Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why Self-Discipline Will Make You Unstoppable

Having and commanding the respect of others is a tremendous advantage in life. That edge comes from self-discipline. The highly disciplined individual does not have to point a gun at anyone to take what he wants; people “sense” his power and cheerfully give him everything they’ve got.

Take a look at how little self-discipline most people have. Ask an employer of any size, and you’ll hear how big the problems of tardiness and absenteeism are. People don't even have enough self-discipline to get up in the morning!

In my business dealings, I find more than half the people can't seem to get to appointments and meetings on time or keep preset telephone appointments. Clients miss prescheduled appointments. Vendors miss deadlines as often as they make them.

In the entrepreneurial environment, there’s a lot to be said just for showing up on time, ready to work. The meeting of deadlines and commitments alone causes a person to stand out from the crowd like an alien space ship parked in an Iowa cornfield. The ability to get things done and done right the first time will magnetically attract incredible contacts, opportunities and resources to you. All of this is a matter of self-discipline.

And self-discipline aimed and applied at a particular thing is quite literally a magic power. When you focus your self-discipline on a single purpose, like sunlight through a magnifying glass on a single object, look out! The whole world will scramble to get out of your way, hold the doors open for you, and salute as you walk by.

Successful achievement of most worthwhile objectives -- including being an infinitely more productive entrepreneur who makes the most of his time -- is rarely easy, but is often simple. In fact, it can be boiled down to three steps. 

Stuck at Work? 6 Things You Need to Do This Week

Since a lot of people take the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, if you are working over the holidays, chances are it will be slow. Experts say this is what you should do with that time instead of playing Candy Crush:

Clean your desk. Office desks carry more bacteria than toilet seats. Take everything off the top of your desk and put it in a box. Dust and sanitize the surface once it’s clear — and don’t forget to de-germ your keyboard and phone, says Scott Roewer, who owns organizing company Solutions by Scott & Company. Put back only what you immediately need on your clean desk and keep the other stuff in the box, he says. ”If you need something, get it out of the box and find a home for it in the desk. After a few weeks, you’ll find the items that remain in the box are rarely needed,” he says. Chuck, recycle or re-home it.

Throw stuff out. “It’s a good time to clean your files and get rid of things you don’t need,” says Dale Winston, chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston. She says a good rule of thumb is to chuck anything you haven’t looked at in the past year, with the exception of tax paperwork.  

Shelve it. You’re probably not making the most effective use of any shelving space you have, Roewer says. “Deeper, reinforced shelves work well for boxes of files, cases of paper, or larger supplies,” he says. “Use smaller shelves that are not as deep for office supplies such as pens, staples, post-it notes, etc.” If you have lots of vertical space, use bins you can slide out to corral what you’re keeping there. Label containers so you can keep track of where everything is (which also comes in handy if you need to tell a colleague where to find something.)

Characteristics of Effective Teamwork

Effective teamwork creates its own set of characteristics that makes it possible to see the cohesion in a group. When an efficient team gets to work, the structure that has been put into place helps the group obtain productive results. In order to create a productive team, you first need to be able to identify the characteristics of effective teamwork.

Unified Commitment to a Goal

A team is created to complete the goals it is given. An effective team is committed to completing its goal by using the team's resources. It does not mean that as individuals the people that make up the team share the same point of view or are all in agreement on what is best for the group. It means that when the team is presented with a goal, they can come together and work as a single unit to complete the task.


In order for a team to act as a team everyone must be participating in the creation of a solution. A team does not have extra members. Each member of a team is essential to the team's success, and when the group is given a task, each member knows what their job is and sets out to put in their fair share of the effort.

Open Communication

A team is able to communicate effectively and there is a feeling of open communication between all members of the group. Issues within a team are handled by face-to-face communication. Team members do not talk behind each other's back as there is a respect developed among team members that necessitates direct and open communication on all issues.


A team has a hierarchy and a built-in decision-making system that helps it to react quickly and effectively to all situations. The members of the group are respected for their various areas of expertise, and the leader of the group has developed the ability to obtain the group members' opinions to formulate the group's response. 

Is There No “I” in “Teamwork”?

“We need to work as a team.” “Let’s do it for the good of the team.” “You aren’t working as a team player.”

Those phrases can be heard around many offices, often during meetings, in the halls, or from the CEO. Another phrase with which everyone is familiar is “There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” Teamwork is undoubtedly an important buzzword in the workplace today. As someone who has often had to be a “solo” presence in my work responsibilities, I have really relished the experiences I have had as a part of team atmosphere. My teamwork experiences have been instrumental in providing opportunities for innovation and growth. That said, I would have to dispute that there is no “I” in teamwork. Here is what I mean:
  • On a team, you cannot assume that everyone will leave their personalities behind and work as one. In fact, you do not want that to happen. Everyone has their own “I-ness” to offer, and will bring valuable perspective to the task at hand.
  • Each person on the team should contribute to the project to the best of his/her ability. Each individual should have a part for which they are responsible as an INDIVIDUAL, with an eye to collaboration, cooperation, and compromise. Each person should be held to a standard of how his/her part is accomplished and achieved. If you are not interested in the project, and don’t plan to truly contribute, you should not be part of the team. Teams thrive with open communication, candor, respect, and trust. Someone with a negative attitude with no plans to add in a positive way would be better off somewhere else.
  • Each person is responsible for his/her own part in the final outcome. For example, when a project is being presented or implemented, each team member should support the goal and be responsible for being positive about contributing to and promoting that goal (the teamwork part). 

Importance of Teamwork in Organizations

According to HR Bible, one of the most popular myths about teamwork is that the skills of team members are more important than their energy, interest and drive for the tasks. Another popular myth is that members are not individually responsible for the successes or failures of their teams. The truth is that individuals are the smallest units within their teams and that their personal abilities affect various outcomes in their teams. Teams often arise when employees come together to accomplish a common goal. Teamwork within the workplace not only benefits your workers but also significantly affects in your business.

Work Efficiency

Teamwork enables you to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently than tackling projects individually. Cooperating together on various tasks reduces workloads for all employees by enabling them to share responsibilities or ideas. Teamwork also reduces the work pressure on every worker, which allows him to be thorough in the completion of the assigned roles. In sharing ideas or responsibilities, every employee should have a role that suits his specialization. You should also consider employees' levels of interest in the project at hand, which positively influences the efficiency or speed of their output in accomplishing the task.

Improved Employee Relations

Teamwork is important in an organization because it provides employees with an opportunity to bond with one another, which improves relations among them. Workers who constitute a team working on a project often feel valued upon the successful completion of such tasks. A situation in which all of them find a chance to contribute towards the tasks improves relations within the team and enhances their respect for each other. Improved employee relations also result from the fact that teamwork enhances cohesion among members, thanks to increased trust among them.

Increased Accountability

Teamwork increases the accountability of every member of the team, especially when working under people who command a lot of respect within the business