Category Archives: Life

Transformational Change: Where do we start?

By Mike Poutiatine

Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about transactional change vs. transformational change. The idea being that New Year’s Resolutions are very rarely changes that stick, rather they are fleeting. True, lasting change is transformational. I had a few questions asking how to achieve true transformational change. Realizing that I’m not an expert, I turned to someone that is, my friend Mike Poutiatine.

True transformation of self, organization, community or society requires the complex interaction of three things; Thinking, Feeling and Doing.   Virtually all transformational change starts with one of these three.  All are involved with true transformation, but one of them is always the seed.

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How to Get Buy In

This morning, I’m working on building a marketing team for a church. I’ve been staring at blank emails trying to figure out how to get others to buy in, without sounding lame.

But that’s the trick right? How do you get others excited about something they might have no interest in being excited about?

The answer is something that looks you in the face every time you’re on Facebook or Twitter: transparency and authenticity. Good social media content is transparent and is written by and sounds like a human.

So, in trying to recruit a team, I’m honest about my intentions, their expected time commitment, as well as my level of enthusiasm. Additionally, I write it in my real tone of voice. Nothing made up or contrived. Just transparent and real.

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The Wonderful Curse

The funny thing with doing something awesome the first time is that you end up being expected to do the same every time.

Now, I didn’t say “the challenge with doing something awesome…” because, in all honesty, this should be considered a good thing. Awesomeness (or excellence) should never be a burden. This is why I call excelling at a given task The Wonderful Curse.

Setting the bar high for yourself should be routine, but you should also expect the fallout – good and bad. The good being that you worked hard and completed a task well. The bad being, you will now be held to that standard, but is that really a bad thing.

The only real cure to the curse is to work hard regardless (if you’re a Christ Follower, read “work hard for the Lord). Do work you can be proud of no matter what. If it doesn’t meet someone else’s awesomeness standard, you can at least still sleep at night knowing you did your best.

 

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A New Year’s Resolution or Transformational Change

Last year, I wrote a blog that poo-pooed New Year’s resolutions, and here’s why. Most resolutions are transactional changes. What people need, more often than not, is transformational change.

A transactional change is temporary. It is not permanent. According to a University of Scranton study, about 45% of Americans make New Years Resolutions. However, only about 8% succeed in achieving their resolutions. Whatever the true motivation may be, it seems that most New Years Resolutions are for the sake of conversation. That’s transactional.

Transformational change only takes place when the individual goes through true metamorphosis. The old person is no longer, and a new person exists in its place.

Gavin Trom at ONE* Spokane suggested that failed resolutions and failed goals are half-measures. He challenged the congregation to go all in with true change in 2014, and I agree.

This year, don’t just make a resolution, make a commitment to transformation. Make this the best year ever by committing to being the best version of yourself. Make true change happen.

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Texting affords people the opportunity to be flakey

There’s a simple concept that sometimes I struggle with: do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Doing what you said you were going to do, when you said you would do it is the easiest way to earn trust. To help combat my inability to do this, I started writing everything down on a white pad.

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For the sake of clarity…

Just because someone writes a blog offering advice, perspective, or tips doesn’t mean they’re perfect. In most cases (especially mine), it is quite the opposite.

I offer advice because I’ve made mistakes – as a business owner, husband, father, friend, Christ follower, etc. My goal is to use my gifts, the few I have, and what I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made, to help others.

Sometimes the best learning comes from making mistakes. It is possible, though, to learn from “case studies” and advance your situation without making too many missteps. However, it takes a special kind of courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake, to admit that you need help, or to seek knowledge in areas where you are inexperienced.

As for me (and this blog), I enjoy taking the time to share what I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made, and the obstacles I’ve had to hurdle. I’d share those things even if no one read my blog. It’s part of who I am.

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Never Get a Case of the Mondays Again

Do you hate Mondays? Do you find yourself saying, on a weekly basis, that you have a case of the Mondays?

There are two simple cures.

The first, quit your job and find a job doing something that you love.

Or, the second cure, start your own company doing something that you love.

It may be trite, but life is too short to waste away at a job you despise. If you truly love something – fishing, hunting, snowboarding, skiing, video games, music, arts & crafts – I promise you can find a way to do it for a living. Write it down as a goal (or as a prayer) and meditate on it daily. You can’t just meditate on it, you have to take action as well. You have to move in that direction.

In the meantime, try on a little positivity. There are things to consider. At least you have a job, and although it’s not your dream job, it’s paying the bills. And, it’s only a temporary gig until you discover what it is you want to do from now on.

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12 Degrees… (The Devil is in the Details)

I had a pretty awesome math teacher when I was in high school in Chewelah, WA. She made math accessible and… dare I say fun. This teacher was also known to host the occasional foreign exchange student.

One year, she was getting an exchange student from an Eastern European country. While this student was planning and packing, he called and asked my teacher about the weather. She promptly replied that it can get cold in our area, sometimes even down to 10-12 degrees during the winter.

A few weeks later the exchange student showed up. A few weeks after that winter showed up as well, along with the snow and cold. Inconveniently, the exchange student hadn’t brought anything warmer than a sweatshirt. Turns out, he was thinking 12° celsius, which is just about 50° fahrenheit, and definitely not 12° fahrenheit.

Neither of them thought to ask about the temperature conversion, or more importantly, whether the other person was thinking in terms of celsius or fahrenheit.

It’s important to occasionally ask yourself, “what am I saying, what do I think I’m saying, and what do people really think I’m saying?” Each question is different. As a brand or business, asking these questions should be routine.

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The Only Thing You Take With You

There are jobs that change you. Jobs that grow you. There are jobs that challenge your character, and play a role in defining who you are.

Then there are jobs that teach you nothing. Jobs that are jobs. You punch in, you punch out, but you never really show up.

Jobs are a crapshoot. In the end, the only thing you really take with you when you leave a job is your character.

Sure, some bosses may claim you walked on water. While others may want you to burn in… well, some bosses may not say nice things. When all that fades, when you’ve forgotten what you’ve learned because you’ve been taught so much more. When the positive reference has no meaning because it’s been replaced by three more. When the bridge is done burning. All that’s left is your character.

Whatever your character is when you leave, is the only thing you’ll have when you find your next job. If you’re the sort made of unshakable character, it won’t matter what the last boss said, because the next opportunity won’t care. The next opportunity – be it boss, a significant other, or students – will only care about what you bring with you.

“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”

Malcolm S. Forbes

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The Time When Nothing Happens

Know what happens at 5am? Nothing. Which is great for my productivity. For the most part, the (West Coast) world is asleep and I can plow through emails, tasks, and especially, projects I’ve avoided finishing.

That’s the key. You have to find the times when you can shut off the distractions and the noise, and focus on getting things done.

Another tip is to make a list of what you want to accomplish during that time. Don’t stop until you’re done, and when you’ve finished, give yourself a reward.

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