The Energy Quadrant – Where Mojo and Mastery Meet

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The Energy Quadrant – Where Mojo and Mastery Meet

M2 Man

I regularly catch the train from Coomera to Brisbane. It’s about a 55 minute trip and useful “thinking” time.  This week I was reflecting on Daniel Pink’s great TED talk on what motivates and engages people at work. It’s been a while since I reviewed this but Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose were three key factors.

If Mastery has an impact on Mojo, what are the psychological and behavioural implications of this in the workplace and with careers? I like developing models and after a bit of ‘doodling’, I came up with the following.  I have called it the M2 Energy Model.

m2 energy model

Quadrant 1 – Mastery: I see so many professional people in this quadrant.  They usually are highly experienced, have high skill level but have lost their mojo. Many are tired, they are often bored and lack self-motivation. Their energy is gone. They are no longer engaged in their work.

Maybe you have been in the one position or business for too long, or you are managing people like this. If you are or you have staff in this quadrant there are serious implications for management, careers and job satisfaction.  The cost to you, your team and the organisation is high.

I find people who stay in this situation are unmotivated, their careers are in limbo and they are usually very unfulfilled (and unproductive).  They feel trapped and stuck!

Is that you or do you know someone like this?

This is a dangerous position to stay in for too long. To get back to Quadrant 4 is not easy without a coach or mentor.  Resigning is not always the answer because the reasons leading to this situation may not magically change by obtaining a new job.  And you may be of an age where picking up another position is frighteningly difficult.

Whether you are employer, manager or employee, I strongly recommend you take serious and immediate action.

Here are a few action tips and steps to help move you to Quadrant 4 – High Mastery and High Mojo.

Your behaviour is governed by your thinking so it’s imperative to change your thinking patterns.

  • Start noticing your thoughts and behaviours.  This is the first step to changing your thinking and in-turn your behaviour. Are you spending too much time “below the line?”
  • Ask yourself the questions – “what do I want to do with my life?”  “What do I want my life to stand for?”
  • Invest time into being mindful. Become focussed on self-observation rather than self-absorption!
  • Reignite your vision and write some SMART goals for your career or business.
  • Get a coach or mentor to help you set and keep goals. You coach will also help you form new habits and break unwanted ones. There is a wise old saying “We are what we repeatedly do”.  There is another old proverb which goes something like this… “As a person thinks in his/her heart so he/she will become”.

Over long periods, our patterns of thinking become etched into the billions of neurons in our brains, connecting them in unique entrenched patterns. The first step to changing your thinking is to observe your thinking.  TOP Performers practice mindfulness.

So start noticing those thoughts and see just how they are serving you and others. It may come as quite a shock to you.

You may not realise it but your lack of Mojo, despite your high level of competence, has a draining and detrimental effect on others in your work-place. It’s impossible to plateau for long.  You are either “green and growing” or “brown and dying”.

 

 

Quadrant 2 – Meaninglessness: Where there is low mastery and low mojo there is a serious problem.

I was in this quadrant once, not because I was useless but because it was the wrong job fit for me.

It was the most off-purpose time of my working life.  I was trapped, hugely troubled, very stressed and wondered if I could ever survive the trauma.

I did by gaining a position in my preferred career (and with an employer of choice and location of choice).

If you are in this position or you have staff in this quadrant, the personal and professional cost is enormous. Up-skilling, retraining, moving into a role that aligns with your skill set or just being made redundant are some options. There is no room for complacency here. Massive and immediate action is required.

Quadrant 3 – Mojo: You are such a great prospect when you have the right attitude, are self-motivated, enthusiastic and have high mojo.  For many recruiters and employers, this factor is often the one first sought. It’s easier to teach mastery than to instil mojo.

Many people start their careers, businesses or new positions from this quadrant. They are full of excitement and passion but have not had the time to develop their skills to a high level.

Despite the high mojo, there is tentativeness here.

Again, a mentor or coach is vital.  If you are a manager and have people in this quadrant, don’t be fooled by their enthusiasm and natural desire to excel.  They may be stressed because they lack the technical expertise to do the work.  They need coaching and training and careful management through this start-up or on-boarding period.

Quadrant 4 – Mastery and Mojo: When mastery and mojo meet we are engaged in meaningful work.  We are on-purpose! We just love what we are doing and are great at it. We have a high sense of contribution and invest a lot of time and energy into our work.

If you are in this quadrant then that is fantastic.  But be warned!  You are a prime candidate for burnout. More than anyone else, you need to work on your life plan and ensure your business or career fits this. Work-life integration is essential.

If you are managing people who are in this quadrant, your responsibility is huge.

So many top performers leave their organisation because of burn out or being taken for granted.

Managers often ignore this group because they are doing the job so well – everything is ‘rosy’!  While they are highly engaged, they still need ‘a sense of belonging’ and want to be told they are valued and appreciated.

Ongoing training, extension, new challenges and goals are very important to this group.  Like all highly effective people, they need a coach to extend them, hold them accountable, be a sounding board and be their ‘cheer leader’.

Take time to look at this model and to review where you and your individual team members are at.  It will have profound implications for your energy levels, your job satisfaction and your general well-being.

If you are managing staff or teams, this will also be an important diagnostic, evaluative and generative model for you to improve the purpose, productivity and performance of your people.

© Dr Edward Gifford

Freeing Yourself from Divided Interests

Divided Interests

When do I say “yes” and when do I say “no”?

Having recently had another birthday I got thinking about life, time and what I might do with the remainder of my earthly time frame.

None of us knows what this time frame might be but as we get older we sure know that our time on earth goes very quickly.

It’s a bit scary as well as sobering and challenging!

What I do know is that each of us has a Purpose and we are called to live this out in all aspects of our lives whether it is work, family, relationships, finances or in our physical, intellectual and spiritual life accounts.

I also am aware that confusing and divided interests have a high cost.

… The more divided our interests, the more
diluted our lives can become …

Every relationship we nurture, every activity in which we engage, every cause we get involved with, and every decision about what we will own and where we will live has a time, energy, concentration, and often financial cost attached to it. They all require some investment of life. The more divided our interests, the more diluted our lives can become.

To use a business analogy, the advice consistently received and given at business marketing seminars and workshop is to ensure your target market is “an inch wide and a mile deep”. Using a scatter gun approach to business is costly both in terms of time and money. A laser beam is more effective than a fluorescent light when it comes to focussing on your target market!

… Knowing your number one core want or top priority
is exhilarating and freeing …

I don’t want to push the analogy too far. But I am suggesting that our life in general should be like knowing our targeting market. We need to use a laser beam when it comes to investing our time wisely and intentionally in each of our seven life “accounts”. Knowing your number one core want or top priority for each, is exhilarating and freeing.

Your life will no longer be “out of control” nor will you get pulled in a thousand different directions as you live up to others’ expectations.

 

Silhouette
Here is an example
 of someone who undertook this process as part of the On-Purpose® Personal Leadership and Coaching Program.

After brainstorming his wants in each of the seven life accounts (usually around 12 to 16 for each life area) he developed his ‘core’ or number one want for each. These were his heart’s desires and reflected his current season of life. (Our wants and priorities do change as we find ourselves in different circumstances and as we transition to different life seasons).

Life Account (LA): Vocational/Career
Core Want or Top Priority (CW): Work to be a creative expression of my life’s meaning

LA: Spiritual
CW: Be closer to “god”

LA: Family
CW: Become a stronger leader in my family

LA: Physical/Health/Recreational
CW: Feeling radiant

LA: Social/Friends
CW: Invest time with those who energise and uplift me

LA: Intellectual
CW: Being creative – researching, writing and sharing

LA: Financial
CW: Develop wisdom in my attitude and use of money

LA: Other
CW: Honestly confront my relationship with “Tammy” (alias)

Now you might see this as a fluorescent light across his life but over 100 “wants” were lasered down to one for each of his life accounts. Through using the On-Purpose® Tournament Process he was able to move from confusion to clarity. (Each of these was turned into an On-Purpose® SMART goal with accompanying action steps to achieve these).

This process can give you profound insights into your life and confidence to move in the direction of your chosen visions, missions and values.

These of course are not your Purpose but they nevertheless should align with it.

… We can live with clarity and not in a state of confusion …

So when we get clarity around what matters most in our life, we no longer need to march to the beat of other people’s drums. We can live with clarity and not in a state of confusion.

What will be certain is that you will not be heard to say …“my life is out of control” and that is because you are free from divided interests.

You will be able to confidently, clearly and more consistently say “yes” to your carefully considered top priorities and “no” more often to those things that take you off track, drain your energy and distract you from aligning your life to your Purpose and core values.

… your life is too important to be left to chance …

So, how about undertaking an “audit” on your life? Divided interests are costly and your life is too important to be left to chance, distracting projects and unnecessary anxieties.

Maybe it’s time for you to re-examine your relationships, vocations, activities, commitments, possessions, and living arrangements and to find what you want most from life.

Are you up for the challenge?

As Socrates once famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living!”

Maybe right now you are wanting to manage your life better and get the important things done; have more time with your partner, family and friends; unshackle the thinking that has held you back; set clear, purposeful goals in your seven “life accounts”; do the things you really want to do and get more fun back into your life.

… be clear about what you want, prioritise these,
action them and implement them …

Our On-Purpose® Life Planning and Coaching Program will lead you to your core wants in all areas of your life.

Our unique tools and processes ensure that you will be clear about what you want, prioritise these, action them and implement them.

You will gain a clear vision for each of your seven life “accounts”, you will have clear missions for your life and values that are in alignment with your purpose, visions and missions.

Now how powerful is that?

So if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired or if you would like clarity, wisdom and support in planning a life that is on-purpose, we would love to help.

For more information about how this can become a reality for you please send me an email or give me a call.

© Dr Edward Gifford
Principal Consultant and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer)

Four secret strategies to ensure you are the last to be fired!

Girl

In this blog, I would like to share with you four successful strategies to ensure you are a TOP (The On-Purpose) Performer and thereby help “bullet proof” your career.

In a previous blog I explored the difference between a Me Inc! or Me Stink! Mindset. As an employee or team member you will usually demonstrate either one of these in the way you consistently serve your customers and clients. With a Me Stink! Mindset you react below the line nearly always blaming rather than taking responsibility for your thinking, feelings attitudes and behaviours.

By contrast, when you respond to your environment with a Me Inc! Mindset, you proactively respond above the line, assuming responsibility and acting as if you were the owner or manager of the organisation.  You see yourself as having a business within the business.

OAR

If you get this and implement it in your current position and throughout your career, you will be seen as a TOP Performer and this will go a long way to ensure that you will be the last to be fired in an uncertain and competitive careers market.

Here are four strategies and some check points to think about and action so it becomes just part of who you are in the workplace. And of course make you stand out!

When you have a ME Inc! or Think Inc! Mindset you:

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Thinking, Feelings, Attitudes and Behaviour

With so much negativity and “blaming” going on around us it is easy to slip into these patterns ourselves, especially if you are in a competitive work environment where everyone is trying to protect their own back.

Consider how you score against these check points. Do you usually…

  • Display a high degree of self-responsibility, accountability and ownership for your thinking patterns, attitudes and behaviours?
  • Treat negative outcomes as learning experiences, not failures?
  • Respond in an optimistic way to day-to-day challenges?
  • Seek ways to help your employer or manager accomplish their goals? (You can do this by figuring out how your employer can make money, save money, grow sales, create a better working environment, improve customer service and innovate).
  1. Develop a long term perspective

I know that it is not fashionable to stay too long in one position. But employers know how expensive it is to replace you.  Typically, they will have invested a lot of money recruiting and on-boarding you into your new position. They want to know that they have made a wise investment into the future of the organisation or the business. In the interview they will be wanting to find out if you really want the position because they don’t want to repeat the process six months down the track. So what does taking a long term perspective mean for you as an employee?

Do you usually …

  • Think beyond the present to secure a successful future?

Don’t be tempted to exchange your life for a pay cheque (if you can possibly help it). You want to make sure that any position you take is alignment with your life purpose, career goal, values, career anchors, core strengths and transferable skills.

  • Maintain perspective through the pain and pleasure of work and life and not quit when things don’t go your way?

It’s tempting to look for another position when things get tough in the workplace.  You may be experience conflict with a colleague, feel you are not being heard, being overworked and undervalued or just not receiving the job satisfaction you had hoped for. Running from any of these is not the answer in the first instance.  As you well know, the same situations are just as likely to occur in another positon.  So ask yourself, what is the learning experience here?  What is the invitation in this situation for me to learn and change?  What is the universe asking me to learn through this situation? There may be times where you need to ‘cut and run’ but make sure it is not your default reaction.

  • Seek new opportunities to learn, develop and grow personally and professionally?

This sounds like common sense. But it doesn’t take long to be socialised into a workplace culture and to settle into a comfort zone.  Seek opportunities for you to grow as a person and a leader. Expand your horizons and think about being successful, profitable, and sustainable long term?

 

  1. Seek to Add Value

Now I know you might think that this is not your business and you will get paid at the end of the week anyway.  If you are just exchanging your life for a pay cheque you have a Stink Inc! not a Think Inc! Mindset (Unless of course you don’t have the luxury of self-actualising and have been forced through circumstances to put food on the table and to pay the mortgage).

Adding value really makes the world go around and will hugely benefit you, your employer, manager and organisation.

Do you usually…

  • Seek to add value by constantly looking to improve the situation, solve problems and continually seek to make a difference.  You and or your team will always benefit because you just make life better. A TOP performer with a ME INC! Mindset continually looks for ways to add value to relationships and business. What can you do in your position or business to add value?
  • Seek and create opportunities for yourself or your team to serve, influence and grow?
  • Think as a team player and use your strengths to complement other members of your Team?
  • Display an honest, passionate, open-minded, creative and committed attitude? (At the end of the day, with a ME INC! Mindset you seek to serve yourself and others in meaningful work.
  1. Adopt a sales and marketing mindset

When most people think of sales they think of the hard sell. But adopting a sales and marketing mindset regardless of the position you hold within the organisation is crucial if you want to stand out from other members of your team and be the last to be laid off.

I have come across so many who say “I just work here”.  When you think like the owner of a business or if you were to pretend to come back into your role as a consultant, what would you do more of and do less of?  One important characteristic of a Think Inc! Mindset is to always be on the look out to promote your business or organisation.

So…do you usually…

  • Treat everyone you meet as a customer, a potential customer or someone who could refer a customer?
  • Think that whenever you are in the front line delivering a service to customers you are in a sales and marketing position regardless of what you do? (I heard the other day in response to this – “I’m just an… employee, it’s not my job to seek business for my employer”. That is Stinking Thinking or having a ME STINK! Mindset. Try to reframe your Mindset to one of running your own profitable business within the business.  Unless the business or organisation is productive and profitable, you will soon be out of a job or the business will go broke).
  • Seek to be ambassadors for your business or organisation? (Think about the way you talk about your employer, the way you dress, the language you use and the ideas you express)

Stop and take a moment to think.  Is this a lot of croc or what? Who actually benefits when you have a Me Inc! or Think Inc! mindset?

  1. You benefit – you are excited at being engaged in meaningful work and feel fulfilled, satisfied and are more productive and able to achieve results. You are making a difference!
  2. The team and your co-workers benefit by being more productive, engaged, considerate and cohesive. The team is making a difference!
  3. Your family benefits.  You don’t come home each night and kick the dog as you walk through the door.  The positive ripple effect of you being happy at work and on-purpose is enormous.
  4. The business owner, manager or CEO benefits. Financially the business is growing and being more productive and purposeful. With the business being more profitable, you, by default have greater job security. Business owners are encouraged to see staff growing, uniting and excelling. They become more confident with the success of business and can plan for future growth.
  5. If you have suppliers then they will benefit also.  Makes sense doesn’t it? They are guaranteed continuity of their product or service.
  6. And of course Shareholders will benefit through great profitability, performance and productivity

So being a TOP Performer with a ME INC! mindset is transformational and will go a long way to ensure that you are the “first on and last off”.

© Dr Edward Gifford
CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Office)

Are You Caught in the Work Trap?

man trapped in mouse trap

What are you doing with your weekends?

Three things promoted me to write this article.

First, the realisation that I need to get my working life into perspective and to practice what I preach!

Second, an article I recently read by Travis Bradberry on ‘How successful people work less and get more done’.

Thirdly, a few weeks ago I had a complete weekend off – went boating, caught some fish, walked and talked with my wife Angela and our chocolate brown labrador – Poppy, (yes, dogs talk too) and generally chilled out.

Nice!

So much so that Angela and Poppy have talked about it nearly every day since!

And I want to do that more often as increasingly I’m working longer hours and often over weekends too! (Those of you who own a business or have high responsibility as an employee know how easily it is to get trapped into 24/7).

I think there is a serious condition called the Work Trap and we need time to ‘unplug’ (no longer ‘unwind’) from the day-to-day to get more perspective, think more deeply and reflect on the bigger picture of our lives.

… people who work as much as 70 hours per week
only achieve the same amount as people who work 55 hours

new study from Stanford found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the work week exceeds 50 hours and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours there’s no point in working any more. Apparently, people who work as much as 70 hours per week (or more) only achieve the same amount as people who work 55 hours.

Successful people know the importance of shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities.

Those who have participated in our Power of Your Purpose programs, will recall the activity where we work together on building your ideal On-Purpose day or weekend. Both of these create space and quality time for the things that matter most – your core wants and top priorities which align with your Purpose and Values.

This might be less difficult than you think!

Creating Life Integration on Weekends

 

Activities that successful people do to create life integration on weekends

So, drawing on the post by Travis Bradberry, here are practical things that successful people do on the weekend to re-enter work on Monday morning feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

  1. Disconnect
    Disconnecting is the most important weekend strategy on this list, because if you can’t find a way to remove yourself electronically from your work Friday evening through Monday morning, then you’ve never really left work.

Making yourself available to your work 24/7 exposes you to a constant barrage of stressors that prevent you from refocusing and recharging. If taking the entire weekend off handling work e-mails and calls isn’t realistic, try designating specific times on Saturday and Sunday for checking e-mails and responding to voicemails. Scheduling short blocks of time to attend to emails will alleviate stress without sacrificing availability.

  1. Minimise chores
    Chores have a funny habit of completely taking over your weekends. When this happens, you lose the opportunity to relax and reflect. What’s worse is that a lot of chores feel like work. So if you spend all weekend doing them, you just put in a seven-day work week. To keep this from happening, you need to schedule your chores like you would anything else during the week, and if you don’t complete them during the allotted time, you move on and finish them the following weekend.
  2. Reflect
    Weekly reflection is a powerful tool for improvement. Use the weekend to contemplate the larger forces that are shaping your industry, your organization, and your job. Without the distractions of Monday to Friday busy work, you should be able to see things in a whole new light. Use this insight to alter your approach to the coming week, improving the efficiency and efficacy of your work.
  3. Exercise
    You have 48 hours every weekend to make it happen. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that reduces stress. Exercise is also a great way to come up with new ideas. Innovators and other successful people know that being outdoors often sparks creativity.

Whether you’re running, walking, cycling or gardening, exercise leads to endorphin-fuelled introspection. The key is to find a physical activity that does this for you and then to make it an important part of your weekend routine.

  1. Pursue a passion
    You might be surprised what happens when you pursue something you’re passionate about on weekends. Indulging your passions is a great way to escape stress and to open your mind to new ways of thinking. Things like playing music, reading, writing, painting, or even playing with your kids can help stimulate different modes of thought that can reap huge dividends over the coming week.
  2. Spend quality time with family
    Spending quality time with your family on the weekend is essential if you want to recharge and relax. Weekdays are so hectic that the entire week can fly by with little quality family time. Don’t let this bleed into your weekends. Take your kids to the park, take your spouse to his or her favourite restaurant, go to the movies and go visit your parents. You’ll be glad you did.
  3. Schedule micro-adventures
    Buy tickets to a concert or play or get reservations for that new hotel that just opened downtown. Instead of running on a treadmill, plan a hike. Try something you haven’t done before or perhaps something you haven’t done in a long time. Studies show that anticipating something good to come is a significant part of what makes the activity pleasurable. Knowing that you have something interesting planned for Saturday will not only be fun come Saturday, but it will significantly improve your mood throughout the week.
  4. Wake up at the same time
    It’s tempting to sleep in on the weekend to catch up on your sleep. Though it feels good temporarily, having an inconsistent wake-up time disturbs your circadian rhythm. Your body cycles through an elaborate series of sleep phases in order for you to wake up rested and refreshed. One of these phases involves preparing your mind to be awake and alert, which is why people often wake up just before their alarm clock goes off (the brain is trained and ready).

When you sleep past your regular wake-up time on the weekend, you end up feeling groggy and tired. This isn’t just disruptive to your day off, it also makes you less productive on Monday because your brain isn’t ready to wake up at your regular time. If you need to catch up on sleep, just go to bed earlier.

  1. Prepare for the upcoming week
    The weekend is a great time to spend a few moments planning your upcoming week. As little as 30 minutes of planning can yield significant gains in productivity and reduced stress. The week feels a lot more manageable when you go into it with a plan because all you have to focus on is execution.

Final comments

Trying to implement all of these at once will be overwhelming. So next weekend pick one or two of these to get you started. Commence with the ones that will give you the most meaning and fulfilment. Start planning your weekends intentionally. None of these will happen unless you are really serious about breaking the Work Trap.

While you are planning your next weekend, get some overall perspective back into your life and ask the big questions:

  • What is the ultimate purpose of my life, work or career?
  • What am I living for?
  • What do I want my life to be about and stand for?

Wait for the answers to emerge from deep within you. They will come. Just give them time and space.

One more tip. Start observing yourself more. Watch your actions and thoughts as you develop deeper self-awareness about your life and work. We are all so self-absorbed we give little time to being self-aware.

So now it’s up to you but many people find a coach useful for accountability. If you need some assistance to get you going, please give me a call or send me an email.

This is too important to be left to chance.

© Dr Edward Gifford, On-Purpose Partners®