Jul 072014
 
Win:Win Networking = Covey's Habit 4

Win:Win.

A crucial input to any business relationship/transaction – community/clientele/friend to friend/within a family – whichever, or all of the above.

How does it apply to networking?

Here’s a simple sketch – if any questions from those who read this blog, please feel free to ask, and would be glad to go into more depth.

High level: Be sure you are mentally prepared to expect to give and give before you anticipate/expect a return. However, once you do receive, you’ve cemented a long lasting business connection which won’t be based on a mere transaction, but on deeper bonds of trust, service, and selflessness.

Mid level: Get out there into the public and expand your network. Your network is not simply there for you; not even close! It is there to share with others in your network whom may need a product, service, or just a friend. Think ‘Level 4’ ( Interdependence ) and eschew/abandon ‘Level 3’ ( Independent ) and Level 2 ( ‘Dependent’ ) – you’ll find that the ‘air’ in this sphere of building and bonding is far longer lasting than when you look at someone as simply a transaction, or a sale as a utility.

Finally, at the lower level ( this is mostly geared for where I live geographically – please study ( go well beyond merely “googling” ) the groups in your area to see what’s available for you)

Options where there will be a LOT of people, and connecting for win:win will be more challenging, however, definitely possible:

* CBus Business First (Breakfasts/6-8x/year, Friday mornings)

* Big Fish Networking ( periodic events, mostly evenings, and also certain mornings )

Add’t options which are in smaller settings which are free form and not structured :

** DelawareO ( every 3rd Wednesday evening , location varies )

** COBB ( every third Weds. morning )

Micro options – very small groups which can range from just 2-3, to upwards of a dozen or two. Very informal, and free form like the above

** Meetup.Com ( many many different options – can either be an organizer, or just someone who attends )

Structured Options – These are pay to join and usually have some structure/scripting and a very firm time frame for meeting starts/ends.

** BNI ( Dr. Misner, founded 1985 -groups all over the country)

( there are also several others in this same space – Goldstar, AmSpirit, & Synergy National )

** Six Degrees Networking

** TORN

____

With all of these, be sure to take the principles of win:win, as taught by Covey 20 odd years ago, bring Level 4 thinking ( Tribal Leadership ) and understand the crucial value of tribes and community building ( Godin & Block, respectively ). If you have the right mindset, you will meet so many new friends and grow your business all at the same time!

All best, always. Thank you for reading.

Aug 112013
 
What you do MATTERS -- Serve. Pay forward. Give. Bless Others.

Ripples in the still water…

They are caused by something which breaks the stillness; something which serves as the cause, while the effect is palpable to the naked eye …

Who among us, likely while with your parents on a hike, a camping trip, or at a retreat, hasn’t tossed a rock into a pond, a lake, and watched with glee as your act caused something so obvious? ¬†Raising my hand, I am one of them ūüėÄ

So, why would we, as adults, not apply this same principle to your life?

What you do MATTERS.

Here’s the principle I speak of. This is not a new idea, yet I wished to cover it today, as earlier this summer, I was privilved to hear a moving talk from an accomplished business owner ** ( w/ her husband ) who re-told the story that I’ve linked back to at the bottom of this post. The story is a core of the ‘Butterfly Effect’ , and is synonomous with ripples from a smooth stone tossed as a young child. Rather than re-tell that story, let’s use it as inspiration – print it off, and refer to it often …

Let’s apply this to our lives today. Stop spending so much time on obligations that only benefit ourselves and which have limited value to our families, trusted friends, and our society. Our families are the cornerstone of our culture – thus, the butterfly effect, the ripples, matter – and our culture is in dire need of an infusion of leadership that rises from organic growth of our own thinking. Our friends are valuable, so why would we not spend time and effort cultivating those relationships? ¬†That will ripple.

And, social capital can only be rebuilt by conscious focus on restoring values which will bring satisfaction in our business ownership (or our careers/jobs), our faith/spiritual development, our marriages/parenting, and in our time spent community building (anything from the YMCA, PTA, church youth groups/VBS, et al.)

Yes, what you do MATTERS. Focus on priorities! Match your calendar to them at all times. No excuses, please. If you rank something as #1 in your life, it should be #1 on your calendar in terms of the time you spent on it, as often as possible. Sure, urgencies will arise; so long as you remember Covey’s ‘Big Rocks’ vid clip, the visual should stick with you ¬†to guide you back onto the path in case you are knocked off of it.

It is a privilege of mine to serve others, paying forward world class/gold medal information which has the highest potential to lead to the butterfly effect in others’ lives. Help one person/family/entrepreneur fix an issue and grow their servant leadership? ¬†Define their purpose? Sharpen their vision? ¬†Up their adversity quotient? ¬†Fix their finances at the deepest roots? ¬†Those are ripples. They are priorities for those folks, right? ¬†So, the stone and rock tossed is the information, that which, once learned & applied, will effect the change.

How amazing a feeling to shake hands, hugs, fist bumps, and pats on the back with the people whose lives you bless!  Up your count. Give of yourself & pay forward transformational info that has benefited you/your family/your business. And, you will have  your own opportunity to be the Moses, the George W. Carver, the Henry Wallace, and the Norman Borlaug in your own ways.

+ + +

** Thank you so very much, Laurie Woodward, for your ability to inspire through stories! The story that she cited can be found elsewhere; however, here’s a great source that is found easily online >¬†http://lifetoday.org/connect/words-of-life/the-butterfly-effect/ ¬†<

Feb 162013
 
Is the entrepreneurial community the future of business?  Thoughts of the Day

Something to closely think about as 2013 moves full steam ahead:  What is the future of business in the West, let alone the world?

Could a concept melding entrepreneurship, in some ways historically considered to be someone(s) who is a lone wolf (-ves), and community, which by its very definition is plural, be the path forward, the ‘Ho Chi Minh‘ trail out towards prosperity, purpose, and to fulfill our potential as born geniuses who have been covered in ‘glaze‘ ?

My answer:  Most definitely.

Why?

Think about it. When you take the ‘edge’ off of the perceived risks of entrepreneurship as compared to its alternatives by mixing it with community, which is rightly perceived as a team who has come together to make the individuals forming it stronger ( ‘iron sharpening iron’ ), you get a potent combination, do you not?

Taking this a step further, we live in a completely new age/era – we are well past the years when people were looked at as mere hands to build widgets while not exercising independent thought; we’re also beyond the time where huge corporations and other big entities dominated the landscape, and everyone felt secure in giving up autonomy and trade it for perceived (false) security. And, are we also not well past the time when your only entrepreneurial pathway was to sign a big stack of papers, putting your entire future on the line, to get a loan to build a business from scratch?

Again, my answer is:  Most definitely.

The issues we have in order to grasp this is to replace traditional thinking, traditional sources of information, and traditional habits for what is already working well. Going back centuries into history, we find that Edmund Burke opined about entrepreneurial communities in his time & place; he called them ‘little platoons’, although he was living in a time when agriculture was still the dominant industry. ¬†Talk about having foresight! ¬†So, now that we live in a time when the internet connects us all, and the ‘six degrees of separation’ have been shrunk to four, is there any reason why the little platoons of yore cannot become the dominant business model of the 21st century?

These communities can & will comprise of men & women who want to learn together, grow personally by applying better quality information into their day to day lives, leverage their investment into their minds by pooling those perceived risks of being an entrepreneur, & al l the while, being the ‘glass cleaners’, the ‘candles in the dark’ for society.

What kind of non traditional, non conformist thinking, information, and habits will be an asset to those who voluntarily choose this path forward? ¬†Let’s ponder for a few:

 

1. Putting aside that winning means someone else loses (‘zero sum’) and trade it for Level 4 thought / Habit 4 from Covey — win:win

2. Tossing aside entitlement and victimology for earned results & personal accountability

3. Understanding that big institutions/entities no longer can effectively offer security, govern society, or be on the cutting edge of thought.

4. Over time, replacing mass media sources ( satellite/cable + radio, FM/AM, newspapers, magazines, et al.) with specialized information culled from the very best in entrepreneurship & community building. ¬†This is a branch off the crucial “Define. Learn. Do” tree that is a base law of success.

5. Realizing that schooling & education are not one in the same. There is nothing at all wrong with conveyor belt & professional track schooling ( K-12 & undergrad/grad/post grad ) so long as they are supplemented by self-directed education, also known as liber/liberty/TJed.

6. Building the habits of associating positively, putting others ahead of yourself ( ‘service before self’ ), reading, and listening.

7. Studying entrepreneurship and applying the skills that these men & women use in your day to day lives within the community (while learning, studying, & growing oneself) & outside of it the rest of the time by practicing top notch people skills.

8. Being very clear on the massive difference between investment and expense. ¬†(using the “Y-D-I-L” equation goes a long way to help make this simple. )

9. Putting mental fitness and physical fitness on the same level playing field. Both matter; a LOT. This seems so simple, yet why do so many not put money into their minds, yet spend so much money on gym memberships?  The latter is very useful, but the former is just as much.

10. Paying forward what you learn inside of the entrepreneurial community with others. Learning is best applied when you teach/coach/mentor someone else who is not yet part of the community with you. The old way would be to ‘hog’ what you know, thinking it would be a competitive advantage; this is Level 3 thought at best, and perhaps Level 2; ¬†Only Levels 4-5 are useful in this developing model.

 

Thank you for reading today, and I hope & trust that this post made you pause, ponder, & stretch your mind. Nothing but the best to you on your journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 302013
 
What traits do you share with Sir Winston?

We’ve all heard so much about Sir Winston Churchill, that his name & legacy are burned into our conscious minds.

Yet, have we really exhausted the deep well of insightful wisdom which this great man left behind for all the successive generations? ¬†I’d say ‘not even close.’ ¬†There are numerous reasons why I come to this conclusion: One of which is that we do not teach history nearly as well as we used to; another is that not enough people read great books; a third is that we have bought into the self-deception that we have all the knowledge we need to live fruitful, purposeful lives, yet we are still in want of more wheat & farmers’ seeds to germinate in our minds.

So, with the above in mind – I am summing up the table of characteristics of Mr. Churchill’s life that served him so very well [ my thoughts/comments in ( ) ].

I happily point the readers to Appendix A of a really good book that I read over a year ago, ‘Ready, Begin!‘ by Lawrence M. Kryske., from which this information originated. Mr. Kryske did a fantastic job pulling it all together! Get that book on your shelf/in your e-reader ūüôā

 

VISION

Focus ¬† ¬† ( whom wouldn’t benefit from laser instead of flashlight focus?)

Innovation   ( producers & creators in society do this. Think: Steve Jobs. )

Perspective ¬†( C + “P” = E )

Simplicity  ( Something that every Type C/Melancholy needs to remember-note to self )

Being Proactive  ( Habit 1 РCovey )

Open Minded   ( NEVER close your mind or eyes to an opportunity! )

Insightful   ( mentors and coaches provide )

Adding Value   (  Edify. Never subtract from a person via your words. )

Detail Oriented ¬† ( See above re: melancholy ūüėČ )

Big Picture  (  Vision РResolution 4 )

Discernment   (  a component of human relations / people skills )

Preparation   (  Plant seeds/a tree well before you need a crop/apples! )

 

COURAGE

Risk Taking   ( entrepreneurs do this & America needs many more of them! )

Introspection  ( deep thinking v. reacting )

Enthusiasm   (  Carnegie & Bettger taught this years ago. Still imperative! )

Generosity   ( Serve others 1st. Always. )

Priorities / Timing  ( Habit 3 РCovey )

Integrity / Truth   (  truth is truth. Know it, live it, and expect it at all times )

Decision Making ¬†( make a decision, don’t ever fear a mistake or failing. )

Judgment  ( important for growing personally & leading others )

Empathy   (  HUGE importance. )

Accountability ¬† ¬† ( NEVER ‘pass the buck’, blame shift, or make excuses. )

Boldness  ( nail your colors to the mast! )

 

DETERMINATION

Tenacity   ( A crucial trait for an entrepreneur. )

Resilience   (  Another for entrepreneurial minded folks. Never, ever quit. )

Problem Solving ¬†( ¬†problem ID’ed —> series of choices –> problem solved. )

Attitude  (  Resolution 3 )

Discipline ¬†( ¬†Build your internal integrity. Don’t cut yourself slack via excuses. )

Dedication  ( Imperative for having long term vision )

Action Oriented ¬†( can’t have all green lights before you move ahead. )

Patience  ( crucial element in dealing with others )

Versatility ¬†( grow in all personality types – be Type D, I, S, & C all at once ūüôā )

Involving Others  (  Level 4 thinking Рinterdependent / Habit 6 РCovey )

Impassioned  ( ollin Рall in!

Flexibility  ( very valuable skill. )

 

In the end, what can be learned from this great leader’s life is nothing short of remarkable. That surely explains the vast number of books & other post mortem recognition he has received. ¬†Successful people mirror their lives to those who have results ( define – learn – do ) and one can’t go wrong by using Sir Winston as a role model!

Jul 192012
 

TEN KEYS TO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Pause before you Respond

  • – Listen 1st, evaluate, & think through what you‚Äôre going to say
  • – Think about social media‚Äôs amazing growth over the past 5+ years; people WANT to be heard, however, very few actually listen.

2. Be trustworthy & honest

  • – Do NOT gossip. Ever.
  • – Do not exaggerate. Remain credible & consistent.
  • – Think Win:Win ( Covey‚Äôs Habit 4 )
  • – Easiest way to ensure you have a good memory ūüôā

3. Don’t Rush!

  • – Slow down to avoid mis-understandings.
  • – Don‚Äôt monopolize
  • – Data (i.e., texting) CANNOT replace in person communication.

4. Adapt your ideas to others

  • – Go to their side of the table; understand their viewpoint(s)
  • – Tailor / customize your communication
  • – Often, you explain from YOUR side, whereas others listen from THEIR side.
  • – Understanding them allows you to sell your ideas, beliefs, points, & thoughts across age, gender, economic/class, & other differences.

5. Stay in the Moment

  • – Keep your brain in the same place as your ears & the rest of your body
  • – Active listening; take your time

6. Pay attention to peoples’ non verbal cues

  • – Helps to be able to ‚Äėread‚Äô other people to understand what they may be thinking.
  • – Also, be sure to pay attention to your own!

7. Intend to Understand

  • – Covey‚Äôs Habit 5
  • – Don‚Äôt be defensive
  • – Poor/mis-communication ==> Relationship problems ==> Business/career/job/family/friend issues
  • – Use conflict resolution, NOT avoidance, triangulation, or silence.

8. Be Patient & Open Minded

9. Follow up on the communication

  • – Repeat back what you THINK you heard and understood
  • – Much value in being an active listener; can follow up and not assume anything

10. Ask for Feedback

  • – Mis-communication can mess up an entire family, business, or other organization
  • – Be open. There is no one you cannot learn from.

__________________________________________________________________

Deepest appreciation & kindest regards to Dan Hawkins¬†¬†for his superb audio talk on this topic, which I took notes on; ¬†it was hugely helpful to me, as yet another small step forward on my leadership & coaching journey, to have heard this information. I’m thrilled to be able to share it with the Twitteverse & blogosphere on this Thursday evening.