Monday, April 28, 2008

Change Everything

I thought I would write about the power of structural change.

One of my favourite coaches is a guy by the name of Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach. Dan teaches a heap of great ideas on how to be involved in a growth business without losing your mind.

One idea he suggests for entrepreneurial leaders is to lose your desk. To have no place to work, no filing cabinet, no credenza, nothing! It’s a great idea and truly liberating. It forces you to do things when you get them and empower your team to do more of the work in the business while you work on the business. Simple – No desk!

Just today as I write this newsletter, my team and I are moving desks around in the office and completely re-jigging our work places. We have had some employee turnover this last 12 months and lots of old systems, post it notes and mess had built up on desks & in filing cabinets that people used to work from. So we decided to use the Monday morning meeting to move things around. It creates chaos and mess and also a fantastic chance to spring-clean the culture.

SO, my advice is to see what structural changes you can create in your life to change the way you do things for the better.

A simple change can be as good as a holiday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reality Rocks!

The world has gone digital. Lets take advantage of this and go physical. While everyone else is sending emails and getting lost in 'Inbox overwhelm', why not send people real things.

As Thought Leaders we sell intangibles. As speakers, trainers, facilitators, coaches and mentors we create invisible things. We sell 'ideas'. It is critical to create touch points with our clients, physical and tangible elements of your business that people hold and experience.

Here are 5 things you can do to make things more tangible:

  1. Create Audio CD’s and DVD’s and give them away. Of course you can sell them but they are also great $25 items that help you sell $25,000 services. Don’t be afraid to give them away.

  2. Write books! I know, easier said than done. It really isn’t that hard. A book a year would be a fabulous target. The amazing Justin Herald has done 5 or 6 in just 2 years and they are great. Follow his lead and get on with it.

  3. Get a nice letterhead. Seriously, in the age of digital, a quality letterhead or piece of stationery is the new difference. Make sure it positions you in some way and is not just bought at a gift shop.

  4. Send other peoples books. Buy books and audio programs for your clients and send them as gifts. Once again, this is a small price to pay for a bigger potential opportunity. You know that a Thought Leader's day is priced at a premium rate of $4000, so if a book helps you to sell one day, you can afford to send plenty.

  5. Send colour scans or rip outs from magazines and newspapers. I have taken to sending real articles or buying several copies of a magazine and sending those.

So, spend some time thinking about some of the things you can adapt to make your business more tangible.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What you have is enough

Thought Leaders are obsessed with value! They work at creating high value propositions and delivering exceptional work. Because of this commitment to excellence it is easy for a Thought Leader to fall into the “not good enough trap”.

Without fail, every one of the 35 individuals I have worked with this year is exceptional and yet still struggles with the question of whether they are good enough.

When you step into your Thought Leadership you should feel stretched and challenged. You should feel like you have little feet and big shoes to fill. What you don’t need is to:

  • Get another degree
  • Lose weight
  • Enrol in another course
  • Write that book
  • Get another coach or mentor

What you do need is to get on with it. Everything you need is right in front of you. Next time you feel stretched look for the value within you not without!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A question of balance

At times, everyone’s life will be out of balance. In order to realise our goals some sacrifices will be necessary. To me, balance is best explained as a centre point to which we keep returning from bouts of relaxation or pressure. It’s a base point from which we deliberately choose to step away from or step back into.

When we play squash we react to the ball best when we’re at centre court. Sometimes we throw ourselves at the wall, sometimes we chase the ball to the front wall, but at all times we’re aware of how exposed we are and our need to get back to centre court - our balance point.

Perfect balance is a state of non-movement. Life’s too fluid and dynamic for this state to be maintained for long periods. If we want to get ahead in life, it requires work, effort and a personal stretch.

The answer lies in knowing how to relax, and how to push it when required. We also need to recognise the state we’re in at any given moment, and then make a conscious decision to maintain or alter that state. Is it time to relax or to go for it?

If you choose to push it, then support your decision by:

  • Not missing an exercise workout. A workout will burn off excess stress drugs such as cortisol and leave you calm and rational.
  • Always eat breakfast. This sends a message to your body that all is okay and prevents excess adrenaline from being used simply to get going at the start of day.

If you choose to relax, then support this decision by:

  • Leaving your briefcase at work - don’t take it home the night you intend to relax.
  • Take your watch off’ll soon get out of time (less focussed on the urgent and more on the important).

Know the cost of deciding to go for it, or to back off, and take responsibility for that decision. Balance is a destination never arrived at. Knowing that it’s your choice to maintain or reject your current state is what’s important.

Stay well!