Mini Mission Monday

Sometimes it’s hard to think of a good reason to reach out and ping someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Luckily, a) you don’t really need a reason at all and b) with a tiny bit of research, you can easily find one, anyway.

Your mission:

Log into your LinkedIn account (if you don’t have one – your mission is to make one) and look at the “Updates” section. Scroll through the list and you are likely to find that someone has a new position, has received a promotion, or is working on an exciting new project.

Send congratulations to people with changes to report. Take advantage of the chance to rekindle a relationship. Ask questions to encourage follow-up. Showing you are interested and aware of happenings in the lives of your connections gets you back on their radar.

Mini Mission Monday

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato

Your success will eventually require you to deal with someone difficult, or to stay calm in a situation where someone else is creating tension.

When that time comes, the quote above is a powerful touchstone for finding a way to approach the challenge with generosity. Because no matter how caustic the personality, it is unlikely that the problem person wants to make your life harder. They are busy dealing with their own issues, and quite honestly, perhaps you are also working their last nerve.

Your Mission:

If you experience a tense moment today – take a breath and accept that the other party is most likely experiencing a challenge somewhere in their life. Find a way to reach through the tension and offer some kindness. Practice this regularly with strangers, and maybe it will eventually be key in managing an important business relationship.

Mini Mission Monday

How many times each day do you click over to Google or Bing to answer a question or research a challenge?

What if every one of those clicks was an opportunity to give generously to someone in your network?

Your Mission:  Every time you search for a piece of information today, think of 2 people in your network who could benefit from what you uncover. Send them a quick email letting them know that you found something you think they would find valuable and include a link. Instant generous ping.

Mini Mission Monday

Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends.The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances. – Jay Leno

Here’s a question for you.

When was the last time you gave someone new the chance to move up the ranks to become a true friend? There are no documented promotion criteria to move up the friendship ladder. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and give someone the chance to step up for you.

Your Mission:  Look through your to-do list or calendar for an activity/event where you need back-up from a friend. A ride. A recommendation. A wingman for an event. Think beyond your go-to friends and give someone new a chance to be there for you. It might feel like a stretch, but chances are good that he/she will want to help, and just making the gesture to ask can move a relationship to the next level.

Let us know what you asked and how it went.

Mini Mission Monday

As they say, “time flies when you are having fun.”  They should probably also say, “accomplishments rack up faster than you can update your profiles.”  Although that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic.

Your Mission:

Go to LinkedIn and update your profile with your latest accomplishments.  Make sure it represents you in the best, most current light.  Consider keywords and what you want your personal brand to stand for.

Five Tips to Break Through Your Filter(s)

Authors John Hagel and John Seely Brown, who recently sat down to record a Social Capitalist Masterclass with Tahl Raz, provide this month’s Master’s Mission, designed to help you diversify your network to expose you to the broadest range of ideas and opportunities. These simple tips will strengthen your safety net – try it!

It is no surprise that we instinctively seek out those who share our interests. This is especially true in times of increasing pressure and uncertainty. We have an understandable tendency in such times to seek out the familiar and comfortable as a buffer against the unforeseen changes around us. In so doing we can inadvertently put ourselves in a cage of similarity that narrows our peripheral vision of the world and our options. The result? We may be even more vulnerable to being blindsided by events and trends coming at us from new and unusual directions.

The Internet compounds this narrowing by invisibly removing subjects and people from our online searches and even our casual exploration of websites, explains Eli Pariser in his new book, The Filter Bubble. Worse yet, we tend to become more extreme and entrenched in our beliefs when we become involved in a tight-knit group that shares them.

The bottom line: the choices we make and the technology we use can progressively narrow the range of experiences we have. To counteract the potential stultifying effects of the filter bubble we will have to overcome our natural instinct to seek out the comfort of those who are most like us. Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

Mini Mission Monday

First things first.  Happy 2012!

In honor of the introduction of our 3rd Core Course – The Learning Action Plan – today’s mission is all about planning your personal development for this year.

Your Mission:

Identify one thing you want to learn this year.  It might already be a resolution, or just a thought in the back of your mind.  Write it down and spend 30 minutes researching ways to move the needle on that learning objective.

Possible options:

  • Identify an on-line course
  • Sign up for a live course – continuing education, a seminar, a workshop
  • Find a book – buy it or go get it at the library
  • Ask around in your network for ideas
  • Find a mentor/accountability buddy to keep you moving

Mini Mission Monday

Many of you are probably planning to take some time off in the next week or two. Much of that time is likely to be filled with family and celebrations. Think about taking some of your “free” time and spending it with friends and colleagues. Fit in some relationship building activities amidst the holiday bustle.

Your Mission:  Schedule some quality time with your contacts during the upcoming holiday weeks.

Here are 5 ideas:

  • Schedule coffee or lunch.
  • Share a walk or workout.
  • Throw an impromptu happy hour.
  • Volunteer at a local charity with a friend. Serve dinner, distribute gifts, be of service.
  • Invite someone to join you for last minute shopping OR to keep you company in the return lines.

Mini Mission Monday

‘Tis the season for acknowledging those who have helped you out during the year. Whether you celebrate the winter holidays or not, this is the time of year when service people look for a bit of gratitude for their work during the year. By being thoughtful and generous you can ensure that you go into the new year with stronger relationships with those who help keep your life in order.

Your Mission:

Make a list of the service people who should be acknowledged this season and choose appropriate gestures. The postal delivery person, your hair stylist, housekeeper, administrative assistant, etc. Think broadly – there are lots of people who would be surprised and delighted by a bit of seasonal cheer.

Your gifts do not have to be monetary or cost a lot – referrals and testimonials and heartfelt thanks don’t cost a cent, but can make a huge impact.

Mini Mission Monday

One of the best parts of this time of year, aside from the opportunities to get together with friends, is the fact that everywhere you turn there seems to be an easy way to help the less fortunate.

Food donations, coat drives, Toys for Tots, the ubiquitous bell-ringing Santa, and an abundance of other chances to give back and be of service are around every corner.

Your Mission: Decide today which initiatives you will support this season and take the first step toward fulfilling that commitment.