Inspirational Image: Get Massive Results!

I recently started Grant Cardone’s great book “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure“. The book is very testosterone filled motivational self-empowerment sales book that is not meant for those who do not aim to dominate the market they operate at.

After listening 80% of it I have encountered several empowering quotes like:

“Massive results require massive actions.”

“Duplicate the actions and mindsets of successful people and you will be successful!”

Or

At this point (80% completed) I dare to recommend “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure” for those who fear not to play hard and to set the bar high. But if you feel that being an average is enough for you, I think it is better to focus on reading something else. Do that what makes you happy!

Grant Cardone is rated one of the top most influential 10 CEOs in the world , author of 5 business books, international keynote speaker, and and an active CEO of five privately held companies that do 100m in sales.

 

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The 5 Golden Rules Of Success

“If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” Zig Ziglar

  1. The first rule of success is to loose the victim mentality. Learn from the history, but don’t let it define you. Times change, so can you – if you just decide and want to do so. The future belongs to those who embrace the change.

    “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” Mike Tyson

  2. The second rule of success is to decide to win. You will be punched in the face and you will be knocked out for a while. You also need to come up with new strategies, find new team-mates and coaches, but if – and as long as – you keep practicing and playing, you will be able to be the winner of your league. After the win, you are ready for the next tier – as there is always more room to grow.

    “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?” Donald Trump

  3. The third rule of success is to think big. Small ideas create small results, big ideas create big results. Do not settle for mediocrity.

    “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” Jonathan Kozol

  4. The fourth rule of success is to have the wisdom to choose your battles. Even while thinking big, smart people focus their efforts on the battles they see the most rewarding. In Finland we have a saying “ei kannata ampua kärpästä haulikolla” which means “there is no point in shooting a fly with a shotgun” I.e. some problems are too small to be dealt with big guns. Do not waste your time in stuff that is not important.

    “There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone.” Sylvester Stallone

  5. The fifth rule of success is to share good and serve God humbly. Karma can be a bitch – but it also works the other way around. Besides the fact that this is the right thing to do, I encourage you to keep spreading good, helping people and serving your God. By doing so you will feel better and more blessed than by just hoarding money and power for the sake of it.

I am pretty sure that if you master these five rules you will thrive and experience great wonders. Implement The 5 Golden Rules Of Success to your organization and you will witness times of prosperity and joy in the following months and years to come. I will dive more in depth to these five rules of success in the future, explaining them all more in detail as well as giving tips and tricks to utilize them in everyday life.

For the end I would love to ask the question for you to think:

Are you ready to change and be successful?

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How To Boost Your Sales With 2 Simple Tricks

The day you realize that almost all interaction is sales you are at the brink of something great. To open this insight slightly up: we sell our ideas, ideologies, views, and even feelings hundreds of times per day – even to ourselves. In business sales skills are the ones which often raise a mediocre expert or a leader above others. And by sales skills I don’t mean the plain ability to sell snow to Eskimos, but rather the understanding that everything has value, this value is concentrated energy and this energy has the ability to convert into miraculous things. This insight is something so big and profound, that I recommend to stop and think about it for a while now:

Sales generate value = value is energy = energy converts to miraculous things

Sales = energy = miraculous things

Sales generate miraculous things

To get into more of a concrete level and to give you some tools, it is good to know that the basic mechanics behind one-to-one sales are not that complicated. All you basically need to have is:

  • a proper product, service or opinion,
  • nice personality, and
  • some knowledge of the way the human mind in average works.

In this blog post I scratch the surface of the 3rd bullet, I.e. tell you about the two most important moments when doing a sales contact.

The Peak-End Rule

Daniel Kahneman and Barbara Fredrickson studied the human mind in the 90’s and came up with the concept of Peak-end rule. Wikipedia’s definition is the following:

“The peak–end rule is a psychological heuristic in which people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.”

In sales this means that we should be focusing on two parts of the sales process: the beginning and the end.

The Peak

The beginning of a sales contact is crucial and you should try to make it as your peak moment. According to brain studies we humans scan threats in our environment 5 times a second. If we feel threatened we are cautious, and our brains are in run-or-fight mode which usually is bad for the business. So the beginning should be all about making sure that the person you are selling to is not feeling threatened. Try to avoid a situation where you are identified as a “telemarketer” – rather try to brand yourself as a friend or a helper. After you have been able to assure that you are not a threat of any kind, you can do the easy part I.e. ask questions and share your expertise. And while talking, it is important to remember that in the end it is never about you, it is always all about the customer!

The End

When it is time to end the sales meeting the second important phase starts. According to The Peak-End Rule people judge the overall experience by the last moments of the meeting. This is where you should again use all of your charm to make the customer feel good. If in doubt, it is safe rather to be too nice than not nice enough. Studies show that even if people notice that your compliments are “sales talk”, the talk still works. Weird indeed, but as a tribal species we are pretty needy for acceptance, and don’t mind too much about how we get it. Also, if possible, end the meeting with a warm handshake or if possible, with a hug. That will greatly increase the bonding between individuals because of the oxytocin released.

“All’s Well that Ends Well.”

In short, people love happy endings, and this most people know to be true by the nature. With this in your mind I assure that you are able to boost your sales to the new maximum. Just focus on creating happy endings!

There are tons of great sales tips and tricks to boost your results, but we’ll get to those more in depth in the future postings. I hope that this post gave you some tools and ideas to boost your sales, and you will be able to pursuit your dreams in the future ever better!

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How To Build A Roadmap for Success

Roadmaps are great. They can help us to implement long and difficult strategies to the ground level operations, make our team’s goals more achievable, and also are a fun way to get to know yourself. I personally recommend doing a roadmap for any goal that feels even a bit challenging to reach. It can be done for yourself, for your team, or why not even for the family?

How a roadmap should look like?

Don’t worry that much about the form or look of the roadmap. Most of all it is a way to communicate what to do and when. For sure it can be a piece of visually stunning art, but a list written in a napkin can also do the job. In short, the best roadmap is the one you are able to carry either in your mind or in your pocket.

The article will continue after the image.

How to fill the roadmap?

  1. First make sure that you know where we are now. Which are your strengths, aspirations and ambitions?
  2. Get a clear vision of your goal. Where do you want to go? Why do you want to go there? What happens when you get there? How does it feel when you reach your destination? Images can help you visualize your goal. Let’s say you want to get a raise in order to buy a new car. So google the image and use it to get a good grip of what you are working for.
  3. What skills, elements, investments you need to make to get started. These are most likely the first steps on your trip.
  4. Now you have done the beginning and the end. Draw a path between them and start building the steps one by one.
  5. For some people it can be a tremendous help if you think about it as playing a board game and building the path from a to b, c to d and so on.
    The article will continue after the image.
  6. Prefer using as concrete tasks as possible.
  7. Avoid placing goals that are not achievable. It is important to have big plans, but it is as important to know your limits in order to not get too badly hurt. Being successful is a delicate mix of being ambitious as well as rational and realistic.
  8. Remember to update your roadmap as you are working your way on it. Sometimes in life things happen overnight, and sometimes there can be obstacles that require you to take a detour.
  9. Also remember to reward yourself when reaching mid-goals and goals. That will help you to reach your goals better in the future. Find out how the positive reinforcement works – even for yourself. 😉
  10. Make sure you make your goals and roadmaps public, it will increase the possibility of completing them. At least if you want your organization to know where they should be heading to. But you can also consider communicating your own growth plan, as by doing so you might find friends who share the same goal, and you can help each other. Good leaders also want to help their employees to grow, so it can be that by sharing your roadmap, you are able to help your boss to do their job better.

Here is the example I made for the 2017

It is good to know, that as this is an upper level roadmap, each box will require its own roadmap. But alas; this will help me to remember the big picture I am building for the 2017, and I wish that it would help you to build your own roadmap to be an ever better leader!

 

 

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Protip: The Secret of Success

The secret of success is to create a tribe that unifies people against a shared enemy. This is how marketing, propaganda, religion and populism work. Given this power, use it wisely!

#marketing #everbetterleadership #leadership #enemy #propaganda #religion #politics

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Protip: 2 Super Easy Ways To Be More Productive

On average it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to refocus after an interruption. Most often we are interrupted by ourselves (40% of times) and by an email or other external message (23%). *

“we have become social media junkies.”

My interpretation is that the interruption we do by ourselves, is mostly because we have become social media junkies. The reason is explained in the infograph below. For the full infograph please visit this link.

So to get more things done do the following:

  1. Make a deal with yourself that no social media fixes during the hours you really want to make things happen.
  2. Turn of the email/application notifications, and check your email only few times a day. People will call you if in a desperate need of your assistance.
  3. Get several hours of productive time per day.
  4. Profit!

For a few more tips and tricks to boost your effectiveness make sure you check my older post: http://jukkaniittymaa.com/2016/12/27/top-5-tips-to-boost-and-increase-effectiveness/

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How Hormones Shape Our Behavior – Including How We Lead

12.2.2017

I just read the great article from Harvard Business Review about “The Neuroscience of Trust.” The article thoroughly dives into creating trust in a workplace from neuroscience’s point of view. Why this is a particularly interesting topic and also very relevant for every leader is in short:

Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report: 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, 40% less burnout.

Fascinating timing

The timing of HBR’s article is of course very suitable as I have lately been thinking a lot of the same topic: You might even have noticed that I already have released whole bunch of postings about the topic based on my own experiences. Although my list is not written as to be series of scientific articles, the direction still point’s to the same direction: The trust is generated by trusting and taking each individual as an individual – all people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.

All people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.

Oxytocin – the hormone that makes you care and do the extra effort

The brain network that oxytocin activates is evolutionarily old. This means that the trust and sociality that oxytocin enables are deeply embedded in our nature. Yet at work we often get the message that we should focus on completing tasks, not on making friends. Neuroscience experiments by my lab show that when people intentionally build social ties at work, their performance improves. A Google study similarly found that managers who “express interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being” outperform others in the quality and quantity of their work.

In the HBR article the writer Paul J. Zak emphasizes the importance of oxytocin (I.e. the hormone that deepens the relationships between many mammals). That  is something very important to understand. So important, that you should read the article right now, right here: https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-neuroscience-of-trust.

Even by the risk that you might not remember to come back. But that is the risk I am willing to take in order to help you to understand the hormones significance to our behavior both as leaders and persons who are being led.

I am not an endocrinologist, but I can have a look

I am very convinced that hormones are one of the most important factors in determining our behavior in everything we do. As it is quite obvious that I am not an endocrinologist, I still have read quite much about the topic. At least enough so that I know that our actions are guided by few strong hormones including – but not limited to – adrenaline, dopamine, estrogen, oxytocin, serotonin, and testosterone. No human can escape the influence of these hormones and even a slight imbalance usually leads to noticeable health and/or mental issues. Although these problems are not the focus of my blog, I do think that this HBR article is enough to point out that understanding our biological influencers will help us to understand how we should be led, as well as why we work the way we work.

What does this mean?

By understanding some few principles we suddenly are capable to understand better both ourselves as well as our colleagues, bosses, spouses, teenagers, random strangers  and even leaders of nations.  For example did you know that it is the testosterone that helps you to take risks but also makes you lust for power – at the same time reducing empathy.

Because of this it is also worth mentioning that due to this, women are often much better in situations when it boils down to the empathy skills. Actually, the effects of testosterone(s) and estrogen(s) are the big reasons why men differ from women and vice versa – it’s the hormones that shape us to be different, not the gender. To neglect this fact would not be smart thing to do.

But let me make one thing clear: I feel very strongly that all people are equal and should have the same possibilities. Said that, I also think we should be able use our gender strengths when aiming to do winning strategies. It’s like finding your super power and focusing into it:Strenghten your strengths

Human resources protip

I also want to share this scientific founding from Psychology Today – it could be a deal-breaker for many leaders around the world:

In experiments, when status-striving, high-testosterone men are stripped of their status, they become angry, excited, and cognitively impaired. But more surprising, men with low resting-testosterone, without much impetus for status, become angry and impaired when placed in high-status positions they simply do not want.

So as many of you might know, it is very often a mistake to promote experts to work as managers IF they do not show signs of being interested in leadership. Leadership position should never be an accident waiting to happen.

Leadership position should never be an accident waiting to happen.

If you remember 3 things, remember these

  1. The trust should not be left to be generated by an accident, there are several ways to create it
  2. Our behavior is strongly affected by our hormones
  3. All people are not the same, but the mechanisms that affect us are quite often the same for everybody.
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Protip 2: What is a strategy in short?

Every successful business is based on a winning strategy. But quite often the strategy is mystified to be something next to magic or rocket science. That is not the case, as everyone of us is capable of strategic thinking and planning. (But it is worth mentioning that not everyone is a good strategist or a planner…) We actually come up with different strategies daily, and if we simplify to the extreme:  a strategy is a plan.

And in a slightly more detailed level:

To have a strategy is to have a plan to win – in a particular position and in a particular way.

The Winning StrategyAnother very important thing to understand is that if a company doesn’t want to win, it is wasting the time of its people and investments of capital providers.

As simple as that. The tricky part is to come up with a winning strategy. That requires skill, knowledge and proper tools. And even with the skills, knowledge and tools the strategy is still just an educated guess – as there never is 100% guarantee that it actually will work and turn out to be the winning horse.

To get started, I recommend reading “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works” by A.G. Lafley.

To get the basic tools to build up a winning strategy I advise you to stay tuned, as I will later write more about those.

Until that please remember:

To have a strategy is to have a plan to win!

Due to excessive amount of spamming to this post the comments are closed.
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How to generate trust in organization: 1/8 – Defend your tribe

FOREWORD

This is the 1st posting from a series of 8 short articles “How to generate trust in an organization”. The topics spring to life from my own experiences as well as from various books and articles I’ve read in the past. The most influential writers have no doubt been John C. Maxwell and Simon Sinek. Both emphasize the importance of high moral driven “people first” leadership.

Why generate trust?

In my opinion, a leadership that is based on trust and service to others is the only possible way to build up a lasting high performance organization. And if you need (?) some rational proofs why so, please note that there are plenty of studies* which prove that the happiness within comes from helping others to excel.

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.”
John C. Maxwell

The following series is my interpretation of the best practices available to generate trust, which I consider as the foundation of any great place to work.

How to generate trust in organization: 1 – Defend your tribe

The most efficient practice by far in creating trust is the feeling of playing in the same team. The best leaders are trusted to be the guardians of employees during a time of struggle. It can take only one defending act to make an employee a lifelong follower and friend. The amount of gratitude generated by defending your tribe is almost beyond comprehension with high moral people. But if the leader is not shielding his or her troops from injustice the result is quite the opposite.

The article continues after the image.

Please feel free to share and discuss this in the comments, LinkedIn or on Twitter. To make sure you get all the 8 ways to generate trust, subscribe to the blog at:

*:

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How to keep people HAPPY and MOTIVATED

Any organization can and will thrive if the people are happy, motivated, capable of independent work, and have a strong passion and belief of importance. But even a formerly great organization can kick the bucket if the motivation dies or is destroyed by bad leadership.

The most important tool to build a high performing organization is leadership which focuses on removing obstacles which would prevent growth and good atmosphere. The single biggest obstacle is fear, which I wrote about earlier. And that fear should be uprooted from the organizational soil first thing. Nothing grows in a land of fear.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Yoda

In the following  I have listed the other noxious elements that prevent organizations to thrive. After each problem there is a solution offered.

  1. Lack of communication and transparency
    “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    Solution: Communicate! What is the direction? Where are we, what is happening, what has been decided, who has decided, who can decide and what?
    Transparency should pass through everything in a modern up-to-date organization. Information that is not free creates rumors and destroys trust.

  2. Feeling of separation

    Solution: As mentioned in my earlier post, we humans are tribal mammals, and that is why it is very important for us that we feel being part of the tribe. When we feel fellowship we are more willing to help. Wise leaders tear down silos, glass roofs and help people feel being part of one big family. Easy tricks are to have lunches, parties, sports evenings and personal discussions.

  3. Lack of respect
    “Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything – for better or for worse.”
    Simon Sinek


    Solution:
    Every normal human needs approval. The need varies from individual to individual, but only those who are emotionally twisted (I.e. psychopaths and narcissists) do not crave for acceptance. The bigger the status of person who gives feedback the bigger the emotional reward. Simple words to increase the feeling of respect is to say publicly “thank you, you did an awesome job with that project/thing X. It really made a difference to have you in the team!” If you want to be an ever better leader, consider also hugging* the person you just praised. That will release oxytocin which is so called “love hormone” and bonds people together.

    * be aware of the cultural rules, sometimes shaking hands does the job.

  4. No rewards from high performance
    “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.”
    Barack Obama


    Solution:
    Every organization that aims for high performance has a reward system. This is essential, because the best players want to see in their bank account how their efforts are rewarded. This rewarding mechanism should be as transparent as possible and allow everyone to join. If there is no financial rewarding mechanism or it is unfair, trust me, high performers will leave when given possibility. If they are not leaving, they are not high performers and the organization never had one to recognize such.

  5. Unclear goals and job descriptions

    Solution: Most people value highly the situation where they know why they are hired and what they were hired to do. So it is the leader’s responsibility to communicate what is expected, set the KPI (key performance indicators for job) and agree about it with the employee. This can drastically improve the output as well as job satisfaction.

  6. Undersized resources

    Solution: Even the best possible expert can get frustrated and unmotivated if the tools or the time for the work are undersized. There are no shortcuts here: if the organization want’s best possible results, it needs to give enough time and the best tools available. If that is not possible, it is best to scale expectations down and prepare to watch when competitors take over the market.

  7. No possibility to improve in expertise or to develop in career path

    “If you look really closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
    Steve Jobs

    Solution: High performing organizations make sure they have the best people around and that those people stay the best and motivated. That is why for example Google has allowed people to use 20% of their time to make their own projects and learn new skills. That sure is one of the reasons why Google is one of the most, if not the most, innovative corporation in the world.

  8. No feedback
    “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
    Bill Gates


    Solution:
    Give feedback and learn to know how the individual is capable to digest it without turning it as a negative issue. In short there are three kinds of people:

    – People who only want to hear good news. Occasionally upper level executives under too much pressure, people who have low self esteem or those few who suffer from rare personality disorders.

    – People who can handle also constructive feedback if that is served appropriately and accompanied with something nice. Most people belong to this group.

    – People who seem to not give a shit about positive feedback but lust for educational feedback to ensure fast growth. These kinds of people are very rare, almost non-existent, there is no big ego to prevent growth.

  9. No possibility TO give feedback

    Solution: Arrange regular (monthly) one-to-one sessions and work environment surveys with option to suggest how things could be done smarter.
    It is as important to give a chance to give feedback as it is to get one. Great places to work allow possibility and a forum for honest feedback without being afraid of punishment. Never try to bury possible issues that come to your attention.

  10. Too many and STRICT processes

    “Everything that is not forbidden, should be regulated.”
    Anonymous Finnish government official

    Solution: Processes might make things easy, but what they also do is that they drain the creativity from the work. Sure some guidelines are OK, but they should support the work rather than restrict it. The more people are given freedom to be independent the more they are willing to give for the work. Study also say that 91% of people consider themselves to be more productive when given more freedom to decide when and where to work from. To allow remote working is one of the best ways to increase happiness in an individual.

  11. Lack of trust

    “It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.” Confucius

    Solution: No human relationship can excel without trust. It is extremely important to know that there is a place to come tomorrow despite of the possible challenges. Never ever should an employee or even a leader get punished for making an unintentional mistake. That will kill creativity. Not only for the person punished, but for the entire team or even organization. Such organization will pretty soon experience motivation deprivation as well as talented people starting to look for better places to work.

In my following posts I will go into more detail on how to create trust and fellowship. These two key elements are the foundation of any great place to work.

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