Take one step forward to change everything

I recently saw a saying which conveyed if you do not like where you are, then move. This can apply to so many scenarios, and it can literally mean pivoting and taking one step in a different direction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes making the smallest changes in any situation can have a significantly positive outcome? Take for example moving your desk to another place in your office, or rearranging and organizing items on your desk. Although these are small and seemingly inconsequential movements, they can have an impact on how you approach your next tasks.

When people are in scenarios which are unknown to them, or they are preparing to go someplace they have not been, the most difficult part of going there can be the first step they take. However, when they take their first step forward and literally look back, they have made more progress by doing this, as it is easier to continue going forward than it is to take a step back.

Earlier today I was talking to someone I have known for many years, and who has a son who is training to be a Navy Seal. He was telling me about some of the training his son has been going through, and just the first week alone and getting through it sounded nearly impossible. The sleep deprivation part of the training alone would have knocked me out of becoming a Seal, and it got me thinking about how do people get through the training process, and at what point do they decide they can’t make it through?

I have not spoken to a Navy Seal directly. However, based on hearing about my friend’s son and the type of training he has gone through, I have deduced that in order to become a Seal, it not only takes a very determined individual, but they must also possess having a certain level of mental toughness combined with sheer tenacity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Each day when the prospective Seals are in training, the first step they take must in some respects be the most difficult one. Especially since they know the day ahead of them is likely going to be tougher than the previous days. If non-Seals or regular people are fortunate, they will not face the same challenges that taking the first step forward Seals in training encounter. However, I do know that taking the first step for some people can be daunting, and most of the time it is the mental aspect, not the physical aspect which makes moving ahead difficult.

So, if taking a step forward in any situation is made challenging due to the mental aspect, what can you do to overcome and move ahead? Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Focus on your end goal.
  • Seek encouragement from others to help you to take the first step.
  • Visualize what it will feel like when you have completed the project or scenario.
  • Talk yourself into getting started, and tell yourself it will not be as hard as you think it might be.
  • Set a timeframe for accomplishing either part of the project or scenario, and work towards completing it.
  • Look for others who inspire you. They may in fact have nothing to do with what you are challenging yourself to move ahead with, but they can provide inspiration for you to move ahead based on what they accomplished.
  • Establish a reward for yourself once you move ahead and then complete your project or scenario.
  • Share your completed accomplishment with someone you are comfortable with. You might in fact inspire them to do something they are afraid of doing based on what you accomplished.

No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, everyone has things in their work and life which hold them back from moving forward. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy complaining about how they are stuck and cannot make progress. Doing this does not serve them or anyone else well, and the trick to preventing this from happening is to focus and know that by taking that first step forward, they can literally have a life changing scenario occur. Now that’s worth finding the courage to move ahead.

So, what’s next? This is a rhetorical question. Get up and take your first step towards reaching the goal you thought you could not reach. I know you can do this, and I hope I’m part of playing the role for your inspiration to do so.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

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

 

Stuck? How to get you, your team or company in motion.

There are numerous reasons and ways to what I refer to as getting stuck, either personally or professionally, and no one is immune from having this happen to them. If you are immune, give me a call, because you are a true “unicorn”.

Generally, when a person, team or company is stuck, there are Drano-like techniques you can apply to resolve this dilemma. However, often it is difficult to come up with the getting unstuck solutions because you are too close to the issue or issues which caused it. So, what do you do?

Obviously panicking about your being stuck situation is not going to solve anything, nor will ignoring it. Although many people and companies try out this approach and what happens? The unstuck situation does not get resolved, can in fact get worse, and the negative domino effect starts to kick in.

So, depending on who is stuck, the first thing to do is to commit to addressing and resolving the matter. Doing this will take immediate pressure off of the feeling of being stuck, and if a team or company is stuck, you will need to communicate with them about the fact you are addressing the matter.

By the way, “you” is either the head of the team or company who is stuck.

Thinking about and discussing how you got stuck is the second step to figuring out a solution, and this should be done in an organized way. One of my favorite ways to tackling this is to whiteboard or back-of-the-napkin how you ended up being “stuck”. I also recommend going through this exercise physically away from where the clog is. If you are the one who is stuck, I also recommend going to a neutral and also inspiring place to think about developing an unstuck solution.

Here is a (10) step approach to getting unstuck. You might only need to leverage a few of them, but there is the possibility you will need to apply all of the steps if your team or company is significantly stuck. I’ll let you be the judge on what number the stuck meter would register.

  1. Write down what makes you feel like you, your team or company are stuck (e.g., lack of energy or motivation, high attrition rates, culture issues, revenue growth is stagnant or under performing).
  2. Appoint a person as the “Chief of Getting Unstuck”.
  3. Limit the amount of people to the “Unstuck” team to less than six people, ideally fewer if possible and depending on the complexity of the matter.
  4. Agree not to play the blame game, and commit to resolving the matter.
  5. Come up with a timeline for how long it will take to resolve and get unstuck.
  6. Outline the reasons which contributed to how you, your team or company became stuck.
  7. Begin brainstorming on resolutions for each of the reasons which contributed to becoming stuck.
  8. Determine if the reasons you became stuck have the possibility of reoccurring. If they might, part of your plan is going to need to address how to reduce or eliminate this from happening.
  9. Share and widely communicate your “getting unstuck plan”, and ask for feedback. Make it clear that feedback offered should only be offered if it is constructive. Have people feel like they are a part of the solution, and not contributing to the problem.
  10. Once you have your getting unstuck solutions which are actionable and agreed upon, commit to applying them with the goal of becoming unstuck.

Getting stuck did not occur overnight. So, coming up with a solution or methods to resolve your situation is going to take some time, and will be different for each scenario. By admitting to and then committing to resolving your matter of being stuck, you will be taking the most important steps towards resolving it. Coming up with your solutions might be easier than you think they will be, and they should also be enormously satisfying when you do.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder/CEO and Chief Performance Strategist at Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at.

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

 

Millennials – Managing, Motivating & Retaining Them

Not everyone would agree, but I love when things change. I especially am excited about change particularly when the changes being applied optimize and improve what they are being applied towards. Having worked with thousands of people during my career, the most exciting generation of people I have encountered are the millennials. Why? Because they are so open to embracing change.

Managing people is probably one of the most challenging tasks to take on, especially to be able to manage them well and unselfishly. Yes, unselfishly, because in order to be a superb manager, you need to put the interests of those you are managing ahead of your own. When you do this, those who you are managing will at first potentially not notice, and when they do, they will then be surprised you are doing this, as this is not a management technique applied or embraced by all managers.

If you think of managing people from the perspective of acting as a coach or mentor, it allows you to mentally shift your thinking and begin to strategically adopt management methods which put your staff needs ahead of your own. When you put others needs ahead of yours, empower them to stretch beyond their comfort level, yet provide them with a safe zone in case of failure, people will respond and perform at a new level you might not imagine them to do so. This management concept works extremely well with millennials, as they are so open to trying new things, and actually crave doing so.

One of the best ways to motivate millennials is to ask them for their opinion, and how they might go about mapping out how to accomplish their role with limited direction from their manager. When you provide a millennial with freedom to in essence design their path forward, they will be more motivated in their role, as they feel they have a heightened sense of controlling the direction they are able to head towards. What you also might be surprised by, is that they will also be more willing to collaborate with the management team and their team peers because they do not feel the pressure of traditional methods of management constraint.

There are numerous books that have been written about motivating people in the workplace, but most of these books are based on motivational techniques which have been around for decades. Although many of the motivational techniques are still relevant, many of them will not be effective when they are applied to the millennial generation. I know this, because I have also managed, motivated and retained hundreds of people from this generation.

Unfortunately, this generation has gotten a potentially undeserved reputation for being selfish. I think this generation is misunderstood, and has been too easily labeled as being selfish due to management techniques not working on them. This is why management techniques to apply to the millennial generation are in need to being revised and adopted. The millennial generation is motivated by things which need to be factored into helping them to be successful. They care about our environment, eating healthy, taking care of themselves and doing what is best for society more than they are given credit for. When employers and management techniques are factored into account for these type of motivational examples, a true paradigm shift will occur.

The days of employees working at a company for more than 5-10 years is becoming a thing of the past, as most employees are averaging lengths of employment sub these numbers. Due to a highly fluid flow of millennial employees changing jobs so often, this puts enormous pressure on companies to try to retain them, even for 2-3 additional years. One of the largest expenses a company has is recruiting and on-boarding new employees. If they have to continuously do this, the strain on having to fund this company expense can have a severely negative impact on their bottom line. So, how do companies address this challenge?

One of the ways companies who have low millennial retention rates can turn this scenario around, is to create a culture that is appealing to them (e.g., offering them clear or varied career paths to consider, opportunities to engage with the local community during work hours, helping them to understand their innate strengths via specialized coaching, access to internal mentors on a regular basis and greater flexibility with when and where they work). Ironically, the things that appeal to the millennials, can be equally appealing to the rest of the employees, with some modifications to account for their culture and career satisfaction too.

Embracing instead of chafing against the millennial generation and the way they are managed, motivated and retained must be factored into a company’s structure of how to run a modern company. When this occurs, a company becomes far more appealing to work at, and in turn competitive in the industry they are competing in, especially since a significant amount of their employees are from or will be from the millennial generation.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at.

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

Finding Motivational Energy

Generally, when you need to be motivated to do something, it can seem like a daunting task to accomplish. Why? Because it is far easier to procrastinate than it is to be motivated. Does this sound familiar and something you can relate to? If so, you are not alone.

The good news is you can quickly get past the procrastination stage you often get stuck in. You can also do this by applying some of the motivational techniques I regularly apply, and share with others.

An example of applying motivational energy comes from a recent experience I had working with a sports team. The team was coming off an emotional two game loss, breaking their five-game winning streak. Half way through their next game, and with extremely low field player team energy, and what looked like was going to be a third consecutive loss, I talked to the team at halftime.

What I talked to them about was their attitude and the negative mental energy I could literally feel being emitted from them. I asked them the rhetorical question – “Do you want to lose this game, or do you think you have what it takes motivationally to win this game?” I told them I truly believed they had what it took to win the game. I said this with the fact they were down by five goals, and a strong likelihood the other team thought they had an easy second half win ahead of them.

When the team took the field at the beginning of the second half of the game, I told the bench players they were going to have to do something they might not have done before. What I told them is that they were going to need to transfer their positive physical and mental motivational energy to their teammates on the field in order to win the game. As you might imagine, after having said this I got some interesting looks. However, I also told them at this point of the game, they had nothing to lose by trying this, except possibly losing their third straight game.

As soon as the bench started to amp up their energy and cheer on their field teammates, you could feel an almost sudden shift in the game momentum. Literally within minutes of the bench transferring their positive energy to their teammates, the team began scoring and playing like the winning team I knew they could be. They were also applying what I will refer to as their ‘human strength roles’ on the team, and each of them knew what this meant. However, this was the first time they were truly applying this concept, even though we had been talking about the power of their “human team role” for weeks.

At the end of the third quarter, and coming off of a five-goal deficit, the team exploded with delivering double the amount of goals they had in the first half. They also ended up winning the game with a comfortable four-point lead. The other team was completely shut down. They were also stunned by the new momentum and motivational energy provided by the bench members. What made the difference in the second half of the game, was the fact the bench team members were able to successfully transfer their motivational energy to the field players, who really needed it.

This same concept of transferring the energy you put into procrastinating can be thought of like a mental on/off switch. You will literally need to give yourself a pep talk to do this, or perhaps ask someone else to do this for you. However, when you do this, you can literally shift your mindset away from not having motivational energy, to finding even a small spark which will ignite the rest of your motivation.

By committing to focusing your mind, energy and attention to what you want to accomplish, anything is possible. Even when it appears all of the odds are stacked against you. This same concept can be applied at work, or everyday life scenarios. I guarantee if you sincerely try doing what I have outlined, you will see far different and better results than you thought were possible. If you do not believe me, just ask Coach Wright, or any of the 27 young men on my sports team, or any sales person who has ever worked with me before. Happy “belated” Mother’s Day.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

This article is dedicated to Coach Sean Wright, Coach Mike Marshall, Coach Chris Harrington, Coach Ken Boyer and the entire Chelmsford, Massachusetts High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team.

Believe in yourself. It will all work out.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a situation that does not appear to be going in the right direction and thought, how is this possibly going to work out?

If you have not, I don’t believe you, as this happens to everyone. Or, perhaps you have had more than your fair share of luck, or have been living in a bubble. Either way, a majority of humans have had both life and business scenarios with which to contend.  Those that don’t seem headed towards a favorable conclusion.  But then, lo and behold, the outcome is far better than expected.

So many people spend an enormous amount of energy worrying about factors they cannot control, or consequences which are not likely to happen.

I know a number of people who worry obsessively about everything.

I have a hard time relating to this, as I try my best to do the opposite, and guess what?

Things usually turn out better than I anticipated.  Sometimes fabulously so.

In the meantime, I do not expend any energy concerning myself with factors I cannot control or that will not realistically happen. For example, I’m pretty sure nobody will actually faint from nerves in the middle of a presentation.  Okay, maybe. 😉

Of course, there is that self-fulfilling prophecy thing, but I prefer not to succumb to the negative, and think about what good things could happen instead.

When you adopt the approach of spending less time worrying about negative consequences, you free yourself to apply all of your energy to much more productive work or activities. This is a far more desirable approach.

Once you begin to implement this concept, you will start to see more positive outcomes from this paradigm mind shift.

Visualization is a technique that can be overlapped and practiced along with more optimistic thinking. Using visualization simply requires you to close your eyes and imagine what you are worried about having a positive outcome. Many athletes and executive level business people leverage this, and agree it is enormously helpful. When you are able to envision the outcome of what you are attempting to do before it happens, is a way of essentially practicing how to have success or the outcome you desired.

There is another concept called The Secret, and without getting too deep into this method of thinking, I am a firm believer this concept also can contribute to having a desired outcome from any situation you can imagine. I know this because I have practiced it and am always amazed by the results. I encourage you to look further into this concept, because it essentially taps into leveraging powers you were not aware of, but that you have to work with.

If you do not believe me, give it a try, as you having nothing to lose and so much more to gain. I have coached people on how to leverage The Secret concept, and 100% of the time the outcome has surpassed what the person was expecting. The trick is to allow your mind to be open to the concept, and then wrapping your brain around letting go of any worries you have, or anxiety to allow the power of this concept to work for you.

Imagine an hour, half a day, or weeks of not worrying about whether fill-in-the-blank is going to work out. How would your life be different if you thought this way?  What if you had more energy to invest towards improving your life, career, or anything you desire to have more positive outcomes from? I know you can embrace at least one or several of these concepts. Trust and believe that in the end, everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  Even being fired could lead to a whole new, better-paying, more satisfying career.  It could happen!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.