April 13, 2010

The other thing...

About the other thing....Integrity.

Not as a morality, but as a workability and being true to who you are.

Martial artists, and great leaders operate from a foundation of integrity that is so rock solid you can feel it when speaking to them. When they say something will happen, you know it will. They do too because they won't stop until it does.

Our sensei, or teacher, is one of the highest ranking Shotokan black belts in the world. Packed into his 5'6" frame is a mountain of integrity that is awe-inspiring to be around. People around him naturally confront their own gaps and rapidly fill them. There is no saying no.

He doesn't say anything about it. It's not a spoken part of the training. It is as much as part of the room as the walls and floor. There is a simple elegance to it because it's a no-excuse way to be in life.

That no-excuse commitment to integrity, to being the one who says I will do this and make this happen is tremendously powerful. It has you go out and achieve the unimaginable. You'll never be the same.

Try this on. No matter how accomplished you are, there is always the next level. Otherwise you've just built the box, are laying in it and waiting for someone to put the lid on.

Find something, anything, that you would like to do but think you can't. ANYTHING. For those of you saying, "Nah, I've done it or know I can." Get out of the box and find something. Find something that you think you can't do and do it. Keep at it until you succeed.

Your life will never be the same.

As a leader, you are the clearing for your people to think, act and be a certain way. You create the culture, the conversations and habits of your team or company.
What would your company be like if it were populated by people who no longer used the words try, can't and no?

Isn't it worth finding out?

What is it about those guys?

As we were preparing for our teleseminar next week, I asked Paul "What is it about Martial Artists that is such a big deal? And what does it have to do with leadership?"

I probably shouldn't share that with you but I may not be the only one wondering.

Even if I think I know the answer, I like to question from a beginner's mind. I find it's a great way to get to another layer.

So, here are the two main themes we distinguished.

First thing about a martial artist is the sense of humility. I'm not talking about the people who train and use it to act tough, or the ones who are scared because they don't know what they're doing.

I mean a true martial artist. There's a story about a man who, when he earned his first level black belt, bowed. When he earned his second level, he bowed lower. And, when he earned his third level black belt, he bowed even lower.

That is the soul of the martial artist. You know the power you possess and the responsibility that goes with it. There's nothing to prove and nowhere to get to. You are who you are and are perfectly comfortable with your ability. Your goal is to surpass yourself. And you do. Then you raise the bar, knowing you are raising the bar.

Most people forget they've raised the bar so feel like they're constantly at the starting gate!

Martial artists have that combination of humility and quiet confidence because they experience and see wildly improbable achievements. Like watching a man jump over another person who was standing in front of him, with the same nonchalance as we might express walking around. Okay, his way was quicker.

Knowing yourself and what you can do, without false humility, is the first step towards gaining real power and being a great leader.

From there, you can let go of worrying about yourself and focus on others.

Fear, that's for the other guy.

Join us on our free teleseminar The Warrior Mindset in business - Monday April 20. To register go to http://www.thehpinstitute.com

April 7, 2010

Situational Awareness

One of the questions I've been getting about our upcoming class and training is "What is a Warrior Manager? Does this mean I have to hit someone?"

Good question and no, you don't.

Many people mistake martial arts as being purely a physical discipline. In fact, the physical aspect of martial arts is only the tangible manifestation of the mental training. This training is hugely valuable when applied to business, as it starts with a developing a high level of situational awareness.

Inside of being acutely aware of what's so, versus your concerns, stories and projections of what might be happening, you can be far more appropriately responsive with much less stress. Imagine that time when you were faced with a challenge that really freaked you out. Now, imagine being really clear, calm and focused when dealing with that challenge. You would have been far more powerful and effective.

I remember the first day I sparred with black belts when I just earned my brown. We had to move across the room towards our partner punching or kicking randomly as fast as we could. Then it was their turn going back. I was so frightened I nearly fell over myself. My opponent move so fast I could barely think!

As my situational awareness increased, I calmed down considerably and time seemed to stand still. When someone came at me, I was able to move with ease and grace in dealing with whatever they meted out. If I was aware of a conscious thought it usually was "I have all the time in the world to respond."

Before you go into any situation, take a moment and clear your mind of any negative thoughts or insecurities. Remember, they are just your opinion at that moment and not necessarily based on fact. Perception is projection and we can trick ourselves into believing anything we focus on. Just shift your focus on the positives.

Then, keep the positive thoughts. Focus on what is happening this moment. Give up any projections, uncertainties, predictions and focus on the now.

Notice how much clearer you are. Notice how much easier it is to respond effectively.

It's your first step to being a Warrior Manager.

We'll be discussing this and more on our free tele-class April 20 at 12noon. if you want to register, simply go to our website at http://www.thehpinstitute.com.