In my workshops and also in coaching, I hear this objection time and again: "Why should I even want to achieve more? I'm satisfied as it is!"
Now, of course, there is little to be said against someone being satisfied. But many people confuse satisfaction with happiness and fulfillment. The problem is that you almost always notice the difference only after a long delay:
There are studies on what people wish most, shortly before they die, if they could have changed something in their lives: They often wish they had dared and tried more, but never that they had had a calmer and more satisfied life.
Why do I keep talking and writing about the topic of influence? Well, it’s quite simple: because you cannot lead without influence.
Often, it helps us to be aware of what we are doing wrong and how we are reducing our influence as a result. Because if we then turn these points around, we increase our influence and thus the quality of our leadership.
It is best to think of a situation in which you did not achieve with others what you actually wanted. Maybe they didn't really listen to you or didn't really understand you. Or they didn't see what you really wanted.
I get asked all the time in my coaching programs and outside of them, "How can I increase my influence as a leader?" Or as a variation of that, "How can I get my people to do this or that?"
The question is more than legitimate because ultimately, leadership is nothing other than influence. Leadership without influence is inconceivable, and using influence always means leading.
Instead of covering the technical aspects of influence (we do that in other videos and in my coaching), here I address three important foundations that are often not considered enough.
You're probably familiar with the Theory of Constraints, which is all about uncovering and removing the biggest bottlenecks to greater success.
Behind this is the unproductive habit that we often improve those things that have little notable impact on results. Conversely, we care too little about what is really the bottleneck to our success.
The first quarter of the year ended a few days ago, and you have been given another 91 days. The crucial question is: are you making the most of them?
Both fulfillment and success also come very much from being aware of the finite amount of available time you have in life. That doesn't mean panicking at all. But it does mean that great things are usually only achieved when there is a certain urgency attached to them.
Otherwise, we all too easily postpone the necessary and sometimes unpleasant actions to the never-never day.
You know that, of course. The only thing is: I see far too few leaders (and people in general) who, for example, choose clear and challenging goals for the next quarter when one ends.
If that doesn't happen, you and your team are unlikely to reach your full potential in the future. That's unfortunate and dangerous.
On a scale 1 to 10: How focused on the most value-creating activities are you, on average? By “value-creating”, I mean those activities that represent the best use of your time to move you toward your goals. Those can be personal or business goals.
This is because time is the only limited resource. Most people would score below 5 on this scale, which even includes accomplished business leaders.
As a consequence, all successful people try to become increasingly focused. But there is a trap: By becoming focused on only a few things, many leaders ignore any other input that comes unexpectedly. They might be focused, but become ignorant of new ideas.
Typical statements of CEOs: “We are focused on cost saving. I have no time to listen to your ideas for increasing revenue and profitability in the short-term.” Does this sound ridiculous to you? Careful:
Actually, coaching is quite simple: you raise beliefs and behaviors from the subconscious to the conscious mind and thus you can influence them.
After all, any substantial personal growth happens by making different decisions starting today. And this is only possible based on suitable ways of thinking and behaving.
Why do I reveal this "secret" to you so candidly? Well, you always need a coach for this. Because you can hardly turn your subconscious outward yourself, because your subconscious prevents you from doing exactly that.
Sounds complicated? It's actually quite simple: Your subconscious controls you in such a way that you have the best chances to survive and reproduce. Happiness and other success are secondary. Hence, the provocative headline: Your autopilot steers you into a kind of dead end.
This is the last article I will write for you. I give up. Even after creating and distributing countless blog posts, I see mediocrity and low standards everywhere. I still see people acting as if some other authority led them to their destiny. I see CEOs who are indecisive and hiding. I see ambiguity and fuzziness.
But wait, today is April 1 - Fools Day!
Therefore, no, I'm not giving up, I'm continuing my journey towards excellence and top performance even further. Why? Because that's my mission. And because it is often rewarding and fun!
Will you support me on this journey? Then define ONE item today that you could move a little towards excellence TODAY.
Yes, today! What of your own behaviors can you change or where can you influence another person to make a step forward and move something from mediocre to outstanding?
"Perfection does not come from not being able to add anything, but from not being able to leave anything out" is a rather well-known saying.
In this case, if we translate "perfection" to mean outstanding results, then it creates a powerful question for your leadership: "What should you cut out that is getting in the way of your outstanding results rather than helping them?"
The principle behind this is that you can only use every minute of your life exactly once. So, is that minute contributing to your top results or rather to other things?
Are you and your team at all times hungry for more success, for improvements, for Innovation? If so, you are a complete exception.
Anyway, with most of the leaders with whom I start a collaboration, I notice rather a medium to strong inertia. What often is behind this is a high level of satisfaction with the current state.
The shortcomings and problems (of course, almost always caused by "others") are accepted as normal.
You can live with this attitude, but here comes the point: satisfaction has little or nothing to do with fulfillment and joy.
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