Category Archives: tips

Have a Plan for Personal Growth

Growth is not automatic; it does not necessarily come with experience, nor simply as a result of gathering information.  Personal growth must be deliberate, planned, and consistent. – John Maxwell

I came across the practical steps for personal growth in the book, Developing the Leaders Around You, by JOHN MAXWELL.

JOHN MAXWELL, who was listed as number one  in my post on  the Top Ten Leadership Gurus, outlines these five practical steps for personal growth:

1. Set aside time daily for growth. John Maxwell shares with us the two important concepts in this step:

First, time for growth must be planned.

Second, the time set aside must be set aside daily – for no fewer than five days a week.

Reading books and informative magazines while traveling and waiting is also good for personal growth.

When I was reassigned from the regional office  to the central office, I made my daily schedule of reading books and other resource materials, at least one hour when I wake up early in the morning and one hour in the evening, to prepare me intellectually to the bigger responsibilities I was facing.

2. File or copy quickly what you learn. Always carry with you a small planner or notebook where you could write what you learn from your readings or from the tapes.

3. Apply quickly what you learn. Choose a learning that you want to apply each week.

4. Grow with someone. The best way to grow is to share your knowledge with someone.

5. Plan your growth and follow it for a year. If you want to read one book per month and listen to one tape per week, you will be able to read twelve books and listen to 52 tapes in a year.

According to John Maxwell, personal growth is like investing.  It’s not your timing.  It’s your time in.  Get them going now.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

The Five Elements in Performance Agreements with Employees

Sometime in November 2009, I wrote an article on the Five Tips to Remember When Setting Performance Targets with Employees.  This is to guide you in effectively managing performance of your employees.

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey shares with us the following five elements to be present during performance agreements with employees:

1.  Desired Results

2.  Guidelines

3.  Resources

4.  Accountability

5.  Consequences

Desired Results. Identify the output and when it is accomplished.   Focus on results not methods.

Let us not fall into the activity trap, which means we are so entangled in activity that we lose sight of the reason of the activity.  The activity, thus, become an end in itself.  The means has become the end.  The goal is lost in a bout of methods.  That is why we have employees who are so busy working daily but could not achieve the desired result at the targeted time because they are so busy with so many activities and methods which are counterproductive and even harmful.

Guidelines. Specify the parameters in terms of quantity, quality and time, principles, policies, etc., within which the results are to be achieved.

Resources. Identify the human, financial, technical, or organizational support available to help accomplish the results.  Tell the employees to whom or to where shall they go for help when they find problem in accomplishing their desired results.

Accountability. Set up the standards of performance and the time of evaluation.

Consequences. Specify – good and bad, natural and logical – what does and will happen as a result of the evaluation.

In performance agreements, Stephen Covey says: consequences become the natural or logical result of performance rather than a reward or punishment arbitrarily handled out by the person in charge.

If these elements are mutually understood and agreed upon by you and your employees,  performance appraisal would be easy, as the employees could judge and evaluate their own performance based on these criteria.

A Regional Director is conducting Performance Agreement discussion with her supervisors.

I’m inviting you to give your views on this article by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Maintain Harmonious Relationship with Other Managers in your Company

Efficient operation in any business depends upon cooperation among managers.  If you ponder on it, you’ll see why it’s essential to get along with your peers.  You don’t have to be close friends with all of them, but you should at least make it easy for them to lend a hand to you whenever it is necessary.

Managers are socializing with each other.

Here are the four don’ts that you must observe to deserve cooperation from other managers in your company:

1.  Don’t provoke.  Be careful in offering advice and criticism.  Remember that other managers also have power and they are proud of their competence and privileges.

2.  Don’t interfere. Don’t give advice until you are asked.

Giving unsolicited advice might offend them.

3.  Don’t criticize in public. Even if you think he is wrong, don’t sound off in front of other managers and workers.  Tell him in private, give him a chance to save face, and you’ll get much more cooperation.

4.  Don’t certainly assume that he’s wrong. If you see that he has done something which is different from yours, don’t jump to conclusion that he is wrong.  Any probable reason is that you may be the one who is wrong.  As a manager, he may also be able to evaluate and improve his actions for the good of the company.

You might have your own list and I’m glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

101 Best Motivational Quotes

Leaders need to be motivated everyday in order to fuel their enthusiasm to achieve their goals and exceed their performance targets efficiently and effectively.

This is my choice of the 101 best motivational quotes from the top writers and speakers.

Anthony Robbins

1.  A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.

2.  How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?

3.  I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.

4.  I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.

5.  Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.

Brian Tracy

6.  Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time.

7.  You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.

8.  Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality.

9.  All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.

10.  Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of evry part of your life.

Robert Kiyosaki

11.  When people are lame, they love to blame.

12.  The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.

13.  A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That’s where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It’s having backbone.

14.  If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.

Deepak Chopra

15.  There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.

16.  The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.

17.  The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.

18.  If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.

19.  Our thinking and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based.

20.  To think is to practice brain chemistry.

Suze Orman

21.  If the boss is a jerk, get over it. First of all, don’t you think there’s a good chance that your boss’s boss knows what’s going on? If so, just keep your head down and do the work. Usually, if you put in maximum effort and produce excellent results, someone in the company is going to take notice. Either you will get promoted or your jerky boss will get the heave-ho. It happens all the time.

22.  A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.

23.  Try handling problems in the office as dispassionately as you can and I guarantee you will have a better time of it; not least because when you bring emotion into the conversation, you furnish your colleagues with an easy “out” for dismissing you. If you are able to strip out the emotion, however, people have to deal with you based on the facts.

24.  Whenever you’re confronted with a tough work situation, stop for a second and try to honestly answer this question: Am I approaching this emotionally or am I approaching this professionally?

Stephen Covey

25.  Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.

26.  While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.

27.  We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.

28.  Don’t argue for other people’s weaknesses. Don’t argue for your own. When you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and learn from it / immediately.

29.  We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.

30.  Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”

Jim Rohn

31.  When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.

32.  You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

33.  You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.

34.  Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

35.  If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.

Zig Ziglar

36.  Every choice you make has an end result.

37.  Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.

38.  If you wait until all the lights are “green” before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.

39.  If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.

40.  People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Jack Canfield

41.  People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence.

42.  One of the things that may get in the way of people being lifelong learners is that they’re not in touch with their passion. If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.

43.  Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In sales there are usually four or five “no’s” before you get a “yes.”

44.  Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.

45.  As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action will be perfect. Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every action will work. Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right.

Mark Victor Hansen

46.  Big goals get big results. No goals gets no results or somebody else’s results.

47.  Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.

48.  Ideas attract money, time, talents, skills, energy and other complementary ideas that will bring them into reality.

49.  Improve your business, your life, your relationships, your finances and your health. When you do the whole world improves.

50.  You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.

Dale Carnegie

51.  You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

52.  If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.

53.  You’ll never achieve real success unless you like what you’re doing.

54.  Flaming enthusiasm backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.

55.  There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look,
what we say, and how we say it.

Joe Vitale

56.  Finally, what I really want is to be happy in this moment, where the magic and miracles happen. Stay in the moment and all gifts are added as you breathe and take inspired action.

57.  It’s really important that you feel good. Because this feeling good is what goes out as a signal into the universe and starts to attract more of itself to you. So the more you can feel good, the more you will attract the things that help you feel good and that will keep bringing you up higher and higher.

58.  Start each day off on the right foot.

59.  Thoughts are sending out that magnetic signal that is drawing the parallel back to you.

60.  The thing is, we have to let go of all blame, all attacking, all judging, to free our inner selves to attract what we say we want. Until we do, we are hamsters in a cage chasing our own tails and wondering why we aren’t getting the results we seek.

Norman Vincent Peale

61.  Practice hope. As hopefulness becomes a habit, you can achieve a permanently happy spirit.

62.  Live your life and forget your age.

63.  Change your thoughts and you change your world.

64.  How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself – so always think positively.

65.  Those who are fired with an enthusiastic idea and who allow it to take hold and dominate their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm holds out, so will new opportunities.

Jeffrey Gitomer

66.  Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.

67.  Your job is to meet the right people and read the right books.

68.  When you begin to give value to the world, somehow the people you affect will find a way to tell you. Even if it takes a couple of years.

69.  The key is not to “call the decision maker.” The key is to “have the decision maker call you.”
Napoleon Hill

70.  The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses.

71.  Action is the real measure of intelligence.

72.  Do not wait; the time will never be ”just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

73.  The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.

74.  Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

75.  What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Leo Buscaglia

76.  It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.

77.  Love is always changing and unless we stay aware and change with it, it eludes us.

78.  To live in love is to live in life, and to live in life is to live in love.

79.  Life is our greatest possession and love its greatest affirmation.

80.  We are all born with God-given, unique traits and skills. But as with all possibilities they will remain unrealized unless they are developed, nurtured and put into practice.

Og Mandino

81.  Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

82.  Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.

83.  I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.

84.  The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.

85.  The only people who never fail are those who never try.

Ken Blanchard

86.  Don’t quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.

87.  People who produce good results feel good about themselves.

88.  The best way to teach people is by telling a story.

Earl Nightingale

89.  Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.

90.  People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

91.  All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.

92.  Everything begins with an idea.

93.  Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.

Robert Allen

94.  You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there.

95.  Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.

96.  The future you see is the future you get.

97.  If service is the rent you pay for your existence on this earth, are you behind in your rent?

98.  Fear melts when you take action towards a goal you really want.

Les Brown

99.  Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.

100.  If you fall, fall on your back. If you can look up, you can get up.
101.  Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you become your reality.

I hope this list has inspired you and I’m happy if you could share your favorites by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

Four Useful Tips in Searching for the Vital Things during Personal Inspections

As an executive, you must know what to look for during your inspections to offices, plants or operations area.  Since you are possibly going to be there only for a few days or hours, you can’t hope to learn everything and see everything that could be seen.

As a smart inspector, you will meddle into the operations more promptly to find the things swept under the rug.   Here are the four useful tips in searching for the vital things   during personal inspections, using them as signs of things unseen:

1. Determine if the people who are supposed to know have the answers.

Most of the time, the Operations Chief or the one in-charge of the area escorts you during your inspection tour.  The tour can also be the chance for a quiet but systematic quiz of the local boss, using items and events as they occur to provoke answers.  Ask the local boss questions to check if he is on top of the job.

An executive is asking questions to in-charge of office inspected.
An executive is asking questions to in-charge of office inspected.

2.  Determine if the easily controllable things are under control.

Each operation or job has certain parts which are easily controlled by the manager who is abreast of things.  Except for some circumstances, housekeeping and carelessness are evidences of lack of discipline and control over the actions of employees.  At this point, you can begin to turn attention to the management of the place.

3.  Determine if the surface is the representative of what lies beneath.

Explore beneath the surface, in one or two instances, to discover any evidence of “glossing over” of poor conditions.

4.  Determine if the inspection check out with other facts.

Before the inspection tour, it’s a wise plan to get some basic facts about the place.  Some of the figures might include employee relations, morale, expenditures, revenue, complaints and so on.  If an item is showing up very good or very bad in these figures, this is a hint as to where to look during your inspection trip.

These are my tips and I know there are still many others in your list.  I invite you to share your list with everyone by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes