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All posts from March 2018

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110: Giving away your secrets

How brave are you?

Most teams wouldn’t doubt their answer until asked to give away their trade secrets. That which they believe makes them competitive, or unique.

So, if you could give away your secrets, would you? For example:

  • Your team’s secret sauce: Giving it away means it’s no longer secret. It also means your genius is finally truly on display for others to make a remark about.
  • How you cut costs or double value: Giving it away means others can do it too. It also means your distinction is easily (favorably) compatible to the marketplace.
  • How you systemize transformation: Giving it away means others can do it too. It also means your audience is better informed and feels safer in your care.

Giving it away means others can do it, too. “Others” includes your target audience. Doing so is an opportunity to serve more deeply.

Are you brave enough?

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109: 1-Up

We’ve talked about how A players got that way: by leading B players into A players.

But who leads he/she who leads you?
To leverage a classic video-game term, this person needs a “1-Up”.

I define a 1-Up as “Extending council and grace to whoever is 1-Up from you on your team, so that they can grow, too.”

Giving them a 1-Up will give them ‘extra life’ to serve more powerfully.

Great teams understand that leadership flows both ways.
The rest are either too selfish or too afraid to try.

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108: On being hungry

We’ve heard it said, “You need to be hungry to be successful”

Yet if you succeed, you won’t be hungry.

Focusing on your hunger is focusing on the wrong person.

Leadership is about getting others fed. Success starts not with being hungry, but with seeking those who are.

And then doing something about it.

Doing so makes a positive, needed change. One you’ll find, if you look past your own stomach.

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107: Compassion and tolerance

“Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.” – Dalai Lama

Tolerance, combined with compassion, adds a flexibility to teams and individuals that make them very tough to break.

A team that lacks either won’t survive a storm:

  • A crazy day you managed to pull through. Tolerance lets you survive it, compassion forces you fix it so teammates won’t repeat your mistakes.
  • A project that had issues. Tolerance lets you accommodate and complete it, compassion forces you to address the issues so they don’t reemerge for you or your teammates again.

We need both in equal measure.

One to let us never break down. The other to force us to protect each other, and those we’re business to serve.

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106: Adam Standard Time

“He’s still awake? What time zone is he on?”
He’s on Adam Standard Time.’

Of course, this isn’t an actual timezone.

Except it is, for me. I choose my waking hours based on what my body tells me because peak performance comes from knowing myself, not from merely copying others.

This rule applies to all of us:

  • Our language: The best email reply might come from our intuition as well as the manual (assuming the manual doesn’t factor in intuition, it should.)
  • Our roles: The best way to achieve our goals might come from our unique perspective as well as what the Position Agreement document says (assuming the agreement doesn’t flex, it should.)

How can we better appreciate our unique perspectives and incorporate them into our work?

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105: Sales isn’t a role

On effective teams, “sales” isn’t a role.

It’s conventional wisdom: “Salesperson bends their arm so Production people can do Product things”. Except:

  • Educating a prospect is sales.
  • Educating a client is sales.
  • Helping them evaluate is sales.
  • Enrolling them with the best fit for them is sales.
  • Onboarding and guiding them is sales.
  • Production is sales.
  • Delivery is sales.
  • Support is sales.

“Sales” means sharing your mindset with those it’ll benefit–and keeping them there. It keeps them moving them toward their goals, removing self-doubt.

The entire team is responsible for that.

Sales isn’t a role. It’s every role.