I’m Scared (WT607)

I’m Scared (WT607)


WT 607 I'm Scared

Yesterday we completed the first of 4 workshops in our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience.

Some of the participants expressed to me that they were feeling nervous prior to starting the experience.

For me, nervous is also another word for scared.

It’s okay to be scared and nervous or anxious when you do new things or open yourself up to new experiences and growth.

What matters is that you keep going. Often what happens is that we get to the point of almost breaking through and we give up just before the moment when …. because we feel uncomfortable.

It’s helpful to understand the concept of “perturbation”. Perturbation occurs when you feel the pressure to breakthrough. As the pressure is applied, often from a coach or facilitator, the participant starts to resist and gets hot. This heat can come in the form of emotion such as crying, laughing, sweating, trembling, even yawning.

Ross and I learned early on that when I’m learning something new and I haven’t quite gotten it nor become competent, I tend to get angry, hot, short tempered and swear a lot. It’s not a pretty sight.

Once I’ve mastered the skill though, all that emotion goes away.

In my role as the facilitator and coach for the leadership participants, it’s my job to apply the pressure and also fan them at the same time because what we know is that once the breakthrough has come, it is often invisible, unpredictable and irreversible.

It’s truly magical to experience.

The formation of diamonds is another example from nature. Diamonds are made of carbon that form crystals that bond together over billions of years when subjected to extreme temperature and pressure. Without all that heat and pressure, we would not have them to enjoy.

Next time you feel nervous or scared, take Susan Jeffers advice in her book, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”. It’s okay to be scared and nervous and it’s okay to let out the emotion. It’s simply part of the process of your growth and development as you learn new things on the way to becoming competent and self-aware.

And I’m curious, how do you react when you’re feeling perturbated?

P.S. I’m scared at the moment. We’re about to launch my new book, “The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second-in-Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life” at The Complete Leader conference in Sydney next month, where I will also be speaking. I’m feeling the pressure, giving off heat and I’m committed to doing it anyway.

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Not Every Kid Gets a Trophy (WT605)

Not Every Kid Gets a Trophy (WT605)


WT 605 Not every kid gets a trophy

When I was growing up I had a friend who was very athletic. She always seemed to get out of school by going to the regional, zone and state athletic carnivals and she would come back with a fistful of medals and trophies.

I was very envious. The best I could do was come last in a three-legged race.

I wasn’t athletic, but I was smart.

I learned that not every kid gets a trophy and this helped me to understand my strengths and weaknesses.

This memory came to the fore recently when one of my clients was telling me about some of his team members whom he had to let go. “Shirl, they just couldn’t do the job. They just couldn’t seem to learn it. I really started questioning myself and whether it was the way I was training them and you know the really interesting thing, was that they didn’t see it. They really thought their skills and ability were much higher than I did.”

This also reminded me of the research conducted by Carol Dweck. According to Dweck, there are two basic mindsets: fixed and growth. If you have a fixed mindset, you believe your abilities are fixed traits and therefore can’t be changed. You may also believe that your talent and intelligence alone leads to success, and effort is not required.

In my client’s case, the team members seemed to have a fixed mindset albeit an inflated picture of their real abilities.

Dweck worked with children in school and found that some would not even try because they had decided they couldn’t learn or that they were stupid etc.   They blamed themselves and circumstances and believed nothing could or would change. This is a Fixed mindset.

With one 3 letter word, Dweck was able to help them change their mindset to that of a Growth mindset, where they were able to believe that effort and practice over time could make a meaningful difference. A fixed mindset contributes to limiting beliefs whereas a growth mindset empowers beliefs.

Would you like to know what the three letter word is?

It’s “Yet”.   When children said they couldn’t do something, Dweck encouraged them by adding the word “yet” to the end of their sentence.

Give it a go.  Next time you find yourself limiting what you think you can achieve, insert the word “yet” when you hear yourself say, I can’t …………yet.

And as for the kids with a fixed mindset that they can’t be beaten or no-one else is as good as them, a timely reminder that not every kid gets a trophy.

If you’re interested to see whether you’ve got a fixed or growth mindset click on the link to complete the quiz.


Regards Shirley

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How Good is Your Culture? (WT563)

How Good is Your Culture? (WT563)


WT 563 How good is your culture

You’ve heard me mention the REACH profile before. It’s a psychometric tool we use to understand people’s personalities as well as their REACH – their agility to adapt to the other profiles or as a leader, their ability to use all of the 16 leadership competencies.

This week I did some peer reviews for one of my clients and we used the REACH Ecosystem Culture Survey.

The results we received were outstanding.

Both sets of results showed the current engagement scores for both leaders were in the top 10% of all culture surveys globally.

So what do the Culture Survey or engagement scores show us?

The scores are a reflection of how people feel about their workplace, which is commonly directly related to how the leaders execute the 4 key characteristics of a REACH Culture – the Who, Why, What and the How.

The report shows the percentage of participants who:

  1. Would recommend the organisation
  2. Enjoy their work
  3. Respect their team leaders
  4. Perceive that the team has a measurable impact on the organisation
  5. Believe that the organisation offers value
  6. Intend to remain in the organisation.

Obviously the higher the scores the better the team and organisation perform.

My question to you is, “How good is your culture?”

Do you know?

As a first step, why not ask your team to rate the above statements on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 lowest and 5 highest).

Calculate the percentages to see what your team really thinks.

Let me know how you go.

P.S. Want to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered straight to your inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.

Notify Your Face (WT551)

Notify Your Face (WT551)


WT 551 Notify your face

Have you ever witnessed someone say and do something that just made you cringe?

For me, it was about 13 years ago, whilst I was a participant in a training program.

The presenter was proudly telling her story about how she confronted a local checkout operator.

“Are you happy?” she asked the checkout operator.

“Yes”, replied the young girl.

“Well, notify your face”, boomed the presenter and laughed heartily.

Wow! I didn’t think that was funny. I didn’t laugh.

I thought it was cruel and righteous, which brings me to my point this week.

We all have different personalities; some are gregarious and outgoing and funny and loud and others are the exact opposite.

Because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re bad or that there is something wrong with us.

This presenter showed a complete lack of understanding of the differences and individuality in people.

I’m fascinated by people and I’ve been studying people all my life. I love people. I don’t always like them, nor they me and that’s okay because it would be a dull old world if we were all the same.

We need our differences. We need people to see things differently to us. We need people to do things differently to us, especially if we’re on a team.

We need the Drivers, the Coaches, the Advisors and the Counsellors. Each personality type has strengths and weaknesses and together they compliment each other and create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts (that’s the definition of “Synergy”).

If I take my own advice, I need to accept that the presenter has different views and ways of showing up than I do and I shall stop being judgmental and righteous myself.

I’m absolutely passionate about understanding our differences and making the most of them.

Today I’m hosting a free online training “How Your Personality Affects How Well You Lead”.

It’s on Friday 15th January at 11:00am AEST (Sydney time).

Don’t worry if you can’t make it. Simply register for the training and we’ll send you a link to the replay.

Let’s start the year with tolerance and understanding – that is, of others and ourselves.

Click Here to register for the training.

And it’s okay with me if you’re happy and you’re the quiet type. I’m not going to demand that you Notify Your Face.

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What Game are You Playing? (WT543)

What Game are You Playing? (WT543)


What Game are You Playing? WT543

This week I was privileged to attend Part 1 of Simon Sinek’s leadership training series, based on his book The Infinite Game.

Do you know the difference between a finite game and an infinite game?

I confess, I didn’t know the difference and it seems I’m not alone.

According to Sinek, “leaders don’t know the game they’re in”.

A finite game is a game that has a winner. It also has rules and known players and competitors.

An infinite game has known and unknown players. Its rules are changeable and the objective is to stay in the game, not to beat your opponent.

Examples of infinite games include: business, marriage, global politics, education and healthcare.

Playing the infinite game in business means becoming obsessed with where you are going versus beating the competition.

Sinek outlined the 5 components of the Infinite Mindset and explained that the Infinite Mindset is a “striving”. If we take health as an example, we strive to be healthy. To be healthy we need to exercise, sleep, meditate, drink so many litres of water each day and eat healthy food.  We can’t do them all at the same time. We go in and out of balance, however if our ambition is to be healthy over time, and we focus on each of the components of health, we will eventually achieve health. The same applies to business and marriage etc.

Sinek’s 5 components for business and leadership include:

  1. Advance a Just Cause
  2. Build Trusting Teams
  3. Respect/Study your Worthy Rivals
  4. Develop the capacity for existential flexibility
  5. Have the courage to lead.

What game are you playing?

What game do you want to play?

When will you start playing?

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