The Art of Moving People

 

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You are in the business of moving people. Whether you are the leader of an organization, the owner of a business, the member of a sales team, the employee or parent, you are constantly moving people.

In his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others Daniel Pink calls sales, the “art of moving people toward our ideas, our projects, or toward ourselves personally.”

In order to move people, we must seek to understand things from their perspective. The threat that keeps us from seeing from others’ perspective is our personal power. When we believe we have the best information, we feel powerful. When we’re convinced that we have the solution that’s best for everyone, we launch our personal power trips. And when we’re convinced beyond a doubt that we know better than anyone what others really need, we put ourselves in a most powerful situation.

While that power may feel good to us, it’s been proven to “anchor us too heavily to our own vantage point, (keeping us from) insufficiently adjusting to others’ perspectives,” Power and Perspectives Not Taken, Adam Galinsky, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Our personal power keeps us from seeing from other people’s perspectives. And the loss of people’s perspective inhibits us from moving people for the good of us all.

The next time you engage in a conversation where you want to move a person toward your ideas, your projects or toward yourself personally, surrender your personal power and make it your goal to first gain the other person’s perspective. Ask open-ended questions with an intent to discover real needs. Guard your mind from thinking over others while they’re talking. And take a real interest in what others are saying to you.

Perspective takers enjoy the art of moving people for their good.  What will you do to take the perspective of others today?

“Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know,” and thou wilt progress.” –Maimonides

Thoughts Define Us

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As you think, so you will live.

Think scarcity, and you’ll sabotage the successes you’ve created.

Think abundance, and you’ll find more than enough to go around.

Think fear, and you’ll doubt yourself, you’ll be suspicious of others, and you’ll see them as a threat to your success.

Think confidence, and you’ll find yourself acting decisively, taking on challenges, and living beyond your wildest imaginations.

Think misfortune, and you’ll find yourself discouraged, doubtful and hopeless.

Think opportunity, and you’ll find the floodgates of life, relationships and business raining down on you.

You are free to choose the thoughts that will direct your life today. Choose carefully, your thoughts define the outcome of your life and business.

Based on your thoughts, are you content with the direction you’re heading? Are you going to continue on that same path, or are you going to think and act differently so that you affect the outcomes you create?

Do me a favor and write a comment below to let me know what you’re going to do. Thanks, I’m cheering for your success!

The Leader’s Mind

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Manager’s manage what is, in order to make it better. Leaders lead past what is, in order to create what’s meant to be. And in order to make that happen, the leader’s mind focuses like few others do.

The leader’s mind is resolved to focus on things that matter most:

Dreams of the preferred future they’re compelled to create.

Leaders see clearly the future that will be while others ridicule and criticize. Dreams fill leaders with hope as they see the potential of what will be.

Visions of the difference their dreams can make in the lives of the people they touch.

As the leader dreams, she thinks of the ways her team, her products, her services will make life and business better for others. Leaders understand that we’ve been put on this earth to make a difference by making life and people better through the products, services, and leadership they bring to the scene.

Some of you reading this blog are agreeing inwardly with what’s being said, yet you find yourself in the same place you’ve been for quite some time. You’re in a place where know you need to move, but fear, uncertainty, or lack of clarity holds you uncomfortably where you’ve been. This is your day to dream big. This is your time to allow an audacious vision to overtake your life to the point that others are compelled to join you in creating the future you envision, making a reality.

I am looking to partner with three leaders who find themselves saying, “There’s more that I can accomplish if I could just be more organized, more consistent, and more free to focus on growing my business.” If that’s you, I’m looking for you today.

Whether you’re the only person in your business or you’re leading a team of people, I want to partner with you to review your sales systems to see if there are opportunities to grow your sales with improved systems. You are meant to reach more people. You are capable of touching more people and thus, making a difference in their lives and circumstances. You have the ability to position yourself to systematically engage more people consistently than you’ve been doing in the past. And when you consistently engage more people, you build a level of trust that results in winning new clients who willingly refer you to others.

It’s time for you and your business to stand out from the crowd. It’s time for some Purple Cows to arise. This is your day to dream. This is your day to be gripped by a compelling vision that inspires others to act with you.  Contact me now and let the possibilities unfold.

CARPE DIEM!

The Making of a Great Place to Work

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If given a choice, we’d all prefer to work for a really great company. But what is a great company? According to China Gorman, the CEO of A Great Place to Work (the creator of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for and the 50 Best Small and Medium companies) says it’s simple.

“Great companies are defined by the quality of relationships that exists within the organization.”

And the relationships that are most important in great work places are built on one common trait. Trust. Great companies intentionally work to build trust between employees and management. For great companies, a culture of trust makes them great.

China Gorman says that “an employee’s ability to trust senior management is the single most differentiating factor found in great companies.” If you want to create a place where the very best people want to work and work well, build a culture of trust. Be a leader whose word is consistent and true. Do not shy away from the truth in order to move your agenda down the court. Half-truth’s and straight out lies will destroy the relational trust in your organization. And when trust is lost, greatness fades to mediocrity.

Great companies encourage team members to work and serve in areas that are most rewarding for them. And when an employee finds satisfaction in the work they do, management would do well to acknowledge the work. Acknowledgement and appreciation build the culture of trust.

A CEO once said, “Every night before I leave, the last thing I think about is how to delight my employees, and it’s the first thing I think about in the morning.” That’s the way to build a culture of trust that results in a company that is great. 

Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing today to build your culture of trust. How are you expressing appreciation to the members of your team? Catch a member of your team serving well today and make it your mission to express your appreciation. A job well done deserves to be noticed. And when you notice, you build trust.

 

Non-Profit Leadership Lessons

 

Tina Combs

Tina Combs, President & CEO

Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce

It didn’t take long to find out why people said that I had to meet Tina Combs. Our coffee shop conversation flowed naturally and easily over a topic that was an obvious passion for Tina – leadership in the non-profit world.

At the heart of every great business, every great organization and every great non-profit, there’s a leader with a heart. Lose your heart for people, and your organization will pay the price.

Here are some leadership lessons I learned from Tina, a leader with a heart for the people she serves.

HAVE A HEART

First and foremost, “Say,No,’ to ego. Don’t worry about who gets the credit as long as the work gets done for the good of the community. Be sincere in what you do and sincerely try to help others.”

Leadership isn’t a power trip to be taken. Leadership is about improving the quality of life for others, your staff, your volunteers, your clients, and your community. By investing in training, education, retreats, and celebrations with your team, you let them know that you care and that you value what they bring to the team. Have a heart. Do something meaningful for the people you lead.

LEAD WITH PURPOSE

“A good leader must never forget their purpose.” Purpose, valuesand vision motivates, builds a strong sense of culture, and gives people something worth giving their lives too. Keep your eye on the prize, and daily point the members of your team toward your purpose. To lead is to inspire people with a sense of purpose. Can they articulate the purpose of your organization?

ENGAGE OTHERS

“Work well with others. Get people engaged. Treat your volunteers like gold, appreciate them, be organized and don’t waste their time.”

Time is precious, and there is no better way to wear out, discourage or lose great staff and volunteers than to waste their time in ill-prepared meetings lacking leadership. If you want people to volunteer and serve with you, respect their time, lead by your example, and value your volunteers, your staff and your team in every possible creative way.

Tina rightly said, “I can tell when people (I’m volunteering for) forget I’m a volunteer. Always show appreciation. No one is obligated to help us.”

And no one is obligated to work for us. When you know you’ve hired the right employee, treat him or her as the valued asset they are. It’s been repeated over and over that it’s much less costly to invest in great employees than it is to search for and train a new employee. The same goes for volunteers. Value the people you have around you, and they’ll likely stay with you for years to come.

BE WILLING TO SERVE

“Good leaders go outside of their world and help other people in the community. Volunteer for others.”

Non-profits require a strong volunteer base, and some of the best leaders are those who have learned to serve well from their personal acts of service. Service is learned in the field of volunteerism.

Is it time for a refresher course in service? If so, contact a non-profit with a purpose in line with you’re passions and find your life enriched by your acts of service.

TAKE TIME TO CULTIVATE

“Cultivate relationships & your reputation. Show that you’re leading a credible organization.”

Self leadership, organizational leadership, team leadership takes intentional effort. The best leaders are those who give specific attention to building healthy, life-giving relationships inside and outside of their organization. The best relationships and the most revered reputations are built on honesty without compromise.

Organizations need leaders who are honest with their teams, their clients, their volunteers, and themselves. The quickest route to a damaged reputation is to compromise on the truth. When a leader compromises in the smallest of ways, his or her team quickly assumes that’s the way of the organization. Once lies and half-truths take root in an organization, the culture shifts. And a shifting culture will damage your reputation. Safe-guard your relationships and your reputation. Build a culture of honesty without compromise.

Businesses, organizations, teams, volunteers, and non-profits will be at their best when their leaders are at their best. What are you doing today to become a better leader tomorrow? How are you investing in your personal leadership?

Leave a comment below and let me know what leadership investments you are making. I want to learn from you, and I hope to hear that your team and your organization are soaring to new heights because of your leadership. Make it happen leaders.

 

 

Act Decisively

action speaksOver the years I’ve found myself attracted to decisive people who get things done and make things happen. Yet I haven’t always lived as that kind of person until I took the time to think it through.

I discovered that I was hesitant to act because…

  • I was afraid something bad would happen. I thought I would fail.  I thought it would be a mistake. Then I realized that I was focused on and expecting something negative to happen. This was no way to live, so I worked daily to put that mindset aside.
  • I knew that to act would create more work, require more effort, and affect change. Yet that’s what I really needed for the good of my business and my personal life.
  • I wanted to take time to “think it over.” And guess what I found out? I seldom gave another thought to the idea I said I wanted to think over. That was an excuse not to act, and that was crazy.

Analyzing my actions got me so fed up with my crazy lines of reasoning that I drew my line in the sand and said, “No more.” From that time forward, I vowed to ACT DECISIVELY every day. I intentionally sought out the people, ideas, and solutions that changed the course of my business. Today, it’s my habit to consider my very best options, then to act quickly in saying yes to them.

Here are the biggest lessons I learned in all of this: No decision has ever been irreversible, even when it was wrong. And no decision has been  life-threatening! As a matter of fact, just the opposite has been true. My decision to act decisively, to quickly say yes to the best people, ideas, and solutions always propels my business forward, positively impacting my personal and my business life.

In business, I’ve found  the courage to act decisively from having systems and tools that consistently work in ways that produce measurable results beyond what I ever imagined. And now I have the privilege of training other sales people and business leaders to create their own set of customized sales systems. Together, we are putting processes in place that make it hard for others to ignore us.

My courage to say YES, to act decisively, to put systems in place that I work each day is resulting in repeated comments like…

“Thank you for remembering me in the busyness of work and life. I want to move forward with the project.”  

“Thank you for thinking of me and keeping me in the loop…I’ll be there.”

“I’ve read everything you’ve been writing, and I need what you have to offer.  Let’s get started…”

As a business owner and sales professional, I’m grateful that responses like these are becoming more my norm.

If you had buying responses like these coming into your business on a regular basis, would it make a difference?

Hoping to make more sales without a clearly defined and measurable plan will no longer cut it. This is your time to make a decision and get moving. You, your business and those you care most about need you to stop putting off decisions and act. Your employees are waiting for you. Future customers are waiting for you. You are waiting for you. Get moving! Not one person will loose their life when you decide to take a courageous step for the good of your business. The worst that can happen is that you may be out of some time and a few dollars. Is that too great of a risk to take?

What does your business most need today? Your actions determine your outcomes.  If you need someone to partner with you so that you act decisively, contact me.  Whatever you decide to do, do something good for yourself and for your business. Act decisively. And when you do, you’ll join me in the tribe of, “I’m glad I did!”

How To Motivate Yourself

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John Maxwell said, “It’s never the size of your problem that is the problem. It’s a lack of momentum.”

Momentum comes from inner motivation, and when it’s gone, hopelessness sets in. Many of us struggle to find a deep level of satisfaction in life simply because we lose our motivation to act.

Here are three simple actions you can do today to discover again, the motivation you need to move toward your dreams and goals.

Make Emotional Self-Deposits

Like a bank account, your withdrawals will be only as strong as your deposits. Make time for the people, places and activities that inspire and rejuvenate you the most. Unless you make emotional self-deposits, no one else will. And without emotional self-deposits, you’ll soon find yourself depleted with little left to give.

Aristotle once said, “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event, it is a habit.” Take responsibility for who you are and for who you are becoming. Take action today for the good of yourself.  Our world needs the very best you there is.

Give Yourself Advice

In her article, “Give Yourself A Pep Talk”, Jessica Stillman shares some great evidence for giving yourself advice by using the pronoun “You” rather than “I”. Here’s how it works.

When giving yourself advice you can choose to say, “I am going motivate myself for success today,” or you can say to yourself, “You, (insert your name) are going to motivate yourself for success today.” The difference is powerful. When we speak to ourselves using the pronoun “You,” it’s said to be more authoritative, as if it’s coming from someone outside of ourselves with a renewed sense of power to encourage and motivate.

Begin talking to yourself, in the privacy of your home or car, of course, and give yourself advice as if you were an outsider speaking into your life. Notice the difference just one word makes in terms of your personal motivation.

Surround Yourself With Motivated Cheerleaders

There may be no better gift to give yourself than the gift of well-chosen, highly motivated friends who can cheer you on to success. I recently received an email that simply read, “You’re the man! You can make this project happen because you have everything that’s needed to pull it off. Make it happen…you’re the man!” Those timely words motivated me beyond my wildest imaginations.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in life so far, it’s this. I need to surround myself with great people in order to reach beyond the limits of what I’d expect of myself.

Surround yourself with a tribe of motivated cheerleaders, then celebrate the times when they cheer you on with advice, support, ideas, and feedback. Listen to them, learn from them, and appreciate the ways they contribute to your motivation and ultimately, to your success.

What have you found that keeps you motivated toward your goals and dreams? Leave a comment HERE, making your experiences a testament for others to learn from and to live by. Go ahead and share your stories now, before you forget!

Thanks for sharing, I look forward to learning from you!

How To Snub A Customer

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Have you been snubbed as a customer? I bet you have. You’re smiling as those experiences come to mind right now.

I recently took a simple drive through the take out service of a well known chain restaurant. I paid my money at window number one as instructed, and I proceeded to window number two. What happened next was beyond my comprehension.

When I arrived at the window, a young lady had her back to the window, and that’s where she remained for the duration of this event. She was engrossed in conversation with another worker in the window. To make matters worse, I saw my bag with one small food item sitting on the counter just inches from this lady’s hand.

Several seconds later, the other lady grabbed the bag, looked in and said to the “Snub Lady”, “Is this this customer’s order?”

Her reply? “Yes.”

“So why didn’t you give it to him?”

“You can give it to him.”

And without a word, this mysterious hand came out of the window with my bag attached and just as quickly and silently as it came out, it went back in. I drove off shaking my head and declaring this to be the ultimate customer snub!

So, How Do You Snub a Customer?

You turn your back and care about the conversations that matter most to YOU.

You care not about your customers and their needs. You leave that up to someone else.

You choose not to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

Some of you reading this blog are saying, “This doesn’t apply to me, I’m the boss. I don’t work directly with the customers. My employees are the ones who need to read this.”

Not so fast, Mr. Boss. From my days with Southwest Airlines it was made abundantly clear to me that every boss, every manager, every leader had customers of their own…the employees they were responsible to lead.

Your Employees Are Your Customers

Translation? The way you lead your team, the way you interact with your employees, the example you set by the work you do will be the way your employees indelibly interact with the people you say mean so much to you…your customers.

Want great customer service? Give it first to the customers you’ve been called to lead, your employees!

Just this week I learned about a job posting in a department where three employees work very part time hours. When questioned about the decision to hire, the employees were told the department had 24 extra hours to give, so a new team member was needed.

Enter customer snub number two. The part time employees hearing this news have been begging for more hours so that they can better support their families, but management has consistently said, “Sales are down, and we don’t have the hours to give.” Funny how they now have 24 hours to give, but not to their “customers,” the current part time employees. It was as if their backs were turned, the needs of their customers ignored, and the shoes of their “customers” were never worn.

Want to build morale, win customers for life and watch your sphere of influence grow? Do not snub a customer!

Turn your face to your customers, identify their real needs, address those needs with intentionality, and in the process, make sure you walk in the shoes of your customers. And do it with an honest desire to understand their needs as if they were your own.

Before you make the final decision that affects your customers and their families, before you recommend a product or service for your client to buy,  care enough to find out what life looks like, feels like, and is in the life of your customer. A well cared for customer will become a customer for life.

“As goes the leader, so goes the organization!” ~John Maxwell

Who are your customers? How will this message impact the way you relate with your customers this week?

If this article made a difference for you, please leave your comments in the box below. I want to know what actions you’re going to take to make a difference this week. I’ll be cheering for your success!

How To Motivate

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It was a very positive run. I had just completed the research, given a public talk, and asked for people to commit to a new project I took on, when I found myself exhausted while surrounded with success.

In those moments  I wondered how I would motivate myself and the team of people I was called to lead.

Some of the lessons I learned through the process serve me well to this day:

REVIEW

At the completion of a project, it’s helpful to review what went well, be brutally honest about what needs to be changed, and celebrate the players who made any contribution to the success. In a world nearly deprived of praise, make your praise specific and make it personal. And when you can, praise people publicly and tie the praise to your mission, vision, and values.  What others see rewarded will inspire them to do more of the same.

In the teams I lead,we’ve built a culture where we express our appreciation in our meetings, through our collaboration tools, and in writing. We’ve built systems that allow our members to praise one another quickly and easily, 24/7. This increases our motivation while allowing us to build our mission-driven culture as a team. While it takes leadership, it also takes the team!

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

When we’re involved in doing work that matters to us, we feel a sense of pride and ownership. Playing to your strengths gives you a strong sense of accomplishment. And whether you are working alone or with a team, it’s important to realize that you’re contributing in a unique way that can make a difference in people’s lives.

If you’re part of a team, seek team member’s ideas, listen to the problems they identify, and give them space to suggest ways to fix those problems. This is one of many ways to ensure your team members are playing to their strengths and satisfied with their team contribution.

MEET ONE-ON-ONE

Meet one-on-one with your team members or with the key people contributing to your project. And when you meet, make the meeting about the other person. Appreciate the contributions they’ve made, then become a student of the person by asking great questions and listening perceptively.

“How can I best help you? What can I do to contribute to your success? Is there anything you need that will make your work more effective and meaningful?” And deliver on those needs.

Learning how to motivate is really about valuing the people you serve, the people on your team, or the people that you lead. The key to getting this one right is leadership:  leadership of yourself, the people you serve, and the members of your team.

How will you motivate yourself or your team today? The opportunity is yours to take…make it count!

Earn Trust

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On every team, in every networking event, and in every encounter we have with people, trust is paramount. When a person questions whether or not they trust you, the relationship quickly breaks down.

Whether you’re the boss, a member of the team, the owner of a business or a team leader, trust must be carefully earned.

How do we earn trust?

Relate with humility and a genuine interest to learn.

Individuals and leaders who always have a story better than the one they just heard, who are quick to give an answer with little or no conversation, or who are too busy to listen, read, or learn will not stand a chance of earning my trust. While the person who takes the time to ask great questions, to look me in the eye, and with sincerity of heart takes a genuine interest in the things that are important to me, they earn trust. And with trust, comes a level of respect.

Engage in life-transforming conversations 

People who relate with humility are likely to be readers, learners and students of life. These folks realize they don’t have all the answers, and with that realistic view of life, they take an interest in others, they understand the importance of bringing great value to people and relationships, and they recognize the opportunity that every conversation brings.

When motivated by a heart committed to making a difference through the value we bring, our conversations focus on how we can help rather than how we will take. Go-giver’s initiate life-transforming conversations, and they do so with humility and a genuine interest to learn.

Act with integrity

People who care about earning the trust of others take action, and their actions are marked by integrity. The integrity to respect people and their time, the integrity to be honest while being loving, and the integrity that motivates them to bring value to people and situations. 

Leading great teams, engaging new clients, networking for results, and building great relationships calls for trust. Break trust and your ability to influence and move people is over. Earn trust and you’ll build a tribe of people willing to work hard, committed to bringing results, and eager to create value with others.

What will your tribe of people look like this week? As you earn trust, your influence will determine that outcome.