February, 2017

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Time: Unmanageable? What to do about it?

Those of us who have tried the rat race to manage time and save as many minutes as we could on a daily basis discovered the bitter truth. This race is not winnable. It’s self-defeating.

Attempting to manage the unmanageable led many of us to experience disenchantment, and even frustration. Our attempt to manage time efficiently resulted a stressful life filled with disappointments and burnouts.

Personally, when I discovered a seemingly simple truth about time management, things started to change. It was a humbling experience when I first realized that I don’t have control over time! Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson were on the mark when they wrote, You don’t manage time at all. You only manage yourself in relation to it.”

What a relief! When I discovered the fact that I only have control over my own resources, and myself alone I began to be in charge and able to manage self and my resources around time better. ‘Managing time’ started to be easier. Don’t misread me. I’m not yet there where I want to be, but at least for now, I have a better handle on time than I used to.

What about you? Are you still on the other side of the fence and racing against time or have you crossed over and moved to the side of time, which is, managing yourself and your resources in relation to time? What has been your experience?

In conclusion, we humans don’t have direct control over time. We only have control over ourselves and other resources. Understanding this simple fact is a huge difference maker in our effort to maximize time, the scantiest resource in the world. Once we master managing time effectively, the rest will be easier. This is because managing other resources is easier compared to managing time. Lastly, don’t forget that until you develop a good handle on effective time management, you are at risk of mismanaging yourself, and other scarce resources. Peter Drucker warned: Unless time is managed, nothing else can be managed.” 

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1569

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time management attitude, mindset, and skills.

The Case for Developing Effective Time Management Skills

There are some reasons why many people don’t want to invest their time and resources to develop their time management skills. A few of these individuals think that managing time doesn’t have to be developed. They argue that it’s common sense. What do you think? Is it really common sense and any one can manage their time effectively without putting some efforts to learn best ways such as using some latest tools, processes, techniques, and technologies?

Let’s be humble. We’re not born with mastery of time management. We don’t have the innate ability to manage time effectively. For that matter, we are predisposed to mismanage time. I conquer with Peter Druker- the father of modern management, who admitted, “Man is ill-equipped to manage his time.”

Well, I also met some who are passionate about why they don’t want to develop time management skills. They argue that developing such a skill deprives them from being spontaneous and enjoy the fun that comes when they do things haphazardly. They proudly call themselves ‘Free spirited’. They consider themselves activists who fight for their freedom against the ‘controlling TIME’. They go as far as belittling TIME by saying, “It’s created to serve us, not to become boss over us’.

There are some truths here. Yes, time shouldn’t be allowed to control us but we don’t need to show time who the boss is by winging it as we wish. We can still be our own boss and use time to serve our goals by becoming smarter in using time effectively, and by using it in our favor. The point is: We can still be skillful in managing our time without losing our freedom.

There are others who believe that they perform best when they are under pressure. They proudly call themselves ‘Deadline Junkies’ 🙂 Of course; it is very hard to counter argue with someone’s experience. If they say that they put their acts together and perform well when they are under pressure, well, I would like to trust them. They may perform outstandingly when under pressure.

But, I’m skeptic about whether doing things at the 11th hour is wise even if I’ve the capacity to do so. Yes, I may deliver results just before the deadline. The question is: Can I produce quality results while I’m rushed against time?

Of course, there are others genuinely concerned that they don’t have additional time to spend in order to develop time management skills. It’s understandable. They’re already out of time, and struggling to meet deadlines. How can they spend the time they don’t have with the hope to become better in managing their time in the future?

This reason too is legitimate. Yes, in the short term, you need to put an initial investment by believing that, in the long run and down the road; the return on investment outweighs the time you may put down initially.

What about you? If you’re great in managing time effectively personally, what about your team members and colleagues? From 1 to 10, how do you rate yourself (and your team) when it comes to time management, one being very poor and ten very excellent? If you (or your team) scores less than 7, you need to invest on your time management skills.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Time Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Time Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1569

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Time Management for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to empower readers develop effective time management attitude, mindset, and skills.

Developing Empathy

We are diverse. Some of us are naturally gifted and have innate gifting and preferences for certain things. We don’t sweat about these things. They’re our second nature.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t need to develop those things that are not natural to us. This is especially true if you are a professional, business owner, community organizer, politician, you name it. As you work with and lead others, you need to develop certain soft skills for which you may not have home court advantage.

One of those soft skills we need to develop is empathy. Alvin Goldman defined empathy as “The ability to put oneself into the mental shoes of another person to understand her emotions and feelings.”

If you don’t have empathy naturally, you may ask, why bother? Let me give you a good example that may cause you to think twice.

Abe Lincoln, the 16th President of the US, is known for his extraordinary empathy. In Team of Rivals, his biographer wrote: “He possessed extraordinary empathy- the gift or curse of putting himself in the place of another, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.”

Interestingly, as much as it added sorrow in his life, that the same quality was one of his greatest assets for Lincoln’s success. People who closely witnessed his political career such as Helen Nicolay, whose father would become Lincoln’s private secretary, suggested that that the same attribute, “gave him the power to forecast with uncanny accuracy what his opponents were likely to do.” His biographer also agreed and wrote, “Such capacity to intuit the inward feelings and intentions of others would be manifest throughout his career.”

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer and coach at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Emotional Intelligence workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Emotional Intelligence workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1509

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including Emotional Intelligence for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to increase Emotional Intelligence in order to attain self-mastery, and in turn work with others well, and lead others effectively.


With Increased Self-awareness Comes Unshakeable Security

The world has been in trouble mainly because of insecure individuals than bad ones.

The damage and chaos is severe when insecure individuals are at the helm of families, organizations, communities, and nations. Such individuals know more about who they are not, what they don’t have, and their weaknesses and limitations than their uniqueness and strengths. They are focused on what is missing, wrong, and not working rather than taping into their true self, and spend their valuable time and energy on what they can do well leaving those they cannot to others…

Insecure individuals are thorns inflicting constant pain against the people around them. They are always feeling inadequate, and anxious of what other people think of them. They dread to become vulnerable and ask feedbacks to know more about their weaknesses, limitations, and vulnerabilities. Deep inside, mostly at subconscious level, they strongly believe that they are seriously flawed and unredeemable. That is why they lash out aggressively whenever people closer to them mention their limitations and weaknesses inadvertently (or with good intentions), and/or when critics point them out.

On the other hand, individuals who are willing to increase their self-awareness have unshakeable self assurance. It’s not because they are perfect. Such individuals understand that we all have certain strengths, and for obvious reasons, some limitations and weaknesses.

That is why we shouldn’t be bothered by the so called ‘perfects’. If you find someone in your life, organization, and/or community acting as if he/she is perfect and judging you and/or others who have imperfections, that individual must be an alien- from another planet.

In the land of the living, we were purposefully wired to seek completion/perfection from others. We are parts of the larger body. We’re unique and made perfectly to carryout our mission, and pursue our passion. Our fulfillment in life, within our team and community meets with success when we give our best as per our talent, gifting, and strengths while willing to team up with others in the areas of our limitations.

Remember, as much as you need the compliment of other fellow humans, you too compliment others, and make them WHOLE. It’s a win-win…

Thus, no one should feel insecure about the way they are. No one should bow down his/her head because they cannot be like someone else or do certain tasks and jobs like others. The truth is, if you aren’t good at certain things means you’re not made for them. You should get over it, and focus on who you are and what you can do best for both individual and collective success…

In conclusion, with increased self-awareness, self-doubt vanishes. The more we become proactive and constantly increase our self-awareness, the more we:

  • Stop doubting self,
  • Embrace our limitations,
  • Focus on our strengths, and
  • Team up with others to overcome (at least mitigate) the impacts of our limitations.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He wrote a book entitled ‘The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership’, and Self-awareness is the very first building block. He facilitates Increasing Self-awareness workshop. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our self-awareness workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1496

AZ has been facilitating very interactive and dynamic soft skill and leadership workshops including self-awareness for diverse clients using latest adult learning methods. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he provides insights, tools, and processes to increase self-awareness in order to attain self-mastery, and in turn work with others well, and lead others effectively.

Change when it matters the most…

There is a common misunderstanding concerning why once giant companies vanished or became insignificant. Mistakenly, many people think that these once glorious companies were stubborn and refused to change.

That is not accurate. Most of them made so many desperate moves to catch up with the change they had just missed. Unfortunately, their past success blinded them and felt that they were too big to lose to Change.

They hesitated for awhile and failed to make the necessary changes on time and when it mattered the most. This negligence came with a dire price. Complacency was the main reason!!!

Otherwise, almost all of them awakened at one point, stopped resisting, and desperately attempted to save their capsizing ship by making some desperate change moves. It was too late… They missed the boat that would have taken them to a splendid future. This misstep denied them from transforming their people and organization to the next height…

Remember:

  • In the past, if you don’t change, you won’t progress. Survival wasn’t at stake.
  • Now, in the 21st C, the mantra is: either you change or perish!

What would be your choice? What would be your story five years from now? Don’t forget that change’s pace has quickened crazily. There would be lots of proactive changes you should make within this relatively short period of time to survive and thrive.

Are you going to be proactive, catch up with the fast paced change by discerning change ahead of the curve? Are you preparing yourself ahead to fly with the frequently changing current by changing consistently; or some how, fall behind and remain a victim of complacency and pay the dire price- irrelevance in the 21st c?

It is your choice…

Let’s know if you need our help to better understand the characteristics of 21st change, phases of change, what to to do during each phase, and change models you may use to guide your efforts to lead change smartly and successfully.

Assegid (AZ) Habtewold is the owner and lead trainer at Success Pathways, LLC. He facilitates Change Management workshops. Here is the link to learn the learning objectives of our Change Management workshop: http://successpws.com/?page_id=1491

AZ has Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree, Master’s in Computer Science, and Doctor of Strategic Leadership. He wrote two books on leadership. He has been facilitating soft skill and leadership workshops including leading change for some government agencies, technology, and non-profit organizations. In his upcoming book, which will be published soon, he discussed extensively about the importance of leaders honing their soft skill to lead change in the 21st C successfully.