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Business Observer Friday, Nov. 28, 2003 18 years ago

Garber: Increase Personal Productivity

Stay positive as you face struggles. Attitude is everything. And don't forget to smile.Stephen Garber, who lives and works in the Sarasota area, provides executive coaching for people who want to become better executives

Garber: Increase Personal Productivity

Stay positive as you face struggles. Attitude is everything. And don't forget to smile.

"If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting." You must have heard this expression dozens of time, especially from me. It's cute, it's catchy and it's mostly true. Many of us do the same things over again because we don't know what else to do. I'm going to suggest a few areas where you can begin to think about doing some things that affect personal productivity differently.

Start with thinking positively about yourself and your job. Do you smile before leaving home for work? When you deal with negative people, maintain a positive attitude. When you suffer a "setback," immediately go to work on restoring your positive attitude. Remember, it's not what happens that makes you successful; it's what you do with what happens.

If you have to make choices between what is right and what is advantageous, choose to do what is right. Create a definition for integrity and practice integrity in all your dealings with internal and external customers. Do you treat people with respect? Are you honest with yourself? Can others rely on your integrity? Do you honor your commitments? It's not what you say that builds your integrity; it's what you do.

Reflect on how past disappointments may have helped you grow. Be willing to accept present and future disappointments as growth opportunities. Do you have the courage to look at life as it is and still get up and go on? When you experience disappointment, give yourself a chance to rediscover your true strengths. Every dark cloud has a silver lining, for those who look for it.

Follow clearly stated and achievable goals for your career and for your personal life. Regularly check your progress and adjust your course of action. Do your goals include ongoing education to ensure your progress? Do you reward yourself for achieving your goals? When you run into difficulties, do you redouble your effort and renew your faith in your vision? Remind yourself that success in life is not a destination, it's the way you achieve it.

You only fail in life, when you give up and stop. When you know that you have to move mountains of work to get the job done, do you keep going? Do you feel that achieving success is worth the price? Do you apply all your energy to doing your personal best? Do you feel satisfaction from knowing you've done your best?

High achievers think in ways that make them less sensitive to disapproval and rejection. They think in ways that facilitate effective actions. If they can't do anything about a negative situation, they don't worry about it and they move on with their lives. They don't divide others into winners and losers, but accept people for who they are as individuals. They are optimistic, yet think realistically. They welcome challenges with optimism and without fear. They establish clear priorities and develop an effective action plan to obtain the needed results. They know that what they think about they bring about.

Do you know how to create win/wins in your personal interactions with others? Do you know when to adapt your behaviors and attitudes and when not to? Do you know how to create an environment where others will self motivate themselves? Do you seek to understand others in order to be understood? More people are promoted for their people skills than for their technical abilities.

Having suggested some areas to reexamine and reflect on personal productivity, I'd like to turn to another related subject. I recently discovered a unique Sarasota resource called Incredible Adventures. It's president, Jane Reifert, has literally written the book on adventure travel with the publication of "Executive Adventures," with fifty-plus exhilarating out-of-the-office escapes. One of these little thrills might just be the thing to recharge your batteries.

The book is written for executives, and other adventurous types, who are looking for something to help them "recapture the excitement they felt as a kid." This book has everything from surviving in the jungle by training with the Peruvian Air Force to Russian Navy SEAL training, to gladiator and/or bull riding school.

There is a section on "Why Adventures are Good for You and your Business" and a section on "Creative Ways to Fund your Adventure." Reifert and contributors Judy Copland and Norman Fast have personally, between them, experienced many of the adventures listed. The company has been in business for more than a decade and was the first to offer Americans a flight in a Russian MIG jet fighter. For more information go to:

Stephen Garber, who lives and works in the Sarasota area, provides executive coaching for people who want to become better executives, improve productivity and build consistently effective relationships.

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