Illuminate 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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;

Don’t be a “Guesser” or an assumption artist. Be an Analyst!
#illuminateON

Jul 8, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

It is almost every day that after the warm Hello’s and refreshing “Good Morning’s” I can expect an “OMG – did you hear what happened?” No matter how hard I try to avoid or engineer away, the conversation somehow steers its way back to “what happened.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Small minds discuss people.  Average minds discuss events.  And GREAT minds discuss ideas.”

I refuse to be average.  I want to hear your story, what you are dreaming of, and how you are getting there.  I want you to teach me what you’ve learned along the way-the successes, mistakes, and achievements.

If we want the world to change, we have to start re-writing the story.  And to do that, we have to start a new script for the future.  That script starts from new ideas.  The Ideas that we want to achieve and make reality for us and for others.

What unique and original ideas do you have?  Let’s be GREAT and re-write a script for the future.

#illuminateON

May 21, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I have been in the pursuit of a better version of myself for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean skills for my career. Making myself better also means how I am thinking, behaving, and acting. Sometimes, things I want to improve on take longer. If I’m lucky, I am able to implement an over night fix. I’ve noticed that it takes others longer to recognize and acknowledge the change in me. What I understand, is that it is hard for us as human beings to change our assumptions. On the other hand, it’s easy for assumptions to develop. What I have to accept is that the assumptions and expectations people have about me are ones that I’ve created.

So when we are becoming better versions of ourselves either by improving our attitudes, skills, and talents, understand that others around us take longer to uncover the undue preconceived judgments about us. It is easy to achieve change when everyone is encouraging you. The hard part is ignoring the disbelief others have in you while continuing to achieve your goal. I believe that if we show that we are able to change our assumptions about everyone else in the process of becoming better versions of our own selves, then others will do the same for us.

Be in a continuous state of self improvement. Recognize when others are doing the same. Each day, we must allow ourselves to suspend assumptions and start over from scratch. Then and only then, will we all emerge as better versions! Make it a goal for each day to emerge as a better version!!

#illuminateON

May 11, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

I haven’t posted in a few weeks. That’s because, I just returned from a 28 day trip through South East Asia. The primary purpose of the trip was to complete the capstone project for my MBA. My entire class, 35 students from the Executive MBA Program of the University of Illinois, traveled together through China. I can’t describe to you in words how amazing it was. I am not talking about the sights and food. Anyone can take a trip to China. I am talking about being surrounded by and learning from the super experienced.

I remember one day, A few of us were sitting and enjoying snacks and coffee. We started talking about different things as we normally would such as the blackhawks, business, startups, organizational design, leadership, government, parenting, etc. During the conversation we started to talk about achievement. One of my classmates, Kenya said “it is about how you got there, not that you got there.” I have been reflecting upon this statement for days.

The diploma, trophy, title on the door or email signature, display the achievement. Too often, we become so focused on the objective that we forget about the journey. The journey is where all the lessons live.

This weekend, I graduate from the University of Illinois. Attending the Executive MBA program, was a life changing experience.

IlluminateOn is about sharing the lessons of our journey. I will continue to share mine. I encourage everyone to share theirs so we all can learn from each other’s journey even if we can’t display the same achievement.

#IlluminateOn

Categories
Archive
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

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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

Oct 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

My sister and I went for the first time to walk around the new Disney Springs area last night in Orlando, FL. I looked around and said to her, “the feeling is so far from ‘Disney’, I feel like I’m at a shopping outlet”, she quoted, “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it all started with a mouse.” There is so much wisdom in this statement by Walt Disney himself. Where you started, where you are, and where you are going must always align.

#illluminateon

Aug 1, 2016     0 Comment     Blog    

Hey All! I am taking this opportunity to share one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve gotten by one of my mentors. Take a minute to check out my video below;