partnership is the new leadership
My friend Mark Sanborn just released a new book titled The Potential Principle. Mark is an incredible thinker and this new book has some amazing insights.
One of the ideas that stood out to me was Three Secrets To Improving Your Performance.
Regardless of what you do for a living – improving our performance should be a constant priority...
My father-in-law Dennis White is a master gardener. It is a hobby that he has taken and made into a real craft. Every week, he cuts a bouquet from his beautiful flower garden to take to church to display on the pulpit. It is his contribution, his way to use his talent for the benefit of others.
It’s been said that we can’t all contribute in a grand way, but we can all contribute in our own way. If we take our strengths, our talents, what sets us apart and use them for the good of others, then we are making a grand contribution.
My friend Jason Hewlett describes this as finding your signature move and he has helped me to realize that it is vital that we share them with the world.
I loved this observation from Jason, “The secret is this: Share them. Don’t hide them!
If you went to a Michael Jackson concert in the 80’s and he danced and sang as sweat rained down for 3 hours straight, but didn’t do the Moonwalk, you would be upset! But, since he’s a LEGEND, he delivers it every time, because that’s what Legends do.”
Take what is unique to you and use it for the benefits of others – not only will it help others but it will help you to become your best self.
The other day my friend Sandra Joseph, the amazingly talented Broadway star, quoted the poet and philosopher Mark Nepo. Nepo said “Often your dreams don’t come true but as we give our all in pursuit of our dreams sometimes we come true.”
As children, we are taught to dream big and to go for our dreams. The reality of it is not everyone can become the professional athlete, the CEO or the Broadway star, but the fact is the growth we find in pursuit of the dream is more valuable than the actual dream. The hard work, the setbacks and triumphs, and the journey make us the person we are.
We may not become the “best in the world”, but we certainly can become the best version of ourselves as we strive to be the “best in the world.”
When we pursue our dreams, go the extra mile, put in the practice time, we grow and maybe the dream really is to become the type of person who pursues their dreams.
1. Get Rid of Pleasantries
– There is no need to talk about the weather, how grateful you are to be there, to apologize, or reintroduce yourself. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention so start with a question or jump into your content.
2. Make it Conversational
– Act like you are speaking to one person. Make it conversational. Ask questions. If it is a small group you might create dialogue, with a large audience ask questions and give a pause for people to think about the question. Keep them engaged in the conversation.
3. Tell Stories
– People love stories. Stories inspire, stories motivate—stories evoke emotion in people that causes them to respond, to take action, to adopt your ideas, and buy your products. Robert McKee put it well when he said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
4. Use the Rule of Three
– People remember things in threes. We grew up watching the three amigos, the three musketeers, and now watch NBC, ABC, CBS, or the NFL, NBA, or MLB. Get the point? We are trained to learn in threes. So if you have three points, three features to your products, three reasons to implement this new policy – people will remember.
– Too many people try to wing it and it never comes across as powerful as it should. A little bit of rehearsal is not for you to memorize a script and sound robotic – it is so that it naturally comes out and you say things in the way that you want to.
Do you give 100% at work, at school, and at home? Some people probably think of giving 100% this way: 12% for Monday, 23% for Tuesday, 40% for Wednesday, 20% for Thursday, 5% for Friday = 100%. Too many people coast through life, only doing what is required to get by. Giving 100%, 100% of the time is the effort required to stop getting by and start getting ahead. It is the difference between playing not to lose and playing to win.
Living by design and not default. Giving 100% will separate you from the rest. It will build your integrity and your results.
John Wooden was one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach. John used to tell his players, “Give 100% today, because you can’t make up for it by giving 110% tomorrow. You don’t have 110%, you only have 100%, and that’s what I want from you right now.”
Giving 100%, 100% of the time builds a reputation of dependability. It allows you to build your character and your capacity. It is an investment in integrity that will transform your results. Patricia Aburdene, author of “Megatrends 2010” said, “Transcendent values like trust and integrity, literally translate into revenue, profits and prosperity.”
Give 100%, 100% of the time and you will gain respect and a reputation for getting things done.
It’s not about you – it’s about them!
- The focus of an influencer is always on the audience.
- If you are a speaker – it’s about the people listening to you.
- If you are in sales – it’s about your customer or prospect.
- If you are a leader – it’s about the people you are leading.
- If you are a teacher – it’s about your students.
- If you are a parent – it’s about your children
Almost everyone has this backwards. They think being influential means they need to become polished or powerful. Influence, though, is all about the audience. Be it an audience of one or one thousand. When it’s about them, they get it, and we grow in their eyes.
I think one of the keys to success is developing outward thinking.
By thinking out instead of in, by concentrating on others instead of on us, a tremendous transformation takes place. We go from inner directed to outer directed, from taker to giver, from self-centered to others-focused, from tightfisted to generous, from shortsighted to farsighted, from selfish to selfless. We begin to see and act on behalf of others’ needs ahead of our own; our thoughts are in terms of “we” instead of “me.”
My son Tanner is a great example to me of what it means to think outward. In our family he is described as a peacemaker, kind and everyone’s friend. Six years ago I wrote this about Tanner and it continues to describe him.
“My two-year-old, Tanner, loves his older sister Andie, who is four. He follows her around, copies her every action, wants what she wants, explores where she explores. I’ve noticed that every time I give Tanner a piece of gum, a cookie, fruit snacks, a drink, or a prize, he invariably asks for one for Andie. He does this instinctively, without hesitation and without thinking. Sometimes she’s not even there, but he’ll still ask for it, and then he will save it for her. It is an unspoken demonstration of outward thinking, of looking out for another. It’s the way we all should be.”
I try to live up to Tanner’s example and move my thinking from inward to outward.
As you develop outward thinking – you will develop better relationships, build a stronger reputation and grow your influence.
On the slopes of Long’s Peak in Colorado lay the ruins of a gigantic tree. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some 400 years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth. During the course of its long life, it was struck by lightning 14 times and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way throughout the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny, but incessant attacks. A forest giant which age had not withered, nor lightning blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb.
Just as small combined efforts of beetles can destroy, so likewise can small investments of love, care and kindness have a building effect in our relationships and a major impact on the people we influence.
It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
As a leader, your job is to add value. Your team, your people, your customers, your investors, your friends and your family. Your job is to add value. Here are three questions that will help you do just that.
Question 1: Is what I am creating/contributing distinct?
Is your contribution different in a significant way? Is it adding value in a way that no one else has done? Does it stand out? Does it look and feel esthetically unique? Is it something that will impress people because it is coming from an angle that others haven’t thought of?
- It’s not crazy or out there, but it is distinct and stands out.
Question 2: Is this my most excellent contribution?
Did you just throw it together or did you do a good job? Did you put in the time to prepare and give it your best effort? Did you make it look amazing and professional? Did you ask people questions in the preparation to make sure you added relevant value? Did you solicit sufficient feedback so that you are confident it will be well received?
- When we strive for excellence, we put in the effort that pays off.
Question 3: Is there heart in here?
Did you approach it with a service mindset? Are you striving to help others or to make yourself look great? Is there emotion in this thing you have contributed? Will people feel your passion?
- Part of the way we add value as leaders is to bring the flare, the inspiration, and the vibrancy that people are looking for