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Activate Your Potential with E3
Episode 16th December 2022 • Potential Leader Lab • Perry Maughmer
00:00:00 00:27:55

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Now, why does this matter? So I told you all about the concept. I told you. About where it came from. I told you about where it is. What it is. Now I'm going to tell you why it matters. Or at least why. I believe it matters. You're going to have to decide if you think it matters to you. So I believe it matters because one of the main responsibilities of leadership is teaching people how to think. Now, don't confuse that with teaching people what to think. That's common and lots of people like that. But, you know, back to the old thing, if I want your opinion, I'll give it to you. But leaders, fundamentally, you're trying to teach. People in your. Organization how to think. Now. You need to be acutely aware of how you think. And that includes understanding all of your biases, which, by the. Way, there's over. 180 at last count. So we have to understand our own biases and how we think. And teaching people how to think means providing them with. Frameworks. So they can make sense of data and opinions. We have to. Have a way to process. Things. And that also gives us a common language in a way of sharing our insights and conclusions equally. But if we don't have those, we're all coming at it. From different. Assumptions that. We never surface. So we never get to the real conversation. Because we can't get beyond our opinions and what we believe. Instead of having a framework that we can dump information into and all have some level of equality on understanding how we got there. This is all if you. Go back to fourth grade. Math when you when. You were in fourth or fifth grade and you did your. Math test. Every teacher. Tells you the same thing. Show your work. I don't care if you got the right answer. What I care about. Is how did. You get there? And as a leader, that's so. Critical in decision making. When I'm working with people, I don't. Care what your decision. Is, because, by the way, you can luck into the right decision. I want to know how you got there, because if I know how you got there and it's. A solid framework that you can use over and over again, then the outcome is not in play because you're going to have bad outcomes from time to time when you even when you make a great decision. Annie Dukes wrote a great. Book called Thinking in Bets, and she starts this off by saying, We conflate the decision quality with the decision outcome, and we have that's how we evaluate them. So if it ended, if it ended well, we say it's a good decision. And that's that's. Poor. Thinking, because here I'll give you an example. I run a red. Light and don't get in an accident. Didn't get in an accident. It's a good result. Running a red light, bad decision. So we have to think about these things separately. We have to think about the decision quality. Versus. The decision outcome. And that's what this is meant to. Do because we're focused. On the quality of the decision based on a. Framework. Not on the outcome, because sometimes good decisions have bad outcomes. And for those of you that follow. Sports. I'll take you back to Pete Carroll's decision in the Super Bowl to throw a pass on the two yard line. Got intercepted. Everybody, you know, the poor guy got grilled. If he would have if they would have completed that pass, he'd have been a genius. The decision quality was solid. The outcome was not. But it doesn't. You can't go back and question the decision just because of the outcome. So that's number one we have to give. We have to. Provide people with a framework. To try to help them understand how to think, number one. Number two. Acronym VUCA, Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. V. You see a. Came out of the military in the 1990s. Been around for a long time. That's our world. Our world that we live in is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. That's why we need a framework. That's why we need. To provide. People with a way on how they can think so they can move quickly. Now I'm going to expand on that a little. Bit, the rate of change that we're experiencing. So a world renowned futurist, Ray Kurzweil. He sees an exponential. Increase in the rate of. Change. And by the way, he's. Been writing over 87% of his predictions. So what he said is, if. You observers have truly. Internalized the implications of the fact. That the rate. Of change itself is. Accelerating. Now, he estimates that. The rate of. Change. Accelerates every. Decade. So in 20. Years from now, the rate. Of change will. Be four. Times what it is today. So we will have seen 20,000 years of change in this century. Speed matters, pace matters. If we have a framework. We can. Move faster because we're not recreating the wheel. Every time we face a challenge, which now this leads to. The Red Queen. Effect. So from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Everybody's. Kind of familiar with it as Alice in Wonderland. So remember the Red Queen? So what the Red. Queen effect is, it's looking through the lens of evolutionary biology. It's explained as a species must adapt and. Evolve not just for reproductive advantage, but also for. Survival, because competing organisms. Also are evolving. It means that you have to you have to run just as fast to stay in the same place. So the speed at which. You work will. Determine how well you survive, because everybody else is evolving as well. It's not just about you. I see this all the time with strategy in businesses. We spend so much time talking about what's going on. Inside our four walls. We don't talk about what's going on in the external environment. We don't spend enough time thinking about the client. Your customer, your supplier. The overall economic environment. All of those things matter, right? Because not only are we trying to evolve, everybody else is evolving, too. So we get into the Red Queen. Effect, which is. We're running faster and faster. Just to not fall behind. So we have to think about a different way to do this. And this gives us leverage. We can actually work a little smarter. Because the third. Point of this is we have. To have our. Own operating system. You know, we have to have something that we can fall back on. So we're not. Starting from scratch. Every time a challenge comes up. Now, I've seen this time and time again. Issue after. Issue gets solved with a unique solution, but it's the same issue solved. Months apart. So they're gaining no true value from. Solving the problem. No leverage, no synergy for the. Future because they don't take the time to. Address the root. Cause. They're so fixated on the symptom. And the reason, their perception of time, they don't have enough of it. So we just keep solving the. Same problem over and over again. But it's really just the symptom that's showing. Which is truly. Horribly. Inefficient. We don't have time to do that. So once I create a framework for. Thinking, I can use it to drop into. Any current challenge. And make sense of it for myself and others. This provides everyone with space. To. Breathe and think. Which, by the way, is one of the leader's main jobs, because you want to have time to step away and see what's. Trying to emerge from the. Situation we face. Much like the leader inside of us, the answer is always there. We just have to let it come forth. And using this ultimately increases our capacity because you can process more information in less time. And produce better, more effective results. In as well. So not only can we do things quicker, we get. A more high quality product. That's also scalable and sustainable. Back to my other point. You can teach it. Again. Remember. One of the main jobs of a leader is to teach people how to think. But you have. To have a framework in order to. Do that. So E three. Is a personal operating. System. Now, it enables us to evolve much more quickly and it's really based on a growth mindset. The great work by a great. Book by. Carol. Dweck, and there's five pieces of a growth mindset. So here they are. You believe that achievements are down to. Effort, not just inherent are due to effort, not inherent. Talent. So again, it's not just talent. It's effort. You're also willing to learn from your. Mistakes and find value in criticism. So let that sink in for a minute. I know that ultimately we can all intellectually find value in criticism. I think it's a struggle. It sure is for. Me to find the emotional component to finding value and criticism. Because when somebody comes up to you and says, hey, I have some I have some feedback for you, does anybody go, Yay, I can't wait. Tell me all about it. I'm so excited. Typically not. We typically say, I really didn't ask for your opinion, so you can just keep it to yourself. But we need it. We can't get better without it. But we're emotionally fragile. When it comes to taking it most of the time. You believe. That your intelligence and your ability can be developed? It's not static. They've proven this neuroplasticity in the last 20 years. They figured out that we're. Not hardwired our brains can produce. New cells, we can actually. Learn far into. Our seventies and eighties if we want to. So here's the thing We get to choose what we evolve in, which is an amazing thing. There's all kinds of. Of biological adaptations that take place with evolution. Nobody chooses those. We as humans can choose. We can choose to evolve and remember. What I ask you before. You just have to own the choice. If you don't want to, that is completely okay. And there is no judgment. Just realize you're. Making a choice. So the fourth part, you're willing. To ask questions and admit when you don't know something. This is a big one. Remember, we're talking about the five components of the growth mindset. The fourth one is you're willing to ask questions and admit when you don't know something. This is a big thing for leaders. A big thing there. One of the main things that you have to do as a leader is understand you don't know and be open and honest and okay with it, because again, your job is not to know everything that's not omniscience is. Not prerequisite for being a leader. And then the final piece is you seek out challenging task and you take on risk. You seek to put yourself in uncomfortable positions, doing things you don't know. Trying new stuff, learning new things, and that gets. Harder as you get older. We typically just in general, we stop doing it. As we age, we take. Fewer and fewer risks. We do fewer and fewer new things. Just ask yourself the question. It's an awesome. Question. I don't remember where I. Read it, but when's the last time you did something for the first time? Think about that for a little bit. Now, you certainly don't have to adopt E3 three for yourself, but if you don't, I really think you need. To find or develop your own growth framework or operating. System. If you want to become the leader you want to be. Now, I will tell you. I referenced it earlier. It requires deep work. Now, I want to define that for you, because Cal Newport actually wrote a book by the same name. And it's defined as professional activity performed in a state of distraction, free concentration that pushes. Your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new. Value and prove your skill and are hard to replicate. Professional activity performed in a state of distraction, free concentration that pushes your cognitive abilities to the limit. Essentially you're going to do something. Makes your head hurt. And if you're not doing something that makes your head hurt, you're not doing any deep work. And deep work is at the root of evolution. Now, before you begin any. Arduous journey or. Odyssey, you always have to do a couple of things. One is you have to take the time to. Train and you have to ensure you're properly prepared and have all the necessary resources. So again, before this isn't something you just dive into. If you're going to try to get to the top of Everest, if you're going to try to go to the peak of Mount Everest, you don't just start. Months, sometimes years of training to make sure you're properly prepared to have all of the necessary resources. Becoming the leader you're meant to be as no different requires the same preparation and planning. Now, here's the kicker. Here's the challenge we run into. The only true difference. Is we have to do it in real time. We don't. Have the luxury of. Practice time. Because our. Practice takes place in the heat of performance. Unlike a. Trip up Everest or the military. Or the top athletes. All of those people like if you think about the very top athletes you see, they practice 95% of the year and they play 5% of the year, which is awesome. They perform at the peak level. We don't get that same luxury. The effort for us. Is like changing the flat. Tire on a car while we're. Still driving it at 70 miles an. Hour. That's our. Situation. So we have to create, adapt processes that enable us to achieve that goal because we can't take days, weeks, months to do this. We can't say, I'm going to go do some deep work. I'll be back in a couple of months. Then work. You have to do it in the heat of performance. You have to do it while you're doing it. That's why so few do it. If it was easy, one of my one of the things I repeat and people get sick of me saying is. If it were easy, everybody. Would do it. And it's not and everybody doesn't. So here's my final thought. The potential. Leader lab. Is obviously not a physical location. It's a state of mind. And this means we have to be able to create the state of mind that. Supports our goals. So here, here are three. Thoughts I'll leave you with. So these are three quotes. Dan Millman said, You don't have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you. Now, Joyce Meyers looked at a little bit different, and I like her. Take on it. If you don't learn to control your thoughts, you will. Never learn how to control your behavior. And remember. If there's no change in behavior, there's no change. And then finally. I'm sure I read this. Somewhere, but I've been talking about it so long now that I just accredited to me. We don't believe things. Because they are true. They are true because we believe them. And that's really powerful. Because whatever you believe about yourself or other people. Is. Only true because you. Believe it. It's not a truth. It's an opinion. If you choose to believe something else about yourself, like if you go back to the growth mindset, if you if you believe that you're going to be a growth mindset person, that belief becomes instantly true. Because you believe it. Now, remember, everything needed to be a leader. Everything that you need to be the leader you are meant to be is already inside of you. It's your. Responsibility to. Embrace it because the world needs better leaders. And you can positively impact the emotional and cognitive states of those you care about, which is the first step to building. A better world for us all. So get back in the lab. Talk to you next time.