“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” – Chinese Proverb
Words are powerful! It’s part of the reason I love quotes. A big punch of awesome packed into a little sentence. Words are also helpful in determining intent. Much like body language and tone can convey additional meaning, word choice is equally telling. I received an e-mail today that said:
Let’s try and connect later today to discuss.
I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I suspect this person has very little intention of trying to connect with me. It’s like Yoda said:
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Any time I hear someone say they will “try” and do something, my certainty of a desirable outcome drops by at least 50%. In any leadership role, I’ve considered “try,” to be an immediate red flag. I always ask follow up questions:
- Can you quantify that for me?
- How committed are you on scale from 1-5?
- How hard are you going to try?
Furthermore, vague details/timelines are ripe for confusion and dismissal. “Let’s connect later today.” Who’s going to initiate the connection? When is it going to happen: this morning, this afternoon, this evening? How are we going to connect? Basically, I interpret that sentence to mean: I’m going to have to hunt this person down until we connect.
So, do you and your team use “committed language?” Here was my response to the sender’s e-mail:
I’m looking forward to it! I’ll call you at ###-###-####, within 1 hour to set up a time to meet and review the report. Ideally we can find a 2 hour block within the next 24 hours so we can keep the project on track. Looking forward to talking with you shortly.
Who do you think is more committed to meeting and achieving a desirable outcome? Committed language helps you get more done and effectively communicate your intent and tempo.
I hope this helps you Rise Above!
I came across this quote today and had to share it:
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” – Willa A. Foster
Man, doesn’t that ring true? Not just quality at work but in every facet of life. I thought about how Willa’s words might apply to various aspects of life: fitness, time with family, hobbies, etc. There are some many priorities competing for our time and attention but which priorities get a “quality commitment” from us? I immediately though about a good friend of mine (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty). Every time we grab something to eat, or a cup of coffee, he is glued to his cell phone. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Clash of Clans…the list goes on. What’s his focus and intention during that time? I’ve been there too, guilty of prioritizing electronic communication over REAL communication. But, is that quality time spent? I would say, NO. This is just one example of where our lack of “high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution,” causes us to fall short of the quality we want in our life and relationships. Where are you lacking quality? How can you fix it?
I’m asking myself the same! ;-).
I had a unique opportunity to fail this week. :-).
I was talking to a friend of mine over the weekend and the topic of networking came up (professional not tech). He was asking about the best way to get leads…quickly. I smiled and told him to give leads quickly. He was a little puzzled. I was a little puzzled when I had first heard it too. I think that can be puzzling for many professionals. It’s counter-intuitive but I’ve found a “rule” that applies to many aspects of life. Here it is:
The fastest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” – Bernard Montgomery
Throughout my career in sales, and sales training, I’ve been challenged by individuals who simply fail to execute on behaviors or meet basic job expectations. In sales, their failure to execute is directly tied to their ability to generate commission. That makes it doubly frustrating for me because they aren’t just hurting my results, they are limiting their own ability to generate more income!
When I made the transition from leading a sales team to a full time sales trainer, I quickly realized something; training is often used a scapegoat. I’d be sitting in sales meetings with senior leaders and sales managers, invariably someone would say: “we can’t hit quota because my team isn’t properly trained!” As a new trainer, you take that a bit personally! I took that feedback at face value and re-committed to improving my efforts in every area. However, after a few meetings and hearing the “training excuse” 20-30 times, I realized some things weren’t adding up.
I’m starting a new project and I’m excited to share the journey with you! Today, I started putting some of the pieces together for what I hope will become an appealing and insightful suite of resources for development minded professionals and entrepreneurs. It will take time (as all good things do) to achieve my vision for the Endeavor brand. In the months ahead, I hope to provide the Endeavor community with insightful posts, videos and pod-casts. This suite of content will span a wide range of topics under the umbrella of professional development. Content that will appeal to a variety of individuals; from first time managers to vice presidents and every position in between. The content will also benefit entrepreneurs who may not have the time or budget for seminars/consultants but need to cultivate their management skill set. Endeavor will be a source of knowledge for the “everyman.” I welcome you to join me on this journey! Whatever you endeavor to accomplish, Endeavor will help you achieve it.