Archives for March 2016

The Three Most Common Negative Thinking Habits

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I’m releasing an eBook entitled, “Mastering Your Mindset: Nine Negative Habits that Hold Executives Back and How to Break Them for Accelerated Business Performance. It will be available within the next 30 days, but today I want to talk about three of them. The three I’ll discuss are very common in our world of work as well as in our personal life.

Here are my first three negative thinking habits:

#1. Living in the past. This habit hyper focuses on events from the past and determines to make sure it never happens again. Ladies and gentlemen, this is smart and pragmatic, but when taken to an extreme and neglects looking at what is possible in the future you’re bringing the past into the present and soiling the present. Do you bring the past with you, even if it’s not serving you well?

#2. Using defeatist language. Do you use language such as “I have to do this, I must do this or I can’t do that?” When you use contractions at the beginning of a sentence it always ends negatively. I suggest that defeatist language in the world of work creates a defeatist mindset, and when you have a defeatist mindset, you never perform at your very highest level.

#3. Living in fear. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll raise my hand and say that at times I’ve lived in fear. It’s one of the worst negative thinking patterns I’ve used and it wore me down. Living in fear is irrational, because what we fear 99.5% of the time is not going to kill us. We don’t live on the Serengeti and have to chase our food and kill it to feed ourselves. We have to go to the local market and purchase our dinner. Fear in some instances is justified, but not the majority of the time. Fear inhibits our ability to make better choices and to address our issues in a healthy way.

These three negative thinking patterns will be addressed in more detail along with six more. Over the next four weeks you’re going to have the opportunity to receive a copy and work through the success strategies. It’s something I’m proud of and hope it will improve the quality of your professional and personal life.

Monday Morning Mindset Challenge:

Do you see any of those in the world of work and with your colleagues? Do you see any of those with yourself? What’s one thing you can do today to jettison or reduce your use of this thinking pattern?

Love in the World of Work

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What is the one thing people want more than anything else? If you watched my Monday Morning Mindset from four weeks ago you will know the answer. It is to be valued, cared for and loved. I’ve talked about infusing the word “love” into the world of work. Love really is important, but it is an awkward word to use in the world of work.

This is not a difficult theoretical leadership concept that needs explanation. A leaders primary job is to let employees know that what they want most is for employees to be happy, valued, and cared for. This is true in our personal lives as well as in our professional lives.

That need when addressed successfully by a leader, transforms their organization. In many faith traditions we are called to love. The Buddha said, “we are to get along with one another and all of nature.” In the Quran it says “we are to return evil with kindness.” In the Bible, the apostle John says “we are to love one another, as we have been loved.”

If every human being has a need to be loved, adored, cared for, appreciated and valued, that requires leaders to ensure employees and customers feel cared for, valued, and yes, loved. When they do it transforms the world of work and the customer/patient/client experience in ways that are truly remarkable.

As leaders, we have to recognize what is it that people want more than anything and to do something daily to help make that happen. If you do that, it will not only feel really rewarding and lift your spirits, but it will transform your business.

Monday Morning Mindset Challenge:

What will you do today and this week to address this need? What will you do to encourage people and to uplift the human spirit in the world of work?

How To Lead Personal and Professional Transformations

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This week I want to talk with you about individual and organizational transformations. As you can see here from my flipchart, I have spared no expense…none whatsoever, with visual aids this week.

I believe we all want to transform something. It may be ourselves, our work, our spouses, children or communities. Whatever it may be there is a transformation we all want to undertake. If that’s true for you, I want to map out three strategies you’ll need to address in order to be successful.

#1. You have a purpose.  There has to be a purpose to the transformation. There has to be something that is meaningful to you, and by that I mean something you care about. Purposes represent an idea you’ve fallen in love with and will not let go of. Your idea is so compelling that it prompts you to make new promises to yourself and to the people that matter most to you. Your purpose will change your priorities because it is so important to you. And your purpose changes your behavior. You will do whatever is necessary to role model your purpose in order to be successful.

#2.You accomplish work that matters. To be transformational, you must do work that matters; work that makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives. The work you do must be valuable, produce a high return on investment and make a significant difference. When you do work that doesn’t produce a high quality return for your most important constituents, you’re not going to be transformational. If you cannot find a connection to doing meaningful work, you’re at risk of becoming bored and disinterested in your work.

#3. You have to persevere. First and foremost, persevering in the face of adversity requires a compelling purpose. If you have a compelling purpose and are doing meaningful work that matters to the customers that matter most to you, you are highly likely to praise yourself as well as others and persuade people to strive to keep going. Perseverance is a real differentiator. You have to, under no circumstance, allow a barrier to stop you from pursuing your purpose.

When you put these three aspects of transformation together you’ll make a transformational difference. That could be at home with your family and friends, or at work with customers and fellow employees. If you embrace these three strategies you’re going to be a transformational leader and you’re going to make a significant difference.

The Three Strategies To Monitor Your Performance

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This week I want to ask you about “how” you are performing at work. I’m going to ask this question through the lens of someone who is a former triathlete.

One of the things I learned quickly in triathlons is that I need to know how I am performing in the three different sports. For example, how was I performing in while swimming 1.25 miles, biking 56 miles and running 13.1 miles and being in constant motion for five and half to eight hours. My first half Ironman took me eight hours to complete. It was a killer race because it was incredibly hot…92 degrees on black asphalt is killer. My last half Ironman took me six hours. I improved my time by training using a heart rate monitor and monitoring my performance throughout the race.

Heart rate monitors tell you how hard you are working by measuring your heart rate. The higher your heart rate the harder you are working. In long distance races you want to move as fast as you can while maintaining a low heart rate. When you train too hard you burn out and the likelihood of an injury jumps significantly. And most importantly, if you train too hard you’re not going to enjoy yourself.

Do you know how you’re performing at work? Is there a mechanism similar to a heart rate monitor that tells you how you’re doing? I have three questions that will help you monitor your performance at work.

#1. Am I effective? In my job and or role am I being effective? Give it a one to ten rating with one being completely ineffective and ten highly effective. How are you doing?

#2. Am I growing? Am I growing as an employee or as a leader? Are I better this month than I was last month? Do I have plans to be better two months or there months in the future than I am today? Use the same one through ten rating.

#3. Am I having fun at work? The reason this question is important is because employees who are not having fun at work are like overtrained triathletes; they’re burned out and worn down. When you’re not having fun at work it’s going to interrupt your effectiveness and will hamper your ability to grow. Are you having fun at work is not a flippant question. It is actually a really important question.

To ensure your mindset is poised to grow your organization or your department ask yourself these three questions. When you answer in the affirmative you will not only monitor your performance in ways that foster growth, but you’ll ensure you are doing your best work possible.