“That’s the way we always do it!” It’s a common phrase that many say. But if you can’t challenge that type of thinking, your organization will disappear into obscurity. Here’s how to change legacy thinking…
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.
Think about how painful it would be if you had to catch a bowling ball in your teeth. Ouch! Catching a bowling ball in your teeth! What could be more painful than that? Simple – going to meetings. In this episode, Chris shares what you need to think about in order to make meetings less painful and more effective. Chris also reviews 10 factors to consider and act on to make the meetings you call or attend meaningful.
The best leaders always tend to make the best decisions in most cases. To be able to make the best decisions, you must have in your “toolkit” the ability to build consensus around a goal or issue and then properly communicate the actions to be taken, by who and by when.
Some of you approach decision making, consensus building and communication like a speeding freight train. How’s that working out for you? Make no mistake, there are those times when a direct approach is necessary. But it should not be the “norm”.
One of the most important lessons I write about in my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – is that making the decision is actually the easy part. Getting everyone with different views to buy-in and comply is the real test of a leader. And that’s where consensus building and communication factor into the process.
From my experiences, I developed a 7-step process for communication that leads to consensus building within my team. If you follow it as designed, communication within your company will improve, as will the results you achieve. Continue reading
How often do you put up with certain employees, clients, or market conditions because they just don’t bother you “enough”? That’s comfortable inaction. Waiting may lead you to a point of no return. Here’s how to stop allowing comfortable inaction to dictate your future.
Today is Veterans Day. It is that one “official” day (unlike Memorial Day) that has been specifically earmarked for all of us to pay tribute to all American veterans – living or dead – who have served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Continue reading
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.”
The biggest threat to businesses is complacency – that is, we learn to accept and live with the status quo. We allow our status quo to dictate whether or not we’ll succeed. Chris shares how successful entrepreneurs and business owners combat this silent business killer.
Success is a choice. It requires an optimistic, healthy state of mind fueled by a strong belief in yourself. Do you want to be seen as a go-to person by your boss and other senior people? Do you want to be known as someone who can be depended on to get things done; someone who not only does what’s expected of them but someone who goes the extra mile?
You are the creator of your own destiny. What specific actions can you take right now that will improve your lot in life? How can you better manage your current circumstances instead of being a victim of them? Anyone can be average, but with some extra effort (not as much as you might think), you can be above average.
If you agree that success is a choice, what would it mean to you if I could show you a practical and pragmatic approach to build internal trust, earn respect and establish more credibility within your company that will help you achieve more success? Continue reading
If your company is like most others, your team members talk to each other – about work (mostly complaining about it, or your customers or even you), their families, weekend activities – but mostly the usual “stuff” people talk about. The type of talking discussed in this episode is very different and may even be taking place in your organization but, I’ll bet not to the extent it should, if you want to truly tap into the power of your team.