I have a good friend who just took on a new contract as a Communications Strategist for a nearly 70-year-old company. He was hired to use change management techniques in communicating to employees nationwide the replacement of a technology and business operations system that they had been heavily dependent on daily for the past 40 years.
This operating system has been a technology dinosaur for the majority of those years. Everyone knew it, but it took the company this long to make a change. Why? Because change isn’t easy, even when it makes sense. So, shifting your leadership brilliance in business or your personal life will take courage and consciousness.
Author and training and development CEO Brian Tracy once said, “Ninety to ninety-five percent of people will withdraw to the comfort zone when what they try doesn’t work. Only that small [remaining] percentage, five or ten percent, will continually improve themselves; they will continually push themselves out into the zone of discomfort, and these are always the highest performers in every field.”
Embrace the LeaderShift mindset. Leadership Brilliance is a mindset that produces the daily habit or behavior we call “LeaderShift.” Simply put, this means letting go of what is comfortable and convenient in order to create what is progressive and desirable.
And in case you’re wondering, you are a leader—whether you hold the title or not. By reporting obligation, proximity, experience or admiration, someone somewhere is looking at you as a role model of how to think, feel, do, and act.
The future of your business, industry, organization and own life is created in the present. You have the potential to lead your organization and business beyond all expectations or inhibit its growth through entropy. Everything that you think, say and act upon meets you and your team in the future and says, “Welcome, we’ve been waiting for you!” So the question is— “How will you as a leader prepare for the future?”
Here are 4 ways you can start owning your LeaderShift Brilliance today:
Reposition & Revitalize
Reinvent your professional brand and infuse new energy in your role within the company and on your team.
Master LeaderShift Skills
Become a thought leader in your area of expertise.
Connect, Connect, Connect
Instead of just communicating, get better at connecting with your colleagues, business partners and executive colleagues.
Be a High Performer
Produce high-performance work and create a high-performing team that exceeds expectations every time.
Brilliant Next Step:
Commit to an action step this week for each of the 4 ways to showcase your Leadershift mindset in your business environment:
Envision the leader you’re planning to be in five years, and invest now. Do something today as a nod to the leader you’re becoming – wear a sports coat in your business casual environment, take that leadership seminar, or volunteer to lead a project that seems challenging.
Commit to shaking things up today! Instead of dragging in that Monday morning meeting and conjuring up ideas when put on the spot, spend the weekend thinking ahead, bring coffee and pastries and whip out an unexpected visual to sell your innovative idea.
Really listen as a way of connecting today. Although you caught every detail related to selling more products, don’t miss it when Sally mentions her husband is undergoing chemotherapy. A well-timed card or note of encouragement goes a long way in making connections and creating a “real” team.
Make high performance a part of your personal brand. Today, hone in on areas in which you are weak in performance or consistency. It’s human nature to play up our strengths and ignore our shortcomings, but pick one – time management, administrative tasks, budgets or expense reports, relationship building – and commit to be a high performer even in this area.
As a working professional, you may be directly responsible for improving your company’s top-line growth, and it is imperative that you master the art of marketing in today’s world. Dr. Noel Capon is a professor of international marketing at the Columbia Business School, and has extensively researched marketing strategies. We will touch upon a few of his findings, and provide you with the basic tools you require for complete marketing mastery.
When marketing in the 21st century, it’s important to remember that people’s attention spans are very limited. In order to have your work stand out, you must constantly experiment and change track, using different techniques, strategies, and language each time. Don’t be afraid to fail, you can always learn from it and try something else. In the field of advertising and marketing, it’s important to be creative and present your product or work to the public in innovative and exciting ways. Budget is important to keep in mind, however, don’t go for grand and elaborate schemes if you’re not entirely confident about the outcome.
Think like a consumer
If you’re marketing a product, think about whether or not you would use it based solely on the marketing strategy or advertisement. If you’re promoting an article, think about it terms of search engine optimization, would Google pick it up? Would a reader click on it? If you don’t look at things from all possible perspectives, you cannot really know how successful it will be. As a leader, you may normally delegate these tasks to others who are employed to do them, but remember that it is your project, and you should always oversee what is going on. If there is nothing you can add or fix, then you can always just observe and learn.
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Have a brilliant week O’ Brilliant One!
Simon T. Bailey
Just like personal relationships, professional relationships work best when there is effective collaboration and communication from both sides. Stewart Levine is an expert on masterful communication and has studied the ways in which you can better lead in the workplace.
We tend to ignore emotion in the business sphere, but emotions can be highly valuable for guiding us to take the right steps.
On the other hand, hurt and damaged emotions can hinder performance and success. This is why it is essential for you, O’ Brilliant One, to become a masterful communicator and make the most out of your business relationships. To do so, you must learn some valuable skills, and apply them, incorporating a paradigm shift into how you interact with your teammates on a day-to-day basis.
Everyone has a story
Before you cut someone off and try to get your points in, remember that each person experiences everything differently from you, and they have their version of events, or their own unique ideas.
Listen to everyone, and fully consider what they have to say.
Communication goes both ways, and while it is important to effectively get what have to say across to the other person, you can do so once you have heard their side. Use the opportunity to learn more about your partner, and actively engage by asking questions and showing that you are interested. It is a delicate balance between listening and talking; a graceful dance where both partners engage in responses.
Dial back criticism
If you are being overly critical, people are less likely to respond positively.
Appreciate and acknowledge your peers, and as a leader, learn to validate.
If you just cannot accept something about someone, and it is very hard for you let go of your hostility, ask them about it, and try to understand why they are that way.
If you cannot, let it go, because you are simply adding to your own stress.
An easy way to avoid being critical is to use “I” instead of “you”; for example, instead of saying “you are stressing me out” you can say “I am feeling very stressed by all of this”. This will convey your feelings without criticizing the other person.
Think about civic engagement
We often forget the basic niceties we learned in preschool, and tend to engage with others in an aggressive or impersonal manner.
Always be considerate of others, and let them know that you think of them as important individuals.
When you are a pleasant and affable person, even the worst news doesn’t sound as bad coming from your mouth.
Remember that just because you are in a leadership position, it does not give you the right to treat your employees as lesser individuals, and always remember to treat others, not as you would treat yourself, but rather, as they would treat themselves.
To learn more about Stewart Levine’s work, you can read his groundbreaking book, Getting to Resolution: Turning Conflict Into Collaboration or visit this link to access free audio samples of his findings. As a leader, you may find that you often forget to communicate and work towards success on an individual level. Hone your ability to masterfully communicate with your team and guide them effectively.
Simon’s Sidebar – Mark your calendar for 7:30 PM EST on August 27th to join me for a free virtual experience where you will learn how to Shift Your Brilliance and Harness the Power of You, Inc.
Failure is inevitable. Even when one has had consecutive successes throughout their life, there will come a time when a certain strategy fails and plans backfire.
Success is never guaranteed. As a leader, your team will look to you for support, and stability.
A leader must be the epitome of resilience, encouraging others to rise from the ashes of disaster, and soar like a phoenix.
However, the phoenix must have both wings to fly, and if you are encouraging others to remain optimistic, you must have an inherent supply of positivity yourself. A one-winged bird cannot remain airborne.
Here is how you can cultivate resilience, and always bounce back from failure:
1. Separate Yourself from the Failure
Don’t internalize the feeling, it was the plan or project that failed, not you. Once you learn to separate your identity and self-esteem from the situation, you will find that it is much easier to bounce back. Detach your ego from the project; you cannot let the failure affect you in a way that causes you to shrink away from challenges later on. Leaders tend to blame themselves, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, you ought to display fortitude and strength. This project may have failed, but have enough faith in your ideas to know that the next one will not.
2. Take an Analytical Approach
When you look at the failed situation analytically, you start to see it from another perspective, and in the process, alleviate feelings of frustration and regret. This will help you study the situation and indeed, learn from it. Once you have garnered enough information, you are ready to apply and incorporate the newfound insight into the next project you initiate. Broaden your mind, and use cool logic to approach any inconvenience, this will always ensure that emotion and reason are kept apart, allowing you to rationally work out a solution.
3. View Failure as Feedback
Instead of fearing failure, relish it. Understand that failed projects are signposts, guiding you along the right way. Until the incorrect method is pointed out and separated, one cannot determine what the correct method is. Failure is never final, it is simply feedback, helping you recognize where you had erred, and teaching you to reconcile your past mistakes. Good leaders are indefatigable and a small dose of failure can never keep them from moving ahead with speed, precision, and clarity. Learn from your mistake, and adapt to new experiences.
You stand out because of your ability to move past minor setbacks, and because you are able to see failure for what it really is: an enabler, a motivator and a teacher. You are already aware of this, it dwells in your sub-conscious, but you must draw out and hone the ability to adapt and grow, and only then can you truly rise above.
Simon T. Bailey
Behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, social, and emotional factors on an individual’s economic decisions.
Although the idea has been around since the eighteenth century, it wasn’t until 1979 that the term really took root, when psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky discussed it in their paper, Prospect theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk.
Since then, a lot more work has been done on the subject, and studies are still being carried out so that we may be able to better understand it. What we do know is that when making a decision, people unwittingly allow their emotions, prejudices and biases to guide them.
As a a brilliant leader with a bright future, it is your duty to be aware of these, and to understand how you can use this knowledge to your advantage.
What Can Leaders Learn From Behavioral Economics?
Keep the short-term in mind
Often, leaders are taught to think of things in the long-term, but if we are to follow the findings of behavioral economics, we must understand that decisions are made impulsively at times, and are based on current emotions. Therefore, it is important to give immediate feedback, rewards, and penalties. This will have a great impact on the future decisions and behavior of your employees. It is important to remember that short-term action can impact the long-term benefits.
Provide appropriate decision-making framework
People make decisions based on how the information is presented to them. When there is too little information, people are not ready to accept or trust the source; when there is an information overload, however, they may walk away. A leader’s job is to process the information, break it down, present it in the appropriate context, and frame it in a way that balances both the familiar and the novel in an equal way. Do not confuse your team, allow the information to be transparent, and let them work out the costs and benefits of each decision.
Recognize risk avoidance
In most cases, people tend to avoid any risky behavior and do not make decisions that may cause them losses. In fact, studies have shown that even there is a chance of doubling your profits, a person walks away in case they incur losses. As a leader, it is important to recognize when your teammates engage in this type of behavior, and foster in them a risk-taking attitude. It is your job to navigate your followers along the right way, and help them understand the difference between a dynamic move, and a pointless gamble.
Advertisers have been using behavioral economics to help sell products for decades; did you know that Alka-Seltzer’s famous slogan “Plink Plink Fizz” was written by the help of a psychologist? He claimed that if the social norm dictated using two tablets, sales would double. He wasn’t wrong. It’s time to take a leaf out of their books, and apply the findings of behavioral economists into the everyday world of emerging leaders.
The first definition of the term Employee Engagement was given by William Kahn in 1990 in his paper, Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. He defined it as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances.” What a guy, Kahn- must be fun at parties.
What is Employee Engagement?
Psychologists and Sociologists are still arguing about the proper definition of the term, but they all agree on one basic idea: an engaged employee is fully absorbed and satisfied, and enthusiastically furthers the organization’s reputation and aims through positive action. As an emerging leader, you are probably a walking example of an engaged employee, and you can see how it affects your productivity.
What is the link between Engagement and Productivity?
Gallup, Inc. has been conducting an ongoing study of international workplaces, and monitoring how their levels of employee engagement have affected their output and performance. The study claims that if each organization were to double its customers, they could potentially save their countries’ economies. The study spans over 140 countries, and has been conducted over the past five years. If this is true, then there may be a way to improve both focus and output in your team.
Improving Employee Engagement
What can you do to be engaged, drive productivity and better performance as an brilliant change agent?
Here are a few steps to help you create a perfect environment:
1. Positive Leadership
The right kind of management and encouragement can do wonders for engagement. An employee interacts with their direct supervisor, who should offer feedback, and advice; always telling them what they did right along with gently rebuking them for mistakes. This doesn’t mean leniency, it just means taking a positive approach, and encouraging employees to be actively engaged in their work and organization. If the supervisor also passes down a message from a higher position, such as “the CEO was very impressed with your latest report”, it can go a long way to improve the employee’s work ethic and productivity.
2. Leveraging Strengths
You must learn to incorporate a certain paradigm shift into your managing strategy: instead of fixing employee weaknesses, you must focus on employee strengths. When constantly telling them what they can’t do, you are hurting the employee’s ego, and making them dislike their work, and office environment, leading to disengagement. If you focus on their strengths, it will buoy them up and they will feel that they add value to the organization. Feeling both appreciated and valued will increase engagement, and ensure that your team shines in its performance.
3. Enhance Well-Being
Gallup’s study found that engaged employees are in better health than those who are actively disengaged. Whether health allows better engagement, or engagement has a good impact on health, one cannot determine. What employers and leaders can do, however, is invest in wellness programs for employees to participate in. Making a conscious effort to enhance the well-being of all your employees will better your chances at doubling your customers. Studies also show that once employees are engaged, they require much less in terms of medical benefits, so you will actually be saving healthcare cost.
These are the three key factors to improving engagement and productivity, but as an emerging leader, you surely have other ideas about how to manage your teams. Incorporate these concepts into your other mindful and innovative strategies to help your organization excel.
Stale…stuck…spiritless. That is what an organization becomes when it loses its mojo.
Simply launching a new product in this hypersensitive, over-communicative society isn’t enough anymore. Opening a new building and hanging a sign out front is old and tired. Marketing to people through the “three screens” — television, computer, mobile phone—has lost its impact because people now have the power to immediately TiVo or delete you out of their space.
According to Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, “You’ve got three seconds to impress me (the customer), three seconds to connect with me, to make me fall in love with your product.” That’s all you have, O Brilliant One — three seconds.
The moment customers interact with your organization, they will instantly judge if it is an authentic experience or the same old dry, dull, disjointed encounter. In their minds, it’s been there, done that.
Getting everyone on board
In my travels, I observe organizations that spend untold hundreds of millions of dollars reinvigorating themselves. Often, after launching the new television/Internet commercial, shifting their collateral material from paper to online, and announcing to the world that they are “new and improved,” customers experience and know the truth: it’s old wine in new skin.
Meanwhile, everyone inside the organization is waiting for sparks to fly and be launched into the stratosphere. Yet in a few months’ time, reality sets in and the brand “star” comes crashing back to earth. Why does this happen? Because too many organizations and leaders believe that reinvigorating with a new vision is a top-down rather than a bottom-up proposition.
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Hello O’ Brilliant Ones,
Visit today’s video that simply tells you that You are Brilliantly Unique - click to view.
Have an awesome day.
Simon T. Bailey
Good morning O’ Brilliant Ones,
I just finished reading Drucker & Me – What a Texas Entrepenuer Learned From the Father of Modern Management by Bob Buford.
I learned so much about the brilliance of Peter Drucker. WOW…he was truly one of a kind. I also really enjoyed Bob’s journey and transformation as a result of Peter’s mentorship.
Click here to get your copy - http://ow.ly/yUcro
I really believe that you will enjoy it.
Live, Love, and Lead,
Simon T. Bailey