LinkedIn 4.0 – Learn About Accelerated Connectivity Like Never Before

By Rick Itzkowich

When people ask me how I became the “Rick I – The LinkedIn Guy,” I take them back to 2007. When the recession hit, I was searching. Like most people who originally sign-up for LinkedIn, I wanted to generate new referrals. Connecting on LinkedIn was free so I signed up. But quite frankly I had no idea what to do with it. And I didn’t do anything with it other than invite a few people to join me on it. That was the extent . . . for a while.

Then one day during my BNI – Business Networking International chapter meeting, a member requested an introduction to an individual. Since I didn’t know the person, I wrote down the name. I thought to myself, “Maybe they’re on LinkedIn.” I went back to my office, and I did a search. And sure enough I found him. To my surprise, I not only found him, but I also found that he was connected to two other people that I knew. I asked these individuals if they would be willing to facilitate an introduction. One of them introduced me, and I got my first taste of the awesome power of LinkedIn. The short story is that my BNI colleague ended up doing substantial business with this person, and that’s when the light bulb went on. The purpose of LinkedIn had worked through me in a big way. I began to realize it’s tremendous potential.

Technology is a means to an end—not an end in itself. New technologies emerge all the time. And this can be totally overwhelming. But, there are certain aspects of technology that are allowing us to advance in our networking. LinkedIn is a valuable technology that offers speed and convenience in today’s busy business world. It fosters relationship building and the ability to start conversations with people based on your connection.

LinkedIn gives you insight and visibility into the connections that people who you know have. It offers you this untapped potential that most people do not even know they have available to them. Plus, it helps you organize useful connections for you and those you know.

Here’s an example. Let’s say somebody who wants to meet Mike Smith doesn’t know that I know Mike. But they do a search on LinkedIn, and they find out that Mike is a second-degree connection to me, Rick Itzkowich. They ask, “Hey Rick, I see that you’re connected to Mike. I’ve been trying to connect with him because of his asset protection specialty. Do you know him?”

I can tell that person, “Not only do I know him, he worked on my estate plan. Let me introduce the two of you.” Before LinkedIn, they didn’t know that I know Mike, and I didn’t know they wanted to meet Mike. LinkedIn makes that possible in a very logical and reputable manner.

Now, there are three potential obstacles that need to be acknowledged so that the intention of LinkedIn is not misunderstood. First off, people mistake LinkedIn for a traditional sales channel. They assume that you meet people on LinkedIn to direct sell to them. They think it’s Facebook for business and may engage in an unprofessional manner or use pushy sales tactics. As LinkedIn is all about nurturing relationships and building your credibility and trust with your connections, a direct sales strategy creates ill will.

Another factor to consider is that you do need to spend time on LinkedIn. Not a high volume of time — just putting in 30 to 45 minutes per week can pay off big time. I like to allocate just 10 minutes a day. I might send out five invites to connect and write two recommendations for colleagues over my second cup of morning coffee.

The last obstacle is that there is no LinkedIn guide, and unfortunately there is a ton of noise out there about how to make LinkedIn work.

Let me offer ways to avoid those obstacles: focus on your profile, network, and activities. You need to have an effective profile. Be sure you include a professional head shot and in your profile copy speak to your audience in the first person about what sets you apart in a way that doesn’t read like a resume. Keep your profile complete and up-to-date, as it is your mini sales webpage. You need to build a large diverse network. Send out invitations. Ask for names and add them to your LinkedIn. Discuss LinkedIn so others know to find you there. Your activities need to have some congruency as well as a strategy for growth. If you already did an impressive job of having a thorough profile that actually targets specific things related to what you are wanting to accomplish, complement that by actively staying involved on LinkedIn and clearly speaking to target individuals. This way, others feel like you are real, that they know more about you, and that you know what you are talking about in your industry.

I’ll let two Vistage Chairs tell you in their own words how my LinkedIn guidance worked for them:

“I am in countdown mode for my upcoming event. Of my 31 RSVPs, all but two, are from LinkedIn. Your system rocks and worked perfectly for me, especially since my husband and I have only been in Scottsdale since September. You rocked IT! The referral system and my tenacity with LinkedIn outreach has given me a good start. I am anticipating 20 out of the 31 who signed up. Thank you for introducing your system to me. It’s been a terrific experience.”
Susan Giles Bischak, Vistage Chair

“I did two sessions with 17 referrals and [received] three immediate responses. One appointment for one-hour worth of work. Priceless.”
Tom Rodell, Vistage Chair

These types of results are typical when you have guidance on how to tap into the power of technologies such as LinkedIn. Furthermore, you can link other technologies and find more relationships to foster. With the mindset of a technology-empowered connector, you keep your connections alive through referrals.

In addition, LinkedIn supports trust-building and that’s why it’s effective when it comes to referrals. LinkedIn is used as a first point of referral contact that gives you visibility and reach. For my line of work, when I meet somebody offline, my first action is to send them a LinkedIn invitation to connect. I use LinkedIn to gather some basic information, and then use my invitation and LinkedIn’s messenger to start a conversation. Once we are connected, LinkedIn allows me to be visible to that person’s connections as well as allows me to search for professions connected to my new contact. Essentially, LinkedIn is a giant database that allows you to find more targeted people via a variety of filters. As you can see, if you use LinkedIn effectively, it will give you the opportunity to identify mutual connections and people you want to do business with.

Lastly, LinkedIn’s feature of being able to give people recommendations adds trust. A recommendation on LinkedIn is different from many other places because it can be traced back directly to the individual. If you leave me a testimonial, somebody can click on that and know that you exist. They can read your profile, which gives them confidence that this was a real recommendation, a real testimonial as opposed to one that was made up. In addition, you cannot change a single word of a recommendation or testimonial, which adds validity.

So, it’s not just having your profile up on LinkedIn, but it’s utilizing LinkedIn to the max. I am happy to give you my How to Monetize LinkedIn in 10 Minutes per Day guide at no charge. Click here to download the 15-page PDF or paste this into your browser: http://ntwrk.biz/monetizelinkedin

In closing, let’s connect on LinkedIn! Send me an invitation at www.linkedin.com/in/ritzkowich and feel free to ask me questions.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2018

Rick Itzkowich (It’s-ko-witch), aka “Rick I – The LinkedIn Guy” is a Vistage Chair and founder of 501 Connections, Inc., a San Diego-based business, networking, and referrals coaching company. Rick is a genuine people connector. He helps people bridge the two worlds of face-to-face and online networking. As an official member of the prestigious Forbes Coaches Council and successful entrepreneur, Rick coaches, writes and creates turnkey products that meet today’s demand for tools to increase profits through referrals. His products QuoteActions, Link Power Now and Rock-IT! Referrals have generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses worldwide.

Rick is a sought-after author and speaker. He presents to a diverse group of sales, networking and professional organizations, and is a regular SCORE® speaker. Internationally his YIKES! LinkedIn workshop earned the Best Speaker Award at the Dubai “You Learn Twit Face” social media conference. As a former CEO and business owner of two successful companies, one manufacturing and the other in professional development, Rick has logged more than 30,000 hours of corporate training. Rick was born and raised in Mexico City. He speaks five languages and has traveled to 43 countries facilitating learning vacations. He resides in La Jolla, California. And, in his spare time Rick plays on a nationally ranked tournament baseball team.

Contact Information: Rick Itzkowich, Vistage Chair, Entrepreneur, Speaker & Author, (858) 456-7653, rick@rickitzkowich.com, www.rickitzkowich.com, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ritzkowich, Twitter: @thelinkedinguy

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development. LCS can test in 19 different languages, provide domestic and international interpersonal coaching and offer a variety of workshops – team building, interpersonal communication and stress management.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code”, “Cracking the Business Code” and “Cracking the High-Performance Team Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Our Sino-Am Leadership Program helps executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.  We also have an affiliate in the UK who covers all of Europe so we are now a true multi-national company that can support our clients globally.

Creating a Culture Strategy — On Purpose — For Today and Tomorrow

By Suzanne Mayo Frindt & Dwight Frindt – Excerpt from Cracking the Business Code

Is your company culture and your leadership practices designed for success in today’s world?

By Brian Hefele

By Brian Hefele

In the face of unrelenting change and increased complexity of issues facing us in business today, our past based practices and structures may not be sufficient to succeed in this new paradigm. Let’s take a look at how company cultures and leadership must shift to respond powerfully to the circumstances we are currently experiencing.

People don’t really fear change itself; they can become afraid that they won’t be successful in the new paradigm. It is the job of leadership to create conditions, a culture, where people can learn, grow, and adapt to be successful in today’s world.

Change and Change Again

Our world is rapidly shaping in many amazing ways:

♦ As the video, Shift Happens has pointed out to the millions of YouTube viewers who have seen it on the Internet, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist, who will be using technology we haven’t yet discovered, to solve problems we don’t even yet know about yet” (Shift Happens video, created by Karl Fisch and modified by Scott McLeod).
♦ The quantity of information, its availability, and speed of delivery are increasing at an exponential rate as costs are approaching zero.
♦ The number of people accessing and using this information, and the many ways it is disseminated, has exploded since the advent of personal computers and the Internet — which in turn exponentially speeds up the rate at which new technologies are developed.
♦ Women are stepping into leadership roles at all levels, in diverse venues and in unprecedented numbers all over the world.
♦ Awareness that our global environment cannot continue to withstand a collective human consumption race is spreading quickly.
♦ Our children are being born into and growing up in a world that is so different than the one we grew up in, that it requires a new way of being for them to lead successful lives.
♦ More people over 65 are alive today than have ever lived to that age, so that group will be looking for whole new models for leading healthy, successful lives.

The list of changes that we have already experienced is inexhaustible. And as soon as you read this article, there will be even more changes that have occurred. Accelerated change has become the new normal. At the same time, we hear many clients say “as soon as it slows down or gets back to normal.” Those who think there will be a return to the “good ole days” are in for a great shock.

Our cultures, leadership, and structures have to shift from top down to valuing learning and expanding capacities to problem solve in the face of uncertainty, mining all available wisdom and creativity.

Culture…What’s That?

By rekre89 (Flickr)

By rekre89 (Flickr)

Excellent companies have Financial Strategies, Operational Strategies, Marketing and Sales Strategies, and commensurate Resource Allocation Strategies (including People, Time, Money, Equipment/Assets, etc.). How many companies actually have a Cultural Strategy? Yet all companies have a culture, implicitly if not explicitly. They have been developed on a historical basis and impact productivity, success, and health for generations. And, they can be experienced differently depending on one’s position within the organization.

Our first conversations with executives about Culture and Culture Strategies begin with a definition — a shared definition. Since so much of what comprises a culture is often accidental and somewhat invisible, some people have a hard time accepting that there is one, or that it can be defined or even changed.

Once we work through a few of the definitions below, most CEOs and executives agree they do have a definite culture. Then comes the question of whether it is the most productive culture given their purpose, values, and the changes we are experiencing every day.

A company culture can be defined as:

♦ A cognitive framework consisting of attitudes, values, behavioral norms, and expectations. (Greenberg and Baron, 1997)
♦ The collective thoughts, habits, attitudes, feelings, and patterns of behavior. (Clemente and Greenspan, 1999)
♦ The pattern of arrangement, material, or behavior, which has been adopted by a society (corporation, group, or team) as the accepted way of solving problems. (Ahmed et al., 1999)
♦ Includes the organizational values, mission, norms, working language, systems, beliefs, and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving and even thinking and feeling. (Wikipedia)
♦ A set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for certain situations. (Ravasi and Shultz 2006)

From this collection of definitions of culture, it becomes clear that a group or an organization’s culture is foundational to the success or failure of all other strategies, and yet little, if any attention, is consciously placed on the care and feeding of a productive culture. It is the invisible glue that binds together ever more diverse workforces, including people from many cultures and generations. Since it is invisible, most executives are not conscious of culture or of the implications of their decisions on the development of, or the degradation of, culture. Organizations in a high growth or acquisition mode are at a high risk of failure due to culture clashes. It is very unusual for us to see organizations that understand the criticality of this dimension of an acquisition, or adding lots of employees in a short period of time. Without a clear and intentional culture strategy, along with the allocation of resources to be sure that it is communicated and very well understood and incorporated into every day business interactions, the culture is drastically impacted by whatever the acquisition brought with them, or what the large numbers of employees bring with them. The sad reality is that productive organizational cultures often suffer a demise due to an unconscious neglect by leadership.

What people often complain about is usually a description of the unproductive aspects of the culture, at least from their perspective. We have heard from executives: lack of accountability, defensiveness, competitiveness at the expense of the company, or customer outcomes. In an organizational 360 tool that we use, we have heard from the workforce: micro management, lack of trust, no clear direction, compensation, and reward systems that emphasize individual results rather than company success. This was all within the same company!

Many organizations that we have encountered through our leadership development firm, 2130 Partners, have had what we call “accidental” cultures. Perhaps it was generated initially by a founder entrepreneur, mirrors other cultures in the same industry, or was created by a particular hiring practice or compensation structure. Nonetheless, most cultures develop by accident.

Cultures can be designed on purpose, and existing productive cultures can be maintained and enhanced intentionally.

Leadership — Replacing Commands with Vision

In this evolving new reality, successful leadership will have a very different nature than traditional approaches.

By Aadi Sing

By Aadi Sing

It was quite different to be a leader in simpler economic times and when the world moved at a slower pace with less connectivity. There were successful models and practices in place as well as more easily identifiable and attainable goals. Patterns of entitlement offered at least the illusion of security, and there was more time and predictability in producing results. However, now — when previous business models and assumptions have been turned on their heads, when people’s livelihoods are changing and disappearing regularly, and when successful businesses are being transformed for the new realities — the leadership required is radically agile, proactive, and creative.

Leaders who will be effective in this time of incredible opportunity are those that lead as if they are in a dance with reality — that is, they look to create exciting new paradigms, processes, and even companies based on creating the next game while being responsible for the current and unfolding global economy. They are not simply waiting until the economy gets back to normal or using past experiences to map out current pathways. Being in a dance demands conversations appropriate to dancing. Think about it — when you get out on the dance floor, do you tell your partner, “I need these four steps from you in the next minute, followed by a repetitive pattern until I tell you otherwise”? If you have done that, perhaps you have found that it leaves you with very few dance partners. How then do you engage with others in this new reality?

We call the management model we use to replace the old “command-and-control” paradigm, Vision-Focused Leadership, which is an approach grounded in shared vision and built through collaboration.

Vision: A mental image produced by the imagination

Vision-Focused Leadership as a mental model shows how thinking, listening, speaking, and actions — most importantly those that you employ to lead others — are focused and informed by a shared vision. Focusing on your shared vision allows you to make choices; orient your creativity, energy, and resources; and correlate your thoughts and actions and the actions of people working with you on your shared intention. In the absence of shared vision, it is easy to become victims of or be distracted by circumstances, worries, and fears, and to react based on instant, automatic, unconscious, and unexamined thoughts, beliefs, and judgments stored in your mind. Without necessarily realizing it, the past winds up driving your bus.

When we talk about leadership here, our intention is to stress that leader- ship can be evoked anywhere in an organization — that is, every person can exhibit leadership qualities, no matter what his or her job description may be.

If you and your team members have done a good job developing and sharing the vision, then creating powerful actions will flow much more naturally. People will be able to individually source their ideas, actions, and interactions from the shared vision. If you replace commands with shared vision and broaden the source and responsibility for creativity to the entire team, you will maximize creativity, ownership, collaboration, and velocity in fulfilling the shared vision.

We use the term “Yonder Star” to include shared vision, goals, objectives, and strategies to obtain it. It can be applied at any level from a strategic corporate vision to your vision for the outcomes you intend to produce in a single conversation or meeting. The Yonder Star is the ideal, out in front of you and up above the path you are currently traveling, that provides a common focus and inspires your actions. Rather than hanging onto sacred past-based activities and processes (i.e., “what did we do and how did we do it last year?”), priorities, plans, and milestones are designed from a focus on the Yonder Star. From this mind-set, actions are prioritized by their value in fulfilling the Yonder Star. All members of the team are inspired to explore their own integration of the goal with their passion to contribute and the specific role their work will play in its fulfillment.

From shared dedication to the overall outcome, a pervasive attitude of “I’ve got your back” naturally develops within each member of the team. Dissent, one-upmanship, and agendas fueled by self-interest tend to fade to the background.

Collaboration Requires

Connection, Alignment, and Focus

Yonder Star clipartThis graphic is our shorthand illustration of this notion. Here we show a group of people who are interacting from a solid foundation of mutual trust, respect, and safety to reach their mutual Yonder Star. In this case, a collection of aligned Yonder Stars, shown in a stack of different sizes, depicts the many intermediate goals that lie between your current situation and fulfillment of your Yonder Star. To sort out which actions will be most productive on your route to your Yonder Star, look back from your fulfilled Yonder Star and ask, “What’s missing in our current reality that, if we work on it, will accelerate fulfilling our Yonder Star?” From your list, determine the decisions and actions that will be most leveraged in closing the gap. By leveraged, we mean the actions that produce the greatest impact while requiring the fewest resources and taking the least amount of time to accomplish. Get started, monitor results, recalibrate with new position updates, and continue on your path or make adjustments as necessary to stay on course.

Collaboration — New Ways of Working Together

As we go forward, those who lead will be the ones taking advantage of the creativity and productivity gains available by focusing on the human, collaborative dimension, while laggards will suffer in the face of unrelenting change.

The extremely affordable, and nearly instant, access to vast amounts of information and ways of interacting with whole communities that are becoming available, combined with a productive attitude toward change and the new realities it brings, creates huge opportunities for you and your leadership. However, leading effectively will require a new mind-set to unleash potential and creativity and to capitalize on opportunities.

The challenges lie in strengthening your ability to choose the direction, form the goals, and then communicate and enroll others so that you build groups and organizations that can collectively navigate shifting realities. This means improving your ability to communicate, work together collaboratively, and lead others to do so as well. If you learn how to identify and utilize the navigational guides to traversing this uncharted territory, you will experience higher productivity, more rapid innovation, and greater organizational agility. Additionally, responsiveness to the needs of customers and other stakeholders in the organization and more rewarding relationships will become something you can rely upon.

Building Collaborative Capital — It Begins with Me

To effectively change our outer reality requires being willing to shift our inner reality.

Today, talented, educated people who know how and are motivated to work interactively with each other are the key to success for more and more businesses. This new collaborative approach means many more minds are put to work on the opportunities and challenges facing us whether in business, in our organizations, or even in our families.

When we were born, we came equipped with the most powerful computers on earth (although Shift Happens cites projections that the quantitative computing power of a supercomputer will pass that of the human brain by the year 2013). These innate computers serve us well in producing new ideas and dynamic solutions — as we can see in all that has happened just in the past twenty years of technological growth. The core thought processes that guide our reactions and interactions were mostly loaded into your brain and ours when we were children and have been chugging along ever since, functioning as an unconscious and unexamined operating system.

Don’t change the world, change worlds…starting with your own.
Adapted from St. Francis of Assisi, Catholic patron saint of animals and the environment

Being able to think in new ways requires challenging the very basis of your own thinking — your self-concept, worldview, and automatic ways of interacting with others.

What Is a Productive Culture Anyway?

By Anne Davis (773 Flickr)

By Anne Davis (773 Flickr)

We don’t use terminology such as “good” or “bad” cultures, which is a binary and simplistic assessment. We consider the organization’s purpose, or vision and mission to determine if the existing culture supports the achievement of that purpose while calling forth the best from the people within the organization. Does it call forth high performance and productivity on a sustainable basis? Does it reward Self-Generated Accountability and Productive Dialogue? Does it foment gossip, jealousy, politics, CYA, or individual success over company success?

What is productive in a culture is what people are proud of about their company or their work. When shared values are demonstrated and memorialized in great stories, people tell about “the time when…”

What If You Created a Learning Culture?

A Learning Culture is one where the individuals and teams consciously invest in growing and developing themselves. In a Learning Culture, executives are conscious and purposeful about the impact of decisions and strategies on the fabric of cultural development. There is a purposeful focus on reducing friction and waste in communications and developing productive working relationships. People know there is an expectation for growing and learning. Hiring decisions are made with an interest in an individual’s ability to learn, adapt, grow, and shift outdated mental models, as much as their past-based, functional experience. An atmosphere of curiosity, forward thinking and ‘how can we learn from this’ thinking permeates. It becomes the foundation or platform on which everything else is built.

What Are The Payoffs of a Learning Culture?

For an organization, this type of culture provides much more innovation, creativity, flexibility, agility, and expedited problem solving capabilities. It also affects retention and even hiring decisions of individuals in the firm.

For individuals, it provides opportunities for learning and growth; enhancing marketability and value to this or other organizations. It also provides forums to be challenged, to add value, and to contribute at a high level. Some CEOs have actually expressed concern that growing their people will make them more vulnerable to their best people leaving. However, if looked at from the individual’s perspective, why would they leave unless they have fully used up the growth opportunities where they are right now? Why would someone leave a position where their value and contribution are recognized, supported, and rewarded?

How Can We Develop a Learning Culture?

There are many books and articles about learning organizations including work by Senge and Argyris that explain in depth about the what and how of learning organizations. Our 2130 methodology (and terminology adaptation in some instances) ties to the 5 aspects of a learning organization that are generally accepted by leadership “gurus” as follows:

1. Systems Thinking: Understanding how things influence each other as a whole. Our view is that executives and organizational leadership are accountable to the entire organization and all stakeholders for this larger view. This includes strategy development, planning, implementation, review, and adjustment. This is a level above what most executives contribute on a day-to-day basis from their functional expertise (Finance, Operations, Sales, Marketing, HR, etc.). In addition to a responsibility for systems thinking on an individual executive basis, it is also critical that the entire executive team itself operate as a productive, learning system. Most organizations develop a Vision statement, Mission, and Values that constitute the overall framework, (we call it the ‘Yonder Star’), and then on a regular basis develop strategies, initiative, goals, and actions in the dimensions of finance, operations, marketing, sales, resource allocation, and to a lesser degree, culture. Our methodology, “Vision-Focused Leadership” is designed to support systems thinking. We work with top executives — the CEO, President, or entrepreneur — in a trusted advisor or executive coaching assignment to create a learning culture. We also work with the team of top executives to support the development of and focus on all the strategies required to be successful. Our Operating Principles create a platform for a productive, learning culture with the executive leadership team and then the entire organization.

By Gerd Altmann

By Gerd Altmann

2. Shared Vision/Values: “A vehicle for building shared meaning” from Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline. Unfortunately, this often looks more like the version from Dilbert: “A long meaningless statement that proves management’s inability to focus.” Over the last 20+ years we have worked with organizations to develop Vision, Mission, and Values using our “Vision-Focused Leadership” methodology. Leadership gurus have been espousing for at least two decades the value of a shared vision to focus and align resources. Absent a shared vision, individual agendas rule the day and gaining personal power becomes a major executive focus. Shared Vision/Values encourage a learning culture by emphasizing the gaps toward our Shared Vision/Values, what is missing and what is next, versus what is wrong from the past.

3. Productive Mental Framework: We talk about busting mental barriers, increasing mental agility, and increasing capacities to deal with the unrelenting pace of change and increased complexity of issues facing leadership today. It requires skills at reframing for ourselves and others, and developing focus in chaos and high emotional states. Past-based arrogance and rigidity undermine productive cultures. It is critical to become aware of our blind spots and biases to be able to think clearly in the present to make the best decisions in a complex business environment. We use our Operating Principles and Essential Notions, developed and validated over the past 20 years to help build a learning culture platform and equip leaders and man- agers with the mental and collaborative skills needed in today’s world.

4. Personal Mastery: This is the commitment of every person in the organization to improve, develop, and challenge themselves to be more than they are today, and to proactively challenge themselves inside a framework of contribution and collaboration. Individuals who insist on status quo and structural barriers to communication usually self-select out of a Learning Culture. In our book, Accelerate: High Leverage Leadership for Today’s World, we say that when individuals develop themselves they have increased their collaborative capacities. We will get older automatically, however to grow as we age requires a conscious choice. In our work, we describe conscious choice as the Leadership Choice Point. Every moment of every day presents an opportunity for choice. Will I relate to the world around me, the circumstances of my life as the defining parameters, or will I choose to use the circumstances as an opportunity to grow toward the Yonder Star?

5. Team Mastery: In addition to individual learning and development, organizations must realize that groups of people, (of any size of two or more), creates yet another “entity” with its own dynamics and productivity levels. Two or more people, who may be very developed individually, when put together in a group or team may not be as productive together as the sum of their individual productivity. The question becomes: will we synergize our efforts where 1+1=3 or more, or will we diminish productivity potential with friction and waste to make 1+1=1.5 or less? There are numerous examples of sports teams that have all “star” players, yet a team of “average” players can beat them because of the way the average players have developed their team effectiveness. The sum of what the players produce together is much greater than adding up individual skills — and so it is for organizational groups and teams. There are group skills and developmental opportunities that build on, yet are distinct from individual capacities. When groups develop these capacities we call that increasing their collaborative capital.

So What Will You Do Now?

1. Take stock of your culture. What are the stories being told about your organization by employees, clients, and vendors? What stories would you like to be told? What attributes of this powerful, invisible platform are important to you? Where are the gaps? What will you commit to taking on, challenging the status quo, and BEING as an example of the cultural aspect you are committed to developing? (We use an online organizational assessment to gather objective and confidential data to understand the present condition in an organization).

By Skeeze (Pixabay)

By Skeeze (Pixabay)

2. What cultural “artifacts” do you have in place? (We call the collection of these items, all on one page, your Strategic Focus.)
a) Compelling Vision, Mission, and Shared Values (We also use our Operating Principles as a key piece of culture definition because they are design principles for productive conversations.)
b) Business strategy that fulfills the Vision and Mission
c) Bold Goals that clearly take ground toward the strategy and mission, and are consistent with your vision and values

3. Is your Leadership and management team aligned behind #2 above?

4. Has your Strategic Focus been clearly communicated? Does your team know how to communicate it to their folks?

5. Are your departmental and individual goals lined up with the Mission, Vision, and Strategy?

If you are missing any of the above, fill in the missing pieces immediately! If your Vision or Mission statements are a paragraph long or no one remembers them anymore, throw them out! Vision and Mission statements have a positive influence on culture only when they really “live” inside the hearts and minds of people in the organization. It is not a job for the marketing department or your PR firm to “word smith.” It is the role of leadership to capture and communicate and nurture the Vision and Mission and Values. Each executive and management team member must be willing to have their leadership and management practices be guided by these major cultural influencers you create. When the actions or practices of people in management positions are contrary to what have been espoused as values and the mission then there is a huge disconnect for individuals in the organization, resulting in cynicism and resignation.

If you need help, consider hiring a professional facilitator to work with you and your leadership team to help define the existing reality, clearly define each aspect of your Strategic Focus and identify the gaps. Accomplish this first, before working with the balance of your organization, to develop thinking and behaviors consistent with a learning culture and self-generated accountability.

Above all, keep growing and learning and Accelerate your Leadership.

If Leadership is not consciously strategizing, designing, and developing culture, what is left to form it? Culture exists and is alive in the stories employees, (and vendors and customers), tell about what it is like to work there, how people get treated, how to get ahead, whom to hold your tongue around, whom to please, whether merit or seniority count to a greater extent, what happens if you are ill, what are the opportunities for development, promotion, raises, learning. What stories are being told about your company? What stories would you like to be hearing? How does leadership affect those stories? What are the payoffs? These are the questions to ask to get conscious about the affect of your culture.

by Devanath (pixabay)

by Devanath (pixabay)

References:

Accelerate: High Leverage Leadership for Today’s World by Suzanne and Dwight Frindt – to order go to www.2130partners.com.

“Developing a Corporate Culture as a Competitive Advantage” by Golnaz Sadri and Brian Lees .

Peter Michael Senge is an American scientist and director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is known as author of the book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization (originally 1990, new edition 2006).

Chris Argyris is an American business theorist, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, and a thought leader at Monitor Group. He is commonly known for seminal work in the area of “Learning Organizations.”

Suzanne Frindt is a co-founder and principal of 2130 Partners, an executive leadership development and education firm that launched in 1990. She is also a recognized speaker on the topics of Vision-Focused Leadership™ and Productive Interactions™, speaking to organizations around the world. She is also a Group Chair for Vistage International, Inc. an organization of CEOs and key executives dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of more than 12,000 members. Each month she facilitates groups in Orange County, California, and Seattle, Washington, while also regularly contributing entrepreneurial creativity and management experience to several companies through service on their advisory boards.

Dwight Frindt is also a co-founder and principal of 2130 Partners. Since 1994, Dwight has been a Group Chair for Vistage International facilitating groups of CEOs and senior executives. He has received many performance awards for his work at Vistage and in 2009 Dwight became a Best Practice Chair and began mentoring the Chairs in the South Orange County area. Since then he has added two additional Best Practice Chair regions; the Puget Sound and the Greater Pacific Northwest. In 2011 Dwight received the Best Practice Chair of the Year Award – Western Division. Combining his work with 2130 Partners and Vistage, Dwight has facilitated more than 1,000 days of workshops and meetings, and has logged well over 13,000 hours of executive leadership coaching. In addition to working in the for-profit world, Dwight and Suzanne are very committed to working with non-profits and have been investors and activists with The Hunger Project for many years. To reach them, please visit www.2130partners.com.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2016 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement. To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code” please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

To Be In The Right Place At The Right Time – Think Like a Weirdo!

By Dana Borowka – Excerpt from the book, Cracking the Business Code

If you or your team members are going to be sitting down for a management meeting soon, ask yourself – who is the oddest and most unusual thinker on your team… who comes up with the most fantastic ideas? Those are the weirdos in your group. One definition of a “weirdo” is one that is odd, unusual and fantastic… even a bit magical or mystical. It’s those who upset the apple cart and watch the apples roll down the street and observe the flow. Maybe it’s even the person who sees how the market place is shifting and gets everyone upset. Or the individual who has an idea on how to improve the work flow that causes everyone to pause and then reply, “We can’t do that!” Yet that idea might save 10 catching ideasseconds of time in processing orders. This multiplies out to saving 800,000 seconds a year for a department or 13,333 hours annually, which could equate to $250,000 – 500,000 of hard earned money saved… all due to the weirdo. Now that is weirdness at its best!

Upsetting the Apple Cart

No longer do we have boxes to think outside of! Our goal is to create the next new whatever – to help those we work with to not only improve but inspire coolness in our lives. Whether your organization is a service-based financial firm or manufacturing operation – we all need to do whatever it takes to help one another in reaching our market place.

Here are some questions to consider for your team:

♦ What does it take to keep ongoing business and grow market share?
♦ What is the first step to take to start those proverbial apples rolling?
♦ Are you and your team being intuitive and what the heck does that mean anyway?
♦ What are we hearing:
— From our market place?
— From staff members?
— From colleagues, friends, others?
♦ How do we know if we are listening to what is being said?

The answer:

It takes creativity that will affect the approach and the execution. We want to create an environment of thinkers as opposed to organizations filled with silo individuals that respond with – “I can’t do that!”. The days of silo thinking are long gone. That type of thinking came about from attempting to build a machine we called “homogenizing customer service”. That is one way to lose business overnight!

Having the “Can Do” Attitude

Recently, I was in contact with an organization that kept telling me they can’t accept bulk orders – they could only take one order at a time. I really wanted this product so I kept climbing the laddercalling back and finally found a true go getter – “a weirdo”. This individual had the “can do” attitude. Due to the organizational structure this person worked in and against all odds, we found a work around! Later, I spoke to the supervisor and wrote a note to the organization about what had taken place. I received a wonderful note back from the CEO who shared how appreciative they were for the ideas I shared. For them to be in the right place at the right time, all they needed to do was to listen. Now they have an opportunity to approach a huge market place that they had never thought of before. Yet – if I had not been so persistent, they would never have known nor thought about how they were closing off a source of revenue. Not only the revenue but they were also missing out on sharing a product with others who would truly appreciate it. Don’t miss out on sharing your services and products due to a lack of listening. You and your organization should be thriving with your heart, mind and soul in the right place – at the right time. All it takes is to listen and then to execute through the creativity that is all around you right now.

For additional ideas on this topic, you can read more in Chapter 10 in our book, Cracking the Personality Code.

Be a Trend-Setting Weirdo!

What brings a company to life is a creative approach where ideas are contributed and fulfill the vision of the organization. Creativity will guide your organization to go with the flow of an ever-changing market – it will provide ideas for bringing your service or product to the market place and to stay ahead of the pack. It will produce a fun and exciting environment for the refinement of processes, services, sales, marketing, accounting, production, QC and every department in your organization. So, go ahead and be a trend-setting weirdo!

We’d love to hear from you about this topic – please email us at reception@lighthouseconsulting.com.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2016

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He provides workshops on hiring, managing for the future, and techniques to improve interpersonal communications that have a proven ROI. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires and staff development, team building, interpersonal and communication training, career guidance and transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

We recently launched a new service called Sino-Am Leadership to help executives excel when stationed outside their home country. American managers in Asia and Asian managers in America face considerable business, personal, and leadership challenges because of the cultural differences. This unique program provides personal, one-on-one coaching. For more information visit, http://www.lighthouseconsulting.com/performance-management/talent-development/sino-american-management-style/.

How to Take Your Company’s Attitude to the Next Level

By Boaz Rauchwerger

In my nearly 30-year career as a professional speaker, with many events for groups of CEOs throughout North America, I’ve noticed that there’s something different about companies that achieve great success.torch bizwoman

ATTITUDE

It all comes down to ATTITUDE. The culture of highly successful companies exemplifies an above-average can-do attitude that makes them leaders in their field.

In my opinion, attitude is not part of the thing, it’s not the majority, it’s EVERYTHING! John D. Rockefeller, the founder of the family fortune, said, “I’d much rather hire someone with a great attitude than someone with more degrees than a thermometer who has no clue.”

So, if your company doesn’t have an above-average, positive, can do attitude, here are some ideas of how to integrate this concept into your culture.

UNBELIEVABLE

This is a very powerful word that, when used with people in the outside world with enthusiasm, sets a premise that says your company is doing great! I teach people, when someone from the outside asks, “How’s business?” that they answer with, “UNBELIEVABLE!” Do so with enthusiasm and everyone will give you the benefit of the doubt and think you’re doing great.

The words ‘super’, ‘fine’, and ‘terrific’ are all at one level. UNBELIEVABLE is at a higher level. And, when the other person asks, “Is it really going that good?” simply respond by saying, “All I can say is that it’s UNBELIEVABLE!” The majority of people will walk away and spread good rumors about you because they’ll judge that you must be doing great!

Who does that word affect the most? The person saying it because of the positive response from others. I would suggest that you ask everyone in your company, whenever communicating with someone on the outside, to use UNBELIEVABLE when people ask how business is going.

INNOVATION FACTORY

How about changing the way your employees see your company? Whether you have a handful of employees or hundreds, why not give everyone the idea that you’re all working at an INNOVATION FACTORY?

Psychologically, you no longer produce widgets. Your main product, from now on, is INNOVATION. New ideas. Isn’t that what a championship lighting manteam does? A championship team is constantly coming up with new ways to do things, better designs, and new products.

This idea can be easily implemented by getting a banner produced, at a place like FedEx Office, that reads: “Welcome to Your Innovation Factory”. Post that banner in the lobby of your company or wherever everyone can see it every day. Announce to your employees that, from now on, you’re going to reward new ideas that you end up implementing. What if someone comes up with a great idea that can lead to better products, improved services, or higher profits?

EVERY DAY I PLAY LIKE A CHAMPION

This is another sign that can take your company’s attitude to the next level. Have these words, in large type, placed on an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper, with your company’s logo at the top. Then have signs printed with these words, and your logo, on very bright yellow paper. Yellow and black have a great contrast and get everyone’s attention.

Then laminate several dozen of these signs, using heavy lamination, and post them throughout your company. At the entrance, in hallways, in everyone’s cubicle, on the doorpost of your office, at the entrance of meeting rooms. Ask everyone, when they see one of the signs, to just touch it.

Something positive will happen in everyone’s subconscious mind when they do that. Make sure that people see you touching your sign on the doorpost of your office. If visitors ask about the signs, offer to give them a few to take back to their company. Because you’ve used heavy lamination, they will not think to make their own. They will post your sign, with your company logo, in their office. This is great advertising!

CARNEGIE & HILL BOOKS

Get copies of the following two books and place them on everyone’s desk: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.

woman readingBoth of these books, international best-sellers for many years, were written in 1935 and are still very applicable today. The Carnegie book, in my opinion, is the best personal development, attitude, creating great relationships book ever. The Hill book is actually an attitude book. It describes the attitudes of some of the most successful people in America and what made them achieve great success.

As I said, place copies of these two books on everyone’s desk, including yours, and don’t ask anyone to read them. Say the following, “There’s no need to read these books. I would just appreciate if you keep them on your desk.” What do people do when you tell them not to do something? Yes, they will end up reading and your company will benefit greatly. Just seeing them everywhere will positively affect people.

Then, when you start company meetings, say the following: “I was reading a page in the Dale Carnegie book that I thought was interesting. I’d like to read it out loud and then ask each of you to comment.” Read a page and then ask everyone to comment. Don’t ask for volunteers. Just start on one side of the room and go around. This exercise will tell everyone that YOU are reading the books.

WEEKLY PEP RALLIES

One thing that is very harmful to a company’s great attitude is a negative, false rumor circulating among your employees. I suggest Monday morning pep rallies, no more than 30 minutes, where you squash any false rumors.

Play some upbeat music ahead of these weekly meetings and introduce any new employees who joined the company in the past week. Ask pep rallythose employees to bring some pictures from home so everyone can get to know them better. This will make them feel important.

Let people know about the challenges of the past week and, with more emphasis, report enthusiastically about the good things that happened in the past seven days. Compliment people who have gone the extra mile and make a big deal about it. This will make people feel important.

So, let’s summarize the action steps that will take your company’s attitude to the next level:

  1. Use the word “UNBELIEVABLE” when people ask how your business is doing.
  2. Create a “Welcome to Your Innovation Factory” banner and post it where everyone will see it every day.
  3. Create the “Every Day I Play Like a Champion” signs and post them throughout your offices.
  4. Get copies of the Carnegie and Hill books for everyone at your company and ask them to keep them on their desks.
  5. Have a Monday morning pep rally where you let people know what’s going on and recognize people who go the extra mile.

As John D. Rockefeller said, “Attitude is everything!” These ideas can take your company’s attitude to the next level. Let’s get started!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

Inspiration and Techniques for Building Championship-Level Performance – Lighthouse clients have one thing in common – all are committed to boosting the performance of their organizations. So, we are pleased to introduce our clients and friends to Boaz Rauchwerger — speaker, trainer, author and consultant. We highly recommend Boaz to you. Ask him to deliver one of his inspirational programs at your next executive retreat or strategic planning session.

One of our favorite Boaz programs is “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”. It helps you build on the strengths of everyone’s individual differences. This program helps you discover five steps to get everyone to join the building crew and resign from the wrecking crew. This is a very powerful and inspirational program that receives rave reviews every time.

• Master five techniques to inspire others to perform like champions
• Six recognition techniques including the powerful “good finder” program
• Learn four ways that your team can gain a competitive advantage
• Identify the three prerequisites for maximizing the team’s results
• Learn the two forms of keeping a daily score so everyone wins

Who is Boaz? Over a 30-year span, Boaz, author of The Tiberias Transformation – How To Change Your Life In Less Than 8 Minutes A Day, has conducted thousands of seminars internationally on goal setting and high achievement. He has taught over half a million people how to supercharge their lives, their careers and how to add Power to their goals. His innovative program, for individuals and corporations, is a simple and highly effective process for high achievement. He was voted Speaker of the Year by Vistage, an international organization of CEOs and business owners.  How to Contact Boaz – Want more information on Boaz’s Power Program, including “Playing Like a Championship Team Every Day”? Just click here and we’ll be in touch.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

We are in Forbes!

forbes imageWe have exciting news to share!

Forbes just ran one of our articles entitled, How Robots Will Change the Future of Marketing.

Please feel free to pass it along for those that you feel could benefit from the information. You can also read the article in full on our website here.

The Genius Within

By Dr. David Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. – Excerpt from the book, Power Vs. Force

Recognized geniuses may be rare, but genius resides within all of us. There’s no such thing as “luck” or “accident” in this cosmos; and not only is everything connected to everything else, no one is excluded from the universe – we’re all members. Consciousness, like physicality, is a universal reaching for litequality; because genius is a characteristic of consciousness, genius is also universal. It follows that that which is universal is available to each and every person.

The process of creativity and genius are inherent in human consciousness. Just as every human has within himself the same essence of consciousness, so is genius a potential that resides within everyone – it simply waits for the right circumstance to express itself. Each of us has had moments of genius in our lifetimes, perhaps only known to ourselves or to those close to us. We suddenly make a brilliant move or decision, or say exactly the right thing at the right moment, without quite knowing why. Sometimes we might even like to congratulate ourselves for these fortuitous events, but in truth we really don’t know where they came from.

Genius is often expressed through a change of perception – a modifying of context or paradigm. The mind struggles with an unsolvable problem, poses a question, and is open to receive an answer. The source that this answer comes from has been given many names, varying from culture to culture and time to time; in the arts of Western civilization, it’s traditionally been identified with the Greek goddesses of inspiration called the Muses. Those who are humble and grateful for illumination received tend to continue to have the capacity to access genius; those who credit the inspiration to their own ego soon lose this capacity or are destroyed by success. High power, like high voltage, must be handled with respect.

Genius and creativity, then, are subjectively experienced as a witnessing; it’s a phenomenon that bypasses the individual self or ego. The capacity to finesse genius can be learned – though often only through painful surrender – when the phoenix of genius arises out of the ashes of despair after a fruitless struggle with the unsolvable. Out of defeat comes victory; out of failure, success; and out of humbling, true self-esteem.

One of the problems in attempting to understand genius is that it takes near-genius to recognize it. The world frequently fails to identify genius altogether; society often gives acclaim to its work without noting the intrinsic genius of its creation itself. Until one acknowledges the intrinsic genius within oneself, one will have great difficulty recognizing it in others – we can only acknowledge without what we realize within. For example, Mikhail Gorbachev was the subject of enormous worldwide attention, but at the same time, the world never really did acknowledge his genius: Single-handedly, and in only a few short years, he completely revolutionized one of the greatest empires on Earth, and his only sources of power were his inspiration and vision. (Had the communist regime been based on power, nothing could have overturned it; because it was based on force, it was destined to come to an end under the hand of a charismatic leader who was aligned with power.)

Genius is one of the greatest untapped resources of our society. It’s no more specific than it is personal – people of genius frequently have multiple talents in different realms, and they might have answers to a diversity of problems. Yet society suffers a great loss because it doesn’t know how to nurture its geniuses, and in fact is often either indifferent or hostile to them. This is unfortunate, for they characteristically don’t cost much to maintain. The lifestyle of those we term genius is typically simple, and they’re seldom interested in money or fame. Genius is characterized by an appreciation for resources and the economy of integrity, because the genius values life and sees the intrinsic worth of all of its expressions. Since time and resources are considered precious, doing more than is necessary is viewed as a waste; therefore, people of genius often lead very quiet lives and usually only come forth, very reluctantly, when there’s a cause that must be supported.

painting your wayBecause they are in touch with an endless source of supply, geniuses experience only a minimum of want (such simplicity seems a common characteristic of true success in general) – for there’s no need to “get” when you already “have”. The basis of this nonmateriality, this seeming naïveté, is a radical understanding of the nature of the universe itself: That which supports life is supported by life; survival is thus effortless, and giving and receiving are one and the same.

Genius is notoriously interpreted as unconventionality or eccentricity. It’s true that such people, due to their alignment with high-energy attractors, have a different perspective on life; therefore, things have a different significance for them than they do for the average person. The genius is frequently inspired to intense activity by insights beyond our understanding.

Genius isn’t stardom – those who attain prominence are a very small minority. There remains a legion of geniuses who achieve no such status; many appear in no way noteworthy and may, in fact, have never had formal higher education. What characterizes this type is the capacity to exhaustively utilize what experience they have, and to capitalize on it by the dedication necessary to reach a high degree of mastery. Many productive geniuses aren’t recognized until years after they’ve died. In fact, the gift – or curse – of genius often brings about unfortunate consequences during such an individual’s lifetime.

One characteristic of genius is the capacity for great intensity, which is often expressed in a cyclic fashion. That is, the personality of the genius sometimes seems to incorporate polar extremes: When inspired, he may work 20 hours a day to realize a solution while it’s still fresh in his mind; these periods of intense activity tend to be interspersed with intervals of apparent stasis that are actually times of fermentation, which is a necessary part of the creative process. Geniuses understand the need to make space for ideas to crystallize, for creativity occurs under appropriate inner, not outer, circumstances. The stage is often set by complete distraction – we all know stories of people who have gotten the answers to complex problems while sitting in traffic on the freeway.

A primary reason that so many people fail to recognize, and therefore empower, their own genius is because in the popular mind, genius is confused with a high IQ. This is a gross misunderstanding, which has arisen from the fact that many celebrated geniuses in the fields of mathematics and physics indeed have high IQs; however, in those fields, the IQ necessary to comprehend the work is a prerequisite. It would be more helpful to see genius as simply an extraordinarily high degree of insight in a given area of human activity. After all, there are droves of noncerebral geniuses in many fields – such as art, music, design, and invention – whose innovative, creative talents fall within certain limited lite plantparameters.

Keep in mind that IQ is merely a measure of academic capacity for logically comprehending symbols and words. From our studies, it appears that the alignment of one’s goals and values with high-energy attractors is more closely associated with genius than anything else. Genius can be more accurately identified by perseverance, courage, concentration, enormous drive, and absolute integrity – talent alone is certainly not enough. Dedication of an unusual degree is required to achieve mastery, and in the simplest definition, one could say that genius is the capacity for an extraordinary degree of mastery in one’s calling. A formula followed by all geniuses, prominent or not, is: Do what you like to do best, and do it to the very best of your ability.

The following excerpt was taken from Power vs. Force, by David Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. (Hay House). David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally renowned psychiatrist, consciousness researcher, spiritual lecturer, and mystic. Author of more than eight books, including the bestseller Power vs. Force, Dr. Hawkins’s work has been translated into more than 17 languages. Website: www.veritaspub.com. It is available at amazon.com or directly through Hay House at http://www.hayhouse.com/power-vs-force-5 and all bookstores. Dr. Hawkins also has a new book, Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.

To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code and Cracking the Business Code, please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

 

Are You an Innovator or an Implementer?

By Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

[dropcaps type=”circle” color=”” background=””]I[/dropcaps]nnovation is necessary to solve problems, create new products and services, to use our time more effectively and most importantly, to grow. We often confuse creative ability with artistic ability. We believe truly creative people are those we see on the big screen, singers on the radio, or those on stage. This is a serious misconception.

litebulb treeWe each have creative ability. Have you enjoyed the experience of witnessing an auto mechanic who makes your car sing? Or the surgeon who operates with the intuitive ability of a Michelangelo? We have the ability to take our work, our companies and lift them to new levels, those of an art form. We have all seen the most creative geniuses as work – they are creative investors, marketing gurus, R & D specialist; have you ever needed an extremely creative accountant?

Creativity involves the ability of our brain to change, renew and recombine aspects of our lives. Creativity involves using our sixth sense, or intuition, to perceive the world and make use of our discoveries.

We are often afraid to try new ideas, as we develop attitudes about creativity that can keep us stuck in our world of safety. Attitudes like: It’s not important. I don’t have time. I already have the answer. I’m not creative. These cause us to miss opportunities that we find in an ever -changing world. When we become stuck, we run the risk of being quickly left behind.

What are we to do if we are not naturally gifted with creativity and intuitive ability? I believe that intuition comes from a part of the mind that brings ideas to consciousness. When we are in touch with our intuition, we are given a gift in being able to sense trends, danger and potential problems. It’s an unspoken dialogue within ourselves that serves us well, when we learn to trust it. Most of us have had the experience of “not listening to our gut”. We would have been better off if we had. Intuition points us in the direction we need to follow. Our intuition takes place when we are in touch with ourselves, we know it is working when things make sense all of a sudden – memories, fantasies and the sixth sense we pick up from other people.

The issue with creativity is not always knowing the right answers, but knowing the right questions. As a leader, it is not our job to have the answers. It is our job to question the answers. This is tough for most entrepreneurs to accept. Because of our personalities we rarely display the patience to coach our people. It is far easier and quicker to give them the answers.

The Goldsmith Innovation/Implementation Index (G3I) determines how innovative we are and how well we implement. The personalities with the strongest levels of creativity are often those who are inflexible and do not deal with others very well. Ludwig von Beethoven, Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill are all examples of those who have tremendous creativity; just don’t expect them to be warm, friendly, accommodating and cooperative. Creative people have a vision in mind, their difficulty is expressing it to others. They frustrate themselves, as well as others, with their inability to effectively communicate. If you would like to find out if you are an “Innovator” or an “Implementer,” the G3I is available for free on my website at: http://www.bartongoldsmith.com/G3I.php.ladder to litebulb

The advantages and disadvantages of both “Innovators” and “Implementers” are equally weighted. Each is capable of running a business and creating wealth, but those with higher scores tend to be less able to work for someone else. What we have seen with the 10,000 business owners who have taken this survey is that those with higher scores tend to be in start up and riskier businesses or investments. Those with lower scores tend to be in second and third generation family businesses and are more conservative investors. The entrepreneur tends to be more innovative than a corporate CEO, these results could be a predisposition (nature) or a result of personal experiences (nurture). The ability to learn and apply new thinking is more of an innovative process while the ability to learn and apply new tasks is more of an “Implementer.” High “Innovators” tend to have more disadvantages and advantages than high “Implementers” do — this means that “Innovators” have a more complex personality than “Implementers” do, they tend to have more traits, both better and worse. Other notable differences are that “Implementers” have the ability to attend to detail in ways that “Innovators” sometimes find impossible. Also the incidence of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is much higher in “Innovators” than “Implementers”, at a ratio of eight to one. This sub group also tended to be the most successful Entrepreneurs, as most had two or more income streams or businesses. The “Innovators” also confessed to being C/B students, where the “Implementers” were B/A students, most likely because of their ability to deal with detail.

Here are some tips for greater innovation:

  1. Get in touch with your intuition. What does your inner voice say about the situation? Rather than dealing with a situation strictly from an objective standpoint, stop and try to listen to your gut feeling.
  2. Try something new. Open yourself to new ideas by looking at the situation from someone else’s point of view (ie: your client, Walt Disney, Einstein, etc.), “How would they improve this?” “What would they do to ‘tweak’ it?”
  3. Find new avenues for creativity. Do something totally outside of your box. Make a commitment to try something new once a week, once a month or even once a season.
  4. Allow yourself to make a mistake. Not an easy thing to do, but give yourself the freedom to mess something up. The reason most of us become successful is because we’ve made lots of mistakes. In my business people don’t get fired for failing, they get fired for not trying.
  5. You don’t always need to know all the answers, so give yourself a break from such high standards. Find some Masterminds (people who know more than you do) and ask them some questions. Don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel.
  6. Be curious about things. Train yourself to ask open-ended questions rather than giving answers. If you really want a creative answer… ask a child.

Finally, a thought from Dana Borowka, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC (www.lighthouseconsulting.com), that hiring the right people is key to innovation and future growth. If you would like additional information on raising the hiring bar, please click here to see an article on this subject.

We hope you have fun with this article and taking the Goldsmith Innovation /Implementation Index (G3I) to discover your own creativity and internal resources.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014

For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations worldwide have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and author. Since 2002, his weekly column, Emotional Fitness, which is syndicated by Scripps Howard News Service, and has been featured in over 200 newspapers. He is also currently writing a weekly blog for Psychology Today. Dr. Goldsmith has published Emotional Fitness at Work – 6 Strategic Steps to Success Using the Power of Emotion, the third in the Emotional Fitness book series and his most recent book, 100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence – Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too. Dr. Goldsmith also hosts a weekly radio show on KCLU/NPR, with nearly 90,000 listeners in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. He has been interviewed on numerous TV/radio shows and for many publications. He can be contacted through his website at: www.BartonGoldsmith.com or at (866) 5-BARTON.

If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, dana@lighthouseconsulting.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.

Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement. To order the books, Cracking the Personality Code and Cracking the Business Code please go to www.lighthouseconsulting.com.