I have been a leader/coach for many years now. I have had a lot of training in this area, and have read a lot of books on the topic as well. I decided to take a deeper dive into the topic and focus on coaching books versus leadership books to really understand the art of coaching and become an expert in it.
This book summary is from the author Michael K. Simpson. The title of the book is Unlocking Potential 7 Coaching Skills that Transform individuals, Teams, and Organizations. Michael is part of the Franklin Covey organization.
The following are the seven skills that he focuses on in his book. (the authors comments are in italics)
1. Build Trust: This is foundational competency and skill of all great coaching, without it, individuals will suspect you, question your agenda, slow you down, and possibility reject you as a coach. Thats why it is the first skill that Simpson recommends.
I agree with the author. To coach more effectively and to be able to have the participant take the advice from the coach, you must have established a relationship and a foundation with the individual and they must feel that you have their best interest in mind.
2. Challenge Paradigms: A paradigm is the way we think. An individual who believe they can’t improve is not coachable and until that paradigm changes, you’ll go nowhere. Your individuals paradigms might become barriers to achievement, and as a coach, your task is to challenge them firmly and gently.
I think this is an area for many coaches to improve upon. I think a lot of times, a coach may feel like the person the are trying to coach may know more than them, so the coach may be hesitant to challenge their thinking. This is where a coach must challenge the coachee’s thinking and ask them where they could possible give more and do more.
3. Seek Strategic Clarity: With the coaches help, the individual should choose personal goals and be completely clear about them with measurable endpoints. Without strategic clarity, coaching becomes aimless and endless.
Again, a major opportunity for many coaches. They think that having a conversation about performance is good enough. It’s not. A coach must challenge the coachee with goals and then specific targets with deadlines when those goals should be met.
4. Execute Flawlessly: Execution might be the toughest challenge of all, the coach can help individuals actually to set, prioritize, and achieve their goals and help to hold them accountable.
What I have seen many times, is the coach assumes that they have helped the individual set the goal and that should be sufficient. It’s not. If the individual was able to set goals and execute them to get them accomplished they would already be doing it. As a coach you must equip them with the strategy to execute the goals so they can be accomplished.
5. Give effective Feedback: All coaches give feedback. Some of it is effective. The feedback should consist of things that help create awareness for the individual, focus on actions they need to take.
Some coaches never provide any feedback, much less feedback that creates awareness. As a coach you must ask questions of the individuals performance. Click on this link for a playbook on concepts a coach should use to create awareness for the individual. http://wp.me/p4eY1f-9k
6. Tap into Talent: Most people underestimate their own talents. As Dr. Stephen Covey would often say “most people have far more talent than they ever use.” As a coach you need to know how to help people tap into the unique and vast reserve of talents they already have.
As a coach you must point out things for people that they can’t see in themselves. A leader/coach is someone who challenges and inspires someone. Helping individuals get into their areas of strength and then pointing out those strengths is what a good coach does. If you look back on all of the good coaches you have had in your life you will most likely discover the reason they were a good coach is they helped you see talents that you didn’t see in your self, or they helped you maximize those talents.
7. Move the middle: Coaches are usually focused on helping high performers get even better. It is essential to reward and promote top talent. However, the biggest opportunity for performance improvement in any organization is to help “move the middle”, among those performers who are good, but not yet great.
I agree with the author. Your biggest challenge as a coach and where you can have the most significant impact on your organization is on the middle 60% of the team members. The top 20% are going to do what they do, and you just need to encourage them. The bottom 20% you should be coaching up or coaching out.
In life, as in work, one of our key leadership responsibilities is to help people gain vision and strategic clarity in their jobs, careers, and in their business.
A global survey on topics of strategy and goal execution called the Execution Quotient (xQ) Survey, was gathered from data from more than 500,000 leaders across 18 global industries and 20 languages. The xQ survey results showed the common challenges with strategy and goal execution. The dat validates four key root causes for breakdowns with flawless execution. These challenges dont vary much across industry or culture.
- Goal Clarity: Eight five respondents don’t know the goals of the organization they work for; 44 percent of the people say they know, but when asked to identify the goals, only 15 percent can actually do it.
- Leveraged behaviors: Eighty-five percent of the respondents don’t know what to do to achieve the organizations goals. They often don’t know the strategic reasons for doing the work they are doing.
- Compelling Scoreboards: Eighty-seven percent of the respondents don’t know whether their company is winning or losing in relation to its most important goals. They simply don’t know the score. Or if they do, they are almost always looking at historical “lag measures” results that appear only after it is too late to do anything about them.
- Weekly Accountability: Seventy-nine percent of the respondents are not held accountable for lack of progress made towards critically important goals. Only 21 percent meet with their bosses even as often as monthly to assess achievement of their most important goals. Usually accountability, is top down, punitive, or intimidating, or it is soft, permissive, and infrequent at best.
Most often the strategy is fine it is the execution and communication that lacks, as the above research suggests.
All in all this was a great book on coaching. What I liked most was the series of questions the author includes to ask individuals to improve their performance.
To your success and your future.
Vince Lombardi is one of the greatest football coaches in the history of the professional game. In 10 seasons as a head coach in the National Football League–9 with the Green Bay packers and 1 with the Washington Redskins, Lombardi compiled a truly amazing record: 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties.
His Packers played in six World Championship games and won five, including the first two Super Bowls. His post season record with nine victories and a single defeat is unrivaled in the history of professional football.
So how did Vince Lombard become number 1. Without a doubt he is the epitome of DOMINANCE. His record alone is amazing.
Vince Lombard, Jr. Wrote the book: What it takes to be #1, Vince Lombardi on leadership. In this book the author gives us his fathers playbook. This book summary/notes has a lot of depth to it. This book was just that amazing. I will try to capture the essence in my summary.
Vince Lombardi never talked about Luck with his players, he only talked about preparation.
Rule #1: Know yourself. You can’t improve on something you don’t understand.
Rule #2: Build your character. Character is not inherited; it is something that can be and needs to be, built and disciplined.
Rule #3: Earn your stripes. Leaders earn the right to lead. How? They manifest character and integrity, and they get results.
- No leader, however great, can long continue unless they win battles. The battle decides all.
Rule #4: Think Big picture. The Big Picture is your road map and rudder. It can’t change in response to minor setbacks. But it must change as the competitive environment changes.
Rule #5: Leaders are made not born. Leadership grows out of self-knowledge, character and integrity, competence, and a comprehensive vision. When these building blocks are in place, the leader can lead.
I just outlined the basis of this book. You now have the playbook of the great Vince Lombardi. If you care to continue reading these notes, you will now see my notes for each of the chapters for this book. Also, each of the chapters have something called Lombardi’s rules, these rules are the summary of what the chapter discussed.
Self Knowledge: The first step to Leadership
- We comprehend the world not as it is, but as we are.
- Define your values, who you are, and your core principles that never change. All winning teams have this, but it begins with you defining that for yourself. As a person, leader, and a teammate.
- In business, it is incumbent upon each of us to figure out our own plays.
- If you are not reflecting, you are not thinking.
- Adversity is the first path to truth. Prosperity is a great teacher, adversity is greater.
Why is purpose so important?
- It allows us to connect deeply with the spirit of life that dwells within each of us,
- It allows us to express our unique gifts and talents, and
- It allows us to feel that our lives matter.
- Link goals to purpose.
- Leadership begins with self-knowledge.
- Self knowledge comes (only) from self discovery
- You can’t build a team that’s different from yourself.
- Find your own tools
- Link goals to purpose
- Ask yourself tough questions
- Know your spark
- See of you see daylight between purpose and career.
Character and integrity
- Character is founded on unchanging principles. It is your underlying core.
- Commitments are more important than self-interest.
- No self-interest is worth your reputation.
- Watch your beliefs; they become thoughts
- Watch your thoughts; they become words.
- Watch your words; they become actions.
- Watch your actions; they become habits.
- Watch your habits; they become character.
- Your character is your legacy.
Leaders must be both analytical and skeptical. Ask questions.
- Have humility. Humility is defined as the quality of being unpretending.
- Healthy ego: Ego is belief in yourself. Ego is pride that pushes you to accept nothing less than your personal best.
- Write your character
- Find the truth and your purpose
- Act; don’t react
- Study the past; live in the present
- Have faith
- Be proud and humble
- Search out and story prejudice
- Cultivate compassion
Developing winning habits
- If you don’t think you are a winner, you don’t belong here.
- The desire for the reward overwhelms the human instinct to quit and compromise, to take the safe route.
- You can’t be courageous without fear. Not the kind of fear that debilitates you, but the corporate pressures that motivates you. Without that kind of stress, you’re probably doing mediocre work.
- If you can’t get emotional about what you believe in your heart, you’re in the wrong business.
- Theres nothing personal about any of this. Any criticism I make of anyone, I make only because he’s a ballplayer not living up to his potential. Vince Lombardi.
- Passion and enthusiasm are the seeds of achievement.
- I think you’ve got to pay a price for anything thats worthwhile, and success is paying the price. You’ve got to pay the price to win, you’ve got to pay the price to stay on top, and you’ve got to pay the price to get there.
- Character takes sacrifice: the giving up of one thing for the sale of another.
- Id rather have a guy with 50% ability and 100% desire, because the guy with 100% desire is going to play every day, so you can make a system to fit what he can do.
- Demand total commitment. From yourself first and then the others around you.
- The only way I know how to coach the game is all the way.
- Discipline helps you make the hard decisions. It helps you endure the pain associated with change.
- Own your habits
- Use your courage
- Embrace your passion
- Be prepared to sacrifice
- Demand total commitment
- Weed out the uncommitted
- Work at it
- Be disciplined on and off the field
- Be mentally tough
Inspiring others to greatness:
- Building trust is done through patient investment and long association.
- The trustworthy leader tells people what to expect, with a bare minimum of sugarcoating.
Insist on excellence:
- The word excellence come forms latin words that mean “to rise out of”. So excellence is the state of superior performance rising out of and original state of potential.
- Chase perfection and settle for excellence.
- Be authentic
- Earn trust through investment
- Use your mission
- Create a shared vision
- Align your values
- Know your stuff
- Generate confidence
- Chase Perfection
- Live what you teach
- Strike the balance
Building the winning organization
- One must not hesitate to innovate and change with the times and the varying formations. The leader who stands still is not progressing and they will not remain a leader for long.
- Good leaders provide their people with what they lack including training, information, confidence, and discipline.
- Common goals create drive and energy
- Motivation comes from the gap between the way things are and the way an individual or team wants them to be.
- Simplicity and flexibility are two core elements to success. Keep it simple so everyone understands it, but flexible enough so you can make changes when necessary.
- Pick the right organization
- Demand autonomy
- Respect authority
- Delegate the second tier stuff
- Check your hat
- Be brilliant, but don’t be stubborn about it
- Build skills
- Let’em see you sweat
- Build team spirit
- Innovate without complicating
Motivating the team to extraordinary performance
- People are motivated by things that promise to give their lives purpose and meaning.
- Lou Holtz said it best: Motivation is simple: You eliminate those who aren’t motivated. People motivate themselves.
- When two teams meet that are equal in ability and execution, it’s the team that has pride that wins.
- You cant coach without criticizing, and its essential to understand how to criticize each man individually.
- You need to create momentum through short rearm wins that give credibility and staying power to your vision. People must periodically see that their efforts are producing results.
- Changes take time. They do not take place overnight.
- Leaders enjoy a diversity of opinions.
- Offer people meaning
- Keep enormous pressure on
- Motivate the group
- Counter expectations
- Motivate the individual
- Win respect, affection may follow
- Motivate by inches
- Go where the wisdom is.
Vince Lombardi on winning: I’m here because we win. You’re here because we win. When we lose we’re gone.
- Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged on one thing; the results.
- Leaders get paid for one thing and that is results, not for being right.
- If you are right all of the time, you are not taking enough risks.
- Winning isn’t everything, its the only thing. Lombardi is well known for this saying. He also says that the “will to want to win” is one of the most important things.
- In business you are either first or last.
- Make your competitors react to you, be on the offensive and not defensive.
- Even ugly inches count for movement.
Lombardi’s rules on winning
- Run to win
- Beware of the power of quotability
- Winning is the only thing–but only in context
- Try to win them all, but play by the rules
- Be a good winner
- Block and Tackle
- Play to jump on opportunity
- Play for elegance, but take any win you can get.
- Play on tradition
- Understand the dangers of winning
Epilogue: Al the man there “is”. You don’t do what is right once in a while, but all of the time.
- Lombardi demanded one thing above all else, that was personal responsibility.
- Three pronged approach to accountability: Tell people exactly what you expect of them. Giving players all of the tools to do the job. Get out of their way and let them do it.
- Embrace paradox
- No excuses
- Build accountability
- Treasure your legacy
For many years Lombardi Jr. watched his dad do some amazing things as a leader and coach. He captures his fathers leadership playbook in a well defined and easy to read format in this book. I challenge all readers, especially leaders and aspiring leaders to read the book or at least read these notes.
To your success and your future.
The Speed of Trust; The one thing that changes everything was written by Stephen M.R. Covey. He is the son of Stephen R. Covey the author of the monster successful book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Check out Mr. Covey here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Covey .
In the Speed of Trust Mr. Covey the younger makes the point and outlines a solid game plan based on his own experiences and the experiences he has seen over and over throughout his years in leadership and working with companies.
The book starts off with what Mr. Covey calls the economics of trust. He uses this formula to make the point.
- Trust is low = Speed goes down and Cost goes up
- Trust is high = Speed goes up and Cost goes down
Think about the above formulas for a minute. Think about in your current work environment, or maybe in an organization you are in, or your relationship with a boss. When the trust is low, things you are trying to accomplish get slowed down, and in turn costs go up. However, when trust is high, you can see that things speed up, which in turn costs go down.
The author equates trust to paying taxes. As a tax payer we know that we must pay a certain amount of money to the IRS each year for taxes. But when it comes to trust, or lack of trust, we are paying a tax and may not even be aware of it. The taxes you pay in an organization can be hidden. Think about a project you would like to implement and it is not moving fast enough, you may be paying a tax because for whatever reason there isn’t any trust established with you and the parties involved in getting the project done. I have seen this scenario over and over in business.
The other equation the author offers is this: Strategy times Execution = Results. But then he goes on to say this. (Strategy times Execution)Trust = Results. Trust is a multiplier. You can have a good strategy and a great execution plan, but if you dont have trust the project can get derailed. Trust is the great multiplier. Trust is the key ingredient for all relationships.
- Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation and inspiration. People want to be trusted.
- Who do you trust? A work colleague. a friend? Your spouse, Your boss? Who trusts you?
- Trust is a function of two things: Character and Competence.
- Also people trust people who can get things done.
- Leadership theory deals with what a leader is (character) and what a leader does is (competence)
The author breaks down trust in the book this way. There are five levels. Self trust, Relationship Trust, Organizational Trust, Market trust, and Societal Trust.
- The first level is Self Trust and deals with the confidence we have in ourselves, in our ability to set and achieve goals, to keep commitments, to walk our talk, and also with our ability to inspire trust in others. The whole idea is to become, both to ourselves and to others, a person who is worthy of trust. In this first wave the author outlines and explores the “4 Cores of Credibility.” The end result of high character and high competence is credibility, judgment, and influence.
The 4 Cores of Credibility:
- Integrity: To most people integrity means “honesty”. While integrity includes honesty, its much more. Its integratedness. Its walking your talk. Its being congruent, inside and out. Its having the courage to act in accordance with your values and beliefs. Interestingly, most massive violations of trust are violations of integrity.
- Intent: This has to do with our motives, our agendas, and our resulting behavior. Trust grows when our motives our straightforward and based on mutual benefit, in others words, when we genuinely care not only for ourselves, but also for the people we interact with, lead, or serve. When we suspect a hidden agenda from someone or we don’t believe they are citing in our best interests, we are suspicious about everything they say and do. Both integrity and intent are matters of character.
- Capabilities: Capabilities are the abilities we have that inspire confidence, our talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style. They are the means we use to produce results. A family doctor might have integrity and his motives might be good, but unless he’s trained and skilled to perform the task at hand (brain surgery for example) he’ll be lacking in credibility in that area. Capabilities also deal with our ability to establish, grow, extend, and restore trust.
- Results: Results refer to our track record, our performance, our getting the right things done. If we don’t accomplish what we expected to do, it diminishes our credibility. On the other hand, when we achieve the realists we promised, we establish a positive reputation of performing, or being a producer, and our reputation precedes us. Both capabilities and results are matters of competence.
- The second level is Relationship Trust and it is about how to establish and increase the “trust accounts” we have with others. Consistent behavior is critical. The author outlines 13 key behaviors common to high trust leaders around the world. These 13 behaviors are practitioner based and validated by research. The 13 behaviors can be learned by anybody. The goal is to increase our ability to generate trust with all involved in order to enhance relationships and achieve better results.
- Talk Straight: Be honest. Tell the truth. Let people know where they stand. Use simple language. Call things what they are. Demonstrate integrity. Don’t manipulate people or distort facts. Don’t spin the truth. Don’t leave false impressions.
- Demonstrate Respect: Genuinely care for others. Show you care. Respect the dignity of every person and every role. Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can’t do anything for you. Show kindness in the little things. Don’t fake caring. Don’t attempt to be efficient with people.
- Create Transparency: Tell the truth in a way people can verify. Get real and genuine. Be open and authentic. Err on the side of disclosure. Operate on the premise “What you see is what you get.” Don’t have hidden agendas. Don’t hide information.
- Right Wrongs: Make things right when you’re wrong. Apologize quickly. Make restitution where possible. Practice “service recoveries.” Demonstrate personal humility. Don’t cover things up. Don’t let pride get in the way of doing the right thing.
- Show Loyalty: Give credit freely. Acknowledge the contributions of others. Speak about people as if they were present. Represent others who aren’t there to speak for themselves. Don’t bad mouth others behind their backs. Don’t disclose others private information.
- Deliver Results: Establish of track record of results. Get the right things done. Make things happen. Accomplish what you’re hired to do. Be on time and within budget. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Don’t make excuses for not delivering.
- Get Better: Continuously improve. Increase your capabilities. Be a constant learner. Develop feedback systems, both formal an informal. Act on the feedback you receive. Thank people for feedback. Don’t consider yourself above feedback. Don’t assume todays knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrows challenges.
- Confront Reality: Takes issues head on, even the “undiscussables.” Address the tough stuff directly. Acknowledge the unsaid. Lead out courageously in conversation. Remove the :sword from their hands.” Don’t skirt the real issues. Don’t bury your head in the sand.
- Clarify Expectations: Disclose and reveal expectations. Discuss them. Validate them. Renegotiate them if needed and possible. Don’t violate expectations. Don’t assume that expectations are clear or shared.
- Practice Accountability: Hold yourself accountable. Hold others accountable. Take responsibility for results. Be clear on how you’ll communicate how you’re doing and how others are doing. Don’t avoid or shirk responsibility. Don’t blame others or point fingers when things go wrong.
- Listen First: Listen before you speak. Understand. Diagnose. Listen with your ears and your eyes and heart. Find out what the most important behaviors are to the people you’re working with. Don’t assume you know what matters most to others. Don’t presume you have all of the answers or all the questions.
- Keep Commitments: Say what You are going to do, then do what you say you’re going to do. Make commitments carefully and keep them. Make keeping commitments the symbol of your honor. Don’t break confidences. Don’t attempt to “PR” your way out of a commitment you’ve broken.
- Extend Trust: Demonstrate a propensity to trust. Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust. Extend trust conditionally to those who are earning your trust. Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility (character and competence) of the people involved. But have a propensity to trust. Don’t withhold trust because there is risk involved.
- Organizational trust deals with how leaders can generate trust in all kinds of organizations, including businesses, not for profit organizations, government entities, educational institutions, and families, as well as in teams and other micro units within organizations. If you’ve ever worked with people you trusted, but in an organization you didn’t, or in a situation where the organizations systems and structures promoted distrust, you will easily recognize the critical nature of the third level of trust. The key principle underlying is alignment, it helps leaders create structures, systems, and symbols of organizational trust that decrease or eliminate seven of the most insidious and costly organizational trust taxes and create seven huge organizational trust dividends.
- Market trust is the level at which almost everyone clearly understands the impact of trust. The underlying principle behind this wave is a reputation. It’s about your company brand (your personal brand), which reflects the trust customers, investors, and others in the marketplace have in you. Everyone knows that brands powerfully affect customer behavior and loyalty. When there is a high trust brand, customers buy more, refer more, give the benefit of the doubt, and stay with you longer. This material will not only help you improve your own brand and reputation as an individual, it will also help you improve your organizations brand and reputation in the marketplace.
- Societal Trust is about creating value for others and for society at large. The principle underlying this wave is contribution. By contributing or giving back we counteract the suspicion, cynicism, and low trust inheritance taxes within our society. We also inspire others to create value and contribute, as well.
Depending on our roles and responsibilities, we may have more or less influence as we move through out each successive level. However, we all have extraordinary influence on the first two levels (Self Trust and Relationship Trust) and this is where we should begin.
My hope is that you can read this book summary and gain a few nuggets. If you refer back to the formulas at the beginning of this summary. If you are in sales, how does this question apply to your world? Do you currently have a sale that has slowed down? Why? Have you stablished enough trust yet. The economics of trust formula applies to business as well as personal relationships and family.
I would encourage you to pick up the book. I obviously gave you a solid overview about the book, but the book is full of great quotes by great leaders and a lot of great real life examples of where trust was established and where trust wasn’t established and the consequences of both.
Check out thebrianwillett.com for more book summaries. Also, share this summary with someone who you think can learn from it.
To your success and your future.
What got you here, Wont get you there; author Marshall Goldsmith. Discover the 20 workplace habits you need to break. The amazon link to the book is below.
In this book the author identifies the 20 habits managers need to break so they can have more influence in their organization and continue to grow in their organization and their career. A lot of books teach people what to do, Mr. Goldsmith takes the approach of what leaders need to stop doing.
Although this book was written for managers and leaders, I believe that the 20 principles can also be applied in your daily life as a friend, a colleague, a relative, a parent. These habits can be displayed in all of our interactions with others, and they can diminish our influence with this individuals we wish to have influence with.
Like all of my book summaries, they are quasi book summaries where I provide you with a solid overview of the book, in addition to my key takeaways from the book. I hope you enjoy the read.
- The higher up you go in an organization the issues that arise for people are always behavioral. Everyone in leadership positions are usually equally as talented technically. They’re all smart. This is why behavioral issues become so important at the upper rungs of a corporate ladder.
- All other things being equal, your people skills (or lack of them) become more pronounced the higher up you go.
- As we advance in our careers, behavioral changes are often the only significant changes we can make.
1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations. When it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally besides the point.
2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
3. Passing judgments: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right, You’re wrong.”
6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people were smarter than they think we are.
7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
8. Negativity, or “let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
9. Withholding information: the refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
- Apologizing is one of the most powerful and resonant gestures in the human arsenal, almost as powerful as a declaration of love.
16. Not listening: The most passive aggressive for of disrespect for colleagues.
17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.
7 Ways to Change these bad behaviors:
Feedback tells us what to change, not how to do it. But when you know what to change, you’re ready to start changing yourself and how people perceive you.
Apologizing is the magic move. It shows others that you were wrong and you aren’t afraid to admit you were wrong. It opens up trust in a relationship. The best way to apologize is to do it quick and move on.
Telling the world, or Advertising:
It’s not enough to tell everyone that you want to get better, you have to declare exactly what area you plan to change. In other words, now that you’ve said you’re sorry. What are you going to do about it.
It’s a lot harder to change someones perception of your behavior than it is to change your behavior. I calculate that you have to get 100% better in order to get 10% credit for it from your coworkers.
You must constantly tell the world and your coworkers how you are getting better through your actions, your commitments, and the way you act. It takes a while for it to sink in, but if you do it consistently it eventually will. Think about the process of electing someone to office. It tasks years for a message to really resonate and then people vote. That is exactly what you have to do.
80 percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen. In other words, success or failure is determined before we do anything.
Good listeners do these three things: They think before they speak; they listen with respect; and they’re always gauging their response by asking themselves, “Is it worth it?”
Don’t say I knew it. Don’t use words no, but, or however. Eliminate any striving to impress the other person how smart or funny you are.
Thanking works because it expresses one of our most basic emotions: gratitude. It’s a genuine emotion. If you can earn a A+ in gratitude, nothing bad will ever come of it.
Once you master the subtle arts of apologizing, advertising, listening, and thanking, you must follow-up–relentlessly. Continue to ask people for feedback and ask them how you are doing on some of the changes you have made.
Follow up is how you measure progress. Follow up is how we remind people how were making an effort to change, and that they are helping us. Follow up is how we erase our coworkers skepticism that we can change.
Follow up is how we acknowledge to ourselves and others that getting better is an ongoing process, not a temporary religious conversion.
More than anything follow-up makes us do it.
4 Lessons the author learned around feedback:
1. Not everyone responds to executive development, at least not the way the organization desires or intends.
2. There is an enormous disconnect between understanding and doing.
3. People don’t get better without follow-up. Ongoing and consistent follow-up.
4. Becoming a better leader (or a better person) is a process, not an event.
You’ve identified the interpersonal habit that’s holding you back. You’ve apologized for it. You’ve continued to advertise your intention to change. You’ve started listening more and thanking people more. You are seeking feedback and follow-up on your process of getting better in the area.
You are now ready for feed forward:
Racecar drivers are taught to look at the road, not the wall. Thats what feed forward does. It allows you to start looking forward to new changes you want to make and developing a process around that so you can continue to get better.
A study on goal achievement: Most research on goals and goal setting centers around diet and fitness for a few reasons: A) there’s a huge population of people interested in such goals. B) its easy to measure. C) with record numbers of Americans either obese or out of shape, there’s a huge (and compelling) history of failure in this area. There are five reasons people do not succeed with their diet and fitness goals. the mistakenly estimate:
- Time: Its takes longer than they expected
- Effort: It’s harder than they expected. It’s not worth all of the effort.
- Distractions: They do not expect a “crisis” to emerge that will prevent them from staying with the program.
- Rewards: After they see some improvement, they don’t get the response from others that they expected. People don’t immediately love the new and improved person they’ve become.
- Maintenance: Once they hit their goal, people for get how hard it is to stay in shape. Not expecting that they’ll have to stick with the program for life, they slowly backslide or give up completely.
So any kind of goal you set out to accomplish. Health and fitness or changing a behavior, it will require lots of time, hard work, personal sacrifice, ongoing effort, and dedication to a process that is maintained over years.
- Sometimes the desire for “perfect” can drive away “better.”
Things you must stop:
- Stop trying to change people who don’t think they have a problem.
- Stop trying to change people who are pursuing the wrong strategy for the organization.
- Stop trying to change people who should not be in their job.
- Stop trying to change people who think everyone else is the problem.
The Great Western disease lies in this phrase….I will be happy when…, As in I will be happy when I have this much money, or that promotion, or that family. Be happy where you are and make sure you are following your purpose.
As I stated at the beginning of this book summary. This book is based on the author and his years of coaching executive level clients to be better in their positions. However, as I have stated before, the 20 habits, the 7 steps of change, the behaviors that prevent people from hitting their goals are applicable to all of us. My advice to you is to take inventory and see where you are and create some goals of where you would like to be. Be the best you, you can be.
To your success and your future.
Next Generation Leader (Five Essentials for Those Who Will Shape Our Future); author Andy Stanley.
Andy is by far one of my favorite pastors and speakers. He is the founder of North Point Ministries and each Sunday more than 33,000 people attend worship services at North Points five locations in Atlanta, GA.
You can click the link below to access the book on Amazon or click on thebrianwillett.com and go to favorites and you can check out my favorite books and by clicking on the book it will also take you to the amazon so you can purchase the books I recommend.
Andy wrote this book to provide a playbook for the up and coming next generation of leaders. The layout of this book is in an easy to read format and laid out extremely well in five areas. I will once again provide you with a quasi book summary and review. My book summaries include my highlighted notes as well as a semi outline of the content in the book.
Andy began this book with these questions:
- What are the leadership principles I wish someone had shared with me when I was a young leader?
- What do I know now that I wish I had known then?
- Of all that could be said about leadership, what must be conveyed to next generation leaders?
Here are the five areas that Andy outlined based on these questions.
Leaders must channel their energy toward those arenas of leadership in which they are most likely to excel.
Two best kept secrets of leadership are:
- The less you do the more you can accomplish.
- The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.
- The secret of concentration is elimination.
- The moment a leader steps away from his core competencies, his effectiveness as a leader diminishes.
- Leaders attract other leaders whose skills come close to matching but rarely surpass their own.
- When we exert our authority in an area where we lack competence, we can derail projects and demotivate those who have the skills we lack.
- The inability for a leader to own up to personal shortcomings is often rooted in some sort of insecurity.
- And the truth is admitting a weakness is a sign of strength.
- Leadership is about getting things done through other people.
- If a there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is the leaders fault.
- John Maxwell says this: You are most valuable as leader where you add the most value.
- Leaders must narrow down their job to the one or two things that only they can do.
- Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing.
- Being busy isn’t being productive.
- Andy paired his must do’s to three things: Corporate vision casting, Corporate communication, and Leadership development.
- It is better to launch people than it is to lose people. Embrace people strengths on your team and help them develop those skills and maybe you will launch them in a new career.
The leader of an enterprise isn’t always the smarts or most creative person on the team. He isn’t necessarily the first to identify a oppurtinty. The leader is the one who has the courage to initiate, to set things in motion, to move ahead.
- Wherever there is fear there is opportunity, where there is great fear there is great opportunity.
- The leader fears missing an opportunity.
- Eventually a leaders lust for progress overwhelms his reluctance to take risks.
- Fear, not a lock of good ideas, is usually what keeps a man or woman standing on the sidelines.
- A leaders regrets generally revolve around missed opportunities.
- An unwillingness to accept risk has swamped more leaders.
- Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage assumes fear.
- If you don’t conquer your fear, you are going to miss out on some great things in life.
- Leaders are not always the first to see an opportunity. They are simply the first to seize an opportunity.
- A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody is whispering privately.
- Accepting the status quo is the equivalent to accepting a death sentence.
- It is easier to accept things as they are than it is to change them. Some people accept the status quo and live with it.
- Progress requires change.
- As a leader if we can’t move things forward then its time to move on.
- Careful is cerebral; fearful is emotional
- Careful is fueled by information, fearful is fueled by imagination
- Careful calculates risk; fearful avoids risk
- Careful wants to achieve success; fearful wants to avoid failure
- Careful is concerned about progress; fearful is concerned about protection.
- The courage to dream always precedes the capital needed to finance the dream.
- The only way to figure out how something can get done is to refuse to take your eye off what needs to be done.
Seven Commandments of Reality:
- Thou shalt not pretend
- Thou shalt not turn a blind eye.
- Thou shalt not exaggerate.
- Thou shalt not shoot the bearer of bad news.
- Thou shalt not hide behind the numbers
- Thou shalt not ignore constructive criticism.
- Thou shalt not isolate thyself.
Uncertain times require clear directives from this in leadership. Yet the temptation for young leaders is to allow uncertainty to leave you paralyzed. A next generation leader must learn to be clear even when he is not certain.
- Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.
- Uncertainty creates the necessary condition for leadership.
- You can’t hold people accountable for things that aren’t clear. If you’re unwilling to make decisions with limited information, you can’t achieve clarity.
- As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear.
- You can survive being wrong, but you can’t survive being unclear.
- I will not follow a leader who pretends to know and does nothing to quell their ignorance.
- The goal is to win, not run special plays.
4. Coaching: You may be good. You may even be better than everyone else. But without a coach you will never be as good as you could be.
- I can go farther and faster with someone coaching me than I can on my own.
- An effective coach does not need to possess more skills than the person he is coaching.
- A coach helps us assess the present so that we operate more effectively in the future.
- Coaching does not center on problem solving, instead it focuses on performance enhancement.
- A coach is going to be proactive in their instruction and evaluation. A coach is often on the scene watching rather than in an office waiting for a report.
- If you are not teachable your are not coachable.
Solomon’s thoughts on seeking counsel:
- Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Proverbs 1:5, NIV)
- The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listen to advice. (proverbs 12:15, NIV)
- Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (proverbs 15:22, NIV)
- Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. (proverbs 19:20, NIV)
- An effective leadership coach does these three things:
- 1. Observes. 2. Instructs. 3. Inspires.
- Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance.
- Learn everything you can from everybody you can.
- As a leader you are not responsible for knowing everything there is to know about leadership. But you are responsible for sharing what you do know with the leaders around you.
5. Character: You can lead without character, but you wont be a leader worth following. Character provides next germination leaders with the moral authority necessary to bring together the people and resources to further an enterprise.
- Character is to do what is right even when its hard.
- Character is will because it requires a willingness to make tough decisions, decisions that sometimes run contrary to emotion, intuition, economics, current trends, and in the eyes of some, common sense.
- Taking the time to develop maturity requires initiative and discipline.
- The become a leader worth following you must be intentional about developing the inner man.
Andy’s personal definition of success narrowed down to nine words. What are yours?
These nine words form a perimeter around him.
- Talent and determination determine your potential, character determines your legacy.
My advice to you whether you are a leader now, want to be a leader, a parent, or anyone else, you should read the book. Yes. Everyone should read this book. Sure it is titled as a leadership book, but we are all leaders in our own life, so why not learn some new things so we can be more effective in leading ourself, which at times, is the hardest part of leadership.
To your success and your future.
John C . Maxwell is by far one of my favorite authors and speakers. In his book Good Leaders ask Great Questions he outlines what good questions are. He outlines a playbook for leaders as well as anyone else who wants to influence other people. These questions transfer across all walks of life. The book link is below.
To build a high performing culture, you must first understand what drives peak performance in individuals. The answer sounds simple: why you work affects how well you work.
In their book Primed to Perform; How to Build The Highest Performing Cultures Through the Science of Total Motivation, the authors Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor take a look at research and case studies of successful companies and successful leadership that have created motivational environments for their employees. They call it TOMO (Total Motivation) You can find the book here https://www.amazon.com/Primed-Perform-Performing-Cultures-Motivation/dp/0062373986/
Here are the questions leadership should be asking about building a high performance culture:
- What leadership style should you use?
- How do you design motivating jobs and career paths?
- What is the best way to establish core value and build a strong sense of community around them?
- How should you manage the performance of your people?
- What is the fairest and most effective compensation philosophy?
- What is the best processes for managing culture?
And, how do you change a culture that is already in trouble?
- All companies need a purpose a reason the company exists.
There is a spectrum of reasons, or motives, for why people perform an activity. The first three, which we will call the direct motives, are directly linked to the activity and drive performance. The next three, the indirect motives, are further removed from the work itself and frequently harm performance.
PLAY: You’re most likely to lose weight, or succeed in any other endeavor when your motive is play. Play occurs when you’re engaging in an activity simply because you enjoy doing it. The work itself is its own reward. Scientists describe this motive as intrinsic.
- Curiosity and experimentation are at the heart of play. People intrinsically enjoy learning and adapting. We instinctively seek out opportunities to play.
- Because the play motive is created by the work itself, play is the most direct and most powerful driver of high performance.
Purpose: A step away from the work itself motive, is the purpose motive. The purpose motive occurs when you do an activity because you value the outcome of the activity. (versus the activity itself). You may or may not enjoy the work you do, but you value its impact.
- The purpose motive is one step removed from the work, because the motive isn’t the work itself, but its outcome. While the purpose motive is powerful driver for performance, the fact that its a step removed from the work, typically makes it a less powerful motive than play.
Potential: The third motive is potential. The potential motive occurs when you find a second order outcome (versus a direct outcome) of the work that aligns with your values and beliefs. You do the work because it will eventually lead to something you believe is important, such as your personal goals.
- Ex: you may work as a paralegal to eventually get into law school. Dieters are motivated by potential eating healthfully to achieve others things they care about, such as to run faster to keep wth their kids. Another example: Stepping stone jobs.
- The potential motive is not as powerful as play or purpose, since it relates to a second order outcome of the work, which is two (or more) steps removed from the work itself.
We call play, purpose, and potential the direct motives because they’re most directly connected to the work itself. As a result, they typically result in the highest levels of performance. Remember this from Primed to Perform, a culture that inspires people to their jobs for play, purpose, and potential creates the highest and most sustainable performance.
Emotional Pressure: When emotions such as disappointment, guilt or shame compel you to perform an activity, this emotional pressure. These emotions are related to your beliefs, (self perception) and external forces (the judgements of other people). The work itself is no longer the reason you’re working.
- When your motive to work on anything; work, dieting, etc. because of emotional pressure, your performance tends to suffer.
Economic pressure: Economic pressure is when you do an activity solely to win a reward or avoid punishment. The motive is separate from the work and separate from your values and own identity. Money alone isn’t the only cause of economic motive.
- From the research we expected to find that people with the least income experienced the highest economic pressure. Instead they learned that income and the economic motive were statistically unrelated. People at any income level can feel economic pressure at work.
Inertia: The most indirect motive of all is inertia. With inertia, your motive is so distant from the work itself that you can no longer say where it comes from, you do what you do simply because you did it yesterday. This leads to worst performance of all.
- Ex: A college student may continue to attend school purely because of inertia, they are on the path, so they just continue slogging. An executive continues on their job not because they are engaged in it, but because he can’t think of a good reason to leave.
Why we work:
- Direct motives typically increase performance and indirect motives typically decrease it.
- The more directly connected the motive is to the activity itself, the better performance becomes. Play is the motive that is closest to the work itself, so its the most powerful. Purpose is on step removed, so it is the second strongest. Potential is two or more steps removed from the activity, so it is the third strongest.
These two insights define total motivation. (TOMO for short) High levels of total motivation occur when a person feels more of the direct motives and less of the indirect motives. Total motivation is the foundation of any high performing culture.
Direct motives typically enhance performance while indirect motives decrease it. Second, the closest the motive is to the work itself, the better the performance. Play is the strongest motive. Then purpose. Then potential. Inertia is the most destructive, them economic pressure, then emotional pressure.
- How well a person executes a plan. Every job requires specific actions to be done in specific ways. EX: a certain number of calls, or emails for a sales person. Tactical performance is productivity, efficiency, and control.
- Someone having the freedom and ability to make adjustments to their job while they are doing to account for things that change and processes to be changed.
The military uses the phrase VUCA to describe limitations of tactical performance and why adaptive performance is so crucial. The letters in VUCA stand for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Tactical performance is not enough to address VUCA. People and organizations need to adapt.
If a job only has tactical performance behaviors, then you can create performance through indirect motivators. When a job has the need for more adaptive performance, like problem solving, indirect motivators can make performance worse.
- As total motivation decreases, adaptive performance decreases with it, and maladaptive performance takes its place.
- As total motivation increases, so does adaptive performance. Adaptive performance is the secret sauce behind innovation, creativity, great customer experience, distinctive salesmanship, and may other outcomes that have remained a mystery for so long.
Culture: Is our shared set of values and behaviors within an organization.
- A high performing culture is a system that maximizes adaptive performance through total motivation.
It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest thats survives, but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.–Leon Megginson
Managing culture is like managing your finances, it is a never ending process.
Four Types of leaders:
Quid Pro Quo leaders: Definition of quid pro quo is latin for something for something. This is how these leaders lead. They believe in giving rewards for good behavior and punishments or threat to control bad behavior. They produce high levels of emotional pressure, Inertia, and economic pressures.
Hands off Leaders: They use neither direct or indirect motivators. They tend to get involved only when there is a problem. Like most people, many hands off leaders have good intentions. They believe their teams want lots of space. The problem is they’re wrong. Teams perform best when the leader is involved.
Enthusiast: There isn’t a motivator an enthusiast won’t try, direct or indirect. Problem with this is the indirect will cancel out the direct.
Fire Starter: They use direct motivators and do what ever they can to eliminate the indirect motivators.
Fire Starters: Play
- Provide you with time, space, and encouragement to experiment and learn.
- Makes it clear on what it looks like to performing well.
- Challenges you to solve problems for yourself.
Fire Starters: Purpose: The blame bias makes us believe that everyone works for solely money. Fire starters hep you see and believe in your works purpose:
- Helps you see the work is important and meaningful.
- Role models and expects you to live by positive, comsisitnet, values in a common sense of a purpose.
- Puts the customers interest first.
Fire Starters: Potential: Help you connect your work to your personal goals and needs. They show your investment in your work is also an invest meant in yourself.
- Actively links the work with your personal goals.
- Helps you to develop and focus your time on your strengths rather than to your weaknesses.
- Provides you with more responsibility as your skills grow.
Fire Starters: Emotional Pressure: Reduces the potential for feel of fear, shame, guilt, or peer pressure.
- Ensures targets and goals are reasonable.
- They are fair and transparent.
- Enables friendships at work.
Fire Starters: Economic Pressure: Avoid using rewards or punishments to coerce people to work. Ensure you are evaluated holistically.
Fire Starters: Inertia: Remove obstacles from your path and make sure your work will have impact. Makes it easy to get things done and you don’t waste time doing it.
If you hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If you hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants.
From the testing, we learn that flexibility in how people work, rather than where or when they work is key. People who had freedom in how they worked were more motivated.
What the research found:
- A job designed to enable experimentation increase motivation by 68 points.
- A job designed to enable learning through a variety of increase motivation by about 68 points.
- A job designed to make you feel a sense of purpose increases motivation by about 64 points.
- A job designed so that you do not work alone increases motivation by about 36 points.
- While money is poor motivator, it can be an effective activator, overcoming ones inertia.
To be perfect is to change often-Winston Churchill.
As you an see by the book summary here the main points of the book are the motives of why people are motivated on the job. Play, Purpose, and Potential being the main reasons for motivation at work. These motives allow for flexibility and adaptive performances where the employee can be creative and do what they feel like is necessary to get the job done within the parameters of the company. And the person who is responsible for setting up this Total Motivation environment is the leader. In this case they call a good leader a Fire Starter. Meaning a good leader gets the team (fire) started and the allows the team (fire) to take off any do what they need to do.
I hope you enjoyed this book summary. For more book summaries and notes from other books I have read and really enjoyed, checkout http://www.thebrianwillett.com/literature/book-summaries/