Jackie's Blog

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 https://jackielyles.com/casestudies

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( https://jackielyles.com/casestudies ), 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