Episode 48: Lean Into Life and Keep Growing

Do you ever hear of people that just do things and life just comes at them so easily? Have you ever been around one of these people that seem like they’re trying to swim with their boots on? You know these kinds of people that looks like they’re drudging through the day. Every project they pick up is one that just seems like they’ll never get it off the ground. When they finally get one project done, it seems like they’ve exerted so much energy they are incapable of picking up the next project without lots of rest.

Hey, I’m Jimmy Williams, good morning! Today I want to share with you something that’s near and dear to my heart, and it’s called leaning into life, and keep growing. And the best way to do that is what we’re gonna share today are the three P’s of creating momentum. If you feel like your team is not seeing the momentum being gained each day that you’re better tomorrow then you were today. That projects seem to effortlessly get out the door. That each team member knows exactly their role to help make the process much smoother, more efficient.

Today I’m gonna share with you the secrets we use at our company to make things much easier and everyone has a great time. We don’t have an issue of turnover in our company. We do not have an issue of people that are not happy in their roles. We create a position that provides them those opportunities to reap their potential. And today I want to share with you some of those things.

But hey, before that, what a great day man. Look out the window. I do not want you to think, hey, it’s cloudy outside, so just cause it’s cloudy I’ve got to have a bad day. No! We don’t do that. What we do is we think about the sunshine on the inside. So what I’m telling you today is is we’re going to utilize what we want to create in our day, from our inward emotions and not allow the external factors that we can’t control to dictate the type of day we have.

Hey, thank you for joining me on this episode of Live a Life by Design, your Monday morning moments of motivation to help you realize a bigger, better, and bolder you. We see nothing in your future but positive success when you listen to us every Monday and let us share with you by implementing in your own life these things that we have proven as strategies for our lives to be better.

And so one of the things I want to talk to today about is just how we create this momentum. You know momentum is one of those things that once you get a ball rolling down the hill, think of that snowball. It starts out as just a very small snowball. You just get it going, and if it’s a pretty steep hill, well we can get it going rather quickly. You’ll see it growing in mass and size and it just picks up even more speed right, because speed is based on the size of the object as it goes down a hill, which is gravity creating our speed.

Three Ps of creating and keeping momentum

So I want you to think about momentum, like that snowball. Now are some of you trying to push this snowball to grow uphill? You know, we may be. So we’re gonna talk about some things today that you can do. I’m gonna give you the three Ps of creating and keeping momentum in your organization.

You know, one of the things I do, is I try to stay hyper-focused by implementing these three simple P’s every focus day. Now if you join me in the past, you know I have different types of days. I’ve talked about setting up your ideal week a couple of episodes back. One of these days that we focus on our genuine creativity and the formation of solutions for our clients are on our focus days. Those are the days I must put myself up there at the top. I only work 80% of that day on three items that really drive the success of our team. And so, we talked about three types of thinking as well. And we’re gonna implement one of those types of thinking today in the three Ps momentum creation process.

#1: Passion

So we’re gonna magnify that thinking. We’re gonna give you now the three P’s of how to make momentum grow and build your business. You know as the leader of your team, it is your responsibility, it’s incumbent on you to ignite the momentum within your team. You see the first step is creating momentum is to find the passion. That’s our first P of your team and release it. If your team is bored with the process, solution, or just in general, you will not find momentum. It goes back, as we discussed at the opening of this episode, you’re simply going to have drudgery. Or as I like to say, people going through the motions.

You know, there are certain people that you are just not going to ignite. My dad said this when he was in business. There are certain people that you can have carry a can of gasoline to a fire sale and never change their temperature. So, my point is, you may not have the right person in the right seat if you’re failing to see this momentum develop and create after your attempts. And maybe you’re just not implementing correctly as the leader. Let’s talk about that for just a few moments, as well.

You know, passion in someone releases chemicals in the mind that transforms each team members contributions to success of the organization to a more creative state. So when we have passion in what we do, we seem to dig in and give it our all. We want to be so successful in what we’re trying to accomplish. Some of the methods I use to unleash the passion of some of our team members is doing a weekly team huddle. You know, I hate the word meetings. You know, we all have meetings. And I know that’s what these technically are. But let’s call them something that’s a little more fun. So, I’m a big football fan. I love collegiate football. Really get involved in all the bowl games every year. To me there’s just nothing more exciting than watching some of these teams play that are just talented men. And we have a weekly team huddle. So each member of the team tho is asked, “What is one positive focus in your life that is exciting to you?” Now let’s break this sentence down for just a moment. What am I really asking of that team member? I wanted to know something positive. And I just want to know one thing, so it has them kind of roll their eyes back a minute. They’ll be thinking about it. When I first started doing this, they were a little bit uneasy. A little bit unnerved. They said, we have never been asked a question like that in a meeting. I said, oh, we’re not having a meeting. We’re having a huddle. So that means that now that the secrets are out. The boundaries are expanded. There are now no out of bounds for us to ask questions that are helpful to us.

And so I say one positive focus, and a focus is something that they enjoy, right. And that is exciting to them. Now if you’re having trouble with your team finding something that’s exciting to them, well we’ve got a little bit more work to do as leaders, right? So you can see, though, each of the team members I’m asking this, their eyes just pop up. They’re just lit up when this question is asked. And what I’m really doing is telling each member of my team that they are the important factor to our organizations success. I’m really saying, I care more about them and our personal development then simply as someone that performs a task for the company. You know, if we only send our team for training in areas that we need them to work, I think we’re missing the whole point.

I like to send our team to training that’s outside their particular responsibility but in the nuances of the training it helps them build other areas that will benefit them in the role they play in our company. For example, I may send one of our team members that’s the VP of operations, I may send her to something that has nothing to do with operations directly, but during the course of that day of that education, whatever it may be. It may be something on creative writing. Who knows. But what I’m getting at is, they’ll bring back some of that positivity, something new. Something that will help us create a better system within their responsibilities at our office.

You know, this is why we do things the way we do and they’re different. We just didn’t set out to create the same old type of company that says, all I care about is the money we can generate for the stockholders, right? Or, how big a bonus can I earn if I get this done, this done, this done, no matter who I do not bring with me to the top or who I run over with, excuse me, while I’m trying to climb to the top. That’s just not the kind of organization that I sought out to want to create. And the point of helping the team find the passion is that it will open their eyes to the true contributions he or she brings to the overall success of the organization.

It is hard to watch the movie if you’re in it. So I try to bring these ideas and passions out to get them to look beyond themselves. Kinda hover, if you will, over your physical being with your mind and say hey, what could I do differently. What can I have fun doing, while still accomplishing my role and my task? So help your team members find their passion, within. And you will have guided them to being more successful within your organization. And I’m a true believer that if you focus on the most important people in your organization. That is everyone that works on your team. You will then find that they will work those issues out themselves to create solutions for you, thereby becoming eventually a self-managing company.

You can take more free days, we discussed what those are. That’s time away that allows you to get your creativity back on track. To get your head on straight, to give you time just to gel and relax and get your vision sharpened for the future. Right? So this first P is passion, find the passion for each of your team, and open that passion up to what their particular responsibility is within the organization. I assure you, this will be the foundation movement of getting momentum through your organization. Thereby creating greater efficiencies for your team.

#2: Positivity

The second step to creating and retaining momentum in your organization is to build a culture of positivity. I know you’re thinking, Jimmy, I could have guessed that one from you cause that’s what you talk about a tremendous number of these episodes. You know, I can’t help but, positivity to me is so lacking in a lot of the workforce that I see out there at our clients. I see the mundane. I see the trivial. I see the boring. And I will say to you that you will not get the best performance from anyone on your team if you lack positivity.

You know, who performs their best when surrounded by negative unmotivated people who have no goals or excitement in life? No one. I tell you, no one. There’s not a CEO of any company I know that loves to higher boring, mundane, negative people so that they can get the organization moving. Right? They’re not looking for those types of individuals. Our team is filled through with genuine positivity, because we choose to create this type of environment. You see, you must take your perception and create your reality from it. Just as I said last week. If you are not willing to take a moment or time to help create the culture of environment you desire, I assure you, you’ll get something you do not want.

Too many companies focus purely on the bottom line and fail to respond to creating their people. You know, the inputs you have through your people create the true value of your company if you’re a service organization. Or if you’re an assembly line. Think about this. If you have someone that works on an assembly line that has one task to perform on that particular product as it rolls by, hundreds of them a day, perhaps. And they do the same thing. Wouldn’t you think that fewer mistakes would be made if you had a positive and energetic individual that sees the vision and true contribution of what they’re putting forth on that product as making the company successful. To me that is vital.

And basically this, I understand that people have difficult times in life. I understand that, I don’t live in the, in a world of fantasy. But to genuinely create a positive atmosphere and culture, as the leader you must put aside your own personal challenges and feed your team the pure powerful and positive messages that help them see themselves as contributing to the success of your organization. If they can’t paint them self into the picture of what a successful company looks like, you’ve already missed your mark.

When one of your team members does not see themselves as integral to the success of the company or the value creation process, you might as well open the door and let them leave. No one wants to work with someone that doesn’t respect them or provide an environment where they can grow as a person. The mundane is your biggest enemy when it comes to the positive culture you wish to build. Create opportunities for each team member to lead or facilitate a meeting. Our weekly huddles, matter of fact, I’ll call what we call and option. So in football, the quarterback has an option to call, if he sees that the defense is developing a play that the call from the sidelines would not accommodate. You know, they couldn’t be successful. He’ll call what’s called an audible, or an option play. And I sometimes call audible huddles. Without notice, I may just get in the hallway and I’ll say, “Time for a team huddle!” and we have a meeting literally in the hallway, away from the front lobby of the office, of course. And we have a particular one line item agenda, and we discuss that issue. Maybe I just need some input from someone on the team on the marketing team of how would we approach this to get this information out to the right people. It may be something an operations team. I might be asking them, hey, what can we do to make this process more efficient for this particular client. What are some thoughts we can do?

And so, we basically want to give them the chance to have input in all of the facets of the organization to let them see how valuable they are. You know, creating these opportunities for each team member to leader facilitate a meeting is very simple. I give them a little bit of heads up, I’ll say something after the end of one huddle on this Monday, I may say, ok next Monday it’s your turn to lead the meeting and here might be some topics for you to consider, but I want you bring what you think is important as well to this meeting. Would you please facilitate the meeting?

And sometimes they’ll look at you a little bit funny, like, hmmm, oh I don’t see myself as doing that. But what I’m trying to bring out of them is, the people we have on our team are so talented, but sometimes it’s like you gotta peel back a couple of layers to get them to really shine and see what they have as potential. And that’s exactly what we try to do. So as leaders, start molding your next leaders by challenging them to create methods of positive processes to help newer team members see their potential realized.

So it’s almost a cascading effect. So if you want to create a positive culture in your organization, it must start with you. You can’t expect your team members to have positivity in the culture when the leader does not. Shake off what’s bothering you for the day. Have yourself a little bit of a thinking party on the way to work. I don’t do this, but you might want to get it out in the open. If you have to roll the window down in your car and shout at traffic. Get it out of your system and show up at that office, smile on your face, positivity in your mind and I mean ambition staring right out of your face ready to tackle anything coming that day. This is your role as a leader.

LF: Thank you to all of our listeners of the podcast. We have received many reviews on iTunes and appreciate your comments. Here is a review from RJB Tab, “Absolutely heartfelt, positive advice on living and staying focused throughout life’s journey. Thank you for the insightful information.” If you haven’t subscribed to the show, please do so today so that you will not miss an episode of this outstanding content. It would help us spread positivity around the world if you would rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Now back to the show.

#3: Play

And remember, we’re talking about momentum. So now we talked about two Ps. Creating passion and finding the passion within your team. And setting a culture or tone of positivity within your organization. The final ingredient, to creating and maintaining momentum in your organization is the easiest of the three. You’re wondering now, what could Jimmy say that starts with a p that goes with passion and positivity to build momentum. Hmmm. What is it that we love to do when we were children, and we did it so well that we could burn a thousand calories while we were doing it. I do remember that they gave us an opportunity to do this all the time in elementary school. And you know why we did that? It’s because they knew sitting down at a desk all day and learning might become a little monotonous, so we need to get the blood moving so, you bet, so we got to go Play!

You must find ways to create a playful time in your organization. You’re going to laugh at me again, Jimmy, no organized fortune 100 company does this. I’m going to tell you they do in ways that you may or may not see or understand. You must create the attitude of play so your team has a chance to build. It has to rely on other teammates. We do team-building play. We just do fun silly things sometimes. We do simple things at the office, and I’m going to give you some of those ideas here before we end this episode.

But we claim the motto in our company of work hard and play hard for our culture. Every day we find some form of play that will help each of us synergistically build the culture in our company that others will want to join our organization. This is why we only hire the best people. They are there to express themselves, as professionals in a way that helps as a unit grow our organization to be attractive to others. Every day we find this form of play. New hires to our company consistently remark, like, I have never worked where you can have fun and be productive. And I’ll look at them, and I’ll go, you’ve really got to be kidding, right? I mean, what did you do all day? They go, well, they just made us sit down and we had to sit at that desk and do this and all day long we did this so we could get our “numbers” up or “profit” up. Or whatever they might have been seeking. Some will even say this, do you ever have a bad day, Jimmy?

And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t. My definition though is this, and I hope you write this down, but I never have a bad day, I just simply have some days that are better than others. That’s my attitude anyway. They would say something like, my previous supervisor always had a scowl on their face while at work. It looked as if they had eaten post toasties with lemons. And I’d look at them, and I’d go, wow, I really don’t have to work that hard to get this person to feel valued. If that’s the environment they’re leaving, don’t take me wrong folks, that is not a stretch of any imagination. That person simply wants to see that they are appreciated. And by what I hear from their previous employers, they didn’t get that opportunity.

Remember last week’s episode where we created our reality from our perceptions we desired? Well before I enter the office, which is primarily on a focus day. I don’t go in unless it’s a focus day. Because, well from what my team says, is days I go in where I don’t have a focus day, I kind of make messes. But that’s another episode all on its own. But I have implemented and completed my morning routine. So go back and listen to episode 43, you’ll see how I prime my mind, my attitude, my energies. I get all of this ready to take to the office and bring my utmost best to the team that day.

It’s kind of like any athlete. Before you sign up for the marathon you must go out and run and run, and run. You have to hon your body and your mind to put your body through the torture of running 26.1 miles. You know, that, 26 miles, man that is a lot of distance. And at the end of the day, when I get there, my minds been fresh all day, my thoughts are focused. My attitude is just pumped people. And to create momentum you must consistently find means of forging the bond of team work with your team members. If you’re going to maintain momentum, it’s easy as doing this. Once you get momentum started, it’s similar to the old water pump you saw if you were driving through the countryside and you saw near a barn this old handle sticking up and there’s a pump that would have a well beneath is, and it would have a trough out where the animals could be watered. And if you go out to that pump, and in most cases if the water is still down there, you would have to work very hard. I’m talking about lots of pumps, and you’re finally getting that thing to moving and now you realize there’s no water coming out and you stop.

Well guess what happened, you were probably just a few moments away from fresh clean, pure water and you quite too early. Momentum is the same. Just because you went in one day on one meeting or one huddle and you didn’t get the results you wanted so what? Keep hammering away, keep bringing that positivity. Keep showing your people that this isn’t just a fly by night feeling you have, it’s a true change in attitude. The people I am fortunate to work with at Compass Capital Management are some of the most talented, creative and dedicated people you will ever meet. I view these important people as “my clients”.

As a leader my primary role is to provide vision, opportunities and culture to everyone on the team. So that they can provide their best contributions to our organizations success. Of course we must make profits to stay in business. Everyone does. Some of the methods of playing at work involve wearing your favorite football team jersey to work on Fridays during the fall, or how about dressing up a superhero to show our inner child some point. If the weather’s nice we may even hold a walking huddle, where we conduct the meeting while walking in the park. Or perhaps just around the blocks of the building. I call these the Team Exercise/Huddle Meeting. Matter of fact, I tell them, hey, this is something you don’t even have to put on your W-2. This is just free, gratis stuff we’re giving you here. Fresh air and sunshine.

Well, whatever you do think about establishing fun, creative, and unique ideas to surprise your team. Well, hey, lean in and listen now, I’m just going to whisper this. Can you guys keep a secret? Well, here it goes, don’t tell anyone on our team, I am having special t-shirts made for our team members this year to celebrate my birthday. Did you catch that? Now think about it. Instead of the team planning my party, as they’ve done for years, I’m going to shock them with a team party on my birthday. Each of them will get a gift and each person’s name will be on the cake that I’m going to order. Man, I feel like this will blow their minds! Don’t tell anyone! If you’d like some of these other great ideas, I’m placing them on our website at livealifeby.design. Go check it out. I think you’ll find some great ideas for your team. Those should be posted just shortly.

So at the start of this episode, I told you I’d give you three Ps. And by implementing these three Ps. Passion, positivity, and play on a consistent basis, our company grows more than 30% per year on revenues, year over year. Now as we’ve grown, it’s gotten a little bit more difficult. But what we’ve found is that our momentum has carried us over that finish line every year. We focus on building the momentum in our operations, solution development, and team training so that each of us attracts our right-fit client to the company. Growth is the byproduct of momentum. Too often we get this backward. We say, hey, if our team will just grow, we’ll gain momentum. And no, you’ve got the cart before the horse. Once the three P’s are understood and in place, you too will see your team and company prosper. Measure your progress and report to your team during your weekly team huddles. Count the little wins in addition to the big ones.

Too often we go, well, if it’s not a million-dollar account then, you know, that’s not really anything to celebrate. Not so true. I believe you should celebrate all wins, no matter their size. No team will ever perform excellently all the time. However your team will perform more efficiently, effectively, and happily might I add, by your creation of an environment that rewards momentum.

At the start of this episode I mentioned that we would pick one of the three thinking types, and exponentially develop it for momentum. Can you guess which one it is, from our previous episode? You got it, positive thinking, of course. Allowing each of the team to think positively about themselves, their contributions to the team and overall, about the company. Empower people to see themselves being bigger, better, and bolder about their own futures. This is the basis for momentum. People who desire a bigger future for themselves and align their professional goals with those of the organization. It is that simple and that complex.

Man, I tell ya, I’m getting excited thinking about our day just thinking about this subject. So join us next week, when we share how you can realize your potential to build on this momentum creation process. You’ll want to listen to this exciting episode and bring something to take notes. I will give you some secrets to help you realize your potential and then to set another notch higher on the mountain. So you could even grow to bigger heights then you thought imaginable as a professional, as a person, as a father, and I’m going to share with you some of my issues that I had to overcome to reach that pinnacle of success in my life. So until next week, go out make the world a better place by living your life by design.

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