The Man Box – Please View

Of all the Ted.com presentations I’ve seen over the years this is, without question, one of the most powerful. I encourage every man to watch this – especially men with children – Tony Porter speaks to Ted Women from his own experiences. He articulates clearly the conflict that many of us have as men.

Watch it, think about it, discuss.

The Power of Your Personal Brand

I’m reading Dan Scwabel’s book, Me 2.0. I’ve just started but it’s good with lots of info and good advice. The forward was written by William Arruda founder of Reach Communications and coauthor of Career Distinction. In it he says about the future of work in the US,

Your personal brand – and reputation – will be the true constant in this ultradynamic environment, where you must constantly demonstrate your value. It will enable you to attract opportunities that align with your skills, passions and strengths. And it will ensure that you have a career that is both rewarding and successful.

This is so true and not just in the positive as evidenced by a recent experience on mine. Recently I was approached by a colleague who asked for my assistance. He was developing a proposal for the creation of a professional services organization for a leader in the enterprise RSS space. This is a company that has the potential to achieve greatness if they can learn how to execute with current and future clients – some of whom are enormous. My colleague asked for my help to sanity check his proposal as well as to provide my insights into the company since I was employed there as a contract product manager for all individual end user products not long ago. I’m always happy to help so I dove in with him. While creating the plan my colleague asked me if I’d be interested in being the Practice Manager for the new professional services organization. I said that indeed I would be. He said he would propose it to the CEO of the company – a man I know and respect a great deal – and we’d see what we could do.

The next week I got the news that it was a non-starter. You see, when I was at this company before I made a significant mistake and let my pride and ego get in the way of good judgment and professionalism. In a moment of utter frustration I yelled at the CTO/Founder of the company and I did it in front of one of his staff. I apologized after but the damage was done and, as evidenced by my being rejected as a candidate for the Practice Manager role, the damage was irrevocable.

And that’s my message here. With the proliferation of social media it is incredibly simple to create and build a personal brand and reputation. But if one isn’t careful, the brand that’s built will hinder and not help one’s career. It doesn’t matter to the management team of the Enterprise RSS company that I was ashamed of my behavior and apologized and it doesn’t matter that I was telling the truth when I said what I said. Nor does it matter that I’ve grown personally and professionally and dealt with the personal demons that lead to my unprofessional behavior. The damage was done and the brand that I created in that moment is one that isn’t marketable to that company.

It really sucks because I have a great fondness for the company and the role would have been exciting and fun and I could have made a huge contribution. Don’t repeat my mistake – please get that every moment of every day you are building your brand and reputation. Be vigilant and make sure you’re building one that helps you.

Galactic Tweets

Yesterday NASA’s Mike Massimino, part of a seven person crew that left Cape Canaveral on a final maintenance mission to keep the Hubble Space Telescope in service until 2014, sent the first tweet from space. It read:

From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!

Just another way that mainstream entities are utilizing social media – in this case Twitter – to build and maintain relationships and enhance their brand. If NASA – not known for their agility and adoption of new ways of doing things – can figure out a way to use social media what’s stopping other entities? Fear? Sloth? Apathy?

I think it’s a lack of understanding and confusion about what exactly social media is, how to use it, which of the myriad applications to use and how to implement it and make it part of the culture. I think I detect a stream of blog posts coming on….

By the way, you can follow our intrepid astronaut – Mike Massimino – here Astro_Mike

3 Ways To Be Happy Here And Now

Gleb Reys over at the Personal Development Blog just posted a great article on three easy steps to being happy right here right now.

It’s a short read with some really great advice.

5 Steps to Positive Thinking

So I’ve been doing a lot of personal work lately trying to make myself a better me. One of the things I’ve been working hard on is removing the majority of the anger from my life. As part of this effort I’ve been reading a lot and listening to speakers talk about shifting thought patterns and thinking positively. I’ve run into similar info from many sources about changing ones thinking and basically there’s five steps to achieving positive thinking. They are:

Step 1: Decide to develop the habit of focusing on what’s right in your world instead of what’s wrong

This is the habit of focusing on what you have not what you don’t have

The way to develop this habit is to go on a mental diet where the challenge is to live 7 days without a single negative thought. This doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t have a negative thought it just means that when you do you don’t speak it – you set it aside, your forget about it or you replace it with a positive thought.

If you have a negative thought or utter a negative statement you catch yourself and say, “That’s not what I meant. What I really meant was …and then immediately focus on something good and positive.

Do not allow yourself to hold a negative thought for 7 straight days – even when it gets tough. When they come – and they will – you have to let go of them immediately.

If you’re 3 days in and slip up you have to start all over again.

Establish the habit of noticing what you do have vs. what you don’t have. Focus on what’s great about a situation vs. what’s not great. Focus on solutions not problems.

I’m going to ask my team at work to step up and commit to this and see what happens. I’m curious if anyone out there has tried this and what their results are.

Step 2: Instead of judging yourself and others decide right now to become curious instead of judgmental.

Remember when you find fault in other people when you start noticing constantly how they’ve wronged you, how this person is not good enough or too egotistical or too proud or they don’t really care about people – as soon as you start judging other people you’ve got to remember that you also start judging your self.

If you’re angry at other people there’s a very good chance you’re angry at yourself as well.

Perceive more and judge less. Instead of finding fault with other people without thinking about what they’ve gone through to get where they are this day, maybe you should get curious about what’s making this person be in the state they’re in.

Free yourself from the disease of making others wrong and you’ll free yourself from the disease of making yourself wrong. You’ll have a lot more energy for creating solutions instead of problems.

Chane the assumptions you usually make to questions that breed curiosity:

I wonder what…
I wonder why…

Step 3: Decide right now to find something to appreciate about any seeming negative person or situation and develop the habit of giving compliments.

If you really want to have more positive feelings in your life you have to keep focusing on what is right and not what is wrong. You have to get curious and most importantly you have to find something to appreciate even – especially – in the tough times. The toughest times in our lives often provide us with the resources we need to change our lives for the better.

Learn to be able to appreciate where you are right now.

Step 4: Decide NOT to be perfect.

If you expect to be perfect you’re going to be miserable because you’re human – you can’t and will never be perfect. You’re going to screw up. You’re going to make poor decisions, say things you shouldn’t say, do things you shouldn’t do and mess things up like you shouldn’t mess up. It’s reality.

When that happens, instead of being negative and beating yourself up – decide what you do want and say, “You know what? I’m not perfect but I am good and what makes me good and what makes me great and what can make me excellent is that as soon as I notice I’m not on track I correct it. I get better.”

Each day’s goal should be to be better than the day before but not perfect. That’s all anyone else can ask of you – to contribute more and to get better than the day before – and that’s all that you can ask of yourself.

If you do screw up and make a mistake – which you will – if you don’t make it out to be a major catastrophe it’s easier to bounce back. If you make every mistake you make a big huge deal eventually you’ll get so tired you won’t want to get back up. This is true of other people as well – if you make every mistake someone makes into a big huge deal eventually they’ll give up because it just isn’t worth it to try anymore because the downside is so severe.

The only way you fail is to quit. If you learn something and you expand from it and you make some new decisions that enhance your life and the people you care about then there is no failure – you have succeeded.

Step 5: Decide to have faith.
Positive thinking is really just the power of belief and faith is just powerful belief. As you believe so it is created. You need to create that feeling of certainty inside yourself. When the going gets tough, as it surely will, you have to have the courage to face your fears and to take action even though it might not work out. If you don’t that’s the only way you fail.

When the going get’s tough remember – this too shall pass.

You’ve made it through all the things you’ve made it through to get where you are and you’re still standing, still contributing, still moving forward. In this way you are already successful.

What are your thoughts about this post or the power of positive thinking in general?