The Criticality of Focus

December 30, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: focus

Robin Sharma was asked, “What is the one thing an 18-year old who wants to change the world must be committed to? His response: Focus.

Many spiritual teachers offer, “We get what we focus on.” This suggests if we aren’t happy with what we are getting, we merely need to look back on what we’ve focused on to see why this is the case. Has our focus been on what we want? Or, has our focus been on what we don’t want? Have we moved through life purposely or been timid and uncertain?

In the past week, I’ve been struck by the story and images of former Russian oil tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, released from a Russian prison after 10 years of being what many characterize a “political prisoner.” When he entered prison, he was a billionaire. Putin seized his assets and broke up his companies. No one knows what his worth is today.

Most men faced with the same circumstances would have been broken physically and emotionally, ending up a mere shell of their former selves. Not Khodorkovsky. Today, he exudes charisma. He’s not back yet from a financial point of view, but, there is absolutely no doubt he will be and, I imagine, rather quickly. How will he do it?

He will focus on what he wants, not on what he doesn’t want. And, he will thrive.

I hope 2104 brings you great success, health and prosperity.

Thought for the week:

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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What Makes For A Great Consultant?

December 23, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: consulting

Clients engage with consultants to:

  • produce outcomes they alone cannot create
  • ensure the client isn’t “breathing their own exhaust”–Alan Weiss
  • bring fresh perspectives, new life and energy
  • bring industry best practices
  • simplify complex problems, not add complexity to complex problems
  • help clients resolve important issues and go away, leaving the client self-sufficient and far better off

Clients eschew “one-size-fits-all” responses or attempts by consultants to oversimplify the problem(s) they face. A response that was appropriate years ago may not be appropriate now. If the solution to resolving an issue was that simple, they wouldn’t need to bring in a consultant.

Great consultants:

  • ask a lot of questions rather than try to impress with standard bromides
  • listen more than they talk
  • don’t offer solutions until they first understand the current challenges very well
  • tell the client they’d like time (an hour, a day, etc.) to consider alternatives to an issue rather than offering a solution on the spot
  • come back with a succinct response that is appropriate and viable

It’s challenging for a consultant to withhold offering solutions early in the relationship even when they are certain they understand the issues incredibly well. Consultants must capitalize on the opportunity to learn about the uniqueness of each client to earn their respect. Then, when a solution is offered, the client can be certain they’ve not received a “knee-jerk” reaction. These ideas will help both the client and consultant thrive.

Thought for the week:

When the Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered:

“Man….Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Affluenza–A Disease With No Vaccine

December 16, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: affluenza

There seem to be many cases of “affluenza” in the world that boggle the mind:

  • A Texas teenager was given 10 years probation and no jail time after killing 4 people after driving drunk at 3 times the legal limit at the age of 16. A judge took pity on him after hearing testimony about “affluenza”–a condition brought on by the parents of the affluent teenager never instructing him about right and wrong. Are you kidding me?
  • Many Wall Street executives have not been brought to trial for screwing up the economy back in 2008. Were they, too, suffering from “affluenza?”
  • How many executives from British Petroleum (BP), Halliburton and TransOcean were brought to trial for ruining the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico via what we call the BP oil spill? None. Is this affluenza–a case where these people are entitled, can do wrong things that they know are wrong, and get away with nothing more than financial penalties that impose little or no burden?

Where has our moral compass has gone? Where is the vaccine?

Thought for the week:

If you are planning on doing any drinking and driving during the holidays, please read my blog post: DUI–Don’t Let This Happen to You. Please share liberally.

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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The Passing of Nelson Mandela

December 9, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: Nelson Mandela

While returning from lunch yesterday, my wife asked what made Nelson Mandela such a remarkable leader. Here was my response:

While Mandela and his people were oppressed through apartheid, he did not become an oppressor when he became president of South Africa nor did he seek retribution for the wrongs committed against him and his people by the white South African minority. He was an inclusive leader driven by equal rights for all. Mandela reached out to the white South African minority to assure them they would be okay. And, they were and are okay to this day.

Contrast this with Egypt’s Morsi, the first democratically-elected leader there. Though winning office by a narrow margin, he claimed he had a mandate and built a constitution and established practices that favored his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, to the exclusion of all others. He was ultimately booted from office by the military for being too tyrannical, too dictatorial and too exclusive. His brand of democracy was ill-suited for Egypt and ill-suited for any country seeking a democratic form of government.

I mourn the passing of Mandela as do many around the globe. He was a true leader and role model for us all.

Nelson Mandela achieved what many of us hope to: to make a difference in the world.

Thought for the week:

A response to last week’s “Thank God It’s Monday”

“This ‘consume at all costs’ mentality goes against everything we know to be right for individual finances as well as long term health of our planet. We have to evolve an economic model that doesn’t plan on rapid obsolescence fueled by unsustainably exploiting labor and natural resources and pushing households into spending more than they can or should.” – Bruno Sarda

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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Retail Holiday Sales And Priorities

December 2, 2013

Note: This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive!

This week’s focus: retail holiday sales and priorities

This weekend, I was taken aback by long lines of people awaiting stores to open so they can purchase some item they crave at a special price.

It seems to me this isn’t about some new family tradition–it’s about us buying into the notion there’s scarcity in the world and, if I don’t act fast enough, I won’t get that 50-inch flat screen TV that I absolutely must have at that low, low price.

The overlords of retail must be amused and giddy watching us engage in such foolish, robotic behavior with some lining up for days to get into their stores. But, the overlords are also nervous about their financial performance as investors hold them and their stock price accountable.

Christmas isn’t about celebrating the birth of Jesus–it’s about a 4-week retail extravaganza. It’s about shopping for deals. It’s about “saving” money on your purchases.

How long will the satisfaction last of being able to say, “I got it!” last? Not long.

And, finally, just what do think Jesus would think about all this?

Thought for the week:

“No matter our talent, we all know in the midnight of our souls that 90 percent of what we do is less than our best.” – Robert McKee
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2013 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.

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