Posts tagged Leadership
End of Year Rituals that Create New Year Energy Bursts

As the year comes to an end many of us embrace our own practices and rituals, reflection and create time to rest.  Typically then quickly followed by planning and goal setting the first few weeks of the year once the Holiday buzz starts to fade.  I find these two weeks to be a particularly great time to reflect and plan, express gratitude and renew my resolve towards aspirations I am working towards.  Over the past three years I have created a new practice for myself I would like to share, It is a combination of tools I have picked up over the years, and my top two influencers in this ritual are Kathlyn Hendricks and David Allen.  

What I notice each year is that as the calendar comes to a close to turn over a new chapter, I feel an uprising energy to anticipate what is to come and also reflect on what has happened.  Today I want to talk about tools to support your completion of a year, and allow for the most energy possible to come with you into the new year.  I will share with you in two weeks what my rituals are around goal setting and intentions.  

My first activity is to brainstorm and think of any possible items that have gone undone and make a list.  I find that "energy leaks", absent mindedness or lack of focus are all a result of keeping too much in my mind and not enough on paper or in a reliable place I can come back to, to get things done.  So step one, take an active inventory of all the items out there you might not have completed or are still in limbo. 

After I have a good list of items that are still un done or slipped my mind, a practice I learned from David Allen, "Closing the loop" of communication.  The term is somewhat self explanatory, and, It is important to get at the root at this concept which is proactively coming back to anything to "tie a bow on it" so everyone involved is on the same page.  Closing the loop looks like when you say you are going to do something, and then you do it, go back to the person you told you would do the thing, and tell them what happened, close the loop.  When loops are not closed, energy can get leaked out as it creates wonder or mistrust in the person on the other end. Closing the loop  keeps a flow between the people you make agreements with and creates space for creativity and collaboration as well. 

Once you have your list, you review it, communicate with each of the items or take action if only you are involved, that act is called "completing".  You know that rush of energy that comes with crossing items off your to do list, well, this is what I am talking about, creating action around completing with all (as many as possible) agreements or things left undone that you have accumulated over the year.  What this does for me is acts as wind at my back, giving me more energy and a more ready mind to go into the next year.  You might say, I have actives that cary over into next year, of course, so do I, and the trick is to be conscious of that and have a plan for how those items play out.  I have a tendency to have one large to do list or project list that is on going, and sometimes one of those items gets a little bit of work done on it each day for three months, and then it becomes complete.  If you have items like that, I find having a deadline I am moving towards and time slotted to reach mini completions along the way.  If it is an 80 slide presentation, divide it into sections of 20 slides and give yourself 2 hours a week to complete it over the course of 5-6 weeks.  Those types of completion activities have really done wonders for my energy levels and I have Kathlyn Hendricks to thank for teaching me this skill.

As you spend time reflecting and realizing over the next two weeks, remember to actively evaluate your completions for the year.  If nothing else do this from a place of wanting as much energy as possible to bring to your goal setting sessions in 2017.  

In my next post, I will share with you my own version of how I set my goals and intentions for each year.  

Thank you for reading along and please let me know if I can help you with these items, I have found that collaboration is of the highest importance to support ongoing creativity and I would enjoy collaborating with you!


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

The Art of Knowing When To Stop instead of Start

One of my all time favorite leadership books is Good to Great by James Collins, I remember being in my early 20's and reading the book for the first time, it has remained a resource for me for over a decade.  During my last read through the book, a concept stuck out to me that I had not really noticed before.  Now I am sure it was because I was not ready to see the message, funny how life works that way, when the student is ready the teacher appears.  The book centers around many wonderful topics, and the principle I want to share with you today is the art of the "stop, doing list".  Isn't it intuitive for us to create a "to do list" that informs our actions throughout the day, of course! Collins suggest that we consider what to stop doing to really allow for true and dynamic discipline. 

I love his thoughts he noted down on the topic found on his blog, jimcollins.com.


Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.
One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, "I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person."

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I'd inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

"Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline," Rochelle continued. "Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life."

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the "stop doing" list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions — a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Rochelle's challenge forced me to see that I'd been plenty energetic, but on the wrong things. Indeed, I was on entirely the wrong path. After graduate school, I'd taken a job at Hewlett- Packard. I loved the company, but hated the job. Rochelle's assignment helped me to see I was cut out to be a professor, a researcher, a teacher — not a businessman — and I needed to make a right-angle turn. I had to stop doing my career, so that I could find my real work. I quit HP, migrated to the Stanford Business School faculty and eventually became — with some remarkable good luck along the way — a self-employed professor, happily toiling away on my research and writing. -Jim Collins

Article can be found on Jim's Blog, Click here to see full article


Often when we create a new plan to ignite change, that plan is often coupled with initiates and tasks to set us on the new path  and direction.  In pausing to reflect about other possibilities, one suggestion that Mr Collins makes is that of evaluating what can potentially be stopped instead of started.  Making the choice and having the discipline to stop is a high level demonstration of self awareness and discipline.  Like he talks about in the article,  busy can be a state we find ourselves in and without the proper discipline, can end up not accomplishing a whole lot even if we feel like we are and instead we are delusional to the reality we have created.

As you create plans for next year, business and your own new year goals, consider what you could stop doing instead of adding in more new initiatives.  Ask yourself the 20-10 rule that collins mentions, what would you do differently?  

The hardest part of change is having the motivation and discipline to sustain the change, and a large force can be a person to support that process.  Reach out to me, I love to support people amidst change and would enjoy hearing about your plan and how it is going. Send me a note below, and let's talk about what you are going to STOP doing. 

 

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Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

Contemplating Air Travel & Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about the miracle of flight travel, do you ever let yourself really think about what flying is, the up in the air invention that allows us to pass through time zones in the sky!  I can leave my house at 6am, be in London Less than 10 hours later, that is remarkable when you consider it used to take a month to cross the ocean and some couldn't even make the journey!  It is easy to allow yourself to expand your mind to think about the miracle of air travel, but how often do you let yourself think about other "big ideas" that contribute to your daily life? 

Most human beings have the natural disposition to seek comfort, consistency and routine, it creates the feeling of accomplishment, and is a method in which to play inside the construct you invented that is your life.  So what is it about the human condition that creates the desire for comfort more than the desire for growth? One conclusion can be that comfort can be seen as an avoidance to stress, you seek comfort, keep things the same, rely on routine to maintain what you know and do.  A fairly frequent buzz phrase when evaluating your over all well being is "are you stressed?" That tells me that a large portion of our world is using the word "stressed" as a placeholder for the side affects of rapid expansion or change without a plan.

An alternative way of evaluating your stress levels is you can take an inventory of what kind of activities you are involved in and where do you really spend your time.  Busy does not equal productive, and it is really easy to confuse productive and meaningful work with things that fill your calendar and to do list.    I know for me, I have chosen to detach from the word "stressed", the word does not have any meaning I can relate to as I like to think I am choosing to do and participate in where I spend my time.  I love what Jim collins talks about in Good to Great, the Stockdale Pradox, being willing to confront what you are spending time on and once you have looked the brutal facts in the eye, from there you can evaluate your steps forward. 

When you can “maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be,” you are embracing what Jim Collins calls the Stockdale Paradox

Another super meaningful dialog on the topic is found here in the below video.  Gary Vaynerchuck is the CEO of a successful media consulting agency and at around 15 minutes into this talk he goes over what I think is a huge driver in the inability to "confront the brutal facts".  As he talks about, no one wants to look at "the thing" that can be measured, to really point to success or not, because if they did then they would be accountable to "that thing".  That would disrupt the "game".  What Gary says here is everything.  Maybe we are "stressed" because we can not take a hard look at WHY we are doing what we are doing and just got stuck in the wheel of work not having a purpose. 

"The game is structured in a way where you are playing within it because you have mortgages , You are not making decisions based on what you believe, instead you are making decisions based on what is palpable and acceptable within the ecosystem that is created, here is punch line tho, if you are doing something to grow within an organization or not rock the boat and have stability it doesn't mean what you are doing is right, it just means its right for you within the context of the game you chose." -Gary Vaynerchuck

When you notice you are tired, not into what you are doing or looking for an escape, ask yourself why are you doing what you're doing?  Did you say "yes" to a series of requests that placed you were you are today? Resulting in now it is just "what you do".  Whatever you spend your time doing, My hope for you is that you have heart in it, heart does not promise daily glamour, in contrast it requires extreme levels of discipline.  Here is the truth for me, when you have heart, stress isn't stress, your day is filled with what you want to do vs. have to do.  

Are you part of a system unconsciously making someone else's dreams come true?  Regardless of your position, the opportunity to take stock of your reality is always present and a fantastic way to live.  


Interested in Continuing this Conversation? Contact me Here: 

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LINDSEY RAINWATER, ALSO KNOWN AS LINDSEY RAINH2O, IS A SOUGHT-AFTER BUSINESS CONSULTANT, LEADERSHIP COACH, WRITER AND PRESENTER TO THE FITNESS AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAINWATER, FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @LINDSEYRAINH2O

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LINDSEY RAINWATER, ALSO KNOWN AS LINDSEY RAINH2O, IS A SOUGHT-AFTER BUSINESS CONSULTANT, LEADERSHIP COACH, WRITER AND PRESENTER TO THE FITNESS AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RAINWATER, FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @LINDSEYRAINH2O

The Most Important Fact Every Organization Must Realize
"Why modern organizations must move beyond a simple alignment of IT with business practices, to a complete, corporate-wide embrace of digital technology and all that it entails." -Digital Outliers Podcast

If you're a manager or leader, how many times have you been met with the phrase "That's not my job", I cringe at the thought of being on the receiving end of that statement.  Regardless of how short sighted it might be, people can demonstrate the tendency to compartmentalize their role or job into the title they are given. If you're in sales, you're not in marketing, if you're in operations, you're not in sales.  My opinion is that this is a dying idea, one that is starting to become an expression of past. 

The employee of the future might have a specialty of sorts but over all demonstrates  a well rounded acumen that addresses many different roles and is a closer cousin of that of an entrepreneur.

The driver behind this shift  in thinking is technology, and not just "tech", I am talking about the way that the internet of everything is increasingly the way of the future.  In the old world IT has historically been the driver on any initiative concerning tech and how the company will deploy their strategies relative to technology.  In today's evolving world it is important that if you want to be the best sales person, you have to also be a fantastic marketer.  Not to mention a tremendous relationship builder that is also dynamic at demonstrating how technology impacts their role.  A successful sales person today can not rely solely on their in person charm, their own personal Omni Chanel must demonstrate a through line so that what they present digitally is also the in person experience. 

On this topic there are many thought leaders inside the fitness industry, my good friend Bryan O'Rourke and Rasmus Ingerslev are two outrageously awesome thought leaders to watch on these topics.  Likewise,  two thought leaders I admire outside the Fitness Industry are Brian Solis and Didier Bonnet,  these two do a stellar job articulating this concept in a concise and easy to understand way. 

In one of Mr. Brian Solis's  most recent podcasts, Digital Outliers he spoke with Didier Bonnet (@didiebon),  Senior Vice-President and Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting and the co author of one of my favorite books, Leading digital.   I have listened to the podcast about a dozen times at this point because the message was so well articulated that It has to be shared here.   I am so impressed with Didier and Brian's dialog and ability to articulate such a complex topic so succinctly. Click here or on the link below to listen. 

Digital Transformation is really a business transformation driven by the current digital wave. If you can not get your workforce to adapt to this change, then your program will fail... the people side of the digital transformation is still as valued as any transformation, that’s where the big block is... the technology side is not the most difficult thing to change, the people change within the organizational change is the far more difficult to pull off. “
— Didier Bonnet

At the end of the day, the responsibly as individuals is to round out our skills to reflect today's world.  This is a wonderful opportunity for growth for many.

What do you think?  Check out the podcast and let me know, how are you and your organization adjusting to the dissolving IT roles and adapting to the new world?

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Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O