Wisdom: Smiles Wherever or Whenever

Wisdom Smiles Wherever or Whenever - Pathmaker Blog“Some generate happiness wherever they go. Others generate it whenever they go!

I would think that most people, at least if they are like me, would rather generate happiness wherever they go rather than whenever they go! And, in the business world, this is an especially important differential. Whether it be clients, staff, or cohorts, if you only generate happiness whenever you go you have a real problem that demands immediate attention!

The first challenge in addressing this is, of course, is determining if people look forward more to having you walk into a room or walk out. To determine if people do, in fact, dread to see you coming look for the following telltale signs:

  • Do people become surprisingly quiet when you walk in?
  • Do you notice that when you walk in others invariably walk out?
  • Do smiles seem to mysteriously disappear when you are around?

If you answered “yes” to even one of these, you need to work on your office-place demeanor!

If you actually care what others think about you, your next task is to determine why others are less than thrilled when you are around. The most obvious way, of course, is to ask someone – but that is not always the easiest. For the sake of our discussion, let’s suppose that you are able to locate someone who is brutally honest and shares all of your foibles – you will then find yourself at the next step:  Accepting that you need to change!

Unfortunately many who generate smiles whenever they leave tend to live denying the fact that there is a problem. Once this hurdle is conquered the next step is to go about making the suggested changes. No doubt about it, this may take a good deal of time and an even greater amount of effort. It is not impossible to change when you bring smiles, but it won’t happen on its own, either!

Please like & share this blog post:

Wisdom Chapter 1: Honesty

Wisdom Chapter 1 Honesty - Pathmaker Blog“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

In an era when there is such a lack of honesty on almost every level of society, it is time that we take a moment and ponder what, exactly, Thomas Jefferson is sharing with us here. While honesty and integrity are integral parts of a person’s very being, the execution of honesty is more than just advisable – it is also a pragmatic approach to life!

When you are involved in business, it is vitally important that you understand that true wisdom mandates that you are always to be honest. One of the expressions that PATHMAKER very often uses to make this point is, “No secrets, no surprises.” This is true whether we are dealing with each other in-house, or if we are dealing with our clients.

One of the most important keys here is the fact that, generally speaking, people are quick to forgive us our frailties. If we are going to miss a deadline; forgot to do an assigned task; or overlooked an important aspect of our assignment we generally can be forgiven. That doesn’t, of course, mean that there won’t be ramifications because of it – possibly even negative ones, but we will undoubtedly be forgiven. However, if we are less than honest and try to cover up our problems, we fall victim to yet another famous quote, this one by Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

Please like & share this blog post:

WARNING: Dates on the Calendar are closer than they appear!

WARNING Dates on the Calendar are closer than they appear - Pathmaker BlogOne of the most disastrous things that can happen to a business person is to put a “due date” on their calendar for a project to be completed a couple of months down the road and then not re-visit that page of their calendar until it is to late to meet the deadline they had written down! The question at hand, then, is how does one ensure that this doesn’t happen to them?

The answer is not particularly complicated, nor does it particularly take a genius to figure it out: The key is to break the project down into accomplishable tasks and put each one of those on your calendar as well! This serves several purposes:

  • Makes you evaluate the project immediately.
  • Allows you to accomplish tasks on an on-going basis.
  • Allow you to discover if there might be complications before it is too late.
  • Makes you re-visit the project frequently.

As most anyone will tell you, the older you get the quicker time goes by, meaning that “Dates on the calendar are closer than they appear” is not a joke but a solemn reality!

Please like & share this blog post:

You can’t make everyone happy so concentrate on me!

You can’t make everyone happy so concentrate on me - Pathmaker BlogYou might find that a little giggle escapes when you read this – I know one did when I read it!  The thing is, if you think about it, this sentiment can be anything but funny.

For example, if you find yourself working in a situation where you have several bosses and each and every one of them has this outlook on life, you will undoubtedly have a lot of confusion in your work life! And, no one should be subjected to that kind of pressure!

As you have undoubtedly surmised, this is a sentiment of someone who is a little on the selfish, self-centered side to say the very least! And, more often than not, that type of individual is not one who is highly respected among their colleagues and subordinates. Which brings us to the crux of this issue – are you one of those who adhere to this philosophy? If so, especially if you are in a management role, you need to consider what the ramifications are on those around you are when you employ this attitude!

Undoubtedly this little blurb is not going to cause you to change your complete personality and outlook on life. Hopefully, however, it will help you understand your responsibility to those who work for you/with you, and will allow you to view your outlook from a different perspective. As you may already know, and have been probably been told, the world doesn’t revolve around you, nor should you expect it to!

Please like & share this blog post:

“The Early Bird gets the Worm, but the Early Worm gets Eaten!”

The early Bird gets the Worm, but the early Worm gets eaten - Pathmaker BlogWhen it comes to “being early,” renown NFL coach Vince Lombardi had one of the better quotes, “If you aren’t ten minutes early you are late.” While time is one of our most valuable commodities, being punctual certainly is a virtue that we all need to not only strive for, but also actually achieve!

Without a doubt, timing is everything and “being first” is, more often than not, a great advantage. However, this can be nullified under certain conditions, as in the case of our Point to Ponder. The time that it isn’t advantageous to be first, in life or in business, is if you have not done proper due diligence.  For example, being the first worm can be in a life dangering situation if he doesn’t do his due diligence and see if, in fact, there are any birds present! If a business neglects to do their due diligence they may find that being the leader of the pack can be costly and maybe even devastating. For example, if you are in an area that has no car wash in a ten-mile radius you might think it to be a great move to be the first one to build one and plunge full steam ahead to do so. However, here are several things you may want to consider before you make that plunge:

  • Will you be able to get enough water to run the car wash under city ordinances?
  • Is there enough sewage capability to handle the used water?
  • Will traffic parameters over-tax the streets/highways?

As you can see, being first isn’t always the key to success. Do your due diligence, ensuring that you will be the early bird, and not the early worm!

Please like & share this blog post:

“I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you”

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you - Pathmaker BlogOne of the more exasperated phrases you here at any work place may very well be, “I’ve told him over and over and he still doesn’t get it!” That, of course, leads one to say, “I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you!” The question becomes, I suppose, what can be done to ensure that understanding takes place? Or, why isn’t the person receiving the explanation “catching on?” And, some of  the answers may surprise you!

The Person doing the Explaining doesn’t really Understand the Situation Themselves

Paraphrased “the blind leading the blind,” confusion exists because there truly is a lack of understanding all the way around.

The Person doing the Explaining understands the Situation too well

Frequently we often have such a good grasp of an issue, especially its deeper aspects and nuances, that we tend  to forget that those not in the know often need to have the most rudimentary facts shared with them.

The one trying to Understand doesn’t have as much Background Information as is Assumed

You can’t expect someone to understand algebra if they don’t know how to multiply and divide. Before you introduce new concepts to an employee, make sure they know what you think they know!

And one that might really shock you…

The person being instructed doesn’t want to learn the new information

For some reason, in today’s business and manufacturing culture there are some, and perhaps many, who don’t want to learn more for they fear it will result with them needing to assume more responsibility – even if these moves will provide them with a higher income. More and more you hear people say, “I just wanna do my job and go home!’’ Whether learning more puts them outside of their comfort zone or they are truly underachievers is debatable, but whatever the case they just don’t want to expand their horizons.

So, if you find yourself in a position where you feel you have to tell someone, “I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you,” do a quick survey and see why, exactly, your protege is having such a problem!

Please like & share this blog post:

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!”

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be - Pathmaker BlogHave you ever noticed how fuzzy our memory gets over the decades? Or, how we tend to remember the “good” but the “bad” from bygone days?  For example, I was born in 1949, and in that year:

  • Gas was 17 cents per gallon.
  • Bread was 14 cents per loaf.
  • Coffee was 65 cents per pound.
  • A new car could be purchased for $1420.00.

Now, while that all sounds wonderful, it has to be remembered that the average income was $2959.00 annually. And, the area where I was from most folks didn’t make anywhere near that much!

The point is, anytime we think about “the good old days,” we have to remember that there was usually an equal number of “bad old days” to go with them. This is true in business as well as in life in general. While it might have been great that at one point in time we didn’t have to worry about OSHA regulations, we have to consider the number of people that were either maimed or killed because of the working hazards that had to be contended with. As the title indicates, “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”

In closing, consider this: In fifty years, today will be part of “the good old days.” Folks will be saying things like, “I can remember when you could get a loaf of bread for only a dollar,” or “I can remember when only the rich and famous could afford a flight into outer space.” Whatever will be said, you can rest assured that then, as now, “Nostalgia won’t be what it used to be.”

Please like & share this blog post:

“Never miss a good opportunity to be a good listener”

Never miss a good opportunity to be a good Listener - Pathmaker BlogGood communications is the key to success – both in a relationship and in business. And, the key to good communications is not talking, but rather listening. The secret, of course, is what is the key to listening?

First of all, it is important to remember that there is more to listening than just not talking. Often, you need to not only listen to what is being said, but also what isn’t being said. Occasionally, you have to listen with your eyes as well as your ears. You have to read body language; you have to keep good eye contact, you need to pay strict attention!

Another factor that is an important key to listening is determining why the other person is talking. Are they wanting a friendly ear so that they can vent? Are they hoping to receive permission or affirmation for what they are saying? Do they truly want advice, or just approval? Once you determine why the other person is talking you can better fill the role of being a good listener.

The final key to being a good listener is to remember that the person talking needs to have you listen; to pay attention to what is being said and not be thinking about what you are going to say next; to show that you really care about them.

Of all the things that you we can do in life, not missing an opportunity to being a good listener is one of the more important ones. Whether you are with family, a friend, or a client, be alert to the need to be one who listens instead of talk; one who shows empathy and who truly understands what they are being told!

Please like & share this blog post:

“You’re a mess, but that’s OK!”

You're a mess, but that's OK - Pathmaker BlogIn his book published in 1969, I’m Ok – You’re Ok, Dr. Thomas Harris did his take on Dr. Eric Berne’s idea of Transactional Analysis (TA). Harris developed four quadrants to :

  • I’m Ok – You’re Ok
  • I’m Ok – You’re not Ok
  • You’re Ok – I’m not OK
  • You’re not Ok – I’m not Ok

Basically, each one of these explains a state of existence that we all find ourselves in. We may fluctuate from one to another, or simply spend our entire lives in one of the quadrants.  Let me briefly explain each.

You’re not Okay – I’m not OK

An individual who feels this way is, without a doubt, the unhappiest of all individuals. They are not satisfied with anything anyone else does, nor are they satisfied with anything they do, either.

You’re Ok – I’m not OK

Here, an individual is content to accept that you know what you are doing and seem to be happy in life, but they, of course, are not.

I’m Ok – You’re not Ok

This, of course, is just the opposite of the prior one. Though self-confident and self-content, the individual here figures you,  no matter who you are, definitely need help.

I’m Ok – You’re Ok

This, of course, is the quadrant we all should strive to be in. Those dwelling in this quadrant know they have things under control and, as far as they are concerned, everyone else does to!

Our “Bumper Sticker Wisdom” for the day, “You’re a mess, but that’s ok” is somewhat of a hybrid version of TA. What it really amounts to, however, is that we need to accept people the way they are and let them know that we accept them as such!  If each and every one of us would do this, we all could go through life knowing that we are, in fact, accepted!

Please like & share this blog post:


Indecisiveness - Pathmaker Blog“I thought I was indecisive, now I’m not so sure.”

There is no doubt about it, our society, both in the public and private sector, needs to have someone who can make a decision. We live in a world of wishy-washiness, where so much time is spent avoiding the need to make a decision that those decisions never seem to get made. You want to know the reason this is true? Because more and more people are Unable to make the same decree that Harry Truman did – The Buck Stops Here!

I think the thing that may be the most devastating about this is the fact that those who are willing to make decisions and stand by them are known as leaders. And friends, we are dangerously short on real leaders in this country! In business this is not only especially true, but especially sad as well. The sadness is because so many of US fear retribution should our decisions fail. As a result, no one takes the risk of being a decision maker. The real question is, how can we overcome this problem?

The secret here is this: If you have created an environment where people are afraid to make decisions and/or take chances, you are thwarting the very essence of creativity at your place of work. Risk is always an important part of ultimate success, and if you have nurtured fear to the point that no one dares to make a decision and stand by it, then you have already doomed your business to eventual failure!

Please like & share this blog post:
Get Notified When a New Blog is Posted!
Get Notified Each Time We Post a New Blog

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)