You Are What You Read

When you woke up this morning, what did you notice?

The colour of your ceiling?

The time on your watch?

The darkness of the early morning?

The sound of your Volkswagen’s engine?

The smell of coffee in the office?

The taste of toast on your commute?

The texture of your smartphone’s screen or keyboard?

What did you notice in all of the above? The common thread amongst all of these activities is that your brain is either consciously or unconsciously ingesting information. This information inevitably promotes your actions throughout your day and hands you the results that you are currently achieving.

So when you think of ingesting information next time, have a serious think in regards to what you are consciously allowing to enter and percolate through to your subconscious mind. This concept, one which I had learnt from watching a video from Bob Proctor, has changed my life quite recently and has made a lot of things make sense around me.

Often you hear the phrase coined by Tony Robbins that “Readers are Leaders”. Based on often recited statistics, the average CEO reads between 4-5 books a month whilst the top paid CEO’s globally read on average over 60 books per year. It’s incredible to think that the average CEO will read up to 59 more books per year where the average American will read only one book a year.

But, hang on a second, isn’t it a little hard to get around without reading? Like, how do you learn about current affairs? Or how do you find out which restaurant is the best in town?

It’s not that we aren’t reading anymore, it’s just that we are reading different things. Instead of reading books that charm or enlighten us, we are now more interested in our Social Media feeds. This, unfortunately, is what harms us the most. See, what you are consciously digesting is occupying your mind a lot longer than you expect it to. Awareness of this, believe it or not, can dramatically change your modus operandi day in and day out. So when you consciously decide to read and hear about all the tears, fears, gripes and rants of Facebook and Snapchat; you have to ask yourself this single question:

Is this helping or harming?
Is what you reading helping you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be?

How about thinking of it this way… If you wanted to learn how to become a great leader, would you opt for New Idea? Or would you opt for a Martin Luther King Jr biography? If you wanted to become a professional basketball player and needed the right mindset, would you scour your Facebook feed or would you learn about Michael Jordan and his approach to Basketball?

Once you identify that your conscious mind slowly percolates through to your subconscious, and that your subconscious drives your actions; you can begin to understand the importance of commanding your thoughts and the information you ingest.

So where do you want to go in the next five years?

Do you have any long term goals which you are striving to achieve?

If so, does the information and the environment you are surrounded by help you achieve what you desire?

If it doesn’t, what are you reading?

Just remember, you are what you read.

Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Indians and Definitely No Leaders

Let’s be frank, who hasn’t heard the saying “Too many Chiefs, not enough Indians”?

When was the first time or even the last time you heard this?

Was it in your local sporting club? Was it in your first workplace? Was it whilst you were getting your legs waxed at your beauty therapists home?

The craziest thing about this one phrase is that it doesn’t just apply to those higher in the pecking order of the organisation. More often than not, it’s often senior management in large enough organisations which point the finger at middle management or team lead positions. Then, on the other side of the coin, you hear from the coal face that the company or the project is too ‘top heavy’ with nowhere near enough resources on the ground completing the works that are essential for timely completion.

So what brings this about?

Are we acting in our own best interest right now?

Are we acting in the best interest for the company?

Are the current business decisions being made right now aligned with the long term vision of the organisation?

Are all actions being communicated effectively?

Honestly, it only comes down to one sole reason why we hear and see disengagement within this scenario.

Honestly, it is a simple fix.

Honestly, it must be made a habit practiced each day until made habitual.

The scary part is, of course, is that we often disassociate it from our actions in order to protect or retract in scenarios which scare us.

Leadership. We need YOU to lead.

We need leaders, congruent leaders. We need those who have installed the organisations vision into their neurological firmware that act in accordance with how the business operates. We need you to communicate clearly, effectively and directly the challenges you face and we need you to resolve them. We need you to pull your finger out when things are tough and we need you to reward your team when things are great. You may not be in a managerial or leadership position, yet you must take ownership and responsibility of your tasks by excelling at what you do best.

In a world of leaders, there is a story worth following. In a world of leaders, there is an awe-inspiring message worth spreading. In a world of leaders, there are tribes of people understanding who you are and why you are worth their commitment.

It’s easier and ever to be a writer on the internet (look what I’m doing now) and it’s even easier to have your say. However, you need to ask yourself whether you are giving your thousand true fans something they want? Are your words, thoughts, heart and actions aligned with their approach to the world?

‘The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives’ – Tony Robbins
So, what are you going to do?

Are you going to communicate congruently with your team?

Are you going to act in the best interest of the Business Model, Strategy and Project?

Or, are you going to act in the best interest of yourself and be labeled an unnecessary chief amongst the indians?

Well, let’s just say I know where I would rather be.

BE CONGRUENT. BE A LEADER. EMBRACE IT.

Integrity Is Dead And This Is The Answer

How often do you evaluate your personal beliefs?

Do you live firmly by your beliefs and values?

From my experience in the Engineering and Construction Industry, integrity is king. You can nearly walk into or view any fortune 500 organisations’ website and bingo! You will find integrity in the company values. However based on the Oxford English Dictionary definition of integrity, I am convinced that integrity is not the answer. Below are the following definitions of integrity found on Oxforddictionaries.com:

1. THE QUALITY OF BEING HONEST AND HAVING STRONG MORAL PRINCIPLES;
2. THE STATE OF BEING WHOLE AND UNDIVIDED;
3. THE CONDITION OF BEING UNIFIED OR SOUND IN CONSTRUCTION; AND
4. INTERNAL CONSISTENCY OR LACK OF CORRUPTION IN ELECTRONIC DATA.
From the looks of things, this seems pretty clear. In fact, I agree with the above. However, many organisations like to reduce integrity to the following:

To do as you say and say as you do.

And this is where it all falls down. This notion of acting and saying with unity is so wrong. In fact; acting, speaking whilst being embedded within your personal morals and values just doesn’t cut it any more.

We want remarkable, right? We want to be working in the most remarkable team. We want to be the most remarkable entrepreneur or manager. We want to be the most remarkable athlete, husband, wife, father, mother, son, student, facilitator, coach, you name it! The world rewards remarkable. Very good isn’t safe any more. In fact, it’s risky to be very good.

Then, you’re probably thinking what separates the remarkable people of the world from the very good people.

One word. That’s it. Congruency. These people are forever in a state of being congruent. These people are in a state of complete alignment and harmony with themselves. Not only do they say how they act, they also think how they act and more importantly they feel and acknowledge that what they’re doing on this earth is their genuine calling. Their actions are morally and ethically aligned with who they are at heart. These people, companies, athletes, mothers and fathers are the leaders in their fields. There’s even a Theory of Congruent Leadership (for those who are interested: http://www.web.uwa.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1879459/Toward-the-theory.pdf)!

So look around you, who are the leaders that you know of that inspire you the most? Which leaders have truly inspired and why? Have you seen how they inspire action? These people have always had a vision which they are willing to stake their entire dependence upon. With this type of conviction, it’s hard to argue that these leaders weren’t congruent with who they are. They, no doubt, are (or were) more in tune with themselves than any other person on.

So, how does one become more congruent? It’s pretty simple actually.

All it takes is listening to your internal dialogue and working out who you really are, what you stand for and determining your personal mission statement. For me, this all was kicked off by reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The book identified something to me which truly changed my life…

Congruency comes from the heart

Be congruent. Be remarkable. Embrace it.