Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hunch Part 3

Part Three: The Who, the What and the How
      This section of, Hunch by Bernadette Jiwa describes the stories of the people whose everyday insights informed the hunches that they later developed into breakthrough ideas. You see, our world has always been shaped by the most curious people who inhabit it. Academy-Award winning filmmaker James Cameron once said, “Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.” Thus, it would only make sense for us all to do everything in our power to develop it.
            Into the picture comes Carol Jones and Victor Pleshev with their ironing board cover in Australia. In a declining market where fewer couples are getting married, and fewer woman are taking the responsibility of all the domestic chores, Carol and Victor heard “NO!” over and over again in promoting their ironing board cover, However, their niche market of men who value their time and want ironing to be easier and quicker have become their ever-growing market in their little corner of the world.
            Next, in an English market town, Moyez solved the problem of low staff morale, overbooked doctors and slow patient response time by coming up with telephone triage. Who would have thought that just talking to some patients on the phone was enough for many patients? Through a simple little phone call the trained and qualified doctor could decide who has to come in and who doesn’t.
            Finally, Debbie Sterling from a small town in Rhode Island wanted to figure a way to get more girls interested in engineering. Her interest in engineering had been sparked by playing with her older brothers’ construction toys when she was a little girl. However, she knew the common little girl would quickly become bored if they were asked to play with their brother’s construction toys. So, she created a story about a girl engineer named GoldieBlox who went on adventures and solved problems by building simple machines. Through this she combined girls’ natural love of literature and stories with a construction and engineering theme. In 2014 GoldieBlox has won the People’s Choice Toy of the Year Award.
            The rest of Jiwa’s book, Hunch, shares more stories on people that have been innovative by using their imagination to solve problems. They were curious and wanted to find a better way. Jiwa also goes into little exercises that help us find our own imagination and curiosity while practicing how to be more innovative ourselves.

            In the end, it’s very important how we choose to pay attention to influences, what we imagine, and the things we have the foresight to create and ultimately who we become. What truly deserves to occupy the moments that will go from making up our minutes to influencing the impact of we make and the legacy we leave. Jiwa’s book was a quick easy read, I suggest you pick it up and give it a good go-through. You won’t be sorry. 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hunch Part 2

Part Two: From Everyday Insights to Groundbreaking Ideas
       We used to trust our intuition to make important decisions in our lives. And to tell you the truth, some of us still do trust our intuition to makes important decisions, even in the business world. However, somehow it has become unfashionable to admit this, especially in the business world according to Jiwa.
            Just like our ancestors looked for subtle changes to inform their intuition in life and death situations, we too still partake in that kind of behavior in this modern world. We still look for, although, not always aware of it at the moment, but we’re still looking for subtle changes in our environment to help us make better decisions. It just so happens that most of these decisions are no longer life or death decisions. But don’t be fooled. This innate human ability to make those decision based on intuition is still there.
            Our intuition can help us not just get from point A to point B in a new way, but actually envision an entirely new point A and point B. It opens the door to us redefining where the problems end and the solutions begin. It helps us make new connections and forge different paths. And this is a good thing, because as humans we tend to see what we’re looking for. And through persistent effort we can improve our abilities to move from everyday insights to groundbreaking ideas. We all can choose to amplify these special human abilities or ignore them.
            You see, we all can be blinded by what we think we know and ignore all those beautiful little opportunities that are sitting right in front of us every day. And believe me, this does happen every day. People miss the obvious all the time because of what they think they know, and the inability to make the leap to what they might not know. Furthermore, sometimes being a big Fortune 500 Company, Ivy League educated, or having a big important name enslaves us to what we think we know, while the house wife or some guy in a garage is coming up with the next big thing.

            In the changing world of business and work, the skills that are becoming most prevalent are the same ones that make us better rounded, creative, collaborative, generous, and intuitive. With this in mind, it would be wise to develop these qualities in ourselves so that we can contribute to society and make a difference in both our own personal world and the larger world. 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hunch Part 1

Part One: What’s Stopping You?
            Bernadette Jiwa begins her book, Hunch, with a quote from Anne Lamott where she says, “You get your intuition back when you make space for it”. Today we are surrounded by data that is supposed to make us smarter, but is it? It certainly doesn’t look like it’s making us wiser…You see we know a lot more than we think we know and data is only telling us part of the story and has the tendency to dampen our inherent and vital curiosity. You see, data and our human need for certainty is keeping us from developing our emotional intelligence and cultivating an imagination that could change this world for the better.
            You see, here’s the deal. We actually know more than we think we know. However our feelings of a lack of certainty, even though we can never be 100% certain about anything, is keeping us from acting. We just don’t like to ‘not know’. We don’t want to hear that sometimes the questions are even more important than the answers.
            According to Jiwa, scientific discoveries happen not through method or magic, but from being open to discovery by listening to one’s emotions and responding to intuition. Like a poet, the researcher, as well as the therapist, needs the ability to imagine what the truth might be. We need to let go of the need to have answers in order to be able to come up with the right questions.
      The ever-more important innovation is more complex than the simple ‘Aha’! Innovations come from prolonged practice of being curious, empathetic and imaginative. Too many of us are relying on IQ scores and the retention of knowledge. Too many of us also rely on ideas. However, ideas are nothing if they’re not adopted and used. Sometimes the big ideas don’t go anywhere right alongside all that knowledge. And sometimes the next big thing isn’t something that anyone, at its genesis, would have believed would have been the billion-dollar idea.
            Common big, but often false ideas, are often based on technology. However, sadly, technology is often hijacking our minds. Thus, we are noticing less and less and are missing more and more in our ever-increasing technological world. Frequently, we’re throwing away opportunities to think and reflect- to be the kind of person that actually can make things better for ourselves and everyone else in our circles as well.
Too often, distraction is the enemy of insight. Some research suggest that people are checking their phone up to 150 times a day. Often, we feel that we are close to something big and important, but yet, we still don’t make the space to do what it takes to immerse ourselves waist high and elbow deep in the things that cultivate our curiosity and imagination.

The truth is that we can do good work when we create an environment that allows us to do so. However, we have to change some of our behaviors and have a mind-shift that changes our priorities to things that matter and deserve our time. If we want to do something big, then we need to stop wasting our time on things that just aren’t that important.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Primal Leadership Part 4

Part 4 Building Emotionally Intelligent Organizations
     Groups are smarter than individuals only when they show emotional intelligence. We’ve all heard of the mob mentality. The mob mentality isn’t so smart. Each member of an emotionally intelligent group must have some degree of emotional intelligence. This is especially true for the leader who sets the emotional tone of the group.  
            The true work of a leader is to monitor the emotional tone of the team and to help its members recognize any underlying dissonance. These can be difficult conversations. Unfortunately, most leaders settle for safer conversations about the team itself, the organization, the people, the strategy, and functional alignment while avoiding the more difficult subjects of emotional reality and the norms of the team. By avoiding these tougher topics the leader is only adding to the dissonance (negative feelings) of the team, and causes individuals to lose touch with their unique own best qualities as their passion fades.
            A company with employees who have a common vision is an emotionally intelligent organization that defines its vision in sync with its employees’ hopes and dreams for themselves. These spectacular companies create extraordinary moments or experiences that people go through together to create that tribal feeling, that shared mythology, which in return, creates a company that has empathy.
            Emotional intelligent leaders connect with a vision that moves a culture toward resonance (positive feelings) through what they feel, sense and think about the organization. They connect with the vision and notice the gaps that the typical data doesn’t identify. They collectively involve all in a deliberate study of themselves and the organization. They look at the reality and the ideal vision, identify gaps and go to work on closing those gaps.
            Ambitious leaders need to slowdown in order to speed up. Bringing in as many people as possible into the conversations about the culture and systems of the organization is critical. Leaders need to see the emotional, and then craft a meaningful vision with which people can identify on a deep and personal level. People need to feel they can reach the organization’s dreams without compromising their own dreams. People come first. Strategy comes second. Focus on what people really want and need, and then build a culture around that and build your dreams together.
            People don’t change because of another five year plan. Besides the era of Russian dictator Joseph Stalin is long over. People change when they are emotionally engaged and committed. Focus on the individual first, then the team second, and then the organization last.

            Our world is calling for change. We are in the midst of transformational change. Half of the business models out there will be obsolete in 2-5 years from now. We can’t be frozen in fear. We must manage our emotions and look for new ways. People can no longer be seen as expendable. The Captains of Industry era of the top-down approach is gone. The art of the relationship is rising to the top today. Emotional intelligence is a must for moving forward…

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Primal Leadership Part 3

Part Three: Making Leaders
        We spent much of Part One of the blog about Primal Leadership talking about how emotional intelligence helps leaders, and the lack of emotional intelligence hinders leaders. The ironic thing is that the higher one travels up the ladder of success, the less likely this leader is going to receive honest feedback on his or her emotional intelligence. This phenomenon is called the CEO Disease.
            It takes a lot of courage to tell the boss that he or she has been performing poorly in the emotional intelligence arena lately. This is especially difficult to do when the boss has been a little rough lately and everyone is ducking for cover and trying to stay off the radar. People want to keep their job and continue to be able to feed their children.
            The bottom line is that many CEOs lose some of their self-awareness as they travel up the rings. However, the ironic thing is that study after study shows that self-awareness is greatest among companies doing well, and poorest among companies doing poorly. So, now it comes down to which poor soul is going to put their job on the line to tell the boss that he or she is out of touch and acting like a schmuck because it’s good for the whole company if the boss is made self-aware?
            As I said earlier, the good thing is that emotional intelligence can be learned. However, according to, Primal Leadership, most training and leadership programs only target the neocortex rather than the limbic brain. Leadership skills usually comes down to habits learned early in life. So, if we’re going to re-educate the emotional brain, they typical leadership program isn’t going to cut it. In order, to re-educate the emotional brain we need lots of practice and repetition aimed at the limbic centers of the brain. This kind of learning is very slow; but, that’s a good thing because once it’s learned, it’s learned very well, at a much deeper limbic level. Furthermore, this learning will be retained much longer than traditional surface level cognitive learning.
            The cycle of successful change through emotional intelligence consist first of discovering what our ideal self really is. Second, then unearthing who we exactly are. What is our real self? Third, we have to discover what our learning agenda is. Next, we have to practice our new thoughts and behaviors over and over and over. Lastly, we need to discover some supportive relationships. We need people who help us succeed.
            Emotional intelligence in leaders requires that they at least have some vision of their ideal lives. Through this vision they can uncover their real selves. This requires self-awareness though. Leadership strengths lie at the crossroads of where one’s real self matches one’s ideal self. Where it doesn’t are the gaps that one needs to work on.
            Improvement plans crafted around learning rather than performance outcomes have been found to be more effective for working on those gaps mentioned in the paragraph above. The best kind of learning is when one gets to focus on what one wants to become; one’s ideal self, rather than what others want him or her to become. One’s own life goals ignite their full range of talents. And the more parts of one’s life that can be identified as relevant to one’s leadership goals, the more chances one will have to practice and grow. Being handed a performance goal des the opposite. It undermines motivation. It causes anxiety, and decreases performance.
            Goals should be built on a person’s strengths, not their weaknesses. Plans of improvement should be flexible, feasible, and fit into their life and work, as well as fit into their learning style if it’s going to have the biggest impact on their development and growth.

            The problem is that people try to force leadership upon others and thus these poor souls learn it haphazardly by repeating what they saw others do while growing up, or their own poor previous attempts at it. The good thing is that one can improve in leadership by becoming aware of bad habits and constantly practicing a better way until one masters it. Having a good supportive relationship here really helps a lot in making this change.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How to Piss Off Producers and Never Get on TV and Radio

Marketing yourself as an expert in your field means getting in front of prospects using traditional media outlets such as television and radio news. But only those who know how to work effectively with the gatekeepers of this industry, known as producers, will actually get invited to appear in front of the camera or the microphone. This article lays out many successful techniques for working with producers, but in a humorous style that demonstrates what some adults actually do that kills their opportunities for getting media attention.

One way of growing your brand and expanding your influence as an industry expert is to become a much sought after contributor to television news programs. That means creating relationships with the producers of those news programs and giving them what they need to do their job... content. All it takes is a little humility, professionalism, patience, and persistence to make it happen. But all too often I've met people who don't get it and instantly ruin their chances of ever getting on those programs. They're also the ones who tend to complain as to why they aren't getting the business they expect. To give something for the rest of us to learn from, here are 12 ways of never getting on TV, courtesy of those who've burned their bridges before us. 

Don't Watch Local TV Programming: Major network affiliates offer local news programming to feature both local and national stories to inform and educate their viewers. Ignore your local stations and don't take the time to find out if they offer a morning, midday, or early evening local news magazine show that features local experts. 

Don't Contact Your Local Stations: Most major affiliate network stations have local offices and studios that are staffed by receptionists. Don't waste your time, trying to find their contact phone numbers to ask for the names and email addresses of the news magazine show producers. 

Don't Bother Introducing Yourself: Because you're far too busy and have so much to get done, don't reach out to the local producers with an introductory email explaining briefly who you are and what information you can provide them with, to help them beef up their segments. 

Don't Send them Leads: As an industry expert, you're probably constantly watching for the latest trends and producing content such as books, eBooks, articles, blog posts, and more. Don't bother to help a producer out by sending an email containing a 3 - 5 bulleted story lead each week that you can comment on. You have way more important things to do. 

Take Your Sweet Time Replying: If by chance a TV news program producer does respond to one of your leads, wait a few days or even weeks to reply. Better yet, have your assistant reply instead or ignore the email all together. You can't possibly be expected to fit in one more thing into your day. 

Make Your Existing Appointments More Important: When a producer needs an on-air contributor, they may ask an expert to come in at a moment's notice or very early in the morning or even very late at night. Decline the producer's request by being too busy or unwilling to move existing appointments. This way they are sure not to contact you in the future. 

Let Them Know How You Were Inconvenienced: If by chance you get invited into the studio for an on-camera interview and it is cancelled or postponed, place a call or send an email to the producer letting them know how inconvenient that unexpected change was. I'm sure they will apologize and make it up to you. 

Demand to Speak with Their Boss: If you had gotten all the way into the studio and your segment is suddenly preempted for breaking news and you're dismissed, let the producer know how angry you are and demand to speak to her boss about being inconvenienced. 

Call and Voice Your Disappointment: If the segment in which you were interviewed did not air on the date and at the time you were told, call or write the producer to let him know how unfair it was for you to have invested your time and effort for no reason. I'm sure they'll make sure it never happens again. 

Do Not Send a Thank You Note: Save your money and don't buy a box of thank you cards. Forget about sending off a short note of thanks to the news program producer, you can use that valuable five minutes for other more important matters. 

Let Them Find Their Own Expert: Once you establish a relationship with a TV show producer, they may contact you out of the blue, when they are seeking commentary on a topic that is close to, but not exactly within your area of expertise. Let them know that you can't help them or just ignore their request all together. Do not recommend to them, any other experts in your network that may be more skilled at providing what they're seeking. Why bother helping them if you're not going to benefit from the opportunity. 

Send a "Nasty Gram" Letter to the Studio: Without notice, your emails to the producer are coming back undeliverable, stating that the producer is no longer working there. TV producers experience lots of stress and are under great pressure, which means the person in that position may change frequently. But that's not your problem. Send an email or letter to the studio describing your inconvenience of having to start the process of finding the contact information for the new producer, all over again. As ridiculous as some or all of these points might sound to you, I've seen or heard of unconscious professionals making these exact mistakes. I coach experts in growing their speaking business. I help my clients understand how busy producers are and what it takes to grow yourself as an industry expert that producers call first. I welcome comments on how you've seen others make these mistakes or new ones that I did not include in this piece.

Bill Corbett is the author of the Amazon top-seller, From the Soapbox to the Stage: How to Use Your Passion to Start a Speaking Business. Connect with Bill at http://BillCorbett.com.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Primal Intelligence Part 2

Part Two: The Power of Emotional Intelligence Continued
 In part one we talked about the emotional intelligence domains and the associated competencies that are a prerequisite to good leadership. Now we’re going to move onto the different leadership styles. The direct leadership styles discussed in Primal Leadership are: 1. Visionary. 2. Coaching. 3. Affiliative. 4. Democratic. These first four are good for building a resonance leadership that drives positive emotions and feelings that was discussed earlier. The last two of: 5. Pacesetting, and 6. Commanding can also be effective leadership styles, but must be used sparingly because they can cause dissonance, or negative feelings and emotions.
            A visionary leader gets buy-in from others because this leader helps people understand their “why”. This kind of leader is inspiring, and is empathic. A smart company realizes that vision offers a company its unique ‘brand’ or a way to distinguish itself from other companies in the same field or industry. Smart companies use this vision as a standard for performance and performance feedback. It helps employees see how they contribute to the big picture.
            The coaching style doesn’t scream bottom-line results, but in a surprisingly indirect way it gets results through the leaders really getting to know their people, establishing rapport and trust, and successfully linking their daily work to their long-term goals. Coaches are really good at keeping people motivated. And motivated people tend to improve the bottom-line.
            Affiliative leaders nurture personal relationships. They value downtime because it builds up emotional capital that can be drawn from when times get tough. They focus on the emotional needs of their people over goals and are good at healing rifts and bringing a team back together. They are good at solving conflict and creating harmony. These leaders also have some vision. Joe Torre, manager of the famed New York Yankees baseball team was a good example of an affiliative leader.  
            Democratic leaders are great at listening to others. They truly hear what people say. They are great communicators. Democrat leadership style works great when leaders aren’t certain which direction to go. They’re great at getting buy-in. They’re also great at implementing the vision that others haven’t been successful in doing. Democratic leaders actually execute the vision and tend to get fresh ideas all along the way from their workers on how to implement the vision even better.
            Now, onto the last two leadership styles. Pacesetting works great when one already has a team that is highly motivated and needs very little direction, and are competent. Since very few of us are leading the UConn Husky girls’ basketball team, we need to use the pacesetting leadership style sparingly. Coach Geno Auriemma probably doesn’t. This style can be misleading because in the beginning one can get results. However, pacesetting in the wrong environment usually turns our vision into just pure survival. It poisons the climate. And that’s bad for everyone.
            Of all the leadership styles, the commanding style, which is really the coercive approach, doesn’t just poison the climate, but it can destroy it! It destroys the morale of the workforce as people walk around on egg shells afraid to do anything. They spend a good amount of their energy, not being the creative genius that they were meant to be, but rather just trying to stay off the radar. Now, to be fair, there are still some commanding leaders left over in the military and medical fields, for example, who are still getting good results. But, unfortunately, many of these gains aren’t real or lasting.

            Their gains are usually short-term gains with an extremely high cost, especially to personal and human capital. When these commanding leaders are finally pushed out the door, that’s when what they really did comes unraveled and then it comes all crashing down, taking years to rebound; if ever able to rebound from the former wrecking ball. This is when it probably makes sense to find a good affiliative leader who can come in and heal the rifts and damaged relationships that the last leader left in his or her wake. 

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. To learn more about Dan please visit his website at: www.DanBlanchard.net. Thanks.