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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Three Laws: Taking Action to Resolve

Law #2: How a situation occurs arises in language.

c. Actions to take in the second step (around how things occur in language):

i. Be aware of any persistent complaints that rattle around in you.

ii. Note: Complaints are your perception, NOT the facts.

iii. Identify all four elements of your Racket: 1) Complaint, 2) Behavior, 3) Payoff, and 4) Cost.

iv. Examine your complaint, even write about it…what you’d want to say, who to forgive, your contribution to the problem, what you’d want to be forgiven for, etc.

v. Communicate what you’ve discovered about your complaint to others around you who matter in resolving this complaint.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Three Laws of Performance: How to clear away the "clutter"

Law #2: How a situation occurs arises in language.

B. The good news about vicious cycles: it only takes one person in any relationship (YOU) to stop this cycle. You can turn around the complaint and get rid of the behavior, the payoff, and the cost. The trick comes in saying the “unsaid and communicated without awareness.” The authors discuss how when you’re enmeshed in this negative “racket” cycle, it takes up all the oxygen and bandwidth in the room, to the point where there’s no bandwidth left for ….joy, fun, or doing the kind of creative work you love.

i. The authors liken it to a cluttered closet or desk. When you want to start a new project on your desk, the best thing is to first “unclutter” your desk—clean up the mess and start afresh.

ii. This is done by having a conversation with the person, with whom you have an issue, to clear the decks. It’s not an accusatory conversation…more like a fierce conversation (see review on this blog of the book, Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott) about how you feel and about how to best move forward—with a common vision. In some cases, it might be an apology or trying to get the real facts about what’s going on. This is not easy, but if you stay in the vicious cycle, your future may be filled with finger pointing, innuendo, or worse. You’ll be living in a “default future” whose story ending you might not like—at all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Three Laws of Performance

Law #2: How a situation occurs arises in language.

A. The feeling of being “stuck” in a relationship (personal or professional) develops into a “complaint, such as, “he treats me like dirt.” The authors explain that such a complaint, as it festers, develops into a Racket.” It looks like a legitimate complaint, but it’s much more than it first appears—like mafia backed restaurants (rackets) that are money laundering havens. According to Zaffron and Logan, a racket has 4 aspects to it:

i. Complaint (“He treats me like dirt.”). This is how all rackets start.

ii. A Pattern of Behavior : You avoid her or snap at her, or look stiff and uncompromising. Note that the nonverbals are often far more powerful even than what you actually say. Thus, you might say “I’m fine,” when every bone in your body is leaking nonverbals to the other person that, in fact, say saying I’M REALLY PISSED!

iii. The Payoff: One of the results of a racket is that we get to be smug about our perceptions….”See, she did it again!” Our friends agree with us (as they always do) and we keep up the rant. We translate even the slightest action as a snub, which supports our thesis that “He treats me like dirt.” And finally,

iv. The Cost: Unfortunately there’s a huge cost to such rackets. They can cost you happiness, joy, and the satisfaction that you should get from doing your job. Note that we all are engaged in rackets—some more destructive than others. But if you don’t stop the cycle and move from a vicious cycle to a virtuous cycle, life’s not much fun.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Three Laws of Performance

Law #1: How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.

In short, if your perception of a person is that she is decent, then, you’ll treat her well. On the other hand, if you get burned by a different coworker, you will treat him with suspicion and a lack of trust. And the longer you keep from clearing the air, the more that person’s every behavior will support your suspicion as untrustworthy. You begin to interpret what someone really means even when they say “hello.” In essence, you get “stuck” in a negative loop.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Three Laws of Performance

The Three Laws of Performance By Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan (Jossey-Bass, 2009)

Of the many books written about change, my thinking and executive coaching has been most impacted by the book The Three Laws of Performance by Steve Zaffron and David Logan (2009). The book’s basic premise is that you can change how people (and organizations) perform by understanding the role language plays. I strongly suggest that if your organization is feeling a little sluggish, sometimes uninspired, or even stuck, you read this book. Next, get relevant folks to read it, and then get them all in a room to talk about how it can apply directly to your organization. If people are honest and want a different future, then watch your organization’s world change!

Before outlining the key sections of The Three Laws, I’d like to begin with an old
well- known Cherokee story that the authors tell in the later part of the book. I especially like this story because I think it summarizes, in a story, the heart of this book Also, I could see myself having this conversation one day with Jake Diaz, my own grandson:

An old Cherokee chief is teaching his grandson about life:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves.
“One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
“The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope serenity, humility kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“This is the same fight that is going on inside you—and inside every person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith's MOJO: Meaning and Happiness

LAST POST: Meaning and Happiness

When working at something, Goldsmith suggests we ask ourselves two questions: How much long- term benefit or meaning did I experience from this activity? How much short- term satisfaction or happiness did I experience in this activity? So, we can look at being stuck in a boring meeting or in traffic as a woe-is-me, victim, NOJO kind of thing and get nothing from the experience, OR decide we can use the time to think about our family, the things we’re grateful for and turn the time into a MOJO moment! Ultimately, as I tell my clients, the game of life is played largely in your own head! Indeed, we can create and re-create our own reality, just by thinking. What a gift!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith: Reputation

#5.Reputation: Who Do People Think You Are?

Reputation is the third element in establishing your MOJO. It’s where
you add up who you are (identity) and what you’ve done (achievement)
and toss the combined sum out into the world to see how people respond.
Your reputation is people’s recognition— or rejection— of your identity and
achievement. Sometimes you’ll agree with the world’s opinion. Sometimes
you won’t. However, how people perceive you over time becomes your reputation. Thus, consistency yields reputation. What you do day in and day out establishes your reputation in the minds of others. Consistent trends, not individual events (consistency not single heroic events) establish a lasting reputation. When it comes to how others view you, consider that it took you a long time to create the problem, so it takes a while to solve it so others see the change. Even if you know that you’ve changed, it’s not enough for you to feel it—for reputation to change, others must see and feel it. His model of reputation depends on others “seeing” the change. So, a change in your reputation requires self awareness (do you really see yourself as other see you) and discipline (sticking with change long enough for others to see the change).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith: Measuring Your MOJO

#4. MEASURING YOUR MOJO: Goldsmith provides us with a way to actually measure our own level of MOJO—our internal force that emanates outward. To do that, he describes two modes: professional and personal MOJO. Here’s his explanation:

Professional MOJO: What I Bring to This Activity:
• Motivation: You want to do a great job in this activity.
• Knowledge: You understand what to do and how to do it.
• Ability: You have the skills needed to do the task well.
• Confidence: You are sure of yourself when performing this activity.
• Authenticity: You are genuine in your level of enthusiasm for engaging in this activity.

Personal MOJO: What This Activity Brings to Me:
• Happiness: Being engaged in this activity makes you happy.
• Reward: This activity provides material or emotional rewards that are important to you.
• Meaning: The results of this activity are meaningful for you.
• Learning: This activity helps you to learn and grow.
• Gratitude: Overall, you feel grateful for being able to do this activity and believe that it is a great use of your time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith: MOJO vs. NOJO

#3. MOJO vs. NOJO: If some people have this connection with an inner positive harmony that generates positive things in them and radiates out such that others can feel that positive emergence, it follows that the opposite can also be true: NOJO (as Goldsmith calls it). These people are in the wrong jobs, unmotivated and have little happiness—the opposite of MOJO.

Take responsibility vs. Play the victim
Move forward vs. March in place
Run the extra mile vs. Satisfied with the bare minimum
Love doing it vs. Feel obligated to do it
Grateful vs. Resentful
Curious vs. Uninterested
Caring vs. Indifferent

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith's MOJO: In the Zone

#2. In the Zone: In sports, when we see athletes at their best—we often say they’re “in the zone.” Such athletes are in touch with themselves, what they’re doing, and the world around them. People in the zone, have a kind of inner strength and confidence that is at once not only experienced by themselves but also others around them—it’s viral. Goldsmith notes that MOJO is vital to our happiness and meaning “because it is about achieving two simple goals: loving what you do and showing it.” He further notes that MOJO manifests itself for others to see.” At its essence and in my words, MOJO is caught not taught!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Marshall Goldsmith's New Bestesller: MOJO

#1 Post--This week: Marshall Goldsmith's Got MOJO

In his latest book, MOJO: How To Get It, How To Keep It, How To Get It Back If You Lose It, Marshall Goldsmith, along with co-author Mark Reiter, has hit another home run. Following on the heels of his blockbuster book What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, he gives us MOJO that dishes up another heaping serving of vintage Goldsmith: Smart, straightforward, and significant stuff for success. Simply put, Marshall, ably filling the shoes of the late Peter Drucker, describes ultimate life goals--Happiness and Meaning--and shows us how MOJO can get us there. Marshall describes this MOJO as “that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.” And if you’ve ever had the opportunity to see Marshall teach, you’ll see MOJO in action. This book contains loads of easy-to-read examples, heartfelt stories, original research, and plain old hard-won experience and wisdom. It’s the kind of book you want to give to your friends, coworkers and especially to your family members and say: “Here, don’t take my word for it (the importance of happiness and meaning in life), read Marshall Goldsmith’s newest book!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Final Post in Series--HBR's Top 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010: Negotiation

#10 Negotiation: Independent Diplomacy: Why pretend that only nation-states shape international affairs (by Carne Ross). International politics and diplomacy has long been the sole province of established nations like the US, Britain and France. However, such states are not alone in determining the fate of the world. Afghanistan, the Congo, the Sudan, and others impact on the world stage everyday but have no legitimate voice in the world.

The Breakthrough Idea: Develop a system that allows smaller states to have an independent voice in international affairs. This author offers the following: “My experience has taught me this: Outcomes are determined by those who join in, who act. When all is connected and every action has international consequences, everyone can be an independent diplomat.”

Sunday, February 7, 2010

HBR's Top 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010: Global Economy

#9. Global Economy: Creating More Hong Kongs: How charter cities can change the rules for struggling economies (by Paul Romer). Hong Kong has become a model for transforming the economics of countries. Between Britain’s government administration, which made the region livable, and China’s recognition Hong Kong as a kind of special enterprise zone. As a result, Hong Kong has developed into an economic city state [my word]. It’s also a modle for what other countries can do.

The Breakthrough Idea: Creating economic city states is like starting an autonomous corporate division. New rules need to be allowed in order to kick start the new third party enterprise. Countries can offer a safety value arrangement to get the “new division” up and running. For example, the author suggests that if the US gave up Guantanamo Bay and the Canadians partnered with the Cubans to develop a new city state, it would have the same advantage as did Hong Kong: Stability (Canada) and location (Cuba).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HBR's 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010: Risk Management

#8, Risk Management: Spotting Bubbles on the Rise: We have the tools to sound the alarm early (by Sendhil Mullainathan). We don’t have in place reliable predictors of asset risk. If we did have such “bubble” spotting metrics for identifying a particular asset class as “at risk,” we would be able to more accurately describe the proper level of value on the balance to ID risk threat.

The Breakthrough Idea: We can’t always prevent financial setbacks, anymore than we can prevent earth quakes or hurricanes. But we can predict financial bubbles through some sort of thoughtful research-based committee. Even a "bubbles committee!" Such a committee would not be unlike w hat the National Bureau of Economic Research does. The goal: “To use the research in behavioral finance to identify bubbles before they form….”

Monday, February 1, 2010

HBR's 10 Breakthrough Ideas for 2010: People Management

#7. People Management: Hacking Work: Learn to love the rule breakers (by Jensen and Klein). Like the world around us, business changes at the speed of light. New technical tools replace old ones at a speed that's breathtaking, if not daunting. Thus, many business systems cannot keep up with the demand. So, those in search of something better, more adaptive often break the rules and both figuratively and literally hack (construct work-arounds) their own business processes to meet the demands of their operations.

The Breakthrough Idea: Learn to become a kind of good hacker—a work-around leader—who doesn’t always play by the rules. As an example, when a system doesn’t work, hack it to get the information needed to get the job done. Such an approach may cause heart burn, but that’s better than the heart attack of a failed company.

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