There are 3 reasons why a human being makes a change in their habits. If you want to effect a change in your life, or help another with a change that they say they want to make in their life – there are 3 levers that can increase the likelihood that change happens.
The 3 Reasons we Change
Pain – When my perception of current pain is visceral, then I will make the effort required to change. Someone can be in great pain but be unaware of the degree to which they are suffering. If I help myself or other become fully aware of the current pain, change can begin.
Vision – When I can see with extreme clarity where I want to get to, it is more likely that changes will happen. If I have a vague sense of where I want to go, nothing will change. As I make that vision clearer and clearer, more and more believable… change will begin to happen.
Fear of Future Consequences – When I can see the future pain that is coming if I do not change, and I feel it viscerally as if it was a current pain, change can begin to happen. Often I know that there are future consequences, but I haven’t truly taken the time to visualise and feel how bad it will be.
If you want someone to change, including yourself, don’t tell them what to do. Help them feel the current pain, see clearly the vision or feel the future consequences. This is how we help change happen.
Ensuring that the team, the organisation, the institution, the vision and mission can live on after you.
It is hard to let go of the ego part of you that enjoys being “needed”. It is difficult to accept that there needs to be a future beyond you. If an empire cannot go on beyond the ruler, this was not a great ruler.
Alexander the Great… was great at conquering and winning battles… but so totally failed to prepare for life beyond him that his children were murdered soon after his death and his five generals spent the rest of their lives fighting over the succession to his empire.
Will my organisation live on beyond my time as leader? I hope so…
Management is always about tradeoffs. If you want quality, you have to sacrifice time or money. If you want fast, you have to sacrifice quality or money. If you want cheap, you have to sacrifice quality or time.
Leadership is about People
If you push people, you don’t know which way they will go. If you use your power to tell them how to act, you will create a push back.
If you can learn to pull people, they will follow.
Power comes when people freely give you their support.
If you take that power and reflect it all back to them, they give you more. If you use the power for yourself, they give you less power. If you give people back the power that they entrust to you, more and more comes to you. You get to use this power for a Just Cause, something bigger than yourself, a Vision of a better world for all of us.
“Leadership is the most valuable commodity on the planet and it is the rarest commodity we have”
This video is about 4 ways to bring more luck into your life.
We Make our own Luck.
Why do some people lead happy successful lives whilst other face repeated failure and sadness? What enables some people to have successful careers whilst others find themselves stuck in jobs they hate? Can unlucky people do anything to improve their luck?
In the book The Luck Factor, Professor Richard Wiseman (good name for a professor!) shares his research into luck. He has spent over a decade investigating the beliefs and experiences of lucky and unlucky people.
If you think you’re unlucky, that bad luck may be the direct result of you believing you’re unlucky.
The path of the company and the person that takes no little bets, never risks an error, never risks a mistake… is to slowly die and then risk everything on one big “Hail Mary” pass.
What’s the worst life strategy for a person?
and also for a company?
Rely on what has always worked. Cross your fingers that it will remain an effective approach forever.
It is hard to overcome. When something is going well, you enjoy it. It’s hard to spend time on areas that are not flourishing. You have a successful, money making product… all your resources are there…
…and then one day it is not a successful, money making product. Ask anyone at Kodak.
Jeff Bezos is scared of complacency. He knows that Amazon has taken the wind out of many other companies’ money making products and strategies… and that someone somewhere is looking for a way to take down Amazon.
Jim Collins says that there are 3 ways to fail in Innovation. Here’s my video from earlier this year on Jim Collins lesson #6 – Shoot Bullets, then Cannon balls.
Listening to Jeff Bezos recently, he was so clear on the vital need to allow for failure, to actively seek to try new things that are likely to fail… and learn…. as a company and as a person.
Where do you do little tests? As a business? As a person?
“Second order thinking” is a big part of Paul’s approach. Second order thinking is looking for non-obvious rules that improve decision making, efficiency and quality of life. Check out the Python Paradox for an example 😉
Paul’s Essays that have most Impacted My Approach to Life
4 Common Reasons People want to Use their Phone less
Many of us would like to spend less time attached to our phones. But to make a real change, you need to understand why you want to use your phone less. You’ll have a better chance of succeeding if you identify exactly what is motivating you.
Here are 4 common reasons people want to unplug and the most effective tip for each:
Improving Work or Home Role Performance – keeping their phones out of sight provided them with the greatest results
Establishing a Personal Digital Philosophy – Setting rules had a tremendous impact for this group. The rules people came up with ranged from no smartphone “outside of business hours” to “no phones at the dinner table.” As one commentator said, “My cellphone is a helpful business tool — I control it, it does not control me.”
Minimizing Undesirable Social Behaviors – disabling push notifications to avoid interruptions during business or social interactions was described as very effective.
Putting Family and Interpersonal Relationships First – Tracking their personal connectivity behaviors was considered an effective way to gain greater self-awareness, which was then used as motivation to change unwanted behaviors. Similarly, reminding themselves of their life priorities was particularly helpful to commentators with a salient family identity.
A big part of Vistage group meetings is working through a CEO’s challenges and helping them get clarity about how they can move forward with their business and their life.
We often find that the biggest obstacle to forward progress is not outside of us, but inside of us.
There are 4 fatal fears.
We also call these “Core Self-Limiting Beliefs”. They are learnt. We are not born with these fears. There are only 2 fear that we are born with: fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learnt. (This does not make them less real or easier to deal with).
These 4 fears will drive a grasping towards something that will never fill me. If I am looking for completion outside of myself, I will never scratch my itch. I need to learn to be able to sit with my fear and anxiety and accept it and accept that I am human and imperfect.
Fear of Failure – “I Need Success”
Fear of Rejection – “I Need Acceptance”
Fear of Emotional Discomfort – “I Need Emotional Comfort”
Fear of Being Wrong – “I Need to Be Right”
Each of the fears can be accepted and allowed to exist within me. They will never go away. They will always be there, but I can accept them and not allow them to direct my actions and my words.
I have a lasting interest in how people make good decisions, especially when many people are involved, and many people are affected by the decisions.
Currently reading the book “Crucial Conversations“. Towards the end of the book, there is a section on moving from a dialogue towards concrete actions. The authors say that there are 4 methods of decision making.
The 4 methods of decision making:
Command – One person decides. It might be the main authority figure, or that individual might delegate the power to decide to another specific individual.
Consult – A person given the power to make a decision first consults widely before making a decision. Note: you can listen to someone’s opinion without taking on an obligation to use that opinion in your decision.
Vote – The group votes.
Consensus – we negotiate a position that everyone can agree to. This can take a long time, and can lead to many compromises on the decision being agreed.
When choosing which way to decide there are four questions to ask:
Who cares? – Don’t involve people who don’t care
Who knows? – Don’t involve people who cannot add value.
Who must agree? – Who could block the implementation later on if not part of the decision process today?
How many people must be involved? – The fewer the better.
If everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible. Great teams assign clear individual responsibilities and hold people to their commitments.