Even though we’re just a few days removed from 2020, the first work week of the new year represents a blank slate. Most of 2021 still lies ahead and we have lots of opportunity right now to think about how we want to influence the outcomes that are yet to be created.

Gandhi wrote that, “In regard to every action, one must know the result that is expected to follow.” That linking of cause and effect applies to everyone, but because of the ripple effect their actions have, I think it especially applies to leaders.

Which brings me to the question, “Who do you need to be this year?”

Later in this post, I’m going to share a process with you to answer and act on that question, but first, let me clarify it. By asking it, I’m not suggesting that you try to turn yourself into something you’re not. Rather, I’m asking you to consider what your family, team, colleagues and other stakeholders need most from you this year and how you can consistently bring the best version of yourself to the table to meet those needs.  I’m also not saying that you should focus on everyone else’s needs to the exclusion of your own. I’m just saying that you need to be intentional about factoring their needs into your equation. It’s about being aware of your stakeholders’ needs and intentional about how you show up to create the positive outcomes that matter most.

This is why the first of the three questions in the Eblin Group’s Life GPS® personal planning tool is “How are you at your best?” The second is “What are the routines – the repeatable actions – that will make it more likely that you show up at your best?” The third and final question is about results – “What outcomes would you expect to see in the three big arenas of life – home, work and community – if you were consistently at your best?” The Life GPS® is designed to help you do what Gandhi suggested – be intentional about linking your actions to results.

So, we’re back to the earlier question, “Who do you need to be this year?” Before we get too much deeper into 2021, I encourage you to take some time to consider the question as it relates to you, your stakeholders and all the things you want to accomplish together this year.

Here’s a four-step process for doing that:

Make a list organized by your key stakeholder groups – family, team, colleagues, customers and so on. For each group, jot down how you think they need you to be to help them create positive outcomes this year. Words that might come to mind could include qualities like supportive, encouraging, clear, calm, inspiring, directive, engaged, open, generous or any number of others that fit their needs.Make a second list of the words that describe you when you’re at your best. These are the qualities that represent you when you’re operating in the sweet spot that leads to positive outcomes.Compare the words on list one and list two and circle the ones that appear on both. The words that you circled are the ones that tell you who you need to be this year. You can think of those words as being in the center of the Venn Diagram of what your stakeholders need from you and how you are at your best. This is where you need to focus your efforts this year in linking your actions to intended results.To do that, make one last list of simple things you could do on a regular basis to reinforce those qualities in the way you show up for your stakeholders. This step is based on a principle that Aristotle wrote about called praxis. Praxis is an ancient Greek word that means doing. The practical application of the principle is that if you want to be a certain way, then do things that lead to you being that way. For instance, if you’ve determined that being supportive is at the nexus of what your stakeholders need from you this year and how you are when you’re at your best then you might adopt the routine of regularly asking your family or team members what they most need from you or how you could best help them accomplish their goals. The more you do that, the more supportive you’ll be.

So, who do you need to be this year? Before too much more of 2021 is in the books, I encourage you to take some time to ask, answer and act on that question.

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Read more: eblingroup.com

Succeeding in life and entrepreneurship takes more than just desire and passion. According to many successful entrepreneurs, life rewards people who take time to cultivate their minds for success.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you might recall his idea of a mastermind alliance. In case you’re not familiar with the book — a mastermind alliance is “a friendly alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Imagine what wonders you would make if you could have the most successful people as your allies. In this blog post, I have listed 7 successful entrepreneurs and their advice to develop traits for success.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Enthusiasm

“If you 100% enjoy the chaos and the unknown, you’re an entrepreneur.”

Running a business involves dealing with many people and shouldering several responsibilities; at times, working this hard can exhaust you to unexpected levels. That’s why entrepreneurs need to be pleasantly energetic. 

If you have watched any of Gary’s videos, you can visibly tell that his energy is on another level. Being energetic helps Gary work long hours, like 12 – 14 hours a day. Gary suggests practising natural optimism for high energy.

2. Grant Cardone – Confidence

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”

Having confidence in your abilities will take you places. While on your entrepreneurial journey, people will point fingers at you for your decisions, choices and desires, but how you respond to them will depend on you.

The degree to which you have faith in your skills and vision will drive your efforts. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll not budge from your goals. Confidence will also allow you to do more for other people. Keep doing the difficult things to build confidence, says Grant.

3. Narayana Murthy – Courage

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

Courage is the differentiating factor between successful and the rest. Entrepreneurship requires you to go out and make decisions that no one else is making. To do that, you need courage. 

Many entrepreneurs fail not because they lack skills or resources, but because they shrink when they should expand. All the stories we hear are stories of courageous decisions and not cowardice. Without courage, there is no progress in life and business. According to Murthy, openness to new ideas is what makes people and organizations courageous.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Change

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

Change is the only constant in life and entrepreneurship, and people who realise this are usually the ones who change the world. Often we make the mistake of sticking to one way of looking at things, which hinders our progress. Learning how to move quickly and at the right time is the winning formula of the game of entrepreneurship. Mark states to move quickly, “iterate, learn from the feedback and go from there.”  

5. Bill Gates – Gratitude

“Through it all, what makes you happy?”

On your entrepreneurial journey, there will be instances where you’ll feel dissatisfied with your progress. To keep dissatisfaction at bay, practise gratitude — it’ll keep you focused on your destiny. 

Helping others to achieve their goals is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. You can also do philanthropic work to express gratitude. Practising gratitude generates a cycle of good relationships by promoting others to do generous work. Giving $41.3 billion away is how Gates expresses his gratitude.

6. Jeff Bezos – Patience

“Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Sticking to a long term vision and having patience while you build your dream is important for success. Having patience can help you stay in the present moment, and consider the big picture. If you look at Bezos’ journey, you’ll notice Amazon has been around for 26 years, but it feels like it’s been in business for 7 or 10 years, which shows how patient the multibillionaire has been in building his company.

Patience allowed Bezos to build Amazon from a suburban Seattle garage company to a multinational conglomerate. Bezos says, stay focused on long-term to be patient. 

7. Steve Jobs – Leadership

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Leadership is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you’re at the helm of an organization, people look up to you for inspiration and effective influential decision making. The ability to influence others will help you get the best out of the people. 

Jobs has been arguably the most influential corporate leader in the last century which allowed him to build Apple from scratch. Developing leadership skills will also help you impact people and touch their lives. ‘No excuses’ is the way forward to be an effective leader.

Which piece of advice from the 7 entrepreneurs above resonated most with you & why? Share your thoughts with us below!

Read more: addicted2success.com

What verb tense is your mind spending most of its time in – present, past or future? How about the members of your team – what time frame are their minds working in? You might consider those questions to be a bit weird or out there, but if you stop and examine the nature of your language and the quality of your thinking, you may find they’re more relevant than you’d initially think.

If you want to examine it, start by paying attention to the language you and your team members are using. Is it reflective of minds being in the past, the present or the future? Here are some clues to listen for.

If you hear a lot of discussion about the way things were before COVID-19 disrupted everything then you or your team are having trouble letting go of the past. Tip off phrases include, “I wish that…,” “I miss…,” and “I’m sorry that…” Thinking back to the past can be a source of energy and motivation when we’re reflecting on peak experiences or how to apply lessons learned. There’s a big difference though between reflecting and ruminating. When we ruminate, we stew. The ancient root of the word actually means to “chew over.” The sense of loss or regret that comes from spending too much time and attention chewing over the past can mire you in the mental and emotional muck that keeps you from taking constructive action in the present.

The flip side of being stuck in the muck on the way things were is freaking out about the way things might be. This is what happens when folks start catastrophizing about things that haven’t happened yet and may not ever happen. The mind can spin out of control into what Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey in their classic book, Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, called thought attacks. When you start hearing language (either in your own head or from the mouths of others) like, “I’m worried that…,” “I’m nervous about…,” and “I’m overwhelmed by…,” those are clues that you or your team members are over indexing on the future tense. Anxiety, fear and dread are the kinds of emotions that flow from that time frame of mind.

And, as I wrote about last week, your feelings flow from your thinking and the actions that lead to results (positive or negative) flow from the emotional state of feelings. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the connection between leadership and the time frames of mind. Clearly, the only verb tense in which anything can get done is the present tense, so, as a leader, that’s where you want your team to direct most of their thinking, time and attention. That’s not to say that you’re not working on preparing for and creating the future. It is to say that you’re making strong connections between what’s done today and what happens tomorrow. As Gandhi wrote, “In regard to any action, one must know the result that is expected to follow.”

Focusing your leadership on the present tense and how it creates the future gives you and your team a sense of agency and control. One way to do that is to regularly ask, coach and lead around the question, “What can we or should we be working on or doing today to put us in a better position one month from now, three months from now or six months from now?” Before you ask the question, you might push the mental reset button by asking everyone to clear their mental chatter by taking three deep breaths. But before you do either of those, check in with yourself. What time of frame of mind are you in? If you need to make your own adjustment, now is a great time to do it.

If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.

Read more: eblingroup.com

We all know by now that
leaders must communicate in a crisis. It’s approaching the point of cliché
because it’s true. The benchmarks for effective communications from top leaders
are honesty, transparency, frequency, facts and empathy. Judging by the acclaim
and appreciation he’s been receiving the past couple of weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been providing a
great example of how an effective leader checks all of those communications
boxes.

In times of crisis, it’s
almost a societal default to look to the people in charge to transmit what they
know when they know it while painting a picture of how we’ll get through this
together. Its why Napoleon Bonaparte observed 200-plus years ago that leaders
have a two-part job: the first is to define reality; the second is to offer
hope.

So, yes, top-down
communications that originates from both the head and the heart is vitally important
to successful crisis management. There has been so much emphasis on top-down
communications over the past month or so, though, that it can be easy to
overlook other aspects of crisis communications that are at least as
important.  The best crisis leaders
understand that they need to be not just top-down transmitters of information
but also facilitators of side-to-side communications and receivers of bottom-up
communications. They run a 360-degree communications approach that incorporates
these three elements: top-down, side-to-side and bottom-up.

We’ve already touched on
what great top-down communications looks like; here are some ideas on how to
bring side-to-side and bottom-up communications into your 360-degree crisis
communications plan:

Side-to-side: When crisis leaders
focus on facilitating in addition to transmitting and receiving, they help their
teammates create connections that solve short-term problems while building
long-term cohesion. Facilitation can look like something as urgent as bringing
the right people together to develop a unified plan to allocate, distribute and
share scarce resources during the crisis. Or, facilitation can look like the
not urgent but highly important task of making it easy for colleagues working
remotely in different locations and circumstances to share their stories and
needs in ways that build empathy, connection and collaboration.

Bottom-up: Recognizing that it can be all too easy to get cut off from what’s really happening on the ground, the best crisis leaders take time away from transmitting and facilitating to make sure they’re also receiving bottom-up information and perspective from the folks on the front-lines who are dealing with the day-to-day impact of the crisis. It’s a well-observed phenomenon in history that top leaders are all too often sheltered from what’s really going on by staffers who, for whatever reason, are afraid to share the whole truth. So, the best leaders cultivate relationships with people closer to the action who will tell them what’s going on. Often, the very best leaders will visit the battlefield, as Lincoln literally did on numerous occasions, to listen and see for themselves. What leaders learn from those bottom-up communications channels enables them to make better-informed decisions during a crisis.

Top-down, side-to-side and bottoms-up. When practiced together, they form a 360-degree approach to crisis communications. Which one could use a bit more of your time and attention right now?

If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.

Read more: eblingroup.com

For many of us in the United States, week seven or so of the work from home (WFH) period is underway. And even as attention turns to how to get people back to the office, it’s pretty clear that we’re at the beginning of a pretty long haul of a lot more working from home than we ever thought we would. From my vantage point as a long-time work from homer and a coach to a lot of leaders and teams who are new to the scene, what I’m seeing is a slow realization that we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. And that means we’re going to have to adjust if we plan to finish the race on our feet.  About a month ago on the Pivot podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway, noted relationship counselor and therapist Esther Perel observed of the early days of WFH, “Never before have people worked so hard and gotten so little done.”

Inspired by Perel and what I’m seeing and hearing, here are
three recommendations of things you need to stop doing this week if you want to
work a little less hard and, in the process, actually get more done. If you’re
in a leadership role, so much the better as whatever you stop doing will have a
positive ripple effect for the people on your team.

Stop Sitting All Day – You probably never imagined you’d spend so much time at your kitchen table or that desk you set up in your extra bedroom. I have had way more than one client tell me that they’re sitting at their table in front of their screen for 10 or 12 hours a day without much of a break. I checked out some data from Fitbit today that showed the average step count for their users was down 12 percent the week of March 22 just as the WFH period was cranking up. I haven’t seen more recent data but am guessing the decline is now steeper and deeper. Sitting all day is bad for your health in general and bad for your brain in particular. You need fresh input to keep your neural network humming. Get up and out of your cave throughout the day. When you come back to the screen, you’ll feel better and think better.  

Stop Making Every Meeting a Zoom Call – When the WFH period started, all the cool kids moved to Zoom. The barriers to entry were low and the value of seeing colleagues’ faces was high. The value is still there, but several weeks in, it looks we’ve all overcorrected on the use of  Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. The new notice is the emerging trend of Zoom fatigue. My colleague Beth Schumaker shared this article from National Geographic that explains what it is and why it happens. Here’s the summary. You’ve never been on stage before like you are on Zoom. In the Brady Bunch screen share mode, everyone can see everyone else’s micro expressions and you’re aware you’re being watched as carefully as you’re watching others. You might even be watching yourself as you speak which is not something you ever did pre-pandemic. It’s exhausting and leaves you depleted with less frontal brain lobe capacity to think strategically and make sound decisions. Zoom is great until it isn’t. Mix up your communications modalities. Take some old-fashioned phone calls a few times a day instead of another Zoom.

Stop Holding on to Your Original Plan – Going back to work won’t mean going back to normal. You’re not going to pick right back up with the strategic plans you laid out before the pandemic; you’ll have to continue to reprioritize and reimagine based on new realities. In spite of everything that’s already changed and all that clearly will change from this point forward, I’m hearing from clients that a lot of their colleagues are still pushing and grinding away on their original business plans for the year. I get that at some level – there’s comfort in the familiar and in the belief that by following a plan we’re in control of our outcomes. Well, in the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” If you’re tempted to stick with your plan, acknowledge that you and everyone else in the world has just taken the mother of all left hooks to the jaw. If you’re still holding on to the original plan, let go of it, step back and ask, “What’s most needed and most important now?”

So, that’s my short list of three things to stop doing this
week. What’s on your list?

If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.

Read more: eblingroup.com

I asked top leaders to respond to three questions: What three words describe a great team? What three problems hinder great teamwork? What three things do great teams habitually do? They wrote about trust, communication, ego, alignment, and more. Successful teams are the result of leadership, not luck. You’ve felt the pain of teams that … … Continue reading →

Read more: leadershipfreak.blog