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All-In: pinch of positivity, leadership, optimism, culture.

Do you ever contemplate your environment? The people you surround yourself with; your inner circle—who are they and why does it matter?

I believe that every person has an energy/aura or frequency and that these wavelengths are extraordinarily vital to the nature of our being. No matter how positive we try to be in our lives, if we are to surround ourselves with negative people, we will instinctively become pessimists. The people we surround ourselves with either drain us or they charge us up. Think about your friends/relatives and pin-point the person who radiates the most energy. That person wins; and when they win, you win.

Those who complain, whine, moan and groan suck the life-force out of us. Energy comes and goes and there is a finite amount of it. When we are cocooned amidst a sea of leeches, we become one ourselves and begin to coast. Leeches are those which drain our time, attention and ultimately life. Since time is our most precious commodity, every second we lend to such a leech does not further the quest towards happiness/fulfilment.

Speaking of time; how are we spending it? Are we watching material that energizes us and motivates us to learn/experience more? Are we reading material which inspires us? Think about how you spend your time and equate whether or not it’s being used wisely because how we spend our time dictates if we get better or worse. There is no such thing as staying the same.

I work in a sales capacity and regularly try to assess/audit my strengths so that I can play to them. I can’t worry about weaknesses as it will ultimately detract from what I can do, and hopefully what I do well. No matter who I am meeting, I subconsciously know that one of my aims is to energize. If I’m unable to energize a client or a contact than I’ve rendered myself useless to them since I’ll be forgettable. Lacking energy or passion for what you’re doing is the ultimate sin. If you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, find something else because without passion you won’t have energy. Without energy you’ve rendered yourself and someone else’s time useless.

Are you all-in? If you’re not, it’s time to move on to something else.

Working with others who aren’t all-in is one of the most demoralising things to experience. Here are some signs to identify those who aren’t all-in:

1. Demonstrating an unwillingness to sacrifice personal time for the greater good

  • The old adage of first in and last to leave is a pretty good indicator for who’s committed and who merely punches the clock every day. No matter what you’re doing; there’s always more work to be done. This isn’t the defining factor but those who are fully invested in the process will have to make personal sacrifices from time to time and rarely complain.

2. They’re afraid to take risks

  • Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is the best way to grow. Mistakes will be made but a good mistake is one that’s made while seeking growth which was meant to better the collective group. Think about the last mistake that’s been made: was it a new one which signified a willingness to professionally develop or an old one which has been repeated?

  • What (risk) has been done to take on more responsibility and help push the agenda forward?

3. “Yes” man/woman

  • It’s convenient to agree with positions and never rock the boat. Who’s the challenger? Challenging and going against the grain should be welcomed so long as it’s done constructively and done with a plan or at least some rational thought behind why something “might” not be a good idea. Anyone can identify a potential problem, but who has solutions? If someone constantly agrees and never challenges the status quo, the chances are they aren’t challenging you (boss, co-worker, colleague friend). If one is afraid to challenge, it probably highlights the fact that they’re not thinking critically enough which often signifies a lack of cranial focus and diligence. Not good…

4. Speed & pace

  • How quickly do issues and e-mails get sorted? How quickly do phone calls get returned? In today’s world, it’s inexcusable to not respond to an e-mail within 24 hours. Don’t make excuses—execute; and if an answer can’t be given, at least notify the person so they’re not sitting around awaiting a reply.

5. Attitude

  • Do they regularly exemplify a willingness and an eagerness to help out? Do they look and act like they want to be at work? How do they carry themselves? Does their tone of voice and body language suggest that they would rather be somewhere else? If the answer is yes, they aren’t all-in.

6. Listening

  • Do you have to have the same conversation more than once? If the answer is yes, then the person clearly doesn’t give a damn. You’ve wasted your time on someone who isn’t invested in what you have to say.

Whatever it is that we do, we must be conscious of the fact that our work matters. We have an opportunity every day to make those around us better or worse by simply being aware of our energy and making a commitment to being all-in. Stop now and think about it. What would your colleagues /co-workers/friends say about you?

Why is this important? It matters because they are your co-workers/colleagues/friends/relatives. These are the people we as a society are conditioned to spend our beloved time with. These people will either be your greatest asset or biggest deterrent on the pursuit to happiness. They will help build you up and if you energize them enough, you can plug into them on days where you need a boost.

Workplace dynamics and culture can be changed with enough passion and energy. It takes commitment and focus but over time, all-in people create followers who charge into battle of the daily grind. The infectious nature of passionate people converts even the most disinterested and pessimistic people. Will you be dull and pessimistic or passionate and optimistic?

Will you be part of the problem or part of the solution? Leaders are made, not born. The choice is ours.

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