Sources of Insight Better Insights, Better Results 2015-03-03T17:17:14Z http://sourcesofinsight.com/feed/atom/ WordPress JD <![CDATA[Are You Willing to Change?]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25998 2015-03-03T17:17:14Z 2015-03-03T17:12:21Z It’s one thing to know how to change. It’s another to be willing to change. When you aren’t really willing to change, you get stuck in limbo. When you own your unwillingness, you can face your resistance.

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“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy

It’s one thing to know how to change.

It’s another to be willing to change.

When you aren’t really willing to change, you get stuck in limbo.  You tell others, or even yourself, how you will “try” to change.

But you don’t really mean it with a whole body YES.

When you own your unwillingness, you can face your resistance.   When you face your resistance, you can do something about it.

When you admit you are unwilling to change, you’ll be surprised how the excuses disappear and the truth comes out.

In The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, authors Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp help leaders get out of limbo and create change in themselves and help others so the same.

Willingness to Change

Everybody might say they want to change.   But few are actually willing.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

”It all comes down to willingness.  Willingness to change is every different from knowing how to change, or further still, truly wanting to change.  Many, many people want to change, but most are not willing to change.”

“I Don’t Know How” is an Excuse

Confront your unwillingness.  “I don’t know how” is often an excuse to avoid your resistance.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“What in your life do you want to change? Make a list.

Now ask yourself, ‘am I willing to change? Am I really willing to change?’

At this point, you might find yourself saying, ‘I’m willing but I don’t know how.’  And we’d say that this is just an excuse to avoid your resistance.  If you’re like many of he people we work with, you’d get frustrated, even angry, when we challenge your willingness. 

But we don’t do others or ourselves any favors by giving them temporary relief from their unwillingness to face their unwillingness.  In fact, we think that one of a coach’s core commitments is to lovingly hold pressure to help others confront their resistance.”

We Think We’re Willing to Change

Our ego tries to protect us.  It helps us think we’re willing to change, when we’re really not.

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“Remember that the ego/identity is powerful (and that’s good).  It doesn’t want to let go of control and step into the unknown.  It equates control with security and safety.  One way it most likes to stay in control is to allow us to think we’re willing to change when we’re really not.”

“Trying” is Wanting Credit for Something You’ll Never Do

Trying is not the same as willing.   You “try” when you want credit for something you don’t really intend to do.   As Yoda said, “Do. Or do not.  There is no try.”

The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership,

“You might also here yourself say, I’ll try.  I’ll try to change.’  Our mentor and friend Hale Dwoskin says, ‘Trying is wanting credit for something you never intend to do.’  So true.  When asked by friends if you’ll stop by after work for a drink, you find yourself saying, ‘I’ve got a lot to do before I leave, and my kid is not feeling well, but I’ll try.’  You want credit from your friends for ‘trying’ but you never honestly plan to join them.  You might even want to stop by, but the reality is that you’re unwilling to go.”

Own Your Unwillingness

When you own your unwillingness, things get real, real fast.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“When we coach leaders and teams, we often ask them these specific questions to support them facing their unwillingness to change.  Surprising things happen when a person owns their unwillingness and simply says, ‘I’m unwilling.’”

Test Your Willingness to Change with Willingness Questions

You can test how willing you are to change with a simple set of questions.  The key is to answer the questions, as honestly as you can.  Don’t try and fool yourself.  The truth is for you.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

Are you willing to take 100% responsibility (not more or less than 100% responsibility) for this issue?
Are you willing to stop blaming and criticizing others and yourself?
Are you willing to let go of being right?
Are you willing to get more interesting in learning than defending your ego?
Are you willing to fell all of your authentic feelings?
Are you willing to stop all gossip about this issue?
Are you willing to clear up all past issues with all relevant parties?
Are you willing to clean up all broken agreements related to this issue?
Are you willing to shift from entitlement to appreciation about this issue?
Are you willing to let go of taking this issue seriously?
Are you willing to see that the opposite of your story is as true as or truer than your story?
Are you willing to welcome and release all wanting of approval, control, and security?
Are you willing to let go of win/lose (competing) and lose/lose (compromising) views regarding this issue?
Are you willing to create authentic win-for-all resolutions for this issue?
Are you willing to be the resolution that you are seeking regarding this issue?

Limbo Happens When We Don’t Own Our Unwillingness

We put ourselves into limbo when we think we want to change, but we aren’t really willing to change.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“Any answer other than a whole body YES reveals a lack of willingness.  This is not a bad thing.  The ego will want to make it bad, but it is not.  It is just the suchness (as the Buddhists say) of where you are and it’s prefect.  Even so, if we don’t face and own our resistance, we can stay stuck forever.  We call it being in limbo: thinking we are willing yet not facing that we are really more committed to staying where we are than to shifting.  We tell leaders all the time that the first step to willingness is owning—fully owning—our unwillingness.”

We Need More Motivation

The way to break free from limbo is to add more motivation.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“When we own our resistance, we see that we simply need more motivation, more vision or dissatisfaction.  This is not a problem.  It is just what is so in this moment.”

So now, let me ask it again, or rather, you should ask yourself:

Are you willing to change?

Let me leave you with perhaps one of the most profound insights on personal change by Reinhold Niebuhr

“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

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JD <![CDATA[Thrive on Optimism]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25932 2015-02-28T19:30:32Z 2015-02-28T19:18:26Z Let eternal optimism be your driving force. Don’t let people who thrive on misery bring you down. And don’t bring yourself down. Thrive on optimism.

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“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell

Let eternal optimism be your driving force.

Don’t let people who thrive on misery bring you down.  And don’t bring yourself down.

Thrive on optimism.

Eternal optimism is the fire that burns inside our hearts and minds.  Eternal optimism is the hope inside that helps us enjoy the setting sun, as we look forward in anticipation to the dawn of a new day.

And eternal optimism is the force that helps us find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

In the book, Grit In Your Craw: The 8 Strengths You Need to Succeed in Business and in Life, Robert Luckadoo gives us some insight and perspective on the power of eternal optimism.

Don’t Ever Give Up

Coach Jim Valvano had eternal optimism, and reminded us to do the same.  Even when he battled a very aggressive form of bone cancer, which took his life.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“During his battle with this terrible disease, he said something that still gives me chills: ‘Don’t give up … Don’t ever give up.’

And his inspirational final speech, delivered during the 1993 ESPY Awards, was even more moving. 

‘I’ve just got one last thing,’ he said in closing.  ‘I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have.  To spend each day with some laughter, and some thought to get your emotions going.  To be enthusiastic every day.  As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm.’  To keep your dreams alive in spirit of problems, whatever you have.  The ability to be able t work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.’”

Eternal Optimism is the Fire that Burns Inside

Eternal optimism is the fire that burns inside our hearts, minds, and souls.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“As performance-based professionals, we all need to watch Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech from time to time.  The eternal optimism evident in his words was the fire that had burned inside the hearts, minds, and souls of that 1983 NCAA-champion basketball team.

The team, that against all odds, found ways to overcome deficits, eke out unbelievable wins, and somehow prevail against stronger opponents.  So much of what Jim said in that speech can be applied to the sales profession and to our careers as managers.  You can pull off virtually any feat  with an optimistic, enthusiastic, energetic attitude.”

Carry Your Vision with Great Enthusiasm

Use your eternal optimism to help you make the best of every situation, no matter how bleak.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“People want to buy from someone who’s excited about what they’re selling.  People want to be led by someone who’s excited about their mission and excited about leading.

Carry your vision with great pride and enthusiasm.  Go into every  day with an optimistic outlook, and always check your troubles at the door to your office.  And most important, when you’re out on sales appointments or dealing with your staff, bring lots of energy with you.

Not every appointment is going to work out the way you planned.  Not every encounter with a client or an employee is going to be a positive one.  But as the leader, as the agent, as the sales person, you have some control over the situation.  You have the power to make the best of the situation.  Turn the part you can control into something positive.”

Beware of People Who Thrive on Misery

Some people thrive on eternal optimism.  Other people thrive on eternal misery.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Within your office, your company and your life, there are always going to be people who thrive on misery.  You know who I’m talking about–those naysayers who see the worst case scenario in every situation and drag you right into the middle of it.  I bet you can name a few without having to think very hard. 

They’re the ones with the perpetual scowls on their faces. 

They’re the ones who have a smirk or a negative comment for everything.  They’re the ‘time sucks’  who plop down in your office every morning and try to convince you how bad the company is, how awful your supervisors are and how life generally stinks.  Have somebody in mind yet?”

Don’t Get Pulled Down by Negative People

Don’t let negative people and the people who thrive on misery pull you down.

It’s a fast spiral down.

Use your eternal optimism to rise above the miserable, and to light the way for others.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Well, don’t get pulled into that cesspool of misery.  Run as far as you can.  These negative people are like human quicksand.  If you dip your toe into the mire, you might be lost forever.  If you spend time with these pessimistic drama-lovers, their misery will creep into your own life.  It’s your career, your family’s livelihood, your life.  Don’t let these negative people convince you that your life is any less spectacular than it is.”

Let Eternal Optimism Be Your Driving Force

Use your eternal optimism to be a driving force in your life, and an inspiration and strength for others.

Via Grit In Your Craw:

“Make a point to be a source of positive energy at your office every day.  Let eternal optimism be your driving force.  Let your light shine as a positive beacon for your product, your office, and your company.  Be a role model, a supporter, an a cheerleader for a colleague, and try to find a role model in your industry who can support you. 

Even the most positive people sometimes need support.

You’ll be amazed to see how success follows from optimism and  a positive attitude.  When you’re positive and optimistic, your colleagues will notice, your super-visors will notice and your clients will notice.”

Let me be the first to say that I have good days, and I have bad days.

And I have ups and downs in my days.

But what helps in all cases is starting off with a bit of optimism, and embracing it wherever I can.

Today.  And, each day.

Here are some wise words from A.A. Milne, to remind us how to do that:

“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

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Image by Martin Fisch.

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JD <![CDATA[Purpose and the Business Mind]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25911 2015-02-26T20:50:30Z 2015-02-26T20:42:37Z When you combine purpose with a business mind, the world is your oyster. I’m reading The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind, where author Valeh Navemoff talks about purpose and the business mind.

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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

Purpose.  It’s powerful.

When you combine purpose with a business mind, the world is your oyster.

I’m reading The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind, where author Valeh Navemoff talks about purpose and the business mind.

It resonates with my philosophy on applying purpose and passion to business and work, so I’ll share some of Navemoff’s insights, along with my perspective.

Turn Your Purpose into Passion Work and a Passion Business

A good business mind can turn purpose into a passion business or “passion work”, as my friend puts it.  Good business minds find ways to do more “passion work,” while creating an exchange of value with others.

Passion work is the work that makes you come alive.

You can find your passion work by blending your purpose and what you would do for free, with what people would pay you for.

Personally, I found a way to breathe new life into my work by striving to continuously answer the following question:

“What do I want to spend more time doing?”

I also found a way to do more passion work by living my values.   This helps me be more of me, and bring more of me, wherever I go.

And a big part of what drives me is that I want to improve the quality of life for as many people as I can, as long as I can.  So I try to connect my work to that purpose to energize whatever I do.

The Power of a Business Mind

I’ve learned to really appreciate and respect the power of a business mind.

Passion and purpose are one thing, but building a strong business mind can help you recognize, identify, and pay attention to opportunities and value.

A well-trained business mind is skilled at creating and capturing value.

A well-trained business mind also knows how to think in terms of systems, sustainability and growth.

Too many good ideas for the world, die because they lack a business mind behind them.

I’ve seen too many good ideas die a slow and painful death, whether it’s the case of the brilliant, mis-understood genius, or simply an idea that the market wasn’t ready for,

And, then, I’ve seen the same ideas get reborn and brought to life by a person with a creative business mind that knows how to create a customer and serve a market, and really tap into pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

And the best business minds do it with purpose and passion and with the greater good in mind.

What You Would Do for Free + What Would People Pay You For?

A business mind knows how to create a customer and how to create an exchange of value.  A business mind knows how to turn purpose and passion into profit, in a meaningful way.
As one of my mentors put it bluntly, “I didn’t really know whether my ideas were any good until people paid me for them.”  He continued, “A good test of your idea is: what will people pay you for?”

It’s good to test the market value of your ideas.

Sure, my Mom like the ashtrays I made her in art class, but I don’t think anybody would have paid me for them.

An effective business mind knows how to combine work you would do for free, with what people would pay you for.

A Business Mind is Captivating

When you have a strong business mind, you do engaging work, and you can inspire others by turning ideas into value generating systems and ecosystems.   You create platforms for value creation.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“You can easily tell when someone has a business mind.  Someone who has their business mind switched to ‘on’ typically works with passion and purpose.  They are fully present and love their work.  The people they engage with experience the full joy that radiates from them.  Their ebullient, positive energy is captivating.  They are finding deep pleasure in their business and life.  They are in harmony with themselves and in their surroundings.”

A Business Minds Has Long-Term and Short-Term Vision

A business mind can see things the way they are, as well as the way things should be, or could be, and can explore the art of the possible.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“People with a business mind also possess long-term as well as short-term vision.  They set their goals higher and desire bigger business outcomes.  Many think that bigger outcomes always equate with money, but upon diving deeper, it usually turns out that is not the reason.”

Do What that Makes You Come Alive

You can combine purpose and business to create value in ways that engage all of you, while changing the world, or at least, your world.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“For example, my personal purpose is to spend quality time with my grandparents and mother; to visit my brother when and for how long I desire to; to work with programs that help support those with mental disabilities and disease; to empower future generations; to travel the world; to passionately dance; to share smiles and laughter with those who cross my path; to uplift, motivate, and inspire many; and to resonate love and compassion.”

Grow a Business While Fulfilling a Purpose

Your business can be a by-product of fulfilling your purpose.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“To fulfill my purpose, I realized I needed money, but I also knew that I needed to make some conscious changes.  They weren’t easy and didn’t happen overnight, but eventually I decluttered and simplified my business.  I moved my company to the cloud, so I could work where and when I chose.

I know feel more focused and much healthier and happier with where I am in my life.  I now have time to do more things I really love to do.  I get to help people change their lives and businesses.  This book, in fact, fulfills part of my purpose to make a difference and create new opportunities for others.”

You Can Have Multiple Purposes

Don’t get locked in on one purpose.  You can have multiple purposes to inspire your way forward.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Keep in mind that you can have multiple purposes, which can evolve and change over time.  Just make sure that whatever your purpose is, you are conscious of it every day and dedicate at least some of your activities to meeting your goals.”

How can you develop and use the power of your business mind to help you bring your purpose to life?

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JD <![CDATA[Customer Intelligence]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25854 2015-02-24T18:49:45Z 2015-02-24T18:28:36Z Customer Intelligence is the ability to rethink and redefine how you attract and maintain your ideal customer.

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“There is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer.” — Peter Drucker

Too many individuals and businesses lose sight of the customers they serve.

They get internally focused.

They don’t’ take an outside-in view.

And, most importantly, they lose empathy for the pains, needs, and desired outcomes of their customers.

If you want to develop an advantage you can use in business and to advance your career, Customer Intelligence is it.

Customer Intelligence is the ability to rethink and redefine how you attract and maintain your ideal customer.

Customer Intelligence is one of the four intelligences that Valeh Nazemoff identifies in her book, The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind.

Develop a Clear Image of Your Ideal Customer

To take the first step toward building your Customer Intelligence, you need develop and communicate a clear understanding of your ideal customer.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“The first step in Customer Intelligence is to develop a clear image–for your self and your organization– as to who your customers are.  The first question to ask yourself is ‘Who is your ideal customer?’

Ask Questions to Reveal Your Ideal Customer

Nazemoff suggests asking questions to improve your Customer Intelligence.  You can ask questions about your ideal customer so that you can put together a composite visual image of who exactly your customer really is.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

How old are they?
What are their hobbies?
What’s their favorite TV show/movie?
What industries are they in?
What departments do they fall under?
What are their job functions and responsibilities?
Are they members of trade associations? Which ones?
What is their education level?
Who are they partnered with professionally?
What trade or industry magazines do they read?
What general interest magazines, blogs, and web sites do they read?
What are their favorite products?
What types of services do they believe in?
Whom do they follow or admire on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook?
What charities do they support?

Tune In, Focus, and Clarify Your Customer

While it might seem like a lot of work or a waste of time, you’ll actually gain new insights as you improve your quality.  It’s all part of building your Customer Intelligence.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“It is important to go through this exercise.  Before developing these questions, I believed the whole process was rather tedious and a waste of my time.  Contrary to my initial thought, I find that it helps me tune in, focus, and bring clarity about who I am serving, and how to market to them.”

Example of Using Customer Intelligence

Personas are a way to bring your customers to life, by giving them a name and a rich story of “a day in the life.”   By creating personas for your customers, you improve your Customer Intelligence because you get very specific about your customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

You create empathy.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Janet Wood, Executive Vice President of Talent and Leadership at SAP, created a version of her ideal customer and found it extremely valuable.  She did this through a workshop offered by Design Thinking from the Design School at Stanford University.  She says, ‘The one that I was in, a two-day workshop, really focused on attracting and developing talent in SAP.  It really changed the game and what we’ve been trying to do…Our customers were really our employees and potential employees.  You create personas… You literally go to the point of saying ‘Okay, this persona, her name is Susan, she lives in San Francisco and she just graduated with a BS degree in computer science.  She’s got a boyfriend.  She’s working as a waitress during the summer, and she is trying to decide on x.’ You go on to create this whole ideal construct.”

Put Yourself n the Mindset of the Ideal Customer

Practice increasing your Customer Intelligence by stepping into your customer’s shoes.

When you can put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, you can find ways to be more relevant.   By really having empathy, by really knowing your customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes, you can directly address them.

You can get creative with ways to serve your customer and help them achieve their wants, needs, and desires.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Wood’s goal was to figure out how SAP could be the most attractive to their ideal candidate’s–the best new graduates in the job market.  The trick was, just as it is in Customer Intelligence, to put herself in the mindset of her ideal customer.”

Break Free from Being Too Internally Focused

Practice building your Customer Intelligence by taking an outside-in view, and really walking the customer experience journey.

This will help you break away from being too internally focused and it will help you build better empathy for your customer.   This will help you shape your story and approach to be more relevant in surprising ways.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“SAP found this exercise so useful that they began to do it with their customers, to help them figure out how to maximize their opportunities with the people they are either currently selling to or the people they want to sell to.  ‘It really gets them thinking about their products and their services and the customer experience in a way that they may not have before, because all of us, even our customers, can get very internally focused,’ she says.”

Do you know who your customers really are?

Do you really know who you serve and how well can you articulate their pains, needs, and desired outcomes?

Increasing your Customer Intelligence, becoming a customer advocate, and sharing the Voice of the Customer will serve you well throughout your career.

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JD <![CDATA[Focus Requires Balance]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25827 2015-02-23T16:31:04Z 2015-02-23T16:27:24Z Your focus works better with balance. To focus effectively, we need to keep an open mind while we explore our way forward.

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image“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

With great focus comes great rewards.

If you can balance your focus with an open mind.

Your focus works better with balance.

Balance the focus of what you want with not knowing how to get there.  This makes room for unforeseen opportunities and creative twists along the way.

In the book, The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind: How to Rewire Your Brain and Your Business for Success, Valeh Nazemoff reminds us that to focus effectively, we need to keep an open mind while we explore our way forward.

Keep an Open Mind While You Focus

Stay open to opportunities.  As Tony Robbins would say, proper focus is more like funnel vision, than tunnel vision.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“There is a balancing component to effective focus.  When you focus too much on one thing, you may miss other opportunities.  The key is to focus on your target while simultaneously keeping an open mind.”

Make Room for Not Knowing

Don’t be so rigid with your focus that you miss out on ideas and opportunities that reveal themselves along the way.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:

“Also, when your focus is too intense, you tend to feel stress.  Focusing on the outcome is good, but give yourself space for spontaneous ideas that may offer a different path to your outcome.  A softer focus will make it easier for creativity and innovation to emerge.  Make sure that your confidence in knowing what you want its balanced by your comfort in not being exactly sure how to get there.  Success often comes when you make room for ‘not knowing.’”

Energize Yourself in the Direction of Change

Hold a picture or a vision in your mind of the compelling outcome that you are working towards.  This will pull you toward the solution.

Via The Four Intelligences of the Business Mind:
”To bring about true transformation,  you must garner the support of your subconscious mind.  You need a vision of the outcome to energize your mind and body so you can propel yourself in the direction of change.  You can achieve what you want more easily, effortlessly and less stressfully when your conscious and subconscious mind work together toward a common goal.”

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JD <![CDATA[Three Core Wants: Approval, Control, and Security]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25689 2015-02-26T03:02:03Z 2015-02-19T16:09:42Z Conscious leaders regularly ask themselves, "What is the core want driving this (surface) desire?"

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image“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” — Philip Pullman

Conscious leaders regularly ask themselves, “What is the core want driving this desire?”

A want is something you desire or wish for.

Our core wants are approval, control, and security.

When you know what’s driving a surface level desire, you can be more effective at helping people get what they really want, including yourself.

Knowing what you really want gives you more freedom and flexibility.  When you are no longer stuck or distracted by the means, you increase your options to achieve the end in mind.

In The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, authors Jim Dethmer, Diana Chapman, and Kaley Warner Klemp remind us that Conscious leaders regularly ask themselves, “What is the core want driving this (surface) desire?” so they can respond more effectively.

Security

Our want for security comes from a deep desire to survive.  It’s baked in to our bodies.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“The wanting of security is the most basic of the core desires.  At its root, wanting security is wanting to survive.  Another word for security is safety.  Most of us believe we are a separate self that has a beginning and an end (birth and death), and therefore we do everything we can to make sure this separate self survives.  We want to survive physically, to live and not to die.  From this deepest want for physical survival comes the desire for security.  We want financial security, occupational security, material security, relational security.  This wanting of security, survival, and safety is core to every human being.”

Approval

Approval is the desire to belong.  We’re social creatures.  Again, it’s part of our survival instinct.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“The second core want is approval.  Approval is the desire to be loved, liked, wanted, valued, appreciated, respected, to belong, and to be part of something.  The desire for approval comes from the desire to survive.  Quite simply, at its most evolutionary core, if others approve of me they won’t kill me.  Since survival is my deepest desire then my strategy for survival is to gain approval.”

Control

Control is a way to gain security.  When approval doesn’t work, control steps in.

Via The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership:

“The third core want is control.  If I can’t gain security through approval then I’ll get it through control.  If I can’t earn your approval, then I’ll try to control you and life.  Wanting control is trying to make sure that everything in life goes the way I want.  I try to control myself, people, circumstances, God, and everything else.  I invest significant energy in my control plan.”

Examples of Approval, Control, and Security

Dethmer, Chapman, and  Klemp share some simple examples to help us relate to how the core wants show up in our every day wishes and desires.

I want this fund launched this year.

  • I need a three-year track record, which determines my success in this industry (Security.)
  • I want to know that when I ask departments to do something, they do it–I want to control the behaviors of the team members in my organization (Control)
  • I want Wall Street to respect me (Approval)

I want my kid to succeed in school.

  • I’m concerned for my child’s security, and therefore mine if she can’t take care of herself (Security).
  • What will other people think of me (Approval).
  • I want to limit my child’s suffering, and my suffering if she doesn’t succeed (Control)

I want to be fit.

  • I don’t want to die early (Security).
  • I want to look good (Approval).
  • I want to control what I eat and how much my body moves (Control).

Do you know what’s driving your thoughts, your feelings, and behaviors?

Maybe there’s a simpler or more effective way to address what’s going on underneath.

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JD <![CDATA[Respect is a Solid Foundation for Leadership]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25683 2015-02-18T16:47:08Z 2015-02-18T16:38:48Z Effective leadership starts with respect, not popularity. Some leaders end up ineffective because they worry too much about being liked.

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“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” — Clint Eastwood

Some leaders end up ineffective because they worry too much about being liked.

In trying to please everyone, they please no one.

Tough decisions don’t get made, things don’t get done, and people end up unhappy.

More effective leaders earn respect by being reliable, thoughtful, and accountable.

They work the tough stuff, and they help others to do the same.

In the book, Warriors At The Helm: A Leader’s Guide to Success in Business, author Juan Carlos Marcos reminds us that respect is more important than popularity when it comes to effective leadership.

Liked and Respected is Ideal

While being liked and respected is ideal, Marcos suggests that being respected trumps popularity when it comes to being an effective leader.

Marcos  writes:

“Being liked is not necessarily a benefit in the corporate world.  That is not to suggest that people conduct themselves in a boorish manner.  Rather it is, to be very clear, that being respected is much more important than being liked.  Being liked and respected is ideal.  The two are not mutually exclusive.”

Nice Without Substance Doesn’t Cut It

People will often be pleasant and polite to people who are nice.  But, nice people lose respect if they don’t have any substance.   People want leaders that focus on more than just a popularity contest.  They want meaningful missions that matter.

Marcos  writes:

“Some people spend inordinate amounts of time doing things that they perceive will make them popular with co-worker.  It is interesting how these people appear shocked when co-workers or the boss tell them to focus on doing the job.  Some are incapable of understanding that nice without substance does not cut it.”

Unproductive Teams Aren’t Sustainable

In the corporate arena, ineffective teams don’t last for the long haul.  Results speak volumes for real respect.

Marcos  writes:

“Bosses who focus on doing things to be liked by their colleagues and subordinates, rather than doing things to be effective, invariably create aggravation for the very people they are trying to hard to please.  When the work fails to get done, there are consequences.  Liking the boss at the expense of productivity is not a sustainable situation.  Bosses who seek to be popular often avoid making the tough, or what they perceive might be unpopular, decisions.  Avoiding decisions or looking for universally popular decisions is pure folly.”

Reliable, Thoughtful, and Accountable Earns Respect

When a leader does what they say they will do, and makes tough decision where it counts,  they earn the respect of their followers.

Marcos  writes:

“Conversely, respect is a solid foundation on which to position effectiveness and leadership.  Co-workers who are perceived as reliable, along with bosses who make thoughtful decisions and accept responsibility are respected.  Not all bad bosses are Barbarians.  Some bosses are very good people who simply have no business being in a leadership role.”

While you can improve your likability, earning respect starts with self-respect.   Don’t let yourself down, be thoughtful in your choices and your actions, and your sphere of influence will expand.

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JD <![CDATA[Dare to be Different]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25665 2015-02-17T16:37:47Z 2015-02-17T16:21:22Z The way to change the world, or at least your world, is to dare to be different. When you dare to be different, you step out of the mold, and you make space for your creative twists.

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“If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world.” — Elaine S. Dalton

If you want to change things, you need to rattle some cages, shake things up, and go for the bold.

You have to find the edge.

And, then push past it.

The way to change the world, or at least your world, is to dare to be different.  When you dare to be different, you step out of the mold, and you make space for your creative twists.  When you dare to be different, sometimes you stand alone.  But alone is where your unique creative contribution can thrive.

It’s what leaders, great artists, and inspiring minds, do.  They take us beyond the edges of conformity to pave brave new frontiers.

In the book, Creative Anarchy: How To Break the Rules of Graphic Design for Creative Success, Denise Bosler encourages us to dare to be different and to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Ask Yourself Why Everyone is Doing It

Always question WHY.  Just because everybody else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or even that it’s working.

Bosler writes:

“Breaking the rules is not for the meek designer or timid client.  It takes guts to go against the industry norms.  Fear breeds an attitude of, ‘Everybody else is doing it so I should probably do it, too.’
But ask yourself: Is there a valid reason why everyone is doing it, or is everyone doing it just because everyone else is doing it?  The creative anarchist always questions why.”

Beware the Lemming-Like Attitude

One way to kill your creativity is to do the same as what everybody else is doing.

Bosler writes:

“Perfume advertising is a great example of this lemming-like attitude.  A sullen, handsome, chisel-faced male looks longingly into the distance.  A stunning girl comes to him.  They embrace, almost kiss, and exchange smoldering looks like posing as beautifully as possible.  That’s it for 90 percent of perfume advertising.  Creativity? Innovative concept? “

Take Risks

When everybody else is doing the same thing, sometimes the best thing you can do, is something totally different.

Bosler writes:

“Too many industries do the same thing over and over again.  But once in a blue moon, an advertiser dares to be different.  Dari Marder, chief marketing office or Iconix Group, Inc, turned the advertising world on its head when she suggested that the 1997 Candie’s shoe advertising campaign feature Jenny McCarthy sitting on a toilet.  With underwear around her ankles and Candie’s shoes on her feet, McCarthy, and Mader, created a provocative, controversial, and highly-successful ad campaign.  The target audience girls loved it–the moms, not so much.  Shoe advertising was never the same again.”

Provocative, Unexpected, and Spectacular

Stir hearts and minds with your creative twist.  The bold can be beautiful.

Bosler writes:

“’Provocative’ is music to the ears of the creative anarchist.  Other great words and phrases include: unexpected, infectious, viral, unusual, shocking, spectacular, double-take, visual surprise, ‘I want to hang it on my wall,’ and ‘I want to show everyone.’  In fact, try to make hearing those words your goal when pushing design boundaries.”

Sometimes the best way to find the edge that people are looking for, is to look beyond your own boundaries.

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JD <![CDATA[There are No New Ideas in Design]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25658 2015-02-17T15:34:41Z 2015-02-16T15:53:01Z You can always redefine design, by exploring the art of the possible, and adding your creative twist. You can push the boundaries, break the rules, and test your limits, while challenging your strengths.

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“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

It’s all been done before, in some way, shape or form.

So if it’s all been done before, then how do you bring new value to the table?

You push the boundaries, you break the rules, and you test your limits, while challenging your strengths.

You can always redefine design, by exploring the art of the possible, and adding your creative twist.

Sometimes you have to break the rules to create new breakthroughs.

In the book, Creative Anarchy: How To Break the Rules of Graphic Design for Creative Success, Denise Bosler shares ways to add value to design, even when everything has already been done before.

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

When it comes to design, there’s nothing new.   What’s old is what’s new, and everything draws from the same pallet of paint.

Bosler writes:

“There is nothing new under the sun.  All design ideas can be traced back to something in the past.  Rays of the sun in the background of an image?  Check out the war flag of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1870 or Russian Constructive posters from 1919.  Surely those cool modern hipster logos must be original.  Think again.  Go back to logos from the 1940s through the 1960s.  The new Microsoft Windows logo? Just an evolution from the original from twenty years ago.”

What Can you Bring to the Table?

You can redefine design, by adding your twist.   It’s more than old wine in a new bottle.  It becomes new wine.

Bosler writes:

“If everything has already been done, what can you bring to the table?  Give an old idea a creative twist.  Use established theory to redefine the design.  Pull in bits and pieces of many ideas to form a new one.  Make the concept yours.”

Push the Boundaries

Don’t be limited by what’s been done before you.  Explore the art of the possible and flex your ability to imagine new ways to go outside the box.   But know when it’s worth going outside the box.

Bosler writes:

“The ability to push boundaries is a respected quality.  It shows you are willing to go beyond the expected by demonstrating that you will invest time and creative strategy in a design concept.  Boundary pushing proves that you are a thinker and a doer, not a follow-the-leader-er.  There is a time and place for everything, though.  The most successful designers embrace design innovation, while recognizing that not all designs should try to go outside the box.  Some clients feel comfortable inside it, but it’s up to you to figure out what the client wants and deliver it.”

Break the Design Rules

It’s time for creative anarchy.  Test the limits of your creativity by breaking the rules.

Bosler writes:

“Which brings us back to the question: Why creative anarchy? Every design problem has multiple solutions.  If you don’t explore a variety of possible solutions, you’re not doing your job.  Exploring design means looking at the rules.  Looking at the rules means investigating your options.  Investigating your options means thinking about breaking the rules.  Breaking rules calls for finesse.  It can’t be done willy-nilly.  Breaking design rules means testing the limits of your creativity, challenging your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses.”

Don’t let what’s been done before limit what you can create for the world.

Add your own creative twist.

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JD <![CDATA[Little Micro-Moments of Love]]> http://sourcesofinsight.com/?p=25637 2015-02-14T18:21:25Z 2015-02-14T18:12:43Z You can use little moments in your life for love to flourish and bloom. The little moments are everywhere. You can choose to create more feelings of warmth and connection.

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“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” — Oscar Wilde

You can use little moments in your life for love to flourish and bloom.

The little moments are everywhere.

You can choose to create more feelings of warmth and connection.  Just like you get what you expect, you also get what you project.  And what goes around, comes around.

Rather than just focus on a big bang approach, you can realize love in more of your micro-moments.

In an article called “Redefining Love”, in Live Happy magazine, Melissa Balmain, writes about how people are enjoying and creating more little moments, or “micro-moments”, of love.

Share More Micro-Moments of Warmth and Connection

If you think of love as warmth and connection, could you express it more, and receive it more often?

Balmain writes:

“While you may find that odd, Liza is part of a growing contingent who reject the notion that love is all about sex and soul mates, or the bonds you share with your nearest and dearest.  Instead, they see love as ‘that micro-moment of warmth and connection that you share with another living being,’ a concept introduced by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph. D., author and leading researcher in the positive psychology movement, in her book Love 2.0.”

Let Little Micro-Moments of Love Bloom Often

Liza, a psychotherapist and yoga teacher, shares a story of how she was looking out the window of a coffee-shop, and a man came along on roller skates just singing his heart out, and their eyes locked.  In that instant, Liza felt a brief moment of warmth, good-will, and connection.

Balmain writes:

“Such moments can–and should–bloom often with your spouse, your parents and your child, she says, but they’re just as possible with a casual acquaintance or stranger.  Your dry cleaner or barista, say.  That woman who smiled at your from across the subway aisle.”

Wish Others Well and Connect on a Human Level

A wonderful thing happens when you wish others well and connect on a human level.  You create more micro-moments of love.

Balmain writes:

“’It’s about connecting with people on a human level and…wishing them well or just sharing something positive,’ says Barbara, a professor and direct of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysi8ology Laboratory at the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill. That is a pretty low bar for love, and I think that most people could meet that to the extent that they’re engaged in social interacts at all.’”

A New Look at Love

Some people are redefining love to experience more love in their every day moments.

Balmain writes:

“For some, redefining love brings a sense of release.  ‘It’s liberating to let go of those old beliefs–‘I have to be n a relationship to have love’ or I have to be a parent to feel love,’ says Liza, who was recently divorced.  ‘It’s liberating to think I can go to a yoga class by myself and have some of the same emotions or connections that I might get from sex with a  partner or interaction with children I’ve created, so it gives people a lot more options, to be sure.’”

Get Active to Help Long-Term Relationships Flower

You can breathe new life into relationships when you do things together.  Motion creates emotion, and activities can be a great way to fan your flames.

Balmain writes:

“Walk. Cook. Dance. Ski.  Data show that shared movements resulting from positivity resonance make it more likely that a relationship will take root.  Getting active together can also keep long-term relationships continue to flower.”

Love isn’t in the air.

It’s right under your feet and in your heart wherever, and whenever, you generate micro-moments of warmth and connection.

Be a force multiplier.

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