- What do we need to streamline?
- What resources do we need to create, invest in more purposefully, strengthen or change?
- Who are key decision-makers we need to reach?
- What products or services do we need to stop, pause, improve, change and/or begin delivering?
- What constitutes a best client?
- What clients do we need to start saying no or not right now to because they are not a good fit for us today?
- Who are our primary competitors and what can we learn from their approach and/or techniques?
- What are our GREAT goals?
- Gels with values
- Real benefit
- What do we define as streams profitable income?
- How do we improve profitability by limiting expenses, growing income, managing inventory, fostering relationships, improving team skills and maximizing business opportunities?
These ideas were shared as part two of a three-part series of business development seminars I presented for the BBB Serving Central Oklahoma on September 16, 2015. Learn more about the series and value the BBB can bring to your business here.
- Evernote - Next level note taking, sharing, organizing and collaborating.
- Dropbox - File sharing.
- LogMeIn - Access to home/work computer from your mobile devices.
- PayPal - Give and receive money.
- Square Register - Receive payments on mobile device with a card swiper.
- LifeChurch.tv Bible - Read the word.
- Battery Doctor - Essential tools that help improve your devices' battery life.
- Chrome - Google's browser to access all bookmarks, reading lists, and browsing history from any device and/or computer where you use Chrome and are logged into your Google account.
- Bing - Good back-up browser.
- Amazon - Shop for anything. The Prime membership is worth it to save money on shipping.
- MyAT&T - Monitor your phone bill and data usage.
- Discover - Monitor your credit card bill.
- Harmony Control - Requires hardware in your home, but great "all-in-one" TV remote control.
- Grocery IQ - Essential app for adding items to your grocery store list and sharing with anyone else that is also adding to the list and/or going to the store. Updates instantly.
- WiFiTransfer - Powerful little tool that allows you to easily move large files from your device to your computer when both devices are on the same wi-fi network. I use it to quickly offload videos from my iPhone to my laptop.
- SpeedTest - Great little tool to check the speed of your cell network and wifi network.
- Diptic - Create images that have more than one of your images in them.
- Blogger - Run a blog like this one.
- ReType - Create images like these - http://tinyurl.com/WhatRhettSays.
- RhymeZone - Find definitions, synonyms, and rhymes.
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary - Definitions and synonyms.
- Google Maps - Powerful GPS tool.
- TripIt - Keep all your travel plans in one place.
- Orbitz - Find flights, hotels and rental cars.
- Uber - Get a ride cheaper and nicer than a cab.
- Yelp - Find restaurants.
- American Airlines - Fly the friendly skies.
- GateGuru - Find shops and services in airports.
- OpenTable - Make restaurant reservations.
- AirBnB - Find cheaper, nicer and more conveniently located places to stay.
- Starbucks - Coffee. Period. :)
- FlightAware - Check flight times and current status.
- SeatGuru - Find the best seats on aircraft equipment your airline flies.
- Hilton Hhonors - Find a hotel.
- Hipmunk - Book flights.
- Waze - A user-updated GPS mapping app. Get updates while driving on police, traffic jams, detours, etc.
- TravelMath - Find out how much it will cost to drive vs. fly vs. walk.
- Dark Sky - Simple weather app.
- MyRadar - Simple, but more detailed weather app.
- Timeless - Time.
- NiceClock - Time.
- FaceClock - Time.
- RYClock - You guessed it, time.
- Facebook - Faces.
- Twitter - Tweets.
- Pinterest - Everything and anything.
- Instagram - Pictures.
- Hootsuite - Powerful place to write one status and send it to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram with the push of one button. You can also schedule statuses to go out in the future.
- Facebook Messenger - Faces texting one another.
- LinkedIn - Professionally dressed faces.
- GroupMe - Cool group messaging app.
- Periscope - Like YouTube only it is live and viewable to any of your connected Periscope friends or anyone that happens to click on your video in the app. Cool app for showing friends, family members, customers, students, etc. what is going on in your world right now.
- Nike+ Running - Run Forrest.
- Nike+ Fuel - Track your movement.
- Nike+ Move - Track your movement.
- Podcasts - Discover stories and entertainment.
- Apple TV Remote - Control your Apple TV.
- iBooks - Read.
- Find iPhone - Find other devices (yours and your family members) that use your Apple account.
- Keynote - Apple's PowerPoint.
- iPhoto - Photos.
- iTunes Festival - Annual concerts.
- Spotify - Where all great music lives in streaming format. When you are a member ($12 per month) you can offload the music to your devices. I have 35 GB of music offloaded. My most used app.
- Netflix - Movies, documentaries and TV shows.
- Flixster - Movie reviews and times.
- Crackle - Movies, documentaries and TV shows.
- Kindle - Amazon's book reader.
- Cox TV Connect - See what is coming on and set your recorder. For COX cable users only.
- Kids-In-Mind - See how kid-friendly movies are. They rank from 1-10 language, violence and sexual content.
- Shazam - Learn what songs are that you hear around you.
- YouTube - Videos.
- IMDB - Movie and TV show reviews and information.
- USAToday - News.
- ClearTune - Guitar tuner.
- Ultimate Guitar Tabs - Sheet music, lyrics and guitar chords.
- ESPN - Sports information and video/audio content.
- ESPN Radio - Sports radio.
- Dallas Cowboys - America's team. And mine. :)
- Team Stream - Sports information.
- NFL Mobile - Football.
- College Football - Younger football.
- NCAA Sports - College sports information.
- OrangePower - Oklahoma State University sports information.
- FOX Sports Go - Sports video and audio from FOX.
- Yahoo Sports - Sports information.
- GolfLogix - Golf course GPS tool. Let's you see how close or far you really are from the green. :)
- As busy professionals we face continuous pressure to get more done in less time.
- Technology that makes us more productive also increases our pace of business.
- Could the next generation of virtual assistants or virtual coaches be right for you?
- If you are reading Personal Leadership Insight and this article you are on the right track.
Are you ready to take the virtual step?
"Good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement."I was frustrated by the costs of making mistakes. Especially by the amount of time my mistakes consumed. There had to be a better way. Eventually it dawned on me that I could leverage other people’s skills and expertise and save myself time and money. I discovered the world of coaching. Once I realized that coaches could help me achieve disproportionate gains, I became a bit of a coaching addict (or maybe a lot).
Yeah, I overdid it again
In the beginning, I started out modestly using coaches to help me improve my triathlon technique for the swim, bike, and run (thank you B.Gibbs, B.Chortek, T.Laughlin, Dr. Romanov, J.Friel, D.Scott). Later I branched out and used coaches in weightlifting, nutrition, and executive health (thanks Mehdi, D.McGuff, M.Sisson). Encouraged by my gains from athletic performance coaching, I experimented with a speaking coach and life coach (thanks Beth and Robyn). I have used dozens of business coaches (special thanks to Zig, Lucas, and Ramit) and even a coach for relocation (to the UK) and another for international business practices (China, India, Switzerland). I received coaching on raising venture capital, for hedge funding investing, and even how to do an IPO-roadshow (RKN.TO). I’ve used meditation coaching for stress (Adya) and completed a 12-step program to overcome my poor empathy skills (thank you Sean and CR). Today I coach a handful of start ups, receive ongoing peer coaching from a Mastermind group, and use a supervision coach for my own coaching practice. So what’s the bottom line? In my personal development and performance, coaching has yielded a disproportionate return on investment (ROI). Other individuals report a median ROI of 3.44 times their coaching investment. At the corporate level, companies including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises, report a median ROI of seven times their coaching investment.
What is Virtual Coaching and What’s New?
Traditionally, individual coaching is done face-to-face and is usually confined to a fixed setting. Now that technologies like smart phones and wireless Internet can replicate the functions of an in-person session, face-to-face coaching is evolving to virtual coaching. Geographical locations and fixed schedules are no longer barriers because virtual coaching can be done via phone, video conference, email, SMS, iMessage, WhatsApp, FaceBook and a myriad of other apps.
Current Market and Technology Trends
As a reformed angel investor from Silicon Valley it is second nature for me to spot trends within trends. The mobile web trend was overtaken by smart phone apps, and now apps stand poised to be overtaken by on-demand virtual assistants that use any messaging channel. Why load your device up with dozens of specific apps, when it’s easier to just message what you want? New start ups like Operator, Magic, Swell, Alfred, Zirtual, Kit and others are innovating the interface for next-gen on-demand services for both consumers and business users. Behind the curtain there is a mix of humans and artificial intelligence (think Apple’s Siri) working on your request. Their goal provide you a concierge-like experience, like having your very own virtual assistant. In addition to the above mentioned virtual assistants, the next generation of virtual coaches are emerging as well. For instance, Talkspace – the all-you-can-text therapy start up – just raised a hefty new round of $9.5 million in financing.. Vida – who connects consumers with coaches and doctors – announced Series A funding of $5 million. Health coaching start up Sessions was acquired by MyFitnessPal. Clarity.fm provides on-demand business advice to entrepreneurs. Mindbloom ‘crowdsources’ life coaching services from your group of friends. The list goes on. Of course, this ‘virtual’ trend will have both winners and losers. For instance Google closed its Helpouts service in April 2015.
A coach can help you aim higher
What a (Virtual) Coach Can And Can’t Do
Before diving deeper into virtual coaching, let’s taking a moment to recap how coaching fits into the broader scheme.
- Therapists (psychiatrists, psychologists or counsellors) focus on healing dysfunction from the past.
- Consultants assess organizations, provide information, and implement solutions in the present.
- Mentors are experienced role-models and act as advisers to someone with less experience.
- Coaches focus on future performance and use questions to improve self-awareness, behaviors, and skills.
Many aspects of coaching will remain the same whether it is done in-person or virtually, such as:
- Finding the right coach for your situation.
- Setting your performance or development goals.
- On-going dialogue and feedback.
- Committing to work on your self-improvement.
- Accepting that coaching may be uncomfortable.
- Building a trusted bond with a virtual coach may take a bit more concentration.
- Virtual coaching is a two-way dialogue. It’s a process, not a one-way Tweet to ‘fix it’.
- Multitasking during a virtual session will reduce its benefits to you.
- Virtual communications usually occur in smaller bursts. Be careful not to lose the depth or context of the issue being discussed.
- Virtual coaching sessions are more flexible than “office hours”, but a regular frequency is important to keep momentum (every 2 weeks on average is optimal).
Is Virtual Coaching Right For You?
Which produces a better ROI, a virtual assistant or a virtual coach?
- Virtual Assistants are a great way to outsource logistics and tactical items.
- Virtual Coaches are an effective way to increase your performance using mindset and behaviors.
Calculate your virtual return on investment[/caption]Which brings us back to the question of ROI.
- In my experience, virtual assistants yield a linear ROI
- X dollars buys back Y amount of my time.
- On the other hand, I find that coaches (virtual or otherwise) give me a disproportionate ROI.
- X dollars spent produces XY results.
- The reason why is simple: performance gains made with a coach compound continuously over time.
Admittedly, coaching is not for everyone and information technology is not a panacea. Before deciding if virtual coaching is right for you, first make sure you are on board with the coaching fundamentals:
- What is your objective?
- Are you improving your performance or your mindset? Do you want to overcome limiting behaviors or habits?
- Is your coach good match for you?
- Do you trust them and their references? Can they also act as your mentor? (bring relevant expertise to the table).
- What is your commitment?
- Are you prepared to put in the time, energy and work between coaching sessions to achieve new levels of success?
- Are you coachable?
- Are you willing to do things differently and break away from your patterns that produce average results? Will you hold yourself accountable to your coach and your agreed actions?
Virtual Coaching Checklist
- The number one factor to consider in virtual coaching is your level of technology savvy. Are you comfortable doing video conferencing or instant messaging by yourself or do you require IT support?
- Does it fit your personality type? Studies show that introverts tend to perform well in electronic conversations, and even prefer a healthy distance over face-to-face conversations. (Note: If your goal is to develop your interpersonal skills, this medium is not congruent with that goal).
- Can you build bonds and express yourself easily in writing? Aside from audio and video, much of your communication with your coach will be in asynchronous text.
- Can your coach keep up with you? Can they follow your train of thought as you shift between phone, text, Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter DM, and a myriad of other apps? Response times and availability are key factors when coaching across multiple time zones and geographies. Is your coach available 7 days a week? Do they offer a guaranteed response time for communications between scheduled sessions?
- Jeff is a successful executive who has served as Vice President in a Fortune 500 company as well as several Silicon Valley startups. He has been a guest speaker at UCLA Anderson and Berkeley Haas and is a graduate of Harvard PON and Stanford GSB.
- He has figured out how to increase individual business performance using better health in less time. Warning: Unintended side effects include looking better and living longer.
- You can learn how at The Healthy Executive.
Before and after I became an executive health coach
- Do You Read Fast Enough To Be Successful?, Forbes ↩
- SpartUp Accelerator ↩
- 7 Reasons To Join A Mastermind Group, Forbes ↩
- ICF Global Coaching Client Study ↩
- Jeff’s profile on AngelList ↩
- Text therapy startup raises $9.5 million, CNN Money ↩
- Mobile health startup Vida, Silicon Valley Business Journal ↩
- Digital Health Coaching Startup Acquired, Fast Company ↩
- Google Helpouts is Shutting Down, Forbes ↩
- Harvard Business Review Research Report ↩
- The Myth of Multitasking, C.Rosen ↩
- Coaching Frequency Study, Coaching Research Institute ↩
- p.295 Advancing Executive Coaching, Gina Hernez-Broome, Lisa A. Boyce, 2010 ↩
- Hubschman 1996, Hamilton & Scandura 2003 ↩
- Giadagno & Caildini, 2002 ↩
- Jeff’s credentials on LinkedIn here and Facebook here. ↩
photo credits: Defining targets differently via photopin (license), [ROI photo: Got Credit]
The following strategies are the bedrock of great interview answers:
2. ANSWER IN LIST FORM. This strategy is especially important because the individual(s) interviewing you probably have interviewed many other people just before you. They are in information overload mode. This is also a valuable tactic if you tend to ramble during your answers, which can happen to even a seasoned pro. List form is exactly what the name implies. As the question is being asked, you quickly think of two or three answers. When you begin your answer, you say something similar to, "There are three great ways to answer your question." And then you take them through the three answers. This is effective because if gives your answer structure (to keep you from rambling) and it helps the interviewer(s) have a clear and concise method for following your answer.
3. USE AN ANCHOR WORD OR PHRASE. If the answer doesn't demand length, try the anchor word or phrase strategy. This is where you begin with one word or phrase that most accurately sums up your answer. Then you give one or two supporting points. Most times simple and brief will be received better than detailed and extravagant.
4. TELL STORIES. This is essential if you want to be remembered and want to most effectively communicate your ideas and experiences. Great story-telling demonstrates a depth of knowledge, an attention to detail and it gives your answers faces and places the judges can relate to quickly. Remember to give your story meaning by tightly connecting the story to their question quickly.
- Are we dedicating enough time to creating new marketing ideas?
- What is a marketing strategy that works better than it seems like it should?
- How are we deciding who is in our target market?
- What is our best marketing tool and why?
- What is our most cost-effective marketing tool?
- How are we deciding which media outlets to use?
- How are we capturing and using comments from satisfied customers?
- How are we measuring the success of marketing strategies?
- How has our marketing changed over the past few years?
- What is the source of our largest frustration related to marketing?
- What company or organization has the best (coolest, most creative, most cost-effective, etc.) marketing ideas? Why?
- What marketing tool or strategy do we need to stop using?
- All great marketing starts with a great product or service to market. Be great.
- Value people first, excellent work second, everything else third.
- Understand the most influential drivers that bring business in, bring business back and drive business away.
- Stay connected with and bring surprise value to your "Torchbearer 23 List" - 23 contacts that carry the torch for you and/or your business. (Read more about Torchbearers below.) Never ask them for anything, though. Just stay connected and serve his/her needs when you can.
- Learn where, when and how to start customer relationships.
- Learn where, when and how your competition is starting customer relationships.
- Make the most of your raving fans.
- Foster relationships that will lead to piggy-back, plan B, or other ways to provide value-added options for new customers.
- Create brainstorming moments with your team: Assign an unbiased discussion leader, capture everything, no filters, no initial judgments, pick one or two ideas to try on at low-cost.
- Schedule periodic brainstorming sessions to keep a steady flow of ideas flowing.
- Have an unbiased discussion leader who is in charge of keeping the discussion going.
- Capture everything. Flip-chart ideas in the moment. Take a picture of each one when the session is over and save those images for later.
- No filtering of ideas - no matter the cost, the legality, the chance of success, etc.
- Keep initial judgments quiet. There will be a time to give pros and cons. A brainstorming session is not that time.
- At the end of the session, pick a few low to no-cost ideas and try them on. Also, pick a few that will require resources to implement and make sure those ideas live to be discussed another day.
- Thirsty for helping company/organization grow.
- Owns a strong allegiance.
- Values and fosters relationships.
- Gains part of identity from organization.
- Clearly understands his/her role.
- Knows and believes in company/organization's core values.
- Speaks positively about the organization, it's leadership and it's members.
Quality of life challenges for you today:
- Enjoy life. Enjoy work. No matter what comes your way, it is the intended plan.
- Give your purposeful best at work. It is where we spend the most time throughout our life. You absolutely never know when your 80 days might happen.
- Strengthen Your Best by serving others first, daily and where you are at work and at home.
Questions to journal and work on:
- How purposeful are you at letting go of the little distractions and irritations that create unnecessary stress and tension?
- How much time are you investing in the areas that define who you are?
- How much time and effort do you invest creating value for others?
My Christian faith clearly directs my optimism. Also, the surgery in September completely removed the tumor and it was benign - that obviously was necessary for success. However, the sense of peace and accomplishment throughout that month was for different reasons and is the source of the first lesson. It can be captured in a statement I told a great friend of mine:
"It is good to have friends. It is better to have friends like ours."
|Ashley and Three Incredible Friends|
The amount and the quality of service others have given to us over the past two months has been humbling, unbelievable and truly life-changing. This medical process has been changed because of the work our friends have done and continue to do. We have been taken care of because of the people that surround us.
There are many quality of life measurements I am going to challenge you to make over the next few weeks. This one is the first. What is the condition of the work you do for your friends? How natural is the time you spend encouraging and doing service for your people? We don't take care of others so they will take care of us. We take care of people because it matters. I challenge you to invigorate your service to individuals today. Your quality of life is based on many elements. The quality of time and authenticity you invest serving others impacts all of them.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 7:30 am to 2 pm I was out and my skull was wide open. Dr. Barnett and his exceptional team in Dallas at UT Southwestern were taking out the golf ball-sized brain tumor I had behind my left eye for years. I learned much from the month-long journey leading up to that room. This morning I am a 20-year professional trainer/speaker only seven days after brain surgery and I am amazed at how I have changed.
My perspective has changed regarding the most important concepts dictating quality of life. The purpose of this blog over the next few weeks will be to share this short list. My goal is to help you improve your quality of life using lessons I have experienced going through this journey. I am going to help you create a rare quality of life based on a list of three life actions. Please check back often and let's see where we can go together.
My brain tumor has been thankfully removed and was diagnosed benign. There is much for you to learn from my experience.
Congratulations. You have been promoted to a management position you have been hoping to receive for quite some time. You have set goals, worked hard, kept your nose clean, excelled in your former positions and you finally made it. Now, the hard work begins. How do you motivate your staff to give their best? How do you help your team see you as a team leader (when you have been a peer up until now)? How do you manage your time to accommodate all the extra tasks on your plate? How do you make decisions like a leader? How do you coach people? How do you let people know they have to be let go?
You certainly need more education and experience to handle all of these situations. It does matter. The number one reason why people leave a job is because their boss did not know how to lead. The quality of the boss/leader/supervisor/manager/team leader is one of the single most influential elements on the quality of life in a workplace. You want (and need) to be in the category of “great boss.” I encourage you to be very self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a leader and work to develop in your areas of need.
Today we will look at five behaviors of effective new leaders that are vital to their success by looking at Julie. She has just been promoted to a new management position at a bank and is doing a great job. Her team trusts her. She is sending her division of the bank in the right direction. How is Julie accomplishing this? Following are five insights:
1. Julie let go of the thoughts and processes she had as a team member. She learned quickly how to put decisions, emails, conversations, etc. through the filter of leadership. Her experience as a team member is certainly beneficial. However, decisions as a team leader can be more complex, weighty and require a more measured approach.
2. She asks questions when necessary. Julie understands that she was not hired to be perfect and because she knew everything. She was hired because she was an exceptional team member and because she had the potential to be a highly trusted leader. Julie looks for opportunities to sharpen her leadership skills.
3. Julie knew going in to the position that there would be push back from two groups of people – those individuals she used to be team members with and those individuals on her new team with more experience and/or age. She focuses on not taking offense to these dynamics, nor does she allow them to apply unnecessary stress on her work life. She takes every push back, big or small, in the proper context and stays focus on the work at hand.
4. Julie expects to have to continue to earn trust. She does not assume that her position included an instantly high trust level from everyone. This allows her to lead by example – working harder than her team, showing up early, leaving late, sticking to commitments, etc. She maintains her work-home life balance; being a leader doesn't equal zero home life. However, she is a living example of the old saying that no leader should ask his/her followers to do anything they are not willing to do also.
5. She was a likable, personable person before the promotion, but has worked hard to increase these traits. She forgives first, trusts others quickly, replies to requests of her time/attention quickly, listens actively, doesn't make other people fight for her time/attention, encourages and builds up her team genuinely and often, coaches her team members in privacy, and is a source of optimism in the office, etc. Julie is a meaningful source of joy for not only her team, but for the bank as a whole.
I experienced push-back from my co-workers when I took one of my first jobs soon after college. I had a Senior Director position and two of the Directors (less pay, but more experience and older) actually set me down individually to let me know I had no say over what they did. It was a rude awakening to work life as a team leader, but I didn't let it tarnish my excitement or my commitment and passion to providing great leadership for that office. Congratulations on your new position. There aren't many parts of professional life more meaningful or significant than being a leader others want to follow.
- Vision - What am I doing today to be where I need to be in 5 years?
- Integrity - How am I helping my team trust me?
- Innovativeness - What are the challenges I am facing today that require more "solution thinking"?
- Wise Judgment - Who do I consult with before making major decisions?
- Service Mindedness - Do I model volunteerism in my life?
- Goal Processing - Do I have challenging goals that stretch and grow my abilities?
- Skill Assessment - What is my core strength and have I put myself in the position to do that everyday?
- Emotional Maturity - Do I handle struggles and failures with grace and a growth attitude?
- Fostering Relationships - Am I working daily to improve the health of my most important relationship?
- Masterful Communication - Do I listen to others with focus?
Why do clicks exist?
1. We are pack-minded people. We desire to be around people who think like us, dress like us and believe in the same things we do.
2. We like to know the rules and have those we hang out with know (and follow) them also. It gives a sense of grounded-ness.
3. We defend what is ours. Clicks define who we are. They hold truths about the individuals within them. If we will fight and defend anything it is our beliefs and our identity.
4. We fear the unknown. This is the source of many "click-battles". If I'm operating from a known set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs, when I come across someone who doesn't operate from the same set of rules, there is a sense of mystery about what that person or group will do or say. This is retaliated against often in hostile, negative and even violent ways.
Leaders operating within a click need to understand these basics of human nature and discover ways to work effectively within them. Following are a few ideas on how to do that.
1. Operate from a home base of understanding and curiosity. Learn what makes them click (pun intended) and be ok with it.
2. Educate your click on how to overcome fear-based and negative tendencies. You can rarely help people lose these as an initial reaction to opposing or different clicks, but you can help your crew understand the value of not taking negative action on these tendencies.
3. Stick to your values and beliefs, but work to not belittle the values and beliefs of others. Different does not always equal wrong.
4. Work to educate other clicks on the positive reasons why your click exists and why you hold true to your ways. However, don't expect them to agree with you or change their ways. There is much truth to the approach of "agreeing to disagree".
1. Your house is on fire.
2. You have a spouse (in their 20s like you) and three children. John is five and in perfect health. Susan is one and in perfect health. JoAnn is three and has a rare blood disease that prevents her from walking.
3. You can only save yourself and one person.
4. Who do you save?
This extreme dilemma is tragic, no matter the outcome. It also serves to highlight five decision-making elements high-level leaders must understand how to deal with.
1. The facts can't be changed.
Reality is the home field of leaders great at making critical decisions. Things are complicated enough: creating a reality-distortion field isn't prudent. This requires facing the hard truths head-on, being disciplined to gather facts from all necessary input streams and not using assumptions or (even experienced) opinions to fill in too many gaps.
2. Every decision has a downside.
Decisions create tension and silos. High-level leaders are naturally equipped, trained and/or emotionally prepared to deal with both the upsides and the downsides of decisions. Be ready to handle them by expecting the downsides, preparing accordingly and not letting fear sway the decisions that must be made.
3. Some people will benefit from your decision and some won't.
Trying to keep everyone happy will not fully satisfy anyone. Many times tough decisions involve picking sides. Success in this area requires being diplomatic with both. Don't get too cozy with the winning side and talk openly and directly with the other side. You can't expect to have the losing side to like you right then, but you should strive to demonstrate your logic and reasons to earn (or rebuild) respect, trust and credibility.
4. Your beliefs/values will guide you.
One of the most important benefits of being clear, resolute and convicted of your beliefs and values is they provide a firm guide for critical decisions. Of course, the secret is to be disciplined to follow your beliefs and values, but you must have them first. Set beliefs and values that you firmly believe in and that can serve as an inspiration for those around you. High-level leaders don't have the luxury of following mediocre beliefs and values.
5. As the leader, you carry the burden of making the decisions.
True leadership is not easy. It is demanding, challenging and weighs heavy. Accept this burden and take it for those who can not. Never use the high-pressure as an excuse for poor decisions and never hold others ransom with it. Carry it freely as the price you pay for stepping up and arming yourself with the traits, skills and expertise necessary to make the tough decisions for those around you.
(What decision would you make in the situation above and why? Comment below.)
It is very simple. He doped. He lied. He personally hurt people to protect his lies. He finally told the truth.
Lance Armstrong has now joined the ranks of Pete Rose, OJ Simpson, Tiger Woods, Roger Clemens and many other sport celebrities whose personal failures (yes, choosing to use performance enhancing drugs is a personal decision) out-weigh their sporting achievements.
Lance Armstrong is someone who should not, today or ever, be held up as a model for anything other than a perfect case study of how far someone will go to protect their reputation and win at virtually any cost.
What about his foundation, Livestrong, improving the lives of millions of cancer survivors and family members? Does this (as has been stated by many people in the sporting world) hold up his moral character to a certain degree? In my opinion, no. He is not making a personal decision every day to improve people's lives. His foundation does. It is their mission and the people working for the foundation care deeply about it. He invested years making personal decisions to dope, lie about it, hurt others to protect his lie and stand behind that lie for as long as he could.
The lesson here is simple, as well. Leaders must protect people's trust above all else. Without it, nothing else really works.
Lance Armstrong is, and forever will be, a leader. He has and will continue to influence millions of people through his cycling fame, cancer struggles and foundation work. However, he chose to make personal decisions that undermined his credibility, integrity, moral standing, and trust with everyone he will associate with for the rest of his life.
Was he in a high-pressure, high-stakes world in elite cycling? Yes.
Did he think doping was justified because it was common place in competitive cycling? Yes.
Was his stature in the cycling world and the humanitarian world going to crumble if he told the truth? Yes.
Will his position, influence, power and abilities as a leader ever have strength and merit again? Sadly, no.
We invested fully this weekend with 500+ young leaders working on one thing only - helping them to understand how to be better at relationships. We covered many topics and worked on many areas. However, the following five lessons are the relationship techniques that will stick to their ribs for many days to come.
Five Essential Relationship Skills
1. Don't make people fight for your time and attention. Quickly and easily put your focus on others. When they share something with you, be impressed, encourage them, lift them up, etc. Don't fall into any of these three categories: Know It All, Always Better Than Others, or Indifferent About Others.
2. Talk up about others not in the room. Stephen Covey says this is one of the most powerful way to build trust with people in the room. A foundation of trust is an essential building block for healthy relationships.
3. Follow-through. People who stick to commitments are always in high-demand. Learn to say yes only to those meetings, projects and commitments that you are fairly sure you can keep. I'd rather you say no to me early than no to me late.
4. Share smiles with many. Share frustrations with one. People who are great at relationships understand this principle. Look for, celebrate, cultivate and share the good spaces in life. When you have gripes, whines, complaints, etc., share them with your closest people only. That's one of the responsibilities of being a close family member or friend. We are called to be the proverbial shoulder.
5. Forgive first. This last one is the heaviest. True forgiveness is never earned. It is given freely with heroic effort. If you have someone who has broke trust with you in any way and you are waiting for them to earn your forgiveness, you will be waiting forever. Forgiveness only works truly when you decide to pay the debt for them and take that burden off your heart. It's one of the rarest and most powerful relationship acts.
You can tell the running theme here is taking personal responsibility for the condition of your relationships. This is how any great team works - each individual investing fully and personally working hard to make it great. As your relationships go, so goes your quality of life. Make them great.
- A “C” student (President Bush)
- A guy whose federal experience was serving 4 out of 6 years in the Senate (President Obama)
- A guy who was the Governor of a state half the size of San Bernardino County in CA (Candidate Romney)
Why is becoming an effective team player important?
- Life is a team sport.
- When our teams are good, life is good.
- People need great people-people around them to give their best.
What are the common traits of great teams?Effective teamwork occurs when each individual clearly understands how their core strength plays a valuable role in the team accomplishing its shared goals.
- A trusted leader.
- An agreed upon goal.
- An agreed upon decision-making system.
- The creation and revisiting of big memories.
- Each individual engaging a core strength.
- Intensely focused on their work, trusts others, are trustworthy and therefore creates an environment where there is low drama and high trust.
- Optimistic and create the impossible by focusing on solutions and the positive.
- Identify, put into action and develop habits that create an environment of encouragement, excellence and high expectatIons.
- Skilled at maximizing change and solving problems by seeing things differently and getting to the true core of challenges.
- L.E.A.D. - Look for, Encourage, Appreciate and Draw out the best of others. How most people treat you is based on who you are to them, the environment your interactions are in & how you treat them. Make them good.
- Be a lover of what other people are doing. Be Interested. Make someone else feel more important than they think they are and you instantly become more important to them.
- Build up others when they aren't around. Stephen Covey said, "A great way to build trust with those in the room is to talk up those not in the room."
The following list is a short collection of the mission-critical time management strategies I use daily and I teach in my time management workshops. Before you work through them, click here to see if you even need them.
This stands for Take Care Of It Now. Much of our ineffectiveness with time management is caused by fatigue - low energy, low focus, etc. Much of this fatigue is caused by things "piling up". If you can take care of a task in two-minutes or less, do it. Get it off your desk, out of your inbox, out of your life. This will prevent you from getting to the end of your day with a million little things to finish up. This technique also helps you to conquer, what David Allen calls, Open Loops.
To do lists are vital for anyone juggling more than one ball. The key to effective to do lists is to only put actionable items on them - not line items that involve fifty smaller actions. Only put the next step necessary to accomplish at task. This will allow you to mark things off quicker and give you reachable benchmarks instead of just a long list of items that each contain their own to do lists.
There is a difference between time to do something and the "right" time to do something, called an open window. Open windows are unique to each person and each task. Picking your open windows involves understanding what time of day you work most efficiently, what location works best for which task, when your distractions are lowest, which hours of your day you can accomplish flow (described below), etc. The open window strategy is a true example of taking control of your time. Learning, leveraging and taking actions based on when you work most efficiently and effectively.
This is a time management strategy based on brain science. Flow is described as the mental state when you are working most efficiently. Every task requires a complex coordination of functions in the brain. It normally tasks around 20-minutes for your brain to get "up to speed" and work most efficiently on a task. This post-20 minute state is called flow. If you are not controlling your little distractions and interruptions (email, phone calls, walk-ins, etc.) throughout your day, you are probably never accomplishing true flow and never working most efficiently.
Your email inbox should not be used as a to do list. Primarily because that is not what it is intended for and because it is a totally reactionary tool. IE - the items were sent by others and when they wanted to send them. Whenever you do check your email, do something with each. Take action, delegate, move to a to do list, put it in a folder (you can search to find it later if you need it), archive it, delete it forever. A hefty inbox is a major source of fatigue (even if you don't notice it) and is a sign of poor time management. Take control and get your total email count (read, unread, etc.) to under 15 every day. If you want to learn more about how to do this magical trick, email me - rhett (at) yournextspeaker.com. My strategies in this area were originally inspired by Merlin Mann.
Just Say No
The magic bullet for most people when it comes to managing their time better is to get better at saying no to any commitment that you know you either can not do or can only do halfway. I would personally rather you say no to something than say yes and not follow through. And so would most people. This also includes commitments given to you at work. You know your work load better than anyone. If your boss or team leader gives you a task and you are already over-committed, be honest and let them know that something will have to not get done if this new commitment is to happen. Of course, this strategy will only fly if you have built up your trust account with others and it is well known that you are working hard and committing fully to your current tasks.
Focus longer. Set realistic, but stretch goals for the task in front of you and get them done. The tools listed above (and the thousands of others out there) will only work if you will.
Click here for another quick list of techniques.
Following are a few pre-made tweets to share with your network.
Follow us - @pli_leadership
@pli_leadership says to spend your time with T-COINs - Take Care Of It Now. http://ow.ly/e6re6
@pli_leadership says that your inbox should not be used as a to do list. http://ow.ly/e6re6
@pli_leadership says to let your co-workers know if their request will over-commit you. http://ow.ly/e6re6
@pli_leadership recommends reading the works of Merlin Mann and David Allen for time management tips. http://ow.ly/e6re6