This week I came across a great article that provided me with a reminder of lots of common sense aspects of leadership that I can so easily forget or lose beneath my ever growing to do list.
If you just want a taster then here are my favouraite quotes:
"Greatness comes from seeing around corners, doing the right thing, and being unwavering in your beliefs."
"Smart leaders know how to surround themselves with smarter people"
"Listen to everyone. Great ideas can come from anyone. Always be listening."
"Great leaders make the right choice, even when it is not the popular choice."
If these have peaked your curiosity then click on the screenshot below to read the full article:
We learn so much by asking questions of ourselves and others.
I ask questions for a living.
I am paid to ask questions for the benefit of others.
As a growing human being I also continually ask questions of myself.
I am constantly amazed at the power that a well worded question has to unlock something that we hadn't managed to see previously.
I have been amazed at how asking questions rather than offering advice can yield so much more benefit to you - and to the recipient of the question.
It is sooooo easy to believe that you have all the answers.
We often think "If only, my colleague/friend/relation would heed my advice then they would be so much better off."
In most cases this is rubbish!
Our colleague/friend/relation would be much better off if we listened to them more often.
Now I don't mean the type of listening that we do with our ears when our brain is off thinking about what I need to plan for the next lesson or what is for dinner. I mean listening with your whole body. The Chinese knew what they were doing when they created their symbol for 'Listening' is includes the symbols for Heart, Undivided Attention, Eye, You and Ear.
If we employ all of these elements when we listen to others, and combine this with a resounding belief that they have all the answers, then we have all the tools we need to ask questions that will most benefit the other person.
And we can go a long way by listening, really listening to our own thoughts, feelings and actions. Listening will reveal the questions that have the power to unlock so much more than just 'doing' can achieve on its own.
I have also included some questions from the book that you can ask yourself straight away.
|Title:||Eat that Frog: Get more of the important things done today|
In a busy school where virtually every member of staff is working, at least, at 110%, this book sets out a clear simple and practical set of steps we can all use to get much more done in less time.
If you think of your most important goal/task, often the one that you are most likely to procrastinate on. When will you actually do it?
Brian Tracy suggests that you 'brand' this task as a frog, a big ugly frog. Then eat it - immediately. If you can eat your biggest and ugliest frog first thing in the morning then this is probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day long - how great would that feel?
Questions for Reflection
Hear for yourself - What is a frog and why eat one for breakfast?
Why should I read this book?
This book will save you time.
Personal and Professional Development are the best time savers there are.
A major reason for delay and procrastination is a feeling of inadequacy, lack of confidence or inability in a key area of the task. The steps in this book help you to conquer procrastination really effectively.
I want to remember
Get clarity on your goals and objectives by 'Thinking on Paper' in 7 simple steps:
Prioritise your 'To Do List' daily with the ABCDE Method:
Click here for the full mindmap (drawn using iMindMap)
Significant learning for busy teachers
Eliminate tasks that are no longer relent to you or to anyone else, often something that you continue to do out of habit or because you enjoy it. (i.e. create yourself a 'Stop Doing List')
As a visual learner I love discovering new ways that describe the previously indescribable.
This is what my 'Guilt Chip' looked like.
Three years ago I found an image to describe the feeling of guilt that was at my core. It was amazing! As soon as I found an image I was able to describe so much more about the feeling and what was associated with that feeling.
I have tried out several talking therapies and it was in a Hypnotherapy session that I came up with this image. I didn't write any notes during the session, but was compelled to draw a mind map of what I had articulated, felt and thought.
It did the trick and got me out of the hole I was in and the mind map stayed on my office wall. It was only three years later did I realize that I had started talking about my 'guilt chip' in the past tense. This prompted me to look again at that mind map with fresh eyes. I realized that although my 'guilt chip' had now stopped being a major driver for my thoughts and feeling, the drivers that I had described in the session were still very much in evidence. I have come to realize that an imbalance in my approach to life was getting me into holes that were hard to get out of. This was one of the triggers that helped me to decide to embark on a learning journey to increase my self awareness, challenge automatic responses, and ultimately to
'replace the operating system in my head'.
(Thank you Derek Sivers suggesting this phrase in the July 2011 "Anything You Want" Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.)
Albert Einstein famously said:
"Insanity = doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
And this is what I had been doing over and over again, focusing on getting out of my hole rather than really understanding what got me in the hole in the first place.
I have made a choice to approach life in a different way and it is already making a huge difference to how I see myself and how I respond to others, I am looking forward to learning more about what makes me me as I continue to craft a new operating system in my head over the coming months.
For many teachers, performance management reviews have come and gone for the year. Consider your responses to these questions:
Who is in control of your learning choices for the coming year?
If not you then who is and what can you do to regain control?
I learn best when I am control and I chose what I learn, when. However, left to my own devices, I would apply a ’scatter-gun’ approach and end up starting many different learning strands and not finishing any of them satisfactorily.
It helps me to be accountable to someone, but for me to have made the decision for my direction is very influential on my motivation to achieve. Don’t you just hate being told what to do?
I stay in control of my learning by:
Create a Personal Learning Goal
Sharing this goal with someone that I respect and trust (perhaps by agreement at a performance review)
Write out the first steps to achieve my learning goal (action plan) and allocating a reward for achieving each step
Stick the action plan above my desk and review it monthly.
Reward myself for achieving the big and little steps.
In practice, the step I most struggle with is planning my learning. I am great at learning, it is one of my strengths, but like any achievements, I am poor at setting the direction.
Rewarding myself is also a struggle unless I allocate a reward in advance, i.e. in step 3. It helps me to jot down my favourite rewards.
What parts of this process are you doing now ?
What parts are you avoiding?
Do you have your top 10 Twitter dos and do nots?
My top 10 Guilt-free free rewards
What do you do for fun for free?
I’ve been a bit quiet recently on my blog and tweets and in life generally. The initial exhilaration of escaping full time employment has started to wane and building a business is a gradual process.
Yesterday I realised that in trying to come to terms with my current reality I have lost sight of my achievements and definitely forgotten to reward myself for them.
Earlier this week my friend Susie had asked me ‘What are you doing to reward yourself’ and my initial reaction was that I am not! It has slowly sunk in that I have stopped allowing myself to have fun again .
Yesterday, at my son’s sports day a couple of the mums commented that I had seemed quite stressed over the past few days. In my strive for honesty I wasn’t going to tell them everything was fine, when I clearly didn’t feel fine, so we exchanged a few words and I found myself pinpointing my ‘problem’ to not recognising my achievements.
So today I have decided that I will start the process of recognising and rewarding myself for my achievements in two ways.
So here goes with number two…
Here is a sneek preview of the post that I am going to publish to my public blog (www.BlueKiteCoach.com) on Monday:
Authenticity is a cornerstone of being an effective coach. While I found it difficult to be truly authentic in the corporate world, I am discovering so much more about me as a person when I am authentic and this change is being driven, at an emotional level, by 'myself' clamouring to be let out.
Perhaps you might take a leap of faith too and follow the five principles below - who knows you might discover something new about yourself that you love.
The article below is taken directly from Jeffery Gitomer's weekly newsletter (28th April):
Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken: The Power of Authenticity
By Mike Robbins
How often do you not say or do something because you’re worried about how it’ll be perceived? For most of us, myself included, this happens more often then we’d like to admit.
We live in a culture that is starving for authenticity. We want our leaders, our co-workers, our clients, our vendors, our family members, our friends, and everyone else we interact with to tell us the truth and to be themselves. Most important, we want to have the personal freedom and confidence to say, do, and be who we really are, without worrying so much about how we appear to others and what they might think or say about us.
Sadly, however, even though we may say we want to live and work in a way that is real; most of us don’t and it’s not that easy, especially in today’s challenging times. We’ve been taught by our parents, teachers, spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, sales managers, politicians, the media, and others, that it’s more important to be liked and get the job done than it is to be who we truly are. As sales people, we often feel a sense of pressure to say what we think the customer wants to hear or what we think will get us the business, whether or not it’s totally authentic.
However, as the famous 19th century author and poet Oscar Wilde so brilliantly stated, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
What it Really Means to Be Authentic
Authenticity is about having the freedom to be who we really are--ourselves, natural and without a mask in with our customers, co-workers, family, and friends, and also in our work and life. It takes courage, commitment, and depth to:
- Tell the whole truth (even when we don’t want to or we mess something up)
- Be vulnerable and real
- Admit, own, and share our true thoughts, feelings, desires, insecurities, passions, and more.
However, being open and real about all of these things (and more) is what it means to be authentic. Authenticity is what has people trust us, want to do business with us, and count on us personally.
Five Principles for Being Your Authentic Self
In order to utilize the power of authenticity in your life and your work as a way to enhance your relationships, increase your success, and empower yourself, here are five key principles:
1) Know Yourself – Make a commitment to your own personal growth. Discover more of who you are. And, seek out and allow the support, honest feedback, and coaching of others.
2) Transform Your Fear – There’s nothing wrong with having fear, it’s the resistance and denial of fear that is the real problem. When you admit, own, feel, and express your fear, you have the ability to move through it, transform it, and utilize its power in a positive way. Taking action in the face of fear is courageous and empowering.
3) Express Yourself – Have the courage to speak your truth boldly, whether or not you think it is what the other person wants to hear. Deal with conflicts quickly and directly. Be vulnerable and real about what you think and how you feel. While on the surface you may worry that this will be seen as “weak,” in actuality expressing yourself completely gives you access to real freedom and power.
4) Be Bold – Live, speak, and act with courage, passion, and truth – even if it’s difficult or scary. Go for what you want in your work and in your life. And get back up when you fall down, which you will – especially in sales and especially these days.
5) Celebrate Who You Are – Appreciate and honor who you are, what you do, and the gifts and talents that you have. Celebrating yourself is not about being arrogant. It’s an awareness of your own power and it’s the key to self confidence, fulfillment, and authenticity.
Being your authentic self in life (and specifically in sales) is not for the faint of heart, but once you’re willing to truly engage and do the work to become more real - your life and your business will be more fulfilling, rewarding, and successful!
Mike Robbins, CSP is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker, and success coach who works with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, sales people, athletes, and groups and people of all kinds. He and his work have been featured on ABC News, in Forbes, and many others. To learn more about his new book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Hardcover, Wiley), and to receive free bonuses with your purchase of it from authors like Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, Jeffrey Gitomer, and many others, click on this link:http:/
I want to ride a bike. Which professional should I go to for support?
Consultant - to work out which bike to ride
Therapist - to help you get over the fear and actually get on the thing
Mentor - to teach you how they have ridden the bike and model how you might like to do so yourself
Coach - to put you on the bike, help you pedal and then run along side as you get the job done
Thanks to Jairek Robbins for his words of wisdom in an interview with Dan Bradbury.