Here is an article written by Jeff Haden for BNET, The CBS Interactive Business Network. To check out an abundance of valuable resources and obtain a free subscription to one or more of the BNET newsletters, please click here.
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Whenever I’m discussing a challenge — oh, all right, whenever I’m whining about something — my wife only lasts about 30 seconds before she says, “Okay, I get it. What are you going to do differently?”
Hearing the same thing time after time could be pretty irritating… except she’s right. The only way to overcome a problem is to do something differently.
But here’s an even better approach: Instead of waiting until you’re forced to make a bad situation better, why not turn a decent situation into a great one and tackle your challenges head on?
Let’s call this business — and personal — strategy “The Five As of Awesomeness.” (Then again maybe not; I might have just gone all Tony Robbins on you.)
All you have to do is pick and choose from the following a few simple things to do differently.
Note: Here are four of the 12 ways Haden suggests.
1. Switch measurements. Over time we develop ways to measure our performance. Maybe you focus on time to complete, or quality, or end result. Each can be effective, but sticking with one or two could cause you to miss opportunities to improve. Say you focus on meeting standards; what if you switched it up and focused on time to completion? Measuring your performance in different ways forces you to look at what you do regularly from a new perspective.
2. Shift benchmarks. If you create apps it’s fun to benchmark against, say, the runaway success of Angry Birds. Setting an incredible goal is fine — since if you don’t aim high you won’t reach high — but failing to hit a lofty goal can kill your motivation.
Choose a different benchmark; look for companies (or people) with similar assets, backgrounds, etc. and try to beat their results. For a motivation boost, consider, finding an enemy.
3. Be who you are. I would like to climb like this guy. Or ride a motorcycle like this guy. Or change the world like this guy. I won’t. And for the most part I’m okay with that because I can always be a better me. I can climb better or ride faster or make a bigger difference in the lives of my family and friends. Think about who you admire and pick a few of their qualities to emulate, not necessarily their accomplishments. You can’t be them — and they can’t be you.
4. Let others be who they are. Your boss isn’t going to change. The company you work for isn’t going to change. Your customers, your vendors… they aren’t going to change. Don’t expect them to. Pick one source of frustration and decide what you will do differently, including, possibly, walking away. When you stop focusing on negatives you may start to notice positive qualities you missed. No one is as bad or as good as you make them out to be — and that’s okay.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about management as he worked his way up the printing business from forklift driver to manager of a 250-employee book plant. Everything else he knows, he has picked up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest CEOs he knows in business. He has written more than 30 non-fiction books, including four Business and Investing titles that reached #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list. He’d tell you which ones, but then he’d have to kill you. Howe ver, you can visit his website: www.blackbirdinc.com.