Friday, November 21, 2014

Focus: Long & Short of It

Parkour runners claim to 'focus on the present'. Exponents of this dangerous but exciting sport, incorporate techniques of jumping, scaling, leaping, acrobatics, and climbing to achieve their goals of reaching a location in their space. It is as much about the journey, as it is the the destination for these 'free runners'.

Focus is imminent and critical to athletic or business success. By being specific in your goals, you set your goals with clarity, precision and purpose. By being frivolous with your goals and approaches, your results may elude you. By training mostly on trails, you may risk compromising your hard-spent efforts on disappointing results on a road-race. 

Saying 'I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon' and 'I want to run a sub-4 hour marathon' may be far apart, unless both are aligned as similar or exact goals. Intermediate goals, and achievements stoke our motivation and sense of purpose. Certainly, one has to be realistic with one's goals and not set a over-arching goals which may require more time, and dedicated effort. If we set ourselves up for failure, we may be distraught, disappointed, and become doubtful about ourself.

Focus is about keeping your eyes (and sense-ability) on the 'prize'. You can focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking create distractions, and may deviate you from your goals. Plan for a few things, set specific goals, and a reasonable timeline and success may be within our distant reach. Never distant yourself too far from your goals and potential achievements.

Well-intentioned people who offer advice may sabotage you on your goals, if they, too, have specific goals themselves. A trail-runner may not be the best source of advice if you intend to run a fast, flat, road race. They are more useful in your goals of running an off-road race, or a trail-based ultra-marathon.

Leadership Lessons: Set long- and short-term goals. Commit to a plan of action. Back these goals up with alternatives, if you miss a few of them. There are no failures, only results and outcomes. Look farther as well as nearer - re-focus and set your sights on your dreams and goals.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Approaches to Smarter Social Media Use

Getting my name on the cover on a monthly magazine on local multisport endurance athletes.
After three years of continuous daily blogging (thanks to Seth Godin for his clever challenge, and his dedicated daily postings), selective use of Facebook and Tweeter, and garnering recognition and treasured relationships in the process, here are my opinions and perspectives.

1) Learn from a variety of online sources. Talk to bloggers, online marketers, Tweeters, and Facebook marketers.
2) Surround yourself with experts in online marketing. Actively interview them.
3) Pay your dues. Study, apply and learn from your successes and mistakes. The wisdom from practice earned is priceless.
4) Build your brand. Build your reputation. They are both, interestingly, interchangeable. Combine it with traditional media like television (interviews, feature stories) and the press (magazine, newspapers). Engage through the mantra 'Express, then Impress'.
5) If you have something good to say, say it. If you nothing good to say, then don't broadcast it. Be an advocate for a brand, cause, challenge or crusade. Recognise others of repute, 'catch them doing it right' and share your passions and discoveries.
6) Social Media is an extension of face-to-face engagements (i.e. interviews, coffee-shop talk, Skype). Extend and expand your reach for Positive Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing.
7) Have productive and useful conversations on mobile applications (apps), Internet Messenging (IM), and the Comments box in Facebook. Expand the realm of consciousness over issues, concerns, challenges and problems. 'Sharing' extends the 'reach' to your audience and beyond.
8) Use Crowd-Sourcing and Crowd-Funding selectively and responsibly. Be, however, aware of how to 'ask' instead of using 'twisting the arm' tactics.
9) Fund-raising should be purposeful, deliberate, sensible and responsible. Avoid the backlash of becoming labelled 'unreliable' and 'desperate'.
10) Enlist assistance from your Tribes. Tribes are communities of like-minded individuals who share a common cause, and by extension willing to help achieve common goals.

Content is still king! Share ideas, perspectives, opinions and recommendations. Add value to each 'share'.
Hopefully, these considerations may help you reconsider and review your overall strategy for building your brand, reputation, garner sponsorship, and monetise your communication platforms.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Re-Booted and Re-Loaded

It has been a while since I updated this blog-site. I have my reasons and excuses, however they are irrelevant and not useful. As we have proposed, time and again, excuses can limit us in many ways especially through our behaviors. Our actions and inactions can lead us to outcomes and results that we vary in their impact on our expectations.

The first three years, I blogged almost daily. When Seth Godin suggested this challenge, I was intrigued and curious. Would it be possible? How would I begin? How would I sustain it? What if I missed a day or more, due to other commitments and priorities? These questions were answered in due course as I initiated the process of blogging, content development, content management, learning to use Social Media 2.0, and more.

Having accomplished this major challenge, I embarked on a journey of physical challenges that rode parallel with my writing and reporting. The purpose of this blog was to be a frontispiece for leadership through sport - endurance sports, in particular. Most of these challenges were accomplished, save for several others that I would have to reconsider and decide on. In the process, I met more amazing athletes, innovators and people who live a life of excellence.

We will continue to operate as a platform for sharing, but extended actively and deliberately into teaching and coaching. You can pose your questions, concerns and feedback and we will respond accordingly. Remember our mantra: Pay it forward. More to follow. Cheers.