It’s Not About Me

It’s a tough mindset to adapt, because it’s where we all start.  From our brains, our mindset, our experience, our mood, our thoughts, our perspective.  But at the TeamStrength Leadership Workshop 2019, speaker/entertainer Kostya Kimlat revealed the magic of the effect.  Magicians use this term to describe that moment when they create awe and wonder in their audience by doing the seemingly impossible.  For master magicians like Kostya, that moment is not about them, it’s about the effect they create with their audience.  And we can all take a lesson from that – for our company and for ourselves.

The concept is simple – what’s most important isn’t what we do, it’s the effect our actions have on others.  Their perception is the reality – no matter our intentions or behaviors.  But putting it into action is challenging.  Mission statements don’t really show your effect – they’re designed to reflect what your company does to make people’s lives better.  Effect statements are directly linked to your value proposition.  Focusing on the effect means making that about the outcome of your mission from the customer perspective.  At TeamStrength, our mission is ‘Making Great Business Leaders Better.’  Our effect may be best defined from our members’ perspective as ‘I am confident I can make the best decisions for myself, my company and my team.’

The question Kostya asked that will likely stick with many attendees is:

Are you a juggler or a magician?

Today, we’ve all had to become jugglers, keeping many balls in the air at all times with a constant onslaught of digital disruption to our days.  But the goal is to become magicians.  As jugglers, we see all the elements in play and the challenge of keeping it all going, and we want our effort and busy-ness to be appreciated.  But magicians don’t focus on their methods – how they do it is invisible by design. They focus on the outcome.  And in business that’s what really matters at the end of the day.  In our current environment, it’s become a badge of honor to lament about our demands, meetings, to-do lists and challenges.  But Kostya shared a sobering secret:  Nobody really cares how busy you are.  They care about the effect your actions produce.

And this approach applies to our business and personal relationships as well.  Though we want to focus on what we did, what’s really important is how we make other people feel.  Steven Covey advised us to ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood.’  I am engaged in a lifelong endeavor to master this habit, but it’s tough.  The reason it works is because everyone so desperately wants to be understood.  When you practice this habit, you set yourself aside (it’s not about you!) and focus all your attention on understanding another’s feelings first.  When you do that, and can demonstrate you really understand it from their perspective, the effect is powerful.  ‘I feel heard and understood.’

When I am really busy and daunted by the day’s demands or when I am nervous about leading a workshop or a meeting, I find it liberating to remember that it’s not about me and what I do.  It’s about the effect on others and the impact I can have.  And when I make that mental transition I find what I do is often much more effective.

So stop focusing on how much you can juggle.  Focus on the effect and do some magic!

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Learn more about Kostya Kimlat here.