Mentoring

Blue on Blue (#132)

Every few weeks I lead a culture orientation for new Acceleration Partners (AP) employees. In addition to providing an overview of our company’s vision, mission and core values, it also addresses how we live and act on these principles within our organization. At the end, I always ask the new employees about their first few weeks at AP and to share how/if it differs from past experiences.

Recently, a new employee remarked on how helpful everyone was at AP and their willingness to share knowledge, a mentality that was quite different from their previous work environment. He commented that, at his prior company, if you knew something you “kept it to yourself as a competitive advantage.”

I was stunned when I heard this and thought to myself, “How does this happen?”

It made me reflect on a book I had just finished called Extreme Ownership. Written by two former United States Navy SEALs, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, it details the critical importance of ownership in leadership, using examples learned across the battlefield in Iraq and applying them to the authors’ experiences coaching professional organizations.

One of the key threads throughout the book is that, as a leader, you are responsible for anything that happens on your watch. In the military, one of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is referred to as a “Blue on Blue.” This is Navy SEALs’ lingo for friendly fire, which is when a military force is attacked by one of their own or an ally while attempting to combat an enemy. It often occurs when a target is misidentified as hostile or because of errors in communication.

In Extreme Ownership, Willink describes several close calls when team members, who were under his command, came within seconds of inadvertently attacking other SEALs. Had this happened, it would have most likely resulted in multiple fatalities and severe disciplinary action.

Willink brings these types of scenarios into his professional coaching business and shares his experience working with companies that are essentially destroying themselves from within because of rampant friendly fire rather than at the hands of the “enemy” (their industry competition).

What’s different is that, unlike the battlefield where Blue on Blue situations are often the result of haste and confusion in combat, in business, friendly fire is not an accident; the destruction occurring within an organization is the outcome of leadership failures.

Here are some examples of “Blue on Blue” situations within organizations:

  • People withholding critical information in order to retain power.
  • Leaders putting their personal needs or those of their team above the budgets, priorities, staffing needs, etc. of the overall company.
  • Managers and employees blaming each other for failures and communication breakdowns rather than seeking to learn from mistakes and solve the problem.

In business, a “Blue on Blue” is not going to result in a court martial. However, it is the surest sign of weak leadership, a toxic workplace and a company in trouble. When employees within your organization believe that the “enemy” is the person or people on their own team, that’s a death sentence for any company.

As leaders, we have an essential role to play within our teams and organizations. If the people under our guidance aren’t working as an aligned unit or there’s prevalent undercutting and undermining – that’s on us.

There is really no greater leadership failure than an organization collapsing from within.

 

Quote of the Week

“There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”

Jocko Willink

 

The post Blue on Blue (#132) appeared first on Friday Forward.

How to Get Your Team to Execute at the Highest Level l Thor Conklin l Episode #551

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Taking Responsibility (#131)

I was heading home a few weeks ago after a rare trip downtown when a car suddenly veered into my lane without signaling and hit my rear bumper. This frustrating situation was exacerbated by the fact that it was during rush hour, on one of the busiest roads in Boston, and the only option was to pull over in the high-speed lane, which almost instantaneously caused a major traffic back-up.

As I approached the driver whose car had hit mine, I realized it was a young woman. I was frustrated and ready to ask her what she was thinking, however, she preempted me by saying, “I am sorry, that was totally my fault,” which she repeated several times. She explained that it was her father’s car and that she would tell him what happened.

The young woman, Veronica, and I quickly exchanged information. I thought about asking her to write down a statement or record her admitting fault as I know how these stories can change when people return home and speak with their parents, spouses or insurance agents. But as cars were backed up all around us and because she was so apologetic and a bit shaken, I simply told her that it was alright, these things happen. We quickly got back in our cars and went our separate ways.

When I got home, I realized the damage was minor and mostly cosmetic. A few days later I spoke with her father and told him that I appreciated Veronica taking responsibility (I had expected her to tell him a different story). I also offered to take my car to a body shop for a repair estimate and that they could cover the cost of repairs directly. He appreciated this option as it would prevent them from having to go through insurance, which would increase his daughter’s rates for years to come as she was a new driver.

I called him back after I received the estimates and told him that I was fine with the lower repair cost option as I just wanted it fixed enough so I wouldn’t have issues with the leasing company. I suggested he pay the body shop directly so he’d have confirmation of the repairs, but he said that wasn’t necessary and that he’d just mail the payment. He also commented that it would be a good lesson for Veronica, albeit a costly one.

A few days later, without ever asking to see the estimate, the check arrived inside a card that said, “Kindness is always in fashion” along with a note thanking me for being kind to his daughter in a stressful situation.

We all make mistakes. What’s important is that we take accountability for them, learn from them and not repeat them in the future.

What’s more is how we behave when we take accountability. In her case, Veronica was respectful and sincere, which I believe reflects the values instilled by her parents.

In truth, I had expected the worst. Maybe that was based on past experiences or on my perspectives about the lack of accountability in society today. Either way, this experience taught me a valuable lesson about kindness and the inherent goodness in people. And, I have no doubt that, next time, Veronica will remember to use her blinker and check her side mirror when changing lanes.

Quote of the week

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

 

The post Taking Responsibility (#131) appeared first on Friday Forward.

The 3 Keys to Successful Decision-Making l Thor Conklin l Episode #549

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies, and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary roadmap, strategies, tools, and psychology to win this game.

Good Sportsmanship (#130)

A few weeks back, my son’s soccer team was playing a run-off game for the final playoff in the division. They had a big lead and, as the time wound down, the other team was starting to get frustrated and rather “chippy.” One kid in particular had locked into some one-on-one challenges with my son, who is mild-mannered and often plays the role of peacemaker.

Ultimately, my son’s team won and, as the teams lined up to do the sportsmanship handshake, this kid refused to shake hands with my son and others.  Instead, he walked away with a one-fingered gesture in their direction.

Not a great sport.

Based on my experiences, I am going to guess that he is the child of parents who also do not demonstrate good sportsmanship. What I have observed time and again in youth sports is that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sadly, many parents today put winning above character.

Competition is a vital part of achievement and outperforming. In fact, the word “compete” comes from the Latin word competere which means “strive together.”  Yet, this concept tends to be misunderstood and underappreciated.

The reality is that we regularly compete in most aspects of our life. We compete for jobs we want, college admission spots, and for new clients and employees.

Unlike the boy my son played, Ty Koehn understands the essence of competition and character. Koehn is a high school pitcher in Minnesota. Last week during the sectional championship game, he struck out his best friend and competitor, Jack Kocon. This final strike advanced Koehn’s team to the state tournament.

As his team rushed to the pitcher’s mound to celebrate, Koehn immediately headed to home plate and gave Kocon a big hug before joining his teammates in celebration, as you’ll see in this inspiring video.

When asked about his reaction, Koehn said that he wanted his friend to know their friendship was more important than the outcome of the game.

The scene reminded me of a video I saw a few years back of a softball player named Sarah Tucholsky. Sarah had hit a three-run home run, the first in her college career, but she had missed making contact with first base on her first go-round. As she ran back to tag first base, she tore her ACL.

As per official rules, none of Tucholsky’s teammates could assist her in running the bases, which she couldn’t do because of her injured knee. The umpires also pointed out that Tucholsky’s hit would only count as a two-run single if she were replaced by a pinch runner.

What happened next was one of the most incredible acts of sportsmanship I’ve ever seen. It’s actually hard to watch this video without getting emotional.

Competing is about elevating our own game. It’s about practicing, getting better and having the will to win as a team. Instead of winning at all costs or wishing failure on others, real winners always prioritize character over winning itself. True sportsmanship requires that we know how to win well and be gracious in defeat.

Quote of The Week

“The key difference between winners and losers is how they win and lose.”

Unknown

 

 

The post Good Sportsmanship (#130) appeared first on Friday Forward.

Monthly Goal Check-In | Thor Conklin | Episode #547

How are you doing on your annual goals?

 

PEAK PERFORMANCE NATION

A community dedicated to raising your game to the next level by learning how to Execute at the highest level and eliminating the obstacles that keep you from being the leader you were born to be.

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SPONSORS & FREE OFFERS

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Thank you once again for listening

Please follow us on:

Facebook: Thor Conklin   

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Website: http://www.thorconklin.com

 

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Peak Performers Podcast

Peak Performance Nation

  

#1 Podcast on how to get things done.  Learn from Peak Performers in all areas of life and Business.  Do you know what to do but can’t figure out why you are not executing what you already know?   If so, this Podcast will give you the tools, strategies and psychology to not only break through the choke point but to truly become a Peak Performer.   Thor will be sharing his tools and strategies as well as interviewing inspiring Peak Performers that are Entrepreneur’s, Professional Athletes, Business leaders, Military, Technology guru’s, Health and Fitness masters, Relationships Experts as well as Music & Entertainment superstars.   Mission and Purpose – To engage, educate, entertain and inspire listeners to excel in any area of life through mastering the science of execution and Peak Performance.  You will learn the necessary road map, strategies, tools and psychology to win this game.