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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.

How to Immediately Get More Productivity Out of Your Team

Productivity

What if you could afford to walk around passing out $100 bills all day to your team?

Do you think that would help motivate them?

Do you think that could be effective in getting them to take action?

I think most of us would agree that it would be pretty powerful if when we asked someone to do something, we could just hand them over a Benjamin when it was all done.

Well that is how it is when you give out verbal praise to your team members.

Verbal appreciation is a form of currency.

And the payoff of praise can be huge.

Employee surveys regularly cite “feeling valued” “feeling important” and “feeling appreciated” as one of the highest determining factors of job satisfaction and job retention…even more so than money.

So when someone does something wonderful and you praise them, that is like the equivalent of handing them a $100 bill.

What’s so powerful about that of course is that verbal appreciation is an unlimited resource!

But there is no one reminding you that when you dish out genuine praise, it’s as if you’re handing out $100 bills. So as a leader you have to be the one reminding yourself that’s how it is.

There is no reason we shouldn’t be abundantly and regularly recognizing people for their efforts.

There is no cost to it- other than our own discipline to be considerate and intentional about recognizing the contributions people are making.

And that which is recognized is repeated.

When you appreciate people and notice the solid effort they put in, the more they are likely to stay loyal and bought in.

Verbal appreciation is a form of currency. Recognizing people is a part of their compensation package.

But when we don’t recognize our team members they will eventually feel under appreciated, then that will escalate to feeling taken for granted,  and eventually over time they can even feel taken advantage of.

And that is when they leave.

Or worse, that is when they stay and start to complain and pollute the culture.

At minimum though you can guarantee they won’t be doing their best work.

So remember verbal appreciation is a form of currency. And giving it out is a small price to pay for loyalty, retention and engagement.

In fact, it’s no price at all.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Steve Reiner and Tom Merritt – Episode 187 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Tom Merritt is a branch manager at Summit Funding, Inc. As a privately owned residential mortgage company operating across the country, their customers enjoy the benefits of working with a mortgage banker that is powerful enough to be a direct endorsed seller/servicer with GNMA & FNMA. This means they process, underwrite, fund, and service your loans – all in house. This enables Summit to speed up the lending process in a more make sense process so our customers close on-time!

Steve Reiner is an expert at helping people remove the emotional hurdles that prevent them from excelling in business and in life. Having personally delivered over 2,500 1:1 sales and leadership consulting calls, he understands how to get the most out of his clients, helping them to break personal belief barriers and achieve their maximum potential. Steve begins this life-changing journey with his clients by helping them to identify their purpose, crystallize their vision and reinforce their desired behavior change with the right self-talk. As an author of the upcoming book Fearless Selling, Steve will equip you to pursue your goals with greater joy, resolve, and effectiveness.

Show Highlights:

  • When you understand the why, you figure out the how. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is your mission for how you invest your life. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is bigger than the obstacle. – Steve Reiner
  • Purpose is the person you want to be and the impact you want to have. – Steve Reiner
  • The more you focus on results, the fewer results you get. – Steve Reiner
  • When you focus on purpose, results are the byproduct.
  • The biggest reason we have anxiety is due to trying to control things we can’t. – Steve Reiner
  • Your purpose must be grounded in service. – Steve Reiner
  • In the clarity of your purpose is the absence of your fear. @rory_vaden
  • 5 characteristics of a great purpose. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is useful. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is universal. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is Aspirational. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is formidable. @rory_vaden
  • A great purpose is controllable. @rory_vaden

Click here to request a free call with one of Southwestern Consulting’s Certified Coaches.

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!

Values Driven Leadership with Dina Dwyer – Episode 186 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Values

Behind the fancy job titles, the awards, the TV appearances, and the $1 billion-dollar-business that her company’s service brands do each year, Dina Dwyer-Owens equates her success to having a living by a proven Code of Values. Her first book Live RICH: How to build success in your company and your life with a proven Code of Values has connected with thousands of readers by offering a simple message that in a world of constant change, values can be ever-present. Now in Values, Inc., named one of the Top Ten Business Books from 2015 by Forbes, Dina aims to help inspire more hope for the future by taking the spotlight and shining it on those doing the things she loves to cheer about: living and leading with integrity.

Show Highlights:

 

  • Live R.I.C.H: Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus and Have fun in the process. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • People create the systems and then we coach those systems. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • We teach our principle and system to people. Franchising is our vehicle. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Focus on re-earning your position every day in every way. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Continuously strive to maximize customer loyalty. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • We always think about systems. If something isn’t working, there isn’t a system or something is broken.  @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Anytime there is a meeting of 3+ people, in the beginning we are reading our values. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Values driven leadership is not for the faint of heart. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Enforcing vision requires constant vigilance. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • The rewards of operating by values are too great to ignore. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • @rory_vaden shares steps to creating a company creed or set of values.

 

Download your free copy of the Create Your Culture workbook by visiting: dinadwyerowens.com

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!

How to Become a More Admired Leader…By the End of the Day

admired

There is a lot to learn about leadership.

Leadership is in some ways very multifaceted, complex, and unique to the situations where it is called for.

Recently, I attended the unfortunate and unexpected yet uplifting funeral of a legend of Southwestern culture, Spencer Hays. Spencer was a personal mentor of mine and someone whom I’ve always admired.

Spencer made generous decisions as a leader that will impact many eras of people who come after him.

And one by one as his friends, family, colleagues and business partners took the podium to talk about him, a recurring theme kept coming up…

It reminded me that, while sometimes complex, there are some simple truths about leadership that are bankable.

One of those is that leadership is always about working with and through other people.

And people, although also incredibly diverse and unique, very often exhibit similar behaviors, desires, and needs in similar situations. 

Generally speaking, one thing people yearn for is to be appreciated.

Very often, even more than making more money, they yearn to feel valued.

They yearn to not only be recognized, but to feel wanted, successful, and admired.

Therein lies a tremendous opportunity that is immediately available to anyone who wants to become a better leader and that is this: 

Learn to make people feel special.

Learn to make people feel important.

Learn to make people feel wanted.

Become an expert at it.

If people feel cared for, they will likely be more committed to contributing.

Because we don’t live in a world that really lacks information, knowledge, or education.

We live in a world however where people are often starving to feel valued and important.

Spencer was a rare leader who understood this and practiced it day in and day out in a way that mattered to so many. 

It’s ironic perhaps that in our social media society we have more “friends” and get more “likes” than ever before, and yet somehow it has all seemed to erode the number of times in our life where we actually feel special.

That creates an amazing opportunity for us to lead because that is one of the core parts of what leadership is: connecting with and inspiring people.

If you want to lead people; listen to people.

If you want to lead people; look after people.

If you want to lead people; lift up people. 

If you want to lead people; love people. 

Make them feel special. Make them feel valued. Make them feel important.

If you can do that then many of them will immediately follow you because unfortunately there are only a rare few, like Spencer, who actually know how to truly make everyone feel special.