August 2017

Pure Value

How do you know if what you are doing adds pure value? You feel it. You see it. It can be measured. Dr. Mauro Ferrari, President, Houston Methodist Research Institute delivers pure value to science, medicine, patients, and our community. When you are in his presence, you feel it. You see the results of what he publishes in Science and thousands of other peer review journals. When I think about pure value, I think about Dr. Ferrari.

In Own Your Value, you feel the ups and downs of the journey. When the road seems too long and the trip is too hard, it is time as Bob Seger sings to Turn the Page. There are days you know to keep going and days you know to start over.  Pure Value is when you feel on it down in your bones. Go for that feeling today. What is one way you can experience Pure Value today? I did with making plans for a new project with a brilliant client. I hope you get that experience today. For more, join us on 9/20 to launch Own Your Value. 

Be the One

"You are the one. You know it when you are hear a leader make request for someone to step up and take action. You step forward." said a Director at CenterPoint Energy in one of our innovation sessions. She decided to Be the One. You can too. When you read a post on social media, see a story on a news report, or get a text from a friend in need, take action. There is no one looking over your shoulder. It is between you and your heart to step up. You will be glad you did.

Yesterday, I tried to map out an adventure to HEB and could not go beyond a few blocks because of flooding. I am grateful to God. I am thankful to CenterPoint Energy because I have power. I have internet. I am grateful to the City of Houston and have running water. I am safe. Today, I jumped out of bed early to get my client work completed so I can volunteer. I am working on more wheelchair donations for the 7,000 plus guests we have living at George R Brown Convention Center and now Toyota Center. I received calls and emails from from executives and directors at hospitals and they are working on it. I am grateful. On Monday, Beyonce paid for 20 wheelchairs and we are thankful. 

There is a dire need for wheelchairs and it increases as more people are being rescued today. If you have wheelchair(s) which you are willing to donate, will you please text me at 832-563-8511? I will coordinate with @RudyRasmus at St. Johns Downtown and #Temenos with @CatherineFlowers, Executive Director, at the City of Houston Housing to pick it up. @ARocketMovers is offering to pickup the wheelchairs. 

#HurricaneHarvey Volunteer from Where You Are Now

Houston is a place you can open your heart and do something now. You can volunteer where you are with tiny efforts or big efforts. On Monday in Houston, I stayed on the phone, texting and connecting with friends and clients to help Pastor Rudy of St. John's Downtown. Sunday night, Pastor Rudy let me know that people rescued and sheltering at George R. Brown Convention Center needed 20 wheelchairs. After five hours of effort and communications, Pastor Rudy let us know that an innovator @JPGiles of #Cisco connected him with months ago came through with a source for the 20 wheelchairs and Beyonce offered to pay for them. What an experience. I felt relieved. On social media, @Peggy Swords, CEO of #Excalibur Exhibits, a client and friend offered a wheelchair and walker. Wow. How did she know? It is amazing to be a part of a tiny effort of doing something good. Thank you, Pastor Rudy for the tiny things and big things you do. As you say, "We love you and there is nothing you can do about it."

Here is more from Beyonce, a real life Wonder Woman. Thank you for your leadership! 

"My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," Beyonce said.

"I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John's in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can."

Organic Connections

Is "organic" a label you look for when shopping? Most people prefer the idea of natural. Things that are not human engineered and forced to grow have more appeal. Our clients thrive when they see things naturally moving forward. Have you felt forced into a connection you did not want? How many times have you made one connection and easily a simple introduction of one person to another opens doors for you that you could not imagine. In the new book, #OwnYourValue, you will meet Hafizah Coston and you will see how one organic connection open three new doors that could have never been forced open. Hafizah has a natural way of seeing what is real about a situation. She has a curiosity that sparks organic connections for many others and most of the time the organic connections benefit her and her customers, especially #UTMB and #UTHealth.

What about being open to your curiosity? What is one way you can spark an organic connection today? How can you be open to helping others? Hurricane #Harvey might give us some new ways to show an organic connection.  

Reinventing Yourself

"You keep reinventing yourself." said Debbye Crofoot-Morley, Director of Campaign Advancement, Holocaust Museum, Houston. We could not stop laughing. It is true and funny. I never thought how important reinventing yourself is as a leadership development tool. Debbye and I have known each other for more than 15 years. We met when she served on the Board of one of our clients. She has seen my life, career, and company evolve. It is an iterative process for me.

Three keys for reinventing yourself are:
  1. Test your mind talk, look at what is true, false and what you don't know. What is the truth about where you are in this moment?
  2. Meditate, pray, and go into nature to find out what you really want and value. Will it matter to you 20 years from now?
  3. Talk with a mentor, executive development specialist, and/or spiritual healer to get clear on an action plan for you. How do you do one thing now to reinvent yourself?

This is how I do it. I hope it helps you. As school starts this year, let's put ourself back into school. Life school and learn how to #OwnYourValue.

Expert in Your Customers' Operations

"We start as an idea with a customer and then we develop the relationship to a partnership." said Todd Bruni, Healthcare Practice Expert, Regional Director, Cisco. 

As Todd speaks, his confidence in what he is relaying to the executives in the WebEx rings true. He is responding in the moment with clarity. It lets the executives know, he is ready and able to be available for them. 

When you ask questions of executive customers and they respond, be ready to answer their questions. It is okay to say, "Let me find out and respond to you by Friday." It is so much better if you have someone like Todd Bruni with you who can respond in the moment. If you are not an expert in your customers' operations, who can you invite to be your backup? It is good to have as powerful wingman like Todd to fly with you. 

What do you do to become an expert in your Customers' Operations?

Know You Are Ready for Action

"When you are above the 10th floor, you don't ask what people do. You know. You are ready for action with the people who set strategy." said Kristi Chisum of Cisco. 

When you know you are ready for action, take it. It is a weird feeling when you are not ready. You know it. There are times you want to take action and you know you are not ready.

I am learning how important it is to rest. Yes, rest. This weekend, I did rest. It is Monday and I know I am ready for action. 

What are the signs that you receive to let you know are ready for action?

What Secrets do Case Studies reveal?

"The Global Sales Meeting is recognizing our work with Temenos and Pastor Rudy." said Susie Hughes, Cisco Enterprise Account Manager for Houston Methodist. She was beaming and I am so happy the case study we wrote with Susie helps her team. It is a fascinating glimpse into why those stories we call case studies open our minds and hearts. So in her story, 600 people living outside connect with 30 techies around sports and bar-be-que for one afternoon with the trust and love of Temenos.

Pastor Rudy Rasmus and Brian Hall of Shell and Friday Harbour are at Throughgood Coffee and we talk about the future not the past. Yet, it seems when we are working with clients, it is those case studies, stories of the past that seem to spark interest.

What grabs your heart when you hear about a case studies? Here are a few

What will you do for what you want?

At CenterPoint Energy, we are in a meeting with a Vice President and she says, "People will do anything for what they want and very little for what they need." This is profound. It changes how I see the world. We focus on this premise and our project out performs all historic growth records in the industry.

The example I give is I want a pair of shoes from Nordstroms and I need a gas dryer. Which will I move heaven and earth for to get? Okay, true confession, the shoes. When you are asking questions of executive clients, we encourage our clients to find out what do those executives want. Once you find it, you are on fire. It is where the spark ignites a new project, a new opportunity, and expansion of the career of the executive. And, the expansion of your career is on fire.

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar

Free Yourself

"Thank you for encouraging me and asking about my book project." said April Day, President of WBEA. April is a person that lives this first principle of the Flow Value Model™, "Free Yourself." She is open to seeing her vision and living it on a national scale. Newly appointed to the board of the national WBENC, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, a board that represents 14,400 women owned businesses, April is ready to step into her bigger vision.

After the innovation session with April, I thought about how important it is to free yourself from the status quo. It takes courage to break from old patterns and try new tools. Today, do one thing to free yourself. Just one. I am doing one thing to free myself and feel much more at ease. If it doesn't work, you can go back to the old way or try something new. Doing something for the first time opens your mind to clarity and freedom. Isn't that a more interesting path?

"Our task must be to free ourselves.... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."   Albert Einstein

Uber and Lyft

"If you take Uber or Lyft, it will save you money and time." said Maureen Sanders, our Chief Operating Officer. Maureen explained a futurist in her breakfast club discussed how more than 57% of car owners would not have a car in 30 years. So, I decided to run an experiment. What if I took both over the next 21 days and looked to see how much time it saved me? Over the past five days, I took Uber and Lyft for different meetings and situations, I have saved over three hours of time and $20 in parking. Which one is the best? Hmmmm. I am still considering the experience and what we are measuring.

When looking at our case studies in( ), I am struck by the fact that we usually start a study with one clear measure. So for me in the Uber and Lyft conversation, it is time. It is the one thing we cannot make more of...

"No idea is so outlandish that it should not be considered." Winston Churchill

Summer's Day Comparison

"Is there someone better at this than me?" The answer to this question in truth for me is "I don't know." When we look at the comparison mood that August in Houston seems to put me in, I am struck by the futility of the mood. The core question for me that comes up is "Am I good enough?" which is a waste of my monkey mind's time. When I am called to do something, I am the one to do it. When I feel it is mine to do, most of the time it is. Putting a judgment on me of comparison does not bring me closer to my truth or realizing my value. So I stop, take a breath and remember that I am more lovely than a summer's day. I hope you do, too.

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate."  William Shakespeare

Priority or Option?

"All I want is for us to have a clear priority at the end of this Board Retreat." said Margaret, CEO. It is refreshing to hear that this client focuses on a priority. One! Not priorities. So many of our client executives want options. More options. And then, the question is where do you start? We spend hours of time vetting options and then deciding on one priority. How freeing it is to focus on one priority as an outcome.

How did I know about this idea of one priority? 

Well, a learning opportunity, of course. In a leadership development day with SHRM, when I was speaking, Rob, a speaker, said, "There are not priorities. We only have a priority. One. What is the one thing you believe is first?" This has stuck with me for years. It haunts my mind talk when I have so many things to do. What is the one? What is the priority? 

Who makes you and your vision a priority?

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."  Maya Angelou


Trust a Lightening Word

"I trust you completely." said John, a client on a call. It feels good to hear those words. Two minutes later another client on the call said, "I just am not sure how this works for me." I thought "Not Sure" how could one person trust you completely and another be not sure? I realize I have used different words when working with each of the clients. I know for me "Trust" is a lightening word. It sends a warm feeling into my spine and runs to be grounded in my feet. There are alot of words that are lightening words for me. Here are a few that I respond to and see our clients respond to:

  • Trust
  • Curious
  • Ask
  • Proven
  • Verify
  • Tested
  • Might

Today, listen to yourself talk. See how the words you say light up the people you are talking to.

"The difference between the right word and wrong word is like the difference between lightening and a lightening bug." Mark Twain