Three Key Disciplines To Breakthrough Obstacles

perception, action and will

Over the summer break it was useful to make time for some reflection on 2017, and part of that included the #ScaleUp17 conference in St Louis, Missouri. On reviewing my learning from the conference, there were five key speakers whose wisdom I’d like to share with you as we accelerate into 2018.

Our biggest obstacle is within – Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is The Way, says that, often, it is ourselves and our own behaviours that form obstacles. To break through, he shared three key disciplines to master; perception, action and will.

Through the Discipline of Perception, we must remember that the way we learn from opportunities defines our success. The Discipline of Action calls upon our ability to keep moving forward in difficult scenarios. Momentum is critical to continued success. Through the Discipline of Will, Ryan asked us to accept that the only constant is change. We need to recognise that the more we embrace change, the less we will resent it.

In adopting these disciplines, Ryan asserts that our biggest obstacle is from within, and that is Ego. “Ego sucks us down like the law of gravity. There is no situation that calls for more ego,” he said. “Humility is understanding our weaknesses and Confidence is understanding our strengths.” How can you best help your team to crack through their obstacles?

Visit Ryan Holiday’s website here.

Helping customers ‘get stuff done’ – Steve Wunker’s book ‘Jobs to be Done – A Roadmap for Customer Centered Innovation’ is focussed solely on helping us discover what people are really trying to do when they make a purchase.

Steve asks – How can we ensure that we focus on what customers really need, without imposing our own preconceptions or providing too much? How can we do this in an organised, disciplined, repeatable way?

“It is easy to think about things from the company perspective, but your customer doesn’t care. They are just trying to get stuff done in their life,” Steve said.

Identifying and solving ‘Jobs to be Done’ goes deeper than ‘needs’ or ‘features’ – it’s about connecting with your customer on an emotional level and focusing on what they actually want to accomplish.

What are the three things your customer is trying to get done? What are some totally different ways they could get those jobs done? Given your business advantages, what could you do about these jobs?

Read more from Steve Wunker here.

Leadership as a love affair – In his presentation ‘Mastering the art of coaching’, Gregg Thompson shared the three key skills all leaders need to develop – appreciation, confrontation and accountability.

Gregg believes that leadership is actually ‘a love affair with an idea that brings out the best in you’. How many of us feel this way about our leadership role?

Here are four questions for those in a position of coach, either as a professional coach or as a business leader.

  1. What shifts do you have to make to be the catalyst that helps others achieve great things?
  2. Do people like themselves when they are in your presence?
  3. Do they care enough about you to tell you what you need to know?
  4. Do you have someone who holds you accountable?

How does your leadership impact on others? Are the people you lead more committed, engaged, innovative, aligned, agile and productive? Do others leave conversations with you better in some way? What must you change?

Read more about The Master Coach approach here.

Caring for your people like family – Bob Chapman, author of Everybody Matters, began his presentation by drawing comparisons between leadership and parenting. Have you seen such similarities?

Bob’s book shares the power of caring for your people like family and asserts that leadership is ‘stewardship over lives’, just as parents guide and shape their children.

Bob brings the more emotional slant of responsibility to the concept of leadership; that leadership is a privilege, not a job. “Listening is a critical leadership skill and the most powerful act of caring. How we lead has a profound impact on how those entrusted to us live – and on their health.”

Have you considered that you have the unique opportunity to shape lives – that as a leader, you have people in your care for more than 40 hours a week?

“Management is the manipulation of others for your success. Leadership is the stewardship of the lives entrusted to you. People want to know that who they are and what they do matters. How we lead impacts the health and families of our people.”

Find Bob Chapman’s book here.

When success means failure – Mark Sanborn shared highlights from his latest book release, The Potential Principle. Mark points out that our early warning indicator for failure is success – it only means that you know what worked yesterday.

According to Mark there are four basic reasons to keep getting better – Change, Competition, Customers and Capability. To do this, we must be clear on our values, innovate continually, increase capacity and be bold.

“Identify who or what needs to be disrupted. Elevate your customer experience or value proposition. Out think, don’t outspend. Grow yourself and your team. It’s the little things that make a big difference. No one remembers the same, they remember difference.”

Are you focused on your leadership, or your followers? Are you inspiring or just engaging your team members? Are you thinking beyond transacting to connecting? Do you think about getting better, rather than being the best?

Order Mark Sanborn’s book here.

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