Tag Archives: Jim Collins

Alignment

“Your life has an inner purpose and an outer purpose. Inner purpose concerns Being and is primary. Outer purpose concerns doing and it is secondary. Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole, the universe and its emerging intelligence. Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person. Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose. It is the basis for true success. Without that alignment, you can still achieve certain things through effort, struggle, determination, and sheer hard work or cunning. But there is no joy in such endeavor, and it invariably ends in some form of suffering.”  Eckhart Tolle

As a coach who works a wide variety of people it is important that the client knows “who” they are.   In many cases they have an idea of who they are that has been shaped by external influences and over time their belief about “who” they are is merely a mask of their real self.    People take assessments to help define better who they are (MBTI, DISC, …) and while those assessments provide value they are often reflections of what other people have declared them to be.   Even 360 degree assessment fail to provide the truth about “who” a person really is.  

 

What happens when people don’t know “who” they are is that they fight against themselves in many cases in terms of career choice, conflicts, learning styles, and working with others.   If people knew “who” they were naturally they would experience greater career, relational, and personal success and fulfillment.   The very things people are looking for are obscured by not knowing who they are.

Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” writes,  “You can’t manufacture passion or “motivate” people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passions of those around you.”     Research indicates that only about 28% of people in their work love what they do.    That means that 72% of the workforce is doing work they don’t really like to do.  Companies spend billions of dollars training and trying to get people to fit their roles and can’t.   When people are not in alignment with “who” they are and what they do they will attempt to mold the job to their core values and ultimately the both the employee and organization suffer.  

For organizations getting the right people in the right seat would make a huge contribution to the bottom line and increase employee satisfaction.    Imagine if you knew what your core values were so that you could find a job that aligns with your strengths and abilities.    Taylor Protocols is one such company that knows how to get the right people in the right seat.     Their “Core Value Index” reliably shows what matters most to people and when they know their core values they are able to:

1. Find out what career is a good fit.

2. Find out how to manage conflict.

3. Find out what creates conflict in their life.

4. Find out their best learning style.

5. Find out how they can make their biggest contribution.

When people are in alignment with “who” they are their level of fulfillment increases, their productivity increase and life gets better.   That is what many people want, a better life and yet they struggle with daily fighting against “who” they truly are.    The CVI is something that can be purchased and the results can be used to fashion a purpose filled life.   It is worth the few dollars to find out what really works in your life.   It is far cheaper than therapy or counseling that often takes place after one has fought against their natural values for years.

Do you know “who” you are?    Are you living with your “values” or against them?

Here’s a short clip about the value of the CVI.

 

 

Work

“To have a great purpose to work for, a purpose larger than ourselves, is one of the secrets of making life significant, for then the meaning and worth of the individual overflow his personal borders and survive his death.”  Will Durant

Work … what is it?   Why do you do it?   Why do so many people hate the work they are doing?

The FreeDictionary defines work as

1. Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.

So, why do so many people disengage in the work they are doing?   What would allow you to engage in work in a way that you were able to produce positive results and enjoy it?

George Bernard Shaw the renowned poet opined that life has a special meaning and that  is to say, “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.”   Not that many people say that their life is filling a purpose never mind a mighty one.

As a coach I come across many people who are less than satisfied with the work they do.  For some people their work has resulted in depression.   The work is so unsatisfying that they can’t do their work.    They feel trapped in doing work that is meaningless because of some benefit that their employer offers that they feel unsure that they can get somewhere else.    Who am I to get a better job some think.    Asked what their purpose statement is and most people can’t think of one and it is no wonder that they are stuck doing work that doesn’t agree with them.  They don’t know how to align their purpose, their gifts, their strengths and their talents with the work they do.

When we are able to use our natural talents and are able to express those talents in the engagement of work we become more productive.   When we know what we love to do and are able to do what we love we are happier.  It seems to make sense yet close to 80% of people are doing work they don’t like.   Perhaps it is possible to say that most work isn’t enjoyable and that something has to be done to make money (earning a living is still important) to live on.

Read what Jim Collins wrote about having the right people in the right job doing the work that they love to do.

Disciplined people: “Who” before “what”
“You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you’re going, how you’re going to get there, and who’s going with you.

Most people assume that great bus drivers (read: business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they’re going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.

In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances. Take David Maxwell’s bus ride. When he became CEO of Fannie Mae in 1981, the company was losing $1 million every business day, with $56 billion worth of mortgage loans underwater. The board desperately wanted to know what Maxwell was going to do to rescue the company.

Maxwell responded to the “what” question the same way that all good-to-great leaders do: He told them, That’s the wrong first question. To decide where to drive the bus before you have the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus, is absolutely the wrong approach.

Maxwell told his management team that there would only be seats on the bus for A-level people who were willing to put out A-plus effort. He interviewed every member of the team. He told them all the same thing: It was going to be a tough ride, a very demanding trip. If they didn’t want to go, fine; just say so. Now’s the time to get off the bus, he said. No questions asked, no recriminations. In all, 14 of 26 executives got off the bus. They were replaced by some of the best, smartest, and hardest-working executives in the world of finance.

With the right people on the bus, in the right seats, Maxwell then turned his full attention to the “what” question. He and his team took Fannie Mae from losing $1 million a day at the start of his tenure to earning $4 million a day at the end. Even after Maxwell left in 1991, his great team continued to drive the flywheel—turn upon turn—and Fannie Mae generated cumulative stock returns nearly eight times better than the general market from 1984 to 1999.

When it comes to getting started, good-to-great leaders understand three simple truths. First, if you begin with “who,” you can more easily adapt to a fast-changing world. If people get on your bus because of where they think it’s going, you’ll be in trouble when you get 10 miles down the road and discover that you need to change direction because the world has changed. But if people board the bus principally because of all the other great people on the bus, you’ll be much faster and smarter in responding to changing conditions. Second, if you have the right people on your bus, you don’t need to worry about motivating them. The right people are self-motivated: Nothing beats being part of a team that is expected to produce great results. And third, if you have the wrong people on the bus, nothing else matters. You may be headed in the right direction, but you still won’t achieve greatness. Great vision with mediocre people still produces mediocre results.”

There is a company that know how to get the right people in the right seats on the bus.   Taylor Protocols can do the type of individual analysis to see if the seats on the bus have the right people on it.   It makes sense to have the right people engaged in the work they do.   Imagine what would be possible if everyone was able to be engaged in their work.   It is currently estimated that organizational output is only at 33% and that means hiring more people to get work done that could be done with fewer people if they were fully engaged in their work.

Shawn Achor has been doing research on happiness, and positive psychology and asking some great questions and getting real answers.   Happy people perform better on the job and in the job.

Take a few minutes and listen to the arguments Shawn puts forth.

Now, what are you going to do?    Are you going to continue to work at things you don’t enjoy?    Are you going to stay stuck in a job that you wish would go away?

Take a few steps and identify what would be better for you.

1. Define your purpose

2. Define your strengths

3. Define your natural talents

4. Create a plan so that your work or your new work, works for you.

William Dubois put down his thoughts like this, “The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work bring you and the world’s need of that work.  With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get.   Without this – with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need – this life is hell.”

What do you want to do?   Work in heaven or work in hell.    Most people have chosen to work in hell.  Where do you want to work?

going confidently

“The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do,
an unwavering desire for excellence  in the way they think and the way they work.  Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning,
and through your day with a spring in your step.” Jim Collins

CONFIDENCE

The lack of confidence may be the number one roadblock for achieving the success you desire.   Sometimes it feels like a lack of motivation, lack of energy or a lack of desire, but digging a bit deeper it turns out there is usually a lack of confidence that is stopping success.

Lack of personal confidence may look like:

1. I am not good enough
2. I am not loved
3. My job is terrible
4. I weigh too much
5. My life is a mess
6. I should get organized
7. I need to exercise
8. Everyone hates me

The lack of confidence shows up most often as victim talk.  What is being said is often filled with “should”, “ought”, “need”, “have to”,”not”, “can’t”,”could”, “would”, or words that point back to another source outside of you.

A victim is controlled by the environment, a confident person controls the environment with their actions and words.

Some people are more susceptible to creating an internal world that doesn’t allow them to feel confident.   People with ADHD/ADD tend to see themselves in a negative light.   People who have received very little positive feedback feel that they are not “good enough”.   People who have lived in abusive situations, especially where they thought they were the cause of the abuse think less of themselves.

In most cases the lack of confidence isn’t true for the individual.  Thomas Edison fought through failure after failure before he reached the formula that led to a light bulb  that worked well.    Abraham Lincoln faced many setbacks in his career and yet he pushed forward always picking himself up after each defeat.  Confidence.

Of course if it was easy to go from unconfident to confident in 15 minutes everyone would be very confident.    Self-help books have all the information for someone who desires to become more confident achieve results yet less than 3% of people make lasting change through self-help books.  One reason for that is it takes more than words in a book to affect change.    It takes a sincere desire and a plan that includes some level of weekly accountability.

Lack of confidence isn’t about ability.  Most people are capable and able but they don’t believe that they are capable and everything they hear from others confirms to them they aren’t able.   This is the case of seeing what we are looking for(negative confirmation) and instead of seeing what we have accomplished we focus on what we haven’t been able to do.   If we make two steps forward and slip back one we conclude that we are a failure.   Is that really the case?

Take any high level athlete and watch them perform, they make the sport that they are in look easy.   What we don’t see is the many failures, the many times that they have  fallen and picked themselves up and continued on.

What can you do to build confidence?

1. Think positively about yourself
2. Take charge of your emotions (own them)
3. Believe you are capable
4. Practice, get up and practice some more.
5. Encourage someone (build others up)
6. Be aware of your emotions
7. Take compliments and be thankful for them
8.  Take criticisms and learn from them (what is it really about?)

In many cases it is the lack of confidence that inhibits people from taking the very actions they desire.   Make today the day that you will push through the barriers.

Henry Thoreau said, Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”, so why not start now.   Start taking the actions you need to take to move towards your dreams.

 

If you struggle with being accountable and achieving the goals you desire perhaps having a coach would help you reach your intended goal.

Make today the day you will go confidently into your world.

the excellent organization …

” Employee engagement is currently at an all-time low in the United States and costs companies an estimated $370 billion dollars annually. In this time of improving return-on-investment (ROI) and profitability, it’s ironic that the key to every company stimulating profitability is the very thing that so many organizations neglect  enhancing employee engagement. ”  John Brubaker

Are companies losing $370 BILLION dollars each year?    If companies do have 84% of their employees ready and waiting to move to another organization the impact is large.   Hiring a replacement, training the replace and getting them to the point where they are producing at a high level takes time and time is lost opportunity for any company today.   Margins are tight and organizations should be looking at ways to establish strong relationships with their employees.

 

Some companies will say it’s OK for an employee to leave there are plenty of replacements out their waiting for a job.  Employers who view employees are consumable and replaceable resources will soon find that they can’t hire the people they need to hire to create a thriving and powerful business.

 

The goal of a business is to create a profit(to stay in business) and having employees that share that goal is important.   A business that can grow its profits draws to it more success.  People want to be associated with success.   A business that is able to produce innovative and high quality goods and services has an opportunity to last.

 

People are an important part of any business.   Happy people, engaged people are success drivers for the business.  If a business believes that people should think of work as a “privilege”, as in you are luck to be here, what kind of business will that be?  It won’t be a business that attracts the best type of worker.

 

If an employee believes that they are contributing to the success of the business in a meaningful way they will give more.   That is if the business views the employee as a part owner then that person is much more likely to go the extra mile and to find ways to make the business run better.

In some cases managers don’t have the tools or a good relationship with their employees.   For the manager that discounts the value of a positive relationship (trust, encouragement, acknowledgement, and confidence) they may find that their best employees are looking for something more meaningful and satisfying to do.

Organizations that are experiencing an increase in employee exits may want to consider their environment.  Is it a good place to work and take action to ensure that it is a good place to work?   It doesn’t cost a lot of money to improve employee engagement.   It does cost a lot of money to replace employees when they decide that it isn’t worth working for the company any longer.    A company that cares for its employees will find that its employees will care for the company.

For the organization that realizes that employee engagement is important may find that bringing in coaches to work with managers and employees is a lot less expensive than replacing employees.

“A company has a responsibility beyond making a profit for stockholders; it has a responsibility to recognize the dignity of its employees as human beings, to the well-being of its customers, and to the community at large.”  David Packard

 

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the new leader

“If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader.”    John Quincy Adams

What is a leader?   What is your definition of a leader?  

It seems that there is no one definition that defines what a leader really is that used by everyone.   There are thousands of definitions of a leader.   Some people say a leader is a person of “integrity”.   What does that really mean to you?

A leader has a number of characteristics that define a leader yet within the spectrum of leadership qualities is no one definition that accurately and consistently defines a leader.   Jim Collins the author of “Good to Great” has a definition of a leader and spells out those qualities in his book “Built to Last” lists a number of qualities that make a great leader.  

John Maxwell, America’s authority on leadership speaks of leadership as being “Influence”.   And is influence the hallmark of a great leader?


In this chart are a number of qualities that could be used to define a leader.   If you were to rate a leader on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 = Low need and 10 = high need, how would you rate a great leader?   How would you rate yourself?   What characteristics are critical for a leader to really have?

Most leaders would see themself as being strong in a few elements or even most of the elements.   Is there  a specific combination, or score that makes the leader great?

Even if someone were to score all 10’s on every attribute, that score is a reflection of the scorer’s values not necessarily the score of the leader being evaluated.   A leadership score is a relative score, but relative to what?   That is part of the problem.   Leadership is not defined by some standard that people are measured against, but rather the opinion of others.   It is the person’s own personal definitions of honesty, integrity, compassion or leadership that define a leader.

What makes a great leader in your mind?   How would you score the leader you most admire?  What score would they get?

Joanne Ciulla proposes this definition, “It is a complex moral relationship between people, based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”