21 Chapters
Medium 9781576754276

Step 2: Realize the Consequences

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Questions to get you started:

How well do you know yourself?

Who knows you better than you know yourself?

“I don’t have the foggiest idea,” my client said to me. He had just finished telling me about a fabulously kindhearted and helpful thing he had done for one of his employees. I then asked him, “How do your actions look to her?” I asked this because his wonderful action was met by his employee with anger and resentment. When he told me he didn’t “have the foggiest idea,” it was clear that he saw his actions only through the lens of his own intentions.

All he had done was ask one of his star associates for progress reports on work that she was doing for one of their clients. He knew it was an important client. He wanted to offer input. He wanted to make his broad experience available to improve the quality of the service to the client. He wanted to be helpful. He didn’t want to be a burden, stifle creativity, question anyone’s capability, or micro-manage. He saw his action only in the best possible light.

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Medium 9781605090009

Situation Stories

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It was cool outside, but the fresh air felt good. Martin led Jeff out of the building and a couple of blocks away to a nearby park. Jeff wondered why he didn’t do this more often. He could feel his head clearing. Just this short walk, the fresh air, the trees in the park were relieving some of his tension.

They stopped at a railing that bordered a pond. Martin leaned against the railing and stared out at the water. Jeff could see him taking long deep breaths. It was almost hypnotic.

They stood in silence for a while until Jeff’s impatience got the better of him. “So what is the next story?”

“First, tell me what you see.”

“You mean here in the park?”

Martin nodded.

“I see a pond, trees, building tops beyond the trees. There are lots of birds, mostly pigeons, a few ducks.”

“That’s good. How about the people?”

Jeff looked around. “Well, a young couple is sitting on the bench over there. Some old men are playing bocce. A handful of people are scattered around — I assume from the way they are dressed that they are businesspeople.”

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Medium 9781576754276

Step 6: Maintain Effective Support

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Questions to get you started:

What if someone isn’t helpful?

How can you keep people excited about supporting your change?

“I’ve seen a lot of good relationships turn bad.” That is what Jasmine explained to me as her rationale for an uncommon practice she uses in business and personal settings. She told me that once a month she asks the question, “How are we doing?” She asks this of key colleagues at work and her husband at home. When she asks this question she isn’t looking for sales numbers or a state of the family. She wants to know how her relationship with the person is progressing. She’s looking to find out if any obstacles have arisen that might stand in the way of their communication and/or trust.

She told me of a manager she once had who was initially open to feedback and then became more and more defensive over time. She described a friend who had recently gotten a divorce, because she and her husband became incapable of speaking openly about their marriage or their relationship to one another. Neither of these 92 situations started out with poor communication, but they both ended there. To avoid a similar fate, Jasmine adopted the routine of asking, “How are we doing?”

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Medium 9781605090009

Overview of Book and Online Resources

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You may have observed that just reading a book might not be enough to change thoughts and behaviors that are not working in your life, and now you are wondering how to apply the lessons you have read to your own life.

This section can help you take immediate actions to cement the lessons of the book and can also serve as an easy reference guide any time you want to refresh your knowledge. You may decide to try one or all of the steps suggested.

Additional resources, tips, tools, and support are available at the hero Web site:

www.be-the-hero.com
Access code: HEROSTORY

Go to the Web site now and use the access code to enter the area reserved for readers of this book. Many additional resources are already available, and this is where I will continue to post new tools as I build them, and where you can ask me questions and connect with other readers in the forum.

At the time of the printing of this book the Web site included:

Weekly reminders. Sign up to receive a weekly email with a brief tip or message to support you in telling heroic stories.

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Medium 9781576754276

Step 8: Act In the Moment

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Questions to get you started:

How will you realize that the moment to act has arrived?

Who will decide your actions, you or your self-addiction?

Two months after I quit my job to create my own consulting company, I heard a speaker deliver a presentation on how people who start their own businesses need to be a little bit crazy. I found him entertaining and insightful, but I didn’t realize how on target he was at the time. After a couple of years in business it was much clearer to me just how crazy people have to be to succeed as entrepreneurs. As the owner of a business there is no stability. There always seems to be either too much work, or too little. Busy is definitely better than bored, but sometimes it can be extreme.

I remember one time in particular when I felt as though all the opportunities I had been hoping for hit at the same time. All of a sudden I had a ton of work to do and no time to do it. I discussed my situation with a friend, and he helped me develop strategies to keep me focused and avoid the distractions that could eat away at 120 my time. It was a very useful conversation. It helped me feel like I could make it through the busy time and lowered my stress level considerably. One of our strategies was that I wouldn’t spend time on the Internet during the day unless it was for research into one of my client projects. All of the news that I usually read online would have to wait for the end of the day.

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