True Leadership: The Neuroscience of Effective Leaders – Part #3

Peter:
James: My goal is to embed or to have these five traits stick and the only way to do that and I do something similar – we’ll talk about this later in the Imagine That workshop. But I start off with a question right when I walk out and the question is if you have a magic wand and you could waive it and change one thing, what would be the one thing you would change to make yourself a better leader? So the entire workshop is geared to answer that question by examining the imagining, examining fear, examining values, examining what creates passion, examining how you tell a story and then at the very end, they answer the question. They literally write it down and it’s mailed to them within a month. So my goal in all my workshops is how do you extend the keynote or the workshop beyond the moment because you and I both know and maybe you more than me is when people attend a talk where they’re being just talked at – because mine are very, very interactive ¬– they will lose most of that information within a day or two days. If they retain 1% of it, they’ll be lucky. My goal is to make it stick and you make it stick by interaction, you make it stick by self examination, you make it stick by having them experience creating their own vision that they can then carry into the workforce.

Peter: I would say that the one takeaway of this conversation is the importance of really taking the time to create and develop that personal vision for yourself of what you want to accomplish and make sure that it’s realistic, it’s grounded and it’s something that you can articulate.

James: I like the realistic thing because so many people create visions that are not achievable so it demotivates instead of motivates. When I do private clients, they’re always shock because I work with executives and the first thing we do is start at the beginning. So they have to go and create their own personal vision statement which then becomes their compass to measure their goals against. What most people failed to see is that a goal – I mean you can achieve a goal if I go workout, then I achieve my workout goal but then what? So a vision, it has to be expansive. It has to be something if you stretch a rubber band out and you hold that tension which is all about creativity, you want that to pull people forward towards it and in the pulling forward, they’re accomplishing their daily tasks, the mundane stuff but the vision creates the motivation. It gives them not only hope but it creates passion and it has to be achievable and you have to see that you’re making progress and it has to be easily communicated.

Peter: And you have to be able to measure it.

James: And you have to be able to measure it. That is true, very true.

Peter: What have we covered in this conversation that you think is important for our audience to take away?

James: I think we’ve covered but if I were to say what’s the takeaway¬ – I give assignment.

Peter: All right, give us an assignment.

James: The assignment would be to take the time to list your five most important values and determine the top 2 if forever you could only keep 2, you have no choice. You have to throw three of them away. You can do that in an instant, right? The second thing would be to look at the style of life that is the most important to you. I’ll give you a couple of category. There are a lot of styles of life – social, spiritual, and write that down and then write down your most important relationship in your life and I’ll tell you why I have people do this in a second. Then write down one future plan that passionately drives you because on a personal level, if those are incorporated into your compass, then you can measure your day, moment to moment, day by day tasks against the goal. I do this everyday in my life, things come at me, I get offers to do things, I measure them against my vision which I recreate every four to five months, it’s not easy, and sometimes I have to say no to that which I want to do in the moment because I want satisfaction as we all do as human beings but – we’ll cover this in another talk – a leader is to delay momentary satisfaction to be able to achieve something larger and you can only do that if you’re grounded in your own vision which is about your values, about what drives you.

Peter: That’s really interesting and I think that’s a great point to end this particular conversation because I think so many people are living a transactional life and a life that is in the moment and just being reactive to whatever is coming at them at that particular moment without having this vision, without having this larger goal that they are working to achieve.

James: And without the support, you see. We’ll cover that in another session. There’s a Nelson Mandela quote that is taken out of context but I love it because it says it all to me and that is “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Peter: Well James, on that note, it’s always great to have a change to speak with you and thank you so much.

James: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Peter: We’ve been speaking with James Mapes. His website is jamesmapes.com.

We welcome your comments on our interview with James. You’ll find this podcast in the Leadership Channel on TotalPicture Radio. That’s totalpicture.com. While there, please sign up for a newsletter and remember you can subscribe to TPR on iTunes. Just do a keyword search for TotalPicture Radio and join me on Twitter @peterclayton.

Our interviews can link your company with your clients, prospects, employees and passive candidates. Contact us for sponsorship opportunities at sponsor@totalpicture.com.

Thanks for tuning in to TPR, the voice of career and leadership acceleration.
Peter: Back to the leadership training that you do. So you go in and you do this workshop, what is the outcome and what are you hoping that that audience is going to walk away and be able to accomplish?

James: My goal is to embed or to have these five traits stick and the only way to do that and I do something similar – we’ll talk about this later in the Imagine That workshop. But I start off with a question right when I walk out and the question is if you have a magic wand and you could waive it and change one thing, what would be the one thing you would change to make yourself a better leader? So the entire workshop is geared to answer that question by examining the imagining, examining fear, examining values, examining what creates passion, examining how you tell a story and then at the very end, they answer the question. They literally write it down and it’s mailed to them within a month. So my goal in all my workshops is how do you extend the keynote or the workshop beyond the moment because you and I both know and maybe you more than me is when people attend a talk where they’re being just talked at – because mine are very, very interactive ¬– they will lose most of that information within a day or two days. If they retain 1% of it, they’ll be lucky. My goal is to make it stick and you make it stick by interaction, you make it stick by self examination, you make it stick by having them experience creating their own vision that they can then carry into the workforce.

Peter: I would say that the one takeaway of this conversation is the importance of really taking the time to create and develop that personal vision for yourself of what you want to accomplish and make sure that it’s realistic, it’s grounded and it’s something that you can articulate.

James: I like the realistic thing because so many people create visions that are not achievable so it demotivates instead of motivates. When I do private clients, they’re always shock because I work with executives and the first thing we do is start at the beginning. So they have to go and create their own personal vision statement which then becomes their compass to measure their goals against. What most people failed to see is that a goal – I mean you can achieve a goal if I go workout, then I achieve my workout goal but then what? So a vision, it has to be expansive. It has to be something if you stretch a rubber band out and you hold that tension which is all about creativity, you want that to pull people forward towards it and in the pulling forward, they’re accomplishing their daily tasks, the mundane stuff but the vision creates the motivation. It gives them not only hope but it creates passion and it has to be achievable and you have to see that you’re making progress and it has to be easily communicated.

Peter: And you have to be able to measure it.

James: And you have to be able to measure it. That is true, very true.

Peter: What have we covered in this conversation that you think is important for our audience to take away?

James: I think we’ve covered but if I were to say what’s the takeaway¬ – I give assignment.

Peter: All right, give us an assignment.

James: The assignment would be to take the time to list your five most important values and determine the top 2 if forever you could only keep 2, you have no choice. You have to throw three of them away. You can do that in an instant, right? The second thing would be to look at the style of life that is the most important to you. I’ll give you a couple of category. There are a lot of styles of life – social, spiritual, and write that down and then write down your most important relationship in your life and I’ll tell you why I have people do this in a second. Then write down one future plan that passionately drives you because on a personal level, if those are incorporated into your compass, then you can measure your day, moment to moment, day by day tasks against the goal. I do this everyday in my life, things come at me, I get offers to do things, I measure them against my vision which I recreate every four to five months, it’s not easy, and sometimes I have to say no to that which I want to do in the moment because I want satisfaction as we all do as human beings but – we’ll cover this in another talk – a leader is to delay momentary satisfaction to be able to achieve something larger and you can only do that if you’re grounded in your own vision which is about your values, about what drives you.

Peter: That’s really interesting and I think that’s a great point to end this particular conversation because I think so many people are living a transactional life and a life that is in the moment and just being reactive to whatever is coming at them at that particular moment without having this vision, without having this larger goal that they are working to achieve.

James: And without the support, you see. We’ll cover that in another session. There’s a Nelson Mandela quote that is taken out of context but I love it because it says it all to me and that is “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Peter: Well James, on that note, it’s always great to have a change to speak with you and thank you so much.

James: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Peter: We’ve been speaking with James Mapes. His website is jamesmapes.com.

We welcome your comments on our interview with James. You’ll find this podcast in the Leadership Channel on TotalPicture Radio. That’s totalpicture.com. While there, please sign up for a newsletter and remember you can subscribe to TPR on iTunes. Just do a keyword search for TotalPicture Radio and join me on Twitter @peterclayton.

Our interviews can link your company with your clients, prospects, employees and passive candidates. Contact us for sponsorship opportunities at sponsor@totalpicture.com.

Thanks for tuning in to TPR, the voice of career and leadership acceleration.

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