albert Humphrey in the latter half of the 20th century. It is called the “SWOT Model”, and is worthwhile reviewing as you ponder your vision for the New Year.

Most people will agree that one of the best formulas for success is to:Steps to Success copy crpd Setting and Achieving Your 2013 Goals

  • Develop a vision that will clarify what you want, and where you wish to go;
  • Then develop a plan that will focus your attention on how you will get there;
  • Then put your plan in action – that will lead to the achievement of your vision.

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Unleashing the Power

Unleash Your Power Unleashing the PowerMy wife and I were recently in England at the time the Paralympics were being held. The athletes were people with obvious physical impairments, but who chose to exercise other gifts they had been given, and achieve world recognition. It was really inspiring to see a girl with no arms win the 100 metre backstroke in world record time; or a girl suffering from a form of dwarfism win two gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal. These people all had decided to focus on the gifts they had been given – rather than succumb to their obvious handicaps.

There are other examples of leadership in action from the non-athletic field. Dr. Stephen Hawking is probably one of the best known examples.He is a man who cannot speak except with the aid of a mechanical device, can’t get out of his wheel chair, except with the aid of a helper, yet is one of the most respected scientists of our time. Against incredible odds this man is fulfilling his destiny, and is just one example of many who are proving that the power is within you, when you choose to exercise the gifts that have been given to you.One of his many quotes is, “I notice that even people who claim that everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”
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NorQuest Weekly Round-Up September 27

dreamstimefree 193757 300x219 NorQuest Weekly Round Up September 27This week has been full of great articles and blog posts, our top four are below:

HBR Blog Network: Ten Reasons People Resist Change
Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions. The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them.

Fast Company: How To Ask–And Listen–Like You Mean It
Leaders who are helping others to grow and innovate are always trying to craft the best questions to make a difference. Here’s how to ask the questions that will propel your team and your organization forward.
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No Jabs – A Better Way of Living

Recently I had the opportunity of spending some time with my brother Bob who is a retired educator, an entrepreneur and a former Mayor of the Town of Dunnville – a vibrant town at the mouth of the Grand River in southern Ontario.

Team Development No Jabs   A Better Way of Living	During his teaching career Bob had developed a “Spring Camp” with the motto “Everyone Helping Everyone Else”, appropriately displayed in the “gathering room”. This camp lasted for some 24 years.

Then, just before his time as Mayor, this motto probably provided the seed for his development of a philosophy for helping to enhance the effectiveness of people working together. This philosophy was subsequently applied to a Marina, Bed & Breakfast and Family Restaurant,which he developed on his property along the Grand River; and to his assistance in the development of a Leisure Living Community on thesame property.

His goal was to involve everyone, working together, in building the community of Dunnville.  To do this, he believed that it was necessary to have people thinking positively, acting positively, and with kindness. He recognized that there were many people in his community with experience and qualifications. On the other hand, there were people with commitment to the community, and time to share.
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Communication: Still a Two Way Process!

Communication Skills Communication: Still a Two Way Process!In today’s work world we have a plethora of communication devices to help in communicating – sometimes too many! But, in the final analysis, it is still the basic effective communication skills that will create a culture that is vibrant, enthusiastic and forward moving. Effective leaders communicate support and advice to their team. They probe constructively when things go awry, and they do not play the “blame game”.

When a team leader encourages this atmosphere, people are not afraid to offer up ideas, or disagree with ones that are put forward. This leads to a motivated atmosphere of productivity and increased revenue.

Many people fail to realize that their success in a leadership position stands or falls on their ability to communicate. Effective communication will build an efficient and productive organization. It is the relationship between team members and their leader, built on both trust and respect that builds strong relationships and a highly effective team.
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360 Feedback – Love it or Loathe It?

TimeForFeedback 360 Feedback – Love it or Loathe It? Talk about feedback in any athletic environment and you will get almost unanimous support for feedback as a necessary ingredient for improved performance. Talk about 360 Feedback in a business environment and you will get a surprizing number of negative voices. There seems to be chasm between those who support the tool, and those who despise it.

Some of the common criticisms include:

  • It focuses on the negative rather than the positive
  • Allows persons to take “cheap shots” with anonymity
  • Raters are not qualified to judge performance
  • Managers can use it for evaluative purposes, while disguising it as “feedback”
  • Little or no support for implementation of results
  • Overly focussed on rating rather than development

Coach And A Student2 360 Feedback – Love it or Loathe It?
But let’s for a moment, focus on the tool, rather than on the errors in its use. First of all it is a feedback tool – not an evaluative tool. It is designed to provide feedback for improved performance, not for evaluation of performance and/or salary determination. That is why it is called “360 Feedback”. Its purpose is to provide information for enhanced performance and improved effectiveness for the individual. It may be axiomatic, but if other people are not prepared to help us in our search for growth areas, then there will be no opportunity to grow.

None of us are perfect! But most of us want to strive for perfection. Feedback can help in this process by identifying opportunities for improvement. That is its purpose!
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NorQuest Weekly Round-up July 5

bigstock Success 4936474 195x300 NorQuest Weekly Round up July 5Here are the top leadership and talent management articles of the past week:

Business Insider:  Successful Hiring Isn’t Just About Skills: It’s About Attitude
Although skill sets are the main reason why most talent is hired, attitude is what really counts, says Mark Murphy, author of Hiring For Attitude. This article reviews why, and some of the ways companies can benefit from hiring not just for talent, but how they’ll fit in the company.

New York Times: In France, M.B.A. Candidates Learn Leadership, in the Mud
An absolutely fascinating article on the methods and results of leadership courses held at France’s officer training school, Saint-Cyr.

Business Insider: MBA Mondays: Retaining Your Employees
Fred Wilson, VC and principal of Union Square Ventures and writer of the influential A VC, outlines a plan to retain employees – communicate, hire well, culture matters, career paths, assessment, and compensation.
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