books - self development 2008

Love the Work You’re With

Love The Work You’re With – Find the Job You Always Wanted Without Leaving the One You Have

by Richard C. Whiteley

Gotta love these self-explanatory titles! Onto my flags…

pg 32 Richard Leider, author, executive coach, and founder of the Inventure Group, interviewed more than 1,000 retirees who had carved out distinguished careers. Says Leider: “I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said, ‘Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us.’ Many of these people felt that, despite their successes, their music was still inside them… If they could live their lives over again, they would understand what really gave them fulfillment. You might call this the power of purpose: doing something that contributes to life, adding value to life beyond yourself.”

pg 34 It is said that people at work are motivated, in reverse order of importance, by the following three factors: money, great leadership, and having a cause. People are certainly motivated by a paycheck, but great leadership will have an even more rousing effect. Having a cause beats both the paycheck and the leader hands down. People will make extraordinary commitments and sacrifices for what they consider a true cause. At work you have your pay, and your leader-manager, but do you have a cause? This is the vision of your organization and can represent a powerful motivating force for you and your workmates.

pg 77 When Outcomes Get In the Way – On a personal level, a compulsion with results can thwart the desired outcome. A study of world-class athletes revealed that the more they fixated on the outcome, winning, the less likely they were to win. In fact, a single-minded preoccupation with winning an Olympic medal, accompanied by the tremendous pressure this generates, can become a huge psychological barrier to victory. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Tara Lipinski, less preoccupied with the Gold than favoured Michelle Kwan, let if flow. After winning the top prize, she said, “I didn’t think about winning. I didn’t think about beating anyone. I just thought about going out there and having a great time… I felt I knew what the Olympics was about. Pure joy. And I put it into my program.”

This phenomenon was reported by sports psychologist Shane Murphy in a Business Week article entitled “Zen and the Art of Olympic Success.” Wrote Murphy: “Any time you get into that state here you’re thinking about the result instead of what you’re doing, you’re pretty much screwed – to use the scientific term.”

pg 79 If you don’t attach to expectations or outcomes, what do you attach to? Inputs. Life and career coach Joanne Brem, formerly in large-systems sales at the high-tech giant Amdahl, can personal testify to the effectiveness of keeping your focus entirely on inputs – on the things you do to prepare for a result – and off the desired outcome itself. The accolades Brem amassed while at Amdahl were nothing short of startling. … In one year alone, Brem was responsible for more than $30 million in sales. Talk about outcomes. …. “I cared very much about the sale, but my career took off once I got this truth deep in my bones: You have to let it go.” This truth came to Brem after a difficult dry spell that lasted over a year and it immediately sparked four straight years of top sales performance. Says Brem, “Instead of worrying about my quota, I focused on helping my customers. I found that by doing everything in my power to satisfy their needs – and totally trusting that the best outcome would result – ironically also maximized my access to it. It unleashed my highest levels of listening, openness, being in the present, creativity, and spontaneity…and customers sensed it. Because they sensed it – sensed that I was wholly there for them and not just the sale – they trusted me. Once that happened, the orders just took care of themselves.

pg 90 According to studies by psychologists Ed Diener and David Myers, there are four reliable predictors of happiness: self-esteem, optimism, being an extrovert, and a feeling of control. Notice that each of these four happiness factors is rooted in what you do, what you think, and who you are at your core, and not a single one relates to what is done to you, or how others think of you. … Three traits of resilient performers to see how adversity, as well as common daily frustrations, can be used as tools to create the reality you want at work. They are:

– being an optimist
– transforming adversity into advantage
– create a positive life story

pg 104 Become a pleasure seeker. Interesting, isn’t it, that it is the pursuit of happiness that is a right, not happiness itself? The difference? Happiness, as we said earlier, must be a choice. It isn’t a destination, it’s a process. This is born out in the research that proves the happiest people do pursue it. Think about what puts you in a positive frame of mind at work, and pursue it.

pg 137 Mine the mistake. Are there any new insights or unexpected applications that can come out of your mistake? Richard Back nicely sums up this philosophy in his book The Bridge across Forever. He says: “That’s what learning is after all. Not whether we lose the game but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it. And what we take away from it that we never had to apply to other games. Losing in a curious way is winning.”

pg 141 Few things cause more fear of success than a sense that if you follow your dreams, you will betray the people who love you. – Anne B. Fisher

pg 144 Theodore Roosevelt expressed this idea beautifully in a speech delivered to the University of Paris, Sorbonne, on April 23, 1910:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

pg 176 A good way to identify who might be a helpful board member is to ask this question: Where am I unsure or struggling in my work life? List the most critical areas where you need support. You have just created potential board “seats”.

pg 211 When the Conference Board examined ratings of leadership capabilities to meet today’s challenges, they discovered that only 8 percent of the respondents rated these abilities as “excellent” while 39 percent rated themselves as “fair” or “poor”. Executive consultant and author Tracy Goss reflected on this leadership gap when she said: “Today’s business leaders are reinventing everything but themselves. Unless executives realize that they must change not just what they do, but who they are, not just their sense of task, but their sense of themselves, they will fail.”

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