Today’s post is by Dusan Djukich of Straight-Line Coach. This articles covers leadership and what it means to be completely in control of your business and your life.
Straight Line People
Straight-line people use distinctions to maintain their high levels of awareness and performance. In this article, I am now revealing the most useful and powerful distinctions I know of so that straight-line leadership can be your own route to success in any field that you choose.
With these distinctions you can first notice the inner stance that you are operating from, and if that stance is insufficient you can choose another stance that does work for you.
You can start solving your own problems and assisting others to do the same.
But be careful at this point. It’s easy to be misled because straight-line leaders do not simply “understand” these distinctions and then process them as information.
They live the distinctions.
So it’s important to notice: “Are you understanding it or are you living it?”
Remember, knowing without doing dilutes your strength.
When you assume straight-line leadership, you incorporate certain empowering distinctions into your operating system, so that you are coming from these now-internal distinctions instead of “trying to remember” them, which is what happens in the circle and the zigzag world.
- Straight-line individuals can read three chapters out of a business book and accomplish more than a zigzagger who reads seventy-eight books and underlines every word.
- Straight-line individuals are not content with understanding. Their purpose in reading is different.
- They are disciplined in remembering what their intention is.
- They are not interested in blabbing about the book to their friends and trying to impress them with their newfound information.
When I take on zigzag individuals as coaching clients, they often tell me they’ve tried and read nearly everything. They say, “Now I know all this great stuff. Now what? Is it time to go read more stuff that I’m not going to do anything with?”
No. It’s time to utilize some distinctions.
I get them to see that not applying certain “distinctions” will lead them to “extinction.” Straight-line individuals are not “better” than the others.
They are not, at heart, any different than you or me. Every one of us is a part of all three types until we’re choosing not to be.
Here’s the only real difference: Straight-line people simply create (and utilize) more internal tools.
And once those tools (distinctions) are incorporated, there is nothing but pure, powerful, intelligent action!
Circle and zigzag people are not in action because they are hung up. They are trying to sort out what they see as necessary preconditions to action. For example, they say they need more courage. Or they think they need to get rid of a certain bad habit. Or learn more about the situation before they can act.
Straight-line people don’t focus on those concerns. They simply act decisively. Fear or no fear.
They know that all results come out of decisive action. So rather than looking for the courage, or the strength, or “enough time” to do something important, they forget all of that.
It’s too mentally exhausting to work on all of that. So they just drop the preconditions.
They know from experience that getting from A to B is always about doing the next required action.
The Universe Rewards the Action Taken
The universe moves for the deed, not the doer.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter if the doer has fear or experiences a lack of confidence. The universe just rewards the action taken.
It doesn’t matter if you have a lack of confidence or total unshakeable confidence. It’s not about that. It’s about doing the deed.
And by doing the deed, I mean doing “what’s required” to get the results you intend.
How would your life change if you could learn to give one hundred percent with or without fear?
Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.
Most people get sidetracked into “getting things” they think they need before they act, or getting rid of things (like fear) before they start.
I was training a group of sales executives who had a lot of questions for me about overcoming fear. They wanted to know how to deal with call reluctance and other forms of fear that they believed was keeping their sales team from its intended results.
I recommended decisive action as the solution. Decisive action will defeat confidence and good feelings any day of the week.
Just move ahead to take the decisive action that you are not taking but you know needs to be taken. Do this enough times and confidence and good feelings will no longer be an issue for you.
You produce them not by nurturing their lack, not by “dealing with” them directly, but by setting them aside and taking decisive action. Within three months the team had more than doubled its sales volume.
Straight-line individuals simply decide what they want to accomplish, jot down what the necessary required actions are, and then do the necessary required actions.
Because most people never define the necessary required actions to achieve what they intend, they will always simply do whatever actions are comfortable at the time. They are always going with the feeling of activity instead of insisting on doing the necessary required deed.
You can counter this habit by asking yourself five times a day, “Am I being productive or just going through the motions? Am I just inventing things to do to avoid my NRAs?”
When the answer to that question is “Yes!” then it’s time to create a must-do list and then implement rigorous deadlines to force immediate action.
You have to do what you have to do
Remember as you do this that “giving it your best shot” doesn’t count for anything. You have to do what’s required.
A straight-line person sees circumstances as neutral. Events have no meaning until useful meaning is applied through deliberate, purposeful language.
Opportunities are constantly arising to a straight- line person whereas the circle and zigzag people are stuck in stories about why so many events are “bad news.”
Most people have no idea that they fall into these categories. They don’t even realize that their perceptions have consequences. They think that everything they believe is just the way it is.
But just because they believe something doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means they believe it. After all, only a few hundred years ago most of the people on this round planet believed that the world was flat.
A straight-line individual uses the words and actions that are most effective in creating movement from A to B. Their language creates an invented future (point B) and then they declare the necessary action.
Whereas the language of other people usually just describes the unfortunate past. No future is being created.
A straight-line individual has a deep understanding of what it is to make a commitment. Their definition of commitment is crystal clear:
Commitment = A created stance in which you know what you will do (or not do) regardless of what happens or what doesn’t happen.
There’s your straight-line right there. I invite you to begin living with that definition yourself and choose what you are committed to doing. Watch how fast your life straightens out.
Avoiding the Circle and Zigzag
We all have circle in us and zigzag as well. But that committed person inside you is a straight-line being. That’s the one you want to nurture, cultivate, and grow.
A famous Native American legend clarifies this idea beautifully. It lives on as a timeless parable from the Cherokee:
An old Cherokee chief is teaching his grandson about life: “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity, arrogance, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”
“The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, truth, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, compassion and faith.”
“This same fight is going on inside you — and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
WANTING VERSUS CREATING
Straight-line individuals immediately shift from wanting to creating.
Circle and zigzag individuals either stay at wanting or easily relapse back into wanting.
But notice what happens when you persistently want something to occur. Wanting soon leads to more wanting. And wanting depletes your energy and tends to upset you. It dramatizes and gives exaggerated “reality” to your identity as a person who does not have what he wants.
That becomes who you are being. It becomes how you live. And, as with every other stance you live from, there are consequences.
It’s not powerful for you to live from that identity, and it’s certainly not enjoyable for others to be around it.
It’s fine to have wants and dreams as long as you are willing to wake up and make them happen. But staying in the wanting state is simply degrading.
Test this principle for yourself: take just twenty minutes and consciously allow yourself to want something — the kids to clean up their room, or your investments to increase in value — now notice how you feel.
Wanting what you don’t have just makes you feel worse and worse.
Those twenty minutes of wanting can destroy your spirit for a whole day. Continued over time, it can poison your attitude and cause an entire career to veer off course.
I once knew an executive I’ll call Scott who isn’t an executive anymore.
People always tried to help Scott get better. They shared with him ways to be more effective and enhance his performance. But when he received the workable information he would just chuckle and say, “Good stuff” but never apply anything.
He no longer has his position.
The distinctions being presented here must be created and lived daily. Otherwise they won’t be useful. They’ll be reduced to interesting concepts that are fun to think about but will never have any power to transform your life.
Scott, his head filled with good stuff — was let go.
Remember, it’s the deed — not the doer — that gets you the results that you are after.
Diets and taking action
Let’s look at this in another way. Take weight-loss diets as an example. It’s my observation that all diets work — every last one of them.
It’s the dieters who don’t work.
Have you ever seen someone who is grossly overweight with multiple health problems?
Their relatives and friends are seriously worried about him. They know that the person must lose weight to save his life, but they don’t know what to do to help. Because it’s the person with the health condition who must take the required action to drop the weight.
And we might make all kinds of things up about the person. He’s lazy. He’s self-destructive. But none of that really helps. Nor does it explain anything.
There is only one explanation: the deed is not being done.
It has nothing to do with labels we attach to the doer.
People will do the deed (necessary required action) once they stop caring about anything but the deed itself.
Care so much that you don’t care
Straight-line individuals care so much that they don’t care.
Straight-line individuals care so much that they don’t care. This is an insight I came up with one day when I was working with my own coach Steve Hardison.
Hardison charges between $150,000 and $1,000,000 dollars per year, and people fly in from all over the world to Phoenix to work with him.
What he helped me see one day is that most people are focused on their own comfort and feelings. They care about how they’re coming across. They care about what people think of them.
I saw that it was possible at any time to just drop all that and focus on getting the result.
To care so much about the result, that you are no longer controlled by the judgments of others. You no longer just say what you think people want to hear.
You say what will make a difference.
Motivational teachers repeat it many different ways, but it’s just one thought. It’s a binary system:
Are you ON or are you OFF?
People who create action this way don’t care how they do it. They are not concerned what other people think of them. So they can say what the others don’t say.
They can step up and ask for things that the others are afraid to ask for.
This doesn’t give them carte blanche authority to be a jerk or talk down to people. Being respectful to others simply works. But people respect direct, honest communication.
To be more effective in producing results, have it be that when you say you will do something you can count on it. Make your words powerful and your language generative.
The hallmark of a committed individual is that he can be counted on. In other words, what you say now makes things happen!
Most people use language for description, not creation. They are always describing what just happened.
Straight-line people use language to create what they want… to move themselves and the people they are talking to into the realm of productive action.
STOP STOPPING VERSUS STOPPING
Without persistent, focused action everything you know is virtually useless — a series of interesting mental exercises — nothing more.
Many people will begin a new project with inspired action, but then something happens and they soon get discouraged and then distracted and then finally become so sidetracked that what they began is never finished.
You have probably started a lot of things that you never completed. Maybe it was piano lessons, or an exercise regimen, or even a new system to improve sales in your business.
You tried it for a while, and then for one reason or another it just dropped out of your life.
You started and then you stopped.
Now it’s time to stop stopping, beginning with the use of the distinctions in this article. You’ll start using the distinctions that you find most beneficial. You’ll be creating new places to come from.
In the past, if you are like some of the people I coach, you’ve started a lot of various projects. If you had just stayed with them you would have success now beyond imagining. But you stopped.
When you practice the act of stopping your stopping you will leave your zigzag life behind. This will keep you on the straight line. And it’s the “keeping” part that’s the most important.
When you are on the right track, it no longer matters. When you hit some bumps in the road that slow you down, you will still get there if you stay on the right track.
Just stop the stopping.
Busyness is not business
Most people confuse activity with productivity. They value busyness over results.
So they jump into a new system of doing something that they are so excited about and start applying enormous energy to it but soon shut down and quit. The slightest setback has them stop.
That won’t happen to you when you stop stopping.
You can even slow down to a crawl and become more focused when you know you will not stop.
Because frantic speed is not as important as “getting from A to B.” Your frenzied beginnings have led to nothing. So stop doing life that way.
Choose your path and stay on it.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But why do I do that? What’s wrong with me? Why do I stop? Don’t I need to find that out?”
No, you don’t need to figure any of that out. Why does it matter? It will only delay your progress to wallow in past theories, stories, and beliefs.
You want to replace all that mental spinning with pure action.
An extremely effective formula I use
There’s an extremely effective formula I frequently use with clients to provide access to achieving desired outcomes. It goes as follows:
- Step One: Decide what you intend to accomplish.
- Step Two: Define exactly what actions it will take from you to achieve the outcome.
- Step Three: Decide if you are willing to pay that price. (If you’re not willing to pay the price to get whatever you want, you’re just going to get frustrated.)
- Step Four: Monitor the results of your actions and make corrections when needed.
- Step Five: Continue to take the required actions and do not stop until your outcome is realized.
Most people never really define what it’s going to take to get the result that they want. Therefore they are unable to confront whether they are really willing to do what’s required.
Somebody sees a big expensive house and says, “Well, that’s my new goal. I want one of those!” and they don’t really confront what they are really going to have to do that they are not doing now to get this big expensive house.
They never decide if they are really willing to do what’s necessary or not and therefore, as always, no house.
You’ve got to define the necessary required actions you’ll be taking. And then you’ve got to do the necessary required actions without stopping.
It’s just that simple.
Also, remember to constantly observe the results that you are achieving to see when your actions are moving you toward your desired outcome or taking you further away from it.
When necessary, take corrective action.
Once you are satisfied with the results of your current actions, just continue to do what’s working until you achieve the outcome.
This formula will produce miracles for you when you work it.
Failure comes from quitting
People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit.
The above quote by the great football coach George Allen reflects a phenomenon known to people in the world of sports, business, and anywhere else where there’s measurable accomplishment occurring.
Most failure comes from quitting too soon. Most success comes from a willingness to go that extra mile and finish.
One of the greatest wide receivers in the NFL, Larry Fitzgerald, wears the following slogan on his practice jersey:
FAITH FOCUS FINISH
Bethany Hamilton was the 2004 ESPN Comeback Athlete of the Year, and an amazing example of someone who knew how not to stop.
At the age of thirteen she was attacked by a shark while surfing and lost an arm as a result.
Within six months she was surfing again competitively, and winning, with one arm.
Here’s someone else who did not stop. After he was nearly killed in an auto accident that crushed both his legs, he would struggle to walk for the rest of his life. But, sixteen months after the accident, Ben Hogan would win the US Open and ultimately five more major golf championships.
My close friend and colleague, Steve Chandler, in his leadership bestseller 100 Ways to Motivate Others, talks about eliminating the habit of throwing the “quit switch.”
Some people, out of a lifelong habit, throw the quit switch at the first sign of frustration.
Their workout gets difficult, so they throw the switch and go home.
Their day of making phone calls gets frustrating so they stop calling and go to get coffee with a co-worker for two hours of sympathetic negativity.
In Conclusion — Leadership Doesn’t Stop
A human being is built — like any other life form — to persist until a goal is reached.
Watch children get what they want and you’ll see the natural, built-in persistence. Children don’t stop even when you tell them no.
But somewhere along the way we learn about stopping as an option. Soon, we start stopping everything that gets uncomfortable.
First we do it after a severe frustration, and then we get down to stopping things after a medium frustration, and soon we stop in the face of any discomfort at all. We quit.
When you learn to stop stopping, you will achieve virtually any goal you ever set.
You will never give up on your projects.
You will finish everything that you are truly committed to.
You will make every month’s sales goal.
You will even lose all the weight you ever wanted to lose.
You will achieve anything you want because you will not stop doing the necessary required actions until the result is achieved.
The habit of stopping too soon is misinterpreted as a lack of willpower, courage, drive, or desire; but that’s nonsense. It’s only a habit.
And like any habit, it can be replaced with another habit.
One’s inner stance is all that has to be changed. You can have the inner stance of a quitter, or the inner stance of a finisher.
The choice is always yours, and it’s never too late to choose.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on leadership. Do you see yourself as a leader? Has this article helped you form beliefs about leadership that you can use in your business and life? Let us in know in the comments below.