If you are in the business of services, this is one book you want your sales team to read. The book is about what sabotages client loyalty and how to get past that to have not only your clients asking to do more business with you but also sending more clients from their network to your doorstep.
But, before you gift the book to your sales team with the expectation of seeing increase in your top and bottom line, you would need to read it first because what is in the book cannot be implemented unless you as their leader believe in and live these principles.
The author, Patrick M Lencioni, is Founder and President of The Table Group, a successful management consulting firm specialising in executive team development and organisational health. His business principles are now course material at the University of Saint Mary. CNN Money listed him in 2008 as one of "10 new gurus you should know”. He is "one of the most in-demand business speakers.” His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and USA Today.
Read below few excerpts from the book to get an overview of the magic formula and experience deeply fulfilling, joyous success even as you smile all the way to your bank by implementing the ideas from the book.
1. Without the willingness to be vulnerable, we will not build deep and lasting relationships in life. That’s because there’s no better way to earn a person’s trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us.
2. For those who provide service to clients, vulnerability is particularly powerful. Those who get comfortable being vulnerable - or as I call it, naked - are rewarded with levels of client loyalty and intimacy that other service providers can only dream of.
3. …even though clients require us to be competent enough to meet their needs, it is ultimately our honesty, humility, and selflessness that will endear us to them and allow them to trust and depend on us.
4. … we need to make sure that they’d be the right kind of client. … We’ve learned over years that having a bad client is worse than having none. … it prevents you from finding other good clients. And you’re unlikely to get a good reference. In fact, they are likely to tell everyone they know how you weren’t able to help them, because they certainly aren’t going to admit it was their fault. … it just makes you feel bad about coming to work. It destroys the culture.
5. “Do you ever worry that you are going to do too much during your sales call, and that the client will take it and use it and not hire you?” …
“I don’t worry about it. Very few people are going to do something like that. If they need help, they need help. Even if what I show them makes perfect sense, they usually know they need help implementing it and getting the rest of their team on board. … even if they do that, then they’d probably be a pretty lousy client anyway. So it would be better to find that out up front.”
6. … fairly long list of principles … but not much structure around their approach.
7. … one of the most intense, interesting and effective behavioural therapy exercises I had ever witnessed. All in a little more than an hour.
Starting with the CEO, they went around the room and told him what they thought his most valuable attribute was for the team, and then they went around and told him the one thing they thought he should work on. The answers were pretty consistent; he took them well, and promised to do his best to address the biggest area of weakness, …
Then they went around the table and did the same for everyone else …
8. Almost all of the time and energy … was being directed toward consulting to (servicing) paying clients. Those clients in turn became the sales engine for the firm, and even when we did an occasional cold call, it was the references from clients that shortened the sales cycle considerably. I’m not even sure I’d call it a sales cycle at all.
9.” … They spend almost none of their time selling. … most of their business comes from referrals and warm leads. And in the rare event that they do a cold call, they spend very little time doing research or writing up proposals or wordsmithing presentations.”
What do they do then? …
“… when they meet up with a client, they spend their time asking questions and doing primary research right there. It’s like they skip the entire sales process. And, they are remarkably successful.
… instead of trying to outsmart the companies they are selling to, they just go there and start consulting.”
10. … they are far less professional than we are. They are also less sophisticated, less rigourous and less systematic. But they are so much more effective.
… every client … raves about these people. They do most of the marketing for them, and without being asked. More than half their clients come from unsolicited referrals.
11. Why did the client pick them instead of us?
The client tells them why - “It just felt like you guys were going to tell us how to run our business, and you were trying to convince us that you knew more than us, I guess. And you were telling us all the things that you would do for us if we hired you. They didn’t do that. … They didn’t come up with any answers. But they asked questions. And, they had suggestions, but they admitted that some or all of these suggestions might not be right. And, some of them weren’t, but some were, and more than anything, it felt like they were more interested in helping us figure our problems than they were in closing the deal.”
What has it been like working with them since then?
“The same as it was that day. It’s like all they are interested in doing is helping us solve our problems. I’ve already told half a dozen other CEOs about them. I couldn’t be happier.”
12. The power of what they do can be explained in one word: vulnerability.
13. The three fears that sabotage client loyalty
i. The 1st Fear: Fear of losing the business
It’s not that they go out of their way to tick off their clients. It’s just that they are so focussed on saying and doing whatever is in the best interests of those clients that they stop worrying about the repercussions. They make themselves completely vulnerable, or naked, and don’t try to protect themselves.
… they’ll usually look at a company’s website and get a general sense of what business the client is in. But they do most of their research when they meet the client, by asking questions. And they certainly don’t come up with a slideshow or a marketing packet.
a. Consult, don’t sell. Give away the business.
The other part of this, giving away the business, is about never worrying about the fees. Don’t bring them up during the sales call unless they ask. Don’t apologise for what you charge when they do ask. And if there’s ever a dispute about fees, side with the client and charge the lesser amount.
… That’s what nakedness and vulnerability are all about. If a client wants to take advantage of you, let them.
I’ve seen their consultants go to a client and suggest that they pay a lower retainer because they weren’t using their services enough.’
… It’s all about standing there naked in front of the client. It’s about building trust. And in the end, that means the client trusts them and takes care of them.
b. Tell the kind truth
I know a consultant who told his client that he needed to move his son out of a leadership position because he was incompetent. Another guy I know recently told a CEO that he doesn’t hold his staff accountable. And, last week I had to tell a guy that I thought he talked too much during meetings. But remember the ‘kind’ part. We give them that sort of feedback with a level of empathy and concern that you would normally reserve for a friend.
No matter how uncomfortable the conversation might be in the moment, eventually the clients are so glad that someone cares enough about them to be honest, they probably can’t imagine not having you around.
c. Enter the danger
In consulting, entering the danger comes into play in those moments when you are in a meeting and someone says something that is either strange or politically sensitive, and you know that the level of anxiety and discomfort in the room is high. What you are tempted to do is just be quiet and let the moment pass, but what great consultants do is walk right into the middle of the situation and call it out.
Whenever I see someone enter the danger …, clients inevitably come up to you individually and thank you. They say things like “I am so glad you made us talk about that’, and ‘I’ve been wanting to do what you did today for three years, but I felt it would have been a career-limiting move.”
ii. The 2nd Fear: Fear of being embarrassed
One fear that most consultants struggle with is the fear of being embarrassed or looking stupid in front of their clients.
a. Ask dumb questions
Whether it’s an industry term or an acronym or a concept that everyone else in the room seems to understand, they just never pretend to know more than they do. … I think their clients appreciate that about them.
b. Make dumb suggestions
<Don’t hesitate to make suggestions, even if they turn out to be dumb.>
c. Celebrate your mistakes
If a suggestion turns out to be dumb, you admit it was a bad idea as soon as you realize it. You laugh at yourself. You take their ribbing. And most important, you don’t stop making suggestions. Most of your ideas won’t be horrible. Even the ones that aren’t so good won’t hurt you as long as you are humble enough to acknowledge that you are not an expert. And if you have built trust with the client, they don’t think about it for a second.
… The idea is that your clients are looking for good suggestions, and they don’t mind sifting through some not-so-good ones as long as they are offered with good intentions and with no ego attached.
iii. The 3rd Fear: Fear of feeling inferior
One of the last things consultants want is for their clients to look down on them or, even worse, look right through them. There is something about wanting them to see you as being important that goes with the job.
The fear of being embarrassed or looking stupid is about taking an intellectual risk. It’s about the pride of not wanting to be wrong. The fear of feeling inferior is more about humility as a person, not needing to be the centre of attention. Even taking on a role of true subservience to a client.
… some of the principles that go down with this …
a. Take a bullet for the client
b. Make everything about the client
c. Honour the client’s work - This is about genuinely displaying enthusiasm and respect for what the client does.
d. Do the dirty work
There is something so powerful about a person who in one moment can be confident enough to confront a client about a sensitive personal issue, and then in the next moment humble themselves and take a position of servitude. It’s the paradoxical nature of it all that makes it work.
Here are few excerpts from the book where the author explains what he means by The Naked Service Model and what to do specifically to shed the three fears that destroy client loyalty.
At the outset, let me tell you that it won't be as simple as reading the book to get breakthrough business performance. What the implementation of the ideas in the book really requires is the transformation of what it means to be you, what it means to be a leader in your organization, what it means to be a business in the world.
Its only on this journey of leadership transformation beginning with you will you get access to your inner creative power and outer enthusiastic followership to lead your organisation to cut over from good to great.
What this journey requires is for us to build high levels of self-awareness about our own evolutionary fears - I am not good enough, I am not important, I am all alone. After being present to one of these or a combination of these fears, the journey requires us to march forth like peaceful warriors to transmute these evolutionary fears to step into the highest version of ourselves.
Click here to read the 5-Stage Leadership Development Process I use with my clients to support them to become naked service providers; unleashing their performance, productivity, creativity and innovation. They create not only breakthrough business results but also breakthroughs in other areas of their life - health and fitness, relationships, kids, finances, purpose, spirituality, emotional intelligence.
I find it incredibly beautiful to observe how building a great business only happens in parallel to going within to be the greatest version of who we are.
Wishing you the joy of the journey.
3 years back, I picked up golf. 2 years back, I was still struggling with golf so continued learning golf. Last year, I committed to Karate. This year, I am giving myself up to piano and western classical music. Today, I had my first class in the same music school as my kids. My class was earlier than my teenage daughter’s so I was already practising when she strode in. She marches upto me, looking as much amused as bemused; not really knowing how to react as she sees me struggling with the piano keys and promptly announces matter-of-factly: “Here, you are not my mother.” Before it registers, she has already vanished into her singing class. I had the music notes to worry about than to think about what she said. See, she doesn’t see adults learning around her except her funny mom who picks up a new thing to learn every year.
Couple of parents watched me enjoying the struggle of learning and said you are an inspiration. I know the idea of learning inspires them but they are unlikely to be inspired enough to commit themselves and their time to something that they will have to battle with because that is what learning is. Battling your grey cells with new information to process. This battling, this struggle is the exercise what our brain needs the most to stay young, healthy and fit right till we breath our last. That’s what the researchers at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital have found.
I spoke to my best friend to share the excitement of the new thing I am learning this year. She shares how she struggles to get her kids to their badminton class. She acknowledged it is possibly because she herself is too lazy to do anything herself. I know it is not as much as laziness as the ennui of existence that catches up with you.
I admire the parents who bring their kids to the golf course for their classes because I cannot find enough commitment in me to just sit somewhere while the kids experience the joy of learning. I leave for the golf course at the time I said I would because I love practising and playing. I have never had to push the kids to attend their class because I would rather that they do something out of love, rather than because I am pushing them to do. Their love for golf has only grown as I left them to figure out that for themselves.
Though, I have learnt this the hard way. Few months back, my daughter told me how I had killed her love for Art by buying her books on famous artists and history of World Art. I listened to her in numb silence because I finally understood why she didn’t want to do anything with Art anymore after being such a prodigious and a passionate artist. My over-providing for her and giving her more than she asked for or was ready for is what killed her love for Art. I had also inadvertently killed her love for piano and maths earlier on. I am learning to give her space to discover herself and find her inner commitment. Being left to her own devices to figure out things, she came back to piano after 4 years.
Having burnt myself, I realised how only love and inner inspiration can drive learning. External motivation, grades, rewards, incentives and punishments only kills the inherent genius in kids and in people. That is why having grown up with external motivation, grades, incentives, rewards and punishments; by the time we have grown up, we are left up with zero inner inspiration, passion and joy of learning. That is why, we age.
Dying is inevitable, aging is not. We age by choice by not keeping alive love, passion and inspiration in us. I read someplace sadness is not the opposite of happiness, boredom is. Boredom sets in when we are not learning, growing and evolving; when we are not challenged to grow beyond who we are at this moment. Joy is in increasing our fitness across the 4 bodies of our Being - physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual - by taking on learning something to mastery.
What are you doing this year to grow? Which hobby will you re-invest yourself in? Which creative art or sport will you commit yourself to mastery? Which mountain will you scale or new land will you discover? Your age, your health, time, money - nothing is a barrier. The real barrier is inside your head.
All the thoughts that are racing in your head telling you why you cannot pick-up something new to learn are the barriers you are choosing. You can change the clothes you are wearing, so can you change your thoughts to support you to travel in the direction you want to explore. You are not your clothes, you have clothes. You are not your thoughts and emotions, you have thoughts and emotions. Just as you choose your clothes, you choose your thoughts. And, the thoughts you choose determine your lifestyle; determines the quantum of happiness, peace and fulfilment in your life.
You are bigger than your thoughts, bigger than your emotions, bigger than your circumstances. Stand up to walk towards the Life of your choice. God did not send us to Earth with a destiny already written out. We are made in the likeness of God - as a creator, a creator of our Life. (S)he sent us here with an empty whiteboard to write our destiny. We can also rub everything to draw something new.
You don’t believe it. That is why you won’t create it. Suspend your disbelief, resignation, cynicism for a moment and step into your dreams lying hidden inside you, with childlike trust and faith.
Now, let's have a conversation.
References: What does it take to be a Super-Ager?
I read this book a few years ago. It has been the inspiration behind reducing my 72 hours work week to 25 hours work week. I am still working to get to the 4 hours work week. For that, I am aware that I need so much greater work on myself. As of now, the journey is ongoing.
Not only have my hours of work reduced, my productivity, effectiveness and earnings per hour have increased dramatically on implementing the learnings from the book. I shifted from a 288 hours program per year per client to 66 hours program per year per client with 1650 percentage increase in revenue, while making a much much bigger impact to my clients. Thus, my clients have not only saved time but also created far greater output from the lesser number of hours spent in a program with me.
I have used the time saved to visit my parents weekly to be more engaged in their lives; to be more present to my kids not only physically, but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually; read more masters in my field; spend more time in training and developing myself; learn golf from the country's best coach and play golf weekly with family; focus on building my fitness levels through yoga, karate, cross-fitness training and learnings on nutrition drawn from Ayurveda, Naturopathy and research from the West that I feel younger at 45 than I did at 25. A week back, I committed to learning western classical music on piano. My business model has shifted from serving high volume, low value clients making a difference to their lives to serving low volume, premium value clients making a massive difference to them, increasing their impact in the world through their businesses and the communities that they are a part of.
All this and much more, thanks to Timothy Ferriss and to conscientiously applying the principles in his book - The 4-hour Work Week. Here's the summary for you to inspire you to read his book fully and to apply his principles to start your own journey to create your best life ever.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share which idea from the book you implemented and the difference it made in your life.
Wishing you a deeply fulfilling successful career, loving harmonious relationships at work and at home, happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, lots of nourishing nurturing me-time and a huge positive impact in the world. Learn to create time from Tim Ferriss to have it all.
The reason most people end up not fulfilling their intentions, realising their dreams, achieving their goals is because they fail to recognise the difference between Outcome and Process / Input Goals.
Outcome Goals define what destination you want to reach and by its very name are not in our control. We cannot guarantee that the outcomes we want will get created. Inspite of that, the first step to create a fulfilling life is to define the outcome goals. Happiness is really the experience of growth. If you review your outcome goals, you will realize the achievement of these necessarily means you have to grow as a human being. That is why impossible, unimaginable goals that fill your heart with joy, cause your eyes to shine like bright stars, which make you want to sing and dance are the best goals because of the massive growth you would have to undertake to realize these goals - growth across all the 4 bodies of your Being (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual), growth in leadership depth, growth in business excellence and growth in craft mastery.
The mistake most people make is to get attached to the outcome goals because the outcome goals are merely indicators of how much growth we are committing ourselves to and to define the inputs required to achieve these goals. The inputs required to achieve the Outcome Goals are called the Process or Input Goals. These are our daily actions that we need to take to make our desired outcomes a reality.
Intention is for the future and attention to be firmly fixed in the present moment to fulfil on any intention. Once the Outcome Goals are defined, give them up to the Universe because the future is not in our hands and bring your focus totally to the present moment to work on your Input / Process Goals.
A powerful way to create the future is to define your Top 5 Outcome Goals for the year across the 5 areas of your wheel of Life (deeply fulfilling successful career, loving harmonious relationships, happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, nurturing nourishing me-time, making a difference) as a new year dawns and identify Top 10 Process Goals to take action on daily to ensure the achievement of the Outcome Goals. Write them on a 1-pager along with your Personal Inner Commitment, Strengths and Values.
Read this 1-Pager daily 3 times - as soon as you wake up, after meditation and just before sleeping. This is a powerful way to remind yourself of what is your commitment to create (Top 5 Outcomes) in that year, strengths that power you to create, who you are committed to be irrespective of circumstances or other people or outcomes (values), your life’s purpose (personal inner commitment) and Top 10 Process Goals (what you need to do to achieve the outcomes you are committed to create in a specific year).
As you review and reflect on your 1-pager at the end of the year, one of the 3 things would happen:
a. a foundation gets laid for the Outcome Goal to be achieved,
b. an Outcome gets created but different from what you had intended though this Outcome serves your growth more powerfully that your original Outcome,
c. the Outcome got achieved.
What is the most powerful creative force in the world without which you would not be able to achieve your goals, fulfil your intentions, realise your dreams?
Gratitude. Not thinking gratitude but feeling gratitude in your heart and in your body. That is when it is truly authentic and powerful. If there is a drop of water in a glass and I am grateful for it, the glass will fill up with water. If my glass is three quarters full and I am discontented, experience scarcity, lack because of the emptiness in the glass, yearn for the glass to fill up, complain verbally or non-verbally about what is not there, continuously focus on what is not available to me, the glass will soon become empty. It is interesting how what you focus on grows and what you don’t focus on slowly disappears. I encourage you to experiment with this idea in your life to arrive at the truth of it.
Feeling gratitude is actually turning your focus into the positive aspects in other people and in your environment, in your circumstances. When you focus on the positive aspects, they expand. You cannot feel gratitude and not feel joy, love and peace. This year, make a commitment to deepen your experience of gratitude for what is there and what is not there. Commit to experiencing the perfection in the Universe. In an interview, Amitabh Bachchan, Indian movie actor growing in his superstardom even at 76, said that he is grateful when his intention gets fulfilled and he is even more grateful when his intention doesn’t get fulfilled because then the Universe’ intention is getting fulfilled.
There is huge power in childlike trust and faith in the Universe, which centres you emotionally, mentally and spiritually freeing you to focus deeply in the present moment to take powerful effective action to create the reality of your choice instead of getting caught up and wasting time participating in the emotional drama of life.
Be grateful if your Outcome got created. Be grateful if your specific Outcome didn’t get created and some other Outcome got created because this is what serves your growth at this moment most powerfully, if you would only open yourself to recognise that. Be grateful if a foundation got laid for the Outcome Goal to be achieved because the foundation, which may seem like a baby step at this moment is the most important step for the achievement of this Outcome goal. Without the foundation step, this tiny little first step, the Outcome Goal will not get achieved ever.
Review your Outcome and Process Goals at the end of the year. Based on your learnings during the year, you may want to shift your Outcome Goals and change your Process Goals to create your Outcomes with even more velocity.
Enjoy your journey of creation. Have fun along the journey.
1. Fitness like that of a professional athlete is a necessary input for top performance in business and in all other areas of life.
2. What you eat is what you become. Eat super healthy like a super star. Indian food can be fully whole grain, plant based, oil-free and yet delicious.
3. Age-related weakening of eye-sight can be reversed through yoga and healthy diet. I no longer need reading glasses for reading.
4. It is never too late to build strength and stamina. I used to feel exhausted after playing 9 holes and would lay the blame on being 45. Now, even after playing 18 holes at the golf course, I still have energy to do a rigorous workout.
5. Dreams have power. They can bring purpose, focus and committed action even in a 13-year old bogged down by the lure of internet, the trap of peer pressure and the temptation of living an easy life.
6. You grow old the day you stop learning new things. I am looking for a music teacher for my 73 old parents.
7. Your clients are not paying you for the number of hours you spend with them but the output you help them create. My new program run over 66 hours creates far more impact and value for my clients than my earlier program run over 288 hours. This shift is a direct outcome of investing massively in my personal growth and development.
8. Meditation spurs creativity and productivity besides reducing the number of hours to sleep to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
9. Spending time on making a massive difference to your current clients is the biggest marketing initiative you can run.
10. Time invested in mastering your craft is more effective over the long term than spending time in networking and social media to grow your business because it helps you to create a high-value pull business instead of setting-up a push business in which you spend your time chasing customers instead of making a dent in the Universe.
11. 20% of what you do creates 80% of your outcomes. Figuring out your 20% and putting your ultra-focus there is the secret of creating abundance of time to do all that you want to do but never found time for.
12. Doing all that you always wanted to do but never found the time for unlocks your hidden reservoir of massive energy.
13. Shifting who you are as a human being is the single most powerful way of shifting what outcomes your business creates.
14. Having a coach to be on a journey of discovering one’s blind spots ongoingly gets one to take powerful effective action to create breakthrough outcomes in life, professionally and personally.
15. Learning a sport like a pro teaches more about personal leadership and personal excellence than all the classroom sessions you will ever attend.
16. It is in giving that we receive. Giving 10% of your income to charity and social welfare grows your business in unexpected ways.
17. Owning your own culture, heritage and language gives your children deeper roots, stability and self-esteem to joyfully express their inherent genius.
18. Love, respect and relating to everyone as equals wins all battles.
19. Listening deeply is the single most important leadership skill which is missing. Learn to listen deeply by learning the art of conversation using the power of silence, questions and commitment to coach people to discover their inner light.
20. You can’t win by being a Fighter, fighting with circumstances and people in your life at work and at home. The only way to win is by being a Peaceful Warrior fighting your battles within, which is the source of all that is not working in the world outside.
21. Daily reviewing your personal inner commitment, strengths, values, Top 5 Annual Outcome Goals and Top 10 Annual Process (/Input) Goals releases energy to take daily action to make your annual outcome goals a reality by the end of the year. Create your 1-pager for 2019, if you haven’t as yet.
22. Multiple intentions across different areas of your life can be fulfilled with a single action. Write your intentions across all the areas of your wheel of life - deeply fulfilling successful career, happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, nurturing and nourishing me-time, making a difference - to identify actions that will fulfil multiple intentions. That’s being effective, productive, creative and innovative.
23. Read more than you think you can. Read every free minute you have to stand on the shoulders of masters to see further than anyone else has ever seen in your industry, your domain, your craft to innovate and contribute powerfully to your customer and employee communities. Business growth is a logical outcome of this.
24. Cut down on technology and rev-up on self-awareness.
25. Saying a prayer before eating increases the taste and nutrition of the food that you eat. Use the prayer before a meal to reset and recharge yourself emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
26. Be love, gratitude and reverence. Be childlike trust and faith. Be in the present moment by keeping your attention on your breath as it comes out and as it goes in. Be fun.
My job is to mess up with my clients’ thinking, not tell them what to do. My clients are experts and top leaders in their fields, they probably know much more in their industry than anyone else. They already have everything figured out. Advising them and telling them what to do will not give them a breakthrough in their creativity, productivity, performance and innovativeness.
What gives them ideas they hadn’t thought of before, emotions they hadn’t felt before, actions they hadn’t considered before that takes them to the next level that they didn’t even think was possible or available is getting challenged in the way they think, how they think and what they think. Which is what I call messing up with their minds, totally turning their thinking around upside down, inside out. This is what gives them a new way of thinking, a new way of feeling, a new way of being which raises the bar in every area of their life - career, relationships, kids, nurturing and nourishing themselves, making a difference in the various communities that they are a part of and most importantly, creating an abundance of time within the same 24 hours for things that they are deeply passionate and committed about.
I got a call from a client today for an urgent advice. I told him I don’t do that. Though, I would be happy to coach him if that’s what he wanted. The coaching call didn’t go in the direction he expected. I told him that’s the problem seeking someone's advice. We have already made up our mind and all we want is someone’s agreement on that. Since we are on a coaching call, I will not give you what you want but what you need to see, hear and feel; and you would resist that though that’s what would support you the most in creating a breakthrough for yourself.
My clients have enough yes men and women in their lives and I am about tough love. I love and care so much for my clients that I don’t really care that they love me back. In fact, if my clients don’t hate me for sometime during their engagement with me, I know I need to serve them more powerfully.
The same is with my kids. If I don’t hear I hate you often enough, it’s a signal for me to parent them more powerfully instead of easing myself into winning a popularity contest with them. They understand the value of that just as my clients do. So much so, that my 12-year old has taken me on as her coach to fulfil on her greatest dream. This is the toughest assignment that I have taken up so far because when you coach someone, you step into a relationship of equals and you take on being coachable yourself. I no longer can use the line when she asks the question ‘Why do I have to do that?’ - Because I am your mom. I also have a constant watchdog observing whether I am living my personal inner commitment and my values, which is totally tough though serves me very powerfully to grow. So, in a way, she is running the toughest coach training program for me.
Parenting, leading and coaching are intertwined. Each of the roles have to play the other two roles equally effectively and powerfully to do justice to their specific role.
Parenting is about parenting (unconditional love and acceptance) and leading (doing 10X what you tell your kids to do) and coaching (supporting your kids to realise their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self, supporting them to be happy and fulfilled with their genius joyfully expressed).
Coaching is about parenting (unconditional love and acceptance) and leading (doing 10X what you tell your clients to do) and coaching (supporting your clients to realise their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self, supporting them to be happy and fulfilled with their genius joyfully expressed).
Leading is about parenting (unconditional love and acceptance) and leading (doing 10X what you tell your team to do) and coaching (supporting your team to realise their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self, supporting them to be happy and fulfilled with their genius joyfully expressed).
Wishing you the joy of being a deeply fulfilled leader, parent and a coach creating breakthrough outcomes in all areas of your life.
Values are our commitment to ourself, a promise to our own self as to who we are committed to be; irrespective of the chaos inside or outside, irrespective of how people are or aren’t, irrespective of what people do or don’t, irrespective of what people say or don’t.
Defining our personal values defines for our own self as to who we really are. It gives us a place to stand in firmly, instead of swaying to every strong wind that may push us in one direction or the other. Instead of reacting to how people or circumstances are, we can learn to respond from who we have committed to be. This makes us far more productive, effective, in control of our lives, in control of the outcomes in our life, creative, innovative, happy, joyful and at peace.
If your inner values drive you, I call you a Peaceful Warrior fighting your battles within in recognition of the fact that the problems outside are mere reflection of what’s inside. If you take out your sword every morning to fight the challenges that the day lays out for you, I call you a Fighter. It is an exhausting lifestyle, constantly fighting to get what one wants. Fighters fight the Victims or other Fighters because Peaceful Warriors are on a different path. If you constantly hear yourself complaining, you know you just slipped into the Victim mode.
Who would you rather be - Peaceful Warrior, Fighter, Victim? What you choose determines the destination your organization is headed towards - industry innovator and leader, one of the many or struggling to remain out of the red.
So, what are your Values? They would be inner resources that inspire you. Here are examples of what they could look like - love, gratitude, reverence, integrity, mastery, joy, gentleness, abundance, kindness, generosity, compassion, fun, freedom, fulfilment, creativity, leader, service, contribution, commitment, dedication, loyal, innovation, humility, respect, understanding, appreciation, positive, cheerful, enthusiasm, energy et al. You could choose from this list or come up with your own.
Once you are clear about your own values, it is about living them moment by moment by having your thoughts, beliefs, words, actions in alignment with your core values. If your core value is kindness, observe your every thought, word and action to assess if you are truly being that.
Only if you live your values will you be able to inspire your family at home and your people at work to live those values. No amount of talking or plastering the walls with lot of words has an impact as much as you living those values.
It is important that your core values are aligned with the organization you are leading for your people to learn to live the organisational values. Your biggest and the first job as a chief executive is to reset values, vision and mission for your organization which are in alignment with your personal values, vision and mission that inspires you. A mismatch here will reduce your power to lead your organization forward from good to great.
Values define who you are, your vision is the future you want to create and your mission is what you will do to create that future. Organisational values defines what the organization believes, stands for and values more than profits. The organisation’s vision is where is the company going and why it exists. The organisation’s mission is what it is upto to lead itself to where it wants to go and fulfil on its reason for existence.
Before an organisation’s values, vision and mission can be defined, the CEO and the senior leadership team needs to come together to discuss their personal values, vision and mission to reset the organisation’s values, vision and mission that is deeply connected with their own. Without this visceral connection, your company’s values, vision and mission would be empty words on the walls instead of being the source of inspiration for the whole workforce to come together to transform the industry and lead from the front, making a massive difference to your customer community. Market leadership, profitability and scalability will be an effortless by-product of this process.
If you want to pump in new blood into your business and are committed to learn, evolve and massively grow, write to me at email@example.com for a session to reset your organisation’s values, vision and mission.
Wishing you a joyous journey to contribute to your customer and employee communities as you grow not only your business but the social eco-system along with it.
What is your Personal Inner Commitment? I have known it to give as much focus, purpose, direction, joy of living, fulfilment to a 10-year old as to a 73-year old and to all ages in between. It has changed the life trajectory of all my clients by connecting them to their centre, which they did not even know existed. From angry negativity to fulfilling work excellence; from lack of self-esteem to building a business to impact the world; from down and out corporate professional to joy, gratitude and a successful business; from burnout to a successful corporate career; from on-the-verge of divorce, cynicism, resignation to re-kindling of fun, friendship and companionship. All this is the magic of having a Personal Inner Commitment (PIC).
Do you have one?
If you don’t, it is time to stop and create one because it is your Rock of Gibraltar in the stormy weather of Life.
Here’s how to create and live your Personal Inner Commitment. Begin with asking yourself the following questions:
1. Who am I?
2. What legacy do I want to leave behind?
3. What impact I would have wanted to make, if today were my last day of my life?
4. What do I want to be the world’s best in?
5. What is my Personal Inner Commitment?
You could be in one of the four stages of Life as you read the above questions:
1. You are down and out. You are ready to hold on to anything that can pull you out of this current abyss. It is a great idea to use PIC to step into your zone of genius.
2. You are so caught up in fulfilling the basic needs of life that these questions don’t make any sense. You just don’t have the bandwidth to look beyond the obvious, to dive deeper inside for meaning and purpose. Know that PIC is the place to start from to create abundance in your life - of money, of time, of everything else; to go beyond lack, scarcity, neediness, yearning to abundance and prosperity.
3. Already are successful and have abundance. So, the above questions don’t make sense. Life is fun, why take it seriously? Yeah, sure. You can choose to stay at this point till the shine wears off. And, it will because you are meant for something bigger.
4. Life is good, you have everything to fulfil your needs, success makes life comfortable and yet you are seeking greater fulfilment, you are seeking greater expression of your creative self, you are seeking to go beyond who you are and make a difference, make an impact. Yes, begin with PIC as the link to take you there.
Whichever stage you are in, your personal inner commitment is your commitment between yourself and yourself. The only other being you would share your PIC with would be your coach and that is it. Why only your coach? Because your coach holds the space for your greatness. Why not anyone else? Otherwise, it loses its power by either becoming a way for self-aggrandisement or a way for other people's cynicism to get you to lose your belief. Both ways, you lose your energy and you lose your personal power to create.
This is how you define your Personal Inner Commitment - I am the world’s best _____________.
Go ahead and fill in the blank above.
This is now your inner commitment to the God inside of you. Believe in it as your inner truth. Make it the source of your every thought, every feeling, every word, every action and watch the magic unfold.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience.
Start of the year is a wonderful time to step out of the speeding train of Life to reflect on whether the train is speeding in the direction that we want it to. Imagine breathing your last and realising that your train of Life took you to the destination at the end of your Life’s journey that you didn’t want to be at.
It’s so easy to get distracted from what one is committed to create, what one’s deepest desires are, what one is truly inspired with by getting sucked into the emotional melodrama of life. It is just too easy to get lost in the chaos outside and in the chaos inside that the real purpose of living gets submerged in trivia.
What could be our Pole Star which would keep guiding us forward moment by moment, hold us true to our purpose, our highest intentions, our beautiful dreams that our moment by moment actions are sourced from there?
Today, I want to share a tool with you for that. Having worked for many years coaching my clients to transform their impossible, unimaginable, BIG dreams into joyous reality besides seeing the realisation of my own dreams, let me coach you today to use that tool to create your best year ever.
The tool is simply called a ONE-PAGER.
Though before you step forward to write your one-pager, I would like you to write your 5-year Dream Lifestyle. The best place to write your dream lifestyle is in a beautiful green space where you can hang your worries, fears, limiting thoughts, limiting feelings of scarcity, lack, resignation, cynicism and the like on a nearby tree. Empty of everything that is pulling you down, let your heart take over and pour itself out on a A-4 sheet as to what it SEES you doing in 5-years time, how are you FEELING in 5-years time, what do you HEAR from your environment in 5-years time, what have you created in all the 5 areas of your wheel of life - deeply fulfilling successful prosperity-creating career, loving harmonious relationships, happy responsible kids with their genius joyfully expressed, nourishing nurturing me-time and making a difference.
You know you are writing it the right way, if your heart fills up with joy, eyes shine like stars, love spreads throughout your body - love for yourself and the Universe around you.
Having created your Dream Lifestyle, pick up another A4 sheet to create your one-pager for this year. Your one-pager will have six parts to it:
1. My Personal Inner Commitment: In this part, write down what your personal inner commitment is in this lifetime. My personal inner commitment is to be the world’s best CEO Coach. Write it in the present tense as in - I am the world’s best CEO Coach. The reason I am able to make a difference to my clients is because I believe in my personal inner commitment. It has me say the things to my clients that no one else in their life would ever say to them, it has me require of them to look themselves in the mirror that people in their life would not have the courage to ask them, it make me love them so much that it doesn’t matter to me if they love me or not so that my work with them is not sourced in seeking their love, appreciation and approval but sourced in my clients discovering how powerful they are, finding the courage to go to places they are scared of, take actions they have been resisting for years to live their greatest life.
What is your personal inner commitment?
2. My Strengths: In this section, you write down your strengths to remind yourself of just how powerful you are. My strengths are - Joy of Learning, Childlike Trust and Faith, Commitment to be the Best, Perseverance, Will Power. However life is at any moment, all I have to do is to remind myself of my strengths to get back to my path with greater energy, passion and enthusiasm.
What are your strengths?
3. My Values: In this section, write down your values. Your values are the internal source of your power. This is who you are committed to be, irrespective of how the people in your life are or are not, what they do or do not do, what they say or do not say. Your values brings the remote control of your life directly in your hands. It no longer matters what happens or doesn’t happen, it only matters who you have committed to be. My values are love, gratitude, reverence, integrity, mastery, joy, gentleness, abundance. For sure, I fall off this path numerous times but this is the navigator that I keep coming back to, every time I get off the path. This is why, I have progressed further in my life than I would have.
What are your values?
4. My Dream Statement for the Year: This is in brief what outcomes I am committed to create in the current year in all the 5 areas of my wheel of life, using my 5-year Dream Lifestyle as my guide.
What is your dream for this year that you are committed to realise?
5. My Top 5 Outcome Goals for the Year: These are my SMART outcome goals for the year - one for each area of my wheel of life. SMART as in - Specific, Measurable, I believe the goals are Achievable, I believe the goals are Realistic and Time-bound (which is by year-end).
What are your top 5 outcome goals?
6. My Top 10 Process Goals for the Year: Outcomes are never in our hands. Outcomes are merely defined to identify the inputs to work on. Once the outcomes / intentions / dreams are defined, release them to the Universe and bring your focus to the present moment to work on the input side of things. Professionally, my outcome goal for the year is to make a difference to x number of CEOs and business owners. My identified inputs for this is to make a massive difference to my current clients, read the masters of my field 3 hours a day, publish an article every single working day to contribute to my customer community, gift a session for my community to learn, grow and expand on the outside and on the inside irrespective of the fact whether they are my clients or not as yet. For some, a session may be all that they need at this moment because they are not ready as yet to move forward. Others may be ready now for a longer journey to realise their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self and live their dream lifestyle now.
What are your top 10 outcome goals for the year?
Now your Pole Star is ready to guide you forward for you to experience the joy of the journey, for you to come home to yourself.
Writing your one-pager is just the beginning. Daily read your one-pager 3 times a day - as soon as you wake up, just immediately after your meditation, before sleeping - to guide your daily actions.
What would add greater power to this process would be to create a mastermind group of people who are seeking significance, impact, contribution, being of service, personal mastery (business excellence, leadership depth, craft mastery) instead of success, fame and wealth because success, fame and wealth are the by-products of a life-journey of personal mastery and making a difference.
What would support even greater acceleration is to also find a coach for yourself who is willing to fearlessly coach you to find your barriers inside ongoingly and hold the space for your greatness to unfold and blossom. That’s the nature of barriers. They are always inside though their reflections are always visible on the outside. That's also the nature of personal greatness. It needs someone to hold a space for it.
Keep realising your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self and have it all.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.