13 for 2013 – Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year

13 For 2013 — Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year
By Jerry Posner

1. Walk, don’t jump to conclusions.

 
2. Feeling stressed? Take a “gratitude break.”

 
3. “Mind the gap” – increase awareness of the space between stimulus and response – and CHOOSE your responses.

 
4. Banish old negative, stupid biases. Nurture groovy ones!

 
5. Generate positive, constructive self-fulfilling prophesies.

 
6. Avoid assumptions – ask good questions … listen carefully.

 
7. Be thankful for the millions and millions of people who do their jobs so we can do ours.

 
8. Great to count blessings, even better to write them down.

 
9. Brightening someone’s day will brighten yours as well.

 
10. Practice doesn’t make perfect … practice makes habits.

 
11. Demonstrate and feel love instead of just talking about it.

 
12. Plant seeds every day. Keep planting. They will eventually sprout. Water them with intention and attention.

 
13. Skate to where the puck is going, not where it’s at. (Gretzky)

 

Here a link to the card: https://www.facebook.com/jerryposner/photos#!/photo.php?fbid=4746720879590&set=pb.1642090676.-2207520000.1357148946&type=3&theater

“Since there’s always a choice … choose wisely!”
http://www.jerryposner.com
posgroup@aol.com
413-441-6361

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Great Leaders are Great Teachers … Some Simple Ideas on Leadership

Great Leaders are Great Teachers …
Some Simple Ideas on Leadership
By Jerry Posner

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Leonardo DaVinci

Often, the most practical and actionable wisdom is elementary and uncomplicated. Consider Dr. Stephen Covey’s bestseller, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” — all simple reminders that can create powerful results … when applied. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

When I speak or write about leadership, I usually combine the role of “leader” with “trainer” as leaders are continually teaching and training their team, by example (behavior, mood, tone, body language, etc.) and by instruction. Great leaders are great teachers. And as the emerging field known as positive psychology suggests, emotions are contagious (especially the emotions of the boss)! Emotional intelligence is an important factor for successful leadership.

Did you ever have a teacher or a coach, perhaps a mentor or manager that you totally respected … and totally respected you? Someone who understood people’s feelings? Someone who’s skills you admired? Someone who made you feel proud to be on their team or working for their business? Here’s a little exercise: write down the names of two or three of them, and write down the qualities you respected the most. Begin your workday by reminding yourself of those qualities. Take note of how thinking about those qualities makes you feel. Inspired? Motivated? See what happens in a month or two of these daily reminders!

When a leader exhibits qualities like kindness, compassion, fairness and courage in the workplace, it is likely that the team (and the company culture) will exhibit those qualities as well. Naturally, this filters down throughout the organization and to the customers, clients, vendors and community. This is called “treatment transfer” and of course, it works both ways.

But just recognizing common sense wisdom isn’t enough. It must be applied. There has to be practice. Not hard or tedious practice, just a little bit of practice every day. Focus with daily frequency. Get feedback. Have some fun!

So, what are the habits you might want to develop and what are the habits you might want to trash? Always excellent questions. Do we want to improve our communication skills, for example? Handle stress better? Act kinder and more compassionately? More decisive? Better organized? Give yourself honest feedback; perhaps get some from others, too. Evaluate the feedback without becoming too defensive. Great leaders get lots of feedback and use it.

I like short, catchy phrases or reminders, to help me remember the habits I want to make and the habits I want to trash! When I focus my attention on those trigger-phrases daily, they affect my thinking and behavior, eventually sinking into my long-term memory, creating new habits, and … voila!

Here are some to consider:

Emotions are contagious, so it pays to know what I’m feeling.
Inspire the passion!
Remember the vision!
Compassion is always an option.
I treat my staff the way I want them to treat our customers.
I recognize great ideas and transmit them to my team.
What’s important to me now?
I make my choices based on the outcomes I most desire.
I am committed to the success of my team.
I am the coach, not the critic.
I tell the truth and keep my promises.
I communicate clearly, accurately, kindly, effectively, (C.A.K.E.)
Great leaders are great teachers!

Feel free to use some of mine or write your own. One word triggers can be helpful, too, words like: purpose, calm, peace, gratitude, smile, alert, appreciate, listen, caring. Use words and phrases that inspire you … guide behavior … make you feel good! Put them on post-it notes, file cards, posters, screen-savers …

Storytelling is a great skill for leaders to develop; especially when the story illustrates the material you want to teach. Good stories are “sticky” — people remember them. Real life or fiction, a great story well delivered is a terrific leadership tool and will help with public speaking also.

And speaking of public speaking … when invited to say a few words, be prepared! Always have “a few words” ready and rehearsed, if necessary. Great leaders are confident speakers.

So many of the old common-sense sayings and clichés contain the wisdom of exemplary leadership. When we recognize the ones that are useful to us, and reinforce them regularly, then we get some improvement! For example:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
“What goes around comes around.”
“Be careful what you wish for … you might get it.”
“Let sleeping dogs lie.”
“A stitch in time saves nine.”
“Plan your work … and work your plan.”
“One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”
“Don’t get wet before it rains.”
“Before you lose your temper, count to ten.”
“What ‘the thinker’ thinks ‘the prover’ proves”
“You can’t get to the top by sitting on your bottom.”

Great leaders are great teachers … and great students, also!

Jerry Posner is an engaging conference speaker, “motivational entertainer,” author and training specialist. He will be presenting a three-hour workshop, “Ways to Be a Better ‘Leader-Trainer’” on November 8 at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce office in Hudson. Cost is $49 for members and $89 for non-members. To make reservations, please call the Chamber at (518) 828-4417. For more information about Jerry, visit http://www.jerryposner.com.

MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode 11 – “Am I Cured?”

MY CANCER ADVENTURE
Episode 11
“Am I Cured?”

Confirmation biasthe tendency to find evidence that supports or confirms one’s beliefs, expectations, notions, points-of-view, etc. This bias can be positive or negative, constructive or destructive.

Self-fulfilling prophecya statement or mindset that modifies or alters behaviors and actions, to become true. Self-fulfilling prophecies can also be positive or negative, constructive of destructive.

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During the follow-up visit with my surgeon, I asked him, “When people ask if I’m cured, what should I say?”

He replied, “probably.”

The likelihood of being cancer-free after my surgery is very, very high, but it can’t be determined with absolute certainty … yet.

I will have a PSA test twice yearly for five years.

At the beginning of this adventure, I made a prophecy: “somehow this will make me a better person.” I could have just as easily predicted that my life would be miserable, and I suppose I could have created that outcome as well.

In the mean time, I am feeling quite good and except for a couple of ‘plumbing’ issues (which will resolve in time), functioning normally.

I am fortunate. This is my chosen “confirmation bias” – created and nurtured over 30 years of consciously choosing optimism over pessimism. Though I was not always successful, the long-term positive outlook eventually became my brain’s default setting.

Good thing.

I could see myself as an “unlucky” person to have had cancer … or a “lucky” person to have caught it early enough, before it spread beyond the prostate.

When you decide to see yourself as a fortunate, blessed, “lucky” person … you will find evidence everywhere! This may take some practice, but it’s definitely worth it – especially during challenging times. Easiest way? Once a day, write down five things that make you feel grateful.

This will probably be the last chapter in “My Cancer Adventure” series for a while. If there are any significant updates, I will keep you, my valued friends and readers, in the loop.

And speaking of valued friends and readers … I am so very grateful for your kind and generous support. Your prayers and positive thoughts mean the world to me. Most of all, my wife Lynne gets the lion’s share of the credit for the relative smoothness of this “adventure.” Our five-year wedding anniversary is next month – truly the very best five years of my life.

Much love,
Jerry

PS: I have created a new workshop and keynote speech for businesses, organizations and events – WAYS TO SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE ADVERSITY: What To Do When Things Don’t Exactly Go Your Way. If you’re interested, send me an e-mail – posgroup@aol.com

Thanks, and very best wishes to you and yours!

MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Ten – “Back To Work”

MY CANCER ADVENTURE
Episode Ten
“Back To Work”

I am so very grateful and thrilled to have recovered enough to resume my speaking work. Still, I’m not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds for another couple of weeks (glad the ukulele ain’t heavy). And no solo long-distance travel for another couple of weeks.

I am reflecting on some of the key points that made my “cancer adventure” as easy and successful as possible. Unquestionably, the single most important factor was the support and partnership of my wife. We worked as a team, increasing efficiency, providing continual emotional support and comic relief!

Some of these points might be important to you, too …

1. Got the PSA test yearly – caught the cancer early.
2. Listened to my primary care physician and saw a urologist.
3. “Bit the bullet” and had the biopsy.
4. Got the diagnosis and began extensive research.
5. Told our network of friends and family that we needed to get the best, most professional second opinion.
6. Thanks to my sister’s friend’s cousin, we connected with a top oncologist and surgeon at Dana-Farber. The best!
7. Received lots of generous input from cancer survivors; prayers and emotional support from friends, colleagues, strangers …
8. Decided on treatment based on our research and the meetings at Dana-Farber.
9. Didn’t wait, scheduled the surgery.
10. Shared the experience by writing an ongoing blog.
11. Determined to be the best patient possible – cheerful, kind, appreciative.
12. Determined to be the best husband possible – cheerful, kind, appreciative.
13. Again – best hospital, best surgeon.
14. Great experience at the hospital – treat people the way you’d want to be treated.
15. Keep positive, hopeful attitude, keep complaints and crabbiness to a minimum. Maintain sense of humor.
16. Following orders – from doctor and Lynne.
17. Writing a daily gratitude journal.
18. Ice cream.

Much love.

MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Eight – “What’s Really Important To Me Now?”

MY CANCER ADVENTURE
Episode Eight
“What’s Really Important To Me Now?”

For more than 20 years, I’ve handed out little cards to workshop attendees with sayings and reminders to reinforce ideas worth remembering, and acting upon. A favorite one reads: WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME NOW?

Of course, that’s an excellent question to regularly ponder. Such a useful exercise, especially when facing adversity or challenges. Imagine if you asked yourself this question (and answered it) EVERY day! So simple, yet so powerful!

And so, with my prostate cancer surgery two days away, I answer …

It is really important to be an excellent patient, and all that goes with it.
(I want to make it as easy as possible for my caregivers.)

It is really important to feel and express gratitude – many, many reasons to do so.
(I’m keeping a gratitude journal – very helpful. More gratitude – less stress!)

It is really important to keep my sense of humor – the best medicine, I’ve heard.

It is really important to have as much fun as possible. Yes. Have some fun!
(Inspired by Randy Pausch – “The Last Lecture.”)

Also …

It is really important to accept the love and support of family and friends.
It is really important to have made the treatment decisions we’re comfortable with.
It is really important to maintain a positive, hopeful, optimistic outlook.
It is really important to have a good idea of what to expect.

It is really important to be prepared.

When I remind myself of these things, I greatly increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. And, I decrease the likelihood of self-pity and petty complaints.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, I have my wife who will be taking care of me. Recovery is going to be, at the very least, hugely inconvenient. I am quite sure that Lynne’s job will be harder than mine, so I’m extra grateful to her. And it is really important to me to recognize this, regularly express my love and gratitude … and strive to keep crankiness to a minimum!

Onward … into the unknown!

The next installment of this blog will be post-surgery. I’ll have some answers, and some groovy pharmaceuticals, I’m sure!

Thank you, and much love to you!

MY CANCER ADVENTURE – Episode Five – Choices

MY CANCER ADVENTURE
Episode Five

Choices: Enlightened and Otherwise

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
— Viktor E. Frankl

The ability to choose ones’ attitude or perspective, I believe, is a learnable skill. A skill that especially comes in handy when facing adversity or challenges. The ability to choose depends on the awareness that we CAN choose … and REMEMBERING that we can choose … eventually resulting in a very practical habit!

Then, there are those choices like: surgery or radiation? Where to get treatment? When? Who to trust? These choices will affect my work, my marriage, my body, my life … so I want to, obviously, make the best ones possible. I am relying heavily of my meetings with the oncologist and surgeon at Dana-Farber in Boston later this month. Until then, despite all my research and generous input from others, I don’t have enough information about my cancer or the treatment options to make an enlightened choice. So for now, business as usual.

Easier choices are:

Optimistic and hopeful … or pessimistic and hopeless?

Grateful for all the good in my life … or cursing my rotten luck?

Worry and stress … or prepare, stay in the moment, skim duckweed from the pond?

Tell people about my cancer and get support … or keep to myself and stew in it?

I found out last week that I do have a family history of prostate cancer. This information was completely unexpected. I was never told. Would it have made a difference if I knew? Probably. At least, if I knew, I wouldn’t have tried to weasel out of getting the biopsy that, in retrospect, probably saved my life … or perhaps more accurately, greatly extended it. An excellent choice there – listening to my doctor’s advice!

By the way, regarding the current controversy advocating against PSA tests (screening for prostate cancer), I wholeheartedly disagree. On this Fathers’ Day, I say to all men of a certain age, “get the test.” Get the test and know your options. Disagree with my opinion? Two words: Frank Zappa.

I am grateful every day to my friends (and strangers) for their love and concern, and especially to my wife, Lynne, who is sharing the burden with grace, humor and attention to detail. Life is good!

Much love.

12 For 2012 – Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year

12 For 2012 – Daily Reminders for a Stellar Year

by Jerry Posner

 

1.  Keep goals right up front.  Review daily.

2.  Appreciation, forgiveness, compassion: excellent options.

3.  Aim for no regrets.

4.  Increase awareness of stress triggers and disconnect ’em.

5.  Inspire yourself … inspire others.

6.  Inspire others … inspire yourself.

7.  Simple acts of kindness – superb cost/benefit ratio.

8.  Keep a “to-do” list and a “not-to-do” list.

9.  Great daily choices create great habits, that’s what we want.

10. Increase emotional intelligence.  Make a list of feelings you’d like to experience more frequently.  Put your attention on your list once a day.  Edit and revise as you see fit.

11. Express more love than in previous years.

12. Take a daily gratitude break.

13. Give your customer an unexpected little something extra!

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Click on the link below to download the card.

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My new book is published!

I am delighted that my new book, ETERNAL COSMIC WISDOM AT BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICES is available on Amazon.com … and also available for the Kindle. Deep, lighthearted, profound and fun … all the the same time! But most of all – practical.

The book:

The Kindle version:

Take Some Positive Action

The most practical and profound wisdom is often simple, obvious and readily available to us. Let’s recognize it, remember it, reinforce it … and take some positive action as a result of it!

 

Great ideas are cheap and plentiful.  We are exposed to them all the time.  Even the amazing, transformational right-on-target ones.  Why do we ignore them?  Forget them?  Take them for granted?

I don’t know those specific “whys” – they probably don’t even matter too much.

What I do know is this:  remembering and reinforcing the “great ideas” that inspire “enlightened actions” is one of the best “ideas!”