Courage; learned the hard way

I’m channeling my wild card virtual mentor John Paul Jones when I say. “I have not yet begun to fight!” John_Paul_Jones_by_Charles_Wilson_Peale,_c1781Fighting cancer takes courage. Losing an organ as a result takes courage. Awaiting the results of the latest CT scan takes courage. Putting on a brave face in front of loved ones takes courage and not freaking out over every new symptom takes courage. At 60 years old and thanks to cancer, I finally learned about courage. That’s the one thing I got as a result of cancer that I’m truly grateful for; courage. Now that I know what courage really is, I’m shocked at the number of courage touting imposters.
It doesn’t take courage to be a tough guy, a dick-tator, an aggressive know it all, a condescending co worker or people manager. Actually it takes courage from others to actually work alongside these people.
It doesn’t take courage to NOT work and post all day long on social media what a wonderful person you are. It takes courage from people that care about you to inspire you to get out there and be financially accountable like the rest of us and WORK.
It doesn’t take courage to cut and paste quotes on leadership. It takes courage to practice what you preach.
It doesn’t take courage to say there’s nothing you can do to change anything anymore. It takes courage to be that change.
It certainly doesn’t take courage for me to say any of this. It takes courage for me to live it. This I’m working on and doing much better now that I know more about what courage really is.
For the record; I’m dong fine. Today November 18th I ran 3 miles and added the finishing touches on my new product; Non essential IT/Offshore development resource pruning, who’s time has come for sure. I now have the courage to bring this plan (one that I’ve developed, executed, proved and one that I’m proud of) to market and make happen; to start the reversal of offshore development and the re-investment of local talent. This is a legacy I’m proud to leave.
I guess I need to thank cancer for giving me this courage to make a difference in the workplace even as 1 person which has been something I’ve been preaching about but not acting upon; until now!
It doesn’t take courage for anyone to say this is impossible. It takes courage to join me and be part of the workplace improvement revolution. – this is charliespeaking. cl16843_AC01_R0A-shrunk-1

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A Network of One; my simple reminder

Sometimes I lose focus.  Sometimes I’m there but not there.  Sometimes I take my eye off the ball and sometimes (hopefully not often times) I just get too distracted.  I know when these symptoms are starting to overcome me because of how little is being accomplished in my day.

social mediaThe biggest anti-pattern of my business focus is social media.  Sometimes I just get lost in the (humongous) networking universe created through social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect my network and I’m always expanding it.  In fact a humongous network is a good network!

However, my core business is consulting, coaching and training; not networking.

I’ve developed a reset process that I follow diligently when I find myself spinning out of control in networkland.  A process that takes me back to my core business and the ownership and responsibility that goes with it.  When I’m spinning out of control, spending too much time reading and responding to social media posts, it’s on me to refocus.  It’s on me to step out of the box, take a few practice swings, do a little of my vintage pacing, maybe even a little shadow boxing and then begin executing my reset process.

First, I completely shut down electronically almost as if it’s 50 years ago.  I might even hum something out of 1964 like twist and shout or maybe the name game or my boy lollipop, this diamond ring, love potion #9 or Downtown.  Maybe even Goldfinger!

I step away from the machine and walk over to my white board.  Standing there I write on the board the description, the features and the benefits of my business ; The VisionOp Group LLC.  Then I spend some time looking at what I just wrote.

When I need to refocus, I use all my skills and attributes; my network of one.  My network of one is what got me to where I am today.  These same skills and attributes that I trust and lean on for direction; skills like self honesty, diverse appreciation,  being humble (yes that’s a skill), listening and leveraging will now get me to refocus.   It’s on me, not the opinions coming from networkland to make sure my eye stays on the ball.

DSCF1000[1] I’m running and growing a business, a business that according to what I just wrote on the white board is a consulting, coaching and training company that enables individuals to make a difference in their lives and workplace even as one person.  This is something I’m proud of.  There’s no reason my attention, focus and respect should be anywhere else but my core business, especially during the workday while at work.

As I begin to refocus I aggressively assign myself a task; to make one thing about my business better.  I also assign myself a deadline to complete this task by end of day.

When the going gets tough or whenever I lose focus, I summon my network of one to remind me that it’s not who I know but who I am that defines me!

This works every time.  – Charliespeaking.

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WSJ 4/5-4/6; Where have all the workers gone? Let me tell you

Earlier this month, I spent time in NYC speaking at the National Publicity Summit; picture here and also 30 second full screen video montage link on the blogroll on the right.  I hadIMAG0015 the privilege of representing media on behalf of the weekly radio show I co host with Eva Lewandowski who was also with me at the Summit. The mission of our show “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva” is to use our collaborative powers to encourage and promote shared leadership as a strategy to simply make a difference in the workplace.  That said,  this is an event I’m proud to be a part of and also the reason for responding to this article in the WSJ.

In the April 5-6 edition of the WSJ, Glenn Hubbard dean of Columbia Business School (and also former advisor to President GWB and Governor Romney) writes about “A BIG PUZZLE that LOOMS over the U.S.economy.” Unemployment is down to 6.7% from a high of 10% during the great recession. However only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force? What exactly is going on? Well, I’m no dean of business but I can tell you what’s going on; there’s a revolution in progress. I call it a shared leadership, collaborative, self investing revolution; in the workplace, in the home and within ourselves. Much of the missing 37% have resurfaced as authors, speakers, coaches and trainers. These subject matter experts and now newly founded independent small business owners are creating and sharing valuable content, giving back, making a difference and as a result being compensated better than one ever imagined. Yes, 37% is missing from the labor force (as we once knew it) and (also) yes the 6.7% unemployment is an accurate indicator. Nothing like a great recession to make many in the work force realize that it may not be a good strategy to keep your head down and “follow the leader” without knowledge of their plan, let alone a say in it; especially when it’s not working!

Many of the missing  grew tired of simply being labeled a resource and decided to put their hard earned subject matter expertise to a more efficient use.  From that decision, a new path has emerged; re-invest and then re-invent yourself as an independent small business owner, with your career earned subject matter expertise driving the content of your business.  The old economy path was to scrap and claw your way back into that previous un-inspiring position in the labor force.

Anyway old way aside and as a result of this new workplace improvement revolution, many are now the inspiring leaders they always had the ability to become but were not given the opportunity.  So just as I said over and over to everyone I met at the Summit; congratulations!

Honestly (though), I started to wonder how this changing workforce demographic is so puzzling to the dean of Columbia Business School, when it’s been so obvious to me, especially after speaking at events like these and clearly seeing it with my own eys?

Could it be…politics?

Actually where I was visiting this past Sunday when I first read this article in the WSJ, some at the table were saying that this Administration encourages people (the missing 37%) to not work.  Why bother? Wth all these latest handouts there’s no reason to.  Interesting spin but way off in the overall economy as a whole. I say overall as a whole because it’s partially true, but only for some.  In fact I know many at this exact moment in time that have worked in corporate, now comfortably collecting unemployment and feel entitled to continue to collect while not even looking for a job. These are middle-aged white-collar working professionals, not the demographic referenced at the table I was sitting at but does represent the demographic of many of the readers of the WSJ and of the article by Greg Hubbard that I’m referencing.

OK so what’s the “jist” here?

I think for much of the target audience of the WSJ which includes the workforce executive losing their previously unrecognized talent; for them as the economy improves and they need to hire in order to stay competetive, it is in fact puzzling; “where’s my resource!”

However for many others it’s a revolution, a self improvement, make a difference as 1 person revolution; in the workplace, in the home and most important in ourselves.

I had the privilege of meeting hundreds of these new revolutionaries this past weekend at the National Publicity Summit and pretty much every one there represented the missing 37% referenced in the WSJ article written by Mr. Hubbard.

The missing labor force have stepped out of the labor force and into leading this new economy into a workplace improvement revolution.  A revolution of which everyone including the WSJ, thier target audience and also Mr. Hubbard are most welcome to join, in fact we need you!

I think it’s about time someone said something positive about this new economy and acknowleded all the workplace improvement revolutionaries for taking the risk to become the leader they always had the ability to become.  I can’t wait to learn from all of you!        -Charliespeaking.

PS.. that’s where the missing workers are; what about the missing jobs?  The ones that helped expedite this workplace improvement revolution?  As a technologist working in Corporate America for 40 years and speaking for my industry specifically; I suggest you look in India.  I’m NOT saying anything negative about India or the very qualified technoligsts that live and work there.  I’m just saying  that’s where the jobs went.

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Corporate Talk special edition Monday April 14th 8PMEDT

OK everyone, we have a very special Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva scheduled for Monday April 14th 8PM/EDT.  Please make sure to dial in to the show to listen; 347.989.1363 (dial in early). Our special and returning guest NLP expert Gaye O’brien will be live from Australia.  Gaye is launching her latest book NLP Essentials for teachers; the art of encouraging excellence in students. Corporate Talk listeners will be the first to learn about this as the book will launch on April 15th. Eva and I are big supporters of Gaye and her work. We depend on our teachers to help shape the future and this NEW and groundbreaking tool will help all teachers to teach like never before!  This is an opportunity for all of us to make a difference by dialing in, learning about Gaye and her great work and then SHARING IT WITH EVERY TEACHER WE KNOW!.  Join us Monday April 14th 8PM/EDT – 347.989.1363. Thank you (Charlie + Eva)

For more on the launch click here

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Cincinnati area April/2014 event

Shared Leadership in the Workplace

Invest in yourself;

 – Become the leader of you! 

 – Make a difference even as 1 person

 – Join the workplace improvement revolution! 

To all Cincinnati area teammates; join us on 2 consecutive Saturdays; 4/19 and 4/26 and become C.A.R.E. Certified in the Workplace. C.A.R.E. is the award winning acronym for Courage to take Action Relevant to Everyone and YES building a better workplace starts with you! 

This comprehensive accelerated 2 day shared leadership training will launch your career forward as you learn the skills and receive the tools to enable you to become the go-to person at work regardless of your job description. 

Where: Communiversity; University of Cincinnati; Victory Parkway Campus

Title:     Shared Leadership in the Workplace

When: 4/19 and 4/26 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost:     $99.00 Includes workbook, certificate, C.A.R.E. pin, and most important; membership into the C.A.R.E. network. 

To register: Go towww.uc.edu/ce/commu

or call 513-556-6932 

There’s unlimited opportunity in the workplace today, provided you have the right strategy. C.A.R.E. Certification is the right strategy. 

                 “Your teammates are counting on you” 

     Send inquiries to Charlie@CharlieSpeaking.com

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Cincinnati area – April/2014 event

Invest in yourself; join the workplace improvement revolution! 

Join us on 2 consecutive Saturdays; 4/19 and 4/26 and become C.A.R.E. Certified in the Workplace. C.A.R.E. is the award winning acronym for Courage to take Action Relevant to Everyone and YES building a better workplace starts with you! 

This comprehensive accelerated two day shared leadership training will launch your career forward as you learn the skills and receive the tools to enable you to become the go-to person at work regardless of your job description. 

Where: Communiversity; University of Cincinnati; Victory Parkway Campus

Title:     Shared Leadership in the Workplace

When:   4/19 and 4/26 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Cost:     $99.00 Includes workbook, certificate, C.A.R.E. pin, and most important; membership into the C.A.R.E. network. 

To register: Go to www.uc.edu/ce/commu

or call 513-556-6932

 There’s unlimited opportunity in the workplace today, provided you have the right strategy. C.A.R.E. Certification is the right strategy. 

                                                               “Your teammates are counting on you”          

Send inquiries to Charlie@CharlieSpeaking.com

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Dear Mr. Lincoln

Dear President  Lincoln;

As of this writing, it’s been four Score and 68 years ago (+ 7 months and 7 days) since you were assassinated.   We’ve come a long way since then…at least on the surface.  In 2008 the people of the United States of America (one nation under God indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all) elected our first African American President; Barrack Obama.  In 2012 President Barrack Obama was elected to a second term by a majority of the people of the United States of America.  However and unfortunately, there are some states (you can even name them) as well as many individuals in this Nation that will never (NEVER) get past the fact that an African American has been elected twice as the leader of our great nation.   

Mr. President I’m sorry to say today that we use you.  You’re often referenced as one of the greatest American Presidents ever, but still we use you; to fuel our hypocrisy.  We say we love you now, but what about then?  America has never really embraced the “all men are created equal” rhetoric from our forefathers.   After all look at what happened to you.  Today in America (one nation under God indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all) we have walls between the political parties.  These walls were built with no intention to be influenced at any time by the other party.

Walls aside and believe me they are real; walls aside, you would be proud of the way the majority of the American people saw thorough the political rhetoric and decided on an African American President not once but twice because he was the best person for the job; both times.

You know, we had a guy; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said someday we’ll be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin.  He met the same fate as you.  We use him too.  We also lost another President in 1963; John F. Kennedy.  This was another tragic day in America.  We use him too.  Then maybe as a “just in case” his brother was also assassinated.   I wonder why we’re so tragically toxic towards our great leaders while they’re alive only to praise them afterwards.  I wonder what you would say?

In 2010 I published my first book C.A.R.E. – Courage to take Action Relevant to Everyone.  This is based on lessons learned from my career but also from  5 virtual mentors; all forefathers.  Mr. President, I did not select you as a mentor because I really needed to go back before we had any Presidents to see how leadership develops when there are no political walls to align with; just trust right and find a way. I learned from them when care or (C.A.R.E.) is the motive:   greatness comes out of the ordinary, nations can be raised and teamwork and leadership become one.  I learned from you that this is not easily accomplished with a team of rivals.  I learned from your lessons learned that you have a better chance of succeeding with a team of teammates.

I also mention in 2012 I received the President’s service award for developing my C.A.R.E. shared leadership model.  I was proud to receive this but it came with a price.  Those on the opposite of this second term Presidents politics deemed this award irrelevant, even without learning my political direction.  This is terrible Mr. President, a terrible strategy which only keeps the United States a divided state.

At the end of the day, we haven’t really progressed.  There’s a lingering entitlement issue and clearly a desire to keep the playing field “un level” and in favor of that one aging demographic;  the big puffy aging aggressive self entitled white guy.   I bet this sounds real familiar.  I was wondering if this demographic also preached the opposite, their denial as loud as they could as a weak cover-up to fuel their agenda on your watch? 

Honestly, America needs these guy’s but as teammates not self entitled policy makers.

You would think four score and 68 years (+ 7 months and 7 days) from your last day fighting for equality we would be further along but this may never happen.

If not for the American people as a whole, this country can easily be divided back into separate north/south governments.   We have them today, not in the United States of America (thank God) but in other parts of the world.  There are countries across this earth like Vietnam and Korea that never resolved their political differences and to this day are divided.

I fear if we’re not on our game this can still happen here.   Yes I just said that.  However like you my faith is in the American people as a whole and not just that one self entitled angry aging aggressive minority.

I’ll keep you posted.

Charles A. Lobosco; CSM, CSL, C.A.R.E. Certified

Consultant, author, speaker, change agent and radio host
C.A.R.E., Scrum and seminar leader certified.
Member ASLA, NADP

 

“All people are created equal”

 

 

 

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