Daily Brief

7X7 Fast Start Small Business Coaching – Grow Great Daily Brief #235 – June 25, 2019

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”              —Viktor Frankl

Speed is a crucial component when it comes to making meaningful change. The sooner we begin the quicker we get to where we want to go. Fast progress encourages us, engages us and helps motivate us to keep moving forward.

Think of any change you’ve set about to make. Once you made up your mind – that’s a tough enough chore and can take much longer than is good for us – then you took action. If you didn’t see or feel any positive results very soon you were tempted to quit. Maybe you remain committed to grind it out…so you kept going. If you saw or felt progress soon then it reinforced your commitment to begin the journey. You felt good about it and it spurred you to keep going.

But…

If you went days or weeks without any noticeable growth or improvement, you likely lost energy. Your commitment took a hit. You began to question if you should have ever made this decision to begin with. And eventually, you quit.

CEOs and business owners experience the same things when they’re trying to figure things out. Maybe we’re more prone to these failures if we try to do things by ourselves, but we’re all susceptible because everybody craves encouragement. The kind of encouragement that reinforces our decision.

That’s precisely why this 7×7 fast start is important when coaching small business owners (or anybody else for that matter). Fast starts need to produce fast results and deeper devotions to the process.

It’s not complicated.

For seven straight weeks carve out some solitude – that means no distractions – for a solid hour of reflection on a single challenge, issue or opportunity.

I’d suggest you do it at the same time each week. Whatever you do, calendar it and keep the appointment no matter what. Treat it as an unbreakable commitment.

Use a pad of paper and a pen. The tactile process of you writing down your thoughts or questions is important. It can help you remember and maybe, more importantly, it sorta forces you to be engaged.

Write down your challenge, issue or opportunity at the top of the page in the form of a question. Make it as precise and detailed as possible.

Now spend the next hour writing down whatever comes to your mind, remaining focused only on that one question.

It’s okay if you want to carry over one challenge, issue or opportunity to the next week. Don’t get stuck on just one though. My preference would be to have you focus on 7 different challenges, issues or opportunities. And I’d encourage you to have at least 2 opportunities. Don’t just make them all challenges or difficulties.

One hour each week. No distractions. Handwritten notes.

You can do this all by yourself to help you distill potential actions to take, to gain clarity on what more you need to learn or any other meaningful action that can help you move forward.

Yes, it helps to have coaching entirely focused on the output of your one hour with yourself. It provides a detailed guideline that can help the coaching process. And because it’s a specific time frame – seven weeks – it’s often one of the highest returns a CEO or leader can get from executive coaching. My 7X7 Fast Start coaching consists of one weekly 90-minute call to coach through the results of your one hour with yourself. It typically takes the first 30 minutes to convey the results of your “solitude session,” then a one-hour discussion about it to help you figure out a plan to make your work come alive.

Call or text (214) 682-2467 if you’re interested.

But if you’re not, do this exercise on your own. Just make sure you follow through on the results of your hour solitude sessions. The start part of this isn’t the solitude work, it’s the putting it into action part. Otherwise, you just end up with pages of handwritten notes that never amount to anything. That’s not the goal.

Do it for seven weeks straight. No excuses.

Hint: You may find you enjoy the process and want to extend it well past 7 weeks. Good. Make it a habit.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

Randy

Who You Surround Yourself With Matters – Grow Great Daily Brief #234 – June 24, 2019

The Peer Advantage by Bula Network is now enrolling charter members. Today’s show is a brief outline of why you may want to consider applying today.

This is a paid, professional peer advantage group (a mastermind group, if you please) where we collectively work to help each other grow our business, our leadership and our lives.

The objective is to help each member hit the trifecta of successful business building:

  1. Getting new customers
  2. Serving existing customers better
  3. Not going crazy in the process

L.U.G.

It’s all about doing the work to help ourselves Learn, Understand and Grow.

All the details are found at ThePeerAdvantage.com.


 

What provoked your interest to launch a peer advisory group for small business owners?

 

I was not yet 30 when I began to distill building a business into 3 buckets of activities. Gambling isn’t something I do. For decades I attended CES (Consumer Electronic Show) because I was in the business. It’s in Vegas. And I’ve never placed a single wager. But I did know enough about betting to know that a trifecta is a bet in which the person betting forecasts the first three finishers in a race in the correct order. It’s also defined as “a run of three wins or grand events.” By the time I was approaching 40 I knew the 3 buckets were a trifecta of successful business building. More appropriately, these 3 activities represented hitting the trifecta of business building:

  1. Getting new customers
  2. Serving existing customers better
  3. Not going crazy in the process

Experience taught me that the first one could be insanely hard, and the second one equally so…but that third one seemed the most difficult of all.

Mental health, especially among small business owners, wasn’t discussed much just a few years ago. It’s gaining more traction, but it still doesn’t get nearly enough attention. But that third leg of the trifecta – when I came up with it – wasn’t aimed at proper mental health or illness. It was far more everyday language expressing the daily frustrations that every entrepreneur fully understands.

I’ve always been an “I wonder if we can” kind of a guy. Maybe I bore easily. Maybe I just think there’s got to be a better way (I catch myself saying that often). Improvement – well, the quest for improvement – is a constant pursuit. It seems a far more exciting way to roll than to be complacent.

A decade ago, after over 3 decades of running businesses with lots of employees, inventory, trucks and hard assets I stepped away to begin serving CEOs, business owners, executives and leaders. The trifecta was almost always in play (city government and non-profits being the exceptions). In every “for profit” enterprise, the trifecta was ALWAYS the needed focal point. Everybody I encountered – and still encounter – was woefully challenged by one or more of the three. Mostly, that third one was universally difficult.

That’s what led to an epiphany brought about when a client was invited to check out a professional peer advisory group of CEOs. I was invited to consider running such a group. Up to that point, it was never on my radar.

Sure I had read Napoleon Hill’s book, Think And Grow Rich, when I was a teenager. It was the introduction of a mastermind group for most of us. But I never gave it much more thought.

Enter the Internet and I began to be invited to a few. I gave a few of them a shot, but they were utter failures because I had nothing in common with the people inside. The conversations weren’t deep or meaningful. Mostly, people were just looking to promote themselves or network. I never participated in more than 2 sessions, ever.

I was serving CEOs and top-level leaders. I knew how lonely their work was. Been there, done that.

I also knew how valuable my work was to them. Serving them was as rewarding as any work I had ever done. And I’m not young so that’s saying something! 😀

I started thinking more deeply about my own life. And the people who surrounded me.

About this time a book was published entitled, The Power Of Peers. It was written by Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary. I started looking online for interviews with the authors. Especially video or audio interviews. I didn’t find hardly any, but one day I stumbled on one with Leo Bottary.

I read the book. I re-read the book. I began researching group learning, the power of collectives and many thing associated with how people can help each other through formal, confidential groups designed to help each person learn, understand and grow.

I decided to contact Leo Bottary. We ended up forming a close friendship and launching a podcast together. This was about 3 years ago.

I was growing increasingly interested in the power of peer groups, especially for CEOs or business owners. But I couldn’t find hardly any CEOs or business owners who had ever experienced it. It wasn’t that surprising because I had operated businesses for decades without any awareness of it myself.

I was investing in my own learning, understanding and growing — all with regards to Leo’s tagline, “Who you surround yourself with matters!” I had raised kids and now had grandkids so I knew it was positively true. Every parent knows it. That’s why we concern ourselves with who our kids have as friends.

I have a few superpowers. Many weaknesses, but thankfully they may be offset by the superpowers. Empathy. Compassion. Forgiveness. Communication. Problem-solving. These are the strengths of my character. I didn’t feel like I was fully utilizing them. And I was growing increasingly unhappy in my work even though clients were happy.

I sat down to quietly think about what was going on and what I should do.

I wasn’t being true to who I mostly was, and who I mostly wanted to be. It was manifested in that I wasn’t serving the people I most wanted to serve – small business owners. People love name brand clients. People love big fish. I get it. I had succumbed to it myself in serving and pursuing CEOs of bigger companies. Hired guns everyone. Nothing wrong with that, but they weren’t “my people.”

One day while sitting in my kitchen alone I did something weird. I put a digital audio recorder on the counter, turned it on RECORD, then sat at the counter on a stool to conduct a coaching session with myself.

For the next 2 hours, I did for myself exactly what I do with clients. I asked tough questions that would provoke deeper thoughts. My tone of voice asking the questions was different than my tone answering them. In fact, later when I listened to the recording it almost (not quite) sounded like two different people in the conversation.

I also made notes just as I would in a real coaching session.

From that session emerged the truth. I mostly resonated with small business owners. They were my people, the people I was most drawn to help. But I wasn’t serving them.

Another truth emerged. I’m an introvert who abhors showing off. I respect those who do (and can), but it’s not me. I enjoy being behind the scenes, pushing others more and more into the spotlight. But I was podcasting and that filled my need for communication – candid communication. Promoting myself wasn’t comfortable.

More introversion truths emerged. If given the choice between entering two rooms – one filled with 300 people and one filled with 6 – I’d opt for the smaller room where I could enjoy deeper conversations and get to know people well. I crave deep conversations where I can truly get to know people. Small talk empties my tank faster than anything I know.

Groups matter. My deep belief in the power of the collective also emerged. I had experiences in group learning but had failed to translate that experience into the realm of business.

Leo urged me. Pushed me. Encouraged me to launch a group. He could see how ideally suited I was for the work.

A decision was made and one thing after another got in my way. At first I felt snake bitten. Then I began to wonder if I was self-sabotaging things. With outside help, I realized neither was true. Life was happening and I was going it alone instead of reaching out for help (that’s a personal hazard I suffer because my strength is to SERVE…it bites me in the butt because I find it hard to accept help, not because I don’t value it, but because I don’t want to impose on others…I know they have troubles of their own).

A few months ago I backed my ears and went forth. Slowly at first. But mentally and emotionally I had made my bet by going ALL IN on The Peer Advantage.

I started mentioning it in the podcast. Consistently. And I began to attract interested small business owners. As I transition to full-time commitment ONLY to THE PEER ADVANTAGE I find myself looking forward to the transition away from everything else.

I told somebody the other day that I long to wake up in the morning with just the members of THE PEER ADVANTAGE on my mind as the people who I’ll serve. To focus that intently on a group of people and their businesses, and their lives…that energizes me. Just the thought of it elevates my energy.

So I’m pushing harder and harder to get this first group launched. Four charter members will start because I want to rely on input from them to fill the remaining 3 seats. Not in a recruitment fashion, but in the figuring out who (what type of people and what industries) we want at the table.

This is going to be life-changing for members.

I guarantee it.

The Bottom Line Investment

  • 2 hours every other week (hard start/hard stop) – 4 hours a month
  • Virtual meetings online via mobile, laptop, desktop or tablet  (convenience is key)
  • On-demand digital learning/workshops/webinars (driven by members’ curiosity)
  • A monthly hour long 1-on-1 coaching session online with me. Additional sessions are available to members at a greatly reduced price.
  • $1,299 one-time enrollment fee (non-refundable)
  • $2,697 quarterly membership subscription**100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Lifetime Price Protection for charter members (membership subscription will never increase based on continuous membership)

**100% Money Back Guarantee – if you’re unhappy at any point during the first 90 days you can get a full refund on the membership subscription

Be well. Do good. Grow great! And if you’re a US-based small business owner hit that APPLY NOW button and let’s get this thing going.

Randy

Three Leadership Shortages: Stewardship – Grow Great Daily Brief #233 – June 21, 2019

Stewardship is the last of the 3 leadership shortages I’ve focused on this week. There are so many more, but it can be like grabbing a porcupine. You just don’t know where to start so you may as well start somewhere.

Service was the first one. It’s a focus on doing what’s right by your employees.

Servitude was the second one. It’s a focus on doing what’s right by your customers.

Stewardship is the third one. It’s a focus on doing what’s right by your company.

If you’re paying attention – and I know you are – then you’re seeing how congruent each one is with all three of those focal points: employees, customers, company.

Roll ’em all up and you’ve got your professional career as a boss and leader. We’ve been talking about leadership because it’s not the same as being the boss. Sometime in the future we’ll talk about some things that can help us become better bosses. The world needs better bosses and maybe there’s not nearly enough attention given to that. When I began my career, back in the Stone Age, Peter Drucker and others were writing and spreading the truth of being better bosses. That’s the whole management thing.

You manage the work.

You lead people.

Many things haven’t changed. Many other things have changed. And dramatically. Appropriately leadership is getting all the attention. So today let’s put a bow on this short series.

Stewardship defined…

the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property

Apply this to your situation.

If you’re a small business owner you’ll be tempted to think, “I own this joint. I’m not a steward. I’m an owner.” I get it. But consider another way to view it. Look around at the employees. Look at the customers. Look at the vendors. Look at other “partners” like financial suppliers (banks, credit card processors, etc.). Look at all the people and companies directly associated with your company. Now think about their families. Think about the vast array of people who depend on the success of YOUR company. Still feel like there’s no stewardship component to your ownership?

If you’re a hired gun CEO, executive or team leader, you may relate to stewardship more quickly. It’s a big responsibility. Bold and humbling. All at the same time.

Faithful stewards take care of something. In this case, it’s a company, a division, a team, an organization – whatever it may be where you serve as a leader.

Permit me to illustrate using a Bible story.

Luke 12:42-48 “And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”

Faithful stewardship is about being responsible and accountable. It begins with your own actions and behaviors, but it transcends beyond just YOU. It involves something bigger than you. It involves the impact you have on others.

It sheds the light on the truth that you don’t live in a vacuum. Your decisions and behavior directly impact others. When you give ownership (not legally, but emotionally and mentally) to others, it changes everything. It makes you a bigger, better human. You make decisions beyond your own self-interests. When the interests of others are at the forefront of your decisions you’ll make wiser, better long-term decisions that just might better serve your company (team, division, etc.).

A common thread through these 3 leadership shortages is decision-making. Ironically, that’s what bosses do. Mostly. But so do leaders. It’s about us figuring out how to make better, wiser decisions.

Stewardship isn’t about pleasing everybody because that’s an impossible task. But it is about doing the best to take care of who you’re leading and what you’re responsible for.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

Randy

Three Leadership Shortages: Servitude – Grow Great Daily Brief #232 – June 20, 2019

We continue our conversation about the 3 leadership shortages I see regularly. Today’s topic will seem identical to yesterday’s. SERVITUDE.

the state of being a slave or completely subject to someone more powerful

Yesterday we focused on serving your people. It’s about putting the needs of your people ahead of your own.

Today it’s about customers. Think of service as internal and servitude as external. That’s how I’m using these terms.

I know you’re the boss and you enjoy thinking, “I answer to no one.” But we both know the truth – you answer to everyone! Most especially to the customers you have.

Great leadership has an intense focus on making customers happy. It’s determined by the leader’s commitment to surrender to this group of people who hold greater power, customers.

There’s a key to this leadership gap. It’s not complicated. And it’s completely within your ability and personal power. It can happen instantly.

Here it is…

Make up your mind. Do it right now.

Decide.

Commit in your mind.

Surrender to your customers.

Decide that servitude is how you’ll roll from now on.

A few things stand in your way. I know from years of coaching CEOs and business owners.

Ego. If it’s not number one, it’s number two. Your own pride and self-will stops you from lots of growth and progress. Don’t fret. You’re in grand company. It does the same thing for me and every other entrepreneur. Well, the fact is you don’t even have to be an entrepreneur for it to plague you. It corrupts all of us.

Give it up. Decide that pleasing yourself is far less profitable for your business and career than pleasing customers. Learn the truth of that. Persuade yourself. Spreadsheet it. Data mine it. Google it. Do whatever you have to in order to come to the realization that it’s true. Because it is.

Profit. Think of ego and profit as interchangeable number one obstacles. An awful lot of business owners and CEOs believe being in servitude to customers will cost too much profit. They wrongly think they can’t afford it. It’s just too expensive to make customers happy.

Listen to the ridiculousness of that logic. Making customers happy is too expensive? Well, it’s not nearly as expensive as making them angry, dissatisfied, unhappy or indifferent. Those efforts may have lower up-front costs, but they have extraordinarily high long term costs. Fact is, that kind of behavior on the part of your company will fast track your company to bankruptcy.

Shallow thinking about how to build a business – aiming for today’s transactions instead of a deep, rock-solid customer base and aiming to satisfy your own ego – stop CEOs and entrepreneurs in their tracks. It cripples growth and expansion. It weakens customer bases. Fools us into thinking today’s transactions will be sustainable. All the while customers are growing increasingly dissatisfied. Word is spreading. Worse yet, we’re incorporating apathy throughout our company culture – apathy toward customers. And shoppers. And prospects. Or the absolute worst…we contribute to forming a culture where our shoppers, prospects, and customers are despised.

If your organization openly mocks or makes fun of customers, then look in the mirror. You’ve got a servitude gap in your leadership. It’s your fault. And you can fix it. The organization will follow your lead.

Pay attention to the language and the behavior inside your organization. Look for expressions of disdain. Stamp it out. Don’t tolerate it. But mostly, look in the mirror and gauge your own displays of servitude. If they’re lacking, then get your act together. Push your servitude to the top of the hit parade. Make it meaningful, not just lip service.

Then drag your pulpit around and preach the message. Share why it’s important and why you’re making it the top priority. Teach and train your people how to more properly display love for customers at every encounter. Include prospective customer in your displays of love.

Lead the way. Then preach the way. Don’t accept anything less.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

Randy

Three Leadership Shortages: Service – Grow Great Daily Brief #231 – June 19, 2019

Starting today we’re going to get our toes in the water on the three shortages I regularly see in leadership: service, servitude, and stewardship. Honestly, there are MANY leadership shortages. I’m just looking at these 3 over the next three days.

You should know my bias. Leadership isn’t about position. It’s about service. Let’s frame some context around this.

You own a business. Or perhaps you’re a CEO or executive leading a team. You have a title and a position of authority. That’s the boss element of your identity. I’m not diminishing that, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. Being the boss is about the position, but that’s not leadership. So today, separate these two things in your mind. And do that again for the next few episodes this week because I’m not talking about your authority, your power or your capacity to make decisions as a boss.

Great bosses are also great leaders, but not all great leaders are bosses. Since you are a boss it would be ideal for you to excel at both being a boss (having authority) and being a leader (serving with positive influence). It’s a tough chore being both, but it doesn’t need to be impossible.

Service is aimed at helping others. It’s action-oriented. That’s why I picked it first. We can sit around and think of stuff, but it’s infinitely more profitable to do stuff. Doing helps us figure it out.

I heard Joe Rogan talk about starting his stand up comic career. He talked about how there’s only one way he knows to get into that business or to get good at it. Do it. Stink at it. Get better. Stink some more. Improve. He pointed out that there are no books, classes or coursework. You learn from others, but mostly you learn by doing it yourself.

Leadership may work best the same way. Do stuff…for others!

Self-serving leadership isn’t leadership. It’s just selfishness.

The big gap in leadership is the ability and willingness of people to get their mind and attention off of themselves and onto others. It’s a gap in the ability to recognize when people need help, when they need encouragement, when they need recognition, when they need something you could supply to help them. Not because it advances you, but because it advances them.

That’s the service you should provide to everybody who reports to you. If you own the joint or you’re the CEO then it should be service you provide to everybody in the company. If not on an individual level then through whatever hierarchy exists in your organization.

Let’s forego talking about why you should do this. If I need to convince you why you should do this, then you’re that interested in this podcast anyway. I’m not your cup of tea. Instead, let’s talk a bit about HOW. How do you serve?

Rather than dive into specifics which wouldn’t likely serve to help you, let’s pull back and think more globally. Let’s fly to a higher altitude so we can see the bigger picture.

It’s about people. Question: how would you characterize the problems you’ve experienced in life? Can you possibly do that?

Not likely. Because life is complicated and our problems, challenges, and opportunities are all over the board.

“Well, people’s personal problems aren’t my area. I don’t have any business going there.”

Is that true?

Your right-hand person tells you it appears they’re headed toward a divorce. They’re wrecked. What are you going to do? Tell them it’s none of your business? Tell them it doesn’t pertain to the company so you’d prefer to not discuss it?

If you’re an uncaring jerk you may. But you’re not. So you won’t. But what will you do?

You’ll serve this person. Their life and this problem will become a priority for you to help them in whatever way you can. Maybe you tell them to take some time away from work and you implement a plan to spread their work around so they can step away to focus on their marriage. There are any number of things you could do as a great leader.

Lessons can be learned by looking at how pathetic bosses behave. It’s what NOT to do.

A right-hand person won’t tell their boss about their problems. That’s where the problem begins. They don’t feel safe to confide in their “boss” what’s happening. They come to work, keep their head down and try hard to do their work. But the boss notices they don’t have their head in the game.

Performance may slip, if only slightly. The boss can get angry because the expectations are unaltered. He has no idea what’s going on with this key person. Nor does he really care. That’s why the employee never told him.

But a day arrives where the boss confronts the behavior. The employee still may or may not divulge the problem. If he doesn’t, then the pressure is on to up his performance in the face of a very stressful personal situation. If he does, then that pressure exists plus the pressure of worrying how the boss will respond or what the boss may think. It may feel like making a bad situation at home even worse by bringing it to work.

The net result may be deterioration of performance where the boss decides the demote or terminate the person. And great leadership would have likely resulted in a very different – much more positive outcome for both the employee and the boss (the great leader).

I noticed his performance slipping. It started early in the week. I was in my 20’s. It was my first real #1 job of running a company. Something was off with him and I noticed it. By day 3 I asked him to come see me.

He walked in and I asked him to close the door. I knew something was wrong and I suspected it was personal because I knew of no work-related issues that might cause his behavior change.

He settled in and I asked, “I know something’s worrying you. I don’t want to pry, but I want you to know I care and I’m here to help if I’m able.”

He broke down, crying. His wife had moved out. Taken up with a boyfriend he never knew she had. He didn’t know what to do.

I moved from behind my desk to occupy the chair beside him. I listened. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him I was sorry he was enduring this.

We talked about it and I let him lead the conversation. He told me everything.

My mind was reviewing the alternative courses of action I could take as the boss to relieve him of work responsibilities so he could focus on his life. When the clouds of emotions cleared I asked for his permission to talk about what I could do to help him. He readily agreed.

I said, “There’s no reason to let this impact your career. We’re going to do everything in our power together to make sure that won’t happen. It won’t serve your life to let things crash here so I’m going to do whatever it takes to prevent that.” He was very appreciative.

We huddled, reviewing the next two weeks of work scheduled. Together we collaborated on what might be our best course so he could step away to handle his personal affairs. There were a few days he needed to be at work and he expressed strong desire to be there. Basically, he wanted to work, but knew he needed a few days to get with an attorney and figure out how to navigate his divorce. We devised a plan where he’d take 3 days off immediately, then over the next few weeks there’d be some additional time away from the office. We also agreed on how we’d let the company know (again, he was in full command of that message – he decided he wanted people to know it was a divorce, but nothing more).

We communicated and put the plan into action. Things went fine. Different, but fine. For about 3 weeks. He may have missed 6 days plus a few half days, but in the end he got through it and so did the company. If anything, his performance went higher post-divorce. Our company proved how safe we were for him during the most troubling time of his entire life. It wasn’t about the company. It was about him. Yes, we put a plan in place so the company’s needs could continue to be met, but his needs drove that – not the other way around.

I can’t possibly know every challenge, problem or opportunity your people face. But I know great leadership is gifted at making sure they know the people well enough to know what’s going on. Without intruding, if it’s personal.

When you take square aim at SERVICE, putting the needs of people in the forefront, then compassion rules the day. People feel safe to share. They know you want what’s best for them.

Great leadership isn’t conditional. That is, it’s ineffective if you serve people provided you can get what you want. Service doesn’t have an IF. You simply do what you must do. It’s like Harold Geneen, the crusty tyrant who ran ITT, said, “Managers must manage.” Translation: you find a way. In this sense, you find a way to serve the people doing the work.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

Randy

Forgiveness: It’s Good For Business (and your employees) – Grow Great Daily Brief #230 – June 18, 2019

Touchy feely fru fru alert!

Forgiveness is a quality of the highest character. Something we should all aspire to incorporate into our lives, something we should elevate and increase as much as possible.

I know revenge and getting even is deemed more fulfilling, but that’s a lie. They’re not. They damage us more deeply. Forgiveness enhances and improves us. Forget the benefits to the forgiven. WE benefit.

You can research on your own, if you care, the enormous benefits of forgiveness. And there’s empirical evidence that revenge, resentment, and bitterness destroy us. There’s just no upside to neglecting forgiveness. But if you want to lower your character and the quality of your life, then you can do that.

I’m focused on forgiveness because in the next few days I want to provoke you to think increasingly more about service, servitude and stewardship. These are the components of leadership I most often see missing!

The first C focal point of my work is COMPASSION. People ballyhoo empathy today. And I agree. It’s important. But compassion is how empathy’s horsepower is put down on the pavement. Without compassion, empathy is unrealized horsepower. Compassion prompts empathy to take action.

One of the most fundamental actions born from compassion is forgiveness.

Great leadership cannot exist without compassion. It’s impossible. Every great leader cares deeply about people, especially those people willing to follow or be influenced. You can certainly be a boss without compassion. Fact is, there are likely tons of those roaming the wild. Bosses focus on making decisions and telling people what to do. Judgment rules their life. They’re always judging what people do, criticizing it and attempting to correct it. I’ve never found any success in converting bosses into leaders. In my experience, they’re just too committed to being the boss and being in charge. Authority matters more to them than service and influence.

My feelings about forgiveness mirror how I feel about optimism. I just don’t see the downside. People often hear me say, “I know optimism is hard, but pessimism is harder.” Ditto on forgiveness. It’s often crazy hard, but holding a grudge and refusing to forgive is way harder.

Think of a time when you sought somebody’s forgiveness. Do you remember how desperately you wanted it? Did you get it? When you did, how did it make you feel?

Our desire to seek forgiveness can be as strong a desire as anything. And our relief when it’s granted it among the biggest exhale moments of our life. So I don’t have to persuade you how valuable forgiveness is. You know.

Here’s the business aspect we must consider – the lasting impact on us (or whoever does the forgiving) and the lasting impact on the people forgiven.

We’re all capable of insanely improved behavior when others extend enough graciousness to us to forgive us. It enhances our desire and effort to earn it even if it’s beyond our ability to earn it. And that’s AFTER it’s been given to us.

Forgiveness is a singular act that proves our compassion as a leader. It enhances our ability to be trusted unlike anything else. That fosters a level of unparalleled safety for our culture. When people trust more deeply and feel safer, performance is enhanced.

The opposite is true. Don’t foster trust with your team. Don’t make them feel safe. Then expect them to soar and tell me how well that works for you.

Let people make mistakes. Let them mess up. It’s grand permission to let them learn, understand and grow. But only if you’re willing to forgive them.

Be well. Do good. Grow great.

Randy

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