ADAM’S BLOG

All posts from April 2018

140: Time doesn’t need protecting

Do you “protect your time”?

I hear this term used often. It’s wrong:

  • Too-good-er: The mindset of thinking certain things are beneath you.
  • Not my responsibility: The rigid, inflexible lack of team-player DNA.

Time doesn’t need you to protect it. It needs you to leverage it:

  • Saying no to say yes: The mindset of choosing not to do the wrong things so that you can choose the right things. And do them well.
  • Bring your genius: Leveraging your team-player DNA to bring more value in ways you’re uniquely equipped to do so.

Don’t be a too-good, rigid “protector of time”. Be an intentional genius who leverages time for the good of your team.

139: The new channel-surfing

Great teams teach.

They’re great–and secure enough–to share their insights with the world, as a source of contribution and attention.

But they rarely teach well:

  • More videos: Lots of short, almost-useful YouTube videos creating fragmented learning and unclear direction. So you click another.
  • More posts: Lots of short, almost-useful rehashed pieces of content competing for search results. So you click another.
  • More downloads: Lots of short, almost-useful PDFs and white-papers containing little more than a sales pitch. So you click another.

This is the new channel-surfing. An attention deficit is created by those who complain about it.

No more complaining, or participating: what if you were to create something more substantial, more valuable, something you and your teammates can be proud of?

138: Smells desperate

It’s easy to feel this.

Particularly if you’re moving more slowly than you’d like, or you’re low on resources.

These natural phases of development breed either determination or desperation. The latter literally stinks:

  • The market smells it: It permeates the room, undermining your authenticity and compromising your good judgment. People don’t do business with people like this.
  • You smell it: It corrodes confidence, distracting your direction and temps you to give up.
  • Team members smell it: It germinates throughout the team causing more people to lose confidence, too.

What if you used this phase of development as an opportunity to get unstuck, control the goal, and let determination germinate instead?

137: Volunteers and veterans

A man stands up at a charity gala. The room applauds.

As promises go, standing is the easy part. The hard part comes later.

  • The easy part: Standing up and declaring allegiance, alignment or commitment to a cause at that moment. The applause and appreciation validate your decision.
  • The hard part: Keeping your promise in those quiet, thankless moments that nobody else sees. Where you do what you do because of a decision you made years ago.

Teams that stand the test of time tend not to be impressed with ‘the easy part’. No applause for standing. After all, they’ll have likely seen many posture and fall.

Rather, they’ll more likely acknowledge and respect ‘the hard part’ with nods of appreciation along the way.

Who gets your applause, the volunteer or the veteran?

136: Care-o-meter

What differentiates the winners from the losers?

One of these counts more than all the others combined:

  • Skills: We learn these. We apply them where our focus wanders.
  • Talents: We have these. We apply them where our focus wanders.
  • Drive: We have this. We apply it where our focus wanders.
  • Care: This stops our focus from wandering.

Care is the differentiator. Team members with the first three but not the fourth ultimately fail, every single time.

What’s your care-o-meter telling you?

135: Making magic happen

It sounds like a romanticization, doesn’t it?

In contrast, “achieving goals” sounds impersonal.

  • Achieving goals: To-do lists are completed, milestones are met, results are achieved. To which we say, “Great!”
  • Making magic happen: To-do lists and milestones lay the foundations, upon which a work of art is created. To which we say, “Wow!”

Achieving goals is a science. Without it, we don’t move forward. But without making magic happen, we don’t move forward anywhere others are excited to go.

All teams are capable of this extra ingredient. We simply need to care intensely enough to choreograph something worth saying “wow!” about.