Monday, April 13, 2015

Can You Take a Punch

Today we have a guest blog from Dan Weedin:

I vividly recall being a member of the junior high football team. I was a skinny kid that probably looked pretty funny in my football gear. I was definitely NOT a fighter. I wasn’t ever looking for a tussle from anyone that was filling out their uniform and growing a beard at 14 years old.
One practice on a crisp autumn afternoon, we had a drill where the ball carrier was going to run through a gauntlet of teammates and practice holding on to the football at all costs. My turn as ball carrier came up and this was the first time I had tried the drill. As I made my way through the gauntlet with ball firmly tucked under my arm, I swiveled to the left to see if I could make my way out. WHAM! The next thing I know, I’m lying on my back and the absence of air (or the ability to even inhale) was palpable. My good buddy Eric had come out of nowhere and basically “blew me up” with a collision to my chest. It was my first experience of having the wind knocked out of me. After a few seconds (that seemed like hours) elapsed, Eric was helping me up so I could resume practice. To this day, I have no idea if I held on to the football or not!

I was blindsided by Eric because I had a huge “blind spot” in my process of running. What blind spots do you have in your business?

Football teams at all levels – from junior high to professional – run drills and practice in part to figure out their “blind spots.” They learn through drills to anticipate perils and to be resilient in the event of crises. For my part, I never more ran without my head on an allegorical swivel, to assure that I kept my breath where it was supposed to be!

As a CEO or chief executive in your company, you’d better have your head on a swivel, too. Just like Eric didn’t announce his impending presence to me, neither will a disaster send a calling card. You will have unexpected “collisions,” and without having identified, analyzed, and prepared for them, you may just find yourself flat on your back. You must then hope that someone is there to help you up!

The best way to avoid this is to take control yourself of the strategic work related to crisis planning, business continuation, and resiliency. This isn’t something that should be delegated away. The buck ultimately stops with you. So while you can delegate implementation, you can never relinquish the duty of being the strategic leader of your team. Only you can eliminate your blind spots. And the best way to do that is through planning, preparation, and practice.

It’s all about that action, boss!

Dan Weedin, CIC, CRM
The Crisis ConquerorP.O. Box 1571 / Poulsbo, WA 98370

Blog –
Skype: danweedin

Inducted to the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame – 2012

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Monday, April 6, 2015

The Power of “Not Yet!”

This winter, I am undergoing my usual:  I have a plan for improving my golf game.  It includes a certain number of lessons at an indoor golf range and practice sessions.  What I did not initially grasp is that it would require me to embrace the concept of “Not yet”. 

You see, as I completed my fifth year of playing golf, I thought that I was going to be working on nuance and refinement of my swing.  (you can skip the next paragraph if you don’t golf)

I walked in to the first lesson and heard myself declare, “ I am hitting my driver 200-225 yards.  I may as well put it away and just hit my 3 wood.  I hit a 3 wood  about as far and more accurately.”  My instructor asked, how far I wanted to hit my driver and I answered by saying that on longer courses my second shot was not a 7 iron but a wood, or at best a rescue club.  This means that my strategy of being on the green in two is significantly reduced.  My accuracy and the likelihood of parring the hole go down if it takes me three strokes to get to the green.  To hit with better golfers, I needed to hit the drive 250 yards. 

What my instructor offered was to get me to hit my tee shot farther by spring and as, or more, accurately then I was when I hit it a shorter distance. 

What I have had to confront is failure.  I confronted the possibility that I can’t hit a golf ball longer.  To avoid the frustration of failing, I have undertaken a mantra, “not yet”. 

How many times have you said (or heard others say), “I can’t do that”.  The truth of the statement is self-evident and self-defeating.  By exchanging the above words for “not yet”, I get to take failure off the table. 

In business this is often critical.  To succeed, we have to try things that we have never done and have no data to support our accomplishing.  We have staff/teams who get stuck by saying, “We can’t do that!” and a simple substitution is to exclaim, “not yet!”. 

If you can get your teams/key employees to embrace “not yet” you are half way home to achieving a goal.  Your mindset will shift.  You still have to take action, accomplish your goal.  What is removed is the hurdle of telling yourself, as you work toward that goal, that you are failing.  Try it and let me know how differently you feel? 

What mindsets do you create to increase your and your team’s odds for success in a project or new endeavor?