I had an absolute blast with the CUSA Executives during their leadership camp/retreat! It’s always a joy to see teams bond and come together to grow not just as a team, but as individuals as well.
The CUSA crew really showed a willingness and desire to grow together and most importantly, put their trust in each other.
With that, I hope you enjoy the (short) video!
What makes a great leader? Confidence? Vision? Perhaps emotional intelligence? Yes, all of these things are essential parts of being a leader but the cornerstone of it all is being trustworthy.
However it’s not only about being trustworthy, but being seen as trustworthy. This is a lot harder to do within work-teams because of some of the restriction of being in the same environment day in and day out.
One of the things I love about our retreats for teams is that pulling people out into unfamiliar environments and tasks change the dynamic significantly and can lead to much higher levels of trust.
Hope you enjoy the video!
Had an absolutely phenomenal time being guest on the My Social Life podcast, highly recommend you check them out here linktr.ee/mysocialpod
I’ll be periodically releasing clips of my episode this week, here’s your first snippet on constantly creating content on social media!
The third and final installment of my trip to the EPIC Conference! I’ve gained such a wealth of knowledge from all the fantastic speakers there. I’m very excited to start digesting everything I learned and hopefully be able to forward that over to all of you.
Enjoy the video 🙂
We all know that continuous learning is essential, but what are we doing about it?
Is it enough to say I’m learning on the job? I’m learning as I go? I’m learning from my mistakes?
It takes the intentional commitment to learning and improving that allows leaders to succeed. For anyone to achieve above average results, they must be avid learners.
As a Canadian university student, I recall paying approximately $7000 a year for my education. I found my university degree to be very intellectually stimulating and loved the time I spent at Carleton University. Yet, I found that many friends that finished university and took on full-time jobs didn’t engage in self-learning. They relied on the training provided by their place of employment to be enough.
When I graduated from university, I made a promise to myself that I would continue to invest the same amount of money I did in self-learning every year for the rest of my life.
To this day, I spend at least $7000 a year in self-education from attending conferences, seminars, online courses, books or hiring coaches to help me achieve that next level.
I was able to afford to invest in myself when I was a broke-ass student, why would I pretend that I can’t afford it now?
That’s why i’m attending events like the EPIC Conference, to drive my growth through self-learning. Though it is expensive, the long term value absolutely drives it home for me.
“The best way to spread an idea is to recreate in someone else’s mind the conditions that created it in yours in the first place” – Tamsen Webster.
Tamsen Webster – the “Idea whisperer” – takes us on a thrilling ride of how to create permanent change in others by utilizing the story of an idea at the 2019 EPIC Community.
Webster poses the question that we likely all struggle with, “How can we get others to take a particular action?” I found this compelling as the fundamental goal of a leader is to get people to take action – so how can you effectively do this?
We all know this too well when you ask a child to do something, “eat your vegetables” and their immediate response is, “no!”. I mean as a grown-ass adult I still struggle with this. Whenever anyone directly tells me what to do, I have a physiological reaction, where I cannot oblige to what they want me to do…. Some might call this stubbornness haha.
Webster explains this as a psychological reactant, a cognitive trap that we all fall into based on childhood experiences. If we lead with the thing we want them to do, we’ll most likely get a no.
Instead, Webster shares a critical insight that, what we see, drives what we do.
So if we can change what they see, we can change what they do.
She demonstrates how we can’t make people change, but we can create the condition for change. To do this we must build the story of your idea, that can provide a narrative and lead them to where you want.
Webster shares the five critical elements of building out the “Red Thread” of your idea.
I recently utilized Webster’s framework for a 10-minute Keynote address at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa 10th Annual Fundraising Breakfast, where our goal was to raise $500,000.
1) The Goal: all great stories start with a quest. It is the question that needs answering. Start with their language, what is their goal. What does your client want to accomplish?
2) The Problem: the obstacle in the way of your client’s journey. This is usually a perspective problem. This is also where you introduce an additional pain that they didn’t even know they had – perhaps a pair of concepts that sit at the edge of each other. You want to make the problem impossible to ignore.
3) The Truth: a fact that you cannot unhear. A universal truth that your client fundamentally agrees on attached to the new idea you’re presenting.
4) The Change: this is the change, the new behaviour or action that one needs to take to achieve get past the above problem, and achieve the new truth.
5) The Action: this is usually your call to action, the answer to the question “How do I do it?”
Webster graciously offers a workshop and video on how to best utilize this on her website: tamsenwebster.com
What is so vital to understand is that as leaders ultimately our one objective is to get people to rise to the occasion and take action. So we must learn about the conditions we have to create to get people to take action and make a permanent change. Otherwise, we’re stuck spinning our wheels repeating the same demands and getting no results.
What idea are you going to now put into story form utilizing the Red Thread?
Had an absolute blast at the EPIC Conference in Vancouver this year. I learned so much from all the wonderful speakers over the couple of days that I was over there.
I highly recommend anyone interested in leadership, motivation or anything of the sort, give it a look!
Luckily for you all, I vlogged my experience 😉 here’s part one!
“People used to vote with their wallet. Now they vote with their time. The only question is, are you relevant enough, valuable enough, timely enough, and entertaining enough to capture their attention and trust? – Ron Tite
Ron Tite was both inspiring and hilarious with the insights he shared on how you can build personal and organizational momentum in a busy world.
Tite kept his message quite tight. (See what I did there?)
You need three words Tite explains, Think, Do, Say. Great leaders and organizations are in alignment between what they Think, Do and Say.
The reality of today’s consumer is that they have no idea whom to trust or where to look.
You all have a million things you want to pursue, and we’re unsure how to pursue these million things.
So what do you do? You bring it back to the basics, Tite insists.
Look at how you think, what you believe, is it in alignment with what you do? Is what you’re doing in alignment with what you say in your marketing messages? If it’s not, this contradiction creates the integrity gap. An example of this is the Pepsi Co commercial that aired during troubled times in America during the Black Lives Matter movement.
THINK: You must get past defining yourself by your products or services. Or even by your far too wordy mission and vision statements that no one cares about. We have to elevate the conversation. What do you fundamentally believe?
I believe in the power of education, and unlocking human potential. Moreover, my life mission is to empower a billion young leaders into solving the worlds biggest problems.
DO: Repeatable behaviour based on what you believe. Proactively solve the problem you believe in. “Nobody cares about you; just shut up and solve my problem.”
SAY: Now it’s time to talk about and market the actions you’ve taken about what you believe. The problem is that many people start with their marketing messages. They try to expedite the processes or benefit from “purpose-driven marketing,” which always ends in a disaster because of the inherent integrity gap.
As leaders, there’s nothing more important than the integrity and trust you hold with your team. This integrity takes years to build through consistent alignment between Think-Do-Say, and a slip up can cause considerable damage to the trust of your organization.
Last fall I was chosen to take on quite an ambitious endeavour in the field of educational reform. With the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Social Sciences the task at hand was to work closely with eight professors in redesigning eight academic courses. The courses were to take on a new direction while maintaining the integrity and core of their academic context.
The framework we developed was to move us past the traditional academic setting, where students are tested on the mere knowledge and application of knowledge that they learned through the means of a lecture series and the textbook. By introducing community partners with real-world problems, and challenging the students to use what they learned to help solve these challenges, students were able to step outside the box of traditional learning.
The final results came together through a phenomenal showcase of the students work.
It was a social innovation fair that put on display the work of students engaged in the redesigned course that integrated social innovation through project-based learning. A combined showcase of the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Social Sciences engaged eight courses and over 550 students.
Through the pairing of courses with community partners that have real-world challenges to overcome, our students actively engaged in problem-solving of a social issue. Students showcased their innovative social solutions through poster boards, presentations, demos, online works and physical art displays to the University of Ottawa community.
The showcase was a festive celebration and competition amongst the students. Students were judged on the creativity of their solution, the quality of their pitches, and their overall work by our judges, who are social innovators themselves. There was food, prizes and a buzz of excitement as we celebrated the students’ projects and this new wave of courses through the Ventures Initiative.
“Ninety-eight percent of people take little to no action on what they have learned, no matter how valuable it is, unless they have a supportive group of people to experience it with.”
Stu Saunders founder of The EPIC community shared this thought with us. Thus I decided that I’m going to share what I’ve learned, and the actions I’m going to take, in hopes that sharing them will keep me more accountable.
Our first speaker Denise Jacobs shared critical strategies on how you can banish your inner critic. Jacobs shares how the inner critic is the primary source of your biggest blocks to performing at your best. She calls this inner critic your “judging committee,” a small panel of judges in your head always criticizing you on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
Jacobs shares how your inner citric comes from 3 areas in your life:
1) Things that you are afraid are true
2) Negative things you’ve heard from authority figures when you were young
3) Things society has said about what you should/shouldn’t be or do
Your inner critic is hard-wired into your brain, coming from your frontal cortex, and its primary function is to protect you from danger. Yet, with no sabre-tooth tigers waiting to eat us at night, this negative bias causes fear conditioning and only remembers the negative things that happen.
I took note of how Jacobs made a distinction between your Inner Critic and your Inner Evaluator. Many people who seek peak performance and want to push themselves, may have had similar thoughts;
“But my inner critic allows me to push myself.”
“My inner critic allows me to learn from my mistakes and be better.”
The difference is that the inner critic is negative and says things like:
“You idiot Fahd, you should have never done that.”
“Who do you think you are, speaking to thousands of people on leadership?”
While your Inner Evaluator would be more positive and compassionate, as you would if someone else made the same mistakes you were making. We tend to be more willing to forgive others than to forgive ourselves.
Jacobs offers up three strategies on tackling that inner critic:
- Transform Self Talk
- This is as simple as changing a few keywords:
- I have to —-> I choose to
- I ought to —-> I want to
- I should —-> I will
- I must —-> When can I
- This is as simple as changing a few keywords:
- Own Your Expertise
- Many people don’t recognize their brilliance and play small to fit the expectations others have of them. This feeling is called “Imposter Syndrome.” The imposter syndrome is essentially what is known in psychological studies as they Dunning-Kruger effect. Simply put, you are more likely to experience Imposter Syndrome the more competent and skilled you are. You have to own the brilliance you have and not shrink it down.
- Show love and empathy to yourself. Take the things you would say to your friend and turn them on to yourself.
You all have grave fears that are holding you back. What would you do differently if they didn’t exist? As leaders, your own limiting beliefs and inner critic can end up projecting onto others, if not recognized and left unchecked.
My action take-away is to begin recognizing this fear for what it is. Though I am uncomfortable sharing it via this blog, I will do so in the hope that it may give others the strength to recognize their own.
I fear that I’m going to be a disappointment; a disappointment to all my friends, my family and all those who supported my journey along the way.
Also, from here on, I will show myself more forgiveness and compassion.
What will you do?