Category Archives for "Leadership"

Mar 21

How to Start Saving Money – Don’t Buy Now!

By Judy | Finances , Leadership

Finances - Getting Started

The Dreaded Talk About Your Finances

Well if you’re anything like me and my family talking about finances was the last thing we ever did at the dinner table or anywhere else for that matter.  It was taboo to bring up money.  You never asked questions about how to handle your money or what to do if…. Man looking back now, it’s a wonder I even learned how to count my money.

One of the many reasons I took 5 years of training in Financial Planning was because I wanted to learn more about money and how others managed it.  Looking back, I don’t understand why we’re not taught more about finances in school, and I don’t mean just how to count it.

Understanding finances is the first step in your “money crunch recovery program”, the next step is taking action to nurture that money and help it grow.

Savings – the dreaded word.

Who the @$#^^ wants to save, really? If you don’t like saving, you’re not alone.

I have yet to meet someone who gets up in the morning and does the “I love saving” dance, just waiting to put some of their money away for their future.  I wasn’t one of these people.  I liked to buy when I was younger.

As you get older you realize all those things that you bought, you now have to pack if you move, give away or find a home for and you really didn’t need them in the first place.  What you could use is the money you spent to buy these things in the first place.  The moral of this money story is take care of the money you have.

Learn to respect your money and it will respect you.  Don’t use spending as a therapy for your problems or you may find yourself in depression.  Give back some of what you make to those that really need it and never take it for granted.

What you can count on is those rainy days that will come in your life.  Days, weeks and even months, where you’ll be glad you put money away under your mattress or in your sock, oh or maybe in the bank too.

Oh and where ever you stash it, don’t forget where you put it.

Just a quick story.

When I was younger I used to go out in the winter to a very remote cabin, walking miles along a trail in the bush, where an old trapper used to live.  Me and my husband would take care of him by bringing out supplies to him so he could eat and not have to walk out miles to find a ride to town (he lived over 70 miles from the nearest town), especially during the winter months.  We carried in flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, dog food, canned supplies, some vegetables, etc.  It was a very long day to just get the food to him safely.

Once we had the food all at his cabin he would pay my husband for bringing in the food (he didn’t think I knew how to take care of money, after all I was a woman, that’s a completely different story…as I digress) anyway….

In order to pay us he would take his medal detector and go outside of the cabin.  We had to stay in the cabin and wait so we didn’t know where he stashed is money and steal it (like we would). He buried his money in tin cans underground or under deep snow in the winter.  When he got his pension cheques he would have them cashed, then put the cash in the tin cans and then bury them close to trees in the snow banks but, often he would forget where he put his money, hence the metal detector.  Even he had a money system, as rough as it was.  He at least saved his money, but sometimes would lose some if he could not find it with his detector, only to find it again when the snow melted (kind of like winning the lotto).

My point is, everyone handles money differently. Spending is just a habit that you can change any time you are ready. Are you ready to begin changing some of your spending habits?

It is important to enjoy our lives, but when we hope that we can win money to pay our bills, we are on a slippery slope down a long mountain. This slope can lead to disaster if you are spending your grocery money at bingo, at a casino or on things you do not need.

Don’t be fooled into believing that buying things will make you feel better or winning money will be the answer to all your problems.  I know first hand it sure is not!

Even if you do win the lottery, if you’ve not learned how to budget and save, you will spend the money in no time. It is a proven fact that people who win the lotto and have never learned to budget their money or take care of it, spend it all within five years and end up in worse financial shape than they were before they won the money.

People who’ve never learned to control their money and allow money to control them, usually worry a lot. People who are in control of their money, plan for what they want, to feel less stress when it comes to their money situation.

Taking the time to plan is the key to your success. Looking forward and knowing what you want in your future will help you be successful with your finances.

Taking the first steps of simply becoming aware of when and where you spend your money helps to get you started on good money management.

Learning more about money concepts and how to manage your money effectively will serve you well in your future. Don’t just Buy Now! Talking about your finances is important. Get the conversation about your money going today and manage your money better tomorrow, as a leader.

Prepare – Plan – Perform – Prosper

Till our next dreaded financial talk,

Judy

PS

Check out some these getting started FREE training videos on Finance.

 

Mar 15

How To Ace The Basics of Leadership? 

By Judy | Leadership , Personal Development

How To Ace The Basics of Leadership?  

Are you tired of following orders or following others around and not leading in your own life?  Well, you’re not alone in this but….

We’re not all born leaders. We learn new skills over time to become leaders. Inside each one of us is a great leader but some people just don’t choose to lead.

Leading is a choice you make. Knowing what it takes to become a leader will help you get started on your journey to leading others or once you know what it’s going to take maybe your just going to decide to keep doing what you’re doing but, then at least it becomes your choice.

If you are already running your own business, leading a community, working in a job that requires you to lead others, or simply want others to look to you for your leadership qualities you may want to check out the list below to remind yourself of all it takes lead.  If you are just starting to consider becoming a leader, read on this will get you started.

Leadership Begins With You  – Model The Way

When choosing leadership you also choose to model the way for others. Great leaders understand that they need to act the way they want others to act. They lead by example.

Two important questions you may want to ask yourself as a leader are:

  1. Am I showing up in my life as a good example of the way I want him/her to be? and
  2. Am I treating him/her the way I want to be treated?

I have seen and felt, first-hand, what it feels like on teams that have leaders that don’t even possess the qualities needed to lead.  Often they get into leadership roles because they bully, bribe, lie, and cajole their way to the top only to continue the same behavior when they become the leader, which does not end in good results in the end.

If you want to be a Leader – Start Developing The following Characteristics

1. Honesty and Trustworthiness 

People are looking for leaders who are honest and trustworthy.  The news is full of stories of leaders who lie.  What that does for the leader is erode what others think of them very quickly.  No one wants to look up to or follow a person who is dishonest.  Trust is not built-in your first meeting but destroyed fast if you are not honest.

2. Visionary and Forward Thinking

Great leaders inspire vision and are forward thinking.  In order to inspire vision it is important for them to understand  who they’re leading. People want to believe that their leaders have clear vision and that they have their best interests at heart.

3. Inspiring

Great leaders are those who inspire hope and dreams in others. Leaders are dreamers and they understand that everyone else has a dream as well. The best leaders fuel others’ dreams.

4. Dedicated and Supportive

They show others how to come together in unity for the good of everyone and are supportive to all team members. It takes dedicated leaders to support teams, businesses and communities that thrive. The most important thing a leader can do is to allow their team to act.  Leaders trust the people on their team and have faith that each member will be responsible and effective, while at the same time, they hold their team members accountable for their results.  They are not a babysitter for each team member and do not micromanage their team members, they support them to  greatness.

5. Courageous Pioneer

Leaders are enthusiastic pioneers for their teams and lead with courage. They venture out and take action. Wise leaders understand that change will not just happen – they make it happen.

6. Care For People

They seek opportunities for growth and for building capacity. The best leaders do not command others—they inspire them to do what needs to get done. Leaders watch for opportunities to recognize achievements, and celebrate milestones and they urge all team members to do the same.  They truly care about their people.

7. Intelligent and Competent

Learning new things is second nature to leaders. They are intelligent and become the experts in their fields.  Leaders know what they are good at and hire people who are experts with the skills they do not have.  They “hire-up” and are not afraid of working with people who are more competent than they are in some areas.

8. Fair, Broad-Minded and Dependable

You know you are working with a leader when you can easily talk to them, they are open to suggestions and new ideas as well as critiques, fair to all, yet straight-forward when they’re approached with problems. You can depend on

leaders to make things happen, and they step up to problems with great new ideas to move forward.

9. Determined and Imaginative

Leaders days are often filled with problems. Whether these problems are their own or their team’s, a problem is a problem. Leaders see problems as something that is looking for a solution.  They do not see problems as something to fear or shy away from. Many people find continuously facing problems overwhelming to the point of frustration, not leaders, they thrive on solving problems.

Great leaders, understand that without issues or problems there is no growth. Problems are a part of life. The more challenges you have, the more you are living. It is the way you look at problems that is really the issue. Leader stay focused on their goal when problems occur and how they will solve the next obstacle.

Determined leaders are very imaginative sometimes when it comes to solving problems and usually do not stay stuck for very long on any one problem.

Ace The Basics

Becoming a leader takes dedication, passion and persistence.  You cannot force your leadership on anyone, they must want to follow you as a leader.  Take your time work on each one of the characteristics above, ace the basics and you will become the leader that everyone wants on their team and in their community and remember

becoming a good leader takes years of practice.

Till next Time,

Judy

Listen to the Mp3 Audio Version Below.  You need a MP3 player to use the file.

 

 

Feb 21

Problems Are Waiting To Be Solved!

By Judy | Employment , Leadership , Personal Development

Problems Life Skills

Problems Are Waiting To Be Solved – Master This Life Skill

Problems are waiting for you to solve them. Are you someone who sees a problem in your life as a bad thing? or

Are you someone who sees a problem as a good thing? It’s like the age-old question “Do you see the cup half empty or half full?”

Problems are not bad to have in your life.  If you have nothing you need to solve or overcome in a day how full is your life?  Problems do not need to mean DRAMA or crazy making stuff that happens to all of us.

Problems are things that arise in our lives every day they are given to us to learn to solve.  A problem is something that needs you to deal with it. Just think back on the last problem you solved and how great you felt.  Solving your own problems will help you raise your own self-esteem.

When we are children we have parents, who help us solve problems, sometimes they even solve them for you.  Not always a good thing for you.  The younger you are when you start to learn to solve problems the better you will get when you get older.

Teenagers want to solve their own problems.  This is a good thing.  What teens need is guidance, a chance to figure things out, fail, get back up, dust themselves off and try again and master this life skill.  The parents become the biggest cheerleader.

As a child, teenager or even adult when we face problems we will often do one of three things: freeze, run, or fight.

Sometimes our instincts will kick in and we will solve our problems based on impulsive emotions.  Not the best solution.

Problems Life Skill

Below are seven things to consider when you face a problem that is looking for a solution.

1. The way you look at the problem will decide how you solve the problem.

If you look at it with determination and resolve you will find a way to overcome the obstacle and find the solution.  If you look at it as if it is something that is being “done to you” or from a place of “why me” then you need to consider changing your mind.  Feeling “done to” or asking “why me” will not help you solve your problem.

Solving problems takes practice.

The more problems you solve the more success you will see in your life.  Very successful people learn to solve many problems and they do not stay stuck (or frozen) for any length of time.  They move on and make things happen, even if it does not work and they must try something else.  They are not afraid to fail.  They just keep moving along with calculated action to solve their problems.

2. Is the problem life threatening. 

Do I need to get help immediately or is it something that I can solve given a cool head and time?

If your problem is something that is putting you, someone else or an animal in danger and you cannot stop it on your own, get help!

The longer you wait to reach out to someone the worse the situation may get.  If you are unable to get help leave.

As I stated above, freeze, and get help or run and get away from the situation.  It is not the best idea to fight, as someone is going to get hurt, even though it could be your first response.

Nothing good will come from a head-on fight with someone when both parties are angry.  It is not a great way to solve a life-threatening problem.  If you are in danger run and get help to solve your problem!

3. This problem will end. 

There are several studies on anxiety and worry and I have read that often 8% of what we worry about will come true. Source: The Essence of Success by Earl Nightingale. Edited by Carson V. Conant.

What that means to you is that 92% or what you are worrying about will not happen.  Just knowing that will help you to stop and think about your problem in a different way.

Problems will come and go in your life.  The better you get at solving them the more life you will have.

If you find yourself stuck in a circle of worry stop and ask yourself some questions:  What am I afraid of?  What step(s) can I take now to help me feel better?  Is what I am worrying about really true or is it something I have made up in my mind?  If you are not sure and it involves someone else, go to them and ask them questions to help you confirm your thoughts.  Endless worry is a freeze response that will keep you stuck and even sending you spiraling out of control if you let it.

Stop and breath deeply at least 5 times.  Remember:  All things eventually pass and change into something else.  Nothing stays the same.

If you work at making it better it will improve.  Give it time and relax into the process of solving the problem.

4. Always be accountable – you have created the problem you are in. 

Accountability is a hard concept to understand. There are hundreds of books written on this very topic.   Everything we go through in life we have created for ourselves.  If you can simply accept that what you are going through you have created, then you can take steps to never let it happen again, solve the problem and move on.

Blaming other people or things for our problems does not make the problem go away.  It just keeps you frozen.

If you are taking responsibility for what is happening, you are likely moving in a forward motion of making the problem better.  Sometimes it may seem easier to blame everyone around you for what is taking place but, in the long run you will be the one that stays stuck and does not get the results you want in your life.  Own up and start thinking of solutions instead of blaming the world for the problem you face.

If you have created this, you can also create a solution to fix it.  We all are born with a genius inside.  Stop, breath and listen to your instinct, the answers will come.

5. You are not on this planet alone. 

For every problem you face, there are thousands of people out their wanting to help you solve the problem.

If you want to solve all your own problems get your own planet.

Solve your problems sooner by asking for help. Not asking for problems is a form of flight, running from the problem instead of letting others know you have one and getting the help that you need.  Stop running and start asking for support.

6. Feel the fear and do it anyway. 

Often when we have problems we start to worry, we allow our brains to dwell in negative thoughts and the problem somehow seems to get bigger.  Fear is the problem you are having.  A fear of what others might think, of not being good enough, of getting hurt….what ever it is, it is likely not real.

Sometimes the fear we think about is not reality based and we need to simply do something or stop thinking about what might go wrong.  Many people have the fear of failure.

Successful people feel fear but they know they will must go through some failures to find the gem and success they are looking for.

We all need to go through times of solving problems, some more difficult than others.  Don’t let the fear of anything stop you from solving your most pressing problems today!

7. Own up to your responsibilities as a leader

Leaders solve more problems than most people.

If you strive to lead, you will need to see problems as something that needs solving.

If you come up with a solution you think is going to work and it does not, move on to plan B.  Having a back up plan is always a good plan when solving problems.  If that, then this.  If that does not work, then do this.  By having a plan for what might happen if your first plan does not work.

The next time you have a problem take it on like it is your best friend looking for help.  After all a problem is looking for a solution and needs you to solve it. Mastering this life skill is a great problem to solve.

Till next time,

Judy

 

Dec 16

4 Goal Setting Lessons For Leaders

By Judy | Leadership , Personal Development

4 Excellent life lessons every high achiever should know!

Goal setting is something many people do usually at the end of every year.

I don’t know about you but maybe you are a bit like me.  Nearing the end of the year, every year, I spend some time looking back on the year and reflecting on what have I learned, what was my contribution to this world and how can I improve next year.  This is how I decide what goals are important to me going forward.

Four lessons I have learned over the past year:

One big lesson was: 

How to become more grateful.

This was not always easy for me, especially when life got tough this year.  2016 was a challenging year for me in many areas of my life.  Professionally I took on one of the biggest projects of my entire career and I’m so thankful to have had a team of people who helped me through this.  Personally, I struggled with family issues that have proven to test my resilience, faith and patience but have been all worth the effort.  Spiritually I have grown in ways I never thought I would, learning from my coach and other mentors.

For me, being grateful is easy when things are going well, but what about when things are not going my way?  Practicing things I’m grateful for, helps me to think about good things.

I make a point of practicing being grateful first thing in the morning and just before I fall asleep at night.

Really, before I even leap out of bed.  I take just a couple of minutes to think of 5-10 things I am grateful for.

When I began this my mind would often begin to race in a negative direction.  Thoughts would come up immediately like I’m still tired, I did not get enough sleep, I have so much work to do, I need a vacation, there is so much to learn everyday and on and on these negative thoughts would begin…. BUT I AM LEARNING TO SHUT THEM DOWN FAST! (NOTE:  I’m still in the learning phase)

We are all in control of our own thoughts and man, I was not about to allow my brain to just keep doing whatever it felt like doing, taking me down a dark and deep rabbit hole with no light at the end of this tunnel.

What I have learned is the more I spend time practicing being grateful for what I have now, the more I find it easier to find things I’m grateful for.

To be honest, when I started doing this in the morning all I could think of was the warm bed, cozy blankets, peaceful feeling I was having.  I then started to add my husband and his support, my children(grandchildren) and their smiles and love, my job and the laughter and fulfillment I always feel when helping someone else feel better….and now, with practice, this 5 minutes’ in the morning, flies by and it’s full of great things I am grateful for.

Each night before I go to bed I also try (I’m not perfect, I don’t always remember when I’m tired because I can fall asleep in two minutes) to do this again based on the day’s activities.  It’s a great way to go into sleep at night.

Try it and see if it helps you to start to temper down those negative thoughts.  It really helps me to see and feel lighter and more joyful about the world in general.

Another big lesson for me was to: 

Practice living in the moment,  NOW!

One of my biggest challenges is staying in the moment.  A few years back I started to learn the value of living from one moment to the next,  and this year I intentionally tried to live moment by moment, more often.

In my job, I’m often planning education programs that are going to take place in the future for students.  I project my thoughts and ideas off into a future time and spend time envisioning what that looks like and then write down all the details so it can happen in the future for students.

Planning these programs and event means I spend a lot of time thinking about the future and not a lot of time living in the present moment.

What about you?  How often in one day are you working on something that is not happening now? Something that may or may not happen in the future or what about thinking about the past?

When I am planning these programs I also do a lot of reflecting on past projects, what worked, what did not, how can this one take in all that worked, etc.  I’m reliving the past.  That’s a lot of time in the future and or in the past…. what about NOW?

For me, I found just learning to practice being present in the moment, is refreshing and wonderful.

Last nights Christmas concert for my Grandson was so awesome and I found myself spending time in the present, listening to all the singing the children  practiced, for our entertainment, it was awesome.  They were all so great!

Living in the moment,  takes practice.

For me, one way I purposely practice living in the present moment is by using a technique I learned called mindfulness training or simply being aware of what I am thinking.

Learning how to become aware of your present state of mind is now being taught in school to preschoolers and has been proven to help them learn to manage their stress levels better from a very young age.  Where was all of this when I was growing up?

Living in the present moment is one way to stay in a mindful state.  Not thinking about what you are going to do in 5 minutes even, just what you are doing RIGHT NOW.

Maybe, try this simple exercise:

Simply, stop what you are doing, and breath.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath in (inhale right down into your belly), then let it out (blow out your breath hard if you like, it feels great).  Take another deep breath in…and let it out.  Take one more deep breath in….and let it out.

Now, YAWN (Yes, I said yawn).  If you don’t feel like yawning fake it.  Yawn again.  One more time, take a deep yawn (you may find after three times you will start to want to yawn).  Yawn one more time and now as you yawn, slowly move your head around.  Very slowly, either in a circle or anyway that feels right for you.  But do it slowly and continue to yawn.  Keep yawning and moving your head and shoulders, and if you feel like it slowly move your whole body, one area at a time.  Do it with our eyes closed it helps to keep your mind focused on the moment you are in.

Continue this exercise if you want, to help you begin to relax, how long you do this is up to you.

I like to do it once every hour for just 5 minutes or so, just to get centred and bring myself back into the present moment.

As you do this simple exercise you will find you will probably not be thinking of anything else beside yawning and moving your body slowly.  This mindfulness exercise has been proven to help your brain to calm down.  It has helped me when I am suffering with anxiety or feeling overwhelmed.  The more anxious I feel the more often practicing mindful techniques help me.

Another way to get into the moment is to go for a walk and simply breath in the fresh air.

Breathing in and smelling what you are breathing, like home cooked food, baking, fresh grass that was just cut, ocean sea salt water, your favorite perfume, other smells you love, smells will help you stay living in the moment.

Even better yet taste some of that great food you are smelling.  Take your time.  Saviour every bite.  Try even letting out a sigh and a big wow this is so…. delicious.

While you are walking or even just sitting, just listen.  Make a point of listening to the sounds around you.  If you have a bell of some kind, practice ringing the bell and then just listening to the sound of the bell if you possibly can.

These simple techniques help you to appreciate your surrounding, the moments you are in and the joy the world brings.  (Hint:  it will also help you to think of what else to be grateful for).

My Third Lesson was:

Learning how to become more socially mindful

I wanted to become more socially mindful of others.  Being grateful more often was a great start.

Doing random acts of kindness.  Paying the bill for the person behind me in the drive thru at the coffee shop.

Calling students out of the blue just to see how I could help them with what they were working on in their program.

Emailing ideas and sharing new things I have learned to my friends and family.

Posting more positive and up lifting things on social media.

Sharing more job postings and career opportunities daily with as many people as I could.

Stopping to help people living on the street.  Striking up conversations with strangers who just seemed to need to have someone to listen to them.

I even started Lifeskills4employment community.  This community is open for sharing not only from me but from others.  By sharing with others what we have learned and reflecting on what works, slowly, we will all learn from each other.  My dream is if we learn to share, we can all learn how to be more socially  mindful to each other.

Giving my time for Indigenous women in need.  Women struggling with violence, domestic abuse, the sex trade, poor self-esteem, working on projects for the future of Indigenous women and mothers…it seems  be turning  into a social cause. for me

By purposely spending time working on being more socially mindful I found myself feeling more empathy for others, more patient, easier on myself, wanting to help others at a deeper level, and even searching for more ways to be more socially aware and mindful.  This will continue as a lesson I want to get better at going forward.

 

My fourth big lesson was:

 

Keep on giving, failing forward if that’s what happens, but stay living on purpose.

I worked on some very difficult projects and had some challenging teamwork this year.  Some projects have worked out and have been very successful and others I have not seen a lot of results from yet.

The one lesson I have learned from all of this is to learn from every project I work on and keep living my life on purpose.  My purpose.  What I believe in my heart I’m  meant to do.

To live on purpose, I find I ask myself a lot of questions:  What did I give?  What did I do well?  How could I have improved?  Did I give it my all?  Do I still love what I am doing daily?

Often, I find myself failing, sometime it seems more often than I succeed, but as I look back over 2016, I have been extremely fortunate.  Big thanks go out to my husband, family, friends and clients.

I live my life doing what I love to do everyday, working with some great teams (too many to mention personally but you know who you are, thanks), learning along the way (even through the tough lessons), and realizing that the more I give the more I get.

  • If I give a lot of love, I get a lot of love back.
  • If I give a lot of effort, I get a lot of effort from others given to me.
  • If I give to the best of my ability, I get paid for my time and effort.
  • If I give random acts of kindness, I receive it back.

The opposite is also true as well.

  • If I give anger, I get back anger.
  • If I give bitterness, I get back bitterness.
  • If I do not forgive, I won’t be forgiven when I mess up.
  • If I give impatience, I get back someone being impatient with me….and this list could go on and on.

GIVE GOOD THINGS AND YOU WILL RECEIVE BACK GOOD THINGS IN RETURN (maybe not exactly when you want them to happen but they will happen, just keep your mind positive.)

What is something you have done for others that you are proud of?  Please leave a comment below or shoot me an email at info@ohoeducation.com.

Regards,

Judy