Archives for posts with tag: personal development

The other evening in the dusk of a summer night I ran with my dog. As I took in the familiar sites of natural beauty along a favorite stretch of hilly road, I noted how my pup wasn’t quite the spastic fella he once was. It struck me that his six years resulted in our matching of our paces. (O.K., so I also noted how the distance and speed of my runs had also diminished in most recent years – which had nothing to do with my dog!)

They say you measure one dog’s year as being equivalent to seven human years. So basically, my dog and I were the same age! I smiled as I watched him plod along in front of me up a steep hill; both of us determined to keep going. “I wonder what his pace will be a year from now when he’s nearing 50 in human years, “ I thought as we trudged along.

I did a bit of mental math as I continued his age progression in a few more “dog years.” That didn’t last long. (Partly, I can hardly do math in my head when I’m sitting – and running didn’t aid my numbers sense!) I quit doing age progressions in my head of, “So in three years I will be ___ age, which means my dog will be ___ years old in people years.”

What if in one year’s time everything about my life equaled seven years from now – like it was fast-tracked and seven years passed all within an actual 365-day year?

The thought that in three years’ time my dog would age as much as 21 years in my life wasn’t something I want to think about. I love my dog and hate the thought of him not being able to go for runs with me because he’s too slow or that it’s too hard on his body. So I made what I thought was a wise choice and thought about next summer and how, Lord willing, he and I should both be a bit older but still be able to enjoy a summer’s evening run like now.

“What if my life’s years were measured in “dog years”?” I mused. What if in one year’s time everything about my life equaled seven years from now – like it was fast-tracked and seven years passed all within an actual 365-day year?”  I pondered that for a bit.

I wondered, “Would I change the way I lived these next 12 months if I knew that in a year my body would be seven years older, even though my life expectancy hadn’t been extended? If I knew that a year from now it would be as if seven years had passed, and my daughter would not be sophomore in college but would be into her life beyond college, and my son would not be a sophomore in high school, but would be in the middle of his college years – would that change how I lived this next year?”

How much more purposeful would I be with the gift of each day God blessed me with if it was “seven times” more valuable (as far as my finite mind can contrive) than normal? By living my Work-Life Balance Roadmap with diligence, I was pleased to feel at peace that I’m on track with each important “destination” in my life. Because of years of diligence in those important areas of my life, I didn’t freak out with a sense of panic that if seven years passed during the next 12 months that I’d find myself someplace I didn’t intend to be.

But these thoughts of living my life in dog’s years did make me assess the question, “If the passage of these next 12 months equaled the passage of seven human years, what would change in the way I lived life?” Col. 3:17 came to mind. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

I think what would change for me would be the intensity of focus of purpose of each day. If I was involved doing what I believed were the “right” activities, pursuits, relationships, and use of time, then the question would become, “Am I doing these things and spending each moment as truly unto Jesus with a thankful heart?”

If this next year of your life was equivalent to a dog-year, or to put it a different way – if the passage of these next 12 months equaled the passage of seven human years, what would change in the way you lived life?

By Dr. Heidi Scott, Speaker, Coach, Consultant to Leaders, Teams, and Organizations

www.LearningPursuits.com   Book Chapter “Charting Your Course Toward Work-Life Balance” coming in the soon to be released book Roadmap to Success        ISBN 978-1-60013-664-1

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What does this picture tell you about the essence of TEAM?

A picture can say a thousand words. With that in mind, look at, study, and really think about the meaning of the picture above – and how it connects to the essence of TEAM.

As implications of what is occurring in this picture, consider the following:

  • How is this picture a metaphor for your team? (Whether you are thinking of a workplace project team, community group/team, athletic team, or any other type of group with more than 2 people working toward a common goal who influence one another.)
  • What does the pool of water represent?
  • What or who does the droplet(s) of water represent? How many “answers” can you come up with?
  • How many variations of what the ripples in the water represent can you come up with? As you consider your team/group, can you generate concrete examples of what the ripples may represent?
  • As you consider the list of concrete things that the ripples in the water may represent on your team, how did you feel about each one? How do you think members of your team felt? How do you think the leader(s) felt?
  • What does the calm water beyond the ripples represent?
  • How does the “pool of water” absorb the ripples as it seeks equilibrium and peace?

Team Impact…It Happens

Your answers to the questions above lead to these two – that get to the heart of improving your performance and effectiveness as a leader and as a team member.

  • What’s it like to be YOUR teammate?
  • What’s it like to be following YOUR leadership?
  • How can you change your interactions and communication on your team so that you produce a more positive impact?
  • What is YOUR ripple effect? And is it what you want it to be?

By Dr. Heidi Scott – The “Leader’s Coach” http://www.LearningPursuits.com

Sometimes when I am a part of a small group, it is easy to slide along together enmeshed in a purpose or vague “goal” of being together. And if the small group experience is not rockin’ with synergy, results, and fun – or worse yet, begins to feel like I have my feet mired in muck and I feel stuck with the group – I want out. Yet if I’m honest, most of the time that sense of needing to cut myself loose has to do with the egocentric “Me vs. We” tug of war exercising muscles belonging to the human, selfish nature within me…that’s within all of us.

Yet a small group is a system. In fact, it is much like a galaxy!

Shaping the small group – as a leader or participant – by seeing it as a System

In a small group, whom do I focus upon most? Why, ME, of course! Yet just because I may think of myself most as I consider my small group, or just because I may see my world as just that…MY world, doesn’t change the fact that earth is just a piece of the galaxy. And the galaxy is a vast system of interconnected elements.

When the term “galaxy” dances across my mind, the scene becomes one of the backdrops for a Star Trek show. You know, where you see the stars out in a vast blue sea of “forever” on the screen, with an occasional meteor or falling star whisks by – threatening the safety of the Starship Enterprise and life upon it had it connected?

Using this metaphor of the Starship Enterprise zipping across the galaxy may illumine the SYSTEM characteristics of small groups.

And why do we care? This knowledge can help us effectively shape the course of life and work in a small group – as a leader or participant.

What do I need to remember?

  • 1 change = BIG change. If there was an oxygen leak on the Star Trek Enterprise, the entire starship was at risk. In a system (and small group), there really is no such thing as an inconsequential change. For example, enter or exit a new member to your small group – YIKES! This could place the small group at risk of disintegration. At the very least, it may change how the group optimally functions.
  • A system is like a living organism; it is continuously adapting to the environment and micro-changes in order to continue. A small group innately seeks stability. It tries to manage its stability by controlling the degree and rate of change.
  • A system (whether a galaxy or small group!), continually seeks Dynamic Equilibrium. Much like a system, a small group has an invisible control panel where it monitors the “desirability” of change. Dynamic Equilibrium in a group or system is the delicate balance between change and stability. A group’s Dynamic Equilibrium Control Panel manages change, promotes success and growth, and knows the limits of pushing for that success without placing the group or system in utter chaos…where the threat of disintegration is real.
  • Small groups and systems seek survival at all costs – usually through Adaptability. With changing conditions, small groups respond with modifications (when needed) to its rules, procedures, and boundaries.

When we consider how small groups ARE like systems, we begin to see how we are NOT separate individuals “attached” to a group. We are part of a web of interactions, and we and our movements are connected to one another. We influence one another. We individually impact the focus, strength, and effectiveness of the group. There is an extreme degree of interdependence among all members of a small group – because it is a system.

So as a leader or participant of a small group, knowing that even though I am but one member I DO highly impact my group’s welfare hopefully keeps me mindful of how I choose to interact with my small group.

Because in all truth, my actions, words, and attitudes as I connect with my small group contributes to the overall “ripple effect” of energy in the group. Either I generate life-giving growth to this system, or I drain it by tapping its resources to simply try to adapt and sustain itself.

So which are you when it comes to leading or participating in a small group?

As you reflect, are you a Life-Giver? Or are you a Resource Drainer?