Admit it. Are you all talk?

Yes, I’ll grant you that some people are more achievement oriented than others, but we all have some capacity to start and complete things. Perhaps at different levels of attainment, but we either push ourselves to obtain amazing outcomes, or put in a minimal effort into doing so with lack luster results.  

Some people are of the opinion that why bother doing something if you are not going to do it exceptionally well? Does this mean they have the capacity to complete and achieve more than others? Not necessarily, but it could be one of the driving forces which allows them to put their words into action which result in a tangible and positive outcome. There are also people who are driven to accomplish something to prove they can do so to others, and some who are purely self-motivated. Although when you think about what the difference between these approaches is, this is where it can get interesting.

If you are a leader or sports coach, appreciating and understanding how to motivate another person or a team can be one of the most challenging experiences you will encounter. Not only because we understand that everyone is motivated differently, but also motivated at various levels, and they are not always in synch when you need them to be. What can be frustrating about this is when people tell you they are going to do and accomplish something that you agreed upon, and they do not hold up their end of the agreement. Yes, this is disappointing, and it impacts both parties. Perhaps an entire team.

Is it easy to determine who is “all talk, no action”? It can be, but some people are so convincing you want to give them multiple opportunities to prove it. I guarantee you know someone like this, or perhaps I might be describing you? If I am describing you, have you considered why you fall into this classification? Does it matter to you that you routinely tell others you are going to do something and prove otherwise? Do you tell others you are going to do something because it is easier than being honest with them? Or perhaps telling them you either can’t, won’t or do not want to do what you committed to doing? Maybe you have good intentions, but time passes, and you think this gives you a pass not to follow through? Possibly some other version of this type of thinking?

My question to people who are “all talk” is does it matter to you that you are letting others down with your pseudo promises? Or are you simply able to dismiss any emotions associated with disappointing others and not give it a second thought? If this is the case, then I should have more concern for your thinking. Why? Because you are capable of so accomplishing so much more than how you are acting but have chosen not to live up to your potential. A word that some leaders and sports coaches cringe when hearing or thinking about, as they have seen many people who “have or had potential” but choose not to exercise it.

Seeing someone who doesn’t take advantage of their potential from a leadership perspective is very difficult to watch, and most leaders will grant someone in this situation a few opportunities to reach their potential. Or they won’t, and the person gets bypassed and will remain the same in terms of their growth and attainment potential. From my perspective this is sad, but also a reality due to the hyper competitive world we live in. Although some people might not look at it this way, and are happy with being average and not reaching their full potential.

This morning I received a text from a person who I knew had potential, but they had been struggling for several years to do something with it. Part of the reason had to do with their lack of confidence, so they talked a good game to convince you initially they were going to follow through on what they were going to do. After hearing this a few times with no change, it was obvious they were “all talk, and no action”. However, today the text I received from this person proved they were going to act, and they outlined how this action had been planned, and shared with me the actions they had taken.

Yes, I was both surprised and happy to receive this text, as I wasn’t sure when I would. I knew I would, but the person had to believe in themselves, find their confidence to proceed, and then take the step which can be the most difficult. The first step forward. They have done this, and I have a giant and very proud smile on my face thinking about this accomplishment.

If you have good intentions and don’t want to be classified as someone who is “all talk and no action”, or who has someone you lead who is this way, below are some suggestions to help alter this scenario.

  • Have you sat down and told this person that you have noticed a pattern with their behavior? Sometimes this conversation hasn’t taken place, although you might have presumed it has. You might be the first one to call them out on their behavior.
  • Ask the person what their reasons are for continuously being “all talk, and no action”? You may or may not be surprised by what they tell you.
  • After you have asked the question above, continue to ask enough questions to get to the root of the actual “why” they don’t follow through.
  • Determine if the person wants to change? They might be stuck and need support to do so, yet they don’t know who to turn to for support, or how to ask for help.
  • Consider helping the person put together a plan of a few things they can accomplish to prove to them they can follow through.
  • Bad habits or actions can be hard to break, so it is going to take both discipline and having potentially someone who can help to keep the person on track and fully accountable for what they say they are going to do.
  • Having a clear understanding of the repercussions of not keeping your word or not following through on something needs to be agreed upon by both parties. If possible, put your agreement in the written format, and have both parties sign that they agree with the outcome. Yes, this is more formal, and it does work, and it provides the tangibility that a verbal agreement can lack.

Imagine if there were fewer “all talk, no action” people in our lives? I think about this possibility every day, and if this article helps one person to change their behavior, then I will be grateful for this.

TAGS: #Leadership #Motivation #Positivity #Business #Teams #Leader #Sports #Sportscoach #Management #Communication #Productivitytips #Awareness #Purpose #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment

How to thrive after a disappointment.

How amazing would it be to never have to handle experiencing a disappointment? It could be great! However, when I think about the times I have experienced being on the receiving end of information I wanted to be different, I can tell you the unanticipated outcome has generally turned out better than I anticipated it would have. Does this have to do with my attitude? Sure, it does. Yet this is only one of the dimensions which contribute to the initial disappointment turning into a better situation.

I don’t know about you, but I have never met a perfect person. Although sarcastically we know people who claim to either be close to perfect, even these individuals have been known to have experienced at least one major disappointment in their lives. They may not admit this, but if you asked them enough questions, you would ultimately determine there was a point in their past where a major disappointment contributed to who and where they are today in their lives, or professionally.

In my experience, people who take more risks and push themselves to higher levels of achievements will typically be the ones who are regularly experiencing hearing outcomes they would have preferred to be different. However, they continue to strive to seek a different outcome. If they are an athlete, they do this in a simplistic explanation by training and eating differently and are more strategic about how they work towards altering their performance metrics. They also seek guidance from people who have had success, or via experts in areas they can benefit from.

Businesspeople will take a similar approach to athletes in terms of modifying their performance outcomes to be more ideally suited towards their goals, and to minimize their performance metrics being disappointing to them. Or, to the people on their team who are counting on them to succeed. Independent of what type of career or industry you are in, I’m certain you can think of a time when you were on the receiving end of news you wanted to be different. Perhaps you had to deliver less than desirable news to someone you lead? No one wants to be in either of these positions, but it is a reality, and they will occur. Even when it appears you have a fool-proof plan to prevent it from happening.

I was reading a quote from Ray Kroc the founder of McDonald’s hamburger chain, and it struck me as being simplistically brilliant. Paraphrasing the quote, he said “a person is either green and growing, or ripe and rotting”. I’m sure you would want to be known as someone who is represented by the first part of this quote, but if you are in the latter part, your share of disappointments might be due to the fact you have become stagnant? Yes, being green and growing as an analogy can certainly contribute to experiencing disappointments, but I’m of the opinion I would rather be growing, and if part of the growth equation includes disappointments, as I know for a fact, I will learn from them. More so from the disappointments I might experience if I’m on the “ripe side” and rotting. Why? Because you know when you are “ripe and rotting”, and if you remain on the green and growth side, you can continue to learn and experience the opportunities which will come from your growth. I want to emphasize this is also independent of which decade in life you are in. Potentially it’s even more important to have a growth mindset as your decades add up, as we want to keep our brains sharp, and not succumb to thinking we don’t need to learn anything new because we are too old to do so.

In considering whether there is an ideal way to handle either experiencing a disappointment, or perhaps disappointing someone else, below are some suggestions you can consider or share with someone else who might need them. Especially if they are a leader or sports coach who are on a regular basis contending with having to handle the aspects associated with the concept of disappointment.

  • Keeping negative news directed towards you in perspective can take practice. It can be hard to hear, but intently listening to what is being said can provide you with valuable clues which you can benefit from, especially when you take time to process hearing the information.
  • Sometimes we can prepare and brace for hearing less than desirable news. However, consider if there was anything you could have done to make this news a self-fulfilling prophecy? Unfortunately, there are times when we will self-sabotage a situation, so hearing the news shouldn’t be too surprising. The takeaway is going back and considering the “why” did you self-sabotage the scenario?
  • There are very few circumstances we can’t learn something from. This includes being on the receiving end of the news you would rather not hear. The trick is to commit to practicing having a growth mindset, as this will contribute to how well or poorly you will handle experiencing the negative information you are receiving.
  • When you are hearing disappointing news, are you quick to blame someone else and are immediately defensive towards the bearer of the news? Sure, it’s possible another person or others contributed to what you are hearing, but factor in the “why” are you the one who is hearing this news independently? Perhaps hearing this news in this manner might be favorable to you. Why? Because you will have an opportunity to privately come up with a plan on how to leverage this information in a favorable way, potentially with the person who is sharing the news with you.
  • When someone disappoints another person, it might not on face value be what they consciously meant to do. Consider they may have done so as a cry for help, or potentially for attention they have not been able to garner via other attempted methods. It’s also possible the person on the receiving end feels worse than the news bearer, and their act of disappointing you is going to cause more mental angst than any action you can apply to prevent this circumstance from occurring again.
  • Factor in that when you are on the receiving end of disappointing news, that this is a moment in time. Circumstances can change, time will fade and heal your mental wounds eventually, and that you are not defined exclusively by what you are hearing. You can change and grow from the news you are hearing at any point in your life. Believing this is key and grant yourself permission to allow this to be potentially a new way of thinking which you will benefit from.

One of my colleagues in the past used to say in situations that warranted either bravery or a different perspective to “put on your big girl pants”. Anytime I personally come across a disappointing scenario, both this and Ray Kroc’s previously mentioned quote pops into my mind and allows me to remain optimistic. Although none of us wants to experience disappointment, there are upsides to this concept, you simply must be willing to look for and appreciate what they are.

TAGS: #Leadership #Management #Sales #Leader #Salesleader #Sales #Sportscoach #Sports #Motivation #Awareness #Positivity #Development #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Disappointment #Tipsondealingwithdisappointment

Mean girls…mean women. Didn’t they get the memo?

Yes, I’m charged up about this topic, because I’m tired of hearing about it, and even more exasperated by the fact the now “mean women” are persisting to behave in such an abhorrent manor. Especially towards women. What’s worse is that some men don’t even notice their behavior. Why don’t they? Because these women have mastered the art of behaving entirely differently around men…much nicer, and not that way towards many if not all of the women they interact with. Is this an accusation that is too harsh? Perhaps, but unfortunately in many instances it is a valid one.

I consider myself to be fortunate, as I’ve seen this behavior, but I haven’t had to contend with it regularly. You might wonder is this a generational “thing”? No, it’s not, as I have seen the “mean woman” behavior exhibited across multiple decades. Did I ever imagine this would persist? Well, I had hoped by the time I got to the decade I’m in that it might have either been resolved or been less problematic.

One thing I pride myself in is not being a hypocrite. I have never been a “mean girl”. Just the opposite, and I consider myself to serve as a role model for how to act nicely and well when I’m interacting with other women. A phrase that consistently pops into my mind is one I would routinely hear from my mom. She would say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Another phrase she would regularly say is “think about complimenting someone before you criticize them.” During my life I have leveraged these two phrases consistently, and I have also passed them along to all the women in my life I have led and interacted with.

The question should be asked “why do women treat other women poorly?” Notably in the workforce or on a sports team? There are a variety of answers, and the first one I’ll tell you about why they do is out of a lack of confidence in themselves. They act in a negative way against other women to make themselves feel better, or more confident. Yes, this might seem counterintuitive, and it is. What’s worse is that it’s a temporary feeling, so it becomes a persistent behavior pattern. Self-serving, but not in a way that will solve the core issue relating to them understanding why their confidence level is low.

Another reason some women act in a disgraceful manner towards other women is because they feel threatened by them usurping attention from them. Attention coming mainly from men, but occasionally from other women too. When they are acting this way, they may or may not be aware of the fact other women are seeing through what they are attempting to achieve, and typically at another women’s expense. Meanwhile, most men are unaware of this happening, because they are only noticing the attention from the women being directed at them. Usually positive attention, so the men are not necessarily going to do anything to prevent this from happening. Even if they might slightly be aware this attention is negatively impacting another woman. In fact, the more attention that is lavished, and which results in a favorable outcome for the women, the more they will persist in this type of behavior. Namely because no one is shutting it down, and both parties appear to be getting what they want. However, at what expense?

Some women will act poorly to other women, and act well or favorably towards men because they think this is the way for them to fit in. Perhaps to also gain more control, leverage, or to increase their leadership standing. Again, this could temporarily present why these actions are occurring, but it’s not a long term or successful strategy. Why not? Because at some point, the mean women will have to sort out how to interact well with other women. Especially when they will get to a stage when their prior behavior strategies of playing in the grey areas (e.g., excessive flirting, trying to act like one of the guys) to garner attention won’t work favorably for them anymore.

Do I think that mean girls who graduate to being mean women notice or care about how they are behaving? I have mixed feelings about this. They are mixed because I do know if some of them know exactly how they are behaving, and why they are doing so. There are others who legitimately are doing so because of behavior they have seen modeled that was inappropriate, yet they thought it was the only or best course of action for them to get results. Of course, this is unfortunate, especially because they didn’t have strong women role models to show them how to appropriately interact with others and not at the expense of either gender.

If you are leader or sports coach, and if you know someone who would be classified as a “mean girl” or who has graduated onto being a “mean woman”, I can offer some advice on how to address these women. My advice stems from having turned many of their behaviors around and graduating them onto not being in their previously and unfortunate behavior club.

  • One of my favorite questions is asking someone “Why did you say that?” Have the person explain to you why they said what they said and continue to repeat this question until you obtain a satisfactory response. Perhaps even a warranted apology.
  • When you can do so privately, ask the person if they are aware of how they are coming across to other women? Tell them you have an example which demonstrated their behavior in a way you found to be curious, and that you didn’t understand why they behaved that way. You might be surprised by their response.
  • Ask them who their female role models are.
  • Ask them what characteristics they have favorably learned from their female role models.
  • Ask them what their opinion of “mean girls/woman” are? Again, you might be surprised to find out they are not aware of the fact they are one of them.
  • Ask them if they have ever encountered a “mean girl/woman”, and how did they handle the situation?
  • Ask them if they are in favor of helping other women, and modeling behavior which fosters building up the confidence and leadership qualities in other women? If they are open to doing so, be prepared to have a plan in place to act on this.
  • Ask them if they feel well supported by other women? In fact, they may not have had many positive interactions with other women, which has negatively contributed towards their negative interaction behavior.
  • Determine if the person is willing to be mentored, and whether they are aware that more positive interactions with other women will in fact serve them well as a long-term leadership strategy.

Having now written about this topic, I am hopeful it will serve as a catalyst for constructive conversations, increasing the awareness level for both women and men on this topic, and offer some actionable approaches to alter this type of behavior going forward. If you have other suggestions, please share them with me, as we are all in this conundrum together.

TAGS: #Leadership #Teams #Sportscoach #Awareness #Motivation #Teamdynamics #Management #Personaldevelopment #Professionaldevelopment #Strategy #Successtips #Leadershiptips #Women #Womensbehavior #Advice #Mentor #Meangirls #Meanwomen

Successful leadership habits. Do you have them?

There could easily be a debate about what success means, and from a different perspective, how it is attained. Some will define success purely from a monetary lens, but as a concept, it is far more encompassing than this one dimension. Other areas that can be associated with success have nothing to do with a financial attainment level. One of these areas is an individual’s physical and mental health, and perhaps you have heard the expression “if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.”

There are numerous categories which success can be measured, and they could be aligned with whether you have a successful family dynamic, what level of education you were able to attain, how much traveling you have had the opportunity to do, or how deep and extensive your personal or professional networks happen to be. Let’s also factor in whether you have you been able to master either a craft or develop an expertise in some area of your life. These are certainly not an exhaustive list of how one might define areas of success, but the real question we should be considering is the “how” did an individual attain the level they reached? A level which would collectively be considered successful by most potential measurements?

We know that certain individuals are more focused and determined than others. Perhaps more oriented towards a higher level of achievement than what would be classified as an average level of achievement for some. Are these people self-motivated, or have they learned to stretch and always go beyond the level others would find to be an acceptable level of achievement? Or, is something else at play and contributing to them being more successful in the area they are being classified as successful in?  

Taking time to pause and unpack what makes some people more driven than others isn’t something we often take time to break down. Perhaps we would do this if we found merit in doing so, or had a fascination in doing so. Possibly we would do this because of our own circumstances being such that we believe we haven’t reached our own potential yet. Maybe we have heard others tell us this, or we know intuitively that we really haven’t given the full effort it will take to reach or exceed our potential.

As someone who has extensive experience with observing and interacting with highly successful leaders and sports coaches, I can assure you there is absolutely a common thread amongst them. One of them may surprise you, but it has to do with communication, and having the ability to clearly articulate what they expect from their own outcomes, as well as those they lead. They also follow through with what they tell you they are going to do, and I’m talking about doing this in a timely manner. Procrastination doesn’t even seem to be a word or action involved in how they operate daily. I don’t know about you, but I find these traits, or what I will refer to as habits very refreshing and reassuring too. There is something to be said for being able to depend unconditionally on someone, and this is absolutely a foundational quality and habit of a successful individual.

Other habits of successful people include having unwavering integrity. The kind of integrity level you hear about that involves doing the right thing even when someone isn’t watching.  Although you may not agree with this, the sentiment that someone who has attained success in any capacity did so at the expense of not being a good person to others isn’t always true. However, you are more apt to hear about this type of person because their behavior was less than desirable, and potentially egregious. Let’s face it, we certainly don’t have an overabundance of news reports focused on what successful people are doing in favor of others, but unfortunately, we do hear plenty of examples of negative news reports on this.

I’m a firm believer that successful habits can be both innate, as well as learned. With this premise, below are some examples of what some other successful habits are. Possibly ones you will want to aspire to?

  • No one is ever right all the time. Take ownership for your mistakes. Apologize for them and move on.
  • Stop blaming everyone else for why you haven’t attained the level of success you are seeking. Yes, there may be circumstances beyond your control which prevented you from your attainment, but how about you pause and reconsider that you haven’t achieved them “yet”?
  • Successful people don’t waste their time complaining. Instead, they do something constructively, and likely strategically too to change or alter the outcome of their scenario.
  • Stop talking negatively about others. The old saying “if you don’t have something positive to say about someone, don’t say anything at all” still applies. If you find yourself speaking negatively about other people, consider why you are doing this? Would you want others to be doing the same thing in reverse?
  • Help someone out that could benefit from your support. Yes, it might be inconvenient to do so, but building up your “karma bank” never hurt anyone. You likely won’t even know about the majority of “good karma” examples that successful people are doing on a regular basis. What can you do today to start doing this yourself?
  • Are you tossing around “f-bombs” and other words which could easily be replaced with better expressive words? Or, have you considered how you sound to others when you are dropping words into your conversations that make you sound like your vocabulary is stuck in middle school? Foul language doesn’t sound intelligent, tough or attractive, and people at the highest levels of being successful will seldomly leverage foul language or do so casually. Elevate your bank of words by committing to dropping the foul language from every day or casual usage.  Doing so will automatically make you appear to sound more intelligent.
  • Stop interrupting others when they are speaking.
  • Listen with intent, and make the conversation interactive, versus it being a one way conversation or monologue.
  • Genuinely praise others and understand your praise as a leader has more weighted value, and can have a long lasting positive impact.
  • Be respectful of other people’s time and be on time. It’s rude if you are not and shows a complete disregard for the value of other people’s time. If you are not 10 minutes early, you are late.
  • Including others that might not be considered for inclusion, but that can offer tremendous new insights towards you or the team you are on is something you should begin to become comfortable with. At first you will likely resist attempting this, but consider this, the best leaders and most successful people are regularly giving others a chance, taking risks, and more often than not, rewarded for them. Yes, you can mitigate your risks, but the point is to at least take them, and get out of your comfort zone of doing the same thing, and with the same people you would have only included on your team in the past.

If some of the examples above are not being practiced by you or someone you know, and if you or they want to get to the next level of success, I hope you will at least commit to “test driving” some of them. Especially if you sincerely want to start embracing habits of successful people, leaders and sports coaches.

TAGS: #Leadership #Teams #Business #Leader #Success #Motivation #Successhabits #Successfulhabits #Successtips #Motivation #Sportscoach #Teams #Sportsteam #Awareness #Teamdynamics #Management

Are you anticipating versus being reactive?

I’ll never forget the time when I was witnessing a medical scenario and I watched the medical team respond to a situation which they appeared to be anticipating what their next steps would need to be. This was clearly achieved from having years of experience with either the same variables, or very similar ones. Watching them perform with ease and complete coordination was impressive, and the scenario was literally a life-or-death situation, and yes, they saved the person’s life.

Most people are not in life of death situations, and I would always express and remind people of this when they began to exhibit signs of going into either a panic, or reactive mode. When someone is going into being reactive in a situation, there is an opportunity to respond differently. However, it will take having an awareness of a few different factors. One of the factors is time. If you can slow down your immediate reaction and pause to think about what your options are, this will help to set you up to have more than one reaction choice. The more you do this, will also train you to think more strategically, and ideally, to respond in a way which results in a better outcome.

The second factor is confidence. When we are not confident about our decisions or the experience we can apply, we tend to under value and perhaps dismiss what our gut instinct response should be. A response that is both based on a survival instinct, and depending on the scenario, a sprinkle of including previous experience which resulted in a favorable conclusion.  

Certainly, when we are early in our careers or working our way up to the highest level of being on a sports team, there is typically a pattern or track we would be expected to follow to proceed forward. Some people are gifted with talent or knowledge they have attained earlier than others, and which will serve to fast track them. However, even with their advantages, they will still encounter occurrences when they will be faced with whether they can anticipate versus being reactive. Perhaps not as often as others with less experience or talent, but they will occasionally be in this scenario, and this is perfectly acceptable.

Depending on your outlook and approach to handling situations, you may be the type of person that looks at things not going well purely as a hassle. Not as an opportunity to consider how you can learn from it. Or, potentially have it result in a better outcome had the situation not initially been going in a less ideal way. I believe outlook and attitude are closely linked, and if you tend to be the type of person that is less inclined to anticipate a positive outcome, in my experience, the outcome isn’t as desirable. Of course, you might be surprised when it is, but this isn’t the norm.

If you find yourself leading others who are more often in a reactive versus anticipatory state, below are some examples of how you can help them to start working towards handling situations much more fluidly, with ease and better outcomes. Both for themselves, and the others who will be positively impacted from this new way of responding to matters they need to handle.

  • This won’t apply to every situation but doing a post-mortem on a situation that didn’t have a positive outcome or could have been handled better is always a great method which incorporates both a teaching and non-accusatory management approach.
  • Not every scenario can be practiced, but there are plenty which can be. Make sure you are putting in enough time to practicing and determining a variety of options of how you could better anticipate versus being reactive in that scenario.
  • You hear people in highly charged situations asking people to remain calm. Although not all situations are highly charged, you can borrow from this method and be intentionally focused on first calming yourself down, and then allowing yourself and your mind to have greater clarity on deciding and being more anticipatory about the next steps.
  • Yes, there may be an ideal way of responding or anticipating a better outcome, but if you can also factor in applying common sense, the result will be more desirable.
  • Doing this isn’t easy but do your best to quickly assess and think about what you want the result of the situation you are reacting to will be.
  • How you react, and whether you are an anticipatory or a reactive person is something others notice. If this matters to you, by choosing which category you are in is the first step towards switching categories. Hint: Most leaders fall into the anticipatory category.

Eventually with experience people if they are intentional about wanting to be in the category of being more anticipatory versus a reactive person will get there, but this will take time and experience for you to get there. If you are intentional about having this be your focus, I am confident you will achieve this attainment.

TAGS: #Business #Leadership #Communication #Management #Leader #Sports #Sportscoach #Teams #Confidence #Businesstips