Leadership: Have haters? You’re on to something!

Every great idea, and those who will implement them, will be faced with cynics, skeptics, doubters and critics. We have all heard those famous words, “That will never work” or “I don’t know why they are trying that?” This comes with the territory of change management, promoting a different way of thinking, challenging the norm and just being excellent in your field or craft.

So shoulders back, head up and charge forward into greatness! Haters have been around since the beginning of time. I know, it feels like they have recruited, organized and gained momentum over the years. However, as true leaders, we must see these things for what they are and never let their negative energies pull us into fear, self-doubt and/or negativity.

Here’s five quick things to consider when dealing with dream-crushers:

  1. Keep your dreams close to the vest until it’s time to spring it on them! Be careful how much you share about your intentions. This will add another layer of protection to those who will steal your idea, share your idea or begin the secret discrediting of your future plans.
  2. Let them fuel your focus! Discipline and focus will ensure that you don’t get off-course. You must believe in yourself and your work more than your haters disbelieve. If not, they win, and you lose 100% of the time! If you get weary, refuel by visualizing that your goal has already been achieved. The euphoric sense of winning will keep you going in the tough times!
  3. Distance yourself from negativity and find a tribe that will encourage you! Always remember that every negative and discouraging comment does not require a come back. Safeguard your sanity! Brush your shoulders off and align yourself with those who share positive thoughts and vibes. A tribe that will encourage you in good times and in bad times are worth their weight in gold.
  4. Let them be a ridiculous source of motivation for you! Always show your grit, not your sweat or discomfort! You are keenly aware of what you can do and what needs to be done. So go for it! Make it happen! Stay hydrated and motivated until you reach your final destination!
  5. Outsmart the naysayers and prove them wrong over and over again! They may talk louder than you or more than you, but that means nothing! A winner’s move is practiced, tested and calculated. When they go low, use what you know. There is a reason why you are on the cutting edge of something amazing. And here’s a little secret, your naysayers know it as well. That’s why they hate your idea, your passion, your purpose, your vision, your future opportunities and your potential!

Stay the course! Your haters are here to stay. Use them as a source of inspiration to take yourself, your teams and your organizations to the next level. You got this! I’ll be watching!

Kevin D. Jackson

The Positivity Guru – ThePositivityGuru.com

Leadership by Kevin Jackson: Proper preparation before presentation

Too often in our lives we jump right to the glossy brochure pictures of the finished deck, the degree hanging on the wall or the millionaire business owner who seems to have it all. In this, we miss the very fundamental actions that have transpired to ensure this success.

What about grit, the determination, the resilience and the building of a strong foundation? Here’s my two cents. The preparation is not fun, it’s not easy, it hardly ever goes exactly as planned and quite frankly the journey is not exciting at all. A deck builder who transforms a blank slate into a beautiful outdoor living space must first plan, permit, dig and pour the foundation to support the structure for many years. Sustainable leadership is no different. Let me prove it to you!

Plan – Show me an effective leader who doesn’t operate based on plans. This could be a sales or expense budget, a business plan, succession plan, key performance indicators, etc. A true leader not only develops plans, but also plans to develop other leaders.

Permit – Above all else, give yourself permission to succeed! Regardless of how you define success, controlling your own “automatic negative thoughts” will prove to be vital to your “go-live strategy”. For it is often within our own minds that we limit our own potential.

Dig – If you don’t think you’ll have to dig, you are sadly mistaken. Let me get this very important point out of the way! Digging feels like you are heading in the wrong direction. When you are supposed to be going up, you find yourself having to go down. Also, if you want to go higher, you must often in this stage go much deeper. The majority of people are okay with planning and even getting the permit, but when it comes time to dig, potential leaders fall out – never to be seen again. If you are in the digging stage, please remember that you are digging for a reason. Stick with it, this phase is difficult but essential.

Pour – After the digging is over, you must fill up the holes with perseverance, drive, passion and purpose. If not, life happens, and the holes that you spent countless hours, months and years digging, will soon be filled again with the same dirt you put to the side. As we all know, time does not stand still. It rains, it pours and if we are not systematic with the steps we take, we will find ourselves needing to repeat previous steps.

Have a plan and work the plan. The foundation of your success as a leader is just as important as the deck builder’s foundation to their cover-photo masterpiece. One glossy life-style picture of success appears nice, but what happens years later when the strong winds come. Be patient, slow down, do it right, get better each day, perfect your craft and respect the journey.

Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson

ThePositivityGuru.com

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

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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