Each chapter of The Circumference of Me was designed with someone just like you in mind, someone who wants to explore the realistic depths of his or her abilities, to think not only about realities but about perceptions and how they influence our lives.
Circumference is designed to improve your business self, enhance the understanding and expansion of your leadership abilities, develop a sense of the importance of the synergies that are possible if your business and personal lives are in sync, and to be as successful and personally fulfilled in whatever business you choose.
It is, in a single phrase, a take-away tool kit of ideas. Regardless of whether you own your own business, or where you now sit in a professional organizational chart, or if you are just starting a professional career, you will take something positive away from the Circumference of Me.
Some of the chapters in this book – guaranteed! – will speak directly to you. When you start reading the book from the front, or when you start selecting chapters to read at random, you will begin to ask yourself questions:
Why did this chapter heading interest me?
What is the intent of the chapter and how can I use it?
Will this chapter give me advice to advance my career? Make me a better employee? Better manager?
What was the take-away lesson?
Would that work in my organization?
What would people think if I tried that at work?
This book is not a cure-all for the Business Blahs. It is only one small piece of the multiple building blocks that make up your life. The individual chapters are tools to put into your business or association tool belt and pull out when needed. It is designed not to change the way you view your professional world, but to create a need to thin kabout your business world and explore different options that might lead to success.
With its mixture of unique visuals and around-the-corner word images, Circumference of Me encourages you to take the different shapes and parts that appeal to you so you can think about you in a different way. You can take familiar patterns in your life and, using the ideas in this book, discover the possibilities that exist when you change integral parts and shapes. Like Legos, using the ideas, thoughts, real-life examples, and advice in these pages you can take diverse pieces and design options for various pathways for your life.
The chapters are designed to stimulate thoughts about how each individual looks at themselves and provides images – in drawings and words – to enable them to start to contemplate their personal shape and how they can start corralling the errant pieces of their professional lives and rounding off the corners to create a symmetrical Circumference of Me.
There are myriad pieces in this kit from which to choose. You can read them all or mix-and-match to suit your mood. You decide which parts are crucial to defining your personal Circumference of Me. Or you can use the chapters to create new boundaries on which to build your career … and life.
The challenge is to think, and learn; the challenge is accepting; the challenge is in your personal ability to view yourself from an analytical point of view and, where necessary, to change that which needs changing.
1 The Circumference of Me
Most people don’t think of themselves as having a “circumference.” They couldn’t be more wrong. Every man, woman, and child has a personal circumference. It is defined by their culture and education, basic personality and life-lessons (learned, ignored, and forgotten), and hopes and fears.
The Circumference of Me is what makes you, well, you. The circle defines you as a person, both professionally and personally; it’s your aura, your persona. It’s the outward focus of the inner you. It is the public face you allow others to see and dictates how they perceive you in the common slice of this world you occupy. Your circumference is not one trait, or three, or five. It’s every single last one of your traits, and it also includes every single thing that you have done to get to this point in your life. It’s the part of the circle that connects the past that is embracing the now, with the past and now defining your future, completing the Circumference of Me.
When’s the last time you contemplated the circumference of you? That’s not a trick question. The trick questions will become evident later. Your personal circumference is more than a personal inventory of attributes and weaknesses. It’s not a goal, it’s a mission. It’s not something you do to pass the time away; knowing your circumference is to define your life. It means to be conscious of who you are and what you want to be at different segments of your life-journey.
Searching for your personal circumference creates the necessity for an objective evaluation of every aspect that makes you a unique person. It creates a need to recognize the sharp corners in the personal and business briefcase that defines you and devise an aggressive action plan to round off those obtrusive corners, creating a smooth surface that projects not only the aura, but the reality of your life. Attaining The Circumference of Me puts in clear focus (or at least un-rags the edges) your professional appearance, competence in any situation, a calm demeanor, and extraordinary communication skills. Under the right situation, and the right projection of self, it instills a belief of virtual invincibility in coworkers.
Those who attain their personal circumference create simplicity of action that transcends from one who learns, to one who mentors and teaches.
You have a personal circumference. Seriously, you do. Right now. It is a robust, simple container that can hold all the corrugated elements that make up you in the now. You determine whether you just watch your container shrink or take actions that enable it to grow; you elect to use life experiences and new-found wisdom to change the elements that make up its shape. What you do with your circumference is strictly up to you.
It’s difficult to be aware of your personal circumference, your boundaries, your length and breadth and depth . . . your personal and professional periphery.
It’s important to understand that The Circumference of Me boundaries were not established by chance. The boundaries of you are set by you. No one else gets the credit or the blame. No one but you can create an environment for personal change, set the amount of change, or relegate degrees of importance of it.
To know your circumference and the elements that define it, is to truly know yourself.
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