Friday, June 25, 2010

The Magic of Showing Up

A Woody Allen quotation says,
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
Like many, I generally chuckle when I see this quote. Maybe it's because the bar seems to low. Nevertheless, it's a quote that you see applied to many contexts including success, motivation, dedication, friendship, even love. Woody Allen in an MTV interview in 2008 seemed almost embarrassed about the quote when he said, "That thing has been quoted 20 million times. It's one of the least-witty things I've ever said."

A recent experience caused me to consider the magic of showing up. My team was approaching a deadline and I frankly had little to add to the project. Nevertheless, I showed up, to support, to eliminate distractions, to encourage focus. It was all that I could do. Did it have an impact? You can't really tell. Any impact was immeasurable. But the team was successful.

But I was curious so I sought out experts who had written on showing up and found several.

For example, leadership consultant and coach Tim Porterhouse concisely summarized the magic of showing up when he wrote in Leadership is Showing Up:
By Showing Up you send a message that says:
  • This is vital to me and the company
  • I care about your work - and I want to be part of it
  • I won't ask you to do something that I would not do myself
  • I want to lend a hand - no matter how small my contribution.
Even management guru Tom Peters added a twist to the notion when he wrote about the impact of showing up. He cited a modification that he sourced from the PersistenceUnlimited blog.
So increase you chances by 80%. Show Up!

The twist in the Allen quotation makes a compelling case for the magic of showing up.

Thanks for reading. Please show up and lead quietly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Newness Calls for Renewal of Principles and Values.

My current situation calls for renewal. Newness abounds.

I recently started a new job with a new company, new team, a new role, and new responsibilities. My daughter recently graduated from high school and planning and preparation for her new life at college is in full swing. My family's health is good, the best that it has been in years. That's a great new feeling. Finally, we just celebrated the first day of summer. The new season, and the newness of my current situation calls for renewal.

I'm not talking about major reconstruction. But it is a great time to revisit the values, rules, and guiding principles that I believe in. Some of these principles may have gotten lost during the recent busy and stressful season.

It could be a big task. However, I'd like to reach into my past and remind myself of my core principles through two of my previous posts.

Quiet Leader Commandments - a Redux

I originally presented this list of commandments as a simple list that requires no additional explanation. I believe the list still stands without elaboration.
  1. Always learning, always improving, always practicing.
  2. Stay balanced.
  3. Be resourceful, be a problem solver.
  4. Show vision.
  5. Be nice, be decent, be fair.
  6. Serve.
  7. Show gratitude.
  8. Communicate well.
  9. Listen always.
In this I believe! I feel renewed already.

Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps!

Another great list for renewal is cited in 2008 comes courtesy of author, consultant, and entrepreneur, Raj Setty. Beyond Code: Learn to Distinguish Yourself in 9 Simple Steps!. The eBook is available for FREE from Setty's web site.

It is a great list of reminders about how to set yourself apart. If you are looking to distinguish yourself, just reading the table of contents provides a motivating list of suggestions and reminders.
  1. Learn
  2. Laugh
  3. Look
  4. Leave a Lasting Impression
  5. Love
  6. Leverage
  7. Likability
  8. Listen
  9. Lead

As Raj explores each "l" item, he offers suggestions, insights, quotes, and an accountability assessment. Even if you feel that you have mastered the idea, Raj's reminders and assessment can bring new insight and renewal. The Amazon reviews on his printed book validate my sentiments; it is an overwhelming five-star selection. Did I mention that the ebook is FREE?

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly and renew with me.