Influence Leadership Blog
Thursday April 26, 2012 – Thursday April 26, 2012
4501 Highway 360 South
Map and Directions | Register
John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership Experience Workshop in DFW on April 26th, 2012!
This interactive workshop is based on three of John Maxwell’s books: “The 5 Levels of Leadership,” “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” and “Developing the Leader Within You.”
This one-day experience will teach you:
● To develop an understanding of the 5 Levels of Leadership and the behaviors associated with each level
● The differences between leadership and management
● How to gain trust with employees and co-workers
● How to strategically lead a winning team
● How to create and implement a succession plan
And so much more!
Attend this full-day workshop and discover what level you are currently at with your teammates and how you can increase your level of influence with those around you. Chris will be leading this workshop, so you know you will walk away with the motivation and tools to increase your leadership effectiveness.
This workshop will not only impact your growth as a leader; it will help you multiply your organizational value.
I received the following message yesterday from an old friend and thought it would be great to share this conversation with you, as well.
So I’ve read your posts, looked at your website, and watched your sample videos. If you had to pick a starting point for someone who has a dream, but has spent most of their life being “against” themselves, what would you tell them? How do you know if it really IS just a dream?
L – thanks for the message – great to hear from you. You inspired today’s post.
I use the term Dream -AND it hit me after seeing your message that I don’t like how unattainable it sounds… will it just be a figment of my imagination?
So – I’m changing my phrasing to: Dream big! and then set it up as a “Burled Arch Destiny”!
For those that have read my ‘Iditarod Leadership’ book or followed the Iditarod – you know the term ‘Burled Arch’ – as it is the finish line and the term ‘Destiny’ that comes from the same word as Destination. Destiny is not ‘Fate’ (whatever happens to me – that’s my Destiny) – no – Destiny is a decided beforehand Destination that I am determined to reach!
With ‘Burled Arch Destiny” – all we need is the map, the skill and the will to get there!
Maps are creatable – Skill is grow-able…. only one question left – do you have the WILL?
So what I would tell people is this: “Dream Big! AND then learn the steps that it is going to take to get you there.”
• Where are you now along this trail?
• Why do you want this Destiny?
• What will you need to Learn?
• What skills will you need to develop?
• What role will others play in helping you reach this Burled Arch?
• What are measurable steps along the way?
• What is the NEXT step?
If you can understand and take the next step and continue that process (WILL) – nothing can stop you from reaching your “Burled Arch Destiny”!
It’s not going to be perfect – anything worth doing – is worth doing UGLY! Ugly is how we start and it leads us to continuous improvement!
(remember how bad we all were when we first started learning to play sports as little kids? Eventually – if the WILL persists, the skill improves and you make JV and then on to Varsity! It takes talent – but as my mentor John Maxwell says, “Talent is NEVER enough!”)
Finally, what do we do with all of the self-defeating voices in our head?
• Fight them with everything you have!
• What the roots drink – the fruits think!
• Celebrate small victories and progress ‘Checkpoints’ like crazy!
Saturate yourself in “Can do – positivity!” Find a voice – someone that lifts you up – and listen to their positive beliefs. I listen (almost daily) to speakers that are highly positive and motivational – why? because I need it too!
Read, listen, watch – anything you can to make sure your tank stays full of the belief in possibilities!
Next – Celebrate any progress – ANY progress toward your Burled Arch Destiny – you learn a new skill, take a new class, spend 30 minutes in dreaming and mapping! – whatever it is mark down and celebrate the wins! This is the fuel needed to keep it up! Why keep running if you think you’re not going anywhere? Mark your progress – celebrate the smallest progress!
Lastly – find an encouraging friend, accountability partner or coach… when you start to doubt (which we all do!), when you want to quit – you’ll need them to cheer you on!
Keep Dreaming – Keep moving – Keep growing – Keep doing! The Burled Arch Destiny is attainable!
As an Organizational Effectiveness consultant, I look to add PROVEN value to customers every day. My value proposition – or where I add the most value - is in developing the people in organizations with a purposeful intent to increase their performance and bottom-line results.
As for the bottom-line, here it is:
Being the best takes a concerted effort from an intentional team. An effort that embeds and involves L&D (Learning and Development) deep into the organizations CULTURE.
According to ASTD (American Society for Training & Development), the BEST are bench-marked by:
• L&D has an enterprise-wide role.
L&D professionals are not just Lackeys holding NEO (New Employee Orientation) classes. They are savvy business partners that are involved in the executive team, they understand and create solutions to business issues and are vital in setting organizational strategy.
• Learning has value in the organization’s CULTURE
Again, the Culture (Language, Beliefs, and Behaviors) embraces learning opportunities for employees and Leadership, alike. These organizations don;t just talk the culture – they walk the culture – they back up their language with BEHAVIORS because of their belief that L&D can and will make a difference. It exists, purposefully, for
the growth of the organization, and helps drive innovation.
The commitment extends to the heights of C-level involvement. Learning is not something that is done at the lower levels. As many of you have heard me say, “They are Growing Leaders, Growing Leaders!”
• L&D is directly linked to individual and organizational performance
The BEST realize that in order for the organization to achieve the desired level of sustained performance, L&D must be aligned with the business performance goals and the measurement of the effectiveness of learning it that it must help drive personal/organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
• Investment is made in learning and performance initiatives
Again, Culture is not about language only – it’s not all talk! You can tell the BEST because they put their money where their mouth is – they fund L&D – they make a strategic investment!
Investment, by it’s nature expects a return. L&D professional cannot expect an endless stream of funding without some level of increase in individual/organizational performance. On the other hand, Leaders need to understand that behavioral change doesn’t happen overnight. As with most strategic initiatives, the return will take some time to play out.
In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania (1995 Richard Zemsky). It was discovered that a 10% investment in PPE (Property, Plant, & Equipment) companies realized a 3.8% increase in productivity whereas that same 10% invested into People Development yielded an 8.6% increase in productivity.
On average, the BEST according to ASTD re-invest
• About 0.7% of Revenue, or
• Approx. 10.88% of Profit, or
• Roughly 2.15% of Payroll, or
• $1081 per employee
How about your organization?
Is it’s mantra, “Growing Leaders, Growing Leaders…”?
Is the Learning tied to performance enhancement?
How does it’s investment bench-mark against the BEST?
In the last Blog, I talked more about discovering your present culture and although there are a number of formal ways (Organizational Surveys, Discovery Initiatives, hiring great consultants like me) we talked about the informal (survey of eyes and ears).
Today, I would like to take a few minutes and discuss next steps.. How do you tweak, shift, shape, remake, or even re-engineer the present culture into a desired culture.
As with most things in business (or life) we need to define our Burled Arch. Without consideration to our present location – our first step is to dream – to envision where we want to go and what we want the team to feel like – again, broken into the three components of – Language, Beliefs, and Behaviors.
From a blank canvas, start to get a picture of desired daily life in your organization…
What mindset do you want your organization approaching their day with? What about HOW they approach their interactions with each other? Or our clients? Their mindset toward problems or adversity?
What if you think (or feel) that you are not fully ready to carve a brand new, fresh trail of desired Culture?
- Get others in the organization involved
- Search for companies with great cultures and find one that feels right for you
- Use others as a template
I am a firm believer that there is very little ‘new under the sun.’ Modeling your desired culture after another is a great way to start, while adding your unique perspective to it.
Finally, on the creation of vision, make sure that the new vision is a good fit for the organization or that it is a vision that can be (somewhat) easily adopted and implemented. If the vision is too much of a radical shift – there may need to be some smaller vision shifts created to work the organization up to it.
R.A.C.E. is my powerful and effective model for Change Management. The implementation phase of Culture shift must be broken into the components of making sure everyone is:
R – Ready to change (Line out with great clarity what the shift means in people and process, in Language, Beliefs and Behaviors)
A – Action is developing the internal marketing campaign FIRST! We must take the action steps necessary to get our team on board! Use a phased-in approach while leveraging the Lead and Swing Dogs for Team adoption.
C – Use Checkpoints to monitor progress and make mid-course corrections.
E – Evolve the Vision AND the process.
Cultural awareness is critical to having an Organization that operates with intentionality. Cultural change, like most change, is not an easy undertaking. However, with some strategy and a great process, you CAN shift your culture to something fantastic!
Every Organization has a ‘Culture’ and as I’ve discussed in previous blogs – that culture is either by design or it is by default. In any case, the Culture exists.
What is the present ‘Culture’ of your organization?
I define ‘Culture’ as a being made up of three components:
It is a rarity, nowadays, that I would get to help create a company culture from scratch – before any employees are hired – before any defacto culture exists. Most of the time, our starting point is two fold from the outset. 1.) Present Culture 2.) Desired Culture.
There are many reasons for Present Cultures: adaptability of the people to work problems, differing perspectives between team performers and team leaders, communication competencies (or lack thereof), aligned (or mal-aligned) incentive/compensation programs, layoffs, cutbacks, growth – and, probably, a hundred more… The Reason(s) are an important piece – as the Root Cause – of any issue is DEEPLY important to change.
So if you took a few minutes today – and simply walked the halls of your office or sat in the break room of the manufacturing plant – What would you hear? What would you see?
Like it or not – this is your present Organizational Culture.
Are your people tired? Does their behavior align to the Company values? What are their individual and collective beliefs? And what does their communication look like?
It is a great exercise to sit, watch, listen, and record the beliefs, behaviors, and conversational language that occurs in your company. It can be VERY eye opening.
You say, “How do I know what my people believe?”
Easy… Watch their actions, listen to their communication.
Belief Drives Behavior.
I could say that phrase a thousand times over – People will reveal what they believe by their actions and by their speech. Their actions are, usually, a truer representation of their beliefs.
Over the next few days (with as much objectivity as possible) just listen, just watch, just record.
Is the Culture Proactive? Or Reactive? Owners? Passengers? Victims? Engaged? Disengaged? Empowered?
The work comes into play once the present ‘Culture’ is discovered – and we’ll discuss that in the next blog!
In the meantime – checkout one of the previous blogs on Culture – Have a great day!
Waking up this morning refreshed, powered up and ready for the week! Eyes opened at 4:45 am and as I lay there trying to go back to sleep – this powerful thought was getting bigger – and growing both my excitement and energy levels..
The Power of “I Can!”
There are so many battles that we fight – but none more fierce than the battle of self belief.
Before the world hits us, before the traffic jams and road rage, before the shop opens, the computer is turned on, and WAY before the first Sales call – our own mind turns on – and sometimes turns on us. But what if we could turn it toward working for us and not against us – what if the power of our minds was unleashed towards helping us succeed instead of flooding us with reasons why not, barriers of never happen, and shards of broken, unrealized dreams.
What are the conversations that you have with yourself while you’re getting ready?
Sometimes – we are just running – the day has started without us – we are already behind and facing the tidal wave of a day, a week, a month, and another year – just like the previous… however long….
Today – let me Plant a SEED! A seed of thought in your mind that, “You CAN!”
You have everything in you that you need to succeed.
Let me stop and make you say that again in your mind.
You have everything in you that you need to succeed.
I know it sounds cheesy – but you have the ‘power of potential ‘and the ‘dynamite of determination’!
You have what you need and you can get wherever you want to go – from where you are now – with two steps:
Plant it and Plan it.
- Plant it
Plant it refers to setting the mark of achievement. What is your desire? Goal? Hope? Or Dream? What are you aiming at? Without something specific – you won’t have a tangible item to chase – if you have a sales goal – make it specific – to sell $100,000 of product this month, this week, this year… to make 20 calls this week – or today.. Whatever the goal is – make it a specific number. If it’s weight loss – what do you want to weigh?
We’ve taught about making your goals ‘smart’ for years:
S – Specific
M – Measureable
A – Action oriented
R – Reasonable
T – Time Bound
(I’ve been teaching it for so long – I’m not sure where it came from – or I would give specific credit to them! So if you know it’s origin – please comment and we’ll give them their credit together! )
- Plan it
For each goal – map the process of achievement – what are the steps to get there? Dreams fail and hopes are shattered – right out of the gate – when there is no plan! There has to be steps to achievement – we RARELY take leaps – more than likely – you will take steps toward your dream – and as you can mark your progress (Daily or weekly) you can keep up your momentum!
Not near enough time to talk about all the steps of success for planning – but I’ll give you some thoughts:
Break your planning into: Major Milestones, Main steps, and Mini steps.
Every day – you can do something to get you – even a ‘Mini step’ closer to your goal. Look for incremental success – take one step at a time – ‘I CAN’ take the next step – or ‘I CAN’ find out what that next step is and start to line out a plan to that next step…
Give yourself permission to succeed today!
- Tell yourself, “you can!”
- Plant the flag – plant the stake in the ground of your goal or dream
- Plan it!
Dream, Plan, ACT!
I could crank out another book – just on this topic… but for now.. a quick, down & dirty blogpost of encouragement…
Let’s talk about paths today and let me start with the encouragement – Today is not the day to quit!
There are many times that we encounter difficulties along our paths to success and there are MANY times along our paths that we want to quit and give up. Today is not that day!
Paths have rocks and mud, paths have inclines and declines, they have places that are overgrown and places you couldn’t find shade if you wanted to….
Paths have times where you can see for miles and when you can barely see the next step in front of you.
You are going to want to quit – but - Today is not that day!
In a keynote to 400 leaders last Tuesday I asked, “Anybody ever had a problem-free Year? Month? Week? Day?”
The fact is our paths are paths and all of these challenges are going to be a part of the path!
As quick as possible, get past thinking about and feeling the challenges on the path and get to:
• What does my path look like right now?
• What will it take to get me to the next part of the path?
• To get me past this part of the path?
Write it down… start working toward it!
• Have there been times when you conquered your path?
Make a note of those times – remember them – draw strength from them – DON’T live in them – but remember them!
• Have times when the path has conquered you?
Analyze these… find out what the circumstances were and break it down until the unknowns become known and you can work to remedy them.
Your path is not my path, nor the paths of those around you – each of our paths are unique AND similar – there are times when we are going to go through similar things – we are going to be on the same path at the same time – and there are times when our paths will separate and your path will not be my path – once again.
The success of someone else on their path does not limit you ability to succeed on your path!
If someone else is presently succeeding – celebrate their success with them and internally draw strength that someone is succeeding – even if it is not you – someone is succeeding and it should give you hope. You were not put on earth – to be an example of failure for those around you – failure is not your “Destiny” (see previous post) and Today is not the day to quit!
• What do you want your path to look like?
Dream, Strategize, Create the process, Work the process, Don’t Quit!
Today is not the day to quit!
This week, after being in Tallahasse with a client, I flew to Anchorage for the start of the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled race. (Many of you know about my book, Iditarod Leadership, and my passion about the great leadership lessons learned from mushing and dog sled teams)
Last night was the annual Musher’s Banquet. There was entertainment, a meal, auction items and a chance for the race fans to interact with their favorite musher. As each musher was called to the stage to reach into the Mukluk (boot) where they draw for bib numbers (Bib numbers represent when they will start (which position)) there were pockets of cheering and it was a great time to recognize their sponsors and those that have contributed, greatly, to their being able to run this race.
So here’s what is on my mind for today… What bib number did you draw in life? What bib number do you feel you drew in life?
You see the drawing of starting position in the Iditarod and in life is, completely, random. We have NO control – whatsoever – over to whom we were born or to what circumstances.
What are your thoughts on that? How do you feel about the circumstances of your beginnings in life?
Now that you have that in mind – let’s deal with it..
There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can do about where, when, to whom, and the conditions of your start – nothing – and because you can do NOTHING about the starting position – it becomes a fact – it becomes your starting position and that’s it.
You might be saying, “Chris, You don’t understand…” and you may be right – but here is what I DO understand – regardless of your starting position – your finish is much more dependent upon your daily actions and attitudes than your starting position.
Your starting position is your history – you are already on your trail – already running your life race… Run it with pride – Run it with intentional purpose… which means – determine your desired destination and set the course to obtain it.
I have talked and shouted many times – that your start is not your destiny – your start is your start and DESTINY – is the same root where we get ‘destination’ from – it is a place that you decide beforehand to make as your goal – your destination – your “DESTINY”.
If you need more schooling, more economic opportunity, more connections, more anything – go for it… what is stopping you from achieving?
Your bib number?
That’s the bib number we were given – we can’t change it – we can’t let it define us! It adjusts our process to achieving success – but it CANNOT effect us unless we allow it.
DECIDE your desitination – your Destiny – or as I call it – you’re “BURLED ARCH”
Make a list of what you will need to get there – or start seeking the knowledge of what will be needed to get you there.
Start – RUN! GO for it! I, for one, believe you can!
Come join us in Evansville – if you can! It will be a great time.
Would you bet on your ’11?
What are the odds that you will succeed in 2011?
What is your belief about your odds in ’11?
50/50?… 60/40?… 40/60?…
The number says a lot about where your mindset is coming into the new year. And yet it IS a New Year!
Has anything changed? Has your outlook changed? Did you suddenly get a new contract on January 1 that made your entire year? Are you thinking about the year? Or just making through the month?
Our mindset coming into the New Year is a big indicator of where our year is already headed. As I rise to face the new day today – I am challenged with making sure that my mindset – my mental focus is sharpened to key off of the energy I want, the destination I want, and the results I want.
As the mind goes, as the beliefs go, and the focus goes – so goes the life…
This morning, as I face the start of the new week – and the 2nd week of the year – my challenge is that I define my mindset, my belief set for the upcoming week, month, quarter.
Would I bet on my ’11?….
Would I bet that my ’11 will be better than my ’10 or ’09 or ’08? Would I bet that my ’11 would be better than the most successful year of my life? That I would achieve more this year? or reach more this year? Or attain more life satisfaction than ever before?
The challenge – the bet, if you will, comes down to this… I bet if I change my beliefs and I change my actions – I bet my year will be better than if I don’t!!!
How about you? Bet with me? Bet with me that if we choose to align together for the next year – and choose to hold each other mutually accountable for our beliefs, perspectives, and actions – that if we intentionally focus on the right things and tweak the right processes – that we will achieve more – than if we isolate, dwell, linger, regret, fear, and maintain status quo.
Last year is last year – my mistakes are in the past, my successes are in the past – my only bet – is to bet on my ’11. My actions and my thoughts in my ’11 will play a major role in my ‘success’ for 2011…
Me? I’m betting on ’11!!