Mentoring

Controlling Reactions (#154)

Apparently, the past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for global stock markets, with volatile trading and daily swings of several percentage points.

I hadn’t really paid much attention to these events, but that would have been a different story ten years ago.

I developed an interest in the stock market at an early age, influenced by my grandmother who was an enthusiastic, but notoriously poor stock picker.  I started trading and following the markets regularly in college and would get excited by the highs and anxious when the market declined. I distinctly remember during the 2007 market crash being glued to the TV and feeling physically ill as the market dropped 800 points in just a few days in September. I allowed it to negatively affect my work, my mindset and my interactions with others.

Shortly after, I made the decision to stop watching the market and shifted my investments to mutual funds. Later, I hired an investment advisor to make those decision for me without any emotion or short-term bias. It was one of the best decisions I have made.

The stock market hasn’t changed, but my reaction to it has. The same goes for sports.

As a lifelong Boston sports fan, I’ve experienced both improbable victories and agonizing defeats (most of my childhood). Today, I enjoy the games and may get animated watching them, but I’ve trained myself to mentally walk away the minute they’re over.

If Tom Brady has a bad football game on Sunday, I can understand why he would want to think about it on Monday; it’s his job and life. But for me to do so? It’s a useless expenditure of energy. Yet I see others let professional sports affect them mentally for days or even weeks after a game. It’s self-defeating.

Walking away from playing the market and changing my reaction after a game is won or lost are both examples of improving emotional capacity, a critical skill high performers must learn to develop.

Emotional capacity relates to how we react to challenging situations and people as well as the quality of our relationships, which can either increase our energy or deplete it. The process of improving emotional capacity is challenging. It requires learning to actively manage your feelings and accepting a certain amount of uncertainty and unpredictability from both individuals and circumstances.

For example, consider two people who have a negative interaction with each other early in the day. The person with high emotional capacity is able to shrug it off, move past it and continue on with the priorities of their day. The person with a lower emotional capacity would be easily rattled by this interaction. It would likely consume, if not ruin, their entire day and affect their performance at work and at home.

They each experience the same event but allow it to impact them differently. That delta is the differing degrees of emotional capacity.

When dealing with people and circumstances that influence our mindset, high achievers see two options: walk away or change your reaction. While I was able to do this with the stock market and watching professional sports, I’ll be the first to admit that I have many other examples in my life where I am mindfully working to better apply these principles and continue to build my emotional capacity.

The key is to focus on what we can control (emotions and reactions), not the event or external forces. No one should believe they can control the stock market, sports games or unfortunate run-ins, but we each absolutely have the ability to choose how these events will impact us.

 

Quote of The Week

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

 

Charles R. Swindoll

 

 

The post Controlling Reactions (#154) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Going Bananas (#153)

Over the past year, I have started to share and post more of my content on LinkedIn.

Most of my articles are written in a positive tone and attempt to propose solutions to common leadership and organizational challenges. Therefore, I’m always surprised by people who choose to comment on articles with insults, banter and accusations, often about something that wasn’t even directed at or personal to them in any way.

Posting these kinds of responses and comments on such a public forum is not only unproductive, it’s shortsighted for those in leadership positions; and it’s downright foolish for people who are actively seeking employment.

I would never hire or partner with anyone I found spending their time and energy in this manner and I can only imagine how bosses and team members react when they come across this sort of behavior from a colleague.

I simply can’t comprehend why anyone would intentionally go out of their way to make strangers feel bad about themselves or their beliefs. It’s bananas.

Speaking of bananas, a lot of these individuals could learn from the example of Stacey Truman, an inspiring leader and cafeteria manager at an elementary school in Virginia Beach, VA.

Using a black marker, each morning she writes inspirational messages on the bananas that are a part of lunch that day.

Here are some examples of messages she’s written on her now designated “talking bananas:”

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”  

 “You get what you give.”

“Never give up.”

“Your future is bright.”

Writing uplifting messages on bananas was a practice she started for her two daughters (10 and 7) to build them up and help them start their day on a positive note. She then thought that the kids at the school might have a similar feel-good response, and she was right.

In an interview, Truman said, “I want them to succeed in life and have an awesome day at school. Whenever I can put a smile on all of those little faces, I’ve done my job.”

Her “talking bananas” have made a bigger impact than she could have imagined and her story has taken off on social media. She’s now garnering national attention for the right reasons and inspiring strangers to want to uplift and build capacity in others with far less effort than it takes to troll social media looking to pick a fight.

While I don’t expect “talking bananas” to become ubiquitous in corporate cafeterias anytime soon, the lesson is that while we don’t have to agree, we can all be nicer in how we disagree. And we all have the ability to use our energy in more productive ways that inspire and lift others up.

You never know how something as simple—and free to give—as an encouraging word can impact people for years to come, especially if it comes at the right time.

 

Quote of The Week

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”

Blaise Pascal

 

Image Credit: Washington Post.

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4 Pillars — How to Grow Relationships l Thor Conklin l Episode #593

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.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

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Special promotion or gift for the listener: 50% off the first month for any plan with coupon code “peakperformers”

 

Acuity Scheduling – Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

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Twitter: @ThorConklin

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ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

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 road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.

Valuing Vulnerability (#152)

Two weeks ago, we held our AP Summit, an all-company annual retreat. Our theme for the week centered around Embracing Relationships, which is one of our company’s core values.

A big part of embracing relationships is the willingness to be vulnerable. In business, this typically shows up in the form of being open to radical candor and new ideas, stepping outside of comfort zones and being transparent about mistakes and shortcomings.

When team members are vulnerable with each other, it builds trust. In turn, they’re more comfortable and confident about being open with their questions, sharing new ideas, debating and discussing challenges and expressing differences of opinion, all of which allows for stronger team performance.

As researcher Brenè Brown explains, vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity and innovation.

Our opening speaker at our AP Summit is an inspiring example of how vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness, especially in leadership. JT McCormick, the CEO of Scribe Media and author of I Got There, openly shared how he overcame racism, poverty, neglect and heartbreaking sexual and physical abuse to achieve the American Dream. His talk was so emotional, raw and powerful that it brought many to tears.

JT was followed by Eric Kapitulik, founder of The Program, a leadership and team-building training company. Prior to starting The Program, Eric served in the United States Marine Corps as both an Infantry and Special Operations Officer. Eric opened by sharing a story about how he and his platoon were in a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of seven Marines.

After sharing his story and some of his life experience since that harrowing day, Eric and his team led our employees outdoors to a large field where it was raining, muddy and cold. Teams were put through various leadership drills and missions. And when we failed, we had to do push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and other physical “consequences,” all surrounded by swampy puddles and goose droppings.

Sounds terrible, right? Yet, I didn’t hear a single complaint. Having just heard these stories and knowing that we could all shower, change into clean clothes and be comfortable again, there was a tremendous sense of gratitude and camaraderie. In fact, most people ranked this training as a highlight of their week and year.

Both of these presentations and experiences opened new conversations and brought transparency between team members to new levels.

Knowing how important strong relationships are to our happiness and health, in advance of AP Summit, I asked employees to send to me five relationships that they’d like to start, grow or rekindle. Many of the responses were very personal. The most common themes were “spouse,” “myself,” “parent,” “grandparents,” “out-of-touch friend,” “sibling,” and “relative I’ve never met.”

Then, at our closing dinner, our culture team surprised several employees by informing them that their Embrace Relationship submission had been selected to become a reality.

Shortly after the presentation, other team members came up to those employees, embraced them and shared something with them that they hadn’t before, at least not in a professional context. This willingness to connect vulnerably created further increased trust, respect and understanding in ways that might not have been possible otherwise.

It was an unforgettable moment and one that I have no doubt will lead to much individual and team success and a new appreciation of what it means to share your authentic self with others.


Quote of the Week

 “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Brené Brown

 

 

The post Valuing Vulnerability (#152) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Monthly Goal Check-In | Thor Conklin | Episode #591

How are you doing on your annual goals?

 

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.

Join group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeakPerformanceNation/

 

SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

Audible - Free Audio Book & 30 Day Trial 

Blue Apron -  $30 Off Your First Order

 

Acuity Scheduling - Stop Wasting Time Setting Up Meetings

Peak Accountability - http://www.thorconklin.com/accountability/

Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

Twitter: @ThorConklin

Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

ThorConklin.com

Thor Conklin Media

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 by mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Conscious Inaction (#151)

Today is Black Friday, an American tradition that has now spread overseas. People fight lines and even each other in their attempt to not miss out on the latest hot deals.

Although a principle that I regularly espouse in Friday Forward is the need to be action-oriented in life (especially since the basis of most regret is inaction), there are times when conscious inaction is the best path, particularly when based upon a careful reflection of our core values.

Take, for example, outdoor clothing retailer REI. For the fourth year in a row, they will be closed on Black Friday. Instead of encouraging shopping, they’re promoting their #OptOutside campaign, an initiative designed to inspire people to reconnect—with themselves and others – outdoors.

In a statement about the decision, REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke said, “You don’t win in the long-term by pushing what I call rampant consumerism.” Stritzke even credited the decision to close stores on Black Friday with helping REI survive the “retail apocalypse.”

For REI, the decision to not get caught up in the fervor of Black Friday is very intentional and conscious. I’d argue that those who are surrendering by being open from dawn till late evening today may not actually want to do so. They may not be able to afford to play the deep discount game and company leadership might not be ready to go against the grain. Unfortunately, their employees and shareholders are the ones who get the short end of that decision stick.

In life, many of the best decisions are the ones we consciously didn’t make.

The employee we didn’t hire.

The company we didn’t buy.

The job we didn’t take.

The emotional e-mail we didn’t send.

The thing we didn’t say.

There is an important difference between complacency and conscious inaction.

Sure, if our inaction is based on fear or insecurity, we need to push through. However, if we are being pulled to do something that is not aligned with our values or that won’t help us achieve our desired outcome, then the conscious decision not to act is often the best one. Especially if we are being drawn to something that is urgent but not important.

My friend, Rob Dube, wrote a book on this subject and leads “do nothing” mindfulness retreats specifically designed for business leaders and entrepreneurs. By learning how to do less, Dube and his team help them find more presence and awareness, which ultimately helps make them better people and leaders. He describes it as “The most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take.”

This mentality is clearly shared by REI’s Stritzke. In a recent statement he said, “Day in, day out, we’re looking down instead of up, looking at our phones instead of the world around us. We’re asking people this year to reevaluate that picture of themselves. To see technology as the starting point to a journey outside, not the destination. And to go explore the world with someone they love – on Black Friday and every day.”

As I have in past years, I am going to do exactly that, spending today with friends, family and getting outdoors. I hope you’ll join me.

 

Quote of The Week

Choices are the hinges of destiny.

Edwin Markham

 

 

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