Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Never Good Enough - the unreasonable Thought Leader!

Have you ever had someone say to you ‘You're impossible to please...it’s like nothing is ever good enough for you!’?

You might hear this from someone you work with. Normally it’s said in response to some feedback about how they are doing their job.

Don’t take on board what they are saying. They are wrong. There is nothing wrong with them thinking what they think, but it’s wrong for you to accept it as true. Great things require a push, a struggle, a stubborn attachment to making things better. I know, I know, I can hear the self help gurus who tell you ‘let go, surrender, be without expectation.’ And while these are good for your soul and also true, equanimity won't make things happen in the commercial world.

The ‘never good enough’ comment comes from your obsession with continuous improvement. This is not typical, people are hardwired to maintain the status quo. They need to manage a process with predictable consistency. It's counter-intuitive to push things forward, to advance things, to look for the next improvement. My friend and Implementation Expert, Peter Cook, is working on a book that explores how to overcome this exact condition and I reckon it's change the world kind of stuff.

You see I have been blessed with dissatisfaction and I owe it to a personal development tape (that's right, tape) I listened to when I was sixteen. Brian Tracy’s Psychology of Achievement series explores how movers and shakers need to challenge the comfortable and stretch. It’s how all great things get done. Steve Jobs called it being ‘insanely great’, Barbara Streisand (singer) gets called a prima dona because she wants things done just right in her concerts. She is not a prima dona, she is world class. If the concert is not exceptional does the roadie get criticised?

Here’s the thing - if you are trying to do great things then stay obsessed with improvement and if you are working for someone who is changing the world then get on board. It’s not a job it's a life experience and you're lucky to be part of it.

(Note to my team - this is not a message for you - you are amazing and I am grateful for what you all do each and every day.)

So, start being unreasonable with what you want from you, your team and your business. Become a demand for insanely great.


P.S. If you want to harness the power of Thought Leadership in your business contact our office.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Give big answers!

Make your answers broadly interesting...

When faced with questions from the audience it is the presenter's job to make the answer interesting to as many people as possible. You do this by answering the question in an abstract way. Even if the question is of a specific nature, a skilful presenter turns the answer into something broadly appealing. As an expert, you should know these themes and be able to draw a question up to that source theme.

1. A question about my uncle's gout could be answered with discussions about fluid retention and the body's internal drought mechanism.
2. A question about staff morale could be spun into a dissertation about human engagement and principle centred leadership.
3. A question about file management could be re-positioned as a discussion on the evolution of productivity.

Answer little questions with big answers.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Build advocacy by winning hearts and minds

There’s a popular saying that if you win the hearts and minds of people their feet will follow. Typically, though, it is easier said than done. Not that it is particularly difficult to achieve but, rather, many people do not know or have access to a specific process for doing so.

To build advocacy through winning the hearts and minds of your people (which could mean anything from your staff to your audience at a conference) there are four critical keys that each tap into a desirable outcome.

The four keys are:

  1. Talk it up: which, when established, will bring the idea to life and build the necessary energy to put the idea into action.
  2. Work with others: to encourage people to share the workload and connect to each other and the outcomes the thought leading idea can achieve.
  3. Map the path: to join the dots and demonstrate the connections necessary to deliver the idea.
  4. Build a future: to paint a picture of how this idea can create a compelling future.
The combination of the four elements above allows the thought leader to work effectively with both the hearts and minds of their audiences.
  1. Talking it up inspires the heart of the staff or audience.
  2. Working with others informs the hearts of the staff or audience.
  3. Mapping the path informs the mind of staff or audiences.
  4. Building a future inspires the mind of the staff or audiences.

*Extract from the book Thought Leaders, written by Matt Church, Michael Henderson and Scott Stein.