A few months ago a bookkeeper named Antoinette Tuff persuaded an armed gunman to surrender at a Georgia school, saving countless lives. Everyday heroes live in and around us, and we never really know who they are until they are under fire. Would you have the same courage if you were faced with a crisis?
How about in your business? As a leader you are faced with challenges every day that can require heroic moves. According to the book, What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness by Elizabeth Svoboda, there are four traits common to real-life heroes. I believe these traits apply to business leaders, too. Read below and let me know what you think.
1. Heroes live by a moral code.
If you are a transformational business leader, you live by a moral code. You have personal and spiritual values that drive what you do every day. The big choices and the smallest decisions are filtered through that code.
2. Heroes train to take action.
Just think about how hard Navy seals and Army rangers train. Their training is grueling and rigorous. Why? So they are prepared no matter what comes up. Preparation for business leadership is just as essential. And the ability to habitually take action on a moment’s notice will make the difference between success and failure.
3. Heroes are compassionate.
This isn’t touchy feely fluff! Research shows that business leaders who relate to the people around them on a personal level rather than a hierarchical one are more influential and productive. You can be strong, determined, and forward-focused, but unless you look around you and connect with the hearts of your team, you’ll be running out ahead all by yourself. That is not leadership – that’s just a nice run.
4. Heroes perform ordinary acts of kindness.
Here’s another research study for you: Stanford business psychologists have found that heroes and leaders volunteer in their communities an average of 60 hours a year. They are out in their communities building houses for the homeless, feeding the hungry, listening to troubled teens, serving on boards and committees that truly make a difference. All this service creates an awareness of people an circumstances around you. As a leader you need your Bat radar and your Spidey sense tuned in to opportunities to create change. And isn’t that why you’re in business in the first place?
We need heroes, leaders who are prepared to serve with compassion, take action and live up to personal and spiritual values.
We need YOU!
Who’s gonna fight for what’s right?
Who’s gonna help us survive?
We’re in the fight of our lives
And we’re not ready to die
Who’s gonna fight for the weak?
Who’s gonna make ’em believe?
I’ve got a hero, I’ve got a hero
Living in me
I’m gonna fight for what’s right
Today I’m speaking my mind
And if it kills me tonight
I will be ready to die
A hero’s not afraid to give his life
A hero’s gonna save me just in time
I need a hero to save me now
I need a hero, save me now
I need a hero to save my life
A hero will save me just in time
(Lyrics from Hero by
John & Korey Cooper)
|I love the month of May! The weather is finally beginning to feel warm again and flowers are blooming all over. We took a little initiative last weekend and threw open the windows and doors to do some spring cleaning. Initiative is that belief that you can take action and accomplish your goals.There’s an e-book that I hope you will read, enjoy, and apply. It’s all about Putting POWER behind Initiative. Let me know if you’d like a copy by sending me a note at lisa@VanAllenCoaching.com Give the tips a try and then let me know if they helped you create initiative by posting a comment on my Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/TheBizDoctor
Another reason I love May – It’s my birthday month!! This year I’m hitting another one of those milestone years and wanted to do something special for YOU. Read on to find out about the gift I’m sharing and all the special offers!
Want to give me a present… “like” my page at http://www.facebook.com/TheBizDoctor!
I have great news! My book is nearly ready to go to the publisher! I am celebrating – and I want you to celebrate with me! The only way I could get this huge project done was to take LOTS of INITIATIVE. I’ve learned quite a bit about taking action, and I’d like to share that knowledge with you. I’m offering a short excerpt from my book Your Belief Quotient: 7 Beliefs that Sabotage or Support Your Success. It’s called the “10 Keys to Increasing Initiative”. I’ve set it in a short workbook format so you can immediately take action and move forward in your life and business!
To get your copy, simply fill out the form below. You will receive the “10 Keys to Increasing Initiative” in a PDF file via e-mail. Please let your friends and colleagues know about this offer — I’d love to get buried with requests for this material!
Your team has had their cheese moved and discovered a sixth dysfunction while having a crucial conversation. You’ve tried to drive their purpose, test their passions and find their strengths. Profits are down, tensions are up and you are wondering what ever made you think you could pull this group together. And there lies the problem. Do you actually believe it is possible to connect with the members of this group and work together toward positive outcomes? Does each member of the team have a similar belief? Teams are made up of individuals, and those individuals each have belief systems that either support or sabotage their ability to create meaningful connections. When teams are stressed, limiting beliefs can derail any forward momentum. Knowing and believing that you can create strong, healthy relationships is the first step toward building a team.
Henry Ford said it well, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Your personal beliefs are the filters that influence every thought, action, decision and relationship you have. Your belief system began being formed in early childhood, and every relationship you’ve ever had has contributed to your belief about the next one. So what do you believe about your ability to connect, build, maintain and deepen relationships?
There are five belief barriers to creating healthy connections. Identifying these barriers is the first step in creating healthy beliefs about your connections to others.
1. Defensiveness stems from unresolved conflicts and unhealed wounds from past connections with others. A false sense of self-preservation drives us to put up walls to prevent new hurts before they happen. There is an injustice to this defensive posture as we hold ourselves from new connections because of what someone else did to us. The problem with this is that we are assuming this new connection will be just as harmful as the ones that hurt. We fail to realize this new connection could bring healing and joy to our lives. To eliminate defensiveness, we must develop the belief that we are resilient. The word resilient stems from the Latin word that means literally “to leap back”. The resilient overcome obstacles. “The Fraud Factor” shows up when someone believes they must cover up real or imagined faults. This lack of authenticity can grow into a lack of integrity. When a member of a partnership or team puts on a front, the others usually sense it on an unconscious level. Transparency about your personal strengths and weaknesses is the best way to build trust, an essential component building relationships.
2. Dependence stems from a false belief that you are not able to accomplish your objectives on your own. An unhealthy dependence on others grows out of fear that without the strength or support of others, you are not enough. This faulty belief usually has its root in early childhood where you were not given opportunities to overcome obstacles and excel. Confidence is built slowly, one success upon another and confidence is the antidote to dependence.
3. Comparisons can be an equally destructive barrier to connection. It is human nature to do some comparing as you begin new relationships. When two people first meet, they compare differences, noting how each is unique. The danger comes when one of the parties in the relationship fail to meet some unwritten standard or criteria. Uniqueness can be an attraction factor or something that makes you feel awkward and disconnected. Diversity can be divisive or add variety and spice. Thinking “you’re not like me” or “I’m not like them” can be the beginning of a belief that either weakens or builds a connection. There are two potential routes your thinking can take:
“I’m not like them, so I don’t belong and never will.” or “I’m not like them, I can contribute my unique strengths and perspectives.”
4. Distractions take our focus off the priorities important to the relationship. Every relationship, partnership and team has values, goals, agendas and ideas whether they have been clearly communicated or not. When one member is distracted by conflicting activities, the relationship suffers. Believing in the vision of the team requires vigilant focus as well as the willingness to sacrifice personal agendas.
5. Finally, personal preferences can be a belief barrier to creating healthy connections. Certain personality types need more time and space than others. They prefer to recharge their batteries with time alone. They might need time to consider ideas and their responses. They could have a greater need for quiet. Believing that the relationship robs you of what you need to function will create tension and limit your ability to contribute generously. Individuals need to be responsible for nurturing themselves and making sure they come to their relationships as healthy and whole as possible. Communicating personal needs and taking time for yourself will help others support you in being your best. Then you can come to the group refreshed and ready to take on any challenge.
Bartering is a great way to get something you want even when cash is tight. Early in my career as a coach, I exchanged professional coaching services for a number of services. They were all things I would have purchased anyway, but cash was tight and I had something of value to offer these business owners. That is my over-riding policy when it comes to bartering or professional trade: Would I purchase these products/services anyway?
You want to think carefully through your policies for bartering. Here is what I recommend for those engaging in a professional trade:
1. First, make sure you communicate clearly that you intend to trade services. Be specific what services/products are being exchanged and open about the value offered on both sides. Agree upon what is fair and equitable. For example, Sue and Betty will exchange housecleaning services for skin care products and agree that 3 hours of housecleaning is worth a certain dollars worth of product.
2. Be sure to make the agreement time specific. Example: Mike will do a brake job on Pam’s car; Pam will provide 4 hours of graphic design work on Mike’s website .
3. Create checkpoints along the way to evaluate whether the trade is offering value on both sides. Either party should be able to end the arrangement at specific points during the agreement.
4. Check with your accountant to see whether your arrangement needs to be reported to the IRS.
5. Both parties need to treat one another with quality customer service, just as if the transaction was for cash instead of barter.
There is a potential problem with bartering for services or products. It is possible that your services will be seen as less valuable somehow when money is not exchanged. The act of paying for something often seems to create a greater sense of value. Make sure that your products/services are valued by asking for feedback frequently.
One of the reasons I created the Spiritual Entrepreneurs survey (see last week’s post) was because of a working theory I have about entrepreneurs. It’s not new or earth shattering. I simply believe that true entrepreneurs possess a unique kind of intelligence. One of the traits Marsha Sinetar attributes to entrepreneurs is “higher than average spiritual intelligence”. I added questions about this on the survey and have been surprised at a few of the responses. People define this “spiritual intelligence” in widely differing ways. Because of this, they include or exclude themselves from being a “spiritual entrepreneur”. This became evident to me when I followed up with a friend who I would describe as highly spiritually intelligent. On the survey she said she was not. Her definition for spiritual intelligence had more to do with intellectualism than spirituality or intuition. Interesting!
Another theory I have is if you think you are an entrepreneur (spiritual or not) – you probably are one. You might not own or operate your own business… yet… but chances are you will. Another question I have is how is your entrepreneurial spirit affecting the rest of your life, your relationships, and your community?
Interested in taking the survey? There’s still time! http://bit.ly/4V6uRD