Thursday, June 30, 2011

Persistence a key ingredient of success Part 10

The ease with which LACK OF PERSISTENCE may be
conquered will depend entirely on the 
(Napoleon Hill)

In Chapter 9 of Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill looks at persistence.  Persistence is a quality that keeps one keeping on, no matter what.  In order to accumulate wealth and success we have to keep on doing the right actions CONSISTENTLY. Becoming truly successful requires dedicated, consistent and sustained effort.  

It appears that many individuals in today's society lacks persistence.  This is something I have to work on very hard to cultivate in my own life.

It is much easier to complain about your life, or to blame a whole array of circumstances for your lack and misfortune.  An ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY permeates our society,. many people are seeking something for nothing.  Unfortunately, karma, sowing and reaping, or what ever you want to call 'it' still works.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Changing Lives and the need for a new paradigm #4

In the current brief series looking at reasons why a new approach to career management and development is a necessity, I will post some thoughts on how Changing Lives are adding fuel to this fire! Welcome back – I sincerely hope today’s posting will be of some benefit to everyone. As before, the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) perspective will form the basis of these ideas.

With the obvious danger of sounding to obvious, I think we would be hard-pressed to find someone who is able to say that their lives today are the same as before…that change, on whatever scale, has not affected their lives. Yes, there are the obvious systemic changes we have mentioned before, which include the impact of economic meltdown, migration patterns, work-life patterns, and so on; we also need to remember changes in history, religion, and political systems as reasons for change we are also experiencing.

One key area of change reported on from the ILP framework, is the way in which the roles of and relationships between men and women are changing. A prime example can be found in the increased participation rates of women in the workforce today. According to the South Africa Survey (2009 – 2010) the number of females in top management positions in South Africa has increased from 12.4% in 2000 to a figure of 17.8% in 2008. Considering the same as above for senior managers, the country has seen an increase from 21% in 2008 to 27.8% in 2008. Debates on how to increase this rate are commonplace; for the purpose of our discussion the data serves to support the notion that changes in political systems, economics, and demographics, are impacting directly on the lives of people.

Let’s take a further look at some further data by the same source. According to the 2009/2010 edition of the South Africa Survey (published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR)), the overall percentage of economically active people in South Africa has, on average, increased by 3.1% from 2001 – 2010. In the last year, however (2009 – 2010), the participation rate was seen to decline by 4%!

On a global level, these changes in people’s lives are also recorded. It is not at all uncommon to find literature stating that men are spending more time at home, taking care of their families and related responsibilities. To summarise, the ILP approach has identified the convergence between family and work roles in the context of change we have been talking about for a while in this blog.

Let us briefly turn our attention to stating that the previous career development and management models are clearly not able to offer sufficient direction to individuals who need to function within the changing context, especially as we have reported today in terms of Changing Lives. As a new paradigm, ILP is offering a framework within which these changing lives of people can be addressed.

Due to changing lives, the approach career management professionals have to take, should also be reconsidered. Apart from (only) selecting a suitable career, career professionals are also required to offer assistance to both individuals and organisations in terms of managing areas such as conflict, building mutual respect, re-establishing the required work-life balance, and to also address existing stereotypes.

The above-mentioned data serves to support the notion that changing lives require changing approaches to career development and management; the obsolete models of career counselling can in no way be used to offer appropriate guidance to individuals experiencing these changes on a daily basis.

The next blog will contain some thoughts on how changing organisations and workplaces require a new paradigm to career management and development.

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life PatternsDescription:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seven reason for new approaches to career management as seen from the Integrative Life Planning Perspective – Changing Demographics (#3)

Hi, this is the third post written to address why a new way of thinking about career management and development has to be introduced. As before, the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) perspective will be used as framework for this discussion.

As soon as one starts scanning all media forms, you are guaranteed to find various references to how demographics are changing – this does not only refer to the South African context, but includes the global picture. In terms of the line of argumentation set in the previous postings, global demographic CHANGE is said to have a direct impact on the way career professionals – regardless of the specific context within which they are active – have to fulfil their roles. It can almost go unchallenged to state that changes in areas such as migratory patterns, gender and age, workforce participation, income, and access to training and career opportunities, will and should have a direct bearing on how careers are managed and developed – both from an organisational and individual perspective.

The work of Hansen (1997) suggests that we are living in an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural society; it is within this same (changing) environment that career professionals are offering their assistance to organisations and individuals. In addition to the above, the ILP model indicates that another shift is impacting on how careers are defined: in the previous era, a more pronounced emphasis was placed on interpersonal relationships; the new era is requiring increased skills with regards to issues such as “trust, respect, self-esteem, and value differences”.

Take a moment to think how individuals can be better equipped to deal with the challenges brought on by the above shift. Clearly, some form of assistance is to be provided to such individuals – career professionals will be required to offer individual and organisational clients help with building and maintaining trust, respect, self-esteem, and value differences within this space in time.

Now that we have started looking at how changes in career definitions are necessitating changes in the way career professionals are required to offer assistance, it would be appropriate to take a peek at some of the Critical Tasks to be addressed within the ILP model: Critical Task 1 addresses The Changing Workplace; Critical Task 4 sheds some light on how to value pluralism and inclusivity; and Critical Task 6 will offer some guidance with regards to managing changing demographics in the context of the workplace. The common denominator is found in how ILP enables a big picture understanding necessitated by large-scale and pervasive change.

In closing, let us briefly consider the IMPLICATIONS of the above for organisational and individual career development: Changing demographics are offering yet another rationale for the development and implementation of new approaches to career development and counselling.

The next posting on the current topic will address the fourth reason, indicated in terms of the ILP model, as Changing Lives.

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life PatternsDescription:

Wealth accumulation and definite decisions Part 9

(Napoleon Hill)

If you were to drive along one of the main roads in my neighborhood you would see a well equipped private ambulance service located next to the road. 

This ambulance service provides a valuable emergency medial service to our community. They have various well equipped ambulances. Their emergency response personnel are well trained. at this stage,  they employ over 50 people. They also contribute to our country through the taxes they pay to our government.  Since their opening, they have taught many people the skills needed to save lives through their training division.  

I know the management of this service very well, we are friends.  They are all people who worked for a salary a couple of years back. This valuable business, in our community, was built from the  ground up.  The owners had not acquired the service from other people, they also started with VERY LITTLE MONEY.  All they had was high hopes, faith, and a DECISION to do it.  

This post is about DECISIONS. Napoleon Hill tells us in Chapter 8 of Think and Grow Rich that successful people are those who have learnt the habit of REACHING DECISIONS QUICKLY, and changing their decisions SLOWLY.      

Friday, June 24, 2011

Seven reason for new approaches to career management and development as seen from the Integrative Life Planning Perspective – Changing Societies (#1)

This is the first in a short series of seven postings, which are all aimed at addressing some of the reasons why a new approach to career management and development is required. These brief statements will once again be written from the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) perspective, as it offers some invaluable insight and offers workable solutions to the management of change. In terms of the approach to be taken, you will realise that what is about to follow, is not limited to the interaction between career counselling clients and their counsellors, but also has a direct bearing on how organisations and employees (i.e. working individuals) have to think about effective and appropriate career management strategies of their employees or themselves respectively.

The golden thread running through each discussion, is the concept of CHANGE – to quote an unknown source, change has become the only constant! To continue thinking that changes in global and national scenarios have no impact on people’s lives on a fundamental level, is dangerous self-deception! Change is pervasive and its impact is seen from the top level of corporations, down to single-income households.

Within this context of change and associated uncertainty, the way we think about jobs, careers, occupations, and professions, needs to be amended to stay in tune with global trends. Further to this, it is only logical to state that career choice, planning and development cannot be dealt with in the same way as before. Since change is ever-present, also within the context of societies within which people live and work, the need for a new career choice and management paradigm is undeniable. New strategies are thus required to address challenges associated with the shift that taking is taking place from self to society.

Regardless of one’s position or role within society, the need to stay abreast of these changing contexts cannot be over-emphasised. Without going into any detail, I think all will agree that the world as a whole is seeing change in all aspects of which society is constituted:

· Families are changing and there is no longer a “typical” family constitution;

· Education is changing: Globally and locally there are pervasive changes seen in the context of general, further and higher education; traditional education models are constantly being challenged and adapted or replaced;

· Leisure: ways in which people choose to relax, are changing;

· Technology: Large-scale technological advancement forms part of the changing face of society; the application of technology to all spheres of life is ever-increasing and has to be factored into any form of career planning and development;

· Politics: Globally, political systems from all side of the spectrum are being challenged; this also impacts the way societies function;

· Demographic changes: Significant demographic changes are reported on a global scale; this includes issues such as gender, age, income, education, living standards, psychographics (attitudes, lifestyles, values, opinions, etc.);

· Climate change: the issues of climate change and its impact on natural and human systems cannot be ignored, as it is causing a significant impact on the ways in which society functions.

What are the IMPLICATIONS of the above for organisational and individual career development? The impact of change on society is tremendous and both organisations and individuals are challenged to take full cognisance of these elements, as it has a direct bearing on the way career planning and development is managed by both these entities.

In conclusion, societies, as represented by the above areas, are experiencing vast and constant change. These changes have a direct impact on organisations and individuals, as they need to react to change in a constructive and positive manner. The Integrative Life Planning (ILP) model has been conceptualised to offer valid approaches to addressing these pervasive changes.

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life PatternsDescription:

Part 8 - Organized Planning and Wealth

(Napoleon Hill)

Welcome back to my journey through Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.  In this series of posts I am investigating Napoleon Hill's proposed philosophy of wealth acquisition.

Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich in an attempt to develop a well rounded philosophy for wealth acquisition.  Hill firmly believed that there are definite universal laws one may follow to acquire wealth. This series looks at some of those principles.

Just to clarify, I am not aiming to bring another get rich quick thing to the table, I am looking at Hill's work from the perspective of personal development and growth.  The single greatest challenge presented, to me, in Think and Grow Rich is to change my ways of thinking, and that is really not easy. Hill is also adamant, if you want to be wealthy, you will have to GIVE in order to GET. Let's continue.             

The process of wealth accumulation:
The process Hill sets out for us to follow to acquire wealth includes 3 basic stages (as I see it).  1) Developing and directing a  strong passion, desire and faith towards a definite goal, 2) developing creative ideas for success, and 3)  'transmuting' (transforming) your passion and ideas into physical reality through organized planning.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Part 7 Imagination and ideas Think and Grow Rich

(Albert Einstein)

I am opening today's topic mentioning the above quote from Albert Einstein.  I have read a biography of Einstein a few months back, the one written by Walter Isaacson: Einstein: His Life and Universe. It was an excellent book.  

Einstein is relevant to today's discussion because he is proof of what Napoleon Hill also says in Think and Grow Rich.

MAN'S ONLY LIMITATION, within reason, 
(Napoleon Hill)

Most of us know that Einstein was a pretty smart guy. His theories of relativity, for example, was a truly great scientific discovery.  What many people may not know is that Einstein's breakthroughs came in part because of his intellect, but mostly because of his imagination. 

Power of ideas and imagination 

Einstein was able to imagine how light would behave through a falling elevator, from the perspective of moving trains, and around a heavy planet. He deduced much of his theories from his imaginative thinking.  His ability to imagine is what gave him his brilliance.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Integrative Life Planning – The need for new thinking in changing times and contexts

Previously, some introductory thoughts on Integrative Life Planning (ILP) were presented in this forum; this contribution contains some pointers regarding the main reasons why new thinking on career and organisational development is needed.

In the context of career management and vocational counselling, so-called modernist models have been the flavour of the day for a long time. These models, including the well-known and widely-used matching models, were essentially saying that the choice of a suitable career needed to be based on the matching of an individual’s likes and dislikes, skills and attitudes, preferences, and the like, to career settings where agreeable skills and interests would be valued and required. This notion was based on the work of Frank Parsons, who is widely recognised as the father of Vocational Guidance. According to Parsons, there were three main principles to be taken into due consideration when a career choice was to be made:

· A clear understanding of yourself

· A knowledge of different lines of work, and

· True reasoning on the relation of these facts”.

Although the above basic framework offers a very broad overview of (some of) the elements to be considered when a career decision is to be made, it has been found wanting in the world we currently live in. People and contexts have changed and these linear models have been shown to no longer offer appropriate insight into career choice and planning scenarios faced by individuals in our day. As we progress with the blog and future contributions are made, this topic will be further unpacked in some detail.

Discussing the concept of career in the context of counselling, the need for a broader approach becomes evident. Building on the original work of Parsons, but taking cognisance of the changing concept of career, Donald Super (1980) started offering further explicated notions of career. In this regard, Super (1980) stated that career should be viewed as a sequence of positions one may hold during your lifetime; in contrast to this, an occupation was merely referring to a single position someone may hold in their life. In building on the concept of career, Super identified what he referred to as life roles and life theatres. His well-known Life Career Rainbow included reference to nine life roles: child, student, worker, leisurite, spouse, parent, citizen, homemaker and pensioner. The theatres where these roles are given life were identified as work, home, family, leisure, and community.

Turning our attention to the context of business, the need for broader definitions of career has also become evident. According to the concept of Integrative Life Planning (Hansen, 1997), we need to consider the fact that the business world is also experiencing career development and advancement differently. This shift in experience may be better described by what has been termed the protean career.

According to The Sloan Work and Family Research Network, reference to the protean career was first made by DT Hall (1976). This term refers to an interesting shift in the locus of control regarding success – previously, career development was driven by the core value of organisational advancement, which implied a lower degree of mobility, and where success was measured in terms of position and salary. In addition, people were also seen to show (higher) levels of commitment to the organisation they were working for. In terms of the meaning attached to the protean career, individuals are now more in control of their own success, which is now measured by concepts such as professional commitment, as well as work or job satisfaction. The protean career is also associated with higher degrees of personal mobility than before, since the individual and not the organisation is now managing the person’s career planning and advancement. As can be expected, the measurement of success has also changed to being subjective, i.e. on a psychological as opposed to organisational level. (The above shifts are also evident in the changing nature of the psychological contract – the nature of the relationship between the organisation and the individual employee is also changing rapidly; this is an interesting discussion for a different time!)

In the new world of work, career development and advancement is no longer dictated by the organisation; a shift towards individuals becoming more pro-active and certainly more self-directed is seen in various organisational contexts.

What are the IMPLICATIONS of the above for organisational and individual career development? Two main sets of implications can be distinguished: for the organisation / management; and for the individual employee.

Considering that there may be various scenarios and unique sets of conditions, management is required to realise that in terms of future career development and advancement, individuals are bound to take more direct control of their professional and career development. The nature of the relationship between line managers and staff reporting to them will consequently also change. Managers need to be aware of the existence of the protean worker, as failure to do so will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction and discontent.

On the other hand, individual employees are also urged to become ready for changes in the way organisations will be managing their employees’ career development and advancement. If it has not happened yet, a shift towards individuals taking personal responsibility for their careers, will impact on workers in the near future.

The concept of ILP, which is described as a new paradigm in the context of Career Development and Changing Life Patterns, can be used to prepare both organisation and individual for the requirements of the changed / changing contexts outlined above.

In my next posting, I will consider the main reasons cited by the ILP model for the introduction of new approaches to career planning and guidance.

(Based on the work of Sunny Hansen: Integrative Life Planning: Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life Patterns).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Think and Grow Rich by the use of specialized knowledge Part 6

(Napoleon Hill) 

Hi there! Today I am looking at my favourite chapter of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.  This is the chapter on specialized knowledge. Hill tells us that in order to build wealth one needs to ACQUIRE and APPLY specialized knowledge.

Hill contrasts specialized knowledge with general knowledge. General knowledge, as Hill explains it, is worthless to the pursuit of wealth.  In essence, building wealth requires specialized knowledge on the "profession, merchandize, or service" your are going to give in return for your financial well being (Hill).

However, what Hill is talking about is not about becoming more specialized in your field of study, even though that does have merit in some situations.  The specialized knowledge Hill is talking about refers to the ability to apply the knowledge you have towards a specific goal.

Some writers call this WISDOM; explaining that knowledge refers to knowing something, while wisdom refers to the ability to apply what you know for benefit. Obtaining wealth requires wisdom not general knowledge.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How to Think and Grow Rich through autosuggestion and positive self talk - part 5

Hi everyone, today's topic for my journey through Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich is self talk and self suggestion.

Self-suggestion or autosuggestion, as Napoleon Hill calls it, refers to an essentially human ability to influence our subconscious minds through the use of focused thoughts and imagination.

We know that human inventions and creations in the physical world first has to 'live' in the mind before it can exist in physical reality.  In chapter 5 of Think and Grow Rich, Hill explains how we can use autosuggestion (self-suggestion) to reprogram our minds so that our minds become susceptible to creativity, innovation and wealth.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to "Think and Grow Rich" Part 4 - Faith

"If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't,
If you like to win, but you think you can't
It is almost certain you won't"
(verse from Hill, 1960 p. 31) 

Welcome back everyone.  Today, I am considering the third chapter of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich as part of my personal journey through Think and Grow Rich.  

The third chapter is the chapter on faith.  In my previous articles we have looked at the power of thoughts and ideas mixed with passion and desire. Today we have to consider the power of FAITH.  

What is faith?

Faith is a very difficult concept to define.  It is an elusive concept.  One that works in the world but avoids scientific explanation and reduction. Faith, as Hill describes it, is the faculty, an essence, one has to mix with thought and desire in order to bring your desired goals into existence.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

How to "Think and Grow Rich" Part 3 - Desire & Wealth

I bargained with Life for a penny, And Life would pay me no more. 
(Unknown poet)
The second chapter of Think and Grow Rich deals with desire. Napoleon Hill clearly outlines a burning desire for wealth and achievement,  as the first step towards riches (however you choose to define riches).

It was stated in my previous post all riches start with an idea.  This chapter shows desire as the fire that drives such ideas into reality.

In this chapter of the book Hill challenges us, to begin cultivating a "BURNING DESIRE' for wealth and success.  It goes without saying that the most successful people on earth, were those who were driven by a consuming passion to achieve some sort of goal. They had an idea, and along with the idea they had a passion to succeed.    

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How to "Think and Grow Rich" Part 2 - Thoughts, persistence and success.

Why are some people always successful at everything they do, while others always seem prone to failure? 

Where does the journey towards success and riches start? 

These are important questions I think Napoleon Hill asks in the introduction of Think and Grow Rich.  Having read the introduction, I was again amazed at the idea Hill presents.  He suggests that all wealth, all achievements, and all success people achieve in life flows from human ideas.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to "Think and Grow Rich" Part 1

I have read many books on finance, economy, and personal development.  This has always been  one of  my interests.  You cannot peruse personal success literature for very long before you run into Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich.

This book is credited by many to be one of the central self-development texts.  Those of you who know about the book will remember that the original was first published in the 1930s.  It is said to be a how-to text used by many, many wealthy people.  

I purchased this book some years back, becoming wealthy is something that many of us aspire to. I read the first few pages, and to be perfectly honest, I hated it.  I thought its tone was incredibly materialistic, self-indulging, yet another form of self-development 'voodoo'. I thought that I could not reconcile this book with my belief system.

Some in my circles would even go so far as to place the 'this is really NEW AGE AND FROM THE DEVIL' label on the book (I often find myself in the circles of an evangelical christian family and community).

My return to think and grow rich

A month or so ago, I revisited "Think and grow rich". I cannot exactly tell you what made me do this. I listened to the entire book in audio format and it absolutely blew my mind!

I realised that Hill addresses many of the issues I am working on in my personal and career life.  In my opinion, this book deals mainly with our mindset and mentality.  Hill tries to instill a wealth mentality in his readers.  Something I need to cultivate very much.

For the next couple of weeks, I will be spending time with this book.  I will try to share with you how this book helped me, how it changed my thoughts, and how it may help you on your journey. Maybe we could distill some helpful principles together, who knows?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Towards Integrative Life Planning: Managing Personal and Organisational Change - Part 6 of 6

This article covers the last of the six critical tasks spelled out in terms of the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) approach. 

The first five tasks are seen to have a common denominator, which is change

It has been described how change impacts on both personal and organizational levels. Now, in describing the last task, our attention needs to shift to how we will go about managing personal transition and organizational change.

Towards Integrative Life Planning - Exploring Spirituality and Life Purpose - Part 5 of 6

It can be argued that the single most neglected issue in the context of personal development and career planning is spirituality. 

It is often regarded as a taboo discussion topic in many circles, including the workplace. If, however, wholeness and full personal integration is to be achieved, there is no choice but to explore the issue of spirituality and its impact on life purpose. 

Therefore, the purpose of the current article is to address briefly some of the associated elements, and to identify specific personal and societal challenges in this regard.

Before moving towards a discussion of the key issues, it is perhaps wise to proffer a definition for spirituality. It is commonly confused with religion. 

Religion usually refers to organized or structured aspects of faith, or that which we believe in. Concerning spirituality, there are numerous definitions found in the literature. 

From the perspective of Integrative Life Planning, however, spirituality is seen to refer to our core, which gives meaning to life; the centre of the person where meaning, life understanding, and self are generated; as well as the full integration of all of one’s life facets. 

Towards Integrative Life Planning - How to value diversity - Part 4 of 6

In the previous discussions on Integrative Life Planning, the first three critical life tasks were discussed. The current article will provide a brief overview of Critical Task 4: Valuing Pluralism and Inclusivity.

Up to this point, we have dealt with quite a few challenges to be met if growth and development is to be achieved in this ever-changing world. 

Yet another challenge we are faced with is the need to demonstrate an ability to deal constructively with differences existing between people. We may be forgiven for thinking this is a uniquely South African challenge, our culture being very diverse, but this is a worldwide phenomenon. 

By learning from the principles of Integrative Life Planning (ILP), we will be enabled to start on the journey towards valuing difference, and creating inclusive communities.

In terms of this fourth critical task of ILP, people need to be assisted in determining how they are different, and how they should go about adapting to these differences. 

Towards Integrative Life Planning: Weaving our lives into a meaningful whole - Part 3 of 6

In our previous article we discussed the need to align our work lives with a global perspective.

Continuing our discussion of the six critical tasks associated with the Integrative Life Planning (ILP) approach this article will address the challenge of holistic development, which should culminate in the living of an integrated life.

To achieve wholeness in our lives, we will be challenged to think about those areas contributing to our overall life planning. As was previously mentioned, there was a time where work was seen to be the central focus of people’s lives. 

With the changing world of work, the integration of our career development, transitions, cultural diversity, and social change, can be incorporated into a unified framework in terms of the ILP approach.

Towards Integrative Life Planning: Finding work that needs doing - Part 2 of 8

Our previous article introduced Integrative life planning as a model we can use to integrate all the conflicting roles, values and duties of life. Integrative Life Planning (ILP) with its characteristic six critical tasks were briefly mentioned. 

In the this  article, we will be looking at the first of the six critical tasks of ILP: Finding work that needs doing in a global context  

We would also like to challenge you to participate in an activity, which should help you understand the current critical task more clearly.