Betting on ’11?

Would you bet on your ’11?

What are the odds that you will succeed in 2011?

What is your belief about your odds in ’11?
50/50?… 60/40?… 40/60?…

The number says a lot about where your mindset is coming into the new year. And yet it IS a New Year!

Has anything changed? Has your outlook changed? Did you suddenly get a new contract on January 1 that made your entire year? Are you thinking about the year? Or just making through the month?

Our mindset coming into the New Year is a big indicator of where our year is already headed. As I rise to face the new day today – I am challenged with making sure that my mindset – my mental focus is sharpened to key off of the energy I want, the destination I want, and the results I want.

As the mind goes, as the beliefs go, and the focus goes – so goes the life…

This morning, as I face the start of the new week – and the 2nd week of the year – my challenge is that I define my mindset, my belief set for the upcoming week, month, quarter.

Would I bet on my ’11?….

Would I bet that my ’11 will be better than my ’10 or ’09 or ’08? Would I bet that my ’11 would be better than the most successful year of my life? That I would achieve more this year? or reach more this year? Or attain more life satisfaction than ever before?

The challenge – the bet, if you will, comes down to this… I bet if I change my beliefs and I change my actions – I bet my year will be better than if I don’t!!!

How about you? Bet with me? Bet with me that if we choose to align together for the next year – and choose to hold each other mutually accountable for our beliefs, perspectives, and actions – that if we intentionally focus on the right things and tweak the right processes – that we will achieve more – than if we isolate, dwell, linger, regret, fear, and maintain status quo.

Last year is last year – my mistakes are in the past, my successes are in the past – my only bet – is to bet on my ’11. My actions and my thoughts in my ’11 will play a major role in my ‘success’ for 2011…

Me? I’m betting on ’11!!

Discovering and Defining your Team’s Culture

Why do the dogs run that way? Because that’s the way they run.

Why does your team do that? Or members in your team act that way? Because it’s what they know and believe and are allowed so, right now.

On the surface, many things are the way they are because that’s the way they are, and that’s likely to not change – unless you, as the leader, exert influence to change the process. It goes back to Newton’s Laws of motion.


Whether you start with, immediately, analyzing your team OR creating the cultural vision and then using that as a “checkpoint” to gauge against – you, basically, have 2 parts – the way it is and the way I want it to be. Let’s deal with the way it is….

The first step to discovering and defining your team’s ‘Culture’ is to understand yourself well. Realizing that your own beliefs are driving your behaviors – that YOUR lens is bending the data – is important. How you view your team, how you view conflict within the team, how you view interaction, initiative, delegation, problem resolution, communication… well, you get the point. It affects every area of our leadership because it comes from our core.

There is so much to learn about in this area but I’m more focused on helping leaders than doing a dissertation on behavioral analysis – so let’s cut to the chase and just do a fly-by. Beliefs and behaviors, for our purposes, will fall into a couple of areas.

Healthy / Unhealthy

Behaviors such as addiction, uncontrolled anger, etc. are, usually, easy to spot and easy to tag as unhealthy. But what about the belief that we will post pone preventative maintenance until after this fiscal year – so we can make our numbers? The belief is – the short term win will outweigh the long-term harm (or will deal with that problem when and if it occurs). Where do beliefs like this come from? Are we promoting this intentionally or unintentionally?

Natural / Adaptive

Natural beliefs will spring out of people’s natural gifting or their personality (temperament) – they view things from a particular point of view based on whether they are Introverted or extraverted, analytic or relational. Natural Lenses are helpful in bringing out the various perspectives and rounding out the viewpoints.

Adaptive beliefs are created from learning of some type. From a base view, it goes back to some form of self preservation or self evolving.

Individual / Pack

All beliefs are held and acted on by individuals, but the question is more, ‘Are these beliefs and behaviors that the individual only does when in the pack and/or for social approval/status/acceptance?’

Advancing / Limiting

Many within our team, including ourselves, hold to beliefs that hold us back. It’s the aged but powerful story of the 4 minute mile. Once the 4 minute barrier was broken by Roger Bannister, within three years, by the end of 1957, 16 other runners also cracked the four minute mile. Where are our beliefs limiting us and where are they advancing us?

Again, we could spend a year or more with you or your organization around this topic – but just for now, just for this week…

What do we do? Why do we do it? Is it Healthy or Unhealthy? Natural or Adaptive? Individual or pack? Advancing or Limiting? And lastly, as an organization, intentional or unintentional?

What do we reward? What do we recognize? What is -50 Degrees (cold, hard reality)? Where are we conflicted / inauthentic? What do we believe about our customers? Our people? Our competitors? Ourselves?

My belief? It’s that you can become a great musher with a great team on purpose!

When does perception = reality?

You say, “Tomato”. I Say “TomAHto”. You say, “we’re going to change…”. I think, “What do you mean change? I like it the way it is now. I’m used to doing it this way. If you change, it’s going to mean extra work. If you need to change, it means I’m not doing my job right. Or the company is in trouble. Either way I’m probably going to lose my job. This is a terrible time to be out of work. I Hate rebuilding my resume. I hate interviewing. What about the house? What about the bills? …..”

You get the point.

All of us bend information to our own level of understanding. I call this the “Sunglass” principle. Light comes into our “Eyes” but before it gets to the final stage of understanding – it gets interpreted or “bent” by our “lenses”. Without going into a full discussion or session on “Belief Windows”, these “Lenses” are formed from our past experiences, both in our business and our personal lives. The resulting effect on the team is that communication that is not intentional is left to everyone’s separate “Lens” and, at each interpretation, it gets bent. Their Perception = their reality.

Intentional “Iditarod Leadership” Communication takes into account the “Sunglasses” or lens of the recipient(s) before the message is ever launched out there. The message is, intentionally, crafted to each person AND each personality type.

Bending the information to each personality type, basically, means we need to consider:

· How much detail or factual based communication each recipient may need

· How some are going to perceive it affecting their image, social status, or income

· How others are going to feel before they think

· And how some just need us to cut to the bottom line.

Most, if not all, will, immediately, want to know how it affects them and their future. Like it or not, most of us are wired to think of self and self-preservation first.

If the message is to a large audience or is to be cascaded, we will need to build the intentional model to make sure the message isn’t bent at each level or with each department or divisional leader’s agenda.

Intentional Communication takes effort, but with the understanding that it will take more time to clarify, re-engage, re-purpose, re-direct, and get back on track – the effort on the front end is well worth the price of admission!

When communicating to the team, do you consider your teams personality and lenses?

If you are on the team, Do you consider your leader’s personality or lens?

On the trail, in life and business, perceptions and beliefs drive behaviors. To ensure we have the right actions or behaviors we must consider when perception is bending the message.

Have a great day!