Illuminate On
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

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Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

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Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     ,

May 1, 2017     1 Comment     Blog     ,

I was asked to speak at a fundraising banquet recently. I had a pair of dark blue jeans on and one of my favorite T-shirts. Black, with white and gold lettering that read: People Greater Than Profit. As I approached the entrance, the man at the door stopped me, “Sir, this is a private event!” he exclaimed.

I responded, “I am one of the speakers.”

He proceeded to look at me from top to bottom, confused, and then rolled his eyes and waived me in. He couldn’t make out if I really belonged there. After entering, I was greeted warmly by the Director of the program. As we were discussing the program, another organizer walked up and said in a strange tone, with his faced turned towards the Director, “He is under dressed.” I smiled, introduced myself, wrapped him in a hug, and continued the conversation with the Director.

Guests continued entering the hall, in suits and ties, and some even fully dressed as if they were attending Cinderella’s ball! When they looked my way, their eyes fell directly on my shirt. I’m not going to lie, at that point I began questioning if I truly was underdressed. I even wondered if I should have borrowed a blazer from someone. As these questions ran through my head, my son and daughter, noticing my anxiety, reassured me, “Dad, your shirt is awesome!” That was all the confidence I needed.

When the Director signaled for me to start the program, I made my way to the stage and toward the podium. As I grabbed the microphone, I heard a voice scream out in excitement, “That shirt is awesome!” I looked down and one of the servers was staring up with a big glowing smile. He was reading what was written in white and gold: “People Greater than Profit”. “What does it mean?” he asked excitedly.

“It is a lifestyle philosophy,” I began explaining; “it means nothing is more important than human life. All else is material and temporary, even money. It means that human interest comes before self-interest.”

And the mic was still on…

Feb 27, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , , ,

It must have been around late elementary or middle school, I can’t remember the time period, but I remember mom saying:

“Care about everything you do. If you don’t care you might as well not do it.”

If it was taking out the trash, emptying the dishwasher, or working on a science project, she could tell if I cared or not. If I said I didn’t care or my attitude demonstrated that I didn’t care, she wouldn’t bother to force me, she would just say “you’ll do it wrong anyway if you don’t care, so you might as well not do it at all.” I’d give her a blank stare or shrug my shoulders and run off to play.

Not caring starts as a simple harmless idea but spreads like the plague. How you think becomes how you act. In other words, thoughts and statements become your behavior. Your thoughts, your statements, and your behavior make up your attitude.

People around you, loved ones, friends, or coworkers, stop asking you for help. You start to think, “hey, this is awesome” and that you are better off without any responsibility. But then, they also stop asking you to participate in fun games, group projects, discussions or team activities.

My mom would either do the work herself, or get one of my 7 other siblings to get the job done. Eventually, seeing her do it made me feel bad. If one of my siblings had to do it, they made me feel worse. And soon, I got left out of everything, the chores and the fun stuff. I felt really alone. One day I went to mom, “no one wants to play with me.” She responded with, “maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s you.”

The “I don’t care” disease plagued my life. My mom could make them, just like a manager can require coworkers to engage, but it was up to me to get them to WANT to play with me again. Realizing this, I started to care. I started to care about everything, including caring about things that had nothing to do with me. I started to care about things my mom needed to do and things my siblings needed to do. I understood that I had to demonstrate changed behavior in order for them to change their opinion about me.

No matter what I do, big or little, at home or at work, I always start with asking myself “why am I doing this? ” I keep asking “why” until I find the reason to get myself to care. I make sure I care with full head and heart. Even if it has nothing to do with me, but everything to do with helping others. I know if I care, it’s going to get done right. And its going to be AMAZING.

There are a lot of “I don’t cares”, “whatevers”, and “so whats” out there in the world. Let’s change that. Let’s change by starting with ourselves and asking “why?” until we find that magical purpose. This small change will take whatever we are doing from mediocre to amazing!!! And besides, helping others feels way better than playing alone. :)

This post is dedicated to my mother on my birthday. Thank you Mom for being the first teacher in my life.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Pexels.com

Feb 18, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

Recently, my family and I were at DFW airport browsing the shops before our flight. I am a candy junkie so I lead everyone into the candy store. It was one of those shops where they have the buckets of candy that you scoop into a bag. Well, while I was hunting for the perfect candy I hear screaming from behind the counter, “MA’M, MA’M, GET YOUR KIDS AWAY FROM THE CANDY!” I look up to see what is going on and notice everyone in the store confused and completely frozen. No one really knew who she was talking to but after a minute of awkward silence, everyone took a step back from the candy stalls. I was on a mission so after grabbing a small bag of chewy sweet tarts (warning: these will change your life forever) I headed over to check out. I politely asked the store clerk, “so.. from Dallas?” “I live here, but I’m from the Philippines.” “Whereabouts in the Philippines, I have an office in Cebu.” She excitedly responded “You have an office?! Do you have a business there?” I said “Yes, I do actually.” “Does your company pay well, and will you hire me?” I responded, “yes we pay well. But, will you treat my customers the way you treated everyone in your store today?” Now this time she was the one who froze. I didn’t say it sarcastically, I honestly didn’t want her to feel bad. I was hoping she would reflect, which she did. After that, she profusely apologized and started to explain her actions in order to restore her credibility.

Now a days, we think a resume, a reference letter, fancy digital presence, capital letters before or after our names, or lots of bling are all that is needed for credibility. How we carry ourselves and how we interact with people – all of humanity regardless of when, where, and who – is what really counts. The difference between being real and being fake is uncovered in how consistent we are in each interaction.

Rid any attribute of rudeness from your behavior option list. No matter how familiar or strange, how old or young, how important or unimportant, ensure that every interaction anyone could ever have with you is wonderfully pleasant. Be inviting! If you do this, everyone will want to be around you.

#illuminateon

Photo Courtesy: Google Photos

 

Jan 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , ,

While walking between gates at Abu Dhabi Airport, an idea came to mind. As I continued to walk, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the idea. My imagination kept growing, more and more questions, scenarios, and hypothetical situations popped up. Problems and roadblocks would rise and fall with solutions. After bumping into someone on accident, I realized that I was lost in the airport. I had forgotten my gate number and departure time. Afraid of losing the idea, I opened my bag to grab a pen and pad. After searching for a few minutes, I gave up and pulled my phone out. Upon turning it on, I was attacked by a barrage of notifications. I started to work the que and clear out all the notifications. BIG MISTAKE! Once I was done clearing the notifications and finally ready to jot down the idea, I struggled to recall the ideation that had occurred prior to me pulling the phone out.

Notifications are the Achilles heel of ideation. I will even take that a step further and say that interruptions to a continuous stream of thought will impede upon purity of ideation. After what happened, I went into my phone and turned off notifications except for my phone ringtone. Chances are, if it is that important, they will call. If you are working on a project or building an idea, do your best to turn off and/or ignore interruptions. Let your imagination run free!

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Jan 3, 2017     0 Comment     Blog     , , , , ,

It is hard to learn something new if you roll with the same people all the time.  In 2016, I visited 15 different countries.  One of my favorite things to do, was to challenge myself to learn something new from a complete stranger.

It isn’t easy talking to someone you don’t know.  On the flip side, having someone walk up to you and say “Hey, teach me something?” would be very weird.  So, my approach had to be strategic.  Here is my playbook.

Objective:  Learn something new from a complete stranger!

Goal #1: Ice breaker
Strategy: The best ice breaker is to find an opportunity to be helpful. Perhaps you can open a door for someone, let them cut ahead in line, after a sneeze say “god bless you”, give up your seat, or something similar. Find that moment to be helpful. Smile when you do it. The smile is like the layup after a brick. The brick gets the attention, the layup gets you the 2 points you were looking for. This Ice Breaker opens the lines of communication.

Goal #2: Get to the “comfort zone”
Strategy: The ice breaker isn’t enough to bring the defense down. The comfort zone is just behind the force-field. To get there, you have to practice being normal. Unfortunately we live in a world where we hear more about the bizarre. The unexpected, at first, seems abnormal. Don’t be weird. Just be normal. How do you do that? Be genuine. Be bright. Be present. Share a quick story. Don’t start asking questions. No one wants to be interviewed by a non-credible weirdo. Share an experience related to what just happened. “I didn’t give up my seat to someone one time in front of my mom, and to this day she reminds me about it.” People like to give after receiving. So if you share a story, chances are they will share one back! That is when you know you are in the comfort zone. You have to develop credibility as a normal person in order to get to the comfort zone.

Goal #3: Position them as your teacher
Strategy: You can’t learn if you talk too much. After a few exchanges, it’s time to pass the ball. First transition from talking to listening. Just participating as a listener isn’t enough. You might lose them. Remember, the objective is to learn something new from a complete stranger. We need to get them to run with the ball. To do that, we need them to feel good about talking. Show excitement. People like to entertain. Let them feel like you are entertained, not JUST engaged (there is a difference). Lastly, to move them from talking to teaching, demonstrate curiosity. All of this is done through feedback. Your feedback shouldn’t be just “wow” or “really” and “uh huh”. To demonstrate curiosity, pay attention to when they are skipping details. People do this when they think you may not understand or you are not interested. When you ask for more details when you know they are skipping, you are demonstrating curiosity and interest. Additionally, if they were about to skip details with you, they probably have skipped the same details with everyone who came before you who got the same story. This is where you find new learnings. More importantly, unique learnings. When I recognize details are being skipping, I demonstrate interest and curiosity with something like “wow, could you walk me through that?” Through feedback you can position them as your teacher.

Measure:  Now that they shared a story with details.  Or better yet, walked you through how they do what they do, or know what they know, you can measure whether you achieved your objective.   By learning something new.  If you have, then you achieved your objective!  If not, then evaluate/review whether you executed the playbook well.

You can use this playbook to learn something new or even connect with people you’ve never met before.  Simply set the objective for what you want to achieve, and tailor the rest of the playbook.  I often use OGSM framework for playbooking.  I hope you are successful.

#illuminateon

Image Reference: Google Images

Categories
Archive
Dec 18, 2017     0 Comment     Advisor Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor Responsible Freedom    

Do you feel like you are being micromanaged? Chances are your actions and behaviors have something to do with it.

Here’s how to recognize when you are being micromanaged and some tips on how to get out of the micromanagement trap.

In principle, if your boss (could be a manager or customer) has confidence in your ability to understand objectives, put a plan together, and deliver timely results, they should never micromanage you. If you struggle with understanding objectives, aren’t able to put realistic plans together, and can’t execute, you’ll likely be on your way for micromanagement and possibly out the door.

Let’s say your boss has stopped sharing “why” or what the outcome objective is, and directly tells you what to do. If that describes your world, then you are in the micromanagement trap.

To get out of this trap, instead of directly doing what is being asked, start with uncovering the outcome objective. If you know the outcome objective, you will be better prepared to exceed expectations and participate in solving unexpected problems that come up along the way by using your subject matter expertise, your creative thinking, and your ideas to achieve the same outcome.

The goal is to earn the trust and confidence of your boss in your ability. That happens over time and not over night. A boss who only tells you what to do, trusts only your ability to complete a task. A boss who tells you why and shares the outcome objective, trusts your ability to see the big picture. A boss who shares the initial problem with you, trusts your ability to problem solve, see the picture, and get the job done. A boss who never checks in on you, trusts your ability to deliver on time.

Dec 11, 2017     0 Comment     Blog    

Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). It was my first time.

The audience was mostly professors, students, and academics in the field of non-profit and social entrepreneurship from all over the world. The content was rich, enlightening, and useful. I would definitely encourage anyone in the academic field, and even at the strategic level of the non-profit practitioner field to attend. The information is powerful for strategic decision makers in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship spaces.

There were about 10 tracks each day. The conference spans over a week. I got in late Thursday night and attended interfaith tracks on Friday and Social Entrepreneurship tracks on Saturday. The format of the sessions was great. There would be 3-5 presenters who would have 15-20 minutes to present their research. They would present their problem statement, hypothesis, research, and findings. Then the audience would discuss in a question and answer format with the presenter. I learned a great deal. Here are some key highlights from my notes:

Interfaith sessions:

  • Data still shows religious people donate more and volunteer more.
  • In a study of 5000 organizations, when asked about their budget, 90% discussed it. This tells us that most non-profits are comfortable talking and sharing info about their budget.
  • There is a big challenge right now in trying to get the research in the hands of practitioners
  • Need to take practitioners of non-profit work more seriously. Need to let them talk more to get a better understanding of why they do what they do.
  • Need more cross pollination of religious leaders and volunteers from all faiths.

Social entrepreneurship sessions:

  • Social entrepreneurs create both social and commercial value.
  • Draw on traditional institutional logic and non-profit institutional logic.
  • Commercial mission vs social mission. Some are single vs dual focused
  • Some have their activities integrated vs not integrated (the social work is outside the commercial work)
  • Impact investor’s support social enterprises. This space is growing.
  • They struggle with legitimacy
  • Previous non-profit experience is the greatest predictor of someone becoming a social entrepreneur.

Equally powerful is the opportunity to engage with attendees at anytime. There is the atmosphere of “curiosity” and learning that is contagious. I met so many amazing people and learned so much. I’m sitting at my desk back in my office already translating what I learned into my own context for implementation.

I hope I have an opportunity to attend again in the future.

Dec 6, 2017     0 Comment     Blog Consultant Entrepreneur Mentor    

When a customer asks you to do something, don’t. 

Credit: shutterstock - Igor Kisselev

Credit: shutterstock – Igor Kisselev

If you proceed to just “do” what they are telling you to do, then you are participating in their solution without knowing what the real problem is that they are trying to solve. Start with finding out what they are actually trying to achieve and why. That’s step one.

In step two, you are trying to uncover their workflow: What is their current workflow? How are they achieving their current goal now? What are the pains associated with whatever it is they are trying to do now? Ultimately, you are creating a new workflow to achieve the stated objective.

For step three, you want to find out what the restraints are. Ask, what are the financial restraints, the human resources restraints, and the time restraints. That helps you see capability and shows you the box that you are working in to solve their problems. Then compare their restraints and your own.

After these three steps you will be able to come up with far better solutions and to create bigger objectives or bigger achievements that may meet or even exceed your customer expectations.

Jun 2, 2017     0 Comment