I just produced a video training on "Ambition" for one of my clients. It's fascinating what meaning this topic gets when you decide to become much more successful as a person, as a team or as a company.
That's remarkable since all children are ambitious: they want to become astronauts or something similar. Later, we are taught to think in terms of limitations, usually for the rest of our lives.
All great progress has been started with thinking outside the norm and with the ambition to achieve fundamentally different results. This applies to social upheavals as well as to science and business.
"Actually, you should fly in with the helicopter", one of my customers once said, alluding to the fact that I have to lead an extraordinary life if I heed all my own wisdom.
Some of my readers and customers get the impression I have everything under control and always know the best answers. After all, I'm always writing about how to be much more successful with teams and companies.
Today I'll tell you a secret: I fight every day just like everyone else to become better and lead a more fulfilling life. And that's certainly not always easy. My mindset acquired as a child is not always helpful.
Perhaps this insight will help you if you sometimes ask yourself why it is so difficult to take even small steps forward at times, while at other times big leaps can be made quite quickly.
Do you create by yourself or are you the victim of other people' creations? It is impossible to do both at the same time!
Quiz question: where do you find the most victims today? Right, in social media. And unfortunately also in many companies. One of the main focuses of my work is to give people the courage to be creative (because we all had that as children).
The simple truth: You can shape something in any situation, even if it's just your attitude (as Viktor E. Frankl describes as a concentration camp inmate in his book "Man's search for meaning"). Most of us have significantly more creative possibilities than we think, often with immediate positive consequences.
In some subjects, I find it remarkable that it always takes studies to prove an obvious fact (even if such studies sometimes reveal new nuances).
One such topic is the connection between the enthusiasm of the crew and enthusiastic customers.
(Attention: I deliberately do not use "satisfied" because that is not enough. If you don't even have satisfied people and satisfied customers, you won't survive with your business anyway).
A few days ago, the Harvard Business Review published the article "The Key to Happy Customers? Happy Employees", which confirms this thesis with a larger study.
Here is a short and important reminder of how you can stay on course this week and often achieve a lot more than average.
Answer this question: "What will be better by the end of the week?" Watch the video for additional insights.
Who else could benefit from this message? Forward it to friends and colleagues.
What strikes me most about companies is the lack of a true perspective. When I ask my typical question "what would you change immediately if you had all the power to do it?" most people have no or only a very tactical answer.
Almost nobody comes up with a really great idea. Most people work in the same company for many years and also have various ideas for improvement (mostly for the others). What's missing is a real perspective that's worth fighting for.
The good news is that we all have the ability to develop great perspectives. For most, it's just been withdrawn over many years. "Stay with what you know" is the motto.
However, what you unlearn, you can learn again. This is one of your core tasks if you want to achieve something outstanding together with others, especially as a leader.
Recently we spontaneously took the train over the Bernina Pass to Italy for two days. The Bernina mountain line is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, as one of only three railway lines in the world.
Especially in Switzerland, there are many fascinating railway lines, all of which have one thing in common: purely rational economic reasons could hardly ever justify the construction.
What was needed was the sometimes obsessive passion of individuals, coupled with a firm belief in the possibilities and in doing something good for the region. Also, it needs ongoing marketing, often even worldwide for the whole thing to be economically viable.
My point is this: at any given time, there have certainly been 1000 reasons not to carry out the project. And yet it was done. Why? Because it is hard and because we can do it. And because it does something good.
We can find it crazy or irresponsible. But exactly such a mindset, combined with passion and perseverance, moves us forward.
How does it...
A few weeks ago, I went hiking again on the Grand Saint Bernard; one of the most beautiful alpine passes in Switzerland.
This time I changed an important parameter: I took the train and the bus instead of the car. Although I've been there several times by car, this time the experience was different. For instance, we drove through a pretty village that you usually miss. I also finished the hike at a different place than at the beginning. And so on.
In many companies, I see too many routines far too fixed. The same results are produced over and over again. Just average. Outstanding things rarely happen when everything happens the same way each time.
There is a rather uncomfortable truth that is hard for many to digest: You have the exact life that you want and the exact level of success and failure that you want.
Your subconscious mind will constantly make decisions for you that will bring you closer to your goals. Also, several studies show that we make about 95% of our decisions unconsciously. So we don't even notice when we make them.
Don't worry: you're not alone. The connection between subconscious goals and level of success is true for every person, every team and even entire companies.
The consequence: to be more successful and achieve different things than before, you will have to intervene in this subconscious control process. Usually, this requires intensive work, preferably with an external expert (coach, sparring partner). ...
When I talk to CEOs and other leaders about how they can achieve more with their team, the conversation most often turns to the same topic: mindset.
"The mindset of our people is not geared towards winning." Or:
"The employees are too satisfied with the status quo. There is no pressure." And:
"How can I change the mindset of my people?"
Those are just a few of the typical statements I hear too often.
After studying dozens of companies and conducting countless research on the subject, I can tell you three certain facts, which are crucial if you want to change the mindset of your people toward a winning team culture:
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