Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Transitions are a natural part of life. As we make our way through each day, we adapt to minor or ‘micro’ changes by being flexible and making simple decisions in the mood of the moment. What to eat, what to wear, what to say and how to say it are decisions we make with little if any conscious thought. But life-changing ‘macro’ changes call for planning, analysis, opportunity and risk. These major life changes require serious decisions that have long-term effects.

Major life transitions involve changes that we perceive as positive or negative, and can occur in almost any area of our lives. Examples of major transitions include moving to a new city or country, choosing a collage (and a field of study!), starting a family, changing careers, getting married, and many, many more.

These major life transitions challenge us to adapt to new situations, and can be a catalyst that drives us toward our goals for a better life – if we see them in the proper light.

If you find yourself approaching navigating a major life change, keep the following tips in mind.

Navigating a Major Transition in Your Personal Path

Far from shallow cheer leading, this straightforward system guides you through an easy process to clarify what you want to do and expand what you can do – wherever you are, right now, and wherever you wish to be.

Set and Understand Your Core Priorities. What is most important to you? Answering this question will provide you with a clear vision of your values. Values and beliefs determine priorities, and priorities drive important decisions and behaviors. Knowing and following your priorities will leave you better equipped to make action decisions that are in line with your goals.

Seek the Opportunity in Major Life Change. We’ve all heard the expression that attitude is everything. When we look for opportunities in major transitions – especially when they are not transitions we choose on our own – we can be more open to accepting and embracing change. For example, if your employer relocates you from Kansas to California, reframe the loss of friends and familiar routines left behind. View the situation as an opportunity to advance your career, trade in your winter clothes, make new friends, and take surfing lessons. And watching the sunset on the beach any night you choose is a life opportunity of great value! There’s always risk, anxiety and uncertainty in major change. But there’s equal measure of opportunity as well, if we are open to seeing it.

Reevaluate Your Goals. Navigating a major transition is a great time to re-examine goals. Start by asking how your current goals fit with your new situation. If you are unclear on how to move toward your vision of success, it may be the perfect time to create new goals that spring naturally from the new opportunities that major life changes present.

The choices we make when presented with major life transitions have the ability to reshape our priorities, explore new opportunities, and set new goals. Try to seek out the potential in each new situation, and understand how it can work for you, not against you. Then move forward with renewed purpose in the direction of your stepped-up goals.

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Create a Presentation for Your CEO

Fraud Prevention Tip #26: Create a Presentation for Your CEO

Draft a five-minute script for your CEO. Ask them to present this short talk to all employees – through a recorded video and live in-person whenever the opportunity is available. Here are the Talking Points:

• As a business organization we have the risk of misconduct, wrongdoing and fraud. I need everyone’s help every day to provide a safe, secure, honest environment for every employee, customer and business partner.

• Our job is to keep wrongdoing and fraud out of our business through attention to details every day. This is not extra work, it is core work – to make sure things you personally review and oversee are correct.

• Out of respect for all of our trusted employees, if we have some bad actors that violate our trust we will pursue them to the full extent of our policies and the law.

• You are in the best position to notice. Speak up when you see or sense that something isn’t right. Copy the post-911 message, ‘When you see something, say something’.

• You are a hero when you come forward with suspicions. Even when you do it anonymously – which is absolutely OK. You are still a hero.

• We’ll make it as easy as possible for you to speak up, including sponsoring a telephone and internet-based Hotline administered by a third party company whose expertise is handling calls 24 hours a day.

• There can be no retribution against those who with the best of intentions come forward and report suspicions. There will be zero tolerance of anyone who creates an unsafe environment for our staff.

And the most important thing to say:

• Thank you for being an active part of the solution to our fraud risks. For doing the right thing. For making sure your signature on documents is backed up by your own reputation. You are our first and often last line of defense.

Visible, vocal support from your #1 executive is a critical part of any meaningful; Anti-Fraud Campaign. Make it easy for them. Show them exactly what to say.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Beating the habit | What Excuses Do You Use?

Beating the habit | What Excuses Do You Use?

Are you lying to yourself?

Chances are there are areas of your life you would love to improve. Goals you’ve set. Dreams that keep popping up. Visions of success on your terms. But if it’s been weeks or months since your last real action toward a long-standing goal, it’s time to evaluate why.

As we all work toward achieving our goals, it’s important that we aren’t caught in a cycle of self-deception. If we are constantly thinking “I probably can’t handle that,” it’s only a matter of time before we start believing it.

And how often do we all tell ourselves white lies and excuses that have the potential to drain our motivation. In an instant, our excuses can snowball from a moment of self-doubt or uncertainty about next steps to a concrete perception of our limited abilities. A simple excuse that turns into a limiting belief can prevent you from chasing your goals. In the short term, excuses damage our self-confidence and cause us to ignore an opportunity. In the long term, excuses create major barriers that prevent us from clarifying our priorities and achieving success.

Beating the habit

Beating the habit | What Excuses Do You Use?

“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.”
The beauty of this system is that you can change any area of your life: professional, financial, physical, spiritual, interpersonal, intellectual, or psychological. You’ll be amazed at what you can do!

If you’re tired of making excuses that limit your potential, if you’re tired of thinking you’re not good enough, too old, or too young to make progress, you have the power to start over – every day. Each morning presents a new opportunity to get back on track with your purpose in life. Beating the habit of making excuses requires work, but the payoff includes releasing yourself from the barriers that hold you back.

It’s time for us all to stop making excuses. Right now, take a moment to think about any negative messages you send yourself on a daily basis. Consider how they impact your family, friendships, work and all areas of your life.

For example, your excuse could be that you don’t exercise because you don’t have anyone willing to join you for a workout. This excuse may affect your level of energy at work, or influence your relationships with loved ones who want to see you healthy. But we don’t need someone at our side to go for a 20-minute walk. We don’t need music in our earphones or texting on our handheld devices. We don’t need special clothes or the latest athletic shoes. We just need to walk. No excuses; just get up and go. In fact, the peace and quiet that is a gift to you as you stroll along by yourself will almost certainly release energy and ideas hiding just behind your excuses.

Once we identify our excuses and push them aside, replace that space by seeing opportunities to help you achieve your goal. Without excuses blocking our view, we’ll see the people, information, and other resources we need to chase our goals. They were always there. Excuses just prevented us from seeing them.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Fraud Prevention Tip #25: Resolve or Refer Suspicions

Fraud Prevention Tip #25: Resolve or Refer Suspicions

So there you are, an entry-level staff accountant. Just six months with the company.

You’ve attended the required ethics, Code of Conduct, and anti-fraud training programs. At the fraud training, you made a list of example red flags, indicators and symptoms of wrongdoing and fraud that you might see in your daily work. Just like the instructor told you to do.

Since then, you have paid attention. You have ‘doubted’ rather than ‘believed’ when something didn’t look right to you. But everything always checked out, and a few times your supervisor asked you if maybe you weren’t overreacting.

Right now you’re staring at a contractor invoice in the middle of your desk. You think it’s wrong, and likely a sign that the contractor is trying to rip-off your company. But you’re not 100% sure. Maybe not even 20%.

What would you do? What should you do?

This is the all-important moment of truth. What I refer to during my live training seminars as The Anti-Fraud Moment. This is the moment where you have a document in front of you, a pen in your hand or fingers on the keyboard, and if you approve what you see it moves through the process and gets paid.

But it looks funny to you. You think you should raise the alarm, but worry about being wrong and offending a trusted business partner.

At this moment, every employee must know exactly what to do and what to avoid. Here’s what they need – and it’s up to Anti-Fraud Leaders to make sure it happens:

1. Clear instructions on how far they should go on their own to resolve their doubts.
2. Clear instructions on when to ask for help.
3. Clear instructions on who to ask for help.
4. Clear instructions on how to ask for help – especially if they prefer to remain anonymous.
5. A fact-based belief that they are never alone at these moments of doubt. That they are heroes – not whistle-blowers. No one wants to be a whistle-blower. Everyone wants to believe that they will do the right thing at the moment of doubt. Just like any hero.

Make it easy for people to report suspicions. Treat them with respect when they come forward. Congratulate them and say thank you.

Our front-line employees are our first and often last line of defense against fraud. Help them deliver on what we need them to do when they see something odd. Tell them when and how to refer their suspicions.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Learning to Embrace Change

Learning to Embrace Change

It’s human nature to seek out behaviors and paths where we find comfort, safety and routine. And once those routines are set, it can be very difficult to willfully change our ways. It’s a proven fact of human psychology: change causes anxiety. And anxiety causes us to resist new behaviors and maintain the safety of the ‘status quo’.

But here’s another unavoidable fact about change: it’s absolutely required for better results regardless of how you define them. When seeking goals in our personal or professional lives, changing our comfortable daily practices is a necessary but often daunting task. Learn to embrace change!

Growth and expansion require a willingness to change our habits. To replace what got us here with what’s needed to get us somewhere else. And although replacing comfortable habits may make us uncertain initially, we can counteract this unsettled feeling by being more conscious of the hundreds of changes we already make every day – without even thinking about them. Examples include:

Learning to Embrace Change

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• How you started a conversation this morning
• What you ordered for lunch
• The specific content of dozens of emails you send each day
• What you put in the cart at the grocery store
• Which TV channel you selected last evening
• What coat or shoes you’ll wear tomorrow depending on the weather forecast

These are just a few examples of our willingness to adapt to changing circumstances and our ‘mood of the moment’. Simple examples, to be sure. But they illustrate our pre-disposition to minor course corrections throughout our daily business and personal lives.

Now let’s jump to larger-scale habit changes needed to advance towards goals. If you’re looking to be more open to the possibilities that life provides, there are a few important factors that must be actively managed. Here are three.

• Plain Old Fear. Fear can be a powerful motivating force, but it can also be a major reason why we resist dropping habits that block our success. Change means embracing some uncertainty about outcomes, and uncertainty brings risk. Our fears instinctively kick in to protect us in uncertain situations. Acknowledging that fear is entering into our decision-making allows us to more effectively evaluate alternatives and choose a course of action.

Here’s a suggestion to help counteract fear. Take daily small steps. A sustained effort of small daily steps reduces anxiety. This approach allows us to evaluate results and adapt our approach easily. Keep your eye on the horizon- view of your goal. Know where you are ultimately headed. But take small steps initially to minimize fear-triggering uncertainty of change.

• Mental Roadblocks. We all give ourselves excuses for avoiding change. We doubt our abilities, question the likelihood of success, and believe we are generally fine with where we are today. Well, ‘Fine’ is the enemy of ‘Better’. ‘Comfortable’ is the roadblock to ‘Excited’ and ‘Fulfilled’. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, or questioning your comfort levels, you’re not alone. It’s important to remember that overcoming our personal and professional mental roadblocks allows us to see opportunity in every change, and remain open to new forms of success.

• Our Current Reality. We’ll all guilty of settling for the comfort and security of where we are right now. Existing habits have produced reasonable results with manageable risk. But that’s not a formula for goal achievement. Successful people who achieve their goals recognize that where they are right now – their current reality – is a great foundation to jump off to even greater heights. Our past is our past: no more, no less. Our past got us to our present, and our present is the springboard to our future. High achievers like you need to catch your breath, and then step up beyond the accomplishments of now to your goals of the future.

Once we realize change includes a heavy dose of opportunity for growth, it becomes easier to embrace change as something we must have to move forward, accomplish our dreams and exceed our goals.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

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