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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Five of Diamonds

How do you determine the relative worth of something?  You need a baseline for comparison.  Is it better or worse than something else?  For movies, maybe you read the reviews of critics.  If you are purchasing a used car, a vehicle history report can help you assess what you will get for the money.  Restaurants, hotels, and the military use the 5-star rating to designate excellence in products, service, and performance.  Even if you are not clear on all the criteria that is evaluated to get the rating, you know that 5 stars is better than 1 star.  What will it take to make this a 5-star, or 5-diamond week for you?  What are your 5-star qualities?  What 5-star roles can you fill this week?

A chef in a 5-star restaurant needs preparation and presentation skills.  These attributes will also benefit you as you design your menu of appetizers (first impressions), main courses (team dynamics), and desserts (levels, or layers, of discovery).  Stay informed about current events and develop a hobby.  You will always have something to contribute to the small talk that is common when you meet new people.   It is important to maintain a general awareness of a variety of topics.  This will make you a more effective leader and team contributor.  It will help you balance your plate.  Portion control is a key element that applies to more than healthy eating.  A reasonable sized selection of meat (effort) paired with the correct sides, or vegetables (timing) satisfies the appetite for progress.  Garnish the display with sprigs of humor. Laughter makes things taste better.  As you approach the end of a path, take time to reflect on the steps that you have taken to that point.  Peel back the distractions that impact your attention span and cause you to miss the next scheduled turn.

A concierge in a 5-star hotel strives to provide superior service and comfort.  While your stay may be temporary, the amenities make you want to return on a regular basis.  Whether you work for yourself or  for someone else, your goal is to get repeat business.  You want people to request you and refer others to you.  You may have to step out of your comfort zone in order to become familiar with the needs of those that require your service.  When you are known for your expertise in your field and your fair treatment of people, a good reputation is established.  You may have heard the phrase, "your reputation precedes you".  This is definitely a true statement.  Word of mouth is a powerful tool for exposure and growth. 

A 5-star general is a high ranking military official responsible for leadership and defense strategy.  Once you have shared your vision and mission with others, some of them may enlist to help you achieve a successful outcome.  When someone is following you, there must be clear demonstration and direction related to the path that leads to the desired destination.  It is not always apparent that others are listening to and observing you.  Be mindful of how your words and actions may be perceived.  Protect your borders by forming alliances with people whose strengths complement your weak areas.  When possible, negotiate peace treaties with those who are working against your purpose.  However, if you must go to battle, train and mobilize your troops so that they will be in a position to conquer the opposition and emerge victorious.  You are a winner, so think and behave like one. 


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