All Posts By

Pete Mockaitis

Gold Nugget #462: Increasing Your Self-Awareness to Improve Your Leadership with Pamela McLean

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In episode 462, Pam McLean emphasizes self-awareness as the key to unlocking your leadership potential.Leadership development necessitates a commitment to change. No matter who you are, change requires much conscious effort. Habit and routine exert their natural pull—even if it means stagnation. Great leaders commit to pushing past the fear of change so they can grow and develop.

Understand your strengths and weaknesses as the first step toward growth. When people want to change, they tend to ask others what needs to happen. Instead, Pam recommends starting with self-reflection. Honestly identify your underlying challenges. People often overlook self-awareness in the change process. However, self-awareness often leads to self-correcting without any external intervention.

Identify self-limiting narratives. Pam suggests that almost all people have self-limiting beliefs or narratives. For example, Pam grew up on a cattle ranch. Her environment encouraged strength and independence. As a result, she felt reluctant to ask for others’ help. Self-sufficiency served her well on the ranch…but hindered her leadership later in life. Noting your own self-liming beliefs makes room for a broader perspective.

Grow your leadership skills by cultivating your internal landscape. You can speed up your development by investing in these six dimensions of self:

  1. Presence. Your attention to self and the ability to be there for another. Try mindfulness apps (such as Simple Habit) or putting away your phone when others are speaking.
  2. Empathy. The ability to take another’s perspective and empathize with it—without making it your own experience. Research shows that good self-care practices also increase empathy. Win-win!
  3. Range of Feelings. The ability to be at ease with a broad range of emotions—instead of shying away from unfamiliar or unpleasant ones. Try asking others to put their feelings on a 1 to 5 scale of intensity.
  4. Boundaries & Systems. Maintaining your limits and helping someone solve their problem instead of solving it for them. Try to avoid the temptation to rescue or collude. Instead, keep asking helpful questions.
  5. Embodiment. Fully experiencing your body in the moment and recognizing how your body reflects your thoughts. Try different breathing approaches and note how they impact your body.
  6. Courage. Acting despite the fear of failure and working towards change despite discomfort. Identify two or three little actions that make you feel slightly nervous. Do those actions every day to build your courage.

Gold Nugget #449: Leaning Out with Marissa Orr

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In episode 499, Marissa Orr shares fresh, actionable wisdom on the workplace gender gap and reframes how alleged weaknesses can actually be strengths.

Marissa asserts that the ‘lean in’ mentality overlooks how institutions ignore women’s varied desires and wellbeing. With the ‘lean in’ mentality, women are blamed for the gender gap because they aren’t ambitious or assertive—i.e., like men. Marissa counters this with the ‘lean out’ mentality, which pins the blame on institutions for measuring and rewarding success without considering women’s varied strengths and motivations.

People resist acknowledging valid gender differences because of value judgments. People are comfortable discussing trivial gender differences, but get defensive when it becomes about how men and women relate differently to power. Marissa explains that people take offense because they already perceive one as better or stronger than the other when in reality, power is a much broader concept.

“Strengths” depend upon the surrounding context. For example, in zero-sum game contexts, collaboration is seen as a weakness because there are fewer opportunities to create win-win scenarios. But if you flip the context to a cooperative environment, then collaboration becomes a powerful strength.

Find how you can put your strengths to work. Not every setting is designed to let you fully capitalize on your strengths. Thus, it’s important to figure out how your work can meet your needs, how work can’t meet your needs, and how you can fill those gaps with your strengths.

Listen to / read the full episode HERE.

Gold Nugget #438: How to Earn Fierce Loyalty Through 3 Key Principles with Sandy Rogers

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In episode 438, Sandy Rogers shares how to win you the loyalty of your customers and colleagues.

Gaining loyalty from others requires living three fundamental principles: empathy, responsibility, and generosity.

Enact these loyalty principles in each conversation by following three key steps:

  • 1) Adopt a loyalty leader mindset. Even if you’re not the boss, you can still make people feel loyalty to you.
  • 2) Make a genuine human connection. Simply making eye contact can make people feel seen.
  • 3) Listen to the story. Listen with your eyes, ears, and heart. Look for the hidden story.

Build empathy by asking (and genuinely caring about) the answers to essential questions:

  • “What brings you in today?”
  • “What’s going on?”
  • “What, if anything, could we have done to serve you better today?”

Take responsibility for what a person is trying to accomplish–instead of just giving them what they ask for. For example, if someone enters a hardware store looking for a wrench, don’t just point them to the wrenches. Ask what they are trying to accomplish with the wrench. In this way, you can provide even better solutions they appreciate more than a wrench itself.

Employ the five A’s to masterfully take responsibility for a customer’s problem:

  • Assume the person has good intent.
  • Align with their emotions.
  • Apologize with no defensiveness.
  • Ask, “What can I do to make this right for you?”
  • Assure them of what you’re going to do and do it.

Deliver generosity by openly sharing your insights and surprising in unexpected ways. Give your knowledge and a little something extra to lock in loyalty. Running experiments with stakeholders can show you what they value most.

Reinforce behaviors by taking time to engage in team huddles. Many of Sandy’s clients have called the team huddle the best part of their workday. Here, a group spends 15 minutes each week to share stories. Teammates praise each member who lived out the value discussed the prior week. Such a practice develops camaraderie and actionable recommendations that make the principles all the more real.

Listen to/read the whole conversation HERE.

Gold Nugget #344: Confidence-Forming Habits with Jordan Harbinger

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In episode 344, social dynamics expert Jordan Harbinger shares how to build confidence and get better results..

Introverts have their own social advantages. Being quiet, introspective, and thinking before you talk can add up to introverts building relationships just as well as extroverts.

To start building extra confidence try asking for a 10% discount at your coffee shop. Often it won’t work, and that’s okay. But you’d be surprised how often it does! More importantly, the asking builds up your confidence in asking for more. Later on, when you ask for something you do deserve—such as a raise—you’ll be so much better accustomed to the discomfort of asking.

We form our opinions of others before they even open their mouths to speak. It pays to stand up straight, keep your chin up, puff your chest out, and keep your shoulders back in a non-exaggerated way. You will likely forget to do this after the first five minutes, so Jordan Harbinger suggested putting blank post-it notes at eye level on doors in your house and at the office. When you see that, you will remember to shift to an open stance every time you walk through a door.

Relationships are the most important lever in business. Relationship development is also one of the most crucial skills anyone can build. Jordan said he got many of his great opportunities because of the networks he built. Many people don’t realize that they need to leverage their network until it’s too late. So, build the well before you’re thirsty.

Listen to/read the whole conversation HERE.