Hugh’s Formula for Increased Results

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Video Notes:

This week I want to share with you a formula for having increased results that I think will be really advantageous for you. It is CP + RM x T = IR. What does that mean? Well, first of all I think it looks really cool, but actually there’s a real method to my madness here. It says, “A compelling purpose plus a roadmap multiplied by time equals increased results.”

Ladies and gentlemen I know that every single one of you is focused on getting increase results, but we have to work backwards, we need to have a formula. And this formula is really pretty simple. If you do not have a compelling purpose, you may have a road map but you will lack the enthusiasm and passion to get it done.

If you have no roadmap but you have a clear and compelling purpose about the results you want, then you’ll have false starts because you won’t have a way of tracking how well you’re doing or clear a delineated process for going from point A to point B.

If you don’t have time you may have a compelling purpose, you may have a roadmap, but the compressed nature of time will preclude you from ever being successful, and so you’ll not get the results you want. You may not even be crystal clear about what increased results you’re looking for.

Ladies and gentlemen, this week, if you want to get increased results you need to make sure that every aspect of this formula has been addressed. Do you need a clearer purpose? Do you need a roadmap? Do you need time? Do you need a clearer definition of what the results are that you’re looking?

Take the time, play with this formula this week and find one area where you can improve and I promise you, you’ll have a much more effective week if you do. That’s it, if you have any questions let me know, and I’ll see you here again next week. Take care everyone.

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

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I was sitting in a Top Pot Doughnut shop in downtown Seattle waiting for a colleague to join me when I noticed the window washers cleaning the twenty-five foot tall floor to ceiling windows. Since I have a neighbor who runs a successful commercial window washing company, I was intrigued by how you go about cleaning twenty-five foot tall windows without ladders.

What I noticed more than the cleaning technique was the difference in perspective I had of the surrounding landscape with a clean window versus a dirty one. When the smudge, grime and pigeon droppings were removed from the window it was as if the surrounding landscape was brighter, more appealing and worthy of my attention. I also noticed other restaurants nearby that had dirty windows and found myself asking about them – what else in that restaurant is dirty?

We all have dirty windows that block our perspective both personally and professionally. The way we look at our work for example may be distorted by years of accumulated smudge, grime and the occasional droppings from bad leaders, and we need to clean these windows. Here are three steps for ensuring you are seeing clearly the landscape around you:

1. Interrogate your reality: Seeing clearly starts with reading beyond the confines of what we know and are comfortable with. By reading an opposing view of your most cherished belief; with the intent of finding one thing you can agree with, broadens your perspective and challenges you to think critically.

2. Pay attention to what you pay attention to: Seeing clearly entails understanding not only that which goes on around you, but also what goes on inside you. Being able to notice what grabs your attention, your reaction and WHY you react the way you do is an essential element of seeing clearly.

3. Take a mental sabbatical at least once per month: Getting away from your day-to-day schedule and having time to think is essential if you want a clearer perspective. Whether for two, four or eight hours, disengaging with the pressures and demands of work frees you to think broadly and creatively.

Which of these three strategies will pay the greatest dividend for you?

Pay Attention to What You Pay Attention To

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Video Notes:

This week I want to talk to you about paying attention to what you pay attention to. No, this is not a Hugh Blane riddle. It is actually a really good piece of advice. Here’s what I mean by that.

What you pay attention to, whether it’s an asset versus a liability, a strength versus a weakness, what’s working versus what’s not working…if your attention goes to things that are broken and to things that are not working, it permeates your attention span. And then, your attention span, that which you give attention to, will influence the decisions you make.

Any decision that is rooted in brokenness as opposed to what is possible and what can be done, will be degraded. And decisions that are rooted in negativity and things that are not working will not produce the ideal result.

If you want a more effective workweek, whether in your personal life or in your professional life, choose carefully what you pay attention to because it drives everything else that you see.

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

3 Steps to Getting Really Good at Something

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Video Notes

This week I want to talk to you about how do you get really good at something. It’s really quite simple.

#1. Fall in love with an idea, hope, dream or aspiration. You cannot like something if you want to be really good at. You have to love it! You have to have a resounding YES to the idea.

#2. You have to learn it. You have to continually study your idea. You willingly look for other people’s perspectives, read and study continually because when you love something you want to get better at it.

#3. You have to live it. You stretch yourself and your behavior. You say to yourself: if I want to get really good at something I will be uncomfortable and I have to be willing to fail. I will take uncomfortable actions and try new things this week because I know that living out my hope, dream or aspiration is a learning process and is aligned with that which I’m in love with.

You do that ladies and gentlemen, if you love it, if you learn it, if you live it, you’re going to get really good at that which you choose to get really good at. I hope you have a fabulous week, and I’ll see you here again next week. Take care.

Clarifying Your Leadership Purpose

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Video Notes:

This week I want to talk to you about your purpose.

To do something on purpose means that you are doing it intentionally. I have found that the vast majority of people do not have clarity around what their purpose is and in turn, don’t lead purposefully, but rather accidentally.

One of the most valuable things you can do in your organization, in your work and your personal life is to get clear about your purpose. Ladies and gentlemen, most people don’t know how to do that…but I do, and want to help you do just that.

I’m going to make available to everyone who’s watching this Monday Morning Minute the first module of a thirteen-module program I developed called The Transformational Leadership Project. The first module deals specifically with purpose.

What’s included is a four to four and a half minute short video and a fifteen page Purpose Planner. This module asks the most targeted questions I found that help you clarify your purpose. Questions such as; what am I really passionate about? What am I really good at doing? Where do I provide the most value?

I am making this available to you because so many of you are asking how to get clear about your purpose, and I am making this available on a complimentary basis. It is my gift to my viewing audience in the hopes that you will get clear about your purpose.

What you will do is look directly below this video on the webpage, not in the newsletter, but on the web page and you’ll see the Purpose video as well as the Purpose Planner for you to download.

Also, in the month of November I will do a teleconference on transformational leadership and the role purpose plays in organizational transformations. This is my way of saying thank you to my viewing audience for your participation with my content and for your feedback.

So if you want to get clear about your leadership purpose, you’ll find everything you need in my video and in the planner below it. I hope that you find it valuable.

The Transformational Leadership Project

bonus materials

Free download: Purpose Planner

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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ALERT: You only have ONE chance to make a good first impression with new customers.

Gone are the days where customers will give you a second or third try. We live in an culture where doing things accurately, quickly and with a deep regard for the customer experience is expected.

My wife and I went to dinner at one of Seattle’s finer steak restaurants. We ordered a very nice bottle of wine and ordered dinner which included steaks cooked medium rare. When our steaks arrived Alyson’s wasn’t cooked as requested. When we mentioned this to our waiter he told Alyson in a dismissive and definitive tone “that’s how you ordered it.” Alyson reminded the waiter that we ordered our steaks together and that mine was cooked just right. The reply? “That is the way you ordered your steak. Now if you want me to take this back to the chef and ask him to fix it I will, but that is how you ordered your steak.”

After dinner I told the manager about our experience and he apologized profusely and offered to buy us dinner as a way of showing it was simply a one off situation. We declined his offer. Why? When you spend several hundred dollars on a dinner there are far too many other restaurants where we can be assured of excellent food, superior service and an experience that is memorable. We declined the managers offer because there wasn’t a compelling reason to return to the restaurant and give them a second chance.

Any business that wants to create a memorable experience for their customers must work tirelessly to create highly differentiated customer experiences that delight their customers. If they don’t their customer will not return and in turn let others know about the lackluster experience they had.

If you want to make a good first impression with new customers or enhance the experience existing customers have, leaders and teams must answer three key questions:

1. Who is our ideal customer and what is really important to them?

2. What part of your work needs to be highly differentiated in order to please our ideal customer and meet their needs?

3. Are our ideal customers happy or even delighted? If not, why not? If they are, why are they?

My Best Monday Morning Minute Advice Ever

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Video Notes:

The one piece of advice I have for you this week may be some of the best advice I’ve ever given on the Monday Morning Minute. Do you know what it is?

It is to … do your best work, and then go home.

I’m not trying to be cavalier or flippant. Ladies and gentlemen, the world of work is more frenetic and stressful now and many employees are complaining that the amount of stress they’re experiencing is overwhelming.

To be clear though, my recommendation of doing your best work and then going home does not mean that you should not be fully engaged in providing the maximum value to your organization or that you care less. Au contraire. Do your very best work for your senior executives, for your team, for whomever is your key customer and then go home and spend time with people that you love and that nourish you. If you don’t do this then when you return to work you will be less productive and unable to provide value because you’ll be worn down and spent.

My best advice for you this week? Do your best work and then go home and spend time with people you love and that nourish you. If you do that you will have a fabulous week.

Hugh’s Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Doubt or fith, opposite signs
Photo courtesy of iStock Photo

If you are going to doubt one thing the one thing you must doubt is your doubts.

What we doubt about ourselves; either personally or professionally, is not real. Our doubts are rooted in negative or painful past experiences or a fear about what might happen in the future. Both inhibit us from living fully in the present moment and overcoming our doubts.

There are three ways to doubt your doubts:

1. Focus on the upside: Keep in mind that the areas of your life where you hold you the biggest doubts also holds the potential for the greatest benefit and reward. By overcoming your doubts you create a new future unencumbered by self-doubt and uncertainty.

2. Expand your perspective: Look around your friends and associates and ask if anyone else has accomplished what you want to accomplish while in a similar situation? If it has been accomplished successfully then you know it’s possible.

3. Execute on your passions: Without exception, the people who accomplish the most astounding feats are passionate about what they do. They have fallen in love with an idea, a hope or an aspiration that is compelling for them and that infuses them with hope and optimism.

Which of your doubts do you need to start doubting?

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.

Positivity and Perseverance

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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

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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?