In my book, Leadership Evo, I talk about the four steps that we work through in order to master any skill in life. These four stages take us from being unconsciously unskilled or not knowing that we don't know to unconsciously skilled which is the stage of mastery. Whether we are talking about developing the skills of a leader or the skills of a golfer, the stages remain the same.
Stage 1: Unconsciously Unskilled is the point where we might see something as an outside observer but we have not had experience with it to understand the challenges. For example, many people look at leadership and think, "I could do so much better than my boss." This thought is rooted in the idea that leading is easy and that the skills come naturally. We do not move from this stage until we experience the frustration that goes with the actual position.
Stage 2: Consciously Unskilled is the point where we experience being a leader and realize that people don't always play nice as followers. We realize that what we thought should be easy is actually fairly or even extremely difficult. This frustration is designed to push us into the development of self in order to overcome the challenges that we are facing. Jean Piaget was one of the first psychologists to evaluate the developmental stages of children as they related to cognitive development. His theories accounted for the idea that development preceded learning. He looked at the manner in which a person would try to correlate existing concepts to a new experience, would then be frustrated that it did not match up which would prompt them to create a new explanatory concepts. By adjusting their belief about a situation, they would be able to move to stage 3.
Stage 3: Consciously Skilled is the point in which we have the right understandings and information in place but maintaining the new direction would require deliberate and conscious thought. During this stage, we understand the new skill, new belief, new concept, and we can succeed at implementing this new skill as long as we focus on what is required of us. It is not who we are at this point, but rather it is who we are consciously being. With enough correct repetition of a skill (2500 correct repetitions on average), we can move into stage 4 of learning.
Stage 4: Unconsciously Skilled is the point in which we have learned something so completely and practiced it so thoroughly that it seems to become a natural extension of who the person is. For example, when a person is developing the skill of listening, they begin by focusing on the steps over and over and over again. After enough correct repetition, the person gradually does not have to think consciously about the act of listening. It simply begins to become who the person is and the manner in which they listen.
Each of these stages is a jump forward toward the success of the person related to that skill. Think about the skills in your life that you wish to master. By progressing forward in any skill, you continue to expand the possibilities of your success. Every new skill enhances you capacity for success. Every new skill helps you become more of who you have always been capable of being. Go out, get frustrated, learn a new skill, practice and master the skill, and grow your potential!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
yMany people believe that leading others is about having the power to dictate what others do. They often think that leadership is about the position one holds or the connections that one has. The simple truth about leadership, however, is that leadership is about winning the minds and hearts of people so that they desire to follow you. The first step in winning the minds and hearts of others is to go out of your way to give before you get. Too many leaders today are looking for what they can get instead of what they can give to others. To give something that has value, is relevant to that person, and improves their lives or well-being is to demonstrate that you care.
Think about a person that you have worked for in the past (or present) who seemed to want to take credit for the work of the team and seemed to want to get without necessarily giving. That person was unlikely to have the loyalty of their team members. They would be unlikely to have their trust either. Now, think about a person that you have worked for that seemed to go out of their way to desire and work for your success, who shared credit with you even when they had done the work. This type of leader is one that others would likely trust, desire to follow, and desire to work with for a very long time. `When people see the good in the leader through their demonstration of values, actions, and results, then they see the logical and emotional reasons to follow that person. Until they see those things, however, their leadership is just a title.
Leaders go out of their way to win over the hearts and minds of the people that they wish to lead. They do not use fear and intimidation as a tactic to persuade. Instead, they use relationship, caring, and a genuine desire to be what their followers need them to be so that everyone is able to succeed together!
Lead from the heart!
Winners operate uncomfortably!
If you spend your life inside the comfort zone, you give up all of the beauty that was intended for you. Winners kick down the walls of their comfort zone, jump into the unknown, and live a life that others admire from inside the walls of their own comfort zones. Get to kickin’!
"I am just not comfortable asking people for money."
"I am not comfortable in front of a group."
"I am not comfortable with taking risks in business."
Whatever phrase a person uses to explain why they didn’t take action, you can bet that it actually comes back to whether or not they are willing to operate outside of their comfort zone. In this life, you can either have your excuses in the zone, or your success beyond the zone. Regardless of the excuse one chooses, the lack of success still remains. In order to be successful, you have to learn to act in spite of your desire for comfort.
I can hear myself talking, in my own head about how I don't want to be seen as pushy. I have used that excuse in order to not promote what I do repeatedly. When I realize what I am doing, in sabotaging my own success, I stop myself and reframe the thought. Instead of saying I don't want to be pushy, I ask whether or not I have something of value to offer. If the answer is truly yes, which it is, then I try to imagine how I would feel if someone had the answer to my challenges in business, yet refused to give them to me. Even if they were uncomfortable, I would be angry about them holding back. I would be annoyed if my problems could be solved with new information or training, yet the person who had the answers did not value me enough to share them.
More than anything, when a person is learning to operate outside of their normal comfort zone, they need to be able to see the situation in a new light. Reframing your thoughts allows you to take a different perspective and see how you really can help another person. Varying your perspective puts you in a position to be helpful when you might have been withdrawn, to be of value when you might have been silent. Taking the risk makes the possibility of reward exist. Avoiding the risk simply keeps you away from success even being on the radar. Your life is simply a series of choices. You choose to act or to withdraw. You choose to jump out and do something that might be incredible, or you choose to play it safe. Nobody around you is making that choice. You, and you alone, are making choices for your life. I want to encourage you to find one area that is outside of your comfort zone that you can look at differently today. Find that area and step right into it. Step in and take some action that you would normally not take. Move your life forward! After all, everything that you want is sitting just on the other side of your comfort zone. Go get ‘em!
I believe in you!
Keynote Speaker, Author, Trainer
I haven't played a lot of golf in my life, at least not compared to many of my friends. I have, however, played. About 10 years ago, I purchased a set of clubs that someone had returned to a local store. They were on clearance for under $100 because they did not originate at the store and they did not stock them in the store. I bought the clubs and went to the driving range. I was okay at golf. Mostly, I served as a motivator, encourager, and humorist for the people around I would play with. I wasn't trying to go pro. I simply wanted to play in scrambles with some cool people.
A few times over the years, I have grabbed a club from someone that I was playing with and tried out what "nice clubs" felt like. They felt good and I was able to hit the ball much better. I recently purchased a set of clubs from a friend of mine that used to work at a Country Club. I went to the driving range and took a great player with me. The clubs hit great, but the big difference was in the little tweaks to the way that I hit. I learned some techniques for club grip, stance, and posture. I learned about what the motion should feel like, and how to keep control of myself.
The end result was going from around 100 to 150 yards on a drive to over 250. The amazing part was that with just the right techniques, the entire world of golf has begun to change for me. The same is true of leadership. Many of us are playing with old clubs and without the right coaching and training to know how to get the most out of even those. When we begin to reshape our minds with the right information and inputs, we upgrade our thinking. When we combine great training with great coaching, we begin to upgrade our technique on top of our thinking. That is when the magic happens. That is when our drive for success really begins to take flight.
What is it that you are doing to improve your thinking and your technique? What are you doing to consistently develop the thinking and technique of your teams? If you play with old clubs (thinking) and ineffective technique (leadership tactics), you have to work more than twice as hard to get the same business results. Up your game, or achieve more of the same.
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
I have often looked at people who have achieved more in this life than I have and thought... What makes them so special? I have wondered what they have or what they know that I don't. In the beginning, I will admit that I was jealous of them and wanted to know how to get what they had. The problem with that kind of thinking, I discovered, is that I cannot have all that was intended for me by taking anything away from anyone else. As I studied more and grew more as a person, I began to learn that what they have is not because they were born different but because they learned to think different.
I kept hearing clues over and over again about learning about miracles. Jim Carrey spoke of "A Course in Miracles." Pam Grout spoke of the course. Jen Sincero spoke of the course. Over and over again the clues kept piling up that lead me to the understanding that I was not missing something in my life. Rather, I had not opened up to something in my life. I had not opened up to the truth that all that I could really want was available now. All that I could really want was there for the asking without the need for anyone else to lose anything, give anything up, or do anything outside of who they were. I didn't need the things of this world. I didn't need the approval of others. I didn't need the world's definition of success. When I thought outside of who I really am and what I was designed for, I grasped at ideas that were not my own. What I needed and what I wanted were one in the same. I wanted to be exactly who I was designed to be without any reservation.
I didn't need or really even want to be someone else. I didn't want to pursue the things that had no value. I didn't want to pursue the things that held only temporary value because temporary value meant that there was really no value. What I wanted was to find peace. What I still want is to find my center and live fully in that centered state. I think that is what everyone really wants. When we diet, we are saying that we are not good enough and must become something or someone else to accept ourselves. When we try to get rich, we are saying that we are not good enough now and must have something else in order to be accepted. Please know that many of the things that we want come when we are able to let go of the pursuit and embrace truth. When we accept ourselves and love ourselves for the creation that we are, we let go of the need to be what we are not. When we live fully into our design, we live in truth. Once we are in truth, we stop overeating because we eat what is needed. Once we are in truth, we stop trying to take anything from anyone else. Once we are in truth, we simply are.
What is permanent is that we were designed for greatness. We were designed to be who we are. We ask way too little when we try to be someone that we are not. We only find true success when we accept who we are and live into that truth. We only find true success when we embrace our greatness and live everyday without fear or reservation, without worry about what others think of us or whether or not we will be judged for being ourselves. We find our greatness when we learn to live without fear for peace and fear cannot exist together. When we are at peace, we are no longer limited because we have chosen what was always intended for us.
Live in peace! Accept all that was intended for you! Be fully you!
I remember back to the 1990's when people were putting stickers on the backs of their vehicles that said, "No Fear." That seemed to be a popular thing at the time to tout that they simply had no fear about anything. They weren't afraid of dying, of living, of taking risks, of doing what they wanted to do, of tornadoes, spiders, or anything else. Although I know for sure that it was not true that people had no fear, it was great to pretend that we were living fearlessly.
Fast forward about 30 years and I look at living a life with no fear quite a bit differently than I did as a teenager. Back then it was about pretending that I wasn't afraid of anything, that I would take whatever risk was necessary. Today, living a life without fear is much more about learning to live above the things that scare me. As professionals, we worry about what our peers will think of us. We worry about how we will be judged if our ideas are not good. We worry about mental and emotional danger as well as physical danger. Come to think of it, those were the same things that we worried about before we were professionals. We worry because we lack the peace that we are seeking.
For me, living with a lack of peace is what it means to live a life of fear. Peace is the inner knowing that everything is going to work out just fine. It is the letting go of needing to control the outcomes of the world or the moment. It is living outside of the past or the future. It is embracing who we are in our entirety without the need to be anything or anyone else other than who we are. Living with no fear is to be. It is to be who you are and to live above the need to be anything or anyone else for anyone else.
As an adult, I am still striving to live with no fear, but for much different reasons. The opposite of peace is fear. To be broken is to live in fear. I choose to be whole. I choose to live in peace. Think about your professional life as well as your personal life. What do you desire? You may never get rid of those voices of doubt in your head. You don't have to. You simply have to learn to live above them.
If the truth is that man was given dominion over all of the earth, and if the truth is that we were created to create, and if the truth is that we were placed here for a purpose, why then do people walk around living inside a constraint that is not necessary? In studying psychology, I have read multiple case studies about people who live inside a world that their mind has constructed that keeps them from functioning in society. This construct is limits their ability to see the world for what it is as well as to understand how to relate to others in the right manner. In reading about people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, Multiple Personality Disorder, Paranoia, or a host of other disorders as described by the American Psychological Association, it becomes clear that the mind is incredibly powerful. The mind can literally create a prison within reality that keeps you in a place that you do not wish to be. On the other side of that, the mind can also set you free from the prison that was never really there.
When we look upon the world, our beliefs about the world make the world into what it is for us. Our beliefs about reality, about relationships, about the meaning of anything and everything shape reality into what it is for us. To value the world outside of our minds is to value the belief that we established about the world and then generated around us. After all, a madman sees the world from their belief construct and thinks that it is what it should be and what it can only be. Madness is to give up your right to co-create this world. Madness is to place value in the world itself instead of in the beliefs that reside inside of you and create the world that exists for you. I do not choose madness. I choose to embrace my creation as my own.
The world needs to be set free, but it needs to be set free from the constraints that we have created, not from some nebulous force outside of us. The world is what we have created it to be. Our beliefs, housed in our subconscious minds, are incredibly powerful. They are so powerful that what we see is based on a 4 to 1 ratio of creation within the mind to observation outside of the mind. 80% of what we see is created inside of our minds and based on the thoughts that we have had about what we are observing. Only 20% is constructed from outside observation. One theory is that the 20% becomes simply a looking glass of observation. It is a way to validate the initial belief about the what was generated in our minds.
Today, I choose to give up the madness. I choose the give up the idea that I am powerless in this world. I choose the embrace my creation and realize that all that I need in order to be set free is the truth that what exists outside of me is simply a result of what I have created inside of me first. A madman creates chaos. I am not a madman! I create peace. I create joy. I create hope. I create potential. I create that which I desire and I do not blame or seek to blame anyone or anything for that which I create. Today I release the world from my old chains of thought. I choose instead to create the reality that I desire. Today, I create!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
We are called to live in the present moment. We are called to seek the truth and overturn the illusions. One cannot fail if they are seeking the truth. It is the truth that allows us to see beyond the restrictions of the world outside of God. When we step back from ourselves, we realize that there has always been a dream inside of us that is the very definition of us. There has always been something that we have always known and never forgotten that brings us life. We were designed to co-create in all that we do. We are designed to live in this present moment, fully embracing who we are and who we have always truly been.
People fail when they design their lives based on what others try to put inside of them, or what others tell them is a "good path" for them. We fail when we are not true to ourselves and our calling. We fail when we miss the mark of truth and live in the illusion of safety, security, or comfort. I am in my own personal hell when I try to be what the world would have me be. I am in my own personal heaven when I walk away from worldly definitions and accept the truth of who I am and who I have always been. I am a creator. I am a here to live into my purpose and my passion. The thoughts that we make are often a reflection of what the world would make, but they are not the truth.
The truth is that you are made of the very breath of God, the very substance that is existence itself. The truth is that connected to all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be. The truth, the connection, is in this present moment. It is not at some point in the future. We fail in this life when we think about "some day" instead of "now." We can only succeed when we are living only in the present moment and only in the truth of our purpose. Should you ever forget that you have a purpose or ever feel that you are inadequate, you are seeking the world's definition instead of the truth.
Truth... all things are one. All things are connected because they are made of the same fundamental energy that created all that exists. When you seek the truth of your connection, you cannot desire ill or harm for others. When you seek the truth of your connection, you seek ways to bring hope, life, and truth to all that you encounter. You cannot fail if you seek the truth. You can only win if you live into the truth of your creation as a co-creator in the world that exists for you. When you know that you were created for greatness, you accept the greatness that was created in you and for you and with you. You accept the truth that success is now! You can only win! You can only succeed! You can only live in victory! You cannot be separated from that which you are created from. You can only live into the truth of your connection.
Today's meditation is... Today, I receive the truth of my creation. I accept the truth of my connection. I embrace the purpose and the passion that I have always known and I choose to live that purpose and that passion now and in every now from this point forward! Today, I accept that I cannot fail if I seek the truth. I seek the truth!
To Your Success,
Jody N Holland
Leadership, Management, Growth
There are three brass rings to master in our quest to find success in business. Each of them requires a specific set of skills and both a strategic and tactical approach to reaching the rings. First, the term "brass ring" came from those who created carousels for amusement parks and carnivals. The outside animals on the carousel were static instead of jumpers (ones that went up and down). Initially, people would pass up the outside animals in favor of the more exciting jumping animals. In order to encourage/persuade people to ride the outside animals, a game of "grab the brass ring" was created. Around the outside of the carousel, dispensers of rings were placed. Only one brass ring was placed in the dispensers for each ride. The rider who was able to grab the brass ring would win a prize. This means that the brass ring had value and that most people would not achieve the task.
This is the same as it is in business. Most people will not take the time to ride the ride in manner which puts them in a position to win. This is the part of business where the players have to learn the practical skills of being a great manager, a great leader, and a great growth hacker. This is not as exciting as simply taking a risk on an idea or pushing your teams harder in order to try and achieve something now. The simple truth is that there are some fundamentals in business just like there are in any other pursuit. These fundamentals are prerequisites for winning the game. Riding the outside of the carousel would be representative of positioning yourself in the right market with the right support in order to win. It also represents setting your standards so that winning is a possibility. This can be difficult for some people because it is a bit less exciting than riding the jumping animals, or the waves of risk and success. However, it is the process of setting up a win.
In our game, the game of business, there are three brass rings that we can pursue. They are leadership, management, and growth. Every business seems to be seeking ways to be proficient in growth but very few realize that all three rings must be captured in order to win and win big. The leadership ring is one of managing relationships. John Maxwell indicates that leadership is influence, but influence doesn't come without relationship.
The ability to connect with others and develop trust, rapport, and focused desire is the ability to be in relationship. Harvard Business indicates that relationships are the result of and founded on trust. Patrick Lencioni says that trust is the foundation of any and all great teams. Managing trust, creating influence, communicating like a superstar and generating superstar level desires for success are the components of being in a great business relationship. Peter Drucker indicated early on that leadership and management are not necessarily connected. One can be a great leader and a bad manager or a bad leader and a great manager based on the skills that they have developed in themselves. One can even be good at both if they master the skills required for both.
The second brass ring is management and managing people requires managing expectations. This is about the manner in which we on-board individuals, the manner in which we set clear and concise expectations, and the manner in which we address those expectations daily. The challenge for managers is that they don't communicate in such a way that they have truly set clear expectations. If they miss this critical first step, they will not be able to manage the expectations on a daily basis either. Expectations are different than wants or desires or hopes or dreams. Lots of manager dream about great people but they very seldom expect great people. Managing correctly will move people into believing the right things and ultimately delivery the right results. Both the leadership ring and the management ring must be attained before the final ring can be captured effectively.
The third and final ring is the growth ring and growth is opportunity management. The majority of businesses seem to skip over the first two rings in the game of business and try like crazy to capture the third and final ring first. Even if a business does capture the third ring, they will be faced will almost constant struggles because they are trying to create rings out of thin air in the realms of leadership and management, and that simply doesn't work. This final ring becomes a natural when we have captured the first two rings. Our people begin to work with us and for us to bring us the illusive ring of growth. Our online presence, or staff culture or internal presence, and our social presence are the three segments of this ring. When they are put together properly, the ring appears in the dispenser and simply reach out our hand and take it.
If we fail to build the game in the proper order, we will get knocked off of our horse in the carousel on a regular basis. Some people are tough enough to keep getting back up on the horse and trying again. Others, simply give up when they get knocked down too many times. The ones that find the greatest success, however, are the ones that take the time to learn the rules of the game, apply strategy and tactics, bring in the experts, and them simply allow the rings to slip into their grasp. My hope is that you will learn the rules and play the game to win and win big.
If you need any assistance in learning the rules of the game of business, reach out to me and I would love to work with and for your company to help you find the victory that you seek!
To Your Success,
Leadership is relationship management.
Management is expectation management.
Growth is opportunity management.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in his research on happiness defines that happiness is 50% your genetic makeup (Thanks Mom & Dad), 10% your circumstance, and 40% your choice. Knowing that my life is simply a series of choices that I make and knowing that true knowledge begins the day that I realize how little I know, I am humbled by the opportunities that are all around.
What Csikszentmihalyi is saying is that our happiness is a subjective rating, or simply based on whether or not we view ourselves as happy, and has proven to not be directly tied to the amount of money that we have. Happiness is tied more directly to living into a purpose that is greater than one’s self. I would agree with Csikszentmihalyi based on my own experience in business. Whether I have made a great deal of money or almost no money, my happiness came from the work that I was doing and the difference that I was making.
Over the last 50 years, the amount of money that people have made has increased by 250%, but the percentage of people that indicate that they are happy has remained at 32%, or just under one-third of people in the United States. This means that even though people are chasing the “brass ring” in business, they are finding that the brass ring wasn’t what they wanted. This is where humility and contentment come in. We have been told over and over again that it is the “new thing” that will bring us happiness. If we just have the widget 3000 instead of the widget 2000, all of our dreams will come true. If we can just get a new car, better clothes, a new job, and the list goes on and on, then we will have the joy that we have been looking for. The simple truth is that those things are not what bring us joy.
It is finding our fit in life that helps us to find our joy. If we are not humble enough to give up the trappings of society’s description of success in pursuit of our own definition then we will never find the place where we fit. Csikszentmihalyi describes this place as “flow.” Interestingly enough, this is the spot that requires us to pay less attention to everything around us and more attention to everything inside of us. Our conscious minds can process 2000 bits per second of information. Our unconscious minds can process 400,000,000,000 (four hundred billion) bits per second of information. That is a huge difference! However, when we are in a flow state, doing what brings us joy and what we were designed to do, we reduce the conscious number even further. We lock in on approximately 10% of our conscious capacity and eliminate the rest of what is jockeying for position within our minds. This means that we are less informed about everything that is going on around us and more in tune with the thing that truly drives us.
To Your Success!
Jody N Holland
Jody is a writer, motivational speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He has been the keynote speaker at over 250 events around the world. Jody speaks more than 150 times per year at different programs, and he has given more than 10,000 speeches during his career.