How One CFO Energizes Her Organization

By Elaine Siciliano Morris, Senior Associate

“A leader is someone who can get things done through other people.” (Warren Buffet)

In short, you are a leader only if others will successfully follow you.

This month we highlight our client, Natalie Knight, CFO of adidas North America. Henry Evans observes that Natalie models a leadership style that inspires others to eagerly follow her lead. She has three outstanding strengths that exhibit seasoned business skills along with emotionally-intelligent influencing competencies:

1) Operational Understanding – Natalie is not only interested in the numbers, but makes the effort to understand the operations, challenges and opportunities of other departments. This is an important emotional competency called “empathy” – not common in more left-brained, analytical leaders.

2) People Skills – she empowers each team with open information, making them feel stronger. She networks formally through her direct reports, and peers. She also makes sure she connects through more informal channels by reaching out to colleagues in other departments and divisions, giving her a more global outlook that impacts her decisions.

3) Good Balance between Strategic and Tactical. Strategy involves planning for the future to realize the longer vision while tactics relate to immediate and short-term goals. Natalie is known for having a strategic eye, both for the finance division she oversees and the overall corporate vision yet she never sacrifices needed attention to detail in day-to-day financial management.

Learn how Natalie did it!

Here is our interview:

Elaine: What are your biggest accomplishments since you joined adidas 1½ years ago?

Natalie: I am most proud of restructuring and energizing the finance organization, growing it from a more “old school” form of management. Now we go beyond being “number crunchers” and foster real business partnerships, getting people engaged in strategic discussion. Because of this, we are more able to hold people accountable and have designed new Key Performance Indicators.

Elaine: Tell me more about how you did that.

Natalie: One of our best incentive programs this past year was the “back to school” push contest, which addressed completion time on open orders. We hold people accountable on a weekly basis and keep the results visible on published scoreboards. We use a football field analogy, which everyone in our sports-oriented company loves. We highlight three big metrics to show how each group is driving its contribution. In this example, open orders were driving our backlog. The managers took the ball and carried it down to the account executive level. This rallying cry from management, sent a clear message about our focus. We discovered the power of incentivizing people to achieve targeted goals. Each management group receives a nice dinner for winning the contest; and if they win for the overall period they receive additional team bonuses.

Elaine: That’s great, but it doesn’t sound like something a CFO would initiate! In setting up this interview with your assistant Karine, she shared that you have a great deal of energy and go out of your way to share your enthusiasm. She said you make sure everyone understands your directives and really connect with people by exhibiting a truly supportive attitude. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Natalie: Despite a difficult economic environment we have made huge strides in cash generation and inventory control. We created a greater focus on cash and changed the mind-set to inspire increased ownership in monitoring inventory. We brought all stakeholders to the table to increase cost containment and inaugurated many creative strategies for achieving short and long-term goals.

Elaine: What advice would you give to other CFO’s?

Natalie: I believe three things are most important for any CFO:

1) Go in and prove the value you bring with good information and decision-making. You have to look for ways to drive the value by giving others the information to help them operate more effectively. You don’t want others perceiving you only as the dreaded financial head who always says, “No,” to budget requests.

2) Strengthen your own team – this provides value for other managers by ensuring that your team is competent and can serve others well. It must be transparent that it’s not just “me” doing it all. Everyone must understand that the entire team is providing value.

3) Drive creativity – Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – and inspire others to look for ways that are not traditional.

“In any organization, it’s all about people and you won’t be disappointed in over-investing time on that side” Natalie Knight

How’s that for a take-away? Thank you Natalie!

Join us for discussion: “What do you most need from your CFO?”

Dynamic Results is a strategy and organizational development firm serving clients globally. As part of our strategic alliance with TAYLOR WINFIELD, Dynamic Results helps find, develop and retain top executive talent for our clients.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Want to exhibit the kind of leadership Natalie possesses? Learn how!

How You Are Feeling Impacts Your Results

by Colm Foster – Senior Associate, Ireland

Spock: “It’s just not logical, Captain.”
Kirk: “As humans…we can’t just ignore our feelings, Mr.Spock.”

This exchange between Kirk and Spock illustrates an age-old dilemma. Spock believes that emotions and feelings are always to be mistrusted and avoided in pursuit of the most rational, logical and sensible decision. Not being Vulcan we know how extremely difficult it is to even attempt to keep emotions out of our decision-making.

Here is a different view of the hierarchy of mind and emotion (emotional intelligence):

“The intuitive (emotional)* mind is a gift from God and the rational mind, its servant. We have created a society that reveres the servant and has forgotten the master.”
-Albert Einstein

Emotions trigger gut-reaction decisions made without thinking. (This type of decision is a crap-shoot with results that could be favourable or otherwise.) Emotions also bring leaps of inspiration, that seemingly flash out of nowhere. (These also are no guaranty of successful outcomes.)

OK. Now, recognizing that emotions impact our decisions, how can we take advantage of this knowledge? Recent research identifies areas in which understanding and managing our emotions can facilitate optimal decision-making.

1. The impact of positive mood

In a positive mood we open ourselves to our environment and are freer to explore situations and uncover solutions. One respected concept: the “broaden and build” theory states that positive moods expand our thinking; help generate new ideas; and allow us to consider alternative possibilities. Think about the difference maintaining a positive mood could make in a brainstorming session.

2. The impact of negative mood

Although negative emotions are less obviously helpful, they can also play a crucial role in decision-making. Research shows that negative moods induce more critical thinking, provide clearer focus; closer examination of detail, and a more thorough search for errors. Thus a negative mood can be useful for work on reviewing contracts, or conducting risk analysis planning, for two examples.

3. The impact of emotion-rich messages

Psychologist John Mayer shows that emotion-laden messages form memories that are recalled more clearly and over longer periods than those not containing emotional impact. If you want your messages to be engaging, compelling and memorable, ensure that they connect with your audience on an emotional and rational level.

Stephen Stefano, former CEO of Smith Kline Beecham, suggests that you must connect emotionally before the logic of your message can even be heard. “People do not care about how much you know, until they know about how much you care.”

4. The impact of emotional suppression

In trying to ignore our emotions in the attempt to make purely logical decisions we lose the emotional connection to our information content. Furthermore, in suppressing our emotions we divert mental resources which are needed for the decision at hand. This is a “double-whammy”. We not only miss out on the impact our feelings can provide; we end up with less mental horsepower available for processing the logic needed to resolve the situation.

Conclusion

Your mood has real and measurable effects on your decision-making. You need to understand and use mood to optimise your decisions and minimize the stress caused by ignoring or attempting to suppress the inherent wisdom and power of your feelings. Learn more about assessing and developing Emotional Intelligence here.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

The Building Blocks of Happiness and Meaning

By Marshall Goldsmith, Guest Author
Discover more on how cultures of accountability can help you achieve happiness. Read our book.

The pursuit of happiness and meaning is short when we realize that they can be found when we achieve two straightforward goals: loving what we do and showing it. I call this Mojo and all of the successful people I know have it. It is apparent when the positive feelings toward what we are doing come from inside us and are evident for others to see. Four vital ingredients need to be combined in order for you to have great Mojo.

1. Identity: Who do you think you are?

This question is more subtle than it sounds. It’s amazing to me how often I ask people this question and their first response is, “Well, I think I’m perceived as someone who . . .” I stop them immediately, saying, “I didn’t ask you to analyze how you think other people see you. I want to know who you think you are.” After people think for a while, I can generally extract a straight answer. Without a firm handle on our identity, we may never be able to understand why we gain—or lose—our Mojo.

2. Achievement: What have you done lately?

These are the accomplishments that have meaning and impact. But this too is a more subtle question than it sounds—because we often underrate or overrate our achievements based on how easy or hard they were to pull off.

3. Reputation: Who do other people think you are?

What do other people think you’ve done lately? Your reputation is a scoreboard kept by others. Although you can’t take total control of your reputation, there’s a lot you can do to maintain or improve it, which can in turn have an enormous impact on your Mojo.

4. Acceptance: What can you change, and what is beyond your control?

On the surface, acceptance—that is, being realistic about what we cannot change in our lives and accommodating ourselves to those facts—should be the easiest thing to do. It’s certainly easier than creating an identity from scratch or rebuilding a reputation. After all, how hard is it to resign yourself to the reality of a situation? Very. Acceptance is often one of our greatest challenges. And, when Mojo fades, the initial cause is often failure to accept what is—and get on with life.

By understanding the impact and interaction of identity, achievement, reputation, and acceptance, we can begin to alter our own Mojo—both at work and at home.

About the Author
Marshall Goldsmith is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. In November 2009, he was ranked as one of the fifteen most influential business thinkers in the work in a study (involving 35,000 respondents) published by The (London) Times and Forbes.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Did you enjoy this article? If so, you might benefit from reading our book.

Strategies For Building Accountability

Interview by Elaine Morris – Senior Associate
Enjoy this article? You might benefit from one of our accountability workshops!

It is a well know fact that people resist change at first and can be threatened by new standards of performance. How do effective leaders communicate their vision in a way that creates accountability while achieving results?

This month, Senior Associate Elaine Morris interviews Dynamic Results’ Managing Partner, Henry J. Evans, author of “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”. Henry has led workshops all over the world in the last 18 months since the book came out. Over 11,000 books have been purchased and thousands have attended the Accountability workshops. Henry will share, in this 5 minute video, how to face the challenge of implementing these methods and how to help others in your workplace embrace the needed changes.

Here’s a transcription of the video:

EM.: Hi Henry, how are you doing?

HE: Great.

EM:Well, I’m here to talk with you about your book, “Winning with Accountability” and I know it’s been very popular and a lot of people have gone through your course and how many books have been sold now?

HE: Well, we know that over 11,000 have been purchased directly through the publisher, but we don’t know how many have sold total.

EM: I imagine, when people pick it up they want to practice it and they want other people to use it with them. Is it useful if they go back and share the book with people they work with, is it applicable enough, will they be able to really use it?

HE: Well, the book was written to do a few things very simply. Since the average executive only reads the first 80 pages of a book, we are a 100 page book. So we figure if you’re that close to the end you’re probably going to finish. The other is that it was written to give you intellectually simple, immediately accessible and applicable ideas, and there are only four of them. So, it’s a very limited in terms of what it’s offering and it’s very simple and you should be able to read it on a 60 or 90 minute flight, land and communicate better in your next meeting.

EM: What would be your best tip to leader or employers trying to change their culture?

HE: Well the first thing I would do is focus on myself and not on all the “stupid people” around me, and that’s the trap I think we all fall into, I think it’s very easy to identify the contributions other people are making to our challenge to identify our own contributions to others. So if you read the book or attend one of conferences and take in one of my concepts, my number one bit of advice is that you will take the time to practice them and do not expect other people around you spontaneously the ways you’re trying to cultivate.

EM: Leaders have been effective in holding people accountable in their performance and in general just to communicate better in the workplace. However, we’ve also heard stories where people go back and get pumped up after the workshop and they’ve had a chance to practice the language of accountability methodology you teach them, and they encounter challenges and resistance from the people around them. Can you give me some examples of the kinds of challenges people can expect and what you would advise them to do about it?

HE: The expectation that other people are going to change because you read our book or because you’ve been exposed to our method. So, when you’re excited about creating a more accountable culture, in our method that begins with the way you behave and the way you internalize this method, so it’s about the clarity of commitments when you are making them, it’s about the clarity of requests you make in others. So everything boils back to you, not to the organization.

EM: I’ve heard you often say it’s about looking in the mirror. It’s about working on yourself. And yet when they go out there, back to their office, and they try to use your method effectively, what kind of challenges can they expect?

HE: Well, one challenge can be that when you start asking people for more specificity when you’ve never done that before, they can interpret that as you suddenly not trusting them, they can interpret that as you losing faith in their ability to perform at a high level. So one of the things we encourage people to do through our method is to go back to their teams and say, “Hey I’ve been exposed to a method, I’ve set some developmental goals for myself, and I want to be better at being more specific when I make requests. I also want to be better when asking people for more specificity when I’m asking people, so if you notice me asking for more details or information, that’s part of my effort to develop myself, that does not imply you’re doing something wrong.

EM: And I hear you saying that with peers in direct reports. What about when they use it with people above them, like with their own bosses, what kinds of challenges do people face?

HE: Well that’s a cultural diversity question, and I mean cultural in regards to your country of origin, but it’s also your corporate culture. So, within individual teams, some bosses and leaders strongly encourage feedback and they love getting constructive criticism but those leaders are rare. Most leaders will make the mistake of pulling rank and they might say, “Well Elaine, I appreciate you asking me when I’m going to keep that promise I made but why don’t you worry about your own performance and I’ll worry about mine. I didn’t get here because I’m a dummy or low performing.” And they deflect the accountability as a company and encourage leaders of developed leaders and actually embrace appreciation for being held accountable for their own commitments.

Henry’s tips include:

    • Focus on yourself and improving your own communication with the use of the 4 piece Accountability Puzzle
    • Let your team members know you will be practicing a new way of relating that may possibly come across as more challenging at first.
    • Especially assure those around you that you do trust them – this is important because you will be increasing the amount of detail you are sharing in your expectations and in your requests, which can trigger tension.
    • Be a good model for being accountable in keeping your own promises, giving commitments with specific outcomes and deliverable times and being open to feedback from your team members when they share how you can better meet their needs.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Did you find this article challenging and beneficial? If so, consider attending one of our accountability workshops!

Building Accountability & Driving Results With Strategic Planning Retreats

by Dynamic Results

Our experience teaches us that management teams willing to invest quality “away” time for planning the future are more successful in running profitable and growing operations than companies unwilling to do so. Although we recognize the hefty investment needed for taking the executive team away for 2 to 3 days of “uninterruptible” time, here are some reasons why we say it’s worth it!

1. Re-energizing – When your team is away from the daily grind of pressures, interruptions, and politics, they instantly have room to breathe. Conversations are richer and interactions tend to flow in smoother, more honest fashion.

2. Perspective – It’s only by stepping back that your team can clearly see where your organization has been going. From this new perspective, looking at the numbers, economic trends, accomplishments (and breakdowns) will be seen from a more objective view. Your team will see what a disinterested outside observer would see.

3. Course Correction – A relaxed state of mind, along with time to reflect, will clearly show what’s working, and what’s not. When your team is relaxed and sharing the same information is the time to formulate ideas for improvement. In this atmosphere consensus can be more easily reached for new directions, along with the decisions necessary for their implementation.

4. Imagination – It’s no secret that creativity is stimulated by brainstorming, critical thinking exercises, new surroundings, physical challenges & movement, and materials for drawing and other forms of artistic expression. Many of these elements are an integral part of strategic offsites and help in forming new patterns of thinking and action.

5. Learning – Deep learning is known to take place under low levels of stress, but away from overwhelming pressure. Being far from daily interruptions, meetings, and emails allows for clear focus and deeper thinking. Learning is intensified in a small group environment when discussions such as, “What lessons have we learned from this?” are initiated.

6. Alignment – In retreats, personal interactions are seen in a new light. Unstressed social conversations lead to better understanding and stronger relationships. Time spent together at meals and breaks can add trust when the time comes for making critical decisions.

7. Accountability – In a well-planned and well-facilitated conference, teams come away with:
a) Strategies that give a context for each initiative (We are taking this step because it’s in the right direction); and
b) A tactical focus (We know what each of us is doing to advance the initiative-and we know who’s accountable for each step); and
c) A focus on results (We know that without a plan for execution and follow up, our plan is “just a plan”)

As in all business planning and operations, accountability is key. Your strategic planning retreat, by opening new lines of trust and communication, will have implemented two key components of our accountability method.

“There’s a current of thinking today which says that because things are changing so rapidly, it’s impossible to have a strategy. All you need is to be agile and react to immediate change. That is wrong. It allows someone else to determine the constraints under which you’ll operate. Organizations with a strategy will set the terms of competition.”

-Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock and Power Shift

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Was this article useful to you and your organization? Consider reading the entire book!

5 Tips For Your Next Strategy Session

by Elaine Morris – Senior Associate

Will your next strategic planning retreat resemble the book title, “Death by Meeting” or be more akin to another best-seller “Good to Great”?

Consider the “burn-rate” – the real cost of 8-12 executive’s time over the course of two-three days, plus the hotel, meals, travel and facilitation fees. The costs are staggering! Sufficient pre-planning will help you maximize the benefits of this investment.

Tip #1: Envision Your Outcomes

Imagine you are driving home from this retreat and you are reflecting on what happened. Ask yourself:

  • What take-aways do I want my team to ponder as they head home?
  • What core business issues are we in the process of solving?
  • How much clarity was produced?
  • What did team members say they would be accountable for accomplishing?

Tip #2: Plan your Agenda

Keeping your outcomes in mind, review the following sample of typical topics. Remember you cannot do it all and do it well. Decide what topics are most relevant, what order they will be addressed, and how much time to devote to each area.

  • 3-5 year vision creation/or vision update
  • Annual goals and implementation plans
  • Decision-making on new products, marketing ideas or technology
  • Acquisition plans
  • Build team alignment and the ability to work together more cohesively

Tip #3: Have Everyone Come Prepared

Identify the information and pre-work that will make decisions go smoothly. This will likely include:

  • External data requirements – trends in the economy and your industry
  • Internal data – key indicators and all other relevant measures and information
  • Reading required by each team member attending – this may be a chapter of a book, an entire book or articles that pertain to the topics being addressed.

Tip #4: Choose a Great Location

Choose a venue that is conducive for your focus, your team’s interests and style. Most teams enjoy getting out of town, but do not want extensive travel. An hour or two drive from your office is ideal. For geographically scattered teams, choose a location that requires the least travel time.

Smaller, boutique properties usually offer a higher level of service and attention, which promote relaxation and freedom from real-world stress. Natural surroundings and being near water or mountains provide opportunities for invigorating recreational activity.

Tip #5: Ensure Follow-Through and Accountability

95% of all strategic plans fail not due to poor planning, but because of a lack of follow-through. The last thing you want is for your brilliant strategic plan to sit in a binder on a shelf. It’s a leader’s job to assure that the plan is alive, in action and visible to all.

A quarterly check-in meeting is the best way to keep it alive and on the playing field. This works well because plans are never finished! They are an ongoing conversation, under ever-changing conditions. At quarterly meetings the team can address what was accomplished, what obstacles were faced, and what new opportunities showed up. Since we live in a constantly changing world, course correction and renewed commitment will ensure high quality execution.

In summary, the point of your off-site is to envision the future, gain a fresh perspective, build relationships and come away with true team alignment. Whether you plan and execute well or poorly, will change your organization’s future. Plan well!

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Find this article useful? If so, you might enjoy our book.

Gratitude and Enhanced Leadership

by Elaine Morris & Henry Evans

As this calendar year comes to a close, we hope you’re not too busy to take a few moments and reflect on what you’re thankful for as a leader.

In our practice, we see that leaders who cultivate the habit of expressing gratitude benefit personally and have a positive impact on their teams. Although gratitude is not officially listed as an“emotional intelligence” competency, we see it as a vital part of building a powerful and enlivened culture. Here are three reasons why:

1. Gratitude Yields a More Realistic Perspective

Leadership icon Peter Drucker said, “The job of a leader is to interpret reality.” By showing appreciation for what is working well, a leader helps balance out any negative effects caused by everyday challenges and stresses. This helps the team focus on a clear view of the larger picture.

2. Thankfulness Engenders Optimism

In hard times leaders must find ways to keep hope alive. Do you recognize that you have to influence yourself before you can influence others? Creating optimism is an “inside job.” To help accomplish this, consider using a gratitude journal to remind you to focus beyond problems. Some people use inspiring quotations and stories to motivate themselves. Some keep a file of “thank you” notes from customers and employees, and when they have rough days or business downturns, these memories are helpful reminders of other possibilities.

3. Gratitude Helps Form a Culture of Appreciation

When leaders thank and praise employees (and customers), positive feelings are created which lead to higher levels of motivation. The positive vibes created by acknowledgement deepen the bonds between people and organizations, fostering enhanced employee retention and greater customer loyalty.

Emotional intelligence research shows that people work more efficiently and effectively in conditions that are relationally and personally rewarding. Such atmospheres become contagious, and lead to more positive interactions throughout the culture and the marketplace. Additionally, Harvard Business School says that 70-85% of an organizational climate is created by leadership behavior.

To thrive during this economic winter, successful leaders strive to innovate the way they relate to their people, not just their processes. These leaders hold themselves accountable for their actions and relationships.

So what do you do?

Express your Gratitude Now! Pick up the phone, write a hand-written note, or send a quick email to thank an important person for the contribution they made to you this year.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Enjoy this article? Read the book!

Realizing Your Vision

Realizing Your Vision

by Cheryl Croall and Henry Evans

Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.
~ John F. Kennedy

We believe that leadership is a lifelong journey and that real progress requires commitment and vision.   As you plan for the new year, imagine yourself at this time next year and think, “what would I be proud to have accomplished”?  Think beyond the bottom line, and picture what else would make you happy?  What kinds of people are around?  What is your work culture like?  How have you balanced work and family?

The ideas that ignite a fire within are the ones on which you should focus your efforts.   We’re all familiar with good-hearted ideas that fade after a few weeks and sit on the proverbial shelf.  That’s because we’re more likely to act towards something we are passionate about, instead of something that we ‘should do’.

To realize your vision, develop your leadership and cultivate learning, we offer three steps.

Get Real

Be open to exploring new ideas and considering feedback, and ‘check-in’ with others to see if your perceptions are on target.  To ‘get real,’ ask 3 people close to you the following 2 questions:

  • “If there was 1 thing you would change about me, what would it be and why?”
  • “What is a strength of mine you’d like to see me exhibit more often and where would you like me to apply that strength next year?”

Resist the Status Quo

It’s easy to let a busy schedule dictate what you have time to complete.  Without consciously making a decision to cultivate your life – weeks, months and years can seem to fly by.  As leaders, it’s our job to resist settling-in to inertia.  Adapting and enabling personal growth instills a culture of lifelong learning and development.

  • Commit to your vision by making appointments with yourself to reflect on you and your intentions.  Treat the appointment with yourself as if it were with another person; keep the appointment and don’t be late!

Live Your Vision

To see your vision come to fruition, set realistic goals that:

  • Focus on your strengths
  • ‘Fit’ into your lifestyle
  • Keep you feeling motivated

Achieving a specific vision doesn’t happen by accident.  Vince Lombardi states, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen endeavor.”

Our challenge to you: Be an active leader in realizing your vision and creating the future.  We hope this year exceeds your expectations.

For more information on how to Realize Your Vision, click here.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Free Resources for Building Accountability in your Culture without Leaving Dead Bodies in the Road

by Henry Evans-Managing Partner

Our team at Dynamic Results wishes you a very happy new year. Last year we delivered our Accountability Method to organizations, business schools, and government agencies in many parts of the world.

We’re starting this year by giving you a quick video reminder with some ideas around how you can be a model of accountability in your organization. Watch the video and then learn more by visiting our book page.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

See the reason you got these negative feelings and connotations around the whole word accountability is that we’ve all been raised to think of accountability as a punitive process. After a relationship or project has failed, we go see who we can blame and that’s what accountability is. We want to change that. It’s actually our mission as a company to change that. That that’s how it is learned and that’s how it’s conducted but it’s not the place it has in organizations.

So when you learn English or whatever your first language was, it took you five to seven years to learn that language. It took five to seven years for your mind to form these neuron paths that help connect the meaning and structure of sentences and words so you can use them to communicate with other people.

I’m going to take that five to seven year process and explain it in about thirty seconds. And I’m going to feed you the language of accountability in about thirty minutes.

Ambiguity is a predictor of future failure. Now, I’m not talking about a creative process. If you’re doing brainstorming, you want to be as ambiguous and as open ended as you can be, we do that with our clients at the beginning of a strategic planning process, but when you’re turning that plan into actions, we need clarity, clarity that a third person could understand.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I laid this out perfectly clearly, but these idiots didn’t get it.” Have you ever let that narrative run inside your head? It ain’t them, it’s you. Once you accept that leadership role, you got the job of being clear. That’s your job. I tell you what accountable commitments should feel like. They should make you nervous. When you’re communicating this to a second person, you should nervous like “Oh man, I really have to do this now.”

That same feeling you used to get when you weren’t an officer and your boss came and said, “You gotta do this.” And you got the feeling of “Oh man, I’m on the hook.”

My clients who tend to outperform their competitors are very good at self-generating that feeling. Now I’m not talking about getting angst and getting a heart attack. I’m not talking about being miserable. I’m talking about having a good healthy nervousness around the commitment that you’re making. It’s a way to measure if it’s real or not. It’s real, it’s here (points to his stomach). It’s not here (points to his head). And the organizations that tend to outperform the competition have a good fire burning here, in the belly. They can feel that.

Enjoy, and as always visit the Dynamic Results book page to see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to these insights..

Stay close to us as this year as we will be rolling out new ways for you to access the method that is helping our clients outperform their competition.

For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

Our best to you in this new year.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Reflections: Creating Accountability with Emotional Intelligence

by Henry Evans – Managing Partner

Most miscommunications and relationship challenges are caused by a lack of clarity on the front end of your communications. In our book, “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”, we address this common challenge.

Once we feel we have communicated an idea well, we often move on without any validation. In this video, we give you two ways to get reflection in an Emotionally Intelligent way and in a way which will increase the accountability of your interaction.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

Hi, I’m Henry Evans. Founder and Managing Partner at Dynamic Results. And today I’m going to talk to you about one aspect of our accountability method called Reflection.

Our accountability method based on our book “Winning with Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” is being embraced by multi-national organzations and MBA schools worldwide. One aspect of it is this idea of reflection. And Reflection is getting a comment back from someone you’re trying to convey a message to about what they heard. We believe the effect of your communication is measured the result of the people listening to you. It is not measured by your own self assessment. And we think they will act upon what they understood rather than what you said.

There are two primary ways of getting reflection from people:

The first one we feel is a little demeaning, particularly to people who are smart and capable. The second we feel has a much greater basis on emotional intelligence, but let’s look at the first one.

The first one would for me to convey and for me to ask you something like, “What did I just say?”. Do you feel a little insulted by that? I feel a little insulting when I ask that.

The second way which we think would be much more emotionally intelligent would be to be vulnerable and leave it in the realm of possibility that I didn’t even convey my idea very clearly in the first place. And that would sound like this, “You know I know what I meant to say just know, but what did you hear?”

Vulnerability according to the table group, is a conduit to trust and trust is the foundation to all relationships. So we like that way of checking in better for reflection than the first one.

And yet an even better way of getting reflection would be to say, “You know we discussed a lot of things during this meeting, but what are the action items that we’re taking away from this meeting? What are we going to do as a result of what we just said?” That’s another emotionally intelligent way of getting reflection back from people.

As always, we’re trying to give you quick, concise ways to improve your business, communications, and your business results.

Enjoy, and as always see how people like New York Times Best Selling Author, Marshall Goldsmith, have responded to the book by clicking here:

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For now, know that we have developed a simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way.

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