Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vision At Any Age

I'm honored to have for a guest post, Kevin Eikenberry, author, speaker, trainer, consultant, and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group . His new book, co-authored with Guy Harris, From Bud to Boss – Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership launched on February 15, 2011. When you buy the book this week (through Friday), you'll be able to access valuable gifts from Kevin and Guy’s partners.

While I’ve never worn any sort of corrective lenses, at my age, I am becoming increasingly more aware of my vision.

Things that were once perfectly clear are now sometimes hazy. I once took my vision for granted; now it is becoming harder to do so. (Before you all give me the name of your optometrist, know that a new eye exam is already on my list.)

In a literal sense if you don’t see something you can’t react to it – if I am driving and don’t see the deer in the road clearly I can’t apply my brakes or otherwise try to avoid it.

The vision I am writing about today is just as literal, but far less obvious. In fact it might be something you’ve never thought about before now.

If you have ever purchased a new car (or a new one to you) you have probably experienced this situation: when you drove it off the lot and as you drove for the next several weeks, didn’t it seem like your car is everywhere! You had no idea Honda even made that color, but now you see your car model and color everywhere you go.

Now logic would tell you that these people didn’t all conspire and buy the very same car the very same day you did. But didn’t it sort of feel that way?

Of course those cars were on the road before, you just didn’t see them.

The reason for this phenomenon is something in your brain called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS works as a filter between your all-noticing and very powerful subconscious and your far-less-powerful conscious mind.

When you bought your car your conscious mind told your subconscious that these cars were important to you. So, dutifully, your subconscious with the help of the RAS let you “see” your car like never before – on the road, on the television and even hearing ads on the radio and noticing it being discussed in everyday conversation.

The fact is the RAS allows you to see exactly what you are looking for.

Stop and read that sentence again.

If the RAS allows you to see what you are looking for, then perhaps the most important vision question for us all is … “What am I looking for?”

You are looking for what you are seeing!

Let me get less esoteric.

Have you ever left a movie and talked with someone about it, and through your conversation it seemed like you saw two completely different movies? You each noticed different things, cared about different things and were moved in different ways by different parts of the film? Since we each have our own powerful RAS filters, this is easy to understand. Each person sees what his/her brain was looking for and therefore “wanted” to see.

Let me make this more useful for leaders and high performers:

Feedback. Most people realize that positive feedback is important (if you don’t think so, think again!). The challenge most people find in giving more positive feedback is finding the positive things to comment on. Challenges and problems will always be there, and they will always be noticed. However, if you want to give more positive feedback and support, you need to first adjust your vision! You must begin looking for what people are doing well. Once you adjust your vision, you will see these things everywhere.

Challenges. Many people look at every situation and see only the problem. They see all the reasons things can go wrong; all the cracks in the concrete. Some people look at the situation, and while recognizing the problems, see all the opportunities and notice possible solutions. It all starts with the choice of how to use your powerful RAS and to look for what we want to find. Would you rather find problems or solutions? Which are you looking for?

World view. Many people will tell you to stop watching the news, it will only bring you down. While I agree that a huge inflow of negative images isn’t what you want to continually plant in your brain, you must recognize the power of the RAS here too.

When you watch the news, what do you see and hear? Remember your RAS is helping you filter those words and images. Some people see opportunity, some see strife. Some see change, some see chaos. Some see recession, others, recovery. In every case, the same words create different visions for every person – based on what you are looking for.

These are just three examples, I could cite many more, but these hopefully will open your mind (and your RAS) to think about your context differently and allow you to choose to see the things you want to see in your life.

A final and very important note: while your RAS works most of the time without you even noticing, it is important to remember that you can choose what you want to look for, and therefore improve the chances you will see it.

If you aren’t seeing what you want, adjust your vision and make some new choices.

So, what do you see?

Potential Pointer: To create the future you want you must have a clear vision – and you must be able to see the world you want to create. You can make choices that will allow you to correct your vision and see the opportunities and situations that will lead you to your desired future.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Launch Day!

As I've mentioned before, I've had the great opportunity to receive and read an advance copy of From Bud to Boss. Over the last couple of weeks I've been writing and tweeting about it as I've found it to be a VERY refreshing look at what it takes, when promoted, to leave the "bud" mentality behind and gain the "boss" mentality.

Not having the knowledge for proper change is the biggest obstacle to becoming a successful leader. Change can be many things in different situations. As Kevin and Guy discuss in their book, "people who are feeling good about something that is changing in their lives will generally look more favorably on other changes at the same time and soon thereafter". Promotion means people believe in you. Believe in yourself and the change "from bud to boss" and in other things in your life will come so much easier. Living up to the challenge of leading your former peers doesn't have to be as stressful as some people make it out to be.

In this book you'll find all of the tools you need to become a great boss, whether you're just beginning or have been a leader for some time. The information is easily understood. They even make sense of the popular DISC model!

To celebrate today's launch of From Bud to Boss, authors Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris are offering great gifts including the chance to win a Kindle - . So go to your favorite online bookseller today and purchase the book that really will make a difference in your life.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Scott!!!

I've had a great opportunity to preview a new book that's already making a lot of "buzz" around the leadership community. From Bud To Boss is a title you're going to want to get whether you're a new OR seasoned supervisor. From Bud To Boss covers, in a new refreshing light, everything you need to succeed, including why and how you need to change, and the commitment you need to succeed.

Now here's the kicker - Kevin Eikenberry and Guy Harris' new book, From Bud to Boss, launches on February 15th. To celebrate the launch, they're offering special bonuses to people who purchase the book on the day of the launch. These bonuses include FREE content from a variety of partners who are promoting the launch. To take advantage of these bonuses when you buy the book, be sure to visit the special links - I'll be posting them when provided. Be sure to join the new Bud to Boss Community to be connected with a wealth of resources about how to be a better leader every day.