Throughout all of our discussion and throughout all of Henna’s writing, I noticed a key theme: service to others. Everything we do should be in a place of service. It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to her work.
“Authentic leadership is about leading from the core of who we are.” -Henna Inam
The former NFL head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Mike Smith, teamed up with one of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, to explore seven principles that teams use to reinvigorate and reinvent their future.
I’m not sure how you read, but the more I like a book, the more underlines, highlights, and dog-eared pages appear. Long ago, I developed the habit of doing this because I want the wisdom of the authors to penetrate my thick skull and make an impact. When I read this book, there were so many quotes that stuck with me.
So, instead of an author interview, I wanted to share the top 25 Quotes from this book on team building that stuck with me. I hope you find them helpful as you build a great team of your own. Because, as the title of this book reminds us, winning starts long before you actually take the field.
25 Quotes to Build a Winning Team
“Culture is defined and created from the top down, but it comes to life from the bottom up.” –Mike Smith
How do you measure success? Is it by financial security, career growth, community involvement, quality of relationships, spiritual centeredness or the legacy you leave? Whichever measure you choose, your attitude is the single most important factor in achieving success.
“Your attitude is the single most important factor in achieving success.”
The topic of attitude can be conceptual and confusing. In fact, as we go through life we often hear phrases like, “Keep your chin up,” “Look on the bright side,” or “You need a winning attitude.” Unfortunately, we seldom know how to convert these soft sayings into hard results.
The great news is that even in the worst situations – a victim of a natural disaster, prisoner of war, target of abuse or when hit by a string of unfortunate circumstances – your attitude is something you can always control!
When we control our attitude we influence how our body responds and performs. Where our thoughts and attitudes go, our bodies follow. For example, blushing is a physical reaction to a mere thought. If we have this kind of reaction to a thought, is it such a leap of faith to believe that we can orchestrate our attitudes to affect our bodies in beneficial ways?
“The choice of attitude is yours. Tomorrow you will become what you choose today.”
A landmark study shed light on the ultimate benefit of a positive attitude. In this particular study, participants who were more positive lived an average of 10 years longer than the other participants. Considering that smoking has been shown to reduce life expectancy by 5.5 years for men and 7 years for women, your attitude might be a health risk factor worth paying real attention to.
The choice of attitude is yours. Tomorrow you will become what you choose today.
Study: positive participants lived 10 years longer than other participants.
There are three aspects of the script that work in concert: thoughts, words and actions. By orchestrating each aspect with conscious responses, we positively influence our beliefs, commitments and results.
The script plays out like this:
Thoughts, the way we choose to interpret our world, directly influence our beliefs.
Beliefs directly influence the words we choose to speak to others, and more importantly, to ourselves.
Words reflect our commitments to ourselves and others.
Finally, our actions directly influence the results we achieve.
This script is self-reinforcing, for better or for worse. The results we achieve reinforce our thoughts, and the same script is played out again. So, it all starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts today influence our results tomorrow.
Befriending our bodies is foundational to the practice of authenticity. I define authentic leadership as the fullest expression of “me” for the benefit of “we.” In order for us to fully express our true selves, we need to know who we are – to experience what brings us joy, when our fears hold us back from full self-expression, and know what triggers prevent us showing up in our authentic selves. The truth of all of these questions lies in our bodies. In my executive coaching work, I use Whole Body Leadership ™ to get us connected to our bodies to give us answers to these questions. Our bodies can be great enablers because they can help us move in a direction that we know is right by transcending our fears and discomfort through breath, posture, and movement.
“Authenticity creates trust in teams.” -Henna Inam
Staying curious is critical in a world that is rapidly changing. Our brain likes to operate on assumptions to make the decision-making process easier. We make assumptions about people in the form of quick judgments. We often only see what we believe. Staying curious is about constantly asking ourselves and others broad, open-ended questions such as, “What’s happening now?” or, “What do you see here?” or, “What’s new? What’s changed?” and being open to new learning.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” -Lao Tzu
Letting go is not always easy. What tips do you offer to let go of what is limiting us?
The first step to letting go of what limits us (often our inner saboteur thoughts and behaviors) is to practice staying curious about ourselves. Once we’ve identified a place we’re stuck, we can ask ourselves, “Who am I being here?” Often it is a certain perspective on a situation or an attitude we are holding that keeps us stuck. It’s often based on assumptions we weren’t even aware of. Once we’ve identified these, we can consciously choose a different perspective, assumptions, or way of being that will get us closer to our goals. Neuroscience shows us how our body can be used to help us change our minds, so moving our body can help us to let go.
Someone once told me that people identify more with your struggles than your successes. It’s true for me, too. It’s hard to identify with those who have seemingly had win after win with no knowledge of the effort it took to make it happen. If you talk with any successful person long enough, you start to uncover the difficulties, the challenges, the struggles, and the failures that happened along the way.
Along with our own life experiences, Lydia and I have examined the stories of a variety of leaders who faced ill health, professional setbacks, emotional loss, and a host of other life-changing events, in order to illustrate how each achieved personal transformation and success by mining their own resilience.
Each story focuses on one of nine essential principles needed to overcome adversity and seize opportunities:
A person people can like and love
Loving and empathetic
Willing to be responsible for what I do
People I trust and who love me, no matter what
Health, education, and support
Manage feelings and solve problems
Seek out trusting relationships
Offered as affirmations for success, we outline take-away lessons and daily practices that can be incorporated in your own professional journey.
THE MUST DO’S
Of all of the daily practices you outline in the book, what three are ‘must do’s’ for everyone?
Skip, as you know from your life’s journey, each person’s experiences and challenges are uniquely theirs. And life – personal as well professional – hardly has a formula. What we tried to do is provide contextual learning.
For example, in one of the chapters, we have summed up three key concepts necessary to becoming more authentic and resilient through self-acceptance:
By practicing self-acceptance, we discover the complexities of our emotions, vulnerabilities, and imperfections. And this is what creates our true authenticity. When we decide to embrace our authentic self, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow.
In an attempt to make these daily practices sustainable for our readers, we have also created a resiliency app. The Survive To Thrive free app can be accessed at www.SurviveToThrive.pub.
“Reinvention is the essence of the resilient mindset.”