Michelle Ray 's Entries

3 blogs
  • 06 Oct 2018
    Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads in your life, either questioning yourself or finding it difficult to make choices, either personal or professional? Your capacity to move forward and take a leap of faith rests upon self-belief and taking charge of yourself. Developing a leadership mindset has no relation to one’s career or job title. It has everything to do with the manner in which we interpret situations and events and subsequently make decisions. i.e. the thoughts that drive actions and result in specific outcomes. We are constantly evaluating our current conditions; both consciously and unconsciously. Our perspectives regarding the circumstances in which we find ourselves today have been shaped by ideas and values learned in our formative years. Therefore, in order to develop a leadership mindset, it is important to acquire an acute sense of self-awareness…in other words, to better understand the origin of our thoughts. By expanding your level of awareness, you may discover that the lens you use in business and in life may not bear any relation to what is actually true, especially if previous “influencers” that shaped our world view as children, or young adults were for the most part, negative. In addition, this may provide an explanation for individuals experiencing inner conflict as well as difficulty shifting negative thoughts to positive. Ask yourself: “Do my thoughts help or impede my assessment of my present reality in order to move forward?” Once you become more cognizant of your history and “energy” behind your perceptions, you can begin tapping into your intuition more effectively. Humans possess an inner knowing, or “gut feeling”, although we may not choose to access it. As mentioned previously, our thoughts are driven by our deeply held beliefs, which manifest as attitudes that dictate outcomes that are evident in every facet of our lives. In order to take charge of yourself, it is apropos to contemplate the following definition of “mindset” as “a belief that orients the way we handle situations — the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do.” Equipped with the right mindset, the opportunity to “rise above” becomes less arduous. This applies to personal and professional setbacks…i.e. challenges of every description. This is not to suggest that unexpected, tragic circumstances would be less painful. Experiencing shock, heartache, or deep sorrow in the face of adversity or unanticipated events are natural emotions. Interestingly, research pertaining overcoming trauma suggests that humans possess an innate capacity to develop resilience. Consider the dictum: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Perhaps you have experienced being looked over for a job opportunity, or suddenly “dumped” in a relationship? Or, you have inadvertently found yourself as the patriarch or matriarch of the family when a loved one passed away? Although you felt a profound sense of loss, you rebounded and gained strength from the experience. Knowingly or unknowingly, you have honed a leadership mindset through a series of adversities. You have “led yourself” through challenging situations that invariably occur through the peaks and valley of life. As a result, you have already developed a degree of “bouncebackability” and can tap into your reservoir of resilience when confronted with the next test that life will inevitably bring. https://www.michelleray.com/
    178 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads in your life, either questioning yourself or finding it difficult to make choices, either personal or professional? Your capacity to move forward and take a leap of faith rests upon self-belief and taking charge of yourself. Developing a leadership mindset has no relation to one’s career or job title. It has everything to do with the manner in which we interpret situations and events and subsequently make decisions. i.e. the thoughts that drive actions and result in specific outcomes. We are constantly evaluating our current conditions; both consciously and unconsciously. Our perspectives regarding the circumstances in which we find ourselves today have been shaped by ideas and values learned in our formative years. Therefore, in order to develop a leadership mindset, it is important to acquire an acute sense of self-awareness…in other words, to better understand the origin of our thoughts. By expanding your level of awareness, you may discover that the lens you use in business and in life may not bear any relation to what is actually true, especially if previous “influencers” that shaped our world view as children, or young adults were for the most part, negative. In addition, this may provide an explanation for individuals experiencing inner conflict as well as difficulty shifting negative thoughts to positive. Ask yourself: “Do my thoughts help or impede my assessment of my present reality in order to move forward?” Once you become more cognizant of your history and “energy” behind your perceptions, you can begin tapping into your intuition more effectively. Humans possess an inner knowing, or “gut feeling”, although we may not choose to access it. As mentioned previously, our thoughts are driven by our deeply held beliefs, which manifest as attitudes that dictate outcomes that are evident in every facet of our lives. In order to take charge of yourself, it is apropos to contemplate the following definition of “mindset” as “a belief that orients the way we handle situations — the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do.” Equipped with the right mindset, the opportunity to “rise above” becomes less arduous. This applies to personal and professional setbacks…i.e. challenges of every description. This is not to suggest that unexpected, tragic circumstances would be less painful. Experiencing shock, heartache, or deep sorrow in the face of adversity or unanticipated events are natural emotions. Interestingly, research pertaining overcoming trauma suggests that humans possess an innate capacity to develop resilience. Consider the dictum: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Perhaps you have experienced being looked over for a job opportunity, or suddenly “dumped” in a relationship? Or, you have inadvertently found yourself as the patriarch or matriarch of the family when a loved one passed away? Although you felt a profound sense of loss, you rebounded and gained strength from the experience. Knowingly or unknowingly, you have honed a leadership mindset through a series of adversities. You have “led yourself” through challenging situations that invariably occur through the peaks and valley of life. As a result, you have already developed a degree of “bouncebackability” and can tap into your reservoir of resilience when confronted with the next test that life will inevitably bring. https://www.michelleray.com/
    Oct 06, 2018 178
  • 07 Sep 2018
    “It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position.   If you are looking for ideas to have more fun and  re-ignite your enthusiasm for your work, the first place to start is to assess your mindset…and willingness to do the following:   Accept new realities   There is no question that today’s workplaces are different to those of yesteryear. Many organizations are operating with a flatter, or in some cases, non-existent layers of management. Change is a constant and choices regarding how we work (and for whom) have never been greater. For example, we have more say regarding benefits, how we structure our day-to-day workflow and in many instances, we can avail ourselves to work opportunities that encourage a combination of play, greater flexibility, balance and wellness. In short, the more we accept and take advantage of these options, the more fun our work experiences can become.   Embrace Innovation   How do you perceive the advent of new technologies in your workplace? Are you excited by change…willing to try new ideas by adopting a fun approach to your work processes and systems? Business innovation provides endless opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently than any other time in history. Yet, many of us choose to resist implementing methodologies that can simplify our work and improve our time management capabilities. Examples abound of higher frustration and stress in the face of technological change. When we recoil from innovation, the greater our discontentment, disconnection and disengagement from our work and colleagues. Instead of resisting, consider the benefits that can come from embracing new approaches.   Shift Perspectives   Organizations are now more accountable for policies regarding gender, culture or age biases. As workforce demographics invariably skew younger and diversity continues to be encouraged and celebrated, leaders and teams can realize opportunities to enrich their respective work experiences. No matter how high tech enterprises become, nothing can replace the opportunity to build relationships, sustain meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that we forge at work.   Examples abound of organizations that have put fun into their vision and mission statements, Zappos being one of the most popular success stories. Enterprises that make fun a high priority are experiencing higher employee retention. People want to enjoy their work environment, have fun with their colleagues and view their workplace in a positive light. https://www.michelleray.com
    50 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • “It’s not fun anymore”… words I was not expecting to hear from the CEO of a highly successful enterprise. Was he referencing the state of his industry or the workplace in general…or both? The CEO was lamenting the fact that everything has changed: Shareholder expectations, demanding clients and a new generation of employees. Sadly, he was losing his passion and belief that work could once again be as enjoyable as his first five, ten, or twenty years had been. Please don’t suggest that he “should” retire. There are many individuals at every level of an organization who feel similarly, regardless of one’s age or position.   If you are looking for ideas to have more fun and  re-ignite your enthusiasm for your work, the first place to start is to assess your mindset…and willingness to do the following:   Accept new realities   There is no question that today’s workplaces are different to those of yesteryear. Many organizations are operating with a flatter, or in some cases, non-existent layers of management. Change is a constant and choices regarding how we work (and for whom) have never been greater. For example, we have more say regarding benefits, how we structure our day-to-day workflow and in many instances, we can avail ourselves to work opportunities that encourage a combination of play, greater flexibility, balance and wellness. In short, the more we accept and take advantage of these options, the more fun our work experiences can become.   Embrace Innovation   How do you perceive the advent of new technologies in your workplace? Are you excited by change…willing to try new ideas by adopting a fun approach to your work processes and systems? Business innovation provides endless opportunities to work smarter and more efficiently than any other time in history. Yet, many of us choose to resist implementing methodologies that can simplify our work and improve our time management capabilities. Examples abound of higher frustration and stress in the face of technological change. When we recoil from innovation, the greater our discontentment, disconnection and disengagement from our work and colleagues. Instead of resisting, consider the benefits that can come from embracing new approaches.   Shift Perspectives   Organizations are now more accountable for policies regarding gender, culture or age biases. As workforce demographics invariably skew younger and diversity continues to be encouraged and celebrated, leaders and teams can realize opportunities to enrich their respective work experiences. No matter how high tech enterprises become, nothing can replace the opportunity to build relationships, sustain meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that we forge at work.   Examples abound of organizations that have put fun into their vision and mission statements, Zappos being one of the most popular success stories. Enterprises that make fun a high priority are experiencing higher employee retention. People want to enjoy their work environment, have fun with their colleagues and view their workplace in a positive light. https://www.michelleray.com
    Sep 07, 2018 50
  • 24 May 2018
    Have you ever thought of yourself not as a leader, but as the executive producer of a movie, and your workplace is the movie set? Every day you have a cast and crew show up and their job is to create a “blockbuster”… a smash hit, so you have more customers, and greater profitability and success.   “It’s not my job, I just work here.” and/or “It’s not my responsibility.”   As leaders, I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses in the world about people not taking responsibility and not being accountable for the end result. However, many people have told me that they are really confused about exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing at work. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to be communicating exactly what is supposed to be done. Others may be responsible for getting the work done, but you as the leader are ultimately responsible.   Have you ever considered “accountability extremes”? On the one hand, you’ve got people who take absolutely no ownership, no responsibility, get nothing done, and blame everybody else. On the other hand you’ve got people who can’t help themselves…they have to take responsibility for everything – even other people’s work when it has nothing to do with them!   I once had a sales rep named Jeff. He was an outstanding producer who handed in his sales reports to our administrators in an efficient and timely manner. However, he couldn’t help himself – he kept on interfering with their system! He wanted to manage the entire process, and as a result he ended up frustrating everybody, including himself. Therefore it is worthwhile remembering that in some instances, team members may not realize where accountability starts and ends. That’s why as a leader, it’s your responsibility to communicate the desired end result. You will be more effective when you can explain to people exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing; no matter how successful or unsuccessful they may ultimately be!   Why is it so difficult for leaders to discuss accountability? This is often due to the manner in which you deliver the message. If you can utilize positive communication more frequently, team members are able to recognize their overall contribution to the “big picture”, as well as to the team. As a result, they feel more empowered and in control of what they need to get done. Ultimately they have success because you have demonstrated trust in their ability to get the work done.   So, let’s sum this up: Giving people responsibility for their own success is the key to creating ownership. Accountability does not have to be communicated in the negative. Use positive language when you’re delegating responsibility. And it is worthwhile remembering that that the way you create the perception of the work that needs to be done is going to impact the way that other people view their responsibilities. It starts with how you see the world, and how you translate your reality to your team!   To learn more about increasing accountability in the workplace, WATCH and subscribe to Michelle Ray’s brand new Leadership Insights TV Series!
    115 Posted by Michelle Ray
  • Have you ever thought of yourself not as a leader, but as the executive producer of a movie, and your workplace is the movie set? Every day you have a cast and crew show up and their job is to create a “blockbuster”… a smash hit, so you have more customers, and greater profitability and success.   “It’s not my job, I just work here.” and/or “It’s not my responsibility.”   As leaders, I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses in the world about people not taking responsibility and not being accountable for the end result. However, many people have told me that they are really confused about exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing at work. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to be communicating exactly what is supposed to be done. Others may be responsible for getting the work done, but you as the leader are ultimately responsible.   Have you ever considered “accountability extremes”? On the one hand, you’ve got people who take absolutely no ownership, no responsibility, get nothing done, and blame everybody else. On the other hand you’ve got people who can’t help themselves…they have to take responsibility for everything – even other people’s work when it has nothing to do with them!   I once had a sales rep named Jeff. He was an outstanding producer who handed in his sales reports to our administrators in an efficient and timely manner. However, he couldn’t help himself – he kept on interfering with their system! He wanted to manage the entire process, and as a result he ended up frustrating everybody, including himself. Therefore it is worthwhile remembering that in some instances, team members may not realize where accountability starts and ends. That’s why as a leader, it’s your responsibility to communicate the desired end result. You will be more effective when you can explain to people exactly what it is that they are supposed to be doing; no matter how successful or unsuccessful they may ultimately be!   Why is it so difficult for leaders to discuss accountability? This is often due to the manner in which you deliver the message. If you can utilize positive communication more frequently, team members are able to recognize their overall contribution to the “big picture”, as well as to the team. As a result, they feel more empowered and in control of what they need to get done. Ultimately they have success because you have demonstrated trust in their ability to get the work done.   So, let’s sum this up: Giving people responsibility for their own success is the key to creating ownership. Accountability does not have to be communicated in the negative. Use positive language when you’re delegating responsibility. And it is worthwhile remembering that that the way you create the perception of the work that needs to be done is going to impact the way that other people view their responsibilities. It starts with how you see the world, and how you translate your reality to your team!   To learn more about increasing accountability in the workplace, WATCH and subscribe to Michelle Ray’s brand new Leadership Insights TV Series!
    May 24, 2018 115