Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Is Your Ego Sabotaging Your Success? January 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 9:18 pm
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The quality of your mind does not matter unless the determination of your spirit is fierce.  In the footrace of business performance, the individual with the lesser IQ will leave the “brain” in the dust when fueled by burning desire.  In other words, fortitude trumps talent.  Every time. 

There are many formulas for success.  Some people have tremendous strategic capability, some tenacious courage, some the gift of charisma, and some technical expertise worthy of guru status.  However, there is one common quality that every successful person I have ever known has in spades. 

Their desire to create peak performance is greater than their ego.   

I have never met a person who doesn’t grapple with their ego.  Our ego left untamed breeds fear, insecurity, lack of confidence, blaming, externalizing, justifying, over-representing, covering up, emotional outbursts, victim mentality, …..  I could go on but you get the picture.  Think of every negative behavioral habit you witness in yourself and others, and you will find at the root the ego. 

I think of our egos as a gremlin.  It is this insanely powerful voice within us that tells us we aren’t good enough, lovable, or at risk of exposure.  On the other end of the spectrum, it tells some they are better than others, superior, or entitled. 

No one is without their gremlin foe.  But some people are so excited about the possibility of the success they can create and the impact they can have on the world that they refuse to allow the gremlin to rule their life.  They have taught themselves to overpower the gremlin with desire to become the most amazing version of themselves.

Do you know any of these people?  They are the movers and shakers in an industry.  They aren’t immune to stress or blue moments, but they rebound quickly.  They are resilient, positive, and driven.  They cycle upward & onward, auditing the past for purpose of learning & growing not sulking & wallowing. 

I love people like this.  They invite criticism because they see possibility for growth within the feedback.  They are always working their development plan, picking people’s brains, and vigilantly prioritizing their work.  These people have a written plan for success in every sphere of life that matters to them.  And most importantly, they know their gremlin’s tendencies & have strategies to win the war. 

In short, their desire to create peak performance is greater than their ego.  This is their conscious choice.  They were not born with a special gene.  They simply made the choice to use their experience as input for improvement versus allowing it to be a landfill in their mind.  What choice will you make?

 

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooh I Want To Take You…. January 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 5:41 pm
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Last week, I traveled with my family to Aruba for a little R&R.  With an 8 & 10 year old in tow, my husband & I prepared ourselves for a week of pool slides, ocean wave surfing, shell collecting, and lots of sleep.  All of which Aruba delivered in spades. 

However, I took an R&R detour … I worked quite a bit.  In fairness, working poolside in a wide brimmed hat slathered in SPF 50 is not a bad gig; however, work is work. 

We all know that unplugging from time to time creates the opportunity for much needed restoration and rejuvenation.  Our performance is dependent on our ability to self-manage our energy; avoiding burnout, ruts, and deeply engrained routines with our time that fail to deliver our desired results. 

So why did I work?  Because being away created a different mental state in which I could release daily details and really ruminate on the more creative and strategic.  And thus, I elected to capitalize at the risk of being the biggest nerd on the island. 

But here’s the thing…  Excellence comes when we are able to create space for a full range of responsibilities – daily details, strategic thinking, leading people, and visioning – within the parameters of a typical work schedule.  Visioning and planning should not require a trip across the planet. 

And this is one of those things that we all know but don’t do.  Thus, how well do we really know it?

What is required to ride the entire granular sand to big boulder continuum? 

  1. A written plan for our time that is scheduled on our calendar,
  2. self discipline,
  3. the ability to change our own state.   

Tony Robbins calls the first his results management system; in other words, aligning our time to optimize the results that matter.  Discipline comes from within…  To me, self discipline is not a rigor or a hard-nosed drive.  It is a decision that excellence is non-negotiable. 

And perhaps most importantly – changing our state.  We cannot create brilliant strategy in the same mindset that we solve a labor challenge, review dashboards, or handle a miscommunication with a client.  A switch must be flipped with intention.  I’ve seen people change their states by meditating, singing, dancing, clapping their hands, whistling, taking a 5 minute power walk, or watching a motivational video.  The ways to do it are infinite, and each of us is responsible for finding “our way.” 

Don’t get me wrong… changing your physical environment is an outstanding way to change your thinking.  And thus, business retreats, working offsite, and a little work invasion on vacation are powerful tactics to create the pause.  However, they shouldn’t be your ONLY way. 

My vacation revealed to me the need to gradecard myself against the 3 above criteria.  What I found is that my state change habit needed a facelift.  In other words, while naturally bent towards optimism, I am also naturally bent towards heavy left brain lifting.  My opportunity is to intentionally activate my right hemisphere for creative, inventive work more frequently.  And thus, this is my commitment to myself.  What is your commitment to you?

 

Do you really know it? January 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 9:46 pm
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How many times have you listened to a speaker, read a book, received feedback / instruction from a superior, heard 360 degree feedback, or attended a seminar only to say, “There wasn’t anything new…  I already know most of it.” 

But here’s the thing… if you aren’t doing it, you don’t know it.

If you “know” that physical fitness improves your health, lengthens your life, and enhances your memory & happiness quotient, but you aren’t actively & daily working a plan, you don’t really know it.

If you “know” that employee engagement statistically impacts a team’s productivity, quality, and desire to excel, but you haven’t invested the time in developing a written plan with goals, actions, and measurements that you are DOING every day, you don’t really know it.

If you “know” that work problems get solved by first understanding the data behind the “as is,” diving into the root cause of process failures & data shortfalls, collaborating with experts, and developing a “to be action plan” with dates, accountability, and measurements, but you continue to fight the fire every day, placing Band-Aids on war wounds, and blaming the people who perform the process, you don’t really know it.

If you “know” that, in order to have the greatest impact on your business, you must invest 85% of your time on the high payoff activities, but you continue to lose days to urgent but not important fires and issues, you don’t really know it.

If you “know” that you become your very best when you are working a professional development plan that focuses on your strengths and unique gifts, and that the plan has dates & accountability, but you continue to only read what your supervisor sends you or you happen to stumble across in your inbox, you don’t really know it.

What do you think you know that you don’t REALLY know?  And more importantly, what are you going to do about it?  Have higher expectations of excellence for yourself than anyone else has of you… this is the quickest route to becoming a linchpin in your company, and more importantly, feeling awesome about the work you are doing.  There’s nothing more thrilling than learning something new & mastering it.