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So you say you made a resolution…

Keeping your goals from becoming a glorified to-do list. This week we begin a new year (and a new decade) and if you are like most of the Western World you have begun making your New Year’s Resolutions. If you are a business owner and entrepreneur like nearly all of my clients and a good many of my friends you’ve also begun writing out your professional and business goals for 2010. And if you are like the “average” person you will have already “failed” to meet your goals or stick to your resolutions by the end of January 2010! So why start? I think it is more a question of where to start. Most people start with questions like “what do I most need to accomplish in 2010?” They may even begin with “what would I most like to make happen in 2010?” Very seldom does their goal setting process include connecting to an impelling “why.” I’ve had clients apologize to me for having financial goals and I’ve had clients who refused to confess to having any goals that didn’t lead to financial success. And to them all I say “why?” Yeah, why? What will change for you if you make that happen? Why do you care? Is your heart and soul engaged? If you are in business I hope you are in business to make money. Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Illusions and many more, was quoted as saying “I don’t want to do business with those who don’t make a profit, because they can’t give the best service.” The character Ernesto, while demonstrating Law #1...

Accountability, Responsibility and Joyful Contributions

Recently, my good friend and continual source of inspiration, Bob Burg, challenged us to reconcile a couple of well-known and generally accepted idioms. “If it is to be it’s up to me.” And “No one does it alone” So which is it? Are you Atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders or are you part of a team effort? Does your individual success rest on you or on your team? Why does it have to be either/or? Let’s start with who is accountable. That one is easy, we are accountable for our actions, our behavior and our personal performance. It is up to us to take initiative, we are in the driver’s seat and that means ultimately that vehicle only goes forward when WE put it in gear and it only goes where WE steer it to go. It is up to us to do our best under any circumstances. But that doesn’t mean we make the journey alone. We can delegate tasks that are essential to our success, we can build a team. Notice I said “delegate” not “abdicate.” We can make other people responsible for tasks by an exchange of value, hiring, outsourcing, bartering, etc… They do not take on being accountable for our success, only responsible for the tasks they take on. It is still up to us to make sure those tasks are being completed to standard and in a timely manner. So it is also up to us to surround ourselves with team members who accept responsibility and perform to our standards. It is also up to us to surround ourselves...

The Raging Holiday Debate

As we again approach the end of the year we enter into the notorious “holiday season.” This year it seems, more than any year I remember, the debate over the appropriate holiday well wishes is front and center everywhere I look. Now maybe it has to do with where I look – Facebook groups, twitter posts, blogs… all those venues for making your opinion known without giving much thought to the statement we are making have become more prevalent and continue to take a more central role in keeping us all connected. I think it comes down to value. Yes, really, value. If I wish someone a happy or merry anything is my intent to add value for me or for them? Well, I’ll speak for myself (and there is a comment section below for you to do speak for yourself.) My intent is to add value to them, to bring a smile, to lighten a heart, to brighten a day. So why would I wish them anything that holds no meaning for them? I have a somewhat unique perspective perhaps. I was raised Christian, in fact, I was raised in a Christian cult that did not celebrate the religious holidays because of their derivation from pagan rituals and traditions. Their teaching was that if you celebrating the birth, death and resurrection of Christ at all then you should celebrate it every day and not by the observance of rituals that had been modified from other religions. How many of you gasped? What, no Christmas? Nope, and no Hanukah, and we didn’t celebrate the Winter Solstice either. But in...