Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Staying tough...Resilience training

How you train emotional intelligence gives you and your team the resilience advantage in the midst of a tough season. 


“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails." - Barbara Kerr

On an Emotional Intelligence group that I subscribe to, E.I. expert Barbara Kerr recently posted  the quote regarding the strategic advantage of resilience. In the case of leadership, our teammates will perform, or fail to perform, based on their emotional intelligence - specifically when it comes to resilience.

My organization moved into a new level of competition this past season, which took an initial toll on our win/loss record as well as our ego. Having experienced a couple playoff runs the years prior to the move, my team wasn't used to the emotional toll of losing. Even so, to our relief we instituted an emotional intelligence training program 2 years prior which ended up becoming our strategic advantage to staying resilient.

Sitting at 0-7, the team maintained their resilience which promoted a learning environment and an adaptive growth mindset for our new competitive environment. Our resilience contributed to a 4-0 run to end the season! To quite the skeptics, I must note that our end of season competition didn't get easier and we didn't add any new talent mid-season. Instead, we just proved to be more emotionally intelligent as an organization, which is exactly what we trained to be.

In my opinion, any leader must take Barbara's quote to heart and decide how they will train their own organization to become resilient.

Win Today!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bouncing back from victory

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Victories are special moments that we all savor.  Whether it's winning an athletic contest, getting an "A" on a test, or closing a deal...a victory moment is validating.  Such moments are like road signs signifying that you are on the right path to success. But, like those set-back moments of defeat, victory too needs to be put in the rear view mirror in order to keep growing.

Right out of college I put my economics degree to work by entering the financial industry in a sales role.  Early in my training I was taught that you need to put habits of success to work each day in order to finally catch the carrot of financial freedom that dangled at the end of the stick.  If you've worked in financial sales, you know the habits of success that I'm writing about have less to do with secret professional development tools and more to do with cold calling a long list of leads each day.

One day, my fellow newbies and I witnessed an associate  haul in a whale of a sale that we dreamed of eventually landing.  As the days followed, my co-worker's reputation became renowned, while his time in the office grew scarce.  Apparently, his big sale had become an arrival point for him, instead of a data point. Eventually, it became apparent to us all that his big win had derailed his process for success.  The long awaited victory may have launched his reputation, but unfortunately it short-circuited his drive.

In the book Great by Choice, Jim Collins writes about this unfortunate impasse of success by observing that, "success comes from different behaviors, not different circumstances (2011)."  If we allow the circumstance of victory to alter the behavior that led up to the outcome, then it's all a loss.  When it comes to our professional growth, if not careful, yesterday's successes will make us tomorrow's memories if we don't bounce back from victory.

Win Today!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wanting something so much you do nothing

Growing up we're taught to dream big.  We were asked to write out our dreams in a fourth grade essay or perhaps show them in a seventh grade collage. Yet, in the same stages of life we were also bombarded with messages that suggested we cast off all planning and purpose for the sake of young fun.  To make sense of the contradictions we may have found solace in the arms of potential.

Potential can be very warming, just as long as your comparison scales can always find someone worse off than you.  Potential makes us feel like there is always tomorrow, just as long as we get the minimums of everyday life done today.  However, as time progresses, if potential doesn't convert to practice, we can fall victim to the paralyzed place of wanting something so much that we do nothing.  You see, the potential we proudly believe to be harbored inside, can become such a comfort blanket that we would hate to risk the inevitable set-backs of actually pursuing it.

Within biographies we read a re-occurring theme for those who have launched out in pursuit of their dream, which is while they may have lost their good friend called potential in the low moments of life, it was replaced by a better friend called industrious.  Realized potential is marked by a trail of industrious process.  Once industrious is archived as a trait common to our character, we will have what it takes to do something about what we've been wanting.

Win Today!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Nemesis Named Normal

This morning I watched a Bloomberg interview with a chief economist talk about the housing market being half-way back to "normal." According to the report the data suggests that the housing market produced gains over the past two years. So as the fundamentals of our economy stay weak, and the Christmas bonus for many was keeping their job, the suggestion of normal is nothing more than a pacifier to quiet your call for change and belief in better.  The call to be normal is a nemesis to personal growth and relational awareness.

There is quite a bit of self-serving security in one's ability to say they are "normal" since the statement incurs that while you may have faults, at least your not like that guy! All the while "That Guy" is saying the exact same about you! The concept of normal never takes into account your own uniqueness, and instead values your ability to blend in.  As you blend in, personal frustration kicks in as the gravitational pull of normal anchors your ambition to personally evolve.

Relationally, normal excuses you from valuing the healthy differences in your spouse or your board room because they operate outside the models of marriage and business that your experiences grew accustomed to.  The numbing power of normal will keep you at bay, while the outliers who understand that normal is nothing more than a crisis of comparison, will grab hold of the fundamentals and sail beyond horizons to a land that eventually will be called normal when the masses catch up.

Your one of a kind finger print confirms your intuition. You are not normal. Just as a priceless one-of-a-kind masterpiece holds value for its intrinsic uniqueness, so we too add more and gain more from our surroundings when we daily mature our own unique talents and relational opportunities.

Win Today!