Trust Every Attribute of a Member

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Have you ever heard these sayings?

  • “Team is not just a group of people but a group of people who trust each other.”
  • “There is no ‘I’ in TEAM. But there is a ‘me’ in team!”
  • “TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More.”

All the above statements can be considered true, but the last two are negative because they are talking about the individual person. Within a poorly functioning team, there may be an individual or many individuals which are focused on getting the greatest personal benefit they can from the team. It is important as a leader that we influence these individuals to believe in a common, greater vision. We need each member of the team to trust each other and to trust you as a leader.

Let’s look at one of my favorite candies, the dark chocolate peanut butter cup. From the outside, it looks delicious and all you can think about is that first bite that blends the chocolate layer with the creamy peanut butter on the inside. What if you went to take a bite and instead of the delicious combination, you experience the emptiness of peanut butter. Just crumbled chocolate. How are you going to feel? Disappointed. Not excited. This is a boring hollow piece of chocolate; it is like those chocolate bunnies you get during Easter that are hollow on the inside. No thank you.

The peanut butter filling is what makes the piece of candy complete and special; it is what sets it apart from the other candies. This metaphor is like a team with trust. A team without trust is just a group of people fighting for individual glory. But the team with that creamy, delicious, mouth-watering peanut butter is what makes it special. How can you gain the trust of your team? And how can you ensure that team members trust one another?

Words are only words but your actions speak so much more. Within your team, it is important to deeply know about each team member. What are their passions, what motivates them, what are their strengths and weaknesses, etc? Knowing more than surface level information allows for greater collaboration as people can more effectively fill roles. As leaders, we need to be transparent and honest with the team. If there is something that you struggle with but someone else on your team excels at, then let them lead that area. This shows the person you trust them. The other message is the team knowing you are willing to step aside and put your ego away for the betterment of the team.

It is important to listen to the team’s input because each member is invested in the team’s success and have thoughts for improvement. Take their feedback and input as a great learning opportunity because now you have many minds on one subject vs. your solo perspective. Through this collaboration along with an analytical perspective, you can look to omit poor ideas and move forward with good ideas. This is a great time for you to educate team members and give constructive feedback if needed.

Lead by example, if a team member makes a valid suggestion don’t shun them away because it was not your own idea. Embrace their suggestion and put it into effect. Ask them more questions about how they would move forward with their suggestion and plan the steps needed to succeed. Be part of the team; work side-by-side with them; don’t be afraid to show them that you are not afraid to get “dirty” and do what is necessary to see the success of the team as a whole.

Trust Every Attribute of a Member (TEAM).

-Sean C.

 

Book Summaries with Jeremy

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Born to run: A hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen by Christopher McDougall

Summary:

A writer has a foot injury and that starts a journey to learn more about distance running. In particular, there is a culture of Tarahumara Indians that are legendary for their epic runs, simple diet, partying and remote lifestyle. McDougall tells a few stories along the way. These intense 50-100 mile trail runs in various places and certain individuals that not only run in them, they dominate the competition. After each mini-story, we hear how the various individuals are invited to a secluded race with the Tarahumara. The race is extremely challenging and close but also a great display of friendship and joy with running. Some keys through the book are shorter strides and lesser cushion on shoes. Most running injuries correspond to new shoes. Cushioned shoes through research have shown to elicit harsh impacts. Shoes would minimize the temporary pain but not injury. A minimal shoe or barefoot causes the foot to react and strengthen. With smaller steps, the foot is efficient at this. There is also mention of research and possible explanations. It seems we as a species became upright and the main advantage was our distance running ability. We could cool ourselves and breathe while maintaining pace. Other animals cannot. This led to outrunning animals. This leads to more protein, helping to expand brain size over time. The book makes a push to illustrate that we are made to run when we rely on our natural makeup, something the Tarahumara have maintained. The other big takeaway is the joy they had. Each of the elite runners had a pure smile of joy as they ran. They found a way to fully embrace some or multiple aspects of it.

Influence on me:

I liked the discussion revolving around the evolution of our species to become distance runners. Personally, I had never called myself a runner. Most of my exercise experience was weight lifting as I found it to be more enjoyable. Knowing this information though gives me a new confidence that I too can improve. I can embrace running and get the numerous benefits it offers. As I was reading through the book, I had talked with runners and biomechanist to start and have a shorter more efficient stride. I have to report that my own plantar fasciitis has been reduced greatly. Lastly, I look to have joy during the run. It is easy to get down on yourself, thinking how tired or hot or thirsty you may be. As I think back to the book, these other individuals were capable of so much more. I think about what I enjoy about the running process. It, in turn, does make it go better and as each run has less pain physically and mentally, then I truly do enjoy it more. It’s a nice book for someone looking to get into running.

BornToRun

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Make Your Bed in the Morning

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You probably got tired of hearing your mom tell you to make the bed in the morning. You could never figure it out either. You asked yourself, “Why make my bed when I am just going to get back in it?” But, maybe your mom was onto something. What was it?

“One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” -Unknown

That positive thought is an accomplishment. How do you achieve accomplishment first thing in the morning? By making your bed!

Making your bed when you first get up can set up the rest of your day for success. Start the morning out by seeking a task and completing it. It may seem simple and not a very exotic task, but I challenge you for two weeks to make your bed in the morning.

At the end of the two weeks email us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com and let us know your experience. What did you notice different each day after making your bed? Reflect on this time. Stand in front of your bed after your done, smile and tell yourself something positive about your accomplishment and what you prepare to do the rest of the day.

Example: First task is done! Nothing will get in my way today. I am on a role!

Again, this may seem like a little task but this little step in the morning makes a huge ripple in the rest of your day. It allows for you to start off with the right mindset you need to achieve success each day.

Admiral William McRaven inspires many to change the world by making your bed in the morning. Watch the video here!

-Sean C.

10 Questions to Give You Direction in Life

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A few times a year I like to take time and reflect where I am at in my life and evaluate my goals and aspirations. These ten questions are a great way to reflect and help you on your journey. Take a look at my most recent reflection I have done.

How do you want to be remembered?

SC: Putting others before me. Being a service to others.

If you had time and finances not holding you back, what would you do with your life?

SC: Travel the world to learn and embrace different cultures.

If you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you do with your life?

SC: There is a handful of things I would like to do if I knew that there were no consequences associated with it. First, I would open my own gym. Second, I would open a tap room. I would work from home, write books, and have an online business that allowed me to help develop and add value to people’s life.

What mark do you want to make on the world?

SC: Make an impact with the people I interact with each day. Inspire them to want to better themselves and pass on that gift to other people. I want everyone to be a love cat. I want to add value to people’s lives and I want them to add value to mine.

If you could snap your fingers and instantly become famous for something, what would you choose?

SC: For writing a book(s).

What makes you feel totally alive?

SC: Coaching/teaching or having a deep conversation about something I am truly passionate about.

What do you do that makes you lose track of time?

SC: Read books. Research on YouTube (and sometimes the internet). Developing social media or blog content.

What are you completely amazing at?

SC: Nothing. I have strengths and weaknesses but nothing I am amazing at because that mindset would hinder the purpose of trying to better myself. If I had to choose one thing I believe I am good at it listening to other people. I am also good at organizing things (events, packets, etc.).

Who inspires you?

SC: A handful of people. Matthew Vincent, Lewis Howes, CORE group of friends.

What is your favorite past time?

SC: Drinking craft beer with friends, and/or watching movies.

We would like to hear from you! Please answer these ten questions and email them to us at rawrnonprofit@gmail.com

-Sean C.

Book Summaries with Jeremy

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Built on Values by Ann Rhoades

Summary:

Built on Values stresses the importance of instilling values within an organization and living up to those values. Too often an organization struggles for its identity and culture along with poor results. Defining and living up to values provides a blueprint for how the organization and each employee will conduct itself. There are various strategies within the book. Some key aspects are identifying the A players, the best employees of an organization who live up to the values. Use them as input for creating values as needed, but also as examples. Everyone from the front line to executives should be expected to live the values daily. This is easier when hiring is done in accordance with values, finding examples of behaviors from candidates that live up to the values. Performance reviews and goals should also be value driven. Those acting in accordance should be properly rewarded. Communication is vital, especially when integrating a new value system, as some employees may not take it with full seriousness. Instead, acknowledge it will take time and be consistent with message and actions. This is aided by direct input from all levels. The focus is to look at all aspects of the business and identify methods to increase awareness and functioning based on the values. Doing this over time will lead to greater retention of employees, greater products, and greater experiences for customers.

How it influenced me:

When I first started to read this book, I thought how it was such an echo of what I had been saying all summer, meeting with 200 gym and brewery owners across the USA. I recall speaking to a friend and former colleague of mine in Florida regarding the importance of values and how I would keep referring to values for numerous topics of discussion we had regarding some organizational development he was implementing. I then thought there were opportunities for me to help other organizations as well. As I read more, I had a feeling of validation, but also learning and “oh yeah” moments where I realized there were considerations for value implementation that I had not previously thought of. I am also in the process of looking for a job for some stability and this has made me consider the perspective I had when applying at organizations. I look forward towards the future with greater confidence regarding values as I work within and with various organizations.

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Using Tech to Connect, Right

Modern Young Man With Mobile Phone In The Street.

Texting is an essential form of communication these days. Type some words and the person can look at it whenever they have time. Communication met with convenience, especially since you can text in a room without others knowing what you’re saying. It can be a lifeline for a dangerous situation or a bad date. There is certainly a lot of good about texting, but it isn’t without its faults.

When reading a text from someone, there are assumptions as to the tone and true meaning meant by the person. Sure, emoticons and emojis can help to illustrate if something is teasing, a joke or not serious, but there is still wiggle room for error. Not to mention, “I’m fine”, “just do whatever you want” and “I’m good” are all phrases we’ve heard and have known there were other meanings. This lack of communication can make us feel bad or sad as we aren’t effectively communicating with others.

While traveling, I had some friends tell me about the Marco Polo app. Here is the Marco Polo website for those looking to download it. Marco Polo blends the concepts of Skype (video chatting) with texting. You can record a video message and send it to a friend. They can then look at it whenever it is convenient for them. This is indeed like sending a video Snap, but the difference is the length of the video. (I suppose I could’ve used that as my initial analogy, but hopefully, through both, it gives a good mental idea of the app) Marco Polo can record much longer videos without the interruptions from different Snaps. This added length enables the messages to more encompassing of how a day went, or to hear full stories with all the details.

The beautiful part of the video message is being able to hear the tone and see the person’s expressions as they speak. This feels much more natural and reduces the chance of error regarding the person’s message. Not to mention, seeing a family member or friend, especially when they are across the country, gives a sense of warmth, familiarity, and love.

Marco Polo has enabled me to maintain and strengthen existing friendships, but also to help some bloom into stronger friendships. It is great to connect with anyone, regardless of their location, and without the worries of setting up a time to talk and coordinate time zones.

An added benefit Sean (the Co-founder of RAWR) and I have implemented is including something we’re grateful for in our messages. This helps us to reflect on the good things occurring in our lives. Doing this over time can help to shift to a more optimistic way of thinking, which in turn can have added benefits regarding performance, self-satisfaction, and relationships.

In sum, my less than official stance is that Marco Polo is a neat app worth checking out. Some people have some hesitation with a video I’ve noticed. For those out there, just focus on the value of connection, and a purer connection making it even better. Plus, there are filters and such for those needing them or just want a little change of pace.

-Jeremy

What Leaders Really Do

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Nearly 30 years ago, What Leaders Really Do (May need HBR subscription to view fully) was written by John P. Kotter for the Harvard Business Review. This makes it far from the “latest and greatest” information available to us, but that does not diminish the impact it can have.

The article discusses the difference between management and leadership. Management relates to the planning and predictable nature of daily tasks. It means finding the right people for the job and executing effective problem-solving. Leadership is the creation of a vision of what the company ought to be and finding people which align with said vision. It means creating a level of credibility and motivation within each employee to get them to believe in the vision.

Two concepts stood out to me from the article, motivating the employees and decentralized organization. The article talks about leadership including the process of motivating people but it does not go into how to accomplish this. I would offer motivation needs to be a multi-faceted approach. At RAWR, we work with organizations and their approach to motivation based on Achievement Goal Theory, Self-determination Theory, and Attribution Theory. This means creating an environment where people are focused on improving their own abilities and making goals geared towards their improvement. The goals they make should be based on their core values. Finally, daily, there are successes and failures that occur. Attributing the successes as something that can be repeatable and the failures as something that is isolated and changeable can lead to more motivation.

The concept of decentralization stood out as well. A few years ago, I had read two books which were recommended to me, The Starfish and the Spider and One from Many. The first showing various companies with such practices and the effectiveness it enabled. The latter was about the formation of Visa, the credit card company we use but may not know much about. A common premise is that to have fast progress, decentralization should occur.

A decentralized system gives more power to individuals, allowing for faster decisions and actions. Most of us have experienced situations where some level of management or the organization is stifling because things need to go through bureaucratic processes. These processes can be a form of handcuffs, slowing the progress. At first, decentralization may seem worrisome, but it is important to realize that even under such a system, help and guidance can be provided on a continued basis, allowing for growth and sustainability.

Throughout this blog, there have been a few resources discussed and the citations are below. Something to consider when coming across any resource, whether it is new, 30 years old, or much older, is identifying how it connects to other resources. Taking this analytical approach can help you process the information and make sense of it for yourself.

Here are citations for reference:

Brafman, O., & Beckstrom, R. A. (2006). The starfish and the spider: The unstoppable power of leaderless organizations. Penguin.

Duda, J. L., & Nicholls, J. G. (1992). Dimensions of achievement motivation in schoolwork and sport. Journal of educational psychology84(3), 290.

Hock, D. (2009). One from many: Visa and the rise of chaordic organization. ReadHowYouWant. com.

Kotter, J. P. (2001). What leaders really do (pp. 85-96). Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist55(1), 68.

Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological review92(4), 548.

-Jeremy