Ask 3 Questions Before Taking On A New Project

Ask 3 Questions Before Taking On A New Project

Evaluate, Featured
Being proactive is generally a good thing, but if your initiative isn’t channeled in the right way, you can squander resources and even damage your reputation. That’s why it’s important to think carefully before taking on a project. Ask yourself three questions to help. “Am I the right person for this project?” Consider whether you have the personal interest and professional expertise needed, as well as whether you can commit enough time and resources. Remember, not every problem is yours to solve. “Whose support will I need?” Consider who will be affected by the project and who you’ll need on board for it to succeed. Make sure you have all the resources you need to do the project right.“Do I understand how important this project is, or isn’t?” If an…
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If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Replace it

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Replace it

Evaluate, Featured
Warren Buffet is one of Apple's biggest shareholders. In 2020 he bought his first iPhone. Prior to that he used a simple flip phone. No apps, no video camera, just a simple flip phone. Why? It did what he needed it to do. It worked. Warren Buffet didn't become wealthy by spending money on the latest gadget or shiny objects. He used what he had until it didn't work anymore. Many people think that they need the newest, most powerful technology to achieve their goals. This isn't true. Take a look at what you need to get done. Then figure out what you need to accomplish it. Look at free software and resources. Don't simply buy what you think you need. Evaluate what your real needs are. Then fill them.…
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Common Knowledge Isn’t Necessarily Correct

Common Knowledge Isn’t Necessarily Correct

Evaluate, Featured
Mark Twain was said, “What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.” There are numerous "facts" circulating that just aren't true. Basing a decision on these facts undermines your conclusion. A perfect example is the divorce rate. I recently read a book where the author used the fact that America has a 50% divorce rate to show that Americans aren't happy. We've all heard that statistic. It's been around for decades. Despite the statistic being widely known, there isn't any truth to it. It has never been true. According to CDC, which tracks the divorce rate, the actual rate is 3.2 people out of every thousand. That is a divorce rate of under 1%. This is a…
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Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Evaluate, Featured
In a recent interview about the COVID-9 pandemic, mayor of New York City Bill DiBlasio reveled that he had overestimated the number of respirators they needed. He had estimated they needed between 200 and 300 each day. The real number was under a hundred. When criticized people took a quote from Dr. Fauci who said that he would rather be criticized for overestimating than underestimating. The fact of the matter is neither one is good. Using this example, let's look at it from the perspective of the mayors of Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago. If New York gets 100 - 200 more ventilators per day than they need, they have to come from a limited stock. How many people in those other cities couldn't be put on ventilators because New York…
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Stop Second-Guessing Your Decisions

Stop Second-Guessing Your Decisions

Evaluate, Featured
Do you find yourself revisiting every decision you make, agonizing over whether it really was the right one? While everyone has doubts, second-guessing yourself too often can affect your leadership— and the perception of your leadership among other people. If you aren’t initially feeling confident about a chosen path, don’t discount where your intuition has led you. Try keeping a journal of recent decisions. Hopefully, you’ll find that your intuition has led you in the right direction over time and that even when you made mistakes, they were easily corrected. Another powerful way to stop questioning a decision in the moment is to make a plan to formally review it at a later date. It could be in a few weeks, or a few months — whatever feels appropriate. Add…
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Set A Timer When Making A Tough Decision

Set A Timer When Making A Tough Decision

Evaluate, Featured
We spend a lot of time and energy each day making choices — some minor, and some serious. But it’s possible to handle decisions of all kinds more efficiently. One strategy is to use a timer for the most difficult and unpredictable decisions. Some decisions are so complicated that you may never come to a conclusion that feels exactly right. So, set a specific amount of time, and when time’s up: make your best choice and move forward. It helps if you can make the decision smaller, with minimal investment, to test it. But if you can’t, then just make the decision. The time you save by not deliberating pointlessly will pay massive dividends in productivity. To learn how a Modern Observer Group coach can help your decision making process, contact…
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Balancing Mindfulness

Balancing Mindfulness

Attitude and Mindset, Evaluate, Featured
Mindfulness is sweeping corporate culture. It's the hot buzzword of the moment. It's practice brings great benefits. However it is not the ned all and be all. It needs to be balanced in order for you to succeed. What does this mean? Let's start with what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is the act of being in the moment. It is focusing on what you are doing right now. In practice most people focus on their breathing to clear their minds, but you can focus on any activity you are doing. It is about being aware of yourself, your activity and your surroundings in that moment. It is a great way to resent your mind and stay focused. What do we mean that it needs to be balanced. Like most things, people…
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Investing Is Not Spending

Investing Is Not Spending

Evaluate, Featured
We're all concerned with the bottom line. If you don't have money coming in faster than it goes out, your business can close down. This limited mindset makes us scrutinize every purchase. When deciding whether or not to commit funds to something, you need to ask yourself a question: are you spending money or investing it? Spending money means you are giving money in exchange for goods or services of relatively equal value. Furthermore, when you spend money, the item you are spending on loses value over time. This doesn't mean that spending is always a bad decision. It is a decision that should be carefully thought out. An investment provides more value over time. This isn't limited to investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, etc.). It includes education, self-improvement, professional certifications…
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Everything Is Too Expensive  Until It Isn’t

Everything Is Too Expensive Until It Isn’t

Evaluate, Featured
It's a common complaint. "We can't do that, it's too expensive." The problem is that most people define "expensive" too narrowly. In most cases, people look at an amount of money and determine if it is cheap or expensive. There is more to the calcualation. What makes something expensive is a lack of Return On Investment (ROI). That ROI is not necessarily financial. It depends on what your goals are. If the investment will put you far ahead of your competition it is probably not as expensive as you think. Your short-term ROI may be small but what will beating your competition do to long-term ROI. Another thing to look at is the long-term cost. Solar panels have been called too expensive. Of course the more a technology progresses the…
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Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Evaluate, Featured, Improvement, Leadership
The exalted MBA degree is suffering a downturn. Fewer people are entering MBA programs. There is a good reason for that. The MBA is not worth the time and money. How many great companies were built by people with MBAs? You'll be hard pressed to find one. How many companies were run by people with MBAs when they collapsed? That number is a lot larger. The financial instruments that caused the great recession were created by MBAs. Why is this? What you don't learn in an MBA program is how t run a company. You also don't learn how to manage people. What you are taught is business theory. When you get5 out of the classroom, that theory isn't worth much. Academics have had to admit a few hard truths…
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