Should I stay or should I go?

June 28, 2021

This seems to be the big question for many right now and the impact of how we answer it will be huge in the coming months.

I had two appointments postponed last week, both because the other party had a one-hour meeting slot booked and then discovered they should attend in person, thus doubling (or more) the amount of time that meeting would consume. Cue the reorg of everything else that day to accommodate.

It seems so clumsy and inefficient.

Ah, but in the previous few weeks I’ve had my first in-person meetings in what feels like years, and loved them! I enjoyed the journey, the traffic, the parking, even the signing in at reception. It may have taken nearly half a day instead of 60 minutes but I returned refreshed and energised. So much so, I booked some more, including the first LMI UK team non-Zoom get-together since 2019!

I could make this a long post but it really doesn’t need to be. There is one simple message: THINK!

It would be easy to say yes to everything and go back to how things were. Equally, we could decide to keep everything virtual and miss out on the magic that happens when people are together in the same room. That ‘magic’ that is so much more than just ‘achieving the meeting objective’. Think relationship-building, fun, connection, wellbeing, ideas, inspiration and more.

My plan is to still do an awful lot of meetings remotely, feeling delighted about the efficiency and simplicity of it all. I’m going to choose which appointments to attend in person, treating them as special occasions and valuing every minute in the real-live company of other human beings.

We have a unique opportunity to shape the future in really positive, productive ways if we’re mindful of the decisions we make.

Oh, and whatever you decide each time, best make sure everyone else knows too!


Meetings that feel successful.

June 24, 2021

Video link: https://youtu.be/P1QrLD038H8

A quick follow up to the last post about the joy of short meetings! Just because a meeting is short, doesn’t mean it’s been successful. For it to feel successful to all participants, everyone needs to have been heard and feel that they made the contribution they had to make and been part of the agreed direction and future actions that are decided at the meetings.


Better, shorter meetings!

June 23, 2021

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylzi9O2syNQ

A short video inspired by a rare occurance. My scheduled one-hour meeting today was done and dusted in just 20 minutes, including a bit of social chat. It’s not always possible, but certainly worth noticing when it does. I’ll share some more meeting thoughts soon.


An ordinary day

October 27, 2020

Today is just an ordinary Tuesday – could it be a great day though? A meaningful, enjoyable and positive day?

A day when I make progress on important work and encourage others in their work? Why not?

Could it be a day when I am kind to myself, mentally and physically? And do the same to others?

What if today is one of those days where I live as I want to live, true to my values and in line with my purpose? On a Tuesday?!


To a larger degree than I care to admit, it’s my choice.


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.


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.


One very important word

April 24, 2020

One word more than any other seems to sum up what’s really important in the leadership coversations I’m having just now.

Empathy.

Not, ‘Here’s what I would do if I was you’

or

‘Based on my current experience of the world, I’m going to assume yours is the same, or at least similar, and treat you accordingly.’

Empathy.

Tell me about how things are for you at the moment. How can I help? Let’s agree together on the best way to organise / manage / communicate / deliver.

 


What a waste.

April 6, 2020

I’m writing with a fairly heavy heart today as someone who cares about leadership and really wants our leaders to do well. Everything works better when leaders lead well and now, perhaps more than ever, we need things to be done well. We certainly can’t afford to waste time, effort, money and resources in the global fight against Covid-19.

There were two situations that arose over the weekend that saddened me. The first was the announcment by (the hugely profitable) Liverpool FC that they would furlough certain non-playing staff and claim the assistance from the government for 80% of their wages.

The criticism of this has been widespread and well-covered so no need for me to rehash the detail. I do feel extremely sorry for those who have an afiiation with that club. People want to believe in the organisation they work for, the team they support and the people they follow.

In taking this decision the leaders (owners) have caused untold damage in ways which are hard to repair. Trust, integrity, shared values, connection and community are not easily built but are quickly lost. Such a waste.

I know that other football clubs have done the same by the waym though I think that Liverpool has grated more due to its famously integral place at the heart of that community, a fondness founded in togetherness, belonging and shared values.

The second situation was that of the Scottish Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, who was forced to resign after flouting the non-essential travel rules that she herself was the media face of. She was clearly doing an important and seemingly  good job and it’s such a waste of ability, as well as the time and effort of those left picking up the pieces to deal with the fall-out and organise a replacement.

I make no harsh judgement of Calderwood for who hasn’t at times facesd their own hypocrisy? This is such a stark reminder though of the imperative for leadership integrity when there is so much more at stake than just that invididual’s reputation.

Neither of these scenarious have anything to do with competence in the job. It’s all about character. Personal Leadership. The most important aspect of all leadership.

Where leaders fail the character test, there’s just so much waste. Invest in your own personal leadership. Invest in others anywhere you have influence.