Blog Archives

Hope, Attitude and Reality: Finding Strength in Difficult Circumstances

Positive thinking or a positive attitude may not bring about a cure, recovery or solution, but neither will negative thinking or a negative attitude. It will however improve your current state of being.

Three thoughts

1: Always hope, never lose hope, while there is breath in you there is hope.

2: Choose your own attitude.

“The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” Viktor E. Frankl

3: Accept the reality of your situation, act appropriately and always hold on to faith, even in difficult circumstances. Remember the Stockdale Paradox

“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale

Positive thinking based in reality is positive action.

Paul S Allen

Please also read “Which is best? Positive Thinking or Positive Action?” by Claire Boyles on her site Life Matters 

Autumn Leaves by Paul S Allen

Review: The iPad, Good For Business?

The iPad seems to be a great tool but is it a business tool that could be used as a shared device with others?

This is not a review of the features, as good as they are, but about the function for the purpose of business.

Primarily, I can see the iPad being used as a social media tool/diary/email/note taking device. As it is linked to an iTunes account it is ideally useful as a one-person-per-iPad device. Is it a useful business tool? Absolutely, I can see the day where most people in an office or other workplace would have one of their own as it could speed up efficiencies in meetings with appointments being made and synced with desktop or shared calendars.

All notes related to the meeting would also be at the fingertips so that no paper is wasted or lost. With apps like voice recognition software it could be used for dictation. Voice recording and video would be excellent tools for conferences and meetings. Creating reports on the fly would mean that there would be more accuracy when recording and reporting events.

The questions are…

1. Wi-fi only or wi-fi/3G?

If a person is traveling slot then I could see that the 3G version would be very useful. If a person is mainly based around the office then the wi-fi only would be just fine.

2. If you issue an iPad to an individual, can they use it for their own purposes as well as for the business?

This would be the same policy for both personal issue of laptops as well as tablet computers.

As the iPad is a great social media tool, policies related to the use of social media should apply to the use of the iPad as well.

The use of social media should be encouraged where there is a positive benefit to the organization.

Tweeting and face booking from events should be encouraged as it is a good way to interact with a wider audience. It should been done in such a way that people would rather be at the event than just reading about it online. It is a teasing tool to encourage participation.

Would I like one? Again the answer is absolutely, the benefits of this piece of equipment are large and would help in many areas of business life.

Paul S Allen

Taieri River

Taieri River, Middlemarch, Otago, New Zealand


Deal With The Negative

If someone is angry, bitter or negative don’t just dismiss them as they may be right and justified. The best way to deal with them is to engage with them, through the dialogue you will discover the cause so that it can be dealt with appropriately.

Ignoring them will lead to the dissatisfaction and anger quickly spreading to others.

The path of ignoring the “naysayers” will lead to the stagnation of the organisation, but if you dialogue with them, and listen to them without agenda, you may win a solid ally. The negativity, when handled correctly, may lead to improved product or process or at least to improved communication. Start to worry when your organisation has only people who say “yes” to everything that is happening, it means there are no boundaries; very dangerous territory.

Be very careful with criticism, it may be right. Consider it a blessing, it means someone is listening and wants to engage.

Paul S Allen

Barb Wire

Appoint Staff With Care

Playing favourites may be OK in horse racing but in leadership it can lead to the destruction of relationships and distrust among those you are leading. Appointing leaders on a “flavour of the month” basis will not advance the organisation, but will see people burn-out because they are being given roles they are not equipped, prepared or are ready to carry.

When you need to appoint someone to a position in your organization what do you do?

The primary thing to do is to clearly define what the role is and what is expected of the role, then look for the person with the right skill-set to best fulfill that role. This may be from your inner circle of people but make sure that the process is transparent, if you need to look wider do so.

Be careful when appointing friends to positions of responsibility, you need to ask the question am I prepared to lose a friend. Establish very clear boundaries, job descriptions, expectations. Get these in writing, and stick to them. Let business be business and friendship be friendship. The closer the relationship is the more important it becomes to define boundaries.

There is a saying that the cream always rises to the top, but in some processes it is the rubbish that rises, In refining gold it is the slag and low grade metal that floats the gold stays underneath. Have a clear understanding that it needs to be the right person for the job not just the nearest person.

Do not overlook a person for a role because they are quiet or reserved, and don’t rush to appoint a person because they say the “right” things, act the “right” way or because they always agree with you, (it may just be an act, or mask, or even a search for your approval)

Do not rush into a hasty decision you may regret it and so might they. Always appoint inline with the clearly stated vision and values of the organisation. Be prepared to let the new appointed person be better than you so that they can achieve the vision. Be a significant and potential-enabling leader, do not let your own ego get in the way of the success and significance of others, even those you do not like.

Paul S Allen

Have a Holiday Every Day

Holidays are a state of mind.

What is it about being on holiday that we find restorative and refreshing?

The lack of work, the extra sleep, and the books we read (or don’t read)?

Is it the fishing, walking, swimming, the new places we see?

The answer is yes to all, but perhaps the greatest part of being on holiday is that we take off the masks we wear, or allow the expectations we have of ourselves to be relaxed. Many of these things can be incorporated into our daily lives.

Holidays are not about gathering your thoughts, but rather clearing them. This can certainly be done daily.

No matter how busy we get through the year all of us can & should experience a “holiday” moment every day. Although I think it’s a learning curve for all of us we should be determined to take even a few moments each day to enjoy just “being”.

Daily holiday hints

  • Walk around the building at lunchtime in the fresh air
  • Read a book for pleasure
  • Stare out the window for five minutes.
  • Go off-line for a while
  • Have an early night
  • Spend quality time with your family and friends
  • Exercise
  • Allow your eyes to “glaze-over” and daydream
  • Add your own holiday hints.

Reduce stress in your life by taking time out everyday just to be you. Being an authentic “you” will help you in your work, family, social life and community life. Just “being” should always come before “doing”

Have a holiday every day

Paul S Allen

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