The Power of Forgiveness & Accountability

The Power of Forgiveness & Accountability

Our priorities frequently become scattered and filled with conflict, as we try to juggle too much at once. I discovered that by choosing a single life’s goal, that of sharing, or giving or being of service, I’ve become better able to focus my energies and priorities. This in turn has enabled me to find true lasting fulfillment in all I do.

This ability required a major shift in consciousness from hyper critically judging the outcomes of life, to observing and accepting them, even when people were not kind.

One of the greatest sages of all time said: “What good is in loving those that love you? Where’s the gain in that? Love your enemies as you love yourself”.

What is the meaning of this? If we start by loving and accepting people, vs. judging them, it will become more and more apparent that “other people” do not have to change for us to experience fulfillment.

This also requires being able to forgive people, and yes that includes being able to forgive yourself.

Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness isn’t what we perceive with our limited five senses, it isn’t what religion teaches that we have the power to forgive other’s wrongdoing. What makes us better than the person we are to forgive? What empowers us to forgive them, as we know forgiveness to be? Even if we did have such a power, the purpose of forgiveness is not about the other person.

Forgiveness is about taking responsibility for our feelings, our reaction to how others may have wronged us; forgiveness is removing the blame for our own feelings from others. It is no longer blaming another person for our own reactions.

“When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from the power you have given to them over you.”

Forgiveness is really about recognizing in ourselves the opportunities for improvements, it is realizing that others who push our buttons are actually performing a great thing for our own good.

When you look into a mirror and you see a scar, do you blame the mirror? Do you say, I hate you mirror for causing the scar? All the mirror has done is given you a chance to see what is a part of you, the mirror is just the messenger.

Often people who seem to wrong us, push our buttons, challenge us, they are messengers unknowingly helping us recognize where we need to transform.

“What bothers you about others is true about yourself. You can’t recognize in someone what you are not.”

Choice

Sometimes we become so busy with life and complications that may have resulted from choices that didn’t go as planned, and it’s easy in these moments to believe that we don’t have choices.

This belief is also a choice we are making. Everything we do is a choice. No one is a victim, but there are some simple questions to ask yourself to identify if you are choosing love or fear.

These are the questions you can ask yourself:

  1. Do I choose to find ways to love, or find faults in others?
  2. Do I choose to be a giver, or a taker?
  3. Do I express gratitude, or do I complain?
  4. Do I seek collaboration, or control?
  5. Do I encourage opinions and vulnerability, or do I avoid intimacy and relationships?
  6. Do I act worthy, or do I settle for mediocrity?
  7. Do I believe in myself, or do I let doubts kill the warrior inside of me?

We are what we believe. We are always either expressing love or fear.”

Fear and love cannot be experienced at the same time. By choosing to love more often than to fear, we can change the nature and quality of our relationships in our lives.

A man seeking inner peace once asked Mother Theresa if he could fly with her on her way to Mexico City, with a gentle smile, she replied: “I would have no objection about your joining me, but since you said you wanted to learn about inner peace, I think you would learn more about inner peace if you would find out how much it costs to fly to Mexico City and back, and give that money to the poor”. What a powerful lesson in giving and receiving.

In order to receive, we must give. In order to be loved, we must first love; in order to be rich, we must first enrich others. Our ability to find love or anything we desire is in our ability to create an opportunity for such a thing to enter our lives. We create luck, we create love, we create happiness, we create peace, we do it all by sharing it with others first.

Next time you blame your mother, father, upbringing, your job, your wife, husband, your children for your problems, think: Is it my ego excusing me from taking responsibility for where I am, so I don’t have to do anything about it? Am I really just trying to avoid the real work I have to do to overcome the problems I have? Is the past just a way to excuse the work I need to do towards the future? I am avoiding being accountable for my own life?

I found fulfillment in my life when I became accountable for it, when I stopped blaming circumstances which I was in, due to my choices. I found fulfillment when I traded in my victim card, with the “I am the captain of my own fate” card.

The first step towards lasting fulfillment is to fully own and acknowledge that you are the captain of your fate, the creator of your reality, and you have the power to direct your life however you want.

The second step is to forgive those who have wronged you, including yourself. In other words, set yourself free from the power you’ve given away to others by playing the victim.

You are the captain of your fate and the director of your life. You and only you. When you accept this fully, you become powerfully unstoppable, fully accountable for your destiny.

The Future of Work Is Purpose Driven

The Future of Work Is Purpose Driven

Customer experience has become a top focus in recent years for most companies. It’s no longer a build it and they will come world. Consumers want memorable experiences.

How people relate with the world around them can have significant implications on how a company serves them.

With the volume and different types of data we have available today companies can run more sophisticated analysis in more granular ways.

The rich data available can help a company offer personalized experiences based on individual needs and preferences.

What about the employee experience with the company? What are companies doing to create memorable experiences for the people who make it all possible?

How are companies using employee data to better serve them? Does your company operate from a mindset of making the employee’s life better, alongside that of the customer?

The Employee Experience

Companies have evolved in their ability to gather input from consumers by means of many social media channels today, but how well are they gathering input from employees?

“Most companies are still operating from a command and control paradigm focused on getting output from employees, instead of input”

The conflict between the demands of the present and the requirements of the future lies at the heart of why a shift in how we work is needed for at least three reasons:

  1. The environment is which tomorrow’s success will be earned, is likely to be quite different from the environment that confronts organizations today
  2. To succeed in the new environment of tomorrow, organizations must undergo significant and radical change
  3. Adapting to change places and extremely heavy burden on the leaders of any organization, but more so in command and control environments

Winning in the marketplace is heavily influenced by how well an organization makes and executes its choices, around the customer needs.

Customer needs are always changing and evolving. It has become commonplace to note that one of the hallmarks of today is change. Change is our constant.

Flexibility and quickness counts as much as vision and strategy.

Flexibility inside, enables flexibility outside of the company. When people feel their needs are being met, they will be more open to adapt to change to better serve the needs of customers.

Empathy is becoming a strategic weapon to not only understanding the needs of people within the company but adapting to those needs.

“Whether you are a B2B or B2C company is irrelevant because the customers are people. Companies need to evolve to the people-to-people business”

Major corporations have economic platforms that are as large as some national economies, yet most executives and scholars think of them as firms to be managed with centralized controls.

Moving resources about like a portfolio of investments, dictating which units should sell which product at which prices, and setting financial goals.

Becoming Purpose Driven

Today’s and tomorrow’s corporations are becoming more and more automated and mobilized, and so are people. Mobilization means more choices, more freedom, and more innovation, if you know how to make use of it.

Rather than the traditional organization of permanent employees working 9–5 within the fixed confines of some building, the future of work will be comprised of a virtual organization made up of people who work together from anywhere, focused on a common purpose.

This future of work movement is almost as if robust ivy were growing over a building, destroying its aging mortar and old bricks, and leaving only the vine as a supporting structure.

“The replacement of hierarchies to social enterprise models is needed in today and tomorrow’s corporations in order to meet the needs of people.”

People are customers, and people are employees, and both don’t want to be commanded or feel like they are owned like property.

Leaders can best prepare for this by learning to make a mental shift from hierarchy to enterprise. Shift from managing to leading. Shift from controlling to serving. Shift from command to shared authority.

We are witnessing not only a dramatic increase in the need for emotionally intelligent leadership but also a transformation in what we call leadership.

We need to change where and how leadership is practiced.

For example, by collapsing hierarchies you can respond to faster-paced markets and push decision making further and further down into the organization.

There are many technologies that are enabling customer personalization, such as AI, but the real advancement will only come from a shift of context.

The context shift is to move from organizations serving the needs of the masses, to people serving the needs of people.

Nonhierarchical companies also mean that most of us will have to be across more functions and be sitting on more project teams throughout our careers.

This will create more learning, more expansion, more experience and more engagement, translating to more loyal employees.

Part of the challenges moving in this direction stems from the education system which was built on the assembly line concept, to support command and control hierarchy.

“Traditional hierarchy will not serve the needs of the future — it’s too limiting. The relationship of skilled workers needs to change and be organized around a purpose, instead of an organization.”

Supporting a purpose allows you to accomplish great things without needing to worry about the next project. This approach to work will give birth to an explosion of independent contractors, freelancers, and flexible alliances. This is already happening.

The Shared Authority Enterprise

The consumer pyramid has been turned upside down. The boss is the consumer. The next step in this evolution towards a purpose driven economy, is to turn the pyramid upside down inside the company.

“The future of work is to be in the people-to-people business”

In today’s and future Fortune 500 companies that have grown so large and complex, there is an accelerated need to move toward decentralization and autonomous co-management structures.

Co-managed teams can be treated as internal markets. Most people initially resist the internal markets viewpoint because it breaks so sharply from the traditional hierarchy. This concept represents a different mode of organizational logic needed to thrive in a world where people come first.

Rather than think of organizational units as divisions, departments, and other traditional hierarchical concepts, the logic of internal markets re-conceptualizes how we work.

The internal enterprise can provide the advantages of free markets. Internal enterprises become accountable to performance in return for freedom of operations.

This shift in how we will work, does not change the need for hierarchy, but it does remove the need for one person to be in charge. The command and control paradigm we’ve been operating under for far too long, gets replaced with shared authority models.

In a shared authority model of work, hierarchy happens organically, and by selection of the people those leaders are willing to serve.

In a purpose driven organization, I could be the leader for accomplishing a set goal, or purpose for a period time, and someone else can step into that role for another.

The team shares the accountability and decides who will lead that can best meet the needs at that given moment in time.

The need for bosses, or control becomes obsolete in a purpose driven — people to people business.

“In a shared authority purpose driven company everyone is accountable to each other and everyone acts as an owner.”

Oddly enough in a command and control world, one person has to keep tabs on everyone, people can and often do find ways to hide out, and coast while making little to no positive contributions to the organization.

In a shared authority purpose driven company, there is no hiding out. With the immense freedom of operations, comes the need to act as mature adults and contribute ongoing to the success of the team.

Sharing authority creates unity, and unity enables teams to accomplish great things in record time.

Companies operating under the old command and control way of doing things struggle to organize internally to best serve their customers.

Purpose driven companies with shared authority based co-managed teams, have strong internal alignment. That kind of unity enables them to succeed at anything they decide to focus on.

The future of work of purpose driven enterprises not only benefits the people, but it makes sound business sense that will give companies a significant competitive advantage.

Happiness Is Key to the Success of Your Business

Happiness Is Key to the Success of Your Business

Productivity enhances a person’s sense of self-worth, self-esteem, accomplishment and need to make a difference. Being productive isn’t just about getting things done, it is an essential human need, which fulfills our desire to be co-creators of the reality around us.

The ability to co-create in turn enables one’s happiness, and happiness attracts success in every aspect of life, including wealth. Often, we reach a crossroad in business and in life where we begin to have fears, most of the time evolving around thought patterns such as:

Can I do this? What if I fail? I don’t think I have what it takes. What will others think? How will this impact my future? How will this impact my family? What if I don’t have what it takes?

These fears have nothing to do with the actual reasoning going on in the mind. These are simply the chatter monkeys in the brain, we all have them.

Most people think that what we fear is failure, but I am here to make an argument for the opposite. We fear becoming a success or becoming “the go to” person.

Why would anyone fear becoming successful?

Because when you become that person, there is no turning back. You have to be willing to take criticism, which is where you learn a great deal about yourself. You will get a lot of compliments too, which can be a slippery slope in making you think you can stop growing.

Balancing knowing you are amazing with humility and acknowledging that everyone is amazing too, is important but it is also equally important to realize that all you can ever accomplish is on loan to you from the Universe, to manage accordingly.

Most truly successful people exude gratitude and know that they are channels in this world, ambassadors of Light.

“Without gratitude, happiness will only be short-lived.”

Gratitude is the first guiding principle that drives us to give back, without it, it would be like building a house without a foundation — it will hold up only until the storm hits.

The fear that often kicks in, is in our ability to be a channel of such a Light in the world. It’s a big responsibility to step into that role.

Many people fear being successful, becoming who they are meant to be, not failing. Besides, failing is not such a bad thing, especially when you realize what it really is.

“Failure is just another learned ineffective approach towards your success .”

If science was scared of failing, we would have made no advancements at all; science finds solutions in the process of discovery through elimination.

“Failure is built into the success equation of science, and it should be no different in life, and in business.”

 

Happiness Is A Choice

Whatever the challenges, whatever the circumstances it is critical to choose to be happy in whatever process you are in. Your ultimate success towards your chosen path of productivity focused on generating values for others, depends on you making this conscious choice day in and day out.

Your business mindset needs to be powered by happiness. Why? A study about gamblers discovered that those who were the happiest won the most money.

“Happiness is a magnet for success, no matter how challenging a situation is, you can still choose to be happy.”

Be happy to be engaged in productive value creating work, and in turn this will attract the right staff, the right customers, and ultimately wealth.

“Truly wealthy people are not happy because they are wealthy, they are wealthy because they are happy”.

Wealth is not just defined by money, because the currency of wealth includes, health, family, friendship, love, understanding, compassion, self-esteem, happiness, money, and time.

“True wealth is multidimensional, it’s in living richly in every aspect of life.”

Today many companies have the idea that they can create happiness by providing employees with fun perks, free lunches and dinners, and flexible work schedules, great benefits, and good pay.

All these things are great, and important, but let’s be honest, they are designed to help companies compete for talent, they are not designed with the employee’s fundamental needs in mind.

What are the fundamental needs to be happy?

Productive work is the foundation for all abiding happiness. The ability to co-create enables one’s happiness, therefore you need to engage employees to honestly tell you what it means to them personally to co-create.

Why is happiness so important in business?

Seven Reasons Happiness Is Key to the Success of a Business

  1. Happy customers and employees talk to more people about their positive experience
  2. Unhappy customers and employees talk to the most people about their negative experience
  3. Happy customers become repeat customers
  4. Happy customers will gladly pay more for the better experience
  5. Happy customers and employees are very loyal
  6. Happy customers and employees will drive your marketing for you, through social media and word of mouth
  7. Happy employees are more productive, creative, innovative, open to change, loyal, and profitable

 

The Pillars of Happiness

(According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA) 2007)

  1. Autonomy

Feeling in control of one’s surroundings, understanding one’s own resilience, and feeling of empowerment.

  1. Competence

Confidence in one’s abilities, knowing one’s strength’s, feedback from others on one’s performance, learning and growing skills, self-actualization and doing meaningful work.

  1. Relatedness

Interacting with others, connecting with people and connecting people, giving to others/being generous, feeling loved, emotional security, acknowledgement and support (mentorship and volunteering).

  1. Self-esteem

Your natural confidence level, something you can work on through cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, self-realization, spirituality. It cannot be influenced from the outside world.

 

Five ways to create feelings of autonomy both with your employees and customers

  1. Give people tools to personalize their experiences
  2. Build tools that democratize previously inaccessible industries
  3. Offer clear and attractive choices
  4. Be open and transparent
  5. Don’t lock people in

 

Five ways to increase feelings of competence both with your employees and customers

  1. Create simple entry point to more complex systems
  2. Allow ways for mentors to interact with newbies (create rewards)
  3. Build consecutive levels of achievement into the experience
  4. Plant ‘Easter eggs’
  5. Don’t talk down to your customer or employees (never do it)

 

Five ways to increase relatedness both with your employees and customers

  1. Build-in multiple ways to interact; social media is perfect for this
  2. Have many collaborative experiences
  3. Create simple ways for customers and employees to share with a friend
  4. Design for generosity, give back to the community not just money, but time. This involves both employees and customers
  5. Create online/offline meeting experiences; again, social media is perfect to enable this

 

Five ways to increase self-esteem within your employees

  1. Put an emphasis on positive achievements, and reward calculated risk taking
  2. Set reachable goals by having them participate in the process of setting goals
  3. Be ok to open criticism as a leader, in order to enable employees to see it as part of the culture instead of taking constructive criticism personally
  4. Assist in handling workplace pressure by encouraging mindful meditation, yoga, exercise, and better nutrition, but don’t make rules about it
  5. Provide training on leadership to all employees, not just managers, the more a person learns about leadership principles, the more they will develop self-esteem

“True happiness is tied to freedom. Freedom and happiness are intertwined.”

In a famous 1976 experiment, psychologists in Connecticut gave residents on one floor of a nursing home the freedom to decide which night of the week would be “movie night,” as well as the freedom to choose and care for the plants on their floor.

On another floor of the same nursing home, residents did not receive these choices and responsibilities. The first group of residents quickly showed greater alertness, more activity, and better mood and a year later their mortality rate was half of the residents on the other floor.

In the end what people really want is freedom to pursue being fulfilled. Fulfillment is the ultimate happiness. Give people the freedom to add value on their own terms, to make mistakes and grow, and see the kind of magic previously unimaginable your company will create.

Eight Ways to Adopt Radical Innovation

Eight Ways to Adopt Radical Innovation

As each of us make progress in our careers and lives we learn all kinds of ways to doing things. We learn to apply best practices and processes that often serve to help us avoid risks and do things right.

At the heart of true innovation, however, is the need to continually birth new ideas, and new ways of doing things. That’s accomplished by having a practice of self-reflection and challenging the status quo on an ongoing basis.

Is it enough to adopt best practices in your everyday business processes? Do they always work? What about innovation, how does it get applied if the focus is on best practices? What’s the difference between doing things right and doing things great? Don’t you have to do things right to accomplish great things?

“Doing things right is all about following a process, and procedures that have been well established. Doing things great is what turns ordinary companies into innovative leaders, who shape markets, and sometimes create completely new market opportunities.”

At some point every company that wishes to continue to stand out in the market has to ask this simple question: How do I avoid being another dime a dozen company? That question is usually followed by more questions:

How do I shape and own a segment of the market? How do I create new market opportunities? Who do I want participating along with me in those new markets, and why? What kind of culture do I want to create and sustain and why?

Radical Innovation

Innovation is born out of the willingness to discard old ways of thinking and doing things and exploring entirely new ways of seeing and exploring reality.

Innovative leaders use creative problem solving to achieve the new vision of the future. Radical innovation requires creativity, courage, and the ability to synthesize information in novel, bold and unusual ways.

Innovative companies tend to have customers, and employees who appreciate the values the company is putting forward in the market, and the world. They are focused on building communities of like mined people.

Radically innovative companies are groups of individuals who dare to not only challenge the status quo but are willing to write the new pages of history.

They question everything. They are passionate. They are emotionally charged. They have courage. They are fearless, and they speak their minds. They tap into a stream of consciousness that focus on universal values.

How do you shift your way of thinking to become a radical innovator? Here are eight simple ways that can contribute to shifting your mindset from just doing things right, to doing things great.

1. Focus on Details

If you are a skimmer you cannot tap into the energy of a market maker because you won’t be able to catch the gaps in thinking others have made. There are incredible opportunities waiting to be discovered in the gaps of the market that have yet to be fulfilled.

Pay attention to the finer details, question the approach to everything — from a place of truly caring about the collective of all involved. Your consciousness must be focused on creating universal values. It’s not about you.

Challenge your peers, your boss, and your company to become better. Not just better for you, but better for the sake of being a great company, a great team of people focused on accomplishing the goal of creating universal values.

If this kind of thinking isn’t welcomed where you are, you might just have to move on to a company that really values innovation or start your own.

2. Have Certainty

If you are the kind of person who finds faults by nature in others, you might be operating from the framework of being focused on doing things right instead of opening yourself to finding ways to do things great.

“When you stop fault finding you discover a self-power that gives you certainty in all you do.”

Certainty makes you turn the impossible into I am possible. It’s natural to find faults, to complain, to find every reason why something is broken; sadly, it comes from an animalistic consciousness based on survival that assumes you don’t need to take responsibility for anything, as long as you find fault in something, or someone.”

You want to be sure of where you are heading? Stop blaming things outside of yourself for what is happening around you. Be in control of your fate.

“Be the cause of change, not part of the reason for why change is needed.”

3. Lead from the Heart

The best innovative leaders first learn how to follow. As a leader you will always be a follower because you will follow a set of principles, beliefs, or a vision.

You can’t lead if you don’t know how to follow. The best followers also make the best leaders worth following.

“If you want to become an innovative leader, a market maker, first practice being a really good follower.”

4. Expect Greatness

It’s one thing expecting greatness from others because you have the power to, if you are “the boss”, it’s another because you care about the individual’s well-being and growth.

If you don’t care about people’s success deeply, you can’t expect them to care about yours. This also applies with clients.

Helping clients win is a calling, not a job. If you have difficulty caring about anyone but yourself, get some therapy or better yet volunteer.

Volunteering helps you develop the “care about others” muscle and expands your capacity for compassion and understanding, the reward is also increased emotional intelligence.

5. Make People’s Lives Easier

Make your employee’s life easier, your client’s life easier. If you put people in a place where you got a good deal out of it, but they did not, you can’t become great that way. Being great isn’t about being self-serving, and it isn’t about self-sacrifice either.

Forget operating from a win-win perspective, it’s limiting. You want to operate from a giving state of being, a sharing for the sake of the betterment of humanity’s perspective. It’s bigger than winning, it’s about fulfillment, both yours and that of those receiving from you.

“When others gain value from you, you receive positive energy from the experience that can be applied to accomplishing great things.”

6. Serve Others

Serving others is simple when all you can think of is how to be a giving leader, however it also means knowing when to let people fall, pushing them along to discover things about themselves they need to see to grow.

Have the courage to call people out when they are being either robotic about following procedures, or they are simply not paying attention to details.

When it comes to clients, this also means at times being able to walk away from those who are not well engaged with you. Every relationship has to be cyclical and serve the needs of both parties.

7. Make Time for Yourself

Stop and smell the roses, the coffee, or whatever works for you. Make time to sit still. Turn off your phone, pc/mac, and think, meditate, and journey within your thoughts and ideas.

Find something that brings you joy, and do it often to recharge your batteries, and to maintain perspective on life.

Your ability to do things great is tied to being in your greatest most optimal frame of mind. Take time for you to do something that is fun for no reason at all, other than your own well-being.

8. Be Present and Authentic

Be authentic, honest, and caring for other’s success. Certainty is not a mental exercise — its connected to the heart and it only works when you are present and in a state of authenticity.

How does one become present?

There are books upon books that discuss this — I will share my own experience with you of what has worked for me.

Give back, go do something for a charity where you have nothing at all to gain from it. You’ll discover how that can contribute to developing certainty, if you have not done so already. When you are focused on others, you receive energy that empowers you to tap into a stream of consciousness full of ideas, even dare I say magic.

Some things you can’t learn reading about them, some things you have to experience. I’ve learned that when I am of service, I am most present. I wish for you to discover what works for you, if you have not done so already.

We are All Unique

When you are present you can hear, feel, and see what’s happening around you and you can begin to sense what’s needed to differentiate yourself in the market, but more importantly you’ll see the gaps to provide universal values.

This does not take away the need for market knowledge, analytics, and the standard block and tackle of having a compelling strategy, however being present allows you to quickly swift through the noise and uncover the gems that can make your company great.

Always ask yourself if there is a better way that can leapfrog your company forward vs. just move you along. This isn’t an exercise done annually or quarterly, this is a state of consciousness you want everyone to embody every day.

Dime a dozen companies are always playing catch up with competitors. Market leaders set new standards others emulate.

“Market leaders focus on doing things great and aren’t afraid to be disruptive.”

The key to radical innovation thinking is that you must believe there is a way to leapfrog the competition, the way you serve clients, and the way you go about managing your market. It’s not about discovering it, its’ about stepping into it. That’s the mindset of an innovator.

Finally, if I leave you with nothing else today, it’s this one idea that will serve you for many years to come.

“You will always tap into certainty when your actions are tied to authentically wanting to improve people’s lives.”

Break a process, test if there is a better way, get creative in how you go about solving problems and finding solutions, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

“Nothing truly exciting happens in life, until you go beyond your level of comfort. Want to do great things? Embrace living in the grey where the magic happens.”

Does this mean get rid of the black and white processes necessary for order? No. It’s about striking a balance between getting comfortable with the status quo that works, and proactively stepping outside of it to continually evolve and thrive.

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