Thursday, August 29, 2013

Power and Influence

Alice is a friendly, helpful and upbeat security guard at a venue that I frequent many times per year.  Though I've never seen her job description, I can assume that exerting power and influence is not included. However, she is the perfect example of exerting power and influence, regardless of title or prescribed duties.  It is clear that she loves people and life, by her infectious optimism and bright smile.

Yesterday, when Alice and I visited, she said that she would have happily given me a preferential parking place.  I appreciatively told her how thoughtful that was, and that the parking place I found was very convenient.  As I wished her a happy rest of the day, I told her that I'd look forward to seeing her early the next morning, for another event.  She quickly told me exactly where I should park upon arrival.

This morning as I pulled into the parking space Alice had designated for me, in addition to extreme gratitude, I was so impressed by the model she exemplifies, of leading from where you are.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Perhaps the start of school, and the memory of years of permission slips, made me realize that we all need them.  Fortunately, we don't need to officially document and return paper forms.  However, we all need to give ourselves permission to:

  • enjoy every day
  • take care of our own needs, before or on parity, with the needs of others
  • laugh a lot
  • exert influence, power and impact wherever we are
  • be successful where we are, not where we strive to be
  • pursue our passions
  • ask for help or advice
  • make small, inconsequential mistakes or omissions
  • do nothing for a day
  • be rather than do

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If You Don't Ask...

I recently took my car in for prescribed service.  The very next day, I received an email promotion from the dealership offering $X off of various amounts of total service performed.  My gracious response was that I'd love to have $X credited for the service I'd had performed the day before.  Because I asked, and I assume they evaluated the length of time I'd been a loyal customer, my request was granted.  The carefully worded exclusions for previously rendered service did not thwart me, nor did they prevent my request from being honored.

Often, our reasonable requests will be honored.  But if we merely fume about missing a deadline by a few hours, we won't have the chance to be pleasantly rewarded for our patronage.

Asking is the easiest way to potentially get what we seek.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sarita x 2

Sarita is a lovely name, but not very pervasive.  Imagine my surprise when a colleague and I had just been discussing an upcoming event featuring author and motivational speaker Sarita Maybin, and the phone rang with Edgar letting me know that he'd made it to Sarita, TX on his journey.  What a unique and marvelous way to assure me once again that everything is beautifully connected!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Perfect Timing - Planned or Uniquely Presented

Today, while running an errand, I fortuitously or divinely, ran into a dear friend whom I generally see only a few times a year.  As soon as I saw her, it was obvious that something was quite wrong.  Another few seconds at check-out or any other diversion would have caused us to miss the chance to visit.  And neither of us had ever visited this store during our lunch hour. Though neither of us expected this opportunity, it was perfectly timed and definitely meant to be.

When work trauma presents, it's often helpful to have an interested third party available as a biased, but helpful adviser.  In just a few minutes, we were able to construct a productive action plan.

Though it worked for us, we don't have to rely on fate or divine intervention, when we are overwhelmed.  Those who care about us are willing to find time to help us sort through life's issues.

Perfect timing can be planned or uniquely presented.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dealing with Fear - the Land Shark Didn't Bite Me

Most of us have something that puts us out of our comfort zone.  Big dogs have always created anxiety for me.  So when I was on my morning run and encountered an exuberant, unleashed Doberman bounding from his/her front door my heart raced.  Though her/his owners were steps behind their escapee, assuring me that he/she was friendly, I wasn't so sure that she/he would be so friendly to an intimidated stranger.

I stopped, raised my hands in a surrender position, and waited for the owners to leash their pet.

As I encountered a walker friend, who was half a block ahead, and had heard the barking, I told him what had happened.  He had assumed that he'd interested a leashed dog as he passed - a reasonable assumption, as this was only the second escapee I'd ever encountered.

I stopped, showed my lack of ability to handle the situation on my own and waited for competent reinforcements.  This action plan has the potential to productively address countless fears lurking in our lives.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tiny Matters

It's easy to forget how big tiny things can be:
a smile
an ant bite
a wave
1 degree from freezing or boiling
a lucky penny
1 test point between letter grades
a spec in your eye
a bang trim
a splinter
an encouraging word
a seed
pepper between your teeth
a thank you
a minute before or after a filing deadline
a split second between first place and second

Everything's connected and it all matters.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Just Start

To Do Lists are so helpful.  And often, they include things we just don't want to do.  It's so very rewarding to be able to accomplish a goal and eliminate an item.  But sometimes, just noting progress toward a challenging item is liberating.  Getting started is frequently the most difficult step for a project that we don't want to do.

Setting a timer works well for me.  I often choose 15 minutes because it is such a doable time frame. Happily, I'm often so motivated by the start, and the option to quit, that I do far more than anticipated.  

Starting is the first step toward achievement!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Details Matter

Great marketers are skilled at getting us to remember what they emphasize.  Edgar and I had a lovely meal at a neighborhood restaurant this week.  They also have other locations, and were celebrating their 20th anniversary by distributing $ off coupons for the next visit.  Edgar remembered the 20 and thought that our coupon was $20 off of our next meal.  However, I remembered that they were celebrating their 20th anniversary with $10 off of our next meal.  Wish he'd been right!

This reinforced one of the gender communication differences from the session I facilitated earlier in the week. Though each individual is distinct, there are a number of females who are better at recalling details than male counterparts.

Though the details in this case did not matter, there are frequent interactions where details do make a big difference. When that's the case, it's important to communicate more than once or have more than one person study the details.