Leadership is a transfer of beliefs. That is why it is crucial your team needs these four words from you. I believe in you. When you believe in them, they begin to believe in themselves and amazing things happen.
“People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.” – Neil Gaiman
“The fact is, you do not believe what you see, but rather, you see what you already believe. Your deeply held beliefs distort your worldview and cause you to see things not the way they are but the way you are.” Brian Tracy
The Wallet Thief
Yes, it’s still 2020. The year where nothing is crazy because everything is crazy. Our daughter graduated college and unfortunately did not get to walk with her classmates and our son turned 16 and couldn’t get his license because the DMV was closed. Imagine all that excitement you had leading up until your sweet 16. Counting down the days, planning where that first road trip will take you and the poof gone. Yes, worse things have happened during the pandemic, but when you are 16 not being able to get your freedom is pretty tragic especially when you have your sights on a girl who is a senior and can drive and today things are different.
These kids do everything officially harder. When I was 16 if you went on a date and then went on a second date you were pretty much a couple. Today, there has to be a plan. Have you seen the promposals? So, my son plans to take her hiking for the day and when he finds the perfect romantic spot he will ask her to be his girlfriend. The same kid who won’t take the extra effort to bend over and put the dish in the dishwasher instead of on the counter is going through this effort for a girl.
The two are at the park all day. It was probably a very nice escape for them, except when my husband called to check in our son told him that his wallet was gone. Now when you are 16 pretty much everything you own fits in a wallet. He was devastated and when he got home there were a lot of accusations about the supposed wallet thief. Someone lifted it out of my backpack, someone took it spiraling down into a dark negative place and I said Sean you have to believe that people are good. No one wants to keep your wallet you will get it back. It’s like a switch went off. Instantly, he was telling himself a new story. A great person found my wallet and is trying to get it back to me.
What we believe about people is what we see in people.
What we believe about people is what we see in people. If we want to see something more from people, we don’t go to them and say “I need this from you” – sometimes that is the answer, but first you have to check your beliefs about a person. Do I believe that they are doing the best they can? Do I believe they want to do a good job? What am I seeing in this person that reflects my beliefs?
If you lead others now what do you believe about your team?
1776 by David McCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Belief was a strong characteristic that enabled George Washington to stay with his task even when discouraged and feeling hopeless. His belief in ‘why’ they were defending the United States gave him remarkable courage and determination to stick out the war. At a time when he may have been the wealthiest person in the US it would have been understandable if at any time he would have backed down.
The book is great and written in a way that keeps your attention page after page. McCullough may be my favorite author.
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I’m going to let you in on a secret.
Depending on the circumstances of us meeting, if we’ve met, there will be two dramatically different responses to this revelation. Very opposing responses.
If we were introduced socially, you’re already in on the secret. If someone were to ask you “did you know this about her” your reply would be “isn’t it obvious, everyone knows that about her”.
Suppose our meeting happened in a professional setting. Revealing this truth about myself would receive a much different reaction. “No way”. “It’s not possible”. “Not her”.
Here’s the secret
I am not just a little bit shy. I am deathly shy. My preferred role in a social setting; wall flower. The thought of having to introduce myself to total strangers and be able to make small talk with them gives me the same pit in my stomach as having just ate some bad sushi. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. I remember being on a bus trip and someone yelled out “why don’t you ever talk”? My valiant hero responded “she never talks”. Shy. So shy. Paralyzed with fear.
In a professional setting a totally different persona comes to life. A hostess with the mostest, A larger than life very social figure. Someone who is outgoing, approachable, even . . . LOUD. Put her on a stage and let her speak to the room and she shines. Who is this person? Where does she come from?
It wasn’t always this way. I remember early on in my career I would have to do morning sales meetings. As I began to speak I would feel it. The burning red creep. It would start on my chest and the warm burning sensation would climb. I would think “don’t be visible, don’t be visible” as I felt it creep up to my neck. “Don’t be visible”, now my ears are on fire. “Don’t be visible”, my cheeks are certainly crimson with the burn. The horror. Complete terror.
What is different now? Competence. Studying your craft, becoming an expert and doing something over and over again until you build competence. Action builds competence. Competence then breeds confidence. Look at the athletes about to take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics. As they are about to begin their event they radiate confidence. It wasn’t always there. There was fear. Confidence came with repeated practice of their sport making them competent.
There are two reasons I decided to share my secret with you. First, you may be holding yourself back because, like most people, you have a fear of speaking. This can be conquered. Be a subject matter expert and keep throwing yourself into situations where you have to give presentations. Eventually, it will get easier and even become enjoyable. Second, as you’re working on yourself at the onset of the new year you may have some limiting beliefs about your abilities that are preventing you from setting certain goals. I can’t possibly give a presentation, don’t you know that I’m shy? Maybe it’s not speaking, perhaps it’s writing. Maybe it’s exercise. Just start doing it. Action builds competence and competence breeds confidence. You can do this.
Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success by Angela Duckworth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book started out great. Her explanation of grit and the examples provided were very interesting. I feel that people will be encouraged to read that perseverance can win over talent or skill. Perseverance puts the ball in my court instead of in my heredity or environment. How badly do I want to be great? How hard am I willing to work for it? Imagine if everyone could get that and get the voice in their head lined up with that thought. Wow!
The book then turned very ordinary and repetitive and even sounded
just like plain common sense over scientific research. There is already plenty written on the 10,000 hours, or as this author calls it deliberate practice (yes, the deliberate part does make it somewhat different, I get it, but not enough different to spend so much time on it). Here was one of the low lights . . . If you keep at something you may eventually get it right, but if you quit you won’t ever get there. Um, duh.
One of my favorite quotes . . .“…there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine….you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people….Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…it’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.”
― Angela Duckworth, Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success
Staying in love is the key.
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