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.
Regardless of your industry, one of the best things you can do to generate more sales and a better customer experience is to know and define your ideal client.
Many businesses identify the ideal client through:
Interaction with key relationships
This is only a small list, but it dramatically transforms the way a business chooses to market and sell its product.
When businesses are clear on their ideal customer, it becomes easier to say no to distractions.
Clarity is freedom.
Notice the difference between Department Store A and Department Store B target demographics, both of whom sell perfume in their beauty section:
Department Store A
We target women.
Department Store B
Our ideal customer is Jane. Jane is a woman between the ages of 30 and 45. She has some college education, a husband, children, and is contemplating making a career change. Jane has always felt a little self-conscious and is looking for an unobtrusive scent that also gives her the confidence she needs to ace the interview.
Will both companies try to target Jane? Absolutely.
Which one will Jane feel most at home in? Store B.
Smart businesses always try to understand their ideal client.
But, there is one more area where your ideal client understanding needs to take center stage: how you design your own life.
You are Your Ideal Client
One of the great tragedies in life is a failure to understand our own ideals.
In coaching, we look at the ideals of morals/values, goals, calendar, and commitments. In each of these areas, we make sure we paint a perfectly clear picture of what it is you are trying to accomplish in life.
Morals and Values
As a person, what are the morals and values you cannot have infringed? Do you value family more than anything else? What about your freedom or autonomy? A flexible schedule. Do you need a set routine that doesn’t vary much?
A lot of internal conflict and tension happens when we work in a place that doesn’t honor the core values of who we are. A morals and values assessment can help you diagnose those problems and create solutions to fix them.
What are your ideal goals? Where do you want to end up in life?
Is the promotion you’re consumed with getting what you really want, or are you trying to please someone else?
I’ve worked with a number of clients who have reached the top of their profession, surveyed the landscape, and realized they didn’t want to be there. Part of their obsession with getting to the top was to seek validation from a parent, spouse or loved one. (Each of those is a poor reason….)
Make sure that the goals you have set are to help create your ideal life.
What does your ideal calendar look like? Do you want every Friday off? Looking to work remotely, after 10 am. Want to be off by 3 every day to pick your kids up from school?
One of the great problems of our modern society is the bombardment to fit as much into our calendar as possible.
It’s absolute lunacy.
Smart high-performers know that they accomplish more by doing less. They strip away the fluff from their lives and pursue only that which is meaningful.
Fill your days with intention and purpose, not more stuff.
What makes you, you? Do you want to work less and volunteer more? How much time do you want to spend with your children and grandchildren? What long-term legacy do you desire to leave on the world?
Answering questions of commitment, similar to our calendar, tell us how to spend our time. Smart financial advice is to make your money work for you, instead of you working for your money.
The same is true with time. Make the time of your life work for you, and not you work for time.
Once you know these foundational elements of a great life, you can set about understanding your ideal client … you! …. and create the life you’ve always wanted to live.
“Both mission and vision inform strategy but in different ways. Mission provides day-to-day clarity by defining the identity and scope of the business. Without a clear mission, you can easily drift off target and head into either too many directions, or the wrong direction…A proper Vision Script is…a robust document, written in the present tense, that describes your future reality as if it were today.”
This is a helpful distinction and provides clarity for where we’re headed.
Values – The moral and ethical code the leader or the business operates by. This is integrity in the personal and business sphere. A list of words (usually 5-10) that are non-negotiable.
Mission – The identity of the leader or business, defined by the practice and day-to-day operations. This is usually a sentence or two that provides strategy and action principles for the organizational culture.
Vision – The future destination of the leader or business. A full, robust manuscript that has actualized success and invites the readers into a compelling narrative of what could be as if it has already happened. This is usually much longer, much larger, and much more integrated.
Make It Compelling
Truly great leaders are able to draw people into their vision of the future. Their vision of the future is compelling, motivating, inspiring, and equipping. It guides other people into proper ways of thinking and doing.
Think of a vision board on steroids.
It’s large, comprehensive, and transformative. Vision creates the principles by which the mission is executed and the values are maintained.
A compelling vision removes any doubt about the direction we’re going and as well as irradicating the opportunity for settling or stopping short of the goal.
A vision statement covers all aspects of personhood or business to make sure that nothing is missed or left to chance.
3 Steps For Creating A Compelling Vision
1.) Take the Necessary Time
This is not a quick process. A compelling vision doesn’t happen overnight. It may not even happen in a weekend. It’s an intentional time of focus, reflection, integration, and prospecting.
Creating a compelling vision means carefully crafting words, feelings, and desires into a language that motivates, inspires, and equips.
2.) Suspend Doubt and Judgment
Too often, we are our own worst critics. We want to achieve great things but are plagued by doubt and fear.
Great leaders with a compelling vision have been able to squelch that voice.
Don’t be limited in your imagining of the future. Your current reality or availability does not determine your final destination. In the future vision, you have unlimited resources, ability, people, and technology to meet your goals.
Avoid limiting language and limiting belief. Hold space that all things are possible. Ignore the voice that tells you to play small or live in fear.
3.) Firmly Believe The Best Is Yet To Come
To craft a truly compelling and transforming vision, we must hold firmly to the belief that the best is yet to come. The products we create, the people we help, the influence we have, the legacy we leave. All of that grows and expands over time. Unleashing a force of good, we continually reach new heights, meet new expectations, and bless new people.
We must remain certain that the best is yet to come. We embrace the challenge of leaving the world a better place and know that by fulfilling the vision we are writing we will do so.
Where Are You Going?
Ultimately, the question for everyone is, “Where are you going?” For leaders, this is especially important.
No one drifts towards greatness. If we don’t pursue it intentionally, we will never reach it.
Failure to clearly articulate our desired vision of the future means we will never have it.
If we can’t firmly affix our steps to a larger purpose, we will never have one.
In his book, Miller highlights the difference between what is expected of everyone in an organization, and what is expected of leaders.
Everyone in an organization must be concerned with “Helping Others Win.” Leaders have the added burden to “Communicate Tirelessly.”
When it comes to communicating mission, vision, and values, the experience of my own coaching clients bears this out.
One of the points I make repeatedly is the need to over-communicate these key aspects of the business.
Here is the rule we start from: Once you’ve talked about your vision a hundred times, the average employee has heard and understood it less than ten.
But it’s true.
One of the great failures of business owners and leaders happens when they think everyone else ‘just gets it.’
As a business owner, you may be passionate and inspired by your vision. Compelled by the mission, you get out of bed every day ready to change the world.
Your average employee doesn’t.
To bring them into the mission and vision you created, it must be shared.
4 Levels of communication
1.) A Failure to Communicate
The first way we communicate is not at all. Like the famous line from the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to communicate!”
A number of years ago, I shared a meme that reminds me of this. The caption I posted was, “This signifies my day so much”
The meme was of a couple, sitting on opposite ends of the couch. The woman, in her diary, was writing about her the distance her husband had been displaying that day. She had made his favorite meal, and there was not so much as a “Thanks.” involved.
She wanted to go out that night and get dressed up. He seemed disinterested.
She tried to snuggle him and watch tv, he was cold and stand-offish.
The diary continued, wanting to know what the problem was. Was he seeing another woman? Maybe their relationship was in trouble? Did he not love her anymore.”
Then we see his diary. Motorcycle won’t start. Can’t figure out why.
This lack of communication led to marriage trouble that didn’t have to exist, at least as far as the meme was concerned.
I shared it that day because it resonated. If I remember correctly, I had a lot of apologizing to do after that.
2.) Poor Communication
Since we’re on the subject of things I’ve learned the hard way, here’s another one.
A couple of years into our marriage, in the midst of a ‘heated discussion’ my wife finally snapped. “I wish you wouldn’t call me “dear.” You only say that when you’re angry with me.”
Sometimes we communicate. We just do it poorly. The wording is wrong. The metaphor doesn’t work. The imagery fails. It happens when I speak (more than I’d like to admit) and it happens when we share the vision with others.
Business owners just as frequently communicate poorly.
Every time a business owner shares company values but doesn’t practice them, there is poor communication.
When a business leader excuses poor language, crude humor, or angry outbursts as “their personality”, poor communication is experienced.
3.) Base Communication
Assuming you as a leader don’t want to fail to communicate or communicate poorly, what are the other options?
The first is base-communication. But let’s be clear upfront, this is still not considered good communication.
It’s the bare minimum required to get any given task accomplished.
Base level communication is, “John I need you to send me that report.” Why? “Because I said so.”
The job gets done. You will get the report emailed to you, but it’s hardly exhilarating leadership.
Base-communication cares about one thing: results. But, as great leaders know and practice, we care about more than results.
So where does that leave us as leaders wanting to do more, be more, and have more?
Over-communicating is people inspiring, mission clarifying, and value-enhancing. Over-communicating looks at more than the task or the goal, it examines the heart of the person we are speaking with.
The best leaders we know practice the art of over-communicating. They speak clearly, concisely, and contextually. Great leaders know how to get at both the heart of the matter and the heart of the person quickly. Excellent communicators know what it means to elevate others and embrace the mission.
Over-communication requires commitment, bravery, and an extreme commitment to service.
The Case to Over-Communicate
To win the hearts of those around, the only way forward is to over-communicate. But note that over-communication is not micro-managing. It does not over. It does not belittle. And it does not de-value.
Over-communication accentuates the positive. It brings out the best in others. Over communication sparks light and life in those that are listening.
Over-communication holds unwaiverlingly to the idea that everyone can witn.
When we over-communicate with our spouse, employees, team-members, and friends we bring value and honor to their personhood.