What Being Credible Looks Like in Real Life

To be credible is to be competent.

Most people, however, limit their understanding of competency to mean being smart, which is only partially true. The problem with simply being smart is that purely “smart” people have a tendency to know that they are smart and flaunt that fact with a certain “know-it-all” attitude. 

Unfortunately, nobody likes a know-it-all, which means that while competent, one’s ability to maximize their impact and productivity with others becomes impeded. When you fail to fully leverage competence, particularly due to a lack of relational understanding and arrogance, your credibility with others suffers. The inevitable result of weakened credibility is diminished influence and leadership capacity among your family, team, and organization.

In order to garner true credibility with others then you must commit to 5 principles:

1. Know your stuff. 

That is not the most academic way of saying “be competent,” but it simply means to gain the knowledge you need in certain areas of expertise. Most credibility begins with knowing your specialty inside and out. If that means adding more training, reading, mentoring, or schooling, it’s always wise to build a foundation of technical excellence. But…

2. When you don’t know, be honest. 

The quickest way to lose credibility is to fake knowing things that you actually don’t know because you are too insecure to deal with your reality. If you will admit that you don’t know, then work like crazy to learn, you will gain far greater credibility with bosses, colleagues, friends, and spouses alike. Owning responsibility and accepting the need for improvement will always engender greater trust in your competence than feigning it and failing.

3. Work to be relevant. 

Being smart is half the equation, being relevant is the other half. When you are giving information, you must learn to communicate it in such a way that the other person can actually understand and use it. Being relevant means that you help the other person apply what it is that you know rather than espousing what you know for the sake of proving you are smart. When it comes down to it, relevant people are a gift to others. And people’s perception of your credibility will only grow with every degree of relevance they feel you and your knowledge bring to their life or work.

4. Learn from others. 

Just because you know something doesn’t mean you are an expert for life. Knowledge is almost always incomplete and, even more importantly, often becomes quickly outdated. The best way to remain credible is to be humble enough to admit that you always have more to learn from other people. New experiences, perspectives, and information will keep you grounded and relevant, so be sure to continue learning, especially from those you serve with your competency.

5. Don’t try to show what you know. 

Have you ever been around someone who is always working to be seen for what they know or how good of a job they do? Unfortunately for those people, their competence rarely matches their likability or trustworthiness, since such self-centered showing-off often runs contrary to giving credit where it’s due or playing well with others. The truth is, you become credible when you either know your stuff or admit that you don’t, and then learn from either reality. You become credible when you are relevant for the other people, friends, or colleagues in your life and constantly learn from them. You become credible when you are humble and simply do your job without trying to impress others. Let your competence speak for you and your likability facilitate the dissemination and expansion of that competence. If you can do that, then your credibility in the eyes of others will shoot through the roof.

In the end, to be credible is to be competent for those you serve and to exercise that competence for their highest possible good. When you become a resource for someone and they trust you, then your influence blossoms and lasting impact occurs.

Remember, knowledge puffs up the ego, but wisdom lasts forever.

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

Source: GiANT

Work ON Your Business, Not IN It: 3 Questions to Spur Growth

Do you really want to grow your organization? If so, do you know where to focus your energy, and are you doing it? 

By default, most business owners and leaders will answer yes to the first question, but come up with a variety of answers for the second one. And while the desire may truly be for growth, many people’s actions lead them in a different direction. That’s because if you truly want to grow then you have to spend more time working on your business than in it. If you get caught in the woods, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. The same is true with every company. You can spend so much time trying to generate sales or adopt the latest and greatest technology, but if you can’t get out of the muck and mire of the day-to-day grind to grab hold of a higher strategy, you’ll find yourself continually hacking your way through branches rather than cultivating the pristine vista of flourishing forest you’d like your company to become.

With that in mind, here are three simple, strategic lenses and questions by which to analyze your business from a different perspective – one that will hopefully help you spend more time working on the business and take you to greater heights in the process. 

1. Are your offerings Simple?

Ken Segall writes about simplicity as the core of Apple’s success in his book Insanely Simple. He states that Simplicity’s enemy is Complexity and Complexity robs companies of influence and profits because it makes things too hard for all involved, especially for customers. Therefore, keeping things simple is actually the art and science of making things clear and concise, which are the recipes of customer interaction and employee engagement.

Therefore, the question for every leader boils down to, “Are you constantly making things simple or have you given into the laziness of complexity?” It is much easier to wallow in complexity and inefficiency than to fight for clarity and focus, but our challenge for you today is to do the extra work of making your offerings as simple as you possibly can.

2. Is your business Scaleable?

What we’re asking here is this: Does your organization have the potential to eclipse you? Can it scale without you at the center of everything? If you were removed from the business tomorrow, could it survive and go on without you? Perhaps you don’t want it to or perhaps you simply don’t know how. For those considering this question for the first time, you would do well to find someone who has scaled their business before and talk with them about the best way to help your organization become more scaleable. Most of you will fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent and put this on the back burner, but if you take this advice and work to scale systems, processes, offerings, etc past what you can do yourself, you’ll never regret it.

3. Is your business Sustainable?

Does your business have the potential to sustain its growth or are all your eggs in one basket? To be sustainable means that your business is self-sufficient and doesn’t rely on some one-hit-wonder client or single, big grant to operate, but rather has its own ability to pay for itself. A self-sustaining model is worthy of the hard work it takes to get it there.

At the end of the day, three facts hold true for any business:

Simplicity wins over complexity.

Scalability expands your impact.

Sustainability keeps the engine running.

Fight for these in your business and you’ll see a world of difference in the results. Once you make time to address these questions on a weekly basis, you’ll be on the road to truly working on your business rather than just working in 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 grow your organization, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

The Key to Success: Relationship Before Opportunity

You may not think very often about the random strangers and passing acquaintances you encounter every day, but take a moment to think about them now: Who do you have frequent contact with on a daily or weekly basis?

The couple who owns the dry cleaner down the street? The waiter/waitress at your favorite lunch spot? The customers and prospects you call on if you’re a salesperson trying to make your quota? Or maybe your co-workers or children’s teachers? 

If you had to make a list of all those passing interactions, who would be on your list? 

A New Perspective

When you think about it, all the people on your list are people from whom you want something, to one degree or another. Of course, wanting your dry cleaner to clean your clothes well or your waiter to bring your food out in a timely fashion isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it is their job, after all, and you are probably paying for it. But even so, when we want something from people it can be all too easy to reduce them to dollar signs rather than thinking of them as people with lives and ambitions and challenges beyond their interactions with us.

But what if we changed the way we viewed them? Instead of seeing people through the transactional, self-focused lens of our own schedules and needs, what if we saw them through the eyes of their needs and their schedules? 

How much impact could we have – in life, relationship, and business – if we simply treated people from their perspective rather than the lens of what we need from them that day?

Pain Points & Partners

We recently brought this mindset to the attention of a medical product company that works with doctors around the United States. During our meeting we challenged their sales team to change their perspective from being salespeople to becoming business partners to their doctor partners.

That perspective flip would require them to recalibrate their thinking about those they are “selling” to. In fact, instead of selling, their job would be to solve – to solve the issues of those in front of them, rather than trying to get something out of them. Sometimes those issues would relate directly to sales efforts, but sometimes it would simply be a matter of freely offering contacts, knowledge, or skills for the sake of becoming a true partner that looks out for the best interests of the other.

Here are a few of the questions we posed to the sales team:

  • What does the doctor really need right now? 
  • What are their main pressure/pain points that you can solve? 
  • What does the office manager need? 
  • How can you help the nurses in their work?
  • If the receptionist was your sibling, how would you treat them?

The key is that when you walk in the shoes of others, you feel the holes that have been worn open from life and you experience the particular pains that come from walking in their unique shoes. Understanding those pain points enables you to empathize and understand where they are coming from. Once you fully adopt that perspective, it becomes second nature to empathize and even requires less and less effort to pick up those glasses and see the world through another’s eyes. The truly difficult part, however, is the transition process – the self-conditioning required to reprogram your thinking and reverse priorities from yours to theirs. 

Reprogramming Your Mindset

So, how do you do it? How do you make that transition? 

The foundation is simple, but the execution is hard. The reconditioning process is challenging, but always rewarding. 

Ultimately, the answer is that you have to die to yourself. 

You have to give up the narrowing of focus that centers on your needs, agendas, pressures, and quotas at the cost of making relationship with others nothing more than a transaction on the way to your own wants and desires. We published an article about this very topic recently and freely admit that the self, unfortunately, doesn’t like to give up its position easily.

But once you see the glimmer of life and benefits this transition brings, you’ll find it worth the effort to exchange your eyes for theirs.

The fact is, when you die to yourself and begin to see things from another’s perspective, you gain a fuller view of life, greater opportunity, and a lasting peace about who you are and how you live with the world.

When you give yourself to others and serve their needs they notice and respond with opportunity, friendship, and trust – all things that make for a more satisfying and more profitable work-life experience than the churn-and-burn, get-what-you-want-and-leave mentality.

At the core of relationship is the simple fact that people just want you to slow down and understand where they are coming from. When this happens your world turns upside down – flipping from transaction-focused to relationship-focused.

So, for those wishing to experience greater quality of life, deeper relationships, and a bigger bottom line, put relationship before opportunity and spend time getting to know others and how you can serve their agenda before your own.

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 flipping your perspective from self to others-focused can affect your leadership, relationships, and bottom line, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Finding Your Peace: People, Place, & Purpose

How at Peace are You?

This might sound like an odd question to some, but how much peace do you have in your life right now? How content are your heart and mind with the various aspects of life and routine at the moment? 

What if there was a way to do a quick self-assessment to find out? It’s not a quick fix, but rather a tool to understand some of the hidden anxieties that covertly sabotage your contentment – something that can help you find a target to shoot at and begin taking back a measure of peace in your day-to-day routine.

A great friend of GiANT, Frog Orr-Ewing, introduced us to the following concept that provides a lense for analyzing, identifying, and categorizing pain points in our lives. It seems simple at face value, but if you dig deeper into your responses and use them as benchmarks over time, you’ll find there’s a lot more to this tool than meets the eye.

Measuring Peace: People, Place, Purpose

How purposeful do you feel? 

Is your work satisfying? Do you feel like you have a direction in your personal life that matches your values, vision, and goal for yourself? Are you energized or passionate about what you do?

Put a percentage number on it from 1-100% with 1% indicating a complete lack of any satisfying purpose and 100% representing a perfect alignment with your personal purpose at work and home.

How well are you enjoying the connection to the people around you at work and in your personal life?

Do you have a close/meaningful group of friends? Are the people in your life – friends, family, work colleagues – bringing you down or calling you up to the best version of yourself? Do you feel like you can depend on your group of friends, and are you connecting often and/or deeply enough with them?

Put a percentage number on it from 1-100% with 1% indicating a complete lack of any satisfying friendships or personal connections and 100% representing a perfect alignment of your relational needs with your current group of friends, family, and co-workers.

How well does the place you are living suit you? 

Does where you live suite your lifestyle preferences? Are there enough places to hike and walk in parks, go to art galleries, sample great restaurants, or work on the land? Does your house or apartment suit the needs of your family? Is there enough diversity of people, activities, and clubs or organizations in which to get involved?

Whatever your preference for life and leisure, are you finding it where you live? Or does traffic, lack of ocean or trees, or some other factor subtly (or maybe not so subtly) affect your outlook on life at the moment? 

Put a percentage number on it from 1-100% with 1% indicating an ill-fitting lifestyle or location and 100% representing a perfect alignment with your lifestyle preferences and needs.

Purpose People Place

Finding Your Peace Percentage 

The beauty of this exercise is that it helps you categorize three foundational, influential elements of life and how they might be impacting, for better or worse, the degree of peace and contentment you are experiencing in your life right now. 

So take a moment to write down your numbers for each category, then add them up and divide by 3 to find a simple average of your People, Place, Purpose scores. This is your overall peace number. While neither perfect nor rocket science, spending 5-minutes walking through the exercise provides a helpful, ball-park snapshot of where you believe you are at the moment. We often find that this simple little personal reflection serves as a wake up call to either recognize our true sense of gratitude and contentment, or otherwise alert us to an underlying discontentment whose significance has flown under the radar until now. 

Once you take in what this overall number means for you, look at each component separately and ask yourself which specific drivers are dictating that number for you? For example, which aspects of relationship and personal connection are satisfying, such as family and friends, and which aspects are contentious, such as your environment among co-workers?

The Importance of Cultivating Peace

This is the first post in a short series about the importance of checking in regularly on the state of our inner health and peace. By taking the time to find the pain points and recognize the blessings of life, we can better maintain our sense of gratitude and contentment in the pursuit of a fully realized vision for our lives. In subsequent posts, we’ll dive a little deeper into the People, Place, Purpose categories while also covering examples of how you can apply this lens to your life on a regular basis.

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

Source: GiANT

Trade Up for Success: How to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow

Have you ever heard an athlete say something like this after a dismal performance: “I didn’t have the right mindset today. I just wasn’t ready, so I didn’t play well.”

Upon hearing that, some of us watching at home might think, “Really? It’s your job, and you have had all week to prepare! How could you not be ready?” 

As soon as you think it though, you’re reminded of your own life – how you might get nervous or feel unprepared for a big interview, presentation, or meeting. Suddenly, we realize how hard it actually is to frame our minds correctly so that our attitudes and emotions are positioned to help us perform and live to our highest potential.

 Mindset – a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.” 

– Merriam-Webster

The Importance of Mindset

In other words, our mindset refers to our established set of attitudes towards something.

For example, If I am frustrated with someone and have not addressed or resolved the conflict/tension, then my mindset towards them will be negative and even predetermine how I will interact with and respond to them.

If I went to bed later than expected because I couldn’t stop watching meaningless “junk food television,” there’s a chance my mindset will be a little “off” the next day.

When I fail to recharge appropriately, then I might become susceptible to a sour mood and those around me may suffer as a result.

On the other hand, when we frame our mind correctly the chance of our success in a certain moment or event goes up. That is why skier’s spend a long time visualizing their routes before they ski. They begin racing in their minds before they actually race in reality. In fact, most of the best athletes do this. There’s even a whole industry dedicated to sports psychology to help athletes frame their minds correctly.

So, for the sake of setting ourselves up for success and trading up from the accidental life to an intentional one, here are three things you can do each day to frame your mindset in order to become more successful and productive:

3 Keys to Improving Your Mindset

1. A healthy mindset starts the night before. 

Eliminate junk TV, it adds zero value. Instead, choose to read a great biography, watch an inspiring movie, or re-connect with someone you respect. Dabble in a hobby or work on a enlivened project. Success for tomorrow begins the night before. If you want a great day tomorrow, start it tonight.

2. To be successful, you need to be fully recharged. 

Great leaders know how to lead themselves. It is called self-control. Do you know how you recharge most effectively? Is it reading a book, working out, talking to friends, or something else? Whatever your preferred activity, spend more time there filling up your batteries. It’s hard to start the day with a cell phone battery at 10%. The same is true with us. Make sure you get 6+ hours of sleep and learn what your body and mind need to be at your best. It is your responsibility to be recharged, so don’t undermine yourself.

3. If you want to thrive then you must deal with negative influences directly. 

If productivity can’t begin until your email inbox is empty and voicemails are gone, then take the time to address those pressures instead of trying to work with them looming over you. Whether relational or task-oriented, negative influences will hamstring the power of your mindset. If there is a negative relationship out there then go to the source and deal directly with it so that it doesn’t continue to dominate your thoughts 24/7.

Trade Up

One last tip that may be helpful for you to frame your mindset correctly – say these words out loud right now, “Trade Up.” When you are doing something that doesn’t bring life, but simply just is, choose to Trade Up to something better.

Instead of a negative TV show or something that brings you down, Trade Up to an inspiring movie.

Instead of junk food that saps your health and energy, choose a tasty treat that has protein.

Instead of wasting time, Trade Up to a productive project that brings a sense of accomplishment.

Instead of lingering at night, Trade Up for tomorrow and get the sleep your body needs.

Your mindset is directly related to your self-control. So the question is this: will you say these words after work, “I didn’t have the right mindset today. I just wasn’t ready,” or will you end the day with some pep in your step, saying, “today was amazing! We/I knocked it out of the park.”

Choosing Something Better

Your reality is directly tied to the consequences of your actions and those come directly from your patterns of behavior and the mindset you cultivate. Choose correctly and you will string together a series of wins that could alter the course of your career. Choose to not be ready and you will simply fit in with the crowd and live a normal life. The choice is yours.

But today, I encourage you to Trade Up!

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

Source: GiANT

5 Benefits of Humility in Leadership

Have you noticed periods of your leadership that were less effective and satisfying than others? 

Have there been times when your trust among employees or the work environment you created seemed to suffer?

Ask yourself, “what attitudes and actions defined my leadership during those times?” For many people, the root answer reaches all the way down to the base issue of pride- vs. humility-based leadership.

As we’ve worked with leaders from top companies and organizations around the world, we’ve seen how crippling pride can be fore a leader. It’s a destructive, cancerous force that replaces the good of others, the team, and the organization with the sole concern for one’s own wishes and conveniences. Fortunately, we’ve also seen how humility can strengthen a leader and improve their team’s productivity and contentment.

With that in mind, here are five key benefits of humility in leadership:

1. Humility gives a leader the capacity to lead out of a position of strength. 

Though humility is often viewed as a weakness in our loud, proud, take-no-prisoners culture today, it’s actually an incredible gesture of strength. First, it’s a choice. That’s the difference between being humiliated and being humbled. When you’re humiliated – a negative experience – it’s usually at the hands of someone else. But when you choose to be humble, you are choosing not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less and others more. The choice makes all the differnce.

2. Humility makes a leader more persuasive. 

This is one of the key benefits of humility, argues Macquarie University Professor John Dickson in his excellent book Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership. The way people are wired, humility shines as a compelling virtue in others that attracts us to them, Dickson notes. It’s why we cheer on the underdog and root against their opponent. This is an especially essential quality in those who lead because one of a leader’s most powerful tools is his ability to cast a vision to his followers, and to persuade them to unite to make that vision a reality. Such humility engenders trust, loyalty, buy-in, and enthusiasm far better and more purely than fear, manipulation, or even people-pleasing will ever do.

3. Humility gives a leader the courage to set aside personal gain for the good of others. 

We need leaders willing to think more about the next generation. We need leaders willing to jeopardize the prospects of their own power or extra gain for the good of others. Unfortunately, when ego rules, decisions become about improving personal position even at the expense of others. Laws, rules of conduct, fairness, honesty, etc. all go out the window when we subordinate others to our own agenda. A humble person sees others as inherently valuable while prideful leaders focused on themselves and manipulate others.

4. Humility gives a leader the candor to be honest with their followers and change course if necessary. 

A humble person separates himself or herself from their accomplishments. When their accomplishments receive criticism, they don’t take it personally, but constructively. Prideful leaders, on the other hand, lash out due to fear, anger, or self-entitlement. This often comes from a need to hide their weaknesses and believe themselves better than others, whereas humble leaders admit their weakness, invite growth opportunities, and listen to the wisdom of the people around them.

5. Humility gives a leader the character to respond charitably when attacked. 

Because a humble leader doesn’t derive his or her identity from their accomplishments, they are able to deal with the kind of searing criticism that’s so common in today’s political, business, and social arenas with ease and grace. Rather than trying to deflect it or subject their opponents to an ad hominem (personal) attack, the humble leader simply owns the truth of the criticism—if there is any—and discards the rest. Because they are willing to learn from their mistakes, they constantly grow asking the right questions of themselves and others rather than pretending to have all the answers.  

Question: How have you seen humility help leaders? What other benefits of humility have you experienced with others or in your own leadership journey? 

Feel free to leave a comment below!

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

Source: GiANT

How to get more done with less effort – my current productivity tools and apps

I really love working with peak efficiency and so I am always on the look out for great online tools that help me get work done.  I haven’t done a post on this for a while, so here’s what I am using a lot at the moment.

  • Trello – https://trello.com/
    • This is an online tool (with apps available) for managing projects.  I use it to keep a track of all of my work and have used it very successfully for coordinating work of all kinds for teams (projects and business as usual).  The free level provides plenty enough features for most users.
  • Book like a boss – https://booklikeaboss.com/
    • Fantastic service for arranging meetings.  Enables others to find slots in your diary and get dates booked in with ease.
  • Evernote – https://evernote.com/
    • Brilliant service for keeping track of everything.  Every email I want to save, website I don’t want to lose track of, document that might prove useful in the future and every note I make goes into Evernote.  It is a great store of all your information, which can then be searched (even within PDFs and images).  There are extensions for browsers, apps for all platforms and even a dedicated email address (so you can just forward an email to it) to make saving information easy.
  • Reminders app from Apple
    • Often overlooked, I love this for simple one-off task reminders given the ease of use with all Apple products and its integration with Siri.  Another killer feature for me is location aware reminders, e.g. “Hey Siri, remind me to put the bins out when I get home” or “Hey Siri, remind me to send an email to John when I leave this place”.
  • Text expander – various options on different platforms – https://www.macworld.com/article/3055438/software/typing-shortcut-utilities-6-alternatives-to-textexpander.html
    • Some OS have it built it, there are usually some better alternatives.  You can store often typed words or phrases in it and then choose some trigger text.  In any app you then type the trigger text and the text expander replaces it with the full phrase.  Seems crazy, but it can save a lot of time.  I have a few set up for email sign offs (separate from signature.  You could also set one up to type in your Book like a Boss meeting link (see above).
  • iThoughtsX – https://www.toketaware.com/
    • Fantastic mind mapping software, available on a number of platforms.
  • TripIt – https://www.tripit.com
    • Fantastic tools for bringing various trip elements together in one place.  You can forward your trip plans to an email address (or even have it monitor your account) and it is able to recognise all the details and put together a combined trip itinerary with all conformation details and telephone numbers.  I will often have airport parking, flights, car hire and hotel details all in one place in the app, without having to enter a single thing myself.  You can also share trip details with others.  The paid version even gives you gate updates etc.
  • Goodnotes –http://www.goodnotesapp.com/
    • The best app I have found for annotating PDFs for note taking.  Others let you add a signature or quick shapes, but this one let’s you do more.  I will import a PDF of an agenda sent in advance and then take my notes on top of it, adding pages and diagrams as I need to.  I can then export it all as one PDF at the end (which I store in Evernote).  If you want to get advanced you can make your own PDFs which you can then store as a template (for example a meeting aide-memoire that can then be quickly written onto with a stylus).
  • Scanner Pro – https://readdle.com/products/scannerpro
    • Of course, not everyone gives you slides or PDF versions of the handouts in advance, so I use this app to quickly convert projector images of paper handouts to PDFs, which can then be important into Goodnotes (see above).
  • Canva – https://www.canva.com/
    • A great online tool (there are mobile apps too) for designing graphics.  The tools are arranged so that someone, like me, who isn’t great a graphic design can put something together that looks great.

Humility vs. Pride: Why the Difference Will Make or Break Your Leadership

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
― Rick Warren

Many people confuse pride with confidence. Arrogance with assertiveness. An unwillingness to compromise with decisiveness.

But here’s the real fact of leadership, borne out by countless studies and research on the effect of prideful vs. humble leadership:

Humility vs. Pride: The Truth

Humility is a virtue.
Pride is not.

Humility comes when people are secure.
Pride comes when they are insecure.

A humble leader is a confident leader, knowing who they are and what they do.
A prideful leader is an overconfident leader trying to convince other people that they are good enough to be doing what they are doing.

Humility is strength.
Pride is weakness.

The most humble people never have to prove themselves or hide something.
The most prideful people you’ll meet are always proving themselves and hiding something.

Humility is attractive. It makes people want to follow you.
Pride is obnoxious. It causes people to flee from you.

A humble person understands himself or herself, realistically knowing what they can do well vs. what they cannot do well. Humble people are not afraid to take constructive criticism or counsel, nor do they feel the need to take credit when it is due elsewhere.

A prideful person, however, hasn’t taken the time to truly know themselves. The pride in them makes them want to be someone else and blame others when weakness appears.

Humble people are responsive to their teams, themselves, and others – asking what they can do to improve and respecting others by default.
Proud people are resistant and view everyone else as the problem.

Humble people understand their dependence on friends, family, and colleagues, and then lean into their support for the good of the whole.
Proud people put themselves first and always pursue their own agenda, even at the expense of others.

The Bottom Line

It is better to be humble than proud; secure instead of insecure; confident instead of overconfident, and responsive rather than resistant.

These four ingredients constitute the best recipe for effective, liberating leadership. If you work hard to cultivate these elements  within yourself, your team, your organization, and your family, it will pay dividends beyond what you can imagine, both in life and in work.

So take the path less traveled. Do the hard yards.

Cultivate humility and you will become the best version of yourself at work and at home.

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

Source: GiANT

8 Answers That Will Overhaul Your Leadership Culture

Do you want to see change this year? Would you like to improve the health of your organization and people? How about reducing turnover costs and improving efficiency?

The Research

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a Columbia University study holds great insight and hope for you. A healthy, rich company culture, the study shows, marks the key difference in employee retention and productivity. According to the research, organizations with rich company culture experience a mere 13.9 percent turnover rate, whereas the likelihood of job turnover for unhealthy company cultures reaches an astounding 48.4 percent.

The reason for such disparity lies in the simple chain reaction of a poor company environment: unhappy employees rarely do more than the minimum, productive workers who feel under-appreciated tend to quit, and poor managers adversely impact workers and their productivity.

Additionally, a study by Towers Perrin in 2007 further detailed the stark difference between actively engaged and disengaged employees. According to the study results, companies with low levels of employee engagement suffered a 33 percent decrease in operating income coupled with an 11 percent decrease in earnings growth. On the other hand, companies generating high-level engagement produced a 19 percent increase in operating income as well as a 28 percent increase in earnings growth.

The research is clear – healthy organizational culture matters. Not just for the heart of your company and its employees, but also for the bottom line. 

The Answers

With that in mind, the following answers are responses to 8 questions our company has been asked over the years.

These answers about culture and leadership have the power to change the way you think about your organization and the way you develop your leaders. 

1. How do you define a great company culture?

Great company culture exists when the DNA of the company is connected with the vision/values and, ultimately, the hiring process and roles of employees. Aligning organizational DNA with crucial processes creates a secure culture which produces a healthy atmosphere where people know who they are, what they need to do, and how to go about doing it.

2. What is the single biggest obstacle to creating a great company culture, and how do you overcome that obstacle?

Insecurity. Insecurity about one’s future and the organizational environment, as well as the future of company leaders.

3. What are the most important actions every leader must practice to ensure a healthy company culture?

Know yourself and lead yourself first. Once your employees see you as self-aware and willing to grow and change, then they are more likely to do so themselves.

4. What about GiANT Worldwide? How do you promote healthy culture from within?

We believe cultures are seasonal. Some seasons are amazing while others are flat and challenging. The best thing you can do is understand the prevailing cultural winds and direct the sails to catch momentum.

5. If you subscribe to the notion that a company’s culture is constantly in a state of motion, improving or deteriorating from day to day, what can you do to get it back on track when you feel it faltering?

Actually, the first thing to make sure not to do – don’t force it. When there is no wind in the sails it’s better to spend time improving the ship rather than scrambling for wind. For example, if you are struggling with leadership ambiguity focus on gaining structural clarity with your leadership team and board. 

6. How do you find employees who are aligned with your company culture?

At GiANT Worldwide, we use the concept of DNA, Skeleton, Skin. The DNA is the Mission performance, and attitude of a (potential) employee. We only hire people who align with our shared DNA. The Skeleton component involves understanding a person’s work history (what type of companies people have been working for, conduct record, etc.) and approach to business. This is crucial. For example, Skeleton evaluations revolve around things like the difficulty of someone transitioning from or built for the non-profit vs. for-profit business world. The Skin simply deals with the professionalism and overall affect, chemistry, and likability of a person. When all three align, you have a win.

7. What do you ask job candidates to understand how they might impact your company culture?

We always start by asking, “who are you?” It’s quite direct and vague, but how someone interprets and responds to that question will tell you a lot about who they are and how they think, even beyond what the say, specifically. If they start by listing facts about what they have done that tells you something about how they perceive themselves and where they root their value.

8. What do you do about employees that seem to have a negative impact on your company culture?

If someone brings down their colleagues or infects the company culture, you have to let them go. Cancer doesn’t get better when it remains in the body, it only gets worse and damages the other healthy parts of the body. Consequently, no matter how painful it may be, the best response is to eradicate anything that may kill the body.

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 overhaul your organizational culture, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

Plotting a Course for the Future: 7 Ways to Lead Yourself Today

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

 – Carl Jung

As the founder of Jungian Typology and creator of 3 out of 4 Myers-Briggs preference sets, Carl Jung seems to know a little bit about how to make the unconscious conscious. But that doesn’t take away from the surprising power of such a simple statement. 

Isn’t it true that we feel most helpless, most condemned to the state of our life or fate of the world when we seem to have no words or understanding for how it has come about? The helplessness magnifies when we have no idea or plan for how to change it.

But that’s the power of self-awareness. By bringing the unconscious tendencies, struggles, and frustrations to light, we can begin to address our underlying issues with intentionality and make tomorrow’s version of ourselves a better one than today’s.

So how can you lead yourself better today in order to become the person you want to be tomorrow?

Daily Deposits

Despite the phrasing above, the first step is to admit that you can’t become the final version of the person you want to be overnight. That takes daily deposits over a long period of time. But the only way to get there is to point yourself in the right direction and take edifying, purposeful steps each day. These steps don’t have to be monumental, history-defining moments of self-sacrifice or brilliance. In fact, most of the people we think of when we think that way are people who did the little things every day to become the person they wanted to be so that when the opportunity for greatness came, they were ready. The worst mistake we can make is to constantly beg or demand for an opportunity (when will it finally be “my time to shine?”) only to be mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, intellectually, or character-wise unprepared to take advantage of the opportunities when they arrive.

Doing the little things each day will ensure that your decisions align with your goals and that today you are becoming the person you want to be 10 years from now. When all is said and done, it is impossible to lead others with any longevity or excellence without first leading yourself well. If you don’t lead yourself consistently then others won’t want to follow you. Think about it: Isn’t it true that we naturally watch if others are first practicing what they preach before we decide to buy-in to their ideas or leadership? 

Lead Yourself First

Therefore, whatever you expect of your team or family you must first expect of yourself. It’s a simple idea, but it cuts to the heart of leadership and influence. Leading yourself means having expectations for yourself, which means you must be intentional in the way you live and work in order to gain influence or followers from those around you.

Why is this so difficult for leaders today? Most likely it’s because we rarely talk about the need for leader consistency, nor do we often experience others who model the concept for us. With that in mind, consider these seven easy tactics for leading yourself better each day.

7 Ways to Lead Yourself Today

  1. Watch your attitude – if you want positivity then you must ooze it from your pores. You don’t have to be a giddy, bubbly ball of energy, it just means that your internal atmosphere (thoughts, positive/negative self-talk, etc) dictates your external atmosphere, which affects your ability to connect with, work with, and influence others.
  2. Maintain inner health – spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity leads to personal maturity. If you are not healthy on the inside nothing can be healthy on the outside. Take time to recharge, rest, and center yourself each day, whatever that may mean for you.
  3. Stay focused on the mission – remind yourself what you have planned to do today, what your team needs to do, and what the organization needs to do. Plan the work, then work the plan.
  4. Be self-aware – be self-reflective in the morning, after lunch, and after dinner. To lead yourself means you must know yourself first. So don’t walk blindly throughout the day wondering why you feel so angry, frustrated, sad, or even happy. Take time to think about it. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
  5. Watch your language – this means more than cursing. It means watching the words we use and tone we employ. The old adage is true “it’s not only what you say, but how you say it.” Most leaders can improve in the simple way we treat others, especially when we ourselves are under stress and feel less inclined to give extra attention to our interaction with other people.
  6. Ask others to join you – make leadership a daily game. Get others involved. If you have focused on the above you will see your leadership capacity and influence improve on a daily basis.
  7. Imitate those who are humble – No one is perfect, but there are many people in our lives and throughout history whom we can imitate and look up to for positive examples. Sometimes all we need is a target to aim for: Who are some everyday humble leaders you know? What makes them humble? Below are a two examples of humble leaders from history…

Humility in History

1. Neil Armstrong

When Neil Armstrong died, we lost a true hero. As the first person to walk on the moon, he had every reason to boast and become arrogant, yet one of his most praised qualities was his humility.

Even though he had every reason to have an astronomical ego, he went about his job with a quiet strength and confident competency. And he did it all for $8 per diem, in addition to a $17,000-a-year salary. He explored the heavens, but when he returned from his journey to the moon, he kept his feet firmly planted on the Earth.

For the longest time after returning, he denied giving interviews. Finally, Armstrong talked to the author James Clash. When Armstrong died, Clash said of his legacy:

“That’s the kind of man Armstrong was. In a world where everything is about ‘me, me, and me,’ he was a rare throwback to a time when humility and character counted, when people routinely risked their lives not to get rich, bloviate, or self-aggrandize, but for their country, science, and exploration.”

2. Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

After successfully piloting Flight 1549 to safety in the Hudson River, saving more than 150 passengers in the process, Captain Sully exemplified humility as few could. In an interview after the crash, he was modest about his acts of courage, attributing his poise to his training over the years.

“One way of looking at this might be that for 42 years,” he said, “I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education and training. And on January 15 the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”

Who Will You Be?

Who will you look up to today? Who will you be tomorrow? How will you get there? Remember, make the unconscious conscious, make daily deposits to invest in who you want to be, then keep sight of the goal. It won’t happen overnight, but you can become a better version of yourself each day.

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 intentionality and daily deposits affect your 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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