High Impact Ideas

Want to challenge yourself to act with greater impact and purpose everyday? Read these High Impact Ideas. If you'd like to receive a High Impact Idea email every four to six weeks, just sign up using the email signup form on this page.

What Are You Passionate About?

Posted on May 19, 2014
What Are You Passionate About?

“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.  Every morning a lion wakes up.  It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle—when the sun comes up, you’d better be running."

 

- Unknown

 

 

 

What gets you up in the morning?  What makes you jump out of bed?  What makes you eager to get to the office, to start constructing a building, to lead a meeting, to teach a class, to sell a product, to perform a service, to bring joy to others? 

 

Whatever your answer, I hope it has you “running” as fast as you can.  I hope it lights your fire, fuels your energy, and propels you into your "zone of greatness."  The "zone of greatness" is where your passion meets your unique talents.  This is the intersection where the activities you love to do meet the activities you do so well.

 

We have all experienced this place.  It goes by many names:  the zone, the element, flow and flourish.  Regardless of how we label it, it is a place where we can be fulfilled, where we can become all we are capable of becoming, where we can self-actualize, where we are the happiest. 

 

It is the place we willingly run to—as quickly as we can.

 

It is the place we willingly run to—as often as we can.

 

It is the place we willingly run to—to be our best.

 

It is the place we willingly run to—to be our true self.

 

Are you running as fast as you can toward your happiness?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

Do You Know Where You're Going?

Posted on April 22, 2014
Do You Know Where You're Going?

   

Cat: "Where are you going?"
     Alice: "Which way should I go?"
                 Cat: "That depends on where you are going?"
Alice: "I don’t know."
Cat: "Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

 

-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

 

 

In Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland, Alice did not have a compelling “purpose” to propel her toward a desirable destination. She may eventually arrive “some place,” but is it the “some place” she wanted to be?  Or will she just fit herself into the “some place” she has reached?

 

Some people have such a strong purpose that they are motivated to endure all kinds of hardships to reach their desired destination.  Their strong purpose provides both a sense of direction and the motivation to pursue a specific course of action.  They will not settle for less.

 

Others have only a vague notion of what they want or where they are going.  They become discouraged at the first obstacle.  The lack of a definitive purpose provides little sense of direction and limited motivation.  They will likely be tempted to settle for anything.

 

How does one strengthen one’s “purpose?”  How does one generate and embrace the compelling reasons that make their life purposeful? 

 

Try reflecting on a topic or question that unsettles you.  For instance, “If you knew you were going to die in three years, how would you live your life?” Don't settle for your first response. Think deeply about your possible answers then search for your purpose.

 

 

 

To help clarify and embrace your purpose, read Clayton M. Christensen’s book, How Will You Measure Your Life?

 

 

 

 

 


© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

High Impact Ideas: Special Edition Featuring John Vivadelli

Posted on April 8, 2014

 

From time to time, I come across a story I feel compelled to share.  In this case, it’s an email I received from my friend John Vivadelli.  His life’s story is inspirational.  John dared to conceive, believe in, and achieve his dreams and in the process discovered his “Why.”   

 

Here’s John’s story. 

 

 

 

Why AgilQuest Exists

 

By John Vivadelli

 

 

People start companies for many reasons. Some do it in hopes of great wealth, some think it will provide enhanced freedom, and others may do it out of sheer necessity. My “why” resulted from five main life experiences. While I was not aware of the importance of each at the time, they came together to build the foundation for our unique corporate culture. 

 

From Mud to Mall 

 

As a young boy, I dreamt of building something new and distinctive, something that had never been done before. It was my Uncle Tom who opened my eyes to what was possible and started my AgilQuest journey. He took me out to the empty grass fields of Northern Virginia, extended his arm in a sweeping motion and said, “Right here we are building one of the world’s largest shopping malls. We’re turning this muddy field into a newer, easier way for people to shop!” As he spoke and painted a grand picture of what was to be, it really struck me as incredible. These plain, muddy, grass fields were going to be transformed into something new and exciting, something valuable to many people. I knew then, that was the kind of feeling I wanted when I built something!

 

Sacrifice and Satisfaction

 

My early years laid the foundation for loving work as a fundamental part of life, not something separate from it. In the blue collar coal fields of Western Pennsylvania where I was raised, the economy was built on immigrant workers like my family who literally put their lives at risk every day to create opportunities for those they loved. Hard work and sacrifice was a badge of honor, a source of extreme pride and satisfaction. Their incredibly modest incomes demanded a level of frugality - difficult to imagine today - in order to save money to send their children to college and a ticket out of the coal fields.

 

Effort and Environment

 

My father made it quite clear that his five children would get a college education. While nowhere near as intense as digging coal, Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado provided me the opportunity to experience the sheer joy and satisfaction of hard work. A small group of us would grind through our homework until the wee hours of the morning. The harder the assignments, the more we laughed at our situation and the greater the joy and satisfaction we felt when we solved the problems. CU introduced me to something equally important: the elegance of environmentally sound design and the necessary extra effort required to build things that were in harmony with the natural world.

 

Not Possible only means Not Easy

 

My work life started as one of “Admiral Rickover’s boys,” a US Navy nuclear trained officer on the attack submarine USS Silversides. Mr. Rickover drilled into us that people, especially his recruits, possess capabilities far beyond our understanding, far beyond what we believe we can achieve. He and his organization spent the next five years proving that to me over and over again. I learned that “not possible” just means “not easy,” and persistent extra effort wins the day.

 

Care for People

 

IBM followed the Navy, and I traded one blue suit for another! Big Blue provided me a PhD in Business Management superior to that available in any university. My most important lesson learned there was the strategic value that results from building a corporate culture dedicated to caring for employees and their families. When people know their families’ basic needs such as health care are covered, it frees them to do their best work.

 

When planning AgilQuest, I recounted these themes and wrote down the values that were important to me and hoped I could build a company with others who might feel the same way: my family’s well being, hard work and sense of accomplishing difficult tasks, freedom to choose, taking care of people, passion for building things in harmony with the environment, and good solid value over glitz. I also thought about things I did not want to replicate. Of the items in this category, the most dreadful to me was the sight of people who no longer enjoyed their work, but remained at their jobs solely in hopes of retirement (“Only six more years to go!”). All I could think about was the precious gift of time and life wasted on going to work without love. AgilQuest was not a place for people who lived this way.

 

This led me to think about the commonly used term “work/life balance.” It is built on the assumption that work is less enjoyable and should be minimized, while life is more enjoyable and should be maximized. What would it be like to build an organization where people loved to come to work? An organization where people could incorporate “life” into “work” so that all of it could be enjoyed as a complete whole? It is certainly a place that I would want to belong!

 

And so it came to be. AgilQuest was created for people who enjoy work as an integral part of a life well lived. We have attracted people who are passionate about the work they do. As a result, we build products that make it easier for people to love their work: products that give people choice and freedom, connect with their colleagues, and find the equipment and services to get work done. We identify and share wasted resources to improve sustainability, and redirect the wasted capital right back…to people and the things that help them love their work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.

What's Your Perspective?

Posted on March 17, 2014
What's Your Perspective?

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”


-Abraham Lincoln

 

 

A friend of mine, who sells software solutions to medium size businesses on a commission basis, was complaining to a group of us about “all the paperwork” he had to do in order to complete a sale.  He went on for a few minutes then a mutual friend asked him, “Is completing the paperwork a bigger problem than no sale?”

 

This simple, direct, and concise question stopped our friend in his tracks.  “No, it’s not," he said.  "Not having a sale means no income.  No income means not being able to provide the lifestyle my family wants and deserves.”

 

Sometimes, while picking the roses, we prick our finger on a thorn.  If we were to concentrate only on the thorns and the potential for pain, we might never appreciate the beauty of the rose.

 

Why do we forget the importance of our lifestyle goals and let the necessary tasks of our livelihood goals skew our perspective?  The rose is always more desirable than the thorns. Realizing our lifestyle goals is always more desirable than complaining about the bothersome tasks.  

 

Consistently performing as a professional requires the perspective of a professional. 

 

What steps will you take to ensure that you have embraced a sustainable professional perspective?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


© 2014 The Growth Group, LLC - All rights reserved.