Archives for October 2012

Monday Morning Minute 10-29-12

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Monday Morning Minute 10-22-2012

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Good morning everyone my name is Hugh Blane and this is the Monday Morning Minute for October 22, 2012, and this week I want to talk to you about good deeds versus grand intentions.

I’m going to venture a guess that the vast majority of you have a grand intention for your life, either personally or professionally. I’m also going to venture a guess that the vast majority of you are not making the type of progress you want toward your grand intention. Life has gotten busy, our schedules are packed and often times the small good deeds required in order to achieve a grand intention fall by the wayside.

I know this because I’ve experienced it myself. Over the last four months my work and travel schedule has become very hectic and we purchased a new home. Those two events made it difficult for me to find time to work out. I had the grand intention of feeling vital physically, but the small good deeds necessary to achieve my grand intention weren’t to be seen anywhere.

So, two weeks ago, I went to a neighborhood gym and signed up for an eight- week boot camp. I’m up every morning at 5:15 and in the gym at six and after two weeks I feel so much better. I feel stronger, healthier and more vibrant.

Ladies and gentlemen if you want to move closer to your grand intention and have a more effective workweek I have three suggestions for you.

1. Build an unshakable belief that you can accomplish your grand intention.

2. Stop focusing on the grand intention and start focusing on the small good deeds required in order to achieve the grand intention.

3. Commit every single day to do a small good deed that will move you closer to your grand intention.

If you do those three things you’ll move closer to your grand intention and have a much more effective workweek.

That is the Monday morning minute for October 22, 2012. I hope you have a fabulous week and I will see you here again next week.

Are you the drill bit or the hole?

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You don’t want to be either. You want to be what the hole allows to happen after it’s there. Here’s what I mean.

Every year there are millions of drill bits sold. The vast majority of the people who bought a drill bit didn’t want the drill bit – they wanted the hole. Actually, what they really wanted was the something that comes only after the hole is present – they wanted what the hole allows them to do next. Things such as building a deck and hanging a picture are examples of what comes after the hole is present.

In my work with IT, finance, legal and engineering departments, the majority of people who are technically brilliant interact and communicate with their customers in ways that says “I’m more interested in drill bits than I am in what you’re building.” This is a career limiting move as it positions you as disinterested in me and my end result.

This summer, I was part of a group working to replace the deck of a single mom who didn’t have the technical skills or resources to replace her deck. During the project I drilled close to one hundred holes and placed another one hundred four inch deck screws into the holes. The drill was certainly essential to building the deck, but what was important to the mother of two small girls was not the drill or the hole. What was most important was having a safe deck for her two young daugheters as well as a place to enjoy the sunset as a family.

If you are in a technical role or have deep technical expertise, the amount of influence you have is in direct proportion to your ability to stop talking about drill bits and start talking about business value or outcomes. Business executives care less about the tools and methodology you’ll use; they care about the results you can achieve. When you talk primarily about your tools and or methodology you will regress to being seen as a dispensable commodity as opposed to an indispensable business partner.

To avoid that I have three suggestions.

1. Venture outside the confines of your department and go ask your key customers what’s important to them. Ask them: what are the traits, skills and or competencies they believe are inexorably linked to value creation for them. What you hear and learn will allow you to do the following step which is to find if there is a gap between how you are currently engaging them versus how they want to be engaged.

2. Rate yourself on all of the traits and characteristicts you heard from your key customers. Whether it is a five point or a ten point scale doesn’t matter. What matters most is that you identify what your customers want and you engage yourself and your team in rating how well you’re doing. If you say really, really, well then I want to remind you of the great quote from Jean Giraudoux who said…”only the mediocre are always at their best.”

3. List three parts of your work and how is it noteworthy, remarkable and or referable. By referable I mean so compelling that people want to tell others about you and the great work you do.

These three questions are common sense questions that all customer centric organizations pay attention to. They are not however in common practice for the vast majority of my technically trained clients. Until now of course.

Monday Morning Minute 10-15-2012

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Monday Morning Minute 10-08-12

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Good morning everyone my name is Hugh Blane and this is the Monday Morning Minute for October 8, 2012 and today I want to talk to you about credibility.

In order for you to be seen as credible you have to pay attention to three C’s

The first C is competence. In order to be seen as credible you must develop high levels of competence. You must do great work and recognize that below average performance is antithetical to being seen as credible.

The second C is consistency. You must be highly consistent in bringing your best effort – you’re “A” game to your work daily. You cannot bring high performance sporadically to your work; you must consistently provide real value.

The third C is commitment to creating WOW experiences. A WOW experience leaves people saying “Wow, working with you is amazing.” Or, “Wow, you are indispensable.”

If you focus on creating this kind of commitment, and if you are highly consistent and seek to continually develop your competence you will be seen as credible – and you will have a much more effective workweek.

That’s the Monday morning minute for October 8, 2012. I hope you have a fabulous week and I look forward to seeing you here again next week.

If you want to enhance you ability to positively influence yourself as well as key decision makers, call and ask Hugh about his Executive Presence consulting and coaching programs.

Two steps to greater credibility

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