Archive for May, 2017

A Tale of Two Lifeguards – Episode 9

Listen Here

Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf9

Each of us harbors two characters within. The dedicated part of us goes above and beyond what is required, while the expedient part opts for cutting corners. Every day we get to choose which aspect of our character will show up. That choice can determine our success or failure — and even, in some cases, life or death.

One morning as Sara and I arrived at the beach, we noticed that Mikey, a long-time lifeguard, was collecting the dry seaweed along the water’s edge. He told us the seaweed would be used to shore up a sand dune at the edge of the beach that had been destroyed earlier in the season.
“Why do you do this, Mikey?” asked Sara. “Clearly this task is not part of the lifeguard job description.”

Mikey replied, “I love the beach; it gives me sustenance. I want to protect it and keep its ecosystem healthy so that others can enjoy it too. A couple of mornings each week I engage in a task that contributes to the welfare of the place that I love and that provides me with both livelihood and the love of life.”

The following morning was stormy and windy. The lifeguards had taken refuge in their tower, leaving two fishermen and me alone on the beach. After I dove into the water, I discovered that the yellow flags that define the swimming area and serve as my markers were missing.

I dashed out of the water to the lifeguard tower. “Where are the yellow flags?” I asked.

“No one is here today, so they serve no purpose,” was the dismissive reply from Parker, a new lifeguard.

As I returned to the stormy ocean to continue my swim, Parker’s comment bothered me. I could have dismissed it and moved on. However, a part of my mind is wired to capture the odd moments in life that provide learning and teachable value, then slowly make sense of them until I decipher the picture. This process is similar to the one required to develop pictures in the days when cameras had film. To extract the pictures, the film had to be treated with a chemical that gradually converted the latent images into visible ones (photographs). The process took a little time.

Did you know that we all have a part of our mind that works like the “old time” development process? In my book Create New Futures, I describe the three speeds of the mind. I call the middle speed the “pondering” mind, because it develops the “pictures” that gradually become clear as the brain connects the dots among the data that constantly flood our brains.

Your pondering mind knows your interests and helps you solve problems. In my case, my fascination and inquiry relate to the human story at the convergence of learning, discovery, innovation breakthrough, and the human spirit. Thus when I observe successes and failures (my own as well as others’), I forensically decode them to identify what enables people to produce remarkable outcomes, or what blocks them from producing breakthrough results.

Parker’s comment activated my pondering mind. What gradually came into focus was a stark contrast between Mikey’s way of being on the job versus Parker’s. We all have seen the manifestation of these opposing attitudes of dedication and expediency in corporate offices, in hotels and in restaurants. The difference between these two attitudes determines the outcomes you can achieve. Your choice even can be the decisive factor in life or death situations.

Mikey exemplified his dedication character by taking on tasks that are beyond the call of duty. Why? Because he cares. He understands deeply that his actions can shape the ecosystem. Mikey represents the people who show up each day ready to contribute by making a difference in their ecosystems.

Parker, on the other hand, demonstrated his expediency character when he chose to slide by with the minimal amount of work. He showed no respect for the protocols and rituals that are part of his job. It seems that it did not occur to Parker that putting up the yellow flags is about much more than the utilitarian value of the moment.

What caused Parker’s attitude? The absence of attentive care that inspires people to take on extra work. What does it look like when such care is present?

We see it in the rituals of our jobs. For example, a farmer walks the perimeters of the farm to find out what needs fixing. A police officer who walks the street and greets people demonstrates his presence and reassures the neighborhood. A pilot who walks around the aircraft to run his visual checklist does so not because he distrusts the ground crew, but because the ritual itself puts him in the mental frame of attention to details. And we see the care in the nurse who provides comfort to her patients.

These rituals alert people that they are connected to the great traditions of their fellow professionals. They activate the desire to perform at the highest possible standard. People like Mikey choose dedication over expediency, and continual improvement over the erosion of standards.

We all have both lifeguards in us. Every day we get to choose who, and how, we will be. Creating a new future for you and your family, for your team and your business, begins by choosing to go beyond the call of duty, to bring forward your focused presence, love, and dedication to your work and your life. After all, that’s what we are here for: to create new futures by bringing forward care, dedication and love.

Mikey or Parker: who do you choose to be today?

What I’m going to address is a live or die factor. Click To Tweet I never miss my ocean visit. Calm or storm, warm or cold, I have to visit Dr. Ocean. Click To Tweet The pondering mind knows what you’re interested in. Click To Tweet Mikey represents the people that show up for work to make a difference and to create a contribution. Click To Tweet

What Successful Leaders Do with Paul Werner – Episode 8

Listen Here

Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf8

My guest for this conversation is Paul Werner. Paul is a 25-year veteran of the tech industry with successful and proven leadership experience in large and mid-cap technology companies serving global customers. Currently Paul serves as the Vice President of Sales for the Western U.S. at F5 Networks — a security and application delivery company.

In this conversation, Paul shares the essential focus that enables him to produce sustained success. We explore how to create holistic balance when you are leading a competitive Career, and Paul reflects on the attributes of great salespeople, and the leadership philosophy he applies to promote the best in people.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How do you create sustained success? Carving time to rejuvenate is critical to achieving high performance. One way to rejuvenate is to focus on a singular activity that shuts out the noise.
  • “My development came from immersive experience with strong leaders.” Finding strong leaders as mentors can make a huge difference.
  • “Getting to know each member on my team, and connecting at a human level, is how I succeed.”
  • The clues for career development are often right in front of you. In Paul’s case the clue was: “I was doing most of the selling, and the salespeople were making most of the money, and so I realized I should try sales.
  • The most successful salespeople are truly curious, are disciplined and organized. These attributes make great salespeople:
  • ○ Curiosity: inquire deeply to understand
    ○ Discipline: show up organized consistently
    ○ Engagement: Pull on all organizational assets
    ○ Drive: demonstrate innate desire to be successful

  • If you embrace the fractal idea, where the atomic structure reflects and mirrors the galaxies around, framed in the scripture with the idea that man and woman are made in the image of God, and that As Above, So Below — then if the universe is made of three quarters of unrealized potential then you and I too are only accessing a small part of our potential.
Focus on a singular activity to reset and rejuvenate. Click To Tweet Find your mentors in strong leaders you want to emulate. Click To Tweet To succeed, get to know each member on your team, and connect with them at a human level. Click To Tweet The value is in the relationships. We all need to feel connected. Click To Tweet The most successful sales people are curious, disciplined, organized, and engage all available resources. Click To Tweet A universe made of 3/4 of unrealized potential proposes we too are only expressing a small part of our potential. Click To Tweet

Curiosity Is a Muscle That Fuels Innovation with Ann-Marie Archer – Episode 7

Listen Here

Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf7

Ann-Marie Archer is the Founder and CEO of Archer & Associates, an Executive Search, Leadership Development, and Coaching Services firm that delivers best-in-class, talented candidates for its clients, and helps individuals and organizations achieve their potential.

After 20 years in corporate America, observing and experiencing the tedious and unpredictable hiring process, and gaps in effective leadership, Ann-Marie chose to launch a firm dedicated to potent leadership development, and an authentic and holistic, right fit philosophy.

In this conversation, you will learn why questions are an important part of the discovery process, in both business and with people, why curiosity plays a critical role in candidates going through a company hiring process, and how we as people and leaders can quickly adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Essential Learning Points From This Episode

  • How both Ann-Marie and Aviv use conversations as a discovery tool to understanding the strength and weaknesses of others.
  • Why curiosity is critical, and whether it’s a natural talent or a developed skill.
  • What is the ‘not knowing’ zone, and why we need to learn to embrace it.
  • What are the skills Ann-Marie observes with leaders that successfully navigate this rapidly changing world.
  • What are simple questions that get big and meaningful answers.
  • How good questions look towards the future and then lead back into the present.
  • A CV can never show you how someone thinks or shows up when under pressure, but smart questions can bring you important data on how someone will react.
I have made it my life to follow and watch highly curious people. Click To Tweet Curiosity is what fuels innovation. Click To Tweet Find the sense of courage and fearlessness in uncovering what’s going to serve the conversation. Click To Tweet The key for a leader now is knowing the right question. Click To Tweet The future pulls us out of the past, and pulls toward the dream, and what’s possible. Click To Tweet The practical walk and the inner walk go hand in hand. Click To Tweet If we don't start to listen, it eventually gets very quiet. Click To Tweet

Web Site Implemented By CB Software Systems, Inc.