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Posts by Mike Rayburn

How To Keep OTHERS Up At Night by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Feb 21, 2022 | Comments Off

 

A Secretary of Defense for the US was once asked a very revealing question: 

“What keeps you up at night?”

That’s important to know, right? What are our weaknesses, what are the threats? 

His answer completely rocked me.

He said, “Nothing. I keep others up at night.” 

What a revolutionary mindset! 

In essence, the safest, most successful approach is to be the one to whom others react, rather than vice versa. 

For my business clients it made me think of the many different approaches and mindsets they each have toward change. Most tell me they are managing change, embracing change, or adapting to change, with entire trainings and programs centered around those. 

These are noble aspirations… if the best you hope to do is survive. 

If, instead you want to thrive, to grow, to profit, to lead, I am inviting you to elevate to a new mindset.

It’s time for you to stop managing change, and start to create change… to lead change. 

I want you to be the ones who define the curve, rather than follow it.

Imagine the transformation you could create if all the time, money and effort you spend teaching your teams how to react to change, you instead spend teaching them to proactively create change - to discover, create and act on new opportunities pre-emptively?

You’d be unstoppable. 

This is the essence of the “What IF Mindset.” 

Yes, sometimes the unexpected happens and we must respond by managing, embracing or adapting. Please recognize, though, these are all reactive postures and we want to move back to proactive change quickly. 

To do this I want you to leverage an interesting phenomenon: When you boldly create and lead change, your response to outside change naturally strengthens, evolves, and in many cases becomes unnecessary. 

In essence, the best defense is a good offense. 

How do we create change? By constantly asking “What if we could that? What if we didn’t do that?” By adopting the “What IF Mindset” for innovation, creativity, radical problem solving, you harness your team’s sense of purpose.

You are surrounded right now by opportunities that you’re missing. From billion-dollar innovations that change the world, to simple productivity changes which supercharge your bottom line.

Together, let’s discover and act on those opportunities by elevating your organizational mindset to one of creating and leading change.

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

Why Your Business Needs More Change by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Nov 16, 2021 | Comments Off

Hall of fame speaker, Mike Rayburn asks, “How do you open up more possibilities, solutions and ideas for your clients and your customers?”

He explains that when we ask, “What If,” we open ourselves up to the world of possibilities. Your clients and customers are coming to you for newer and better ideas and they love it when you open up more possibilities for them.

WE MUST CREATE MORE CHANGE
We are reluctant to accept or create more change. But, Mike says that the only way we can manage change is to create more change. To create more success, we have to step out and be the one who defines the curve.

WE ARE GOLDMINES OF UNTAPPED POTENTIAL
“I believe that we are each capable of far more than we ever believed possible. I believe that regardless of our level of success, we are each a goldmine of unrealized potential.” 

OPPORTUNITIES ARE EVERYWHERE
“We are surrounded every moment of the day by opportunities to access that potential. You are now walking through life no longer looking for reasons you can’t. Your default is to be the one who looks for reasons you can.”

THE TIME TO START IS RIGHT NOW
“I believe the time to open yourself to more possibilities is right now – you will generate more success by starting with the question, ‘What If?”

 

Avoid Being Disrupted… Plot Your Own Demise by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 04, 2021 | Comments Off

 

How would you complete this phrase?

“If it ain’t broke… __________?”

“Don’t fix it, right?  

Here’s the problem with that: Time Breaks Everything!

You all know the story and have seen the casualties to go with it… taxis totally missed Uber and lost millions in sales and market share.

The casualty list is exhaustive and here are a few…

  • Record companies didn’t see iTunes/Spotify
  • Kodak didn’t see digital
  • Typewriters didn’t see computers
  • Blockbuster didn’t see Netflix
  • Gillette didn’t see Dollar Shave Club

So, do you think that’s still going on? Well… duh.

How can you prevent your industry, organization, or even your personal career from being Ubered… disrupted… rendered completely irrelevant?

Plot your own demise.

As much as possible, I want you to metaphorically step outside of yourself, look at your business anew and ask, “What IF someone were going to “Uber” us? How could they do what we do in a considerably better, cheaper and/or easier way?

The Transportation Security Administration hires experts to randomly smuggle firearms, explosives and all manner of contraband through their security.

Why? They’re looking for vulnerabilities. And so should YOU! 

There are three areas to consider immediately:

  1. Technology. How could someone totally reinvent your business using an app, robots, artificial intelligence, software or crowd-sourcing?
  1. Customer Service. The common denominator with most of the above businesses is their downfall was preceded by poor customer service? How could someone do the same thing you do and by simply being considerably better to their customers take you business? Where have your customers accepted sub-par treatment?
  1. Quality. What have your employees or customers come to accept as a limitation which someone else could solve and take business away from you?

All the businesses mentioned above were so busy doing what made them successful that they failed to see the larger picture, the trends, the changes happening right in front of them.

A great example we see in progress right now is the way Tesla, like them or not, is revolutionizing the automobile industry…

  1. Technology - theirs is the most advanced in the industry.
  2. Customer service - they have reinvented the sales/buying process getting rid of the objectionable tenets of the dealership model.
  3. Quality - a standard internal combustion engine/vehicle has approximately 1000 moving parts; a Tesla has eight.

Mindset: This isn’t about vulnerability, it’s about opportunity. 

My point here is not merely a defensive play to guard against being rendered irrelevant so you can continue as before.  

My real point is that discovering your vulnerabilities reveals your opportunities… to lead, to improve, to grow and to better serve your customers.  

Every vulnerability is an opportunity… discover them before someone else does.

Plot your own demise!

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

One Simple Step to a Culture Of Innovation Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Aug 23, 2021 | Comments Off

"Did you know, there are companies who actually pay their people for making mistakes and coming forth with them?"

Every one of my clients wants to grow their innovation, creativity, and performance.

They want their people to experiment; try things; create new products, processes, and services; implement radical problem solving; and to create change.

So, I get a unique view across a lot of different sectors at what works and what doesn’t.

The number one way organizations stifle any creative thought:

Punishing mistakes.

You want to KILL any hope of innovation and individual brilliance?

Punish mistakes.

Make people wrong for trying and coming up short.

And do not fool yourself.

Many, many organizations tell themselves they allow people to make mistakes and all the while have a covert, tacit punishment of mistakes.

Or, they have individual leaders who act out their own ego deficiencies by making others wrong for trying and failing.

This matters. This is toxic.

So, you need to find out.

And what’s the solution? How do you build a culture of innovation?

Give everyone in your organization…

the Freedom to Be Wrong.

The freedom to fail, fall short, to screw up.

Essentially, we’re talking about offering Grace, a culture where it’s safe to be vulnerable.

Brene Brown says vulnerability is the foundation of all creativity and innovation.
Now, before you get all shaky, we are not “skipping through the forest,” here.

It’s simply encouraging your people to try boldly, and offering a soft landing when people fail… which they will!

Did you know, there are companies who actually pay their people for making mistakes and coming forth with them

Radical? Sure. And what do they get for it?

A Culture of Innovation.

(Not to mention a fun place to work, eh?).

So, start to grow your culture of innovation by giving everyone...

The Freedom To Be Wrong.

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

The Miraculous Power of Consistency by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Jul 19, 2021 | Comments Off

"What Is It You Could Begin to Do Consistently That Would Take You to the Next Level and Beyond?"

Wind and water moving consistently over the earth have done far more to shape this planet than all the blasting and earth-moving equipment we’ve ever invented.

Investing even a small amount of money every month consistently has built far more wealth and created far more millionaires than all the Vegas and lottery winnings ever.

The fact is, consistency is the most powerful human force on this planet.
And this is not a new concept. Aristotle famously stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

A habit. A repeated action. Consistency.

Unfortunately, this also works in reverse.

Smoking consistently for years will ruin your lungs. Laziness, repeated daily for years will truncate your prospects in life.

If you’re reading this, you are successful. What is it that you have done consistently over the years to create your success?

And what is it you could begin to do consistently that would take you to the next level and beyond?

No discussion of mastery is complete without addressing fundamentals. All masters in any medium are first and foremost masters of fundamentals.

How do they master fundamentals? They work on fundamentals consistently.


So, if you are a leader of teams, and even for yourself, start here:

  1. Make a list of the fundamentals that are absolutely essential to mastery of your craft or medium. What are the 3-4 fundamentals of, say sales? Marketing? Executive assistance? Customer care?
  2. Create a schedule of consistent practice, monitoring, and improvement of those skills.
  3. Make the plan to repeat this for at least a year if not longer.


Your results will be… miraculous.

Repetition is the mother of skill. Repetition of skills over years fosters mastery.

And it’s all in your hands!

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

Simple Ways to Foster a Culture of Mastery by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Jun 01, 2021 | Comments Off

You and your teams are closer to mastery than you think. Here are some simple steps that will raise the level of performance in your organization considerably and will cost you nothing.

Consider this…

  • Most people know what they need to do, and just don’t do it.
  • Most people have the tools they need, and just don’t use them.
  • Most people know that toxic thoughts sabotage success, but do nothing to change them.
  • Most people look for the cool new philosophy and the latest tactic when mastery is always about a relentless focus on fundamentals.
  • Most people are surrounded by others in your organization who are experts at what they need to learn, and just don’t ask.
  • Most people are experts at something others need to learn, and just don’t share.
  • Most people are content with the level of acceptable, good enough, or what’s required, and quit far short of personal best.

So, how do groups and individuals become masters?

First, DON’T BE LIKE MOST PEOPLE!

True masters are different; they swim not just against the tide but above it. This is a mindset you can inspire, creating a culture of Outliers. Mastery is a higher calling.

Masters know that real success comes long after it would have been prudent to quit after the “smart people” have all given up. An Olympic gold medalist was asked how he became good enough to win? He said, “Well, on mornings when I felt good I worked hard. And then on mornings when I didn’t feel good, I worked hard.” ‘Nuff said.

So… the most simple step toward mastery? Don’t be like most people!

  • Do the thing you know you need to but just haven't.
  • Fully use the tools you have right there in front of you (many of my clients have this challenge)
  • Bravely refuse to entertain toxic thoughts
  • Always, intentionally and always focus on fundamentals
  • Create opportunities for your people to share best practices
  • And, most importantly, get everyone to make what I call “The Virtuoso Decision,” to become a virtuoso, to pursue mastery and personal best beyond what’s required.

Begin creating your culture of mastery today!

 

Mike-Rayburn-Keynote-Speaker

Team Problem Solving by asking 'What If' by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Apr 30, 2021 | Comments Off

“The thinking that got you where you are today, will not get you where you want to be.” -Albert Einstein

The mindset of your teams essentially defines your culture, and shapes all of your results. So, how do you shape the mindset of your teams?

Simple, by asking Questions. 

Follow me here… 

To change anything, the first thing that has to change is our brains, the way we think. And the most basic human brain function is to ask questions.

So, when we actively and intentionally choose the internal questions we ask, we shape our inner dialogue, which determines our mindset, which determines our results. 

For instance, if something unpleasant happens in your organization you and your teams could ask, “What’s wrong with us, who’s fault is this, why do these things always happen???” And the collective mindset will be to answer that question.

Or instead, you and your teams can be trained to ask, “What if there’s something good about this and what would it be? What is the opportunity or advantage here?” And the collective mindset will answer that question.

Your organization could have a list of all the negatives or the advantages and opportunities surrounding you based purely on the question your teams choose and have been trained to ask. 

I love the question, “What IF?” because it always opens opportunities. 

Think about it… every major invention, achievement, or victory in human history started in some way or another with a bold “What IF?” question. 

  1. What if… electricity could power light? 
  2. What if… we could fly?
  3. What if… we could hold all the world’s knowledge in our hands?
  4. What if… we could shop completely from home? 

At this time of crisis and disruptive change, it’s time for you and your teams to lead, to become the disruptors. And you have all you need right now… you just need to adopt “The What IF Mindset.” 

 

Book Mike today!

 

Mike Rayburn- What Are You Grateful For?

By Mike Rayburn | Jan 04, 2021 | Comments Off
HubSpot Video


Many things have been said of and about 2020. What I say is, thank you. See, 2020 gave us some fantastic gifts. It taught us all what we're really made of. It showed us all how to do more with less. It taught us that it's when the going gets tough, the successful get creative.

It taught us all to be more creative, which is near and dear to my heart. It showed us all whether or not we walk our talk. And if our talk is worth walking in the first place.

More than anything, what I hope for you, and what I create with clients, is the sense that 2020 was an awesome launching pad. Now you can create a fantastic 2021 and beyond.

And if there's any way that I can partner with you in making that happen, please let me know. In the meantime, have a fantastic new year. It's going to be great!

 

Mike-Rayburn

 

Mike Rayburn- Dr. No VS Dr. How Can We

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 14, 2020 | Comments Off


Are you a Dr. No or a Dr. How Can We?

Toward the end of every presentation, I always ask for someone from the audience to stand up and share a new idea. Maybe something they got from the message or something that would move the group forward to a resolution. And one day, I was presenting for a group of CEOs and facilities managers. I asked that question toward the end, and there's a little bit of a pause.

Finally, this really strong guy raised his hand, he stood up, and he said, "You know, in my organization for the past 20 years, my nickname has been Dr. No, because I'm the guy who always says, No. No, we can't do that. No, we can't afford that. No, we don't have enough time. No, that's too much of a risk."

He said it's not working. He said morale is down, and revenues are down, and something needs to change.

He knew that as a leader, that needs to come from him.

So He said, "I'm saying this so everyone can be my witness. From this day forward, I am no longer Dr. No... I am. Dr. How Can We."

Well, there was an audible gasp in the audience because he got it, and it was so powerful. I ended up giving him my backup guitar to commemorate the moment, which I do now in every program.

I give away a guitar when someone shares an idea. Because it's so important to remember that, especially post COVID-19, we need not just leaders who are Dr.No. We need Dr. How Can We's!

We need entire organizations of Dr. How Can We's! It's my mission in life to create this.

So my question for you is, who have you been? Dr. No or Dr. How Can We?

And how could you become a Dr. How Can We?

 

Mike-Rayburn

 

Mike Rayburn Takes the Stage

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 11, 2020 | Comments Off

It's been seven months since Keynote Speaker Mike Rayburn and his guitar have been on stage. COVID 19 drastically transformed the meetings, conferences and events market. The entire industry found itself moving, delaying and outright cancelling functions to accommodate the secluded life of quarantine.

While the world learned to connect with people and businesses virtually, we found ourselves missing physical gatherings' simple pleasures. Like Ariel sang in the Little Mermaid, we wanted to be where the people are. We wanted to see 'em dancin' and walkin' around on those (Whad'ya call 'em?) oh - feet, instead of just their far off faces flooding the screens of our handheld devices. After 7 months of conversing with cameras, addressing audiences from his home studio and urging attendees to ask questions in chat boxes, Mike was ecstatic to hop on a plane to Great Falls, Montana and engage directly with people.

Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 4.43.54 PM

This two-time TED Talk presenter, successful entrepreneur, member of the speaker hall of fame and a featured artist on Sirius/XM has been on stage almost every week of his adult life until the pandemic hit. Human connection is an integral part of Mike's What If Experience and Become A Virtuoso talk. Still conveyed powerfully through screens, the action only amplifies and strikes a more resonant chord delivered in person.

HubSpot Video

 

The Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association hosted a noon-hour presentation for their Annual meeting for electric cooperative utilities. There are 25 co-ops in Montana that deliver electricity to about 40% of the state. The Governor gave permission to the cooperatives' association to host the 250 people in attendance. Some masks were worn, and tables were safely distanced from one another.

Screen Shot 2020-10-09 at 4.45.33 PM

The event was a huge success! One attendee wrote ...

Thank you very much for autographing your book and guitar. I just finished the book and am looking forward to sharing it with my family. As you point out in chapter 16, You Will Have Help!


I have been thinking of what to put on the break room whiteboard at work. I'd been searching the web for something catchy the last two weeks, and now I will be writing 'What if...' and see what employees add. Coincidence? Keep up the great work you are doing."


Book Mike for your virtual or live event today

Mike-Rayburn

 

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