Author Archive for: ‘Leslie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer’
Nobody said it was going to be easy… to get through school, to find that first job, to finish that race, to deal with disappointment, to lose a loved one. It is anything but easy. And, yet, as we experience (or maybe better put, survive) these life events, we are growing: up, older, wiser, and perhaps more at peace with the unending number of things we cannot control. Life and even survival, physically and emotionally, call on us to keep moving.
“One can choose to go back towards safety or forward towards growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
Who doesn’t love to hear a guest say, “that was a perfect meal”? But, how many times have you heard that from one guest, only to have another say “that meal was meh.” This happens all the time because food is personal. Some like spicy, some not so much. Some like steak, some not so much. So to preserve our inner peace, we have to lose this idea that we and our food must be perfect. Perfection, like beauty, rests in the eye of the beholder. And, there are some downsides to chasing it:
- Creating anything without flaw or defect (if it’s even possible) takes more time, doing and redoing. Most people don’t recognize perfection making those redos a waste of valuable energy and resources.
- It’s a “breeding ground for my way or the highway thinking which is a death knell for diversity of thought, opinion, and perspective.” It reduces playfulness and willingness to take risk. Even worse, it can leave people feeling inferior and unappreciated.
- It will make you sick: perfectionists are at greater risk for depression, high blood pressure, anxiety.
So let’s do our very best, treat everyone with unrelenting kindness, accept good enough, and rejoice that tomorrow is…another meal!
I’m a big fan of The 5 Chairs (and Louise Evans). The second chair is self-doubt (the hedgehog), and so this article caught my eye: what to do when you doubt yourself as a leader. As leaders, we’re all human and we all suffer from self-doubt from time to time. It’s what you do in those situations that matters most. The article offers some tips for managing this common feeling:
Breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs. Sometimes you need to get to a low point to make the adjustments you need to move to the next level in your personal development.
Ride the Wave. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious. Self-doubt is natural, common, and often a sign of humility. Probe what you’re feeling. When am I doubtful? Who am I with when I feel it most? In what situations?
Share with someone you trust. Sharing allows you to process out loud and to hear outside perspective.
If you can’t change a situation, you have to change yourself. Practice focus and discipline in your work and try to do at least one thing every day to fuel your sense of accomplishment. Over time, it will boost your self-confidence.
- Share your intent up-front
- Pause to consider the impact of your messages – look for cues that you may have been misunderstood and talk about it
- If your impact was not as intended, don’t over-explain your intent, start empathizing. “I can see how my message came across that way.”
- Remember this: we read emails and texts in a tone of voice, and imagining the other party’s facial expression. These assumptions can be very wrong. Don’t let them carry you away.
- Alternative tools are great, but….keep your “pick up the phone” radar turned on and listen to it!
What? Niksen is Dutch for “nothing,” and it appears in this article, The Case for Doing Nothing. Being busy gets confused with being important and it’s causing us all issues, some of them major like burnout (especially for millennials), anxiety disorders, and stress-related diseases.
Daydreaming — an inevitable effect of idleness — literally makes us more creative, better at problem-solving…more productive.
Tips to help you stop and be:
- Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose
- Be unapologetic that you are doing…nothing
- Sitting still might be uncomfortable at first, practice
- Create the right place – devices out of reach, a perching spot you like (at home, at work, in a park…)
Get busy niksening.
“Success doesn’t come from playing to your strengths. It comes from playing your strengths in the right situations.”
This article references a study where co-workers rated their managers in four leadership areas: taking charge, empowering others, creating a vision and executing. They used the Goldilocks question: did the managers do too little, too much, or the right amount of each behavior. More than half were overdoing at least one behavior. Guess which one? Their strength.
Ambitious managers? Overdid decisiveness and underdid empowerment. Sensitive managers? The reverse: they were too encouraging and not assertive enough. Inquisitive managers overemphasized innovation and underemphasized results. And conscientious managers also did the reverse: they were so busy trimming the weeds that they paid too little attention to the big picture.
“Often our greatest weaknesses are the other side of our strengths…if you’re a spellbinding storyteller, you need to ask whether a dinner party is an ideal time to perform!”
More areas to practice self-awareness and self-management. Day by day, we are humbled by all the opportunities to learn, grow and improve.
We have been talking a lot about EQ, lately: self-awareness, self-management, be kind and empathize with others (always).
But, what about PQ or BQ? I’m talking about physical or body intelligence. Recently I found myself saying to someone half my age: keep in mind that your body of tomorrow is a direct result of the choices you make today. And, alas, a day later I saw this article in my news feed: exercise helps you live longer no matter when you start.
The good news continues. It is never too late. This is true of EQ and PQ. If you really want to have better relationships (now and tomorrow), take a step forward… maybe that first step is as simple as asking more questions and listening. If you want to feel better or make an investment in that body of tomorrow, take a step forward… whether it’s getting a move on or kicking a habit that no longer serves you. It is never… too late.
Maintaining (or improving) our relationships, work and personal, is directly tied to how emotionally intelligent we are. And how emotionally intelligent we are starts with our self-awareness. But how easy is it to be self-aware? How accurate are you at diagnosing whether your mood and behaviors are picking people up or dragging them down? Before you interact with others (arrive at work or walk in the restaurant to meet your best friend) check in with yourself. How am I feeling: positive and upbeat? Tired and deflated? Full of dread or doubt? Thankful? Resentful?
“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” —Eckhart Tolle
Can you be kind, positive and gracious, and have conflict or need to share difficult feedback? Dealing with conflict in a constructive fashion is a form of kindness — to the parties involved, to the team, and to the organization. But, research shows that 95% of the workforce (that means each one of us) avoid difficult conversations. And…every avoided conversation costs 8 hours of productivity. Yikes, how do we do better? Conflict Competence is a skill to be developed. A growth mindset means believing you can improve your abilities. If you feel you “aren’t good” at difficult, honest, direct conversations – try again, you will get better at it. Talk to someone you admire in this regard. And, empower your team to do the same.
We all struggle with conflict, but the path to becoming conflict competent is to first adopt the right mindset, learn the skills and practice. With the right support system, a company can shift from a costly culture of avoidance to a prosperous culture of quick course-correction.
We talk a lot about “brand” at MG. Lately, we’ve put even more focus on what that means because it’s way more than chef dude or interesting composed salads or signs on kraft paper. Yes, those are things we hope people recognize us for, but it’s way more. This article – What does your corporate brand stand for – reinforces why this is so important. Our brand is what we stand for and how others perceive we are doing with that (our reputation!). It’s critical that a company know their “brand core”: what do we promise and how do we express that?
We have ten core values, but they are all summed up in our overarching goal: to make a difference every day. From how we appreciate people to how we love food and our planet…this will never go out of style.