Lead a vivid life that does good

Author: Andrew (Page 1 of 43)

“It’s not personal, it’s just business” is BS.

Its Not Personal Its Just Business is BSThe words “It’s not personal, it’s just business” are all too common. I’ve had them used to me, my staff and friends. And I’ve often read them in the media.

The reality is, of course, that all business is personal.

Every interaction we have with another human being is personal, founded on human to human relationships. When we start to think that “it’s just business” takes priority over personal, as a human and leader we have failed.

Of course we can and must make business decisions. But as soon as we talk to the people who are impacted by the decision, we need to remember, it becomes very personal to them.

If you find yourself about to utter the words “It’s not personal. It’s just business”, then please pause for a moment…

Look the other person in the eye, and realize it’s probably personal for them!

Then … adjust accordingly.

3 Steps to get Motivated

Motivation is something you doI didn’t want to run. Not a single bone in my body felt like venturing out into the dark cold winters morning to exercise.

Luckily, I have some well-rehearsed steps to get me motivated:

  • Get what I need | I get dressed and lace up my running shoes.
  • Step Out | I step out the door.
  • Take Steps | I take steps in the right direction and repeat.
  • Finish | And eventually and after a few thousand steps I finish! And the soak, not in sweat, but in the sweet high of endorphins that comes from finishing.

Clearly, this is not really a post about running.

It’s about motivation.

It’s about that task or project you have been putting off.

Often the times we least feel like it, are the very times that we need create motivation.

Get what you need.

Step out.

And take the first small slow step.

Motivation is not something you have, or feel.

Motivation is something you create.

Motivation is something you do.

Four Gaps to Avoid to Increase Trust

An4 Gaps to avoid to increase trustyone who has ridden the London Tubes will be all familiar with this phrase ,”Please mind the gap between the train and the platform.” The announcement is a constant reminder to beware of gaps, so that you don’t get tripped up or worse.

Gaps can be dangerous! And it’s a pretty safe bet that one of these four gaps are tripping you up.

Gap # 1 | Communication Gap
“But I told you that” is the thought that pops to our mind, “why didn’t they listen?”. We might of said it, or sent an email and made it abundantly clear. But just because we said it does not mean communication has happened. And if they didn’t understand us, as the communicator it’s our fault, not theirs!

At Agoge and coHired we value Compelling Communication. That means that our communication should compel people to take action. Compelling communication is hard, because it takes pre-thought, clarity and crafting. But without it communication is often lost.

Lastly, a big issue with the communication gap, is that any gap will be filled. Either by the other persons thoughts or other peoples conversations.

Gap # 2 | Statement / Fact Gap
We’ve all heard it before, someone makes a big strong statement that is simply not factual. But they say it so strongly that no-one wants to refute it. Avoid doing this ourselves by watching for the word ‘always’ and ask questions before making a statement.

Always: Watch for this word “always”. ‘He always…’, ‘I always’, ‘it has always been’. Always can lead to big gaps between statements and facts. And when you make strong statement it always often shuts people down, and stops the real detail and facts coming out.

Questions: Steven Covey said “Seek first to understand before being understood”, and there is so much power in that phrase. The best way to avoid being ‘that person’ is to ask a bunch of questions to really establish the facts before making the big statement.

Gap # 3 | Say Do Gap
Nothing affects our credibility more than saying we will do something, and then not doing it. For some people this gap is more like a chasm, and its generally avoided by…

Yes means Yes: “Let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No”. We get to choose to say ‘yes’, which means we also get to choose to say ‘no’. The irony for many people is when they are most busy they say yes because its easy to avoid the mental load of saying no. Sometimes it’s a great idea to pause the yes. ‘I don’t have the space right now, can you check back in a few days’.

Clarity: Once we say yes, be really clear with the person what we are saying yes to. What are e committing to and most importantly by when? If they expect it today, and we are thinking a week. Huge gap.

Capture it: I’m constantly blown away by how many people ‘trust’ their memories. If we say we are going to do something and we don’t write it down in a place we can trust (GTD). We are setting ourselves up to fail.

Ask for help: Often we have the best intentions and then we hit a roadblock and our execution stalls. Don’t let a say do gap arise because we aren’t prepared to ask for help. Often the best place to ask for help, is by starting person we agreed the action. It shows them we are working on it, but stuck.

Unsay it: Once we’ve said it does not mean it’s the final word on the matter. ‘Hey I know I said I could do this. But I simply don’t have the space for it, but here’s someone else who may be able to help.’

Gap #4 | Knowledge Gap
The knowledge gap can trip us up in 2 ways;

Your knowledge gap: We all hate a ‘know it all’, which is why it’s crazy that we so often think we need to have the answer. ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, and we don’t have to know everything so stop pretending like we do. “I don’t know”, “I can’t recall’, “and I can go find out” responses are great to help make sure we get the knowledge we actually need.

Their knowledge gap: Sometimes we are the expert and the gap is theirs. Just because you know the answer does not mean you need to fill the gap. People with all the knowledge often end up being in the middle of the knowledge gap, which is helpful in the short term, but a disaster in the long term. If someone is asking for your knowledge, sometimes the best thing to do is to get them to fill the gap for themselves.

Why are these gaps so dangerous?

One word.

Trust.

When we allow the above gaps to form, people notice. And if the gap gets too big, you begin to get a bad reputation. When that happens their trust in you takes a massive hit, so maybe it’s time to go fill some gaps.

To be Human

To be human is to step up and play your partTo be Human is…

To be an adventurer.

To embrace failure.

To be authentic.

To be messed up.

To seek connection.

To stand up for injustice.

To love regardless.

To say sorry.

To be unique.

To have faith.

To be human is to step up.

And play your part.

 “Treat others, the way you would want to be treated.” Easy to talk about. Hard to do.

Treat others, the way you would want to be treatedTreat others, the way you would want to be treated!

This is a post about how The Golden Rule is easy to talk about, hard to think about, and harder to do!

You could read the post.

Or

You could put it into action, right now, for one person!

 

Easy to talk about…

At face value the Golden Rule is a great concept, although I’m not sure how it became golden or a rule.

Most world religions have a form of the rule, although its best known in the west through Jesus words, where he indicates that the essence of the bible is to live this way.

You’ll hear it talked about with kids, in schools, at churches, in communities and even in the business world.

And it’s easy to talk about, probably because we would all like people to treat us that way.

 

Hard to think about…

Pause and consider these questions:

Consider that challenge your friend is going through right now. If you were that friend, how would you want to be treated by the real you?

Put yourself in the shoes that person who is ‘unjustifiably’ grumpy with you. If you were that person, with all their feelings, beliefs and experiences. How would you want to be treated by the real you?

Ponder being a homeless person on the streets. How would you want to be treated by the real you?

Think about how it would feel to be a parent with a starving child in the third world. How would you want to be treated by the real you?

 

Harder to do…

In all honesty, my answers to those questions are often not reflected in my actions.

Which could be disheartening, because I can’t help everyone in the world.

But I can help one!

And I can do that today.

Imagine a world were even 10% of people truly completely lived the Golden Rule.

Or imagine working in an organisation where everyone, always lived the Golden Rule first and foremost. (Hint to my coHired & Agoge teams this is essence of ‘love people’)

Or imagine our own life, how radically different would it be if we chose to treat others, the way we want to be treated.

What if treating others, the way we would want to be treated,

stopped being some abstract golden rule,

and instead became our life mantra?

How to really win an argument

Win the person not the battleRecently I was chatting to a stranger who had, in my opinion, a very dated and passionate view on military conscription.

Now like you, I am very opinionated.

This means we encounter people with very different views to us. And, if we aren’t careful this can lead us to bombard them with our opinion, to persuade them, and show them where they are wrong. We want to prove our point. And in some ways be victorious in this small battle.

And in doing so…

We.

Lose.

The.

Person!

As I talked to the passionate opinionated stranger my desire was for just one thing.

To win the person, not win the battle.

So, I listened.

Asked questions.

Tried to understand their view.

And, not surprisingly, learnt something.

There are plenty of places for disagreement and this September we have some pretty big issues to vote on in the referendums.

Already the opinions are strong, and they will escalate to conversations and social media rants.

And when these opinions conflict with yours remember its more important to Win the person, not the battle.

One talent children must have for jobs of the future.

The talent children must have for jobs of the future.In the past, most jobs were about manual labour. Back then strength and physicality won the day.

Currently, the good jobs use your mind. Your brain, your creativity and your ability to think set you apart. As knowledge workers, the company basically pays us for our brains.

Now, with Robots doing the manual work, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) doing the knowledge work faster than we can (without needing to sleep), what will the best jobs of the future be?

In the future, the best jobs will be about person to person, human to human connection.

As Robots and AI do their thing, the people who will be the most valuable are those who can connect, care, and help with a genuine authentic heart.

The future of work is the heart!

Recently after pitching coHired and was I told “You’re the only company who is using AI [in HR] who are actually putting ‘heart for people’ into what you do”. Which is not a surprise given our vision is ‘People Matter ∴ Do Good’ with a core value of ‘Love People’.

We believe that AI will have a huge impact on recruitment over the next 5 years. But we also believe that jobseekers want (and deserve) dignity. That only comes when the people in our company have not just brains (and they are incredibly smart), but more importantly heart.

If you want to know what to teach your kids to set them up for the future?

Teach them to love people.

Choosing your response

we always get a choice about how we respondLife can never be lived perfectly.

It won’t always go the way you planned.

At times it can be frustrating, annoying, disappointing and painful all at the same time.

And when our world is spinning out of control we can feel our choices are limited.

But … we always get a choice … about how we respond…

Choose…

Kindly.

Boldly.

Vividly.

Lovingly.

Magically.

Graciously.

Beautifully.

Authentically.

It’s easy to become frustrated or beat ourselves up when things aren’t going well. We can feel justified in the way we feel, vindicated even.

That is, until we remember that we always have a choice in how we respond.

When we choose to take a different position, when we step into different actions, then

life

begins

to

brighten

again!

Do you trust me?

Trust what I say do value“Do you trust me?” I was asked with absolute sincerity.

It’s a huge question because trust binds all relationships together.

“Do you trust me?” is not a simple question, and in the years since I’ve come to realise that trust is made up of three things:

  • Trust what I say
  • Trust what I do
  • Trust what I value

 

Trust what I say:
This is all about truthfulness, and the ability to believe that this person is telling you the truth and that you can rely on their word.

When the person asked if I trusted them, my answer was 100% yes, because time and time again they had proved themselves truthful. But what they were really asking was do you trust what I do?

Trust what I do:
This is about trusting the persons decisions and actions. A person can be 100% truthful, but we are not sure about some of the decisions they make and we struggle to trust them in those areas.

Trusting what people do takes time and is complicated. We can trust a person will make the right decisions in most areas, and then question the decisions when they are given new responsibility, as we watch to see if they adapt to the new challenges.

Trust what I value:
When we value different things, and they are not discussed, then it can cause us to feel like we don’t trust each other, despite the fact we trust what they say and do. The challenge with trusting what we each value, is that we don’t generally do the hard work to understand each other’s values.

With one of my new direct reports, we worked out my value of ‘freedom’ was at odds with his value of ‘structure’. Neither of these values is wrong, but if we hadn’t noticed it and named it, then as we work together we could have begun to wonder if we could trust each other.

Nothing will kill connection, dampen joy or increase stress in any relationship more than where I fail to trust or unintentionally make people feel untrusted.

When we find that we are struggling to trust a person, dive in and ask…

Do I trust what they say?
Do I trust what they do?
Do I trust what they value?

Then go and have a sincere truthful conversation with them.

Because relationships are built on trust, and they are worth the effort.

Compassion is the only acceptable response

Compassion was the only acceptable response.Disappointed? Yes.    Appalled? Often.   Outright angry? Sadly.

This describes some of my emotions as I’ve read various opinions in the weeks following the Christchurch mosque shootings. Christians up in arms about the call to prayer; a Hamilton City Councillor suggesting we “move on”; criticism of wearing the hijab; Katie Hopkins ranting from the other side of the world; and off course Destiny church protesting across the road from the mosque.

Before you think I’m about to question your beliefs or opinions I’m not … so relax.

So, why was I disappointed, appalled and angry?

Because these comments aren’t what compassion looks like in action. Or what love does.

Compassion and love are so much more than pity or sympathy or even empathy.

  • Pity:   I can see you are suffering.
  • Sympathy:   I care about your suffering.
  • Empathy:   Me Too – I feel your suffering and grieve with you.
  • Compassion:   I’m here with you, beside you, ready to help. “You are us.”

So what does aroha or love in action look like?

Hint: Having all of the above!

Yesterday President Trump said he had the “deepest sympathies” for the most recent synagogue shooting in the US. Compare that to how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded. She acted with kindness and compassion and love and aroha. She showed love to the people directly affected and demonstrated compassionate leadership to the rest of us. If I was a victim connected with that horrible day I’d have wanted more than pity or sympathy or empathy. I’d have wanted the Prime Minister to show compassion and love.

Which is why I’ve been disappointed, appalled and angry.

Because compassion should always be our response. And if we can’t or aren’t prepared to really show compassion, probably best we shut up, keep our opinions to ourselves and stop criticising the people who are.

Action speaks loudly!

 

NB: At best I had empathy. Which is a challenge to me in and of itself.

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