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Overcoming Fear to Grow

By Paul David Walker, CEO of Genius Stone Partners

Each insight is a flash of seeing into the true nature of things, and leads to another, providing you act on the first; if you don’t, the spark dies, and an opportunity is missed. Being in “the zone,” simply described, is one insight after another acted upon in the flow of cause and effect. It is like dancing in perfect harmony with a band. Dancing to the rhythm and flow of the moment brings out our soul’s calling and our natural genius, both of which have yearned to be expressed most of our lives.

As insight expands it can create momentum and turn into a compelling vortex that draws energy like a giant storm draws air. There is an attraction that brings in all manner of opportunities as people, near and far, see a familiar intent and join an energy field that feels like their tribe; like going home again.

The key to creating a chain response of insights is our ability to act in the moment before the flash of insight fades. A professional athlete has the muscle memory from years of practice in a given sport to respond in this manner. But can business teams do the same? Why not? Most have years of experience in their business. It is a matter of practicing the art of connecting insight to action as a basketball player responding during the flow of the game. A team of athletes has to practice so that when opportunity presents itself, it is ready to act as a team in a fast break. Likewise a business team needs to do the same. This is the kind of team that wins.

Fight or Flight Syndrome

On the other hand, when we are fearful, we move into “Fight or Flight.” This will be engaged when we are attacked on the street as well as when we feel threatened in a conversation. Our ego does not seem to know the difference. Any threat throws us into this syndrome automatically. It is a primal instinct that as been very useful to our survival ever since we lived in tribes.

What happens when we are in “fight or flight” is our blood runs from our internal organs to our arms and legs to give us power to run or fight. Additionally, our consciousness narrows to focus on the threat. So instead of being in “the zone,” as described above, the opposite occurs. Tribal warfare erupts and the wisdom of the team is lost.

As they are often threatened, police officers train at least twice a month on the firing range and in other ways mainly because of this syndrome. Given this primal instinct they and their weapons become dangerous. They have to work hard to overcome this primal instinct, to enforce the law in a constitutional manner. The people who live in underprivileged inner cities who are often exposed to random violence find themselves
in “fight or flight” constantly.

Experts have tested children as young 7 years old and find they suffer from PTSD. Police officers trying to enforce the law, in neighborhoods full of people who are hyper-vigilant easily snap into fight or flight, is a deadly combination. How productive would your team be if they were exposed to constant threat?

Insight Drives Results

An insight is a combination of two or more ideas merging to create a reality previously unknown, vs. two or more personal realities needing to be right while being fearful. One has an expansive, curious, and inclusive feeling. The observer and the observed becoming one to uncover new realities, paths, and understandings. Fear creates just the opposite effect.

Fight or flight combined with another primal instinct the “need to be right,” can create “tribal warfare” with your company or team. Imagine a team of people who feel threatened and have a deep need to be right trying to solve business problems together. Only with practice do we learn to manage our primal instincts, but do not underestimate the tricks our egos can play on us.

Stimulate Insight And Action, Not Fights

Leaders have to work to inspire people to exceed their own expectations without putting members of the team into fight or flight. A company only grows as fast as those leading the company. Great teams question the status quo, and collaborate to understand new realities, then act on solutions that lead to manifestation. Yet most people feel threatened by change, so it is imperative that leaders manage the state of mind of themselves and the team. One of the CEO’s I work with, Celso Pierre of Goodridge Americas, developed the following values for his team to facilitate growth.

We Work Together To …

• Bring a sense of possibility beyond the status quo
• Examine possibilities until solutions emerge
• Align our intentions to drive solutions

As this example illustrates, a clear and compelling picture of the desired state is important. It is an aspirational statement that provides an understanding and a draw towards the ideal. A picture of a common goal creates insight as we succeed or fail that is self-correcting in a positive manner. Insights that uncover hidden realities that are successfully acted upon create engagement. The purpose is for you and/or your team, as observer of the ideal, to become one with it, then create a new ideal. Since a leader must confront old ideas to grow, this takes practice and skill.

The assumption that fuels insight is understanding that there is no limit to what we can create together. As an individual, I find that if I capture insights as they occur, not letting them fade, and take action, even deeper insights emerge. To facilitate this I always have my journal at hand to capture, understand and expand insights before the clarity fades. I allow time in my schedule to reflect.

So when I work with a team I set a safe context to avoid fight or flight, while asking people to reflect on new ideas before acting. Likewise a team should have time as individuals to reflect in a safe environment with the purpose of discovering “possibility beyond the status quo.” Business leaders who make this a priority tend to lead their sectors.

The Habit of Reflection

After a success it is easy for us to fall back into old patterns and primal behaviors, as individuals and teams. So it is important that personal, professional and business growth is the default setting. Insight into the true nature of things followed by action invents futures that provide strategic advantage. To win consistently we have to teach each other, and those that follow us, how to create a state of mind around insight that is similar to athletes “in the zone.” Each time I learn something my state of mind is lifted and I become committed to new levels of action. The same is true with teams. When creating insight is a natural habit, higher states of mind will drive intent and performance at all levels.

Paul David Walker, CEO & Founder of Genius Stone Partners, and works with domestic and international companies to improve their bottom line today and planning for the future. Paul is one of the few CEO coaches who has worked with numerous Fortune 500 CEOs and their key staff members for over 25 years along with many mid-cap organizations. Some of the organizations that Paul has worked with include Star Kist Foods, Von’s Grocery Stores, New York Life, Anne Klein, Rockwell International countless manufacturing, global utilities, service and consulting organizations. Paul is the author of the best selling book, Unleashing Genius and his new book, Invent Your Future – 7 Imperatives for a 21st Century.  You can reach Paul at pauldavidwalker@geniusstone.com or call him at 562-233-7861.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2019 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. 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.

 

12 Tips on How to Think Clearly and Not Let Fear Control You

Excerpt from the book, Cracking the Business Code

We have an interesting relationship with fear. Many people enjoy scary movies and books, such as Psycho and The Shining. The occasional (or not so occasional) visit to the amusement parks for thrilling rollercoaster rides also seems to keep the adrenaline flowing. We look forward to Halloween where we can dress up as rather frightening characters. That’s when our relationship with fear is exciting, even fun. This isn’t too surprising, since these types of situations give us a monsterfair amount of control over fear. Yet, what do we do with situations where our relationship with fear isn’t fun or a thrill? In fact, there are probably times where everyone has felt that fear is out of control, and that is downright terrifying.

Watch Out for Those Monsters!

Most can remember times when as a child, we were greatly concerned over going to bed due to ‘The Monsters’ under the bed. Or as one of my friends insist… those monsters were on the ceiling! Pretty scary stuff back then, but what about now? How does fear show up in our lives and do we handle it as well as we would like to? Dealing with fear isn’t really fun, and many people would like to avoid or deny it. Harry Emerson Fosdick once said, “Whatever else you can run away from, you can’t run away from yourself.” Fear is much like our shadow – no matter how hard we run, it’s going to dog us.

12 Tips to Managing Fear

Fear or stress can feel overwhelming at times. So, how can we manage it better? The following are some ideas to getting a handle on fear, so you can think clearly:

1. Get a reality check on fear. Fear can become bigger and bigger in our minds until it takes on unrealistic proportions. Discuss your anxiety or concerns with others to discover what is real and what isn’t. An example would be the individual who fears failure in everything he or she wants to do, where in reality that individual has always been successful. That person needs to change his/her perspective.

2. Break the mesmerism of fear. It is very easy to obsess over fear. Breaking the pattern, taking a break, finding a distraction, getting support, etc. can help. This isn’t to say that we should ignore our anxieties, but obsessing over them won’t help us to resolve them any faster or to enjoy life more.

3. Anxiety can help us to grow. George Herbert once said, “Storms make oaks take deeper root.” It can be very uncomfortable and even terrifying to face our fears, but at the same time, we can develop a more stable foundation in ourselves. Usually, as we develop a pattern of facing and overcoming scary situations, we become stronger and surer in ourselves.

4. Find a balance between working on your own issues and helping others. As Lewis Carroll stated, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.” Finding ways to help others, by volunteering and such, can help put our own fears into perspective. Additionally, use your own experiences with fear to help others to deal with their anxiety. It is an interesting phenomenon in life that when we assist others, we in turn grow and help ourselves at the same time.

5. Develop a support network. It is much easier to face fear and difficulties with the help of others. Find someone who can gently, but firmly help you to handle the anxiety and not to enable your fears.

6. Pick your battles carefully. Don’t try to resolve everything at once. If possible, work on one fear at a time and use small steps to making change. For example, when I have worked on my shyness, I have chosen where to push myself and where to back off. When I attend parties, I develop guidelines for what small step to work on and what is ok, like allowing myself a period of time to adjust to the situation.

7. There is a time and a place for everything. In a world where many people believe problems must be fixed ASAP, I have a different theory about fear and change. I believe that when pain or distress around a problem increases to a level that is higher and more intense than our fear, then we make the change. Everyone has a certain pacing and to push too hard and fast can end in failure and frustration.

8. Don’t give up and let it take over. The old saying to get back on the horse, after it has bucked you off, is so true. Plus, the longer we wait to get back on that old horsy, the person climbing mountainharder it will be.

9. Find your anchor. What is your true purpose in life? What is your top priority? Find something solid to trust in, something to lean upon. I once read, “Not until tomorrow do we sometimes see clearly enough to appreciate the gifts of today.” I try not to live for tomorrow, so each day I strive to appreciate that I can get up and enjoy the sun shining, listen to the birds chirping and see the trees waving in the wind. When the waves of fear or stress start to rise, it is important to have something to anchor your ship to.

10. Watch out for addictive behavior. Many people use substances (like alcohol, drugs or food), events (like sex or shopping) and even people to numb out fear. If you find this to be true for you, seek out help.

11. Use resources to manage the anxiety. There are many good avenues to controlling fear – mediation, yoga, exercise, support groups, counseling, writing, art, self-help books, etc. The Internet is also quite helpful in gathering new ideas and information. For those suffering from chronic anxiety or panic attacks, the Anxiety Panic Internet Resource (www.algy.com/anxiety) has some helpful tips.

12. Seek out help. When anxiety is out of control or you constantly get stuck when trying to resolve an issue, get help from mentors, a business coach, counselors, friends, clergy, etc. If fear is an obstacle that prevents you from doing things you want or need to do, then you probably need assistance.

Making the Growth Choice

Stewart Emory once said, “The absence of fear is not an option that is available to most people. People are looking for that, but that is just not an option. The difference between sailboatpeople who are really making it in the world and the people who are not is simple: The people who are making it in the world are making it and they have fear.” He then continues, “To go forward we need to make the growth choice. The fear choice is to retreat to comfort and avoid the fear. The growth choice is to take fear as a companion and move ahead. To have a life that is a joyful adventure, we need to be willing to take the risk. Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway.” We can’t eliminate fear, but we can find ways to manage it so we can move forward on to achieve our goals and dreams.

Discussion Points

As we move into the new year, hiring the right team member can reduce the fear of missing goals, help to improve interpersonal communication, create opportunities and bring fun back into the work place. It is helpful to remember that we all need assistance when it comes to dealing with fear. So please feel free to share this article with team members, staff and friends. It also makes for a great discussion for your next meeting. Here are a few questions to consider:

♦ What was your biggest fear in the last year and how did you deal with it?
♦ Any particular fear that you have for the new year?
♦ Discuss some small steps to conquering that fear.
♦ What are some ways you can reach out for support?
♦ How can you change how you might usually deal with a stressful situation?
♦ What are some things you would like to accomplish in the new year?
♦ What are some measurable steps to achieve these goals?

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2017  This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her 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. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and 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 & 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.

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/.

Dealing with Uncertainty

By Dana & Ellen Borowka

It can be very easy to feel shaken, when a part of our lives seems uncertain.  If we get yelled at, honked at while driving, or when personal or professional relationships feel unsteady. If our financial situation, the economy, international or local community seems to be on edge, or if we ofc on worldexperience a loss, that can all lead to feeling as if the carpet has just been pulled out from underneath us. What we thought was solid, now feels shattered and fragile. Some may go with the flow and just figure life has its ups and downs. While others may be devastated and can barely get up in the morning.  How can we deal with these situations when they come up, so that we don’t shut down?

Dealing with change

Sometimes we just need to be patient and supportive with ourselves, like taking a break and realizing life may not look the same as it did before.  People, who had been in a close relationship, may not be available to us in the same way.  Things do change; the earth is not standing still. It is constantly moving and rotating, yet as human beings we look for some form of stability.  We may need to reframe for ourselves how we view the core of our existence and that can be very scary.  However, if we are basing our security on how we think things should be when that is founded on shaky ground, then we need to begin with what we are really looking for. Sometimes evaluating our core values can be very helpful. Gaining greater insight into ourselves can help us to grow to meet the challenges.

The 1994 California Northridge earthquake

Most of us recall the 1994 Northridge earthquake that caused major damage not only in Northridge but also in many outlying areas like Santa Monica. Many residential buildings in Santa Monica were severely damaged where residents were not allowed back into their homes. The building, where we lived at the time, was badly damaged and we were concerned if it would be red tagged. Like many people during this crisis, we felt much uncertainty of what would happen to our home. Yet, we took some decisive steps to bring a level of stability to our situation and reduce the anxiety.

Tips for finding stability

We’ve come up with several ideas for you to consider when things in our lives seem to be unsteady:

  • Seek support. It is important to reach out to others not only for friendship and personal connection, but also to get feedback on what is going on in one’s life.   It’s also very helpful to get a reality check so to keep problems in perspective.  After the earthquake, we sought out friends who provided support and ideas in dealing with the challenging situation as well as insisting in helping us to clean up and repair the damage to our home.  One friend invited us to stay with her overnight, made dinner for us and even brought bottled water for our little bird!  Connection with others helps us to take the steps to deal with our challenges.
  • Maintain a routine to help provide a feeling of stability.  Be sure to do the things that bring you joy and to take care of yourself.  Sometimes, people stop doing their hobbies or exercise when things feel unstable.  Yet, it’s those things that can help to bring down the stress level.  If you go to the gym or enjoy a book club, then keep doing that.  Don’t stop living.  In fact, seek out various ways to reduce your stress, like renting a movie or going to the beach.  However, avoid relying on addictive substances or habits like drugs, alcohol or food to deal with your concerns.
  • Don’t let fear consume you.  Worrying about something never seems to make the problem or concern go away or even to make the situation better.  Find ways to vent that anxiety, whether through talking with a friend or going for a walk.  Again, getting another view point on the situation may help to bring that mountain of fear down to a people on worldmole hill or something that you are comfortable in managing.  After the earthquake, we were very concerned that we might lose our home.  Yet, we took proactive steps to reduce the fear.  We talked with a structural engineer and others to gain perspective on the situation.  We spent time with friends and neighbors, not only to talk about what happened, but also to provide support to others.
  • Find your center.  A boat is more secure when anchored or tied to something whether a buoy or dock.  The same is true for us.  We can weather the challenges of life better when we have a foundation, something solid to lean upon.  That may involve strong family or friendship ties, deep spiritual beliefs and study or using some kind of practice like mediation or yoga or hikes to center one’s self.
  • Make small improvements.  There may be things you can do to bring more stability, to reduce the stress level or create a more productive, satisfying environment for yourself.  Look around and discover what small goals you can develop for yourself.  It may be finding ways to show appreciation to your co-workers or clients, improving a system at work or starting up a personal hobby at home.

We would love to hear from you as what you do to help yourself get through hard times and to bring balance back into your life.  If you send your ideas back to us, we’ll share them in future Keeping on Track publications.

How to deal with uncertainty for staff

We have found that companies can assist their staff members during uncertain times by addressing those issues during team meetings.  Here are some tips for connecting with staff to reduce stress:

♦ Provide an open forum to address concerns.
♦ Explore any issues with productivity or staff morale.
♦ Do reality checks and address media rumors and economic/business concerns.
♦ Discuss business and personal opportunities for new markets, valuing the customer and appreciating those close to us.
♦ Explore next steps – some positive ways to deal with concerns.

Approaching our challenges

The main objective is to not let fear control us and to not allow it to control our professional or personal lives. Every day brings new challenges. The best way to approach these challenges is to not react, but know that there are solutions and options. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in planting bizwomanmoments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

We can learn from our challenges, we can learn new ways to work through issues and concerns. Instead of reacting to a problem or fear, we can ask ourselves: What can I do differently to handle this? What can I learn from this? When things feel uncertain, the temptation may be to hide under the covers or lash out at someone or something that has nothing to do with the issue. We may look at the problem with a dismal perspective, when we may need to view things with a realistic viewpoint.

Challenges become opportunity

Uncertain times push us outside of our comfort zone and no one likes that. John F. Kennedy once said, “When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents the danger and the other represents opportunity.” It is during those challenging times that we learn the most, gain the most insight into ourselves. Then we experience a great sense of accomplishment… overcoming the fear of uncertainty, the fear of the unknown.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Dana Borowka, MA, CEO and Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC with their 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. They have over 25 years of business and human behavioral consulting experience. They are nationally renowned speakers and radio personalities on this topic. They are the authors 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 & 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.

 

Having Doubts

By Ellen Borowka

– Have you found that sometimes it can be so hard to believe in yourself?
– Do you think you will fail before you even try?
– Do you settle for something less than you are capable of or desire in your life?

I have and I’m sure that I am not alone. These doubts and fears can be so paralyzing, so overwhelming that sometimes they become the obstacle we end up fighting against. At times, we may let these doubts push us to lower our aim for what we want. We settle for something less or stay in unchallenging, unhappy, unfulfilling situations only because they feel safe or familiar. Does this sound familiar? Then have I got a story for you!

I remember when I was considering whether to go to graduate school, but I almost didn’t go. I had many doubts, like “it’s too late to go back to school”, “I’m not smart enough”, heavy load“I’ll fail”. Yet, my friends and family encouraged and even pushed me to try and I did. Today, I have a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and I work with companies to assist their staff and management to be more successful as well as have greater job satisfaction.

So, what are some ways to overcome the doubts and to start to trust in yourself? Here are some tips:

Build & utilize a strong network of people

It’s much easier to endure and win a race when you have people along the way to cheer you on. We need each other to get over the bumps and around the curves of the road. People who tend to be the most successful in life are those who reach out to others for help. We don’t have all the answers, all the information, and others can help provide different options and support. Some to include in your network would be: friends, family, co-workers, mentors, clergy, counselors, etc. An important element is who to choose to be a part of your support system. Look for those who can support your growth with compassion and honesty.

Persist to the end

Don’t allow yourself to rationize why you should stop or not try. Don’t give up or allow yourself to think you are trapped in a situation. Some put aside their dreams or their needs, because they think they have reached a dead end. Look to your resources to pull yourself out of that. Further, some even decide to be a victim or martyr, and tell themselves that it is someone else’s fault or they don’t have what they want or need. Avoid such destructive and useless roles. Keep looking for ways to move beyond the doubts. There is a way around the obstacle.

Dive in deep

Fears and doubts are usually attached to deep issues – beliefs about ourselves and others that we have picked up from our family, culture or society. It can be helpful to explore these areas to not only gain insight, but to break through an impasse. It’s not pleasant to look in our emotional and mental mirror, but something helpful to remember is to keep a balance when taking a mental inventory. While it’s important to be candid with yourself on what needs to be worked on. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up about your flaws. We all have imperfections – even those who just seem to sail through life without any problems. We are human and part of that humanity is to learn and grow through horse & riderissues. Some places to start are: Self-help books, support groups, counseling, journaling, art, music, church or temple.

Visualize the ‘impossible’

We have all heard how powerful the mind is. The possibilities are greater than we can even imagine. As the White Queen said to Alice in one of Lewis Carroll’s books, Through the Looking-Glass – “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”.  Then she counseled Alice to practice such a necessary skill.  So, it’s no surprise that how we imagine a situation or project might go can greatly impact us and how we will do. On the other hand, when we push ourselves to visualize success – incredible things start to happen. Just as powerful is what we say to ourselves every day. When we tell ourselves that we will fail, then it’s more likely that negative consequences will occur. Strive to halt such negative and hurtful self-talk. Rather than beating yourself down for a mistake or flaw – work to alter this inner voice to acknowledge your strengths, your talents, and your intrinsic qualities. Even directly combating negative issues, like if you tell yourself the same negative things before starting a project then push yourself to appreciate something about yourself.

Grow spiritually

Doubts can have a way of dissolving when we can look to a power that is greater than ourselves. This can mean many things to many different people like God or love, the universe and so on. Learn more about that power and what it means to you. Integrate it more deeply into your life and explore your spiritual qualities where strength can come from to overcome the doubts.

Breaking through the doubts – to believe in yourself and all you can achieve is possible. Use your resources by looking to those around you and deep within yourself. This will aid you in winning the race. A race where you have all you need within to finish. A race where you have already won before you even begin.

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her 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. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and 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 & 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.

 

 

Are You Prepared to Lead the Way – or Has Fear Got Your Focus?

By Dana & Ellen Borowka

Recently, we have had a number of conversations with CEOs and key executives regarding what they are planning for their businesses for the new year. We have found two categories of individuals. Those that have a vision through listening to others in the market place, reaching out for support, gathering industry data, looking for trends and opportunities. The other group is totally focused on overhead reduction, darting around and focusing on the bad news in the world, taxes, health man buried in paperbills, and any information that they can grab onto to help justify why they are so scared.

Here is the Question for the Day

Which category do you fit into? Your answer will determine how your company is doing today and will be doing in the future. Those that think they know everything are closing themselves off from amazing opportunities.

Certainly all companies need to be constantly looking at overhead and keeping up with the news. However, when the focus is fear driven then our thoughts begin to justify our fears. That wastes time as it creates the continual loop of fear, depression, anxiety, etc.

The group that is forward thinking has a completely different outlook on life. That’s not to say that they don’t have concerns but rather they are using this time to plan ahead, remain clear headed and open to ideas. That is the key – to be still enough in order to listen. Then act on what we are seeing as immediate and future potential for new products and services, improvement in retention of current business as well as ideas for gaining additional market share.

Your focus will tell you immediately where you stand! First, we will explore leadership and how to deal with the fear. Then we’ll share what a group of business owners did that has separated them from many other companies.

How to Become a Vision-Focused Leader

The answer is leadership. It is time to become a vision-focused leader around whom issues can be raised and resolved productively. That’s the view of Suzanne and Dwight Frindt, the founders of 2130 Partners, a leadership development and education firm that facilitates focused vision, inspired teams, and sustained commitment for its clients and co-authors of Accelerate: High Leverage Leadership for Today’s World

Ask yourself these questions:

• Are your conversations with your team generating the results you want?
• Does your team successfully raise and resolve issues relevant to business success?
• Can you identify and deal with emotional upsets, in both yourself and others?

Exactly what is this leadership that is vision-focused? “We love Warren Bennis’ definition: ‘Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it,’” says Suzanne Frindt. “Our approach is the same whether we are working with individuals or with entire leadership teams. We believe the greatest opportunities are created by the development of people and action in a coordinated direction. We assert that the only sustainable strategies engage the heart and soul and are simultaneously grounded in sound business practices.”

Power of Shared Vision

In a 1996 article in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Building Your Company’s Vision,” Jim Collins and Jerry Porras said that companies that enjoy enduring success have a core purpose and core values that remain fixed while their strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. The rare ability to balance continuity and change—requiring a MC900297401[1]consciously practiced discipline—is closely linked to the ability to develop a vision.

“Without a vision, what is the point?” says Suzanne Frindt. “A Yonder Star unleashes the energy to galvanize yourself and your employees so you can achieve phenomenal things.”

When group members share a vision, it creates an opportunity for totally different conversations between a manager and members of their team. Focus on the shared vision creates alignment and provides a powerful context for creating mission, strategic initiatives, objectives, goals, roles, and finally all the way down through action plans.

Being a manager means making choices. At any moment in time you have a decision to make. Suzanne urges that when it comes time to make a decision being present in the moment, not on automatic pilot, is essential to the quality and relevance of the decision. You can then make the choice based on your Yonder Star, your shared vision of something to which you aspire, versus more of the same or your fear of some worst-case scenario.

“Worries are about envisioning a worst-case scenario, what you fear most,” says Suzanne Frindt. “Whatever we envision is affecting us right now. What we envision impacts us in this moment. There are consequences for managing based on fears that you may not want. Your Yonder Star is the shared vision you aspire to. The star is what you envision, and what you envision shapes both the present moment and the quality of your choices about your actions.”

Something else she recommends avoiding is being past-focused. This is when you make decisions based solely on what you have done in the past. Instead of having an inspiring vision for your team, all you are working for with a past based focus is attempting to minimize perceived risk and making incremental improvements.

“Many companies are past-focused when they do strategic planning,” says Suzanne Frindt. “What did the company do last year and then let’s add 10 percent or 20 percent. We are all tempted to try hard to make yesterday look like today. Or if we didn’t like yesterday, then we try to make it different or better.”

She adds that only by having a vision, a Yonder Star, can teams create breakthroughs to unprecedented results. Equally important is that it is a shared vision, one that is based on shared values and shared operating principles. This is how you create an environment for real collaboration.

Overcoming Emotional Barriers

“The ability to identify and clear upsets, in myself and others, is the single most significant key to productivity gains in our economy today,” says Dwight Frindt. “We have asked our executive-leadership clients a simple question: ‘What time could you go home if everyone in the company simply came to work, did their jobs, and went home?’ The answer used tomen with ladders and wall surprise us until it kept being repeated. On average, our clients say, ‘Between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.’”

That begs a second question. If so many executives claim they could go home before lunch if everyone just showed up and did their work, what’s taking so much of our leaders’ time? The Frindts’ clients tell them flat out: distress, commonly known as upsets. The most time-consuming part of their job is managing the distressed interactions within their teams so that those teams can actually get to the business at hand.

“Even if executives will never be able to consistently leave by noon, it is entirely reasonable for them to expect to save at least two hours of their time, every day. Alternatively they could increase their productivity 15–30%” says Dwight Frindt.

That’s nearly 500 extra hours a year leaders can devote to creative thinking, visioning, and strategizing rather than on repairing relationships and soothing bruised egos. At the opportunity cost of most executives’ time, that amounts to very substantial savings. Of course, the same can be said for everyone in the organization. An inordinate amount of productive time and payroll dollars and worse yet, opportunities, are lost daily, monthly and annually to the distraction caused by unresolved emotional distress.

Replacing that time, energy, and resource loss is of paramount importance. Doing so can create a culture that is both highly productive and emotionally resilient and rewarding. It requires a fundamental, transformative shift in two steps: 1) fewer emotionally driven issues in the workplace; and 2) leaders and their team members becoming self-sufficient in handling emotional distress issues when they occur.

“Let’s clarify what we mean by emotional distress,” says Dwight Frindt. “We’re using the term to summarize a wide range of reactions that temporarily disable people with regard to thoughtful and productive behavior. These reactions can vary from mild frustration to full-blown anger, and include embarrassment, sadness, impatience, agitation, worry, and fear. In each case the person is left in a condition where, whether realized or not, they are acting as if their very survival is threatened.”

The Causes of Emotional Distress

The Frindts’ studies and their clients’ experiences make it clear that the most common root causes of workplace emotional distress are 1) the perception that a promise has been broken (usually by leadership); 2) when positive intentions “fail”; and 3) when commitments seem thwarted. In addition to these three internal triggers, there are many times when personal distress is brought to the workplace from the rest of the person’s life. These other sources can be especially difficult to address, due to varying perspectives on what constitutes personal-professional boundaries.

The impact on the productivity and organizational effectiveness of people attempting to work while “stressed out” (or surrounded by others who are) is enormous. Yet it’s been the Frindts’ observation that most leaders overlook this as the place to start any efforts in business improvement. Most are far more comfortable with cost cutting, process development, process improvement, reorganizing, or some other business change that does not directly address the human dimension.

Long Term Vision & Working the Plan

Back in 2006/2007, a group of business owners saw the writing on the wall regarding the long term economic change. While some people thumbed their noses at the possibility and buried their heads in the sand… purely out of fear. The forward looking group sought feedback from others who had been through similar business cycles and discovered the following ideas:

  1. Create your vision: The goal is to have a long range vision for your company.man on ladder peeling sky
  2. Think outside your box: What else can you provide? What other opportunities can you look at? What are some other possibilities that will help others to fulfill their vision?
  3. What is needed: Listen to the market place and offer valuable services.
  4. Know your numbers: Where are you and where are you going?
  5. Work the plan: Develop measurable marketing, sales, financial, internal operations plans then execute and don’t wait. This avoids waste and preserves valuable resources. Through proper planning the dollars can be used to gain market share while other organizations could be financially drained and in a constant state of fear! The forward business group took a three year outlook and developed various action plans and worked the plan.
  6. Be on the lookout for top “A” and “B” players for hiring top people who have vision.
  7. Team vision: Have clear goals and objectives for all staff members.
  8. For new hires at all levels do the most thorough interviewing based on 30-60-90-180-12 month goals.
  9. Do in-depth work style and personality assessment testing to get a clear picture of who you are about to bring aboard to best manage the individuals so they can be successful.
  10. Maintain a collaborative team environment where everyone can provide input to create internal efficiencies, all are listening to customer and market needs, and respond in a timely way so your company is always engaged as the business environment has needs.

This is the time to be moving forward by offering fresh ideas, solutions, and support that will add value to all those you come in contact with and in return your business will thrive!

Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.

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.

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