Tag Archives: change

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

Four Effective Ways to Make Performance Appraisal Easier for Everyone

One day, one of my supervisors came to my office and requested that one of his employees shall be reassigned due to poor performance in his office.  When I called the attention of the employee for his poor performance as verbally reported to me by his supervisor, he reacted: “Is he kidding, Madam?  He always gave me a “Very Satisfactory” performance rating every rating period.”

At the end of the rating period, the employee just simply copies his or her previous performance appraisal forms and submits them to the supervisor for confirmation and signature.

On the other hand, majority of the supervisors are not honest in rating their employees.  The supervisor gives a “Very Satisfactory” rating to the employee even if he or she doesn’t deserve it, as the supervisor is sick of getting arguments from his people when they didn’t get the rating they thought they deserve.

An appraisal is supposed to be informative for you and your employee.  It ought to inform him how he’s doing in relation to performance targets.  It is supposed to identify his strengths and the areas where he needs improvement.  Conducted correctly, it can help you get the performance you need.  But if you rate employees higher than they are worthy of, they begin to think they’re okay and might not be urged to do better.

Here are the four effective ways to make performance appraisal easier for you and your employee:

1.  Make sure to evaluate employees fairly.  Don’t play favoritism in rating employees.  Establish uniform performance standards as your guide.

2.  Stick to facts and shun evaluations of performance based on casual observations. Gather data and keep written records of performance of employees as basis of evaluation.

3.  Keep a better balance between praise  and criticism during your performance evaluation meeting. Commend the employee for the areas where he excels in performance and point out the areas where he needs improvement.

4.  Select one or two goals for the employee to work toward instead of trying to change everything overnight. For the areas where he needs improvement, set two goals for him to achieve for him to improve his performance.

I know you also have your own list in mind and I am glad if you could share it with us by leaving your comments below this post.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Make your Workspace as a Source of Inspiration

I have just read one of the popular posts of Bob Bessette titled “Cubicle Bliss: 10 Steps to create an inspiring workspace” at his website at http://totallyuniquelife.com or you may also reach it by visiting www.bobbessette.com.  I like the intelligent way he presented his steps.

He listed down these 10 steps to create an inspiring workspace:

1. Keep it clean!

2. Get a comfortable chair and keyboard.

3. Surround yourself with words to live by.

4. Quotes, quotes, and more quotes.

5. Display your weekly tasks prominently.

6. Display your yearly goals prominently.

7. Buy some cool stuff for the cubicle.

8. A pic says a thousand words.

9. Collect artifacts and display them.

10. Soothing Sounds.

I agree with his steps but step number 2 depends upon the availability of funds in the office where you are connected.  For the pictures,  place them in a folder in your laptop, or in a photo album or in a scrapbook.  For ease of performance,  keep decorative objects and  personal mementos in a spot where they won’t get in your way or distract you.

It is important that you make your workplace an inspiring and livable one because you spend more of your waking hours at the office than at home.  Another step that I could add is color coding in the office, including files.  It is a remarkable innovation because it makes the work area bright and a cheerful place to work in.

I know you also have your own list of steps and I will be very glad if you could share it with everyone by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

How to Know What Areas Need Improvement

Whenever I call the attention of  some of the supervisors or subordinates on lapses in their offices, they always respond that things or processes were already there or were already done that way when they reported in that office.

It seems that , for some of them, since things were done that way years ago, is a justification for not introducing any innovation.

According to Louise Heath Leber “There’s always room for improvement, you know-it’s the biggest room in the house.”

This reminds me of the concept of productivity which is: “One can do better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than today.”

When we assume a new office or reassigned to another office, we must always identify areas that need  improvement.  Even though how efficient our predecessor was, always remember that no one is perfect. Yes, there are always better ways of doing things.

Here are the guides on how to know what areas need improvement and if improved will give the greatest outcome to the organization:

1. Focus on costs.  Whatever your organization is, whether you are operating for profit or with a budget, like a government agency, the good result of initiating with a cost reduction is great.

This doesn’t mean that we eliminate necessary services, such as income-generating activity, in order to reduce costs.  It means producing more products and services for every amount that the organization spends.

You must analyze and act assertively on how the present operating expenses can produce more products and services or or how the same volume or products and services can be produced at lesser costs.

2. Is it causing delay? Determine what causes delay in processes or in operations.  The cause of the delay is a rich area for improvement.

3. Is it stealing too much of your time? Identify if an activity is taking much of your time and preventing you from doing more productive work. This activity is a good area for improvement for it is perhaps costing the organization more than it should.

4. Has it slided unnoticeably in the wrong direction? For example, when quality of customer service is no longer given attention because the company focuses on increasing quantity of orders.  This is another fine area for improvement.

5. Is it keeping up with the current world changes?  When an organization does not keep up with current trend in technology, it will lag far behind.

6. Is there no innovation in the job or process? If a job or process is done the same old way as it was many or even a few years ago, then it is ripe for improvement.

7. Strategic Goals Must Accompany Efficient Operations.  To provide for innovation and control, the organization must have a regular review of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the effect of the major trends to the organization, its missions and strategies.

A Manager is conducting a goal-setting with his employees

8. Watch what is being produced, Not Just Costs.  A business is described as a three major elements: inputs, activities, outputs.  The best manager must see all these three elements always and determine which of the elements need improvement.

9. Conduct Performance Planning and Review. This must be done at least every six months to get commitment from the employees in the attainment of goals and targets during the planning session.

During the performance review, the supervisor and the subordinates shall identify which goals and targets are not well attained and what are the areas that need improvement for each of them.

10. External Conditions Affecting the Business. The business is part of the community  where it is located, so its improvement is affected by the regulations, service, general economic health, educational, roads and transportation systems and many other characteristics of the community.

The corporate image of the business in the community also influences its improvement activities.  I suggest that the business entity shall conduct a customer satisfaction survey and use the result as a tool to identify areas of improvement.

American Author and Speaker Anthony Robbins says: “Commit to CANI! Constant And Never-ending IMPROVEMENT”

Improve and make a difference!

Your friend,

Nimia S. Acebes

As a Leader, On What Level are You Now?

Since yesterday, I have been re-reading Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell.  The five levels of leadership which the author brilliantly described caught my attention.


Level 1: Position

This is the basic entry to leadership.  People follow the leader due to his title which is often gained by appointment.  People will not follow a positional leader beyond his stated authority.  People who stay at this level get into territorial rights.

Level 2: Permission

The leader leads by interrelationships.  John Maxwell says, “People who are unable to build solid, lasting relationships will soon discover that they are unable to sustain long, effective leadership…Needless to say, you can love people without leading them, but you cannot lead people without loving them.”

John Maxwell advises us not to skip a level.

Level 3: Production

People here are results-oriented.  People follow the leader because of what he has done for the organization.

Level 4: People Development

People follow the leader because of what he has done for them.

Level 5: Personhood

People follow the leader because of who he is and what he represents.  Only few make it to this level.

Most of us are in the position level yet.  To advance to level 2, John Maxwell listed below some characteristics that must be exhibited with excellence:

  • Know your job description thoroughly.
  • Be aware of the history of the organization.
  • Relate the organization’s history to the people of the organization (in other words, be a team player).
  • Accept responsibility.
  • Do your job with consistent excellence.
  • Do more than expected.
  • Offer creative ideas for change and improvement.