Positivity and Perseverance

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone


Video Notes:

Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane, it’s the Monday Morning Minute and this week I want to talk about positivity and perseverance. Now sometimes you might find that inside your organization those two words are not fully present, that they are in short supply. I want to suggest to you that I’ve found five reasons why they are in short supply.

Here’s what they are.

#1. There’s no clear and compelling purpose that people have said yes to.

#2. There are far too many priorities on people’s planner. They may have somewhere between eight and ten priorities as opposed to three.

#3. There are promises being made by others inside the organization that are unrealistic and these promises then put undue pressure on others. In turn, people cannot be positive, nor can they persevere in the face of those.

#4. There’s no one personifying positivity and perseverance so there’s not a role model or avatar.

#5. There’s simply not enough praise being spread throughout the organization. There are people who just move from one task to another without ever stopping to praise people for a job well done.

Rapid Action Challenge

Review the five areas above and ask:

1. Which one of these really needs to be addressed inside my organization?
2. What’s the one thing I can do this week that would help me get better at #1 above?
3. How can I role model my answer to #1 throughout my organization?”

Positive change starts with one person role modeling something important to them which in turn creates a cascading effect.

That’s it ladies and gentlemen, I hope you have a fabulous week and I’ll see you here again next week.

Reminder: Join me on Friday, September 26th at 9:00am for a teleconference entitled, “Mastering Your Mindset”. To learn more check my teleconferences page here.

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

The army and it's weapon on land, sea and air
photo courtesy of iStock Photo

Periscopes allow a submarine to visually search for targets and threats on the surface of the water and in the air from shallow depths. If they are spotted though, the submarine becomes a target and their primary defense is to dive to the ocean floor and take refuge from the soon to follow depth charges.

One employee I met recently told me how she felt stranded on the ocean floor of her organization. She lamented that after six months of having a new senior executive in role she remained in the dark as to what the executive wanted for strategic priorities. After town hall meetings and the much talked about “listening tour” this leader had submerged and gone silent as to what the organization would strive to accomplish. What the manager wanted was a clear line of sight as to what she could focus on in order to be successful. What she saw on her radar was nary a blip.

Far too many employees are working in environments where they are submerged underwater and unable to fix their sights on a financial or operational target. They will remain significantly underutilized until their leader answers the following three questions:

1. Where are we going?
This is the fundamental question every employee wants to know the answer to. Without a clear destination employees will never perform at their highest levels. It’s similar to driving in fog. When you can’t see the road in front of you you slow down, tighten your grip on the steering wheel and drive defensively.

2. Why are we going there?
While having a five year old continually ask you why questions can become tiresome, in the world of work when employees ask “why” it’s an invitation into greater enthusiasm for the vision. Answering “why” questions clarifies the future state further, communicates that all options have been considered and infuses emotion into the desired future.

3. What’s in it for me to go there?
Many leaders answer the preceding two questions, but they neglect to answer the most important question on every employees mind…”what’s in it for me to go there with you?” This is not a selfish question. It’s a highly practical question. Employees want to know what the payoff is for exerting greater effort to achieve a leaders vision. If there is not a compelling payoff leaders need to be prepared to have one of their greatest assets remain dormant.

Three key questions:

1. Are you crystal clear as to your organizational priorities?

2. Are your employees crystal clear about their role in helping you achieve your priorities?

3. Which of the three questions above needs the most clarification?

You are the Architect of Your Life

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone


Video Notes:
Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane, this is the Monday Morning Minute.

This week I want to talk to you about: You are the architect of your personal and professional life. There’s a corollary to that in that if you are the architect of your life then you are one hundred percent responsible for the level of happiness you experience in your life.

Some of you will agree with this. If you do, that means you are also one hundred percent responsible for the amount of unhappiness you have in your life.

Ladies and gentlemen, in my consulting and coaching work what I find is that people lead oftentimes accidental lives as opposed to purposeful lives. Accidental lives lead to lives characterized by dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

If you want to live a purposeful life then this week’s rapid action challenge is to do three things.

#1. Write down three things; the talents, skills, and gifts that you have that you are really, really good at. Give me three of them, give me five of them, put them down on paper.

#2. What are you passionate about? What is that one idea that has grabbed hold of you and simply will not let go?

#3. Where do you provide the greatest value? Where is the intersection of your talents, skills and passion? That’s where you’ll find the greatest need for you to show up.

If you answer these three questions, you will live a life on purpose and you will be the architect of a life that is truly rewarding and enriching, and that is contagious throughout your organization.

That is the Monday Morning Minute, I hope you have a fabulous week, I’ll see you here again next week. Take care.

Reminder: Join us on September 26th at 9:00am for a teleconference entitled, “Mastering Your Mindset”

Rapid Action Challenge:

#1. Write down three things; the talents, skills, and gifts that you have that you are really, really good at.
#2. What are you passionate about? What is that one idea that has grabbed hold of you and simply will not let go?
#3. Where do you provide the greatest value? Where is the intersection of your talents, skills and passion?

Quote:

My passion and great enjoyment for architecture, and the reason the older I get the more I enjoy it, is because I believe we – architects – can effect the quality of life of the people.

Richard Rogers

Changing Your Behavior Part 2

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

Changing Behavior Part 2 from Hugh Blane on Vimeo.

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Within the executive halls of organizations in every industry and in every country there is a push to capitalize on Big Data. Specifically, data that shows how customers shop for products and services, how they spend money and what they think, believe and perceive about an organization.

Big Data. Information Concept.
Photo courtesy of iStock Photo

Granted, it’s not a good idea to guess when it comes to your customer, but it’s even more important not to guess about what employees think, believe and perceive about working for your organization. If you want to know what employees think, believe and perceive here are five strategies for collecting actionable data about employee perceptions:

1. Be curious and caring. First and foremost caring and curiosity are essential. Without both all efforts to learn about employees is hollow and academic.

2. Be open. No matter the forum, ask open ended questions that start conversations about what’s working and what’s not. And then repeat number one.

3. Be focused. Schedule focus groups, go on a tour of plants and facilities at times other than your regularly scheduled hours, hold town hall meetings and interview key employees to learn specifically what employees think. And yes, repeat number one.

4. Be responsive. Take action to address the issues you’ve learned about and then pay attention to the reaction from employees. The reaction you receive is as important in learning about your employees as is data gathering. Yes, I’ll say it again. Repeat number one.

5. Be tenacious. Learning about employee perceptions requires that you keep in mind that some employees will only tell you what’s really important to them after they see you repeatedly soliciting feedback. A one time request for information may come across as obligatory. A repeated request rings of real concern. Tenacity requires a keen sense of, you guessed it, curiosity and caring.

Which strategy will you start with today?

How to Adopt New Behaviors

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone


Video Notes:
Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane. This is the Monday Morning Minute, and this is the minute where I answer a viewer’s question, and this viewer’s question comes from Mike Murphy. Mike asked a really good question.

They’re in the process of doing a cultural transformation, and they’ve done some exercises about certain traits or characteristics that are holding the organization and the senior leadership team back. So Mike is now asking the question “how do we adopt new behaviors and move the team and the organization forward in the best way possible? How do we do that?”

Mike that’s a great question because what you are really getting at is how do we as human beings change? What is it that we need to do so that we can role model this and to be an exemplar to other people in our company forward? I think there are three steps Mike, and they all begin with the letter “A.”

#1. The very first ‘A’ is that there needs to be acknowledgement, that you individually first need to acknowledge that a particular trait or characteristic you want to exemplify is important to you, is important to your team, and is important to the organization. There has to be an acknowledgment that it’s important. If it’s not important then it’s a moot point, that’s number one.

#2. Number two is you need to accept one hundred percent responsibility for exemplifying this. You need to say, “no matter what, I am one hundred percent responsible for the behavior that has been exhibited in the past as well as the behavior that is going to be exhibited in the future.”

#3. Number three, and this is where the rubber meets the road, is the adoption piece. It is actually quite simple. Whatever behavior, trait, characteristic you want to exemplify, you earmark fifteen minutes every day to work on exemplifying it. I suggest you do this first thing in the morning when you get to the office. You earmark fifteen minutes to exemplify that particular trait or characteristic no matter what it is. You will adopt one thing that you will do for fifteen minutes every day. Over time you’ll build on this and find that some days you’ll do it for thirty minutes or even forty-five minutes because you’ll get into a rhythm.

But Mike here’s the crucial aspect of this Monday Morning Minute. This change always starts with acknowledgment, it moves on to acceptance, and then it proceeds to adoption. What is one thing you will commit to doing everyday for fifteen minutes?

Mike I would suggest that if people don’t move through to the adoption phase then they haven’t taken full responsibility for their behavior. That is a whole other separate Monday Morning Minute though.

That’s my suggestion Mike. So the rapid action challenge for this week is for each one of you to ask what is the one behavior that you acknowledge needs to be changed in my team, in my organization, in my leadership? Do I take one hundred percent responsibility for it? What is the one thing I can do this week to adopt this behavior and to exemplify it for fifteen minutes every day? If you do that you’re going to have an incredibly successful week.

That’s the Monday Morning Minute. I hope you have a fabulous week. Thank you for your question Mike. Don’t forget to send in all of your questions. I’ll see you here next week. Take care.

Rapid Action Challenge:

1. What is the one behavior that I acknowledge needs to be changed in my team, in my organization, in my leadership?
2. Do I take one hundred percent responsibility for it?
3. What is the one thing I can do this week to adopt this behavior and to exemplify it for fifteen minutes every day?

Quote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

One of the reasons why people repeat behaviors from the past is because of inertia. Inertia is best characterized as blindly repeating a task, process, or behavior because you’ve been successful in the past doing so. Inertia at its core is about maintaining the status quo and remaining comfortable.

While there are good reasons to repeat certain aspects of our work, preserving the past can become an inhibitor to creating a new and more desirable future whether for ourselves, our employees, and most importantly for our customers.

When it comes to remaining comfortable the vast majority of people have a peculiar ability to maintain the status quo even when the consequences for doing so can be deadly. For example, eighty-five percent of the people who have heart bypass surgery have returned to the exact same lifestyle and diet within two years of their surgery. That’s the same lifestyle that required them to have heart bypass surgery mind you. No matter how uncomfortable their surgery was; no matter how concerned they are for their future health and well being, the inertia of eating and exercising the way they did before surgery pulls them by the scruff of the neck back into their old habits.

1. What aspects of your work are non-negotiable and need to be preserved at all costs?

2. What aspects of your work, while successful in the past, need to be jettisoned?

Your answers to these two questions are an indicator as to the mindset you and your team have regarding change, growth and innovation. If you want to master the mindset that will capitalize on change, growth and innovation, register for my free teleconference entitled Mastering Your Mindset.

You can learn more HERE.

Mastering Your Mindset

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone


Video Notes:

Good morning everyone, my name is Hugh Blane and it is the Monday Morning Minute, and this week I want to invite you to a teleconference on September 26th which is a Friday at 9:00 am.

The teleconference is entitled, ‘Mastering Your Mindset.’ Let me make no bones about it, there are very talented people inside organizations that have an incredibly bad mindset. There is no positivity, there’s very little perseverance, they’re not playing to their strengths, they don’t have a clear and compelling purpose, they look at obstacles as things that are just overwhelming, and they feel that work is sometimes a long slow slog through enemy territory on their bellies with bullets flying over their head.

Ladies and gentlemen you can never achieve exemplary performance if you have that mindset, you know that. So on September 26th, on Friday at 9:00 am, I’m going to do a teleconference about what are the key factors that really allow people to manage what happens in between their ears in a positive way. No walking on coals will be required in this teleconference, you’re not going to have to do any trust falls.

We’re going to talk very practically and pragmatically about how you as a leader or team member manage your mindset. What are the stories you’re telling yourself? Are you listening to your greatest advocate on one shoulder or are you listening to your greatest detractor? Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to pull that apart and we’re going to give you strategies you can use so you can master your mindset.

The registration link is in the video notes, go there, click on the link, you’ll be taken to a registration page. It is free, I would love to see you there and you’ll have more information over the next four weeks but that’s what we’re doing Friday, September 26th. And I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

That is the Monday Morning Minute. I’ll see you next week, take care.

Click here for the teleconference

Quote:

“Obstacles are the horrible things we see when we’ve lost sight of our goals.”
Unknown

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

raven
Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo

We live one block away from Puget Sound. It’s a quiet beach community where the smell of salt air rolls up to our house and we watch eagles and herons flying fifty feet overhead.

One day last week, while sitting outside in our garden with my morning cup of tea, a crow landed on the power line and started squawking. No matter how hard I tried to ignore him the squawking continued for over five minutes. My attention was no longer on the beauty and solitude of the morning. Instead it was squarely on the intrusion being brought by the crow.

We all have a choice as to what we pay attention to. Here are ten things that when I pay attention to them my professional and personal life are richer and more rewarding.

1. The love and affection of family and friends.

2. The joy that comes from a deepening spiritual life.

3. Laughing as heartily and frequently as possible.

4. Having new experiences and seeing with new eyes.

5. Motivating and inspiring books, movies and music.

6. Providing value to my clients.

7. What’s working as opposed to what’s not working.

8. My talents and skills as opposed to my limitations.

9. What I can control and influence as opposed to what I can’t.

10. Not doing a thing. Simply being wholeheartedly engaged in the wonder of life.

What is it for you that when you pay attention to it it uplifts you and provides you with a more rewarding and enriching life?

How do you develop solid technical managers?

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookGoogle+Share on LinkedInEmail to someone

Video Notes:

This week’s viewer question comes from Richard Gambril from the University of Tennessee. Richard, thank you for sending me your question. Richard asks, “How do you develop solid IT managers?”

Richard, I’m going to assume you don’t want them to become better technologists but you want them to become better people managers. If I’m right, then I’ve got three suggestions for you.

#1. Remember, trust and respect as a manager is always garnered by your behavior and how you interact with people. It is not garnered by just having ‘manager’ or ‘leader’ as your title. What I suggest is that you understand that trust; being trustworthy, holding a persons confidence, doing what you say you’ll do, respecting other people’s opinions, respecting their perspectives, is a foundational piece all managers need to understand. When I build trust and respect with those that I’m trying to lead I’ve got the foundation in place.

#2. Develop the mindset that people are motivated by their self-interest not by my self-interest. My second job as a manager, after building trust or respect, is to find out what’s important to my constituency so I can marry it with the objectives and the results I need to achieve as a manager. It starts with what are their self-interests and then I determine how to marry with that with my business objectives.

#3. Always strive to improve your employee’s condition. No matter what you do, remove the stress, strain or barriers that are getting in the way of your employees doing their best work. You have to improve their sense of satisfaction, their sense of success, their sense of wellbeing. What you want to do is empower your employees in such a way that they can do their very best work.

If you’re a manager and you come with those three things, if you come with a strong desire to build trust and respect, if you come with a keen understanding of other people’s self-interest, if you come with a bias towards helping other people improve their condition, I believe, Richard, you can be supremely successful.

I hope that answers your question. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the Monday morning minute, I hope you have a fabulous week, and I will see you here again next week. Take care.

This Weeks Rapid Action Challenge:

List three ways you will improve your employee’s condition with week? As soon as you list three action items, immediately start doing one of them. Not later, but immediately!

 

Quote:

“Improvement begins with I.”

Arnold H. Glasow