Change the Way You See Situations

As I stated in my last post, I have been reading Change the Way You See Everything.  In fact, I just finished it during my lunch break today.  This is probably the fourth time reading through this incredible book.

In the closing pages I read today, authors Cramer & Wasiak challenged me to change the way I see situations.  What is the current situation right now on April 27, 2020?  The ongoing quarantine due to the corona virus.  The economy of the world is crippled.  Millions in the US are unemployed – and this happened in a mere matter of weeks.  Small businesses are closing never to reopen.  There is a lot of depression, fear, and despair.

If we’re honest, most of us focus on that last paragraph.  The 24/7 news channels feed viewers a never-ending diet of gloom and doom.  It seems as if everything is focused on what has gone wrong.

But what if we could see this differently?  

Think back to September 11, 2001.  When that day happened, I’m sure many thought New York would be forever devastated.  But Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided this vision:

“Tomorrow New York is going to be here…and we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”

And New York did rebuild.  One year ago, I stood at the World Trade Center Memorial.  I walked the streets of the city.  It has rebuilt.  Our nation became stronger and more vigilant.

How did that all happen?  How will we climb out of the hole we were thrown into these past few months?  Can we?  Yes, we can!

foucsCramer & Wasiak challenge us to apply the 80-20 rule…in reverse.  “Instead of focusing 80% of your attention on problems and 20% on opportunities, concentrate 80% on opportunities and 20% correcting what’s wrong.”

 

So what are your opportunities?

  • Devoting time to invest in your personal growth and development.
  • Investing time to discover a better/more efficient way to get work done (hey, you already changed where you work – focus on how you work!)
  • Ask, “How are my customers interacting with me now?  What is working with this?  What small tweaks can I make that would make it even easier for my customers to do business with me?”
  • Ask, “How can I become more financially fit during this situation so I can better be prepared for the future?  Who can I turn to for help with this?”  (locally, here).
  • Ask: “Who can I help right now?  Who needs encouragement, support, or a friend?”

“…what if you could reach into the depth of that problem and extract a treasure – a wealth of information that could propel the situation forward in a way that benefits everyone involved, exponentially!”

Cramer & Wasiak offer solid advice:

  • Get a new vision of your world today.
  • “Turn yourself on by sharpening your vision” of what could be.
  • “Link your passion, vision, and skill set with the strengths and capabilities of those you have attracted into your circle of influence.”  
  • Change how you think about problems and set-backs.

This is not an impossible situation we are all in.  But those that will rise to the next level and challenge will be those who focus on the 80% of the opportunities this time is presenting to us.

“How can this be the best problem we’ve ever had?”

James Clear on: How Experts Practice Better Than the Rest

This is a great article by James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits.  Here is an excerpt and the link to his entire article.  

 

What Do Experts Do For 10,000 Hours?

10000 hoursMalcolm Gladwell published his blockbuster book, Outliers, in 2008 and the most talked-about idea from the text was the 10,000 Hour Rule. Gladwell, citing research by K. Anders Ericsson, explained that the key to becoming world-class in any field was to practice a specific task for at least 10,000 hours.

As you might expect, people quickly latched onto the number 10,000 and forgot the details of the argument.

Obviously, there is no magic in the 10,000th hour, but it is true that you need to put in a lot of work to become world-class in any task. However, the important question is this, “What should that work look like? If you want to become great at your craft, what exactly should you do with your 10,000 hours?”

You can’t simply put in your time and log 10,000 hours. You have to practice deliberately on a specific skill.

But what does that mean? What, exactly, does deliberate practice look like?

What is Deliberate Practice?

During a 2012 talk, programmer and author Kathy Sierra explained deliberate practice with a very simple and elegant answer. 

Deliberate practice is when…

 

Find and read the entire article here:  10,000 Hours: how the experts practice better than the rest

Recruit a Problem that needs Solving by Jim Johnson

problem solver

This morning, I read an excerpt from T.D. Jakes’ book, Soar!   It was a simple yet profound statement that got me thinking:

“Recruit a problem that needs solving”

He was primarily referring to someone who was interested in becoming an entrepreneur.  But I believe this statement applies in a few other ways.  See if you agree with me.

First of all, I do agree with Bishop Jakes.  If an entrepreneur is going to become successful, their intended business must solve a problem that exists for consumers.  If not, what’s the point?  I met a local entrepreneur who is working on a brace to help speed the recovery of a common sports injury (ACL).  If he can successfully create this brace, his future will become very exciting.  Pro athletes, college athletes, and even high school athletes will benefit from this.  He recognized a problem (slow/ineffective healing), and he is applying his engineering background to solve this in a new way.

But what if you are merely wanting to move up the corporate ladder at work?  Would solving a problem help with that?  YES!  Your path to promotion can be paved with your reputation as a problem solver.  Where can you find problems to solve at work?  Listen!  Look!  They are every where.  Spend time with others outside of your department and find out what issues drive them crazy.  Then work through a process to collaborate with them to solve the problem.  By doing this, you will make an impact, create influence, and be seen as a trusted resource.

Wait.  There’s a process to this?  Why, yes there is.  Let me share what I teach to my call center team when they encounter a service recovery call.  We lovingly call it the “Laffy Taffy” approach:

L = Listen.  Listen to the problem/issue.  Really strive to understand exactly what is being shared.

A = Ask questions.  Don’t start advising!  Ask clarifying questions to hone in on the true issue at hand.  Ask open-ended questions.

F = Feel.  Feel what the other person is feeling.  This will help you understand the true nature of the issue/problem.

THEN, and only then…

T = Think.  Think about the resources needed to help solve the issue.  Think about possible solutions.  Who else could be brought in to help?

A = Act.  After you’ve done all of this, now ACT.  Don’t just pat your co-worker on the back and say, “good luck with that.  It sucks to be you!”  NO!  Act!  Take action to solve the problem based on all that you’ve learned.

F = Follow-up.  Most of us fail here.  We do not follow up.  If you are given the opportunity to help solve a problem, follow-up to see how things are going once the issue is resolved.  Did the solution produce the desired results?  How is the person feeling now?  What have you all learned from this?  Follow-up!

You can also recruit a problem that needs solving in your efforts to help make your community better.  You can also take an honest look at your personal habits and discover issues that are getting your way of success.  You always want to become better as a leader.  Look for problems to recruit and then solve them for your own betterment.

Problems are all around us.  Recruit one!  Help others become better.  Become a problem solver.  Deploy the process of LAF TAF. Become that trusted resource.

It works when you work it.

First Fridays – focus on NE Indiana Regional Partnership

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On Friday, November 3, John Sampson (CEO of the NE Indiana Regional Partnership) will be the inaugural speaker at First Fridays hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University. In case you are not familiar with the Partnership, read the following excerpt and visit them at http://neindiana.com.

About the NE Indiana Regional Partnership

Increasing business investment. That’s what we’re all about. We’re here to support your business, build our community, and market our region to the world. How do we do all of that? Together. Collaboration is Northeast Indiana’s secret sauce and the key to building a globally competitive economy in our 11-county region.

Our mission is to build, market, and sell Northeast Indiana to increase business investment.

Our region is made up of Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties.

Click on the link below to RSVP (required for attendance – seating is limited). Plan to be there.

First Fridays November 3

Leadership Beyond Our Walls – Aunt Millie’s Bakehouse by Jim Johnson

Yesterday, my leadership team and I had lunch with Tim & Todd Baumann of Aunt Millie’s Bakehouse.  Tim serves as the EVP of Sales and Todd is the Director of Continuous Improvement / Strategic Growth.  I met Tim while standing in a 2 hour line during early voting. We talked about bread, Cubs baseball, and leadership.I later emailed him asking him to meet my leadership team.

I have taken my leaders outside of our office to meet, interact with, and learn from local entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Aunt Millie’s has been in business in our city since 1901 and they do business all over the U.S. as overseas (Saudi Arabia, Dubai, etc.). The family who has been leading this company does so with passion, integrity, and great effectiveness.

We had an outstanding time with great conversations and shared insight.  My leadership team asks wonderful questions and are very curious and eager to learn and grow.

Here are some of our take-a-ways:

  • Creating a culture that lasts for generations takes commitment, consistency, and courage.
  • I want to help create a culture that becomes a legacy at 3Rivers – where people love being here while serving our communities.
  • Leadership matters– whether a company bakes bread or makes loans. 
  • It is worth getting better.  Always.
  • Serving others is a leader’s highest calling. 
  • “Be intentional”. None of us have all of the right answers however if your head and your heart is in the right place than great things are bound to happen.
  • Build trust.

In our community, we have a rich history of successful leaders, entrepreneurs , and community investors.  This exercise is proving to add value to my team, those we meet, and to me personally.  My team becomes ignited through these experiences.  We grow in our leadership journey as we work to always “lift our lids”.

Response Ability

On my way into work this morning, I was listening to John Lee Dumas’ podcast, “Entrepreneur on Fire”.  In the episode I listened to (#1482 from November 11, 2016), John was interviewing Rob Moore, author of Disruptive Entrepreneur.  I would highly recommend taking time to listen to EOFire.  Whether you are striving to become an entrepreneur or not, you will learn valuable insights into yourself, your work, and your world.

During an interaction, Rob pointed out that John had emphasized the word “responsibility” as “response ability”.  They had a great exchange following that.  For obvious reasons.

This past Friday, my company held its 3rd annual all-employee education day.  It was a great time to learn, collaborate, and stretch.  But now it’s Monday morning.  What are we all doing with all that information we were exposed to?

Studies show that probably only 5% of us will actually act on new insights we’ve been exposed to. That’s it!  Only 5%!

But dove-tailing off of EOFire this morning, you have the “response ability” to do more with what you learn.

  • You read an article that directly applies to your line of work.  Take time to share it with someone on your team.  Find out if your work should change based upon new ideas you discovered.
  • You read a book about personal growth.  Create an action plan to put what you’ve learned into practice.  Today.
  • You attended a seminar that got you all pumped up.  Journal about what you learned, how you felt, and what you intend to do about this new insight.

In other words, when you learn something new, TAKE ACTION!  That’s your response ability.  As Jeff Olson in The Slight Edge says, take daily, disciplined action toward your goals and you will succeed.

Are you taking responsibility?  Make a plan.  Do the plan.  Don’t let great insight and experience go to waste.

make things happen

 

Get to “Yes” by Tony Jeary

Another great article by Tony Jeary.  

To merit a spot on your prospects’ calendars, you need a pitch that holds the promise of monetary returns for them.

Do your homework.

If you are going to book first visits, you need to sound like someone who has the business acumen, experience and ideas that can make a difference in your prospective client’s business—in other words, a compelling value proposition for your sales call.

This means doing your due diligence before you make that phone call or write that email. You need to know what the three or four major issues your prospective customer is likely to be dealing with—or will be soon.

Instead of introducing yourself and your services, your prospecting pitch needs to be built on your ideas about the root causes of your prospects’ challenges and how they can think about them, hopefully leading them toward a groundbreaking solution. It sounds like this: “Hi, Mary, this is Anthony with XYZ Inc. My company helps people deal with the challenges of low productivity, high consumable costs and employee dissatisfaction. I am calling to ask you for 20 minutes to share the three biggest trends impacting your business and give you some ideas that help our clients produce better results at lower costs. Could we meet for 20 minutes on Thursday? I’ll share these ideas with you, and even if you never buy from me, they will help you and your team.”

This pitch doesn’t suggest that I will talk about my company or myself. It doesn’t indicate that I am going to try to make a personal connection; instead it says I am going to help the prospect think about her business and its problems. You have to focus on helping your prospects with their biggest challenges, those same challenges you discovered when doing your research.

Pitch to the correct contact.

For decades salespeople were told to start as high up in the organization as possible and then let the C-level executive introduce them to his or her team. This used to be wise advice, but now folks in the C suites wantconsensus about solutions before they weigh in, and if the salesperson hasn’t been vetted by their teams, the executives aren’t likely to push their solution onto lower-level workers.

Today there’s a new contact to target with your prospecting: the CEO of the Problem. The CEO of the Problem is the person who must achieve results in dealing with the issues that you can resolve. The contacts who fit this role will also be the people who are the most susceptible to your message because they’re the ones struggling to produce results. You can help them, and they will meet with you, provided you’ve convincingly conveyed your ability to help when you reach out with your prospecting call, voice mail or email.

(Note that the CEO of the Problem may have a C-level title. But the larger your prospective client company, the less likely that your vital contacts rank this highly.)

Nurture your prospects.


Read the entire article  here:  http://www.success.com/article/how-to-get-a-yes-to-your-next-sales-pitch