• Chemical Brain Freeze

Announcing the launch of “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” radio program

It is with pleasure to announce the introduction of a new internet radio show that will start on Monday, September 10th airing from 11:00-12:00AM CST at 21.6 THE NET.  “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” will air every Monday during this time period.  Co-hosting the show will be author and speaker Chuck Inman along with author and radio host “Rancher Ron” Hoesterery.  We will be discussing the non-financial issues baby boomers deal with in retirement or as they get ready to retire.

A key component of the program will be discussing elements such as the impact retirement has on relationships, priorities, planning, default behaviors, decision making and much more.  You know all those things we wrestle with trying to figure out our best journey in retirement. There will be a key component concerning the effect of Chemical Brain Freezes and how to stay in the game during difficulty and stress.

Some of the most stressful situations we find ourselves entangled with in regards to retirement are dealing with facing the unknown of the future.  Retired or getting close to retirement there are plenty of unknowns which we encounter. Understanding how the brain works during stressful situations is key to positive self-leadership and providing a path through the unknown.

So be sure to tune into this new program “The Adventures of Unstructured Time” with your hosts Chuck Inman and Ron Hoesterey. The program will be aired on 21.6 THE NET 11:00-12:00AM CST on Monday mornings and a repeat of the recorded program on Wednesdays 3:00-4:00PM, Thursdays 6:00-7:00PM and Fridays 11:00-12:00AM, again at 21.6 THE NET.

 

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

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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!

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.

Exceptional leaders know the combination to “Playing Big”

Combination

Last week we discussed how the amygdala part of the brain can affect how leaders can either play big or play small in dealing with stressful situations. One key point that we focused on was how easy it is for the amygdala to “awfulize” and think of all the bad things that can possibly happen. The amygdala naturally does this to prepare for the worst that can actually happen to us. In some situations it can be a great benefit. In other work environment situations it can stop us in our tracks. To understand why the amygdala reacts in certain situations it’s important to understand what the baseline is for a non-reactive amygdala.
We all have emotional needs. Maslow in his work mapped out the emotional needs of humans. People have added to his work and changed portions but Maslow’s work still provides a solid foundation. I like to keep it simple, so I focus on five key emotional needs. They are:
• Safety
• Power
• Acceptance
• Respect
• Value.
These five needs are applicable to children and adults. When these needs are met the amygdala is pretty content. When these needs are not met, people will act out. Watch what happens to a small child when they try and interrupt talking adults to show them something. When the adult says, “Not now, can’t you see we’re talking.” The child will walk away and pout. They don’t feel accepted or included and the amygdala will go into action and they pout and withdraw.
Now watch in a business meeting when people are sharing ideas and when one person finally gets a chance to speak up and the meeting leader says, “Sorry Cindy, but we need to move on.” Cindy will typically do what a small child will do. She will sit back, cross her arms and withdraw. I have watched men and women do this in meetings for years. They don’t feel like they are accepted or treated fairly (respect) or valued (feeling heard). The amygdala goes into action and the person doesn’t even realize they have sat back and folded their arms.
Exceptional leaders know the combination to Playing Big by recognizing unmet emotional needs and the acting out by the person who experiences this situation. A quick comment by an exceptional leader can bring Cindy back into the meeting in seconds. “Cindy we are short on time but I would like to get your input after the meeting.” In seconds Cindy feels valued. Simple example but the combination to playing big is not complicated. When you see people acting out, whether its children or adults, you can be pretty certain that there is an unmet emotional need not being met. We’ll share some more examples in the next couple of blogs because observing and understanding what is happening in stressful or difficult situations can help you work on becoming an exceptional leader.
Thanks for coming along.

Conquering Fears

What scares us?CBF
It’s interesting to watch some of the cable shows about ghost hunters, big-foot hunters and other things that go bump in the night.  We all have fears of different kinds but what is interesting to note is that we are only born with two fears.  Do you know what those are?  Take a moment to think about it, what two fears would we be born with that would help us survive?  The two fears are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  Every other fear we have is a learned fear.  Amazing isn’t it?  However our brain will respond to our learned fears exactly the same way it will respond to the fears we are born with as a species.
Think of the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  One occupation that comes to mind where they have to deal with this combination of fears on a daily basis is a dental practice.  What is one of the first things that is done to you as you sit in a dental chair?  You are lowered backwards in the chair, fear of falling.  One of the other things if you’re having work done on your teeth is that a noisy instrument is placed inside your mouth about as close to your eardrum as you can get, the fear of loud noises.  Dental practices struggle with patient retention and sometimes just the factor of dealing with the two born fears have can a major impact.

Most of our learned fears come from other people and what scares them.  We learn from watching them behave when they encounter a spider, snake or even a difficult discussion.  Talk around a campfire with a group of people about ghost stories and people will scare themselves silly.  You never see a couple of homicide detectives standing looking at a corpse and proclaiming, “It looks like another ghost murder.”  Do you know of anyone who has ever been killed by a ghost?  Me either.
There is a part of our brain called the amygdala that deals with our fears, whether they are the 2 born fears or the learned fears we have. We are going to explore how the amygdala responds to these threats, whether real or perceptive in the next several blogs.  We’ll also put it into perspective on how exceptional leaders deal with conquering fears.
Thanks for coming along.

What are you trying to create?

What are you trying to create?
A doctor wanted to transform his business into a patient-valued medical practice. In his staff meeting one day, he introduced this concept and the vision he had of creating this exquisite patient-valued center.  He kept referring to patients being treated the same way customers are treated at the legendary Four Season’s Hotels.  This hotel chain redefined luxury as service for the customer.
For the first couple of staff meetings the doctor kept talking about the service-oriented management of the Four Seasons until one lady on his staff raised her hand.
“We were talking amongst ourselves and none of us have ever experienced a Four Season hotel type of service.  We really don’t know what you are referring to in regards to that type of service.”
The doctor decided a field trip would be appropriate so he could share his vision with them.  He felt a comparison would be the best way to show the difference in service.
First he took the staff to a gourmet hamburger joint where they had really good hamburgers served on picnic tables covered with paper tablecloths and paper napkins.  Everyone loved the great hamburgers.
The next week they went to the Four Season’s restaurant for hamburgers served on white cloth tablecloths, white cloth napkins and service with an attention to the details.
The doctor then asked the group the following week,
“We went and had hamburgers at two different restaurants.  Both served good hamburgers. Did you notice a difference? “
The staff finally understood what it meant to provide value added service to your customers.
When you share your vision make sure that those coming along for the journey understand and can visualize what the end result will look like for them.  It’s not only enough to ensure they know what it looks like but they should be able to touch it, feel it, taste it, squeeze it or whatever it takes to make it tangible for them.
As in the example of the staff at the doctor’s office, they now understand what the impact of a smile will do for customer satisfaction and service. More importantly they understand what the lack of a smile can mean. Once they understand the vision then they can get enthused, can be supportive and prepare for the journey.

Thanks for coming along.

Building Trust

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Leadership is tough work.  If it were easy, everyone would be a leader. But we know that is not the case.  One of the key ingredients to excellent and effective leadership is building trust.  Although this sounds simple, people struggle with this concept.  Where does trust come from?
From the dictionary you get a description like this: firm belief in the reliability, ability, or strength of someone or something. Well that’s pretty vague isn’t it?
Let’s see if we can come up with a better definition. I agree with the reliability aspect but what makes someone or something reliable?  Easiest way to reflect upon on reliability is that someone or something meets your expectations.  If someone says they are going to do something by a particular time and they get it done on time, you would consider them reliable.  If your car starts every time you turn the key over, you consider your car reliable.
So here is where reliability comes into play with leadership.  We judge ourselves based on our intent.  Most people have good intentions.  When your actions line up with your intentions and you do it on a consistent basis then you become reliable.  The significant aspect here is to recognize that people don’t judge you for your intentions.  Rather they judge you on whether your actions line up with your intentions. This is where you have an impact on your people.  If your actions line up with your intent, you have a positive impact on people. If your actions don’t line up with your intent, you have a negative impact on people.  Your people will study you closely to see how often you do what you say you are going to do.  When you consistently act according to what you say you are going to do, you begin to build trust.  When people realize they can trust you, they begin to follow you.  When you have people following you, then you can focus on developing stronger relationships and be effective in moving people through change.
Some key building blocks of leadership.
Thanks for coming along.

The Value of Growing Leaders

People ask me what Igrowing people do for a living.  My response is simple. “I grow leaders.”
“How do you effectively grow leaders?” is one of the typical questions.
By focusing on developing relationships and managing change.  Two of the key fundamental skills leaders need to be able cultivate and utilize well.
In my last blog we talked about managing change and how to get people through change.  Dealing successfully with change is a very key component of being a leader. But guess what? If you don’t manage relationships first and foremost, the managing change portion will be a nightmare.  Effective communication is key to getting people to move through change successfully. If you aren’t managing relationships properly people are not going to pay attention to the communication you are trying to deliver. And if people aren’t listening, your change initiative is not going anywhere whether it is a key survival initiative or strategic marketing initiative.
Growing successful leaders can lead to some significant outcomes in helping to strengthen and grow your business.
•    They connect with others more effectively
•    Build stronger teams
•    Become more productive
When you have leaders who grow and become empowered they become competent in meeting your goals and deadlines.  Communication becomes a powerful asset and synergy drives the outcomes you are trying to reach.
Guess what? You customers realize when you are growing your leaders. This has a huge impact on your business because when you lead you sell!
Thanks for coming along!

Change Ahead

Change aheadChange–it has amazing stopping power, doesn’t it? The very mention of change will get people digging their heels in to protect how they currently do business.

When we undergo change there are three basic phases involved. Each one has an effect on our ability to make the change successful.

•    The Current phase is our comfort zone where we perform our day-to-day activities with confidence. We understand the workflow processes, how to multitask and anticipate the pace of the work. Our sense of worth, productivity, value and status are recognized from being competent in our role in this phase.

•    Next is the Action phase where we begin to develop new behaviors, values and attitudes.  We are now being asked and asking employees to look at performing our work differently, which will disrupt the current way of doing things.  We aren’t as sure of the outcomes of our work in the Action phase.

•    Finally we move into the New phase, which is the final stage of crystallizing our thoughts and adaptation of ownership to the new change. The New phase is where we will be working in the future. We have questions as we enter this New phase:

•    Will we be recognized for our contributions?
•    Will we have the ability to provide input and have a share of voice?
•    Will we be able to provide value and be flexible?

Here are four key steps that will help people move through the three key phases of change.

1. Create a clear view – Explain why the change is taking place. Understand where you are going and why it is important for the team to reach the destination. Be able to articulate clearly so members of your team understand the reason for the change.  Also explain the value of their role in this change process.

2. Move Quickly — One of the success strategies for nimbly moving through change is to get to the New phase as quickly as possible. Get started by moving through the Action phase and find a footing in this New phase where you can begin to experiment with new processes. Look at the resources and skills you are bringing with you to assist in this change process. Your problem solving, analytical, and time management skills are all tools that will help with the change. Recognize some things will be ending, some will be continuing and some will be new because of the change. When you can identify those items it takes the fear of the unknown away.

3. Communicate continuously – Don’t assume because you told people once they fully understand the reason and process for change. Communicate consistently and often.  Use different media. Don’t assume an e-mail or website will be read and all questions will be answered. Regularly ask for feedback on what’s working and what’s not working. Ask members of your team to describe back to you the reason for change and why it is important. This will enable you to determine if they understand why the change is taking place. Continue this exercise throughout the phases of change as reinforcement.

4. Recognize early achievements — Try to attain small victories and accomplishments early and celebrate these small wins quickly. Don’t wait for monthly or quarterly reviews. Recognize the accomplishments on a weekly or even daily basis for some milestones. Give credit where credit is due. You build value and show yourself and others they have the ability to act and make progress in the change process.

Change is inevitable but the above steps are some ways to get you and your team through change quickly and effectively.  It takes hard work and consistency but it is worth the effort.  You C.A.N. move through change.

Thanks for coming along.