Are Our Mistakes Our Greatest Gifts?

Uncategorized May 28, 2020

By Marcus Mottley, PhD

 

Think about the last gift you got. Chances are that what you’re thinking about is something wrapped in gift paper or in an Amazon Prime box. Maybe you are thinking about something you received on your birthday, special anniversary or last Christmas!

A gift, is definitely not that time you accidentally dropped the cake you just baked on the floor or forgot the turkey in the oven. There is no way that a gift is like going bankrupt, having a business go under, breaking up with your partner or leaving your windows open during a hurricane. Certainly, getting your car stolen because you left your car unlocked in a bad neighborhood is not a gift!

Or is it?

Each mistake we make probably presents a chance to learn and grow. Let’s look at these four types of mistakes and see how we can use even stupid mistakes as an opportunity to strengthen our character, resolve and maybe much more.

 

Stupid Mistakes

 

One writer sums-up ‘stupid...

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Keeping It Together: Crisis Management 101

Uncategorized May 27, 2020

By Marcus Mottley, PhD

A crisis is a point in your life when you are overwhelmed, and your regular routine won’t solve the problem.  When you experience a period of extreme difficulty, trouble, or danger, you need a way to manage the situation. 

Experts at the National Institute of Health agree that the best way to manage a crisis is to have a plan.  First responders, like emergency medical personnel and law enforcement, develop crisis management plans for disasters and emergencies.  While you can’t predict when a crisis might strike, you can plan for likely scenarios.  Crisis management begins with the attitude of when not if. 

Natural disasters are potential crises.  If you live in an area where hurricanes, tornados, floods, or earthquakes happen, you need a plan for when they affect you.  Your city and state have crisis management plans for public emergencies, including natural disasters, epidemics, and mass casualty situations...

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Four Ways to Manage Your Anger Triggers

Uncategorized May 27, 2020

By Marcus Mottley, PhD

Everyone has their own anger ‘triggers’. These are the things that lead to them being irritated, frustrated, annoyed, upset or just plain angry. You could probably list your own triggers right now—little emotional ‘shtuff’ like clutter, other people’s ‘bad’ habits and small things that people do that annoy you, or having to wait on someone who is late. Maybe you can’t stand a particular word or phrase, you don’t function well if a room is not set to your ‘liking’, or you find it impossible to work if there is noise. The thing about triggers is that they are often small things that tip you over the edge, and before you know it, you’ve lost your temper over something that in the scheme of things, doesn’t really matter that much.

Here are four approaches you can take to manage your anger triggers better.

 

  1. Take control of you

The first thing is to realize that you are...

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Foster A Growth Mindset By Using the Kaizen Method

Uncategorized Dec 30, 2019

By Dr. Marcus Mottley

 

For anyone who has embarked on a journey toward self-improvement or personal growth, you know that the better version of yourself seems to lie at the other end of a roller coaster ride. The path to transformation is uneven, mostly uphill, and often includes many setbacks that leave you questioning your choice to start, though once you have reached your goals it is often very worth the effort. To achieve success in your personal or professional development you need a ‘growth mindset’ that works for you. And, I propose that the best growth mindset strategy is the Kaizen method.

The Kaizen method is an approach to improvement that helps you embrace the marathon that is continuous growth, rather than expecting instant results and gratification. Instead of looking for ways to make it all better RIGHT NOW, this approach adopts a more realistic strategy that leads to success over time.

Understanding the Kaizen Method

Unlike the notion of radical...

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Lead The Ship: Leading In A Life & Death Situation

Uncategorized Dec 13, 2019

I read the story of Ernest Shackleton's Leadership many many years ago and it left an indelible mark - not just on my mind, but on my consciousness.

I said to myself - "That is an example of REAL leadership!" Think of any characteristic that the so-called leadership gurus teach... They are all there! 

Recently, Robert Greene, in his book "Laws of Human Nature", featured a description of Shackleton's famous ordeal in Antarctica. Here is the excerpt in full.  

Be warned: This is a long piece... but well worth reading. 

 

In October of 1915, the great English explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874–1922) ordered the abandonment of the ship Endurance, which had been trapped in an ice floe in Antarctica for over eight months and was beginning to take on water.

For Shackleton this meant he essentially had to give up on his great dream of leading his men on the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent.

This was to have been the culmination of his...

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Someone 'Lost Their Cool' In Dominica

Uncategorized Dec 06, 2019

By Dr. Marcus Mottley

When you are in any leadership position you are generally expected to keep your cool under all circumstances

But not all leadership portfolios are the same… and thus there are some leadership positions where ‘keeping your cool’ is not only expected – it is mandated!

This is particularly so when you are a leader in a military or law enforcement organization. The reason for this is obvious. Losing your cool could result in serious blunders… some of which could involve the unthinkable… loss of human life.

And it is not only at the leadership level where ‘keeping your cool’ is important in military or law enforcement organizations… It is important all the way down to the lowest person on the organizational rung. The reason for that is again obvious. Those persons carry lethal weapons!

So ‘keeping your cool’ is important at every level of military and law...

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How To Set Personal & Professional Boundaries

Uncategorized Dec 04, 2019

By Dr. Marcus Mottley

Firm boundaries are fundamental for healthy relationships. Not just romantic relationships. All relationships. Relationships with your leaders, peers, direct reports, coworkers, friends and family members. Everyone. When you don’t set firm boundaries, the space between you and them may not only be disrespected – but it may be fuzzy and unclear. You may then feel resentful. And after that things can get messy very quickly. At the very least you may harbor doubts and potentially carry unspoken ill-feelings – which could then leak into how you relate to others.

So, what are boundaries?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines a boundary as: “A real or imagined line that marks the edge of something”.

The principle behind personal/professional boundaries embodies this same idea and applies it to our relationships. For example, the phrase “to overstep a boundary” no doubt evokes the image of someone stepping over a physical...

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5 Ways To Drive Away Negative Thinking

Uncategorized Nov 23, 2019
Remember those scenes from The Exorcist where the priest tries to drive the ghost out of the possessed child? Driving away negative thoughts doesn’t require as much effort, but it can be a pretty serious battle. You can’t just tell them to be gone, but instead, need to develop a longstanding strategy for driving them away and keeping them out for good. 
 
Our inability to properly handle negative thoughts and feelings often lead to poor performance, low productivity and ineffective leadership. As a matter of fact  'negative thoughts' often go side by side with 'negative emotions'. One is often the precursor of the other. Therefore, if you leran how to handle one you will be able to make significant changes in major areas of your business and personal lives. 
 
Here are five quick strategies that have been proven to help: 
:
#1. Admit you have a problem. It can be downright impossible to do self-reflection on this topic, because we often...
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Learn Why Confucius Was Wrong About 'When' To 'Train' Staff

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2019

Philosophy is one of my hidden loves! And, so throughout the years I have sought to study the teachings of the great philosophers and sages. Naturally, one of my must-read and must-study giants of history is Confucius.

And, over the years, I have learned much from his teachings and thoughts: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without!” And when I work with senior civil servants and public sector leaders, I often quote this: “Go before the people with your example, and be laborious in their affairs!” And I encourage people in my workshops and seminars: “The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” And these days, as I listen to what’s going on in the political halls of power all across the globe, I am reminded: “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?”

And so, I have the greatest respect for Confucius who lived many thousands of years ago, and whose sayings are...

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The Same Question... Again!

Uncategorized Oct 14, 2019

 

By Dr. Marcus Mottley

I keep getting asked why is emotional intelligence important. As a matter of fact, this question mostly comes from people who are already in leadership positions. They claim that they have worked hard to get to their management positions and all of a sudden they are being told that being smart, knowledgeable, technically qualified and highly intelligent is not enough. They are now being told that they also need to be ‘emotionally intelligent’. Most of them go, “Huh?”

Well… I understand how they feel. And yes… the world is changing… and as such, the requirements are changing.

Companies no longer need (or want) authoritarian leaders who give orders and expect to be immediately and unchallengingly obeyed. Companies no longer want leaders to be just experts at counting or building widgets.

Companies want leaders who can build positive working relationships with board members, senior managers, direct reports,...

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