My good friend Jerry sent this out to his community. The timing was perfect for me. I imagine it will be perfect for you too. Please read it with care.
For the record, it’s approximately 10:15am Central Time on Nov. 8th, 2016 and I’m sure
you know that later tonight (maybe in the wee hours or possibly well before) we will know
who has won the United States Presidential Election.
If you are like most of the people I’ve personally spoken with about the election, you are probably sure that your preferred candidate of choice will win (or at least should win because why would anyone in their right mind vote for that “other person”) but you may have quite a bit of anxiety about it.
Well… Let me ease your Nerves and tell you exactly what will happen…
“So, I’m doing some networking today at lunch,” she said. “I thought I’d have Joe introduce me.” Joe is a colleague of hers. “He’s going to say, ‘meet Dr. Faulkner, she enjoys….” And already I tuned out.
That’s how one of my very favorite clients started our conversation this morning.
As we talked about what she wanted to accomplish with that approach, and how it might land, my client, Dr. Faulkner, suggested I write about this issue.
You see networking is an opportunity for people to get an experience of you. It’s not (at least I don’t think it is) an opportunity to advertise. It’s important that you be able to say what you do in a concise and relatable way. That can best be accomplished be relating!
So, for example, my client Dr. Faulkner is transitioning in her career from Academic Dean to Organizational Development Consultant and Coach. She might respond to the what do you do question like this:
14 Things Extraordinarily Successful People Do And … Notes from Lisa
Early this Summer, I began the practice of sending articles to clients with great tips, and short, sweet reminders. I started adding my comments and it was a hit. So, Here is one for you about what ridiculously successful people do every day.
As you read through, please consider – how would these daily habits serve you? What are your daily practices?
JUNE 3, 2016
Having close access to ultra-successful people can yield some pretty incredible information about who they really are, what makes them tick, and, most importantly, what makes them so successful and productive.
“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” –Vaibhav Shah
Kevin Kruse is one such person. He recently interviewed over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs.
One of his most revealing sources of information came from their answers to a simple open-ended question: “What is your number one secret to productivity?”
In analyzing their responses, Kruse coded the answers to yield some fascinating suggestions. What follows are some of my favorites from Kevin’s findings.
1. They focus on minutes, not hours. Most people default to hour and half-hour blocks on their calendar; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day and that there is nothing more valuable than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be reclaimed. As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kevin, “To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute.” You must master your minutes to master your life.
I have scheduled minute by minute before. Have you? Sometimes, it is just the thing. And sometimes, in order to get more done in less time, it is ESSENTIAL to have unstructured, unscheduled time Can you carve out chunks of your calendar that are just for you? Just to think? Just to shift your energy? Meditate? Do Art? Play Music? Golf? Walk? When is it useful to schedule minute by minute? How can you craft time chunks for recharging?
I’ve got a story for you, following on the idea of play as a strategy. Here it is….
Connecting with who you are
Andrew called this morning from his office in St. Louis very agitated. During 20+ years in IT he had done stints at two Fortune 500 companies, Centene and Boeing. For the last few years he’s been thinking about leaving the corporate world and starting his own business. Last year, he finally took the big leap. He is now out on his own.
Like many people who change careers, his worry was that there would be a challenging money gap that would put his family under great stress. He also – perhaps most of all – worried that his grand vision would fail. That he would fail.
His panicked phone call was like this: “Lisa! I thought I would get this coaching certification, and that ICF credential, and then I’d be good to go. I’d circle back to my contacts at Centene and Boeing and get on their list as a coach, and boom, I’d have clients. But I just heard from one of my buddies that they do that sort of thing internally now and for two weeks no one at HR will call me back. Is this certification going to even do anything for me?”
Years ago, I read Max Weber’s The Protestant Work Ethic. His essays explored the puritan view that hard work is good, fun and play are bad. Nowadays, we know better. In fact our best examples of great productivity, innovation and creativity demonstrate that we actually do way better when we take time to refuel ourselves mind, body and spirit. Today, more than 100 years after Weber’s essays were originally penned, we are still confused. As my Aussie friend, Amanda, said, twirling her forefinger in a circle beside her head, “You Americans are CRAZY!!” Could it be that we are still being driven, unconcsiously by this old concept of work ethic?
In my observations of the high performers I coach and train, their obstacles are not that they don’t work hard enough, or lack a work ethic – but rather that they are stuck in a puritanical view of work that ends up putting an upper limit on their creativity, productivity, and ultimately also, on results.
The more high stakes a project is, the more “work ethic” we bring – as a rule. Unfortunately, we lose something important in the process. You see
Every single day in my inbox there are at least a half-dozen articles on leadership. Makes sense right? That’s my field! Leadership, Business Excellence and Performance. So, I see a lot of articles.
What bothers me about these articles is that they all list the qualities that are most important for a good leader, or even a great leader, to have. By now we should have a handle on that right? But we don’t because we are asking the wrong question.
Most of these articles deal with which of these ‘qualities’ is more key than the others. Is it transparency that’s more important? Or, is it control? Perhaps, it’s vision?
This debate is a palliative trying to help overwhelmed leaders by soothing their anxiety about what to focus on! But they miss the mark. And so, they are worse than unhelpful, they actually do harm by diverting valuable time and energy.
What is the solution? How can a committed leader know where to start? What if the answer is simple? What if the answer is that none of these qualities actually really make any difference at all? – unless
“Whenever she thinks she might get in trouble or get caught, she covers it up!”
Jason is a proud man, former head of the Banking Commission, President of a Bank and now extremely successful small business owner with profitable revenues in the millions after just a short 2 years in business. It was excruciating to admit that his own daughter lacked integrity as that is one of his absolutely inviolable core values.
The very first thing Jason worked on when we started was what to do with employees who are dishonest. It became evident very quickly that even the smallest of white lies is unacceptable for Jason. Hence, he put in place an explicit policy that deceit of any kind is not tolerated.
That’s what Paul said when I asked him how his week had been.
At my questioning look, he explained.
“I have come to a very upsetting realization. The women I am attracted to don’t need me.”
Whatever do you mean?
“Powerful women! Strong, independent women! The women who totally excite me! They don’t need me. Now that we are past having children…. and if I’m not needed to provide? What makes me their – um I guess – hero?”
He looked dejected.
He said, “I’ve always had women in my life who need me. In the end I was sort of their caretaker, not their lover. And that seems to lose its charm very quickly.”
“So, Paul, if they don’t need you – why is that a problem?”
The Right Thing – No Matter What – while hard sometimes – is the surest path to peace.
In a whining voice of intense complaint 8-year old Isaac said to me, “Mom, you always do the right thing – even when it’s hard!” He was not happy. As for me, it made me think.
Every night at bed-time I would tell my children, “I love you always and forever, no matter what.” That phrase came from a children’s book I starting reading to my son when he was less than a year old.
I didn’t know diddly about parenting when my first child was born. My early parenting skills were gleaned from the idealistic morality of children’s books mixed with my own post-tragic childhood vision of familial utopia.