Category Archives: #ThursdayThoughts
Many people look down on motivational speakers, books and other media because they feel it’s “snake oil” or “all fluff”.
These critics want “meat on the bone”, practical “nuts and bolts” to put in play and make an impact.
One who hears the critique of these folks will think that motivational speaking has no place in someone’s professional or personal life.
Honestly, there are generally two camps of people who attend, read and/or listen to what other people have to say. Those who are looking for the actionable steps, and others who are looking for a mindset change.
Motivational speaking primarily is helping others get people to think and believe in themselves. In this age where the loneliness epidemic is being identified, and the news and politicians spreading negativity, and the reality of bad breaks in life, people need hope. And great leaders instill hope.
One of the ironies in today’s speaking is the impact of storytelling. We have come to realize the framing of a message with a parallel story to underline it is a proven method for people to have takeaway actions. Yet isn’t that what motivational speakers do?
Some people are moving forward, motivated and have the right mindset to succeed. They want the “meat on the bone”. Others need that first rung of the ladder, that lift up out of their current failing mindset and believing in themselves to make those first steps towards lasting change.
There is a place for both motivation and strategic advice. It all depends on what that individual needs at that time.
Yes, some motivational speakers are snake oil salespeople. But so are some so-called experts who provide impractical business advice for being an entrepreneur, creating a real estate business or how to make a fortune on SnapChat.
As with anything, we should judge anything based on the merits of the overall good someone creates for others and not the fringe people that dilute the call, or the recipient’s inability to heed that advice.
And especially not our bias because we don’t think it will work for us.
Any meaningful change in our personal or professional lives dictates a change in mindset.
In other words, if we want lasting change, we need to think differently than we did before.
To draw from Apple’s late 1990’s campaign of “Think Different” we should always challenge ourselves to not just think of other ways to do things, but to think in other ways.
Our thought processes can be like wallpaper – barely noticing it’s there as we pass by. We need to be willing to be self-aware enough to look at our thoughts and how they impact our behaviors and see how we can transform our thinking to produce a better self.
It’s not about producing better results, but about producing a better self. When we make the necessary changes to improve ourselves, the result will speak for themselves. Sometimes they are not better finances, sales, fame or followers. Sometimes it’s being more respected, relatable, and credible.
Change your thoughts and think different. You are the product of your thinking and sometimes we need to approach our thinking in new and impactful ways.
A complaint is made by a customer to the corporate headquarters.
Corporate cascades it down to the regional managers.
The region manager addresses the the store manager.
The store manager tells the shift manager what went wrong.
The shift manager reprimands the employee for the issue.
Was it the employee’s fault? Perhaps. But the blame – and ownership for the issue – should be taken by corporate.
The higher level of leadership, the more every issue magnifies your ability to lead and lead through others.
Many times an employee gets the brunt of something that was not their fault. They were poorly trained, or their performance was shrugged off (“it’s a tough employment market you know!”) or the manager didn’t care that shortcuts were made (“it saved labor”). Or sometimes corporate demanded that Q4 number be met at all costs.
While you can’t be responsible for every employee’s behavior, you are responsible fully for ensuring they are hired, trained and led the right way to execute at the highest level of performance they can give.
Don’t perpetuate it rolling downhill. S*** (STOP) the downhill roll and take ownership to fix it starting with yourself.