"The first source of positive tension is a compelling goal that pulls you because of its desirability and magnitude."
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:
- Technology. How could someone totally reinvent your business using an app, robots, artificial intelligence, software or crowd-sourcing?
- 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?
- 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…
- Technology - theirs is the most advanced in the industry.
- Customer service - they have reinvented the sales/buying process getting rid of the objectionable tenets of the dealership model.
- 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!
Ask yourself right now, which beliefs do you currently carry around with you, that are no longer serving you, that are negative beliefs?
Vinh Giang uses humor and magic to highlight how misdirection is used in his magic tricks and how misdirection also negatively impacts our assumptions/beliefs in our professional and private lives.
Understanding how misdirection causes negative beliefs and communications to continue in your life, Vinh shares thoughts on how we need to recognize and challenge these negative perceptions in ourselves and transform them into positive beliefs that build us up to our greatest potential.
I'd love to show you one of the first pieces of magic that I ever learned as a young magician. Now I want you to watch this coin very closely. If I take this coin here and I squeeze it hard enough, what you will see is the following — if I just snap my fingers, I can make the coin completely vanish and disappear. That’s amazing, right?
The reason you find it amazing is because you've made a false assumption. You've been misdirected. And, the false assumption that you made was that I took the coin and put it into this hand. Whereas in actual reality, what happened was, the coin never left this hand.
So, I'll show you exactly how I did this. What I did was, I pretended to take the coin. But again, the coin stays in this hand. But, the assumption you made was it went into this hand. Again, misdirection has occurred.
When you fall for a magician's misdirection, it's fun, and dare I say, amazing. But, here's the dilemma — misdirection doesn't just happen with magicians. You experience misdirection every day in your personal life and your professional life and it limits your potential.
I want you to think about this, especially in your workplace right now, and in your life personally. How many false assumptions have you made? I mean, I can tell you now in my life, I made the assumptions in the past that I'm not credible enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not good enough. I'm not good looking enough. And, when you start repeating these assumptions to yourself over and over again, they gradually become beliefs.
And that right there, my friends, is when you've misdirected yourself. Every single thing we do in our life is grounded in our past history of assumptions. We need to continually have the courage to question our assumptions, and especially have the courage to challenge our existing negative beliefs.
Ask yourself right now, which beliefs do you currently carry around with you, that are no longer serving you, that are negative beliefs? I challenge you to question those beliefs because they may be standing on some pretty darn weak and silly assumptions.
Look, in closing, allow magicians to continually misdirect you — have fun with magic. We all need a little bit of magic in our lives. We all need a bit of astonishment.
But, stop playing tricks on yourself. Stop fooling yourself into believing that you're not good enough. You're not capable and you're not worthy. These are not real assumptions. These are false. You are good enough. You are capable and you are worthy.
Let me leave you with one last quote by Albert Einstein, who says “assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.”
"Embracing an off-balance life allows our minds to learn the patterns that we have created in our life and to determine whether they are working for us, or not."
Bestselling author, Dan Thurmon offers life-changing strategies in his book, Off Balance On Purpose, that will help you cut through the malaise and helplessness you are experiencing about your job, your personal life, and other important aspects of your life. Let’s start with a fundamental question - how do you find the balance in a world that is completely off-balance? First, you must learn to accept the fact that life is not static, but is completely fluid by nature. Embracing an off-balance life allows our minds to learn the patterns that we have created in our life and to determine whether they are working for us, or not.
Next, all aspects of your life are connected to one another. You experience that when you have a personal issue that has made you upset or sad, or you are not feeling well, and it impacts your general mood and approach to life. Many experts and authors tell us that in order to achieve “life balance,” we must keep the various aspects of our life separate – or compartmentalized, like rooms in a house. This line of thought will lead to frustration as our life aspects are like the river, ever-changing and never static.
Understanding what the 5 spheres of influence are in your life will help you see the shape of your life pattern and help you to better integrate your life aspects between the spheres.
The 5 spheres of influence are:
- Your Work
- Your Relationships
- Your Health
- Your Spiritual Growth
- Your Passions/Personal Interests
If you look at each of these as 5 different pursuits, you’re always going to be overwhelmed – there’s never enough time. But, when you see these 5 spheres as interconnected, you will see that small or big adjustments can be made to the connections between them. I call the connections between these spheres, lifelines.
The 10 lifelines are the key to a more fulfilling life and rewarding life – they are:
- Work ⇔ Relationships
- Work ⇔ Health
- Work ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Work ⇔ Personal Interests
- Relationships ⇔ Health
- Relationships ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Relationships ⇔ Personal Interests
- Health ⇔ Spiritual Growth
- Health ⇔ Personal Interests
- Spiritual ⇔ Health Personal Interests
When you began to anticipate, prepare for, and correct breaks along your lifelines, you will begin to see a more fulfilled life. How about work and health? Does your job support you to be healthy or challenge your health in certain ways? If so, what are you going to do about that?
Evaluate the lifelines between your 5 spheres of influence - are there changes you can make that will bring more harmony between the aspects of your life? Are there new ways of thinking that will eliminate negativity that is holding you back in one area, while impacting another one? Your mind is powerful – what you think is what you are. Change the patterns and choose to become off-balance, on purpose. You will be amazed at the happiness that is within your reach.
"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:
You want to KILL any hope of innovation and individual brilliance?
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.
You are the direct reflection of the top 5 people you spend time with.
This means you are in your customer's top 5 as well.
Magicians have to learn linguistic and visual influence techniques to be able to entertain and astonish people on stage. Vinh Giang, both magician and influential keynote speaker, unpacks how he uses magic to illustrate the power of influence, which has two benefits: empowerment and inspiration to others, including your customers and clients.
Vinh shares a powerful lesson about the power of influence in a magic demonstration he often uses with his audience, both in-person and virtually. He gives a coin to a person and then asks them to decide which hand to place the coin in. The first time he says, put the coin in the hand that feels right and leave the hand that’s left empty. He repeats this for three more times with the person, all the while providing subtle and hilarious cues to suggest which hand to put the coin in. Each time the person puts the coin in the suggested hand and each time Vinh guesses accurately.
Vinh goes on to explain that the reason why he demonstrates this lesson to his audience, in-person and virtually, is simply to highlight that you are the direct reflection of the top 5 people you spend time with. This means you are in your customer’s top 5 as well. Why does this empower you? Because that means you can decide who you will become in the future by deciding who you spend time with right now. As you improve and become more inspired, you will inspire and bring more value to your customers lives as well.
What skills and what attributes do you need to possess right now to get you to the future you want to be at? For example, if you wanted to improve being a top performer in your company, you could connect and bring into your top 5 someone who is a top performer. Bring someone who has the skill or attribute into your top 5 and you can slowly craft yourself into the leader you want to become.
Nothing happens until something moves — Einstein
"You Can Learn How to be More Confident and Comfortable in the Midst of Change"
This is a challenging time for organizations and leaders to adapt and keep moving forward in the ever-changing chaos of the world around us. The one thing we have learned in the last year and half is that we can’t predict what’s coming next and many things are often out of our control.
"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:
- 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?
- Create a schedule of consistent practice, monitoring, and improvement of those skills.
- 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!
cmi Carefully Selects Keynote Speakers that Empower Organizations
We are grateful for our incredible speakers. They work hard to transform the world, one person at a time. Their inspiration and leadership shines in best-selling books, videos, blogs, podcasts and incredible keynotes that launch profound change for leaders, individuals and organizations. From all of us here at cmi, we wish everyone in North America a very Happy Canada Day and 4th of July. We've earned it this year for sure!!! xoxo
"It’s the stretching to what’s next, or what’s different that improves you, whether you plan it or not!"
Millions of people around the world are experiencing or will soon experience the reality of returning to a physical workplace. For some, this is a welcome and joyous, overdue event. And for others, quite the opposite is true.
Either way, as you reintegrate into work, or lead your staff to do so, I would wholeheartedly recommend that you do it with a very intentional, personal plan.
You’re not going back to work. You’re upgrading your workplace systems. You are bringing lessons and skills you’ve learned while away, which you may not even fully appreciate yet, back into a physical realm where you and your improved skills will intersect others and their personal improvements. Expect it!
For instance, I am now returning to stages, audiences, and in-person events, after many months away. And what I’m discovering is that rather than feeling that I’m relearning what was, I’m bringing so much more to the table. More content, more awareness, deeper understanding, more appreciation, more attention, and a style that is now imbued with a new confidence.
Look. The hard stuff you go through makes you stronger, a point I make about juggling. When I was working on four, my three ball juggling got better, and I never got the hang of four, until I tried five. It’s the stretching to what’s next, or what’s different that improves you, whether you plan it or not!
You’ve been stretched and improved by what you’ve been through. Own it. Claim it, with specificity. And step back in confidently, and curious for your enhancements. If you are leading others, have a conversation about what’s better now, and set an expectation that you’re about to experience new and profound breakthroughs as a result.