Insanity is: when we try to solve a problem with the same thinking that we used to create it.
Original quote by Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.
Most of us will agree to the statement that our economy is more than ever fragile. We have seen in the past decade massive blow-ups in the banking and other sectors. But what really happened since then? Well, some regulations have been put in place across industry sectors. But what have organizations such as banks and other institutions done since then? Have they tried to do to re-built trust? Did they get closer to the clients and employees and built back those relationships? No, the opposite is happening. They move further and further away from an employee and client driven model. Almost as if to say: “Do not touch me client… I am afraid of you”. “It is your fault client that we maneuvered ourselves into this state”. “ Instead talk to a machine”. “Machines do not make mistakes, they follow rules and protocols”. “Yes, client as long as we do not have to engage with you on a human level, Eye to Eye, we cannot make mistakes”.
In a nutshell: All that really changed is these companies have implemented strategies avoiding making mistakes and getting fined. But, no real rethinking has taken place to address the core issues, their business models; that led to those huge blow-ups to happen in the first place. Business models entirely centered around creating profits.
How comes that we are still where we have been? Well, the organizations seem not to be able to change their thinking. They are still led by the same type of people, thinking in the same ways, the exact ones who created the problems in the first place. The baby boomer generation; a generation driven still by the post war dramas of their parents, to a large extent. Obsessed with stability, mainly financial security… ie all that counts is the profit. They define themselves and who they are through external means of positional power, the title they carry and how much assets they have to show for. Without these things they are reduced to nothing.
Oh don’t get me wrong. I am not saying don’t make money. I myself love fast cars, aircrafts and boats. But those things do not define who I am in my core. I enjoy them and they are fun. They add to my pleasure but they do not change who I am and nobody can hold me hostage with money or make me change my purpose and core values for a quick buck. And trust me many tried…and keep on trying.
However, for the majority of the baby boomer generation their main God is Money. And it is completely understandable if you see where they have been coming from. Which role models they had in their lives, modeling their work practices. For them subconsciously, financial security is literally a matter of life or death.
In a world that becomes more and more uncertain, where profits change in matter of instant on the stock market, those profit driven people become become really desperate. Hence we see more and more shady practices popping up all over the place. Requiring more and more regulations. Regulations, leading to fear in engaging on a human level. So hiding behind technology, Internet portals, social media and the like is becoming the norm. I mean lets be honest. We all love technology, and a lot of it is really cool. But at the end of the day humans are wired to be socially engaged with each other. We are craving human interaction, feeling a sense of worth etc. Something machines cannot give us.
So why do we not give the people what they really long for? Having meaning in their life, a purpose that propels them forward.
This requires however a rethinking of our current economic model. Away from profits of organizations being the end to a means… instead profits providing the means to an end. The end being the organizations purpose. Creating a loyal employee base, who in turn create a loyal customer base. This employee/customer centric model retrospectively generates long term and sustainable profits for organizations.
Basically we need to turn the economic models on its head. Whereby the employees’ and clients’ wellbeing becomes the center of all our efforts. It becomes our purpose. Where we measure our success on how fulfilled our employees and clients are. Knowing that a fulfilled and happy employee creates happy and loyal customers. In this scenario profits become a natural by-product.
Yes, you will say I am a dreamer. Especially if you are a baby boomer. It is ok. I know I am not normal, or not the norm. And I am grateful for it. I rather be not normal than insane thinking that the thinking of those people who got us into the economical crisis, will ever get us out of it again.
The article is dedicated to those who are ready to make a change and want to know how it can be done. It is for those who know that their thinking, that maneuvered them into the shit in the first place, won’t get them out of the shit. Those who are ready to take a new approach. A purpose driven approach.
Who want to learn and become a future leader in a new economy. A leader who is led by authentic and servant leadership principles. Who wants to learn how they can add real value to others, creating loyal employees and customers in return for long term profits. Who want to be a part of a world where we measure our success based on how many others we made successful.
The kickass economic transformer…
Transforming the economy into the next Millennia
…it is what makes me unique and distinguishes me.
Why do I mention this? People who know me often wonder how I can think so much about random things. And way would I even be interested why something is how it is or why people behave how they behave. Well, very simple. I have a gift. A brain/mind and intelligence to think. Allowing me to come up with visionary ideas and concepts. To be unique and carve a new path, my own path.
Furthermore, I love to understand the unexplained. I must say I am not always successful and have learned over time that many things are outside my realm of understanding. Nevertheless, I am grateful that I can make up my own mind about things, people and world events. I am not merely a pupped in the crowd. I have my own opinion and can create my own point of view and with this also my own self image and who I am.
Downside of it: Well, I have a lot of deep thinking lines in my fore head:) But if they get unbearable there is always Botox:) No, joke aside. I am walking quite often a path seldom walked. A path that requires courage, that can be very lonely at times, and bares many pitfalls.
Before we dive into the “requirements” of how to be a successful leader, a quick refresher on the differences of management and leadership, as they get thrown often into the same pot. However, they are completely different by definition. Management is a skill set and leadership is an ability. Management skills can be learned and deal manly with the task to execute on processes to support the company’s vision and strategy. Leadership is one step up management and deals mainly with the ability to formulate a clear strategy and vision and to get management successfully execute on one’s vision and strategy.
The Main ingredients of a “Real” Leader
To be a successful leader the so called “soft skills” or rather abilities such as “empathy” become of high importance. The ability to relate to others, to understand what motivates others, what are their self interest to get the best out of the people becomes the main focus of a true leader. However the prerequisite for these relationship competencies rest on a foundation of self-knowledge, self-awareness. Those competencies are directly linked with the success or failure of a CEO’s ability to formulate, articulate and lead a strategic vision for a motivated, energized organization. Self-knowledge builds clarity about objectives; it fine-tunes one’s understanding the perspectives, values, aims and personality traits of others.
The recipe to “Real” leadership
Self-awareness needs a lot of courage and strength. It means to open up to ones vulnerabilities and fears. Being able to look into the mirror and do an honest self-appraisal about ones emotional strengths and weaknesses; values and attitudes, personality traits and unresolved conflicts. To accept one self as a “whole” person with all different shades makes one authentic.
Being an authentic leader means others will follow you. Your behavior, your words and actions match and others can now relate to you on all levels. They know instinctively you are true to who you are and therefore you are strong in your leadership abilities. That nothing will easily make you falter. That you stand to your word and you will do what you said you would do. Providing a framework of trust for others into your abilities to lead them to success.
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Read about the Author: Martina Willis
The other day I enjoyed a lovely evening by 23 Degrees sitting outside in the streets of Malaga with an old friend and ex-colleague. She opened my eyes to a missing dot/connection in the current prevailing sales training methods of SPIN/complex solution selling techniques.
She said, you know what drives me crazy? They keep on telling us in sales training, we need to gain the trust of the client. But if I ask how, they can’t give me an answer. There and then, I realized, I am guilty of this as well. I keep on talking about trust but I never really explained what it is that creates trust.
No it is not a process, or a complicated technique to follow. The answer is actually very simple.
Be your authentic self. So the client gets a feeling of WIS-F-IWIG. What I See (and feel subconsciously) is what I get. A feeling of concurrency needs to take place on all levels to create trust.
WIS-F-IWIG the main driving factor for gaining trust
Only 20% of communication is verbal and the further 80% of communication is non-verbal, mainly received and felt subconsciously. This means if the client gets told something verbally that is not concurrent with what he/she receives subconsciously, a “nagging feeling” will set in making him/her feel something is off. The client may not be even able to grasp consciously why, but he/she will close up and stop most likely the engagement. I believe, 9 out of 10 times, when a client uses price as an excuse, the sales person just failed “horrifically” to set up a trust relationship. As a matter of fact, the factor price has just become an excuse to get rid of the sales person, as the client’s professionalism hinders him/her from stating: Sorry, but I have a nagging feeling something is not right with you.
In simple terms it means: to be concurrent with ones emotions, thoughts and the spoken word. No matter what this may be. However, this requires a deep awareness of the underlying values and believes driving a human’s behavior patterns. This is also the crux of the matter. Most fail to be authentic, because they have no idea what drives them and even less what makes them to who they are and how their “whole” persona projects to the outside world (blind spots)
Why is being authentic so difficult?
I think we can split it into three main issues being in the way of authenticity.
- Emotions are bad: Our society, especially business, demands from us to be “rational”. Emotions are not rational. Therefore, we deny the existence of emotions. Even so the human being, by default is an emotional being. The brain itself stores any information and experience as an emotion. Most buying decisions, given quality is equal, are made based on emotions. The whole cosmetic and fashion industry is based around emotional selling. The need to be beautiful. However in most other industries, especially in the more technical fields, I keep on seeing rational sales techniques (the product and features sales person) who will lose almost each single time the sales to a competitor, who has managed to gain the client’s trust.
- Social Conditioning: Being taught to hide emotions and not to feel them, right from childhood on, through our schooling system and then into the job, we have buried our own emotions so deeply that we have no idea anymore what really drive us. All we can feel is something lacking, an underlying uneasiness, a background noise, but we cannot pin point it anymore. But trust me, the client feels this underlying uneasiness and will interpret it as: something is not quite right.
- Fear of rejection=death: the human is a social “animal”. Being a part of something and belonging is one of the main driving factors. Not surprising, if you think that in the stone ages, being alone in the wild, not belonging to a group of others meant pretty much ones death. Nowadays we may not be killed by a wild animal but be rejected and thrown out by our bosses/co-workers if we do not fit into the prevailing cooperate norm. Creating the same basic feeling as the fear to be killed if we do not “bend” to the cooperate-and social norms. So most will stay in line out of fear. Some their life long. However, the best they ever can achieve is mediocrity. The never will be highly successful. Especially not in sales. As the client can literally “smell the fear” of the sales person. A client will either stop engaging at this “smell”. Or the “consciously” switched on client, will use this fear for his/her own gain by starting a price war, till he/she has squeezed every last penny out of the sales person’s margin.
If you want to become authentic and highly successful, by being aware of who you really are, what your values and believes are that drive your behavior patterns, and change them if the hinder you to be the successful, visit our unlock our full sales potential retreats. For sales organizations, contact me to set up a customized training for you.
IUSP Martina Willis: Or why a training with Martina
I have spent the last 20 years in different roles, always with direct or indirect sales-and budget responsibility, (product manager, strategic technology consulting, business development, technical-and sales team coaching, CTO and CEO positions) in large to small enterprises. In those 20 years I always overachieved my/the teams target. When I have seen the prevailing political notions in an organization or department make success impossible, and I was powerless to change them, I left the sinking ship. So far without failing, all of them sank based on my prediction. But I never sold my authenticity or bend my values because a superior demanded it of me. Knowing if I cannot be authentic anymore, I am set up to fail anyway. The last one who demanded of me to sell my authenticity was just scrutinized in the Swiss press.
Furthermore, I have worked in very diverse fields, such as Saudi Arabia. Where trust is the basis of any business, I managed to gain the trust of Executives and do great business and this against all odds of being a female. Becoming even the trade ambassador for the UK to Saudi Arabia.
Clients, especially male clients, tell me their most personal, intimate secrets, even when I only was trying to sell them an IT solution.