Useless Tools

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Most of the tools in our leadership toolkits are worthless unless the people on our team want to be led. Most of our influencing tools are pointless until our would-be collaborators agree to be influenced. And we can keep most every sales tool locked away while the people we wish to sell to aren’t ready to be sold to.

Before they are ready for us, our only useful tools are asking about and listening to what makes a win for them.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: Infinity Studio Flat pic #5 via photopin (license)

Drama

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Many of us fall prey to drama at work and in life.

When I raise the alarm, call out the failings, or even just quietly complain, I hope to move people to my cause through commiseration (literally, being miserable with me). I may do this angrily, dryly, boisterously, or even warmly. I don’t even know I’m doing it. The result: whole companies or families tumble into a funk because one or a few of us are unconsciously whipping up the drama.

Drama does damage because, in that funk, we put way too much of our focus on what’s wrong. We direct our attention to making the dramatist feel better (then we can feel better, too). This leaves us with surprisingly little mental or emotional resources to make things better.

Instead of falling into drama’s trap, we can choose to springboard off of what’s wrong. Not commiserating, we pivot to, “I get it; let’s improve it.” Focusing on what’s right and committing to make it even better, we gather the resources we need to quickly solve what’s wrong.

Works wonders. No drama needed.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Claudio Nichele (@jihan65) Busto (cortile interno piazza Navona, Roma) via photopin (license)

Culture Is The Game

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Growth, Leading, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like… I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.

Lou Gerster
former CEO of IBM
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? (2002)

Our job as leaders is culture. That is, our job is to constantly steward the idea what value we will pursue, build the team the deliver it, ensure the systems are in place to support that delivery, and have everyone’s predominant focus be on what’s right and what can make it even better.

That’s the whole game.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s image by IQRemix from Canada (FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 – Edmonton) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Danger of Focusing on What’s Wrong

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Will=Our inner game
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Just look at everything we have to do.

-Every leader

Though there is so much to do, fix, and improve (and we will never, ever be done), we can focus too much on what’s wrong. Then we and those around us will feel bad (resistant) and everything will be much harder to accomplish.

The cure? Focus on and give praise for (1) the vast majority of things that are going right and (2) how much better things will be with each fix or improvement. Then the doing, fixing, and improving will feel good and go swimmingly well.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Norbert Eder Grumpy Cat via photopin (license)

I Double-Super-Secret Promise You

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
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It won’t work. It’s hard. I’m not good at that. They won’t do it. You gotta be lucky. The situation I’m looking for doesn’t exist. This is the way things are.

It’s easy. People and situations line up to help. Others have done this or something like it; I bet we can, too. I may not know how it will work, but it’s fun to anticipate it working out nonetheless. This is the way things are.

I double-super-secret promise you: no matter how we see it, we will find plenty of evidence to back up our view of things.

This is the way things are.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: simmons.kevin4208 Promise via photopin (license)

Great Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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Great results occur when we finally see that our real work is to focus on what we want, feel good about what we want showing up even before it gets here [and not caring how it happens], engaging all who matter in win-win, and taking action based on our inspiration.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo courtesy of gDiasasters

Quietly

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
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Here’s an unusual but powerful way to add value: when the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the people in the meeting) are flying off the handle, we can remain calm. We need not say anything. We only need to stay present, breathing. They may not acknowledge or even recognize what we’re doing. But the impact can be profound.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: CarbonNYC [in SF!] Good Lucifer: My Friend Michael via photopin (license)

Hear Past the Chatter

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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All day, we chatter along to ourselves. Mostly we repeat the same fear-driven opinions, judgments, and assessments about ourselves, the world, and how to figure out the problems we face.

Now, who listening to our chatter? It’s us, the deeper, wiser part of who we are. The neat thing is that this part has better answers to our problems than our chattery, normal selves can ever have.

We just need to be quiet enough to hear over the chatter.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s image courtesy of bebeplace on pixabay