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Sheldonbarrocks.com Posts

Take Time to Be Meticulous

When great ideas come we tend to put our focus on the end results. The idea of what we want to see. The picture perfect manifestation of what it should look like.

As is the case since the beginning the 21st century, how fast we can complete something seems to be just as important as completing the project itself.

Our preoccupation with being the ‘first‘ almost always leads us to skipping important details along the way. Or wanting a title because it assumes a specific social status (entrepreneur or CEO) but not being meticulous enough to understand all the prerequisites required.

But that’s just it. As much as we aim to avoid the rat race we still subconsciously compete with one another and over look some of the most important life details that need to be considered.

As I’m writing this I’m 2 months into a new role with a new company. In an effort to prove myself to my new colleagues, jumping into projects and issues before understanding all the specific nuances and inner workings of the company is something I’ve fallen prey to.

Luckily I’ve had support from multiple executive level associates, including my manager, tell me to take time to learn and don’t feel pressured to jump right in, right away.

It’s not just in business or your professional career. In the many facets of life, taking the meticulous approach in all things will provide you with the insight to make better decisions and ones that ultimately will last longer.

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Venturing into the Unknown

Advancement and promotion comes to those willing to venture into uncharted territory.

Taking such a step displays a willingness to fail. To look weak. To feel inadequate and ill prepared to face what’s coming.

It’s also a confirmation to the important decision makers that you’re committed to growing and increasing your value to the organization.

At a deeper more social level, venturing to the unknown can look like being open to objective conversations with those who hold an opposing point of view.

When we continually open ourselves to learn, understand and discover the world beyond the knowledge we currently have, we are saying yes to a richer life experience. Tangibly and metaphorically.

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Some Extremes Are Good Us

“Too much of a good thing can be bad for you”.

Really? Is that really true 100% of the time? Or does it relate to what exactly that ‘good’ thing is?

An over indulgence of menial or trivial pleasures can lead to serious heath problems. Pizza is ‘good’ and ‘enjoyable’ but high cholesterol isn’t.

You know what we can never get enough of? Justice, equality, human rights, anti-racism, love. Too much of this can and never will be bad for us as individuals or collectively as a community.

As a matter of fact ‘too much’ of the things we need might just solve a plethora of the social issues we’ve been dealing with for decades. So no, not all extremes are bad. Especially the ones that tend to be less self focused.

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Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

As I write this humanity is going through a phase of uncomfortable growth. The realization of systematic anti-black racism and how deep it flows in society today is only now being recognized by many.

That realization is coming at the expense of our comfort zones, regardless of who you are. If you’re a non-person of colour, having to unlearn some ideologies that you once assumed isn’t easy. And you shouldn’t assume otherwise.

As a person of colour, understanding that getting the attention of the ‘the powers that be’ is only the first step. Staying the course to see real lasting action and change take place is the real work.

Both mindsets require a level of pain tolerance through the process. Change and growth in anything is uncomfortable because it takes humility to learn what you do not know and endurance to keep the pace when you feel like quitting.

Whether in business, education or standing for social issues it’s all the same. We have to fall in love with being uncomfortable in order to accomplish something of significance. Pain and gain aren’t mutually exclusive of each other.

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The New Emotional Intelligence

The Emotional Intelligence methodology has been rampant in recent years since 1996 especially when it comes to leadership in the workplace. Now more than ever it will be needed at the forefront in combating the effects of anti-black racism in places of employment.

Let’s take a quick step back and understand the term clearly. Mindtools.com defines Emotional Intelligence or (EI) as follows below:

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean, and how these emotions can affect other people.

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he’s under stress, or a leader who stays in control, and calmly assesses the situation?

According to Daniel Goleman , an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

1. Self-awareness, 2. Self-regulation, 3. Motivation. 4. Empathy, 5. Social skills.

There’s no doubt in my mind that (EI) training for managers and executive leadership will need to increase as we walk through such a delicate time in history in North America.

But also as individuals we need to begin to unravel what information and issues are affecting us emotionally enough to have an adverse impact on how we make important decisions.

Skills to master Emotional Intelligence should be introduced or re-introduced in company policies and handbooks. There’s no reason (EI) shouldn’t be a foundational guiding principle in every organization as we move towards a more inclusive future.

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Pause, Step back and Recalibrate

We all set out with good intentions. We read, strategize, and put 3, 6 and 12 month plans into place. We have no idea what will happen tomorrow but we plan like we do.

Sometimes unfortunate events force us to pause and really reassess what’s really going on outside the bubble of our lives.

The death of Ahmaud Arbery caused us to pause. The death of George Floyd caused us to pause. The death of Breonna Taylor caused us to pause.

The world hasn’t been the same for a month. Add Covid-19 to the mix and it’s 3-4 months. It’s pushed the true necessity and weight of our so called plans to the test.

You need to still write that book, but what’s the new direction going to be? Is the subject original matter still relevant? Is that business idea still in high demand or is there another immediate need that has been uncovered as a result of above recent events?

Traumatic events, especially global ones, are cause for pause to recalibrate our life’s intentions. When what we thought we knew about this world blows up, its time to allow new thoughts and ideas to take residence in our lives.

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Networking Made Simple

If you want to write a book, support those you know who have written one. Buy it. Give them encouraging feedback. Tell others about it.

That’s just one example of building a community. Whatever creative focus you have, locate and support creatives that are already in that stream.

Yes it’s called networking. And networking is a fancy term for building a community. It’s the prerequisite for long term success.

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Greatness on Dime

A few years ago I was approached by the owner for a mental health organization to create an official logo.

At the time I was operating a side business for different creative services and was confident I could pull of the job even though I didn’t have an extensive design background.

A week later I sent the final draft for the logo to the owner. He loved it and paid me according to the quoted rate we both agreed to.

A few months ago this same logo was on the owner’s t-shirt while he sat to discuss his organization during a segment on a well known television talk show.

The online software I used to create the logo only cost me only $17/month.

Creating greatness doesn’t always involve spending a lot on tools or training. There are so many valuable applications available to us in this digital age. Spend some time looking and you’ll be surprised at what you find.

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Intimidation Is Overrated

In reality intimidation is just a facade in our minds.

Take for example beginning a new role at a new company.

We either think we’re not good enough, smart enough, creative enough to make it when we look at all of the talent around us.

Or we use our imagination to believe they are all ‘flexing’ on us while disregarding the knowledge we bring to the table.

A better thought process is to approach a new opportunity from the place of learning. Be confident in the knowledge and experience you hold and wait for opportunities to utilize it.

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It’s Okay Enjoy Your Triumphs

That new career move that happens to be your dream job. A timely promotion. Opening your first business. Making your first company acquisition. Landing that tough client. Achieving the forecasted budget.

Take significant time to celebrate and enjoy those achievements. Even when others think you should move on because you’ve already taken a few victory laps. Take 10 more!

Accomplishments like the above are no easy feats. We often don’t take enough time to reflect on the hard work put into it. So don’t let anyone cap the amount of time you enjoy it.

Giving yourself time to be thankful, have gratitude and celebrate the moment provide the emotional fuel we need to move in to the next challenge with confidence.

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