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Vision 30

Career Coaching for Young Professionals

Fix Your Broken Windows

 

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Within the past day or two, I’ve finished the audiobook: Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

.  Tipping Point is a book that presents a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly encourage you do, as well as his other two books: Outliers and Blink.

In Tipping Point, Gladwell talks about the “Broken Window Theory” as he shares a story about why the crime rate in New York City dramatically changed in the mid 1990′s.

There was a major crime problem on the subways in New York City.  The subway cars were covered in graffiti, they were dirty, and everyday commuters Fix Your Broken Windows - Vision30were getting hassled on a regular basis by panhandlers, bums, and homeless people.  Long story short, over the course of 6-10 years, they removed all the graffiti from cars, put the resources in place to ensure the cars stayed clean, and they stopped the harassment by the panhandlers, bums, and homeless people.  They quickly started to see the crime rate decline.  Gladwell’s explanation is the “Broken Window Theory

Broken Window Theory

Wikipedia states:

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars.

What this says to me is an environment creates a culture that influences attitudes and behaviors and continues to attract like attitudes and behaviors.  Because it appeared that no one cared for or respected the subway cars it attracted careless and disrespectful attitudes and behaviors.  When they intentionally changed the environment the culture started to change.  As the culture changed, so did the attitudes and behaviors it allowed and attracted.

Environment & Culture

Think for a moment about your personal environment and culture.  They can be the ones you live in or the ones that live in you!

  • Do you have any “Broken Windows”?
  • What kind of attitudes and behaviors are they inspiring?
  • What kind of attitudes and behaviors are they attracting?
  • What do you need to do to fix them?

Personal Leadership is knowing our external and internal environment and understanding how that affects our personal culture.  We must know when we have “Broken Windows” and we must fix them.

We know what will happen if we don’t!

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What attitudes and behaviors will you attract by 30?

Self-Confidence and Humility by J.Kiesau

 

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Over the past few years I’ve really been zoning in on the concepts of insecurity and confidence, which I wrote more about in a previous post titled:

A Battle You Can’t Afford to Lose

Simply, when you are insecure or stressed in any area of your life, your natural tendency is to satisfy that insecurity and create comfort, rather than focusing on more productive things. Confidence is the opposite of insecurity.  When you are confident, little things don’t get in your way and you are focused on accomplishment with greater purpose.

Humility

Humility is a trait that on the surface is a very positive one.  People with humility don’t boast or brag and they aren’t cocky and arrogant.  They are quiet with their accomplishments and many times are fine with sharing the spotlight. They are easy to become friends because they are down to earth.  Humility is a great relationship building tactic.

The natural me is energetic, loud, and highly sociable.  As a young adult I realized how this personality could get me in trouble and give people the wrong impression so I started intentionally (I thought) being humble and exercising humility. I did this for years and it wasn’t until recently I realized my effort to conform and my concern for other people was actually hurting me.

There is a fine line between humility and not giving yourself enough credit.

I would have successes and I’d keep the excitement inside.  People would give me compliments and I’d dismiss and brush it off.  I would rationalize with myself that the things I was doing, weren’t a big deal.  I would look at other people doing similar things and I would put their actions and results at a higher value than my own. Without even knowing it, I was telling myself stories that helped me be a nice guy, but at the same time my self-worth was going down.  I was dismissing the natural excitement and pride I was feeling around things I was passionate about because I didn’t want to make others feel bad or I didn’t want to be seen a certain way.

That’s not confidence!

The humility I was so intent on exercising was majorly jacking with my confidence.   I kept myself in check because I knew I could always do better and there were others doing greater things.  I wasn’t celebrating my accomplishments, nor was I appreciating the kind words, compliments, and acknowledgement of success others were giving me.  Though my expectations for myself were very high and above average, I wasn’t allowing myself to be anything but an average guy who could always be and do better.  I never gave myself enough credit.

Humility and Self-Confidence - Vision30Humility, Self-Worth, and Confidence Need to Co-Exist

Like many things in life, success it’s about balance and moderation. Humility is a great thing, but not at the expense of your self-worth and confidence.  Everybody needs to value themselves and attack the world with confidence, but not at the expense of other people’s feelings.

Be confident!  Have humility!

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How much confident-humility will you have by 30?

 

Be Free! by J.Kiesau

 

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Thank you to all the brave men and women who have and continue to sacrifice their lives to protect me, my family & friends, community, and country while preserving the greatest gift any of us could ask for.

Fight for Freedom



Today is Memorial Day! A day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  A day to remember all the people who lost their lives protecting the greatest gift any of us could ever wish for.

Freedom!

When I Google Search “Define Freedom”, the following definition comes up:

“The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

Over 1,000,000 people have died fighting for your right and my right to act, speak, or think as we want without hindrance or restraint.

What does this mean to you?

What does your Freedom look like?

What are you doing with this gift . . . or right . . . or power that so many people died to preserve for you and I?

What are you doing to keep it?

Each one of us is given a gift to create the life we want, but too many people never take advantage due to lack of vision, lack of focus, unproductive thoughts, bad decisions, selfishness, and laziness.

What if the 1,000,000 people who died protecting our Freedoms were unfocused, selfish, and lazy?

Today is about honoring!

The best way to honor the people who have lost their lives is by taking advantage of the Freedom they fought for and ensuring we are personally doing everything we can to make sure our families, communities, and nation stay strong and continue to honor them in the same way.

Everyone is responsible!

Be Free!

How different could our country be if everyone took advantage of their Freedom!

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Commentary vs. Contribution by J.Kiesau

 

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Think about all the interactions you have with others on a daily basis:

  • Face to Face
  • Phone
  • Text / Email
  • Social Media
  • Blogs / Articles

Do you provide commentary or contribution?

This really is an important question, because I think some people get them confused.

What’s the difference?

Relationships are all about value. Relationships succeed and thrive because there is an exchange of value in one way or another. All parties get something out of the relationship that is beneficial to them.

Commentary is just talking or . . . commenting. There really isn’t any purpose behind it. It’s not helping other parties reach their goals and it’s not helping fulfill any other purpose outside of fulfilling the “commentors” need to say something, hear themselves talk, receive validation, feel a sense of control, or get a reaction out of others.

Contribution can be talking, but it’s purposeful. It provides value to an exchange and relationship. A contributor is paying attention to what is going on and is looking for ways they can help. They communicate when they feel they can add value and they shut up if they can’t.

Big Difference!

Have you ever been in a meeting where you have that one person who needs to comment on everything that is said? Maybe they are trying to be entertaining or maybe the truly feel they are adding value, but in reality neither is Contribute - Vision30happening.  I was in a meeting where a person didn’t appear very engaged when others were speaking, but when the boss was talking they were smiling, nodding their head, and repeating everything that was said as if the boss needed that validation? The boss didn’t need any validation. The person commenting did!

In a meeting, a contributor really doesn’t say much unless they feel they can add value to what is being talked about. They are engaged, but they are controlled and purposeful with how they show up in the meeting. They ask clarifying questions to understand better. They challenge, make suggestions, and share ideas they feel could be beneficial. It’s truly not about them.

Three Ways to Become A Contributor

  1. Pay Attention – In “7 Habits of Highly Effective People“, Covey talks about “Seek to Understand, before you Seek to be Understood” The more you pay attention and understand the more you will be able to contribute.
  2. Understand Your Impact – You need to understand and embrace what you bring to the table. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you help and what value can your role bring.
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  3. Have Confidence – You are paying attention to what is going on. You recognize where you can impact. You now must have the confidence to communicate your ideas and take action. You can’t sit back and say nothing. You must contribute!
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Each of us has an awesome opportunity to add value and contribute to the world around us, but we need to know what’s going on and have the confidence in ourselves to take action and make things happen.

We can all contribute!

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What contributions will you make by 30?

 

WOW… a Great Top Ten List

 

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I read a lot about personal, professional, and leadership development.  Though I don’t do a great job at writing in this style I love it when writers put their thoughts in to lists of a certain number, such as “top ten ways to . . .” “3 things to . . .”  You get my point!
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I think Robert Chen hit it out of the park with his article at LifeHack.org titled:

10 Great Tips for Success in Both Life and Business

The top three tips sold me, but the rest are great as well:

  1. Add Value
  2. Follow Your Passions
  3. Be Extraordinary
  4. LifeHack.orgStart Now
  5. Hunt for Good Mentors
  6. Build a Support Group
  7. Personally Know Your Finances
  8. Get Help
  9. Learn Sales
  10. Be Resilient-

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I highly encourage you to click on the link above and read the entire article.  It’s great stuff!

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How many of these 10 tips will you be following by 30?

Will You Be in the 42%? by J.Kiesau

 

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I read an alarming USA Today article yesterday titled:

Obesity could affect 42% of Americans by 2030

If you are in you are between 20 – 30 this means that 42% of you will reach obesity between the ages of 40 - 50.

Obesity could affect 42% of Americans by 2030 - USA TodayWill that be you?

Of course you’re telling yourself “No way!” right now.  Why wouldn’t you?

How do you think people who are obese today would have answered that question when they were 20-30 years old?

They would have said the exact same thing!

One of two things is going to have to happen to prevent this projection from becoming a reality.

  1. The government will step in and start to regulate what we can and can not eat.
  2. People will be personally responsible and take their health seriously.

There is no other way to stop this.  Either you are going to make the decision not to allow this to happen to you, someone is going to make the decision for you, or you will be part of the 42%.

That’s life!

I have always enjoyed exercising, but a little over a year ago I took it to a whole new level.  I made the decision that I was going to commit 60 minutes or more per day, seven days a week to my health.

My health is my #1 priority!  Period! 

I know, you’re busy.   I get it!

I’m a single dad with two children.  I have a career and am co-owner of a business.  I am involved in non-profit organizations and various community initiatives.  None of this gets in the way of my health.  On a very rare occasion I might have to miss a day or reduce my minutes, but it is made up.

It’s a choice to be made!  Only you can make it!

In one of my first grad classes I remember my instructor saying “People change for two reasons: Opportunity and Fear”  Opportunity and fear both played a role in “WHY” I decided to make health my # 1 priority?

WHY - Vision30

You need to figure out “WHY” it’s important to you!

There are likely many reasons why you should do this.  Some you’re aware of and many you haven’t even realized.

Here are six reasons I made my health my #1 priority.  Perhaps you can relate:

  1. I Can Be Insecure - I’ve identified two key factors between me being insecure or confident: Exercise and Sleep.  My thoughts and emotions are simply more productive and I’m less stressed when I get enough sleep and I exercise on a regular basis.
  2. I’m Superficial - I like the physical results of eating healthy and exercising.  As an adult I’ve weighed 200 and I’ve weighed 230.  I like the way I look when I’m closer to 200!
  3. I’m Selfish – I want to successfully reach my personal and professional goals.  When I’m healthy, I’m more productive. When I’m more productive, I’m more successful.  Period!
  4. I’m Responsible - The healthier I am the better I can lead and take care of my family.  The healthier I am the more successfully I will fulfill my responsibilities to my employer and clients. The healthier I am the less I will be contributing to this healthcare crisis and the soaring cost of healthcare impacting my employer and our communities.
  5. I Must Walk My Talk -  I could never talk and write about the things I do with integrity if I wasn’t making every effort to be an example and practice what I preach.  The only way for me to fulfill my purpose and help others gain the confidence to take action is to do it myself.
  6. I Want to Positively Impact the World Around Me

What are your six reasons to take personal responsibility for your health?  What is the opportunity with living a healthier life?  What should you be afraid of if you don’t?

The foundation of confidence and fulfillment is being mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.

If you have any desire to impact the world, your health is a great place to start!

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How healthy will you be by 30?

Your 11:20 Moment by J.Kiesau

 

I’m a runner!

Ok, I may have stretched the truth a bit.  I am TRYING to be a runner.  I currently run between three – five miles per day and I am training for my 2nd Tough Mudder that will take place in just a few weeks.

Just two years ago I was outwardly vocal about how much I wasn’t a runner and my common response to people who were avid runners was “You’re Crazy!”

Vision - 11:20 PrincipleThey weren’t crazy.

I was weak!

Running is a lot like everyday life.  It takes a strong mental attitude.  It’s good for you, but it’s not always fun.  It can be a painful and uncomfortable process in pursuit of a goal.  It’s really easy to give up and take an easier route.  And if you can just stay committed and bust your ass long enough for the endorphins or “runners high” to kick in, it’s easier and more productive.

Last week I was running on the treadmill at the gym.  My body was tight and my right hip flexor was irritating the heck out of me.  When I started the only thing I was thinking about was the discomfort and rationalizing with myself that if I quit, it would be OK.

Then it hit me!

My thoughts were different and the discomfort and pain was gone.  It became easier.  Endorphins had kicked in, runners high had taken over, and all of a sudden I was more relaxed and focused with what I was doing.  I looked down at the timer and it said I had been running 11 minutes and 20 seconds.

11:20

Because of my weak mind and crappy attitude, it felt a heck of a lot longer than 11 minutes and 20 seconds.  In just 11 minutes and 20 seconds I almost gave up and would not have completed the three – five miles I had committed to.  I wouldn’t have moved any closer to being prepared for the Tough Mudder.  The worst part is I had myself convinced it was OK to quit over a little discomfort.

Can you relate?

Have you ever achieved anything that didn’t come with some challenge and discomfort?  Leadership is a challenging and at times uncomfortable task.  Being a leader requires you to think for yourself and stand up for what you believe.  Sometimes you’re forced to make decisions that aren’t popular and others just don’t understand.  Those who make decisions based on their foundational passions and values are the ones who experience the “runners high”.   Because they are living true to themselves, they are confident and mentally and emotionally strong.   They will never give up, because they believe at their core in what they are doing?

What will your 11:20 look like?

Will you experience it?  Will allow unproductive thoughts and a little discomfort to convince you it’s OK to give in and quit . . . that everything will be just fine?

As a Young Professional, now is the time to jack up that speed, face the discomfort head on, and have confidence your attitude and preparation will create the momentum that will positively impact you the rest of your life.

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5 Ways to Kill The Messenger!

 

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Last week I was on the treadmill at the gym and I found myself irritated over ridiculous news story I was watching.  I normally don’t watch the news, but this morning my phone died, which is also my music player.  It was a reminder of how big of an impact the messages we receive can play in how we approach the world.

The average American gets hammered with over 5,000 messages per day in one form or another.  This means each one of us is having to make decision after decision after decision on what we are going to pay attention to and what we are going to ignore.

If it was only that easy!

It’s not that easy!  Sure we can say we are going to consciously make and effort to pay attention and that’s all well and good, but what about all the other stuff that our subconscious is sucking in without us even realizing it.
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Time Square, New York City

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We are at a disadvantage!

Most of the messages we experience aren’t coming from people we trust and sources who genuinely have our best interest in mind.  They are coming from sources who understand how we think, feel, and act more than we do.  Their number one goal is to influence you and I to do something that at the end of the day benefits them.  The tricky part is, they make us think we’re in control.

We’re not!   Yet!

The only way to win this battle is to understand your passions and values and proactively seek out information and resources that align with the person you want to be.  Being reactive puts you at the mercy of everything coming at you.

Take Control!

Here are five ways you can take control and kill all the messengers that have no interest you being confident and living fulfilled.

  1. Set Expectations
    Set expectations for what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live.  Call it vision, goals, interests, passions… however you want to phrase it is up to you.  Once you set expectations you’ll know what you need to pay attention to and what really doesn’t matter.
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  2. Select Your Network
    We talked about this in a previous post “Soar with the Eagles“.  You are who you hang with!  The people you roll with are a reflection of who you are and an picture of who you are trying to be.  Surround yourself with people who inspire you and cut out those that take and bring you down.  Need some help?  Read this “Removing Toxic People From Your Life
    -
  3. Read/Watch/Listen
    There is so much great FREE information available right now at your finger tips on whatever topic you’re interested in.  Read blogs and articles…  watch YouTube clips or documentaries on Netflix… listen to podcasts and audio books.  Of course there is reliable and unreliable information, but you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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  4. Get Involved
    Once you figure out your passions and values, get involved in things that align with them.  Getting involved will accomplish two things.  One: You’ll meet like minded people, which contributes to #2 above.  Two: When you focus on things you’re passionate about, the stuff that doesn’t align, doesn’t seem to matter as much.
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  5. Find a Mentor, Coach, or Trusted Advisor
    If you haven’t yet, watch the video on the upper right of this site.  Google CEO, Eric Schmidt talks about the value of this. We all need people who want to see us succeed that will give us the good, bad, and the ugly.  Often we are our own worst enemy.  Few things are more valuable than the third-party perspective of someone we trust.
    -

Of the thousands of messages you encounter on a daily basis, how many of them align with your passions and values and are helping you live confidently and fulfilled?  If you don’t know, you need to pay attention.  If you don’t like what you discover, you need to change it!  Only you can!

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What messages will you pay attention to by 30?

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6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers via Inc.com

 

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Do you know what strategy is?

Do you know the difference between strategy and a tactic?

Strategy is a concept people use a lot when they talk about how they are going to accomplish something.  Most of the time they are describing tactics . . . not strategies.

Understand the difference!

Strategy is a bigger picture philosophy on how you might accomplish a goal and tactics are the actions within the philosophy that will help you reach it.

A few examples:

A weight loss strategy I have is to focus on calorie burn.  The tactics I will use will be running and kick boxing.

Because the opposing team’s run defense is weak our strategy is to run the ball 75% of the time and pass it 25% of the time.  Options, sweeps, draws, and traps are all tactics that will help us accomplish the goal.

A sales professional identifies that CEO’s of senior living organizations are a great fit for their services.  Their strategy is to focus their attention on the senior living industry.   Social media, direct mail, phone calls, and event invitations are tactics they will use to get their attention and create awareness.

Make sense?

In my experience, people don’t understand strategy, they understand tactics.  Short term success might be dependent upon tactics, but long term and sustainable success will be dependent on your strategy.

What is your strategy?

What’s your strategy to be the leader you need to be to live the life you want to live?

It’s easy to create your daily or weekly to-do list, but what are you basing that off of? What is your 2 year vision?  What do you want your life to look like when you’re 30, 35, or 40?  Most people create their daily and weekly to do list off of today’s demands rather than tomorrow’s dreams.   This is bass ackwards!

Today’s tactics must align with your vision strategy!

Inc.comThis morning I came across a great article at Inc.com that discusses this, as well has a great video talking about “Making Bold Moves”.

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers

  1. Anticipate
  2. Think Critically
  3. Interpret
  4. Decide
  5. Align
  6. Learn

Click here to read the article and watch the video!

We live in a quick fix, easy out, path of least resistance, and instant gratification society.  People make choices for today with little thought of tomorrow.  When you understand strategic thinking and the importance of creating a vision, everything you do will give you instant gratification because it’s more purposeful and contributes to the strategic vision for your world.

Become a strategic thinker!

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How strategic will you be by 30?