Friday, December 7, 2012

Everyone doesn't understand your success path… Stop trying to convince them

In my experience, some of those around you may have a hard time understanding your steps to success. We spend a lot of time explaining the reason for engaging in specific steps rather than actually engaging in those tasks. This post is simply about knowing who to explain your projected path of growth with and who not to do so. The fundamental equation includes observation. We must observe others’ response to our thoughts of success attainment. For example, when you tell some one your plans in life, there are to general possible responses: (1) jump for joy and figure out ways to make it happen; or (2) respond casually with an accompany list of reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Many confused giving advice with tearing down others dreams (or keeping it real). The way to determine if you are helping someone achieve their dreams is ask your self a question:  How would you feel if some one responded to your aspirations in the manner you responded to someone else's'? One of the common and most effective techniques of building others is to model your methods based on personal desires. We find reasons to rationalize our response to others in a manner harsher than we would like. However, we are all human. Treating others harsher than we would like is one of the common practices within countless corporate environments. There seems to be a strong disconnection between senior leadership and inexperienced personnel. Even more, there seems to be significant differences in the belief of steps that is needed to become successful. One avenue is corporate hazing. Corporate hazing has be around for years. Corporate hazing means senior executives make new employees engage in various behaviors in order for them to receive promotions within the company. However, with new times, there comes a new method of becoming successful. We can look at technology companies and educational institutions to observe the changes the world continues to make. In order to compete within this market, it is imperative that we, as self-motivated leaders, constantly question our motives to ensure that we are delivery the best service and products to our consumers, a.k.a. ourselves. Also, there seems to be a mindset of folks who wants to provide a service and product that they wouldn’t buy themselves. We must stop thinking that the consumer is someone else other than family, friends and ourselves. When we grow in our thoughts of services and products, true success will follow and be achieved. So, stop trying to compel others to understand your path to success because the very person you may be trying to convince may be the obstacle to your success. Trust in yourself and your ability to achieve your dreams.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Surround yourself around with ‘GREAT’ people

Success in any arena hinges on who you surround yourself with; meaning the people who you talk with on a daily basis determines you success. YOUR NETWORK DETERMINES YOUR NET WORTH. Many times, you hear the phrase ‘self-made millionaires.’ I can’t stress too much how much of a false statement that is. Self-made success stories are only possible by the people you surround yourself with in your daily lives. Some people have an issue with doing such because they either (a) don’t know where to start or (b) they may feel that they are using the people around them to get something they want. Let’s address the first of these two statements, the way you improve your circle is to find people who are doing what you want to be doing or something similar and engage those people. Whether it is as simple text, phone call, email, or Facebook post, find some common ground to develop a relationship. Also, don’t set limits on the people you want to engage such as the president of the country or vice president of your company. When doing so, have a sincere heart. Let people know what you are trying to better your lifestyle. More importantly, embrace the person’s wisdom with passion. Too many times, people want things others have until they realize the obstacles that person had to go through to achieve their level of success. In those times, those people back off because they feel that it isn’t worth it. (This is the reason for medical doctors and attorneys residency programs. To ensure that the individual wants to go into this field and can handle the high level of stress that comes along with being in those fields). Secondly, don’t simply connect or talk with certain folks because you want to get something out of them. Always approach these individuals with something you can give them, e.g. time, assistance, other resources. This way of thinking and engagement allows the other person to better see that you not only want to improve the way you live, but you want to give back to the community. Usually, this is half of the battle for many individuals. Even though they don’t like where they are, they don’t want to give up the little they have for the chance of something greater. So surround yourself with great people who are doing some of things you want to be doing and give back. True success is building up people around you while working on yourself. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Street Smart Leadership

In a poll conducted by TIME, The Value of Higher Education, varies, depending on who answers the question: “What is the most important reason people should go to college (Ripley, 2012, p. 40)?” The general population responses are as follows:  40%, to gain skills and knowledge for a career; 17%, to gain a well-rounded general education; 14%, to increase one’s earning power; 6%, to become an informed citizen in a global society; 12%, to learn to think critically; and 11%, to formulate goals and values for life. On the other hand, college leaders suggest the following:  21%, to gain skills and knowledge for a career; 14%, to gain a well-rounded general education; 2%, to increase one’s earning power; 19%, to become an informed citizen in a global society; 38%, to learn to think critically; and 8%, to formulate goals and values for life. Regardless of the differences between these two groups, it pays to get some form of education after graduating high school. One of major ‘buzz’ statements that are being thrown around today is that going to school DOESN’T pay. However, according to Ripley, on average, people with a bachelor degree will earn more than 77% more than those with a high school diploma in their lifetime. Depending on the amount of money one expects to make, education pays in a multitude of ways. Even more so, the application of education pays. No one said you had to give up your street smarts and common sense when you obtain higher level of education. There isn’t a referee on the side of the stage during graduation that says that people are to through away everything they have learned before entering college. There is such thing called BALANCE. If a person has a degree or not, there are multiple ways of making a living, being a leader in the community and being a responsible productive citizen.

Ripley, A. (2012, October 18). College is dead. Long live college! Time, 180(18), 33-43.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Human interaction is necessary for organization growth

Have you ever been employed in an organizations where there were little to no socializing between the employees allowed? How productive would you say you and yor organization were? Don’t get me wrong, it is important to get as much quality work done as possible during a work day. Emphasis on QUALITY. But, shouldn’t there be a line drawn between basic human interaction and expecting individuals to be robots? More research has been done to study the possible effects of human socializing in the workplace. And the results are in. Most research suggests that basic human interaction is needed for knowledge creation, thus organization development. It is impossible for any supervisor to know the exact skills and knowledge that is needed to do every task required for a job on a daily basis. In short, having a casual conversation, not to inappropriate, with your colleagues may stimulate new ways to complete a project or solve a problem in a more efficient manner.

In a time when organizations are more concerned with meeting quotas and measuring everyone’s productive levels, supervisors are not allowing much time for the interaction of employees within organization. Many may do this because of the fear of low productivity levels. However, this worldview may be more of hindrance to organization development than an advantage.

So, the next time your supervisor or you as the supervisor tell your subordinates to stop the chattering, you may just be hindering your company’s growth overall. At the end of the day, an organization is nothing without its people. As a matter of fact, individuals are the highest cost and yield the most return on investment within any organization. So think twice about having a coffee and conversations by the water cooler, you may solve some of the world’s biggest issues. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goal Setting

The reason for setting goals is not to accomplish things to put on your resume. But, it is about the development of those around you. More so, setting goals allows one to have some thing to strive for in their everyday lives. Think about individuals you may work with in your organization who may not be goal oriented. Too many times these individuals waste their time interfering with others who are trying to be more productive.

At the risk of adding to present day societies common pressures on the average worker, one’s goals should include that of their own along with the organizations. There should be a balance between the growth of the individual and the organization. In life, there are examples of both where individuals pour their life into an organization and at the moment of downsizing, they are let go. And on the other hand, some employees do not put any energy and time into their organization. But, due to their union agreements or other contractual situations, they put no energy into the overall development of organization.

A good method to ensure the balance of both personal and organization growth is writing down a list of goals for both worldviews. Draw a line down the middle and accomplish a goal from each list. Even though this method seems elementary, it can highly profitable. Some times in life the simplest behaviors can generate the most return on investment. What’s on your list? And how soon are you going to achieve them? 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Organizations are more than systems

With many theories and corporate programs, many executives view an organization as a simple group of systems. However, organizations are nothing without the people within them. In order to be a greater leader, one needs to understand the environment, culture and people within in them.

Understanding the environment takes listening and observing. The environment is more than the physical attributes. It is the stimuli that people use to interact with each other. Listening allows one to gain an understanding of the positives and problems of the workplace. Observing allows one to see the organization more objectively.

The culture of the organization may assist a leader in successfully navigating the company and completing task needed to move the company forward. Many times, individuals try to follow the strict rules of the company to complete tasks, but run up against multiple walls. This happens not because the rules and guidelines are flawed, but the culture of the organization is such that it has it owns unspoken guidelines for completing tasks

More so, respecting and interacting with the individuals within organizations will serve as greater tools within leadership development. Dealing with people only because of title, age and experience will function as a hindrance to job production. Furthermore, it must be a high level of respect for individuality and job personality. Many times others try to force someone to perform duties in a specific style which may be opposite of the person’s natural ability. It is essential that individuals have a moderate level of autonomy when completing some tasks. Also, interactions with various individuals within the organization are required for everyone to understand the processes of the organization from top to bottom.

In conclusion, leadership is more than positions and experience. More so, the organizations that leaders operate in are more than a system, but the people within them.  Understanding the organization’s environment, culture and people within in a company may assist a leader in the further development of the company as a whole. 

~ Ronnie O'Brien Rice, PhD Candidate, 2013

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tatemae 建前 or Honne 本音? You are society?

In present day society, many are forced to choose tatemae rather than honne or vice versa. Before you become confused any further, tateame (Japanese) is the desire of oneself and Honne is the societal obligation (García, 2010). How does this fit into the framework of leadership? These two different mindsets intertwine into leadership in various aspects: cross-cultural competencies, leading individuals who operate within these two realms, etc. As the world around becomes more accepting of different cultures, it is important that many take personal and professional steps to lead others from various cultures to successfully contribute to society in a fashion that one would see fit. Also, as a leader, it would be advantageous for one to understand how others may view the world. Some may deal with an issue of operating within themselves and the rest of the world. Two primary extremes may arise out of the thoughts of honne and tatemae: (1) a person operates solely by their desires, and (2) a person operates only to please others. It is imperative that one seeks to engage the world in a manner that allows for growth with oneself as well as the people that they interact with on various levels. Essentially, we all are a part of society and it is vital to understand that the world is bigger than oneself.

García, H. (2010). Honne and Tatemae. Kirai: A geek in Japan. Retrieved from

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A prime example of leadership: Christian Bale’s perspective

My heart goes out to the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting. The deaths that happened last week were unexpected and needless. However, there can be a silver lining in all life’s situations. In an article written in the Huffington Post, Bale made appearances at various hospitals independently of Warner Brothers, along with politicians and professional athletics. Regardless of this being a publicity stunt or a genuine concern for others, Christian Bale’s visitation of the victims of the shooting is important display of leadership: Love.

Bale’s actions shows within the mist of people fighting for fame, money and other non-necessities of life, people are always first. People in his world (celebrities, multi-millionaires, etc.) could be shopping or vacationing halfway across the world without a care in the world. However, Bale took time to show love and respect to those who went to view his movie. This should teach society several lessons about leadership: People should be treated as humans, love is the foundation of life and never become too important to care about someone who is not in the same shoes as you are. Regardless if someone else is doing the ‘right’ thing or not, as a leader, one should operate in world that people are people. Showing others that someone cares and can provide something that materials can’t produce.

Christian Bale, thank you for being an exemplary leader.

~ Ronnie O’Brien Rice

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Ego: A leadership perspective

The biggest opponent to being an effective leader is oneself. We mostly hear about the id, ego and super ego based on the Sigmund Freud’s (psychoanalyst) structural model of the mind (Carducci, 2009).  The Id is considered a person’s ability to function in the reality. The Ego is defined as a person’s need to meet the needs and desires of their Id by operating within principles they considered reality (p. 84).  The Superego is the chamber in which a person’s moral standards lay. For example, a person who operates solely in the Id can be considered impulsive, a person who operates solely in the Superego can be considered a very moral person such as a television evangelist; and a person who operates solely within the Ego can be considered rigid and unable to be spontaneous. In regards to leadership the ego is something that most people operate in. Many people want to be a great leader, but have fears that prohibit them from being an effective leader. Even in the mist of one searching to become a better leader, one’s ego may hinder this growth because it may want to take control because it is trying to deal with the natural world around them (the Id). As a leader, whether a Fortune 500 executive, hometown leader, community activist, independent business owners, or so forth, it is imperative that one remain balance in all three with the Superego being the foundation. More so, instead of living a life with the Id (natural impulses) leading, it is essential for the development of one’s life to be that of the Superego (moral standards). Many operate with Id instead of the Superego because of what is in front of them, but it is the things that others do not see that should guide their leadership skills, abilities and motivation. (More to come).

~ Ronnie O'Brien Rice

Carducci, B. J. (2009). The psychology of personality: Viewpoints, research, and applications (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.