Prep for success!

While our SPARK triggers an idea, preparation is what helps to actualise it and make it a success. Therefore preparation is the foundation for success. This can take many forms.

One of the most powerful preparation is to set a clear vision for what you want to become. Then behave as if you have already achieved your vision. Walk, talk, breathe, sleep and act as if it is a done deal.

Regularly review your behavior and actions to ensure they are aligned to your vision. The more feelings you connect to your envisioned outcome, the faster you will attract it.

Finally, do not forget to enjoy the ride on the way to realizing your vision because happiness is not in the destination – it is in the journey!

Larger Ambition!

Great service and care for both internal and external customers will always remain one of the most visible front line differentiators for your organization.

Transformational leaders engage, energize and empower! They become a great resource and create an enabling environment for the employees leading to enhanced productivity.

Completely satisfied and engaged internal customers (employees) and external customers create extraordinary results for your business, not only in terms of their sustained contribution, but also through invaluable word-of-mouth promotion.

John Rockefeller said: “A man who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed. You must have a larger ambition.”

Creating a SPARK comes from a larger ambition!

Effective Meetings

Meetings take a lot of man hours and productive time. Unfortunately many meetings are not effective!

Here are eight keys for organizing an effective meeting:

– Define the objective – Visualize the end result right down to the emotions. This will help you to clarify the big picture and your role in it

– Distribute the purpose of the meeting and share what you expect from each participant at least a few days in advance to give adequate time for preparation

– Start the meeting on time and end it on time (or even early if possible)

– Step away from a boxed-in ‘either or approach’ and evaluate several new chains of thoughts and ideas

– Do not allow any one or two people to dominate the meeting

– Close the meeting with a clear outline of the next steps as well as what kind of a review mechanism will be adopted. Address who will do the review, when and how

– A positive ending always wraps up the meeting with everyone feeling inspired to carry out the next steps with a SPARK

– The key to a successful interaction or meeting or any business for that matter is rooted in a quote by late Zig Ziglar: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Compass for Truth!

You can set any goals that you like. However, you will need the support of others to realize your dreams. They constitute your power squad! If you fail to engage them, they will be passive staff waiting for instructions before they commit to anything.

One of the things you notice across the world in different corporations is the lack of alignment between top management, middle management and the “floor staff.” For example, after a two full-day session with the top management of a reputable bank it felt great as they were enthusiastic, energetic and buoyant. However at the end of the two days, I had a dinner meeting with another client from a different business. The client shared with me an incident involving poor customer service that had happened to her that day in the same bank. I was surprised that the negative encounter had taken place with a teller, but as I reflected on the previous two days’ sessions, it was clear to me that while the bank’s top management was doing great, morale on the floor was low. This was costing the client in terms of reputation, credibility and brand damage. Alignment of all levels is crucial for achieving success.

Just as aligning at all levels of your team at work is important so is aligning your own personal, family and corporate values because it creates congruence and sustains your success.

While you engage your power squad and align your team and life be grounded in principles. Without a compass for truth there is no SPARK!

Positive Change!

In stable times, habitual patterns work for you. They become your preferred patterns of reacting. It gives you a sense of control.

A customer delays payment. You then send in the standard follow-up letter. You take the same route to work every day. You don’t have to map it out in your mind every morning. It’s almost as if every turn were programmed into your car’s steering. Taking that route is an involuntary choice.

Your life seems to be on auto-pilot and your story seems uneventful enough. The plot thickens when certain things around you begin to change.

A new thoroughfare opens up and makes it easier and more convenient to take another route. But you still find yourself habitually going the old way until you consciously establish a new pattern. For a while, you have to map out the new route mentally and force yourself to take it instead of the old route.

Change stops the process of involuntary actions and forces us to reconsider. It disrupts the pattern and demands that we respond appropriately. So our focus is invariably on adjusting to the change or fighting it. But change is not always about adaptation, it can also signal an opportunity for creating something better. Uber did not disrupt the average taxi service because it used technology for online booking. It succeeded because it created a better experience for the customer.

Next time, instead of fighting change or surrendering to it, find out how it can help you to create a better outcome for you and others.

How to work with change:

– Believe it holds promise for you

– Write a journal – writing forces us to pay attention to unconscious patterns or repetitive ways of thinking

– Commit to learning one new activity every week – Get out of your comfort zone

– Use your principles as an anchor during change – Principles are not a casualty of change, rather they are revealed through change

– Eliminate the blame game – As long as we play the victim, we become part of the problem

– Build a Solid Belief System – “Be a servant of your conscience and a master of your will,” wrote Dr. Marcus Bach

– Practice is the key – You can learn and hone any new skill only through practice. And that is true for anything you want to accomplish in life including creating a SPARK!

Authentic!

Have you ever seen a bird struggle to fly, a flower struggle to bloom or a star struggle to shine? Why then do you struggle so much? 

There are primarily three reasons for this:

• You have been conditioned since childhood—by parents, teachers and peers—so you have learned to comply instead of being yourself

• You are fearful—you feel within that you are not good enough; therefore, if you become true, people will see your faults

• You have a scarcity mentality—you feel that if you are true, people will know everything about you and take advantage of you.

If you let go of all these unnecessary inhibitions of conditioning, fear and scarcity mentality you begin fly like a bird, bloom like a flower and shine like a star – full of SPARK!

Happy Father’s Day!

With recent early childhood development discoveries the investment in early childhood development takes extra importance for a father. However, regardless of the age of your child or of the father for that matter, a father’s positive influence can play a huge role.

Here are some important things a father can do to be a great father:

– Love unconditionally and practice “I love you the way you are, not the way I want you to be”. The more children are loved the way they are, the better their self esteem and they feel more secured later on in their life.

– Be a great role model. The best way to teach a child is to model the behaviour. Children do not listen to what you say, they learn from what they see!

– Inspire in your children strong and deeper “roots”! Roots implies model principles, ethics and values. Once children have strong roots they will not succumb to temptation and compromise on their principles, ethics and values. This will give them a strong foundation of integrity leading to deeper relationships built on rapport and trust!

– Inspire your children to acquire “wings”. Wings implies model self esteem and belief in self. Once children have “wings” they will have the confidence and positive pride to aim high and tap into their genius.

– Create memories by spending quality time with your children. Khalil Gibran beautifully said: “You give little when you give of your possessions, it is when you give of yourself that you truly give!”

– Be a loving husband, partner, sibling, human being! If you want your children to be loving spouses, siblings, human beings model that behaviour by being that person. With words you can only preach, with action you teach.

For me my late Father was all of the above and a SPARK. Thank you Dad! I will always love you and miss you!

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there. It is never too late to be a great father!