Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Success’

…the claw

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

This past weekend, I spent some time with the family at a beach town in NJ. It was a great time to reconnect with the little ones and spend time relaxing a little. During the course of our wandering on the boardwalk we came upon the usual kids games (skeeball, air hockey..etc). Usually, the kids gravitate to the magical claw games in the hopes of scoring some overpriced shoddy toy. I end up paying a small fortune for this accomplishment.

This time, things were different when we walked up to the machine. First, they were much more expensive than the usual $0.25 – $1.00 range. Second, the cause for the price increase was a guaranteed winner every time. First blush, I was happy as I would avoid the temper tantrums and overspending. Thirty minutes later, all three kids had their toys as the game allowed them to grab until they secured a toy.

As we walked away, I was satisfied that time/money was well spent and kids were happy. That was, until we walked up to another bank of machines after lunch. These were only $0.50 a try and were the traditional claw games. Traditional, in that the claws had weak springs and the toys were heavier than what the claw can lift. Thereby, greatly reducing the chance for a successful toy recovery.

So I watched the kids as they walked up to the machine and popped the money into the slot. No surprise that the claw did not grab a toy…but what happened next was a surprise. Kids were upset because “the machine was not as easy as the last one…and they should all be this easy”.  They actually commented on the toys in this machine were better than the easy machine. In fact, they were the same crappy quality and same thematic design.

I was definitely not looking for a life lesson for the kids here, but certainly found more than a few that day!

Yes, I spent more than the $3 I did on the previous machine with the new machine (a lot more). Yes, the toys attained were basically characters from the same story line as the previous machine (same toys). Yes, the kids were frustrated, angry and wanted to give up. But they did not…they kept on trying, learning from their mistakes and making decisions that ultimately lead to a favorable outcome.

…make wise choices,photo

-sk

…woohoo

December 30, 2013 Leave a comment

As 2013 comes to a close, I have come to think back to the many things that I have learned in the past 12 months. Learning is growing – and the moment one has nothing left to learn, they have failed. Yes, it is my opinion and sure I could be wrong. If I was going to sum things up and extrapolate one massive lesson what would it be, that would have created such a strong impact?

I thought about this for a few minutes and it popped into my brain…well, after the dancing Steamboat Willie. So much of this blog, and my personal ethos is about delivering on commitments, service and pushing oneself past the proverbial comfort zone. The capstone of this would have to be the notion of taking a step back, reflecting on accomplishments and recognizing when something has been completed. From that, taking away what was learned as a result.

For me, that clarity is accomplished by celebrating what you have done and not who you are  – yes that’s deep (well for me it is). It is so easy to look at factors that you cannot easily control  and either over/under emphasize those elements that you feel have either contributed your success or failure. Almost everything is malleable, however, some things are vastly simpler to manipulate. One thing, in particular, that most have direct control over is the setting and completing of personal and/or professional goals.

Whether large or small – those goals are yours to own and yours to execute! Embrace the action of achievement and cast aside those that would dilute your accomplishments by placing you in a category.

…make wise choices,
(Happy New Year)

-sk

BTC

 

 

…myopic goodness

July 8, 2013 Leave a comment

Few things bother me more than people that lack focus. It is great to be aware of the situation and understand that your actions have reactions. It is great to want to help those around you and, thereby learn from others’ endeavors. Building trust, esprit de corps and collaborative relationships are awesome and are invaluable in personal and professional maturation and growth.

None of this means anything – unless you can hit your targets, commitments and achieve results. One of the focal points of these writings has been focused around delivering and achieving results. It stands to reason that supporting elements are important – but they are only just that – supporting elements. They are secondary to the goal….the only goal – hitting the target.

Look through the proverbial scope – see the opportunity and take the shot.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…the worm

May 15, 2013 2 comments

I was sitting in my backyard sipping some rum and enjoying a nice cigar the other day. Enjoying the signs of spring, I spied a bird swoop in and peck at a worm on the ground. It had rained the night before so food was plenty and the birds were having a great time feasting. As I watched the bird take the worm and start to eat…another bird swooped in on top of the first one.

It basically thumped the bird and took its worm.

The message of the day? The early bird may get the worm, but it takes a whole lot more to keep it.

Don’t get hung up on acquisition only…retention is equally as important.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…turning left

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

So, I was arguing with myself the other day in the park…it is a lovely sight if you ever happen to come upon this spectacle. It all started so innocently with some introspection on people and how they perceive themselves over having to do the right thing.

Taking a look back at history, we have ample examples of tremendous evil being accomplished under the illusion that it was the right thing..that fit someone’s idealogy. This could be true in business and in the personal life of a person. In my mind this always boils down to a person’s character.

I’m a firm believer (and I have written about this previously), that most people are inherently selfish. Furthermore, given the opportunity many will do what is best for them, despite being detrimental to others. We can argue that this is not universally applicable as we have examples of individuals doing selfless things, often resulting in harm to themselves. As with every type of Gaussian function, I am referring to the majority of individuals.

So what’s the hook here? Figure out a balance (vs. integration) – what is right and beneficial. Every situation is, of course different and sometimes it is better to turn the other direction – even for a short time.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…the straw

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

In previous blog posts, I have shared my thoughts on drive, discipline as well as what I feel contributes to success. Not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination – but key as far as I am concerned.

Upon some of these foundational elements, is an interesting point that I do not believe I have ever explicitly mentioned.

That one thing

Recently, I was having a discussion with someone on the topic of switching jobs/careers and the merits, pros and cons of that decision. After a few minutes of discussing various scenarios, risks, and rewards – I asked a simple question (simple in my mind).

“What is the one reason that you want to leave and will your new job/role address this reason?”

In my brain it is a simple thought pattern. When someone wants to make a change (no matter what it is), they often create a list, weigh choices and start to take a micro-view of the issue…almost to a fault. I am not saying that is a bad thing, just not the first thing that I believe should be addressed.

Sometimes we get too involved in the answer and do not spend enough time on the question. Answer the first question and you may find that there is no reason to continue down a path that will ultimately leave you in a similar position…just in a different location.

Noodle on that!

…make wise choices,

-sk

…this is the business we’ve chosen

October 6, 2012 1 comment

A few days ago, I was pruning some Facebook friends away (my curiosity wore off) and caught up on a few dozen posts from folks. I do not do much with/on Facebook anymore (link to twitter, msg random strangers…etc), it’s just not as fun as it once was and I’ve moved on to something else.

What struck me as interesting was that a decent number of posts I read are folks complaining about work, travelling to/from work or about people at work. The jobs that these folks have range from blue collar to white collar – whatever that differentiation is anymore…

For some reason, this ticked me off – not sure why – it just did.

Despite recent unemployment news and a slight (ever so slight) uptick in our economy, things are still pretty bad for most people. More so, we live in a country where we can choose where/when to work. This is, of course, assuming we have something to offer to an employer that separates us from those that are competing against us…yes there are lots of folks competing. More than you realize.

I get that not all days are full of awesomeness at the office, road or wherever one calls their workspace – but ultimately it’s a choice. Choice is a wonderful thing…and even when we think we have no choice…we ultimately do – it’s just a matter of accepting the consequence.

Too all those that do nothing but complain, you are of course free to do so…just be aware of how your are perceived. You do what you do because you have chosen to do so (say that 3 times in a row)…embrace it or make a change.

…make wise choices.

-sk

…strategic failure

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I was discussing work life balance and professional/personal workload management the other day, and an interesting question was raised. What happens when your proverbial plate is literally running over – and no one cares?

I have not experienced this situation – yet. Perhaps I had, and just did not realize that it was happening? Interesting question none the less. I believe that different individuals handle varying degrees of situational stress based on a number of factors (nature, nurture..etc).

This is part of who we are and also where we are in – in terms of being on target with our life goals. What – you have no goals?

This conversation brought up another chat that I had a few months ago on the notion of chess strategies. I am not very good at this game, but that does not stop me from playing. Plainly put, you have pawns that you sacrifice, at times to gain the upper hand in the game by moving into a better strategic position on the chess board. Simple stuff. You have lots of them (pawns), in relation to other pieces, which inherently makes them expendable.

So what if you were to treat your workload as a series of chess pieces? I’m sure that most individuals prioritize their work and I am not making reference to prioritization. I am talking about straight up failing on efforts that have little real impact in order to illustrate a point made above, when all else fails.

It should be noted that I do not subscribe to this ideology, but its notion as a method of sustainability in the professional workplace is nothing short of fascinating!

So the advice to someone that is in the situation referenced above, depending on personal risk factors and overall degree of confidence is simple. Sacrifice your pawns

Victim of circumstantial whims or an agent of change…albeit at a risk. Interesting choice.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…crater

August 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Today is a day of reflection. Interesting events unfolded over the past few weeks that have given me both positive reinforcement and yet have shed light on those individuals in my life that I need to abandon.

One of the positive events that took place was a conversation that I had with an individual, where he told me “Stan, I would not have been here without you”.  That’s a powerful and impactful statement. It was help and advice often offered for absolutely no personal or professional gain whatsoever…just the right thing to do for someone.

How many times have you done something similar for someone?

On the flip side, an unfortunate and uncontrollable series of events also took place. This brought out behaviors from individuals, whereas grandstanding and self-serving actions took center stage. The sad part is that this was expected…the great part is that this was expected.

The lesson? As I have offered advice in past posts, it always makes sense to know what people are capable of and to understand what impact they may have on your success. Of course, the reverse also applies!

Some impacts are positive, some negative…decide if you are a creator or a destroyer.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…impress me

August 1, 2012 1 comment

I have had conversations a number of times with individuals inside and outside of the workplace about advancement. People often ask for advice on promotions, lateral career moves as well as ideas on growth. Not pretending to be some career Grand Poobah, however, I recognize that people like to bounce ideas off of those around them and/or who they perceive as being successful. I’m not picky about receiving compliments and will take whatever I can get!

Aside from key themes in my previous posts about execution, commitment, communication and teamwork there are three items that bubble to the top of the list. Consistency, accuracy and intensity are those traits that come to mind. Among others (in my opinion), these are the hallmarks of people that i admire and are successful (at least in my opinion).

What about all of the other classic traits? In my opinion, information is easier to access, thereby experience and knowledge is less relevant (in some cases at least). The focus should be on capacities to learn, adapt and be resilient – connect with others in order to deliver on commitments.

Consistency, accuracy and intensity are the vehicles by which one can elevate themselves above all others and stand out!

What vehicle are you driving?

…make wise choices,

-sk