“If you have a dream and you know all the tasks required to achieve the dream, you don’t have a dream… you have a task. A dream is something you don’t yet know how you will be able to accomplish”
Alden Mills spent several years as a Navy Seal commander, before launching the fastest growth product business (#1 in INC magazine) as a entrepreneur. He has just published his second book: Unstoppable Teams.
The #1 Job of Leadership
Leadership is determined by your ability to build and lead teams. Leadership’s greatest challenge is attracting great people and placing them into teams that are equipped to solve problems, overcome hurdles, and simply do more. Alden shares the 4 pillars he uses to develop Unstoppable Teams.
7 Traits of Unstoppable Teammates
Alden has spent many years helping himself and the teams around him overcome huge obstacles. He has a wealth of experience in building great teams – military, entrepreneurial… and family. This is an infographic from Alden Mills on the 7 traits that make for unstoppable team members.
Alden Mills TEDx Talk
I had the privilege of working with Alden to prepare this TEDx talk that he shared at IESE Business School last year.
About the Book
Unstoppable Teams show managers how to inspire, motivate, and lead the people around them. Mills draws on stories from his own experiences to impart these surprising team-building lessons:
Too many people mistake groups of individuals for a team.
No two people are alike, but we all have the same genetic drivers that motivate us—our will to survive, our ego-driven desire for personal gain, and our soul-driven yearning to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
When we override our fears about survival, we can focus on our desire to thrive.
The more you care for your teammates, the more they will dare for the team.
Great ideas are not reserved for a select few—true teams embrace diversity of thought to find winning ideas.
How to Build and Sustain Trust within your Team (by Luis Costa Soares)
You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.
A strong, cohesive team is high performing and will achieve anything.
Have you ever lead people in a team who didn’t trust one another? If you have, then you’ll know how challenging and draining this can be.
A team without trust isn’t really a team! It’s just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. They may not share information, they might battle over rights and responsibilities, and they may not cooperate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented these people are, they will never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present.
However, when trust is in place, each individual in the team becomes stronger, because he/she is part of an effective, cohesive group. When people trust one another, the group can achieve truly meaningful goals.
So how can you, as a leader, help your team build the trust that it needs to flourish? Let’s look at trust within teams, why it’s important, and what you can do to build it.
The Importance of Trust
One definition describes trust as a “reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
Think about that definition for a moment. Trust means that you rely on someone else to do the right thing. You believe in the person’s integrity and strength, to the extent that you’re able to put yourself on the line, at some risk to yourself.
Trust is essential to an effective team, because it provides a sense of safety. When your team members feel safe with each other, they feel comfortable to open up, take appropriate risks, and expose vulnerabilities.
Without trust there’s less innovation, collaboration, creative thinking, and productivity, and people spend their time protecting themselves and their interests. This is time that should be spent helping the team attain its goals.
Trust is also essential for knowledge sharing. A study published in the “Journal of Knowledge Management” found that trust was a key element in a team’s knowledge acquisition. Put simply, if your team members trust one another, they’re far more likely to share knowledge, and communicate openly.
Strategies for Building Trust
As a leader, what can you do to create a culture of trust within your team?
Lead by Example
If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example, and show your people that you trust others. This means trusting your team, your colleagues, and your boss. Never forget that your team members are always watching and taking cues from you. Take the opportunity to show them what trust in others really looks like.
Open communication is essential for building trust. You need to get everyone on your team talking to one another in an honest, meaningful way, and you can use several strategies to accomplish this.
First, create a team DNA to define the purpose of the team, as well as each person’s role. Present this team DNA at the first team meeting, and encourage each team member to ask questions, and discuss his/her expectations. NOTE: This team DNA becomes the common language we all use within the team to communicate and understand each other. It creates a level playing field where all team members shared the same intrepretations of words and meanings.
Next, consider organising team building exercises. When chosen carefully and planned well, these exercises can help “break the ice” and encourage people to open up and start communicating. Make these exercises “real play”… in other words, use everyday real occurences as the content and basis for these team building exercises, rather than artificial simulations.
Meet regularly, so that all team members have a chance to talk about their progress, and discuss any problems that they’re experiencing. This time spent face-to-face is an important part of getting to know each other. It also creates opportunities for team members to talk, and to help one another solve problems.
Make sure that you “walk the talk”: whenever you have important or relevant information to share, do so immediately. Demonstrate that open communication is important to you by consistently sharing with the group. The more you share with your team members, and thereby prove that you have no hidden agenda, the more comfortable they’ll feel trusting you and each other. NOTE: be aware that “transparency” does not mean that you have to share absolutely everything. “Transparency” means that when there is something you cannot share, you say so: “this particular topic exists but I cannot share it with you due to this specific reason…”
Know Each Other Personally
One way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see their colleagues as people. Think about creating situations that help them share personal stories, and create bonds with each other.
Do this by asking sensitively about their family, or about their hobbies. Start by sharing some personal information about yourself, and then ask someone else to share something about themselves… a hobby, or a musical interest. Another way to get the team acquainted, and to form stronger bonds, is to find moments to socialize or at lunch.
You could also set aside time each week for informal group discussions. Consider asking team members to put forward suggestions on topics you could all cover. To start with, you could start a discussion around values. Share some of your own values, and encourage others to share theirs. Values are important to most people, and starting a conversation that allows people to share their values highlights your team’s humanity.
Don’t Place Blame
When people work together, honest mistakes and disappointments happen, and it’s easy to blame someone. However, when everyone starts pointing fingers, a difficult and awkward atmosphere quickly develops. This lowers morale, undermines trust, and is ultimately unproductive.
Instead, encourage everyone in your group to think about the mistake in a constructive way. Think about it as a learning opportunity for the team. What can you all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you work together to ensure that this mistake doesn’t happen again?
Sometimes, cliques can form within a team, often between team members who share common interests or work tasks. However, these groups can – even inadvertently – make others feel isolated. They can also undermine trust between group members.
Start an open discussion about this with your team members, and see what they think about cliques and their effect on other group members. Only by addressing the issue openly can you discourage this damaging behavior.
Discuss Trust Issues
If you manage an established team that has trust issues, it’s essential to find out how these problems originate, so that you can come up with strategies for overcoming them.
Consider giving team members a questionnaire to fill out anonymously. Ask them about the level of trust within the team, as well as why they think there’s a lack of trust. Once you’ve read the results, get everyone together to talk about these issues NOTE: make absolutely sure that you respect the anonymity of the survey!
Building Trust Virtually
If you lead a virtual team, then you might be working with a group of people who seldom meet face to face, or who have never spoken to one another personally. So, how can you build trust between people who are hundreds – if not thousands – of kilometres apart?
You can apply some of the advice above when you’re working with a virtual team. Schedule a virtual “meet and greet” if it’s a new team, to help everyone get to know one another as individuals. Or, create a web page for your team, and ask everyone to write a paragraph or two about their personal history and interests.
A team DNA is still important for defining a clear way of communicationg and intrepreting each others’ expectations. Make sure that the team DNA addresses roles, as well as processes for submitting work digitally. Make sure that the team DNA is as comprehensive as possible, so that people don’t feel uncertain or fearful about the work they’re doing.
Next, make sure that everyone on the team is aware of other team members’ expertise and skills, as well as the value that each individual contributes to the group.
Encourage your team members to treat each other just as they would if they were working face to face. This means that team members should make every effort to be on time for conference calls or web meetings, and that they should let the rest of the team know when they’ll be absent, or on vacation.
It’s particularly important to follow through on the promises you make, and to set an example for everyone else. Keeping your promises is incredibly important in a virtual team, because your word is often all you can give. Positive follow-through builds trust quickly, and can raise the entire group’s tone and expectations.
Trust is an essential element in team productivity. Without it, you’re unlikely to get anything meaningful done. With trust, teams can accomplish everything they set out to do… and more.
As a leader, it’s important that you set an example. Show your team members how critical trust is to you by demonstrating your trust in them, as well as in your colleagues.
Make an effort to help everyone get to know each other on a personal level. Encourage conversations on values, family, or hobbies. Discourage cliques, if you feel that they’re damaging to the team’s trust and morale.
From the very beginning, coaching has always been at the core of my passions.
For the past 38 years I have been an Executive and Team Coach working globally with CEOs and their C-Suite Executives, Business Owners and top talent in a significant number of the major global companies (including a significant number of Fortune 500), innovative companies operating in new ecosystems and dynamic family owned businesses.
During the past 28 years, I have also been an Executive and Team Coach and a “consultant to consultants” developing partners and top talent at major consultancies, Big4 Firms and Legal Firms
Game of Thrones is back for its final season this week. This video comes from the beautiful city walls of Ávila, about 100kms to the west of Madrid in Spain.
I used to think that it was enough to be good at your job, and to be nice to people… and money, success and power would come. How wrong I was. The Game of Thrones makes it clear: if you have something of value, someone stronger will take it from you. You must be strong or be protected.
I’ve been reading a few books recommended by my readers and youtube watchers since my recent video review of The Surrender Experiment 4 weeks ago. A wonderful author that I was recommended is Dr David Hawkins. He was a psychotherapist who worked over 50 years with patients in all stages of conscious functioning.
In this post, I share some of the powerful words that I have taken from David, and then I share his scale from 1-1000 of Consciousness. Have a look and see where you believe you are on this scale.
Over to Dr David…
If you’re not happy here and now, you will not be happy there and then.
“Like the sun, the inner Self is always shining, but because of negative clouds, we do not experience it. It is not necessary to program oneself with the truth; it is only necessary to remove that which is false. The removal of the clouds from the sky to illuminate the negative allows one to experience the energy fields of that which is positive. It is only the removal of the negative that is necessary-the willingness to let go of the habits of negative thinking. The removal of the obstacles to the experiencing of this will result in an increasing sense of aliveness and a joy of one’s own existence.”
There is a Buddhist story that man starts clean, but as he starts to walk, the dirt from the road sticks to him. The further he walks the more he is covered by layer upon layer of dirt. After a short time we can no longer see the man underneath the dirt. In fact the man himself has forgotten that this surface of dirt is not actually him. We don’t need to find something new outside us to move up the levels of consciousness…
U2 has a song “Get out of your Own Way”. What many of us need is to get out of our own way, to stop sabotaging ourselves.
How to Be that Person that People want to Know
“The way to become that exciting person whom people want to know is very easy. We simply picture the kind of person we want to be and surrender all the negative feelings and blocks that prevent us from being that.”
“Write down all your faults. Write down all the faults others think you have, even if you think they’re liars. You take responsibility for it all. If you own it all, nobody has any way to attack you. If others attack you, it’s because you’re not owning something. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with being stupid and ugly. (Laughter). So we admit our faults, and we stop labeling them faults. We have to get over narcissistic sensitivity. All negative reactions are not caused from outside; it’s how we choose. The way to become bulletproof is to own anything that seems a fault. The way to overcome the ego’s reaction to that is to say, “I’m stupid and ugly. It doesn’t matter; God loves me.”
What you resist, persists.
“The willingness to forgive others is reflected in our own capacity for self-forgiveness and acceptance.”
“Surrender is a constant process of not resisting or clinging to the moment but instead, continuously turning it over to God. The attention is thus focused on the process of letting go and not on the content of the ‘what’ that is being surrendered.”
Humility is the greatest virtue.
“With humility one can see that the mind is limited and incapable of seeing all the circumstances surrounding any event. Out of this arises the willingness to let go of condemnation and judgment.”
Below Courage – Conscious States that Suck Energy from the World
Guilt 30 – I condemn others. I blame outside forces for my situation. The emotion that accompanies these levels is self-hatred, and the process going on in consciousness is one of self-destruction.
Apathy 50 – Abdication of my own capacity to act. I am hopeless. I cannot change the situation and I don’t believe that anyone else is able to help me.
Grief 75 – I am despondent and feel that life is tragic. There is an energy in grief that can turn towards anger and begin action.
Fear 100 – A state of anxiety and worry. A state of withdrawal from the world. I take actions to protect myself and to resist losing the things that I value.
Desire 125 – I crave after things that I believe are missing in my life. I am quite active in pursuit of my goals.
Anger 150 – Anger in the form of resentment may lead to hatred. But the process going on in consciousness is one of expansion; for example, when an animal is angry, it swells up. When the cat gets angry, its tail swells up to almost twice its normal size, and the cat tries to look imposing. The biological purpose of expansion is to intimidate one’s apparent enemy. The energy of anger can be positive if used to pursue something better, allowing us to move up to the next level.
Pride 175 – This level of consciousness leads to a constant defense of my being ‘right’, so others must be wrong. Highly demanding of myself and of all others around me. High risk of scorn of others. The pride relates to an underlying denied set of fears.
Above Courage – Conscious States that Contribute Positively
Courage 200 – I take ownership of my situation and begin to take tentative steps to make my situation better.
Neutrality 250 – The emotion of Neutral is self-trust. For example, it is ‘okay’ if you get the job and ‘okay’ if you don’t.
Willingness 310 – saying yes to life, to join, to agree, to commit, and to align with because there is now the introduction of intention.
Acceptance 350 – Realising and owning my own limitations. I don’t have to please everybody, I don’t have to be competent at all tasks.
Reason 400 – At its purest level, reason and the intellect represent increased reality testing and non-emotional respect for truth.
Love 500 – reason is of the mind (the brain), whereas Love is of the being (the heart).
At its emergence, love is selective and conditional, but as it evolves, it progressively becomes a lifestyle and a way of relating to all life.
Joy 540 – A state of bliss. Life is Perfect. These people make us feel more alive because they are constantly giving out energy to the world.
Peace 600 – I need to find someone who could explain this in words!
Thank you to all those watchers and readers who have recommended books, videos and audios after my post on The Surrender Experiment 😉
This video is about 4 different types of audience that you can face as a speaker and how to adjust your objectives and manner of engagement to each of these distinct audience groups.
The 4 Types of Audience
There are four types of audience, and consequent persuasive strategy that you can come upon when you are seeking to move a group to action through your speech.
Friendly. Your purpose: reinforcing their beliefs.
Apathetic. Your purpose is to first to convince them that it matters for them.
Uninformed. Your requirement is to educate before you can begin to propose a course of action.
Hostile. You purpose is to respect them and their viewpoint. The most you may be able to gain is respect to listen to your views. It is key that you can present some information that is viewed as new to the audience before asking for any change in their position. This is firstly courteous, but also gives the listener’s ego room to change without feeling demeaned (“based on this new information, I ask you to change”)
Dealing with a Hostile Audience
Specific Actions for Hostile Audiences
When providing new information it is vital that you help the listeners “assimilate”. How can you make it real for them? There are a number of techniques to bear in mind.
Use stories (ideally real stories), metaphors, hypothetical situations
Stress common ground
Present statistics/data that is clear to conclude from
Address conflicting evidence (what are the strengths and weaknesses of the conflicting evidence)
AVOID exaggeration or gross hyperbole. The use of exaggeration in a number of areas of public debate has caused extreme entrenchment of the opposing sides. eg. abortion, climate change. The persuasive speaker works hard to keep to the facts and be clear about the logic of the proposed course of action.
Be careful what you wish for… In the Zoo, the animals are safe in their cages, they are fed 3 meals a day, the fence keeps out predators and competition (isn’t that what Trump promised?).
We have to be careful what we wish for.
Freedom comes with a price, and that price is called responsibility. We need to practice the responsibility that allows us to deal with true freedom.
From Peter Drucker:
“The Nature of Freedom
Freedom is never a release and always a responsibility.
Freedom is not fun. It is not the same as individual happiness, nor is it security or peace or progress. It is a responsible choice. Freedom is not so much a a right as a duty. Real freedom is not freedom from something; that would be licence. It is freedom to choose between doing or not doing something, to act one way or another, to hold one belief or the opposite, It is not “fun” but the heaviest burden laid on man: to decide his own individual conduct as well as the conduct of society and to be responsible for both decisions.”
There is formula for changing people. Doctor Malik Mohammed shared this wisdom with the EO Global Leadership Academy last week in Washington, USA. If you are to change someone’s behaviour patterns, two things are necessary.
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.