Top performers are always learning. Do you know why?

There is a lot to admire when someone is at the top of their game. Whether it is in business or in sports. Typically, what they are doing looks like they are doing it with ease, and a finesse which is often hard to describe. Do you know someone like this, and do you know how they got there?

I’ll grant you credit for being able to name a few things which have made the people you admire, and who are at the top of their game, but I bet you will be surprised by some of the other reasons. Why? Because the truth is there is no one particular way for anyone to be at the apex of their “game” or profession. However, there are some fundamental and common denominators which most top performers have in common.

If you were to take a look into the lives of top athletes, you will find one of the most common traits they have is a desire to always be competing at something. They thrive when they are challenged to strive and to do what it takes to win. Achievement is a byproduct of being competitive, but it doesn’t always mean winning. However, being focused on achievement is also another trait athletes have in common. Neither being competitive or achievement focused should be surprising elements of successful athletes, but some of the other reasons might surprise you.

After working with and being around athletes and top business people for decades, the single item they all possess is the desire to always be learning. The type of learning they individually do varies significantly, but most of the time it is related to the work they are doing. Both athletes and business people can benefit from understanding and applying leadership principles, and this is one of the areas they are often focused on learning more about.

Since there are various types of leadership approaches and styles, most will focus on one that is most suitable for their personality and the environment they are in. Considering leadership takes place both on and off the court, and in and outside of the office, it is a skill which needs continuous refinement and practice. It is also why you find many successful athletes pursuing second careers as high achieving executives. This of course applies to both men and women.

Another common reason top performers attain their levels of success has to do with their ability to focus on the big picture. To be able to do this requires a certain amount of strategic ability. Although some strategy can be taught, the best strategists are innately gifted in this area. Learning about strategy and how and when to apply it is also one of the other factors contributing to people’s success at the height of their respective careers, but not always.

Top performers are also supported as they are perfecting their skills by many others, and they also have the ability to recognize which ones will contribute significantly to their success. Again, this is a skill honed by years of subtlety observing how other people’s skills can contribute to making your skills stronger. This isn’t taught, but it is something top performers are able to recognize and extract from those who coach, support, work and play with and manage them.

If you are tasked with determining who will become a top performer, or seeking those who are what I will refer to as being “under the radar” as a top performer on the performance field or in the working world, here are some questions to ask to find out if you are in front of a top performer in the making:

  • How have or do you stand out from others?
  • What motivates you to strive for top performance?
  • Tell me about your leadership philosophy.
  • Talk to me about the types of content which inspires you to grow.
  • What does achievement mean to you?
  • How would you describe the feeling of being competitive?
  • What vision do you have for yourself and others you play/work with?
  • Do you know how to inspire others? If so, how do you do this?
  • Do you know which people to include or exclude from your circle of excellence?
  • What happens when your performance isn’t consistent? Do you know how to course correct this?
  • How engaged are you with your teammates/colleagues/leadership group?

I could add numerous other questions, but some or all of these should be helpful in identifying top performers in the making. More importantly is to be sure not to only lean on reviewing pure performance stats, as there will be many top performers who may not have the typical stats or the traditional professional experience yet to identify them.

Keep in mind that many top performers begin to shine later in their sports and professional careers, so it is critical to not rule people out who are the “under the radar” top performers in the making.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

 

Want an unfair advantage?

I’m always amazed that what appears to be so obvious, and in plain sight, seems to be invisible to many. Especially those who are responsible for leading corporations, managing teams and coaching athletic teams. Are you wondering what am I referring to? Good you should be.

The unfair advantage you have are the people you lead or coach. Why? Because as you already know, together they can be a powerful force to achieve everything and beyond what you would like them to. However, your challenge is figuring out the code to unlock your team’s full potential. I have figured out how to do this, and repeatedly.

What I am amazed by is why more people are not asking me to help them with this method of unlocking their team’s potential. Perhaps they aren’t convinced this is possible. Even with data. Maybe it’s because they do not consider investing in discovering their team’s greatest abilities as the investment that keeps on providing an ROI beyond their imaginations? Or, worse? Perhaps they don’t believe their team’s collective strength has the power to go beyond their current achievements?

I’m certain there are numerous reasons teams are overlooked from an investment perspective.  What if they weren’t? What if their leaders and coaches invested in them, and capitalized on their collective abilities on a daily basis, and saw results within days? Yes, this is possible.  The best part is that as time progresses, the teams which have had their strengths unlocked, continue to steadily increase the results they were initially expected to deliver.

So, are you wondering how I go about unlocking team’s potential? I do so by what I call an exercise named Team Strengths Reveal (TSR)Ô. Via a series of steps, with the first one identifying what each team members top (5) strengths are. I then focus each team member on leveraging their top strength to contribute to the team’s performance. I also borrow from a categorization concept outlined in Destination Unstoppable by Maureen Monte. What happens is that I assign each person on the team a role which is aligned with their top strength, and teach them how to leverage it.

Aligning a person’s top strength with how they can contribute to the overall team strength is part of what gives a team an unfair advantage. Why? Because other teams can’t see this invisible strength the team has. The TSR team is also capitalizing every day to hit performance metrics, but much more.

Some of the other unfair advantages the teams I work with have are that they are more motivated, united and engaged than they were prior to and after I have worked with them. By having leaders and coaches understand how to leverage each team member’s strengths, and teaching them how to harness them collectively, is what separates them from teams who do not know one another’s strengths. When a team is focused on leveraging their collective strengths, it’s equivalent to having a new formula for success you did not know existed.

When you observe a team that is working or playing together who is capitalizing on their strengths, you will notice they interact differently than other teams. Their leaders and coaches will also tell you the effects of a team leveraging their strengths is unlike any other methods they have seen applied, with such successful outcomes. Teams who are aware of one another’s strengths have a different level of respect and understanding of each other. The outcome is they interact together in a way they wouldn’t be able to achieve without this awareness.

Beyond the work or sports team the individuals are on, the people who know what their strengths are, find they are more focused, happier and productive in their lives outside of their respective teams. Their families and friends notice this too. How do I know? They tell me, and it’s one of the best feelings to know you have made a sustainable and lasting difference in someone else’s life.

Are you ready to give your work or sports team an unfair advantage? When you are, please let me know, and we will begin making this happen for them.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

Are you a dynamic leader?

When I think of the expression dynamic leader, I conjure a number of attributes associated with this person. One of them is having a high emotional intelligence level, or EQ. They are also flexible, strong communicators and listeners, possess empathic qualities, and are passionate about the product or services their company and employees are associated with.

Leaders who are dynamic are also often brilliant strategists, and have peripheral versus tunnel vision on running a business. Additionally, they take a long-term perspective on growth and the development of their teams at all levels, and people genuinely want to follow them.

Most importantly, they are real people who are approachable, and do not take themselves too seriously. Refreshingly they will also admit to making mistakes, and take responsibility for when things are not going well instead of assigning blame. They are also generous with praise, and genuinely care about the people who they are leading and following them.

Have you worked for someone who possesses some, all of or more of these characteristics? I hope you have, as this type of leader isn’t one you will come across many times in your career. Why is a dynamic leader hard to find, and how do they become one? Let’s unpack some of the possibilities about how they developed in their careers to become this way.

In my years of observing and working for a variety of leaders, the leaders who I would classify as dynamic were ones who have actual hands on experience in an entry level position. They also likely worked in a service type of job when they were in their teens or twenties. The valuable lessons they learned in these roles provided the fundamental elements of understanding what it takes to be of service to someone, and to do this humbly and well. In the absence working in a service role, they missed a critical opportunity to hone their communication skills, apply empathy when required, practice being flexible, and becoming comfortable with making mistakes and taking ownership for them.

Working in customer service centric roles early on in leaders’ careers also develops a person’s awareness of recognizing when work is done well. It also helps them to become comfortable with expressing praise to others, as they are often praising their peers, or receiving praise from them. They also learn the importance of team dynamics, similar to those that are acquired when someone is on any type of team when they are sub 21.

So, are there questions one can ask to identify if they are in the midst of a dynamic leader? Of course, there are. Here are some you can ask to help ferret out these elusive and extremely valuable type of leaders.

  • Tell me about the team you lead. If they are not able to go into great detail about this team, and they don’t appear to be genuinely enthused about their team, chances are they are not a dynamic leader.
  • Ask them what their leadership style is. This will reveal volumes, especially if they provide you with a short response. Short responses are not exactly how I would expect a dynamic leader to respond.
  • Have them tell you about their journey to the leadership role they are in.
  • Ask them about who mentored them as they were coming up the leadership ranks.
  • Find out what type of good and bad experiences they have had with their teams.
  • Ask them what their communication style is.
  • Ask them how they process information. In other words, are they are visual learner, someone who is a verbal or kinesthetic learner?
  • Have them share with you when they realized they felt comfortable and confident enough to be a strong leader?
  • Find out what were the most influential experiences they had which provided them with the leadership skills they rely upon on a daily basis.

The final question I would ask them is: What does it mean to you to be a leader? This question will also be revealing. If you don’t like what their response is, chances are, they may not be the type of leader you want to work with, for or emulate.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Intimate teams and camaraderie. Which comes first?

Intimacy. It’s one of those words when you hear it expressed in professional settings and related to the development of business and sports teams which can conjure up associations which make people feel uncomfortable. However, it should elicit the exact opposite response.

So, why are most people uncomfortable with the concept of discussing team intimacy? One of the reasons is because our society tends not to have much experience with talking about concepts that fall into the emotion category. Especially in work and sports environments. It is also frowned upon to talk about subjects which may fall into the personal category, or are on the edge of it.

Another reason people are uncomfortable, especially managers and coaches, is that emotional development, which team intimacy falls into the category of, is not something taught in academic environments. As a result, we independently learn when we are growing up about how to apply emotions, and the appropriate ones to our social interactions. As you already know, there is a wide spectrum of people’s abilities in this area. Unfortunately, the majority of people are not at the level they may need to be.

Why are people not at the levels of where they should be in the areas of emotional intelligence and common sense? Simply put, these attributes are not equally distributed, and neither of them are academically taught. Now, toss in having to navigate and apply emotional management either as an individual team member or manager or coach, and that’s when most teams start to have challenges. Now what, and how is this remedied?

The first thing to consider is to think about why does this happen? It namely occurs because the managers and coaches are not taught how to positively leverage emotions of their team members. However, if they were, the outcomes of their team’s performance would be entirely different, and much more in their favor.

Let’s look at team intimacy from a different perspective. Whether you played on a sports team, or have been on a work team, think about which one of these were the best teams you have ever been on? What were the characteristics which made the team outstanding? If I had to pick one word to represent what is the essence of an outstanding performance team I had been on, it would be camaraderie.

Camaraderie isn’t something which is developed overnight. It takes time, and knowing how to develop it. Unfortunately, very few managers or coaches achieve the level of knowing how to do so. However, there are ones in the sports world that are shining examples of knowing how to develop teams that have incredible camaraderie and intimacy. Alabama football Coach Nick Saban is one example. Scores of content have been written about his ability to develop intimate teams. In the business world, Richard Branson is famous for developing intimate teams via the long list of Virgin brands he has crafted.

What separates Coach Saban and Sir Branson from others? Simply put, they have figured out the formula it takes to produce team camaraderie from leveraging the concept of team intimacy. They are also not afraid of harnessing human emotions to create powerful, high caliber producing teams, and so have I.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether you have what it takes to create the type of team camaraderie which others admire, and wish they knew the formula for:

  • Do you have emotional based techniques which repeatedly produce high performance results for your team?
  • On a scale of 1-10, ten being the highest rating, how comfortable are you with having emotional conversations with each of your team members?
  • How would you rate your awareness of what truly motivates each team member on a scale of 1-5, with five being exceptional?
  • What was the last conversation you had with one of your team members which caused a conversational breakthrough, and which resulted in that member producing results you have not seen before?
  • Do you know how to influence the camaraderie of your team?
  • What methods of influencing the camaraderie of your team result in sustainable and increased performance metrics?
  • Would you classify your mindset as being self-growth or self-interest?
  • What was the last thing you did to develop team intimacy?
  • What are the systems, structure or processes you have in place to develop sustainable team camaraderie and intimacy?

The questions above are not easy to answer, and chances are you will want to reflect on the outcomes of your responses for a short period of time. If you are not satisfied with your answers, and the results your team is getting, perhaps it’s time to begin considering the importance of leveraging team camaraderie and intimacy in a way you never considered doing. Although there are few guarantees in life, in this case, I guarantee those who have, are the ones who are routinely outperforming your team.

The good news for you? You get to decide which type of team you want to have. I’m guessing I know which type you would prefer to be managing, coaching or be on.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

 

How Happy are People When They See You?

If you have either owned a dog, or been around one before, you can generally tell their tail wagging is because they are happy to see you. When you know they are wagging their tail because they are delighted to see you, it’s a great feeling to have this kind of reception. Unfortunately, people are not as easy to read, and wouldn’t it be amazing if they were? Especially at work or everyday life situations.

Let’s face it. Every time you meet or encounter someone, they are not always “tail wagging” happy to see you. How can you tell? Some ways to do so are obvious (e.g., from a visual perspective they facially appear genuinely happy looking). Other people are less facially expressive and harder to judge. You might have heard the expression they have a poker face. They may in fact not realize how they are coming across to you, particularly when they are unaware of the fact they are more stoic in their facial and other body mannerisms.

Having an awareness of how you come across to others is an important skill to master. Coming across as being genuine, is even more important to work on. People who are perceived as being more friendly and happy, even if they are faking it, are much easier to interact with, and generally are stronger leaders or managers.

I recently wrote an article about the topic of being approachable . When you are approachable, or work on becoming more so, when you achieve a level of being more approachable, its equivalent to having a Disney “Fast Pass” to all of your favorite rides. The best part is that it is like having lanes of opportunity open up to you. Who wouldn’t want to hop on board to achieving this?

So, how do you tell if others are happy to see you? Here’s my take on this, and how you too can leverage this as a skill.

  • Everyone is intuitive. Some more than others. Generally, we all have a sense of being able to intuitively tell whether the person we are about to, or are interacting with is happy to be engaging with us. We have to trust our gut instinct on this. This is also referred to as an aspect of emotional intelligence.
  • Whether you realize it or not, we all have the capacity to change how others are feeling when they interact with us. Seriously. Start off by making sure you ask everyone you engage with how they are doing? Most of the time people will tell you they are “fine”. However, if you sense they are only being polite, ask them if there is something you can do for them to make their day better. You would be amazed at the reaction people have (it’s a good one) when you ask them this question.
  • Notice their body language. Are their arms crossed when they are talking to you? Do they keep adjusting their clothing, as if it is a protective armour? Many women do this, and are unaware of doing this out of being nervous, or less comfortable with the person or group they are interacting with. In this situation, make sure your physical distance is not making the person feel uncomfortable, as sometimes you might make them feel like you are invading their personal space. Different cultures have varying degrees of personal space and what amount of space makes them comfortable.
  • Maintain a steady, but not overly aggressive eye contact level with them. Striking the right balance on doing this is a factor which makes you both more engaged, and appear happy to be interacting with the person you are conversing with.
  • Even if you are not feeling happy about interacting with the person you are engaging with. When someone smiles, this can change the dynamic of the engagement from neutral to a more positive tone. Of course, there are times when it isn’t appropriate to smile, but I’m going to give you credit that you don’t need me to spell out these instances.

Having the ability to either make people happy to see you, or to turn the situation around from them not being happy to see you, to being thrilled to see you is one of the social superpowers we can all work on becoming better at. Wouldn’t you rather live in a world where the majority of people are happy to see you? I know I would, and I work on this every day.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published December 2019) and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One