Survive or Thrive?

We’ve often heard the phrase: Change is inevitable but growth is optional, choose wisely. Then I read a quote by Edward Deming this week that started me thinking: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”  That’s pretty obvious when we think about  personal lives, our savings accounts, our health and even our relationships. We obviously make the choice to survive and when we make the choice then to  thrive what’s needed?

The first thing that comes to mind is the intention and commitment to do so. Then defining what thriving looks like – now, tomorrow, ten years from now. Next what support, resources and skills do you need in order to make it happen…then putting together a plan to make it a reality. Today almost no one needs to survive alone, even on The Amazing Race they have partners! Surrounding yourself with the right partners (a team): a coach, a financial adviser, a workout buddy, a spiritual adviser, social partners, a community of like-minded individuals, family and meaningful work are all apart of this thriving process.

Over the past twenty-five years even the business world has seen the advantages of teamwork. In the 1980s the word was management. The idea was that a manager was needed to create consistency (for keeping standards from slipping). Yes you are a manager of your own life and you need to define your own standards. In the 1990s the key concept was leadership by the individual. Organizations saw a leader was needed because everything was changing so quickly. Today, they are still changing quickly.Now in the 2000s the idea is team leadership. Why? Because leading an organization has become so complex and multifaceted, the only way to make progress is to develop a team of leaders.

Why not take advantage of the same approach for yourself? After all you are You, Inc. There are many facets to your life, health, body, home, career, finances, relationships and community. You don’t have to be an expert in all areas, you just have to accept responsibility for defining your direction and building the team. Whether its life or business this is true: A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others (Norman S. Hidle). When you build a team of experts you become a unit that works together for the common goal. That goal may be you and your success or it may be the success of a charity or a for-profit business. The team works together.

This post would not be complete if I didn’t mention how important communication is to your success. You must communicate with yourself and your team regularly.Don’t stick your head in the sand. The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion it has taken place. Make sure everyone knows where the bus is headed. Don’t make assumptions, listen, ask questions and clarify. Make sure what you intended to communicate was indeed what was heard. Watch that the expectations are clearly defined and communicated accurately. Watch the messages you give to yourself, are you building yourself up by the words that go through your mind or are you tearing yourself down?

Ask the tough questions. I firmly believe the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves and each other. From those questions come the clarity needed to set the direction of our lives.



~ by transformativethoughts on October 9, 2012.

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