Friday, February 15, 2008


With having a new baby, it’s harder for me to do everything that I once did. Working long hours, sleeping in on weekends, working out 6 days a week, volunteering as much, fancier cooking, any baking, traveling, and so much more. My family has always been my first priority and it just needs more time now. A lot more time.

There were always things that I “didn’t have time for.” Cleaning the house more often, tending to the lawn more frequently, corresponding with more far away friends, blogging, reading that book for pleasure or work, and more. I don’t let these things weigh me down anymore. I give myself permission with no self-guilt trips or second thoughts. It’s a conscious decision. I give myself permission to pick up my son from daycare and spend time with him instead of going to a work happy hour. Sometimes I give myself permission for the happy hour. I give myself permission to blog during lunch 1-2 days a week instead of going out to lunch or working through lunch.

I have 2 friends from separate parts of the country. Recently, they both used that same phrase too – “I give myself special permission.” Kirsten will admit that she’s more comfortable “doing it herself.” Delegating is nice but it’s easier for her to do it herself – team of 1. Over time, she has felt the consequences – stress, not able to do as much as she wanted, not always the best person, running late which affects others, and more. She now gives herself permission to ask for help. It is definitely a conscious decision (and against her nature). She’s not able to rewire herself to be fully comfortable so she gives herself permission. This has reduced her stress and made her feel that she’s accomplishing more.

Shawn owns a consulting business. He’s a great guy, level-headed, and a big F (Feeler) in Myers-Briggs terms. He doesn’t want to impose on people. Yet he needs to sell his services. Shawn gives himself permission to ask people to buy his services. This is helping to make him more successful.

THINGS TO REMEMBER: Sometimes you need give yourself permission. You accept the consequences and path chosen and not chosen. Consciously choosing to give permission is empowering. It allows you to break from your norm and be more than yourself.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why do I write this blog?

Many years ago I read the book Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. He shares that we are made up of innate talents/strengths, gained knowledge, and learned skills. Innate talents are things that you do without thinking. They are who you are.

After taking the test (free with a book purchase), I said yes these are me. Some of my top talents were Maximizer, Developer, and Connectedness. Maximizer and Developer focus on improving people and processes and challenging/cultivating them to meet their full potential. Connectedness centers on the notion that things happen for a reason. I share my thoughts and this blog because I want the next generation to be better than this one. To do that, I need to share because we are all connected.

And there’s more … in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he shares this view on what makes an effective leader. He has a 5 level hierarchy of leadership ability. At level 4, we have an effective leader. While successful and able to accomplish great things, this leader looks out for him/herself – a very much me-focus and everyone works for me. At level 5, we have an executive. Level 5 leader matches professional will with personal humility. It’s less about me and more about the organization. They attribute their success to good luck and good team, rather than personal greatness. These leaders look for success in the future, when they are not here. The organization continues to success when the “genius” (current leader) departs. I share this blog because I want the next generation to be better. I want you to succeed and create more successes.

When we’re not at war, why do our soldiers train? To be ready when called. I want to empower our future leaders. We could work on a team together sometime in the future. You could work on a project where I benefit like a new vehicle, phone, MP3 player, medical device, or professional training.

It’s like a parent-child relationship. The parent gains gratification knowing that the child was able to do better than his generation. My father would tell me stories about growing up on the farm, needing the livestock and farm to have food on the table. Grandma and grandpa worked (and worked hard) but it was hard to manage a family with 5 kids. Penny pinching and saving were needed at times. Christmas was hard at times. Growing up for me, we didn’t have these challenges. Dad had built a family that was able to do better than his youth. We had our challenges but they were slightly beyond the prior generation. I remember my grandparents being proud of what my dad accomplished. Now that I have started a family, I see the cycle continue – doing a little better than my youth. And I see my father being proud of what I’ve accomplished (and continue to accomplish).

I want the next generation to glean something from my experiences and thoughts so it can be better. We can have broader success in the future. I want to see the children of PM grow up and succeed.