Indifference: The First Enemy From Within

We are not born with courage. And, we are not born with fear. Both courage and fear are acquired through our business and life experiences. Collaborating with and supporting clients as a personal business coach in The Woodlands and as a personal business coach in Houston we encounter fears that are holding us back, yet we don’t recognize them.
One such fear is indifference. It is certainly okay to be indifferent at times. But, if indifference is dominating your reactions and thought processes it will lead you in a bad direction. Indifference is about a fear of setting priorities or knowing how to set priorities.
You can be indifferent because you don’t think something matters. For example, there is a small error in your business that keeps needing to be corrected. It does not get corrected. Ultimately, it will lead or impact you with a poor result. It is not a question of if, but when.
When you see an error, whether it be in your judgement, how you react or how you do things it does matter. Indifference over time will be deadly to your business growth and personal development. Indifference kills a sense of urgency to improve and will slow or stop your momentum.
Indifference is saying that you can ho-hum your way to success. Or, maybe you can drift your way to the top of the mountain. More often than not, success in business and life comes from purposeful action taken on a timely basis. When you are indifferent it is hard to be timely.
Timeliness is the enemy of indifference. There was a general who had many battlefield successes and also some defeats. He was asked about his military defeats which he did not want to talk about. Yet, his interviewer persisted.
Finally, he said that all military defeats can be explained by two words, “too late.” Too late in anticipating what needs to be done. Too late in coming up with a plan to do what needs to be done. And, too late in executing the plan to get things done.
When you are indifferent, more often than not you will be “too late.” Indifference will take your focus from everything matters to some things matter. To have continued success, realize that everything matters.
What is an error or does not work today will not make for a better tomorrow. Overcome the fear that underlies indifference. Be focused. Be timely. Set priorities, have a sense of urgency and act on them. When you do, indifference will melt away as your purposeful action leads you to success.

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Building a Winning Culture: Establishing a Clear Purpose

In previous posts I have looked at building safety and sharing vulnerability which are two components to building a winning culture. A winning culture is one where people want to work at the company they are at. It is where, in your personal relationships that people want to be with you.
The third component to building a winning culture is to establish a clear purpose. I clear purpose is critical to guide the actions and decision making within a company or in relationships.
As a personal business coach in The Woodlands and as a personal business coach in Houston, regardless of where I am at or who I have the privilege of collaborating with, establishing a clear purpose for what we wish to accomplish is critical to our success. In a company, establishing a clear purpose is like a lighthouse. It becomes a beacon of light to guide your thoughts and actions.
Establishing a clear purpose is critical to having a winning culture. First, with a clear purpose that involves others, you can focus on something bigger than yourself. People love to belong or be part of something bigger than themselves. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” A clear purpose is the glue that bonds people together to accomplish something bigger and better than anything they could do on their own.
A clear purpose can be found in the mission statements of many organizations. For example: In Conroe, Texas, the mission statement for the city employees is: “To serve the citizens of Conroe and to exceed their expectations.” With a clear purpose, decisions affecting the citizens are filtered through the prism of their mission statement. And, as the city employees are out serving the citizens they are guided by the words: “To serve the citizens of Conroe and to exceed their expectations.”
In a winning culture, you may have the best processes, top product and great people. Yet, without a clear purpose, decision making over a period of time can take a good organization and turn it into a mediocre or failing one.
Establishing a clear purpose gives people not only a sense and belief that they belong to something bigger than themselves, it gives them guidance in direction, behavior and attitude as they go about their daily work. A clear purpose is like putting a rudder on the ship of business or the boat of your life. It gives you the ability to steer in a clear direction to having a winning culture and locating the harbors of success and profitability.

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Building A Good Culture: Sharing Vulnerability

One of the most overlooked attributes in building a good culture, mostly because leaders are not aware of it, is sharing vulnerability. They are not aware of it because it is counterintuitive. You are told that to be a good leader you must be strong. Yet, the strongest leaders are the ones who admit to and share their vulnerabilities.
What makes them stronger is several things. First of all, when you admit to your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, you are showing self-awareness, and this causes others to see you as authentic and to trust you. Secondly, when you and your followers are aware of your vulnerabilities you can give those that support you responsibility for taking care of those things that are not in your strength zone. This gives them ownership which is important in creating a good culture.
The third point is that sharing vulnerability puts the first two together and sparks cooperation and trust. As a business coach in the Woodlands and a business coach in Houston one of the keys for me to be effective with my clients is that I must share my vulnerability. I must share where I am weak or uncomfortable or not a fit. Over the years, not when I was younger, I have become very good at being vulnerable. The result is that my self-improvement in the area of vulnerability has enabled me to support my clients more effectively.
Now when I share my vulnerability, most people pick up on it. And, the key is that when you share your vulnerability with someone that they know it. If they know it, then they are more likely to share their vulnerability. When they do, we have just created pathways that weren’t there before to work together. They have learned something about me where they can support me, and I have learned something about them where I can support them.
When this happens, a new bond of closeness and cooperation can be established. And it creates a new dynamic that can open up other avenues of cooperation and collaboration. In building a good culture, whether it be among two people or hundreds, the ability to share vulnerability and how we can support each other is critical to building a high performing team.
As an individual, in pursuing your own personal development or self-improvement, you are saying I am vulnerable in some areas and I will work to improve. If at first you are not vulnerable, you will not be able to improve.
In personal and business scenarios vulnerability does one other thing critical to the building of a good culture. It builds trust between individuals. After all, a team is nothing more than a collection of individuals. And, it is the trust between individuals on the team that very often can be critical to its success.
To build a better culture in your business and personal life, share your vulnerabilities. When you do, you will be gifting others with the opportunity to support and connect with you on a deeper level.

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