My day can end one of two ways – with a sense of satisfaction or a sense of restlessness. What determines one or the other is not how much I got done, but what I got done.
Do you feel more satisfied by emptying your inbox and ticking ten things off your list or by getting the thing (hereafter known as The Thing) done that advances your idea?
I work with many leaders who have an idea on how they want to make the world better. Clean up contaminated waterfront property, support education, bolster the human-animal bond. They want to help other people be better people, protect them from cancer, help them be healthier. So many good things happening out there and I get to interact with them on a daily basis.
I find we come in one of four flavors, constantly moving around the scale.
I have been having fun using notability to draw models thanks to a business school I’m attending (more on that later) and last week, I introduced this fun one on producers:
If productivity = progress, then there is an equation in there of mindset and behavior that determines the ability to get “there.” (The proverbial “there” we are all trying to reach which we never get to because it’s continually moving away like your older sibling who messes with you when you try to get in the car and he/she guns the gas every time you approach.) In this case, “there” = Creator, not as in The Creator, but a creator.
Mindset is a scale of uncertain to confident and behaviors (systems and habits) is a scale of scattered to organized.
Energetically poised to get the shit done.
If you’ve ever played tennis, a key lesson is not to settle back on your heels. You won’t be able to react and move quickly enough for the next shot. I can literally see people sitting back in their heels. Maybe it’s during a coaching session and they are reclined in an easy chair, not taking notes, not focused.
I can tell right away who is into making change happen and who wants to, but …
This is a big barrier and I want you to remove it.
Energetically poised. Energy is off the charts low right now due to isolation and distance. Can you feel it? Just watching the first public appearance of Biden with his VP Kamala streaming live this week is 100 percent exemplary. Typically this would be done in a stadium with thumping music and cheering throngs. Instead, it was done in a gymnasium with some staffers in face masks.
We can’t change this fact. So we have to amplify our energy. Recently, we pre-recorded a video introduction for an online virtual gala (which would normally be a live event). The CEO sat quietly while we set up the camera and lights and spoke briefly about his talking points. The videographer gave the go-ahead and the CEO BOOMED with his welcome and speech, so much so we all had to hide our faces and laugh in our fists.
The thing is, we watched it in replay and it was perfect. It didn’t feel overdone at all. Times like these require us to amplify our energy.
Systems in place to get the shit done. Support where you need it.
Are you set up to do what you have to do? Is your calendar blocked with your different buckets of time so you own certain periods where you can proactively work on your idea?
Are you creating systems that allow you the time to create and work on your idea?
Recently, I discovered when my Monday is packed with meetings, I had a hard time relaxing on Sundays and it was seriously cutting into my weekends. So I started blocking out Mondays for no meetings. This gave me time to work on my thing. It quickly expanded to Fridays, too. (Shhh) Make no mistake, I’m not taking those days off. I’m just leaving them for time owned by me.
You know what else I did? I hired an assistant. Yes, meet George. He’s editing this and sending this to you right now. All I have to do is write it in a word doc and get to him by Thursday afternoon. This was a big step for me because, well, delegation.
His job is to make my life easier so I can do the things that matter so both our roles grow. I have an idea of change for me and he has one for him.
Systems and the right support will help us get where we are going.
What all this does is eliminate the tiresome excuses. In the end, excuses are the great barrier that need to be removed.
Where on the scale do you land this week? Watch the patterns and find your tools to right the ship.
Some of my favorite reading:
Mindset: The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron
Behavior: Cal Newport’s Deep Thinking or The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander
Take care out there,
Coaching for leaders who want to make the world a better place. I have two slots available in September for my Take a Big Leap Coaching program, a four month one-on-one program to help you articulate and make your idea of change happen. Contact me to learn more.
Creative problem-solving for non-profit teams. I bring outside perspective to your purpose-driven team to help you get people to care about something. Contact me to talk about facilitation or training for your team.
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