When is the last time you really slowed down?
When is the last time you valued investing in yourself over pouring into others?
That last statement might have caught you off guard. You might have re-read it a couple of times. Maybe you disagree(d) with it, or at the very least, aren't sure how you feel about it.
That all makes sense.
But here is why I said it.
If you aren't taking care of yourself, how can you have anything of substance to give to others?
This applies to all of us, but especially to leaders that are responsible for the care of their followers.
CEO's, Coaches, Parents, Teachers, Pastors, and the list goes on, and on.
Let's use a common, everyday example to prove our point.
We, myself included, boast about our posts. You know, the ones where we Facebook, Tweet, or Instagram pictures of #LateNightsAndLattes.
Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a night owl, or enjoying a tasty Latte. Some of us do our best work at hours of the day that others are checking their eyelids for light leaks. (That was a saying my grandfather used. Still love it!)
Isolation can't replace the progress found in accountability.
I was journaling the other day, and I wrote something that is a great reminder for leaders everywhere.
Let's call it an epiphany.
According to Wikipedia (which aren't most things, really?), an epiphany "is an experience of sudden and striking realization."
Let's take it one step further, and create an acronym you won't soon forget.
The Epiphany of ART.
Leaders are often rather artistic in nature. How they express themselves in their thoughts, words, and actions.
That's where the aforementioned Epiphany of ART comes into play.
So what does this have to do with #InvestInRest?
You can't recover effectively without the "ART" of this epiphany.
You have a calling.
You need someone that will help you...
Be accountable to it.
Be responsible for it.
Be transparent through it.
That's where a Life Coach comes in.
Not to solve your problems, challenges, and obstacles for you...rather, someone that will walk with you.
Great coaches ask great questions.
Great coaches help you leverage momentum.
Great coaches call you out on stuck points.
At the end of the day, as leaders, we need to stop bragging about our exhaustion levels, and spend that time doing one thing intentionally...
Part of resting, is intentional investing.
Where are you at on the epiphany scale?
Are you starting to have a sudden realization that this sounds like a need in your life?
If you are ready to talk about what that looks like, I'd love to share the vision for how I work with my life coaching clients.
Send an email: Contact@WHOBIX.com
Call me: 716-672-9661
Reaching out is the first step to being more equipped to pour into your team.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Settling is stopping short.
To settle in is being content.
In either case, where you are may not be where you thought you'd be by now. It may not be where you want to be right now. And it may not be where you know you could be by now.
All of that can either paralyze you, or propel you. It can hold you back, or launch you forward. It can frustrate you or remind you.
Wait...remind you? Of what?
Your past may have played a part in your present, but it doesn't have to determine your future.
There isn't one of us, myself included, that doesn't need to hear this from time to time.
There is value in a little self-reflection, to provide new direction.
It's at those moments that we have to decide if we are going to feel sorry for ourselves, and start settling for less than our full potential. Or...take a deep breath, settle in, and see things from a fresh perspective.
Be fully present where you are, who you are with, with what you have.
And when you start moving forward, bring contentment along for the ride.
Stop settling today for what your past is lying to you about. Stop settling today for who others say you are. Stop settling because the obstacles in front of you seem like they are too big to take on.
To believe your past is your launching pad, because it was your learning ground. To believe who you are isn't determined by the the insecurities of others. To believe your future is what you make of the opportunities you leverage today.
And when you do...
Enjoy the contentment you find when you settle in, because you've committed to stop settling.
If you are leading the way, you are the one out in front. The very nature of being out in front means you won't have someone to follow. Learning how to be comfortably uncomfortable in this space is a must if you plan on longevity as a leader.
You'll see things others don't see, and get told they doesn't exist. Not because they don't, but because they can't see it...yet. If you are going to stop going after it, based on their doubt in it, you are giving up your ability to lead.
If you are wrestling with whether or not to move forward with something,
perhaps the best thing you can do is ask yourself this question.
Is the work you are doing worth the criticism doubt brings,
until the rest of the world see's the value in it?
If it is, carry on.
Go all in.
If it isn't, move on.
Find something that is.
We get one go around in this race called life.
The permanent impact of our work has to matter more
than the temporary discomfort of criticism.
There is tremendous power in not caring what you look like to a few,
so that you can lead at the highest level for many.
Embrace being comfortably uncomfortable.
The world needs more of you!
We all know what those letters stand for.
But...I want you to hit pause for a moment.
Look at what must come first if you truly want to be a valuable leader,
to those who have been entrusted to you.
Mental. Verbal. Physical.
Stop trying to be the hero, the most valuable, and the most talked about individual. Do the hard work of being Mentally prepared, Verbally articulate, and Physically under control. Do that well and you won't have to convince anyone to follow you as a leader...you'll look around and find you simply are one.
"Most Valuable Player".
It's an individual honor that is never about the person themselves,
but rather how well they've built up those around them.
It's the difference between being a leader of influence,
or someone who needs to be seen as the authority.
Leaders of influence create teams that make a difference in the world around them.
That is what it means to be an MVP.
More on the images you see in a minute.
How does this word feel?
If you have ever tried to recruit anyone to anything, that word makes you cringe.
In four simple words, this is what it means.
Attrition is frustration that could be avoided.
Think buffet vs. steakhouse.
"Eyes too big for your stomach" is how most recruiting works. We pile on the plate, and toss out what we don't want later. Lots of waste involved in that process. Everything looks great at first, and then slowly we lose our appetite for it. Quantity rules the day, and waste is considered a necessary evil.
Be specific, clear, and say no to most options so that you can get the best fit for you. Be patient...it takes longer to prepare a better product. Time, seasoning, careful attention to detail. Quality is what we are after. Quality food. Quality fit for our taste buds. Waste is considered insane. It's too good to leave anything on the plate.
When we recruit like a buffet we end up losing people because "they can't cut it". The real truth? Them not cutting it later says more about the recruitment process than it does about the person leaving. When we recruit like a steakhouse we end up building an amazing culture that attracts the very best. The right fit means the best experience.
So the million dollar question...
HOW DO WE FIX IT?
Here are 5 things to get us thinking
about how to fix the process,
and recruit like a steakhouse.
1. Culture - Is there one where you are? If you don't have a clearly articulated vision and core set of values that EVERY SINGLE DECISION is based on, you don't. A culture is a group of people with a common set of beliefs, expressed through a common language. BOTH. Not one part. BOTH. And if you do have a culture now...who buys in? Who doesn't? Separating those two camps will tell you what your organization has to build on, and what it needs to politely excuse itself from. (P.S. That's not a bad thing. Holding on to staff that doesn't buy in not only hurts your progress, it robs them of the opportunity to link up with a team somewhere that they are sold out to. Life's too short. Help them find their team...and yes, that means some will have to be let go from yours).
2. Themes - Look at both ends of the spectrum. Those that are clicking on all cylinders within your team. What drew them to you? What drew you to them? Those that are constantly in a state of friction within your team. What changed for them since they started with you? How have you changed since they came on board? Find the themes...and you start to find a path to repeat. One for people who love who you are and why you exist and want to sell out to your vision. One to be able to refer people away from your team as early as possible. It's important for you, so that your team stays on point. And it's equally important for them, so that they can keep moving to find the team they were called to join.
3. Scarcity - If you aren't willing to be exclusive, you are leaving value on the table. And let me be VERY clear about this. This is not being exclusive at the cost of inclusive. It's a "both-and" posture. Very simply put...you need to be exclusive first, so that you can be inclusive later. If you let every person join your team...regardless of their vision, you'll have a massive disaster in short order. If you are diligent about selecting those that believe what you believe, care about what breaks your heart, and are willing to go all in for your values...the conversations later can be 100% inclusive of every person's opinion in the room. Why? Because you will have already separated personal opinion and preference from the process. Why is that important? Because the vision leads, and every idea tossed on the table goes through that filter. Without that filter, you have a mess on your hands. Think back to the buffet example at the beginning. Lots of waste. Translated to what you do? Waste of time, energy, and resources. And bluntly...A TON OF MONEY! According to the people at SHRM (really, super-smart HR professionals)...It costs about $3,500 per year to recruit, hire, train and retain an $8.00 per hour wage employee. And those numbers are from 2006! So that figure has to be conservative. Still don't think it's important to get it right up front?
4. Invites - Start life earlier in the process with your potential new recruits, and you do a few things really well. You start to develop a relationship with those you want on your team. You honor the time of those who won't ever be a fit on your team. And the third reason is HUGE. You begin to create a culture of brand ambassadors that will cast your vision as well. It's like having a seas of sales reps on the road. You won't be the only ones telling your story. It will reach more. When it reaches more, the quality goes up. More people fight for the top spots. It gets harder to get in. It becomes a little more exclusive. And when you reach that tipping point? You'll have a dream team that is explosive for all the right reasons. Momentum and progress unlike anything you've ever seen.
5. Net Casting - This will allow you to go further than ever before, differently than ever before. Think digital. Virtual. Instead of waiting to get a sense of who someone is when they meet you in person, you'll have already begun to develop a relationship from a distance. That allows a free-agent to sign on the dotted line on a first visit. It implores a college student to make their deposit on the day they meet you in person, on your campus. You won't lose that rock-star employee to your competition, because their first in person visit with your team confirms they are "home". Skype, text, email, and video vs. job and career fairs, table set up in HS hallways with free pens (because that's unique), etc... When you cast your net(s) intentionally where the fish you want are you stop dropping a net for sheer volume not knowing what fish are even there.
Those 5 things start the conversation. The one thing that weaves them all together is the secret sauce that makes the meal undeniably created by you and your team.
Culture. Themes. Scarcity. Invites. New Casting.
Learn from those 5, and let them inform your story-telling process.
Every great book, movie and experience is re-told for one reason...
I hope this has jump-started some brain-storming juices for your team. If you are stuck, don't be a stranger. I'd love to hear from you. I'd be honored to work with you. It's why I do what I do. Your recruitment is a reflection of your commitment. I know your heart is in the right place. Sometimes it's just hard to get the story to match. I'd love to help.
I exist to help other people discover WHO they are, so that they will know WHAT to do.
And I'd love to help you articulate your story, so you can dominate your space.
Let's have one last look at the pictures we started with...
Is there really any doubt which experience you want your recruiting, hiring, training and retention process to resemble?
The "attrition special" on the left is cheaper. But something tells me the cost of the "choice culture cut" on the right is worth every penny you'll invest in the process.
Want to be more productive?
Here's a little trick to make sure we are ready to go, not on the sidelines...exhausted.
It all depends on what we choose to engage, activate, and launch every day.
Which way we flip the switch matters.
The direction that keeps us on point with who we are and why we exist is what we are looking for. That's a lights-on situation.
The one that tries to impress others, will exhaust us...because very simply put...it's tiring trying to be someone we are not. That's a lights-out, bad choice.
So think of a light switch today.
Every decision we make is like flipping a switch.
It'll brighten the room every time we choose ourselves.
It'll darken the room every time we try to be someone other than us.
Choose the activities and make the decisions that engage, activate, and launch the very best part of who you are today! The world needs it, and you deserve it!
Plus...it's no fun wandering around in the dark, bumping into stuff.
Have a GREAT day...and an AMAZING weekend!
Take a good look at this picture.
In a minute...I'm going to ask you to look at it again.
For now...let's talk about the title of this blog post today.
How do you handle a question you don't have an answer to?
Questioning and doubt aren't a sign of weakness,
they are an indicator someone on your team is searching for their purpose.
You can either embrace them in that moment,
and encourage them to seek,
or become their weakness by dismissing their feelings.
It won't be good enough to say later (when they've left)..."I had the best of intentions".
I'm asking you as a leader, to choose intentionality.
Choose to live in a space where you may not have an immediate answer, but you can offer immediate comfort and encouragement by simply listening.
When you place the value on relational connection, you see the value in the question.
And when the timing is right the question will get answered. For both of you.
Their doubt isn't a weakness, it's an opportunity for you to lead well.
Choose the person. Embrace the question.
Trust the journey...and the timing of an answer.
Then...and only then, will you see the question mark as a footprint.
Look at the picture again.
Do you see it from another perspective, now?
The willingness to walk with your team when they question, rather than walk on them because of your need to be right...be in charge...snuff out all questions.
That makes you an authentic leader...
who will earn a devoted following.
So you have a vision for something. You see something that others don't. Part of you is excited about it, and the rest of you is petrified as to how to make it happen. Congratulations, you are normal. You are staring risk in the face, and asking yourself if you want to take it on. If you do, and it's a huge win, you look like a generational hero. But...it's never that simple, is it? Most of the time walking out a new vision comes with bumps, bruises, failures and setbacks along the way. Not that they always knock you out of the game, but they generally don't feel great.
So why in the world, knowing all of that,
does this vision still consume your every thought?
Let me encourage you today as you wrestle with that. (I can't answer it in a one-liner, and no one else should try to do that for you either. I'm just glad you are feeling the itch to make a difference in the world)
New paths blazed don't come with paved roads, stop signs and traffic lights. So when you feel like you are bushwhacking with a flashlight in a jungle in the middle of nowhere, take heart. It's a path no one has taken before...but the work you are doing may open it to countless people behind you that desperately need to travel on it.
Going first brings more briars and prickers across your skin, so that it won't for others. Leading the way inspires others to do the same for their teams. It stirs the heart of people who want to be there for you on the journey. It builds healthy culture. It makes a difference.
So as you move forward today,
don't judge progress by setbacks...rather focused bushwhacks.
One step at a time. One day at a time. Keep moving in the direction of your vision.
The clearing is just ahead.
Simply put, it's
WHO you are and WHY you exist
as an organization. (In business, education, ministry, family, etc...)
You exist to _______________________, so that _______________________.
You exist to (do something specific), so that (a specific thing happens as a result).
When you can articulate who you are, what makes you tick, what breaks your heart, what keeps you up at night, what you'd do if you could spend all day doing it...you are getting close to your vision.
The key word there is articulate.
Yes, it's important.
If you can't be clear, you'll never be able to explain it to anyone else.
You can't give clear directions
where there aren't specific boundaries.
That is what a clearly articulated vision does for you and your organization.
It's the starting, middle and end point of your conversations, meetings, brainstorming, etc...
It keeps you on track.
It's your filter.
We exist to help you discover WHO you are, so that you will know WHAT to do.
That is what drives us at WHOBIX.
That is our vision.
It's clear. It's concise. It's our filter.
Notice we aren't calling it a "vision statement". Unfortunately that term comes with some serious baggage. It makes us think of some paragraph of general drivel with big words. Boiled down, I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a single person in any organization that could repeat, much less explain one of those from memory.
When you get who you are and why you exist into a single sentence, something cool happens.
It gets you past incoherent babbling, and into intelligent conversation.
It enables you to cast your vision to me.
It empowers your team to do the same with others.
It gets me, as the listener, excited to hear more about you.
It allows your team to process opportunities more effectively because it keeps you on point.
It helps you avoid getting distracted by something that looks cool, but ultimately isn't who you are.
Do you see where all of that is going?
Having a clearly articulated vision will keep your team focused.
Having a clearly articulated vision will help you lead with confidence.
Having a clearly articulated vision will launch your team into it's calling.
Having a clearly articulated vision will attract others to join you on the journey.
Who are you?
Why do you exist?
Start brainstorming thoughts, words, phrases.
It will take some time, but the most beautiful, simple, articulate, and meaningful things always do.
Put this on your whiteboard.
Pin it on your corkboard.
Place this on your bathroom mirror.
We exist to ______________________________, so that ___________________________________.
I can't wait to hear your vision.
I get excited when other people find theirs.
And if you get stuck, send us a note.
Maybe we can help you discover yours.
The need to be "right", or the need to make progress?
We can dig our heels in, and debate until we feel we've "won", or make an intentional effort to hear someone else's point of view and see that as the win.
Confrontation vs. Conversation.
The former chooses sides,
the latter builds a relationship.
Which one do you think has a better chance of making progress?
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.