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Leadership

goal setting high bar

Is the Bar too High?

By | Blog, Decision Making, Intuition Basics, Leadership, Teams | No Comments

When it comes to goal-setting, it’s easy to assume that bigger is always better, and that more is always… more. Our pride can rear its head with the notion that there’s no such thing as a bar that’s too high to set for your business goals or life goals. Right?

Wrong.

As a business leader, you have to be willing to sense when a goal is too far out of reach. It can actually hurt company morale and motivation if it’s not grounded in something credible. Leadership depends on having one foot on the ground while raising another into new territory.

An Ungrounded Target

I once worked with a business owner whose business earned $300K in sales over the year. When he sat down to write out his goals for the following year, he put down a new target of $5 billion. While I admired his ambition and drive, I knew that part of my job was to get his leadership and goals grounded in reality.

When I asked him where he got that number from, he simply said that this is the number that came to him and that he thought it was possible. He subscribed to the belief that you can manifest your reality if you really believe in it.

I reframed the conversation around why would he put this level of pressure on himself and his team. Instead, start with a scalable goal. A healthy challenge that inspires others to perform—but not one that is so unreachable that people don’t take it seriously. He felt relief hearing this. He realized he had to find a number he was more connected to—and not a goal that he came up with out of thin air.

Intuition Connects You to Your Goal

How often have we all picked a random target, something that got stuck in our head for whatever reason? In an era of “hustle” and “crush it,” it can be easy to set the bar too high. But this only happens if you abandon your deeper connection to your goals.

It’s crucial to ask yourself why a goal is important for you and whether it aligns with your highest values.

In other words, if your goals are truly grounded to the core of your values and purpose, that’s a business you can literally get behind!

If you want guidance in bringing your leadership team’s collective intuition and intelligence into your strategy and planning for superior decision-making, stay tuned for the next blog post, or reach out to us at info@invisible-edgellc.com.

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Decisive Intuition is available where books are sold on March 1, 2019. Pre-order your copy now on Amazon!

“Snyder shows you not only why building intuitive skills for your leaders and teams are critical for innovation and success, he actually shows you how to do it. This practical and inspiring book will transform your company culture and keep you a step ahead of the marketplace.”

Marshall GoldsmithNew York Times #1 bestselling author, Triggers

 

intuition comfort zone goal setting

Beyond Your Comfort Zone

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Neale Donald Walsh famously said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” If we are always comfortable and doing what’s familiar, then we are not challenging ourselves. We are not growing. We stay in a comfortable, predictable, and stagnant existence.

If you look around at your friends and colleagues, chances are you will see a spectrum of some people who are just trying to ‘get by’ and follow the routine that they know. You will also see others who listen to the beat of a different drum and lean into challenges and new opportunities that stretch them, make them uncomfortable, yet alive.

Comfort AND Growth

In fact, you most likely can see these two polarities at play in your own life: the need to be comfortable and the need to grow. And there is a time and place for both. Yet more often than not, I find that choosing growth is the more fulfilling path.

  • What does life feel like when you are just counting the days to the weekend or the next holiday or vacation?

  • What is it like when you wake up each morning and feel gratitude for making the most out of the day ahead?  

  • Which one of these realities is most true right now?

The great thing about listening to your intuition is that this immediately pulls you out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territory. Listening to your inner guidance provides insights from a different angle. This is literally where the term ‘outside-the-box thinking’ comes from.

Expertise On ‘Pause’

When you are setting goals and planning for your future, sometimes you have to be willing to suspend what you know. And this is one of the hardest things for leaders to do. Putting your expertise on ‘pause’ and opening up to all of the possibilities of this moment is rarely modeled in the boardrooms and team meetings around the globe.

If you or another leader is exemplifying this, you are receiving a valuable gift and a reminder of how to stay fresh and alive in your life, and cultivate a growth mindset for your teams.

One of our passions at Invisible Edge is helping leadership teams and creatives identify and unlock an unproductive mindset and move toward one of growth and possibility. If you have a sense that it’s time for a different conversation than the one you’ve been having, reach out to us at info@invisible-edgellc.com and let’s talk.

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Decisive Intuition is available where books are sold on March 1, 2019. Pre-order your copy now on Amazon!

“Snyder shows you not only why building intuitive skills for your leaders and teams are critical for innovation and success, he actually shows you how to do it. This practical and inspiring book will transform your company culture and keep you a step ahead of the marketplace.”

Marshall GoldsmithNew York Times #1 bestselling author, Triggers

 

Client Story: Daniel Caruana and Wayne Spiteri

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This story was written from the perspectives of Daniel Caruana, Director and CEO, and Wayne Spiteri, COO and Head of Sales, of Danrae Waterproofing.

Our company operates throughout New South Wales, Australia, providing waterproofing and water-related repairs for new construction and remedial buildings in a variety of sectors. Our vision is to become a fully fledged service company with an expansive reach.

We joined Danrae in 2006 to help Lillian and Ron Caruana, the founders of the company, with the workload. It was a great opportunity for us and we were passionate about the business. But the company grew rapidly and there weren’t systems in place to cope with the demand, so it quickly grew beyond our control. We were running out of money and had to let people go because we weren’t making any money either. We tried different coaching programs at first, but those programs only offered quick-fixes—and we didn’t need a quick fix. We needed to get to the root of the problem.

When we finally turned to EMyth and had our first call with our coach, Rick Snyder, there was an instant connection. EMyth was perfect for us because it started with us, what we wanted and the accountability we needed. Our staff wasn’t sure who was responsible for what because we hadn’t clearly communicated with them, and our team wasn’t aware of our vision or the critical numbers of the business. When we brought Rick on as our coach, he recognized the uncertainty about who was really leading the company and where our Leadership Team was going, and he knew how to help.

Working with Daniel, Wayne, Ron and the Leadership Team of Danrae has been an incredible experience for me. I have witnessed each of them face their limitations and trust the coaching process enough to take the risks they needed to take, have the uncomfortable conversations they needed to have and continue to show up as the leaders they truly are.
Rick Snyder, EMyth Coach

Rick made us look in the mirror—showing us where we were getting in our own way—and helped us realize that we needed work boundaries. When you’re coming into a family business, it can be daunting because you’re not sure what to expect. It always felt like there was an elephant in the room. You didn’t want to speak out against an employee because that employee is actually a member of your family. You don’t want to do something at work that will have repercussions back at home, so it was hard for people to step up and say things needed to change. Not speaking up was holding us back. Rick helped us to break out of our family dynamic and get clear about our boundaries.

Now, we actually enjoy going to work. Before, we’d get in at 7:30 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m., feeling drained and like nothing was accomplished. But now, we’re clear about our roles and what we’re working towards. We went from laying people off and not having any profit to having an average net profit of 15-20%.

They have more fun, more profit, a stronger cash position, an inspired company culture and a plan to grow to even greater heights in this coming year. Their hunger and motivation makes coaching a joy.
– Rick Snyder, EMyth Coach

We’re working on bringing in a marketing specialist, breaking out the company into different sections, potentially hiring more staff and improving our delivery this year. Within the next three years, we want to expand into different states across Australia. We are going to be the “go to” company for waterproofing remediation and maintenance in buildings. And beyond that, we hope to create a company that allows its people to achieve their dreams. Through the results of the company, we will give a “line of sight” to where everyone wants to be. Our people have so much potential and we believe our company can unleash it.

Learn more about Danrae Waterproofing

intuition in business decision making

The Value of Intuition in a Business Context

By | Blog, Decision Making, Intuition Basics, Leadership | No Comments

The following post was written by Guest Blogger, Andrea Mackenzie.

Making split-second decisions seems rather counterintuitive in the context of running a business, where top management are often handed all kinds of pertinent data which they can carefully peruse in order to make informed decisions — generally with the benefit of time. Such is not always the case, however, as business leaders are routinely put on the spot, often facing that unenviable task of having to make a decision right then and there.

For instance, former Boeing CEO Bill Allen wagered the company’s future on a vision, and the end-result validated his initial belief. His gutsy move not only transformed Boeing itself, but also signalled the birth of the billion-dollar civil aviation industry. More recently, pharmacy worker Matthew Stillone made a split-second decision to quit his job and pursue a business. Said business would turn out to be Protein Supplies Australia, which has become a multimillion venture, according to Business News Australia.

The takeaway here is that making split-second decisions is actually commonplace in business, especially among members of top management. It is thus imperative that owners and company heads stay level-headed when placed in such challenging moments. Then again, that is easier said than done. With that in mind, here are some secrets to staying unflappable even with a make-or-break decision looming:

Value Your Time

Instead of ruining the immediacy of the decision-making situation, view it in a more positive light. Think about how valuable your time is, and how agonizing over one solitary decision will take up much of it. It should be noted, too, that the thought given to making a decision is far more important than the time allotted for the entire process.

Think Long Term

Focusing on the long-term goals is a good way to streamline the decision-making process. More importantly, those long-term goals can be used as a blueprint in as far as gauging the possible outcomes — both positive and negative — of the decision that will be made. One of the biggest challenges to making fast but sensible decisions is having too many criteria as a decision-maker will tend to assess each one, thus taking much time in the process. What happens often, therefore, is that dreaded paralysis by analysis wherein more time is spent thinking rather than doing. In this regard, a business owner can factor in the company’s bottom line and employee engagement when deciding on a salary increase. Department managers, meanwhile, can green light a business process if it will improve something vital within the company, like inter-department communication, for instance.

Don’t Dwell on Failure

Any decision brings forth the possibility of failure, and given this fact, business leaders ought to bear in mind that failure can be reframed as an opportunity to grow. As we explained in part ‘4 of Embracing My Failures: Fail Fast’, “Growth happens at the intersection of challenge and support,” with the right mix of both serving as fuel to overcome hurdles, like failures brought about by a particular decision. To this end, business leaders are encouraged by Menlo Coaching to write about these setbacks. This should be done as truthfully as possible, though, and without washing hands and minimizing faults. By doing so, objective self-reflection will be made possible, and personal growth will follow. For example, a manager who signs off on a project that turns disastrous must take note of everything, including the problems encountered and the faults of everyone, including his, most especially. He should then evaluate his notes and identify actionable solutions, so when something similar comes up, he and his team will be better prepared.

Go With Your Gut

Inc. Magazine advises company heads to go with their gut, as trusting instincts often pays off. But there is a caveat: It should be done with the benefit of relevant information. Besides, business leaders are leaders for a reason, as they are presumed to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and wisdom to make tough decisions even on the fly.

Indeed, making split-second decisions is an undeniable part of life, especially in business. But members of top management need not fret when faced with such tough moments; instead, they should stay level-headed by valuing their time, thinking of long-term goals, looking at failure as fuel for improvement, and going with their gut.

Trusting is a Leader’s Best Asset — Part Four — Connecting the Dots

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This month, we are focusing on intuitive skills you can develop to grow your leadership and management abilities.

We looked at tracking incongruence and noticing when something feels ‘off’ or out of sorts in your workspace—with both staff member or customers—and learned how to trust your inner radar to get more information. Last week, we explored locating the subtext and being able to listen to the conversation underneath the conversation.

This week we’re exploring connecting the dots of everything we’ve talked about.

One of the gifts of intuition is being able to connect the dots faster than just using our conscious mind alone. Our subconscious mind can process data greater than 1000x faster and more thoroughly than our conscious mind.

What does this mean? The more we learn how to tap into our intuition, the better we become at decision-making. When we include our intuitive instincts along with the data at our fingertips, we make more complete and accurate decisions.

What makes great leaders stand apart is the trust that’s been built over time to listen to their own gut feeling and to take action from this place.

In Blink, one of the main points of Malcolm Gladwell’s book is that decisions made very quickly can be equally as good as decisions based on extensive research and contemplation. He called this superpower thin-slicing: “the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience.”[2]

An example that he gives recounts how researcher John Gottman and his team at the University of Washington could determine with 90% accuracy if a couple will still be married in fifteen years’ time, by observing them interact for just fifteen minutes. They later discovered that if they looked at only three minutes of a couple talking they could predict who would make it and who wouldn’t, with still-impressive accuracy.

Imagine how this skill enhances your business. For example, not needing twenty-seven meetings to get to a decision. Or seeing three separate mistakes made on your customer delivery and then connecting the dots to see the underlying system that’s missing.

The more you start to lean into the wisdom that’s already inside you, and begin to trust this more through practice, the more you will open your abilities to connect meaningful dots that others can’t yet see.

This is how you anticipate the future, innovate, and stay ahead of the competition.

For more articles and videos on using your intuition in the workspace, follow us HERE. For information on coaching and training opportunities for building intuitive intelligence on your teams for better decision-making, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Trusting is a Leader’s Best Asset — Part Three — Locating the Subtext

By | Blog, Intuition Basics, Leadership | No Comments

This month, we are focusing on intuitive skills you can develop to grow your leadership and management abilities. Last week, we looked at tracking incongruence and noticing when something feels ‘off’ or out of sorts in your workspace, with a staff member or customer, and learning how to trust your inner radar to get more information.

This week, we’re exploring locating the subtext.

You see, there are often two conversations going on at the same time. There’s the conversation people are having on the outside, and then there’s often another conversation underneath. I call this the subtext.

The subtext is like the cartoon bubbles in a comic strip that reveal what an animated character is really thinking in a dialogue versus what they are saying.

An example of this is when everyone at the dinner table says that they are “fine” but you can feel the tension in the space. The subtext never lies. It’s often the deeper emotions, feelings, and truths that may be difficult to share. Revealing this takes art and skill, and is the quickest path to getting into a more authentic and deeper relationship with those around you.

The best way to notice the subtext is when the words don’t match someone’s micro-expressions, movements, tone or cadence, or you just feel that there is more to what’s being shared.

Locating the subtext is invaluable in the workspace as you can train yourself and your team to start paying attention to the subtext of sales conversations, customer feedback, department or company-wide meetings, and basically anywhere where there is a crucial conversation happening in the business.

For example, let’s say that you are selling management consulting services and you ask your prospect what they are hoping to accomplish in working with you. They look down and then they hesitate and say they have a hard time finding good people. The content may be true, but it doesn’t really tell you anything and you can sense that there is far more going on here that’s not being shared.

You can’t feel their pain, hopes, dreams from this place. Obviously, there is more to the story. And if you brush this under the carpet, you are losing an opportunity to get into a real relationship with them.

Too many times, I’ll see salespeople roll into their next questions on their checklist versus stopping everything for a moment, listening to their gut on anything that feels off, out of place, or an area they are wanting more information about, and address the subtext of what’s not yet being said.

Instead of saying, “Oh, ok. Got it. That’s why a lot of people look for our services,” there’s an opportunity to trust your gut and let it guide you toward the next questions to ask to take the relationship deeper.

Some examples might be: “I noticed you looked down and hesitated when you answered the question. Why is that?” or “What do you mean you can’t find good people? Can you give me a specific example of that?”

When you elicit specific details from a person about their frustrations or challenges, you bring them into a more personal and relational exchange. When people stay high-level, they can hide in generalities and you can’t actually feel what it’s like for them.

Trust your curiosity and your intuition on follow-up questions until you can really feel what it’s like walking in their shoes and getting what they are up against. The more specifics you get into, the more you will get their world in a more personal and tangible way.

One of the most powerful approaches that can unearth the subtext is to start listening to what the person or the group is not saying or not asking about.

For example, if you are having a team meeting and your normally lively group is dead-silent and you can cut the tension with a knife, you can most likely feel through your intuition that there’s something going on that’s not being addressed.

Perhaps an employee was let go and the rest of the group is worried about their own jobs. Or there was a conflict between staff that is still not settled. Maybe it’s just really early in the morning and they are still waking up! The point is that unless you speak to the subtext you won’t get at the conversation underneath the conversation and guide your team or an individual to the heart of the issue.

You can ask open and unassuming questions that point to what your intuition is picking up on, like:

  • Hey, I feel like there’s something you are not saying. If so, what could it be?
  • I feel like there’s a question underneath your question. What is it?
  • Did you say everything? Somehow, I feel like there’s more.

So, what is the conversation underneath the conversation? What’s happening underneath their words? Practice noticing and listening to the subtext of a conversation this next week. Learning to tap into the subtext and trust your intuition is the most important skill in revealing this, which will deepen your relationships in business and get to the heart of the matter before things fall off track.

For more articles and videos on using your intuition in the workspace, follow us HERE. For information on coaching and training opportunities for building intuitive intelligence on your teams for better decision-making, contact hello@three-hats.com.

 

Trusting is a Leader’s Best Asset — Part Two — Tracking Incongruence & Knowing When Something is ‘Off’

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The first part of this series focused on how trusting your gut is your best asset as a leader. One of the benefits of listening to and developing a connection with your inner radar is how much more accurate you can sense in real-time if something feels ‘off.’

For example, when I interviewed Daniel Caruana, CEO of Danrae Waterproofing, based in Sydney, Australia, he shared with me how he listens to his intuition when looking at the finances. Whenever he gets that inner sense that something doesn’t add up right, he’s able to trust that instinct and follow it up with digging deeper into the numbers and asking the right questions to find out what’s happening in his business.

With numbers, I’m able to intuitively see if there’s something wrong. What I’ll do is call those around me to give me their feedback, and I’ll either dismiss it or choose that advice. With our weekly financial report, I can see intuitively when there are issues there. I have a feel for trends and how things should be. I’ll pause and take a deeper look if something looks off. Then I’ll call upon our CFO and accountants to discuss this. Recently, we had a resourcing issue and realized billable hours were going down. Liquidity and profitability as well. The numbers were also reflecting another observation: The attitude and motivation of staff were declining. So, it’s a mix of tangible and intangibles that I have to feel through. All of this was a reflection that something had to change. And my relationship with our numbers has helped us navigate our challenges over the years. — Daniel Caruana, CEO Danrae Waterproofing

Daniel is modeling, what I call tracking incongruence. This is when you get used to how things should look or feel in your company culture—to the point where you notice the second something seems out of sorts.

This could be with an employee’s attitude, poor decision-making by your sales manager, your monthly financials, products not getting out on time, or how customer service handled a recent situation.

The best part of tracking incongruence is that it takes no effort. It simply about noticing your own internal cues and signals when something feels a bit wonky.

What does take effort is making the time to notice all of the subtle signals that may be occurring weekly or monthly. Often, we can override our instincts and intuitions when we get busy, doubt, second-guess, or simply don’t want to deal with a situation. Yet there is always a cost when we don’t listen to our inner guidance and signals.

You see, we lead in business when we’re congruent from our innermost core to our outermost actions. And the more we are in alignment, we notice when things around us are not. We become a still antenna in a storm.

Tracking incongruence is not about fault-finding or always looking for what’s wrong. It’s simply noticing when something skips a beat. When the record player scratches. When something happens in the relational space with your team that has you be curious and brings your attention naturally to the moment.

The key is to follow up your cues with curiosity and simply get more data to tell you what your instincts are sensing. The more you practice this, the sharper you will use this tool which will serve your leadership and your department or company.

If you care to, make this your assignment for this week: to simply notice when the record skips a beat in your office, on a call with a vendor or customer, or in any work situation. And when you then put your curiosity on the situation, what is it you need to ask about to better understand what’s happening?

I’m curious to hear what you discover!

For more articles and videos on using your intuition in the workspace, follow us HERE. For information on coaching and training opportunities for building intuitive intelligence on your teams for better decision-making, contact hello@three-hats.com.