I just received in the mail the book The Dream Manager (Matthew Kelly). It was recommended to me by a new friend about a week ago. Here’s an excerpt from the very beginning of the book:
“A company’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-itself. The next question is: What is an employee’s purpose? Most would say, ‘to help the company achieve its purpose,’ but they would be wrong. That is certainly part of an employee’s role, but an employee’s primary purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself…
The company exists for people. When a company forgets that it exists to serve its customers, it quickly goes out of business. Our employees are our first customers, and our most influential customers.
A person’s purpose is to become the-best-version-of-himself or herself.”
I’m looking forward to diving deeper into this book. Thank you, Scott Druhot, for the recommendation!
Update: I just finished this book during my lunch! Wow! I will be implementing these ideas with my leadership team soon! You need to read this book!
When it comes to self-talk, we’ve discovered six common, yet toxic, beliefs that hold people back more than any others. Be mindful of your tendencies to succumb to these beliefs, so that they don’t derail your career:
Toxic Belief #1: Perfection = Success
Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish, instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.
Toxic Belief #2: My Destiny is Predetermined
Far too many people succumb to the highly irrational idea that they are destined to succeed or fail. Make no mistake about it, your destiny is in your own hands, and blaming multiple successes or failures on forces beyond your control is nothing more than a cop out. Sometimes life will deal you difficult cards to play, and others times you’ll be holding aces. Your willingness to give your all in playing any hand you’re holding determines your ultimate success or failure in life.
Toxic Belief #3: I “Always” or “Never” Do That
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I’ve been working on a little project here at work. I lead 4 different, unique divisions. We are all on the same floor. There is a lot of collaboration between the teams. But I discovered something. The team still doesn’t always know what the team (overall) does.
So I addressed it.
With the help of my leadership team, I created a document (12 pages long) that highlights each of my divisions, the work they do, and the up-to-date results they are getting. In each of their sections, I also shared the company awards they’ve received over the past couple of years (it’s always good to be reminded of this!). Each team member was listed and all of their photos were included.
Teams can do the work day in and day out. We all are busy. My team is full of flawed, human beings – myself included! We are not perfect. But we do a lot to move our company forward. We work hard to serve our customers (members) to our best ability. We care about each other inside and outside of work.
I created this document to be sure my team understands all that goes on. I want them to appreciate their own efforts and results. I want them to appreciate the efforts of those working on the other side of the room. Together, we are making a positive impact.
I challenge you to do something similar with your team. This exercise helped me focus on the positive strengths this team has. I think it will help my team focus on that, too.
In his new book, High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard speaks about seeking clarity in Habit 1. I shared this exercise with my Emerging Leader group yesterday. I thought you might like to read this as well:
- Describe (write it down) how you’ve perceived yourself in the following situations over the past several months – with your significant other, at work, with the kids or your team, in social situations with strangers.
- Now ask, “Is that who I really see myself being in the future?” How would my future self look, feel, and behave differently in those situations? (note: think about how your future self would want to interact in ways that you would be proud of)
- If you could describe yourself in just 3 aspirational words – words that would sum up who you are at your best in the future – what would those words be? Why are those words meaningful to you? Once you find your words, put them in your phone as an alarm label that goes off several times per day.
I worked through this exercise myself. I jotted down several things and finally landed on my 3 aspirational words. I created a calendar event that displays these 3 words at 5:45 am, 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm every day.
Already, there are many times when I see those words and I am reminded to be my best and do my best to act out on these words. It works. What a great reminder.
Try it. In fact, order the book and start working your own high performance habits (link to the book is provided above). Begin working on becoming better. You will not regret it.
I shared some of these thoughts with someone just a moment again via email. I thought I would share this with you.
Are you the CEO, VP, Director, Manager, etc. on your team? If so, your team needs something from you. If you are in a team meeting, departmental meeting or all-company affair, don’t discount your impact in those moments.
I’m sure you know this is a plumb bob. It is used to insure accuracy in construction. A carpenter’s eye can deceive him. But a plumb bob cannot be “off”. The weight and gravity work in accordance with laws of physics. The plumb bob always shows what is in line/accurate.
Your team does not intend to ever “get off” the line (expectations) in their daily work. But it happens. Life events push in on them. Relationships in the office can become strained. We all can have bad days. Sometimes, a customer can be a jerk.
Our teams get off-kilter.
When you have your time in front of your team, it is a perfect time to help them re-calibrate. To hear and see the vision again. This is their plumb bob. And you get to hold the string.
You believe in your company’s vision/mission. Like it or not, your team looks to you at these key events to hold the string, remind them of their “calling”, spray a little Windex on the vision, and point all of your team’s ships in the same direction.
Be great at this.
That’s what your team needs from you. To be your best self. Your team all loves that, wants that, and needs that.
Last week, I had a doctor’s appointment. I was not happy with my check-up. Over a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. I began to make life changes. I lost over 30 pounds. I changed the way I ate (yes, I cheated from time to time). I made other changes as well.
From a recent wellness exam we do at work, I saw that my blood sugar numbers actually went back up a bit. Also, I’m in the middle of some heart tests now. And I’m back on medication.
This put me in a funk. I was doing things that were supposed to help, but I’ve gone backwards. I know genetics are at work, but this “set back” has not been good.
So, how do I get out of this funk? I know the eating regimen I’ve been on is good for me. I just need to ramp it up. I need to change my exercise to something more rigorous. I need to follow my doctor’s orders.
I found the following this morning. It’s good advice. I need to follow it. If you’re in a funk or have been in one, perhaps this may help you or someone you know. Share this!
- Connect with people. As I wrote in a previous post, How To Pull Good Things Out Of Others, who we are and how we experience ourselves often has more to do with who surrounds us than anything else. When feeling low, one of the fastest ways to pick yourself up is to connect with specific people you know bring energy out of you.
- Commit to a new goal. Sometimes my listlessness is purposelessness in disguise. Human beings are not only intrinsically driven by a sense of purpose but also seem to require a sense of purpose to lead a satisfying life. It needn’t be a grand purpose, but it must be a purpose that feels important to you.
- Read an engrossing book or see an emotionally powerful movie. Both have the power to transport us, to provide a perspective far removed from our own, and in doing so, unlock emotions we want to feel: joy, hope, warmth—even sadness. When in a funk, what we feel doesn’t seem to be as important as finding a way to feel something.
- Travel. Though travel has never been one of my favorite things to do, it does accomplish something important when I’m in a funk: it takes away familiar environmental cues and replaces them with unfamiliar ones. And as most of our behavior and emotions are cued by our environment (from turning off lights when we leave a room to the sinking feeling we may get as we approach our place of work), if we want to act and feel differently, changing our environmental cues is a good place start. Not that you can escape yourself by relocating geographically. But you can be helped to access different parts of yourself. Jim’s note: traveling doesn’t have to take you far. It can be traveling to a state/national park and hike. Just get out of your surroundings for a bit.
- Wait patiently. No mood lasts forever. And life won’t leave you alone but will eventually present you with new challenges that activate you. And even if such challenges are difficult, they will often bring out your best self.
Resource for these steps: How to Get Out of a Funk