Archives for April 2015

TIME (Part 3): Intentionality, with Direction

Time for SuccessContributed by Dan Sheedy.

As we change our mindsets in traveling down the road to success, we constantly seek guidance, indications and assurances about our paths, our choices, and our decisions in the desire to have TIME on our side. Intentionality is the next leg in the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy).

Be sure to read Success: It’s About TIME! and TIME (Part 2): First, It’s About Tenacity

Intentionality is a mindset that requires us to act, to do something deliberate, willful, and purposeful. Being intentional means making choices and taking actions based on our greatest values and purpose (the magnet). It involves taking responsibility and freeing ourselves from self-limiting conditioning; the habits and actions of others. Intentionality is so much more than trying hard and we need to understand why.

Many of us go through our days awake but following patterns we’ve developed over the years. We are going through the motions, doing things at home, online, and at work without much forethought. Contrast this with the idea of being intentional: everything you do is done with purpose, fulfilling one of your core values (for example, respect). Imagine everything you do is done with a purposeful intent. This sounds easy to do, but is having good intentions good enough? Nelson Mandela said, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

It is this intersection of intention, vision and action that creates the picture of where we want to end up in life and the path we choose to get there. Andy Stanley says in his book The Principal of the Path, “Direction, not intention determines your destination.” We can “intend” to do all sorts of things, but until we point ourselves in the right direction and start taking action, we won’t ever get to our destination or reach our goals. What we can conclude, however, is that having good intentions alone is never good enough and is only part of what it means to be intentional.

There is a simple but effective practice for intentionality. Before you take your next action or make that next decision, take a moment and state your intention aloud. Why are you making this decision or taking this action? Is it for you or others? Is it out of competition, compassion, desperation, want, need? Is it going to motivate others or make someone happier?

After you do this, make the decision, take the action and be mindful of your intention. The process of learning is continuously evolving. Even when we are stuck in old mindsets and habits, life has a way of showing us something new. The great thing is we don’t have to sit still and wait for things to happen to us, we can instead choose with intentionality to broaden our own thinking and experiences with a direction in mind and a plan for accomplishing it. With this step you have one more piece in moving from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?

TIME (Part 2): First, It’s About Tenacity

Time for SuccessContributed by Dan Sheedy.

A change in mindset is required to move us from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side” as we travel down the road to success. Tenacity is the first leg in the table of TIME (Tenacity, Intentionality, Message, and Energy). Tenacity—the will to either find a way or make one; to be persistent and determined—is a trait most people think they have. Robert Half said tenacity “is what makes the impossible possible, the possible likely and the likely definite.”

Be sure not to miss Part 1 of this series – Success: It’s About TIME!

When I asked a group of business leaders what tenacity meant to them, the answers varied widely. The theme that was consistent, however, is that the DNA of tenacity is formed of a combination of pieces—physical, mental and spiritual. In fact, physical, mental and spiritual tenacity form our ability to survive the challenges that life throws at us and to continue to perform at our highest levels despite all kinds of distractions and pressures. It is about getting things done, separating words from actions, and building upon proven regimens.

Think of a goal you set and achieved; running a race, closing a business deal, being on track to make partner. What hurdles did you overcome in realizing that goal? How did you navigate the setbacks, obstacles, changes and challenges that came your way? While you cannot control everything that comes your way, you are in complete control of how you react to it. Did you push through and endure?

Tenacity, though, is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with the mindset and inner drive that pushes us to believe with absolute certainty that what we are looking for will occur, to face our challenges and vault over them. The thing that always stands in the way of tenacity is doubt. This is why a proven process is so powerful for developing tenacity. This regimen can be summed up in three steps:

  1. Manage your expectations: Self-management is one of the biggest ways you can build resilience to the obstacles that come your way. Poorly managed expectations often lead to more surprises, which can make you feel out of control. A feeling of a lack of control often lowers morale and weakens your mental fortitude as well as your ability to stay grounded and flexible.
  2. Don’t allow emotions to get the best of you: Think before you speak. Mentally tough people remain calm in heated situations. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and own what is happening. Getting out of your comfort zone is a key to building tenacity.
  3. Find your source of motivation: Where do you find motivation? This is simply finding your “Why”. Simon Sinek explores finding your Why in a famous TED talk that looks at the ways we are inspired by the messages of some people, leaders and organizations over others. Your Why is also the source of the final piece of the DNA of tenacity- spiritual tenacity – your purpose, what motivates you, and what pushes you from the inside.

You now know what tenacity is and have a regimen to put in place to develop it. This challenges you to reflect and ask yourself this question: Am I tenacious? Is the first leg of the table of TIME a catalyst or derailer in my career? Think of examples and how you have proactively or reactively designed your life. Your honest assessment will begin the process in moving from “I need more time” to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?

Success: It’s About TIME!

Contributed by Dan Sheedy.

Time for SuccessAcross industries and organizations, people say “give me a little time and the success will come.” “Give me a little time and I’ll reach my goals.” More time is an easy solution leadership teams everywhere get behind with little challenge. Set goals, give the team members product, tools, accountability and time, and the business comes in, goals are reached, the organization grows and everyone succeeds.

Why doesn’t it really work this way? What gets in the way of time influencing success? Rex Cummings said that “time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” This viewpoint of time appears to prevail in organizations where success always seems to be only a short time away. But, does this mindset really create success?

I recently heard David Hibbard, the co-author of Soar Selling, speak and he reminded me that real success starts with a shift in mindset and a clear vision. Success comes from a compelling vision, a magnet, pulling someone to a goal, combined with pain and fear pushing them. So, what are the key components of a shift in mindset that leads to success? TIME, of course! Defining and implementing the compelling vision takes TIME.

Tenacity, Intentionality, Message and Energy.
Tenacity: Tenacity is the mindset that anything worth doing takes persistence, strong-will and stubborn determination. This quality is manifested by someone who won’t quit; someone who keeps trying until the goal is accomplished. For all of us, the will to either find a way or make one is a core success component. Talent, genius and education aren’t enough to navigate the long journey to success without tenacity. The tenacious person separates words from action.

Intentionality: What does it mean to be intentional? Is it deliberate, purposeful, willful or is it something more? Truly being intentional requires understanding that our attitudes, feelings, thoughts and actions directly impact every single one of our experiences. Being intentional means making choices based on your greatest values, your purpose (the magnet). It involves taking responsibility and freeing ourselves from self-limiting conditioning; the habits and actions of others. Ann Epstein said, “To be intentional is to act purposefully, with a goal in mind and a plan for accomplishing it.”

Message: Wikipedia defines message as a discrete unit of communication intended by the source for consumption by some recipient or group. Sounds simple enough, but in a world filled with mixed messages, people who are “off- message” and unfocused or confusing messages, there must be more to communicating message. We strive to communicate exactly what we want our audience to know with our words, visions and actions. Consistency of message, born from values, demonstrates integrity, passion and authenticity. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Energy: This is the least tangible component but is the straw that stirs the drink. What energy or effort do you bring to your life, your career and to the things you say are important to you? Just showing up and putting in the hours is not enough. Are you bringing energy and enthusiasm to your desired goals and priorities to make them a reality? Others should be drawn to you and your vision, wanting to be part of your sphere of influence.

Think about these pieces of TIME. There is great depth and breadth to explore in each of piece, including how any one piece can act as a catalyst or derailer in a successful career. Over the next several weeks we will explore each TIME piece in order to move the conversation from needing a little more time to “TIME is on my side.”

What will you do today to make this happen?