Archives for October 2016

Your Goals Are Eroding Your Performance

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This week I want to talk about why your goals are eroding your performance. Is that possible? It is. The number one reason why your goals are eroding your performance is that you’ve divorced your goals from a purpose.

We’ve gotten confused about the difference between goals and purpose. The vast majority of people are overwhelmed, overworked and overburdened. In this state it is easier to focus on the goals and transactional aspects of work. This happens simply by walking in the front door of your office. When you arrive at the office you are likely addressing issues and solving problems from the moment you walk in the door. You have a long to-do list and do your work, do more work, then more work and then even more work without any white space. You’re a human doing as opposed to a human being.

Because goals and purpose have been cleaved and separated the energy and drive that needs to be infused into goals is missing. So what do you do? I have three suggestions.

#1 Articulate your purpose. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that each person has in them a hope, dream or aspiration. Something they have known about for a long time and that they are excited to accomplish. It’s something they would regret if on their deathbed they knew they hadn’t accomplished it. When they started their business or went into their line of work, there was a hope, dream or aspiration they followed. That hope, dream or aspiration needs to be articulated.

#2 Articulate your value. When you think of your purpose, what is its benefit to your constituents? How is their life better? How is their life transformed positively? Articulate your value clearly, because when you know what your purpose is and when you know how you are positively influencing the people around you, it gives you the energy and drive to do my third suggestion.

#3 Think bigger. Bold statement alert. The vast majority of you watching this don’t think big enough. You don’t have a compelling purpose, you’ve not articulated your value and so what you gravitate toward are smaller goals than what you are capable of. I want you to think bigger and increase your goals by 25%. If you increase them by 25% you may have a moment where your sphincter muscle contracts sharply and you shout “I don’t know how to do this.” If you do say that, that’s the right place to start. You’ll be forced to say, “wait a minute. If my purpose is compelling and I’m creating high levels of value, thinking smaller is a habit and not a reality.

Ladies and gentlemen, articulate your purpose, articulate your value, and start thinking bigger. When you do that your goals will become transformational. They’re going to transform your work life, your home life, your community life, and you will have so much more energy and drive to accomplish them.

The Power of The Word Because

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The word because is a powerful word. We do things “because” they provide a benefit or value. We choose to live in the neighborhood we do because of its proximity to schools for example, or we drive the car we do because of the fuel economy, reliability or horsepower. We are also in relationships or do business with companies because of an experience we have with them. In all of our decisions is a because.

Since because is a powerful word transformational leaders want to know the answer to the question of employees…why do you work here, because once they know the employees because answer to the question, they can capitalize on that and create more of the same.

You also want to know why your customer’s choose to do business with you. What’s their because? The moment you identify a compelling because from a customer you can exploit it and more purposefully cascade your response to their answer throughout your organization. How do you find out what your customers because is? You ask them one simple question: what is the most enjoyable, valuable or rewarding part of doing business with us?

Talk to as many customers as you can and learn first hand your customers because. Review your list of answers and identify which you can do in highly differentiated ways.

Do the same with employees. Knowing why your employees work at your organization allows you to learn what’s most important and enjoyable about working with you, and once identified, you can use it to transform your business to higher levels of performance.

A Leaders Most Powerful Words All Begin with The Letter “I”

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When you were in grade school, did you ever hear “hey four eyes!?” It was an exclamation yelled by an insensitive or cruel kid to another kid wearing glasses. It was supposed to be funny, but ended up being hurtful to a kid who was insecure and uncomfortable wearing glasses.

But there are four eyes that can be really helpful to us in the world of work where we oftentimes feel overworked, overburdened, and overwhelmed. The four ’eyes’ are four of the letter ‘I’ which stands for information, insight, impact and
Implement. Here’s what I mean.

Information: Each day you will see or learn something by gathering new information. It is easy now with 24/7 news cycles, social media platforms and emails that total 300 per day. For example, you may have new information that reports new employees coming from a referral from a current employees has dropped by over 50% in the last six months. You may also have data that points to trend pointing even lower. Depending on the frequency of reporting it is easy for many leaders to experience information overload. When they do the remaining three steps will be neglected or given little effort.

Insight: What helps with reducing information overload is to stop for fifteen minutes at the end of the day and review your new information and ask what the two or three most important insights are from the information. This might be a tactical issue or it might be a cultural issue. For example, employees are less interested in the new compensation plan that was rolled out six months ago and are no longer referring friends and family to the company.

Impact: Once you’ve seen your one or two insights, you ask what’s the impact of each one of these insights? Does one insight carry a greater impact than another? Will one insight carry a greater impact with the customer than another?
Is one insight going to impact employees more? The impact of a new compensation plan that results in fewer new employees coming from referrals impacts the bottom line by increasing recruiting costs from headhunters and or agencies as well as creates a dynamic where employees are less likely to create the customer experienced desired.

Implement: Once you’ve identified the impact from each of your insights you choose one strategy for implementing this week. You identify the one most important next steps to address the information and insights you’ve gleaned.

Hugh’s Key Insight:
Successful leaders recognize it is easier to use the 4-I’s for a technical or transactional aspect of their work; a broken process or a product that’s shipped poorly. Where it’s more nuanced and transformational is with the mindset, relational, cultural and interpersonal aspects of the work. What can the 4-I’s tell you when you have employees that lack confidence in their leader? What are the 4-I’s when you are Volkswagen or Wells Fargo leaders and you are before congress addressing the deception your company has perpetrated?

The 4-I’s are not hurtful as the four eyes comment was in grade school. Instead they are actually very helpful for leaders and teams to stop and work through important issues. When you take even short periods of time to evaluate the information you have now that you didn’t have before, what the insights are from the information, what the impact is or can be and what’s the one thing you will implement moving forward, you’ll be more decisive, more discerning and more successful.

Mastering Your Mindset Intensive Registration

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Just a quick reminder that the Mastering Your Mindset Intensive registration closes today at midnight PST. The current pricing of the Intensive increases by $200.00 on Tuesday morning.

You can register using this link.

I have been asked for a tool to measure mindset. If you’ve asked yourself about your mindset and whether a Mindset Intensive is right for you, the assessment below will measure your level of engagement, positivity and effectiveness. If you’re not content with your answers, the Mastering Your Mindset Intensive will help you make a dramatic and positive impact on your answers.

Hugh’s Mastering The Leadership Mindset Assessment

The following ten questions represent the ten leadership mindset dimensions. Answering these questions can help you gauge your ability to lead with clarity, confidence and commitment. On a 1 through 10 scale, (one is low and ten is high), please rate yourself on the following.

  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 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

Your score out of a possible 100

What are the implications for this score?

What question received the highest and lowest score? What are the implications for these questions being rated high and low?

Have a fabulous and prosperous week!


Taking Out The Trash

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Every Tuesday at eight o’clock in the morning, Waste Management comes and removes our trash. When I saw the trash being removed today I thought that there is not a chance I would leave the trash inside our house because it would be unsanitary, it would stink up the rest of the house and it would be unhealthy.

Then I thought if we remove the unhealthy, unsanitary and stinking trash, why do we keep the unsanitary, unhealthy and stinking trash that sits between our ears? The part of us that has been called our stinking thinking.

Stinking thinking is a particular way of thinking that no longer serves you well. For example, I used to have a belief that when it came to accomplishing work or tasks it was an “all or nothing” proposition. It was black or white as to whether I accomplished my work. Yes, I wanted to be effective and accomplish my work, but it became unhealthy when I thought accomplishing every single aspect of what I thought was possible was the goal. If I didn’t, I was a failure.

I know this sounds crazy, but in the early part of my thirties I thought this type thinking would lead me to being more successful. It was stinking thinking. With help I learned how to remove it.

You may ask, wait a minute, how do I jettison all of my stinking thinking? That’s a great question.

Last week I announced the final seats for my Mastering Your Mindset Intensive starting on October 13th. I am very excited about this program as the response has been beyond enthusiastic and there are only a few seats left.

The Intensive is in essence a community of people who will convert negative / stinking thinking into positive / performance enhancing thinking. This is NOT a walk over hot coals and shout platitudes type of process. It is a pragmatic leadership, performance and profit improvement process.

One client learned how to implement their new product strategy in half the normal amount of time based on the techniques in the intensive, and in turn increased their profitability and customer satisfaction in this area by 25%. The CFO said this was a $500,000 impact over 18 months.

The Intensive will show you how to do the same. And if you want to learn how to dramatically increase your leadership and your effectiveness and your impact, the Intensive will do that too. You will learn how to jettison ‘stinking thinking’ and you will choose from 27 strategies to master your mindset in transformational and positive ways.

Click this link to learn more and register.