zoom

Zooming Things Faster

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, We=All Who Matter
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Wherever we see a lack of speed at work, we will find a lack of trust in self, in others, and between others. Instead of pushing to go faster, let’s slow down and build trust.

We build trust by being trustworthy, by respecting and believing in them and us, and by holding each other accountable. We start by–you guessed it–raising our buzz.

And then, zoom!

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Sam Javanrouh cc

Delegating Trust and Authority

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

Delegation requires trust and authority.

We must trust that we have adequately described the problem and the desired outcomes. We must trust that our delegates have understood us and are capable. We must trust that they have the needed resources. And we must trust ourselves that we will be able handle whatever happens–good or bad–and that we can coach them to improve.

Without this trust, our delegates lack authority. Everyone involved can sense when a delegate lacks the authority to do the work. So they back off, discount the chances of success, and withhold support. They do this because they understand that we are holding onto the authority ourselves. This makes it harder to get things done. And more often than not, we end up doing the work we had hoped to delegate.

Trust.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Nguyen Hung Vu cc

lower shields

Thriving on the Care and Goodwill of Others

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Most people are genuinely good. They are kind and helpful. They want to succeed and want us to succeed. For many unimportant reasons, these people just don’t broadcast this goodness. We, then, are left to wonder and worry: how might they harm us? And we thus spend lots of energy to keep our shields up.

Of course, for the same unimportant reasons, we don’t broadcast our goodness. And that causes them to keep their shields up around us.

Silly, huh?

Let’s lower our shields and let in all that goodness. We can really thrive on and contribute to all the trust and goodwill that’s out there.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Should we ever encounter someone who is not so good, we needn’t worry; we’ll be able to recognize it and shift away, easy peasy.

Today’s photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost via photopin cc

tough

How Not to Avoid Tough Conversations

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
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Tough conversations are tough because they feel bad. Long before we might actually conduct a tough conversation, we anticipate the possibility of it going poorly. We see that such a conversation could be a threat to our goals, freedom, safety, or happiness. So we habitually avoid tough conversations just to keep away the threats and bad feelings.

Of course, we sometimes need to have tough conversations. When we do, we can remind ourselves that we can handle anything. By being willingly vulnerablegoing for the understanding, and seeking win-win, we can have any tough conversation at all.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Negotiations, interviews, performance reviews and corrections, firing, and sales can all be tough conversations.

 

Today’s photo credit: Yashna M via photopin cc

hairball

Avoiding The Leadership, Sales, and Influence Hairball

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

Leading, influencing, and selling involves getting others to give up something they value–usually money, attention, political currency, time, or effort.

If we are not careful and caring in our approach, we end up trying to get them to agree or even to obey. Unfortunately, this approach creates a massive hairball of resistance, defensiveness, politics, struggle, waste, loss, and exhaustion. And our work becomes more and more difficult.

Yuck-o-rama.

When we are careful and caring, we follow these four steps (more here):

  1. We build a foundation of trust, then
  2. We explore what’s true now, what we all want to be true, and why, then
  3. We explore how we will get there, who will do it, and by when, then
  4. We agree and get going.

This way matches how people want to be led, influenced, and sold to. Taking the time to go this way makes our work easy and everyone wins. The hairball happens when we try to skip right to the “agree and get going” step.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Bitterjug via photopin cc

board

It Probably Is Not a Failure to Execute

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
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What we blame on an organization’s inability to execute is often a problem with the management team. Show me an organization that continues to struggle, and I will show you a management team that is somehow unable to make the decisions that it alone must make.

Perhaps it’s a lack of cohesion and trust. Maybe there are too many, not enough, or the wrong people on the team. Or maybe they don’t have the approaches, systems, tools, and models they need to support their work.
Regardless of the cause, whenever a management team fails to decide on what only it can decide, it forces the rest of the organization to try to make the decision collectively. No organization can do this at all well.

The consequences are confusion, incoherence, politics, silos, and a lack of accountability for results. Next time you see any of that, look for dysfunction in the management team.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Lars Plougmann via photopin cc

cultivate

We Can Cultivate Confidence

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, Will=Our inner game
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Leading, influencing, selling, and success-in-general require that we are confident. We are confident when we trust our power. Our power is our ability to create through our thoughts. Unexpectedly, our power appears to be always there, always on. The trick is being very picky about which thoughts we focus our attention upon. Yes, even that one…and that one, too.

Time to cultivate confidence.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And I, for one, am looking forward to see what your confident self is creating.

 

Today’s photo credit: James Wheeler via photopin cc

todo today

Due Dates Can Be Killing Our Effectiveness

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

So that we don’t let a task to fall off of our radar, we mark it with a date. We read an email or look at a note and think, “Oh, yes. This is important. I want/have to do this. I will do it today.” Or we may mark it for tomorrow or next week.

Should we repeat this process with the rest of our notes and emails, we can quickly end up with more on our list for today than we can actually complete.

“No problem,” we say. “I can move whatever I don’t get done today to tomorrow.” With all of those tasks and whatever comes from tomorrow’s notes and emails, we are digging ourselves quite a hole. Soon our list of tasks is packed with things that are “due today” and that turned out to be not as important as we had first thought.

The problem starts with that fear of forgetting something. The solution is having a system we trust.

What if we trusted that our list of tasks was up to date and accurate enough? And that everything on the list was cleanly and clearly defined as an actual, doable task (not an amorphous, cryptic, undigested blob like, “re: Smithington report”)? What if our list of tasks aligned with our goals not-yet-ready-and-may-never-be-ready tasks were shunted to a back burner list? What if we could, anytime, quickly scan our main list of tasks and quickly pick the next best thing for us to work on?

Then we wouldn’t worry about forgetting any tasks. And we wouldn’t subject ourselves to the tyranny of an ever growing “holy-*%#$-everything-is-due-today” list.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Same goes for marking things urgent or priority.

PPS: There are two good reasons to mark a task with a due date. If we have committed to getting something done for someone by a certain date, then reminding ourselves of that commitment with a due date makes sense. We can also select, each day, the one thing that we most want to accomplish. “If I get this one task done today, I will call today a success. Better mark it ‘due today.'”

 

Today’s photo credit: Courtney Dirks via photopin cc

master

Advanced Course in Leading, Selling, and Influencing

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

If I were to offer an advanced course in leading, selling, and influencing, it would focus on cultivating this particularly productive stance.

To lead (with or without title), sell, and influence, we must develop two facets of our inner game. The first is our belief in ourselves. The second is our belief in everyone else. By “belief in ourselves,” I mean a trust that we each have all the desire and ability we need to create whatever results we want with ease. “Belief in everyone else” means we trust they have all the desire and ability, too.

This is not a false hope or an insecure bravado. It is a deep, quiet knowing. (Hint: False hope and bravado try to cover up bad-feeling thoughts. This quiet knowing feels pretty darn good.) Even when evidence points to a lack of desire or ability, we assume that we and everyone else have them both.

From this stance, we navigate by curiosity. “What do I/they desire? Which ability will I/they apply now? How long until I/they trust this? How can we help each other?” The resulting flow of conversations, thoughts, and actions will astound. And what a stark contrast to the typical ways of leading, selling, and influencing.

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: This advanced course has one lesson, no prelims, and no final. Just lots of homework: practice daily seeing the desire and ability.

PPS: Sometimes what looks like a lack of desire or ability is really a desire and ability to choose a new place to play.

 

Today’s photo credit: Aamir Choudhry via photopin cc

flow

The Alternative to Control

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 1

Where we don’t trust the future, the universe, or others, we try awfully hard to control or avoid (and avoid is really another form of control) all sorts of things out of plain old fear.

This is a tremendous waste of time and effort and money. Stephen M.R. Covey quantifies this waste in his book, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything.

And we can’t control any of it anyway.

The alternative to trying to control the future is not to ignore it and hope it goes away. Nor is it to sit around and wait for something to happen. The alternative to control is, nonetheless, very different from what we are used to. First we imagine the end results we want. At the same time, we conjure how wonderful it will feel to have those results. Then we take the next inspired action that occurs to us. And we repeat the process.

Freakish sounding, I know. Absolutely alien, right? Completely nutty, wacky, useful, productive, simple, and powerful. Just bonkers.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Wait. What?

 

Today’s photo credit: Jesse Kruger via photopin cc