Archives for May 2016

The Leadership Mindset Assessment

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This week I want to talk to you about The Leadership Mindset Assessment. And because we’re all so used to acronyms, that’s the LMA for short.

One of the things I have heard overwhelmingly from people who downloaded the Mastering Your Mindset Special Report is they want to have some way of gauging how well they’re doing with regards to their mindset. To help with that, I created the Leadership Mindset Assessment, which you’ll see in the body of this Monday Morning Mindset.

The assessment comprises ten questions you ask yourself about your mindset. You rate yourself on a one through ten scale. You’ll give yourself a one if you either don’t have this item or don’t do it, and you’ll give yourself a ten if you do this regularly and or have it in place. Answer all of the questions and then ask the three really important questions that follow.

  1. I have a clearly defined and communicated leadership purpose
  2. I am currently and actively engaged in growing my leadership mindset AND skillset
  3. I devote a minimum of 10% of my workweek to thinking holistically and strategically
  4. I set, pursue and accomplish my priorities with fun and enthusiasm
  5. I track leadership results and share them with a trusted partner weekly
  6. The people I interact with most say I infuse hope, confidence and optimism into the workplace
  7. I read broadly and welcome opposing viewpoints and perspectives
  8. I’m committed to having a positive impact on one persons life, both personally and professionally, daily
  9. I am comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity
  10. I am having fun, love life and savor my personal and professional life

Monday Morning Insight Challenge

  1. Where am I today? This question will help you self-assess and take ownership for where you are today.
  2. Where was I one year ago? When you scores from one year ago are compared to today one of two things has happened. Your scores have gone up or gone down. If your scores have gone up, do more of that! If your score has gone down, then it’s likely your job has changed, your responsibilities have changed or something in your family life has changed. I say that because most people don’t just fall of the tracks, something has happened. The follow on question is, “what prompted me to have a lower score one year later, and what can I do about it?”
  3. Where do I want to be in one year? When you answer where do I want to be in one year you can identify one of the twenty-seven strategies from the special report and implement that to help you master your mindset.

The most important thing for you to do this week is to complete the Leadership Mindset Assessment and ask yourself my three really important questions. If you do that, you’re going to gain insights and know what to implement.


Download your Mastering Your Mindset Special Report


 

The Simple Formula For A Flourishing Business

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Here is a simple yet powerful question.

Are you flourishing as a leader?

I ask because there is a simple formula my most successful clients use to achieve accelerated results. It goes as follows:

1. Flourishing businesses have flourishing patients/clients/customers.

2. Flourishing customers are created by flourishing employees.

3. Flourishing leaders create flourishing employees.

As I wrote in my Special Report, Mastering Your Mindset: Nine Negative Habits That Hold Executives Back and How to Break Them for Accelerated Business Performance, more often than not, the lack of flourishing is not a skill set issue, but a mindset issue. Here are two examples.

I heard of a hospital CEO who wanted to recruit a cardiovascular surgeon scheduled to leave his current hospital. The surgeon was a brilliant physician, had a history of positive clinical results and brought an assured profitability to the hospital. When the interview panel of six SVPs returned a unanimous “do not hire” recommendation due to the physician “not valuing their team culture, argumentative on small issues, a poor listener, dismissive of all employees other than physicians as well as holding a negative view of the CEO”, the CEO hired them anyway. The reason? “You’re being overly critical and you can learn how to work with him.”

This CEO dismissed the feedback of a smart and talented group of SVPs and communicated his real criteria in decision making: money trumps culture along with my VPs opinion. Money is important, but when financial performance becomes the key strategic driver and culture is dismissed without significant thought, long-term performance is on life support.

I also heard from an entrepreneur of a brilliant employee whose skill set was perfectly aligned with an emerging technology the company needed, but whose mindset held a “my way or the highway” way of doing his work. When he was pushed to choose between the corporate culture of delighting customers and his way of doing his work, the customer came in second. Any time a customer comes in second to an employee preference for doing their work flourishing is destined for failure.

These two examples represent the cancer the nine negative thinking habits are to an organization. And as is the case with cancer, oftentimes leaders don’t know they have a cancer in the workplace until the only solution is a massive and radical medical intervention.

To help you identify if there is a cancerous mindset inside your organization, I developed my Leadership Mindset Assessment. On the following ten questions rate yourself using a 1 – 10 scale. One is I don’t have or do this regularly, and ten is yes, I have and do this regularly. You can also apply this assessment with direct reports.

1. I have a clearly defined and communicated leadership purpose.

2. I am currently and actively engaged in growing my leadership mindset AND skill set.

3. I devote a minimum of 10% of my workweek to thinking holistically and strategically.

4. I set, pursue and accomplish my priorities with enthusiasm.

5. I track leadership results and share them with a trusted partner weekly.

6. The people I interact with most say I infuse hope, confidence and optimism into the workplace.

7. I read broadly and welcome opposing viewpoints and perspectives.

8. I am comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity.

9. I’m committed to having a positive impact on one persons life; both personally and professionally, daily.

10.I am having fun at work and at home.

Hugh’s Mastering Your Mindset Challenge:

There are three important questions that need answers after completing this assessment. Where am I today, where was I one year ago and where do I want to be in one year?

1. If your score was lower one year ago, what have you done to improve? Quite simply, do more of what made you successful.

2. If your score was higher one year ago, identify what caused your score to decrease and identify one strategy for increasing it.

3. Where do you want to be in one year?

Identify one or two areas where you want to flourish and choose two or three strategies from the Mastering Your Mindset special report to accelerate your progress.

There is one final key point you can take from this article. You cannot have a flourishing business without flourishing leadership. It’s that simple and that powerful.

Are your flourishing as a leader?

If you want to download your complimentary copy of my special report, use this link.

Your Two Best Responses Are…

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This week I want to talk to you about your two best responses. What do I mean by that? I’m going to reference habit number two and habit number five from the Mastering Your Mindset special report. If you haven’t gotten your copy, there is a link at the bottom of this Monday Morning Mindset.

I was at Starbucks this morning listening to a conversation between a barista and a regular customer. As Starbucks employees do, they greet their customers with a “hi Joe, hi Betty, how’s your day going?” With the regulars they know better they may ask what they have planned for the rest of the week?

As the barista was engaging this one customer, she said, “Do you have plans for the summer?” His response was, “no, I’m a classic workaholic.” She then said, “I know that you’re not from around her, but Washington state has a lot of great camping. Would you enjoy that?”  A good suggestion and a good way to engage a customer. He says, “no, I’m from Chicago, I wouldn’t even know what to do.”

Now ladies and gentlemen, I want to talk to you about the two messages that gentlemen is sending to himself. The first is “I’m a classic workaholic” so therefore the only thing that’s really important is work. Anything outside of work, I don’t necessarily engage in.  If that’s the message you’re telling yourself then you’re going to attract more of that.

The second thing he said was that people from Chicago don’t know how to camp, and if they wanted to, they wouldn’t even know how to start. The message “I wouldn’t even know where to begin” is very disempowering.

I think there are two best responses in a situation where someone suggests something to you. The first is, “thank you for the suggestion, but I don’t like camping.” This is a good response because it clearly and without unnecessary explanation says, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like.

The second response is, “wow, I hadn’t thought of that. I don’t know how to camp, do you have a suggestion about how I could learn how to do that?”

These are both good responses; “I don’t want to, or I don’t know how, but maybe you could suggest a way for me to learn how.” Both of them are empowering. The gentleman in Starbucks this morning had disempowering responses.

Ladies and gentlemen, this week I want you to think about habit number two and habit number five, and to specifically remember this:

“what you tell yourself is far more important than what anyone else tells you.”

This week be very clear what you tell yourself about what type of week you want. When you do, you’ll create the kind of week that leaves you feeling much more empowered.

Mastering Your Mindset Special Report

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The single greatest factor of high performing individuals, teams and organizations is their mindset…what happens in between their ears. It’s not the corporate strategy, it’s not the sales compensation plan, nor is it the market segments they’re pursuing. It is what each leader, team member and employee chooses to focus on, to believe, and to create for themselves and for others.

Helping you master your mindset is the greatest accelerator of success I’ve ever seen and used. Building a supreme self-confidence is not simply a lever I’ve used to help people become successful at work, but it allows people to live a more rewarding and enriching personal life also.

The wrong mindset leads to the following:

▪     Playing not to lose as opposed to playing to win.

▪     Negative customer experiences.

▪     Maintaining the status quo in the face of low performance.

▪     Overthinking insignificant details in the hopes of gaining control.

▪     Feeling overwhelmed and out of control.

▪     Low levels of energy and vitality.

▪     Summarily dismissing new ideas simply because they’re new.

Starting today, I’m releasing advance copies of my Mastering Your Mindset: Nine Negative Thinking Habits that Hold Executives Back-and How to Break Them for Accelerated Business Performance. In this report you’ll learn 27 strategies for dramatically increasing your results, performance and professional relationships. As one reader said,

“Hugh provides practical, transformative gems of wisdom to help anyone discover the path to personal victory and create new and lasting habits of the heart that change the arc of one’s leadership trajectory.”

If you want to Master Your Mindset, you’ll want to download your complimentary advance copy today. The download link is below.

5 Strategies For Greater Success In High Stakes Meetings

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This week I want to share the five strategies for being more successful in high stakes meetings.

We’ve all been in a meeting with people who are influential, who have power and where the stakes are high. The stakes are high because the meeting will address the accomplishment of mission critical results or have an impact on a large population of employees.

When in these situations the question you must answer is, “how can I be successful in tis high stakes meeting?” I have five strategies that will help you do that.

#1 Do your best. Anytime you enter a meeting and you want to be successful, the first item on your agenda should be to do your best work. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be perfect. It means you are focused on doing your best.

#2 Be prepared. The mindset of providing as much value and insight as possible helps make you successful. When your focus is to make other people’s lives easier and to help them get better results you become a magnet for success. This means you will have to know who is going to be in the meeting and what is important to them.

#3 Ask more questions. Don’t be afraid to ask, “how will what we are proposing relate to our strategic priorities? This issue is highly important, let me understand, how will your team and customers react to this?” When you ask more questions, you’ll get more information that will allow you to do your best work.

#4 Have clear expectations for moving forward. One of the reasons I’ve found as to why people are not successful is because there are unclear expectations. If things are not clear, you can never do your best and you can never provide high levels of value. That means you cannot be successful.

#5 Do your best.  Yes, it is a cycle. If you do your best work, then what will happen is you will provide value to people and that allows them to achieve the results they want. If that happens your success goes up. With this additional success you ask again … what can I do now or what should we as a team do with this new success?

If you are prepared to do your best work, provide as much value as possible, ask more questions and have clear expectations, you’re going to be much more successful.

Which of these five strategies can you use this week to be more successful?

Three Reasons Employees Ration Their Effort

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This week I want to talk about why employees ration their effort. When you think about the word ‘rationing’ it has a negative connotation. If there are low food supplies you ration the food available and only provide the quantity of food necessary for survival. If there is a drought and or low water supply you ration your available water supplies.

Why would an employee ration their effort in the world of work? I think there are three reasons why.

#1 No clear future. When employees are unclear about the future state or direction of their department, of themselves, of their organization they take their foot off the accelerator and place it firmly on the brake. Ambiguity and uncertainty slows everything down.

What should you do? Provide the clarity that engages the hearts and the minds of everyone involved. Paint a picture of the future that is real, tangible and inspiring.

#2 No personal connection. When employees are unclear as to how they can actively help achieve the future state they disengage from the future and again, they take their foot off the accelerator and put it on the brake.

What should you do? Your job as a leader is to make a direct connection between what each employee does and the linkage to what the department or organization is working to accomplish.

#3 No accountability. When employees don’t take accountability and measure their results they do what they instinctively know how to do…they take their foot off the accelerator and put it on the brake. Some employees know where they are heading individually and organizationally, but without clear metrics and accountability for accomplishing the desired results will underperform.

What should you do? Look at the absence of metrics and accountability like playing a sport without keeping score. Successful leaders find a way to measure everyone’s performance and communicate regularly “this is what you are doing well and should keep doing. This is what you are not doing as well and can improve.”

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever find yourself or someone inside your organization rationing their effort you now know there are three things that cause it and three things you can do to rectify it.

Which of these three reasons for rationing effort are impacting you?