31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 24 – Curiosity

Noahcat (2)

As children we were told that curiosity killed the cat, but our response was always, but satisfaction brought them back. On one hand we accused curious people of being nosy. However, curiosity was a good thing when you were called precocious. Curiosity is a critical characteristic to possess. Cultivating the habit of being curious is a precursor to creativity and innovation. Employees who constantly approach products and practices with a curiosity lens, are an asset to you, for they will develop ideas to improve your organization.

A corporate culture saturated with curiosity is vibrant and expanding. These individuals examine the status quo to understand its origins, as they look for ways to improve design and execution to increase overall quality. One of the tools of the curious is an enhanced ability to ask questions. They know that the right question will provide them with the information they need to understand and improve overall performance. Why have we always done process, this way? Many professions depend on the ability to ask questions; lawyers, salespeople, counselors, coaches, teachers, parents, years, psychiatrists and lawyers.

Curiosity paired with questioning skills will uncover information needed in an environment of continuous improvement. Think of ways that you could be more curious and set up a process to establish a curiosity infused workplace. Have fun with it because it will be exhilarating.

 

A.S.K.

(Acquire Selling Knowledge)

 

We ask for trouble;

To be there on the double;

For affection, for directions,

For a dime.

We ask for the weather;

The shoes are they leather?

Was I blatant?

What’s your statement?

What’s the time?

Yet this three-letter word

Is forgotten, deferred,

By the greatest inquisitors of all.

We speak from our chair

With articulate flair,

But with rarely a question in the call.

In eloquent fashion

We probe with a passion,

For a date,

For a dollar,

For our due.

We ask for a dance,

A third second chance,

For advice,

For a price,

For a clue.

But we won’t inquire

To learn what inspires,

A customer to buy;

Their need, reason,

The why.

They are willing to share,

Who, what, when, how and where,

If we ask and listen to their reply.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance

Personal Reflections

  1. Are you creative?

  2. How do you cultivate a climate of curiosity?

  3. Since curiosity and creativity are often linked, what are you doing to grow either skill, personally or professionally?

  4. Are there certain people in your organization who are naturally curious?

  5. Have you developed the art of asking questions to seek information?

  6. Can you identify with the sentiment stated in the Ask poem above?

  7. What can you do to ensure that more questions are asked in presentations and conversations?

  8. Have you informed your people about the importance of asking the right questions?

  9. What kind of training or resources do you provide in the area of curiosity and asking questions?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser    

 

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 19 – Purpose

The opening quote in my book the Isle of knowledge states that “I feel pressure from my purpose to align my passion with my potential.” This sentence illustrates my internal struggle to find my purpose and ensure that it is connected to my passion, so that I realize my potential, and my desire to make a difference in the world.

What is your purpose? We wrestle with the realization that we are blessed and may have talent and opportunity that is not fully utilized. We tend to go with the crowd as it relates to our careers or to align ourselves with what is popular or the most financially rewarding. Information came out recently about the top 10 jobs for the future, which indicated technology was the dominant career choice. Are you a technologically driven person? How do you align technology with your purpose?

You may be in a job that is not rewarding or fulfilling, but it is a job that pays the bills. When you determine your purpose, can you provide space to pursue it and keep your day job? Pursuing your purpose may require you to develop a ‘HIT’ list (Hobbies, Interests, Talents). This may provide the vehicle for you to address and fulfill your purpose.

Your purpose can sometimes be recognized in the things they give you the most excitement or feeling of value. Oftentimes, purpose is not about you, but what you can do for others. Through purpose you may find your significance. During your leadership gauntlet you may encounter a variety of distractions that derail you from finding and fulfilling your purpose. But you may find that within your purpose is God’s plan for your life.

God’s Plan for Your Life

YouTube narration with music 

Once you desired to be,

Who you were wired to be,

But you satisfied friends instead.

Though blessed with talent and skill,

You lacked the courage and will

To follow the dreams in your head.

Your parents hinted at times,

Since they were reaching their prime,

You should let them plan your success.

Therefore, achievements were built

On a foundation of guilt,

Which was geared to their happiness.

You were not strong enough then

To use self-discipline when

You heard the voice of the divine.

In whispers to intervene

He said he placed in your genes

The elements of your design.

Once you conspired to be,

Who you were wired to be,

To match the image of your trade.

You sought the power and fame,

The money, title and name,

In service to the masquerade.

Unplanned events played a role,

You flowed away from your goal,

Imprisoned by the undertow.

You gave into their appeal,

Although the look and the feel,

Was not what you needed to grow.

Through the influence of peers

You alternated careers,

And thus, fulfillment was delayed.

You showed an absence of nerve

And therefore, did not deserve

To prosper from poor choices made.

Now you aspire to be,

Who you were wired to be,

To do all you can with your life.

Committed to seek His will

And use your talents and skill,

To embrace God’s Plan for your life.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. What is your purpose?

  2. How did you determine your purpose?

  3. Are you working to fulfill your purpose?

  4. How are other people helping you with your purpose?

  5. What resources are you using, or have you used to clearly define and execute your purpose?

  6. How can you help others to find their purpose?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 18 – Breakthrough

MADEbreak (2)

Imagine cruising along in your current reality knowing that life is good or at least predictable.  You have become complacent. Life appears to be working well for you. The challenges are manageable and under control. You reside in a comfort zone because difficulties and hardships do not exceed your ability to handle them. And you are not worried about the future for it promises more of the same.

Inertia, that natural resistance to change is keeping the necessary objects of your world in orbit. The results are predictable, as you act consistently to match your values and beliefs. It is fortunate to be insulated, protected and feeling no pain.

Eventually, you might become frustrated with the status quo. You are surrounded by sameness and mediocrity in a mundane and environment. You may want a fresh perspective, adventure and excitement. You may want a breakthrough before life/work breaks you.

Your current state, sometimes referred to as normal, “the way it is”, “business as usual,” and the status quo will remain stationary until something bad happens to negatively rock your world. Sir Isaac Newton said that an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. When the outside force strikes it may throw you headlong into a crisis. Therefore, it is wise to land a breakthrough before it becomes mandatory or too late. 

Theodore Levitt, the esteemed marketing guru, spoke of planned obsolescence. He said if you don’t make your product or service obsolete, somebody else will. To paraphrase, if you don’t plan to achieve a breakthrough, someone else may achieve a breakthrough that puts you out of business or leaves you behind the competition. Today is the day you began to make steps toward your breakthrough. If you look within the word, you may find that the word “rough” which may be an accurate depiction of the journey, but it will be worth the effort.

 

I Need a Breakthrough

I need a breakthrough,

A radical departure

From my current plateau,

To an area where endorphins flow,

In proportion to the challenges

I encounter.

I need a breakthrough,

Not incremental steps

To emancipation of thought;

But a bold new mindset to evoke

True innovation.

I need a breakthrough,

Ascending spiral staircases

To adventure;

To a domain where the air

Is different;

An elevation where

I must train vigorously

To sustain excellence

Of another kind.

I need to breakthrough

The stifling strait jacket

Of my staid routine;

To acquiesce to the audacity

To explore and find

The alternative sides

Of my capacity.

I need a breakthrough

To penetrate the glass ceilings,

To disintegrate the feelings

That the past and present

Are the best I can do.

I need a breakthrough

To build the images my mind

Has shared with me,

So that I can do

What is required to be

The type of person

I have been privileged to see.

Copyright © 2002 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim

by Orlando Ceaser

 

Personal Reflections

  1. Where is a breakthrough needed in your life?

  2. Where are you subject to experience your next breakthrough?

  3. Talk to family members about their need for a breakthrough and listen and help.

  4. Who can help you achieve your breakthrough?

  5. Are you bold enough to take the necessary risks?

  6. What kind of training and resources are required to achieve the next level?

  7. Enter the breakthrough in your journal, tablet, computer or cell phone.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 14 – Storytelling

storytelling-word-cloud (2)

Field training is a process where someone works in the field (ride a long) with a Sales representatives during a typical workday. They would spend the entire day in the car and in offices evaluating the salesperson’s performance. The Field Trainer or Manager would provide feedback on sales planning and execution, business skills and customer service. Consequently, there is a lot of time in the car driving between sales calls. Field training also provides opportunities to share war stories or sales stories with the sales representative.

My District manager was a master storyteller. He would tell detailed stories about people and the company. An analysis of his possible motives for telling stories in those teachable scenarios led me to surmise the following about him:

  1. Enjoyed telling stories to impress us with his expertise

  2. Wanted to increase our knowledge by sharing his experiences

  3. Distributed selling techniques and information from our peers

  4. Shared company history to give us a sense of belonging and healing

  5. Provided examples of consequences of what happened to people who violated company policies (a policy reinforcement strategy)

  6. A model of behavior, we could use if we were promoted

  7. A model to use in developing our own stories

  8. Provided an environment to improve our storytelling by sharing stories with him

  9. Encouraged us to use stories with our client

When we became managers, the art of storytelling was found to be pervasive throughout the leadership culture. It was used at manager meetings to entertain, build relationships, pass along company and leadership information and help develop the younger managers. I swore that when I became a manager, I would never use stories. But I have passed on this time-honored tradition with many more stories of my own.

Whenever we gather, we influence the world through our stories.

Stories

YouTube Narration Set to Music

https://youtu.be/JI0q9QUvWjE

At corporate campfires

And watering holes,
The people gather.

Their hearts are stirred

By the leaders,

The keepers of the scrolls,
Whose words

Speak the curriculum

Of what occurred.

The leaders through language
Interpret and present:
Through parables and scenarios
Values are infused;
And in a lighter forum
They package events
So people are instructed,

Encouraged and amused.

At family gatherings
Enrichment of the soul
Occurs when the elders,
The keepers of the scrolls,
Assemble the generations
And dispense discipline
Through stories sprinkled

With wisdom and wit,

In moderation.

The elders portray

Passion and progress,
Pride and principles

And honor in the family name.

They tell tales of obstacles

And human failings,

Of being human,

And being sensible,

For invincibility

Is not a trait we can claim.

The stories form a bond
That is not bondage.
They chronicle ambition,
Growth and attrition
And forge connections
Of substance and relevance
That add alignment
And purpose to our lives

And gives us the strength

To continue the expedition.

At work and in families,
The keepers of the scrolls,
Through stories give us context
And texture.
For within these tales,
We identify with the roles
And through this revelation
We take our places
And become storytellers,
And add our voices
To the conversations.

Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership above the rim by Orlando Ceaser

www.watchwellinc.com

Personal Reflections

  1. How are you using stories in your day-to-day operations?

  2. Develop the art of telling to use strategically and family, social and work situations.

  3. Where can you find your best stories?

  4. How can you develop your story telling technique?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 4 – Structure

Solving problems and making decisions are dependent upon structure. We must design the right format or technique to tackle each situation. The seamstress says that we should measure twice and cut once. The architect creates a blueprint, and from this structure, the building is constructed. Plans are formulated before actions are taken.

Structure is all around us. We find it in Nature, and we use it to govern our behavior, through rules and regulations. We establish goals to give direction to our actions. Structure is necessary to minimize disruption and confusion. Read the Structure poem, being mindful of the principles, consider the personal reflections and apply structure where it is needed in your daily activities.

Structure

In Nature, all of life is organized;

The body systems’ elegant design

Rivals a universe categorized

As millions of stars in the night sky shine,

As planets in order orbit in space,

As structure keeps each object in its place.

We need structure and a firm foundation;

To set boundaries in our routines,

So, we concentrate in conversations

On short term and long term and in between;

To keep us on schedule and on track,

To manage a structured plan of attack.

We have a purpose, as we run this race,

Programmed with a sequence for us to win;

There is a pattern that we must embrace;

A series of actions we must begin.

We set goals and methods to reinforce

Each goal with a checklist to stay on course.

There’s structure with diet and exercise;

Willpower and demonstrating constraint;

The flexibility to improvise;

To be creative and resolve complaints;

We need discipline, so we can abstain;

From actions that will later cause us pain.

Structure is a gift that we should enjoy.

When structure appears confining,

A well-tuned strategy we should employ;

When our performance is declining.

It has a formula like a lecture,

With strength in content and architecture.

We need structure that is clearly defined;

That includes respect for authority;

To help develop our heart and mind

With excellence as the priority;

The structure will hold us accountable,

So, obstacles aren’t insurmountable.

Structure will lead us to the right decisions;

Those consistent with what we want to be,

To excel and thrive with supervision,

To channel our time and energy;

Its skeletal framework will ease the threat

Of reckless actions that place us in debt.

To live comfortably within our means,

We have standards and a choice to say no;

We are not just for self, but for the team,

Interdependence is the status quo.

We use ambition as a strategy;

For the good of group and community.

We need structure in order to advance;

To study harder and perform the tasks;

Learn fundamentals before we freelance,

And give the assignment all that it asks

And know structure’s role in all we do,

As it gives us guidance to follow through.

Structure trains us to allocate the time,

So, life is far less complicated,

And puts us on a path away from crime,

That’s choreographed and orchestrated;

To be on the field not on the sidelines

And functioning according to guidelines.

Structure can be seen as stimulation;

Keeping the mind engaged and occupied

Through a number of planned simulations

To grant experiences that provide

The guard rails to sustain us in our lanes;

And to fully utilize our brains.

When we master how structure should be used;

We will not easily be distracted;

Temptations will be ignored or refused

And we will no longer be attracted

To positions of mediocrity,

When it is excellence that makes us free.

Copyright © 2016 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Leadership Greatness Through High Performance Poetry by Orlando Ceaser

 

Personal Reflection

  1. Where can you use more structure in your life?

  2. Describe a problem you need to solve. How will designing the right structure help you solve it?

  3. Select a problem to solve and create the right structure to tackle it with help from others to hold you accountable.

  4. List the main principles found in the stanzas that resonate with you.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

 

 

 

Death Paid a Visit to Our Home

A leader is present for many of life’s challenges and celebrations. Death inevitably and invariably touches everyone and we must be there for our people. This poem features death as a silent partner in our grief, as we struggle to gain our composure an ability to be strong and go forward.

Death Paid a Visit to Our Home

Death paid a visit to our home.
He was a gentleman and came alone.
He shared in every somber thought.
He saw firsthand the pain he brought;
Sat silently among recollections,
And listened to the words of reflection.

Death as a nomad, a traveler combs
The countryside and the streets of the city.
Death, an unwelcomed visitor to homes
That had hoped he’d pass over; For pity
Precedes the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The sense of loss that torments beneath
The epidermal layers of grief,
Begs the physician for cure or relief.

He led us through songs to put us at ease,
To sway minds off the pain and disease.
He led us through pleasantries revealing,
The depth of wonder and girth of feelings.
Death was conductor to grief stricken kin.
He led us in fellowship as we sat in
Communion with the nearly departed;
The forlorn, lonely and brokenhearted.

Death when he visited cherished the rights
Of mourners as we suffered the nights
And days until the anguish of the soul
Transported our loved one to Sheol.
Death as a quiet manifestation,
Did not disclose their destination.
We discovered that Death first collects
And returns later to pay his respects.

Death paid a visit to our home.
He was a gentleman and came alone.
He shared in every somber thought
He saw firsthand the pain he brought;
Sat silently among recollections,
And listened to the words of reflection.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance
By Orlando Ceaser
Continue reading

Adverse City

Adverse City is a place we pass through
On the highway to Being Great;
Where storm clouds hover as a residue,
Reminding us that fortunes fluctuate.

The Motel Misery on the town square
Near “Woe Is Me” Hotel, is over booked
With occupants chanting life is not fair
To the downtrodden who are overlooked.

Adverse City has a Welcome Center,
And millions visit and wander its streets;
Through equal opportunity enter
The masses who find life is bittersweet.

Children of this town are known to excel
When love through compassion inspires dreams
And possibilities exist to quell
The stereotypes and negative themes.

Some hospitals convey hope with their names
And patients vary in their will to live.
On corners like Finger Pointing and Blame
Are angry victims and those who forgive.

Adverse City extracts enormous tolls
And develops or deteriorates
Based on acceptance that we can’t control
All things, and even strife can educate.

Adverse City should not be faced alone
On the highway to Being Great;
Each crisis, a detour, a chance to atone,
A chance to invite God to navigate.

Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim

God’s Plan for Your Life https://youtu.be/at7lNa60tjk

MADENeverIgnore2
There is a purpose and plan for our lives, but we are often influenced and distracted by people and circumstances that distract us from focusing on our journey. This piece was written to supplement instruction delivered to individuals participating in a career seminar. You may see yourself in these words and hopefully it is a resource that can benefit your spirit and your well being.

God’s Plan for Your Life

Once you desired to be,
Who you were wired to be,
But you satisfied friends instead.
Though blessed with talent and skill,
You lacked the courage and will;
To follow the dreams in your head.

Your parents hinted at times,
Since they were reaching their prime,
You should let them plan your success.
Therefore, achievements were built
On a foundation of guilt,
Which was geared to their happiness.

You were not strong enough then
To use self-discipline when
You heard the voice of the divine.
In whispers to intervene,
He said he placed in your genes
The elements of your design.

Once you conspired to be,
Who you were wired to be,
To match the image of your trade.
You sought the power and fame,
The money, title and name,
In service to the masquerade.

Unplanned events played a role,
You flowed away from your goal,
Imprisoned by the undertow.
You gave into their appeal,
Although the look and the feel,
Was not what you needed to grow.

Through the influence of peers
You alternated careers,
And thus, fulfillment was delayed.
You showed an absence of nerve
And therefore, did not deserve
To prosper from poor choices made.

Now you aspire to be,
Who you were wired to be,
To do all you can with your life.
Committed to seek His will
And use your talents and skill,
To embrace God’s Plan for your life.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser
Watchwellinc.com

We Were Created To Evolve

We were created to evolve;
From stardust imbued with life giving breath;
Upright beings with cognitive mystique;
Inspiring the fittest, with natural selection
As a survival technique.

We were created to resolve
Differences and use the distinctions
To steer us from extinction;
To cooperate as more than an initiative;
To be inquisitive;
We are the derivative
Of a life force that has instilled in us
The agility to dance
And the ability to reason and advance
The human species.

We were created to evolve;
To gregariously collaborate
And vicariously liberate
Our consciousness,
To connect with a higher power;
To select, perfect and recognize
That we should live in community
And use our similarities
To strive toward unity;
To preserve life,
To conserve life,
To deserve life,
And reserve the right to bond
To a cause greater than ourselves;
To extract from our differences
A positive impact,
To decipher the patterns,
Frequencies and mysteries
Of the puzzle
For a greater good.

We were created to evolve;
To consciousness on a higher plane;
To mesh with the universe;
To become flesh and maintain
A constant drive to grow and survive;
To know and to thrive;
To rehearse and immerse ourselves
In a cosmic equation of evolution;
To find the answers and seek the solutions;
To connect with our Creator
On Earth, in the ether and atmosphere;
To answer the question
Why are we here?

We were created to evolve;
To ascend beyond the primitive state
Where fear and selfishness
Fuel envy and hate;
To keep alive the rational
And emotional debate
Between good and evil,
Between faith and fate;
To denounce barbaric atrocities
And grow beyond wars to a new reality
Where conflicts and animosities
Are self defeating maladies.

Violence is a flagrant violation;
A suppression of our moral code;
If it persists we will implode.
This primal obsession
Requires repentance and confession.
There is value in moving toward inclusion
And uniting our assets
To eliminate the confusion
That exists when we focus only on self
And ignore the residual benefits
Of working for the entire race.

There is a trajectory to this existence.
An angle of flight instilled in humanity;
To live a life beyond mere subsistence;
To have a purpose beyond vanity
That animates us to get involved
With a myriad of problems
That need to be solved.

We were created to evolve;
To scour the regions of the universe
For information to improve our surroundings;
To develop hypotheses to rehearse;
To mine the treasures stored from
The infinitesimal, to infinity;
To study each side of the decimal,
And ultimately connect us to divinity;

As we grow together we have
So much to discuss.
The Eternal God communicates
And connects with us,
As we discover the secrets of this universe vast
In size and complexity;
In every manner and dimension
He unfolds the future as the past
And the temporary lasts
Forever and then returns
In a continuous loop for us to learn.

As we branch outwardly to explore
The atmosphere to the ocean floor.
When we demonstrate our readiness
And understand more,
He will increase our ability
To comprehend our cosmic quest;
As the earth derives energy
From its molten core;
As a sunflower stretches
Toward its solar source
We will connect with the universe
And this vital force
Will place us on a course
That will lead us to love.

We have unlimited capacity zones.
We are not to be ruled by pleasure alone.
We should not be driven by senseless
And selfish acts.
We are not to become ancient relics
And artifacts,
But beings that rejuvenate,
Evolving to love,
Receding from hate.

It’s not survival of the one most fit,
But the one who progresses and will not quit;
Incorporating each enhancement,
As we move steadily to advancement
At different altitudes and rates of speed,
We challenge the limits and ascend
To where we need to be.
We are always striving for a winning hand,
Curiosity driven, surviving to understand
The mysteries stored within us;
To unleash those powers that implore us
To seek a higher level.

We were created to evolve,
To journey toward perfection;
Through growth that is incremental,
In the direction of our purpose;
To be used;
To engage in a metamorphosis;
To transform repeatedly
Through purposeful interactions;
To stretch for lofty objectives;
To lunge softly toward love and peace;
To extend and stretch our intelligence
And expand our heart and pursue matters
The Creator feels has relevance,
To love our neighbor;
To participate in thinking,
To serve through targeted labor
To improve man’s existence,
As we grow, our commitment and desire
Are like a homing device compelling us
To travel to meet our Maker.

Copyright © 2015 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted with permission from Daily Resurrections
by Orlando Ceaser
Available through amazon.com and OrlandoCeaser.com

Awaken Your Superpowers – Power Share Your Way to Greatness

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Speak truth to your subconscious mind;
Your determination
Is a confirmation
Of what ancestor’s left behind.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
The shackles from your mind will fall;
Reach and claim your birthright
With wisdom and new sight,
A hero, role model for all.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
The dynasty has been concealed.
Deliver a command,
Be proud and take a stand,
As your heritage is revealed.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
For you are extraordinary.
You’ve been asleep too long,
Arise, stand up and be strong,
By any means necessary.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Remove the cobwebs from your eyes;
Shed the interference,
Behold the appearance,
Of potential to realize.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Snap your fingers to break the trance;
Seize your former glory;
Learn the complete story
Without fear, push hard and advance.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Awoke with the strength to be bold;
Disregard the whispers,
Strong brothers and sisters;
To make sure the story is told.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Ubuntu gives us energy;
“I am because, we are;”
Each person shines, a star,
Loving self and community.

Awaken Your Superpowers;
Live life as a choice to be free;
The destiny instilled
Within you is fulfilled,
When you’re who God meant you to be.

Copyright © 2018 Orlando Ceaser