Tag Archives: change

Rise of the Robots

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, Martin Ford, 2015.

This is an eye-opening book that is the recent winner of the Business Book of the Year 2015. It’s hard to put down for any of us working in the areas of career transition, leadership and economic growth.

Ford is an author and founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm committed to helping us see the tsunami of a “perfect storm” of accelerated technology, long-term unemployment and income disparity. He begins by taking us back in history to WWII and the impact automation technology had on individual employees – short-term losses with long-term benefits.

But it is very different now. Technology is accelerating so fast that humans have already been left behind. The surge in “information technology” or artificial intelligence in the form of robots, computers, iPhones, etc. is rapidly replacing highly skilled workers in all industries. Ford speaks directly to the impact of this on our college graduates and gives us a disturbing prediction on the future of their careers. Pick up the book and let me know what you think.

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Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

Eat, Move, Sleep How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes, Tom Rath (Author of StrengthsFinder 2.0), MissionDay Publications. 2013.

I have always been a strong advocate for the strengths-based approach to the challenge of   motivating and engaging others as well as ourselves. I have all of Tom Rath’s previous books but have never seen him write about his personal journey with a rare cancer he’s had since he was 16 years old.

This book is fascinating from that standpoint but has a larger message applicable to all of us. By choosing three small changes each day and weaving them into an upward spiral we can make big changes in our lives. Set your intention, identify your benchmarks of progress and put the “pedal to the metal” to maximize your success. This is a great project for August for all of us!


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Create An Upward Spiral for Yourself

Initiating changes in our lives takes work. And it’s easy to get discouraged if we are striving for a big goal that seems overwhelming to achieve. We may even be tempted to not start in the first place justifying it to ourselves in multiple ways.

But we can be successful in attaining these bigger goals if we are willing to use our time, energy and creativity on a daily basis in a very strategic way. Using the core philosophy of Tom Roth in his newest book Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes we can use the power of choice to build upward momentum. Here’s how . . .

  1. Clarify one thing that is really important to you right now. For example, physical health may be a priority for you at this time.
  2. Identify three choices you could make on a daily basis that would complement each other and lead to improved physical health. For example, eating more fruits & vegetables; walking each morning and increasing sleep by 30 minutes each night.
  3. Commit to doing these three actions each day for one week. Keep a written log or use another accountability system (ex. check-in with a friend) that works for you. Do all three each day giving each equal attention.

How do you feel now? Hopefully, your efforts have had a significant ripple effect all week so that each subsequent day was even better than the day before. It’s amazing how the momentum of one change affects the other changes you are making. You are sleeping better so you feel like walking in the morning and then the exercise helps you chose healthier food throughout the day.

The result is you feel better all day long and into the next day as well. Each choice works together rather than in isolation increasing your success rate substantially.

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Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, Martin Seligman PhD, Free Press, Simon & Schuster Inc. 2011.

Martin Seligman’s newest book is fascinating! Seligman (world renown for his work in positive psychology) takes his past extensive studies of “authentic happiness” and expands it into the concept of “well-being”.

Seligman’s believes that one’s own sense of well-being has five measurable and sustainable elements: positive emotion, engagement, relationship, meaning and achievement. And this is not only true for individuals but equally measurable in businesses, teams, families, neighbor communities and even for whole countries. I was intrigued to read the research findings on which of 23 EU countries ranked the highest in citizen “well-being”. Pick up the book to see where we all should be moving! Leadership.

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Innovative Thinking: Stand In the Middle of the Intersection

Spring flowers, Spring opportunities

Yes, you heard me right. If you’re ready to learn to be more creative, go stand in the middle of an intersection – preferably one that has a crosswalk through the middle as well as from corner to corner. At this crossroads, watch and feel the energy from people from all walks of life using all different kinds of transportation as they merge and pass each other. Give yourself permission to just observe and allow yourself to be curious about the stories that you are seeing.

Sounds simple but this is what true innovators do all the time. They actively seek out opportunities to stand in the intersection and open their minds to the wealth and depth of cultures, ideas and diverse experiences they are seeing. They ask “Why” and “What If?” They question and challenge themselves and others to connect the dots in unique ways. This isn’t new. Look at our world history and see how the birth of the greatest renaissance periods came the intersection of the arts, culture, business and human curiosity.

So here are my favorite three ways to start standing in the middle of the intersection.

  • Say “Yes” more often when people ask you to do something new and different.
  • Actively seek out people who are different from you (age, culture etc.) for conversation.
  • Expand your reading to include books, blogs, magazines that cover subjects new to you.

And finally, allow yourself to simply be in the moment so that you can quiet the chatter in your head to better observe, learn and appreciate the wealth of life in our crossroads of life.

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