Wednesday, February 15, 2017

21 things that immediately happen when you start authentically showing up

Sometimes an individual can go throughout life without ever realizing why (or remembering how) they made certain choices. Time passes, life happens, and before you know it, you’re not even sure how you got to where you arrived and with whom.

 Good example: have you ever heard yourself on a recording, took a look at yourself in a video or a picture and wondered,

Wow, this is what I look like now? sound like? Is this how people are seeing or experiencing me? But this is not who I really am! Or is it…?” 

It’s a tough reality check, but sometimes it is exactly what we need to create a breakthrough. What if you took a moment to reflect and show up in your own life in a way that you could become the person you want to be?

“To think is to become.” What you think of is what you become. 

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you actually let go of doubts and insecurities and begin showing up in your life authentically? Or another, more common way of asking this: if money and time was not a problem, what would you do?

  • What type of life would you create? 
  • What organization would you work for? 
  • What type of business would you own? 
  • How would you spend your days? 
  • What type of work would you be doing? 
  • Who would be your clients? 
  • What kind of professional and personal relationships would you have? 
  • How would you feel every day when you wake up in the morning? or on Sunday evening? 
  • What type of experiences would you create with your team? 
  • Who would be in your peer group? 
  • How would you give back to the community? 
  • What type of impact would you be able to make? 

 Take a moment and jot down the answers to this question.

 Note: This exercise should make you feel good. If you are not feeling good after answering these questions, then go back and redo the exercise…because you didn’t thinking about your dream life. Your dream life should make you feel awesome! 

Then take a look at your life now – how closely aligned are you in compared to your dream life? The beauty about life is that you can begin to make any necessary changes in this very moment. The moment you take a decision, you begin to put the wheels in motion. The key to living your best life is to begin showing up differently. You might think to yourself, “That’s it? Yes, it is that simple. Nothing else, nothing more.

Give yourself permission to be freed by stripping away layers of fear, excuses, and insecurity. When you start showing up authentically:

  1. The real you begins to emerge and your creativity starts to flow 
  2. You begin to attract the right people, right resources, and experiences you need 
  3. You smile more and have a more positive outlook on life 
  4. You make decisions with more certainty because you have less limiting beliefs 
  5. You strengthen your capability and willpower to solve complex problems 
  6. You stop second guessing yourself 
  7. You reinvigorate enough energy to strengthen existing skills, build new skills, or finish a project you started previously 
  8. You go the extra mile in various areas of life 
  9. You naturally exude more confidence and executive presence 
  10. You start spending more of your free time in value creation activities (i.e., more planning, prevention, and thinking) 
  11. You sleep better and wake up with purpose 
  12.  You further create a persona of trust and reliability; people seek you out for grounded guidance 
  13. You start to notice traits that you may have forgot you possessed or didn’t realize you even had 
  14. Because your decisions begin coming from a different perspective, you start to notice other minor details in your career, relationships, family, everyday routines, etc… you didn’t see before 
  15. Your stress and anxiety levels begin to decrease; your overall health and well-being improves 
  16. You actively work on further strengthening your relationships 
  17. Problems and daily stressors appear less amplified 
  18. You start to challenge yourself to take your performance to the next level 
  19. You start to think about the legacy you want to create 
  20. The noise and distractions of the outside world begin to quiet down in your own mind 
  21. Begin to accept and trust your life’s path 

 Imagine the impact you would make in your life and the life of those around you in this state.

How do you start to authentically show up?  

The first step is by making the decision to ground yourself in you….being unapologetic about it. Simply think, plan, and problem solve from a place of your own truth, core values, and beliefs that conveys respect and honor to the world around you.

Do not worry about what others will say because people are attracted to authenticity and want to work for you, work with you.

You just authentically communicate how you can contribute and they either want you, or they don’t. But either way, it’s standing in your own power.

Showing up authentically doesn’t happen overnight initially – you must first create it as a habit that you focus and build over time until it becomes second nature.

 What are some ways that you build on your authentic self? Share your thoughts and comments below. #whatinspiresme #soulbusiness #inspiration #motivation #leadership 

Also read:
Make better decisions and overcome FOMO in 3 easy steps
Stop focusing on goals – start focusing on habits

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

3 lessons learned to “will” you and your team to a victory at work (and in life)

For those that witnessed the stunning comeback victory of the New England Patriots at Superbowl 51, it was definitely a game for the history books.

The final moments of the game was set by James White, Patriots running back when he scored the winning touchdown in overtime.

During an interview after the Superbowl game, James was asked about Tom Brady and his impact of defying the odds in the game.   
James stated,
“He [Tom Brady] is the greatest quarterback ever. He willed us to victory.

My (unfounded) theory is that I believe the moment when Tom Brady was “willing” himself and the team to victory was captured perfectly in this picture:

 What do you think? Because Tom went from that picture moments later to this

 And you can too.

Let’s compare this sports analogy to your own work environment. It feels good to be winning whether a win means that your team delivered software on time within scope, your practice just won business from a new client in an emerging industry, or your team was selected to win an industry award.

But what about when you are losing? What about when your team is floundering on a project, they are not answering the right questions during a client presentation, or your team’s application for an award isn’t quite good enough after 3 drafts.

 If Superbowl 51 didn’t teach us anything else, it illustrated how circumstances can change in an instant.
 Here are 3 lessons learned from the game that you can use to will you and your team to a victory:

Lesson #1:  Spend your 80% of your time creating habits of success for those critical moments that matter. In a previous article, I discussed the importance of habit creation. If you think about the sports world, people spend years training to compete for one moment. (Power of Full Engagement is a great book that discusses this topic at great lengths) Tom and his team trained for moments like this…you and your team can as well.
This should be no different in the business world. Your team should spend most of their time collectively conditioning as individuals and as a team in order to be ready for the critical moments that matter. There are only few key moments that makes or breaks your team’s trajectory.  

Let’s say that you want your team to improve the likelihood of winning new business with clients in technology software. Does the team know how to create and sustain authentic relationships without selling? Do they actively maintain those relationships in downtime? Do you design meetings where industry & latest technology information is expected to be shared? Are your teams expected to keep up their skills in the latest technology? Do you foster innovation and value creativity being displayed on your teams?

Identify the moments that matter. Take time to think about the simple habits you and your team need to create and focus on to win in those moments. Then repeatedly create a cadence and environment of excellent habit creation.

 Lesson #2: Develop situational leadership instincts to give your team the feedback they need to adjust and course correct in the moment. Situational leadership is a trait that successful leaders use to “adapt their leadership style to the performance readiness (ability and willingness) of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence”. Learn how to adapt your style and lead from a place of strength in the face of adversity and ambiguity. Excelling at situational leadership comes from investing time in getting to know how your team operates on an individual level and collectively as a team. Observe strengths and weaknesses. Observe dynamics, particularly seen and unseen behaviors. And the key is, observe without judgement. 

Accept your team for who they are, not what they are not.  Convey to your team that you trust them. The more you know about your team and accept their strengths and weaknesses, the easier it will be to position your people in environments that they can excel in.

Situational leadership is only ½ of the equation; you have to provide balanced, timely feedback. All of the time.

It is amazing to me how people are in key leadership positions, yet unwilling and/or afraid to give their teams the constructive feedback they need in order to change behavior! Not giving your team feedback is like taking a road trip from Boston, MA to Derry, New Hampshire, watching the driving team member take the exit on the highway towards Florida, yet remain silent knowing full well you are all headed in the wrong direction.   Feedback is a cumulative, iterative process; the more timely feedback you give to your teams, the more confidence you create on your teams that they build in themselves. 

What makes the Patriots so good at situational leadership and feedback is steeped in the fact that any of their players – at any time – could be the wild card no one expected to become the breakout star of a winning game. We saw that this year with James White and saw that before with Malcolm Butler in Superbowl 49.

The team is primed and conditioned to excel, regardless of rank, title, or tenure on the team. The team is primed to win.

Celebrate every winning moment to create momentum….but also, provide instant feedback in the moment. As a leader, do this regularly to condition your teams to replicate winning behaviors day in and day out.

 Lesson # 3: The game is not over until it is truly over. This is a grounding guiding principle in order to being able to will your way to victory. Even if your team may be currently losing in a particular situation, your circumstance can change in an instant.  

Remember your “why” and keep it front and center. 

It all comes down your mentality and the belief that you and your team can do this.  Prior to the actual moment that matters, remember to drill that into your team’s psyche. For example, start and finish every meeting reminding your team of why they are there. Keeping the end goal front and center keeps the team focused.

No matter how far behind you may think you are in your own game, you have to make the decision to will yourself and your team to a victory.

What are ways that you will your way to victory? Share some of your personal tips in the comments below!

Blog was originally posted on my LinkedIn.