Did You Notice That Fall Starts Monday...
Monday marks the beginning of one of the most important 3 month work periods of the year, yet most of us miss it as we attempt to chase the last bit of summer. With schools pushing their start dates earlier and earlier, this Monday brings the return of most decision makers to the office as they rally the troops for the "Fall Push". Which takes us to the thought of our 2014 goals.
Did you have a goal for 2014 that got off to a great start but through the summer that goal suffered a case of Top Gun’s classic song, “You’ve lost that loving feeling”? Well, you are not alone, and hopefully with a little advance planning and some good execution you can get your groove back and finish the year strong. Here are a few of the things we learned in the last 45 days,and we hope one of them helps you stay on track to finish 2014 well.
Golf & Leadership Tip
The "Eyes" Have It
Have you ever walked into a dark room and known where to go? If so you were using your "Mind's Eye". Fortunately this same eye that knows where the light fixture is in the dark room can also picture where the hole is when you leave the target and come back to the ball.
Combining your sight eyes ability to lock in on a spot with your mind's eye unseen knowledge of where the hole is has proven to increase your performance in putting. Here's some interesting research on the Quiet Eye in putting. The research shows that low performers eyes are moving all over the place, so lock it in and then let your inner athlete roll the rock towards the picture in your head.
With respects to our 5 eyed man above, if you are leading a team, you might need to add a few more eyes to your head. Your Observation eye gives you breadth and affords you wisdom. Your Perception eye is super fast but can lead you down a dangerous path, see if you can suspend judgement when at all possible and notice how it has a positive impact on your team.
Feel free to share this image with your team and then see if you can lead a discussion on values and communication from it. We would love your feedback on what transpires.
Rhythm is Momentum's Cousin
Getting back to those 2014 goals, have you noticed that summer time with all its fantastic experiences, sun burns, and skinned knees is kind of all over the place? We think summer is great, and reflection and recreation are vital components to any long term plan for performance, but all of that change of direction can throw your rhythm off.
Why should you care about Rhythm? Because, in a way Rhythm is Momentum’s cousin and we LOVE momentum. Another group that likes Rhythm are decision makers and business leaders, and in the graphic below we share what we have found are the best times of the year to meet with a leader about a new idea. You will notice that the first half of the year has 50% more time to get a hold of and meet with a leader. With this knowledge in hand, we encourage you to be in the marketplace with your visions and plans now, as you are in a race with the clock to meet prior to November 15th.
Something New Learned Around Marketing and Sales
On several occasions this year we have been asked by companies to help them grow and train teams on tactical concepts. In the course of helping these groups we have started to notice that the wall of resistance to an offer of any kind is at an all-time high.
Caller ID allows us to screen our calls, and most emails are deleted before they are even read. In fact with 100 Billion emails a day being sent, who can blame us, as there is no mail room for email, it’s just you, your iPhone, and your thumb deleting your way to an early carpel tunnel surgery.
What has changed in the favor of the marketer and sales teams is the volume of information that people have decided to share about themselves online (LinkedIn and Facebook are examples), and what appears to be an unending amount of information that we are willing to store in our brains on what appears to be random information. For example, the score of the local little league baseball games, or a remote friend’s recent trip to Hawaii.
With these two trends growing, we learned that meeting with people you know in a social setting and catching up has some new found benefits. First, you are with someone you like, and second, if you ask them for information on a few impending events you are tracking (like do they know anyone who just got a new puppy) you will often times be rewarded with an introduction.
Think about this within the context of a work initiative. Could you meet with people you know and check in with them on a regular basis to prime the pump on what each of you are currently working on? Of course. Do you? Well….maybe not as often as you would like and you wouldn't want to impose...
However, social norms are changing and we know more about our networks than ever before. An introduction based upon an impending event (like we are looking for a Golden Retriever Breeder, we really are by the way so please help if you can) can actually really pay dividends and now the introduction is not based upon the friendship (which is awkward), but on the event, which is so much safer. Got a thought on this, please share with us here.
The Talent Paradox
Are you good at something? Are you just naturally good, it comes easy, you have that great combination of equipping genes and an interest? If so, and we believe that everyone is talented in some area, then we think you will identify with our next thought.....what happens when you meet your match? Do you quit? Do you sulk?
We have, and it is a long ride home from the pool, golf course, or school play tryout. That thing that is your thing, that underpinning of your ego suddenly has a crack in it and it shakes your confidence. Carol Dweck (book Mindset) at Stanford has built quite a following from her research on her students and how this elite group are really challenged when they find out that along with their talent they need to add in something called grit and perseverance. We are big fans of her work and suggest you watch her recent talk here.
Looking at this a little further, we would like to hark back to the fable of the tortoise and the hare and to our own self talk when we come across a situation where you, a coworker, or a child is not great at something early, and what we can learn from building the foundation of performance block by block like the tortoise. Dr. Ken Robinson in his book Finding Your Element shares example after example of gifted performers who eventually learned how to go from good to great by taking tiny steps forward and then falling back to get to the top of their field. (Ted talk)
We think this struggling across all facets, not just those things you do well, are wonderful opportunities to build your ability to hone a habit or a skill and that your self-talk at that very moment of failure can make all the difference. So look for the failure points, not just in your talent areas but in your weak areas as well, and realize that in everything performance comes from practice and a will to fail, learn, adapt and then proceed forward. We encourage you to go for it.
"The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Steve Jameson and Bill Walsh
Steve Jameson was very close to John Wooden and wrote several books with him which led me to this little known 2009 publication. For any 49er fan who remembers the early years, this story will give you a glimpse at how much time Walsh took to prepare for every detail that went into the 49ers success. Walsh’s focus on culture is inspiring and we recommend the book. On a more technical note, here is Coach Walsh’s Master’s thesis from 1958 at San Jose State where of all things he writes about defense.
Do you have a subject that you can talk about for 30 minutes? If so, we may have an opportunity for you to guest lecture at one of the online universities we are building for several companies. We can't send a limo to pick you up, but we can give you the chance to hone your craft and get feedback on your speaking and teaching skills from a global audience of workers that range from software developers to professional service providers. Please send a note if you are interested. Thanks and bring on the Fall!
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