Wisdom Wednesday is where I will share a piece of wisdom, usually in the form of a quote, and then talk about why I find it valuable.
This week’s quote is from Amelia Earhart and goes like this:
This might not be as deep and profound as you might expect for the launch of Wisdom Wednesday. I think that something is only as deep as you go into it. Some quotes might be so overtly deep that you can fall into it but others require digging. This one is the latter. So, get your shovel, your flashlight, and a sturdy pair of shoes and join me while I try to excavate the wisdom that I have experienced from this quote.
Currently, this quote rings loudly in my psyche because I recently started living it. You are reading one of the manifestations of this quote in my life right now. I have lived through analysis paralysis for many years. I can’t quite say exactly why this plagued me for so long but my initial conclusion is that I was just too focused on myself, too afraid of being rejected. So here I am today running Generational Leadership, seeking to add value to others. I am discovering that the very things that I thought disqualified me from having an opinion that matters are the things that brought me to the knowledge and understanding that make my value proposition possible.
I’m doing it and guess what? It’s far more effective than thinking about doing it. It’s far more effective than sitting there paralyzed, wishing I could do it. It’s also far more fulfilling.
For me, one of the most important things about this quote is the distinct absence of any qualifier words. For example, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it perfectly.” or well, or right, or better, or first, or bigger, etc. I think that people unconsciously add qualifier words to things and in so doing, set themselves up for disappointment. I know I have. How many of us have tried something new, didn’t execute flawlessly and then quit. A diet is the easiest example. The lack of the qualifier gives me the freedom to keep trying even when I don’t do it perfectly, well, right, better, etc. The important thing is that I’m doing it and that I keep doing it. The adjectives will come with time and practice. No world record holder in history came out of the womb with the ability to set and hold their record. Not one of them hit without practicing the skill for thousands of hours. Not a single one.
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” And keep doing it. Seriously. KEEP. DOING. IT.
I’ll leave you with the similarly wise words of a little blue fish that forgot her way right into the hearts of millions of people. “Just keep swimming.”
Since this is my first post in the “Training Tuesday” series, I am going to share my thoughts on the concept of training and why I determined that it was important enough to dedicate a weekly post to the subject. So without further ado… WELCOME TO TRAINING TUESDAY!!
The definition of training is to teach a particular skill or behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.
I think the most common understanding of training in our society today is the teaching of a particular skill. We rarely focus on the behavior aspect of it. There is a subtle, yet important, difference that should be highlighted between the two facets of this definition. Skill reflects one’s capability. It is measurable through the evaluation of the quality of execution of the skill in question. There are many studies that exist which evaluate the usefulness and importance of this type of training. There are tens of billions of dollars spent on this aspect of training by businesses every year. Our entire school system from preschool to college is dedicated to this kind of training.
But what about the behavior side of the equation? This area of training is a bit more tricky. If skill reflects capability, behavior reflects attitude. A person’s attitude is usually pretty deeply ingrained. This is great if the attitude is a desirable one. Not so much if it is otherwise. I can’t stress the importance of this area enough. Hiring and firing decisions are made all the time based on attitude and behavior. Movies are made that share inspiring stories on little more than the premise of the power of a positive attitude.
Let’s look at the movie “Rudy” for example. It is the story of Rudy Ruttiger, a small kid who grew up with dreams of playing football for Notre Dame. A good portion of the movie is about his seemingly tireless effort and determination to even get accepted to Notre Dame, let alone play football for them. Once he finally makes the team, he is relegated to playing defense during practice only to help condition the offensive line that would actually see play time. In one scene, it is the last practice of the year. The season is basically over, yet Rudy is running every play as though it truly mattered. The quarterback gets upset when Rudy sacks him. You can see the juxtaposition of a player with great skill and a poor attitude and an unremarkable player with a great attitude. The coach calls out the quarterback saying, “If you had a tenth of the heart of Ruttiger’s you’d have made All-American!” It takes a lot of skill to play at the All-American level. This line says a lot. Check out the scene below.
The most skilled worker offers little to no value if they have a poor attitude. The good news is that this can be addressed with a bit of time and intention. Training for desired behavior is very relational. It’s not like Pavlov where you can ring a bell, hand out a treat, and they improve their attitude. It will require leaders to spend time with each other and their teams identifying behaviors that they want to promote and coaching to grow those behaviors.
When you combine a group of people into a team or organization, the collective attitude of the group is the culture. So the importance of this kind of training is that it allows you to purposefully perpetuate the desired culture of your organization. Here are several articles that explain the importance and value of culture in your business.
The fact the business culture and personal attitude play such large roles in achieving success is why I have chosen to devote one day every week to exploring, sharing, and teaching about training.
Thanks for joining me in this first installment of “Training Tuesday”. In a future installment, I will talk about the 2 M’s of improving attitudes and culture; Modeling and Morale.
Mastermind group is a phrase originally coined by Napoleon Hill in his 1925 book, “The Law of Success.” Mastermind groups are designed to be a coming together of peers learn and solve problems. I would argue that the a mastermind group is by its very nature a leadership endeavor because it engages leadership behaviors on purpose. There is immense value in taking a small chunk of time each week to deliberately learn about and discuss leadership principles and their practical application. So here are the 3 reasons why you need to be in a leadership mastermind group.
One of the best reasons to be in a mastermind group is to share the wealth of knowledge and experience that you have with your peers. Adding value to others is a great way to build lasting relationships, credibility, and a strong network. Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have a wealth of knowledge and experience because even if you don’t, what you do have is your own unique perspective on the topics discussed as well as the real world problems that are brought into the discussion.
There is a story of a box truck that is relevant here. The driver of this truck was cruising down the highway one day when he approached an overpass. To his utter dismay, the truck was too tall by just a hair and instantly became wedged under the bridge. It was a rather large ordeal, closing down a lane of the highway. The troopers didn’t know what to do and when they called the tow truck, he couldn’t do anything either. People had started to gather to try to solve this problem and get traffic moving again, but no one could figure out how to dislodge the truck and get it on its way. At about the 1 hour mark of this fiasco, a young boy of about 8 years old spoke meekly into the crowd of would be problem solvers, “Why don’t you just let the air out of the tires?” In that one moment, all it took was the unique perspective of an inexperienced young boy to produce the most face-palmingly simple answer to the problem a la the Old El Paso commercials.
So, if you don’t have the wealth of knowledge and experience, be the young boy who was not afraid to speak into the crowd and share his humble take on the situation. You’d be surprised by how valuable that can be. They might even cheer.
The next best reason to be in a mastermind group is to learn from your peers. You haven’t experienced everything and neither has anyone else, but you have all experienced and learned different things and you can share that with each other. You can bring your unique challenges and problems to a group of smart, capable people and have them help you solve them. Like your own personal think tank…that you get to be in too. And don’t forget, any one of your peers in the group might turn out to be the “Old El Paso Kid” for your problem. Don’t miss out on an epiphany, join a group.
The third reason is probably the most valuable. Changing your mindset it the most critical part of changing your behavior and therefore your results. This is a widely accepted notion. Just check out this article from Success.com. If you’re a religious person, you’ll find this in the Bible in Romans 12:2. It says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But where ever you learn it, it’s true. And truth is truth no matter the source.
So, do you want to be a better leader? This is a change you can’t afford to skip. Find out how to join a group today.