Leading When Beliefs Go Rogue

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Labels, judgments, yeah buts, and other beliefs about the way things are can help but often stop helping us. They go rogue.

We can tell that a belief has gone rogue on us in two ways. First, we feel bad when we think it. We often attribute the bad feeling to whatever we’re considering. “I feel bad because she’s this way, he’s that way, I’m this way, and things are going badly the other way.” But it’s really a signal from the wiser parts of us warning that we’re thinking about things in a less than helpful way. Second, we aren’t getting the results we want.

Our hard work as leaders is not in making things happen or getting people to do good stuff. It’s in tuning our thinking–especially long-held but rogue beliefs–to what feels better.  And this makes way for people to do good stuff and for good things to happen.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes, you are that powerful, dear leader.

 

Today’s photo credit: johnrothiemurchus Over the parapet via photopin (license)

Definite, Compelling, and Grand

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If we focus on something we don’t like (especially if we go on about what’s wrong with it and why we don’t like it) then try to fix it, we’ll struggle mightily because our focus has an odd way of preserving things. (Think about the war on drugs or trying to get teammates finally do that thing they never do. Rock. Hard place.)

Upon seeing something we don’t like, we can choose to focus on something definite and compelling that we want instead. If we then set about building that, we will have a grand time because our focus has an odd way of creating things. (Think about those famously successful neighborhood revitalizations or those companies with great cultures everyone wants to emulate. They all started with a choice.)

The only trick is making sure we aren’t focusing on what we don’t want while we set out to build what we do want. This would be very frustrating because, you guessed it, our focus has an odd way of getting us more of what we focus on.

May your 2017 be definite, compelling, and grand.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Jeff Rivers canopy via photopin (license)

Choose the Story

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The story we tell drives our results. Tell a story of how rough it is, how terrible they are, how blah blah blah and our results will match. How could they not? Tell a story of how good it is, how capable they are, how la la la and our results will match our story again.

Here’s the kicker: if we tell a story of how good it is but subtly repeat to ourselves some trope about how it won’t last, how we’re not that worthy, how okay is good enough, etc. then our results will match even that story.

Though they are not as easy to notice, we can tell that these old limiting stories are there because they feel bad and because our results prove them out. As soon as we notice bad feelings or results, we get to choose a new story then and there.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Practice this noticing and choosing until the new stories replace the old ones.

 

Today’s photo credit: docoverachiever Back to the house at Pooh Corner via photopin (license)

Swayed By Reality

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
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The sages tell us that the formula for creating any outcome is belief->actions->results. This is a leverage formula. We leverage action into results because we know that taking concerted action generates more results than our default, reactive action.

We usually forget the first, more powerful part of the formula. Focused belief generates better actions (and therefore much better results) than our default, habitual beliefs.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that we want to convince someone to change a behavior and that this person has resisted changing in the past. In our habitual beliefs, we may think of this person as hard to deal with, lazy, obstructive, or untalented.

But what if we changed our belief?

Which belief would better support our goal of getting them to change: that they are hard to deal with, for instance, or easy to deal with?

“Ah,” you argue, “you are ignoring reality. What if they really are hard to deal with?”

But that’s the power of this formula. Thinking that they are what we have thought they are leaves little room for something to shift. Choosing to believe something new about them (despite what we have been believing and calling reality) blasts open the door to different actions and results.

The trick is not to be swayed by “reality.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, this trick works for anything we want, not just in getting others to change.

PPS: A great way to know when an old belief is getting in the way is that it feels bad. Let a bad feeling tell you it’s time to choose a new belief.

 

Today’s photo credit: Andrew Stawarz Nymans Garden View via photopin (license)

punch

Packs Quite a Punch

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“Something bad is going to happen.”

“This sucks.”

“I’m angry.”

“I’m not as good as others.”

“Others don’t/can’t get it.”

“I am worried.”

“There is something wrong with me, you, or that.”

Have you had any of these low-buzz thoughts more than once in the last 24 hours? Many of us think low-buzz thoughts out of habit. And we may fear that, despite our efforts and some blog posts, we will always think low-buzz thoughts.

And here’s the good news: high buzz overwhelms low buzz. One high-buzz, good-feeling thought packs quite a punch: it cancels out bunches and bunches of low-buzz ones. We can use a few good-feeling thoughts to move us quickly to a higher buzz and to the solutions we need that are only available when we are feeling good.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Generation Bass cc

hello-m-n-i

Who Do You Say You Are?

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The thoughts that most determine our success are the ones about who we think we are. If we find ourselves stuck, it’s likely because we somehow think we are the kind of people to get stuck here. To find ourselves unstuck, we simply imagine ourselves to be the kind of person who naturally has the kind of success we are after.

Odd but true.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Try saying out loud, “I am the leader who naturally has the kind of success I want and I know what success I want.” If it feels good to say, keep saying it. If it feels bad, try laddering up to it.

 

 

story book

Our Story of the Future

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More often, when we tell the story of our future, is it of the future we want or of what we don’t want?

Is our future assured? Will we be okay? Is everything going to work out well? Is life, in general, safe?

We each have the power to choose how the story turns out because only we can evaluate our own leadership, work, and lives. And because things have that very odd way of lining up with our expectations.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, not knowing the future (or doing an excellent job of pretending not to know the future) keeps the zip and zing in this adventure of a lifetime of ours.

Today’s photo credit: omnia_mutantur via photopin cc

spark

Pause Whenever Wherever

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Even when we are stressed, challenged, angry, lost, or overwhelmed, we each have the ability to pause–whenever and wherever–and flip to a thought that feels better that this.

Despite what it may seem, higher-buzz states are always available (and desirable). We just have to remember to catch ourselves and flip. When we do, the productivity and other solutions we had been wanting will suddenly show up.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes, always. Yes, you.

PPS: Yes, I’m sure of it.

 

Today’s photo credit: Daniel Dionne via photopin cc

piles

How to Clear Any Pile, Empty Any Inbox

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Inboxes overflowing, papers stacked, multiple to do lists with unknown numbers of to dos, anything physical or non-physical that is stagnant or piled. We think that each of these is a symptom of a creative mind or a messy, busy, lazy, or undisciplined person. In fact, they are merely the evidence of incomplete thinking.

To empty any inbox, move any stagnation, or clear any pile, we need only think all the way through each item. Start with the first item and…

  • Answer for yourself, “What is this?”
  • Answer, “What does it mean to me? Or, what are the implications of this to me?”
  • If there are no implications or meaning, toss this thing; let it go.
  • If there are implications, answer, “What am I committed to regarding this? Or, what outcome do I desire regarding it?” And answer, “What’s the very next step regarding this thing?” Then do that next step or write down that next step in your organization system.

Repeat until the pile is gone. Works with any pile of things, thoughts, or emotions.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

 

Today’s photo credit: Jellaluna via photopin cc

when life gives you lemons

What Stands Between You and Delight

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The only thing between you and your delight is your thinking. Whatever you are focusing on at work or at home that has you feeling badly tends to remain in place.

I know; it is so counterintuitive. When we see trouble we want to press harder. We think we need to figure things out. We need to do more, to force ourselves and the world around us to yield.

But let’s recognize why. Driving our need to press is quite a damaging belief. We believe that whatever we need to succeed is scarce, hard to come by, and available only with luck or hard work. And it just isn’t.

What you need is right there, inside you–part of you. Feel good to access it.

Relax. Allow. Ease up.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Jill Clardy via photopin cc