Mentoring

The Fourth Option (#129)

Recently, I screwed up. In the middle of coordinating several professional commitments in the same week, I did not look carefully enough at the dates on my calendar. As a result, I committed to be somewhere that would make it impossible for me to get home in time for my daughter’s birthday and the concert I had promised to take her to that night.

As best I could see, I had three options. Break my commitment to my daughter; damage my professional credibility; or try to find another way to get home that would be prohibitively expensive (and still might not get me there on time). None of these options seemed very appealing.

Serendipitously, I heard Kaihan Krippendorff, a world-renowned strategist, give a presentation a few weeks earlier on the notion of there always being a fourth option. This unique perspective is often lacking in standard problem-solving as it requires more prolific, outside-the-box thinking.

At the same time, I have been reading Ryan Holiday’s book, The Obstacle is The Way, which reintroduces stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience.

Holiday’s book explains that stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger and tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

With both Krippendorff’s and Holiday’s perspectives in mind, I decided to shift my thinking from having three bad options to choose from to considering a fourth option. By changing my perspective, I was ultimately able to find a new way to a solution and, in the process, create a valuable professional opportunity for someone on my team; an opportunity that they might not have been able to take advantage of otherwise. Even better, I didn’t have to compromise.

While limiting your own thinking is dangerous, leaders who present fixed options to their teams to choose from in decision-making multiply this impact. Rather than encouraging dialogue or creative thinking, this instead forces teams to choose from the most obvious options, many or all of which were likely offered by the leader. This shuts down new ideas.

It is much more powerful – and a better reflection of true leadership — to instead ask, “How could we make this work?” and even take the traditional options off the table to rouse new ideas and perspectives. This allows people the capacity to put on their problem-solving hats.

In the same way that we rise or fall based on expectations, if we are willing to learn how to control our emotions when faced with a problem or challenge, we’ll be better able to see that doing so is often the key to our solutions, even if we can’t see it in the moment. It’s really about attitude and perspective; if we think we don’t have options, we don’t.

The next time you face a significant obstacle or a challenge, don’t waste valuable energy and time on how you got there. Accept the reality of where you are and ask instead what can be done with what you have. The answer to that question could be the breakthrough that you have been looking for in your life or your business.

Quote of Week

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

Epictetus

 

 

The post The Fourth Option (#129) appeared first on Friday Forward.

The Difference Between Running a Business and Running a Practice l Thor Conklin l Episode #545

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Great Expectations (#128)

“I have high expectations and I know you can meet them.”

This is one of the most important messages a leader can covey to their team, according to best-selling author, Daniel Coyle. Coyle devoted his latest book, The Culture Code, to understanding the world’s most successful organizations and exploring what makes them tick.

Coyle studied groups such as the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, Pixar and the San Antonio Spurs and delved into research examining how expectations can drive performance.

One of the most well-known studies on expectations was conducted in 1965 by Harvard psychology professor, Robert Rosenthal and an elementary school principal, Lenore Jacobson.

Rosenthal told teachers at a public elementary school that they’d be giving students a new IQ test called the “Harvard Test of Inflected Acquisition” and that the test scores would reveal which students were expected to be “academic bloomers” in the upcoming year. The teachers were then given the names of students in their classes whose test scores were in the top 20 percent (i.e. the bloomers).

When Rosenthal and Jacobson returned at the end of the school year to conduct the test again, they found that there was a marked difference in IQ and test score gains for the students who had been labeled as “ready to bloom” versus those who had not been labeled in this way.

Rosenthal’s test might have been deemed a revolutionary predictor of success had he not chosen the “bloomers” at random.

You see, the real goal of the study was to see if teachers would treat students differently based on perceived potential or expectations. As it turns out, they do.

In The Culture Code, Coyle writes about how Rosenthal also evaluated changes in teacher behavior toward those “ready to bloom” students and classified them into four categories:

  1. Warmth: The teachers were kinder, more attentive and more connective.
  2. Input: The teachers provided more material for learning.
  3. Response Opportunity: The teachers called on the students more often and listened more carefully.
  4. Feedback: The teachers provided more feedback, especially when the students made a mistake.

The results from this experiment confirmed a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy.

The notion that people are likely to rise or fall to the level of our expectations – and that our subtle positive or negative reinforcements can significantly impact outcomes – is something that both leaders and parents should seriously consider.

Most people who’ve overcome great odds to achieve success credit someone who believed in them and challenged them to do better. Rarely, if ever, do they mention someone who gave them a free pass.

Having low expectations doesn’t make for easier wins; it makes for poorer outcomes.

Establishing and communicating expectations are fundamental tenets of leadership. Weak leaders seeking to reinforce their supremacy set a high bar and then gloat when those around them fail to reach it.

Strong leaders set high expectations as well, but they strive to grow their teams’ capacity by supporting and coaching them over the bar. As the research confirms, that’s what moves great individuals, organizations and teams forward.

It’s not about how high you set the bar, it’s about how many people on your team get over it.

To learn more about Daniel Coyle’s experience researching world-class teams and cultures, listen to our discussion on the Outperform podcast.

 

Quote of The Week

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

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Why Do Some Make Millions While Others Don’t? | Thor Conklin | Episode #543

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

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Peak Performers Podcast

 

Peak Performance Nation  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Imposter Syndrome (#127)

This past week, I finished a three-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP) alongside 65 incredible classmates from 30 different countries around the world.

Our keynote speaker on the second day had graduated from the program ten years ago and had returned to speak to our class. In her presentation, she shared that during her first year at EMP, she chose to sit in the back of the room because she was intimidated about being there.

A single mom with two kids, she started her jewelry business in 2002 out of her spare bedroom with only $500. During her first year as an EMP student, her business was doing about $2M in revenue, which was near the bottom of what other attendees in the class were generating from their businesses.

When one of the facilitators spoke of the successful entrepreneurs who had gone through this program and the likelihood of someone in the class going on to build a $1B company, she felt even more out of her league.

What she was experiencing is referred to as “Imposter Syndrome,” a psychological phenomenon shared by many high achievers who are convinced they’re inadequate or have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”  For example, in an interview about winning an Academy Award for “The Accused” in 1988, actress Jody Foster said, “I thought it was a big fluke. I thought everybody would find out, and then they’d take the Oscar back.”

Some psychologists say that Imposter Syndrome is most common in high-achieving women and those who feel different from the majority of their colleagues or underrepresented (people of color, LGBTQ, etc.).

The irony is that Imposter Syndrome tends to impact people who have worked incredibly hard to earn their success, as opposed to those who take the “fake it until they make it” approach or rely on connections or inherited wealth to attain higher rungs. Our keynote speaker was a perfect example of this. A determined, hard-working single mom, she fought through her imposter syndrome and realized her entrepreneurial dream.

That speaker’s name? Kendra Scott, founder and CEO of her namesake jewelry company, an enterprise with over 75 stores. Recently, her eponymous company was valued at over $1B as part of its latest investment.

Kendra Scott’s formula for success is largely the result of having grit, a clear vision, resiliency and going against conventional wisdom at every turn.

If, after reading this, you recognize that you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome in your own life, rest assured that your biggest opportunity may come from leaning into the unconventional path/thinking that got you to where you are today. It’s very likely that you see things a bit differently from those who played it safe, took the predictable route or who benefited most from good luck and timing but chose to give themselves full credit.

Imposter Syndrome can be a strength if you recognize it and you can use those feelings to stay hungry for growth and high achievement, yet remain humble with success. Don’t assume the people around you know more or deserve their position more; they often just have more confidence. If you act like you belong, soon you will.  And humble confidence beats overconfidence almost every time.

 

Quote of the Week

“I have written 11 books but each time I think ‘Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

Maya Angelou (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony award, won five Grammys for her spoken recordings, and served on two presidential committees)

 

The post Imposter Syndrome (#127) appeared first on Friday Forward.

The 6 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Setting Goals | Thor Conklin | Episode #541

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

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Acuity Scheduling - Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

ThorConklin.com

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.