What drives your leadership behavior? If you were to write a list of principles that drive you everyday what would you write? I did this exercise over a decade ago and came up with a list which has since been updated to be more simple.
“Why should I worry about a shot I haven’t taken.” – Michael Jordan
Last week I wrote a post on how to overcome fear of failure and doubt. Some people asked me to unpack it a little bit more, so I’ll do that here for you. Fear of failure paralyzes people. I know more people that are paralyzed by fear than those who are not. But get this, all of them have some form of self-doubt.
Self-doubt, we all have had it at some point. To achieve anything, and give your best, you can have fear; but you can’t have doubt. The minute you have doubt you start overanalyzing things, thinking about the negative things of something. Doubt, not fear, is a dream killer.
Fear is an instinct. Doubt is created by you. Fear can drive you, doubt drowns you. When you have fear you play to win. When you have doubt you play not to lose. When you play not to lose, you end up never playing your best.
So how do you overcome doubt?
You try, give your best, live with the results and learn.
There’s no magic formula, it’s a mindset and attitude. Personally, I’d rather not live with regret that I didn’t do this or that, tried this or that, than have a bunch of experiences and lessons from doing something.
I’ve always been fearless and had great confidence in myself. I can’t remember a time when I was truly fearful. But I can remember a few times when the voice of self-doubt stuck into my head. This happened in my mid-twenties, and it wasn’t fun.
I had a little bit of a perfectionist attitude when I was younger. I’ve never liked losing at anything. I still don’t. I dealt with that attitude by trying to control everything. I had a stretch in my life where everything went my way; I was always winning. And I became very arrogant because of this. One time I told my mom, “All I have to do is snap my fingers and shit happens for me”.
Yup, I was all up in my head.
But I changed my mindset when I things stopped going my way. As I started getting my hands into different interests, and things didn’t go my way, I started accumulating failures; aka lessons. Self-reflection, looking for answers, letting go of things and working on shutting down my self-critical voice pushed me through. Doubt has never been a big enemy for me. Self-criticism was my toughest enemy to defeat. I’m highly critical of myself and expect a lot of myself; and have made myself cry when I haven’t lived up to my expectations.
Losing sucks. But not trying sucks more for me. That’s why I’ve always followed my interests with complete disregard for what the end result could be. I’ve never seen my experiences as win or lose, rather as things I want to do; and whatever I do I give it my best.
We all know people who live their lives avoiding fear and pleasuring their self-doubt. They’ve basically surrendered to their self-doubt. Don’t be that person. Take action. Don’t let self-doubt dictate who you are and who you can become. It all comes down to your mindset and attitude. I can control my attitude. So can you. But we can’t worry about things that are out of our control.
Just do it.
Everyone knows who Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are. But, do you know who was their trainer throughout their careers? Their trainer was Tim Grover. Tim knows a lot about winning from having spent so much time with the best of the best athletes.
We are all failures – at least, all the best of us are. – J.M. Barrie
As a society, what keeps us from creating anything worthwhile?
Rock climbing requires a tremendous amount of focus. You need to keep your emotions in check in the ever present fear of falling to your death. If don’t control your fear, you die. It’s that simple!
For climbers falling isn’t failing, falling is just part of succeeding. …
A few days ago I found myself reading one of the many posts out there about X reasons why brands refuse to embrace social media. The truth is many companies are already irrelevant because they fail to see the world as continuously evolving.
First it’s important to understand that as humans we are taught to see everything as a phase because it makes it easier for us to make sense of things by being able to separate one event from the others. The problem with this way of thinking is it tries to make everything predictable in the short term by not focusing on the long term consequences.
Win today and don’t worry about tomorrow.
Adaptability requires a you to see events as continuous, not linear. For an adaptable company change is always happening, not just between events. The objective of being adaptable is to be able to win as many times as possible but not worry about winning every single battle.
Stories abound of companies that became irrelevant because they failed to adapt, choosing to follow a predictable death. Most of these companies waited until chaos arrived to make adjustments and others clinged to the past. Why wait until chaos comes knocking on your door, adaptability is the most crucial skill you’ll ever need and it should be part of your strategy because if you don’t adapt you’re already irrelevant.
An exercise that always works wonders is showing people a vision where they no longer exist because they failed to adapt. Try it yourself, grab a few people from your office and ask them about the challenges facing your business:
- What they’re most afraid of?
- What keeps them up at night?
If they don’t have a clear answer for both, you’re already in trouble because you’re sitting in a very comfortable position and nothing is challenging your business.
What do you think? What actions do you take to make your business adaptable?
Last night I went to the premier of Michael Jackson’s This is it. In the movie you’re looking at a creative genius at work but you’re also looking at the world through his eyes. It’s a great movie to watch if you a MJ fan because he WAS going to put on show!
Although there are many things we can take away from MJ, there is something a friend of mine said tome after it was over that got me thinking. The Billie Jean performance is Michael at his best.
In his own words:
When I see MJ you don’t need to live abroad or to go visit new places to get in your inventive or creative mood… INNOVATION comes from INSPIRATION, it comes from INSIDE.
Just like a little kid, who makes out of a simple box, castles, dungeons, towers with trapped princesses inside or secret passages, MJ takes in all of his surroundings and transforms them into a work of art.
Just as he did once, with just A SIMPLE BOX, a GLOVE and A HAT.
MJ’s creative toolbox consists of a box with a hat and a glove and the best dance moves in the business. That’s it! Simple as that!
Anyone can put on a hat, a glove and dance but MJ makes the hat and glove all part of the dance, the performance. They become an extension of himself, his persona.
The whole key is he never lost his ability to astonish. Our inner child needs to be nourished, and see what no one else sees. We must never lose our ability to astonish ourselves.
So ask yourself, in my business what would be equal to the box, glove and hat I can use to create a memorable experience?
A key to implementing a kick-ass business strategy is doing what others are unwilling to do, this is shifts the rules to your advantage.
One of the most important pillars of any great business is making your customer happy. Yet, it seems to me that businesses are only focused on what they want, but not what their customers want. Profit over brand is a ruling mindset! If you find yourself in a market where this is the case, make it your mission to compete by making your customers happy, and make your competition irrelevant.
Your competitors will be trying to figure your strategy out and since they can’t think of making customers happy as a strategy (it’s not logical?), they won’t be able to compete! They’ll think you’re out of your mind.…