Tuesday 6 March 2007

6 Steps to Success

To climb the career ladder you need a variety of skills and expertise. You also need to have the right attitude and mindset. People who achieve success in their chosen fields adhere to the laws of success. Irrespective of your current position, apply these six principles to climb the career ladder.

1. Know your result
Just as companies have end of year results, in twelve months time you will have results in terms of your career, finances, health and relationships. What do you want your results to be in 2007? If you don’t make a conscious effort to determine where you are going, in terms of career (and life) direction; where you are investing your time and energy, you will constantly be reacting to the demands of others. How will you know you are on the right track unless you know your destination?

2. Take Action
Knowledge is only potential power, goals and results are only achieved when you take action. There are two types of action, swift and persistent. Swift action generates momentum. Persistent action ensures steady progress.

3. Flexibility
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time, is a humourous definition of madness. It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut, but if what you are doing is not getting you closer to where you would like to be, then common sense says try something different.

4. Continuous Learning
In a recent study of global high achievers carried out by Fortune Magazine, the main factor that distinguished people at the top of their game in a business and sports context are the ones that carried out what they labelled ‘disciplined practice.’ This means continuously assessing how you are performing and more importantly how you can take your performance to the next level. Just think of Tiger Woods!

5.Model Success

Who do you know that has achieved what you would like to achieve? What can you learn from them? From my experience people who have achieved what you would like to achieve, will be only too willing to share their experience with you, if you approach them in the right way.

6. Personal Excellence
Having the attitude of being and doing your best at whatever it is you undertake is an attitude that will get you noticed. From an employer’s perspective training will increase your competence, but the right attitude is either something you have or you don’t.

In terms of your career, change is automatic, but progress is not. Start living the above principles and you will be proactively shaping your future.

Every successful athlete & performer has a coach, so why should it be any different for individuals who want to excel in their careers

James Sweetman is the author of Graduate to Success and is a leading authority on Peak Performance.
If you are ready to step into your potential, visit http://www.jamessweetman.com

Thursday 1 March 2007

Edward de Bono & Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono has been a long time promoter of methodologies which support and encourage people to think more creatively. His early work on Lateral Thinking (1990) is internationally recognised, and revered. DeBono believed that humans utilise pre-determined processes and channels to process routine thought which, although effective , are often somewhat inhibitive, rigid and restrictive. He theorised that if we could utilise parallel channels to process information, this would provide an entirely different perspective on the issue under consideration, and allow us to identify more creative solutions to problems.

In particular De Bono developed the Six Thinking Hats approach, designed either for individual or group use, to explore a topic in a structured way from multiple perspectives. Each hat has a different colour, and associated attitudinal perspective which should be considered in turn. The Six Hats are:-

White Hat: This hat is neutral, and your are encouraged to examine the facts, data, trends etc in an emotional vacuum. How can they be explained?

Black Hat: provides a pessimistic perspective, where you try to identify problems, disadvantages and difficulties.

Yellow Hat: This encourages an optimistic approach, seeking to identify benefits amd plus factors, where you delight in defining the benefits of the topic.

Green Hat: This looks for a fresh perspective, and different new ways of approaching the topic not previously considered. How else might it be explored? Have all angles been considered?

Red Hat: This is the emotional hat, which seeks to captures gut feelings, emotional reactions, hunches etc. How do you feel about this issue? What is your heart telling you?

Blue Hat: This is the Summary Hat, often adopted by the Chairperson, seeking to pull all viewpoints together to form a coherent picture, to prioritise and evaluate identified options.

The basic premis of this approach is that, when considering an issue in some detail, each 'hat' should be worn in turn to consider the problem from markedly different perspectives. This approach at first glance appears fatuous, and can be uncomfortable initially. However, it has the capacity at worst to provide a balanced evaluation of available options in a highly structured way, and at best to provide a powerful tool to provide multiple perspectives.

Edward deBono's numerous books provides an interesting insight into how we can think more creatively. You might also have a look at www.thinksmart.com for further information.