Syrus couldn't hide his jubilation on the next visit. Rolling the flip charts out on the table, he said that he could feel the shift in each department. "More proactive," he said. "They are all working on projects that they initiated."
"So the next step is clear, Syrus."
"Not to me," Syrus countered.
"Leadership By Walking About! It's time to begin a practice of personal engagement with the troops, Syrus. They want to see you and connect with you."
To make a long story short, as they say... Syrus began strengthening his relationship with his managers and his teams. From that time on our coaching sessions began to focus on the key indicators that make success in leadership as well as in life.
Based on the latest research, Syrus took the IQ, EQ, SQ Inventory and began developing the key traits necessary to improve his results with people. Over the next year, I taught him the art of tracking, a process that helped him make a distinction between the words and behaviors that served his purpose and those that didn't.
The tracking process brought precision and clarity to his self-observation and Syrus began to increase his capacity to deal with what had previously been uncomfortable situations. We focused on enhancing and accentuated his strongest qualities so that his potential as a leader could be realized.
Over the next two, Syrus bought out two of his competitors and went on to take his company to the top in its sector. Today, his company still leads the field in results and service.
Look around you and begin to notice all the big and little things that people do for you, the organization, the department and the family. It's acknowledgment for little things that count. Remember that... What gets acknowledged, gets repeated.
Ask yourself each day, "Who are the people in my personal and professional life that I need to acknowledge today and specifically what do I need to acknowledge them for?" Then act; thank the people around you for the contribution they make to those around them every day!!
WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO!
beyond my comfort zone today?
Ask yourself this question every day and at the end of the day review your results when closing your day (Ala 4/7/09 post Close the Day) by asking
beyond my comfort zone today?andHow will I improve tomorrow?
Syrus was not smiling when I returned for my third visit. Far from it. His brow was furrowed and and there was agitation written in his eyes. We exchanged the good morning niceties and then, unable to hold it back any longer, Syrus launched into a tirade. Phrases periodically fell into place as his words rushed toward me like an avalanche crushing my senses.
"People are so ungrateful!" "I knew this wouldn't work." "Complaints - always complaints!" "Why did I even listen to you?"
When he finally paused to catch his breath, I signaled T with my hands. "Can I ask a question?" He shrugged and nodded. "Did your managers bring you the lists their teams generated?"
"They did," he pushed a stack of papers toward me.
"Good, so they did the assignment."
"Complaining all the way," he countered.
"Of course. It's an approval-oriented culture. Everyone gets along on the surface... but when you open the dialogue, a whole bunch of suppressed stuff comes pouring out."
"I think this is where I always get frustrated. It's where my follow-up and follow-through goes reeling off the track!"
"It's actually pretty simple, Syrus. Can we move forward?"
"I'm going on a leap of faith," Syrus nodded and reached into his drawer. Notebook and pen in hand, "Ready!"
Ask your managers and team leaders to go back to their teams with the list of things they feel need to be improved. Ask them to engage their team members in dividing the list into two parts. They can do this on a flip chart. Syrus was writing furiously again.
Part 1 should be titled: NO CONTROL OVER (at this time).
Part 2 should be titled: CAN DO!
"Finally ask them to ask their team to prioritize the CAN DO list in order of easy to accomplish to hard to accomplish. Then ask the team to pick a 'WINABLE' to start on," I paused as he scribbled away. "A winable is something that the team can easily win at. This will motivate to keep on going."
"Time frame one week," Syrus completed his notes. "I can do this, Trin."
"I want to see the flip charts next time I come." I stood and moved toward his door. "I'll set a date with your secretary, Syrus."
"Trinidad," he looked up from his desk as I turned. "Thank you." The look in his eyes said it all.
I nodded. "You're welcome, Syrus."
I got up especially early today. I could feel the joy and discovery available in the morning coming over me and I didn't want to miss a moment of it. I wanted to watch the colors of the day emerge across the ocean. As the birds began to stir, I saw the sun cast its dayglo orange and pink across the sky and then sank into a silent meditation of the soul.
Twenty minutes later I opened my eyes to this scene. I grabbed my camera because I knew that I wanted to share it.
Syrus' story will resume soon. I just could not let the joy of this morning go unexpressed. It's nice alone. It's nicer still to share the images and feelings of the heart.
Reflection for the day:
What are three things in your life that are giving you joy today?
positiveI thought that I would ask a powerful positive question with every blog entry that I do from now on.
This new addition was inspired by Traci Toguchi, Miss Hawaii 1995. Traci just joined our Planetary Briefing Room (http://simrooms.ning.com/) and I went to her website to check her out and say Aloha and welcome. You too can check out her website mind at ... http://www.tracitoguchi.com/photos.html
Even though The Operator's Manual is fiction my work has always been based on research. And the research tells us that questions open our brain, our mental files, and force them to pull out an answer. So positive questions keep our brain focused on delivering positive answers.
And because every thought carries with it a neuro-chemical signature, the signature of a positive answer is a boost to the immune system. It also over-rides the primary instinct of the old survival brain to defend itself and focuses the Reticular Activating System (RAS) on looking for the positive.
This is a mighty smart thing to do in a challenging time! It will help you keep your IQ, EQ, and SQ (Intellectual, Emotional, and Social Qualities) focused in a positive direction. As you focus on answering positive questions your mind will be focused on delivering positive answers. In other words, look for the positive, you will find the positive all around you.
So here is the question I'd like you to answer for yourself today. Look for as many answers as you can. This will keep your mind searching through the positive territory of your life. Continue to ask yourself this question at the beginning, in the middle of, and at the ending of every day for the next few days. And as you do, you will anchor your mind on the positive regardless of the challenges the day may bring.
I came up with more than 150 answers when I was doing this the other day. I invite you to beat me at it... and have fun with it...
Much Aloha, Trinidad
I returned to Syrus' office at the appointed time a week later to find him at his desk with notepad ready. He was eager to share. "I had an insight of my own over the last week," he said. "I reflected back over my last five years in the company and realized that you were right. People aren't motivated by being told what to do'. I flashed on incidents that have occurred and saw the subtlety of resistance and sabotage that occurs when people aren't fully engaged in their own process." Syrus hesitated. "I'm just not sure how to approach making the shift in a consistent manner."
I was obviously puzzled. "What do you mean by, 'consistent manner'?"
"You know," he said, "It's the follow-up and follow-through stuff that I'm not good at. I've gotten people involved in fits and starts. But I've never really carried through on the process. In fact, I'm not sure that I even know how to do that," he said finally.
"That's why I'm here, Syrus," I reassured. "But again, we're going to take it a step at a time. And this step is called KAIZEN."
Syrus asked for the spelling and wrote the word KAIZEN on his notepad. "What is it and what do I need to do?" he asked.
Step #1: Call a meeting with all of your department heads.
Step #2:Frame the conversation by giving them an overview of what we're doing and why including the morale issue the company is facing and why you think that might be the case. Explain that the goal is to get people involved and motivated so that team members experience a stronger sense of ownership regarding their work and the company.
Step #3: Ask them to meet with their team members and engage them in a conversation around the following two questions:
- What are we doing in our department that is really working well. In other words, what do we do well?
- What do you feel we could improve in and do better at? Or, where are we lacking and where do we need to improve?
Step #4: Ask your team to generate two lists and bring the lists to your next meeting with them. Then set a date for the next meeting. It should be within 2 weeks of your first meeting to enhance the sense of urgency.
With that said, Syrus and I adjourned. I set an appointment with his secretary to reconvene in 10 days so that I could give Syrus the next step for his team before he met with them a second time.
To Be Continued...