Welcome to the mission-critical leadership podcast! In this episode, we talk about head change and heart conviction. Not all change is the same and we will talk about the tools you need to make real and lasting change in any area of your life.
On this episode:
The three foundations for a successful coaching relationship
The one thing I can’t do for you as your coach.
How you can use SMARTER Goals to reach your full potential.
Never forget (or underestimate) your potential for influence and impact in the world. Thank you for being a mission-critical leader. One of the greatest things you can do is understand the difference between head change and heart conviction. Everyone knows in their head why change matters, but not everyone is convicted to change in their heart. Those that are experience the biggest breakthroughs.
Dr. Justin Hiebert works with mission-critical leaders to accomplish the unimaginable. Realizing that no leader has ever needed more things to do, he works with his clients to get the right things done. His clients rise above burnout, captivate their teams, and transform their communities. By engaging their hearts and minds, his clients unlock their full potential to be, do, and have it all. This affords them the ability to leave a legacy of influence and impact on the world. He is a husband, father, teacher, learner, and champion of joy. He resides in Bakersfield with his wife, four kids, two cats, and one dog. In his free time, he loves exercising, riding motorcycles, and doing anything outdoors.
What makes all the difference in the world, is the process to make it stick.
Here’s a quick recap on how to set good goals: S.M.A.R.T.E.R.
Specific – Is it clear?
Measurable – Can it be defined?
Achievable – Is it possible?
Relevant – Do I really want it?
Timely – When does it need to be done by?
Energy – What’s the feeling I gain by achieving the desired result?
Reward – How can I remind myself it all matters?
Notice the difference between these two “goals”
I will lose weight.
I will lose 25 pounds by March 15. This will give me extra energy and confidence for the cruise my wife and I are taking to celebrate our anniversary over spring break. When I lose those twenty-five pounds, I will reward myself with a new swimsuit for the trip.
Amateurs have goals, professionals have process.
Develop the process.
Amateurs have goals, professionals have process.
To help develop the process in any goal you want to set, here are three quick questions you can ask yourself:
1.) Who do I need to become?
Goals, growth, and progress all require change. You cannot strive to attain something and remain the same. Identify who you need (and want) to become. Create the process and choices that will help you achieve the desired growth.
2.) What should I K.I.S.S.?
In this context, K.I.S.S. is an acronym for Keep, Improve, Start, Stop.
What is working well that I should keep doing? This is about amplifying the good.
What could be working better? This is about refinement.
What do I need to start? Action is key and sometimes we don’t get it right the first time. This is about continuous motion and improvement.
What should I stop? Not everything goes as anticipated. Sometimes, we just need to let it go.
3.) How will I avoid distraction?
We’re not perfect. I’m sure you’ve logged on to social media before to make a meaningful and business-related post only to be sucked in by mindless scrolling. It happens to everyone. Learning our personal triggers (being tired, hungry, bored, etc…) and building around those moments minimizes distractions and keeps us focused.
2022 is young and fresh. It is a year full of possibilities and I hope and pray the best for you. On your journey remember one thing:
A lack of motivation could mean that our goals aren’t clear enough. A bigger problem is that we don’t reward ourselves for a job well done. As Shawn Achor highlights in his TEDTalk (and amazing book), by failing to reward ourselves for achieving our goals, we subtly teach our brains that our work doesn’t matter. In other words, by failing to reward our progress we learn that progress doesn’t matter.
Our brain says, “What’s the point?” and gives up.
If you’re struggling with the question “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?” create clear, simple, and compelling goals.
2.) Be a Part of a Community
It’s hard to go it alone. Whether you’re an entrepreneur growing a business, a spouse improving a marriage, or a coach in athletics, you can’t do the journey of life alone.
A community provides support, encouragement, perspective, and wisdom. It gives us strength when we are weak and positivity in a world filled with the negative.
A community of like-minded voices gives us the endurance and accountability to press on when we feel like giving up.
If you’re struggling with the question “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?” find others to walk the journey with you.
3.) Hire a Coach
A lot of coaching is accountability. More than the community, a good coach asks reflective questions, highlights understanding, deepens insight, and inspires action.
Great coaches help you see through your own bias, false beliefs, internal narratives, and weak spots. They equip you with the tools to overcome those rough edges. They leave you accountable to your action plan.
Just last week I was working with a client who didn’t complete all of his growth homework for the week. After talking about it, we discovered that it was an important goal, but not the most important.
Instead, before hiring another employee (his task he gave himself for the week) he needed to free up time in his calendar (his new task). With more free time, he would be able to get new business, get caught up on billing, and have space to mentor and onboard effectively. Completing these tasks would ultimately do much more than “hire an employee” and instead give him the capacity to build his business.
That’s a much more effective use of time!
Coaches can shorten the time it takes to learn tasks, complete projects, and accelerate to succes.
I’m a huge believer that external facets of leadership health are largely a reflection of our internal health.
In short, if you want to lead in a healthy way, you yourself must first be healthy.
The next two parts of this series will focus on those external dynamics of healthy leadership: relationships and finances. These external (tangible) results of leadership can only be accomplished if we’ve first dealt with the internal dynamics of sustainable leadership.
This conversation is needed now more than ever. As we head toward summer, we’re all feeling the compounding stress from a year of COVID, political turmoil, economic uncertainty, and a variety of other factors.
Before we transition to the external facets of leadership health (and given the startling rise of burnout during 2020), I want to offer signs and symptoms of burnout. If you or someone you know is experiencing the following, please seek professional help. You may contact me here for coaching or reach out to a licensed therapist in your area.
Feelings of apathy about work
Questions around meaning and purpose
Using food, alcohol, or drugs to self-medicate feelings
Lack of satisfaction about work accomplished
A lack of energy
Little desire to be productive or passionate in work
Physical ailments like prolonged upset stomach, heartburn, and/or headaches.
Holistic leadership health includes physical health. Your body was made to move. It not only provides physical benefit but mental and emotional health as well.
Your Body Was Made To move
During my master’s program, I was extraordinarily unhealthy. I honestly stopped stepping on the scale after it read 250, but if I had to guess I got much closer to 260 or 270. I was overweight, had issues sleeping, bought the biggest pants I’d ever owned, and masked my feelings through food.
Shortly after graduation, my family moved from California to Denver and Elise became pregnant with our second child. My sleeping had gotten worse and I literally could not make it through a single day without taking a nap. My weight ballooned closer to 280.
Finally, I had enough. I bought a membership to the local community rec center and hit the weights. I was weak and I was tired, but I was determined.
Soon, after that, I began to clean up my eating.
Along came babies three and four, and new responsibilities at work. The pressure was mounting.
This time, however, I exercised the stress away, rather than attempting to eat my feelings away.
By the time we left Denver to move back to California, I was down over 40 pounds. While 240 was still much too heavy for me, I was on the right path.
Three years later, I’m now a trim 215 and in the best shape of my life. I now find it more of a struggle to not work out than to go hit the weights. My morning routine includes 30-40 minutes of weight training in the morning and a 10-20 minute walk in the evening.
Lead Through Physical Health
Healthy leaders who care about avoiding burnout take their own physical health seriously.
I know this because I suffered from burnout while being extremely physically unhealthy.
I also know this because I’ve worked with dozens of leaders over the years and have seen it play out time and time again.
If your work schedule consists of more fast food than fitness, you’re in for a world of pain.
Healthy leaders know to move their bodies and stay in great shape. Physical shape and your ability to control yourself around food often say as much about your emotional and mental health as anything else. I’ve seen it enough, it’s almost a guarantee: if you are unfit physically, you’re also likely unfit emotionally and mentally.
Benefits of Exercise
There are numerous benefits to exercise. Exercise has been shown to:
Release the brain’s happy chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.
Improve your mood.
Increase sex drive
Promote better sleep
Fight off infection
and Balance hormones
Made To Move
Our bodies were made to move. It’s why I added a personal training certification to my coaching packages years ago and constantly work with my clients to achieve optimal health. Our bodies, when not in motion, experience degradation.
Sitting, quite literally, kills you.
Whether it’s taking frequent walks around your office, your block, or your neighborhood, your body is made to move.
If you’re struggling, start small. At my heaviest, I had no grand illusions. I never wanted to “run a marathon” (still don’t!) but I did want to make it to the gym three times in the first week. Next, I tried hard to go three days without dessert. Then, I challenged myself to sleep through the night. I replaced an overabundance of coffee with more water.
Make a small but significant step today to seize control of your health. Call a friend and go for a walk. Eat an apple instead of a donut. Head to bed on time instead of binging your favorite television show.
Each time you intentionally make a stand for your own health, your leadership capabilities improve. More than that, you care for those around you.
People are counting on you to show up, perform at a high level, and influence those around you.
When it doubt, move your body. Your body was made to move!