Archives for June 2014
There is a deadly sin for us as family members, employees and members of a community. It is the sin of being caught up by inertia.
Inertia is a two sided coin. On one side there are the positive aspects of inertia. Working out, reducing stress and eating a well balanced diet are some positive aspects. Maintaing the status-quo, playing it safe, repeating mindlessly outdated processes simply because they are easier and require less effort are some negative aspects.
How can you know if you have fallen victim to the negative aspects of inertia? Here are my top ten questions that I believe will help you determine if inertia has grabbed hold of you:
1. Within the last thirty days have you asked yourself if there is a more efficient or effective way to accomplish your work?
2. Within the last ninety days have you found one aspect of your work frustrating and personally resolved to address it?
3. Are you actively engaged in a professional development process that has you excited and motivated to learn more?
4. Is your circle of professional associates exactly the same as it was five years ago?
5. Do you have more enthusiasm for leaving work than you do for arriving for work?
6. In the last six months have you volunteered for a project or committee on your own volition?
7. Have you sought out a younger colleague and mentored them?
8. Within the last six months have you reexamined your priorities and removed some, redefined others or recommitted to them?
9. Are you unapologetically optimistic about your work, your team and organization?
10.Are you having fun at work?
If you are caught up in the busyness of life the inertia of your current situation will diminish your enthusiasm and view of the world around you. By asking these ten questions you may find one idea that allows you to have the upside of inertia become more prevalent.
Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane and this is the new format of the Monday Morning Minute where I answer a question sent in by a viewer.
Today’s question comes from on Ani O’Hara in Seattle. Ani asks: what are the three strategies for creating an effective call to action in a group of ten, one hundred or one thousand people? That is a great question Ani and thank you for asking. Actually, there are five strategies. Here’s what I suggest:
#1. Before you walk in to address your audience think in advance about what their self-interests are. What are their goals, their hopes and aspirations? What is top of mind for them both personally and professionally?
#2. What are their business objectives? It is incumbent on you to have a clear understanding of their business objectives and how you can help them be successful. You must align your call to action with their business objectives in order to be successful.
#3. You must know the barriers they will experience if they say yes to your call to action. You must also be able to talk to them about how they will overcome their barriers.
#4. You have to create a mental picture that is incredibly compelling for them where they see themselves in the future having said yes to your request, AND being incredibly successful.
#5. This last point is very important. Data secures compliance. Emotion secures commitment. Your presentation and the request you make of people must have an emotional component to it and not simply just data.
This weeks challenge: Your Challenge this week is before you do anything; before you start answering email or picking up the phone to check your voicemail, go to my blog and post one question that you want to have answered. What is the one question that is pressing for you and that if you were to have it answered your professional life would get more productive and effective?
That is the new format of the Monday Morning Minute. I hope you have a fabulous week.
Knowing the right questions to ask is essential if you want to understand an issue, a person or an opportunity. Without the right information you will not glean accurate insights, nor will you implement the right strategies to be successful.
I’ve developed five questions that my most successful clients ask every six months in order to be successful.
1. What has been my organizations greatest success over the last six months? What contributed most to this success and what specifically can be done to capitalize on this success?
2. What has been my organizations greatest challenge or failure over the last six months? What contributed most to this challenge or failure and what specifically can be done to minimize its impact throughout the rest of the organization?
3. What have I specifically done to contribute to the above? What did I do or not do that needs to be addressed, amplified or minimized?
4. What precise aspects about the above are most troubling to me? If not addressed, what are the consequences in repute, financial performance, etc?
5. With these insights, what are my highest priorities over the coming six to twelve months? Why are these priorities important to me and what is the impact to me and my organization if I accomplish them?
Professionally, I am a serial entrepreneur. I’m not afraid to reinvent myself. After eleven years as the CEO of my own financial consulting firm, I reinvented myself when I was recruited to join renowned business author Tom Peters as a senior level consultant with The Tom Peters Company.
After traveling to three continents, working in seven countries and thirty-five states, I left to become the youngest partner and consultant in the venerable consulting firm, the Effectiveness Institute.
After seven years, I recognized that it was time to reinvent myself again and started Claris Consulting five years ago.
Far too often we intellectually grasp the importance of reinvention, but are reluctant to convert our knowledge into action. We do so because we ask ourselves the right questions, but we ask them in the wrong order.
Are there three areas you want to reinvent? Do you have three personally and three professionally? The typical response to this question is “yes” followed by an immediate “I don’t know how.” Focusing on “how” too early is frustrating and limits your creativity. If you want to reinvent yourself, a process or another aspect of your professional and personal life, here are my three recommendations:
1. Focus on what you want to reinvent first. Get clear about what you want in as much detail as you can. Specifically, what does the reinvention look like, smell like, taste like, and most importantly, feel like to you?
2. Next, focus on “why” you want this change. There are reasons why your reinvention is important to you professionally, personally, physically, emotionally or spiritually? In whatever way you get a payoff, clearly define all the reasons why this is important to you.
3. The last step is to focus on how you will complete your reinvention. You may not know how specifically, but rest assured you know someone who has reinvented themselves in the way you desire. You can find them and learn the specifics about how they successfully reinvented themselves.
It is a fool’s errand to start with how. It inhibits your creativity, clarity and commitment. Get clear about what you want and why and you’ll develop the kind of mindset that makes reinvention considerably easier.
This week I want to talk with you about keeping your commitments. Every single week, when you show up at work and at home, you will have something happen that will make keeping your commitments difficult. I will suggest that whenever you run into situations like this you have one of three choices. You can:
1. Remove the commitment. You can look at the commitment and recognize that it is no longer viable for you to keep the commitment and remove the commitment from your list of obligations.
2. You can revisit the commitment. Your second option is to take the same information you have from #1 and revise the commitment to fit with what you are able to do. You can say Friday at 3PM no longer works but Tuesday at 5:00PM does.
3. You recommit to it.
Ladies and gentlemen, you really only three options when you’re confronted with situations that pull you away from keeping your commitments. You can remove them, revisit them, or recommit to them.
This week, look at your commitments and decide which ones need to go, which ones need revisiting and which ones you need to recommit to. If you’ll do that you’ll have a much more productive workweek.
Have a great week!
Parents grow tired of their young children incessantly asking the question why. Why is the sky blue, why is the grass green and why am I not allowed to eat ice cream with every meal?
For many adults the why question can be threatening or intimidating especially when you ask why in relation to their work.
I believe why questions should become our best friend. Why questions get to the root of personal motivations, engagement and performance. For example, “why after eighteen months do our key customers leave us for our competitors?” is a great question.
I think the most important questions leaders need to ask themselves are why questions. Here are my top three questions for leaders:
1. Why am I doing the work I do?
2. Why does it leave me excited, engaged and or fulfilled? Or, why not?
3. Why is my work beneficial to my team, my customers and my organization?
By asking these three questions you will get a candid and pragmatic glimpse into your motivations, level of engagement and performance.
Why is this important? It’s important because when leaders lose the fire for why they want to make a dent in the world of work it’s time for them to either reconnect with a compelling why, or it’s time for them to make an exit from the world of leadership.