It’s so true, and often extremely effective, to reflect on how we RECEIVE a daily dose of inspiration. Doing so gives us motivation, drive and ammunition to get things done with a positive impact. To switch things up, I’m going to reverse engineer this concept and share a few ideas on how we should strive to DELIVER a daily dose of inspiration.
- Offer praise and recognition for efforts and a job well done
- Say thank you – there can never be never enough gratitude
- Smile – it really can keep others guessing, and asking ‘What gives?’
- Be a STAR – Someone They’ll Always Remember – stand out in a crowd
- Go beyond yourself – give back to the community
- Listen intently, with a desire to encourage, take action or assist
- Show off – not with an intent to brag, but rather to excite and spark interest
- Be a student in life – learn something new every day and share this knowledge
- Look people in the eye – be serious, authentic, transparent
- Send hand-written notes – it’s a lost art in today’s digital world
Sometimes the little things go such a long way in making a difference. If you simply take time to ‘stop and smell the roses’, it can have a meaningful effect on those around you. So, what’s holding you back?
Earlier this week, I attended the last girls’ high school basketball home game with my husband and kids. I was quick to realize how independent my kids are getting at ages 7 and 8. I’m used to having to keep an eye on them so they don’t fall through the bleachers and run off all over the place during the game. My son was game-on the entire time – totally engrossed in what was happening at both ends of the court. My daughter was delighted sitting 3 rows behind the cheerleaders and had fun finding girlfriends throughout the stands to connect with and show off contents of her purse. Wow – that means I could totally watch the game myself for a change.
Rise above the rest!
The Southside Sabres were hosting the Landrum Cardinals. It wasn’t a do or die game and we were there purely by request of our kids who had heard the hype of this being the last home game. So the whistle blows, and the Sabres took the ball. Immediately my attention was drawn to #3, Chalice Pack. This girl commanded the court every second of the game – whether on offense or defense. She was intensely focused, driven and fast. Her free throws were well practiced and swooshed every time. She was the go-to teammate for everyone who stole the rebound. She communicated effectively to teammates with her arms, her eyes and her voice. Her layups were graceful and spot on. She’s the first to high-5 or fist bump her teammates for a job well done. She was exciting, determined and taking ownership of her every move. She was giving a stand out performance and nailing it!
Next thing I realize, it’s half-time and the Sabres are up 25-11. Woot woot! I found myself anxious to see what #3 was bringing out of the locker room next. The second half, she continued to show her stuff with consistency – another solid set of actions and reactions that took the Sabres to a win over the Cardinals. But, not before a Landrum opponent got thrown off the court for unsportswoman-like conduct. This girl was obviously fed up with the glory and gain of the Sabres #3. The Landrum player hauled off and pushed Chalice as if saying, “I’m sick and tired of you being front and center and stealing all the attention during this game.” Haven’t we all felt this way about someone?
Following what I’m sure was a celebration in the locker room, most of the Sabres gathered their gear and paraded across the court to head out to homework, getting ready for school the next day and family time. But not Sabres#3. She hit the bleaches smiling – on a mission to see as many of her friends and fans as possible and continue to give back her presence, thanks and gratitude for all of them being there.
Replace game with strategy. Substitute player with professional. Change fans to customers.
There’s an important lesson here too for any one in work or in life. Sabres’ #3 monumental accomplishment can be applied to any situation as an example of always doing your best to rise above the rest. And there’s no doubt Chalice is living up to her last name – she certainly is the leader of the Pack!
I’m 5.5 days into this 28 day hiatus between jobs and I’m amazed at what I’ve noticed going on around me. When you are not worried about getting to work on time, meeting deadlines, pleasing others, working the corporate game and running to extracurricular activities, you can sit back, soak it all in and live life for a change. Sounds simple, but most of us don’t do it. I’m extremely fortunate to have a husband who supports me in taking a month off to do a bunch of nothing, as well as a new employer (effective Feb 22) who values time off as much I do right now. Guess that means I’m in for a wild and crazy work ride when I get started 🙂
Lost time is never found again ~Benjamin Franklin
So, how have I been taking some time out for life? Here are just a few things I’ve experienced in the past few days that have tickled my fancy to a whole new level – simply because there is nothing else on my agenda competing with them.
- Grapefruit – who has time to prepare this delicacy rushing to get yourself and (2) middle schoolers ready every morning? Glorious Vitamin C rush!
- Music – do you sing the refrain, hum the melody, tap to the tune or really listen to the words? Wow, there are so many songs that have new meaning for me because of the real message that I often miss.
- Walking without headphones – we’ve had crisp 33* sunny mornings, but the birds – you’d think it was 73* mid-summer by the way they sing, chant and chirp about the day ahead.
- Leisurely lunches with my husband – THE most important person in my life is being rediscovered. At least twice a week, we plan to head out to a new eatery or whip something simple up at home.
- Quaint, local shops I never get to – Palmetto Olive Oil, Anne’s Antiques, Moonstruck, Mauldin Furniture. Look out, you’re on my short, but very targeted TO VISIT list.
- Pinterest – this website is mind-boggling. I’ve been pinning for weeks, with little time to act. Now, I’m about to get ‘er done on some of my top finds on this craze of a social network.
- Getting involved with my 2 kids at school – decorating the Valentine’s bulletin board, weeknight basketball games, NO car line – I actually go in, attending field trips to the orthodontist, praising with them at Chapel Programs. All priceless.
- Cooking from my Betty Crocker / Taste of Home cookbooks – I’m’ always throwing dinner together at the last minute,
- Chillaxin’ with Safari – she’s my 14-year old golden, basset pound puppy. Still fairly active but slowing down fast. Snuggling by the fireplace is our fave!
- Stand in complete silence for 5 minutes somewhere & be thankful – at the grocery, in the shower, looking out the front door, in the bank or the parking lot. Tune everything out and focus on things you are thankful for. Amazing.
And lastly, it’s important, but this one is not about me taking time out for life. It’s about me worrying about others not valuing life enough to wear your seat belt. Again, I’m looking at my surroundings through a different set of eyes. So, while sitting at stop lights, I’ve noticed so many people not wearing seat beats. Mind-boggling! If I could arrest people in the click-it or ticket program, I wouldn’t have to go back to work on February 22 for all the $$$ I’d be making. Stifling. Believe me, there’s no way to take time out for life if that accident takes it away from you first.
It was 12:58pm on Wednesday, January 25th. I had just resigned a mere 3.5 hours ago and was celebrating what’s next over a beer with my husband of 17 years. As we were planning and discovering things for me to do in the next 28 days before starting work again, I somehow had the common sense to remember I had bought a ticket to a Dale Carnegie Institute/Jeffrey Gitomer Reslilient Leadership session…which was going to start at 3pm that afternoon. How coincidental??
So, we finished plotting out a grand plan for the next month and beyond, and I rushed home to brush my teeth and head over to the Embassy Suites in Greenville, SC. I’m a fan of Gitomer already – I subscribe to his sales/marketing e-zine and have dabbled in his Ace of Sales email program. What I wasn’t prepared for a was a solid 2.5 hours of atta-girl, motivational inspiration to go conquer my new opportunity. Yes, I had pretty high expectations given my familiarity with his content, but I got totally immersed into his direct Jersey boy why-haven’t-you-bought-an-iPad-yet performance that hit a nerve with me every time he opened his mouth.
So, here are the big idea take-aways from Gitomer’s session. Some are quite practical and simple, a few are merely thought-provoking, while others require action or change. I personally walked away with a rekindled confidence to move on to what’s next – smothered in a notion of Hell Yes!
JEFFREY GITOMER: Resilient Leadership Principles
- open a biz opportunity with ‘before we get started…’ – sets a relaxed, informal, truthful tone from the outset
- laugh or think in the first minute of new biz opportunity, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of the meeting recovering
- show pix of your kids whenever you can – create the emotional appeal
- sales are made emotionally, justified logically
- substitute television for writing/reading and you win
- loosen up – today’s Presidential candidates don’t even wear ties
- always train new employees for attitude first – start with yourself
- coach the player; lead the team
- stay coach-able yourself
- the more you study it, the better you are at teaching it
- people need to see your believe to become believers themselves
- don’t lead by example, set the standard
- react, respond, recover – how you do these as a leader determines your success
- if you ever SAY you are the boss, you’re probably not
- if you hire an eagle, they will fly
- make your social media policy focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t
- if your people are better at things, you will win
- have a bad minute, not a bad day
- replace the word change with opportunity to get a different reaction
- set earnings expectations & minimums, not quotas
- strive for loyalty, not satisfaction
- teach how to earn referrals, not make cold calls
- teach testimonials, not a sales pitch
- teach buying motives, not sales skills
- if someone on your team leaves for a competitor, it’s YOUR fault
- treat everyone like a one year old – without the baby talk!