Three truths you need, but you don’t want…

On a daily basis it is my job to give others, feedback in areas of their life and their career.  Most of the feedback I provide is not harsh, but it is usually met with some resistance.  Now I know it is important to give the good feedback with the bad. However, most leaders/coaches are either good at one or the other.  Most leaders are either good at telling people how great they are.  Which means the person thinks they are good at everything.  Or you have leaders that all they do is point out the faults or shortcomings of the people they lead.  There has to be a balance.  You have to do both.

In my business, I spend most of my time giving truthful feedback in these three areas.

  1. You are capable of more: I understand you are busy.  You have a lot to do.  Everyone does.  The question I have for you though is,  “Are you efficient with what you have to do?” And secondly, how much of what you are doing, should you actually be doing. I don’t know you or your business.  However, if I were to guess, the chances are you, especially if you are a leader in an organization, are currently doing a task, or job, that you should have someone else doing.   Thats first.  Look at all the things you are doing and ask yourself.  Is this what I get paid to do?  Or am I focusing on things that I should be delegating to others?

    The second reason you are capable of more. You are not maximizing your full potential. Sorry, you are not.  Humans are the only species on earth that can decide to slow up and coast.  The chances are you are doing the same job you have always done. Maybe in a bigger company with different challenges, but it is the same thing you have always done.  It is not stretching you and getting you outside your comfort zone causing you to develop new skills. The goal here is to develop new skills.

    Most of us get to a satisfactory and acceptable level of performance in whatever it is we do, and we just stay there.  But you don’t have to.  You can become more than you are today by learning and doing more than you are currently doing. You have the capacity.

  2. You are not as good as you think you are: The chances are you have never been given the feedback you need to get you to change who you are.  Like I mentioned earlier, most leaders don’t give the critical feedback that is necessary to get you to grow.  So, instead you go through your daily life in business and even personally, thinking you are great at…. whatever it is. And the reality is, you are not that great.  I am sure you are a great person, all of us are, or at least we want to be.  We just aren’t aware of our own shortcomings until someone points them out.
  3. You can change:  As you already know some people just aren’t willing to change.  They honestly believe that they are either on the right path for success and they can continue down this path.  Or they just don’t see the need to change.  Here are the four questions I ask to determine if a person can change.  If they can answer yes to the first two questions, then there is hope.  If they don’t answer yes, it is going to be a struggle.

    Need:  Does the person see a need or have a need to make changes?
    Want: Do they want to make a change?
    Can: Do they believe they can change?
    Will: Will they do what is necessary to make changes?

The chances are if you have made it to the bottom here and are still reading this blog.  It tells me that you realize that you are capable of so much more.  You agree that you aren’t as good as you can be. And you know you can change and are willing to do whatever it takes to make a change.

Now the question is, “What are you going to do about it?”  Dale Carnegie Training is the original Thought Leader in the Training and Development space.  For over 104 years, we have focused on changing behaviors that are holding people back from having more self-confidence in themselves. Changing behaviors to enhance their ability to have stronger and deeper relationships with people. We have also equipped people with the processes to communicate more effectively that has allowed them to have great impact and influence with everyone around them.

If you have a need or see a need in any of the above three areas and know that right now is the time for you to make a change. Connect with me by responding to this post wherever you read it.  Or reach out to me directly at brian.willett@dalecarnegie.com

To your success and your future.

What I was thinking four years ago… and a few lessons to remember

This morning, I did something that I don’t do nearly as often as I should. I pulled out my journals from four years ago. I am trying to make this a habit, but it is something that I just don’t get around to as much as I want.

A few observations from these notes that I have.  At the time I of these notes I was in a bit of a challenging situation.  I was performing a job that wasn’t actually my job at the time.

Lesson here:  Always be willing to help when needed, but don’t let anybody or any employer take advantage of you.

In this interim role I was performing, I had the chance to work with a lot of people who I don’t normally work with.  This group of people, which included a few different departments, managers, staff, etc., were all meeting and discussing procedural issues and challenges. I sat in countless meetings during this time.

Lesson here: Most of the time companies have pretty sound or decent processes.  It is usually the people and the personalities involved in the processes that are causing the most problems. Strong leadership is required.

During these countless meetings I was involved in.  It seemed to me that most of the participants pointed out the flaws in the others sides processes and follow-up.  Very rarely did either side admit that they were at fault.

Lesson here: It is easy to point out another persons, or another departments (which includes people) faults.  But, you have to take some responsibility yourself, the other side can’t always have 100% of the fault.

How many times have you heard someone tell you “I am doing the best I can?”  And deep down in your heart, you know they are capable of so much more?  Whether they can or they can’t do better, it is not important.  It is their attitude that is telling you that they aren’t doing the best they can.  Attitude determines most successes and failure.

Lesson here: You can’t just do the best you can, you have to do everything you can.

How many times have you taken the easy way out?  How many times have you watched someone else take the easy way out?  I get it. It is called the easy way out, because it is easy and doesn’t require much effort, time, money, etc. from whoever is pursuing it. However, what usually happens when we take the easier approach?  My experience tells me this.

Looking at my journal writings some four years ago. I now have the data to support why the easy way out is never the best. If you are looking to hire, and you decide to go with the person who has been around the longest, has the most experience, has done a great job, etc. Just because they have all of this going for them, doesn’t mean that they are going to be the best for this new position, especially if the person has never demonstrated leadership, and you are looking for a leader.  They may have been a leader by title, but did they demonstrate leadership?  Which includes doing what is hard, pushing things forward, having a vision for the future, challenging people, processes, and thinking even when it isn’t the popular thing to do.

Lesson here: If you decide to take the easy approach, be prepared to do more work in the long run. Be prepared to not get as far as you want individually or as a company, because the easy approach is very rarely the best approach.

The final lesson in my short look in my past was this.

Doing little things makes a big difference.  Saying hello to someone even when they don’t say it to you.  Getting a card for someone for their birthday.  Sending a text to someone just to tell them to have a great day.  I am sure we do all of these things for our families and close friends, but what if you did these little things for the people who don’t expect us to do anything for them?   This is where you can make a big difference in people’s lives and truly have an impact.

To your success and your future.

 

My Top 21 books from the 300 I read in six years.

I have a confession to make.  I can’t honestly remember reading very many books through my years of formal education. K-12, and even college.  I am sure I did, or I would not have graduated, but the only reason I did was because I had to, not because I wanted to.

Then something significant happened. In my first real professional position where I had significant growth opportunities and the possibility to earn more money. I got promoted to a leadership position where I was now formally in charge of eight people.  I use the term “in charge” to mean working with, because that is what it was and is.  We work together, I just happened to have a different title.

At this time, I am now responsible for leading people.  As I look to my education for guidance, where I earned a Bachelors and an MBA in Business, I couldn’t recall one idea that really set me up for success in this new role.  I am sure there were several, but I was just taking classes and not applying the stuff, so it didn’t stick.  So I turned to the next best thing, which was reading lots and lots of books.  This time because I wanted to.

As much as I thought I hated reading, I really hated to fail even more.  So, I started reading any leadership book I could get my hands on.  This turned into a real passion for me.  I would have never thought I would become a big reader, but there I was, reading book after book.

I then had a mentor, an author, ask me this question:  He said “Do you have a personal development plan?”  My answer was a very clear, No.  Even though I was reading and attending seminars.  It was more random than planned. After he asked me that, I made it a point to make personal growth and personal development a strategy.  And by making it a strategy, it meant I must manage it and measure it for it to become a part of what I do.

All of this started happening in and around 2006 and 2007, but it didn’t become part of what I did until 2011.  Since 2011, I have been tracking how many books and what books I have read.  I also, have a very simplistic grading system where I rank the books on a scale of 1-10, by using asterisks. One asterisk means it was not a very good book, and ten asterisks means it was a great book.

Another simple way I grade the books I read is by highlighting the books on my spreadsheet that have had a major impact on my. In some cases seriously altered my way of thinking and changed my life.

Change my life is a rather big and bold testament.  Let me clarify.  What I mean is that these books shifted my way of thinking.  It challenged me in a way that no experience or other book had.  It usually took something that I thought I knew or had experience with, and gave me a totally different perspective on whatever it was.  These highlighted books are game changers for me.  They usually also gave me success in whatever it was I was doing at the time I read them.  These books help shape who I am today.

What is interesting as I finished up my 300th book this past week. I was surprised to see that only a handful of them were highlighted.  I have compiled

I am sharing that list with you here today.

Philosophy

As a Man Thinketh; James Allen https://www.amazon.com/As-Man-Thinketh-James-Allen/dp/1503055361/

Leading an Inspired life; Jim Rohn https://www.amazon.com/LEADING-AN-INSPIRED-LIFE/dp/1935944991/

Five Major Pieces to the Life puzzle; Jim Rohn   https://www.amazon.com/Five-Major-Pieces-Life-Puzzle/dp/0939490021/

Success Mindset 

The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as Told by Napoleon Hill; Napoleon Hill    https://www.amazon.com/Napoleon-Hill-Wisdom-Carnegie-8-2-2005/dp/B00HTJSNJU/

Think and Grow Rich; Napoleon Hill   https://www.amazon.com/Think-Grow-Rich-Masterpiece-12-Nov-2014/dp/B011T7M4SI/

If You’re not First, You’re Last; Grant Cardone     https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Not-First-Last-Competition/dp/0470624353/

Relentless (From Good to Great to Unstoppable); Tim S. Grover      https://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Unstoppable-Tim-S-Grover/dp/1476714207/

Business

Rich Dad Poor Dad; Robert Kiyosaki   https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dad-Poor-Teach-Middle/dp/1612680011/

Linchpin (Are you indispensable); Seth Godin    https://www.amazon.com/Linchpin-Are-Indispensable-Seth-Godin/dp/1591844096/

Marketing

Hot Button Marketing (Push the emotional buttons that get people to buy); Barry Feig    https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Button-Marketing-Emotional-Paperback/dp/B015QKCOBG/

What Clients Love ( A field guide to growing your business); Harry Beckwith   https://www.amazon.com/What-Clients-Love-Growing-Business/dp/0446556025/

Selling the Invisible (A field guide to Marketing); Harry Beckwith   https://www.amazon.com/Selling-Invisible-Field-Modern-Marketing/dp/0446672319/

Leadership and Management

Coaching for Performance (Growing Human Potential and Purpose, the principle practice of managing and leading); John Whitmore    https://www.amazon.com/Coaching-Performance-Potential-Principles-Leadership/dp/185788535X/

Coaching for Improved Work Performance; Ferdinand F. Fournies   https://www.amazon.com/Coaching-Improved-Work-Performance-Revised/dp/0071352937/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485946404&sr=1-1&keywords=coaching+for+improved+work+performance

Primed to Perform (How to build the highest performing cultures through the science of total motivation); Neal Doshi and Lindsay McGregor    https://www.amazon.com/Primed-Perform-Performing-Cultures-Motivation/dp/0062373986/

Sales

Go For No; Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz   https://www.amazon.com/Yes-Destination-How-You-There/dp/0966398130/

Spin Selling; Neil Rackham  https://www.amazon.com/SPIN-Selling-Neil-Rackham/dp/0070511136/

The Challenger Sale  https://www.amazon.com/Challenger-Sale-Control-Customer-Conversation/dp/1591844355/

Productivity

Decide (Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, And Lead By example); Steve McClatchy,  https://www.amazon.com/Decide-Smarter-Reduce-Stress-Example/dp/1118554388/

Money

The Richest man in Babylon; George S. Clason    https://www.amazon.com/Richest-Man-Babylon-George-Clason/dp/0451205367/

Creating Wealth, Robert Allen https://www.amazon.com/Creating-Wealth-Retire-Allens-Principles/dp/1451631588/

I know for a fact that all three hundred books have contributed to my growth and to my success thus far.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today without investing the time in reading.  I have a goal to get to a thousand books read in ten years, and I can’t wait to hit that milestone.

As I always say.  If you want to earn more, you first have to learn more.  This learning must include reading, doing, attending seminars, taking courses, finding a mentor, etc.  All of these learning efforts will help you get where you want to go, much quicker than you could ever do it on your own.

To your success and your future.