• Chemical Brain Freeze

Setting Goals for our Adventures

journal-with-logoI recently came back from a speaking trip and was reflecting on the questions I received after my keynote. I have heard this question or a version of it almost every time I speak from attendees after the presentation. “I have this goal, idea, adventure or dream I want to follow up on but I don’t know how to get started. Do you have any suggestions?”
My first response is always write your goal down and give it a date for when you want to accomplish it. I then reference this study done at Harvard Business School years ago on goal setting. I thought it might be good to review this study again. I first heard about this study when I went to see motivational speaker Brian Tracy live. After his presentation I wrote down a goal of wanting to travel internationally.
Two weeks later I received a phone call from an old colleague about an international position. I interviewed and got the job as an international marketing product manager. I started traveling internationally. When I finished my career, I had traveled to over 40 different countries. I give a lot of credit to just writing down my goal of international travel.
Here is the essence of the Harvard study:
In 1979 the Harvard MBA program conducted a study on students that provided some interesting insights into the power of goal setting. In that year, the students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans. 13 percent of the graduates had goals, but they were not in writing. That left an incredible 84 percent of the graduates with no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.
In spite of such proof of success, most people don’t have clear, measurable, time-bounded goals that they work toward. Which is why I always respond to question on “How do I go about fulfilling my dream or goal?” Write it down. We’ll talk more about goal setting in the months to come.

 

What if, When Making Plans for the Next Adventure

Mike RayburnThere I was, working and planning away on my new adventure and feeling good about it. Then I had an opportunity to go see Mike Rayburn(www.MikeRayburn.com) live at a recent program. He was absolutely phenomenal. Not only a gifted musician and storyteller but he really got you thinking. He has a book titled “What If?” and I would suggest purchasing it on his website. I wanted to point out just a few key things Mike got me thinking about as I plan my new adventure.

He asks the question, “What if?” Not meaning that you are going to do it but rather just asking what is possible. What if I could? How would that work if I could?
He points out that our default behavior in life is that we look at or for reasons not to do things. Instead we should change our default behavior to where we look for reasons we can do things! A very simplistic but astute rationale on how we can get things done. He also points out the only way to manage change is to create change. Again our default behavior is to fight change. What if we shifted that to creating change and embracing change? It creates a completely different picture doesn’t it? The one thing we know to be true about our plans is that nothing ever goes according to plan! So embrace change.
Here is the reason for these default behaviors: We take problems and put them on a pedestal and worship them. Mike’s perspective is, quit driving through life with the brakes on and get creative. The world need’s our creativity. He lined out three steps to get started:
1. Outside Observation – get that 30,000-foot view of what you are dealing with and get a handle of the size and scope.
2. Take a problem or situation and say, “What is the Opportunity?” Then ask, “What if?”
3. Open up creativity and take physical action on it.
Here are a couple of his other thoughts, which will get your thinking moving in the right direction:
A. Set goals you can’t achieve, not 5-10% increases. What does it take to double what you want to do?
B. Don’t start with what’s possible?, start with what’s cool?. The type of goal it takes courage to think about.
A sense of purpose is the most motivating factor. What is your sense of purpose? Some good food for thought until next time.
Thanks for coming along.

Aggrandize vs Minimize

AggrandizeSometimes the most difficult item in coaching people is getting them to move forward. People are afraid of making mistakes and they hold back and don’t grow. If you think about martial arts, you start as a beginner and learn the basics of movement from using your, hands, elbows, feet, shins and your head. Each new belt you add skills. You make mistakes but learn along the way. In fact if you make the same mistake over and over in martial arts, you will have the bruises to show for it. The secret is not to repeat the mistake but rather to learn and grow from the mistakes and missteps and aggrandize.
In business and life it’s not always about being right all of the time but rather learning, growing and contributing. Once one becomes a black belt it doesn’t mean the journey is over. Rather it means the journey has just begun because now you have the skills to take it up to the next level. Keep working on your management and leadership skills the rewards are big.

Teaching and Learning Need to be in Sync

Michael J FoxTeaching and learning need to be in sync to be successful. Whether it is in school or the business world. To be able to learn and then apply your learning is even better. Sometimes we have material put before us and there is just not a connection nor an application. Simon Sinek has a very good TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It’s a few years old but if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth watching.
Start with why — how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4ZoJKF_VuA

The Backwards Brain Bicycle

BicycleThere are times when we need to have a difficult conversation and it is just tough to turn that difficult conversation into a positive experience. Our brain does some very strange things during difficulty and stress and we wonder why it is so difficult to accomplish our goals.
This short video utilizes the skills of riding a bicycle to demonstrate how our brain works and the default behaviors we acquire. What is intriguing is the difficulty in overcoming these default behaviors. Consistency is a big factor in creating new constructive behaviors.
After watching this video think about the skill sets, behaviors and routines we have that come to us as easy as riding a bicycle but yet may be holding us back from what we want to achieve. We may not even be aware of these behaviors until we start to analyze why we haven’t reached all of goals.

Copy and paste into your browser to watch this unique video. (Smarter Every Day 133)

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=smarter+every+day+forget+to+ride+a+bike&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=F706017762DDD03B719DF706017762DDD03B719D

“Chemical Brain Freeze® ” Book release

CBF Book photoF

New book just released – “Chemical Brain Freeze® -How to Stay in the Game During Difficulty and Stress”. This is Chuck’s new book that demonstrates how to reach higher performance levels.
Our behaviors are affected by the fast-paced world we live in and the stress and difficulties that come with this hectic pace. We need to be at our best during the most stressful situations but our brain isn’t on the same wavelength. Chuck teaches you how to stay engaged in those stressful situations and perform at your best.
Chemical Brain Freeze® explores what happens when we get stressed out and how we can handle situations more productively:
• How the brain works during difficulty and stress
• How we get derailed from reaching our goals

You will learn:
• What you can do to stay in the game during pressure situations
• How to overcome default behaviors
• How to increase performance both professionally and personally
Go to the Chuck Inman on-line store or Amazon.com and purchase your copy today!

Nimble Interview

Tom on LeadershipLast week Tom Cox, columnist for the Oregon Business News magazine, interviewed me about my book “Nimble-How to Lead Above the Turmoil of Change.“ Tom is a leadership expert and hosts a radio show “Tom on Leadership.”  It was a fun Nimble interview and we focused on leadership qualities and the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. To listen to the radio interview just copy the following into your browser.

www.blogtalkradio.com/tom-on-leadership/2014/09/11/nimble-managing-others-through-change-with-chuck-inman

Thanks for coming along

Exceptional Leaders don’t mumble

GrumbleWe have been discussing the difference between playing big and playing small. We generally see more people playing small than playing big. Playing small is the easy way out and it handles a situation on a short-term basis. Playing big takes some dedication and it’s looking the big picture and the long-term results. Sometimes it takes courage to play big and make an impact.

A recent study released by the Center for Applied Linguistics came out with this interesting fact. Nearly two-thirds of all human speech transpires under people’s breath. I found that very interesting. Exceptional leaders don’t mumble under their breath. Researcher Erin Wightman said, “Our data indicates that, whether in the form of hushed grumbles of anger, a half delivered retort, or quiet self-berating, the majority of all spoken language is delivered in barely audible mutters.” She went on to note that a sizable quantity of human vocalizations are imperceptible insults made while walking away from an argument, a meeting with one’s supervisor, or a pleasant conversation with someone the speaker does not care for. Talk about playing small.

Do you or do you know of someone who is constantly peppering in low-volume sarcastic comments when interacting with others? Several people I’ve encountered pop into my mind as I’m writing this. And to be totally honest, I can remember when I have done my fair share of sarcastic comments while playing small. Think about how different your work, family or social environment would be if people spoke up and played big and told you what was bothering them. (What a relief not to have to try and be a mind reader!) But it takes courage to speak up and express yourself and empathize with others. It’s much easier to mutter and grumble while interacting with coworkers or family members.

Take time today to watch for people mumbling and grumbling. You’ll be surprised how many you will see. If you see someone close to you doing this, take time to talk to them and see what they may be experiencing. You can start with a simple question like, “I saw you grumbling just a moment ago, is there something you would like to share?” Then play big and listen with empathy. You may be surprised with what you hear.

Thanks for coming along.

Playing Small during difficulty and stress

cropstopplaying smallLinda sat down in her boss’s office to update her on the progress of the project.

“How is everything with the project?”  her boss, Karen asks.

“We are going to miss one of our major milestones,” Linda comments. “We have a personnel issue that I need some help with.”

“What’s going on?” Karen asks.

“Mark isn’t meeting his commitments to the project. He has been behind on every one of his deadlines and it’s causing the entire project to get behind. When I try and talk to him about his performance he gets very upset and claims he is doing all he can do. I think it would help if you talked with his boss to help get him back on track.” Linda says.

“I don’t really feel comfortable talking to his boss right now,” Karen answers. “Don’t talk to Mark directly anymore this week and we’ll see if we can figure something out.”

Linda’s e-mails and phone messages to Karen during the week go unanswered and the project gets farther behind.

Exceptional leaders play big and do the proper things with the big picture in mind. When our primitive portion of the brain, the amygdala, kicks in during difficult times, we resort to default behaviors and we wind up playing small. Karen remembered an argument she had with Mark’s boss six months ago. Her primitive brain was cautioning her not to go there again. Her playing small best leadership move at the moment was to tell Linda not to talk to Mark.

How often do you see people playing small on a daily basis in business and your personal life?  We are going to be focusing on the ability to play big during times of difficulty and stress during the next few blogs and understand what our default behaviors due to us.

Thanks for coming along.

Change and Fear of the Unknown

Last week we talked about unmet emotional needs and the impact they play on our behavior.  We had talked about the five key emotional needs consisting of: Safety, Power, Acceptance, Respect and Value.  When we feel one of these needs is not being met, our brain sends out warning signals and our behavioFear of the unknown Ar can change.
Let’s take a look at how change can affect how we are feeling about ourselves, especially when dealing with the fear of the unknown.

I had a discussion with a surgeon who was complaining about a piece of equipment he had bought.  It had cost him $80,000 but his staff wasn’t spending the appropriate amount of time learning how to use the equipment and getting it into the patient flow process.
Think about why people struggle with change.  In the current mode people are recognized for their performance. Their rewards are based on this performance.  They know the process, can multitask, balance out the workload, understand the patient flow and all the various intricacies of the process.  Now you ask them to introduce a new piece of equipment that will interrupt the process as the staff goes through the learning curve.  The staff is not familiar or confident in running the machine and even less confident in answering questions by patients.
They begin to question their value.  Will they be as effective and be able to provide the same performance as they have in the past?  They second-guess quite a bit about having to use the equipment.  The piece of equipment begins to take on a negative nature.
As the surgeon watches the piece of equipment gather dust he realizes that if it doesn’t get into the process quickly, he is going to have a very expensive boat anchor on his hands.
The amygdala portion of the brain picks up warning signals about this piece of equipment and the staff ‘s struggle with getting trained on the equipment and getting it into use.  Many times one of the key warning signals is the fear of the unknown.  How will this equipment affect our process?  How will it affect our workload?  Will we be able to process more patients faster or fewer patients?  Will someone lose a job because this equipment is utilized?
The best way to soothe the amygdala is at the beginning of the change process.  Communication is key at this point and the time spent explaining why the equipment is coming into the practice is time well spent.  Don’t assume the explanation has to be done only once.  Get someone trained on the equipment fast enough so they can help train others and take away the fear of the unknown.  So many times sales reps show staff what the equipment can do but don’t allow for hands-on-training.  The hands-on-training takes the fear of the unknown away.
Anytime you can remove a fear,  you’re moving in the right direction.
Thanks for coming along.