Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter. Every two weeks I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.
Two Ways To Dissolve Your Problems
Many of us have made a living and a career out of solving problems. What I am realising in the last few years is that there is something better than solving problems – it is dissolving them, or making them go away completely. I have found there are 2 ways to dissolve our problems:-
- Find and eliminate (or redesign) the context that “has the problem” – Any problem does not exist independent of the entity (person, organisation, etc) or the environment that has the problem. For example – I have a pen in my hand right now. The pen exists as a physical object independent of me. However, any problem is not physical like the pen. My problem only exists for “me” – or how I see things. An organisation’s problems also only exist for that organisation – or how that organisation looks at it.
If you remove or redesign the entity that “has the problem”, the problem can dissolve with it. The situation remains as it is, but it stops being a problem. Such an approach requires identifying our (or our organisation’s) blind spots. It requires questioning our own deeply held beliefs, identifying our mental models which block us from moving forward, and then deliberately replacing them.
When I started out on my own as a Leadership Coach with Deploy Yourself earlier this year, I had a big problem that “I am not good at sales” and it created a lot of anxiety and stress. However, with the help of my coach, I redesigned the context from “selling something” to “elevate leadership in every conversation I have”.
This has allowed me to not fall into the trap of traditional marketing and sales tactics which I hated, and instead, I have only relied on making difference to people in every conversation I have. This has enabled me to create an invite and referral only business without a lot of stress and anxiety and work with some very powerful and inspirational leaders.
- Take on a bigger problem – Another way to make your current problem go away is to take on a much bigger problem consciously. For example – One of my coachees was raising 500k USD for their charity and facing big problems in asking for money. After our coaching, he took on a much bigger problem of raising 5 million USD to make a larger impact, and suddenly all his previous problems have disappeared.
He might not hit the 5 million he had promised, but he will certainly overshoot the 500k he was going after initially. Today he is making single fundraising requests for 500k USD, and his confidence, ability, self-esteem, and credibility has already transformed compared to when we started working together.
Does that make sense? If anything is unclear from the above or it sparked a question, reply back. If you are thinking it can’t be that easy, remember I never said it would be.
The above is very simple when you understand it fully, but not easy. Reply back to share what you think. I read and respond to every reply.
Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me
5 Wrong ideas about work
Find out 5 wrong ideas about work in this article by Lesley. The problem arises when it’s actually the wrong idea for you but you fail to see that. This means you get unnecessarily stuck by a self-limiting worldview that wasn’t actually true for you.
- Work is the soul-sucking thing I do every day to get money.
- I need to do work I’m passionate about.
- I need to know exactly what I want to do with my life.
- I’m not qualified to do this work.
- I need this job because I need the money.
From the article “Wrong ideas about work”
Why managing uncertainty is a key leadership skill
If the last two years has shown us anything, it is that we are living in an uncertain and unpredictable world. COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief a crucial business skill: the ability to navigate uncertainty.
That means knowing what you can control and what you cannot, aligning your company and employees with a shared purpose, holding to a clear vision of where you want the company to be, and trusting your team to help your company get there.
Because nobody knows what is next, no CEO can reasonably be taken to task for not knowing everything. That provides an opening for leaders who have deployed a top-down, command-and-control leadership style to switch to a mindset that helps them and their teams better navigate uncertain conditions.
The biggest challenge for many business leaders, in Leavitt’s view, is to see their role as orchestrating, not commanding. That means making sure your employees are in touch with their own desires and potential just as much as your business is aligned with its sense of purpose.
From an article on strategy+business – Why managing uncertainty is a key leadership skill
7 Most Powerful Investments You Can Make
What comes to your mind when you are asked about the most powerful investments you should make? Is it stocks? Is it bonds? Or a new house? Real estate is the safest investment, you might have heard.
If you ask me, I would say, neither!
Over the course of my life, with its few successes and numerous failures, I have come to see another type of investment that will give you the maximum returns – investing in yourself.
All that is good thinking, but I have discovered that there are some simple investments we can make in ourselves which we tend to miss or neglect. And for most of these are not even financial. You don’t need to have money to do this kind of investing.
“Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. If you’ve got talents, no one can take them from you.” — Warren Buffett
Investing in yourself is a continuous process. The effort and time you put in to invest in yourself consistently will determine the quality of life you would be leading in the future.
Below are the 7 most powerful investments you can make:-
- Reading books
- Foundational knowledge of how the world works
- Nurturing ‘positive’ habits
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Trusting people by default
- Knowing what you stand for
From an article from my desk – The 7 Most Powerful Investments You Can Make. They Are Not What You Think
A Face-to-Face Request Is 34 Times More Successful Than an Email
A new study finds that people tend to overestimate the power of their persuasiveness via text-based communication and underestimate the power of their persuasiveness via face-to-face communication.
In one experiment, 45 participants were instructed to ask 10 strangers to complete a survey. Half the participants made the request over email, and half made it face-to-face.
Participants who made requests over email felt just as confident about the effectiveness of their requests as those who made their requests face-to-face, and yet the face-to-face requests were 34 times more effective than the emailed ones.
From an article on HBR titled A Face-to-Face Request Is 34 Times More Successful Than an Email
That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or just want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,