Category Archives: #ThursdayThoughts
A question from Quora last week asked:
I answered the following:
It’s never too late…
Here’s a quick list of famous people who didn’t get a break until they were your age or later :
Samuel L Jackson’s first big break was at age 43 believe it or not
Stan Lee did not write his first comic book until age 39
Julia Child’s first cookbook was at age 50
Rodney Dangerfield not get a TV appearance for his stand up comedy until the age of 46
Vera Wang started a second career as a famous fashion designer at the age of 40
Ray Kroc didn’t start the McDonald’s franchise growth until age 52
Colonel Sanders dripped all across the country in his 60’s until someone flooded him the money to start KFC at age 62
It’s never too late. Stay optimistic and keep hustling and grinding until your break break finally comes.
Remember, it’s today that dictates the rest of your life. Not yesterday.
The ability to understand how your behavior impacts others. A conscious knowledge of your own character, feelings, motives and desires.
The ability to understand others needs and concerns. Also called social awareness.
Notice how both of these definitions imply the impact you make on others around you.
Why would self-awareness be defined if it didn’t recognize the cause and effect our own actions make on other people? Because all leaders make an continued impact, benevolent or malign, on others.
The stark reality is that, according to a recent Forbes article, about 15% of people are truly self-aware. That means a high probability that many of us are not truly self-aware.
Someone truly self-aware will examine themselves and how their actions and presence make others feel and react.
You measure yourself by how much character you exhibited at that meeting, and how you were able to keep silent while others spoke, or at least asked questions to engage a deeper conversation.
Self awareness allows us to critique ourselves against what the meta is for human interaction and positive influence.
And the irony is, that you can’t be truly self aware unless you have enough EQ to be others aware.
When you know the implications of your motives comparative to others, the you can safely say you have self awareness.
But it doesn’t begin and end with ourselves. It begins with others and ends with others. We just have to be open minded to know how we as the conduit transmit vision, goals and actions.
Self awareness is about others in the end game.
And that is the great paradox.
Are we willing to be self-aware enough to impact others better than we did yesterday?
Here are some common statements people make – whether a business leader, entrepreneur, or small business owner or manager:
“We’re not sure this will work for us”
“I’ve been successful without that”
“We’ve always done business this way”
“Who else does this?”
“I need to think about it”
“It’s just a fad”
In the mind of those who utter these or other similar statements, these rationale are legitimate reasons for not going forward.
But in reality the reason they are mentioned is because of one thing: Fear.
Fear manifests itself in the following ways:
- Not willing to take risks
- Unwilling to spend money to increase sales
- Not wanting to take on another system, task, project
- Valuing something with smaller returns over potentially greater returns
- Having too large a comfort zone
- Not willing to stick out from the crowd and establish differentiation
- Wanting to piggy back on someone else’s resources and reputation to blaze the trail instead
- Holding on to today’s profit more than chasing tomorrow’s new revenue stream
When fear creeps into our business decisions, we play defense. We would rather hold onto status quo instead of put ourselves in a position of potentially greater success, sales, and profitability. Not to mention create a buzz in the industry by being innovative, daring and meeting your customers’ needs.
Fear – even the slightest amount – will not only hold you back form being more successful; it prevents culture from growing, people from developing, trust from building, and engagement from happening.
Instead, be on the offense and take any new idea with the mindset “How can this work for us?” versus “This is why it won’t work for us”.
The winners in today’s marketplace aren’t afraid to quickly stick their necks out. And they quickly cut their losses if a new plan doesn’t work. Fear will also prevent us from cutting losses quickly as well – think about the problem employee that you have that you hope will turn it around but you’re afraid to let them go.
The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Be bold, show courage, and find ways to take a new idea and how it can benefit your organization.