Announcing the WACD Minute!

The What Anyone Can Do Minute is a new video series created to accomplish two goals: 1) Give you a valuable takeaway in one minute; and, 2) use that takeaway as fuel to take a deeper dive toward doing the things anyone can do that most of us never will.

I’ll release 2-3 videos per week on my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.  They’ll also appear on my website’s Video page, where you’ll find the entire collection as they go live.  I’ve released two this week already and by visiting https://leobottary.com/videos, you’ll get to preview the one I’ll be releasing in the next few days.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, leave your suggestion as a comment, and you may find it featured in an upcoming episode of the WACD Minute!  Enjoy!

On Great Books

If you’re writing and speaking more than you’re reading and listening, it’s time to right the ship!  Here are three books you’ll love!  When you don’t have immediate access to the right people directly, you can still surround yourself with their ideas!  Enjoy!

Amazon links to the books (not affiliate links):

Cracking the Curiosity Code: The Key to Unlocking Human Potential by Diane Hamilton

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life by Brian Solis

Jeffrey Hayzlett On Heroes

Join us today as we talk about heroes, hero cultures, paying it back, and paying it forward!  Visit HeroFactorBook.com for your free business transformation kit.

How Will Doing What Anyone Can Do Possibly Help Me?

Great question.  One I’ve been asked many times.

In Joe Henderson’s 1976 book The Long Run Solution, he suggested that becoming truly accomplished at running (or at anything, for that matter) doesn’t typically require us to perform superhuman feats. We don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Success doesn’t ask us to do what no one else can do.  All too often, success and happiness find those who have the discipline to do the everyday things, the things anyone can do that most of us never will.

To keep it in Joe Henderson terms, let’s say you want to run a marathon. Until the 1980s, and well before IRONMAN competitions and ultra-marathons were part of the public consciousness, marathon running was considered extreme. It wasn’t something most people would even attempt. Only a freak, or someone who lacked any other mode of transportation, would choose to run 26.2 miles. With the advent of Team in Training, which has raised more than $1 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since 1988, marathon training programs for the average person became more prevalent.

In 1994, Oprah Winfrey showed the world that if you surround yourself with the right people and follow a training program, you, too, could run a marathon. (She also lost seventy-two pounds). The real challenge, of course, is sticking to the strict regimen required to get you ready for race day. Those of you who have done it know that the race is the easy part, relative to what it takes to prepare for it—sixteen to twenty-four weeks (depending on the program) of the daily discipline to do what anyone can do on a given day.

The wonderful part is that when you do the things anyone can do every day for four to five months, you can accomplish something almost no one can do. That’s the magic. The task is no different, whether you want to be an artist, a scholar, or a business leader. The question is: Are you willing to do the things anyone can do on a daily basis to achieve what you want in life? Because most people aren’t willing, doing what anyone can do puts you a step ahead of the rest.

How Can We Do Things Anyone Can Do More Often?

Surround Ourselves With the Right People.

Wanting something is one thing. Being committed to doing what it takes to make it happen is quite another. Left to our own devices, we all too often don’t do the work—or we don’t do it over a sustained period of time. We might get off to a good start, but we eventually succumb to whatever rationale we can conjure that explains why we stopped.

Even the most disciplined among us can benefit from involving our friends, family members, and colleagues in helping us achieve our goals. While we all know that no successful person in the history of the world ever accomplished anything totally by him- or herself, we see self-help as by-your-self-help.  As a result, we view our goals as solitary pursuits, and we don’t do the things anyone can do nearly often enough. This is why we fall short.

One thing we can do is seek out people who can play a positive role in our success and enlist their support. When we invite others to be our partners in success, they tend to help us do all those things anyone can.  And when we do, we give ourselves the best chance to achieve our goals whatever they may be.  That’s why doing what anyone can do help you HUGE!

*Includes excerpts from the book, What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself With the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth.

Peer Groups: GYMS for Leaders

In 2017, one of the guests on my Year of the Peer podcast (renamed What Anyone Can Do in 2018) was Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute.  During our conversation, she told me the more that teachers collaborate with one another outside the classroom, the more effective they can be at building collaborative environments among students inside their classrooms.  Countless leaders of CEO and key executive peer groups have said the same holds true in business.  Essentially, leaders who do group work are more emotionally and intellectually fit to inspire superior teamwork inside their organizations.  Let’s look at why.

To back up a moment, let’s distinguish between group and team.  A group is one where people come together to help each other realize their individual goals.  A team is a collection of people who collaborate in an effort to achieve a common goal.  CEOs connect with other CEOs in groups because they believe that talking with peers who share their common challenges, yet who may come from very different worlds, will help them be better individual leaders and provide them with ideas and insights to help them grow their companies.  College athletes, on the other hand, who participate in a team sport, may aspire to win a national championship – a single goal that can only be achieved as a high performing team.

Think of groups as the “gyms” for team leaders.  Groups are the perfect training ground for strengthening your leadership muscles, building your business acumen, and fine-tuning your emotional intelligence.  My guess is that you wouldn’t consider entering the IRONMAN, running a marathon, or cycling the Tour de France without training for it; yet too many organizational leaders attempt something equally difficult every day they show up to work without having stepped one foot into the gym.  You can argue that you can train in other ways.  Fair point.  You can read books, hire a coach, go to conferences, etc.  That said, here’s one thing (among many) you won’t get anywhere else except in a group – it’s called the Learning-Achieving cycle.

The Learning-Achieving Cycle, The Power of Peers (2016)

Dr. Darling-Hammond told me that we learn better when we learn together.  When we share our learning with one another and engage in deep conversation about a given concept, it not only helps us understand it more completely, but also provides group members the courage to ACT on that learning.  You might read something in a book that on its face seems like a great idea, but you’re unlikely to walk into the office the next day and implement it.  Within days, that idea joins the pile of other interesting things you learned that you never acted on.  Once you act on your learning (trial and error notwithstanding) and you achieve positive results, it inspires you to want to learn more.  This creates a reinforcing loop of learning, sharing, applying, achieving that becomes a force of nature of its own – a force fueled by a leader’s insatiable desire to leverage the group’s intellectual capital for his/her own personal and organizational ROI.

Regardless of what you’re trying to learn, rather than read about it or have someone tell you about it, when you’re part of a group, you actually do it.  You stick your hands in the clay, if you will, at each and every group meeting.  It’s your practice field for business and personal success.  If you want to lead higher performing teams, get yourself to the gym.  That said, my one disclaimer is this:  You can’t just sign up for a gym membership or even just show up there from time to time to receive any real benefit.  But if you dig deep, invest in yourself, and do the work, then you, your group members, and your organizational team(s) will be the big winners for it.

If you have a story about how your peer group helped you get into better shape to be a stronger team leader, share it in the comments!  Thanks!

The Gift Of Feedback

When you receive feedback (positive or negative), see it as the gift that it is. Use it as fuel for reflection and continuous improvement.  Anyone who is great at anything is a product of people who were generous enough to provide them feedback along their learning journey.  We believed the message to be so important, we’re posting it a day early!  Enjoy!

Leo’s Workshops in the UK

Leo stops down in Kenilworth, England, as he nears the end of a two-week swing leading workshops for Vistage Groups in the UK.  In this podcast, Randy talks with Leo about what he’s learned and explores the implications for building higher performing teams in our organizations.

The Power of Reframing

Okay, do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full?   Check out this week’s conversation, where Randy and I talk about the power of reframing and how our circle of people can help us see the world to our advantage!

Links mentioned in today’s show:

Career Mastery Kickstart
May Busch, Host of Career Mastery Kickstart
Leo’s books: The Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do

Debunking Myths

Here’s the link to the article, “Put Your Best Foot Forward” published by The Smart Manager, Jan/Feb 2019!

Leo & Randy on the Holidays, Lessons From George H. W. Bush, and What’s Next!

As we close out the year and prepare for what’s next, Randy and Leo talk about the holidays, the many tributes to George H. W. Bush, and the importance of having a people plan in 2019!   Who you surround yourself with matters. Enjoy!