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    October 2019

    4 Steps to Leading a Great Team

    October 21, 2019 4 Views No comments

    Studies have shown that almost 40% of employees say that working with a great team is their primary reason for staying. So how can you make sure you're leading a collaborative team? Think back to a high pressure situation your team went through - did they stick together, or did they focus on themselves? However your team responded, there are four steps you can take to create team collaboration and accountability:

    1. Define Your Purpose

    In order to have an accountable team, each team member must know their individual purpose and the goal of the team as a whole. Have you defined your purpose to the team? Take action: ask your team to write down what they think the team is accountable for and see how closely the answers match. Depending on their answers, you may have to take additional steps to get everyone on the same page.

    2. Track Team Progress

    In order to lead a collaborative team, each team member must have a measurable way to track their progress. This will enable them to see how they're progressing towards their goals, allow them to pivot based on project milestone results and give the team a chance to celebrate their successes throughout the project. Take action: Discuss how you’re tracking progress with your team and find a way to make a visible progress tracker (i.e. whiteboard, poster, etc.) that everyone can see and update.

    3. Create a Shared Fate

    In order to go from an individual to team mindset, the team must have a shared fate; meaning, whatever happens to the individual happens to everyone. Unless they have a real and meaningful share fate, the team will fracture under pressure – worrying about themselves instead of the group's success. To create this mindset as a leader, you should model the behavior you're hoping to inspire and reward successful collaborative results more than individual performance. Take action: write down a list of behaviors you want to see in your team. Keep track of your own behavior for a week, writing down whether or not you’re emulating those behaviors as well.

    4. Work Through Real Issues Together

    How important is open and honest communication in the workplace? Research has shown that 99% of employees prefer a workplace where people identify and discuss issues truthfully and effectively. In addition, studies showed that 33% of workers said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale.

    In order to motivate a team and make it safe for them to process real issues together, there needs to be a strong sense of shared fate and high levels of trust. The first part of this means that the team's level of decision-making authority needs to be clearly defined. The second part requires setting clear performance expectations so that any gaps in performance can be identified. This is crucial because giving honest feedback requires understanding what is expected and identifying what is getting in the way of success. Take action: set-up a time each week for open and honest feedback with your team.

    For more on creating accountable teams, check out Revolutionize Teamwork>>

    Building Your Intellectual Capacity

    October 11, 2019 100 Views No comments

    While it’s vital to know what you want in life, getting clarity on that is only part of the journey. Even if you have a clear vision for your ideal life, you then need to develop the skills necessary to achieve it, build the required discipline into your life, and the right goals to bring your vision to life.

    So many people believe their abilities are fixed, and that they cannot change their intellectual capability or their discipline. However, we are all capable of strengthening our ability to execute consistently and gradually build toward our goals.

    What is Intellectual Capacity?

    Do you love the feeling of going to bed at night feeling fulfilled and knowing you made the best of our time that day? Of course you do. If you’d like to feel that way more often, the key is to building your Intellectual Capacity.

    Intellectual Capacity is your ability to think, learn, plan and execute with discipline. A helpful analogy is to think of it as your processor or operating system—building this capacity allows you to do more in less time and with less energy.

    It sounds obvious but it’s true—a huge part of building your Intellectual Capacity is to believe that you can do it. High achievers are always looking for opportunities to learn more and improve themselves. They recognize that mistakes are not just a part of life, but an opportunity to learn. They understand that failing at something today is a necessary step towards mastering it in the future.

    Improving requires us to understand what our weaknesses are. Some of that can be done by taking an honest look at ourselves, but often we need to turn to others. Think about the people in your life who know you well and who you can trust to be honest with you about your shortcomings. In some cases, you’ll receive feedback that will be difficult to hear, but part of capacity building means being open to feedback and using it to grow.

    Once you have a sense of where you want to improve, seek out the resources that will help. A great strategy is to pick a topic you want to learn more about, research the most respected books about that topic, purchase two or three—or check them out of a library—and set aside time to read them. Or, for a quicker download, research podcasts those authors have been on, listen to them, and learn their best points.

    It’s a simple idea, but it’s a great way to upgrade your knowledge—soon, you’ll find yourself handling these topics faster and smarter and making better decisions.
    But Intellectual Capacity goes beyond your knowledge and ability to process information—it also involves setting clear goals that build toward your purpose and core values and moving toward them each day.

    Setting Goals

    Have you written any goals for yourself—either for the year, or further in the future? If you haven’t, you need to; you won’t reach the achievements you want by coincidence. You have to think about what you want and set clear goals that will get you there.

    Setting goals is an area where I’ve completely changed my approach, for the better. In the past, I would routinely set and accomplish year-long goals, but found myself frustrated when those wins didn’t get me closer to what I wanted to achieve in my life.

    The problem is that while achieving goals always feels like an accomplishment, they only will change the trajectory of your life if your quarterly and annual goals feed into your five and 10 year goals. And don’t just pick goals that sound impressive to the outside world, make sure they’re aligned to what you want.

    You can say you want to be CEO of a company as a lifetime goal, but if actually leading a business is not something you want, you won’t be fulfilled when you get there. Maybe you really want to be painting on a farm in the countryside. It’s your life, don’t let others define success for you.

    When it comes to setting goals, quality is far more important than quantity. If you set 100 goals for your life, you’ll probably hit a lot of them, but you’ll also be pulled in too many directions and may miss out on the most important ones. I’ve found it useful to set a small number of goals that are most important to me and pushing everything else to the side whenever possible.
    I know I will feel most fulfilled by those few goals and they are aligned to my core values, so that is where I focus the majority of my time and energy. If I achieve all my most fulfilling goals, I am confident that I won’t be worrying about the less important ones.

    Once you have your goals, it’s important to align your daily life towards pursuing them. It was valuable for me to have a constant reminder of what I was pursuing in the long-term, so I created a tool called the Whole Life Dashboard. This tool is a combination of a self-actualization exercise and an accountability tracker—you can enter your top long-term goals and re-read them each day to stay aligned and on track.

    Building your Intellectual Capacity isn’t a quick or easy process, but if you commit to making incremental progress each day, you’ll see significant results sooner than you think.

    In can be natural to want to achieve something, but feeling as though you lack the ability to do so. It’s vital to understand that any person is capable of building their intellectual capacity. If you take time to learn, set clear goals for yourself, and execute with discipline, you’ll find yourself on a path to what you really want.

    -Robert Glazer, Author of Elevate

    Learn more about building your capacities with Elevate>>

    Use This Neuroscience Hack to Sell Better

    October 10, 2019 53 Views No comments

    We're all in sales essentially all the time. We're selling ourselves, we're selling ideas, we're selling to the boss, and the boss is selling to us. We're selling to the bank to get more capital. The banks are selling to us to get our business. We're essentially all in sales. Which means we all need to have a deeper understanding of how to sell.

    John Asher, author of the Neuroscience of Selling, developer of 15 different sales-related training manuals and CEO of Asher Strategies, delves into the science behind selling and how you can use what we’ve learned to become better at selling.

    What can neuroscience teach us about sales?

    [There is a] new understanding from this worldwide forum of neuroscientists studying decision-making and other aspects of neuroscience that relate to sales and totally disrupts what we thought was the right thing to do.

    [These studies are showing that] it's all about the logic. We know that there are three main parts [of the brain]: The reptilian brain of 500 million years ago that started with early fish; the mammalian brain [that developed] when the dinosaurs were wiped out and some of those small animals went into the sea; and then about 2 million years ago the hominid brain [that developed] with the early primates that have morphed into humans.

    To simplify it, the reptilian brain is all about focus on ourselves. The mammalian brain is all about emotion, excitement and engagement. And the hominid brain is all about logic. If you lump those two much older brains (the mammalian and the reptilian brain) together, you can call them the ancient brain. The hominoid brain is the rational brain – the new brain.

    We know from all these neuroscience studies that about 97% of our decisions come from the ancient brain, and very few are driven by the rational brain.

    When is logic involved in decision-making?

    [Let’s look at two examples. First, think about] three companies after a big opportunity. All three companies have good experience, good quality, good service, and reasonable prices. In the buyer's mind, all three companies are essentially tied for first. So which one would the buyer choose? Well, they're going to choose the one where they've liked the salesperson the best – the salesperson who's made the best emotional connection and who's built the best rapport. That's where the emotional connection overrides the rational.

    Here's where the rational comes into play. Let's say there are three different companies going after a different procurement. In the buyer's mind, two of the companies are tied for first in every respect: experience, quality, service, and prices. And then there's a third company that's just average. So even though the buyer may like the salesperson from the average company the best, they're not choosing them because they don't have the logic to justify that emotional buy.

    Those emotional decisions apply to all of us essentially all the time. Which car do we buy? What mate do we choose? What do we eat for breakfast? These are almost all emotional decisions.That's the first disruption in understanding – that most decisions come from the ancient brain.

    How can we tap into the ancient brain when selling?

    They are a number of activators, ways to stimulate the other person's ancient brain. It doesn't matter what you're selling – trying to get them to join your company, trying to up and cross-sell to them as a current customer, trying to sell to them as a new prospect, etc. It's all essentially the same.

    We are all focused on ourselves. You could call it “me, me, me” focus. That is by necessity for species to survive – we've got to be mainly worried about our own safety, our own success, and our own happiness. When you understand that, you can apply that easily to sales.

    -John Asher

    To learn more about how buyers think, check out John’s book The Neuroscience of Selling>>

    Building Your Spiritual Capacity

    October 7, 2019 2519 Views No comments

    You’ve probably heard this term before—burnout. Sometimes it feels like you have too much to do, but even though you’ve never worked harder, you feel less fulfilled at the end of the day.

    If you feel burnout, you’re not alone. According to a Gallup study, 67 percent of American workers report feeling burned out at least some of the time, or even most of the time.

    What’s most difficult about burnout is that it can feel as if there is no way out. We cannot add more hours to the day and nobody wants to put things like personal passions and relationships on hold because they’re overwhelmed at work.

    Fortunately, burnout doesn’t have to last forever. I know this for a fact, because I’m no stranger to the feeling.

    I felt burnout in 2005 when I was working at a startup; I was completely miserable and worried that hopping to yet another job would hurt my career. I felt it in 2009, when I worked myself into enough stress to cause a panic attack that landed me in the hospital. I felt it in 2011, when my company, Acceleration Partners, was growing, but I had completely maxed myself out getting to that point.

    I didn’t know why I kept repeating this cycle until I realized I needed a better understanding of what I was trying to get out of life. That’s when I discovered that my spiritual capacity was low.

    What is Spiritual Capacity?

    The term “spiritual capacity” describes the degree to which you understand who you are and what you want most. Building your spiritual capacity is a journey of self-discovery; it means taking time to understand your what is intrinsically motivating you, and what actually makes you happy.

    It’s daunting work, but it’s extremely important—if you don’t know what you want from life, you may spend all your energy running in the wrong direction and be left unfulfilled when you reach your goals. Even if you succeed at something, if it is not aligned with your purpose and values, you will likely feel unsatisfied and drained.

    The first step in building spiritual capacity is to develop your core values. Start by setting aside time, putting away distractions and thinking carefully about yourself. When are you happiest? When are you most drained of energy? What types of people and situations are most frustrating for you? Pose these same questions to your family and close friends—often they can provide novel insights.

    Putting thought into these questions will help you recognize consistent themes in your life and identify what makes you happiest. One of my core values is “long-term orientation,” which means I am most fulfilled when I’m setting and pursuing long-term goals—whether in my personal or professional life. I have found I just don’t get as much satisfaction from short-term wins.

    Identifying your core values will give you a GPS for decision-making in your daily life. While it’s not possible to make everything we do connect to our core values, we can make conscious choices to spend more time doing what fulfills us and to give less energy to things that don’t.

    In researching my new book, Elevate, I’ve realized that lasting achievement requires building capacity in four areas—spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional. Spiritual capacity is perhaps the most difficult of the four because it requires us to find clarity about our inner selves. Identifying personal core values and an overarching purpose can be a demanding task—and some of us can even be intimidated by the potential of discovering what we want most.

    However, building spiritual capacity is foundational to a fulfilling life. People don’t achieve the life they want by accident; they do it by carefully defining their core purpose and values, and aligning their daily actions to pursue those things.

    My workload isn’t any lighter than it was at other points in my life, times when I felt stretched to the breaking point. What has changed is that the majority of the work I do now serves my purpose: to find a better way and share it. I don’t feel drained when I’m working toward my core purpose—even after a long day of working in support of my core values, I feel energized and fulfilled.

    For those who are struggling with burnout, I suggest you ask yourself if you know what you want and if you have thought about what your core values are. My guess is that many of people have not, because it is difficult work, and most people don’t know where to start. I know I didn’t until I was well into my adult life, and now I wish I had grown my spiritual capacity sooner.

    If you’re working as hard as you can but feel you haven’t been rewarded with a fulfilling life, you’re not alone. To make a change, start building your spiritual capacity. Once you discover what you really want, make a plan to reach your goals. I think you’ll find that life is easier when you have a roadmap.

    -Robert Glazer, Author of Elevate

    Learn more about building your capacities with Elevate>>

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