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Learn how to handle stressFrom time to time, we can all be accused of having a small (or sometimes slightly larger than small) pity party. The “woe is me” conversations that seem to permeate many dinner table conversations at the moment. The man’s version of the discussion is often a little different to the woman’s version. The man is on an adventure and has taken some risk to fix things and the future looks great. The woman knows that there is not enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month and can’t sleep at night because of the sense of insecurity.

There is a natural conflict, not simply between a man and a woman in terms of how their minds work, but also between personality types. A sense of order that is required by one personality type is seen as a burden by another and the perception is the organisation simply clutters the pathway to progress with additional administration.

Learning how to associate with the different personality types is key to your future success and personal development. As a keynote speaker and presenter, I always strive to present a topic to the four basic personality types.

The Choleric or controlling personality doesn’t want me to tell them what to do, they want to know what the options are so they can choose.
The Phlegmatic or easy going personality wants to know what to do. They will willingly follow advice even if they may not enjoy the activity.  Interestingly, their personality is one that makes them want to “please you” so if it makes you happy, they will do it!
The Melancholy personality wants to know that the plan has been thought through… that the numbers prove the point. They would like to see the spreadsheet and the tacit examples before they commit.
Finally, the Sanguine personality wants to know, whatever they do, it will be fun.

Understanding the interpersonal challenges between these types also helps you understand as a leader or manager, how each character relates to stress.

As we continue to evolve our work habits, budgets, personal and corporate planning to reflect the new realities we find ourselves in, it strikes me that perhaps a few people have been here before. We can all talk about the challenges we face as if we are taking on some unique struggle to grow to our next level of development, however, history would tell us otherwise.

I picked up a book from my bookshelf this morning and sat down to read after my daily exercise routine. The first chapter was about a pair of brothers who became successful in the takeout food industry. The McDonald brothers reinvented the way food was prepared and sold in North America and became the darlings of the food industry for a while. Their concept was so popular that they decided to sell the “concept” to other entrepreneurs who with their guidance would be able to copy their success.

You probably know the rest of the story but just in case…. Their ability to execute their “franchise opportunity” was limited by their leadership skills. After several years of attempting to duplicate their success, only a handful of restaurant owners had benefitted from their plan.

It was at that time the real power behind the McDonald’s empire entered the picture. Ray Kroc was a supplier to the McDonald brothers and after realising they had become his largest account he visited the business and immediately saw the opportunity in duplicating their restaurants. Ray decided to put everything he could into growing the business.

Ray Kroc was a visionary. In my mind one of the key aspects of leadership is vision. Without vision you can only manage. Ray decided at the age of 55 years old to risk almost everything. He cut back on his lifestyle and put energy, finances and resources in to growing the MacDonald’s empire under a newly formed corporation, McDonald Systems Inc. He borrowed money from the bank, pledged his life insurance policy and gave up golf to fulfill his dream. He sacrificed most of his lifetime success at an age where most people are contemplating retirement. In 1961 he purchased the entire business from the McDonald brothers for $2.7 million. After 8 short years, Ray Kroc had opened 500 restaurants, created a foundation for an empire that today exceeds 33,000 restaurants around the globe.

So today as we worry about having to trim our budgets to afford to enjoy a meaningful life, sacrifice is often temporary and life my daily workout, necessary to advance to the next level of success in your personal life. It is in the troughs of life that we learn lessons, allowing us to enjoy the peaks and surf for a little while.

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