In a distant mountain village lived an old warrior. He was known as the undefeatable warrior and tales of his battles were told across the land.
Many travelled to study under him, and a few sought to challenge him.
One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village.
This young warrior wanted to defeat the old man and make a name for himself. In addition to his physical strength, the young warrior had a wicked tongue that he used to distract, insult, and distress his opponents so that he could strike without mercy.
Against the advice of his students, the old warrior accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off to fight, the young warrior began to insult the old warrior. He threw dirt and spit in his face. Hour after hour he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insulting phrase he knew. Yet the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm.
The young warrior finally exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed and beaten.
Disappointed and surprised that he did not fight the young warrior, the students gathered around the old warrior and asked, “How could you endure such insult and indignity? How did you drive him away?”
“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the old warrior explained, “to whom does the gift belong?”
Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, someone gives us a distressing or non-constructive message. Yet it can only disturb, distract, or insult us if we choose to accept it.
All of have some young and old warrior in us. As we close the year, think about how you are giving and receiving so that it enables you, and those around you, to play at their best.
Enjoy your December news2use.
“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”
“My boss said if I want to advance in the company, I need to become more strategic.”
I can’t count how many times this statement came up in conversations and coaching exchanges this year. If you have been asked, or asked others to become more strategic, take a look at this framework I discussed with a leader in a recent Norenberg’s Ninety Seconds:
For You & Your Team
“Learning without reflection is a waste, and reflection without learning is dangerous”, Confucius reminded us.
Why were your successes so impactful?
How did the effort and resources you invested influence your business returns?
What can you learn from your missed opportunities?
These questions are fundamental for high performance teams. Individual reflection is valuable, yet focused, collective reflection help teams accelerate their transformation efforts, ensuring that they adapt and change faster than their competition and the environment around them.
Two frameworks to help you make the most of your team reflections:
What were our key initiatives this past year?
Regarding effort and resources, how would we rate each initiative? (Too much, about right, not enough.)
In respect to our key initiatives, how would we access the business impact of each one? (Overachieved, achieved or underachieve.)
Another way to frame your reflection activities are to ask:
What were our high impact initiatives this past year?
Which of our initiatives provided little or no return for us?
Where did we miss opportunities, meaning initiatives we should have invested more into but didn’t?
Reflection isn’t a nice to have, it’s a must do if you want to become a highly effective team.
For You, Your Team & Your Business
During executive conversations, all too often, leaders say they expect more change and improvement to be happening across their organizations.
Change and improvement doesn’t just simply happen, it requires a catalyst, an ownershift in my words, which starts at the top of the organization, not the bottom or the middle of it.
If you and your team are experiencing “executive disappointment” because change and improvement aren’t happening fast enough, use the following exercise:
As an organizational unit (you and your leadership team) write or sketch out your process for continuous improvement and growth that you planned and achieved specifically for your leadership team this year.
Only 1 out of 20 leadership teams have a process for continuous improvement for their own leadership team. That’s right, one out of twenty.
If you can’t or won’t drive continuous improvement in your leadership team, how can you expect to do this across the larger organization?
This is an opportunity for growth and improvement, knocking on the door.
Highly effective leadership teams create a practice continuous improvement, thus setting an example for the entire organization.
Let me know if I can help you develop a process for continuous improvement in your leadership team, thus setting the example for improvement and growth from the top of your organization, not the bottom or the middle.
People, Places & Technology
A day doesn’t go by without someone, somewhere mentioning the supply chain. In the past, the supply chain was often thrust in the shadows, yet today all eyes are on the critical role that supply chain plays in our life and business.
The go-to resource for supply chain leaders and talents is the Future Insights Network (FIN) a global peer to peer network for senior supply chain pioneers.
I recently spoke to founder Maria Villablanca and was impressed by her and her team’s expertise and commitment to supply chain excellence. Here’s the link to our conversation:
This is the go-to resource for your supply chain champions who are looking for peer exchanges, relevant insights, and benchmarking opportunities.
Thought for the Day
“Neither life nor business is about getting about a perfect score.
Even small changes and minor improvements
to what we do and how we do it
can deliver enormous rewards.”