Category Archives: Work/life Integration

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

What the hell does “I have to go to work” mean?

ATT00015 pexels-photo-510391Who among us has walked around on a Sunday night with that “pit in our stomach” feeling? Last weekend I was having this very conversation with two close friends; both professionals, one a lawyer and the other a schoolteacher. They both expressed to me they were feeling a little blue and continued to explain they were “dreading” going to work the next day. The whole conversation centered on why they were feeling this way on a Sunday night and why the anticipation of starting a new workweek stressed out so many people. Maybe it’s how our culture talks about and defines “work” today. Does any of this sound familiar…

· Are you still at “work”?

· How many hours did you “work” this week?

· Unfortunately, I must “work” this weekend.

· I have been working too hard lately.

You can add to the list!

One definition even defines work as “an exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.”

As our conversation continued, we shifted from the when and how, to the “why” of work. That’s when the conversation became more meaningful allowing us to look at “work” in a different way. In their book, The Why of Work, David and Wendy Ulrich refer to the “Why “ as the human search for meaning that finds its way to our office and factories; a search that motivates, inspires, and defines us. George Washington University professor Neal Chalofsky also writes in his book , Meaningful Workplaces, that learning is the most critical human function to reaching your purpose and potential. Learning new skills and applying them in some way allows you to raise the bar for yourself and others.

As my friends and I concluded our conversation, we agreed to adopt a better way of thinking about work; more as a meaning maker rather than as a laborer. I suggested they capture, declare and write down how their work provides meaning and refer to it on the Sunday nights when they were feeling that “pit” in their stomach.

This past Sunday, I also took time to reflect on the “why” of my work, and in doing so, found myself really looking forward to the week. I was coming off an intense facilitation of an executive retreat, one where the group was wrestling with the future of the company. The session I facilitated provided them with an opportunity to shape the future of their organization; building a new kind of company where they help saves lives and attract the best people to join and stay with the company. It was a privilege to be there working with these executives. I learned, I was inspired, and I was making a difference! It reinforced “why” I love the “work” I do.

Every time I learn something that makes me a better coach and leader it brings more meaning and purpose to my “work”, so much so, I don’t think about it as “work” anymore, but as a chance to learn and grow and be part of something that is truly making a positive difference in peoples lives.

Whether you are on an assembly line or working in a corner office, try to remember, going to “work” really does make a difference in someone’s life; it does have meaning. Write down your “why” and continue to shape it as you grow and learn. Only then can you know “what the hell going to work means!”

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?

How small is your world?

viewAlthough I have an office in town, I often intentionally don’t go directly to “work” every day. I have developed a practice of occasionally finding a place to have a coffee and that allows me to do some reading, reflecting, and writing. Today is one of those days. I pulled into the local Starbucks, ordered a coffee, and found a quiet place in the corner to read a new book.

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with Joseph Jaworski, one of the world’s best authorities on leadership. Jaworski has dedicated his life to building the capability of leaders for the betterment of organizations, as well as society in general. While we discussed a variety of topics, it is his work on innovation that interested me most. I told Joseph that I had ordered his book, Source: The Inner Path of Knowledge Creation, and was really looking forward to diving into it. The book is his story of experiences with scientists, physicists, artists, entrepreneurs, and spiritual leaders on finding their sources for creativity and purpose.

This morning, this was the book I was reading. In the chapter, “The release of limited belief systems” – something really jumped out at me:

“Over the years, my worldview has shifted. I had released my limiting belief systems, which has been inculcated in me over a lifetime, and discovered that a profound shift had occurred in my metaphysics – my philosophy of being and knowing.”

He goes on to write, “…many leaders operate under obsolete assumptions and inner mental models of which they may no longer be aware. These limiting belief systems inhibits leaders at all levels from pursuing and discovering novel opportunities. The result is repeated strategic failure even in enterprises that are exceedingly run well.”

Since we founded our company 10 years ago, the world has changed in ways that are breathtaking. Throughout this period, I have seen and have experienced people doing remarkable things in their organizations. We have worked with thousands of people at all levels in over 50 different organizations. They have taught me to challenge my own assumptions about how great companies work—people who think about possibilities: big not small thinkers—making a difference in the place they work and for the customers they serve. Because of this we have been able to pivot, grow, and innovate to better deliver the value clients deserve.

When I limit my belief system and don’t pursue new and different ways of being, my world gets much smaller—and less personal and professional growth occurs. This happens when I fall into that trap of over activity that we all often find ourselves in. We need to be reminded to step back and see how we are growing and learning. I suggest selecting a special space where you can stretch your own thinking. Ask yourself, “How have my views have changed over time? Who influenced me in a positive way? How did they help my world get bigger? Where can I focus my attention to help me learn and expand my own world view?” And finally, “How can I use what I have learned to make a difference in the world?”

www.globaledg.com

GlobalEdg Leadership Diary #3 — Your Competitive Advantage — What makes you standout & win?

winningA few years ago my brother and our wives were vacationing at a resort in Florida. On our second night there, we were sitting on the balcony of our room enjoying the warm weather and the incredible view of the Ocean. Shortly we noticed a steady stream of people heading to the poolside patio … dressed in business casual attire – each wearing a nametag. They were headed to a corporate company cocktail party.   As we looked on with curiosity, we began noticing a similar pattern. As people were getting closer to the patio they seemed to behave in a similar way — hand to the head to make sure their hair was in place, as well as a quick glance down at their nametag to see if it was visible and not upside down. There were even similar facial expressions – eyes darting around and a slight smile (either excitement or nervous laughter). Even the pace of walking began to change and each seemed to pick up as they were closer to the party. While observing, my brother and I found ourselves talking about how similar we often found ourselves behaving – preparing to make the right impression. We were putting on our “game face” at such corporate events.

The game? how to stand out and win…with the people we work with/for. The cocktail party illustration can be a small example of how we try to differentiate ourselves at work. Obviously the real way to stand out is with the contributions you make to your organization.

Winning is defined in different ways by each of us; however, we only win when we are able to realize we all have unique gifts that allow us to differentiate ourselves from others in our chosen professions … we all have a unique way of delivering value — competitive advantage in one way or another. The question remains how do we know what it is. In our book Think to Win, we outline how both teams and individuals can address this. The process is simple yet compelling – a few questions can serve as criteria — Consider the following:

  • What really differentiates us?
  • Is it something no one else could say about themselves?
  • What is the source of this?
  • How do we sustain it?

Using the tools of business are important and applicable to us personally. What differentiates you? How are you leveraging it? We all have unique gifts and ultimately stand out at any cocktail party.

To gain insight on how Thinking to Win can help your business and life at http://www.thinktowin.net/.

 

Leadership – What was I learning early in my career? Not what Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings is teaching!

netflixWhy is this memory imprinted in my brain? Although this happened to me over 25 years ago, I remember it so vividly. This article triggered it again! (Link below)

I was a newly promoted manager who had “made it” – being promoted to the home office. During the first few weeks in my new assignment, I was working late when the President of the Division walked by my office door. He stopped, looked in my office –then directly at me and said “You are a hard worker aren’t you?”  He smiled and then said, “I am impressed.”

Why was that important? Well it sent a message to a young and ambitious manager –so much so that I found myself cultivating that reputation. I wanted to be known as one of the hardest working managers in the company. I often found myself looking out the window in the early evening – seeing whose car was still parked outside. It also became a “game” to brag about how many unused vacation days I had at the end of the year. I wanted to be known as the hard working “problem solver.”

Looking back, it seems really silly now. I became burnt out at an early age. Fortunately I was able to recover through the help of good coaching, mentoring and family support.

I am sure I did solve some problems – but where did it get me, my team and ultimately the organization? We had success, but I know we missed our potential because I did not work smart.

It is not about activity it is about results. That happens when you are able to step back and give yourself time to thinking about what is most important. It is only when your shift your mind to results versus activity are you able to win. Then you become the strategic leader who Thinks to Win!

The Next generation of leaders are the ones who will get it right.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/netflix-ceo-reed-hastings-takes-163759505.html

www.thinktowin.net

think to win pic

 

GlobalEdg Approaching 8 Year Anniversary!

GlobalEdg is celebrating our anniversary of eight years in business. We have been fortunate to work with some great organizations of all sizes. You have told us we are making a difference in how leaders collaborate, how organizations solve problems, and add value to.

Thank you! We are attaching an updated GlobalEdg overview. Again, thank you for your ongoing support,

Paul Butler

President & Founder of GlobalEdg

GlobalEdg Launches New Product & Service on Executing Business Strategies

Southbury, CT, March 31, 2014 – GlobalEdg, a management-consulting firm focused on organizational development announced today the launch of a new product and service. The A.C.E (Alignment, Collaboration and Execution) system is designed to help translate business strategy into action. Its purpose is to build the capability in leaders on how to best execute strategies. The product and service is a follow-up to GlobalEdg’s world-renown, STAR (Strategic, Thinking, Action and Results) methodology which has over 3,000 Alumni. “We are excited to work with our clients as they continue to look for proven solutions on how to build their capabilities in the all-important area of how to best deliver on organizational strategies; and ACE is designed to do just that,” said Paul Butler, President of GlobalEdg.

The product is a result of multi-year effort that combines our research and client work.  What we found is that execution has a lot to do with organizational alignment, cross functional/team collaboration and building a results-based execution plan. These three elements, Alignment, Collaboration and Execution form the basis of ACE,” adds Butler.

The program has been successfully tested in several companies over the last six months.

What your organization gets are leaders who are better able to:

· Focus limited resources (time, money, and people) on the right work.

· Navigate the matrix organization leaders are playing in.

· Improved understanding of stakeholder needs and how to influence effectively.

· Clarity on the right results and the right resources needed to succeed.

About GlobalEdg

GlobalEdg is a company dedicated to helping organizations WIN by building leadership & team capability infocusing and executing on what’s most important, and aligning and engaging people to deliver exceptional results. GlobalEdg’s model is to teach organizations how to integrate these practices into the way they work. GlobalEdg’s methodology is “Leaders Teaching Leaders” and has been used by leaders in many of the world’s most successful companies.

For additional information regarding this press release, please contact Paul Butler at pbutler@globaledg.com orjyoung@globaledg.com or call (203) 304-1820.

GlobalEdg, LLC.       (203) 304-1820 www.GlobalEdg.com