Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Push Your Team to New Heights!

What a great movie on Teamwork! I have been a member of great teams during my professional and personal life. However, we can all learn a little about teamwork from the sweet goose!

When I was encouraged and gently nudged aka "honked", I really felt that I was contributing in positive way to the group. As I pushed beyond my comfort zone I was able to gain self esteem and increased worth and soar! When I in turn encouraged and nudged my team, they responded in kind.

Kind words of encouragement can go a long way for a growing team.  Keeping the group in formation, may not always be easy, there are always some who will wonder away from the flock.  Do we just forget about them or do we maintain communication and let them know that when and if they are ready they can always return to the formation and flock?

Let us all push our teams to new heights and Soar!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Are You Taking Care of Your Lamp?

 I am partnered with a great company called Simple Truths. Mac Anderson is the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., the leader in designing and marketing products for motivation and recognition.  I recently received this email from their newsletter and wanted to share it with all of you. It really hit home to me as I have always put everyone ahead of my own needs. I think that most women do. Here is the excerpt from the book.

An Excerpt from Oil for Your Lamp
by Lisa Hammond & BJ Gallagher

Virtually every woman we know has the same problem - she knows what's good for her, but she often doesn't do it. She knows she should eat less and exercise more, but still she doesn't make healthy choices. She knows she needs to spend her time and money more effectively, but good time and money management elude her. She finds herself always putting others first, while neglecting her own needs and wants. She doesn't get enough rest or sleep and her endless to-do list hangs overhead like the sword of Damocles. As our friend Brenda Knight laments frequently, "Why am I always riding in the back of my own bus?"

We don't do the things we know are good for us because we are so busy taking care of others that we neglect ourselves. The problem isn't lack of information - we have plenty of information about the importance of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise. The problem is how we prioritize our lives.

Psychologists tell us that some people are inner-directed and some are other-directed. That is, some people focus on their own internal guidance system for making choices about how to spend their time and energy. Their own self-interest ranks very high on their list of priorities. "What's best for me?" is a key guiding principle in determining where they focus their attention and how they make day-to-day decisions.

And some people are other-directed, which means that their primary focus is external, not internal. They are primarily concerned with relationships, especially people they care about. "How can I help others?" is a key question in how they spend their time and energy. Building and nurturing relationships with loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers is the guiding principle in their lives.

Research indicates that, in general, men tend to be more inner-directed, while women tend to be more other-directed. There are exceptions, of course, but as a group, men are focused on themselves while women are focused on other people. Men like to build things while women like to build relationships.

This difference in psychological orientation goes a long way toward helping us understand why we women often do such a poor job of taking care of ourselves. We run around filling others' lamps with oil, but forget to fill our own lamps first. Then we wonder why we're often exhausted, frazzled, stressed-out, anxious and/or depressed!

Awareness is the first step toward solving a problem. So the first section of this book is devoted to helping us acknowledge the problem and understand the reasons for it. Chapter 1 looks at how girls are socialized, growing up to be women who put others first. Chapter 2 examines the values women have adopted in the past 50 years, beginning with the feminist movement - leading us to believe that we can have it all - all at once. And Chapter 3 explores the corresponding myth that we can DO it all.

But don't be discouraged. Help is on the way - in Section II, we'll get into solutions for the problem. We'll learn the value of doing nothing, how to play again, how to become more inner-directed, and most important, how to ask for help.
 You can visit Simple Truths and sign up for their newsletter too!

Memory Lane

Today I have been looking at old pictures and photo albums of my kids. We are a blended family with 5 sons, my husband with 2 and I with 3.  They grew up so fast, it seems like yesterday I was holding them in my arms coming home from the hospital.
 Matt, Andrew and Chris in 1992

Chris, Andrew and Matt NYC August 2010

We recently became empty nesters when our youngest graduated from High School. He was planning on going to our State University, so I thought I had some more time with him! He decided that he was going to move with his brother and sister in law in NYC and join the Navy! I had 10 days to digest the news. It was really difficult at times to look at him and not cry!

As I was flipping through the pages of the albums, I kept wondering if I had been there for them each time they needed me, or had I missed out on something important? Was I a good mom? Did I...., I could go on and on. I think as moms we are always second guessing our choices when it comes to our children. Working nights as a nurse for so many years, I know I was tired many a day.  Try as I did, I also know I was cranky at times with only 1 hour of sleep.

I realized we do the best we can at the time. I have to believe that! The answer to my doubts is when I look at the great men they have become. God is great, we may be reminded of our faults but also of our greatest achievements! May you recognize your achievements too!! Until next time~