Thursday, July 2, 2009

I miss 100% of the shots....

My new friend, Michael Hamburger, from Phoenix, Arizona sent me a quote last night that I am having a hard time getting out of my head (I know, sounds a little obsessive-compulsive and I can't argue with that) from the greatest hockey player of all time, #99 Wayne Gretzky.

For those of you who are not hockey or even sports fans, Gretzky was a "man among boys" in his prime with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings. Upon his retirement on April 18, 1999, he held forty regular-season records, fifteen playoff records, and six All- Star records. He is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season—a feat he accomplished four times. Simply known as "The Great One".

The quote from Gretzky is a simple 10 word statement - "You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."

No doubt that Gretzky took a lot of shots in his career, missed many, made more. The reason this quote has been on my mind the last 24 hours that it makes me think of 2 words - RISK and FEAR.

We often go about our daily lives thinking if we "should take that shot". It's a risk, one we don't know if we are prepared for because we are afraid of the possible consequences. I'd bet a paycheck that Gretzky didn't think about negative consequences or have any fear from taking a shot but rather a confident focus that a positive action (a goal) may occur. He was focused on training his mind and body to expect the best to happen and this led to his greatness on the ice.

The book " Who Moved My Cheese" has a wonderful question that relates to this quote. "What would you do if you were not afraid?". I think about this often. What would occur if I wasn't afraid what people would think of me, if I didn't mind looking silly, or if I didn't mind trying something I had never done before. What's the worst thing that could happen if we weren't afraid and took that shot?

So, as you live your life think about taking that shot, doing something you know may be a risk, something you may be a little afraid of. Remember two things, you won't be as successful if you don't take that shot and what's the worst thing that may happen.?

I bet you will score more than you miss.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wet Diapers

I was listening to one of my favorite leadership gurus, Ken Blanchard, on a radio show. He had a great sound byte - "The only people that like change are babies with wet diapers." It made me laugh (LOL) and the comment also made me reflect on how I react to change.

We all have examples in our life of minor and major changes (going to college, leaving the parents, new jobs, marriage, divorce, having kids, changing careers, losing jobs, etc.). Change is hard. I believe that managing change starts with having a clear picture of the future and the importance of the vision.

In our daily, monthly and yearly "changes", we all need to really seek to understand the change and how it will positively impact you in the future. Even though you may initially view the change as negative, there are positive aspects if you look hard enough and ask yourself reflection and awareness questions.

Some tips I have learned along the way to manage, accept and thrive in change are:
  1. Does this change get me passionate? Would I do it for free (well, almost free) if I won the lottery?

  2. What skills do I have that are marketable if this change is not something I am passionate about - make a list of these skills, seek feedback on your list from your spouse, children and friends

  3. Keep in mind the transitions are often harder than the actual change. Focus on the small steps within the transition rather than trying to "eat an elephant" by focusing on the end result of change.

  4. Change typically requires some sort of new behavior. Be aware of that. You may have to learn new skills, and/or take a different approach to thinking to make this a positive experience.

  5. View change as a way of life. In today's world, if you aren't changing, you are left behind. Develop an attitude of flexibility and adaptability and you will be in the top 95th percentile of people. This is valuable.

Questions to ask yourself about your ability to manage change:

  1. Do I typically look at change as a nuisance or opportunity?

  2. Do you focus on what will be lost, or the possibilities?

  3. Do you get frustrated that change doesn't seem to stop, or do you consider each as an improvement over the current situation?

  4. Do you need to gather more information about the change in order to view this as a positive thing?

I am sure something in our lives will change in the next 48 hours. Think about how you react and manage change when it happens.

Change is not just for babies with wet diapers.

Positve vs. Negative Associations

A quote that I really have come to put into play in my life is "To have quality people in your life, stop hanging around people who don't support you."

I have come to realize that not everyone we associate with is a positive person. Took me a while to figure this out. Nothing gets me fired up and enthusiastic about life as being around other positive people that see life as a wonderful journey with many great challenges along the way. Being around negative people sucks the life and energy out of me. I dread it.

I started to realize this in the corporate world within the last 2 years. I remember driving into work several days and watching the people walk from their car to the office building. It was the land of "walking zombies". No one had a "skip in their step", energy or even looked excited about being there and serving others. I started to believe the best parts of their day were their coffee and smoke breaks.

I recently did an exercise where I deleted people from my Facebook account and cell phone list that I believed to be negative people or "naysayers" in my life. It was an extreme exercise for me. I felt guilty for betraying these people by doing this.

Then I re-framed my beliefs.

  • What did these people bring to my life?
  • Was I excited or energized by communicating with them?
  • Did they add any significant value to my life?
  • Did I add any significant value to their life?

I am committed to living the rest of my life with a focus on quality, commitment, purpose, passion and a positive outlook. I have decided to associate myself with positive people. I believe positive people get positive results. I want to be associated with positive results.

Questions for You - Do you surround yourself with positive people with great outlooks on life? Do they provide you inspiration and hope?

If not, take a look at who you spend your time and energy with and make a decision on how you want to live the rest of your destiny.