Keys To Successful Problem Solving – Part 1

What Type Of Problem Solver Are You?

Social Entrepreneurs need to be innovative problem-solvers to identify and apply practical solutions to problems, combining innovation, resourcefulness and opportunity. They identify major social problems and so, as such, need to find creative solutions and generate new ideas.

Often the desired criteria for a  job advertisement is “Good problem solving skills”. Any successful business or life activity demands the ability to problem solve. Good problem solving skills are identified in the workplace as highly valued skills and employees who boldly face daily problems and challenges are worth more to an organisation than those who passively rely on their supervisors. Even in my own experience, it was the staff with good problem solving skills that I gave more responsibility to. I have qualifications as an Early Childhood Educator and one of the main areas of development that we would focus on was developing a child’s problem solving skills because of the importance of these skills. In my years of education, business and leadership, I have identified 5 types of problem solvers. Continue reading “Keys To Successful Problem Solving – Part 1” »

What Value Do You Bring To Others?

Social Entrepreneurs reap what they sow.

Often as leaders we can become so focused on furthering our cause or motivating those we’re leading to do something, but one of our responsibilities as leaders is to bring value to those around you. A good leader motivates others to action, but a great leader not only motivates but brings value to those they lead. If you bring value into the lives of others you will find that they want to follow, they will want to reciprocate.

Whenever you give something to someone, usually that person feels a connection to you. This is the law of reciprocity and can basically be summed up by stating the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

However it goes one step further than this. The law states that whatever you do will be returned back to you or you will reap what you sow. In other words, if you want to create success for yourself, help someone else become successful. When your focus is to bring value to the world, you will find that it will bring financial sustainability for your business because it will be authentic and respected.

As Social Entrepreneurs, our mission or core reason for doing what we do should be to add value to the lives of others.What matters in business, whether it is defined as ‘social’ or not, is the value that it adds to society. Google may not be a social enterprise but its innovation has added great value to people’s lives.  Social Entrepreneurs also need to look out as much as they look in. We can help business people in every sector recognise that all companies should be driven to add value as well as make a profit.

What value are you bringing to the world?

Passing On Excellence

The 4 steps to passing on excellence to others.

Knowing how to pass on excellence is a very important skill to have in business but also just as important in family life. We can set a good example of excellence that others can learn from but, I have found, the best way to pass on excellence is to teach it. With both my staff and my children, I have intentionally taught them excellence.

For my staff, the excellence I would pass on, would be having an extremely high level of customer service. We would go above and beyond what was expected of us. This would be in the appearance of the store, the way we treated customers and the additional services we offered customers to make their experience in the store outstanding. I set a culture that nothing was too difficult and we would go to great lengths to make our customers happy.

Last year both of my children won the award for ‘The Pursuit Of Excellence’ for their class’ out of 60 children. Excellence is something I have passed on to my children, it is something I have taught them.  I will show you a simple example through the following 4 steps to passing on excellence:

Step 1 – I do, you watch eg. My son put  together a PowerPoint presentation for school. I asked him if I could show him how to add some special features to make it really interesting. I then showed him how to do a couple special features.

Step 2 – I do, you help eg. I continued to apply a few more special effects but he showed me how he wanted them.

Step 3 – You do, I help eg. He then applied the special effects and I helped him when he needed it.

Step 4 – You do, I watch eg. He did the rest of the special effects and I came back later to look at it. When he proudly showed his older sister the presentation, she said “Good on you, you’re continuing the Enevoldson family tradition”. I found it interesting that she pointed out that the family tradition was excellence.

Now apply these steps to your staff or team so you can pass on excellence. Please do not rush through the steps, it is a process and remember excellence is a habit not an act. This is the way others can have ownership because it gives them time to learn, practice and to develop excellence. Remember, excellence is about them living their best life and to their highest potential too so what a wonderful trait it is to pass on!

The Pursuit Of Excellence

Excellence is defined as a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. It is also an aimed for standard of performance.

Excellence to me is all about living to my highest potential and living my best life. It is about going above and beyond the ordinary. The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their situation or circumstances.  Excellence requires your focused effort and devotion. It comes from your commitment to getting it right.

Excellence needs to be a habit not an act. The pursuit of excellence takes practice and perseverance. I find that people tend to feel that they don’t need to pursue excellence in the small stuff. Its the old attitude of “She’ll be right mate” or “Near enough is good enough”. So many kids and young people today are big dreamers – they want to be famous or do amazing things. I love this about this generation but they need to practice excellence now…where they are, we all do!  If you desire to achieve excellence on a large scale, you must develop the habit in the details along the way. That means in the everyday tasks, or in the job you don’t like, until you get into the job you love. There are unlimited possibilities in life, and the limitations boil down to us – our mindsets, our skills, our knowledge, etc. The thing is, all of us have unlimited potential and it’s up to us to unlock it. Only by consciously growing every moment and continuously challenging our limits, will we truly be living to our highest potential and living our best life.

There are no accolades for average performance, so whatever you undertake carry it out with excellence. There is no limit to what you can attain with ongoing, continuous progress toward excellence. Excellence is well worth all that effort and commitment. When you live with excellence, you live at life’s highest level.

The whole world is lifted higher by those who choose to create excellence. Be a source of relentless excellence and truly make a difference.


Goals Are Our GPS

There is an old Chinese saying: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Goals are the steps that help us acheive our dreams. Think of it like this: our dreams are our destination, our goals are the GPS that gets us there.

A few weeks ago, I went to Brisbane to a meeting. After the meeting, I wanted to go to the other side of Brisbane to stay at my niece’s house. So I put her address into the GPS and then followed the instructions. So easy right…no!

Some new overpasses had just been opened and the GPS didn’t recognise them. It thought I was in a paddock somewhere so needless to say, the instructions were wrong and I ended up lost. I did finally end up getting to my destination but it took a lot longer and, believe me, it was more stressful.

Too many of us treat goal setting the same way. We dream about all the things we want to acheive, our destination, but because we don’t have clear goals, our GPS, we often find ourselves wandering around lost or not even reaching our destination.

Goal setting needs to be more than simply scribbling down some ideas on a piece of paper. Our goals need to be complete and focused with clear steps on how we are going to reach our destination.

When you start your journey, don’t look at how far it is until you get there, take it one step at a time.

Live Life On Purpose

Many people are searching for what their purpose in life is. No one else can answer that for you because only you know. It may be obscured by our fears, our wanting approval, conflicting advice, parents, teachers, the media, all pulling us in different directions. My faith gives me great purpose and I have also used these steps to live my life on purpose.

6 Steps To Living Your Life With Purpose and Passion

1. Think about your talents and gifts

Take some time to write down your talents, gifts and what you simply love. These will give you clues to your purpose because you will begin to find a theme. Don’t forget though, skills can be learned or acquired if you really are passionate about something!

2. Make a list of people you admire

Ask yourself – What is it about them that I most admire?

3. Take note of what interests you

In the news, conversations, countries, topics, define the attributes of the things that you are most interested in. They may be things you like or things you dislike.

4. Find clues from your childhood

Think about your favourite activities, books, hobbies and dreams as a child and these will give you clues to your purpose.

5. Ask yourself…What if?

What if you had no possibility of failing and were guaranteed success?  What would you do? Your fear of failure may be masking your passion or purpose.  You may well fail but it is only through our failures that we find our success.

6. ‘Green Light’ vs ‘Red Light’

I have taught children about this to help them make good choices. Activities that you are passionate about bring a clear ‘Green Light’. Not sure what this feels like? Think about something in your life that was a definite ‘Green Light’…something that felt right, exciting, satisfying and fulfilling.

Now think about events or experiences that bring a definite ‘Red Light ‘. You know it…you feel sad, heavy, you dread doing the thing. As you learn to distinguish between the Green Light and Red Light experiences you will be on the way to living life on purpose. Getting an ‘Orange Light’? That means slow down, think about it, take some time to evaluate.

Have you ever heard a child say “I didn’t do it on purpose”? I would never want to reflect on my life and say “I didn’t do it on purpose?”

Dream BIG!!

 Social Entrepreneurs must dream BIG if they want to impact the world.

You see things and say, ‘Why?”, but I dream things and say, ‘Why not?
George Bernard Shaw

Social Entrepreneurs will look at a problem and will see it as an opportunity or possibility to bring change and to do something remarkable. Others will look at the same problem and think that is too difficult to change, it is not my problem or I couldn’t be bothered. The world has given us many problems and some may even seem impossible, but if you only have small dreams, you will only have small solutions!

When we are kids, we’re experts at dreaming; we see the world as full of possibilities and act them all out. Have you ever asked a child “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most the time you will get answers like a Football player, Superhero or Ballerina .…for them the sky is the limit. As we get older, though, we narrow our scope of what is possible, often forgetting how to dream in the process.

 Have you ever known someone whose dreams seem to come true? They are living a life they love and are achieving amazing things that they are passionate about. I’ve heard others say about these people – they are so lucky but luck has nothing to do with their success, they make their own luck. They are not smarter and often they are not more talented than the average person but they simply have the ability to Dream Big!  Dreaming Big involves letting go of what you believe is possible and giving yourself the freedom to believe that you can achieve anything.

Finally, hang out with other Big Dreamers -You can’t soar with the Eagles if you are hanging out with the Turkeys!

The World is waiting for you to DREAM BIG!!

Social Entrepreneurs Make Change Happen

The 5 Principles to making an impact regardless of your situation.

Have you ever felt like you are bursting at the seams? I don’t mean that your jeans are getting too tight, although that may be the case, it was with me. I mean that you have huge dreams, vision and passion, but for some reason, out of your control, you haven’t been able to realise them yet.

I liken it to being in a small room with lots of doors. The room has a big window so you can see what is going on outside but the doors are not open. This is where I found myself over the past year and a half. We had moved from a big city to a smaller town, which we loved, but there were fewer opportunities and sometimes it felt like  I was going backwards.

So what do you do when you are in a small room?

  1. Dream BIG!!
  2. Find your purpose – What is your passion? What motivates and inspires you?
  3. Set clear goals to achieve your dreams.
  4. Pursue excellence where you are – Go above and beyond what is expected of you in every area of your life.
  5. Bring value to the lives of others

Just when I thought I would be in the small room forever, the doors started opening wide and amazing new opportunities presented! Don’t let your life be dictated by your circumstances.

Are Charities Becoming More Social Entrepreneurial?

Social Entrepreneurship Versus Charity

Last night we had a Board Meeting for the Organisation I am a Director for called Empower 4 Life. We started to brainstorm ways in which raise money to equip the poor for self-sustainability. We discussed some fundraising ideas but the majority of the discussions centred around some social entrepreneurial projects that we could set up. Obviously, social entrepreneurship is my passion but when you look at traditional charity organisations around the world, there is a merging trend to use more entrepreneurial practices to become financially sustainable. Continue reading “Are Charities Becoming More Social Entrepreneurial?” »