Category Archives: Goals

Close your mind! avoid these questions!

questions.answers

We are often automatic with how we think –not always open-minded. That is because we don’t ask ourselves or others the important questions. Opening your mind with “opened-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or is a necessity for growth. It starts with an exploration of what you might be taking for granted. When you do this, you begin to delayer things and get to the truth.

• Why did we see the need for this decision in the past?
• What if we do things differently?
• What if our biggest competitor were in this room; what would he or she say about us?
• What if we re-imagine things radically? What if we create a new market segment?
• What if I owned this business? What would I do differently?

Source: Think To Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking

Wisdom — Who Do You Go With?

We can probably count the “true people” who are confident in sharing everything they know –who will help others with the assurance that he or she expects nothing in return. How fortunate are we to meet individuals who are truly giving! Is there anyone who comes to mind?
I have, and many others who have been fortunate to come across his path also have someone in mind! – his name is Peter Klein. I first met Peter in the spring of 2001 while working at Gillette. He was an officer of the company who was an important part of Gillette’s turnaround story. As a trusted advisor and confidant to many of us, he was the “go to guy” when you needed help thinking through an issue. There were no title constraints or turf issues as he was genuinely concerned about doing the right thing for the business and the people in the organization.
After I left P&G in 2006 to start my company, I again turned to Peter for help. His guidance in how to start and grow a consulting practice was invaluable. I also really learned not to take myself so seriously as his sense of humor helped ground me. I owe much of my success to his support.
I grew to know him even better between 2010-2015 when he collaborated with myself and John Manfredi on our book Think-to-Win. His library of content, insights and experience in business were invaluable. Through Peter, we could reach some of those most successful leaders in organizations and tap into their minds. It was remarkable how people were willing to share their stores with us. Most likely because Peter had been part of them.
Peter has a saying “with whom you go is more important than where you go.” I am lucky that I have been able to go with Peter for these last 15 years!
To learn more about Peter and see his wisdom and humor on display, go to www.pkassoc.com and also see the 2015 interview conducted by Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia and a digital/social media icon. It was tweeted to over a million people and viewed by thousands more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjwe3K89ENs

Reach Paul Butler at Pbutler@globaledg.com

Burned-out or Bored-out

Knowing the difference will change your life!

Try this on and seeNew Life Old Life if it fits. Do you have a hard time focusing—or are you putting less energy into focusing? How about: Trouble sleeping? Decreased motivation? Tired more often than feeling rested? Do you feel that there are just too many things for you to get done—no matter how long or hard you work—you never seem to get ahead?

Symptoms of burn-out include a dysfunctional attitude towards work, feeling less motivated, and a general apathy towards the job as a whole.

I have worked with too many senior leaders over the years to not recognize it: burn-out. Unfortunately, it has defined many leaders over the years, and I have seen enough successes and failures to know that this is a real problem.

It is only recently that my thinking around this began to expand and I noticed something very important:  Many people who experienced these symptoms were NOT burned-out, they were actually bored-out. Somewhere along the way (I have noticed) people often hit a wall. It is then, at that point of deep reflection when they ask themselves, “Can I do this any longer?” I especially see this when an individual crosses that threshold of where they have created something that they then have to manage on a day-to-day basis. Boredom invariably follows.

This theory was first expounded in 2007, in Diagnose Boreout, a book by Philippe Rothlin and Peter R. Werder. They found that the absence of meaningful work is for many individuals the chief problem.

Boredom expert Dr. Sandi Mann says workplace boredom is a growing problem and a “significant source of stress” for many people.

On the flip-side, when people find themselves in a new role, or new job—working just as hard and as long—the symptoms start to subside! What gives?! My guess is that they were suffering from being bored-out. I now see it and I am able to name it. And, it has made a tremendous difference in how I work with executives and leadership teams.

Last week I floated this idea to a c-level networking group. It resonated right away! When does experience become a burden? We all want opportunities for new learning, continued professional and personal growth, and knowing that we are making a difference. When we feel this does not exist in our current situation we no longer feel challenged, and therefore miss the opportunity to be our best self at work. Surprisingly, it usually happens after a major success has taken place.

Here are four suggestions to identify and defeat a bored-out situation:

  1. Challenge your assumptions. Being open minded can help to determine what is really happening here. As clearly as you can, write down in one or two sentences what you believe the big issue is. The purpose is to identify and articulate what you are trying to solve.
  2. Create a list of wins and what you felt most excited about and challenged by at work. Did you deliver a big win that made a difference for your organization? Or, was it something outside of work that was impacted?
  3. What are the TWO things you are most passionate about? It doesn’t have to be just one thing! Now, can you combine them to create something new in your life? Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the most passionate CEOs I have come across. In motivating business people today, he nails it for me. Check out his blog post: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/askgaryvee-episode-113-do-you-have-to-choose-between-two-passions/
  4. Now, declare it! Admit you are bored and you need a new challenge. It is time to pivot. Pick a mentor or close friend to hold you accountable and to help facilitate creating your own personal growth plan. This plan should have three important elements: The Situation, The Action, The Impact.

Address bored-out and grow that list of wins!

The ONE Question All Winners Must Answer

Runners Running Competition Race Winning

I am a runner…well, sort of. I do belong to a couple of running clubs; one meets on Saturday morning and the other on Thursday nights. On Saturday mornings we run races and eat big breakfasts with lots of coffee. On Thursday nights we run, eat big dinners and sample lots of beer.

It was at one of those Thursday night gatherings back in April of 2008, that I informed the group that I had signed up to run my first marathon: The Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., that would take place in October of that year.

Someone joked, “You can probably win!”

Well, she was right. I could win if I first answered this important question, “How would I defining winning for me?” So, considering my age, ability, and time available to train I set 3 goals for myself:

  1. Finish the race…all 26.2 miles
  2. Complete the race in around 4 ½ hours
  3. Have Fun

I knew it would not be easy. I had only just participated in and finished my first half-marathon a few weeks earlier. The thought of running twice as far was a little overwhelming, but I believed I could WIN.

With some help, I created a rigorous training schedule. By September, I felt it would go well, and as it turned out—I WON! I finished the marathon, my time was 4h 40min and (looking back now) it was fun.

The Big IDEA: You must define ‘winning’ in and on your own terms! In your life, both personal and professional, defining winning on your own terms is the key to success.

CASE STUDY

At one of my clients, a new VP of sales inherited an organization where they had missed an assigned quota 8 quarters in a row. The former GM had set and communicated unattainable goals by consistently promising to deliver on double-digit sales growth in a declining market. It required that the organization invest in areas that they could not win. The results dragged on the business, created bad decision making, and lowered morale. No wonder the business was failing.

This new VP was not yet confident in changing the goal—with the assumption being—everyone from the president on up had supported a double-digit increase. When the next quarter came up short, he knew they could not WIN by staying the course. After doing his homework—he recommend a different path—growing at 3% would be considered a win in this market. Once he presented it, he was pleasantly surprised that the senior leaders agreed with him; as he was able show a different path to growth.

He communicated the targets more realistically and redefined the expectations of a win. With better planning and focus on more realistic decisions, resources were reallocated to the right place, morale grew, and the business began to thrive.

Think about a major challenge you are facing, now or in the near future, personal or professional, and answer: How do I define winning?

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAjrAAAAJGQxMWUzNzY4LTc4MzEtNDI3Yi05ZTg3LWNiMjU4M2ZiMWMxYg

The Fifth Beatle: A Lesson in Leadership and Unleashing the Power of Talent

I was struck by an article in a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. It was about George Martin, the legendary producer of the Beatles.  What really registered with me was how he was able to uniquely harness the collective talent of four individuals to co-create music that would change the world.  Martin was able to see potential in a way others couldn’t.  He specifically ……

  • Challenged them by suggesting the possibility
  • Held to his standard of excellence
  • Tapped into available talent to get the right person at the right time (Ringo replacing Peter Beck)
  • Identified how to maximize individual talent while simultaneously creating the space for others to contribute.

George Martin just passed away at age 90 — but his talent development legacy lines on. Enjoy the read!

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beatles-producer-george-martin-dead-at-90-20160309

Blog Article

Leadership Behavior: the Stress of Self-doubt. A Wall Street Journal article

Earlier in my career, I was going through a really stressful time, my position was being eliminated, I was finishing graduate school; and, as young father with 3 small kids, my primary concern was how to stay positive and not become overwhelmed.  That was when I was introduced to Martin Seligman’s work at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a pioneer in the field of positive psychology. What I learned was that the way you think can make a difference in how you feel which ultimately leads to how you make decisions.  All leaders will face adversity – what is most important is how he or she reacts. It begins with how you think. We have worked hard over the years to emphasize how best to channel ideas into insights to solve problems. Our work has been informed by people who have overcome difficult challenges. I find the subject of how thoughts impact us fascinating.  I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal that might be helpful on how you think. Enjoy

http://www.wsj.com/articles/steps-to-turn-off-the-nagging-self-doubt-in-your-head-1465838679?mod=djem10point

download

What keeps you awake at night?

Are you an aspiring professional who can’t foresee a seamless transition from college graduation to the work force?  In my previous blog, I introduced Candace, a college senior and explained I would follow up with more posts showing how she used the strategic analysis process she learned from our book Think to Win (TTW) to find her dream job. In this post, I will show how she started her search.

She decided instead of wasting time staying up nights worrying about getting a great job and paying student loans; she would put her knowledge to good use and follow the suggestions in the book. She reread the first three chapters of TTW and began her research to discover exactly what the market was for a college senior seeking her first professional position and where was the best location to look.

Talking to classmates, the conversation about getting a good job right out of college frequently comes up. Everyone seems to bring up the current assumption; finding your place in the workforce is a difficult process. Candace recalled two main ideas from TTW; challenge assumptions and get the facts. This made sense to her so she used her research skills to find hard evidence about the current and future job markets.

Candace’s next step was to be realistic about the geographic range in which she should do her job search. She had often dreamed of moving to California after college but this wasn’t the best time. Candace, like most college seniors has student loans and a cross country move was not realistic. Instead, she focused her job search on the Northeast looking at the Big Apple and Boston. For now she wanted to stay home where she could still enjoy mom’s home cooking, and a free place to live as well as a chance to save money for future moves or to double down on loan payments.

Candace began to think that her job search might not be as stressful as she though. She believes that the ideas in Think To Win have helped her see what to do to succeed in finding her first professional position. She realized that by doing the research and being realistic she was ready to start her search. In the next step of her job search, Candace will need to evaluate her goals and abilities and see where they fit in the real world job market.

Do you find yourself in a similar situation as Candace?

List three things that are keeping you awake at night:

.

.

.

Make a list of assumptions you have about your current/future job market:

.

.

.

.

Now, go challenge these assumptions!

 

For more visit thinktowin.net

think to win pic

 

Stephen Curry NBA Champion: how to challenge assumptions and think like a winner!

http://

NBA’s Champion Stephen Curry busted every assumption people have been making about him. He knows his strengths and further develops them into a competitive advantage. Dan Wetzel provides us with a beautiful example of how to challenge assumptions and think like a winner.

Curry worked hard to build those strengths into a collective competitive advantage. Wetzel writes — he just kept developing what he could — an even better shooting touch, more floaters, ever-refined ball-handling skills, even smarter understanding of spacing and pacing and passing. Hard work, and focusing on what is most important can do to lead your team there. He knows what is unique about him and leverages that to win! Curry proves he is a leader and leaders win!

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/stephen-curry-leads-warriors-to-nba-title-his-way-040538108.html

Leadership & Strategic Thinking —- The Power of Clarifying Questions!

A Leadership Problem: More than 75% of people make decisions before they thoroughly understand the issue that needs to be addressed!

Leadership & Strategic Thinking —- The Power of Clarifying Questions!

               George, the executive in charge of R&D for a leading consumer products company, was recently presenting an update to the senior leadership team on the progress in the development of a unique new product. He quickly became frustrated by the questions he was being asked. How so?

He was only on the first page of a 6-page presentation; and, he was already 45 minutes into his 1 hour time slot. What was happening here? People were asking the wrong questions first. The executives were jumping into content questions before they had asked clarifying questions. Content questions were framed as such: “Why? Have you reached out to …?” and “Did you consider?” Can you imagine how frustrated George was, or what opportunity could have been missed?

The solution?

We have an important tool we always employ when we are facilitating a strategy planning session. It seems so obvious, but I don’t see it used in practice very often. The simple request to ask for clarifying questions before content questions. It is not easy to do at first, but it is a behavior that can be learned by all. The trick is to be able to draw the distinction between the two. A clarifying question begins with — “What do you mean by this?,” “Can you clarify something for me?” etc…

We have found that clarifying questions asked early and throughout a presentation can often address content questions in a better way. One thing to keep in mind — people will only follow this rule if they know they will have a chance to weigh in at a point in time. That can be either at a natural break in the presentation or at the conclusion of a short one. Also, try using a Parking Lot Chart to collect content questions asked along the way. This will help ensure people know you are going to address the important content questions at an appropriate point in time.

 

Source: GlobalEdg Research 2014