Paying Close Attention

February 17, 2014

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

This week’s focus: paying close attention

It was dark here in Silicon Valley at 6:30 am on a Friday morning. The traffic signal had just changed. A driver in a SUV accelerated directly into the path of 2 left turn lanes of oncoming traffic moving through the intersection. The driver hit the brakes, quickly realizing that a red light had been missed.

If I had to guess, it was the motion of the traffic that the driver cued on, not the traffic signal. And, it was a false visual cue. The driver had likely been through this scenario thousands of times and never experienced a problem.

How often in life do we respond reflexively to some cue in our world that turns out to not be what we need? How often do we fail to respond with full attention and consciousness? How often do distractions in life create unintended harm or unintended consequences?

Thought for the week:

 “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein
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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

© 2014 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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Move On After A Defeat

January 20, 2014

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

This week’s focus: move on after a defeat

I awake this Monday knowing the San Francisco 49ers aren’t going to this year’s Super Bowl. My wife reminds me, “It’s just a game.” I’m not so sure I agree.

For those who’ve been playing football since they were in youth football, making it to a Super Bowl has to be the pinnacle of a football career. For the coaches, players and staff, what could be better? Winning a Super Bowl has to simply be off the charts.

The 49ers had a terrific season and were perhaps one play and an extra point away from this year’s Super Bowl. As the adage goes, “Close only counts in the game of horse shoes.”

We are taught to focus on what we want in life, not what we don’t want. It’s time for the 49ers to turn the page on this season, heal, reflect and, then, get ready for next season. That’s what the pros do. And, so should you.

Thought for the week:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” — Brad Paisley
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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

© 2014 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.


Effective Communication–Picking Up Your Game

January 6, 2014

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

This week’s focus: effective communication

Some people aren’t great at “winging it” in calls and meetings. The inability to be succinct negatively impacts the perception of a person’s value-add with peers and senior leadership. How can a person improve?

Take a subject and define bullet (or talking) points appropriate for the meeting or call. Then, speak to issues around those talking points as you have a dialog with others. Be crisp. Take a breath before you respond. Make sure you respond to the question you are asked and do so crisply and succinctly.

When somebody asks you a question, your best response is to offer there are 2 or 3 things the person needs to know about _____. The bullet points you create help you frame your response. Long, meandering discourses lack clarity and leave listeners wondering what the point is.

You may benefit by recording your side of the conversations and listening to this later. Ask what is the take-home value in what you’ve just communicated? Were you crisp? Or, were you just spewing words?

If you have a presentation to deliver, put together a crisp PowerPoint. Don’t try to “wing it” on a complex issue. Don’t accede to the pressure of the crowd to respond immediately with no time to prepare a response. Make sure you understand what success looks like–what do you have to do to meet the requirements. It’s okay to say “I need some time to prepare a thoughtful response in light of all the options available.”

Less is more. “Less” is also harder to do. When you are able to be more succinct, it will help you and the teams you collaborate with thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Luck has a way of celebrating the persistent.”  – Robin Sharma
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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

© 2014 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 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.

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

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Coaching Someone About Changing Jobs

February 2, 2013

A good friend called me last night to seek my advice about his desire to change jobs. I’m going to refer to his current position as “Job A” and a position he’s interviewing for “Opportunity B.”

He really needs Opportunity B to set the stage for “Opportunity C.” Opportunity B is a critically important interim step for him–if Opportunity B doesn’t provide the background and insights he is looking for, he will have set himself back and lost valuable time.

Given his objectives, I coached him to be careful about Opportunity B, to try to confirm that his “must haves” in the new job are really there and if not, to turn down Opportunity B if it is offered to him.

Last night, the biggest “must have” I heard is that he wants to leave Job A because it is not giving him the background and experience that he craves.  That doesn’t speak to what he needs in his next position. Impatience is driving his decision, not carefully understood “must haves” that need to be derived from the his next job opportunity.

Because he’s not happy in Job A, he believes that, no matter what, Opportunity B has to be better. This is in spite of the fact he doesn’t yet know how well Opportunity B aligns with his “must haves.” He’s really not given the idea of his “must haves” appropriate energy and attention at this point.

I’m concerned he might find more unhappiness in Opportunity B if he finds out it wasn’t what he wanted or needed. It sounds to me like the people he’s interviewing with are telling him what they think he wants to hear, not necessarily what he can realistically expect. Has that ever happened to anyone you know? Has that ever happened to you?

I advised him that, while the company is trying to assess him for Opportunity B, he needs to just as carefully assess whether or not Opportunity B puts him on a path to Opportunity C.  Somehow during the interview process, he needs to look for evidence–not just hear sweet words–that Opportunity B is going to be a win for him. He’s got to ask great questions of the people he interviews with to try to determine if Opportunity B is an appropriate next-step in his career.

At the end of the day, he’s got to look for alignment between his “must haves” and Opportunity B. If there’s poor alignment, he’s got to turn down Opportunity B.

What do you think?

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

© 2013 Dave Gardner

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Turbocharging Your Business

January 14, 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: turbocharge your business

“A GREAT mentor is somebody who has an extraordinary hopefulness for you because they know how much more is possible. They want you to fulfill your destiny path, within your own life. They want to help you discover and reprogram your actions. A GREAT mentor is somebody who has a very clinical, critical, transactional and empirical understanding, and the ability to really see what YOU can be in many dimensions.” – Jay Abraham

I first met Jay at his Consultant’s Bootcamp in January 1993. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t think of Jay’s work and his influence on me. My clients benefit from the value Jay expresses so very well above.

Just before Thanksgiving, I began working with a new client. My expertise and its application offer the potential to double or triple my client’s revenues in the next 18-24 months, removing a limitation that has capped revenue growth in his business for some 20 years. How is this possible? By simplifying the complex for his highly-configurable products and by reframing the value he offers from a customer’s perspective.

My client’s business is going to thrive. Who wants to be next?

Thought for the week:

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

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What do you think? I welcome your blog 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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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 27FEB12

February 27, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: personal power

Kevin Costner delivered a powerful eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral. I was particularly struck by one of his comments:

The Whitney I knew, despite her success and worldwide fame, still wondered: Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me? It was the burden that made her great.

The real issue for me is whether these questions, doubts or fears would empower or disempower Whitney or anyone for that matter?

Constant self-doubt isn’t empowering. As Kevin Costner said, “it was a burden.” The thoughts and self-esteem we carry determine whether we or not we thrive.

Thought for the week:

“We starve on promises, but grow on actions.” – Peter Ragnar

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 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.