Archive for the ‘Self Help’ Category

Are the people in your “Church” allowed to speak?

February 9, 2012

Are you allowed to speak?

Tommy “The Scouser” called me to say that he had a little piece written out for the funeral of our Auntie May who he was particularly close to. It wasn’t a full eulogy but it was a really short piece that perfectly summed up the character and spirit of our fabulous aunt. He was really upset reading it to me.

He wanted to read it at the funeral mass but wasn’t sure if he could manage actually saying it without getting really upset. If that was the case he wanted to know that I was in reserve to read it for him. I knew he would be fine but agreed in any case.

On the day of the funeral I was asked would I do a reading along with some of the other family members. I did my piece and I wondered what was going on as the funeral mass drew to an end and there was no sign of “The Scouser” going up to the altar – maybe he decided he wasn’t up to it after all?..I wondered.

The funeral party moved on to the cemetery where Auntie May was laid to rest as the priest said the final prayers. Just as he finished I noticed Tommy making his way to the microphone (much to the surprise of the priest) and he did May proud by reading his beautiful and very emotional piece, which was greeted by a huge round of applause from everyone standing in the sunshine in the peaceful country graveyard.

This was a really special moment as it was the only true occasion during the whole funeral process where the family put a “personal” stamp on the proceedings, where a “real” voice was heard and in some small way he said what we had all felt and wanted to say.

I wondered why Tommy had left it so late in the day to read his piece and was totally shocked to hear that the priest in question “did not allow” people to say such things and would not allow it at the mass!

This has left me bewildered and quite furious and while I know it is not the usual behaviour of the church it does give you an insight into some of the odd and very old and traditional thinking that has turned so many people against them in recent times.

Whose church is it anyway I thought? Whose memory were we all honouring?

The more I thought about this the more I reflected on all the other organisations where there are people that have very important things to say but just aren’t allowed. It’s easy to lose sight of what an organisation is about and its even easier to block the real important voices from being heard.

Are the people in your “Church” allowed to speak?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Is the Grind worth it?

February 1, 2012
Tired Runner

Is the Grind worth it?

In recent months I have posted about the importance of following your passion and also about avoiding the trap of a job that does not provide fulfilment. Isn’t there a huge personal risk in letting that happen?

I received a response to one of these posts that really moved me and it did make me think long and hard about the grind of working for yourself.

Interesting sentiments Greg. Having always run my own businesses and taken risks from the perspective “you’ll regret what you didn’t do” this is something I’ve reflected upon a lot – At one stage I left a very cushy public sector job and we then went through very tough times as the recession hit.

It’s very hard to comfortably make a good living in Ireland now – fair play to anyone who can make more than they could in the corporate world once all salaries, outgoings etc. are paid. I’ve gone back into the corporate world and am making more than I did at my business at the peak of the boom- with none of the recent stress.

At the end of the day all that matters is your ability to educate your children and give them a decent lifestyle. I would guess that that guy at Guinness slept easy at night and his kids have never wanted for anything.

If you have a true vocation it makes sense to do what you do best – and follow that path. However most small business and startups are struggling – I see people grind away for years, barely surviving – and this is not a good place to be over the long term.

When I read this I started to feel a little guilty that maybe I am being a little disrespectful with my blog posts to all of those who have tried their utmost and despite everything it just still has not worked out for them.

I’ve been reflecting on this ..

If you find a better life working for someone else then well done to you – I hope that in Fuzion we are giving our team a good life.

If you find yourself without work then I would encourage you to take control of the situation and  try to start off something for yourself. It is hard but it can be great fun (and yes…very worrying and stressful at times).

But, someone somewhere always has to be the starter..

If you try and it doesn’t work … well done, at least it was your grind.

What do you think?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

I had a Great 2012 because ..

December 14, 2011
Diary entry

I has a Great 2012 because ....

Well – how did you do?

Did you achieve what you set out to achieve in 2011?

Did you make ambitious plans and fall short of them or did you make any plans at all? – If you did, well done!

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises than often will never materialise!

Last year I wanted it to be a little bit different and I had my own creative and quite practical idea, which was inspired by a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

This idea is rooted in the power of visualisation – the principle behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening.

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for your last working day of the year ..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

It might go like this..

23rd December, 2012

Wow, that was some exciting and really fulfilling year!

It was a great year because I really achieved what I set out to both personally and professionally and even more besides because of those opportunities that cropped up that I wasn’t even expecting. At least I had my eyes open and when they occurred I spotted them and grabbed them.

I started the year with a few really clear goals including (go for it, be specific – list at least 5!)

I thought these goals were going to be really challenging, but I achieved these as I made a few important changes in my life that were necessary such as (be honest – what needs to happen for you to achieve those goals – your conditions for success).

It wasn’t all plain sailing and I had a few setbacks but I kept a clear focus on my goals, I kept a positive outlook and by digging deep and having a clear belief in myself and my abilities I managed to achieve them all in the end.

I’m glad I kept a positive outlook and kept my eyes open for those genuinely unique opportunities, which I know will only present themselves in this challenging economic climate – it made a huge difference to my business this year, which I wasn’t expecting.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,  2013 – Bring it On!

Your signature (make sure you do this)

Put this in an envelope, place it in your top drawer and have a peep at it on the first day of every month (set a reminder in your computer to do this) and see what happens.

We did this with our full team at the end of 2010 and I can tell you it worked out quite well, thank you very much!

We will do it again this time round – I’ll let you know how we got on in about 12 months’ time.

By the way I’ve just ordered a really nice new car – guess what was on my list last year!

…what are you waiting for?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

The Three Circles and the Path you Choose

August 28, 2011
Greg and Brendan Canty

Parental advice!

My son Brendan Canty has just qualified from CIT, having completed a multi media course. He wants to work in film in some way and he is also really passionate about music.

How unusual – a 22 year old being passionate about music!

Like every other parent you worry about what your children will do – you want them to find a job, earn a living and in this climate it has never been quite so tough.

You need to find a god solid job” I hear myself saying..

Well – he has set up his own website operating under the name Feel Good Lost and he has been busy producing videos for bands from all over the world – with the web and modern technology this is all quite easy, apparently!

His last music video was for a “secret” American solo artist who goes under the name Slow Magic and the track he produced was for a song called Corvette Cassette. There is a video producers peer website called Vimeo (this is like a worldwide YouTube for video and film producers), which has just featured this song as a staff pic – at the time of writing the video has been viewed 63,000 times across the world.

While Brendan does some excellent corporate video work for Fuzion and his own clients he excels when he combines his love of music and his film profession. On Friday nights he DJ’s in The Pavilion in Cork combining music and visuals as part of his unique set operating under the Feel Good Lost name.

Slow Magic // Corvette Cassette from Feel Good Lost on Vimeo.

He is following his dream and his passion and it had me thinking about career choices and Three Circles..

In Jim Collins fabulous business book Good to Great (for me this book is a business bible) he talks about companies using a Three Circle criteria as a guide to the activities they should get involved in:

A company should only engage in activities that:

  1. It is passionate about
  2. It can excel at
  3. It can make money from

The basic principle is that if companies concentrate their efforts on activities that meet all three of these criteria then they will inevitably be very successful – this is one of the factors that Jim Collins attributes to the success of what he calls “Great” companies.

If you are looking for a new job or a new challenge how about using the Three Circle Criteria for deciding which path you choose?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

True Heroes of the Irish Economy

April 7, 2011
Resilience - The Broken Man

Resilience - The Broken Man

Sometimes I try to find words to describe what I am witnessing around me and the things that inspire me.

Sometimes you are better off letting the words to those who are in the mix.

In response to my blog “Broken Man – We need him now more than ever” , which received incredible response there is one that just blew me away.

These are not my words they are hisone of those broken men who is picking himself up again..

Speaking as what you term a “broken man” – I lost everything, dreams out of the window, in debt up to my ears – it took a couple of years to get things back on an even keel and begin to accept the loss but, having done it once, I couldn’t imagine working for someone else again. Working now on a new project with confidence having taken a knock but with my vision and determination intact……..maybe not broken, perhaps just wounded!”

Broken Man, thanks for getting up again

I salute you

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Motivating the boss!

March 2, 2011
Give your boss a hug!

Give your boss a hug!

I was working on employee contracts lately, which I really hate because you get into this formal, “what happens when things go wrong” world.

You suddenly go from the niceties of the interview and the informal job offer to the “legal contract“, which at the end of the day is a vital legal document protecting you and your staff members in the event of any issues arising.

I know it has to be written in a particular way but I really try and keep it as “real” as possible capturing the essence of the agreement and the spirit of the working arrangement and our organisation. Even with our very best efforts the contracts still carry some of those awful formal bits.

Before I put the latest offer in the post I have one last glance over it and I realise that I have left something out that is really vital to me, I have actually quite carelessly left it out of all the contracts I have ever issued.

Here goes with the missing clause – In the course of your duties you must motivate the boss!

I can’t ever recall seeing something like this in an employee contract and I’m sure it would be a difficult issue to review if there were ever an issue or dispute but I do think it would be a great thing to put in there.

Like most bosses today I am juggling a million things and so many different roles. I work really hard, I try to make sure our team are motivated and happy (despite tax increases reducing their income), I make sure that our working conditions are comfortable, I make sure we stay up to date on all the latest trends and technology, I make sure that we bring in enough business to pay the bills, I make sure that we collect on time (or as best as possible) from our clients, I make sure that we pay our bills, I make sure that we pay our taxes and most of all I make sure that we deliver the magic that makes all of this happens; satisfied clients – we make sure together that we consistently deliver great results for them.

I don’t expect a medal or anything for the really long hours, effort, endurance and 24/7 focus but at times this can be really stressful and quite exhausting, particularly now when the rewards can be as simple as just staying in business, which I do fully appreciate. While I am normally really upbeat and will gladly take on the role of motivating the others at times I do slump a little – it’s at these times that I really need one of my crew to spot the “dip” and say those few words, give me a motivational pep talk, take me for a coffee or whatever it takes.

Thankfully my crew are good at spotting the dip and aren’t shy at offering a “lift” at the right time – that is one of the most valuable things they could do for me. Probably more valuable that all the other stuff that is required of them – After all there is no jurisdiction or hierarchy over motivation.

How about putting that clause in the contracts? Not so crazy after all ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications.

Have you met your “Other Self”?

February 15, 2011
Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill – Inspirational!

I came across this powerful extract in Napoleon Hill’s inspirational book, “Think and Grow Rich” published in 1937, and written with a backdrop of the Great Depression.

You have been disappointed, you have undergone defeat during the depression, you have felt the great heart within you crushed until it bled. Take courage, for those experiences have tempered the spiritual metal of which you are made – they are assets of incomparable value.

Remember, too, that all who succeed in life get off to a bad start, and pass through many heartbreaking struggles before they “arrive”. The turning point in the lives of those who succeed, usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves”.”

Have you met your “other self”?

I know it is a terrible time for so many people but I would really urge them to dig deep (or even deeper as the case may be), try to look for the positives or the “unique” opportunities and eventually you will find a new and possible very rewarding and fulfilling path.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications