Don’t play Follow The Leader; instead, play Catch Me If You Can.
When playing in the big leagues of business, it can be a challenging to walk among the shadows of industry titans. Sometimes, it seems we’re forced to follow in their footsteps and do as they do to improve awareness and market share of our product or service. We’re often tempted to take action by following a similar path, releasing a similar product, or even running a similar marketing campaign—because, hey, if it worked for them, it should work for us, right? Wrong! This is where practicing innovation will set us on our own path to living a life of significance. Focus less on competing, and more on collaborating—and do things your way. Are you playing Follow The Leader or Catch Me If You Can?
I read somewhere that by the age of twenty one, the average millennial will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games … for us older folks, we shout in glorious victory when we get in the fastest moving checkout line! Why? We all enjoy the challenge and the reward of competition. According to game designer Jane McGonigal, the positive traits that gamers develop include: the drive for productivity, “urgent optimism” and the ability to “weave a tight social fabric.” Sounds like great attributes for any high-functioning team! And so enters the concept of gamification: since gaming is here to stay, doesn’t it make sense that we apply the dynamics of a game to a non-game environment to reap the benefits of increased stimulation? How can you apply gamification to your team?
At the core of many great leaders throughout history is the concept of servant leadership. This concept encourages leaders to lead by being of service to their team members. When our role exists to be of service to others by supporting and developing them, we bring out the best in those on our team … and team member gratitude, productivity and loyalty skyrocket as a result. As an added bonus, it’s absolutely rewarding to see folks move closer to their fullest potential while in our charge. When contemplating the leadership strategies we hope to deploy, its helpful to think of leaders we admire most: what qualities, traits and values do/did they possess? How will history define your leadership legacy?
Reflection could be the most underrated resource in our lives, businesses, and projects. It may not take much time to “take five” to quiet our minds and unwind after a stressful day or interaction or to ask our clients and stakeholders how things are going, but it does take effort. It’s easy to postpone this critical task, instead focusing on the urgent matters that vie for our attention. Regular reflection and introspection, however, provides the opportunity to fine-tune our thoughts, communications, relationships, products and services, which leads to increased confidence that our efforts are bringing value to those we love and serve. The only thing worse than being misunderstood or missing the mark is not even knowing it. What project or area of your life requires additional reflection and introspection?
Fools tell friends what they want to hear. Mentors tell achievers what they need to hear.
From solopreneurs to industry titans, we all struggle with the tug of time that leaves little margin to find a mentor. It’s easier than ever, however, to identify coaching programs that fit every budget and season of our lives. A simple internet search reveals business personalities, websites and blogs of every ilk dedicated to inspire success seekers with their programs, systems and strategies. Don’t be fooled, however, by those salesy shysters who have a “system” to create wealth or success overnight … check references and do your homework! While it might take some time to find the appropriate mentor to join us on our journey, the time and heartache he or she will save us is worth its weight in … success. What voices are you listening to?
THINKING Positive is bunnies & rainbows , fun & easy. But DOING Positive will take you to the next level?
Thinking positive really is a prerequisite for sustained, enjoyable success. But it’s just that – a prerequisite. Your career and life is made more by what you DO. Norman Vincent Peal wrote “The Power Of Positive Thinking”, but he didn’t just think it, he WROTE it! Positive DOING is what’s needed to release your Positive Thoughts to the world. And it’s not in doing what you’ve always been doing. You must take that first step outside of your current comfort zone. Until you take that step, you’re only dreaming. Decide NOW to turn your thinking into bold, consistent action. And your results will add up over time so that you don’t just dream bunnies and rainbows - you’ll be in the midst of them.
Passion ignites the fire in our bellies, and drives us to dream of expanded horizons beyond our fears & failures.
Everyone on your team has a particular role & each has their own personal passion. It’s these passions and interests that you must identify in order to create a team that is totally on fire! What is it that attracted your team members to their particular roles? Is it direct customer interaction, is it writing, is it finding creative solutions? Ask them! When our roles evolve in business, sometimes the very thing that excites us to begin with is no longer a focus. As a leader, it’s our task to ensure each member of our team is successful—one of the best ways to do this is to create an environment where they are in love with their roles and working with passion. What are your team members passionate about?
Inaction is a common reaction to not knowing what step to take next. It’s far easier and less risky to procrastinate and do nothing, than taking the “wrong” step. Right? Wrong! Doing nothing, or carrying on without taking risks or making changes will stunt your personal & professional growth. Take that first teeny-tiny step, then another, and you’ll find it gets easier to take chances and make changes once you have some momentum. So is doing nothing really easier or less risky than taking action? It might be easier in terms of decision-making, but it won’t help you reach your goals any faster—in fact, quite the opposite. Be honest with yourself. Is taking action and calculated risks an essential part of your daily diet?