The Key to Every Leadership Journey

The Key to Every Leadership Journey

The most important part of any leadership journey is the ongoing, never-ending process of self-awareness. For all the many books, articles, and experts who talk about it, self-awareness can be boiled down to two simple commitments.

  1. A commitment to understand how you’re wired, the tendencies that result from such wiring, and the impact those tendencies have on others.
  2. A commitment to change your negative tendencies in order to become the best person and leader you can be.

In other words, it’s a commitment to “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.”

The Biggest Problem in Leadership

One of the biggest realizations we constantly run into is the fact that most people don’t know themselves. The more work we do around the globe engaging with leaders from all over, the more we realize that so many of us just don’t see it. We don’t see the broccoli in our teeth, so-to-speak. Without taking the time to fully identify our tendencies and evaluate their impact in our lives and on the people around us, we can never truly gain control of our own reality. We lose the ability to change our outcomes, and instead, remain captive to our tendencies and the paths they dictate for us.

That’s why we came up with a tool called “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.” It’s a simple visual reminder of the process we can all implement every day to take stock of our tendencies and make steps towards changing them.

Self-Awareness: Know Yourself to Lead Yourself

Take a moment to think about what you do under pressure. What do you do when you get frustrated? What default actions or reactions do you tend to initiate when you’re embarrassed, or when you feel like someone is trying to control you?

Now think about the kinds of patterns those repeated reactions begin to create. The truth is, we are all wired by nature and conditioned by experience to develop a set of tendencies which, when indulged over time, develop into patterns of action. That includes other people’s actions too. When we consistently encounter a set of repeated behaviors or circumstances, we tend to subconsciously develop our own patterns of response.

Of course, those patterns of action will always come with a price tag: the consequences of our words, deeds, retorts, and responses. They shape who we are, how we think, how we interact, and the way other people learn to view and interact with us as a result.

All of those consequences ultimately conspire to create our current reality. So the question is, if the consequences of our action patterns are shaping our reality, then are we being intentional about the patterns we develop? Because if we’re unaware of the subtle tendencies that create those patterns, then we are forfeiting control of our own realities. By remaining unaware of our tendencies, and therefore being unintentional about the patterns we create, we are no longer the masters of our own destiny.

Be The Master of Your Own Destiny

Fortunately, we have a say in all this. We can choose to become intentional about knowing our own tendencies and commit to changing them. The answer is self-awareness. It’s committing to dive deep into your own wiring, learning to understand the knee-jerk reactions you have been conditioned to exhibit over the years, and choosing to know yourself so that you can lead yourself in the effort to create the reality you desire.

It’s not easy, but it is simple. Use the tool to develop the skill of self-awareness and I promise you will see the fruit of your hard work. The good news is, you don’t have to be defined by your tendencies. You have the power to shape your own reality. So step up, lean into it, and become the master of your own destiny.

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 self-awareness affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Are You Stuck in 4th Gear? Diagnosing Task Addiction

There’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

 It’s safe to say all-work Jack is rarely accused of being the “fun” friend or the adventurous, life-of-the-party friend. If he’s not working on a deadline, he’s preparing for the next one as well as the next one after that one.

The All Too Familiar Scene

When he’s home, Jack’s wife and kids can’t get his attention very often because he’s always on to the next task. He’s surgically attached to his smartphone, and the last time he made eye contact during a conversation was when his phone was broken as he pleaded, wide-eyed, with the repair technician, “I can’t live without my phone – I’m going to lose my job. How long will it take to fix?!” 

But Jack’s an extreme case, right?

Surely, you’re not guilty of getting stuck in the same 4th Gear rut … or are you?

Take this quiz to find out.

4th Gear Quiz: Answer yes or no to the following questions. Be honest!

  1. You consistently start your day with email, and that means before getting to the office. In fact, it usually means before you have breakfast or see your kids off to school. Okay, let’s be real…for some of you it means you’re already halfway through the day’s emails before your feet hit the floor on your way out of bed…
  2. People notice you are obsessed with tasks.
  3. Achievement is the chief goal in your life.
  4. There are no boundaries on your time.
  5. You feel separation anxiety when you lose your Wi-Fi connection or can’t check email.
  6. You are constantly drained and never feel fully charged.
  7. It takes a lot of effort to get into connect mode (2nd Gear) or social mode (3rd Gear) with family and friends. Or maybe you “pretend” to connect by sitting with your spouse to watch tv, but end up mostly keeping an eye on your email.
  8. Your mind is always racing and you struggle to get consistent sleep.
  9. Your spouse, kids, and friends know tasks come first. They expect you to respond to invites with the classic, “I can’t go. I have to work.”
  10. You are physically present but intellectually and emotionally absent. (See number 7 above).
  11. There is a lot of activity, but no real sign of progress.

Tactics for Shifting Out of 4th Gear

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be stuck in task mode, or 4th Gear as we call it. What we’ve learned is that if you answer “yes” to one of these questions, chances are high that you will have said yes to more than one, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

There’s also hope, however. If you’re stuck in servitude to the daily grind of task mode, here are a few helpful tips to get healthy:

  • Replace email in the morning with something more inspirational — whatever helps you come alive. It could be reading, meditating, exercising, or starting the day with family breakfast.
  • Be proactive, not reactive. Don’t let someone else define your day in an email or phone call. Actively prioritize your day and goals rather than allowing every email to blow your schedule about like a flag in the wind.
  • Discipline yourself by turning off your phone, or leaving it behind, when you are off work or in a 2nd or 3rd gear environment. This will help you remain presented and connecting with those around you.
  • Teach your family the 5 Gears sign language so they can help you shift when they find you grinding gears and unable to transition out of the task (4th gear) or focus (5th gear) modes.

Ultimately, our advice is simple: don’t let work dominate your life. 

Learn to shift and be present with those in your life who matter most. A balanced life of meaningful investment in yourself, family/friends, team, organization, and community ultimately leads not just to a healthier, more joyful life, but also a more productive one. And that’s the goal that keeps you stuck in 4th gear in the first place, right? So why not give it a shot and try shifting gears for a change. We think you’ll like the results.

To learn about the 5 Gears, visit: 5gears.com/book.

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 task addiction and the 5 Gears can affect your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Greatest Pitfalls for Sensors and Intuitives

In the first post of our new series on Sensor (S) vs. Intuitive (N) Jungian personality preferences, we laid the groundwork for understanding sensors and intuitives, while also highlighting the core of what makes them tick. At the heart of every sensor is a yearning to understand the concrete facts and details of reality as we know it. They want to live in the moment, searching for the unvarnished truth and analyzing or experiencing it through tangible methods, rather than conjecture or theory. In short, the cry of every sensor heart is to “Tell me what is!”

Intuitives, on the other hand, come at the world from a totally different perspective. They long to know the possibilities of the future, explore the lofty ideals and grand visions that push the limits, and ultimately crave to understand the hidden meaning and patterns of things. Their greatest cry is “Tell me what could be!”

Here in our second post on the subject, we’ll explore greatest pitfall for each type. We’ll give particular attention to the various ways intuitives and sensors approach details, planning, and change, as well as how they view the past, present, and future.

A Sensor and an Intuitive Walk Into a Meeting…

Even if you’ve only been out in the working world for a year, you’ve probably walked into a meeting where two people with vastly different modes of operating find themselves locked in an argument that goes something like this:

Sensor: “You think we should do what?” 

Intuitive: “I don’t have the exact proof for why we have to do this, but I’ve just got a gut feeling it’s the right way to go.” 

Sensor (incredulous): “You were given five incredible senses and a mound of data to be able to analyze real information before making a decision like this, and you want to bet the farm on a gut feeling or a sixth sense that’s telling you it’s ‘just the right thing?’”

And…they’ll continue on in this manner for the rest of the meeting, each one appealing to either the exciting big picture with its revolutionary potential, or the need for hard facts, test trials, and proof.

That’s because Intuitives usually prefer to trust their sixth sense, even more so than the other five. As a result, you’ll often find that they’ve made big decisions about who they marry, where they live, or what they do, sometimes on nothing more than that intuitive gut feeling. Sensors, on the other hand, don’t count anything as justifiable unless the data supports it and that said data has gone through the right collection process and represents a comprehensive view of the situation to be decided. 

That’s not to say that intuitives don’t see or care about details, or that sensors are blind to the bigger picture possibilities. But it does mean that, when push comes to shove, sensors will typically miss the forest for the trees, while intuitives will often forget that the trees exist altogether in the face of being mesmerized by the beauty of the forest.

The Intuitive’s Greatest Pitfall: Why They Miss the Details

Intuitives generally want to be inspired by an idea before they take the planning process further. They want to be captivated by the possibilities of what could be, in order to determine whether the project or venture is worth the effort of pursuing. If the vision seems compelling enough, then they’ll find themselves ready to work their way backwards to meet the sensors in the forest of details and figure out the strategic way forward. Consequently, a great many intuitives miss important details in the present because they’re always, always looking towards the future. 

This can be anything as small as constantly overlooking the details of situational awareness because their heads are stuck in the clouds thinking of the next big idea or personal growth strategy, or it could result in an intuitive leader failing to pay attention to the day-to-day needs of his or her business due to a constant over-focus on the future they envision for the company. Vision, big picture strategy, and long-term planning are not bad. Those activities are actually very crucial business elements that should be consistently attended, which is what makes so many intuitives such great ideators. But when leaders become so caught up in the shiny veneer of the next new idea or a far-off future, they’ll trip over the needs of their employees, organizations, or families in the present.

Keeping criticism on the light side, there’s a joke about intuitives that goes, “most intuitives, when they were young, wrote a brilliant exam answer to the question they thought they were being asked because they read the first seven words and assumed they knew what the rest of the objective was.” Joking aside, the intuitive’s driving passion to always figure out the pattern or strategy behind the bigger objective often leads them to jump to conclusions. Not only can this prove to be an avoidable waste of time, it can prove costly when dealing with poorly thought-out corporate strategies and resource allocation. 

The Sensor’s Greatest Pitfall: Why They Miss the Bigger Picture

Sensors, meanwhile, love to stick with the detail. They will read every manual, search every product review, and make a pro/con list so long that it outpaces the amount of actual data collected on whatever potential new product or project they are researching. Only once they have exhausted their search for all relevant data available will they be satisfied with coming to a decision, no matter how insignificant or important that decision may be. 

As a result of this focus on details and the primacy of what is knowable, sensors often prefer to live and deal with issues in the present moment. That means they tend to be wary of the future and treat theory or conjecture with scorn. Sensors often wonder why anyone would resort to such undependable methods when they have five good senses and the benefit of past experience, data, or research with which to analyze the world.

Think about it. There’s nothing more sensory than right now. I can touch. I can taste. I can see. I can hear. I can smell. Consequently, Sensors tend to have a high degree of situational awareness – whether about the details of the present moment, noticing color, texture, environment, or things that change around them, or in regard to the pressures, needs, threats, and capacities of the business in which they operate. Sensors are constantly collecting data about the environments and situations around them, which is why they tend to catch the details Intuitives miss.

Unfortunately for the sensor, this focus on the knowable and the here-and-now makes the uncertain, future-oriented nature of change a very scary proposition. We cannot touch, taste, see, hear, or smell three months from now. We don’t know what outcomes the risk of changing how we view the world or operate the company might produce. To sensors, the past is a safe-haven, whereas the future is a threat. Given the lack of details guaranteed by the future, Sensors often have a hard time trusting the bigger picture of personal development or organizational change enough to step out and commit to it.

It’s Not All Bad News

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong to this preference set, or any of the other three. The key is self-awareness, and learning what your greatest potential pitfall might be as a Sensor or an Intuitive could save you a lot of time, frustration, and pain in the future. In our next installment of the “S vs. N” series, we’ll continue to unpack the real world applications of what it means to have a preference for one or another, and how it informs many of your strengths, weaknesses, and other tendencies.

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 personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

25 Reasons Perseverance Works

Unfortunately, the nature of human existence and the fact that we live in an imperfect world means that we all experience hardship. We are all threatened by the variety of challenges we face every day – the pain of loss, the unfairness we endure, and the blows we take to our confidence. We all know what it’s like to wonder “Why now?” or “Why me?” 

Perseverance Pays Off

But the greatest leaders and the most enduring legacies are often forged in the fire of trial and tribulation. Such testing produces a resilient strength that refuses to be denied, discounted, or dismissed, especially when we are driven by the conviction of something greater than our troubles. Fortunately for us, we have the benefit of history to raise up examples of perseverance and purpose.

So, next time you are tempted to complain about your plight or a lack of fulfilled vision, take a moment to soak in the onerous challenges of this historically great leader, and see if you can take away some encouragement seasoned with a few lessons in persistence. After 25 major moments of loss, near death experiences, career failure, and utter rejection, this leader achieved one of the most enduring and meaningful triumphs in American history:

A Lifetime of Being Tested 

1812 – Younger brother died.

1816 – Family forced out of home.

1816 – Saved from drowning.

1818 – Mother died.

1819 – Kicked in the head by a horse.

1828 – Older sister died.

1831 – Failed in business.

1832 – Defeated for Illinois State Legislature.

1833 – Failed again in business.

1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature.

1835 – Wife-to-be died.

1836 – Suffered a nervous breakdown.

1837 – Rejected in marriage proposal.

1838 – Defeated for Illinois speaker of the House.

1840 – Defeated for Elector.

1843 -Defeated for United States Congress.

1846 – Elected to the United States Congress.

1848 – Defeated again for the US Congress.

1850 – A son died.

1854 – Defeated for United States Senate.

1856 – Defeated for Vice President of the US.

1858 -Defeated again for United States Senate.

1860 – Elected 16th President of the United States.

1864 – Survived a bullet through his hat.

1865 – Finally killed, but not before keeping the United States unified, ending a civil war, and beginning the end of slavery.


“If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, you’re right.”

 – Henry Ford


This leader, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, however, his legacy outshines any of the rejections, failures, or plots against his life.

He persevered with humble confidence and faith in doing what’s right. You see, perseverance builds character and character builds hope – the kind of hope that can change the world.

Now, what were those issues again?

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 cultivate perseverance and what it means for your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Why Relational Intelligence Gives You a Competitive Advantage

“Most of us focus on how much we know, but the ability to connect and be present in the midst of tasks is what sets leaders apart.”

– Fast Company article featuring GiANT Worldwide’s 5 Gears book

 

The Rise of the Relational Economy

In an age where information is free and global connectivity puts the brilliance of far flung colleagues and gurus at everyone’s fingertips, how do you gain a competitive advantage?

The traditional career advancement model focuses heavily on IQ for “corporate ladder climbing” – that is, it prioritizes hard skills and measured intelligence benchmarks for promotion. However, in this new world where everyone has access to the same information and specialized skills are becoming less exclusive, your greatest asset lies in your ability to connect with people to form lasting, positive relationships. In that sense, the information economy has inadvertently given rise to the relational economy.

The ability to cultivate such relational influence is called “Relational Intelligence.”

Relational Intelligence

This people-centered form of intellect elevates the importance of soft skills in working to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships, both inside and outside your company. It increases your influence, likability, and the desire for people to want to be around you. Ultimately, colleagues and clients alike want to do business with people they enjoy. So if the information economy is making personal branding and success through specialized IQ and knowledge more difficult, then a shift in mindset is crucial. At GiANT, we describe this approach as a “relationship before opportunity” mentality.

Essentially, such a mentality involves first paying attention to the needs and interests of others before ourselves. It means knowing how to be present with the right mindset in the right way, depending on the given social or work environment. For many of us, our greatest barrier to true connection with others – whether at home with our families, at work with colleagues, or out and about with friends – is an inability to shift into the right mental “gear” at the right time.

That’s why we devised a simple, visual system called the “5 Gears.”

The 5 Gears

The GiANT Team spending some 3rd Gear social time at Top Golf.What are the gears? Here’s a quick overview of each gear and its purpose:

  • 1st gear (recharge mode) = fully recharging via reading, sleeping, meditating, fitness, etc.
  • 2nd gear (connect mode) = depth connections and experiences with family, friends, or colleagues.
  • 3rd gear (social mode) = casual social connection, activities, and events (one of our favorites is TopGolf as you can see by the picture)
  • 4th gear (task mode) = working hard, but multitasking and managing various interruptions, collaborations, meetings, etc.
  • 5th gear (focus mode) = getting “in the zone” for laser-like focus and productivity, usually done alone and without distractions.
  • Bonus: Reverse (responsive mode)= some of our strongest relational capital comes from sincere apologies and personal accountability.

Just as with a manually shifting car, there are rhythms and routines to our lives, a natural progression of shifting throughout the day that entails a specific order and time for each gear.

Conversely, we can also find ourselves stuck in the wrong gear at the wrong time. Those who figure out how to shift smoothly into the appropriate gear for each environment set themselves up to connect quicker, more deeply, and more authentically with others.

Grinding Gears

For example, you know that guy who always shows up to after-hours social gatherings and can’t seem to drop the shop talk, even when everyone else is clearly trying to relax? Or what about the colleague who comes flying into the office every morning, barking questions and asking about assignments before you’ve even had your 9 am coffee? You can’t even get a ‘hello’ from either of those people before getting an ear-full about some task or meeting.

These are prime, everyday examples of being in the wrong gear at the wrong time. They seem trivial, but accumulated over time, these behaviors shrug aside opportunities to connect and eventually raise barriers to relationship. Unfortunately, the unpleasant phenomenon of grinding gears isn’t restricted to the workplace.

Have you ever come home from work and, before you know it, your kids are climbing all over you, or your spouse is excited to greet you, only to meet them in return with an upraised hand and a “not-now” look that tells them to wait until you’re off the phone? We call that “the stiff arm.”

For those of us who have adopted “the stiff arm” habit for any period of time, we end up realizing that our kids stop rushing to dog-pile us the moment we’re home. Our spouse stops looking to the door when we walk in. So here’s the real key: Relationship is in the details. And those details are worth your attention. The relational misfires in the examples above sabotage opportunities for connection by keeping us stuck in the wrong gear.

Applying the 5 Gears

But that’s where the 5 Gears come into play. They are designed to help you improve your relational intelligence in three ways:

  1. Understand Where You Get Stuck
  2. Learn to Use Triggers to Help You Shift
  3. Work with Intentionality

Understand Where You Get Stuck

First, use the gears to help you understand where you tend to get stuck. Pay attention to the natural transitions of the day in which you either fail to shift, or find yourself grinding your gears. Is it waking up in the morning and going straight into Gear 4 or 5 work modes without some Gear 1 and 2 time to recharge or connect? Do you struggle to leave the office behind at the end of the day, coming home in Gear 5 rather than Gears 2 or 3? Once you figure out where you’re getting stuck, you can set triggers to help you shift more quickly and effectively at the right moment.

Learn to Use Triggers to Help You Shift

If you tend to neglect a healthy morning routine to warm up for the day, then plan a little extra time to fit in some Gear 1 recharge (read, meditate, workout) or Gear 2 connection with your family (breakfast with spouse or kids) before diving into Gear 4 and 5 work modes. I promise, you’ll feel more energized and ready to take on the day.

If you find yourself stiff-arming your kids or spouse the minute you walk in the door, set a physical trigger (a store, gas station, street light, etc.) 2 miles from your home on your return commute. When you reach it, hang up the phone and start thinking about what your family needs from you. Think about what they’ve been doing that day and how you can engage or help them with their own needs when you get home. This will facilitate your transition into a more appropriate Gear 2 or 3 mindset so that you can be fully present when you come home to your family.

Work with Intentionality

Lastly, work with intentionality. Try to be aware of when you need to be in 4th or 5th Gear at work, and communicate clearly with others if you need time to finish what you’re working on before being dragged into a hallway conference or other distraction. It will ultimately help you be more respectful of both your time and your colleagues’ time when you can make sure you are able to shift and be fully engaged with them.

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 the “5 Gears” can improve your relational intelligence and elevate your leadership capacity, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Influence: The Importance of Making an Impact

Influence

Some people think influence is reserved only for the extremely rich or powerful – the types of people who run governments or large organizations or become the face of a national cause. But the truth is, each and every person wields significant influence in their lives, from family and teams to organizations and community. These are you primary circles of influence.

Effect vs. Impact

As a leader in those circles, you have the opportunity to positively or negatively influence the trajectory of those around you, whether family, friends, co-workers, or members of your community. 

Since influence is power, we all have a great responsibility to utilize our influence for the best interest of those in our lives, so let’s start unpacking this responsibility by first understanding two key words:

  • Effect – to affect someone is to do something that changes the way they think, work, or live.
  • Impact – to impact someone is to mark them indelibly or otherwise alter their trajectory due to a deep, core-level influence. 

For instance, we are affected by a thunderstorm due to electrical surges or temporary power outages, causing inconvenience, discomfort, and possibly changing the way we react to storms in the future. But we are impacted forever if that thunderstorm produces a tornado that destroys homes, property, and lives on a deeper level.

Aim for Impact

Similarly, every one of us affects each other in our lives on a daily basis, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

But very few people truly make an impact on others.

People who merely affect us can be forgotten, as their influence is passing and impermanent. People who impact us, however, are memorable and significant to our personal growth.

Therefore, we can choose to:

• Positively affect those around us through random (and intentional) acts of kindness OR
• Negatively affect those around us through annoying behavior.

That means we can decide to…

• Positively impact others by going above and beyond what they expect OR
• Negatively impact others by domineering behavior.

As leaders, let’s choose to not only make a positive effect, but to raise the game and invest our efforts in making a lasting impact that ripples beyond the surface. Let’s be intentional about altering the trajectory of others in a positive way for their long term benefit.

To be memorable is to carve out the gift of a good legacy and it all starts with a choice… a conscious choice that each of us needs to make.

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 an impact vs. an effect, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

Accidental vs. Intentional Leadership

The Leader We Should Strive to Become 

This post is a follow up to a previous article titled “One Quality Every Great Leader Shares.” In it we discussed what it means to become a “leader worth following.” We call such leaders “Liberating Leaders,” and defined their unique qualifications as being someone who knows when to bring an appropriate level of support (encouragement, training, resources, etc.), but also when to call their people up to a higher level of work or conduct (accountability, standards, deadlines, etc.).

Note: You can hear more about this in a recent podcast episode we recorded. Click here to listen on iTunes – Episode #001. Click here to read more.

The best leaders, those who create a culture of empowerment and healthy growth, are the leaders who learn how to calibrate an appropriate degree of both support and challenge. As a result, we introduced a tool called the “Support-Challenge Matrix” that helps plot leader tendencies along the support and challenge axes in order to understand the (im)balance of these elements and highlight the kinds of cultures they create.

Accidental vs. Intentional Leadership

But in order to become a Liberator, leaders need to be intentional about their own growth by adopting a lifelong pursuit of self-awareness. Many people are familiar with the term “self-awareness,” along with the myriad number of books written about the concept, but fewer people understand the importance of accidental versus intentional leadership in cultivating that self-awareness.

Accidental leadership is when we go about our lives merely reacting to the situations that confront us in the moment. It’s characterized by a lack of vision and intentional forethought around the person or leader we want to become. As a result, we have no plan for how to deal with life and leadership challenges, which results in an ever-shifting moral and leadership compass with no consistent direction or path to get where we want to go.

Therefore, the journey toward Liberating Leadership begins with intentionality. It’s rooted in a willingness to look in the mirror, or even let others hold up a mirror for you, in order to see what it’s like to be on the other side of you. What is it like to be led by you? Loved by you? What tendencies do you have that build others up or bring them down, and are those tendencies increasing or decreasing your influence with them?

Intentionality: The Path to Liberating Leadership

This sort of self-honesty is a challenge for everyone. It requires being secure in who you are, but also the humility to commit to a process of uncovering your weaknesses in order to become the best person and leader you can be in all areas of your life. Unfortunately, tendencies don’t really change, but with intentionality, humility, and effort, we can begin to have a choice between our default patterns of how we normally respond to a situation, and what we want our actions to be.

The best leaders are intentional about this process and invite others to help them see where they can improve – to hold up of a mirror of sorts. Our best description of the leaders who commit to this challenge is that they are humble, hungry, and smart. Humble enough to admit, “I really want to grow,” and invite others to help me; hungry because they decided, “I really don’t want to stay the way I am,” and smart enough to be able to learn and commit to that learning and growth over a period of time.

Intentionality Leads to Consistency

Intentional leadership is not for the faint of heart. After all, accidental leadership is the definition of default mode. It’s easy, it’s reactionary, and it doesn’t require facing our weaknesses or embracing our learning opportunities. And it certainly doesn’t require inviting others to challenge us in that process.

The truth is, most leadership fails because the leader is inconsistent, and in that regard, accidental leadership can never be the answer. It succumbs too easily to the whims of self-preservation and knee-jerk reactions. Another word for consistent, however, is intentional.

So if you remember nothing else, remember this: Intentionality leads to consistency.

When you become consistent, you become healthy, as both a leader and a person. And when you become healthy, your influence grows dramatically. Then, guess what happens: You start winning. Your team starts winning. You actually start feeling at peace with yourself. With that security comes confidence and humility, which makes people begin to respect you even more.

That’s what it means to be a liberator.

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 intentionality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

4 Questions to Understand How Your People Learn and Grow

Healthy team growth begins with knowledge, self-awareness, camaraderie, and shared values. 

Once you begin to truly know your teammates – what drives their lifestyle and priorities, what affects them inside and outside the office, what they value – you will start to feel a natural interest in the things that help them grow as leaders and people. 

Understanding how your colleagues and employees learn is one of the most important aspects of fostering that growth. By nurturing their unique learning process, you will help your people change and improve communication, reach their full potential, and foster better teamwork for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Below are a series of questions to kick-start some intentional reflection about how you can help your co-workers, employees, and teammates grow. If you put in the effort, these questions will identify how you can best contribute to their growth while making you a more effective leader and teammate on their journey to greater personal and professional development.

How do they learn? 

Does your teammate learn by speaking, reading, listening, or experiencing/doing? This is crucial. Everyone processes knowledge differently, and those who insist on people “learning it the right way” will ultimately stunt their employees’ growth and potential. But if you invest in helping your people figure out how they become their best, you’ll gain their respect and dedication because they’ll know you are “for them.” 

When do they learn best? 

Some people need time to process and may learn best through reading and extended analysis, which requires the time and space to do it. Others need to be able to speak their mind, brainstorm, and try out their grasp of the knowledge by learning in the midst of teams or groups. Give your people the grace to learn when and how they need to, then watch them thrive.

What do they need to learn? 

We all need to learn new things every day. No one will ever know enough to justify the cost of becoming complacent with knowledge. What do your teammates or employees need to learn? Are they focusing too much on their strengths, when they need to become more well-rounded or knowledgeable in other areas of your business? Or maybe they think they know more than they do, and could benefit from the wisdom of experience and how to read various situations? Whatever it is, never stop considering where your people are in their expertise and which knowledge gaps have persisted, grown, or recently formed. If you stay on top their growth trajectory, then you can work to close those gaps by leveraging when and how they learn best. 

Are they teachable? 

This is perhaps the most important question of all. We know that no one is perfect and everyone has room for improvement, so teachability is crucial to constantly raising your potential and contributing to the team. It also indicates humility and an ability to get along with and learn from others, particularly those who think, act, speak, or have different experiences than they do. Since we all need to learn something the question to each of us is this – are we teachable? To be teachable is to be willing to take advice and to change or improve the areas that need to grow. Consequently, a teachable spirit is one of the most vital strengths we have – it’s how we continue to become the best versions of ourselves each and every day. 

Choose to be “for others”

When you help someone learn, you help them grow.  Choosing to contribute to someone else’s growth pays dividends of joy, health, and productivity for all those involved. 

So take some time this week to be “for others” and consider how you can help them become the best version of themselves – I promise you won’t regret 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 you can better understand the way your teammates learn and grow, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

How do You Process Information?

Sensing and Intuition

If you’re just joining us, we recently concluded a six-part series on how to determine the first of your four Jungian Type personality preferences. The series took a deep dive into the true meaning of Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I), discussing what it means for the way you recharge and communicate, as well as how your natural wiring influences the way you lead and interact with others. You can catch up with us by checking out that series , or you can continue reading and jump right in as we begin a new series tackling the second Jungian Type preference set. I would, however, suggest taking a moment to read the introductory post about Jungian Type and the GiANT Best Fit in general, so that you can dive into the conversation with some background and helpful terminology warnings. 

Interestingly, the second preference is typically the hardest for people to clarify. This set of letters, “S” vs. “N,” addresses how you prefer to take in and process information. While the differences between the two can be tricky to spot, the letter choice often proves confusing at the beginning. “S” stands for “Sensing,” so no issue there, but “N” actually stands for “Intuition.”That sometimes throws people off since the word doesn’t start with an “n.” However, because we already have introversion represented by an “I” in the first preference pairing, we have to represent intuition with a different letter, “N.” 

The Great Cry of the Sensor

If you are a right-handed sensor (i.e. have a dominant preference for “sensor”), it means you prefer to take in and process information in a precise, exact, detailed manner. Most sensors want to be able to use their five senses to analyze whatever quantitative information they can get their hands on. Is it concrete? Is it real? Can I touch it, taste it, see it, hear it, smell it, analyze it? The more real, pragmatic, and concrete the information, the more confident the sensor is in their ability to understand and make decisions. The great cry of the sensor, above all else, begs for someone to “Tell me what is!” They don’t want conjecture, ideation, hunches, or guesses. They want hard facts, data, and history to factor into their decisions. Sensors are always thinking, “Okay, let’s make sure we really understand where we are and what the unvarnished realities of the situation are at the moment.”

The Great Cry of the Intuitive

Intuitives, on the other hand, start at the completely opposite end of the world. Instead, they tend to ask for the big picture first, begging someone, “Sell me a vision, and if I’m inspired by the vision of what could be, I’ll work my way back towards the details.”  In stark contrast to sensors, and much to every sensor’s horror, Intuitives will rarely bother with the details of a decision, idea, or situation until they are absolutely certain that they’re really excited about it. Their great cry is, “Tell me what could be!” Consequently, most intuitives will often rely heavily on, and justify their decisions with, what they love to call their “sixth sense” or “gut feeling,” especially when it comes to making big decisions. Nothing could be more terrifying for sensors. 

So What?

Now that we know Sensors and Intuitives tend to process information through fundamentally opposing methods, that leaves a great deal of room to explore the pitfalls and struggles of each. These differences become especially glaring in light of the various ways intuitives and sensors approach details, planning, and change, as well as how they view the past, present, and future. Join us for the next installment in this series as we discuss the common pitfalls that plague each of the information/processing preferences!

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 personality affects your leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

What are You Trying to Prove?

Have you ever run into an old acquaintance and felt the need to prove yourself? 

Maybe the last time you saw each other was in high school and they’ve moved on to some high-flying career. Or maybe you’re experiencing a rut in your own work and just feel the need to impress someone. 

The Urge to Prove

Regardless of circumstance, most of us have felt the need to prove ourselves to someone at some point in our lives. GiANT Co-founder, Jeremie Kubicek, shares his own story about a recent encounter that left him feeling anxious to prove himself:

“Over the past few weeks, I have run into a number of old relationships who knew me in another stage of life and another decade. They knew the more immature me and probably have me pegged as that same cocky guy who was trying to prove that he was somebody important.

As one particular encounter unfolded, I listened to this person list off all of their achievements since we had last met. When the person asked what I had been up to, I immediately felt an old desire to prove to this person any successes and wins that I had had since the time I had known them. I didn’t like the feeling of such a sudden, defensive urge, so I paused and shared some general updates about my family and then moved on.”

So here is the gut-check question: where does the instinctive desire to prove ourselves come from? Why is it so important to let others know how important we are?

Self-Preservation

Many of us who study personality wiring can probably pinpoint a few triggers deep within our personality types that cause such a knee-jerk reaction to validate ourselves. For Jeremie, he realized some of his natural insecurities as an ENFP were the culprits. Consequently, he had to confront the defensive pride that welled up so that it would not prompt actions or words he would later regret.

Now, what about you? What are you trying to prove? What is the insecurity in your life that is mitigating your influence with others?

In his book Making Your Leadership Come Alive, Jeremie wrote about the plague of self-preservation. The premise is that when you overprotect what you are afraid of losing, you will lose it sooner. Trying to prove yourself actually ends up hurting you more, because when fear begins to drive, your actions to prove your worth end up undermining your credibility in the eyes of others. It leads to bragging, exaggerating, or credit-stealing behavior, not to mention a general tone-deafness that results in being known as self-important or arrogant. 

Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Hide, Nothing Lose!

It is imperative to become fluent in self-awareness so that you can regulate and lead yourself in the times when self-preservation wants to guide your behavior.

In the end, if we can state these phrases honestly and accurately in our lives, we will become leaders worth following:

I have nothing to Prove!

I have nothing to Lose!

I have nothing to Hide!

How far away are you from being at this stage of secure, confident humility?

We all have an ongoing journey of self-awareness to travel, but if we approach each day with a desire to regulate our patterns so that our insecurities can’t control us, we will gain an increasingly greater ability to focus on others more than ourselves.

Dive Deeper!

If you want to dive deeper into understanding why you do certain things or face certain growth challenges, our other Co-founder, Steve Cockram, has filmed a series of amazing videos at https://giant.courses that are free to view and study for your own benefit.

Know yourself so you can lead yourself!

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 self-preservation affects leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!


Source: GiANT

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