Archives for June 2012
As part of a keynote at Pepperdine University I asked one fundamentally important question of every leader, team member and individual contributor. It took me 20 seconds to ask the question and 59 minutes and 40 seconds to explain how to live the answer. While this is a very short video, it has lasting and long term consequences.
I am always privileged whenever I’m asked to speak at Pepperdine University, and as a guest lecturer I’m privileged rather frequently. At a recent keynote I presented the five principles all leaders need to fully embrace in order to create extraordinary performance. This is a short video that asks the question…how do you view change? I hope it prompts you to question your own views about change. Enjoy.
Have you ever wondered how ordinary people; people like your neighbor, your coworker and or boss, accomplish what you see as the extraordinary? Have you ever asked yourself if you are capable of creating the extraordinary? If the answer to either question is yes, then I have some good news for you. The achievement of the extraordinary is simply a choice you make – it’s a choice to pursue the extraordinary or a choice to be content with the ordinary.
If you are curious about the skills necessary to achieve the extraordinary, and whether you are positioning yourself for extraordinary performance, here are ten questions I know will help.
1. Purpose: Am I here for something to do or to do something? If I am here to do something, what am I passionate about? What one idea has grabbed hold of me and won’t let go?
2. Promise: What promises am I willing to make; to myself, my company and my customers that is directly linked to my purpose? No promises = no passion for my purpose.
3. Prioritize: Based on my promises, how will I prioritize my day? How will my schedule be different? What new associations, activities or groups need to be a priority for me?
4. Personify: If I am to be the personification of my purpose, what new behaviors will my purpose and promise require of me? Which behaviors will I adopt and which will I jettison?
5. Purify: Do I regularly ask yourself how well I am personifying my purpose? Do I find one thing each week that did not match my prioritization or personification and resolve to stop doing it?
6. Praise: Have I adopted the habit of finding one thing I’m grateful for and or admire from the previous week? The 6th P is about exclaiming to my that I did something admirably well and that it’s worth replicating. Doing so builds my energy and momentum for my purpose.
7. Play: Am I having fun and not taking myself too seriously while pursuing the extraordinary? Can I see the 7th P in similar ways as to a first date? On first dates I am excited about spending time with the person, I laugh a lot and I enjoy getting to know the person. The same holds true for my purpose.
8. Protégé: Since I am growing and learning in my career, have I found one person to share what I’ve learned with someone who hasn’t benefited from the same opportunities I’ve had? Am I passing along my wisdom generously?
9. Persuade: Do I help others feel equally as passionate about their purpose? Do I view every interaction and conversation as an opportunity to persuade team members, colleagues or client’s to think bigger about their purpose? When appropriate do I prescribe for them strategies for creating the extraordinary that have benefited me?
10. Prepare: Am I prepared to reinvent all of my P’s? Do I recognize that creating the extraordinary is not a destination but rather a process that requires introspection, perseverance and curiosity?
Which of the following 10-P’s are you doing regularly? Which ones do you need to start doing?
What is the one thing you want to have, do or become that would allow you to say “yes, I am a success?” Or, more succinctly, how do you define success?
That was the essence of a conversation I had Wednesday with my good friend and fellow consultant Brian Walter. I met with Brian for two reasons. The first reason is because Brian has an extraordinary ability to see the world from a positive and affirming perspective. He practices what he has termed “assertive optimism”, which is intentionally and assertively choosing to see the positive possibilities in all situations. Over the years Brian has become exceptionally good at this, and simply spending time with him leaves me more upbeat and optimistic.
The second reason I met with Brian is to ask for his thoughts around the naming of a new product offering I’m developing. Since Brian is a communication consultant I fully expected to leave with a page and a half of ideas about names and action steps for moving forward. But that’s not what happened. Instead Brian asked me two questions that I didn’t expect and that needed my attention. The two questions were:
1. What fills you up?
2. How do you define success both personally and professionally?
While these questions are ones I frequently ask my coaching clients, what was interesting is that they were being asked of me six days before my eighth wedding anniversary and sixteen days before my three year anniversary of selling my former consulting firm. These two questions hadn’t been asked of me in over three years, and rethinking my responses was both exciting and insightful.
So, how did I answer these questions? I answered them in the present tense and affirming how I am successful because I wanted to acknowledge and recognize that in numerous ways I already am successful. I’m sharing my answers not to be self referential, but rather to prompt you to think about how you would answer these two questions.
1. I know I’m successful because I live my life from a place of faith as opposed to a place of fear
2. I know I’m successful because my wife tells me that she is loved, cared for, and valued by me
3. I know I’m successful because my family and friends know I love them, have their best interests at heart, and will be available for them whenever they need me
4. I know I’m successful because I make progress (even if only incrementally) in changing the course of human events in a positive way
5. I know I’m successful because I hear from family, friends and clients that I cultivate hope and optimism in all my interactions
6. I know I’m successful because I’m capable of providing financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually for my family
7. l know I’m successful because I’m making a difference in the communities where I live
8. I know I’m successful because I have discretionary time to live my life now as opposed to waiting to enjoy my life at some date in the future
9. I know I’m successful because I have friends like Brian that remind me to ask questions like this
1. I know I’m successful because my clients tell me they trust, respect and value the contribution I make to their teams and organizations
2. I know I’m successful because I’m asked to work with leaders, teams and organizations to perform at higher levels primarily through referrals
3. I know I’m successful because I get to choose which clients I work with
4. I know I’m successful because my firm is providing a wonderful standard of living for my family
5. I know I’m successful because my firm has grown by 70% per year since its inception
6. I know I’m successful because my vocation is something I am passionate about and can’t imagine doing anything else
7. I know I’m successful because I’m using all of my talents and skills in creative ways
8. I know I’m successful because I have several professional communities that inspire me to learn, grow and become the very best I can be
9. I know I’m successful because my wife is a raving fan of the work I do and never let’s me forget the difference I’m making
Each of these answers if left unattended would eventually wither and die. So, while I count my blessings today, I also take none of the above for granted and am actively looking for ways to be the best husband, friend, and business owner possible.
So, now it’s your turn. How do you define success? What fills you up?