Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leveraging Reflection for Creativity

So sure, in this age of e-everything, I guess I could simply download books, and I do (might escape reading is on my Kobo).  Except books on leadership and business need to be in my hands so that I can highlight them, post it note them, scan pages to send to people, fold corners and see the stack.  I love the colours, the images, the visual of these books in my yes, I like that they will come to me in the mail via Amazon or Indigo or any other means......I still order them online (satisfying my inner-geek) while still loving books.

This Summer has started on the right foot, with lots to learn, and lots to let go.  I feel that as I continue to develop (I am not saying 'age'), that I am more open to learning more about myself while I learn from others.  And books are the launching pad.  I have always loved to read and even more so today.  Even though I spend hours online and connected, the ability to touch a book, turn the pages and mark it up truly is relaxing and empowering at the same time.

Taking opportunities to work ON my business, I have enrolled in a great weekly session with like minded business leaders, and the push that I am getting to be more of myself is truly amazing.  As a leader I have felt that there are things that 'can't' or 'shouldn't' be as they may sway others away.....and lo and behold, I am finding the more of me that I am, the more I am enjoying my business, it's growth and the clients I am attracting.  Not only that, it gets easier...meaning that it is easy to be consistent, maintain my focus and share my ideas, because this creativity is leading me in new directions allowing me to let go and be disruptive, reflective and GROW.

Always having been creative, designing clothes way back in my past, I find it funny how things have come full circle in new ways.  By learning more about myself through the gifts of others wisdom, words and research, there seems to be more opportunity than obstacles to move forward.  I feel like I am at my most creative right now! And I can push it, stretch it and have a great time in this space.  The ah-ha moments are endless.  Can anyone tell me if this is part of being in your forties? 

Enough preaching about paper books and reflection and creativity, tell me what you are reading.  If you are looking for great summaries before you buy, download or read a leadership or business book, check out this link.

Right now, on the go, I have:

  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Daring. Greatly by Brene Brown
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  • The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley 
  • How People See You by Sally Hogshead
  • As well as my Fast Company Magazine and the escape stuff on my Kobo. 
What are you reading?  How do you find what to read next?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Brothers Who Write in the Age of E-readers

In the world are all type so people. I am intrigued by this who write. Mainly because, I want to...and I can't seem to sit still one enough to do it.  So until that happens, let me share with you 2 people in my life who have tackled this adventure and are well on their way.

Meet Ed Roach: the Branding Expert...his Amazon release 101 Branding Tips provides clearly focused messages that attack the many issues of branding.  Each page is a tip...simple....with many applications.  I loved the book and have given many copies to clients, colleagues and business associates because of the relevance and ease of use.  A great reference tool for any marketer's library.

Meet Chris Taylor: President Of Actionable Books....his story is out on Publicizer, called Beyond the Picket Fence, about living life on your own terms.  Chris is a Canadian living inSpain running a super business and living his dreams (taking many of us along for the ride!).  I can't wait until the book arrives in my mailbox - learning from the many authors, speakers and leadership guru Chris interviews, he has formulated a plan to do what he wants, when he wants while still delivering the 21st leadership message.

What is your big hairy audacious goal?  a BHAG in Jim Collins-speak!  These guys have figured out one and I am sure they are onto the next!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Embracing the Weird

Any marketer you speak with says you need to build your own unique brand.
In exercises with a business group over the last few weeks, I have been examining exactly what sets me apart from the rest.

I have a brand (I know, it's all over my website, my posts, my social media etc!) and now the challenge is to really own it - to use the unique and weird wonderful quirks that make me and my practice different.  The goal is to make sure that I am clear as my business evolves.

You have to know that in the world of noise at all levels and in all forms of media, we have to fight to be heard (and noticed, and remembered!).  This takes heart and heartiness - and the embracing of those oddities (to others!) and craziness (to my kids) that make me whole.

How do you figure this out?  How do you embrace the weird?  Do you see that vulnerability and confidence in your team?  Do you embrace the weird and wonderful  - for yourself, of your team and even beyond that -  in your kids...and the rest of the family?

Not an easy task - and it takes time to let the you come out.   Let it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Discovery in Action - the Mirror Test

Every now and again, we all need a reminder.
The reminder is to look in the mirror and really see what is staring back at you.
Due to the blessings of a few great relationships, and some honest conversations, I have remembered to look in the mirror.
And it is at the right time too!
This time of year is when I review my progress - personally and professionally.
I also use this time of year to reset my goals, and start to plan out next year - great to dream in the Summer!

Here is what I have discovered & started to do: (simply because discovery means nothing without action):

  1. I discovered that I had not accelerated my own personal development at a rate faster than what I expect of my clients.  What have I started:  to read, read & read some more - this enhances my learning, I love to read, and I am much more in tune with finding even better nuggets to share with my clients. (currently reading 3 books at a time on different subject matters, along with book summaries that help me choose where I should dig in)
  2. I discovered that I need to update my website.  What have I started:  complete review of the site, including a audit by a few trusted advisors.
  3. I discovered that I was waiting.  What have I started:  taking control and getting involved in pushing myself further and eliminating the 'stuck' in my business and personal life.
  4. I have discovered the ebb & flow to my business.  What have I started:  to review and analyze the next 6-18 months so that the ebb becomes an extremely small proportion in the ebb & flow of business.
  5. I have discovered new tools.  What I have started:  I consolidated the tech tools and cloud solutions that I was using to become even more efficient.  (at 95% complete on this one!)
  6. I have rediscovered my love of creation.  What have a started:  to capture my ideas in a better format and bounce them around right away with others - their advice is invaluable.
It's that mirror.  It makes us think. I like that unicorn.  Especially the badass part.
We can get so caught up in the everyday and every one else that we forget about ourselves.  
Look in that mirror and do a check.
Who is looking back at you?
What are you doing that you want to do?
What are you doing that you don't want to do?
What dream are you putting off?

If you cannot find those answers alone or they are all jumbled up in your mirror, let me know - I can help you sort that out.