ten

Orders of Magnitude Impact

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Strategy, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

If we want to make a big impact, let’s get good at making a small impact then set a goal for one order of magnitude bigger.

Doing well at the smaller level earns us the cred to go bigger.

And setting a 1000% growth goal gives us the courage to make the changes needed to get there.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Want to impact a billion people? Get good at impacting 100 million people. To do that, get good at impacting 10 million. On the way, you’ll need to get good serving 1 million. Etc.

PPS: We can of course choose to grow by 1%, 10%, or 100%. But the changes we need to make to have a 10x impact typically won’t happen with these smaller increments.

 

Today’s photo credit: Whatknot cc

no

Some People Just Can’t Be Told

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Try as we might, some people won’t do what we need them to do. It’s not that they are bad or stupid. It’s that they aren’t ready yet or our message isn’t the right one for them.

So what can we leaders do?

We can raise our buzz, model the approach we want them to adopt, coach them, listen well so we can learn what would make a win for them, go for win-win, and quietly appreciate them as fellow humans. These things can open possibilities and make way for (seemingly) miraculous changes.

In the end, they may change. Or, for the good of the team, we may have to put them on a plan and/or fire them. Either way, they will appreciate our help. And we will know that we have done our job very well.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Daren cc

change

A New Type of Leader

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1 min.

Our organizations need something different from us at each size and stage. What had worked so well for us becomes less and less effective as our organizations grow and evolve. Worse, our familiar ways of leading can do damage.

For example, smaller and newer companies need us to be bold, demanding, and hands-on. As they get established, we need to become steady coaches who delegate. And companies that have hit a plateau need us to be visionary, encouraging, and steadfast. Being hands-on, for instance, in the latter stages just gets in the way.

Sometimes we can’t see when we need to learn new ways and shift our leadership. One thing we can do is anticipate it. We can then seek input and guidance from those around us. Another thing we can do is notice the organization itself. When it struggles, it’s likely time for us to become a new type of leader.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: What got us here won’t get us there.

 

Today’s photo credit: debaird™ cc

training

Training is Not Enough

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Training can help us grow ourselves and our organizations. It is great for creating a common understanding across people, introducing tools and approaches, and opening minds.

But when we get back to our desks after training, we will quite likely to revert to old ways. And it will have been an expensive miss. We need more than training to effect change in ourselves and our organizations.

To keep our minds open, apply those tools, and turn that understanding into new, better ways of doing things, let’s go beyond the event of training. We can

  • Tune the training to reflect our culture, support our strategy, and honor our individuals. Lack of integration with our culture and strategy damages the credibility and usefulness of the training. The context must make sense. Lack of flexibility and room for individuality fosters resentment and resistance.
  • Set standards. Over-communicate why we are making this change, how the training helps, what standards of behavior we want to see, what results we expect, and how each person contributes to those results.
  • Spread out the learning and break things into chunks. Many training events are jam-packed with great information and insights. This makes sense when we think of training as a rare and expensive event. But when we pack too much into a training event, we can’t absorb it all. Instead of holding training events, let’s build the habit of regular learning.
  • Coach. Enlist managers to remind people of the context, the reasons, and to help people apply the training to their work in real time. This is, by far, the most powerful growth tool. Train the managers first. Coach them to coach others. Then train the others and have their managers coach them.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Robin Hastings cc

change-tilt

Tilting the Balance Towards Change

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We change when the benefits minus the pains of changing are greater than the benefits minus the pains of not changing. Not because someone said so. Not because we should.

We don’t change–even when we desire the change–because we are over-valuing the benefit of staying or the pain of changing.

To help ourselves and others make a desired change, we can draw out the benefits and pains of both options on a page. Then we can ask where we may be over-valuing. Or, more powerfully, “How we can look at it differently to tilt the balance towards change?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: T cc

ignore

For Big Change, Ignore the Naysayers

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

If we want to influence a big change, we need not spend much time trying to convince the naysayers, the haters, the opponents. They will change or not. And they are only a minority.

Instead, we concentrate on the lovers, the crew, the vanguard. They are also a minority. But once they are inspired, we can help this minority create win-win buy-in from the once indifferent majority.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, the opponents will try to sway the neutrals their way. Your sustainable, secret weapon is the win-win: “let’s find a way for us both to have our interests met.” The opponents will likely use fear tactics that alienate.

 

Today’s photo credit: Lainey1 cc

change

Change

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Change can appear so hard that we often will do anything to avoid it. Stagnation happens inside organizations from this fear of change. Come to think of it, stagnation anywhere indicates we are telling ourselves fearful stories about what might happen if things change.

Once we do change, we can feel lost, be unsure of ourselves, and want to turn back to the way things were.

But change is only hard because we believe the stories we tell ourselves about how the change threatens our happiness, growth, and freedom. We can raise our buzz. We can tell ourselves better, believable stories anchored in a better, richer, more delightful future of our choosing.

Then, watch out! Once we so reframe change, we will seek it out and do it well.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We will also coach others to change. Having gone through it ourselves, we will better understand them, their situation, and how they can proceed.

Today’s photo credit: David King cc

express

Express Train to Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

Selling or influencing or leading change can be like riding the local train making all stops: it takes a long time. Often too long. We waste way too much time because we think we need to get our ducks in a row, know the answers, prove ourselves, and be perfect so that others will listen, agree, and act as hope they will.

None of that is necessary. In fact, it gets in the way. All the effort we put into making our case prevents us from taking what is the most expedient and sustainable path: getting clear about the high-level results we want to see, listening, being vulnerable, and seeking win-win solutions.

Welcome aboard the express train.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: alantankenghoe via photopin cc

start

All Change Demands Thought and Action Both

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Some of us are action junkies. Some of us are devotees of the Think System.

Yet whenever we want to make a change, we must do both the inside work (thoughts) and the outside work (actions). Thought without action leads to spinning. Action without thought leads to frustrating results.

So our thoughts about the future must be clear, compelling, and as complete as possible. And our actions must flow–inspired by that vision–without pushing or fearful delay.

Ready, steady, go.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: While we personally win by focusing on both thoughts and actions, teams that run on good-feeling, aligned vision and concerted, natural flows of activity benefit tremendously.

 

Today’s photo credit: tom_bullock via photopin cc

I'm all ears.

To Change Someone’s Mind

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

In order to change someone’s mind, start where their mind is now. Should we start with our position–by convincing, educating, lobbying, telling, fighting, begging, tricking, arguing, ordering, or whining–they will raise shields. We must, instead, ask good questions and listen. They must first agree that we have heard their thinking before they will let us change it.

And, no, we don’t get free pass here if we are parents, bosses, employees, partners, citizens, or nations.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc