Posts Tagged mindfulness
About top performers: by definition, they are already at the ‘top of the totem pole’. They already set the benchmark, for what is acheivable through exemplary performance, in their respective organisations. They shape the belief systems about what’s acheivable. They thus have potentially far more influence than the management infrastructure who are trying to lead your company to greater success – through wisdom, carrot or stick.
(I’ll use B2B sales as an example, but I could be talking about executive officers, sports professionals, lawyers, managers, consultants, you-name-it.)
Top performers’ challenge to climbing greater heights is two fold…
- Top performers may struggle to find assistance from people, more experienced or better than they, to teach or mentor them in their sales performance. And although I can mentor salespeople, that’s not the line I usually go down, apart from maybe suggesting the odd reframe. I don’t mentor so much; I coach.
Mentoring and coaching are completely different and require, by and large, different (but not mutually exclusive) mindsets: expert/directive/intellectual and non-expert/non-directive/emotional – respectively. Top people benefit more from the latter because….
- A step change upwards in performance, for them, is not so much an intellectual challenge. It’s emotional. These people are smart. If their challenge was purely intellectual, they would have figured out what to do differently already – and be doing it. What they require, to step up, is someone to help them bypass the emotional blocks (the deepest of which they are unaware of) with which they allow to hold themselves back.
Change is a journey that’s two parts emotional to one part intellectual.
I’ve spent the best part of the last 18 years working with top performers, in global organisations, to help them express how to be 30%+ more effective. They figure the ‘what’ to do differently, to be 30%+ more effective, for themselves as part of the coaching process. What I do is equip them with the emotional framework to go do it – for that is what they require.
[That’s my guarantee, by the way. If you do the coaching, and do all the work assigned on time, you will become 30%+ more effective at whatever you are focusing on.]
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
Aries, the hot head of the signs ruled by Mars, hosts the moon goddess, Selena, in her full glory, in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Not only that, Selena is at her most powerful, bestowing influence from her closest proximity in her eliptic path around the earth.
Passions may well run high tonight, especially if you have your natal sun, moon or rising sign in Aries. The lust-re of Selena will reach its zenith. Tonight is a night for hot love, hot lust but beware you avoid making it a night for blood-lust, metaphorically and literally speaking.
Those of you who have Mars in a prominent position in your birth chart, may well experience his power. Those around you will be subject to this power. Be careful that you avoid falling foul of your false-ego’s lust for martian power. Over exertion will go beyond the outcome you seek – and cause harm.
Reflect over the last six months, since March. Which situations or relationships have arisen to make you angry, resentful, hurt or wounded. Whom do you blame or still carry a grudge toward? Now, at the time of the harvest moon, is time to let these feelings fall to earth. Cast them aside and reap the harvest within.
The Blood Moon specifically facilitates the opportunity to look within and seek the nature of the fear that attracted these situations and relationships. For that is their purpose, to awaken you to the fear (not-love) within.
This is the nature of duality. We know something is wet because its not dry. We know something is oblong because its not curved. We know love by knowing not-love.
And when we see through the murkiness of our fear, we see the light, the love, within. We see more of our true nature. We take a step closer to our purpose in life.
Selena’s gift, from her Blood Super Moon’s station, awaits.
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
Posted by Doctapaul in Affirmations, Astrology, Astronomy, Blog All, Coaching, Fun and Laughs, Healing, Life's Changes, Love, Mindfulness, Myths, Personal, Pitfalls I've Fallen Into, Quirky Ideas, Relationships, Self Development, Self Help, Soundbytes of Wisdom, Tip for the Day, Training & Development, Visions and Dreams on July 31, 2015
Take a big step back a look at the structure of, and emotions in, your life.
How have you developed over the last two weeks?
How have you developed over since January, this year?
Include yourself, in mind, body and spirit….
Emotionally, where or with whom have you received (a balance with) what you give?
Where are you giving too much? Do you do so out of duty, fear or love?
Where are you receiving more than you give? Do you do so out of pleasure or fear?
Take another step back. Look at the big picture in your life. Consider the consequences of your fears. This is a good time (When is it not?) to switch out all the decisions you are making in life out of fear.
Ask Billie Holiday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LOB_I7sgoI
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
An extract from my forthcoming booklet (working title), The Threefold Death: the changes you make to approach inner wakefulness.
Of Spirit Force…
I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume, behind this force, the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
Max Planck, 1917
Image courtesy of Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestial Science
The future ‘dies’ when it meets the present – which ‘dies’ instantaneously into the past. There is plenty of evidence to prove what has happened in the past. Statisticians, economists and scientists gather evidence to project what will happen in the future. Despite all the evidence, the past no longer ‘is’ and future ‘is not’ yet present.
The only moment that truly ‘is’, is the present. Yet there is no evidence that the present tense exists – by this I mean, as close as scientists get to it, the present tense cannot be experienced through our five senses; it thus cannot be measured. What scientists measure instead is the before and after effects of ultra-micro interactions in time and space: for example, proton collisions, using the Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The Present Tense – which cannot be measured directly – is termed by scientists as a singularity point.
According to The Big Bang Theory, the universe started with such a singularity point. We can measure to within a zillionth of a second what happened after its inception, but we are not sure what banged – and the question of ‘why’, what-banged banged, transcends philosophical, religious, mystical, spiritual, and metaphysical domains.
The same holds true for black holes and dark matter. Scientists know of their existence because of the effect they have on things that can be observed and measured. Mathematical theory suggests that time and space collapse into nothing, a singularity point, at the centre of a black hole.
Time and space emanate from singularity points and ultimately return. And what fills that time and space (according to Planck and the ancients) is but a projection of the universal mind – of which you are an essential part. Through your mind you project thoughts, speak words and commit actions. And…
You are governed by The Laws of the Light and The Law of Consequences which, collectively, invoke dharma (Divine will) and karma (consequences).
The Laws of the Light:
When you commit to a journey, in line with your and others’ consciousness needs, at the right time and place, what you need will come your way.
The Law of Consequences:
What you project (do, say and think) out to the universe, returns to you amplified.
You attract, in/from the future, everything that is complete as well as incomplete in your approach to achieving your goals in life.
- Completion: When something within is complete; you do, say, think, and feel things borne of the heart – love, light, compassion, patience, enthusiasm, and curiosity. You will have The Laws of the Light with you.
- Incompletion: Unchecked, will invoke things you do, say and think not borne of the heart but instead borne of anger, shame, hurt, or fear.
I shall focus primarily on incompletions.
Should you learn and act appropriately from future’s gift (‘present’), you ‘complete your incompletion’. The incompletion unifies with its duality and thus is no longer perceivable by the mind. Zero projection by the mind means ‘it’ no longer exists in time and space. ‘It’, your completed incompletion, dies into the Present Tense, your true nature.
Should you ignore (or remain ignorant of) your incompletion, it travels unacknowledged into the past only to resurface again in (or back to) the future. Why? Because your mind is still projecting this incompletion through your thoughts, words and deeds.
The most common example, I know of, is the troublesome relationships that we invoke, time and time again. Relationships that keep repeating until we learn what we need to learn about ourselves and then ‘do’ something different in our approach. I have fallen foul of this as much as anyone I know.
Incompletions (recap: the inner things in me that attract the outer things I allow to make me feel angry, ashamed, hurt or fearful) keep being reborn in my life until I transcend to become my true nature – the love, light, truth and gnosis: the chokmah or wisdom of the I-am, the Je-suis, the Je-su(i)s within – as one of the standing stones in a circle at Stonehenge. This is my purpose in life.
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
Most sales training I’ve come across focuses primarily on developing a salesperson’s skills or competencies, for example: opening, qualifying, questioning, advocating, presenting, negotiating and closing. The intention is that, over time with experience, the salesperson will get better and better at demonstrating these skills. It follows logically that they’ll become more confident in their sales approach and thus hopefully more motivated.
I haven’t seen much in the way of material that focuses on engendering an ongoing sense of curiosity, for example, how can I be the best, if not better, at what I sell?
The E=MC3 equation implies that an individual’s effectiveness is three parts mental and emotional (motivation, competence and curiosity) to one part intellectual (competence).
Let’s take a first pass at each of the qualities: motivation, confidence, competence and curiosity.
Most salespeople are motivated to win, especially when the selling is relatively easy. Likewise, most are motivated by earnings and win bonuses. Some are motivated by advancing their career.
What motivates top salespeople? The answers from my research fall into three categories:
1. “To be the best I can be” or “…recognised as the best salesperson there is” – not only the best in terms of results but the best at selling too (outcomes + journey).
2. “To deliver customer value above and beyond that expected.”
3. “To create a legacy so that I am renowned for the value I bring to customers and my organisation’s business.”
In all three categories, the top performers are motivated by being (and being seen as) excellent. ‘Moderates’ talk of winning and earnings but talk less of personal excellence.
I worked with a 26 year old CEO of a recruitment firm who had a good reputation for hiring confident as opposed to arrogant people. I was asked to model how he went about the task. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: “How do you differentiate between a confident person and an arrogant one?”
CEO: “Well, I’m not sure; I just get a ‘feeling’.”
Me: “Describe that ‘feeling’.”
CEO: “Well you just sort of know, don’t you? It’s something you sense….. a gut feeling.”
Me: “Okay, imagine you have an arrogant person to your left and a confident to your right. What’s the difference between them?”
CEO: “The confident person asks questions; the arrogant person doesn’t. The confident person probes for where they feel they’ll bring value to the organisation. They look to find out if they will enjoy the role. They seek opportunities for themselves to grow in the role. The arrogant person takes a position that they have the knowledge and wisdom suitable for the job and makes no effort to see how well they’ll fit in.”
Top salespeople exude confidence by the quality of questions they ask as well as the articulacy by which they convey reassurance. (For a framework with which to construct quality sales questions, refer to the INCREASETM model in Number 1 of this series of business guides, Quick Guide – How Top Salespeople Sell.)
If you stacked all the sales training and development materials in the world on top of one another, you’d probably build a mountain higher than Mount Everest. So I’ll attempt to put a different slant on competence by giving you a customer’s perspective. (For completeness, Appendix 1 lists the skills and knowledge demonstrated by top salespeople at, and away from, the customer interface.)
A corporate salesperson spends, on average, 15% of their time speaking directly to a customer. Ergo, 85% of the time, they apply their skills and knowledge to researching, developing and planning; how to be more effective during the ‘15%’ customer interface window when the occasion arises.
Top performers prepare themselves, intellectually and psychologically, to be at their peak when speaking to the customer. They develop appropriate skills and knowledge (the intellectual exchange) and they also prepare themselves to be in the right frame of mind and body (the mental and emotional exchange) with the customer.
Being perceived as ‘competent’ by the customer requires you to be:
1. Prepared: with insightful questions to ask and have answers to potential customer questions, including facts, data and logic so that your proposals are visionary, ‘grounded in reality’ and hopefully compelling
2. Clear about the outcomes: What do you want to achieve in the meeting both in terms of the task-in-hand and your relationship with the customer (e.g. engender trust). It’s also being very clear about the outcomes the customer might want to achieve, in terms of their task-in-hand and from their relationship with a supplier like you.
Illustration: 4 Outcomes to a Meeting
Most of us prepare ‘box 1’ before a meeting. Many ‘moderates’ omit boxes 2 and 3 above from their preparatory work. Most salespeople miss out box 4 altogether – often because of a lack of self-belief and sometimes unconsciously. They don’t visualise themselves in a picture working closely with the customer.
3. In the right frame of mind: If you were to prioritise the three factors: Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind – which order would you place them?
Exercise: Allocate three weighting percentages (that add up to 100%) against Prepared, Clear Outcomes and Frame of Mind respectively – in terms of how important they are to being successful during (not before) a meeting.
The most important thing you take into a meeting is your frame of mind.
This statement often raises a few queries. It doesn’t say that you shouldn’t prepare diligently for a meeting. What it says instead is – the moment the meeting starts, the single most important factor that will determine your success is your frame of mind. You may well feel you have to do a significant amount of preparation to get yourself ‘centred’, for example. BUT it’s not the process the meeting follows that determines success the most; it’s you, your frame of mind and the thoughts that engender that frame of mind.
Specifically, whatever thought you process in your conscious mind passes straight into your unconscious mind and merges with any ‘subconscious programmes’ running there. The aggregate information is then passed directly to your DNA which vibrates at different rates in accord with your temperament. That is:
The vibe you put out determines your success.
I coached a very successful salesperson who never felt at her best in front of a CEO customer. It took a wee while for us to discover a subconscious programme she’d developed from her authoritarian parents, created by a ‘single significant emotional event’ when she was three years old. Once she ‘released’ this programme, her faith-in-self in front of CEO’s increased significantly. Her sales soared.
Research by scientists (e.g. The Biology of Belief, by Dr Bruce Lipton and The Genie in your Genes, by Dr Matthew Dawson) demonstrates the subliminal communicative functioning power of DNA between human beings which can be harmonious (I prefer the term, ‘resonant’) or out of tune (dissonant) – and at its extreme, disruptive.
Allow me to define ‘being competent’ as not only having the capability to demonstrate requisite skills and knowledge at the customer interface, it’s also about being competent at preparing yourself to be at your peak, to achieve the gravitas (sometimes called ‘traction’) you seek.
Author’s note: gravitas is something we can all achieve; it’s a result not a gift privy to a chosen few. Only 15% or so of salespeople achieve the ‘customer gravitas’ they seek, hence this book!
Let me add, the competence that customers attribute to you will also include an element of the perceived competence of the solutions you bring to the table, i.e. an acknowledgement of the potential of your solution’s value proposition. Put another way, if the customer has little faith in what you’re selling, even though they value your personal contribution, to what degree will you be invited to participate in the decision making process?
We’ve covered two of the three ‘Cs’ in the E=MC3 equation. A salesperson not only has to be competent in following ‘top sales processes’ (and have potentially ‘competent’ solutions); they need to be confident in their ability and motivated to follow those sales processes too. And still there’s one further factor that determines how effective you are (by seeing what’s really going on), a heightened sense of…
Top salespeople are unstintingly curious. For example, they love to be coached. They are very willing to learn how to become more effective at selling.
Top performers focus on working smarter, not harder, than ‘moderates’
You might ask, “Curious about what?” Answer: “Everything!”
Top salespeople probe below the surface of what’s going on – especially when forging business relationships. Like a metaphorical iceberg, they acknowledge that you only see about 15% above the surface; the obvious facts and logic by which a customer makes a decision. But they don’t stop there, they’re proactive to find the real passions and fears which will motivate or deter key stakeholders in the decision making process.
Curiosity is the sonar signal you emit to track changes on your ‘sales radar screen’. You track political, economic, sociological, technological and organisational developments as well as your competitors’ manoeuvres. At the deepest level, you’re tuning into changes in customers’ feelings, e.g. inspiration, motivation, confidence, sense of security, anger and most of all – trust and fear.
There’s more. You also need to be proactively curious about what might happen. I return to this later.
To summarise: selling is three parts mental/emotional to one part intellectual.
E=MC3, it’s not rocket science!
Paul C Burr
I’ve seen a wide variety of researched estimates of the average tenure of a CEO. They range from 2.5 to 7+ years. I don’t know many private investors who are that patient. The last two CEOs I met, gave themselves considerably less time to make their mark; 1 year and 6 months respectively.
CEOs seem to have a honeymoon period of around 18 months. By the end of which, if things aren’t significantly better, their ‘marriage’ with the investors will probably not last.
A chat with Professor Colin Coulson Thomas prompted me to write this blog. Colin, author of Winning Companies:Winning People, is Chairman and fellow board member of Cotoco Ltd .
Here are the warning signs that CEOs fear most.
- Bad earnings news: the most likely and quickest sign of departure.
- Corporate programs don’t deliver: mergers and acquisitions “achieve 70% of their potential” at best.
- Failure to turnaround ailing sales quick enough.
- Change takes too long: “Corporate Firewalls” prevent people from getting it done. More on this later.
- Investors don’t understand: a CEO spends 40% of their time articulating strategy and some argue that’s not enough.
- Personal wealth at risk: e.g. missed deadlines can lead to private investors swallowing up the shareholding of a company
- Lack of innovation: playing it safe is no longer an option these days. Competitors and customers are moving too quickly.
- Talent gaps in performance: e.g. 20% of the salesforce bring in 80% of the revenue (and probably a much higher percentage of the profit).
- Conflict in the boardroom: too much time spent looking inwards leaves too little time to focus on the customer.
- Personal credibility at risk: any of the above means less likelihood of stepping up the ladder of success and/or lack of a legacy of note. These in turn can lead to…
- Personal health at risk: where the stressed mind-body connection can have serious consequences. I know of one CEO who, after missing targets set by investors, developed terrible eye problems because he didn’t like what he saw. Another developed disabling back pain through a lack of self esteem. Another who was deemed too rigid and inflexible developed problems with their joints.
Getting the strategy right will largely depend on the advice the CEO receives from those around them and experts (those they know who have done it before). This is called mentorship. And many stop there because it’s traditionally acceptable to have mentors.
But the CEO’s job is not just about getting it right. It’s about influencing people who don’t want to be influenced at first. If they were easily influenceable they’d have done what was needed long ago. This leads us to those constructs that get in the way – I call them….
With a select group of people, the CEO works out what tomorrow’s reality for their organisation will look like – and the strategy to get there. They find the first firewall just outside this group. Everyone on the inside ‘gets it’. Those on the outside don’t – certainly not the whole picture. Which means they miss perhaps key pieces to the corporate jigsaw. The more select the CEO’s inner group, the higher or tougher the ‘wall’ is to breach.
The wall filters out some of the cognition and understanding of what went on inside. It only takes a small amount to create ambiguity. Once ambiguity kicks it can start a trail as follows:
ambiguity –> confusion –> stress –> dysfunction.
This occurs especially in organisational cultures where ‘not understanding’ is perceived as a weakness. And when a ‘senior middle manager’ (say, from outside the group) doesn’t get it, they tend to do one of 4 things. They…
- Ask for clarity (’tis surprising how little often this happens)
- Put their head down, pay lip-service, and hope it will go away
- Push back (the larger the hierarchy the less egalitarian the culture)
- (Most dangerous of all) Make up the missing pieces of the jigsaw for themselves
The latter habit creates the most confusion for everyone in the value chain right through to the customer interface or the grass roots level of the organisation. For just behind this ‘grass roots’ operational level we observe a second firewall. Curiously, those at the ‘grass roots’ level seem to get the gist of CEO messages quite easily. It’s how those messages are translated into action where the confusion lies. And they are sometimes less prone to keeping quiet when things don’t add up. So the CEO has the challenge of involving those who will carry their message wholly and articulately into the organisation on their behalf.
7 Key Traits
CEOs require a mixed repertoire of personal strategies to influence influencers. In my personal research (of several hundred top performers in organisations around the globe) I’ve observed 7 key traits (or characteristics) in those who influence the best:
- Faith-in-Self – when there is no data (or time to gather it) to make big decisions.
- Passion – if you don’t radiate passion how can you expect others to shine?
- Sensibility – to see where others are at, where they come from and where they are headed, in their minds
- Articulate – to simplify complex concepts and make them compelling
- Curiosity – to explore what’s going on below the surface of things
- Networker – it’s not what you know it’s who you go to, to find and share wisdom to get things done
- Composure – under pressure or facing the unknown
We demonstrate traits. They describe how we come across to others. We do not learn them in a classroom through conventional training. We nurture traits. A good Executive Coach accelerates the process of how a CEO nurtures winning traits and behaviours (that may feel uncomfortable at first) – to forge a strategic personal-identity with those people whom they do not have personal contact with. If these winning traits were purely intellectual or comfortable they wouldn’t need a coach – would they? With this in mind, we can see the difference between mentoring and coaching.
We get what we project.
CEOs get people to copy what they project. The onus they face: to transfer the above traits and characteristics to others. Some CEOs see coaching as something for other people with problems. They are part right. It is. But the problems I talk about are all associated with an inability to influence those people who will block/thwart even the best thought out plans. CEOs might not even know what those that hinder are up to – because they are hidden behind a Corporate Firewall.