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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where are you now? What does it take to move up?

The accountability ladder is a great tool to help us understand why we may not be getting the results we want out of life or our business, and even accomplishing our goals. Let's take a look and break down the different levels to the model. As you read through them, ask yourself where you currently are on the ladder. You may find you are at different levels of the ladder in different aspect of your life. Some of my examples are extremely random. But they get the point across.

Victims and Powerless levels:

1. Unaware/Unconscious - These are the people who are not even aware of the problem or there may even be a problem. For example, lets just say you have poor hygiene, but you have no clue about it. In fact, you think you smell like a flower. Other people can smell your stench or notice it, but you have no clue. this would be the unaware or unconscious level.

2. Blame/Complain - It is always easy to point the finger at others in why goals or responsibilities are not getting done. Overcoming this step requires us to point the finger at ourselves and admit we may in fact be the problem, not other people or factors. An example of this would be someone who is constantly late to work in the morning because their spouse is spending too much time in the bathroom. When the real solution would simply be to wake up earlier.

3. Making excuses - I am good at this one. Making excuses as to why things are not getting done is very easy and a masked form of procrastination. We make excuses like "I am to busy" or "I have never done that before". My favorite is "I don't know what I am doing". Stop making excuses and get it done!

4. Wait and hope - Waiters and hopers are those who do just that. Wait and hope for miracles and successes to happen in their lives without ever lifting a finger and having to actually go out and get it done. An example of this would be someone who really desires to be in good physical shape, but never eats healthy or exercises and hopes one day their body will be transformed. It is just not going to happen without the effort.

Responsible and Powerful levels:

5. Acknowledging reality: People who are at this level look at the situation in black and white realizing there are tasks which need to get done and they are responsible to do their part. An example of this would be a salesman who simply realizes he or she hast to market, prospect, and acquire new clients if sales are going to increase. It is just the reality of the situation.

6. I own it: Now you have acknowledged the reality of the situation, we then get to decide if we are going to fall back down the ladder and make excuses like blame and complain, or if we are going to take ownership of the problem and move forward in creating solutions.

7. Seeking solutions: Owning the situation is key, and now you own it, the next step is to brainstorm and start thinking of solutions which allow you to hit your goal and get it done! Take the time necessary to think of the best possible solutions and come up with more than one. There is more than one way to eat a potato.

8. Make it happen: Now that you own it, and you have come up with solutions, it is time to implement and take action. Getting to this step is the best part. You get to put your solutions into action and literally accomplish your goals! Making it happen is the fruit of your labors and the old adage of "the harder I work, the luckier I get" becomes a reality.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Am I really that upset the U.S. didn't win the World Cup?

It was 120 minutes of pure frustration watching the US loose to Ghana on Saturday. I have been attempting to convince myself for the last 3 weeks the US actually have a shot at winning the World cup this time around, and completing our circle of total world domination in everything we do as a country. The reality of the situation donned on me as I was driving home from watching the painful final game versus Ghana... We are just not that good at soccer. I finally had to admit it to myself.

My 30 seconds of frustration was then followed by a mood altering thought. But wait! We don't even have our best athletes on the field! What if every kid in America grew up like other kids do in these soccer powerhouse countries? What if, when I was ten years old I moved away from home to go to soccer school, playing 5 hours a day and filling in the rest of the time in the classroom as a second priority? Did you know this happens outside of the US? These kids are not doing anything but playing soccer since they leave the womb! It's not even fair!

Okay. I'm calm now.

Let's just pretend for a moment the only sport anyone cared about in the US was in fact soccer. What if we had the athletic bodies and talent of players on our team such as Dwight Howard, Reggie Bush, Adrian Petersen, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Deron Williams out there? We would destroy everyone, that's what would happen.

The list goes on of who could really be out there representing us if things were different. But they are not.

Me and my wishful thinking...

At least I felt better now.