One win doesn’t guarantee another, so TWCT (Train, Win, Celebrate, Train)

According to Forbes, approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month, but more employer businesses shut down than start up each month.

This statistic may either surprise you or confirm what you already know. Yes, TWCT is something that I just made up, but its overall concept is not uncommon to top performers. Are you a top performer? If so, then you probably live these principles daily.

However, to the mediocre performer, these concepts are great on paper, far from reach and down right impractical to the real world. News flash! Whatever you think is what you will believe and what you intentionally subscribe to is what you will become.

Here are 4 basic tips that will consistently take you to the winning circle:

  1. Sacrifice what’s comfortable, be disciplined and execute properly.
  2. Train and stay relevant to ensure you get a ticket to the big dance.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings, your competition and the ever-changing marketplace.
  4. When you win, enjoy a limited celebration and get right back to training again with the same intensity that you had when you first started.

This, my friends, is what I call TWCT (Train, Win, Celebrate, Train). My theory is that the downfall of businesses, athletes, employees and teams reside within both “T’s” of this equation.

Whether you win, lose or draw, you must always train! For within the training there is growth to help sustain you through turbulent times. Be intentional about winning! There’s nothing easy and quick about it! #letsgo

Kevin Jackson

The Positivity Guru

Read the original story here

There is impact in your “I am”

 

In my late twenties, I was the Audit Director for a billion dollar company traveling the world and using the phrase “Tone at the Top” every chance that I could. I even trained my auditors that the organization, its culture and their potential audit findings would most likely be a result of how those at the top of the organization dealt with risk, process and communicating vision.

While this all still remains true, I’ve altered my thinking to also include every single person and touch-point throughout the organization. While vision, goal-setting and direction are key factors to success, I truly believe that each individual, and their authentic self, has a dramatic impact on the company they work for, the teams they work with and ultimately how their customers will perceive them in the marketplace.

If this is true, why don’t many leaders (regardless of position or title) focus on personal development? Here’s my two cents! Many leaders have blindspots and think they don’t need to improve. This is an extremely dangerous place for a leader and here is why! Any individual who is not progressing is regressing. Which by definition means that many of our teams are building silos, pointing blame for process failures and investing more in proving why a concept will not work versus pulling together to bring new things to life. Our companies are made up of these teams, which also by my definition means that a company who is not progressing is losing. Losing badly. Losing hundreds of customers each month without noticing! All because of the “I am”.

On the contrary, when I am investing in myself, I learn, I challenge, I apply and I get better. When I get better, my team gets better. Why? Because we learn, we challenge, we apply and we get better. When we get better, our customer’s experience with us gets better. When our customer’s experience gets better, we win!

Without a high-dollar, high-powered marketing campaign, customers recognize that there is something different about us. To me, this directly ties back to the investments we make in ourselves and our people. One could even argue that there is no better way to invest long term.

So the question of today is, what follows your “I am” and what are you doing about it on a daily basis as a result of this awareness? Are you trying to win in the marketplace without a key spoke in your wheel? Experience has taught me that the “Tone at the Top” is vital, but the “I am” permeating throughout your entire organization is the true game-changer. Check your personal and organizational blindspots! There is definitely intentional impact in your “I am”! Read the original article here.

Kevin D. Jackson

ThePositivityGuru.com

Pivotal Moments By: Kevin Jackson

They happen to you or through you!

Have you ever wondered why some leaders go down in history as one of the greats? Better yet, wouldn’t it be amazing to be added to the list? As life-learners, we all yearn to be better than we were yesterday. We recognize that the world around us is rapidly transforming, so it’s a no-brainer that vigilance, flexibility and relevance is paramount.

While thinking about this subject, my mind wondered to the topic of sailing. Don’t ask me why! I’m not very fond of boats, nor do I swim! However, there is something intriguing to me about how these fine vessels work. If you are a sailor, please forgive me now! Everything that I have learned in the last few days about sailing was from Wikipedia and YouTube – Ha! So here it goes! Check out these 10 things as it relates to leadership:

  1. You must first be trained on the parts of the boat and their purpose.
  2. You must be given standard training on how to operate the boat.
  3. You must understand the responsibility of each person on the boat.
  4. You must prepare the boat, with a detailed checklist of items, before it is sailed.
  5. You must determine the wind direction.
  6. You must hoist your sails and point the boat into the wind.
  7. You must realize that along the way you will be faced with changing winds.
  8. You must make key decisions and adjust accordingly.
  9. You must accept that you are responsible for everyone on the boat.
  10. You must ensure that everyone is doing their job effectively. If not, the boat will not sail properly and you will find yourself off-course.

Well, I could probably stop here and let you draw your own conclusion about the connection I have made to sailing and leadership.  But, I won’t do that to you. I’ll leave you with this!

Leadership takes initial and ongoing training to be truly successful.  Although, there are textbook-standards to leading a team, transforming a company and keeping the boat afloat (pun intended), it is the leader’s charge to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Checklists and processes are key to ensure the organization is prepared, safe and set up for success. A leader must be forward-thinking and always checking the wind (sometimes affectionately known as understanding the customers’ needs and staying abreast of market dynamics).

Once a direction is charted, it is the leader’s responsibility to take a head count, ensure everyone is on the boat and make the call to leave the dock. As the team sets sail, the leader must prepare the team for changing wind patterns (as this will occur). Changing winds may come in the form of new legislation, competitive pressures, customer preference changes and economic swings. Great leaders anticipate and adjust! Why? Because pivotal moments can either happen to you or through you!

When the time is right, leaders adjust the mast rate to regulate the direction and speed. They stay connected throughout the journey with their key personnel. Why? Because leaders understand that each person on the boat has a responsibility. If they don’t do their job effectively, the boat will never sail properly.

Leaders take calculated risks and intently set the sails to seize pivotal moments. Will you be this type of leader? #letsgo

Kevin Jackson

ThePositivityGuru.com

I was ready to do business with you, but… By: Kevin Jackson

 

I was ready to do business with you, but…

Regardless of your culture, upbringing, economic status or stage of life, we can all agree on one thing. If we are going to spend our hard-earned money with you or your company, you must first listen to us, meet us where we are, provide value to our lives, care about what we need, use the communication methods that are easy for us, do a really good job and stand by your product and workmanship. If we are super-lucky, you’ll also say thank you and follow up with us in a few months after the sale just to see how we’re doing!

Easy peasy, right? Sounds good, but all too often that’s not the customer experience journey that most of us encounter. Let’s talk about a few pitfalls that happen in today’s world before the customer’s pen even hits the contract.

Business owners, relax… watch your blood pressure… and please don’t shoot the messenger. I get it! I know you’re busy with what’s in front of you right now. However, you must always ask yourself, “Am I ever too busy to hear from my potential customer, as this could drastically affect my sustainable success?” Here’s a quick five reminders from my own (good and bad) personal experiences:

  1. Make customers feel good about what you are offering. Yes, they are buying your product or service, but they are also investing in you.
  2. Communicate properly (before, during and after the sale) regardless of how busy you are. C’mon people!! Follow up! Stay engaged! Customers want to know what’s going on!
  3. Show them that you care. Your website can say that you care, but if you don’t answer the customer’s questions, show up when you’re supposed to, etc. – You don’t care and the customer knows it (sometimes before you even sell them anything)!!
  4. Drop the ego. You may be the top salesperson in your organization or your friends may think you walk on water, but customers don’t have time for that!
  5. Instill trust and inspire the customer to become an advocate for you! That’s where you will win!

Friends, since Al Gore created the internet (ha!), consumers have had endless information available to them. As a result, they are educating themselves on how business should be conducted. Customers are also researching your products, services and ratings. They have become more demanding because of the “screen education degree” that they received from a YouTube video, slideshare or TV segment. Whether you like this or not, this new day requires business owners, organizations and their affiliates to step up their game (big time!). Company leadership must invest time to work “on” the business, instead of just working “in” the business.

They must train their employees that the customer experience is paramount and that without customers there is no need to worry about being busy when the dust settles. You either focus on your customers’ needs or you will eventually need customers!

The bottom line is that people must ultimately trust you before they do business with you. What a different world of commerce it would be if most entities understood and did something about this very basic principle. Will you do anything differently today knowing that customers think before they ink? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Kevin Jackson, The Positivity Guru

Positivity To Profit, by Kevin D. Jackson

Our mindset and our actions directly affect our customer’s experience.

 

Every waking moment, either consciously or unconsciously, we make decisions that affect our lives, our families, our work, our customer’s experiences and ultimately our take home pay. A major choice, with residual impact, is whether we decide to have a positive outlook or a negative demeanor.

Okay, I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this. However, let’s stack hands and agree on something. Every day is not going to be a sun-shiny day, but our emotions and our reactions to these emotions can and will add to our success or contribute to our demise. Taking this a step further, I’m going to suggest that positivity could eventually lead to profit. If you don’t believe me, check out these five domino effect principles:

Limiting our intake of negative influences

In the era of always being plugged in, there is a gem in finding some personal time to prepare for the day ahead of us without the news, newspaper, social media and the like. Often our days are started with the weight of the world on our shoulders before we even have the opportunity to deal with our own issues. Being intentional and deliberate about limiting negative influences open a pathway to a more thoughtful and calculated day. Our families, friends, co-workers and customers will notice something very different about us if we implement this. Try it!

Not selling, but letting others see our passion and the value we bring

Everyone has a blue widget and a red widget to sell. However, what consumers are looking for is value. If we are not providing value, we are not providing anything. Quality customer care requires a quality attitude from those who are providing the service. As a result, organizations are only as strong as their weakest link and their weakest link may actually be on a consecutive streak of bad days! To consistently turn a profit, we must consistently show our passion to solve our customer’s needs and consistently do this all with a smile.

Staying poised under pressure

We are all under a tremendous amount of pressure. That’s the way of the world we live in. However, those who consistently remain poised in the time of trial are those who are rehired, referred and remembered. It’s so easy to lose our cool if we get up on the wrong side of the bed. However, losing our cool could mean losing a client and ultimately losing profit.

Following up, following-through and following up again

Communication is key in all relationships. However, there is a major difference between communication ending in a positive experience and miscommunication ending in an “I’ll never do business with them again” experience. Gold medal communicators understand the importance of anticipating and addressing customer grievances before they become an issue. They constantly think as if they were the consumer and try to stay one step ahead of the customer’s expectations throughout the entire process. Regardless of what’s happening in their personal lives, they are pleasant, prepared, responsive and grateful for the business. In addition, when the work is completed, they follow up again to give a sincere thank you and to ensure all customer requirements have been met and/or have been exceeded.

Working tirelessly to establish and maintain the “Wow Factor”

Optimistic value-providers never rest on their laurels. Every day is an opportunity to be better than they were yesterday. Positivity, passion, action and follow up create the “Wow Factor.” The “Wow Factor” contributes to the building of the brand. The brand promise and its delivery ultimately leads to sustainable success, and of course, profit!

Boom! Drop the mic! Now, do you believe me? A positive attitude drives positive actions. Positive actions drive positive results and a positive bottom line. Got it? Let’s do this!

Can curiosity lead to profit?

Can curiosity lead to profit?

By: Kevin Jackson

Absolutely! Curiosity sparks creativity. Creativity leads to innovation. Innovation helps you to increase your odds of continued existence and positions you well to be profitable.

However, there is one monumental roadblock that stands in our way. It’s huge, it’s daunting, it’s ever-present! It’s something that leaders all throughout the world deal with on a daily basis.

I’m talking about when companies, organizations, governments and the people that operate them, live in and accept the status-quo! As consumers of products and services ourselves, we often notice status-quo operating in abundance. If your experiences are anything like mine, several times a week I wonder to myself how so many organizations continue to exist.

Walter Elias Disney (Walt) leveraged the power of curiosity and as a result has subsequently touched all of our lives in some capacity. The ongoing reinvention of the original Disney story makes the company itself one to be studied.

In my experience, there are five ways to combat the status-quo:

  1. Address, reduce or eliminate the fear of change. Easy to say, very hard to do!
  2. Make creativity and innovation a priority. If you don’t, you may one day wake up not having anything to prioritize!
  3. Get laser-focused and not only work in your business, but work on your business. Got it? Good!
  4. Seek answers to uncommonly asked questions. This will often result in transformational ideas for your organization.
  5. Trust your instinct, go with your gut and stay relevant.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also made a lot of organization’s very profitable. As leaders we must always balance our pipeline of ideas with our actual bandwidth of people, places, money and time. However, it is very clear that curiosity can lead to profit with the proper evaluation and implementation. We must do all of this to survive!

Onward and upward my friends! Now get back out there and do great things!

Read original post by Kevin Jackson here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“C”​ your way to a greater influence!

By Kevin Jackson

 

Have you ever seen a leader who is on fire? A confident, charismatic, contagious and consistent winner? Well, this person probably has mastered the “C’s”. Here are a few of them!

Connection:

Great leaders realize that their success was not achieved purely based on their skill, efforts or great looks. The connection with like-minded partners, colleagues, friends and mentors all play a critical role in the development of a leader and their associated teams. However, the contrary is also true, so please be mindful. Surrounding yourself with those who may not have your best interest in mind, or who do not fit into your value system, could contribute to your demise in the long run. Start making appropriate, powerful connections today!

Confidence:

True confidence comes from failing forward and getting back in the game. It comes from hours and hours of preparation and practice in and on your craft. It hails from the acknowledgement of self-worth that you’re worthy of this opportunity and that you should be in this space at this appointed time. Confidence is knowing that you must bring your “A” game and that you are willing to put in the effort consistently to do so. We must be confident every day in our approach because the opportunity in front of us right now may never present itself again.

Credibility:

#1. Be the best at what you do. #2. Never stop at #1! Always be on time, on purpose, on budget and on point! Listen intently to your customer’s desires and do what you say you are going to do when you said you were going to do it. This sounds extremely simple on paper, but unfortunately most miss some very key elements in the delivery of service to their customers. If you or your work are not credible, no one will ever listen to you, take you seriously and hire you to fill a void – period!

Control:

Be careful what you post. Be careful who you host. Be careful what you like. Be careful what you say on mic. Be careful what you tweet. Be careful what you eat. Be careful what you say. Be careful how you spend your day.

Regain control, as there are many things that are designed to trip leaders up in today’s society.

Charisma:

Many leadership authors talk about gravitas. If you don’t know what it is, google it! People and organizations who have a magnetic approach will always leave a positive long-lasting impression on you. All leaders should research and practice the traits of a charismatic person (humility, maturity, bringing value and substance to those around you). This is what gets you the job, the promotion, the deal you wanted or simply the satisfaction that you have moved something forward in the right direction.

Don’t you clearly “C” now? Influence is necessary to lead. Make a difference by focusing on these “C’s” in the next few weeks. You’ll be glad you did!

Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn

 

Read his original article here

The Resiliency Secret – Ssh!…

Okay my friends, let’s cut to the chase!  The key to being resilient is to recognize that if we live long enough, we will eventually face change or adversity.  In addition, since we are all human, we understand that these state of affairs automatically trigger several types of emotions.  However, the secret sauce lies within how we handle these emotions ourselves and how we deal with the emotions of those around us when either change or adversity strikes.

Here’s a quick example.  Think back to when you first learned how to ride a bike.  The person who taught you took off your training wheels, held you on the bike steady for about a minute, gave you a pep talk and very specific instructions and then eventually provided you with a swift push to get you started.  At first, your excitement level went through the roof.  Your big smile indicated that you welcomed this new adventure.  Your confidence, passion and perseverance kicked in immediately.  You experienced immediate success by pedaling five times without issue and then the inevitable happened…  You fell!  Not only did you fall, but you fell really hard (because falling was never an issue with the training wheels attached).

At this point, your natural inclination was to immediately look around to see who experienced your fall.  But there was also another very important reason you were looking around to find this person.  You desperately wanted to know what their reaction was to your mishap.  Were they disappointed, upset, happy, proud, supportive, empathetic, etc.?  Whether you knew it or not, your reaction to the fall was 95% dictated by the first emotional response of someone around you.  If they overacted, so did you.  If they were laughing with you, you tended to laugh as well.

This is a very simple concept that leaders must understand and work diligently on today.  As we experience more and more change and adversity in our lives, we must train our minds to master resilience by conquering our emotional responses.  Similarly, with self-awareness, we must understand that the responses of others around us should not necessarily influence our mental toughness, positive outlook and resilience.

The goal for all of us is to go from certainty to hope as quickly and often as we can.  The secret to resiliency starts and ends with how we respond.

The goal of leadership is to realize that we are all human and that we have a responsibility to our tribe to take them on this same journey.  Work tirelessly to minimize the disruption time within your organizations, families and life. Oh, and by the way, this is a secret that you can share with everyone. Please do! Good luck on your personal journey my friends!

 

 

By: , Positivity Guru, Value Adder and Keynote Speaker

We will become what we magnify

We will become what we magnify!

By: Kevin Jackson

 

Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard, you are what you eat. However, no one talks about you will become what you magnify. So, let’s take a few minutes to challenge our thinking.

Consider this:

  • Negativity will always breed negativity. Positive thinking is an everyday choice that will change the outcome of your life, your decisions and your success.
  • Hate will always generate more hate. Whether you hate a person, place or thing, this is a conscience decision that carries residual effects. If a state of love for something or someone seems out of the question, take baby steps to better understand, to better communicate or to better accept flexibility and change.
  • Always provide value. If you are not providing value you are not providing anything! Magnify the “what’s in it for me” for your customers, your clients, your friends, your spouse, your families and your communities. Never directly sell anything, but always solve problems, fill voids and change lives and situations for the better.
  • Magnify abundance over lack, but realize true abundance is not often what society leads us to believe it is. Live life with open palms. Give freely, but with discernment. Share your talents, your time, your gifts, your passion and your purpose. Did you know that true abundance is deeply rooted in contentment? News flash!! The world and what it offers is not all about you. When you give with the right heart, many things will be given back to you, magnified!

These small pointers, along with your commitment to continuous improvement every day will take you further to living within your purpose, possibility and promise.

As we welcome in 2017, I wish you nothing but peace, perseverance and prosperity. Always remember that we decide what we magnify and what we magnify is what we will become! Choose wisely my friends.

Is excellence a lost art?

http://lifepalette.com/establish-path-personal-excellence/

By: Kevin Jackson

Vice President, Process Innovation & Technology at WOLF

The more I experience life, the more I realize how far we have strayed from excellence as a society.  The status quo is widely accepted and mediocracy has sadly become the norm for a lot of individuals.  The question of the day is, why?

Where is the work ethic of those that came before us?  Has technology made us lazy?  Are we too reliant on constant contact and information?  Why don’t we focus enough time on building strong personal relationships?  Why don’t we smile?  Has social media forced us to live for “Likes” and “Retweets”?  Why don’t we speak to each other, encourage one another and respect one another?  Why don’t we volunteer, give with a cheerful heart and check our egos at the door?

I really don’t know why excellence has seemed to slip away, but I do know this.  As for me, my family and my team, we will be excellent!  Excellence exists when leaders embody servant leadership and a commitment to positivity every single day.  I will always challenge myself and those around me to be better than we were yesterday.

If we are not doing our best, we become like the rest!  Friends, stand with me in excellence!  It’s a daily choice, not a lost art!