Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

10 Ways to Move From Good to Great

10 Ways to Move From Good to Great

I am reading a book that states that good work isn’t good enough anymore. I find this topic fascinating. How can you move from good to great in an effective way? How can you impact others greatly by your work, products or services? Something great makes you think about it after the fact. It impacts you in a way that helps you gain a new perspective on your work.

The following pointers will bring out the greatness within you.

1. What is most important to you? Your purpose? Your why?

Develop a vision and clarify what it is you truly want to accomplish. 

“You’ve got to think about the big things while you’re doing the small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.” Alvin Toffler

2. What skills, talents, and passions are you living when you are being your best self? What are you really great at? What do others say you are great at? Offer your greatness to others with your full presence and engagement in whatever you are doing. 

“When you are good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.” Walter Payton\

3. What positive habits can you practice today? Set your mind, heart, spirit and body up for peak performance. Tell yourself things that support your best self. Eat healthy food. Find ways to connect with others, loving and noticing what they do right. Get connected to a larger whole. Take time for stillness. 

“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” Horace

4. How can you bias yourself toward action and learning? When you do something can you notice what goes well and what needs to be improved? How can you follow-up on the improvements? How can you line up the action with opportunities for improvement? Sometimes doing things that are uncomfortable can line you up with the improvements or the goals and performance levels you want to achieve. Diving into strategic action can help you get the desired results.

“Think like a man of action. Act like a man of thought.” Henry Bergson

5. How can you ensure that your time is productive? Loehr and Schwartz say we can be productive for periods of about 90 minutes and then we need to take a break. Our focus is better after we take this needed break. When you are working be sure to limit interruptions by focusing on the task at hand and leaving the phone, emails and social media alone. Dealing with one focus at a time can enhance your productivity. 

“What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.” Aristotle

6. How can you ensure you get things done? Can you break the project down into actionable steps? Some people get support from makings lists and taking notes. Writing down the next actionable step in your project or process before putting a task away helps you focus quickly when you come back to it.

“Work smart. Get things done.” Susan Wojcicki

7. How can you be sure to stick with it? Being able to complete work tenaciously builds muscle. 

“Doing stuff I don’t want to do is greatness.” Joe De Sena

8. How can you team up for increased impact? Can you talk with someone who is helpful in your support system? Can you hire a coach or talk with your mentor about you plans and goals? 

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Helen Keller

9. Can you look for opportunities everywhere? Can you turn adversity into an advantage? 

“A crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel

10.  How can you be of service to others as you move through your process? 

“Greatness is impact and impact is service.” Keith Ferrazi

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The How To's of Networking and Benefits to You

The How To's of Networking and Benefits to You

Networking and connecting with others is a mutually beneficial activity where you exchange career related information with another person. Many people feel they are bugging others by asking them for a coffee and to network with them. When you go into this activity realize that while you are the one asking the other person to network, they will benefit from the exchange as well.

The risks are that you put yourself out and can get ignored and rejected. Don't take this personally, you know how busy you are. The other person is probably just as overwhelmed with their busy life and work. Listed below are 8 benefits of networking to entice you to give it a try.

Some of the Benefits of Networking Include the Ability To:

  • Gather information,
  • Learn from others,
  • Increase your skills,
  • Provide and gain support,
  • Ensure you stay relevant,
  • Connect with role models,
  • Test your ideas, and
  • Increase your knowledge of opportunities to work, learn and build skills.

Some of the Best Practices of Connecting Include:

Benefit Others: Go in with an attitude that you will be of benefit to the other person. Connecting with others is supposed to be mutually beneficial. You can't guarantee that the other person will help you out, but you can ensure that you will help them. If the meeting doesn't benefit you, you may not be motivated to connect with the other person again. If it does benefit you, you will want to meet up again. "The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity." Keith Ferrazi 

Start Where You Are: You already have contacts so you can start with those and meet others through these contacts. By setting goals to connect with others who are doing interesting things, are experts in your field, who are tackling similar projects as you or are building organizations, could all help advance your career and process.

Trust is Built in Person: It is good to introduce yourself on Linkedin, however, to deepen the connection it is best to meet face to face. Having a coffee with someone you want to connect with or attending an industry event with someone else is a good way to start to get to know them.

Spend Time with Good Networkers: Spend time with people who are good at giving of themselves since they will likely have a number of people in their network. Make sure you give back just as much as you get whenever you can. 

Ask for What You Need: This is an important gift you can give yourself. Ask for what you need after you have been of benefit to the other party. Keith Ferrazi calls this the strategic ask. Don't be afraid to ask for what it is you desire out of the meeting. This could be a contact in a certain company, learning about a skill area, etc.

Extending yourself and connecting with others can be enjoyable and bring benefit and energy to your career. Those with an ongoing and established network are more readily able to get work and information that will be of benefit. This mutually beneficial dance lifts your energy. Try helping others as well, you will feel the positive results. Sometimes the benefits will be returned many fold.

Let Mary-Ann know what gets in the way of your ability to network more effectively.


Ferrazzi, Keith "Never Eat Alone"

Sanders, Tim "Love is the Killer App"

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Demonstrate Grit: Take These Steps and Make Progress on Your Goals

Demonstrate Grit: Take These Steps and Make Progress  on Your Goals

These 5 steps will enable you to advance and make breakthroughs toward your goals.

1. Gather Support and Feedback: Ask people in your network who have gone through a similar situation for feedback. Discuss the barriers or blocks that you are struggling with that may be inhibiting your progress. See what feedback and advice they can provide for you to work through your obstacles. Find out what others who you admire would do if they were in your situation. What advice would they provide you? Even if the person hasn’t gone through a similar situation just talking with others you admire enables your best thinking to show up.

2. Imagine You are More Skilled and Resourceful: You can imagine or visualize that you are the person you greatly admire. Ask yourself what they would do if they were in your situation. Then be courageous and do it. This way you challenge yourself to dig deep and work through your blocks to spark action that enables progress. 

3. Increase Your Accountability: Tell supportive others what your goals are so you can increase the likelihood of removing blocks that prevent progress. Sharing your goals will make you more accountable when asked how things are going, which will also increase your chances of getting it done. Some people don’t like to share their goals. If you are one of these people you can write your goals down and look at them often. Doing this can raise your accountability levels. 

4. Take More Responsibility: If you were the only one who could resolve this situation and make progress what would you do? By asking yourself this question, your abilities and resourcefulness will be called upon and emerge.

5. Lean Into The Learning Opportunity: If you knew that by learning about and making progress on your goals your productivity would increase, do you think you would lean into the learning more fully? Assume that the learning on the way to accomplishing your goal will benefit you exponentially. That way you will lean into the problem and approach solutions with more determination and perseverance. 

Try 1-3 of these today. You will make further progress on your goals. 

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