The Power of Questions: Asking for Growth

A great question is better than a right answer to the wrong question.

Questions are powerful.

The good ones evoke exploration of a new perspective, the cementing of conviction, or the reconsideration of a belief that’s never been challenged. Such introspection plays an important role in helping us reflect and grow as people and leaders. Questions surface the underlying, subconscious connections we often fail to make without prompting.

That being said, what underlying convictions or unconsidered actions and opinions need to be surfaced for you today? 

Most of the time we need a little help to uncover those points, so let’s dive into a few important questions that can benefit us all…

Questions to Consider

If you were a tree what kind of tree would you be? Just kidding. We’ve got a few better questions for you to chew on:

  1. When you were little you most likely dreamed about what you wanted to be. Did you ever dream about who you wanted to be? If not, do so now. Who do you want to be?
  2. What things are currently keeping you from being the person, leader, spouse, or parent you want to be? Name the shackles that are keeping you from being that person and begin working your way out of them.
  3. What do/did you admire about your grandparents (or a mentor figure)? Do you see that thread still living in your family today?
  4. If you could give up one thing today and walk away from it completely free, what would it be? Are there habits, hobbies, or priorities in your life that might be taking up too much of your energy, time, money, or focus?
  5. What would you want your kids and grandkids to say about you once you are gone?

These are just a few thoughts meant to spark internal dialogue. Your answers are personal, but the questions are universal, so feel free to share them with others in your family or workplace. And if you have other great questions please feel free to share them in the comment section!

Never forget the power of questions to lead yourself and others to lasting freedom and change. 

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how questions and reflection can help you improve your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Fully Charged: What’s Keeping You From 100%?

We’ve all had those days, haven’t we? Those tough days, emotional days, draining days – the days where, for whatever reason, we just don’t feel 100%. Over time such days can take their toll. Even the positive aspect of rebounding back from those days can cause a dizzying sense of emotional nausea when the hi’s and low’s seem to come so swiftly, one after another.

Life is sure to deal us many days when we feel less than 100%, but our goal for leadership and personal health should be to drive toward consistency as much as possible. This empowers us to maintain consistent investment, leadership, and growth in all areas of our lives from personal to professional. So let’s set aside a moment to take stock of where we are today.

What’s Your Percentage?

What percentage are you operating at today? 50%, 80%, maybe even 95%?

If you kept track of this for an entire week, what would your average be? Maybe it would look something like this:

Monday = 75%

Tuesday = 80%

Wednesday = 60%

Thursday = 45%

Friday = 85%

Saturday = 90%

Sunday = 90%

Of course, everyone’s ranking will be different, but that’s not the issue. The issue is your personal ranking and where you find your percentages lagging and peaking. Even the simple act of charting days like this might help point out where some of your regular pain points show up.

What keeps you below 100%? Is it something in your daily, weekly, or monthly routine? Is it a consistent obligation, or is it the inherent lack of consistent duties or routines that seems to throw you off? 

Maybe it’s certain relationships whose interactions stress you out, or the monthly reconciliation of bank statements and expense reports.

What’s Keeping You From 100%?

Think through each day from last week and assign a percentage to them representing how alive, purposeful, and empowered you felt in handling life’s challenges, dealing with the daily tasks, and finding joy amidst it all. Don’t worry about being idealistic or projecting how you think you should feel – guilt (“I should be happier”) and pride (“I’ve got everything under control, no problems here”) have no place in the genuine effort to stimulate personal growth and a healthy, balanced life.

If I were trying to lose weight or feel better about myself and yet had a few donuts or candy bars a day, do you think I would be at 100%? Obviously not. Those two ventures into junk food land would bring my health % down by whatever degree it negatively affects me. Similarly, the same thing happens in our everyday life. 

For instance:

  • When we choose to worry instead of trust or take action.
  • When we choose to harbor resentment versus reconciliation.
  • When our confidence is found in other people’s perception of us instead of the conviction. of who we know we are as unique individuals.
  • When we allow the junk of the world to infect our heart and mindset.

Find the Patterns & Make A Change

Thousands of distractions and negative stimuli assail us every day attempting to take our “100%” hostage. Yet when we highlight those percentage-stealers we make it a bit easier to turn things around. In fact, even more so than external circumstances, the things we ourselves choose to do with our day generally become the things that bring us up to 100% or steal the joy and peace that could have been ours. That’s why we talk so much about intentional vs. accidental living, and embracing the things that are life-giving versus life-draining.

So make a list of your daily percentages. At the end of each day write your percentage for the past 24-hours, then list why your percentage was lower than 100%. If it’s over 100%, by all means, write that down too!

Where are your margin points? What derailed you from 100% today? Look beyond the surface for cause and effect, emotional triggers, and recurring patterns.

Once you recognize the trends you can make the right adjustments and start living life fully charged.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your daily routines affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Recalibrating Your Attitude: 6 Steps for Lasting Change

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

– Winston Churchill

Everyone has an attitude. Attitudes can be good, bad, or indifferent, but they can also change hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. However, as we mature we are supposed to gain more control over our attitude(s) so that we can function well as a responsible citizen, productive worker, and a good friend, spouse, or parent. While teenagers have been branded for their infamously “bad attitudes,” the reality is that they are simply learning who they are, what to do with their talents, and how to handle their emotions. Even grown adults regularly struggle with the same issues – just look at the incessantly petty workplace issues that create the toxic environments we’ve all encountered on the job. Clearly, cultivating the right attitude is a life-long learning process. So…

How about you, how is your attitude today? 

Does it need a slight recalibration or does it require a major overhaul? Either way, if you’re looking to make an attitude adjustment, check out the Six Steps of Attitude Change below.

1. Identify Problem Feelings

Our bodies have warning systems to tell us if something is wrong, with pain providing the primary alarm. Our nerves highlight flare-ups and soreness which help us identify the problem and address it with rest or medicine.

Feelings often play the same role. Getting our feelings hurt is natural and we all experience it. However, when insecurity comprises the foundation of our life it’s hard to trust our feelings to guide us to the right solutions.

Take out a pen and write down the feelings that creep into your life and cause you pain. Maybe your list consists of feelings about mounting pressure on your business/job, feelings of self-doubt, or feelings of being tired from running so hard in the rat race of daily life. Whatever they are, write them down. Next to each one ask yourself if they are founded on insecurity or if the feelings are valid. For example, your feelings of self-doubt may be real, but perhaps they are rooted in some insecurity or false belief about yourself, rather than grounded in truth. That would make it a “problem feeling” that inhibits a healthy attitude of confidence, productivity, and decisiveness and should be something you target for recalibration.

2. Look for Negative Ramifications of Your Problem Feelings

Throughout our work with leaders, we often find that unsubstantiated feelings of doubt based on insecurity often spread to infect a person’s attitude in the office. Eventually, their team begins to notice a personality change and alarm bells go off for co-workers, whether prompting subordinates to avoid them for fear of contributing to the problem or driving colleagues to distrust their personal capacity for producing results as normal. Any of these consequences, or the many other potential side effects, can prove detrimental to the leader, their team, their workplace culture, or their organizational/departmental effectiveness. 

3. Understand Both Reality and Hope

Let reality become your friend, and while you’re at it, reacquaint yourself with that powerful driver we call Hope. When it comes to changing your attitude, reality is an equalizer. By realizing when your negative feelings are based on insecurities rather than reality, the simple act of getting to the issue will give you hope. Reality checks show you where your assumptions are mistaken while hope from that realization resurrects the positivity in your attitude. 

4. Choose Your Attitude

Perhaps the most important step in the process is to simply choose to have a new attitude. No change ever happens without actually wanting that change. For some it might involve realizing that you have allowed the weight of the world (your business,  expectations, pressures, etc.) to negatively affect your outlook and alter your approach to daily life. So you have to choose to face reality, trust in your hope for a better path, and chose to be you again – or even to find the true you for the first time. 

5. Practice Your Target Attitude Daily (Internally and Externally)

The old saying “fake it till you make” always proves to be wiser advice than some would think. Any adoption of a different mindset or attitude will begin with an element of “faking it” because you are having to intentionally choose to think, act, speak, or approach life with a different mentality than what seems to come naturally. Proactive living is always more difficult than reactive responses. And that’s okay. Choose to search for the bright side of a situation even when your mind wants to jump to all the problems. Practice makes perfect and it’s no different with attitude. If you don’t practice being grateful, optimistic, generous, etc – especially in the times when you want to be anything else – then you’ll never actually change your mindset. You’ll just continue to exist as a slave to your circumstances and problem feelings, rather than taking control of your own life. Don’t let life and obstacles squeeze what makes you “you” out of your life. Take back some internal firepower and cultivate the attitude you want. Internally, make time to read, workout, meditate, etc. Externally, focus on smiling, encouraging, showing gratitude, etc. Figure out what helps you find your center and practice those things.

6. Talk About the Change

One of the biggest mistakes people make with any change process is to keep it to themselves. Confidence, encouragement, and accountability come from talking about it out loud, processing it with yourself and others, and letting them know about your goals so they can help you stick to them. Sharing invites validation and makes everything feel more tangible rather than leaving it in the amorphous realm of your inner thoughts. So call it out. Embrace it. Share it.

Will You Choose Change?

At the end of the day, remaining unintentional about things leads to the death of those things. If you are unintentional about your family then you will suffer the consequences of bad relations and a poor family culture. The same is true for business as well as your attitude.

Identify. Understand. Choose. Practice. Share. Attitude change can happen, but only when you are ready to get to the core issues, deal with reality, and decide to do something about it.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your attitude affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

3 Thoughts Every Leader Leader Must Master

If you want to be a good manager for you team, you must first learn to be a good manager of yourself. No matter what you think you can do through force of will, you can’t bring your best if you don’t put yourself in a position to be the healthiest version of you. It’s simple: healthy leaders impart healthy leadership, unhealthy leaders impart unhealthy leadership. If you cannot effectively manage your thoughts and feelings about your current role, the people you lead, and your place within the wider organization, then you will find yourself becoming your own worst enemy. Below are 3 common thoughts that often impair leadership potential. If you can learn to mitigate their influence and erase them from your mind you will become a much better leader to your people and find greater satisfaction in the way you lead.

1. “Grass is Greener” Thoughts

How many of you have been on LinkedIn or have traded seed planting emails to someone you think may have a better opportunity for you? The fact is that the best way to receive the best opportunities is to be the best you can be in your current role. Opportunities come from success. Success comes from hard work, focus, and buy-in. When you are looking for something else your energy, focus, and contribution diminishes drastically. Divert your greener dreaming into giving yourself to what you are paid to do and you’ll find that the right doors will open for you down the road. 

2. “I Deserve…” Thoughts 

Ok, you deserve more than you are getting. Does that make you feel better? The reality of life is that none of us will fully receive the honor, respect, or compensation that our minds tell us we deserve. The “I deserve” thought is usually a sign that we are having internal, self-indulgent conversations with ourselves rather than focusing on giving to others. If you make the switch to outward giving instead of internal self-inflation you will be surprised by the amount of respect that will follow. Once you decide to focus on others more than yourself, opportunity and honor are around the corner. In the end, the old proverb “humility before honor” rings true.

3. “No one gets me” Thoughts 

These thoughts implant a victim mentality that brings nothing but self-pity and inhibited action. Unfortunately, if no one gets you it’s usually because you have either indulged a degree of self-absorption that can’t relate to others or you haven’t taken the time to learn how to communicate in the language others speak. Doing this isolates you in situations that are essentially designed for you to fail so that you can say, “no one gets me.” Self-conversations become dangerous when you begin talking in third-person victim language because words have the power to shape your mentality, and those words create negative atmospheres both internally and externally. The negative internal environment inhibits your productivity, happiness, and effectiveness, while the external atmosphere pushes others away and limits your ability to influence and contribute. The easiest way to overcome this tendnecy is to shift the focus of your conversations from internal to external – to focus your energy on something more important than your obsession with security, status, or some other tendency of self-preservation.

How do you know? It comes from experience.

I know such discussions may sound blunt, but all of these lessons have come from first hand experience as both the perpetrator and recipient of leadership controlled by these thoughts.  Often, the hardest part to accept is that tendencies of this nature never lead to the place of promised solace you hope for, but rather a morbid view of life that weakens your leadership capacity. Rid yourself of these tendencies and watch your influence increase exponentially as you accumulate the respect, maturity, and people skills that come from giving yourself away.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your thoughts and mindset affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Countering Change: Make It Your Own

When change occurs, instability follows. 

Unfortunately, that means it can take a while to settle into a new normal. Some change is hard, while other times change brings new excitement.

So, how do you handle change?

Do you bury your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the changes taking place? Do you embrace it and go with the flow? Or maybe you take it too far and use it as an excuse to cut ties, ditch responsibilities, or refuse to put down healthy roots?

Intentional Transition

Whatever your response – whether healthy, stubborn, or somewhere in between – dealing with change well often requires an intentional transition.

But how do you do that when location, jobs, relationships, etc. may all be in flux?

Sometimes the best way to counteract change is to create your own change instead. If circumstances force you to adapt, why not take control of the momentum and make some of the changes on your own terms? 

By mixing it up in a few different areas of life those adjustments  become new symbols of your fresh start, smoothing the overall flow of transition by focusing on the new rather than on the change itself.

Make It Your Own

Here are a few tips for managing change when it comes your way:

  1. Journal – Every time you experience a new season or change in business, try beginning a new journal or moleskin to write in. This is a small symbolic gesture, but it will help tell you that you’re on a new journey and have reason to feel excited about it rather than allowing fear to hold you back.
  2. Schedule – Each season has its own schedule. When change occurs, mix it up. For example, if you’re always in the office by 7:30 AM to reflect, focus, read, etc. try adapting your schedule to do that at home before heading into the office. Or maybe you have been working too much and need to commit to making it to more of your kids practices and games to introduce more work-life balance to your life. It might sound drastic but it will bring great reward.
  3. Dress – This may sound funny, but every season can have its own dress code. Consider making a style change to embrace and explore a new side of yourself. Sometimes different challenges require different approaches, and the research is clear that how you dress can greatly affect how you carry yourself. 
  4. Playlists – Create playlists for every season. Having an anthem or soundtrack for a period of life facilitates focus, inspiration, and recharge when needed. Never underestimate the power of music to re-energize the mind and bolster the heart for the good and bad life throws at you. 
  5. Big Change – Every once in a while, make a major change. Maybe that’s getting more involved with local organizations, volunteer opportunities, faith centers, or sports teams. Or perhaps it means re-engaging with friends you haven’t seemed to make time for lately. Do you need to start up a new hobby or revisit an old one? Or is the change larger, like buying a car, finding a different home/apartment in a different part of town, or changing jobs? Whatever that change is, find something healthy and fulfilling with rewards beyond the simple change of scenery, but that also connects to some other desire for your new season of life. 

Go For It!

Of course all these ideas are merely suggestions. Everyone must deal with change in their own way, and hopefully you’ll take the time to invest in the new season you are about to encounter. Intentionality is key though, so give it some thought and don’t let change control you. Embrace the opportunities for fresh perspectives and experiences and you’ll find out just how much smoother your transition can be for any curveball life throws at you.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can embrace change and make it your own, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Getting to the End of Yourself: How to Make Your Leadership Come Alive

If your leadership is dead and your influence is shriveled up, let me suggest one step you can take to help make your leadership come alive.

Get to the End of Yourself.

That is it. Die to your self-seeking, self-promoting, self-defending way of life.

When your day starts with you, ends with you, and is filled with you, you have set yourself up for ultimate leadership failure because your thoughts lead to actions. If your thoughts are focused on you and your needs, then so will your actions be driven by your agenda. People see these actions being consumed by and focused on yourself, but no one likes to follow leaders who are self-absorbed and fixated on little more than their own interests. Consequently, when you become obsessed with yourself, you deplete your influence through the selfish and manipulative behaviors that emerge to expand or protect your power, authority, image, etc.

Make Your Leadership Come Alive

The only way to get your influence moving in a positive direction and let your leadership come alive is to begin to get past your voracious need for self-preservation. It seems paradoxical that using influence for others ultimately builds up our own, which is why very few leaders adopt this style of leadership. Unfortunately, our business schools spend little time talking about giving your influence away. In fact, most leadership books should probably be called “The Power of Me.”

However, when you get to the end of yourself, people will more clearly identify what you bring to the table and applaud the value they see in you, saying, “There he/she is. That is the real ______ we love.” A word of caution: You will find this journey difficult. Rooting out self-preservation is never easy, but the benefits for yourself and those around you are invaluable. 

Reap the Reward

How do we know? Because we see it everyday in the lives, families, teams, and organizations we serve. Those who replace their “me first” ambitions with a desire to influence, serve, give, and invest in their truest selves are the ones we witness come most fully alive.

When you get to the end you will find a new beginning. That new life will be full of the things you have always wanted deep down. So put the old self away. Get ready for real, joyful living. Get ready to make your leadership come alive!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how to make your leadership come alive, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

10 Traits of Humble Leaders

Humility comes from confidence, grounded in competence, and seasoned with selflessness. 

Here at GiANT, we believe that leaders define culture, and culture undergirds the lasting health, influence, and impact of an organization. Leaders, therefore, have a responsibility to place their people, their customers/constituents, and their causes above themselves. Not out of self-deprecation or martyrism, but out of a confident conviction in their cause. Good leaders are lifelong learners who value the perspectives and experiences of those different from themselves, and always strive to help their team and organization become the best versions of their individual and organizational selves. 

So, without further ado, check out our list of traits that humble leaders always have and/or aspire to:

1. Humble Leaders Lead by Listening.

While they are decisive, they take into consideration the ideas and feelings of others. They especially understand that their perspective and experience is not all-encompassing, and therefore welcome the input of others they trust.

2. Humble Leaders Never Stop Learning.

Since they are secure enough to listen to others and consider alternative opinions, humble leaders are characterized by their marked ability to be perpetual learners. They learn about themselves, about friends and opponents, and never stop studying the multitude of different issues and ideas in the world.

3. Humble Leaders Don’t Seek Power; It Seeks Them.

They do not constantly seek out more power. Instead, they seek more people to serve. More influence and more power follows, but not because they’re seeking it out.

4. Humble Leaders Unite—They Don’t Divide.

They’re consensus builders. They care about team unity and health more than about accomplishing their own agenda. They have the fortitude to put the greater good of their team, constituents, and others ahead of their own ambitions, even when the path ahead proves difficult.

5. Humble Leaders Delegate.

Prideful leaders are focused on proving themselves. Along the way, they tend not to trust those around them to be able to come alongside them and help them achieve that goal. What’s more, they’re not willing to acknowledge their weaknesses in the process, so they never delegate. Humble leaders don’t need to hog all the credit or try to prove they are the best at everything – they delegate because the work is more important than the their ego.

6. Humble Leaders Forgive.

It’s as simple as that.

7. Humble Leaders Admit Mistakes.

All leaders make mistakes. Humble leaders own up to them and learn from them. Prideful leaders? Not so much.

8. Humble Leaders Separate Themselves From the Office/Position They Occupy

When presidents begin to derive their identity from the office they hold, they began to undergo a subtle but dangerous shift. As Harry S. Truman said: “I always made the distinction between the office of the President and the person of the President. That may seem to some a fine distinction, but I am glad I made it. Otherwise I might be suffering today from the same kind of ‘importance’ complex that some people have come down with.” This wisdom remains relevant for any position of power or authority, whether in business, government, or anywhere else.

9. Humble Leaders Pull—Not Push—Their Team Members.

Because they recognize their limits acting alone, they invest in and rely on their followers to contribute to their cause and mission.

10. Humble Leaders Pursue Causes Greater Than Themselves.

Though it might sound counterintuitive, humble leaders are ambitious people. Their ambition, however, is not selfish ambition but a drive to accomplish something for a cause greater than their own success. It’s a dynamic that business guru and leadership expert Jim Collins observes in his book Good to Great. The best companies, Collins notes, have leaders who “are ambitious about the cause, the company, the work—not [themselves].”

Question:

How have you seen these traits play out in those who lead you? How many of these traits do you possess? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how pride and humility affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Trading Up: How to Trade a Bad Habit for a Healthier One

When it comes to changing culture, improving performance, or just growing into a better version of yourself everyday, one of the simplest ways to make progress is to come up with two lists: a Start Doing list and a Stop Doing list.

It’s fairly self-explanatory, but a “Start Doing” list consists of writing down a few actions, behaviors, routines, etc. that you want to begin doing. These are things that will help you become healthier (eating healthier), more productive (actually using your CRM system), more present with family and co-workers (using GiANT’s “5 Gears” system), or more liberating in your leadership (setting intentional times to invest in employees).

However, as much as we all keep an informal tally of things we should be doing, it’s just as important to build a list of things we could benefit from by no longer doing them. Now, a “Stop Doing” list isn’t about guilt or perfectionism, but merely approaching the goal of living a healthier, more productive life from a different perspective. It’s a process of detoxifying our everyday routines to get rid of the harmful habits that undermine our influence, health, and productivity. 

Finding the One Habit to Break

Today we’re going to focus on the Stop Doing list, then bring in the Start Doing list to round out a process we call “Trading Up.” The journey to breaking the habit begins with a simple baby step: choosing the one habit to break. Not 3, not 5, not 10. Start small and learn the process, then you can begin tackling a whole list of Start-doings and Stop-doings. That’s a bit more manageable, right?

Great! So, how do you actually decide which habit to target for detox? Here are a few questions to help you get thinking about your daily routines and pinpoint a habit you might be better off without:

  • What is keeping you from bringing your very best at home or at work?
  • Do you worry too much about things you cannot control?
  • At times do you tend to speak badly about people rather than speaking to them directly?
  • Is there a vice in your life that is helping you be lazy?

We could go on with a million more questions, but you get the point. Reflect on your day-to-day activities and focus on figuring out which habit is keeping you from being at your best.

Trading Up: Create a New Rhythm

Once you have identified the one habit that most consistently or most deeply hinders your health, productivity, and influence, you must make a plan to address it. Change rarely happens through declarations of intent or “do-better-at-it” approaches that involve merely planning to just say “no” to the habit when the familiar action comes calling. Real, lasting change requires intentionality and a plan to confront not only the habit you need to get rid of, but also the triggers and barriers that either spark the habit or prevent you from saying “no” to it. Oftentimes, trading one habit for another is an easier solution than “going cold-turkey.”

For instance, some people struggle with the habit of smoking or biting their nails. When the urge occurs, try “trading up” to something less harmful or nerve-inducing, such as chewing gum or a mint. In fact, trading one thing for a better thing tends to provide the best strategy for breaking habits since it gives you an alternative to embrace rather than leaving a tempting void where the old habit used to be. At this point, you must create a new rhythm – a new habit. Based on research, the process typically takes 21-days to cement a new habit in place of the old. 

Our Challenge to You

That’s where the intentionality part comes into play. If you simply take a reactionary, case-by-case approach, you are far less likely to maintain the new habit for the duration required to firmly solidify your new habit. However, if you adopt an intentional approach bolstered by a tangible, specific plan for managing triggers and removing obstacles, you will set yourself up with your best opportunity for success.

Armed with our earlier questions and a focused plan for “trading up,” our challenge to you would be to identify your one habit and then work on breaking it by the end of the year. Below is a quick summary of 4 steps you can take to break your One Habit:

  1. Identify the One Habit.
  2. Make a plan to trade up to something better when the urge hits you.
  3. Create a new rhythm for 21-days.
  4. Tell other people about it so you are accountable to others and to your word.

The mark of a true leader is someone who constantly seeks to renew their mind and grow in their own self-leadership first in order to bring their best to others. 

Let’s get to work!

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how to trade up for healthier habits, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Cultivating Consistent Culture: 7 Questions That Need An Answer

At GiANT we believe that vocabulary creates language, language shapes culture, and culture beats strategy under pressure, every time.

The way you talk about your organization, speak to your people, and communicate with your colleagues makes a difference. Specificity and common understanding keep people on the same page, rather than trailing off to different conclusions based on everyone’s own subjective perceptions. Therefore, consistency in organizational communication and cultural clarity depends upon being able to clearly express your organization’s culture strategy.

What is your company culture?

That being said, let’s turn it over to you…what is your company culture? What actions are you taking to craft a healthy workplace that will look like the organization you envision? Around which priorities are you targeting its growth?

You see, most leaders understand their business strategy, but listen carefully and you’ll notice that when leaders talk about culture they often discuss ping-pong tables, extra time off, and interesting (or odd) employee perks. These are all certainly elements of life within an organization that can help shape culture, but rarely do they make firm foundations upon which to build it.

The question remains then, can you define your culture? Are you able to specifically enumerate the actions you take to build leaders, improve communication, and ensure a DNA fit for each employee?

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.”

The second part of that quote goes on to extrapolate, “Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Companies are no different. Organizations build culture around the things their employees and leaders repeatedly do (and say), whether consciously or unconsciously.  They are the result of daily habits throughout the organization and, at the end of the day, you are building your culture one way or another. The only question is:  are  you doing it on purpose, or by accident?

Though it sounds rhetorical, that question is actually quite serious and has real life implicaitons for the long-term health of your organization. Consequently, the following list of questions will help you begin thinking about how to purposefully shape your organization and cultivate the culture you truly want rather than the one you happen to stumble into:

1. Who is in charge of your organization and or department?

2. How are decisions made inside the organization?

3. How do you communicate with one another?

4. How do you celebrate together?

5. What is the process of raising up leaders internally?

6. What has value within your organization?

7. Is there intentional language to help shape the culture?

Our Challenge to You

It’s amazing what answering these simple questions can do to transform your organization from the inside out. So take a moment to think about these realities, then gather the troops and start crafting your culture vision. And don’t be afraid to dive deep, you’ll need clear language and common understanding if you hope to communicate effectively and generate the buy-in that will take you to the next level as a company.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how common language, organizational clarity, and focused intentionality affects your organization’s culture, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

How to Cultivate Change in Those You Lead

Leadership means fighting for the highest possible good in the lives of those you lead. 

If this is the primary concern of leadership in relation to individual employees, then an important question to ask is, “How do people really change?” Since no one is perfect, it makes sense that every employee and leader will need to go through a continual process of growth and change.

Instigating Change

The most significant means of generating positive change in those you lead is to effectively calibrate the right levels of support and challenge to foster healthy growth. It means having difficult conversations when necessary while also providing the right resources and support for your people to become the best, healthiest, most productive version of themselves. 

Some of you reading this post, however, may doubt the capacity of adults to change at all, especially after their bad habits or perceived roles have been ingrained deep within them over the course of a career. For those who lean toward that opinion, consider the following scenarios and think about the likelihood of change occurring in each situation:  

Scenario 1:

John walks into his manager’s office with a tinge of frustration. He had been called out by a co-worker for “poor use of words” to another colleague. The Manager begins to berate John with yelling and threats. This was not the first episode with John and the manager had had enough. This was the final warning. The manager gives John his final warning and tells him that management will be watching him like a hawk, and if he does anything else to cause a disruption, there will be severe consequences. 

What do you think the results will be? Do you think John is likely to change, or begin getting along with his colleagues better? Do you think he’ll change his perspective on his own behavior or his perception of his colleagues?

Scenario 2:

John walks into his manager’ office with a tinge of frustration. He had been called out by a co-worker for “poor use of words” to another colleague. The Manager begins to talk with John, “John, do you know that I am for you?” John returns the Manager’s look with one of wariness. The Manager continues, “What is going on? What is causing you to hurt those around you John?” As the conversation unfolds, the Manager’s questions and genuine concern form a figurative mirror in which John can see a reflection of himself and his actions. The mirror allows him to see – maybe for the first time – what it’s actually like to be on the other side of him. It enables him to step into his colleagues’ shoes and then begin to dig into the issues that are causing him to act and respond the way he does.  

Now, what will the results be? Do you think John is more or less likely to change his perspective and behavior than in the first scenario? Do you think he might be more receptive to this approach from the Manager?

Why Being “For Others” Works

The truth is, we have seen Scenario 1 play out many times in real life during our work with clients. People like “John” have gotten used to causing pain and then suffering the berating that comes from those who lead them. It is a pattern that has played out numerous times before, and nothing really changes in the first scenario. John just takes the heat, but then uses it as coal to fuel the fire of anger inside him, resulting in resentment, continued poor conduct, and possibly even worse behavior as the “me vs. them” mentality exacerbates the divide. When this happens, John feels orphaned by his team, believing no one is in his corner. Once he starts thinking “no one is for me, I’ll just do things my way,” the pattern continues spiraling and his victim mindset drives him to harm others in his path.

The alternate scenario, on the other hand, has more of a tendency to work for two reasons:

1. Show You Are For Others

John’s manager showed that he/she was FOR John. Being “for” someone simply means that you will work harder than simply yelling to try and help the other person. It means that you care enough about their well-being that you’ll set aside your own convenience and agenda to provide the support or challenge they need to grow. Sometimes there is simply nothing you can do and the person needs to be let go and move on to a better fit elsewhere. Sometimes it means a lot of extra investment. Regardless of the necessary action, when John knows that you are for him, you actually help break a part of the ingrained pattern that has been holding him back and hurting his influence. He doesn’t know the “I’m for you” script because he has never heard this approach before. He’s never had to respond to an attitude that doesn’t make it him vs. you, but instead recasts the two of you as partners in figuring things out for his highest possible good and benefit. That in itself has the chance to truly impact him for the better.

2. Hold Up a Mirror – What is it like to be on the other side of you?

The biggest opportunity for change comes from actually holding up the metaphorical mirror through the questions and approach you use. When a person sees themselves in a mirror THEY have the choice to change. In general, most people don’t want to be known as “jerks” or lazy or whatever issues others seem to have with them. Unfortunately, if people tell them they are acting that way, they usually become defensive and rarely listen. But when they see it in themselves through someone who is fighting for their highest possible good, they are more apt to recognize the problem and take the initiative to change. It’s the difference between telling someone a truth, versus guiding them in their own journey to find it. One path to truth is easily rejected or reconfigured, while the other path – the personal journey in which you find it yourself – proves nearly impossible to ignore. 

That’s why deep, lasting change in a person typically happens from the inside, rarely the outside. This means that leaders need a great deal of patience, a “for others” attitude, and a commitment to learning how to bring both high support and high challenge with precision. 

If you keep these two scenarios in mind and work to apply the mirror and “for others” mindset, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your capacity to cultivate change in those you lead expands.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can facilitate real change in those you lead, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Powered by WordPress