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One Way to Not Lose Friends – But Why We Often Do

friends

Its unfortunate that we often judge other people by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions.

When other people mess up it’s easy and natural for us to point out their mistakes, highlight them, and use them as evidence for why they aren’t capable or worthy of our praise.

Yet when we mess up, it’s easy and natural for us to defend ourselves by trying to explain and articulate to other people what we really meant to say or what we were really trying to do.

The reason we do that is not because we’re bad people. We do it because we simply have access to the information of knowing what our intentions are and we often don’t know the explicit intentions of others.

We know that the way it came out was not what we really meant to say and that it sounded much worse than we actually think or feel.

We know  that the way other people interpreted our behavior isn’t an accurate reflection of what we were really trying to do.

We  know that because it is us.

But a lot of times we don’t know what another person’s intentions were.

And so all we have to go on is our immediate interpretation of their actions.

Many times though, that is a shame. Because it causes us to assume the worst about people when there is perhaps another viable and reasonable explanation.

It’s a shame when we allow ourselves to get angry at others, misinterpret others, or distrust others without exploring what was really going on.

Too often it causes us to lose friends that we never should’ve lost.

Perhaps that is why there is so much wisdom to the phase, “’tis better to seek to understand than to be understood.”

Seek to understand..

It gives us a chance for reasonable explanation.

It gives us a chance for clear representation.

It gives us a chance for possible reconciliation.

Because we spend time exploring what someone’s actual intentions were.

The valuable technique here is to learn to generously give people “the benefit of the doubt.”

To assume the best in people and not the worst.

To believe there is some explanation and not an intention to do evil.

Especially with the vast majority of the people we know and are around every day, they generally have good intentions.

There are relatively few people who are ruthlessly evil, completely self-serving or deliberately sabotaging.

But there is a lot of room for misinterpretation and miscommunication.

That is just because there are so many unique ways to look at a topic, event, or idea from a different point of view.

But just because someone has a different point of view doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give them the benefit of the doubt.

If anything, it’s cause to embrace and explore what their view point is so that we can learn from it.

With ourselves though, we can be more strict and demanding. We can push ourselves to be more considerate of how other people might interpret what we do or say.

We can look beyond just our intentions and challenge ourselves to make sure that there is less room for misinterpretation of our actions.

We already know that we have the best of intentions and so we can strive to make sure that we take action in a way that it is most likely to be viewed as positive.

We can help try to save people from having to question our intentions.

So, if anything, perhaps we should flip things around from the natural way we sometimes live.

Instead of judging others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions…

Maybe we should generally give other people the benefit of the doubt by assuming they have good intentions, yet push ourselves to deliberately consider how we will affect others through our actions.

The Gift Great Leaders Give

Gift

People don’t need help being realistic.

We’re all already negative enough.

Our typical default is towards why things won’t work and why they’re not possible.

Most of us do just fine on our own coming up with reasons, excuses, and justifications for why our dreams won’t come true.

And we don’t usually need much assistance thinking about the worst case scenario or knowing what the ultimate failure might look like.

No, most of us do that just fine all by ourselves.

What we need help with is believing.

What we need assistance with is dreaming.

What we need affirmation with is what could be possible.

Which is why a part of leadership has to be helping people believe in a bigger future.

We have to help people see what could be possible for their own lives.

We have to show people a plan for how something magnificent could actually come true.

And we have to do the work to take people with us on the path as we embark towards the new.

Because there is no shortage of naysayers in the world who will tell them it can’t be done.

There is no lack of critics who will point out every reason it won’t work.

And there is no absence of realism that will remind us that we’ve never accomplished anything like this before.

But naysayers never advance the world.

Critics don’t create change.

And realism always betrays a person of their chance to reach their full potential.

Which is why we need to lead.

We need to help people believe.

We need to convince them that it’s possible.

And we need to put in the work to show them how.

If you can do that…

If you can show someone a plan for how the impossible can be achieved…

If you can convince someone that their dream can come true…

If you can demonstrate the kind of work it takes to break belief barriers and explode limiting beliefs…

Then you have changed everything for them.

You have led them.

And you have redefined realistic for them.

And that is a great is a great service.

A tremendous gift.

And perhaps a once in a lifetime blessing.

Because people don’t need help being realistic; they need help believing in the bold.

7 Steps to Recruit Amazing New Team Members with Lightning Speed

recruit-amazing-team

“What’s the fastest, cheapest way to recruit amazing people?”

That question was recently posed to me verbatim by one of our clients.

Before I share with you the answer, think first about this question:

“What’s the fastest, cheapest way to sell new clients?”

Because the answer is the same for both questions:

Referrals from your current customers!

And when it comes to recruiting, who are your “current customers?”

Obviously it’s your current team members!

So that is the answer to the question.

The fastest, cheapest way to recruit amazing people is to get referrals from your existing team members.

This is something that Southwestern refers to as “The Team Member Approach”.

And it’s super simple…

1. Schedule a Meeting – 1 on 1 with each of your current team members.

2. Access their “Rolodex” – There are a variety of ways to view a list of who your team member knows (cell phone contacts, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn are some of the best). More training on exactly how to do this is available here or here.

3. Explain your situation – Share with them that you are looking to expand the team and that you prefer to bring on people who you already know, like, and trust. And explain that your goal is to build a team of people who are “cool” and who like them, are fun to be around.

4. Offer the Incentives – Tell your team members that one of the best ways to ensure they do well in the business is to do the business with their friends. Because it creates more buy-in for everyone and gives you powerful built in accountability [true story]. And if you do offer some financial incentive for hiring referrals remind them of that here. You can even start off the meeting with this information if your company does have a plan in place. Say for example you offer a $500 referral for a team member that gets hired, say something like: “Mike today I’m going to show you how to make an extra $5000! How’s that sound?!” (Proceed to ask him for enough referrals to help you hire 10 people)

5. Gather Contact Info – Simply go through the list of their (modern day) “Rolodex” and ask them to tell you about each person. Use the questions: “Do you think this person would be fun to work with? Could you see them enjoying this job?”

6. Call the Referrals- Get on the phone and call the referrals! Introduce yourself. Explain the shared connection. Tell them “Mike had the nicest things to say about you and thought it’d be worth me reaching out to you about this. You may like it and you may not, and either way is fine in fact I’m not even sure if you qualify but would you be open minded to hearing about it for 30 minutes?”

7. Follow the Process – After that just stick with your normal recruiting process. The only difference is that you can involve your referring team member in some of the interviews and selection. Which is a two-fer because not only are you getting a new potential team member, you’re training your current team member how to recruit! Fabulous!

Remember a great leader is a great recruiter and recruiting is a sales job.

What gathering referrals from clients is to salespeople, is exactly the same as what gathering referrals from team members is to leaders.

So learn to live, love, and become a master at recruiting!

The Power of Positive Leadership with Jon Gordon – Episode 192 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

positive-leadership

Jon Gordon‘s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, MLB coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals and non-profits. He is the author of numerous best-selling books including The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, The Seed, You Win in the Locker Room First and The No Complaining Rule. Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Pirates, BB&T Bank, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, Bayer, West Point Academy and more. Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams.

Show Highlights:

You don’t have to be an extrovert to be a positive leader. @jongordon11

Positive leadership says “I believe in a better future.” @jongordon11

If you’re complaining you’re not leading. @jongordon11

Complainers and pessimists focus on problems, positive leaders focus on solutions. @jongordon11

Complaining is not a plan. @jongordon11

Positive leaders find a way forward. @jongordon11

Realism is the analytics tool for justifying complaining. @rory_vaden

Optimism isn’t saying the dream will come true, it’s finding how to move in that direction. @rory_vaden

Relentless optimism and hard work will bring your dream to fruition. @jongordon11

We confront the reality that exists but we don’t dwell on it. @jongordon11

It’s dangerous to be a realist. @jongordon11

People don’t need help being “more realistic.” @rory_vaden

You cannot be complaining and leading at the same time. @rory_vaden

Optimism is looking for a way not an excuse. @rory_vaden

Realism is an excuse dressed up as intellectualism. @rory_vaden

Being positive doesn’t mean you’ll succeed, but being negative will guarantee you won’t. @jongordon11

Positive leadership is demanding, but not demeaning. @rory_vaden

You can provide any level of accountability as long as you’re providing a higher level of love. @rory_vaden

 

Connect with Jon on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

What’s More Powerful than Inspiration?

inspiration

I love inspiration.

I love to inspire.

I love to be inspired.

There is nothing quite as fun as working when you have an inspiring reason to be working for.

Yet successful people know that inspiration is a luxury; not a necessity.

You don’t have to feel inspired in order to do great work.

You can just do great work.

You don’t have to be inspired in order to act.

You can just act.

You don’t have to be inspired in order do.

You can just do.

Inspiration is great.

Inspiration is wonderful.

Inspiration is something that you hopefully find.

But if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you can’t work and do great things in the meantime.

Because there is something that is more powerful than inspiration.

Discipline.

Discipline shows up on bad days as well as good days.

Discipline shows after you just had a “loss” as well as after you just had a “win.”

Discipline is what you can run on when you don’t feel like running.

Yes, discipline is more reliable than inspiration.

Discipline is more steadfast than inspiration.

Discipline is more consistent than inspiration.

And the unexpected truth about discipline is that when you focus on being disciplined, inspiration often eventually shows up.

It’s like Southwestern taught me when I was in college “if you act enthusiastic you will become enthusiastic.” It’s similar that if you work as if you were inspired you will eventually become inspired.”

But if you focus on inspiration, you may or may not be disciplined.

And if you wait around for inspiration to show up, you may never get started.

Discipline keeps you going inevitably, perpetually, and habitually.

Inspiration keeps you going only conveniently.

So be inspired.

Inspire others.

And seek inspiration.

Just don’t wait for it before you show up and go to work.

All you need is discipline for that.

How to Recruit Top Talent for Your Team

Recruit

How do you recruit good people?

It’s one of the biggest challenges that our clients struggle with and why they come to us at Southwestern Consulting.

Recruiting is an important topic and it’s one of my favorite.

My start at Southwestern in college was catapulted because I loved and figured out recruiting early on and happen to break a 150-year-old record in recruiting.

Today, we see lots of different companies and industries that struggle to find top talent and team members.

So, how do you recruit good people? Essentially there are 2 key parts to recruiting that you have to do.

  1. Build the Magnet – This is that you have to do the work of creating an amazing opportunity for people. This involves strategic work with how the company is set up. And also involves the heavy lifting about how you present and position your opportunity.
  1. Build the Fishing Boat – This is that you have to do the work of creating a number of amazing systems and methods (ie. Poles in the water) for actually finding good people and then going after them to get them on board.

They both take a tremendous amount of skill, knowledge, discipline and work.

Typically, we spend most of our time training people and organizations how to build the Fishing Boat. In other words, we teach them about all of the different sources of where to find good people and then also the skills of actually how to recruit them.

How you recruit someone is about exactly what to say, what the process looks like, and what behaviors you need to take to convince someone to join your team.

[BTW bringing people to your company who currently don’t have jobs is hiring; that is not recruiting. Recruiting typically means you are recruiting someone away from some other opportunity that they are already (typically successful) in over to join your better opportunity.]

The “Building the Magnet” part is also critical though. This is doing the heavy strategic work of creating an attractive place to work. It really helps when you are out “fishing” for good people to have a highly compelling and appealing opportunity to be recruiting them for!

Here are 5 of the most important parts of “Building the Magnet” and making your opportunity a compelling and attractive one for people to join:

  1. MISSION – Your organization needs to have a crystal clear (less than 1 sentence), inspiring, statement about serving a human purpose that is higher than profit. And it needs to be repeated so often that everyone in the organization needs to be able to recite exactly what it is. Today people don’t just want to work somewhere to earn pay; they want to work somewhere to do good in the world. If you want to attract great people, you need to have a great why.
  2. CULTURE – Your organization needs to be a fun and enjoyable place to work. People have to look forward to coming there! That means you want a place that is positive, vibrant, innovative, inviting, and energetic. It also means you want a place where people feel recognized, valued, and important. Also, it helps to have a brand that is “cool” and fresh that people want to be a part of. Remember, part of people’s personal reputation and perception in the world is who they work for, so create something they are proud to be associated with and they will flock to you.
  3. LIFESTYLE – You want to spend a lot of time planning, strategizing, and being intentional about crafting what “a normal day in the life” looks like for one of your team members. You can’t just provide people a job anymore; you have to provide them a meaningful and uplifting way to use their life. Remember, people typically spend about ½ of their waking hours at work! Lifestyle is typically composed of: hours, pay, location, work environment, stress level, type of work, and of course the culture which is made up of the other people they work with.
  4. RECRUITING PAY – One of the simplest reasons why organizations don’t grow and recruit is because there isn’t any financial incentive to do it! Most people are simple creatures, we do what we’re incentivized to do. So if you’re not seeing the recruiting numbers you want, you might need to look at the incentives that are in place to do so. Also, recruiting (like selling and service) shouldn’t just be a department; it’s something everyone has to do!
  5. LONG TERM VISION – People want to work for a place that is inspiring and part of what inspires people is working towards a bright future. Your organization needs to talk a lot about what the future of the business is going to look like. What are the pursuits your team is looking to accomplish? What are your goals for who you’re going to help? What career paths are available to your team members? And what does their long term pay plan look like? What is the future of your company literally going to look like?

These are just a few of the elements that help you “Build the Magnet” and make your organization attractive. It’s only part of the battle because even if you have a great magnet, you still have to do the hard work of going out to “fish.” But those skills are longer than this post allows for.

If at any point, you would like to talk to us more about how we can help you with recruiting just reach out to me.

Here’s what is great about recruiting though…

You can recruit your way into a great organization!

If you’re just starting out, you can (quickly) build something great by recruiting great people.

If you’re an experienced but stagnant company, you can grow (dramatically) by simply starting to focus more on recruiting.

And if you’re in any kind of struggling business, organization, or enterprise you can recruit your way out of it! Recruit, recruit, recruit and it will help you turn around!

Good people changes everything.

Which is why a great leader is always a great recruiter.