Who gets the credit?

September 28, 2020

There is a famous saying that goes something like,

“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

It’s variously attibuted to Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and others I’m sure. I’m hoping that none of them mind who gets the credit – it’s a great quote! Working together with others to get the thing done without vying for position or self-promotion is so powerful and utterly joyful.

I have the pleasure of working on a couple of things just like this at the moment. Reflecting on what makes this possible, I put it down largely to:

  • having a clearly defined purpose that all parties are inspired by and therefore committed to.
  • good organisation so that collectively we have clear goals and definite plans so that we each know what our actions and responsibilities are.

Have a good week and if you’re lucky enough to be part of such a team, especially in very challenging times like now, remember not to take it for granted.

 

 

 


This is important because…

June 24, 2020

Motivation is a really big deal.

If you can understand yourself and what motivates you then you can make choices that enable you to live with more energy, enthusiasm and happiness, as well as generally getting better results in whatever you put your hand to.

If you can understand others’ motivation, then you can help them do the same and that’s powerful.

One way to experience high levels of motivation is to be consciously connected to the value of what we’re doing.

This is important because…

If you can’t complete that statement above in a meaningful way for what you are currently doing – both from a ‘big picture’ perspective and in the nitty-gritty of your current tasks – you are most likely feeling demotivated.

This leads to two options – either there isn’t a good reason for doing it and you should stop. Or, and this is really common, there are mulitple good reasons for doing it and they’ve just been forgotten or drifted out of mind.

Here you should definitely stop and revisit the purpose that was there in the beginning.

Blank piece of paper. Big heading, “This is important because….”

It will make a world of difference.


The day-to-day disciplines of leadership

June 22, 2020

In this latest episode of So What About Leadership? Roisin and I discuss the less exciting but incredibly important aspects of leadership like discipline, process and systemisation. Hope you enjoy!

LMI UK & Ireland · So What About Leadership 18.6.20

 


Why everybody wants you around

June 5, 2020

Please stay with this one, even if you’re not a football fan – there’s a really interesting point here, honest!

Yesterday Southampton Football Club annouced that striker Shane Long has signed a two-year contract extention. All very normal. Except it isn’t.

He’s 33 years old. Very much at the end of his career. Most don’t get a two-year contract at a Premier League club at that age.

Shane Long is a striker. In the last four seasons (including this one) he’s scored twelve goals in the Premier League. Three per season. At one point last year he had scored each of his last four goals under four different managers. These are terrible stats by any standard.

And yet when the announcement was made I, a Southampton fan, was delighted and, judging by social media response, I was not alone.

It seems we love Shane Long.

Not just fans though. Watch/read any interview with his team-mates. They love him too. They love working with him. They love what he brings to the team. His efforts make others’ jobs easier. He helps his collegues excel.

Why is this?

Attitude. Character.

Unselfish, positive, humble, tireless, kind, helpful, caring, good fun.

These are just some of the words used to describe the way he is on a football pitch or generally around the club and, importantly, in the community.

He’s also an absolute nightmare for the opposition because he never stops running!

It’s clear the contract extension is not just about what he brings on the pitch but also his all-round contribution, his influence on younger players, his positive contribution to the whole environment.

Of course we’d love it if he scored more goals, but we would absolutely hate it if he wasn’t around.

I’m sure you have some people like that where you work. Maybe it’s you?

 


Do what you always do, but different.

June 1, 2020

It’s the start of a new month, June 2020. We are in a period of history that none of us will ever forget. Remember February this year? How different does that seem now?

The times are changing again; the rules are flexing. Who knows what the world – your world – will look like in another four months!

So, as we start a new month, indecision and uncertainty can easily payalyse us.

Because there’s so much you don’t know, how can you possibly make plans? How can you take action when you don’t know whether they’ll be the ‘right’ actions given the changing circumstances?

All valid questions. So what should you do?

Answer: do the same as you always do, but different.

Go to your system – the one you use every month to review the previous and plan the next. The system that helps you set goals and establish priorities for the next four weeks. The system that helps you set up progress tracking towards your goals and recording your success with the habits you’re working on developing.  The system that you rely on to make sure you schedule time for your high payoff activities and reminds you of your ‘big picture’ (purpose, mission and values) so the vision of what you are living for is crystal clear.

Such a planning system is absolute gold. Most people had them in the 80s and 90s. Their large, leather-bound organisers with templates for setting goals, making plans, communicating well and remembering to spend time doing the most important things, day by day, week by week, month by month.

Then we went all technological. We moved on.

But we didn’t take our systems with us into the new media. We left them behind and with it a whole heap of healthy habits were lost.

If you’re reading this and you don’t have a brilliant system for planning June 2020, we need to do something about that. You see, when you have a system that you know inside-out, one that you’ve used time and time again, it’s much, much easier to adapt to changing times. Just follow the process but with different inputs. I can’t do X this month, but I can do Y. A and B may be uncertain, so I’ll focus extra effort on C because that’s within my control.

I’ll end simply with this: get a system. LMI have a brilliant one and I’m always happy to share that. You can design your own if you’re so inclined. Buy one – Best Self Planner is a great option – borrow one, phone a friend. By any means, get a system that works for you. Then you can do the same, month by month, every month, but different.


Inspiring conversations about a positive future

May 29, 2020

I recorded a new version of our ‘So What About Leadership?’ podcast with my colleague Roisin yesterday. We’ve spent a lot of time on previous episodes discussing how leaders handle the ‘now’ of the current crisis. This time we felt strongly that it was time to make it about the future. We hope it helps you to begin/continue to have inspiring conversations about creating a positive future in your own leadership context.

Here’s the direct link if you can’t see the embedded widget! https://soundcloud.com/user-257705077/so-what-about-leadership-23520

LMI UK & Ireland · So What About Leadership 23.5.20

 


Success is in the system

May 12, 2020

We looked previously at how success can be defined as progess towards achieving your own meaningful goals. By that definition, everyone can be (and feel) successful. Going back to where we started looking at goals, this is the perfect antidote to the negative feelings that we can all be susceptible to if we find ourselves measuring our success by comparison with others.

Ok, so success is in our hands if, AND IT’S A BIG IF, we learn to regularly set our own goals. It sounds simple. In many ways it is extremely simple and yet so many aren’t doing it. There are two really important keys here:

  1. Learn a system for goal-setting and customise it to your own needs/style/situation/preference.
  2. Make using that system a habit.

We’ll look now at the steps for setting goals as laid out in the LMI Goal Planning System. Next time we’ll talk about how to make using it a habit.

Before we get into that though, a brief intelude. Could you take a few seconds just to imagine the impact it will have if you get seriously good at this? What if every month for the rest of your life you could identify the most important work and personal goals in your life and work effectively to achieve them?

Ok, back to the system in ten steps.

  1. Define or describe something that you’d like to be better in some way.
  2. Write a specific goal(s) that supports this intent.
  3. List the benefits gained and the potential losses avoided by achieving the goal.
  4. Write down possible obstacles and list potential solutions.
  5. Write detailed action steps and deadlines to achieve the goal.
  6. Integrate the action steps into your planning system.
  7. Determine a method of tracking your progress.
  8. Write affirmations to encourage you and keep you on track.
  9. Develop a visual representation that effectively reminds you of your goal.
  10. Celebrate the accomplishment of meaningful goals

It’s a simple and immensely powerful system where each step plays an important part in making the whole system work.

We talk more about this in the Foundations of Success workshop I run. If what we’ve been looking at around goals is an area you’d like to improve in, and the LMI Goal Planning tools would be helpful, you’d be really welcome to join one of these sessions.


My goals, my way.

May 6, 2020

The last post ended with a promise that we’d look at how to set goals that work for you whatever you are currently facing.

And let’s face it, some of the goals we may have had are not very helpful to us right now. That one about getting 5000 people to that big May event, anyone?

I’m sure you’ve had at least some negative experience with setting goals. You may even be in that bracket of people who have sworn never to go down that road again having found it only led to guilt, frustration, disappointment (insert any additional / alternative negative emotion here) when the goals weren’t reached.

Let’s start really simple. A goal is simply the expression of an intended outcome; something you want to achieve, do, have or become. Let’s call it ‘being intentional.’ I find this really helps. I don’t need to start with, “Be the best in the world at….” or “Double my income by….”

The psychology of being intentional is incredibly interesting. When I set a goal, no-matter what it is and regardless of how small it may seem, it gives me a sense of purpose and direction. Again, this may be very small but we have to realise that great habits and big successes begin with small actions and are often the result of years of small accumulations. When I achieve that goal, I can’t help but feel a little bit more successful which in turn helps me feel more motivatied to take on another goal.

My apologies if this is way too basic for you but I have so many conversations with people where this is exactly where they need to begin, especially if they find themselves in a state of lockdown lethargy or experiencing the guilt/frustration/inferiority challenges that we discussed last time.

Write down something that you’d like to do today, no matter how small. Something that you’ll feel pleased, relieved, delighted, triumphant (insert any additional / alternative positive emotion here) about when it’s done. Then do it. Start really small and ultra-achievable. See how it goes. If it works for you, then repeat.

Even really big goals work in exactly the same way.

We are just beginning to scratch the surface with the whole goals shebang so please, stick with it because it will make such a difference to your life, your family and friends, your work and even the world if we all get seriously good at this!

Next post we’ll look specifically at the goal-setting system we use in LMI to help people consistently achieve the goals they set. It’s a good one. See you then.

 

 

 


That’s a very personal question

May 4, 2020

Learn a new skill.

Get iron-man fit.

Write a book.

Run a high-performing home-school academy!

There’s so much talk about what we could and should be doing during lockdown and equally as much talk about people feeling guilty / inferior / down because they are not achieving what others seem to be doing during this time.

My last-but-one post about empathy is super-important here.

Just as important though is to recognise why we experience these negative feelings about what we’re not doing. This is a complex issue however one common reason is that we’re not confident in what we are doing.

This is why the art of goal setting is such an important skill.

Paul J. Meyer said,

Success is the progressive realisation of worthwhile, pretermined, personal goals.

In other words,

Success is goal directed action

and

Success is personal.

When I’m good at setting my own goals, whatever they may be, I feel successful when I’m making progress towards achieving them. When I’m focussed on my own goals and I’m feeling good about working towards those, I’m far less likely to be worried about what others are doing and what I’m not doing.

It’s a big subject so more on this next time when we’ll look at how to set goals that actually work for you whatever you’re facing right now.


Big picture and daily accomplishments

April 30, 2020

Latest podcast, covering big picture ideas of purpose and vision as well as the nitty, gritty day-to-day disciplines like daily planning and recording accomplishments.

LMI UK & Ireland · So What About Leadership 30.4.20