No Train, No Gain

What do The Ritz Carlton, The Hotel Victor (in Miami), Nike,  Amazon, Omni Health Care,  IBM, Satyam Computer, KPMG and other organizations that consistently deliver near flawless execution around world-class customer service have in common? Their management understands that money spent on training is not an expense – it’s an investment.

If your greatest resource is your people (and who wouldn’t agree with that?), then it only makes sense that your biggest investment should be in your people.

Developing them. Growing them. Training them.

In hard economic times, what’s the first thing shortsighted companies cut? You guessed it – the training budget.  Unbelievable. What message does that send to people?

Spectacular success in business doesn’t come by luck. The best companies didn’t get to their lofty positions by chance. The great ones didn’t reach the mountaintop by coincidence. They got there by relentlessly focusing on the right things. Like delivering outrageous value to their customers. Like innovating like there’s no tomorrow.  And by investing in the human beings who are at the heart and soul of the enterprise.  How easy it is to forget that the true worth of your organization walks in through the front doors of your building every morning and leaves through them every night. No train. No gain.

Fear as Growth

Fear can be scary. When it surfaces, we are wired to run. To avoid it. To consider it as a bad thing. Not true. In my mind fear is beautiful. An opportunity. A gift.

On the other side of every fear that is keeping you small is your natural power (and your authentic greatness). To run from your fear is to run from the brilliance you were meant to be. A fear is nothing more than a doorway into the highest version of your highest vision. The things that scare you are spectacular opportunities to discover more of all you are meant to be. Fear isn’t bad. Nope. It’s all good. Leads to confidence (if you do what you fear). Leads to self-respect. Promotes growth. Makes you better.

So today, at work or at home, if something comes up that causes you to feel like running/avoiding/resisting, don’t make a beeline for the door. Instead, show up like the leader you truly can be – and embrace the opportunity you’ve been presented. Because what you resist will persist. But what you befriend, you’ll transcend.

Rough Conditions Bring Precious Gifts

Nature is an incredible teacher. Life is run by Nature’s Rules. So it only makes sense to observe how nature works to really get how life works.

This morning I observed something fascinating. The rains of last night here in Southern Italy caused a little miracle on the verandah of the apartment we are staying at: the collection of cacti in the garden has morphed into a stunning array of flowers (I’ve never seen flowers coming from cacti). The takeaway: rough conditions can bring precious gifts.

Life can be hard. We all have our good seasons as well as our difficult ones. But hard times bring many blessings. Like strength of character, self-knowledge, courage, greater understanding and deeper compassion. Some of the qualities of the very best leaders that have walked before us.

We grow the most as human beings during our roughest times. So why do we judge them as bad – when they bring such good? The challenging pieces of our lives just might be when we are most alive. And they always bring tiny miracles. If you are awake to them.