There Is No Rule Book

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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Disrupt or be Disrupted

Posted by thereisnorulebook on October 15, 2015

The status quo is no longer the status quo. For decades, large bureaucratic organizations/companies held all the power and influence inside the business and economic landscape. These companies possessed high leverage and were in a position to sway, shape, and change their way to navigate the world of business and get what they wanted.Get-rid-of-box

Today that is no longer the case because that business model has weakened and softened. Influence in business and in this ripe and dynamic climate is less about the size and more about leverage, and the ability of people to understand and practice the art and science of connecting, engaging, and persuading.

“Today is not about what you know, but it is about how fast you can learn.” -Unknown

Crowdsourcing has now become a “key strategic leverage point” and the passion and ability to connect a community is much more powerful and influential in starting and sustaining a “Movement” than the traditional large brick and mortar business.

The new business model is very easy to see and understand: “be easy to do business with.” There are companies that have been around a long time who are disruptive (SWA, Starbucks). There are companies that are emerging and influencing the landscape of business with their disruptive and “easy to do business with” philosophy (VRBO, Uber, Airbnb, Virgin, GoPro).

A disruptive business is an innovation, technology or business that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market. Clayton M. Christensen in his book ‘The Innovators Dilemma’, defines a disruptive innovation as a product or service designed for a new set of customers.

For those who are students of business, economics, and human behavior, it’s not a matter of if more of these disruptive businesses will enter the business landscape (and influence the way we do business), it’s more about when it will happen. The only question to ask yourself is “Are you disrupting or being disrupted?”


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Lean into the Unknown

Posted by thereisnorulebook on April 8, 2013

“The cave we fear to enter holds the treasure that we seek.” – Carl Jung

Every one of us has been in a situation where we knew we were out of our comfort zone and did not initially feel like we “had what it takes” to pull it off. We entered into the job or the team or the class or the responsibility feeling significantly overwhelmed, unprepared or inadequate for the task ahead of us. Sweaty palms, perspiration dripping from our bodies, we still pressed on without the insight of knowing the outcome of this exciting and scary adventure.

All significant and meaningful experiences in our lives come when we have the courage to take action and move forward without the luxury of a clear map or instructions. We have all heard someone say “action cures fear” but in the face of trying something new we have our challenges. All great women and men understand that by “leaning into the unknown” is where all of the magic and magnificence takes place. When we “Lean into the Unknown” we meet amazing people, we visit beautiful places, we have meaningful experiences, and we create remarkable opportunities for ourselves.

“Be Bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” – Goethe

Lean into the Unknown by Blair Kolkoski, Kansas City, MOThe more we trust ourselves we will understand that good things are meant to happen in our life and we will be in a better position to see opportunities when they appear. Those that are bold lean into the unknown with regularity. Great pioneers don’t follow maps- they create them. They are not asking the question “How do we do this?, they ask “How can we do this better?” Every pioneer in science, medicine, education, entrepreneurship, and sports understands that there is still many undiscovered and unknown ways to accomplish, invent, and create great things, and in order for this to happen we will have to move into undiscovered territories in our life.

“When you change the way you look at things…the things you look at change.” -Wayne Dyer

Having the courage to lean into the unknown is where all of the innovation, creativity, and new discoveries for mankind exist. In his famous book,“The Magic of Thinking Big” David Schwartz states ‘that most of us make two basic errors with respect to intelligence: 1) We underestimate our own brain power. 2) We overestimate the other person’s brain power.’ Each one of you knows the moment when you have the courage and you decide to place yourself in new environments, groups, businesses, and teams. When this happens, great opportunities appear in your life and all of the crazy, scary images melt away and a new vision for yourself emerges and replaces the old image. So my challenge to you is to be the type of person that is excited about the unknown, and is constantly moving toward the unknown, and through this process you to will find your treasure.

Posted in Blog, Business Development, Leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Live Your Greatest Day

Posted by thereisnorulebook on April 7, 2012

“We have never lived our greatest day, until we have given another person the opportunity to live their greatest day.”

The times in which others have provided me with high praise for my leadership were those times that I really felt I was experiencing a true expression of who I am. I was not even attempting to be a leader. Most of the greatest moments of leadership (at least in the eyes of others) are simply times we are attempting to be authentic and to serve a purpose bigger and beyond ourselves.

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Trying too hard to attempt to do anything: whether it be leadership, friendship, love, etc…generally brings about the opposite outcome you’re trying to achieve. Leadership is not something that we do. It’s more of a reflection of who we are and how we decide to express who we are to the world. Most of us are inspired by others who believe what we believe. We tend to support those leaders who have a cause, a crusade, or purpose or belief that matches our own.

“Great leaders don’t create more followers; great leaders create more great leaders.”   -John Maxwell

What effective leaders have learned is that in order to inspire people, you don’t give advice but you share your experience. What we all should seek from leaders is to learn from their experiences. That is what attracts us to the good ones. If you were to evaluate the leaders that you respect the most you would find that one of their key attributes is passion. It is their passion that inspired you to want to be part of their “Big Idea.” Passion creates value and inspires us to become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

The word Leader means ‘pathfinder’. The true and authentic leaders of our time understand that before we can help people find their path, we have to find our own path first. The true pathfinders in life know that you can’t help people get closer to their destiny, until the pathfinder (leader) gets closer to his/her destiny. The invisible side of leadership is that most of us don’t see that leaders are the ones willing to make sacrifices in order to make significant contributions.

“50% of leadership should be self leadership; not leading others; if we get this down, the rest takes care of itself.”   -Dee Hock,  Founder of Visa International

Great leaders understand that momentum, action and energy is contagious. Great leaders work to keep a dream out ahead of those they humbly attempt to lead. For the most part, people don’t leave jobs. People leave people. So the expression, understanding and mastery of this responsibility and privilege we call ‘leadership’ is a characteristic worth understanding, expressing, and living.

The wise leader is not collecting a string of successes. Wise leaders are trying to help others find their own success. What they know and practice  is sharing success with others is very successful. So the next time you get the opportunity to take a leadership role- lean into that. The best way for you to be a leader is just arrive at the opportunity and be the best version of yourself you can be. This is how you inspire the human spirit. Are you a Pathfinder? More than likely you are and you don’t even know it.

So live your greatest day!

Posted in Blog, Business Development, Leadership, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

“I want to work with remarkable people!”

Posted by thereisnorulebook on December 4, 2011

“To understand the heart and mind of a person look not at what he has already achieved, but what he aspires to.”

Imagine what your working days would be like to have a team around you that collaborated at a high level and each person would come to work to express their talents and positive attributes while making a contribution to the business, the business goals and its clients/customers.

There are a couple of key principles to apply as you look to both build and improve your team. Keep in mind that clarity equals power and energy gravitates towards clear goals.

When looking to attract high performers and high achievers to your team make sure you can confidently answer yes to these two questions. Is this person coachable? Are his or her values congruent with yours? If you can confidently answer yes to both questions there is a high probability that this potential team member will be with you for the long run. If you answer yes to one of the questions or neither of these questions; then this person may not be with your team very long.

“Success Leaves Clues”

Someone you’re looking to hire who grew up with parents that owned, worked in, and ran their own business (and they worked in that business as a kid perhaps) has a better chance of knowing what it means to work hard, be self reliant, be responsible and resilient. These are character traits that can stay with someone for a life time.

In most cases, there is a direct correlation between a candidate that grew up working and exhibiting loyalty, focus and staying committed to a project in front of them. It can make for a strong foundation as an adult looking to work for something and with a team with focus and diligence.

During the final interview, listen for key phrases that will generally be expressed in different ways by the candidate. If she uses the word we a lot in the final interview you know with confidence that the individual is not only a high performer, but they are interested in a team approach. If the candidate uses the word they this may be a sign of alienation or disassociation with an organization/ business and other team members and shows glimpses of a low performer.

Hire Passion over Experience.

Be keen to that fact that some people are great at interviewing but are poor performers. If you don’t have a lot of experience interviewing and seem to stumble and may find it difficult to see this as two separate skill sets. Sometimes the candidate, who is not bouncing off the wall with exuberance during the interview meeting, could be your best candidate.

High performers are usually easy to spot and identify right away. They are the ones who are asking you a lot of questions and end up interviewing you with intelligent crisp questions.

“It is better to hire people to get you to where you want to be than people who profess to have been there before.” -Guy Kawasaki

The last step in getting to a great outcome is to have asked each of the final candidates to respond to this question in writing: “Why are you the best choice for this position in my business?” There are two reasons for this. One: you can see their ability to communicate through the written word as well as how much attention they give to spelling and grammar. Secondly, you will be able to observe there focus, diligence and potential work ethic based on the amount of energy, focus, and effort they put into the assignment.

Remember, anytime you add new team member you have a brand new team!

Posted in Blog, Business Development, Hiring employees, Leadership, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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