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If I say the word ‘compromise’ to you, what’s the root of your first reaction: positive or negative?

Compromise can be strongly positive: the grease that keeps the wheels of equitable exchange turning; a foundation for agreement; a concession we’re willing to make in exchange for some benefit. A win-win.

But there can also be strongly negative connotations to the word: when referred to as capitulation or surrender; a giving-up of principles or materials. A lose-lose.

So, what is compromise for you? Positive or negative?

The cost of compromise

One of the primary benefits of spending any time with a coach is fresh perspective.

And with this newfound clarity, one of the first things my clients notice as negatively impacting and so most needing of change are the compromises they’ve not consciously chosen. The (negative) compromises that have emerged and developed over time, without our intention or explicit involvement.

And nowhere more so than within their careers.

  • Compromises that have become unbalanced or misaligned.
  • Compromises that are no-longer ecologically-sound (not harmonious).
  • Compromises that we haven’t signed-up for or (ever!) accepted.

Some of these consequences will be the small, mildly-irritating and regularly-occurring ‘tolerations’ that ebb at our time, energy and patience every day. The things we’ll sort out tomorrow, next week, next month, next time.

Taken together, these consequences (still) come at quite a cost.

And then there are the consequences that run to the very core of our being: Time. Energy. Principles. Values. Health. Balance.

And before we know it, we’ve lost sight of our long term goals and aspirations.

Our compromises have placed us on a different path. And we’re no-longer working according to our vision or agenda, but someone else’s. And we’re no longer compromising just our career, but ourselves.

And life’s too short for a career that doesn’t love us back.

Unacceptable compromise by our own design

Such compromises haven’t just happened. We’ve been involved. If only implicitly. We’ve been silent. Passive. The word might even be: complicit.

And that’s understandable. Such career-led compromises happen gradually over a period of time – and so they’re easily overlooked. They become woven into the fabric of our day-to-day . And we don’t notice what we’re now tolerating. What we’ve given-up on.

Priorities and choices

For some much-needed ‘clarity of distance’, take a mental step back. View your career from a new perspective. And notice the uncomfortable compromises you’re making.

  • What are you tolerating?
  • What’s causing you stress?
  • What’s draining your energy?
  • What are you allowing to continue?
  • What have you lost sight of?

Look for things that cause you discomfort. Things that drain your energy. Things that cause you stress. Things that, given the choice, you wouldn’t include in your life or career.

And as you ask yourself these questions, give your thinking that freedom of choice by imaging, just for a moment, that anything and everything is possible. And reconnect with what’s most important to you by reflecting on your priorities.

Because in the end, all we have are priorities and choices. And when we remind ourselves of that, we give ourselves a whole new perspective on compromise.

SOURCE: Dan Beverly

Dan BeverlyDan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach, helping high-achieving professional women embrace the pivotal career moments.

 

The state of our business reflects the state of our mind.

When we genuinely feel positive and our head and heart are aligned, we attract positive results. Every time we pursue negative thoughts, they get reflected back to us, usually in the form of problems.

There are, however, no challenges without purpose; each and every one comes for a reason. By accepting, understanding, and healing our negative attitudes and beliefs, we transform them and open ourselves up to new opportunities. By understanding and applying Spiritual principles in our business we attract genuine abundance into our lives.

Four key steps in doing this include:

1. Follow Your Intuition

Intuition enables us to see behind statistics and forecasts, make useful predictions in spite of incomplete information and take original decisions that bring about win-win solutions. It:

  • Is an inner voice that we all possess; an astute counsellor that nudges us forward in our lives.
  • Unlocks creativity, makes life smoother, more fun, and sometimes defies logic, at least initially.
  • Comes to us spontaneously with an uplifting feeling, or voice.
  • Is never manipulative.

Intuition is clearest when we are quiet and centred within ourselves, but it can also come to us during moments of extreme stress. It can be scary, especially at first, because it stretches us and takes us beyond our comfort zones. It is complementary to logic and not a replacement.

When we recognise our intuition, it willingly and increasingly communicates to us; by allowing it space and giving it focus, we strengthen it. We nurture our intuition by regularly absorbing ourselves in activities that take us completely away from our routine thinking, out of our heads, and into our bodies. This might be through walking or running in nature, horse riding, or dancing to music. The main criterion is that it be pleasurable and regular. It is when we get back to our true selves, and feel relaxed and centred that we allow space for our intuition to come through.

 

2. Practice Meditation

The advantages of meditation are:

  • It releases the grip of negative thought and self-criticism.
  • We regain the power of living in the present and reverse the effects of stress.
  • We begin to see positive alternatives that we could not have previously contemplated.
  • We reconnect with our Higher Selves.
  • It reduces blood pressure, increases concentration and strengthens immunity.

There are many forms of meditation. My own preference is to sit quietly for twenty minutes as soon as I am out of bed and dressed. I observe my breathing and let my thoughts go. As I develop my practice and begin to quiet my thinking, I sense relief and observe myself becoming calmer and more present. My breathing slows and I experience a sense of peace.

My daily practice of meditation makes a significant difference to my ability to live in the now. It lessens the degree to which I get distracted by fear-based thoughts, and it roots me more solidly in my Higher Self. I get a sense of what is actually important and where my priorities lie. Completely fresh ideas and new ways of seeing things emerge. Compared to starting the day by reading emails and allowing other people’s requests and demands to become a priority, meditation puts me in charge.

 

3. Work Exclusively With Clients You Like

Abundance comes to those who excel, and you can only excel if you enjoy working with your clients. So, if you do not genuinely like them, your disinterest will eventually show up, and you will risk losing them.

There’s much talk in traditional business circles about the importance of adding value in order to differentiate one’s product or service and to build brand loyalty. This principle is certainly crucial, but it lacks an important note of caution. Adding value requires willingness to go the extra mile, and it is difficult to do that in a sustained way with people or organisations for whom we do not have genuine affection. If we are not aligned with someone, our negativity, however subtle, blocks the creativity and energy we need in order to consistently add value. On the other hand, when we genuinely like someone, we find ourselves quite naturally wanting to help them, and our creative energies flow. I make it a rule to work only with people with whom I genuinely want to work.

 

4. Never Buy into External Causes

When faced with a problem, such as a downturn in sales, we might at first be tempted to find fault with external factors such as the economy, a seasonal glitch, clients putting projects on hold, etc. Such responses are debilitating because we can do nothing about them. Worse still, if we buy in to such thinking, we justify inactivity. Unexpected events do happen, but the moment we hold external causes responsible, we relinquish control and give away our power to respond. Laying blame on external factors is the ego’s way of avoiding stepping up and taking responsibility.

With each challenge we face there is a chance it is our own thinking that is contributing to the issue. We all have limiting beliefs somewhere within us, and understanding how we contribute to such problems takes considerable awareness. We need to take a long, hard look at what we have or have not been doing, and the starting point is to ask ourselves one key question:

  • Is there any way I am contributing to this problem?

Complete disasters only occur when we close down and block the new learning that the ‘problem’ is asking us to embrace. Once again, the approach is to recognise that we are stuck and consciously sit quietly and ask:

  • With regard to … what do I need to learn from this situation?

It is by asking ourselves honestly and sincerely just what it is we need to learn, that we shift the way we see things and move forward.

By paying attention to your own Spirituality and making this part of your ‘business’ self – not just your ‘personal’ self – you will help your business to develop and grow beyond what you thought was originally possible.

 

About the Author

John ReynardJohn Reynard is a local business counsellor and author of ‘The Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success’.

He started a restaurant with no previous catering experience, sold it as an ongoing concern and built a specialist market research company which became one of the fastest growing and most profitable in Europe.

He seeks to balance spirituality with practicality. Whilst the practice of spiritual principles opens the mind to creativity and new ways of solving problems, it needs to be balanced with savvy and common sense; naivety serves no one.

Establishing a company that is successful is a tremendous feat.

 

If you have managed it, well done!

However, while everything is running smoothly, you may soon find that your growth has plateaued. Everything may be ‘stable’ – but you aren’t climbing higher, even though you really do want your company to get to the next level.

Do not panic. This is completely normal.

 

The next step

I have yet to encounter a business where stimulating growth has not been an issue at some stage of development.

As any business coach or mentor that is worth their salt will tell you, what got your business from A to B almost certainly will not be helping you get from B to C. This is a major hurdle many business owners need to overcome. The way you have been running your business will need to change – or at least be adjusted – in order to rise to the next level.

If you do feel like your business is starting to ‘coast’, there are five steps you can to take to spark life into your business growth strategy:

 

1. Fan The Fire Not The Smoke

Before you do anything else, stop and take a look at what you are focusing on. Most business owners and executive leaders will be focused on the more immediate ways to grow, rather than trying to figure out the root of why growth is not happening. You cannot fan a fire when you are only looking at the smoke.

For sustainable business growth, you need to do a deeper investigation into your business. Ask ‘why’ about everything. Talk to each level of your workforce to gain a holistic view of how the company is doing and get to the root cause of why things have slowed down.

In addition, ask your customers about their experience with you, to get an external view of your company and offerings.

Gathering this information will likely give you a clearer idea of where your focus should be in order to get your business growth strategies blazing again. Do you need to improve your customer service quality, or do you need to focus on innovation and product development? Do not guess, find out!

 

2. Picture The Bonfire

Every business owner has a vision for the business, even if they have not yet formally written it down. However, actually spelling out and recording that vision is an important step towards creating a more aligned business.

A strong vision helps guide your employees towards tasks that make sense for the company’s overall success. It helps them understand where their contribution fits. And It helps you steer the ship.

So, if your business’ revenue streams are waning, evaluate your vision and check whether it is still relevant. If so, then does everyone in your organisation have real motivation for achieving it? If not, talk to your team and revaluate the vision so that it provides a sufficient challenge to achieve more, while illuminating a bright future for every member of your organisation.

If you do not yet have a vision written at all, take the time to sit down and write one. It can be useful to think about your personal goals first. The most successful companies I have encountered are those where the business goals are working towards helping the business owner achieve their personal goals in some way. You can use this simple Personal Goals Template if you need a structure for planning your goals.

 

3. Check You Have the Right Fuel

Different fuels produce different fires. You can light a candle with just a small amount of wax and a wick, but if you want to create a great bonfire, you need much more significant fuel. In the same way, different stages of growth in your business will require different resources – and the resources in your business are individuals on your team and their talent.

During the start-up and small business phase, you will always need to look for entrepreneurial individuals who are excited about plunging in wherever they are needed and willing to do whatever is necessary to grow the business. However, once your company grows larger, different personality types are needed to complement your team in various other ways.

When you experience a slow-down in growth, take a moment to evaluate the members of your team and their roles. You may want to run a DiSC assessment to get an idea of their working style and what role best suits their strengths.

Also consider what kind of strengths are needed in your business at the moment. Do you need a sales person who is great with face-to-face communication? Do you need someone who is systems oriented to help organise your administration? Do you need a task-oriented individual to help run your processes?

If you are missing strengths, then you need to consider acquiring new people to fill those.

 

4. Create A Proper Structure

You can light a fire by just throwing a match on a bunch of kindling. But if you want to build a big fire, a fire that lasts, the pile requires a bit of planning to ensure it is structured in a way that gives good airflow to feed the fire.

When companies first start out, one of their tools to success is the organisation’s ability to pivot and adapt. However, if you are looking to go beyond the small business success and start reaching for the next level of growth, you will need to re-evaluate your organisational structure to align with your new business growth strategy.

If your organisational structure currently seats yourself – the business owner – in more than one critical position in the company, then you are facing a structure that is inhibiting growth. This is because it relies on you to do multiple roles – which is an unsustainable and unscalable mode of operation.

As your business gets larger, you will need a more structured and clear organisational model in order to allow processes to flow through your business effectively. This also allows you to give each employee clearly defined roles and specific accountabilities, so they can work more effectively.

 

5. Make Sure You Keep Watch On Your Fire

Testing, measuring, tracking and reporting. These are absolutely critical for business growth.

Entrepreneurs often see the tracking of individual performance as a luxury that they simply can’t afford. Their time is better spent hacking away at the long list of things they need to do to keep their business running.

However, without clear visibility on performance, how do you even know if your business is growing or not?

As the manager and leader of the business, it is down to you to consider and define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your employees. What is the primary metric that determines their performance? How are you tracking this?

You can then get a clearer picture of who’s in the right role, and where there is room for growth. As such, you can adjust your business growth strategies to be aligned with the metrics where your company is weakest.

 

The best part about making sure you keep an eye on things? You can now celebrate (with, maybe, a bottle of champagne) whenever you reach a new milestone – because you actually know what they are!

That fiery growth you experienced in the initial stages of your business may begin to wane. However, it does not mean that you cannot get it back. Complete these five steps and it may become clear how to have your business growth burning bright once again.

 

About the author:

Shweta JhajhariaShweta Jhajharia is Principal Coach and founder of The London Coaching Group, an ActionCOACH company. Shweta is a multi-award-winning business coach, and a popular keynote speaker. She has been recognised both by external bodies and the industry awards panels as the top coach in the UK, and the Number 1 ActionCOACH from over 1200 worldwide. She has also been invited to speak at large business events such as the bi-annual Business Show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years the true identity of world-renowned street artist Banksy has been in question. Many theories have been put forward, with no conclusive evidence. That is until now.

 

A limited edition book is now available for pre-order that shows the artist, paintbrush in hand, busy at work painting one of his most famous murals.

The book is a follow up to the 2014 project by Sincura Arts entitled STEALING BANKSY? This explored the social, legal and moral issues surrounding the sale of Street Art.

It culminated in an exhibition and sale showcasing the most expensive collection of Banksy street art ever assembled under one roof.

 

Bansky revealed

The new book reveals the untold story of the exhibition and the pieces that were showcased. It gives a first ever glimpse into the warehouses and processes used to restore these extraordinary artworks back to their former glory. It gives an insight into the future of the notorious workings.

However, what will grab the eye of the public and the headlines most is that the book features two pictures of Banksy himself.

As explained by director Tony Baxter, “We followed one piece, the Giant Rat on The Whitehouse Pub in Liverpool, to catalogue the story. While researching the piece a local offered us photos taken from the night which literally knocked us off our feet. We toiled for six months over whether to include the damning photos and finally chose to do so under a number of caveats from the readers.”

 

T&Cs

As explained on the website www.stealingbanksy.com were you can pre-order one of the limited edition books:

“Inside the book we display two pictures of the artist creating the piece which clearly identifies him. One of them is the image we have blurred on this website, the other is a closeup image. In buying the book you agree to the following:

 

  1. That you will not reproduce or share any picture from the book including publishing them in the public domain. Each book has an encrypted pixel that allows us to trace each picture to each book.

 

  1. That you will not use any picture in a legal or criminal proceeding against the artist.

 

  1. Should any of the above two points be breached you agree to a financial donation of £250,000 to a registered charity.”

 

A limited, numbered, run of books will be created ready for dispatch on December 1st. Books are priced at £15.99 plus delivery and can be pre-ordered at https://stealingbanksy.com/.

The books will be available on general sale through selected outlets from February 2018.

 

“Our goal was never to expose Banksy” says art curator Anthony Monaco, “but including these pictures completes the story. Otherwise it would be like telling the story of Napoleon but omitting the French Revolution.”

 

SOURCE: ResponseSource

 

If you want to develop your career or business, you need to ensure your voice is heard.

It doesn’t matter how talented you are if no one ever hears from you and you sit silently in business meetings without contributing.

But, for many people, speaking up doesn’t come naturally. So, here are ten tips to help you get your voice heard:

 

1. Be selective

Skilled performers know when best to contribute as well as how best to contribute. They have a sense of timing that ensures they contribute without being disruptive.

 

2. Be concise

Teams and groups that work well tend to share the distribution of airtime, with no one person dominating more than another. A big contributor to this efficiency is the ability to ‘get in’ to the conversation, say what you need to say, and then ‘get out’. This can be a challenge for extroverts, who can sometimes turn on the communication tap and provide a steady, unstoppable flow. For introverts, who prefer to reflect on content before speaking, it means that oftentimes the conversation has moved on before they’re ready to speak. Being mindful of your personal style and the levels of participation across the group are fundamental to improving your performance and the success of the group.

 

3. Vary your contributions

The default inputs in meetings fall into a category of behaviour known as Giving Information. This includes making statements of fact and giving an opinion or reasons. Research into effective meeting behaviours has revealed a number of more effective alternatives, some of which are outlined below:

 

4. Summarising

If you don’t have anything to add to the subject under discussion, you can help the entire meeting by summarising key points at regular intervals. In studies on skilful behaviours across a range of work situations, summarising regularly shows up as a helpful, yet relatively uncommon, behaviour. One of the reasons it’s rare is because to summarise accurately you have to be a good listener and attend to the contributions of others.

 

5. Labelling

A behaviour label is a device that announces the behaviour you’re going to use next. For example: ‘Can I just ask a question?’, followed by a question, or ‘I’d like to add some information here’, followed by giving information. Labelling helps to command the attention of the other people in the meeting and create space for you to say your piece and be heard.

 

6. Shutting Out

Sometimes, to get into a conversation, you have to steal the airtime from another person. This is a behaviour known as Shutting Out. If you’re reluctant to speak out in a meeting, your attempts at using this behaviour will likely be ineffective.

 

7. Building

This is a behaviour used by the most skilful individuals. Building behaviour is defined as ‘adding to or modifying a proposal or suggestion made by another person’. In a meeting this might sound like:

 

Proposal:         I’d like to spend some time looking at those figures

Build:               Maybe we could get Sam to talk you through them

 

Like Summarising, Building relies on your ability to listen. Done authentically, Building also demonstrates that your interest lies with the people generating the ideas, rather than competing with your own ideas. This is why effective ‘builders’ are often described as helpful.

 

8. React

Reacting behaviours are the way we let other people know how we respond to what they have said. The two most common reacting behaviours are Supporting and Disagreeing. If you have a low count on both you may be what the researchers call a ‘Low Reactor’. Such a person can often have a negative or destabilising effect on a group because others find it hard to judge where they’re coming from. So rather than set the group on edge, use Supporting and Disagreeing as a way of being heard. When you like an idea or agree with something someone has said, say so. When you aren’t convinced, let people know. Skilled performers support and disagree in equal measure. With Disagreeing, be sure to state your reasons first and then your disagreement.

 

9. Ask questions

If there is one mantra I would like to resonate around the walls of corporate meeting rooms, it’s this: Give less, Ask more, Ask better. The intent is to help you build your interactions around inquiry. Being curious rather than judgmental is one of the most powerful ways to ensure you are heard and to build the relationships that will help you towards success. Ask people for their ideas, their thoughts and their reactions: ‘How do you think we should do this’, ‘What’s your basis for saying that?’, ‘How do you feel about what’s been discussed so far?’. Questions also help to provide clarity in the meeting, ensuring people leave with the same level of understanding.

 

10. Develop influencing styles

To influence without authority requires a skilful use of the ‘Pull’ style of persuasion. This is characterised by three behaviours: Seeking Proposals, Building, and Seeking Information. However, if time is short, you’re the expert, or you’re happy to go with compliance rather than commitment then you will need to master a ‘Push’ style of persuasion. Here the dominant behaviours are Proposing ideas and Giving Information. Being heard in business is helped by choosing the style that best fits the situation and exercising it skilfully.

 

Building your awareness of these tactics and taking opportunities to practice will help you build new behavioural muscle, to raise your skill level and your profile.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ally YatesAlly Yates is author of Utter Confidence: How what you say and do influences your effectiveness in business and an expert on Behaviour Analysis and the interactions that define us. She combines a deep understanding of people and how to achieve results, based on her many years’ experience working with large corporate clients around the world.

 

 

 

 

Around 65% of Brits suffer from battery anxiety when out and about, according to a new study from CHARGit, a provider of wireless charging.

 

The study questioned 2,000 consumers from all over the UK as part of research into the habits of those who use portable electronic devices.

Respondents were asked ‘Have you ever suffered from ‘battery anxiety’ when out and about?’ A total of 65% said ‘yes’ to feeling apprehensive about the battery on an electronic device running down when they’re on the move. The remaining 35% said ‘no’.

The study then asked which electronic device they most felt anxious about losing battery for:

  • Smartphones 77%
  • Laptops (10%)
  • Tablets (6%)

 

The study also revealed that 80.7% of smartphone users check their device every hour, with 36% claiming to be ‘constantly’ on it.

Hayley Freedman, co-founder of CHARGit said: “As our results suggest, ‘battery anxiety’ is a growing phenomenon and something that most us can relate to. Many of us fear being uncontactable and, even if not immediately facing an emergency scenario, feel a mild panic that we’ll end up in desperate need of our phone just when we’re without. It’s this that can lead to us feeling anxious, which is often an unsettling feeling.”

“The fact that over a third of us are almost ‘constantly’ on our electronic devices just serves to demonstrate how reliant we’re becoming on our technology as a society. It’s no wonder then that we worry when we lose access to them. Keeping our batteries charged is something we need to do for peace of mind, which means developing an infrastructure of easily accessible charging points is something venues should be looking to implement.”

 

SOURCE: CHARGit  www.chargit.co.uk

 

There are probably endless reasons we could come up with to explain-away why our career hasn’t worked out as we would wish.

Or why it isn’t where we wanted it to be, by now.

But if your career is not as you’d have it, a more productive place to start is not with all the external reasoning. But instead, to look at oneself as the source to unlock your career potential.

Here are 9 career management mistakes worth revisiting. And the career-building habits to avoid them.

1. You’re not getting intentional.

I’ve said many times before: you have a career strategy. Even if you think you don’t, you do. Intentionally or unintentionally, you do. And that strategy is working perfectly: delivering exactly the results you’re currently getting. And this tell us something else: there is no neutral. Either you’re working on your career; or (in your neglect), you’re working against it. So get intentional with your efforts.
Career Builder Habit #1: Get Intentional.

2. You’re not working at it, day-in, day-out.

Whilst some people make career look a breeze, flowing perfectly and seemingly without effort … don’t kid yourself. Careers take effort. Regular, steady and well-judged effort, continually focused on just the right things. Not sudden stop/start, on/off bursts of uncoordinated activity. Consistent decision-making and action-taking that becomes habit and mindset. Cultivate the career management habit by working at it daily.
Career Builder Habit #2: Act Daily.

3. You’re not taking enough initiative.

Perfect careers don’t exist – we create them. Perfect careers aren’t handed to us – we fashion them. And so we need to take initiative to create the career that we want for ourselves. One of the surest ways to do that is to get comfortable making career decisions. And the more we do it, the better we get at it. So practise career-decision-making – more regularly than is comfortable. Make them commitments. And always pair your decision with an action.
Career Builder Habit #3: Take Initiative by Taking Decisions.

4. You’re not integrating your brand.

A career that succeeds is one that is built on your most valuable asset: YOU. And “You” plays out at work as your professional brand: the coming-together of your authenticity, differentiation, reputation and promise. When it comes to building a career, not enough of us put this asset to work. Integrate your brand into your career-building efforts: demonstrate thought leadership, inspire a loyal following, cultivate strategic partnerships, seed special projects, work towards a legacy. Have your brand be the cornerstone of your career development efforts.
Career Builder Habit #4: Integrate Your Brand.

5. You’re not connecting with the bigger picture.

In the harried day-to-day, it’s easy to lose sight of how your work on the ground is contributing to the company’s goals, objectives and mission. But maintaining an up-to-date understanding of what the business wants to achieve is essential to identifying your place within that machine – and establishing yourself as an indispensable element. It’ll also give you a deeper sense of purpose and passion for your work. And keep you coming back to the big projects that drive the most business (and career!) value.
Career Builder Habit #5: Link Your Value to the Big Picture.

6. You’re only focused on doing a great job.

Best assignments, regular promotions, rising through the ranks. These things don’t come to those who just do a great job. There’s plenty just doing a great job. Stellar career success belongs to those who stand head and shoulders above the rest. And they do that by focusing on the other career journey that makes them the most promotable. That focuses on material contribution, showcase performances, big picture insight.
Career Builder Habit #6: Stand and Deliver Above and Beyond.

7. You’re failing to spot the pivotal moments.

Success is defined, created, shaped and made to happen in those career-defining pivotal moments. And those moments are happening all the time – if only we’d see them for what they are. Identifying these moments is all about awareness and responsibility and can be improved with effort in 3 areas. (1) Decide what you’re looking for – to help your brain usefully chunk and filter. (2) Move yourself into a positive state – a great position from which to take a mental step-back and see opportunity from your high-level view. (3) Listen to yourself – whether instinct (gut reaction), intuition (gut feeling) or insight (“aha” moments). Ask: yourself now: what moments am I missing?
Career Builder Habit #7: Learn to Spot the Pivotal Moments.

8. You’re failing to embrace the pivotal moments.

We work consistently to setup the pivotal career moments. But then, in that meeting place of talent, drive, purpose and opportunity … we shrink from the challenge. Do those who succeed in their careers have more opportunities than those who don’t? Or do they just step up and seize those opportunities? And that’s not a technical challenge. That’s a thinking challenge. So ask yourself now: how pleased am I with the quality of my thinking in the moment? What beliefs do I need to drop that aren’t supporting me? And what do I now need to choose to believe to my success happen for me?
Career Builder Habit #8: Learn to Embrace the Pivotal Moments.

9. You’re not taking responsibility.

And finally: we’re back to where we started. The undercurrent of every other career management mistake: responsibility. And its simple antidote: choosing to take (more) responsibility for our careers.
Career Builder Habit #9: Take Responsibility.

From Career Autopilot to Career Advancement

If some of this is ringing true for you, take heart that we’re only ever one thought away from focused, meaningful, career-changing work towards our potential. So, elect now: to pivot from career autopilot to rapid career advancement.

If that’s something you’d like to help yourself achieve, why not take a look at some of my free-to-download career-accelerating resources.

Or, if you think I might be of service to you personally in helping you successfully craft the next phase of your career, please get in touch or schedule a call back, today.

 

SOURCE: Dan Beverly

Dan BeverlyDan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach, helping high-achieving professional women embrace the pivotal career moments.

 

Life in business is generally viewed as macho, cut-throat, and uncaring.

It’s not perceived as an environment that fosters trust, openness and creativity. The behaviour of bankers in recent years has further advanced the belief that business is purely about profit and greed. It would appear there’s little place for integrity. Do we really want to continue in this vein?

 The Value of Integrity

Integrity is an expression of wholeness in which people live out their values to their highest ideals. It is honesty and sincerity, and people with it show consistency between what they think, say, and do. They do not compromise themselves for easy material gain.

In business, integrity is a quality that shines through. Buyers feel safe around individuals of integrity and are secure in doing business with them; they know they will be respected. Many companies have mission statements stressing how important integrity is to them, but living it out under pressure requires real courage.

Standing your ground

James was CEO of a design house I used to be involved with. One of his key clients owed him a considerable amount of money and had recently placed a sizeable new contract. James had been pushing for payment, but it had yet to come through. The client had an arrogant attitude, and one day he arrived at the office and marched straight into the confidential area where James’s staff were working on his project. He knew that this was off limits and that there was a distinct possibility he could have seen classified designs belonging to other companies. Worse still, he started giving direct instructions to the staff, going over the heads of their managers. James was informed of what was happening and decided that was enough. He confronted him, told him he had gone too far, and briskly escorted him off the premises.

Once the infringement had been dealt with, James wondered what the outcome would be. He had risked the loss of a key client. The current project could have been switched to another provider, and payment of the outstanding invoices could have been maliciously delayed. The client could have delivered a devastating blow that would have ruined the company.

To James’s delight and relief, the outcome was the opposite. During ensuing visits, the client was respectful and honoured all boundaries. The project was completed successfully, and outstanding invoices were settled in a reasonable time frame. James demonstrated his absolute respect for his clients and his team. At a critical moment, he instinctively acted with integrity and enormous courage, and because he did so with total conviction, the outcome was successful. To this day the company is viewed as a quality supplier that can be trusted because it has such a high level of integrity.

True Leadership

CEOs with integrity always set the tone of their organisations. If the person at the top conducts their affairs with integrity, the rest of the team behaves similarly. People recognise it is the norm and live up to it. If, on the other hand, the CEO lacks integrity and deceives clients, fiddles expenses, or talks about others behind their backs, such behaviour is witnessed by staff, and they feel it is all right to behave likewise.

The Lure of Easy Money

The allure of easy money is very seductive. When the situation arises, we are tempted to extend our boundaries of honesty, albeit just a little at first. We invent convincing arguments to justify our actions, but once we have stretched our integrity, it becomes easier to unroll it further.

My own company was commissioned to undertake a sizeable project and we had completed considerable preparatory work. A first instalment had been paid, and we were waiting for our client to provide some necessary data. Despite requesting this several times, it never arrived, and the person who had commissioned the job changed roles and said nothing. This left me in a quandary: the money paid was significant, but I now doubted the work would ever get underway. What was I to do? I tried to convince myself that because we had done so much at the outset, and because they seemed so disinterested, we were justified in keeping the cash.

Had this been a one-off, I would probably have left it there, but it wasn’t. They were potentially an ongoing client, and whatever gain we had made was short term. This was brought to my attention quite suddenly at a trade exhibition, when I found myself in front of the company’s stand. Exhibitions are excellent opportunities for making and reviving connections. My own contact was not present, but his replacement was. I gave my summary of our offering and what we could do for them, but I lacked conviction. I felt awkward, something was blocking my energy, and I made no impact. I came away disappointed and perplexed.

A Clear conscience

On the flight home, I realised it was a sense of guilt that was thwarting me. I did not feel comfortable because I had not explained about the previous contract that his predecessor had commissioned and partly paid for. I had taken their money and delivered nothing. I knew I had compromised myself and was no longer coming from a place of integrity. Upon returning to the office, I emailed the new manager to explain what had slipped my mind, and we issued a credit note against their next project. I felt much better, and they were delighted. There was no longer any guilt blocking my energy, and the doors opened to discussions about future work.

The more we live with integrity, the more we attract clients with the same values. These are the ones we want. They are appreciative, pay their bills, do what they say they will do, and come back for more.

About the Author

John ReynardJohn Reynard is a local business counsellor and author of ‘The Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success’.

He started a restaurant with no previous catering experience, sold it as an ongoing concern and built a specialist market research company which became one of the fastest growing and most profitable in Europe.

He seeks to balance spirituality with practicality. Whilst the practice of spiritual principles opens the mind to creativity and new ways of solving problems, it needs to be balanced with savvy and common sense; naivety serves no one.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have to pinch myself.

Am I still here? Still in China? Still in Beijing?

Although my international role takes me back to the UK, and some other countries, on a regular basis the answer to my questions is invariably “yes”!

It is a rare privilage, afforded to very few, which allows me access to such a broad range of Chinese society.

From the back streets of the old 1950’s crumbling tenement blocks, which stretch out across the road from my relatively new-build apartment block in East Beijing, to the State Guest House and it’s hallowed halls of red and gold staging official and high level functions.

From ex government officials to professional drivers, Daoist monks and University professors I am able to spend my ‘down time’ from the day job in the presence of some really interesting people. These are the ‘real Chinese’ little seen by the Western media and almost never reported on.

 

Inside the Middle Kingdom

I continue to be amazed by this country of competing contrasts and contradictions. However, I have grown to love it too, despite the daily frustrations of two-hour queues in the banks, crowded subways and electric bikes that career in semi-controlled silence across junctions, their riders glued to their mobile phones.

At the beating heart of China, once you strip away the ecommerce, the ‘always on’, WeChat and Alipay FinTec services explosion you find that 5,000 years of Chinese culture is alive and well.

Tucked away in a renovated mixed-use residential and office block is the new and beautifully designed tranquil tea shop of Mr Ji or, as I refer to him, ‘Dong the Destroyer’. Ji Dong is a quiet unassuming man who has become an enthusiastic exponent of the value that ‘the art of tea’ can bring to a revival of Chinese culture.

 

Everyone’s cup of tea

Tea has always been ‘the thing’ in China, they invented it. Wild 400-year-old tea trees in the forgotten valleys of Yunnan provice still produce some of the finest Chinese tea you will ever taste. Each year Mr Ji makes the pilgrimage to these hidden locations to hand pick pu’er tea for his shop. Blending 200-year-old with 20-year-old and modern tea provides a unique mix of flavours.

However, outside in the choked and fume-filled streets of Beijing, coffee culture is exploding. Hip youth, changing the world with code parties, building apps for everything, sip cappuccino and chai lattes alongside the ubiquitous americanos.

You could be forgiven for thinking the old China is dead and buried in burgers and bytes. But you would be wrong. The tea shop of Mr Ji is among a rising tide of cultural resurgence in China as the country is encouraged, from the very top of the Party and Governemnt, to get in touch with its ‘Chineseness’. Intelligentsia and entrepreneurs alike can be seen gathering in places like his, and a wide aray of similar places, to drink tea and debate the changing China as it ‘Goes Global’.

 

Steeped in tradition

I am currently working with one of the foremost fashion houses in China as they seek to build recognition onto the global stage. Our conversations on market entry and fashion branding are invariably accompanied by tea, usually my favourites, Oolong or Pu’er.

The conversations with the Chairman of one of Beijings biggest real estate developers are short and pithy as he runs a multi billion yuan business. However, no meeting is complete without the inevitable offer of tea and the slow contemplative sipping of appreciation accompanying potentially market changing deals.

And the lesson from all this business of tea?

Chinese culture may look like a vibrant new world of Internet, FinTech, App-driven, mobile, innovative investment and global soft power (and so it may be), but never be fooled by what is at its heart. The culture of China runs deep and tea, and all it stands for, should never be underestimated.

 

About the Author

Jon GeldartJonathan Geldart is a business consultant and author of ‘Inside the Middle Kingdom‘, which draws on stories from a wide variety of Chinese people to form a compilation of insights and personal perspectives which you will not find in any guide book or newspaper commentary.

 

To hear more from Jon, have a listen to this week’s podcast: Episode #41: Inside The Middle kingdom.

The cost of recovering from a data security breach for UK organisations has been estimated at £1.1 million ($1.4m) by NTT Security.

The study of business decision makers’ attitudes to risk and the value of information security reveals that UK respondents anticipate it would take almost three months (80 days) to recover from an attack.

The annual study of 1,350 non-IT business decision makers across 11 countries found the global average was 74 days.

UK respondents also predict a significant impact on their organisation’s revenue, suggesting as much as a 9.5% drop.

Cost of breach

UK decision makers expect a data breach to cause short-term financial losses, and affect the organisation’s long-term ability to do business. Businesses estimated the following could occur after a security incident:

  • Loss of customer confidence (63%)
  • Damage to reputation (67%)
  • Financial loss (44%), while one in 10 anticipate
  • Staff losses (10%)
  • Senior executives resign (9%)

Most telling is that 63% of respondents in the UK agree that a data breach is inevitable at some point. This is up from the previous year’s UK figure of 57%. However, less than half (47%) say that preventing a security attack is a regular board agenda item. This suggests more still needs to be done for it to be taken seriously at a boardroom level.

Linda McCormack, Vice President UK & Ireland at NTT Security, comments: “Companies are absolutely right to worry about the financial impact of a data breach – both in terms of short-term financial losses and long-term brand and reputational damage. Although this year’s £1.1 million figure is slightly down on last year’s report (£1.2m), no company, regardless of its size, sector or focus, can afford to ignore the consequences of what are increasingly sophisticated and targeted security attacks, like the widespread and damaging ransomware attack we recently witnessed.“

Resisting attack

More positively, 72% of UK business decision makers say their organisation has a formal information security policy in place. This is compared with a global average of over half (56%). Another 16% are in the process of implementing one. But, while 83% say it has been communicated internally, less than a third say employees are fully aware of it.

The study also raises concerns over the use and sharing of incident response plans for when a breach does happen. Around two-thirds (65%) of UK respondents say their organisation has an incident response plan, above the global average of 48%. However, less than half (44%) of business decision makers were fully aware of what the incident response plan includes.

“Creating security policies seems to be a work in progress for many UK businesses. Unfortunately they become redundant if they are not properly communicated and shared throughout the whole organisation, and sadly this report backs that up. We see time and again organisations with good intentions when it comes to security and response planning, but then it falls to the bottom of the priority list due to a lack of resources, budgets and time. The fact that they are struggling to find the right resources and processes to support the fundamentals in information security and risk management planning is a major concern,’’ adds McCormack.

 

Breaking the bank

On the subject of budget, only an estimated 14.4% of respondent organisation’s operations budget is spent on information security. Whats more 13.7% of their IT budget is estimated to be spent on security. This compares to 15.5% and 14.6% respectively across all of the countries surveyed. More than a third in the UK say their organisation is spending less on information/data security than R&D (36%), HR (36%) and Marketing (36%).

Download the 2017 Risk:Value report: www.nttsecurity.com/RiskValue2017.

SOURCE: ResponseSource