“There are some places in the universe that you don’t go alone.” That’s one
of the tag-lines from the trailer for one of my favorite movies, “Alien”.
Although I’m not usually drawn to scary movies, I have to admit that anytime the Aliens movies are on TV, I can’t help but tune in and I’m scared every time (yes, I watched it with the light on). While recently watching Alien for the 57th time, however, I couldn’t help but think about how important team building is to successfully handle frustrating, scary and emotion-charged (though not necessarily life-and-death) situations, especially in business. That tag-line I mentioned at the outset is very true regarding one’s journey toward success in business – it will not able if you try to be a one-woman or one-man show – you need a good team. Not everyone is built to handle certain tasks so it’s important to know your crew’s individual abilities before assigning tasks when possible. Check out how a few key characters from Alien measured up while trying to survive and escape an alien-infested planet:
Ripley - After a series of events including an adrift space vessel, quibbling
and deceit among politicians, military orders and eager scientists Ripley is
propelled into role a Commanding Officer and must lead a mission to investigate, survive deadly super-beings. She quickly learns leadership tactics and and usage of serious firepower to ensure her survival and rescue of possible survivors. This is a woman you want at the helm – a doer who leads by example with workable solutions.
Newt – A little girl and lone survivor on the planet yet despite her
traumatized state she continuously displayed tenacity, wit, courage, and
optimism – even shaming some of the trained professionals who lacked her spunk. Such qualities can be found in a young mentor or student who are energetic, curious, and teachable.
Hicks – He was originally acting under the supervision of a previous inept
Lieutenant who was them replaced by Ripley. Now, after Ripley ousts the
unskilled Lieutenant with her demonstration of resolve, focus, action, and
selflessness, Hicks is all too happy to train her in using serious firepower and machinery, and building their defense against their alien pursuers. It become apparent, however that a romantic interest is budding between them. Hicks can be your go-to guy for resources, and a reliable and loyal support however use caution and prudence when venturing to mix business with pleasure.
Burke – A corporate salesman whose own greedy interests are he only concern – alien specimens obtained and returned from the planet translated into big bucks. His greed and deceit led to his eventually demise. When considering including partners in your business, due diligence is paramount and takes steps to fully understand their direct involvement in any serious decisions that impact your money, constituency or brand.
Bishop – A highly intelligent, and morally evolved synthetic being, an
android, who is assigned to support the Marines. Although Ripley is initially
sceptical of his functionality, he proves to be honest, reliable and
self-sacrificing, saving her life, Newt’s and Hicks’. In team building,
sometimes, people who are considered underdogs, overlooked, undervalued, or ignored are often the very geniuses, saviors, and innovators that we need and celebrate today. These may not be seen in photos, red carpets or may not be trendsetters but greatly affect your business often in support roles or other non-glamorous jobs that they happily perform with skill.
Hudson – Cowardice and groundless scepticism is like rust and can be very
dangerous. Hudson was a Marine who had very few positive or productive things to say and simply annoyed people. It’s a wonder how he managed to survive in service for so long and no one really wanted to be around him. These times of people on your team must be dealt with swiftly to either address the root of their concerns with them directly or remove them and their potentially contagious attitude.
Vasquez – Despite her short stature, she is a bold and fearless gunner who
can handle her own and yours, and a loyal comrade. Displaying an occasional rebellious and zealous streak she means business and ready at a moment’s notice – even with her own life. She epitomizes a trusted confidant, more than a mere chatting acquaintance, a “ride or die”, got your back when everyone turns theirs, truest friend. Every successful person will likely have an innumerable amount of admirers, followers, peers, supporters however, they will have very few real friends – as it should be – who are there through all phases of your
best and your worse.
So, even though you may not be stranded on a planet being relentlessly
pursued by intelligent, super-strong, and acid blood, vicious aliens (though
some business scenarios seem that way) it is imperative for the sake of your
peace of mind, longevity, reputation, profit, and even your home life that you pick and manage your team wisely.
“Stay Frosty!” (Hick)
Da-Nel Euwings ©2012
My very first ticket was for speeding. When the police officer asked me, "Do you know why I stopped you?", I stifled my initial desired quippy response and instead said, "No sir". He then advised me I was speeding, about 25 miles over the speed limit. I was shocked since I wasn't in a hurry, I didn't have a very powerful car and had limitations, and most interestingly there weren't any other cars on the road which could have been my visual indicators as I sped passed them.
These three variables are similar to our life's journey and the way we choose to travel at a given pace. Unfortunately, we we aren't regularly watching our speedometer we could find ourselves in a heap of trouble indeed.
Why are you in a hurry? How many times a day are we bombarded with messages or statements beckoning; 'act now', 'don't miss this', 'time waits for no one', 'snooze and you lose', 'action required now', 'fast -track to success', etc. As people buzz, scurry, and whiz around and past us it is very easy to get caught up in their fervor, zeal, passion, and urgency. You find that your inertia is pulled and pushed to keep up with their pace - much like an impatient tailgater behind you, hurrying you along. Check your pulse and look at your speedometer. You are speeding! Trust in the universe - if you are meant to get to a destination, you will get there - even if you are 'late' - but not if you meet your demise due to speeding.
Are you built for high speed? At the time I got the above ticket, I was driving an old Hyundai Sonata which vibrated and jerked anytime I pushed it above 70mph. Its limited horsepower and needed repairs meant that it could only do so much at the time. Similarly, as we journey, we may have limitations to what we can do financially, physically, professionally, or emotionally until we acquire the resources, energy, education, and skills to progress to our next phase of prosperity. An essential character trait for a serious-minded person in growth-mode is humility - recognizing one's limitations. Being patient with the process of development and presenting ourselves for opportunities of introspection and improvement will increase our chances of success to prevent breakdown or ruination when we desire to increase our pace.
If you're riding solo are you self-disciplined? While I was driving on that road it seemed that I was not getting anywhere and I was momentarily uncomfortable with my solitude so I unknowingly increased my speed. On occasion, you may be alone while in pursuit of your goals which may be gratifying to some and frightening to others. While many business strategists wisely caution against operating in a silo and being disconnecting from essential resources, it is a reality that you will periodically encounter situations that you must face on your own and without consensus, focus group, consultation, peers, or partners. Like a driver alone on a road, self-discipline demands that you are watchful of signage and indication that you are in danger of travelling at a risky pace when you don't always have the advantage of being 'told' right or wrong.
In today's fast-paced world, some consider it lethargy, laziness or unambitious when people opt to pause or slow down. Some unwisely compare their pace to others who have circumstances, abilities, and background vastly different than their own. The course of wisdom is to be focused on your own rhythm, purpose and pace, check your speedometer and enjoy the journey.
"If you are in a hurry you will never get there." - Chinese Proverb
© 2012 Da-Nel Euwings
If you're like me, you're probably like an eager blossoming tulip once the weather touches 65 degrees and the sun beams warm the earth. You can't wait to soak in the newness of the season, the chirping and buzzing activity in nature, people coming out of hibernation, the colorful fashions, the smells of grills and flowers in the air, the dewy grass between your toes, and extended daylight hours. Yep, it's Spring! Excluding the allergies, it is a generally pleasant time of year rich of possibilities of rebirth, renew, refreshment, reassessment, and reconnection. To make the most of the season and the wonderful possibilities of change, here's a few tips regarding purposeful Spring Cleaning:
You hold onto that one blue sock for months hoping that the dryer monster will soon make its mate reappear. You ignore the warning signs of hypertension, obesity, abuse, mental illness, and sleep deprivation hoping 'this too will pass'. Your phone or social media contacts consist of numerous 'frenemies', tolerated unknowns, or unended ex-files. You are doing yourself a great disservice if you hold onto people or things that provide no current or future value to you, affects the safety of you, your children or others, consumes energy that is rightly due to another, or dismiss clear evidence that your health is in jeopardy. One African Proverb says, “It is hard to fill a cup that is already full.” Isn't it better that our cups overflow with blessings that enhance our health and creates space in our life for things of greater substance and value, than to have a cup full of things that drain, confuse, devalue, and exhaust us?
The definition of insanity is doing the same things while expecting different results. When you entered this new year, likely you expressed many hopes, goals, and implemented your plan of attack. As you review your first quarter activities how did you do? Did you adjust for growth, loss, staff changes, funding sources, acquired skilled assistance for complex needs in taxes, marketing, branding, legal, etc? Are you taking steps to live more frugally – removing items/activities that drain your savings goals – while still enjoying occasional inexpensive/free fun? Have you considered the pros and cons of supplementing your income by forming strategic partnerships for contract bids, premium vending opportunities, or freelancing? The best way to maintain sensible financial goals is to understand where you currently are, why you are there, and what you can do about it without delay, delegation, or digression.
A cluttered mind is an troubled mind. Clutter is creates frustration, is unhealthy, and stifles a free flow of expression, creativity, healing, energy, and focus. While it is true that we are busier than ever, working multiple jobs, juggling numerous roles, responsible for weightier decisions, faced with more unique challenges, and bombarded with countless offers, deals, requests, demands, and needs from others our minds are our most precious asset and must be protected from being consumed with non-essentials or just plain junk. Make sure that your mind isn't someone else's dumping ground by being selective of what you allow to go into it it.
Yes, it can be fearful beginning anew. Fear is like hard butter, once you start applying pressure through action, it melts!Beginning anew can indeed transform – even save – your life. While it is nice to plant new flower beds, touch up the wall's paint, change the curtains, put on a new outfit, make sure that your Spring Cleaning is done with the purpose of adopting and reinforcing new healthier and smarter habits rather than simply repeating detrimental old detrimental in a beautiful new season!
© 2012 Da-Nel Euwings
Founder, Executive Director, Women Still Standing, Certified Massage Therapist, Owner of Le'Nad Massage & Wellness Services, Author, and TIPS Certified Bartender