Overcoming by Jim Johnson 

I am continually amazed by my children. They love to push themselves and seem to excel in things that they do. Believe me, they are not perfect in any way. But their resilience encourages me.

Last night my 5th grade son performed the role of Captain Hook and his school’s musical Peter Pan, Jr.  Around Thanksgiving when he tried out for this part, I will admit I was surprised. He has typically been very shy. But he wanted to go for it. Perhaps it was because his sister had a leading role in Shrek the Musical a couple of years ago. Regardless he went for the part he wanted and he earned it.

Last night our elementary school hosted its 36th annual Music Theater. There were a couple of hundred people in the audience. And right before the performance my son got stage fright.
My wife, the principal, his teacher, and I all talked with him. It was a combined effort of encouragement and speaking positive affirmations to him. At one point I told him, “you can do this.” And he looked at me and very emphatically said, “I don’t think I can.”

I reminded him of an incident in baseball last year where he was feeling the same thing about pitching. I reminded him that he faced that obstacle and was able to overcome it. I told him I believed he could overcome this, too. His teacher later told me that she also used baseball as a way to encourage him.

His teacher then asked him to go do his first scene. He did and performed it incredibly well – including a vocal solo. When he walked off stage he told his teacher he didn’t think he could go back and do the next scene. She said, “you’ve got to give me one more.”

He went on to his next scene. He did very well in that one. When he walked off stage he looked at his teacher and said, “I don’t think I can do another one.” She looked him straight in the eye and said, “come on, man. You’ve got to give me one more.”

The third scene he was on stage again, he did great. When he walked off stage, his teacher told me later that he looked at her and said, “I’ve got this.” He went on and had a great performance.

Capt Hook and his teacher

I am so incredibly proud of my son who faced an incredible fear – the fear of speaking in public, performing, of being vulnerable in front of people he knew and people he did not know. And yet he faced his fear, and he beat his fear.

There is a lesson in this for all of us. Personal growth comes when we face our fears head-on. When we step out on that stage and go for it. When we have mentors and coaches who encouraged us along the way. When we realize deep inside that we can do it.

What fear are you facing today? Get with your coach or mentor and let them encourage you. And then jump up on that stage and dazzle yourself and others!
You can do it!

Why vs How by Jim Johnson

When you are confronted with a challenge, question or any conundrum, what do you ask yourself?

Why is this happening?”

How can I figure this out?”

What you ask will determine your outcomes.

WHY seems to assume there in only 1 answer.  WHY can freeze you in your tracks – paralyzes you from moving forward. WHY creates a self-pity scenario.  WHY drains you. WHY is not the best way to deal with obstacles.

how

HOW triggers creativity in your brain – you will start looking for options and possibilities.    HOW looks for potential.  HOW energizes you.  HOW empowers you.

 

Who Else Needs to Know This? by Jim Johnson

We’re all busy, right?  Our teams are plugging away.  We have presentations to prepare for, reports to complete, coaching to do, vendors to connect with, meetings to attend.

And every day, our teams discover new information.  Every day, our teams answer the same questions that come from other team members or even our customers.  How do our teams deal with this?

If they are like most teams, they probably keep it to themselves.  But there is a better way.

“Who else needs to know this?”  Encourage your team to stop, think, then collaborate and share information they know or learn.

  • A customer misunderstanding is probably valuable information for your Marketing team to know.  It could improve your company’s website or initiate a new blog post.
  • Information hoarding results in inconsistency across the company where team members could be giving out different answers to common questions.
  • “We’ve always done it that way” can stand in the way of progress and performance.

Encourage your teams to ask this key question and then act on it.  When the team knows more, the team becomes more efficient, effective, and meaningful. Your customers will benefit.  Your vendors will benefit.  Your bottom line will be positively impacted.

who else needs to know this

What Do You Do in a Coaching Session? by Jim Johnson

My leadership team and I will soon be discussing how we can improve upon our coaching sessions.  In preparation of this, I would like to solicit YOUR feedback.  I would appreciate your responses in the Comment section on the following:

  1. What makes an effective coaching session with a team member?
  2. How often do you coach a team member?  Once a month?  Twice a month?
  3. What is the difference between a team member who has experience vs one who demonstrates expertise?  How does a team member move from experienced to expertise?
  4. How should talk the most in a coaching session – the coach or the team member?

You may respond to any or all of the above.  Just make a note of the question you are answering by typing the corresponding number and then your answer.

Thank you in advance for your participation.  No matter what part of the world you are in or what your occupation is, please share your thoughts!  We can all learn from each other.

when leaders become beter

Take Action by Jim Johnson 

Leaders are faced with decisions and calls-to-action all day long:

  • Staffing decisions
  • Vendor decisions
  • Strategic plans
  • Customer resolutions
  • Team members needing feedback

At those critical points where YOUR action is required, ACT.  Don’t rely on good intentions.

  • “I’ll put off that difficult conversation with that team member…”
  • “I’ll call that vendor back next week…”
  • “Everyone knows where we’re going, right?…”
  • “That customer can wait…”
  • “Someone else probably will handle that question…”

Many times, it is the action of the leader that can begin positive momentum within their team/company.  Action can help initiate  great momentum.  Inaction can end up causing you and your team to stall out.  John Maxwell says:

“If you’ve got all the passion, tools, and people you need to fulfill a great vision, yet you can’t seem to get your organization moving and going in the right direction, you’re dead in the water as a leader.  If you can’t get things going (ACTION), you will not succeed.” (from The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership)

action always beats intention

So today, when facing a decision, ACT.  Get things moving.  Get your team moving.  ACT.

“Leaders always find a way to make things happen.”  John Maxwell