The Law of Vibration

The Law of Vibration – by Arnie Wohlgemut

At a training event, Paul Martinelli, one of my mentors spoke of the “Law of Vibration”.

The law maintains that everything in this world is either in a state of growth or in a state of decay.

As I sat there and listen to him explain, I came to realize that this applied to nearly everything I do in my business.

We have all heard the quote “You may be on the right track, but unless your moving in the right direction, you’ll get run over.”  Or the success quote “What got you here won’t get you there.”

Here’s what I took away. Action is critical: do something; learn something; try something new.

Think of the world around you.  If a tree is not growing or cut off from its source of nutrition, it starts to die and decay.

The very building you live in or work in, unless it is maintained, decay happens. Paint peels, roofs leak, bricks fall and mortar falls out and carpet wears out.  It’s a fact of life.

The challenge for you today and everyday is this:

……….• What courses have you taken in the past year to help you reach your personal growth goal?  (Do you have growth goals?)
……….• Have you read 5 books that stimulate your mind towards personal or professional growth?  (Have you read a book?)
……….• What research have you done that will help your family, your relationships and your friendships?  (Research?)

“You are what you are and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind.  You change what you are and you change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” ― Zig Ziglar

Are you growing?
If not – well, think about the Law of Vibration!


Wildcard – By Arnie Wohlgemut

My favourite card game is called “Wizard”.  In the deck there are two special cards in each suit.  The Jester is worthless with the Wizard having the highest value.  Either can be played at any time, regardless of the suit.

In games, using a wildcard strategically can help you win.  In life, being a wildcard – not so much.  What do you mean you ask?

Being a wildcard means you’re not predictable.  Nobody knows when and what you will do.  It might be entertaining for a while.  It’s hard to have great relationships when you are like that.  I wonder if it’s hard living like that!

Being authentic means that your head, mouth and feet are all going in the same direction.  I’ve heard it said another way: your head, heart and mouth are in sync.  Trust me it is not always easy to do, especially with all the pressures, stress and high expectations in work environments today.

Being authentic is being real. 

A real person is:
– a person people can identify with;
– being consistent;
– setting an example by putting your words into action;
– being predicable.

Knowing the boss and depending on their predictability builds trust.  If they say what they mean and mean what they say, they are in sync.

Are you in sync?


Jellyfish – By Arnie Wohlgemut

Jellyfish are interesting creatures. They float nearly invisible in the ocean waters. They don’t look the least bit threatening. But if part of your body touches them, well, let’s just say it’s not very pleasant. I understand it’s a self-protection response against predators. Yet if you hold them in your hand, they don’t sting.

I’ve met a few jellyfish in my life.

Jellyfish coworkers are those that float around and appear to be harmless. But if trouble gets too close, watch out! They leave their mark. Hold them “in your hand” and things calm down. All they really want is respect and to be left to do their job.

In management, I found that one of my challenges was to figure out how to get the “jellyfish” to participate. To work along with others yet give them the space to float along at their own speed and be successful.

We all have jellyfishes in our lives. Heck we may have been jellyfishes ourselves. I for one found that the minute I started to encourage, mentor and empower my jellyfishes, I was rewarded with the pleasure of success.

Portraits of your Success

Portraits of your Success – By Arnie Wohlgemut

It’s been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  That could be true. However, a picture doesn’t tell the whole story of who we are!

A portrait or snapshot only captures a moment – it does not capture a person’s full experience that have led up to that moment or follow that moment.

Great leaders never are content with one snapshot.  They are looking for a gallery of images reflecting experience.

One the dangers that every leader faces is thinking that their own experience is unique – treating every management challenge as something “no other organization has ever faced”.  This leadership mindset can cost you valuable time and impact revenue.  Without a question, it’s a lot cheaper and easier to learn from the mistakes and setbacks of others than repeating the mistakes yourself.

Great leaders understand that behind each successful business, and each successful person is composition of events in their work experience, their shared history and in their lives.  These events shaped and inform them.  They develop habits and practices that most people never see.

So, continue learning from other’s experiences.  And dig deeper.  Study great leaders to understand the “why” behind the actions and success you observe to really know how someone’s experience will help you be more successful.

What’s the ROI?

What’s the ROI? – By Arnie Wohlgemut

Those of us in business have heard that question time and time again.  What’s the ‘Return On Investment’?

But it’s not just a business term.

Local and upper levels of government build it into proposals and rational for projects and new programmes.  The public at large wants to know how their tax dollars are being used – and what the return on our investment really is!

In our private lives, we want to make the best our investments and put our savings in the highest return bucket.  After all – it’s our future we’re preparing for.

ROI is deeply entrenched in our lives.

But a term we rarely hear is ROR — “Return On Relationships”.

Strong, healthy relationships empower us and give us confidence.  Take the relationship between parents and a child.  Both the patents and child grow and change within that relationship and there is benefit on both sides.

In a workplace, a poor relationship between management and staff can be devastating.  Poor moral, poor performance, high stress, staff turnover – need I go on?  Three (3) out of four (4) people report that their boss is the most stressful part of their job!  Ouch!!!

I recently read that 65% of workers would rather have a new manager than a raise.

Wow – that’s a bit stunning.

Why?  Their boss was unable to collaborate and be a team player.  That reflects the leader’s ability to build strong work relationships.  As a manager, supervisor or CEO you have little chance of improving performance if you do not build strong relationships across the organization.  Interestingly enough, this also leads to a better return on investment.

What’s your ROR?

Relationships matter.


Signals – By Arnie Wohlgemut

When I was a young boy I learned to skate.  My brother and I would spend hours playing hockey on the public rink across the street.  Mom instituted a signal system.  This way we knew when to come home for supper or bed.  It was quite simple.  She or my dad would turn the front porch light on and off until we were on our way.

In our lives, there are often times when we see “a signal”.

Maybe it’s to step back from what we were doing.  Maybe it’s time to stop talking!  Ouch.

Or maybe it’s a good time to start that new idea.  Timing is everything.  I know from experience!

There were times when my ego or stubbornness caused me to ignore the signs.  Let me tell you, putting both feet in my mouth is not pleasant.

But here’s a trick I learned early in my leadership experience:

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.  We’re about to make two lists.

On the left side, list some good decisions you have made.  On the right side, list some bad decisions you have made.  Really – do this now. I’m not asking you to share 🙂  I just want you to reflect on your experiences.

Now take a look. How many good decisions were a result of your intuition?  Good because timing was great?  Are there any bad decisions where you missed the signal?  Good idea – bad timing?

“Reflection turns experience into insight.”  John Maxwell

Reflecting on our experiences is important.  That’s how we can learn to follow our instincts.  It builds our intuitive skill and timing.

Gratitude and Recognition

Gratitude and Recognition – By Arnie Wohlgemut

“I appreciate you.” “Thank you.” “Nice job”  Many kind words we don’t hear that often.  When they are said with sincerity, they can inspire someone to keep going and, more than that, to thrive.

I was enjoying the sun.  The sky was blue and the sand was white.  An elderly gentleman was working to clean up the beach, picking up after all the ungrateful tourists.  I bent over and picked up my empty cups and passed them to him.  He smiled politely and held open the bag.  He was doing a job many of us would not do, at least not by choice.  As I watched his face, he seemed so happy to have a job, no matter how menial it was.  I instantly reached into my pocket and passed him a tip to thank him for a job well done.  The reaction was priceless.  In a raspy voice he said, “God Bless You.”

I tell you this not to impress you, but to impress upon you that we should always recognize people — wherever you are, no matter how small the job, no matter the season.

Eeny Meeny, Miny Moe, Catch the Tiger by the Toe …

Eeny Meeny, Miny Moe, Catch the Tiger by the Toe … – By Arnie Wohlgemut

If there is one leadership attribute that has a biggest effect on an organization’s success, it’s being decisive.

We all know people who have a hard time making a decision.  Recently I saw a commercial from a sandwich chain that offered a different sandwich everyday to help people make a choice.  In my experience, not being decisive has a negative effect on staff and the organization.

First, a leader who can’t make a decision severely cripples an organization.  I’ve heard staff complaining that nothing ever gets done – especially after a big meeting.  They simply sit in their cubical without knowing what the next step is.  So they wait for their leader, thinking: I’ll never get that hour back.”

On the other hand, decisive organizations make waves.  Apple is the company it is today because their leader was decisive.  Steve Jobs provided clarity of focus.  He insistent on consistent evaluations and constant measuring of success. Decisions are easy when there is a clear goal.  Jobs was decisive: if it didn’t meet the goal it was nixed.

Secondly, in order to be an effective decision-maker, you need a goal and measurable action items.  These help you make the right decision.  Note that I said action items.  Things that lead to a predictable outcome, things you must do.  Not “Sally” in the next office.  Not “Joe” the sales manager.

You get it?!  Act on the things you have control over!

Thirdly, being decisive builds confidence.  Not knowing what to do next is the largest single de-motivator in organizations today.  Lack of clarity is a contributor to leaders not being decisive.

Steve Jobs provided clarity.  The whole team knew the direction they were taking when the iPod was being designed.  That clarity made every decision simple at all levels of the organization.

Want staff who are focused?  Provide clarity and be a decisive leader!  You will never have all the facts and by the time you do, situations have changed which will change the type of decisions you need to make.

Empower Me!

Empower Me! – By Arnie Wohlgemut

One of the four key leadership principles I believe are essential for success in leading people is the ability to empower them.  Whether staff performs in the top 20% or in the middle 60%, they will all appreciate being empowered.

Delegation is NOT empowerment.  Not even close.

Delegation is a transaction based on need.  We delegate a task, maybe even authority, to make a decision while on vacation.

Most often delegation is based on seniority.  It almost always has some performance parameters.  Often we articulate clear responsibilities and actions needed when we delegate.  I have often delegated tasks to staff because they could do it better and faster than I could.

But that is not empowerment.

First, consider this: empowerment is an expression of love.  (Yup, I’m talking about love in a leadership blog.)  I’m not talking about a sensual or sexual type of love.

This is a love for the person.  You love what they do for you and for your organization.

You’ve spent time with them.  You understand each other.  You see potential in them and are willing to help them grow through this experience.

They understand the vision, the hopes and the expectations you have for them.

Secondly, empowerment is a reflection of your self-awareness.

I’m the type of person who loves to lead.  A take charge type of guy.  I learned the hard way that I can’t do everything.  I’ve often said the world doesn’t need another Arnie or an Arnie clone (those who know me say it’s a scary thought).

The world needs people who can capture the spark and make something of it while I get out of the way.  I learned that I can love and respect a person enough to complete the project or assignment in their own way.

I learned to be self-aware and know when to get out of the way.

Yes, the way someone else accomplishes a goal may look different from they way I would do it.  The path to the goal may take a whole new route but if it is an effective outcome, who cares?

If I truly value them, value what they do for me, I need to set my ego aside.

I’ve never heard someone boast about having responsibility delegated to them.

I’ve heard people boast about a project or assignment they completed with full authority and support from their boss.

Wouldn’t you want your name attached to that?

Not My Monkey

Not My Monkey – By Arnie Wohlgemut

The phrase “Not My Circus, Not My Monkey” is apparently a Polish indium.  I don’t know if they have a circus or monkey problem.  I’ll have to look into that.

So, what does this phrase mean?

Here’s what I learned.  Our responses to unpleasant circumstances can, in some cases, put the monkey on our back.

Let me give you an example.  There have been times in my life where I felt unjustly accused of something.  I found myself trying really hard to prove that I was not that type of person.  Ever happen to you?  It seemed the more I tried to prove my side of things, the worse it got.

It took a while but I did eventually realize I just put their monkey on my back!  I was adapting what others thought and said about me as my reality.  Very foolish. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.

“If you fuel your journey on the opinions of others you are going to run out of gas.”  Dr. Steve Maraboli

We as leaders walk a fine line between being responsible to others and being responsible for others.  Sometimes the lines get blurred.

Yes, dealing with people can be messy.  They have baggage and it should remain theirs.  I agree that we should help them be successful by removing barriers.  But not solve their issues for them.

Don’t carry other people’s monkey’s on your back…