Hard Work & Leadership

Hard Work & Leadership
I think we undervalue hard work as a leadership quality. Understandable since it's not glamorous like courage and doesn't pull on the heartstrings like kindness. Never the less, the ability to get things done and push harder than anyone else is vital if you're going to succeed at anything. The most important business lesson my father taught me is to never underestimate the power of hard work. I'm actually pretty old school when it comes to leadership, which you can probably tell from reading my articles.
All the technology and clever strategies in the world can't help you if you're lazy and don't show up. ~ Narges Nirumvala
Watching my Father has taught me so much. On a personal note when I first met my husband (many years ago now!) I remember a common value we shared was a strong work ethic. We would share stories of the long hours and sacrifices our immigrant parents made to provide for us. It's something that draws us together even now and a value we live everyday. So I thought we could examine hard work in more detail and give it the focus it so rightly deserves:
1. Show Up.
Showing up is about being visible and taking action. Not just thinking about it and planning it, but actually doing it. It's about execution and about doing what you need to do rather than what you want to do. So even if you're exhausted with a bad cold, you dress up, you show up and you give it your best effort.    
I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often. ~ Brian Tracy
2. Don't Make Excuses.
We all have people we work with who make excuses rather than taking action. They are infuriating to work with, don't pull their weight and and rarely get anything done. They rely on other people to do the work for them, 'fake' competence and coast through life. Eventually it will catch up to them. People like that drive me crazy. They are toxic to teams and need to be mentored to improve or weeded out.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. ~ Benjamin Franklin
3. Make Priorities and Stick to Them.
How many times have you said "I'm sorry I can't do that I'm just too busy". I've said it too. The truth is we are rarely too busy, we just don't want to do it. It's not a priority to us. When something is a priority you make the time to do it. Because let's face it, we're all busy. Don't hide behind the 'I'm too busy' mask, if something isn't a priority then delegate it or let it go. 
4. Put In The Hours.
There's something inspiring about people who put in the hours to get work done. All the superstar entrepreneurs and amazing leaders I know share this ability. They are driven by passion, work hard and are proud of it. In an era of balance I know it seems contrary to praise hard work, but I think it's important to know when to plow through your work full steam ahead and when to take a break. Some tasks and projects take more time and effort. 
Leaders aren't born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal. ~ Vince Lombardi
5. Honour Your Word and Do Your Best.
I'm a huge fan of the book 'The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom' by Don Miguel Ruiz. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it. Both these points are from his book, which is why I put them together. Of the four principles he shares in his book these are the two that resonate with me the most. Being able to honour your word and always doing your best sound like the kind of advice a Father would give don't they?
My Dad epitomizes these two qualities. I've really taken them to heart and tried to make them part of my everyday life.
Great leaders are committed to everydayexcellence. They put 100% into every task for ultimate success. ~ Narges Nirumvala
One final point, every June I review my 'optional' activities, such as volunteer Boards and Committees  and 'let go' of the ones that just aren't working for me anymore. I have to admit I always feel guilty when I do it. I stepped away from a board position just the other day (which is not on my LinkedIn profile in case you were wondering) and within 24-hours I had a possibility of another board position. Sometimes you have close a door for the Universe to open a window. Do you agree or disagree with me? What's your opinion on the importance of hard work in leadership? Leave your feedback in the comments below!
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Posted by Narges Nirumvala 
 Article was originally posted on: http://executivespeak.com/

Happiness is here and now

Happiness is here and now 

Although it may be tempting to dismiss a call to happiness during this time of worldwide struggle and strife as overly optimistic or too simplistic, let me tell you now that I believe this is the perfect time for a reminder that when it comes to happiness, all of us have a choice.
In fact, choosing to be happy is one of the very few essential decisions that we get to keep regardless of age, stage of life, or present situation. It’s a decision that can’t be taken away, and no one else can make it for you.
Each one of us gets to choose, every single moment of every day, whether or not we decide to be happy.

It Pays to Be Happy
When we choose to be happy, the rewards are truly great. First and foremost, happy people are more likable and desirable to be around. Isn’t it amazing how we’re drawn to people with sunny dispositions? One of the many consequences of this phenomenon of human nature is that happy people regularly benefit from the enthusiastic help and cooperation of others.
Secondly, happy people consistently report an improved quality of life. They enjoy life and everything in it more than people who aren’t happy.
I can personally attest to the connection between happiness and improved quality of life. Many years ago, I decided that I would be intentional about choosing to be happy. I didn’t just say I wanted to be happy, I found out what I needed to do to make happiness a daily reality for me.

      Nine Choices Happy People Make

In their book, How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People, authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks present the results of interviews with happy people all over the world, from all walks of life. They found and wrote about nine specific choices commonly made by happy people. As you can see, most of these are things we already know about, and may even already practice.
The key is to use your personal initiative to do the little things that are easy to do, and do them consistently. Here’s the list of choices that Foster and Hicks came up with:

1. Intend to Be Happy. This is the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness. 
2. Be Accountable. You make the choice to assume full personal responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings, as well as to refuse to blame others for your own unhappiness. It is also the practice of seeing ourselves as having control over our own lives, rather than being at the receiving end of circumstances.
3. Discover Your Needs. This is the ongoing process of identifying for ourselves what makes us truly happy. 
4. Centralize Your Goals. Creating a dream list is the happy person’s non-negotiable insistence on making that which creates happiness a central activity in life.
5. Turn Problems into Opportunities.  Recasting is to change the form of something.  Look at experiences in positive ways and change your problems into challenges.
6. Explore Options. Make the decision to approach life by being open to any new possibilities and take a flexible approach to life’s journey.
7. Express Appreciation. Communicating gratitude and giving thanks to the people around you daily brings happiness8. Share Unselfishly. The art of giving is the act of sharing one’s self with friends, community and the world at large without the expectation of a ‘return on investment.’
9. Be Truthful at All Times.  Make a contract with yourself and design a means by which to check your thoughts and actions against your own internal, personal code.  For more thoughts on the value of truthfulness.
Image result for clovis de barros filho felicidade
Though I’m fortunate that I have experienced a rewarding career and professional life, it’s not my achievements that are to be credited for my happiness and the outstanding quality of life I now enjoy. Rather, it’s the little decisions I consistently make each day—just like these—that continue to help me in my choice to be happy.
If you’ve never considered happiness as a choice before now, let me say again that I don’t think there has ever been a better time than now to begin choosing happiness. Will you commit to being intentional about making one of the choices listed above each day for the next nine days? I hope you will.
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

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Posted by Todd Smith

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