Sustaining Success
October 2009
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

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Laurie Mrva
Achieve Success LLC
Opt for Optimism

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While many of you may be scratching your heads as to the merit of this salutation amidst the current economic climate, the often overlooked mind-set of optimism can have a very real effect on how we view others and situations and most notably - how others perceive us. And this perception more often than not translates into both happiness and success in your personal relationships and professional careers. Optimism is not only a philosophy - but a lifestyle. Those who see the best in situations and in people are those who tend to receive the best out of every situation and the most out of their relationships with others.

Living optimistically can melt away worry and open new doors of opportunity as well as provide personal and professional satisfaction. By committing to a positive frame of mind, others will soon take notice and perceive you as successful and secure. These are key attributes of those who are ready to take on the next level of advancement. The following are just a few considerations to keep you on the proactive side of positive thinking:

Renew your Outlook. Optimism is not only a thought process - but a way of life. You can either choose to believe you are hopeful and living in abundance or you can live with compounded worry and hopelessness. It is very easy to fall into the fear trap, but it is far more satisfying to see the joy in the beautiful things that surround you in everyday life.

Start a Gratitude List. For every new day, write down something that went well for you that day. Keep it simple and see your day-to-day successes!

Unplug.  As the many media outlets serve to inform and entertain us, these days everything seems to be doom and gloom. Let's face it, just watching the news can be downright depressing.

Wipe out Worry. Worry serves to do little more than drain your energy. In addition, this thought process most often snowballs and creates even more dread and fear. Try this strategy; for every element of anxiety, replace it with a completely opposite scenario and dwell on that thought until you can imagine yourself in that situation. Before long, you will be in that situation!

Spin a Positive Web. Viewing situations from a positive vantage point will equate to even more success. By overlooking the negative and praising the positive you will be further on your way toward an optimistic mind-set. Not only will you attract more positive people in your life, but the people around you will soon take notice.

Reach Out to Others. By sharing your optimistic attitude with others, you serve to boost your own positive energy as well as those around you. Just imagine the satisfaction you can feel by mentoring another or offering advice and encouragement. An optimistic outlook is not only contagious - but it can get you noticed.

When you really think about it, chances are you have much more that you ever thought possible five or ten years ago. Be grateful and giving and more of the same will continue to come your way!


~ Reprint permission granted By Alison Sfreddo - The Training Connection, Inc.

How Do You Go From 'Super Worker' to Supervisor?

Achieve Success LogoThe function and role of a supervisor is critically important to an organization. But what is a startling fact is that most supervisors are promoted from within, with little or no training. They go from being a 'superworker' on Friday to a supervisor on Monday.

They get promoted because of their knowledge, skills, and sometimes because they are just a nice person. Now certainly those are important qualities as a worker and you wouldn't want to promote someone that didn't have these qualities. (Why would you promote someone that just isn't a nice person, are not dependable, and unable to do their job?)

But the qualities that made them a 'superworker' are not necessarily the same qualities they need to be a supervisor. In fact, surveys have shown that only 15% of the reason people get a job, keep it, and move ahead is due to your technical skills and knowledge.

What about the other 85%? Studies have proven that the other 85% of the reasons you get a job, keep it, and move ahead is due to your people skills and people knowledge. You must be able to get others to do what you use to do so well.

But where do you get these people skills? Often this is what gets overlooked. It's usually by trial and error. (And we all know what happens when we do that... see ya)

It is vitally important to develop these "people" skills ASAP!

Use this list below to evaluate yourself and to create a plan of action to become the best supervisor in your company.

Successful Supervisor Traits:

1)    Ability to motivate others in a positive way to get results

2)    Self starter and takes initiative to do what needs to be done

3)    Communicates well with the management team, colleagues, subordinates, and other supervisors

4)    Has great organizational skills and planning capabilities

5)    Possesses good decision making skills.

6)    Able to adjust to change

7)    Have good goal setting and achievement skills.

8)    Have a great attitude.

In addition, you must think in terms of excellence, profitability, return on investment, and effectiveness.

Successful Supervisor Traits Evaluation and Action Plan

Evaluate each supervisor trait below by asking yourself the question. Decide if the trait is a strength or a weakness. Upon completion of the exercise, develop action steps to improve on the weaknesses you identified.

1.      Do I motivate others in a positive way to achieve the desired results?
2.      Am I a self starter and do I have initiative?
3.   Do I communicate well with others?
4.      Am I organized and do I plan well?
5.      Do I have good decision making skills?
6.      Do I resist change or embrace change?
7.      Do I set and achieve goals?
8.      Do I have a great attitude?

Your action plan should state specific steps towards improving on those traits you feel are not as strong as you would like. Concentrate on your weaknesses, but be sure to review your strengths to determine if there is more you can do to reinforce your strong traits.

~ Copyright 2009, Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and profiling/ assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

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In This Issue
Opt for Optimism
How Do You Go From 'Super Worker' to Supervisor?
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Shared Leadership
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If you look at the most successful teams in any sport, you will find a common bond within the team. Sometimes, it is called chemistry - as if just the right mix of chemicals has created a special new formula. Other times, it is postulated that there was strong leadership provided by key players and everyone else responded favorably to their lead or "charisma".

I believe there is merit to the leadership issue - with one notable exception. If a team begins to heavily rely upon their selected or anointed leader - they become dependent upon the leader for their overall performance. While great leaders are necessary and very helpful to raising performance standards - true leadership for high performance teams is shared leadership.

Let me explain...when a team has "a" leader, the team becomes dependent upon the leader for their confidence and most importantly - their "will" to win!

This is fine as long as the leader is focused, injury-free and having a good game. However, if the leader is unprepared, loses self-confidence or is just having a bad day - the team usually suffers and can lose - even when they have more talent.

This is the point of shared leadership - interdependence! At the pinnacle of long term team success is the principle of shared leadership. Every member of the team is taking ownership and responsibility for the overall performance of the group. No one panics or becomes negative at the first sign of adversity. In fact, teams with shared leadership strengthen their resolve and focus at the first sign of adversity and unite as one. They support each other and take care of their own responsibilities to insure the success of the team. Excellent teams know that each person has an assigned duty or role for each play. Personal pride can override fear and indecision, while moving each individual within the team to carry out the assigned duty.

Good teams rely upon individual leadership while great teams share the leadership. Everyone takes individual responsibility for their actions and results. This explains why some teams have started the season playing as champions behind their leaders - only to fall back into the pack after a key injury to their designated leader. Great championship teams unify together, sharing the leadership role, the responsibilities, and the accountabilities for high performance standards.

The real question for you - Does your team share the leadership role or depend upon one or two individuals to provide the energy, passion and discipline for the winner's edge?

~ Written by Voss W. Graham of InnerActiveConsulting Group in Cordova, TN