Everyone should start their day by wanting to be great; not in an arrogant way but in a way that allows you to be your best and do your best. Many struggle with how to start building their path. Here are several actions that you can use to get started: Continue reading
We create our own competitive edge – each day – in the “7 inches between our ears,” i.e., our minds. It’s also the same place where we can derail our path to success. The mindset each of us brings to our work each day is a critical component of how our day goes.
One key aspect of our daily mindset is something I often refer to as “quiet confidence,”
Quiet confidence means that you believe in yourself 100% to the point where you know that success is the only option or outcome. In other words, you don’t talk about what you’re going to do, you let your actions and results speak for you. Individuals who possess quiet confidence know exactly what they have to do to achieve their goals.
It’s a fact that others are attracted to, want to be around, follow and buy from people who know “exactly what to do” to get the job done. Make no mistake, that’s a “competitive edge” for the person who possesses quiet confidence! Continue reading
There is one meeting you should have each week: A meeting with yourself. Chris describes the specific agenda and goals of such a meeting, and why it’s so important.
Chapter 5: From “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”
Thought I would share with you a key success concept from my latest book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide To Success”.
There is an old African fable about knowing your purpose in life, which goes something like this:
Every morning, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.
When you know your purpose and believe in yourself, like the gazelle or the lion, you are more likely to successfully meet any challenge. This is especially true if you choose to manage your boss and be a go-to person in your company. My son Andrew knew his purpose. He wanted to be seen as a go-to person and he put together a plan to become one. It’s that simple.
To stay the course and move closer toward your purpose, you need to have a clear focus. We’ve all been advised to concentrate on the things we can control. Yet, we often find ourselves spending (wasting) the majority of our time on things we have no control over.
To illustrate this better, take a look at the visual I use with my clients when coaching them on the important concept of “you management”.
The large square on the outside represents the things you cannot control. There are way more things in life that we have no control over than there are things we can control.
I’m not sure what causes us to gravitate toward the larger square. Maybe it’s because of the sheer volume and size of it. If we have a better understanding of the detrimental impact the activities in the largest square have on our lives, our focus, and our purpose, perhaps we would be less inclined to give into those no-value, time-wasting distractions (much like those smelly Skunks!). The result will be a more effective use of our time and a severely decreased level of aggravation.
The middle square represents the things in life that you can influence. To be an effective go-to person, you have to also know how to be a person of influence, which means you are able to get others to see things your way or find a middle ground for compromise. We have more influence over things than we realize, but most people don’t spend too much time trying to influence others. We get too caught up in trying to win or prove our own point instead of looking for mutual win-wins for both parties.
The smallest square at the center is everything in our lives and our careers that we can control. It stands to reason that we should spend the most time concentrating on the things that fall inside the small circle. That is where we’re going to get the highest results and the most benefit. When you work on the tasks and activities you can control, you have the opportunity to produce outcomes that have the greatest impact on you, your boss, your customers, and your company.
If you find yourself tempted to wander off outside of the square you can control, refer back to this diagram and get re-focused.
Success requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. Without the proper mental foundation, there’s no way your knowledge and skills will be used effectively. I refer to this foundation as “mental toughness.” Why? Because there are no shortcuts to success and any level of success must be built upon it. Developing mental toughness is a critical choice you must make.
Here are three key steps to get you going in the right direction:
- Get Rid of the Clutter – To achieve any meaningful level of effective performance, you need to eliminate all of the distractions that waste your time and drain your energy. The best way to do eliminate this clutter is to develop clarity on what you want to accomplish.
- Focus on Winning – You would be amazed by how many folks focus on avoiding problems, or how not to fail, as opposed to “winning.” When you don’t focus on winning, you allow events to “control” you. You become a victim instead of the master of your circumstances. This creates self-doubt and weakens any confidence you have in yourself. Play to win – all of the time. There is no downside.
- Develop Risk Taking Skills – To get what you want in business (and in life) you have to take logical, planned risks. These types of risks usually have a reasonable downside offset by a larger upside or reward. Keep in mind that we all have an “internal risk warning system” that holds us back. The best way to manage this internal warning system is to be clear on what you want to do, which helps you to stay focused on the facts instead of the emotion (fear).
In my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – I explain the importance of mental toughness is in helping you develop and maintain a success/growth mindset. Willie Mays, “The Say Hey Kid” captured the importance of a success mindset when he said: “What you are thinking, what shape your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all.”
I, like many of you, like information in the simplest and most efficient way possible. If I want or need further explanation, I will ask for it or go look for it myself. It is in that belief that I wanted to share with you 5 very simple but very effective techniques, when used as described, that will make your job as the leader easier and more significant.
These techniques were developed over the span of my corporate career and from my work with my many and diverse coaching clients, and…from the many mistakes that I have made along the way. Continue reading
Graduation “season” is well underway. So for the new graduate, let me offer the following:
As you begin your life’s journey, you will come across more things that you will not like before you find that one thing that “clicks.” That search is a good thing because you are learning a lot as you go.
You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game.” Here are several points to keep in mind: Continue reading
- Restaurant servers who try to memorize my order versus writing it down, especially when we ask for changes to how the dish is prepared – it usually never shows up as ordered.
- People who start statements with, “Can I be honest?” No, lie to me to see if I can catch you.
- Flight attendants who are annoyed with the passengers being on the plane.
- Parents at their children’s sporting events who lose it with a referee or official on what they perceive as a bad call but yet pride themselves on the strict discipline they impose on their children about the right social behavior.
- People who insist on using all capital letters and multiple exclamation points or question marks in either e-mails or text messages to make a point.
- People who allow fear to either “freeze” them in place or allow others to take advantage of them so much so that they become victims and self-sabotage their abilities to live a meaningful life.
- People who live to make lists to show how busy and productive they are but yet cannot get anything, let alone the right things, done – they need an “Only I should do these things” list or a “Not to do” list.
- Trying to understand the difference between “full or completely full” when it comes to airline boarding announcements or the difference between “unique and very unique” when it comes to describing a product or experience.
- When a telephone service rep (usually the cable company) ends all calls – whether they help you or not – by saying “have I helped you today?” Sometimes individual thought needs to replace the scripted response.
- Entrepreneurs / business owners who throw themselves at the feet of lousy customers, who are complaining – usually without merit, allowing the customer to the pull them around like a toy on a string – when they’re wrong, tell them they’re wrong! Dump them and go find the better customers who are out there.
At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap, as a result, someone else’s actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid, while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, they are problems and we are paid to solve them.
To effectively solve a problem, you have to have a clear understanding of its cause and impact. However, many of you spend way too much time and energy focusing just on the problem – its cause and its impact – and not enough time and focus on taking action to get to the solution. In essence, many find themselves “obsessing” about the problem, leading to detrimental results for the individual and their organization. It’s almost like digging a hole and pulling the dirt back in on top of you. Your frustration, stress and negative emotions grow unchecked. As this occurs, you basically eliminate any chance you might have to get past the emotional “clutter” (yours and others) to find a way forward to a solution.
So, what’s the lesson? Continue reading
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed
By their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness. It does, however, make it very clear that it is our responsibility to pursue our own happiness. Only we can see our dreams and only we can live them. And if we can’t make ourselves happy, or be happy with ourselves, it’s a good bet that we will not be able to help anyone else.
Making yourself happy can be difficult today with all of the business challenges that surround us. We are being bombarded every day to the point that we sometimes find it hard to fight off negative distractions and stay focused. When this happens we allow ourselves to be the victim of ours, or others, circumstances as opposed to being the master of them. We rapidly approach overload and get consumed with minutia, worrying about what will happen next! We start to lose sight of our ability to achieve our goals. When this happens, our first priority is to gain back control, get back on track, and take charge of our destiny. Continue reading