The Gratitude Platform

Abundance Gratitude

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Key Point: Use gratitude as a personal improvement platform by connecting what you want to improve upon to what you’re grateful for. The path to self-improvement is hidden in your pleasure and happiness rather than discontent! Hmm… Interesting thought. 

I am writing this in Canada, fully appreciative that American family and friends are celebrating the wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving. And of course, it is the perfect time for all, wherever we are, to reflect and ask the question: “What are you grateful for?” In exploring this question, I ran across a recent HBR blog by one of my favorite authors/leadership pundits, Peter Bregman. I think he effectively makes a supportive argument regarding my key point above:

“The things I am grateful for are, by definition, already a part of my life. I am grateful for the undistracted time I spend with my family. For the sense of presence and focus I feel when I am writing. For the times when I really sink in to listen to another, without any need to fix them or the situation they’re in. For the clarity I have come to in the past year about what’s important to me and to my business — and the time I spend in those areas of focus. In other words, those things I want to improve on? I’m already doing them. Those are, actually, old behaviors. Habits, even.

When I really sink in to listen to another, without any need to fix them or the situation they’re in, I am talking less. When I am present and focused while writing, I am moving more slowly, more deliberately. When I experience undistracted time with my family, I don’t feel like I am wasting a minute. When I spend time on my areas of focus, I am settling into my highest priority items.

In this context, the path to improvement may not be effortless, but it should be familiar. And just knowing that can make a difference.

Consider the ways in which you want to improve. How do they relate to the things for which you feel grateful? I am willing to bet that, at least in some areas, the things for which you are grateful mirror the things you want to improve.

Reminding yourself of what you have already done in the past is a much more reliable way of shifting your behavior — much more believable, reasonable, doable, repeatable, sustainable — than starting a whole new behavior in the future.”

Character Moves: 

  1. Ask that grateful question and build off of the answers. Peter also suggests asking the following: “Who are you in those moments when you are grateful? How do you show up? What are you doing? How are you behaving with yourself and others? Go back to those moments of gratitude and bring them into your present.” 
  2. Be grateful that you are mostly and already the person you aspire to be. It’s about remembering, reminding, and replicating more than the daunting task of inventing something you’re not. Be grateful for that! Leverage personal gratitude to become even more you. You’re worth it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Better from gratitude in the Triangle,

Lorne  

One Millennial View: After an awesome Thanksgiving dinner and enjoying a beautiful Turkey Day with my lovely mom, who was kind enough to come stay with me during the holiday (which has already improved my living conditions about 1000 percent), I’m just grateful I remembered to edit this blog! Happy Thanksgiving!

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Mind Share Versus Market Share

Abundance Collaboration Teamwork

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Key Point: Mind Share is the principle of recognizing that abundance is created through the exchange of ideas and being collaborative. It works on the belief that the more we share, the more we have. Mind share also encourages us to ask what is possible. And thinking this way, along with appreciating that our personal view is only one (not the ONLY one), helps to generate ideas and build bridges between seemingly opposing thoughts. (Geez… Does the world need this attitude now more than ever)? Market share on the other hand normally determines who is right and who is wrong and focuses on taking from others versus expanding. Perhaps being driven exclusively by market share thinking, primarily at the expense of others, is too limiting? Can we really behave more collaboratively and still thrive in a market economy and highly competitive world? 

Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking With People Who Think Differently by Angie McArthur and Dawna Markova Ph.D. is a thought provoking, timely and very important book. In our organization, the ability to collaborate and deepen relationships is getting much more attention. Why? We are becoming a world in which relationships create more wealth than transactions—when things carry less value than ideas. In a “market share” world, scarcity determines value: “I have it and you don’t.” In a “mind share” world, abundance is created through the exchange of ideas and collaborative action: “The more we share, the more we have.”

McCarthur and Markova eloquently state: “We take for granted that intelligence occurs within our own minds. We don’t realize that it also occurs between us. What keeps us from communicating effectively is that most of us don’t know how to think with people who think differently than we do… The most significant work we have done with clients, therefore, has been to develop strategies and practices that make it possible to unleash each person’s potential and to think across habitual divides. We teach them how to maximize the value of their intellectual diversity. We call this collaborative intelligence… One’s collaborative quotient (or ‘CQ’) is a ‘measure of your ability to think with others on behalf of what matters to us all.’

The authors provide a personal assessment tool in both the introduction and at the end of the book so that you can rate your own CQ. And they have developed four strategies for activating it: 

  1. Identifying and maximizing your own Mind Pattern, the “way you process and respond to information.”
  2. Identifying your Thinking Talents and blind spots in the way you approach challenges, as well as those of your colleagues.
  3. Identifying the way you frame questions, or Inquiry.
  4. Generating Mind Share, the “mindset shift required to generate alignment within your team.”

Character Moves: 

  1. Recognize that the ability to be inclusive, highly collaborative and deepen relationships is a PRACTICE.  
  1. Start with yourself and your team. How truly inclusive and collaborative are you? What’s your CQ? Find out.
  1. Read Collaborative Intelligence and/or Team Genius. Do not take for granted that you intuitively know or will just figure out how to skillfully collaborate and create more Mind Share.

More Mind Share in the Triangle,

Lorne 

One Millennial View: I think Mind Share is greatly important and an abundant approach. Unfortunately, when some parties involved would rather play the game of “Mind Take” and don’t pull their weight, then that’s where we have to be cautious. So, I understand the need to not completely discount Market Share. While Mind Share is ideal, it’s our responsibility to apply it but also not take advantage of it. “The more we share, the more we have” only applies when what we’re all adding to the pile. Luckily, teams can’t often win with just one “star player” alone, it’s up to us all to be “star players” with our own different talents and traits in order to make the best collaboration. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Taking a Pause

Accountability Productivity Well-being

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Key Point: Why are so many of us struggling to effectively integrate work and life? More than ever in my 40 plus years in the workplace, I see people grappling with the personal situation they find themselves in. I was reading an article by Janice Marturano of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, and I found the following excerpts from her blog resonating with my observations:

“A middle manager with a family gets up at 6 a.m., he helps get the kids ready for school, heads off to a day of constant meetings and calls (he’s not sure if he ate lunch), leaves for home around 7 p.m. to help with homework and household needs, followed by 3 hours on the computer to catch up on emails that he didn’t get to during the day, and then falls into bed after midnight. Sound familiar? Does anyone think this man is bringing his best leadership anywhere-at work or at home? Or is it more likely that he is going through the motions, just trying to survive? The qualities we need to be our best selves are unlikely to arise in this state of being… Just look around your workplace or listen to those in your family. We do not need to look far to see people going through the motions or so busy that they really don’t know what they are doing. How many are taking sleeping pills or antidepressants? How many would feel guilty about staying home when they are sick?… The old model of leadership and the old definitions of excellence have left us with an epidemic of employee disengagement and widespread stress related health problems that threaten to bankrupt our health care system… There is no simple fix. But we need to begin by stopping long enough to see and feel and know what our lives today are about, what our organizations are about, and how we want to be in the world. We already know what leadership excellence is… Now we need more leaders with the courage to develop it.” 

I’m not foolish enough to think that somehow the world of work will ever be utopia. Nor will our personal lives. This is a by-product of being human. However, I do think that we can personally be more mindful and intentional about the choices we make. 

Character Moves: 

  1. Just stop for a moment. What are you doing? Why? Is it working for you? If you are a formal leader what are you doing to help people be more present with themselves and others? What kind of example do you provide?
  2. Think about using an app like Headspace to help take that needed pause in your life. You’re worth it. 
  3. If you’re a top leader, take responsibility for the culture and environment you’ve created. Any extreme views like winning at all costs or purposeless mediocrity are equally dysfunctional. There is lots of room in between; the act of creating organizational value and personal contribution coexisting in a very healthy and integrated way.

A pause in The Triangle, 

Lorne  

One Millennial View: That description of that middle manager’s life in Janice Marturano’s blog above should just be titled “Every Millennial’s Nightmare.” But let’s face it, it’s likely that could absolutely be our future reality, and you know what? That’s OK. Here’s my perspective: If we look at it with optimism, it’s really NOT THAT BAD. That blog OMITS the part about how he has the luxury of a family… How he has a home to come to and fro, and therefore the means to buy one… How parts of his day were likely spent managing his Fantasy Football team with his friends, laughing, texting his wife (or whatever), planning a trip, and taking that new boot camp class at the gym he really likes where the instructor kind of laughs at him (but he’s getting better at it). Oh, and his kids aren’t that bad either! Dare we assume he might even love them? Y’know?!? But her blog is meant to paint this endless cycle of “blah.” And THAT is the nightmare part of it from one Millennial perspective. What if life was as daunting, boring and “blah” as Marturano’s bummer of a blog threatens for it to be? It’s not that I’m scared of working a lot, juggling long hours, family obligations, or answering late emails. What I’m TERRIFIED of, is that time spent is boring, uninspired, unappreciated, useless and routine. Thanks to blogs like that one, I can remind myself that I can at the very least, control how I read into it.  

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

More Fellowship and Civilized Leaders

Community Courage Respect

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Key Point: This weekend’s horrific and evil terrorist acts in Paris pierced and frayed the nerves of all civil people worldwide. Civilized humanity is sick, frustrated, and angry… You pick the emotion. What can you and I do about this situation? I want to share a viewpoint by Gianpiero Petriglieri from a Harvard Business Review blog. He is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. He also has a medical doctorate and a specialization in psychiatry. Petriglieri states:

“Fostering civilization means cultivating our curiosity to recognize substantive differences, and our commitment to respect them—within and between groups. For that, we need not more effective but more humane leaders. More conflicted, less conflicting ones. Leaders who can hold on to their voice, and help others find theirs, when it feels riskier to do so… There are plenty of good tribal leaders already. We need more civilized leaders instead… And come to think of it, what we really need is not more leadership as much as more fellowship. The sentiment, that is, of sharing a common predicament even if we don’t share the same history, experience, or fate. A sentiment most necessary precisely when fragmentation and fundamentalism are far more common. Fellowship is an antidote to both, an alternative to otherness that does not imply sameness… It is easy to remain speechless, scream, or strike when words do not suffice. But talking is what we need now; especially about what might be hard to hear… We cannot win a war on intolerance. We can only respect each other out of it.” 

Character Moves:

  1. In our personal spheres, however small or large, we can all foster and promote inclusiveness. We all share in the same predicament of being human.  We must remember that our personal view of the world is only one view. It is not about being right or wrong. It is about genuine compassion for each other.  
  1. Remind ourselves that fellowship like Petriglieri emphasizes is an alternative to otherness that does not imply sameness. We must keep our voice and help others find theirs. Recognize that sometimes (often even), this is risky. However, throughout history courageous people have tenaciously allowed for human inclusion to progress. One only needs to appreciate how much in the last few years the civil world has progressed on a variety of human rights (LGBTQ, etc.) to recognize that advancing inclusive humanness is possible. Calling all civilized leaders to step up. That’s you and me! 

Respect each other in The Triangle,

Lorne  

One Millennial View: What a time… Sure, we may believe things are progressing, but it depends who you ask. Even in the last month, college campuses across the U.S. are exploding with protests and student groups making demands and even holding “hunger strikes” against supposed inequality. To some, the University of Missouri or the University of South Carolina campuses are the most welcoming places on the planet, and to others the very same classrooms are unsafe establishments that harbor hate… Most of these protests are aimed to advance a conversation. They can still be unnerving to a degree. However, it becomes a whole heck of a lot more threatening when a group decides to protest/communicate with AK-47’s instead of words. Tragedies like Paris make us really come together and ask what’s truthfully important, what’s sincerely worth standing up against, protesting, arguing and fighting for. I agree that “talking” is the preferable weapon, and it would be great to “respect each other” out of something as jarring as war… In civilized places like U.S. college campuses, we have the appropriate networks and patience for that. However, some people would argue that the best words leaders used this weekend are the “From Paris, with love” notes scribbled on the bombs used to retaliate against ISIS. 

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Hey Watson… WTF?

Abundance Growth mindset Transformation

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Key Point: Cognitive computing is going to change our lives and workplace. What is it? It’s the simulation of human thought processes in a computerized model. This involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mirror the way the human brain works. The goal of cognitive computing is to create automated IT systems that are capable of solving problems without requiring human assistance. Cognitive computing systems use machine learning algorithms continually that acquire knowledge. Machines, for the first time, will appreciate in value the way knowledge does in humans when they acquire it.

Cognitive computing systems completely redefine the nature of the relationship between people and their digital environment. They will play the role of a guide for the user, and/or they may act virtually autonomously in many problem-solving situations. The punch line is: Machine based learning is relentless, faster (tirelessly) and more accurate in problem resolution. 

Character Moves: 

    1. Understand that cognitive computing and “products” like Watson are here for good right now. Gartner and other analysts believe cognitive computing will be the biggest revolution of IT ever! That’s a WOW. Watch this video to learn more how cognitive computing will change your role.

  1. With the application of systems like Watson, the ability and creativity to ask the right questions will be more important than the ability to be an individual problem solver. The machines will solve the problems more accurately and much faster. The value added creativity will reside in inventive nature of the questions asked. 

Cognitive Computing in the Triangle,

Lorne

One Millennial View: Uhhh! Red alert! Didn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger warn us all about this in the Terminator movies? Shouldn’t we be panicking? Thankfully, no. Although cognitive computing will be have a huge impact on our work lives, this IBM commercial with Bob Dylan might sum it up best.

See. 800 million pages per second, 800 schmillion pages per second. It still doesn’t give a machine a real voice. Our “questions” will be what has to sing, and our own “poetry” at the work place will be what matters. No matter how smart those computers are, they can’t carry a real tune. That said, the minute a machine independently writes and performs better than Dylan, I’m putting on an aluminum foil hat and moving out to the desert. #NoService.

– Garrett

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis