When Words Aren’t Enough

Heaven and earth

Last week’s unspeakable tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut left me speechless.  There really are no words to express the feelings, the raw emotions, the shock, anger, pain, and the heartbreak.  Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy tried to explain the unexplainable, saying “Evil visited this community today.”

Feeling Hopeless

How many of us just stared, open-mouthed at the television feeling completely hopeless?  I closed my eyes, feeling crushed under the weight of sadness as I thought about the children, the teachers, the school psychologist, the principal, and the first responders.

After watching some coverage, I turned off the television and said a prayer for all involved.  I recalled a scripture verse:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18

I can think of no more crushing blow than this tragedy.

Lead With Love

How do you respond to events like this?  Dan Rockwell said it well when he said the response should be to lead with love.  I like what Dan had to say because love is always the best response.

Here are a few ways to respond to these sad events:

  • Love more. Hug your kids.  Even in a corporate setting, it’s possible to lead a company with love.
  • Be compassionate. Someone once told me that, when in doubt, assume the person you are talking with is hurting.  That’s because all of us face challenges, adversity and heartbreak.

Leading Through the 5 Stages of Change

Farewell Atlantis

In yesterday’s post, I interviewed Jim Huling about the disciplines of execution.  The concepts in the 4 Disciplines of Execution were so fascinating, we continued the conversation.

Much of leadership is influencing people to change.  You talk about the five stages of changing human behavior.  Would you explain these and is there one stage more difficult to move through than the others?

Because changing human behavior is such a big job, many leaders face challenges when first installing 4DX.  In fact, we’ve found that most teams go through five distinct stages of behavior change.

Stage 1: Getting Clear – The leader and the team commit to a new level of performance. They are oriented to 4DX and develop crystal-clear WIGs (wildly important goals), lag and lead measures, and a compelling scoreboard. They commit to regular WIG sessions. Although you can naturally expect varying levels of commitment, team members will be more motivated if they are closely involved in the 4DX work session.

Stage 2: Launch – Now the team is at the starting line. Whether you hold a formal kickoff meeting, or gather your team in a brief huddle, you launch the team into action on the WIG. But just as a rocket requires tremendous, highly focused energy to escape the earth’s gravity, the team needs intense involvement from the leader at this point of launch.

5 Stages of Behavior Change

  1. Getting Clear
  2. Launch
  3. Adoption
  4. Optimization
  5. Habits

Stage 3: Adoption – Team members adopt the 4DX process, and new behaviors drive the achievement of the WIG. You can expect resistance to fade and enthusiasm to increase as 4DX begins to work for them. They become accountable to each other for the new level of performance despite the demands of the whirlwind.

Stage 4: Optimization – At this stage, the team shifts to a 4DX mindset. You can expect them to become more purposeful and more engaged in their work as they produce results that make a difference. They will start looking for ways to optimize their performance—they now know what “playing to win” feels like.

Master the 4 Disciplines of Execution

iStock_000009621650Small

In every business, strategy is vital for success.  It charts the course and sets the direction.  But, every strategist knows that so often strategic goals never take off because they are drowned by all of the other competing interests.  The daily activities of the organization starve the strategic goal.  In The 4 Disciplines of Execution, a terrific new book, authors Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling explain how learning four disciplines can help produce breakthrough results.

And these same concepts can be applied to achieve your personal goals.

After reading the book, I followed up with author Jim Huling to delve into the material.

Jim, for those who aren’t familiar with the four disciplines, would you walk us through them quickly?

  • Discipline 1: The discipline of focus.  Extraordinary results can only be achieved when you are clear about what matters most.  As simple as this principle may sound, few leaders ever master it.  4DX teaches why focus is so critical and how to overcome your biggest source of resistance.
  • Discipline 2: The discipline of leverage.  With unlimited time and resources, you could accomplish anything.  Unfortunately, your challenge is usually the opposite: accomplish more with less.  4DX shows leaders where they can find real leverage and how to use it to produce extraordinary results.
  • Discipline 3: The discipline of engagement.   You have the authority to make things happen, but you want more than that – you want the performance that only passion and engagement can produce.  4DX enables leaders to rise from authority-driven compliance to passion-driven commitment in themselves and the people they lead.
  • Discipline 4: The discipline of accountability.  No matter how brilliant your plan or how important your goal, nothing will happen until you follow through with consistent action.  4DX brings the practices that drive accountability and follow through, despite a whirlwind of competing priorities.

Life’s Journey

“Life is no straight and easy corridor

along which we travel free and unhampered,

but a maze of passages,

through which we must seek our way,

at times, lost and confused,

now and again checked in a blind alley.

But always, if we have faith,

a door will open for us,

not perhaps one that we ourselves

would ever have thought of,

but one that will ultimately prove good for us.”

-Archibald Joseph Cronin

How often do you find yourself somewhere you never intended to be?  When I’m in a blind alley, I choose faith over fear.  If I search, I find the hidden door that changes everything.  Though we may wish life were easy, we grow most in times of uncertainty and challenge.  As Danny Cox says, “The best is yet to be!”

Endorsing the Endorsing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Photo by TheSeafarer on flickr.

Not too many weeks ago, I received an email from LinkedIn indicating someone had endorsed me for a skill.  After deleting the message, I noticed another one appeared the following day.  Taking the bait, I clicked, signed in, and saw the new Endorsements feature at work.

I thought about blogging about this new feature immediately.  After thinking about it, I decided to wait a few weeks to see if my opinion changed.

Endorsement Criticisms

The new feature has been widely criticized.  And, at first, I was with the critics.  Many people are complaining:

When I asked my own network for opinions, they were varied.  Here are a few:

How It Works