Leadership

Old School = Love has no place in business.

New World = Love is the only reason to do business.

This book will lead you through how to incorporate your passionate side with your professional life. When you can merge your passions and your paycheck that is everyone’s dream come true! Then work is play. The key is to bring more of who you are as a unique person with certain passions and interests into your work relationships. In the book Tim Sanders teaches us how to do this through three different levels of becoming what he terms a “Lovecat.”

  1. Knowledge
  2. Network
  3. Compassion

First up is increase your Knowledge so that you hold exponential value for everyone you meet. You do this not just by reading more than the average person, but reading with intention. By that I mean reading to extract and learn new information to the point that you can teach others. Here are some action items he suggests to build your knowledge.

  • Read books to improve yourself and add to your knowledge base that will help you in your job and your relationships.
  • When you read a book, in addition to tabbing important sections and underlining, take notes just like you did back in school. Create your own cliff notes for the book either within the book itself right on the blank pages at the front or back, or in a notebook. The goal of the cliff notes is to be able to read your notes to get the Big Ideas of the book quickly without needing to reread the book.
  • As you are reading the book picture three people, situations or conversations that could have benefited from the ideas in the book. How would you have articulated the concepts of the book to those people? How could this information have helped them?
  • After you read for 30 minutes take a break to let your mind wander and the thoughts settle in. Many books with big ideas shouldn’t be consumed rapid nonstop.
  • Ask yourself how you can use this information to add value to the lives of others?
  • When you do mention a book you think would help another person follow up with an e-mail, or if the relationship is very important to you consider sending them the actual book.

Second focus is to work on expanding and deepening your Network. The purpose of the network is not to see who can help you, but quite the opposite – How can you help them? How can you connect them to add value, expecting nothing in return for yourself?

  • Ask for and exchange more cards. Every time you meet someone new offer your card. If they don’t have cards offer the back of yours for them to write down their information.
  • After meeting the new contact put their information into your contact system with notes about where you met, who you know in common, the conversation you had and if you know what that person is struggling with currently.
  • Make connections and introductions by deep listening. If you listen intently you will pick up on what someone’s current struggle is. Review your network and ask yourself who can help.
  • Introduce if there is someone valuable that can help. Introduce via person to person meeting or an email introduction of why you feel the two would benefit from meeting.
  • After the introduction exit the conversation quickly, either physically or electronically. This is not about you. Its about them. You only create a barrier to their unique connection.
  • That’s it. All you did was the introduction to help two people you know and care about. You get satisfaction from being truly helpful to people you know. You become trusted by others in your network due to the selfless actions and experiences they’ve had with you.

Final focus is Compassion. In business we are often taught to withhold our feelings and retain a certain stoicism in our dealings with people. It’s just business after all, noting personal. Well, that’s where the world is changing. Business is becoming more and more personal. People want to not just transact, but to experience. The Experience Economy starts with you. What is other’s experience of you? What about you are you sharing that makes others want to do business with you? The author states “By expressing your compassion you create an experience that people remember.”

  • The first step to adding more compassion is tune in your sensing skills. Start paying more attention to body language of others. Notice the way they interact with others and how open or closed they seem to be in different situations. Sensing is also paying attention to timing. Our conversations with others have certain moments where more connection is possible. When you ask others “How are you doing?”, do you truly tune in and listen? Could you follow that up with “Tell me more. What are you struggling with right now?” Or the author suggests when you are asked this question of how you are what if you answered with “I’m only okay if you’re okay.” Wouldn’t that floor someone and instantly communicate their worth?
  • The second step to adding more compassion is through expressing yourself with more caring. This is always done with authenticity only. Don’t ever express something you don’t feel. Make true eye contact. So many of us avoid eye contact in business meetings, choosing to shuffle papers or look at someone’s forehead when they speak. Look into their eyes, listen for understanding.
  • Another way to express more is to smile. Smile not just the fake quick flash, but smile from your soul. Deeply share your joy with another.
  • You can add more warmness to your in person greetings and e-mail salutations.
  • In conversations with people you can frame them. Explicitly state that you care about them and you are committed to helping them achieve their goals and find happiness. “I’ve always liked you and I am committed to your success.” is a distinct promise on a personal level from you to them.
  • The author also gives examples of when physical touch such as a two handed handshake or even a hug can be appropriate in the right setting with someone you’ve already established significant connection and trust with.

This type of interaction raises the stakes. You are moving beyond the functional exchange to a personal human level exchange. Keep in mind that these are personal promises you are making. Follow through is crucial, so don’t over promise if you can’t deliver. When you make it personal with someone they will take it personal if you fail them.

We’ve all seen macho, gruff men exchange love during heightened events like winning or losing a national championship. Why wait to express your compassion for other human beings in your life? Do it now. Make it part of your brand that you deliver on.

Integrate your personal mission on this earth to love others with your business mission and you won’t be able to tell the difference between your work life and your personal life. You will get to be the true authentic you everywhere you are, and what a wonderful gift that is to both yourself and the world.

 

 

Feel like there is never enough time in the day? Do you run around your day with a constant To-Do list spilling out of the corners of your brain? As you enter a room you notice the school pictures that still need to be put into frames (mental note #1). Then you round the corner […]

Continue Reading