EPIC FLOW

Engaging, Participating, Interacting, Creating – Fulfillment, Leadership, Organization, Wisdom

Archive for March, 2009

Change as Foundational to Creativity and Key to Leadership

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 23, 2009

Let us look at the flow of life, with the river as our metaphoric guide. First thing you must realize is that you can’t step into the same river twice. The water at any point of the river is always changing – that’s the key to freshness! If we will stay fresh in the flow of our lives we must understand that change is contant. Change is foundational to creativity because you can’t bring in the new without getting rid of the old. Change is the key to leadership because a leader sees what others haven’t seen and helps them to see it for themselves.

People need to understand that change is part of life. Success in living an epic life requires a certain degree of openness to change. Most people struggle with handling change because it causes the 3 D’s – discomfort, disruption and dislocation. A crucial part of the process of handling change will involve helping people handle the dis’s and get pluses out them. Let us explore how we can do that:

Discomfort – Change requires difficult adjustments by people. Adjustments can cause stress and bring tension to groups. In some cases change has been known to lead to depression in some people and a mutiny from others. Uncertainty about the results of the change can bring fatigue and frustration. The key to avoiding all this is to ensure that people know in advance what to expect and how to deal with it. The discomfort of change can be prevented by preparing people adequately for the coming changes.

Disruption – When significant changes are made, some people experience personal pain at the loss of familiar things to which they had become very attached. This can be a source of great trauma. Leaders can help people by allowing them to verbalize their sense of loss and grief, and then gently pointing them to the benefits of the change and the bright new future ahead of them.

Dislocation – Any change, whether it involves new strategies, new programs, new equipment, new work procedures, new facilities, new management practices or new leaders, disrupts an existing order and leads to discontinuity. In a time of change, leaders should frequently explain what is happening and keep their people informed. People will be more optimistic if they know the change is progressing successfully. Leaders should frequently communicate what steps have been initiated, what changes have been completed and what resulting improvements have occurred.

Handling these three dis’s appropriately will be the key to avoiding the dreaded dis of change – disaster! In order for us to live epic lives – lives free of disaster – we must embrace change. Change is essential for creativity to flourish, change is necessary for leadership to prosper. In the next post we will discuss how we “see” in the quest for creativity.

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Are You Living An Epic Life?

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 9, 2009

The epitome of true success in life is being able to live a life of significance. I call this an epic life. Significance is found in contributing towards causes that make the world a better place for fellow human beings. Zig Ziglar is famous for saying that “You can achieve anything you want in this world if you will help enough other people get what they want”. An epic life really begins when we live outside ourselves and share our lives with others.

Here are five fundamental keys to living an epic life. These are simple fundamentals that will empower you on your quest for significance:

1. Be a people-builder, not an ego-builder

The majority of human beings are focused on building their egos. To attain a significant life you must be a people-builder. people builders don’t do things because of what they get out of it. They contribute to enriching other people’s lives because they love people.

2. Embrace a bigger vision than self-pursuits

A person’s significance can be measured by the size of his or her vision. Does your vision include other people? If so, in what way? Is it about empowering and equipping others? Self-pursuits may gain us a few toys in life but they never bring true significance in life.

3. Seek opportunities to contribute

Life is shaped in our moments of contribution. People can be divided into two groups: those who contribute and those who consume. Contributors find increased value in life by pursuing a lifestyle of adding value to others. They are difference makers.   

4. Enlarge your concept of family

Most of us have a healthy understanding of our families and our place in those families. Significance demands that we think beyond our nuclear families to our place in the human family. By thinking in such manner, we are able to develop connections that enable us to significantly help others. 

5. Discover the power of giving

Giving comes in many forms. One can give of their time through volunteering, one can give money by making donations to difference making organizations and one can also give of their property to ensure that others live a better life. Through giving, we are able to change other people’s lives, and in so doing, we change ourselves!

Posted in Creating, Engaging, Fulfillment, Interacting, Leadership, Participating, Wisdom | 1 Comment »

Transitioning from Next Level Thinking to a Living a Life of Legacy

Posted by Herman Najoli on March 1, 2009

People today are consumed with the idea of going to the next level in their lives, be it in their relationships, careers, finances or other area of life. While this is great because it motivates them, I find it to be an idea that can limit our true potential. My paradigm is that we need to be consumed with the idea of the kind of legacy we will leave behind at the end of the seasons of our lives.

Thinking about your legacy every day, rather than thinking about the next level only, makes you a better leader. I also believe that thinking about a legacy makes you other-people centered while thinking about going to the next level tends to make one self-centered.

How do you transition from thinking about the next level to thinking about developing a legacy?

1. Be more focused on other people rather yourself

The idea of being a ‘people person’ has been around for a long time. Dale Carnegie’s 1936 masterpiece, ‘How to Win Friends and influence People’, has helped so many people over the years to develop a people-centered perspective that has enabled them to leave great legacies. I would highly suggest a reading of the book. 

2. Ask how you can help rather than what others can do for you.

President John F. Kennedy immediately became a world figure with his acceptance speech in which he said, ” And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” In order to leave a legacy you must ascend in thought to where you are asking what you can do for others rather than what they can do for you. 

3. Be a giver more than a receiver

Nothing shapes a legacy more than the spirit of giving. When you give of yourself to others you become a part of the solution. It’s solution-centered thinking that sets the pace for the kind of legacy a person will leave behind. Again, when one is thinking of going to the next level, the pre-dominant question is “What can I get (or receive) that will take me to the next level?” When one is thinking of leaving a legacy, the pre-dominant question is “What can I give that will help others?” Be more of a giver and your legacy will be unshakable because the truth is that what we give is ours forever!

4. Be a leader more than a follower

Leaders impact and influence other people greatly. The great thing about being a leader is that you are able to take other people to the next level as you develop a legacy. What a beauty! Leaders pass along the best in themselves to other people. I’m always pleased when I hear from people I led in high school and at the university. They always say things like, “Herman, that idea was awesome. It took our group to a whole new level.” While those short-term moves were great for whichever group I led, the best thing is that a legacy was developed because even today they still talk about what we did.

Are you living for the next level or developing a legacy for and with your people? Start shaping your legacy today. 

Posted in Creating, Engaging, Fulfillment, Interacting, Leadership, Organization, Participating, Wisdom | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

 
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