Have you or your team reached your full potential yet?

It’s easy to talk about reaching your potential. However, does anyone really have a roadmap, or is there actually one that exists to help you or your team achieve its maximum potential? Or, once you reach your or a team’s potential, is it possible to maintain this potential?

These are all really difficult and profound questions to consider, let alone answer. In terms of having a roadmap, yes, it is possible to have one, especially if you intend to get to where you desire to be. Potential can be a subjective concept, and depending on what you are measuring, your measurement criteria may or may not be accurate.

Some potential is more elusive and difficult to quantify. For example, people who are considered friendly and able to converse with anyone may have potential to have a career in sales. For those of you in sales, you know there are varying degrees of being a good conversationalist, and it might not have anything to do with being friendly. So, if you were in a position to judge someone’s potential about whether they would be successful in sales, you would likely need to factor in other criteria to help you.

Measuring potential is not a single dimension exercise. When you factor in assessing more than one person’s potential and are asked to determine an entire team’s collective potential, this becomes much more challenging to do. However, I have found it is possible to do this type of measurement. In addition to leveraging the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine each team members Top 5 strengths, there are a number of other criteria I overlay to help me.

Here are some of the criteria I apply to help me determine both an individual, as well as a team’s success potential.

  • You need to assess the motivation level of each person on the team. This can be achieved by asking them a series of questions which will reveal what their current motivation level is, and what level they have the capacity to get to.
  • Different from assessing someone’s motivation level, is determining what motivates them. You might be surprised by the variety of answers, and they are not all driven by tangible things you might expect to hear them tell you.
  • Each person has a different definition of what success means. When you find out what theirs is, it can provide clear insight into what their potential level is.
  • Find out what the team leader is doing to serve as a role model to help inspire and motivate their team to reach each of their potentials, as well as for the collective team potential.
  • Asking someone to visualize and then describe their vision of reaching their potential isn’t something most people are asked, especially in the workplace. This is more commonly asked in the sports team industry. However, it is a powerful method for both the individual as well as their leader to have insight into how the person perceives what their potential can look like.

There are numerous other methods I apply when I am helping leaders and teams help to assess people’s potential. All of the suggestions above can be applied to any industry, profession or career level.

In terms of addressing whether it is possible to sustain potential, my take on this is that it tends to vary. However, a high level of potential can be both achieved and maintained given the right circumstances to foster and nurture an individual or team’s potential. Consider whether you are a guardian of others potential, or detracting from it.

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 is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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.

 

 

Hope. Sometimes it’s all you need.

Upon doing some research on the concept of hope, I surprisingly found a limited amount of data on this topic. There was a significant amount of research on optimism, and hope and optimism could in fact be strongly linked to one another. However, they are in fact different. Part of the reason for this is because it has been harder for both sociologists and psychologists to do research on hope as a stand-alone concept. Additionally, it is hard to qualitatively and quantatively measure.

In the context of a business scenario, whenever I heard the expression that hope is not a strategy, I always disagreed with this statement. Why? Because although strategy is grounded in looking ahead and formulating a plan of how to move ahead and grow, in my opinion, and from my experience, the basic concept of hope is also formulated and can be applied in a similar way.

Having a strategy does not necessarily provide you with energy and enthusiasm. It can provide you with a focus and direction. However, this needs to be supported by energy which can be derived from being hopeful the strategy is a sound and strong one. One of course, with the desire to provide a positive outcome.

Possessing the right experience is also part of the equation when we are talking about strategy. However, hope still plays a factor in your strategy, because you need people to buy into the concept of the strategy. Analytical data will be required to support your strategic plan, but you still need people to believe, and buy into your concept. Hence, being hopeful they will.

One of my past articles talks about having a positive attitude, and asks you to consider altering your thinking and imagining that everything will work out well . Yes, in my opinion positive thinking is involved in having hope. Some others might call this faith. However, I’m not going to get into the aspects of faith, as it can be interpreted in so many different ways.

When I think of having hope towards a situation working out favorably, I literally feel like my brain chemistry changes. I also am aware that my attitude frees up my brain to focus my mind differently. In a much more creative and insightful way. An example of this would be the concept of brainstorming. Brainstorming in the sense of being challenged with a scenario, and having to come up with solutions for how to solve the situation.

Let’s consider some ways you can apply being hopeful to any situation. Perhaps one you are facing which might be considered negative, or less than desirable.

  • If you are on a sports team, and your team is losing the game, when you and the rest of your team are hopeful your team can win, you will notice a dramatic shift if everyone rally’s behind the belief this can happen.
  • Let’s say you are a salesperson, and you are not making your number for the month. Having hope and thinking both strategically and positively, versus giving up and accepting you will not meet your number for the month requires a healthy dose of hope.
  • When you are faced with hearing bad news of any kind, you have a choice. You can accept the bad news and wallow in it, or have hope that the bad news might in fact be the catalyst to have you consider different approaches to altering the outcome of the news.
  • Asking others to be hopeful for you may not seem practical or something you would consider. However, when you surround yourself with more positive thinking people, it can have a dramatic impact on your situation. I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times.
  • Life is a journey, and is hard if not impossible to predict all of your life and business outcomes with 100% certainty. However, you can be more hopeful with your attitude, which takes less energy than being negative about future outcomes.

Since there is no such thing as a crystal ball to predict our futures, my point about considering hope as part of your life or business strategy, is to get you to think about a concept which you might not be comfortable with. The flip side is that hope may in fact provide you with the positive outcomes you would want to achieve. Having hope is a choice, and a fairly easy one to embrace. My hope is that you give this concept some further thought.

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 is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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

Don’t fire them. Nope. Fire them up!

In 1994 Frank Pacetta wrote a book called ‘Don’t Fire them. Fire them up!”. I heard about this book recently. Although in full disclosure, I have only read the first two pages to get the gist and context of what was going to be conveyed. To my delight, the book was about motivating yourself and your team!

Since I often write about teams and motivation, knowing this small amount of information was enough for me. However, the thought of retaining an employee that others might fire seemed a bit controversial. Perhaps unconventional, but it got me thinking about the scores of people I have seen fired, instead of Frank’s concept of firing them up.

If you are a Human Resources professional, or manager, you are likely cringing at the thought of retaining someone that many think should be fired. Most HR pros are also accustomed to having to go through strict procedures prior to releasing someone from their team. All to essentially cover the company’s posterior, since the US has become highly litigious about this sort of thing.

Back to the concept of firing someone up. What if instead of firing people, management figured out how to motivate them? Perhaps they are not motivated because of who they work for? Or, possibly they are in the wrong role? Maybe it has to do with your company culture?

Possibly it’s the person, and they are simply not motivated.

Deep down inside, most people are motivated, but they sometimes need someone to help them to figure out what motivates them. When this happens, look out! Why? Because you might not recognize this newly motivated individual, and I guarantee you will be thrilled with their new attitude.

I can’t tell you how many people I have had conversations with who have told me they are in their current role because someone else told them it was a great occupation. Uggh. Wrong reason. This is also potentially the culprit for why so many people need to be fired up, or realigned with another role. Have you been there? Or, do you have someone on your team who falls into this category?

When someone is hired at a company, they each are making an investment in one another to be successful. As we know, not all investments pan out the way we want them too. However, with people, there is more you can do to position the investment for a favorable return. It can literally start with properly on-boarding them in their role. Doing this helps to literally inspire them to want to work at your company. Although I realize this might be a stretch in some roles.

If you properly on-board someone in their role, both parties will more rapidly know if the position is the right one for them. When this happens, if the person is not right for the role, this is when the “firing them up” concept can kick in. Instead of referring to it as “firing them up”, let’s think about it as a realignment of talent.

Depending on the size of your company, you may or may not be in a position to realign talent. Although if you are able to do so, both parties will typically benefit from this. Not always, but instead of dismissing a person from your company, consider taking another look at the talents they have to offer the company in a different role.

Doing this can be highly motivating for the person who was realigned, and their new manager and the different team they are on will also benefit from their positive energy of starting a new role. Are you willing to give this concept of firing someone up a chance? I hope so, as you might be pleasantly surprised with retaining versus letting someone go. Just think, they might instead be on a track to inspire others, and be a role model employee!

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 is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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

 

The Ultimate Turn Off

UNPLUGGED: the first known use of the word was in 1968, in reference to music recorded with acoustic rather than electrically amplified instruments.  These days, it means to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time.

Being on the other side of the world makes one think differently. Or at least it did me. Part of this had to do with the fact I was traveling alone, and had extremely limited access to the typical electronic communications gadgets I am accustomed to using. This was simultaneously nerve wracking and liberating. The stressful part had more to do with always feeling like I have to be plugged into the pulse of the world.  The liberation came from being able to ignore what is going on – at least for a period of time. Being 15 hours ahead of most of my family and friends also presented some rather interesting challenges and outcomes. They were all worth it.

One of the best results of limited access to world events is that it forced me to ask others, to pick up a newspaper, or simply not knowing.

When you are able to unplug from the day-to-day distractions life offers, you are more willing to consider doing things you might not normally do. One is to get out and talk to people. Yes, actually strike up a conversation and perhaps meet a future friend. The fact I was traveling alone and had years of practice of doing this made it a bit easier for me to be comfortable with this tactic. The truth is, I find it actually to be refreshing.

During my trip, I was essentially unplugged for more hours than I am typically in the know. During this down time, I had the opportunity to do some new things, see some sights and meet people I never would have met had I been tethered to my gadgets and Wi-Fi connection.

One new friend was building a development on one of the Fiji Islands. He had been patiently waiting for five years for his paperwork to be approved so he could start the actual building process.  He was now in the early construction phase, and anticipates opening his resort late next year. I never would have connected with this man if I had not met and agreed to have dinner with two people I became friends with earlier in the week.

When you take the time to unplug from the rest of the world, it also changes how your mind starts to process information. You begin to think through scenarios with an entirely new level of clarity and detail. This happens because you are not constantly distracted by all of the interruptions which either you allow to enter into your thought process by perhaps a simple “click” on a link, or because you switch between your gadgets to see what they might offer you from an information perspective.

Sometimes people tell me they are becoming less able to concentrate and potentially feel like they might have attention deficit issues. I personally think the gadgets have caused more people to feel like they cannot concentrate. However, when you allow yourself to get away from them, you become amazed at how your concentration levels improve.

Some people are too quick to depend on medication to help them to have better focus, and    we know the medication only provides a temporary solution. Yes, it’s my opinion, but who really wants to take more medication? Aggh, no one is the answer, contrary to what the pharmaceutical companies want you to do.

The good news is that there is potentially and more simple, non-pharmaceutical solution.

Are you ready to take on the challenge of unplugging?

Perhaps it will require some planning, but the results could be worth the effort.  Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to experience a whole new world – if only for 30 minutes, or half a day. . . or a week . . .  Just think of the possibilities!

I highly encourage you to take on this challenge experiment. I would love to hear what happens to you when you attempt to unplug, and then have success in doing so. I know you can do it, so don’t deny yourself the opportunity to experience a whole new world. Think of the possibilities of what will be unfolding in front of your very eyes, and the new people, experiences and things you will see. Mine were seeing a Mongoose, taking a mud bath, meeting an art dealer and General Manager of an incredible resort, and learning many new rules associated with the game of Rugby.

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 is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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

(6) Ways to turn up your aspirational thinking.

There are plenty of people to want to be like, but what if you are like me?  Someone who has always seemed to have a foggy image of who I wanted to be when I grew up?

Like many little girls, I wanted to be like my Mother.  I have always admired her many incredible qualities.

However, she was in an entirely different profession than I was, so aspiring to be like her professionally was not possible.  She was a nurse and I have always been a business person. My Father was a businessman, but I still am not sure exactly what he did. He never talked about his work. So, wanting to be like someone who does not communicate about their work is difficult, but I absolutely wished to have his and my Mother’s work ethics, which were both impressive.

I believe it is natural to want to be like someone you admire, especially if it helps to motivate you in some way.

I wanted to be like my parents based on some of the aspects of how they modeled their behavior, and which I admired.

Over the years, as a business professional, I had few other females to look to as role models. They were not physically present throughout the majority of my career.

However, there have been a few women who significantly and positively influenced my career. One of them is Myra Hart. Myra was my first real boss when I was working at the corporate headquarters of Staples. This was at the time when Staples had only four stores and were in the process of taking the office supply industry through an enormous paradigm shift.

Myra was the only “C” level woman executive on the team, and she and co-founder Tom Stemberg were both newly-minted Harvard Business School graduates.

Myra was the only woman executive, so I carefully watched her style of interacting with the other executives, and how she led our Growth and Development team.

Since I did not have anyone to compare Myra’s management style to, I was able to, later on, model from her management style in the leadership roles I have had. There were a couple of other business women who influenced me and who I aspired to be like.  As my management career progressed, I realized there wasn’t anyone else I wanted to model.

This was an epiphany, and made me realize I had to strike out on my own and simply make a commitment to be the best I could be at whatever I chose to pursue, including serving as an inspirational and motivational leader for others. I am on my way to do this as I write these words, so keep your eye out for me in places you might not expect to see me.

Having goals and finding people or things that inspire you are important tools, and can serve as your compass when you need them.

You may not be in a place right now where you have a person or something to inspire you, but keep on the lookout as most people can benefit from having one or both of these.

Something that kept me motivated was the ability to travel outside of the United States. I was able to start accomplishing this dream when I was in my early 30s, and have continued to leverage travel as an inspirational tool.

Here are six things to think about when trying to determine what can help you decide what you want to do professionally, or personally.

  1. Print, or cut out images that inspire you, or that you aspire to either possess, or be like in the future. Place them on a piece of poster board, and in a location, you can look at it every day, or on days when you need visual inspiration.

 

  1. Create a list of people you admire.

 

  1. Write down the characteristics of the people or things you want to be doing. Use this list as inspiration.

 

  1. Think about some of the qualities or characteristics you already possess which will help drive you towards who or what you aspire to be, or do. Chances are, you have more of them than you might think.

 

  1. Have you considered whether you might be someone that other people aspire to be like? Perhaps people have told you they admire you, your work or something you have a talent for.

 

  1. Set a realistic goal to work towards achieving what you want to do, and then keep yourself accountable. This takes discipline, but it will be worth the effort.

Now that you have some ideas about how to map out having someone or something to aspire achieving, don’t just give this lip service or put the idea up on a shelf, go out and start making it happen. As the saying goes, “there is no time like the present, and the present is now.”

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 is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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