Archive for category Adapt to Change

Is Your Attitude Squashing You?

Attitude Squashing You?

Attitude Squashing You?

 

 

Is YOUR Attitude Squashing YOU?

 

Do people frequently attribute any of these sayings to describe you at home and/or work – reactive, pessimistic, downer, cynical, defeatist, or grumpy?  If so, your attitude IS squashing you!

Simply put by Coach Lou Holtz – “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

A person’s attitude is their affinity or inclination to respond in positive or negative ways to events, ideas, objects, people, organizations, etc.  A person’s attitude influences their choice of action, and responses to other people, opportunities, challenges, consequences, rewards, and situations.  The key is YOU get to choose your attitude – it does not choose you!

In my experience people exhibit/choose 3 basic attitudes:

 

  1. Explorer – People with an Explorer attitude are proactive participants in life and work, and thrive on opportunities brought on by change.  They take calculated risks and over deliver on their commitments.  They are consistently enthusiastic and energetic people, and their attitude is contagious to other Explorers and some Followers. Explorers look at the ‘glass as half full’, and have what Stephen Covey calls an ‘abundance mentality’.
  2. Follower – People with a Follower attitude are the reactive spectators of life and work, and are usually reluctant to adapt to change. They rarely take risks and are uncomfortable making commitments, instead relying on others to make major decisions and commitments.  Followers need motivating to deliver on commitments, otherwise they tend to coast. Followers see Explorers as successful and may seek them out, and want to work with them.  They also can be negatively motivated by Cynics.
  3. Cynic – People with Cynic attitudes are the victims and carpers of life and work and are annoyed by change.  They are sarcastic and pessimistic people that can drain the energy out of other people, teams or organizations.  They believe risks and commitments are forced on them by others.  And when difficulties arise, they enjoy being ‘told you so’ critics and finding fault, after the fact, in efforts, results and people.  Cynics many times resent the success of others and have what Stephen Covey calls a ‘scarcity mentality’.

Most people demonstrate some of all three attitudes and choose different attitudes based on varying situations and events, but one attitude tends to dominate in each of us.  So if your attitude is squashing you, even occasionally, what can you do?

  1. Reflect On Your Attitude and Honestly Assess It
    1. Self-assessment
    2. Trusted colleagues, friends and family assessment
    3. Admit Your Barriers, and Drivers.
      1. Dominant attitude
      2. Situational attitudes
      3. Barriers to a better attitude
      4. Drivers to a better attitude
      5. Determine Probable Root Causes of Your Barriers
        1. Causes you control
        2. Situational causes
        3. Physical and mental causes
        4. Commit To Make Changes In Your Attitude
          1. Reduce or eliminate cynics in your life
          2. Set short-term goals
          3. Measure goal achievement
          4. Set new short-term goals
          5. Seek outside help, if needed
          6. Put Some Gratitude in Your Attitude

Remember, you choose your attitude – it does not choose you.

 



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Habits of a Successful Career – Habit #2

Be Proactive - Adapt to Change

Be Proactive – Adapt to Change

 

Habits for a Successful Career

Habit #2 – Be Proactive and Adapt to Change

Being proactive and adapting to change are two sides of the same coin.  Proactive people learn to anticipate current/future events and take initiative to adapt their actions and/or to shape their results.  They understand change can create problems, but focus on opportunities change creates.  During difficult times, proactive people look for the good in people and events, and can be counted on.  They rarely are the ‘victims’ of change.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  We all have heard this old saying – about being proactive versus reactive in life, at home, or at work.  Both behaviors and concepts are needed.  When a crisis happens, the GOOD people are needed to react to the crisis, like firefighters, doctors, policemen, etc.  They are invaluable in a crisis.  But after the crisis, a doctor, firefighter, etc. would swear preventing the crisis in the first place is more valuable, and less costly, than great ‘firefighting’.

Yet many people, and businesses, ignore the benefits of being proactive, reverting to reactive processes and behaviors usually for the sake of ‘speed’.  The hope they have is that great firefighters will ‘reduce’ the impact of change or a crisis on a business, employees, suppliers, and/or customers.  Some people even thrive on being a firefighter . . . they love the adrenalin rush and immediate satisfaction of ‘fixing’ a problem.  But their behavior is a secondary asset to being proactive.  For every successful career or opportunity in reacting to events and change, proactive people have 10-20 successful careers or opportunities.

Being proactive means anticipating, acting and preventing a problem or crisis, or shaping the results of change.  After a firefight, they act to identify and solve the ‘root cause’ of the problem or crisis so it never happens again.  The benefits are reduced costs, improved quality and less negative impacts on employees, suppliers and customers.  The result includes more career opportunities and successes.

 

Be Proactive and Adapt to Change – You’ll Like It!

 

 



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IT Organization Success

Keys to IT Success

 

 

 Keys to IT Organization Success

No secret, for decades many IT organizations have struggled to be successful – probably more so than any other.  When is the last time you saw a dozen articles on the struggling accounting, marketing or human resources organizations?

Martha Heller in a 2010 CIO Magazine article discusses IT struggles and suggests a few ‘paradoxes’ in IT organizations that may be barriers to a successful IT organization.

  • The Business wants IT to be strategic, but force them to spend most of their time on operational issues.
  • IT needs to be stewards of risk mitigation and cost containment, yet expected to innovate.
  • IT is seen as that of an enabler, yet is also expected to be a business driver.
  • IT can make or break a company, but its leaders are infrequently members of C-level executive groups.
  • IT is one of the most pervasive, critical functions, yet must prove its value constantly.
  • Many IT successes are invisible, yet its few mistakes are highly visible.
  • IT project teams are accountable for project success, even if the Business has ownership.
  • IT staff loves new technology, but must embrace/understand the Business to be successful.
  • Many IT teams/people are uncomfortable dealing with people, but to succeed must build relationships, influence others, and resolve conflicts.
  • IT infrastructure is a consistent, long-term investment, but the Business thinks in quarters.

And here are a few more paradoxes I have experienced:

  • The Business wholly adopted  ‘BPI’, but IT has poor processes and rarely has budget for improvement.
  • C-level executives believe IT costs too much and fails to provide comparable value, but have limited knowledge of IT project or operational successes.
  • C-level executives expect IT to deliver new, strategic capabilities to their Business unit, yet most of the project identification, priorities and governance is driven by Business users and managers.
  • IT needs/must align its goals/objectives to the Business, yet the Business units goals/objectives are not always aligned with each other.

Any of these barriers hinder IT leaders and organizations from being valued and successful.  They can be mitigated and/or knocked down, but requires a relevant, achievable Strategy, competent People, and consistent, repeatable Processes.  In addition it also takes the IT leaders and staff to embrace/develop these 7 Habits of Excellence.

  • Build  Trust and Credibility
  • Develop  a Proactive Culture
  • Understand  the Company, Business Model, and Industry
  • Align  with Company’s Goals and Objectives
  • Lead  People  -  Manage Things
  • Adapt  to Change
  • Embrace  a Passion for Learning and Improvement

 

Developing these 7 Habits of Excellence will mitigate or eliminate barriers and result in these IT organization benefits:

  • Faster Throughput (projects and processes)
  • Less Costly (unit costs)
  • Better  Quality (products, software, systems and processes)
  • More Agility  (change)
  • More Capacity  (w/o more resources)
  • Better Risk Management
  • Better Place to Work

What IT paradoxes is your group facing??



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