Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Blues

This holiday is quite different than last year.  I've moved to a new city.  I have a new addition to the family (granddaughter) and like most of us, I spent more than I had originally planned.  Without small children in the house, Christmas doesn't seem as fun as it used to be.  I find myself thinking about the good ole days.  You know, the days when the family was all together, the kids were young and their faces lit up when opening their gifts.  Even then, the anticipation and days leading up to Christmas was much better than the actual day.  The day after, you often reflect back on the money you could have saved and the things that you probably didn't need to buy. 

If you can feel what I'm saying, then you probably have the holiday blues.  While we're feeling blue about our annual traditional Christmas, have we thought about Christmas in a nontraditional spirit of giving.  Have we thought about serving the homeless, donating our time and funds to people less fortunate, visiting the sick and comforting those in need of comfort.  When I look at my woes, they seem insignificant in comparison.

Working in a religious based organization for many years, made me humble.  A prayer was read on the PA twice each day and every meeting conducted by anyone in the organization was started with a prayer or reflection.  The organization believed that a hospital was a place were healing happened.  The care givers hands were in deed the hands of healing, blessed from a higher being.  No matter what religion you followed, your prayer or reflection was welcomed.  You could remain silent if you wish, or if you choose not to participate, your choice was welcomed. 

Over the years, I shared many prayers and reflections.  I want to share with you one of my favorites that I normally share at this time of the year.  I'm not sure of the author or it's origin but it seems to fit the situation of holiday blues.  As we intangle ourselves in our own woes, let's look at it in a global perspective.   

Count Your Blessings
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survie this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% on the world's wealthiest.

If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing, that someone was thinking of you, futhermore you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that can not read.

You are truly blessed.  Have a great holiday! 
~ Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR

Monday, December 20, 2010

The "f word."

When I think of the "f word," many things comes to mind.  Some of the things that come to mind seem less than positive.  I try never to use it in anything that I say or do and I instill in my children that the "f word" is banned from our household.  When I refer to the "f word," I’m talking about failure.  I'm referring to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended outcome.  It may be viewed as the opposite of success.

Not reaching intended goals or perceived outcomes are frustrating and can bear a tremendous toll on our self-confidence.  Successful endeavors require proper planning and execution.  Even with much attention to details, desired outcomes still may not be achieved.  There are variable factors that must be considered in every planning process.  Some variables can be controlled and predictable, yet other variables can be volatile and unpredictable.  Failure and success is pretty much up to interpretation.  What one person considers a failure may be considered a success by another.

With each successful person, comes a string of un-successes or failures.  Our country has benefited great successes through our failures.  Our advances in medical technology through clinical studies and technological advances through new innovations did not always have the desired outcomes from the beginning.  We learn from our failures.  When we fail, we make adjustments, and then we continue our efforts. 

When I look at the "f word," I don’t look at it in a negative connotation.  Failure is simply a process.  I look at the "f word" as simple steps leading to better outcomes.  Whether it is one, two or multiple steps, it defines us and pushes us to achieve excellence.

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. ~ Henry Ford

Below is a list of things that were considered failures on this day, December 20th.

2008: Continental Airlines Flight 1404, en route from Denver International Airport to Houston, veers off the runway upon takeoff and comes to a stop in a ravine, injuring 38 of the 112 passengers and crew aboard.

1996: New York Jets head coach Rich Kotite—famous for wearing a look of beleaguerment and anguish on the sidelines—announces he will be stepping down following the NFL team’s season finale three days later. The Jets go on to lose Kotite’s last game, a typical come-from-ahead collapse in which New York jumps out to a 14-0 lead over the Miami Dolphins, only to lose 31-28. In two seasons as coach of the Jets, Kotite compiles a 4-28 record, tying Leeman Bennett (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), for the worst record of any coach with more than 30 games with the same club.

1987: The Philippine ferry Dona Paz collides with a tanker, killing 4,386 people, making it the world’s worst peacetime tragedy at sea. The Dona Paz is licensed to carry only 1,500 people.

1980: NBC broadcasts an NFL game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins without announcers in the broadcast booth. The experiment is regarded as a failure, although the silent telecast draws a 13.5 rating, not far below the network’s 14.9 average for the 1980 regular season.

1803: France transfers ownership of the territory of Louisiana—which includes both the Mississippi and Missouri river valleys—to the United States. France receives only $15 million for 828,000 square miles of land.

Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR 

Read more: http://failuremag.com/index.php/this_day_in_failure/day/december_20#ixzz18fWeyBNy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anxiety better for business than you think

There is no magic pill we can take, book we can read, or seminar we can attend that will instantly transform us into the greatest business leaders of all time. But according to Robert Rosen, chairman and CEO of Healthy Companies International, we all have something inside that, once harnessed, will make the difference between success and significance.
It makes our palms sweat, our heads ache and our hearts pound. It’s anxiety. And according to Rosen’s new book, “Just Enough Anxiety,” it’s the hidden driver of success. You just have to know how to steer it.
Rosen calls anxiety an energy that propels us forward. And, if it is controlled in ourselves and for those who work with us, it is the most important quality a leader can possess. Having just enough prepares you for change and challenges that it brings.
Change is what business is about. It keeps companies going and businesses viable. Good leaders, says Rosen, understand this. Even though change might make them feel uneasy, they know that anxiety can be directed into productive and creative energy.
Great leadership, Rosen believes, is all about mastering the “human side of business.” Those leaders who rise to the top are the ones who know the level of anxiety their organization can handle it and still be able to mobilize human energy to get the job done.
The balance between too much and too little is delicate. Too much gives negative thinking overwhelming power and prompts us to attack instead of to embrace change. Too little apprehension and we reject change altogether. It is here where the status quo lives with its neighbors: boredom and stagnation.
In the middle is “just enough” – where Rosen says we maintain our “balance in the midst of opposing forces.” He likens it to a champion speed skater rounding a curve. Leaning in too far will cause even the best Olympian to fall. Not cutting the corner close enough means others will pass the skater by. But an athlete with the right mix of balance, speed and angle to the ice wins the gold every time.
Leaders with “just enough” find their balance in this yin and yang of uneasiness. They are not idealistic or cynical. Instead, they are optimistic and realistic. They find a middle ground between complacency and carelessness with impatient constructiveness. When others with too little anxiety are viewed as arrogant and those with too much are seen as self-doubting, the “just enough” leader conveys a humble, yet confident, persona.
How do you become a leader with just enough anxiety? In his book, Rosen first identifies different types of leaders, how others see them and how their actions can have an impact on their organizations. He also quizzes readers on the anxiety level of their organization. From there, he serves as a guide down a path toward balancing anxiety through knowing oneself, becoming comfortable with uncertainty, acknowledging anxiety, refusing to exaggerate uneasiness and allowing the ability to react to all emotions.
President John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Robert Rosen says our actions can do all these things if supported with the dynamic energy that just the right amount of tension provides.
I recommend “Just Enough Anxiety” for any leader looking for an edge. In its pages, you might just find the perfect balance for you and your business.

‘Just Enough Anxiety: The Hidden Driver of Business Success’
By Robert H. Rosen
Penguin Group, $24.95


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