On Jan 31, 2012
The other day I read1:
"The source and center of all man's creative power - the power that above all others lifts him above the level of brute creation, and gives him dominion, is his power of making images, or the power of imagination."
"Imagination pictures the thing you desire. VISION idealizes it. It reaches beyond the thing that is, into the conception of what can be. Imagination gives you the picture. Vision gives you the impulse to make the picture your own."
Do these quotes resonate with you?
Do those quotes help you understand what people mean when they say things like:
- What's your Corporate VISION?
- Can I see your VISION Statement?
Do you agree:
- Leaders must have a Vivid VISION?
- Leaders must capture and communicate their Vivid VISION?
- Leaders must lead-by-example along the path to their Vivid VISION? Imagination?
What about IMAGINATION?
How important is it for Leaders to possess the power of IMAGINATION?
Do you agree, IMAGINATION is Invigorating...both to the owner of it and to those it affects?
I have been interested in IMAGINATION and VISION for many years. And, my interest increased as I took on supervisory, then managerial, then leadership roles. Now, looking back, I better understand the errors I have made in business
and with People
. One of those mistakes was not explaining things well enough: not explaining what I was thinking, assuming people heard and processed my words the same way I said and intended them, etc. That was a major communication problem. Often, the words we think we say are not actually the words we say. And, often, the words we say mean different things to other People....even when they are doing everything they know to try to listen, to understand, and to follow.
To help fix my communication problem I now define words. So, when I read words like those of Robert Collier, quoted above, I use those words to firm up and clarify the words we often use but rarely troubleshoot for shared meaning. As examples:
IMAGINATION: the source of creative power: creating images in the mind, picturing things in your mind's eye
VISION: holding the mind's-eye picture of the thing you desire, seeing beyond the things that are and conceiving and idealizing what can be, and communicating the desire you idealize to other People
On Jan 27, 2012
Many important words begin with 'in'.
One important Inword that cropped up several times this week is: INITIATE.
Seth Godin cited Initiative as the #1 imperative for future business and Lorie Saxby and I spent time honing a definition...
INITIATE: to commence thought or action aligned with goals
Spirited Leaders defines words to maximize the likelihood of communication...we have found clarity of message is critical.
Spirited Leaders has defined another Inword - INTEGRITY. We saw a need for that. INTEGRITY - a word that too often is taken too lightly. For example, years ago Integrity was cited in the Enron website as a corporate Value. [Perhaps a clear definition of the word might have helped the folks at Enron.]
Here's another Inword that's at the core of Spirited Leaders: INSPIRE.
And our definition...
INSPIRE: to exert an animating, enlivening influence on; to encourage, impel & motivate; to excite and impart motion; to bolster focused action
Spirited Leaders' mantra is: INSPIRE PEOPLE, GROW PROFITS!
A few more important Inwords:
- INTROSPECTION: this is all about self-analysis and self-knowledge, which paves the path for self-monitoring and self-regulation...key things for leaders who want to
- INSIGHT: the capacity of understanding hidden truths, especially about people's character and situations
- INTENTION: allowing wisdom, judgment, and volition to guide thoughts and actions
- INFLUENCE...and, of course, INFLUENCE is something leaders must do. Leaders also need to pay attention to their
- INTUITION. The largest mistakes I have made in business have happened when I have ignored my INTUITION. Laziness and logic should not take precedent over INTUITION. When laziness kicks in, as it tends to do from time to time, Leaders need to figure out how to set aside the facts and figures and opinions and check out gut feel.
- INVIGORATE themselves and other people. The words INVIGORATE and INSPIRE cover similar territory...important territory. When people are INSPIRED and INVIGORATED their fears have less hold on them. They are more confident and that confidence enables
- INVENTION and INNOVATION. Business Leaders know the status quo is not good enough. And, INVENTION and INNOVATION are remedies for the status quo. To quote Seth Godin, "The relentless act of invention, innovation, and initiative is the best marketing asset there is."
That's enough Inwords for now.
On Jan 26, 2012
Business Leaders: do you have a Selling Purpose?
Here is the way Spencer Johnson1 presented this concept in 1985:
"MY SELLING PURPOSE
is to help people get
the good feelings they want
about what they bought
and about themselves."
He went on to add:
"I quickly reduce my stress
because I no longer try
to get people to do
what they don't want to do.
When I sell On Purpose,
it's like swimming downstream."
(I did not add the underlining...that was in the book.)
Now, that advice can apply to:
- Sales people,
- Everyone who wants to sell an idea, &
- Everyone who wants to inspire other People.
I propose it be applied to all 4.
Leaders need Purpose...and they should do things On Purpose.
Leaders need to explain their Purpose
to the People who are following. And, Leaders need to repeat, repeat, repeat...ideally, using sticky stories
Leaders should aim to have less stress...that applies to them and to their followers...that only makes good sense...Right? Purposeful, focused action generates less stress than haphazard, unfocused fire-fighting...Right?
And, the bottom line...
On Jan 25, 2012
- When it comes to doing business, inspired People generate better results.
- Business Leaders can inspire their People.
Another even-more-important Fact:
- You can expand your ability to inspire the People who follow your Leadership.
This is an accurate statement, regardless of how well you inspired your People in the past.
The keys are:
- Accepting the fact People will need your injection of Inspiration: they need and want that from their Leader.
- Working at it: taking specific inspiration-actions designed to accomplish specific inspiration-results.
Wise folks have taught this throughout the ages.
Here is one example: about people who are struggling, in 1926, Robert Collier1 wrote:
"For men and women like them do not need "Charity" - nor even sympathy. What they do need is Inspiration - and Opportunity - the kind of Inspiration that makes a man go out and create his own Opportunity."
Everyone struggles from time to time.
The People who follow your Leadership will struggle from time to time.
So - from time to time, your People will need an injection of Inspiration.
As a Leader, you can assume or hope somebody else will deliver that injection of Inspiration. Or, you can embrace it as part of your role.
Spirited Leader's Definition of INSPIRE2:
- to exert an animating, enlivening influence on
- to encourage, impel, & motivate...to excite and impart motion, to bolster focused Action
On Jan 17, 2012
As part of our BIG PICTURE, Spirited Leaders has 5 Values.
One of those 5 Values is: Labours of Enjoyment & Enthusiasm.
In simple words, we want our People to at least enjoy their work.
We have several reasons, here are 3:
- work Enjoyment means People are putting their Strengths to productive use,
- work Enjoyment paves the path for work Enthusiasm, which in turn paves the path for work Passion, and
- work Enjoyment results in full wages.
Full Wages...what does that mean?
It means People, in return for their work, receive much more than money.
In the 100-year-old words of James Allen1, People receive "the completion of wages in its sevenfold fullness as follows:
Now, James Allen had strong thoughts about People and work. He wrote, "Work is of two kinds - it is either loving labor or enforced slavery". At one end of the spectrum, Allen described working People as slaves. At the other end of the spectrum he described working People as true workers. And, he didn't see much middle ground.
That's not the way we see working People.
We see working People experiencing a range of feelings about work. People's feelings at and about work change frequently. People's feelings at and about work tend to fluctuate within a range. We use a Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale
to describe and measure People's feelings at and about work.
Our goal is to help People feel good about work...that is, at least Enjoy their work. Using our Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale
, that means People score on average
at least Plus4
When People score at least Plus4 their enjoyment is contagious...
That's why we Value it!
On Nov 2, 2011
Buried Treasures - Inspired Measures
It’s fun to measure your steps when you know the path leads to gold!
That’s the title of Spirited Leaders’ workshop on ‘Measurement’. The workshop is an introduction to our views about and tools for measurement of business things. In the workshop we guide business Leaders toward the measurement of most-important Actions.
Our introductory workshop covers two of the most-important aspects of Action
- the cause-effect linkage Actions have with business Goals and
- the interpersonal implications of Actions…specifically, the implications in the areas of self-monitoring, self-regulating and Inspiring others.
These aspects of business are vital to Leaders’ success.
For our workshops, we make an effort to provide at least a little theory & creativity and at least two practical tools, which we call 1-Page Tools.
Intentionally, at workshops we do not get too deep into our theories or philosophies.
Some people ask us for more details, more details about the theories and philosophies.
The following is an effort to explain a bit of the thinking behind the workshop title
Buried Treasures - Inspired Measures
It’s fun to measure your steps when you know the path leads to gold!
First, here is a quote from the 2009 revision of ‘ZEN and the art of making a living’ by Laurence G. Boldt:
“If we limit our knowledge to that which can be quantified, we miss not only the wonder of the Mystery but also the possibility of the revelation.”
We are in 100% agreement with Boldt.
To confirm we are giving more than lip-service support to his statement…check out a little piece I wrote about 6 months ago titled ‘Marvel & The Mysteries of Life
We marvel at the wonder of the Mystery.
And, we know the most-important things are un-measureable. Certainly, at this time they are un-measureable. We can neither measure the details of the tiniest things like atomic particles nor the secrets at work in the simplest of animal brains.
That said, most of us must go to work and earn livings.
That said: we can approach our work as:
- a great-big-necessary-evil part of life or
- an opportunity to fulfil our life-purpose or
- a confusing thing lying between or waffling between (1) and (2)
From those options, we choose (2).
Our workshops are our effort to help business Leaders who also choose (2).
- Buried Treasures – to the extent we are on a business quest, why not think in terms of looking at rolled up maps and taking measured Actions…in search of treasure?
- Wouldn’t that sort of thinking make the journey a little more exciting and cause one to take the time and care to perform Inspired Measures?
- Won’t it be more fun to measure your steps when you know your path leads to gold?
…about the coloured fonts
At Spirited Leaders, we use colours to signal & highlight certain things:
- green = good things… Good Habits
- blue = New Things…which can lead to Good Habits
- gold…well…gold = Gold!