Sunday, January 17, 2016

Racing To Decide

Decisions can be hard to make. Yet, we still have to make it.

We make decisions about our career, choice of work, relationships, finances, lifestyle, beliefs, and levels of comfort. Without deciding, we may be unable to progress further and employ leadership values like discernment and diligence. A clear goal (SMART) directs us to purposeful actions, and therefore, the investment of focused and guided effort.

When I left full-time employment to pursue my dream of being an independent corporate-trainer, I had to decide after making intense preparations. I had to completes my tertiary education (my first degree), hone my skill-sets and develop my expertise and confidence over-6 countries. Each decision led to more preparatory work and applications. I had to decide to make a bunch of mistakes to engage my penchant for success and failures. The fear of success is as jeopardising as the fear of failure.

Mental conditioning - learning how to develop patience, tenacity, endurance, persistence, perseverence - is as important in the decision-making process. We train our brain to visualise the future, imagine, recall key information, gain insights, develop foresight, and prepare for unpredictable events and opportunities. 

Some decisions are born of dreams, desires and wants. However, each is different in type, relevance and approach. By identifying what these are, and determining how important each is - we can begin be decisive of how we spend our time and expend our resources.

When I started running marathons, the Boston Marathon was not on my list. It was not even on my Bucket List. Subsequently, after many years of training and excelling in the 42.195km (26.2 miles) running format, I decided to challenge myself to earn a Boston Qualifier (BQ). My first BQ in 2011 led to more focused training. A second and third BQ in 2013 and 2015, respectively led to completing the Boston Marathon (Boston Strong) in 2014, and my next attempt will be on 18 April this year. Essentially, one decision led to another, buoyed by action (strategic training) and measurements.

Which leads me to ask myself: Which are my main races and expectations for this year? I may need a beverage to consider this? What will it be?
Leadership Lessons: Learn to decide: snap it (fast) or deliberate over it (slower). Do it by yourself. Do it with a team. Learn to agree. Know when to disagree. Above all, take action after deciding.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ruminations and Reflections

My latest acquisition: Small guy but he packs a wallop with his weapon - his Mind.
Be a Master of my life and events. Achieve and apply excellence in whatever I do.

These are some thoughts and actions for this year. No resolutions - as I don't believe in them. I am goal-orientated, and have found from my experience that these work better than wishful thinking or empty dreaming.

My Boston Marathon training is coming on, purposefully and progressively. I am into my third week, and have been capturing my workouts on Facebook for my friends and students to access. This evening, I ran a half-marathon distance in 1 hour and 49 minutes, 3-4 minute faster than I projected in my last 19km run three days ago. Each workout gives a 'sense', intuitively and scientifically, on how to approach the next. 

After this evening's 21km run.
Analytical thinking has consumed my mind for the past fortnight. I attribute it to my time spent with magicians recently. I have begun performing again for selected audiences, and resumed my study into the Magical Arts (not the dark type, as I am a good Jedi). I have begun dissecting illusions in print or production, and appreciated the thinking and motivation behind the creator. I have also begun practising and rehearsing specific routines for my commercial acts in 2016.

Like theatrical magic, I enjoy movie magic. I enjoyed 'The Force Awakens' and will watch it again on Wednesday. I am intrigued by the script, hidden 'Easter Eggs' and uncredited actors. Did you know Daniel Craig and a leading character from 'Game of Thrones' had bit parts in the new installment? What is more interesting are the various theories of who Rey is. I know that 'Rey' is gleaned from the English actress, Daisy Ridley. Ridley contains 'Rey'. Coincidence - I think not!

More theories abound, and we shall expound on them later. Isn't part of leadership about applying critical thinking, insights, foresights, hindsights and listening to perspectives (without judgement)?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Year of Focused Discipline

I will begin this year's post on what is, oddly, an unusual theme: Discipline.

My goals for this year are to apply focused discipline, so as to deliberately realign my efforts to wards purposeful use of my efforts. How we spend our efforts - with a mindful goal - may then translate into results. The use of discipline can reduce inefficiencies, increase our professionalism and enhance our credibility.

Discipline need not be a painful thing. It can be reframed as being more structured, more organised, committing to goals, learning new things, doing new things, and doing what needs to be done. In terms of behaviors, it may mean committing to sleeping earlier, spending less time on social media, reading a few more books, doing in-depth research for a report, rehearsing more before a presentation, or eating better. It can be, as simple as, finishing what you began.

By focus, I will magnify the important, details, and the overlooked. I will pay heed to risks, pay attention to others, pay homage to those who need recognition, and paying it forward. It means using my three sights more: insight, hindsight and foresight. It may require that I use different lenses to identify perspectives, and consider then when making decisions.

Leadership Lessons: Awaken your leader within you - be it within your industry, business, community, profession and in your own consciousness and awareness. Be focused in how you sensibly treat others and influence them.

Have a splendid year ahead!