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What Smart CIOs are Doing?

Tech trendsThis blog is a collaboration between Angelo Mazzocco, CIO, Central Ohio Primary Care and Co-Founding Organizer of the CIO Tomorrow Conference, and Maureen Metcalf, CEO, Metcalf & Associates and host of the Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations radio program.

The world is changing dramatically, and technology is leading this global transition. As technology leaders, you will be distinguished by your ability anticipate trends and recommend changes that leverage them before your competition does. This proactive ability to read what is happening and turn it into a competitive advantage is rare and highly valuable to companies.

“Former Intel Chairman Andy Grove said that an inflection point, ‘occurs where the old strategic picture dissolves and gives way to the new.’ This seems to be happening with disconcerting regularity. Every day, contemporary executives confront a series of inflection points – situations in which received wisdom is no longer adequate or appropriate for the task at hand. Francois Hollande became the president of France on the promise of being “Mr. Normal.” His record-settingly low popularity suggests that, at least in France, there is no place for normal, as The New York Times put it. That may be true everywhere. Here’s the thing: Great leaders are able to imagine and hence control what is on the other side of the inflection point.” Thorton May, Innovative Leaders Guide to Implementing Analytics Programs

One of the most common questions Maureen hears from technology leaders is: with all of the changes, how can I manage the deluge of information, identify the critical elements and stay current? To figure this out, she interviewed Angelo about his thoughts on his personal development to understand what shaped his thinking when he invited high-profile keynote speakers to the upcoming CIO Tomorrow conference. The event, held in Columbus, Ohio, has attracted national participation. Her questions to Angelo were:  What trends are you following? What would you recommend the broader CIO community focus on? What are you focusing on, yourself, and how are you sharing it with conference attendees and the CIO group you facilitate?

Angelo believes it is all about preparing for the disruptive pressures many of us are already feeling – which will continue at an accelerating pace. As effective technology leaders, it is incumbent upon us to identify the disruptions facing our specific industry, as well as those in adjacent industries that will spill over into ours. Two of the hottest, most disruptive topics are:

  1. Cloud-based computing providing opportunities to disrupt – many organizations have resisted moving to the cloud because of data privacy and security, but companies that differentiate themselves by being technology leaders will identify creative cloud-based solutions that move them ahead of their less visionary competitors. Applications offered as a service make them more cost-effective and free IT budgets to generate value in more creative ways. Uber is a hugely disruptive example. It is a computer company offering transportation services, rather than a transportation company like a cab company. If your company were to shift to a technology-driven company, what would it look like? What vision could you set to change the landscape of your industry?
  2. Cybersecurity – when we think of recent cybersecurity breaches, two names come to mind: Sony and WikiLeaks. Releasing data is one side of security risk; the other is intruding into a system to do harm. Intruders take many different avenues, and for different reasons. Protecting organizations (public and private) has never been more important than now, when intrusions have such pervasive impact and can be executed from anywhere in the world. What parts of your organization are vulnerable to intrusion from either internal or external sources? What do you need to do to address this? Over what timeframe?

Of all the topics technology leaders are considering, these are among the top two that Angelo talks about. Others include how technology leaders partner with their business colleagues in industries that have not yet leveraged technology as a strategic advantage, and how those leaders continue to build the most effective organizations to attract top talent and continually adapt their processes.

One way to significantly enhance your knowledge on these topics – along with many of the top CIOs in the region – is to attend the CIO Tomorrow conference to hear and interact with thought leaders as we explore the changing norms in people, process and technologies in today’s disruptive landscape.

photo credit: www.flickr.com perspecsys

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Build Your Team & Communicate Reflection Questions Reflection Questions Part 1 – Eric’s Story

Taking responsibility for lifeI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In the last post, we talked about how to effectively communicate and interact with different members of your support team based on their roles. In this post, we will answer a series of reflection questions to strengthen our understanding of the development and communication of our support teams. I have broken the reflection questions into two posts so the next one will contain the second half of the questions.

Eric Part 1 Communication reflection questions

The next post will focus on reflection questions relating to the culture and systems.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com chua

Communication Planning, Asking for Support – Eric’s Story

Goal without plan I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In the last post, we established criteria, determined support team members, and their roles based on our specific development goals. In this post, we will manage our communication, timing, and expectations for different types of support team relationships. We will also discuss how to effectively reach out to potential team members who you don’t already know, and emphasize the value of an internship as a formal mentorship.

Communication Planning

Complete the Communication Planning Worksheet below, using the Support Team Worksheet you completed in the last post.

Communication Worksheet - Eric

Reaching out to Potential Supporters

Carefully read the criteria and do the exercises. In the both the support team and communication planning worksheets, make an extra column on the side for specific people who would be ideal for each goal. Right now it may say “a family member” or “someone in my dorm”, but get more specific. For each type of goal, write down as many specific people you know who would fit that role, even if you do have not introduced yourself to that person yet. Think of family, friends, classmates, people in your dorm and co-workers. If you are looking for mentorship for a professional goal, consider professionals in a related field, or even professors who teach that. If you don’t know many professionals, then consider an internship.

After completing this, prepare to approach these people. If you already know them well, kindly contact them how you normally would; however, if you have not introduced yourself, be a bit more careful. Look for an opportunity where you will run into them, contact them via social media or email, or have a mutual friend introduce each other if possible.

Internships – Ideal Professional Mentorship

If you’re having difficulty finding a professional mentor, an internship is one of the best ways to do this, plus there are countless other benefits that an internship brings. Ideally, you do work for a company that aligns with your professional goals, while receiving feedback and mentorship from someone within the company. Other benefits may include financial rewards, valuable experience, additions to resume, letters of recommendation, networking and so much more. Before you start an internship, communicate your mentorship goals to your superiors/co-workers. Obtaining an internship may seem difficult and competitive, but it doesn’t have to be if you take certain approaches.

While career fairs and job listing websites are a great way to get an internship at a “big name” company, they are the most competitive way. Consider this: for every “big name” company you see at a career fair, there may be a dozen small and local companies in your area that do the same thing. These smaller companies don’t have the time or resources to recruit at a career fair or job website, and many of these companies don’t even realize they need an intern. Do a search of companies in your area that do what you want to do, look on their website for an email address, and don’t be afraid to politely reach out to them. Smaller companies can benefit from your help more, which increases their likelihood to accept you as well as give you more responsibility and hands-on experience, thus you learn more. Another perk is that the owner of the company may have worked at a big name company in the industry for a long time, and is extremely skilled, experienced and connected, which is why they are confident enough to start their own company. In summary, getting in internship in your desired industry is one of the best things you can possibly do while in college. Go get one!

Now you have a great understanding of how to select and communicate with your ideal support team. In the next post, we will answer reflection questions to further refine our understanding of building and communicating with our support team.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com Celestine Chua

Build Your Team & Communicate, Part One – Eric’s Story

Everyone teachesI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In this step, you will create a strong support group to provide insight and feedback as you pursue short-term and/or long-term goals. In this post (part of the overall step), we will review selection criteria for your support team and do a worksheet to help connect goals with potential support team members.

Support Team Selection Criteria

 When establishing selection criteria, consider that each goal may call for a different type of team member. You might use someone with lots of experience as a mentorship, or you might use someone with equal experience with whom you work together in a partnership role. Before getting into specific criteria, it is important to keep in mind that some seemingly great candidates are people who always tell you what you want to hear, and are afraid to offer constructive criticism because they think they might offend you somehow. Either avoid choosing them, or, if possible, tell them that you will need constructive criticism to grow, and that you will not be offended if they communicate feedback/criticism in a respectful way. Also consider this list of factors as a starting point to developing your support team:

  • Performance: Consider selecting people who have mastery in concepts, skills or behaviors that you would like to develop. These people may have expertise in your field or a field you would like to explore. On the other hand, these people may have strong internal abilities (EQ/resilience, motivation, etc.) or external abilities (“hard skills” such as health, fitness, productivity, time management skills, etc.). They may also be just overall good, caring and respected people.
  • Friends, Family and Roommates: People very close to you in your personal life are effective candidates because they already know about you and your past, and you have a firmly established sense of trust. You may see them on a fairly regular basis, so communication would not be an issue. They might also help you balance your goal with other commitments, such as academic, professional and family commitments, since they might already have an understanding of these aspects of your life.
  • Professors, Advisors, Consultants or Therapists: These people are independent experts in the processes of development and providing helpful feedback. They lack natural biases that some friends, family and roommates may have. These people exist in any personal and professional field that you can imagine.
  • Willingness and Ability to Commit Time to Your Development: It’s critical to understand the mutual needs of you and your support team members. Consider how a candidate can benefit from helping you and to make time for them to provide the feedback you desire. Prepare to be flexible when making plans with support team candidates. Consider volunteering in an organization that your candidate is in to establish the mutual benefit, or helping them with some task in order to expedite its completion, giving them time to provide the feedback you desire. A good example of this is an internship – you help an experienced professional with some work, and in return you get feedback and knowledge.

Support Team Worksheet

Considering the factors listed above, and your plans and goals from the previous innovative leadership steps, replicate the Support Team Worksheet in Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet, and then fill in your answers. Save it on a cloud storage program for more convenience. My answers are in italics.

Eric Support Worksheet

Now you have an idea of what type of support you need based on your goals, and criteria to help you select the ideal support team. The next part in the Build Your Team & Communicate process is the communication part. Communication is vital to effective leadership. In the next post, you’ll learn how to effectively communicate with each support team member, no matter how diverse your support team is.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com Celestine Chua

Plan Your Career Development Journey Reflection Questions – Eric’s Story

I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In my last post we did an in-depth analysis on our short-term goals to help reach our next career milestones and discovered effective time management techniques. Now we will fine-tune our short-term goals by answering specific reflection questions. In accordance to the nature of innovative leadership, we not only consider how our personal development goals impact ourselves, but we also consider how they impact our organizations.

Reflection Questions for Plan

We have reached the end of the Plan Your Journey step. This is the third of the six processes of developing innovative leadership – you’re halfway there! As you can see in the graphic below, the next topic is Build Your Team & Communicate, in which we will create a group of mentors and partners to help us before we go all-out in the Take Action step.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Plan Your Career Development Journey Part 2 – Eric’s Story

IGoals’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. In the last post we discussed identifying a skill/behavior that you would like to improve in order to help you reach your next career milestone, with the understanding that our long-term life goals are made up of a series of short-term goals. In this post, you’ll clearly identify the skill/behavior you’d like to improve upon, and then create a plan outlining how the current state of that skill, future goal, daily routine/actions, deadline for completion and a way to measure progress.

Your goal should be S.M.A.R.T.

We recommend that your goal be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T.).

  • Specific: clearly defined. When goals are specific, or clearly defined, it is easier to know when they are reached. Specify the goal by clarifying what exactly is expected, why it is important, who is involved and where it will happen.
    • For example: I want to increase my focus/productivity by 200%, independently, each month, during internship/work hours, because I will be able to get twice as much work done and be better prepared for when I enter the workforce upon graduation.
  • Measurable: establish criteria for measuring the progress of each goal. This shows what and how much change we are expecting.
    • Focus/productivity will be measured in how many tasks I accomplish during work hours each day. Let’s say I complete two big tasks each day; I will focus on limiting distractions/overthinking so that I eventually complete four big tasks each day
  • Attainable: identify goals that are truly most important to you, you begin to find ways to make them come true. You develop attitudes, abilities and financial capacity to reach them. You begin to see opportunities you otherwise may not see as you realize the importance of such goals. “Attainable”, in this case, refers to how reasonable the goal is overall, regardless of your personal ability to do it.
    • Doubling daily productivity, or reducing time to accomplish each task, in one month is attainable for many people in my situation. Many interns can do that as they develop knowledge and skill in their work.
  • Realistic: to be realistic, the goal has to be something you are personally willingand able to work toward. You are the one who determines when it is completed, so make sure it is something you can realistically accomplish. “Realistic”, in this case, differs from “attainable” because it specifies whether you have the capacity to accomplish the goal. There may be something unique about you, making you better/worse at accomplishing a task than most people in your situation. If too easy, increase to difficulty or tighten the deadline. If too hard, decrease difficulty or push back the deadline, but only after you’ve actually tried it for a bit – don’t give up too easily!
    • Doubling daily productivity is realistic for me because I am increasing my knowledge and skill of my work at a higher rate than I could have ever anticipated.
  • Timely: goals that lack time frames also lack urgency. When setting the time frame, set an actual number or defined period of time, like “one month” or “one school year”. Don’t just say “soon”, “ASAP”, or “eventually”. Would you rather your professors tell you “You have an exam soon!” or “You have your exam one week from today”?
    • “One month from today” is a defined period of time.

Make sure your goal is written down in a way that meets the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Next, we will use the Development Planning Worksheet. This chart should be simple enough for you to make in Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet. Follow my lead:

Eric's development planning worksheet

I highly recommend using a digital calendar with cloud capabilities and managing your time well. This link will help you manage your time during the academic semester: http://howtostudyincollege.com/time/. While the link specifies making time for studying, it is still a great time management strategy and it will help you find time for any goals of yours.

Now you have a great sense of your short-term goals and your strategy to reach them, plus some potentially life-altering time management advice! In the next post, you will be provided reflection questions regarding the entire process of planning your journey. After that, you should have a very firm understanding of how to plan your journey as an innovative leader and outstanding college student.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Reflecting on Personal Vision – Eric’s Story

Eric Philippou FencingI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my college internship at Metcalf & Associates. During the past three posts I completed exercises to help me define my vision and values.

Reflection Questions

After each of the six steps in the innovative leadership development process, I’ll provide you with some helpful reflection questions. Basically, if you can answer all of these questions in detail, you’ll develop a firm understanding of your vision and your plan of action can be implemented almost immediately. The “What do I think/believe?” section refers to your intentions, and the “What do I do?” section refers to your actual behavior. The “What do we believe?” section refers to your group’s intentions, and the “How do we do this?” section refers to your groups actions and processes. Think of any organized group you belong to (student club, sports team, fantasy football league) and use that to answer the last two sections I mentioned. If you’re not in an organized group, join one and save those reflection questions for after you’ve joined. Remember – even as a new member of a group, and not a leader, you can still display leadership by influencing change. In my answers, the organization I refer to is my varsity fencing team.

Reflections on Eric's Vision

This marks the end of the first step in becoming an innovative leader as a college student. The next post will go into step two – analyzing your strengths and situation. I’ll provide you with some personal assessments to take, this way you get a firm understanding of your personality type, special skills, how you can work best in a group setting, and much more.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

photo credit: OSU Athletics, Ohio State University

Defining Personal Values For College Students – Eric’s Story

Values I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my summer internship at Metcalf & Associates, a leadership and management consulting firm. I am entering my final semester at T­he Ohio State University in the fall, majoring in Strategic Communication. I like marketing, and I plan to go to business school in a few years. I’m also on the varsity fencing team at Ohio State.

This summer, I am starting a blog that helps students find their life purposes, plus a step-by-step guide on how to bring this vision into reality. The information I am giving you is from a workbook written by a combination of college faculty and leadership development and executive coaching experts who make business executives very successful. This book will be published late in 2014. In this post, you will find your personal values. Throughout this blog, I will provide my own answers to the exercises as an example.

This is part two of the three-part Vision topic. My answers are in italics.

Checklist for personal values

Step 1: Define what you value most. Values shape the way we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. To effectively achieve your life goals, they must match your values. From this list, select your top ten most important values to living your perfect life.

List of Personal Values:

Values checklist

  • My top 10: integrity, love, expertise, excellence, meaningful work, creativity, freedom, influencing others, self-respect, order

Step 2: Elimination. Now, from your top ten, narrow your list down to your top five values. Now narrow it down to your top three.

  • Top 5: integrity, love, excellence, meaningful work, influencing others
  • Top 3: love, excellence, meaningful work

Step 3: Integration. From your top three values, ask yourself:

  • How would your life be different if those values were prominent and practiced more?
  • I would probably have better results in school, work, and personal relationships. If practiced earlier, like in high school, I may be at a different university or even a different area of study.
  • What does each value mean, exactly? What do you expect from yourself, even in difficult times?
  • Love: care for the people around me, especially for the people close to me. In difficult times, I would think of those closest to me and perhaps look to them for help or motivation.
  • Excellence: overall skill, expertise, brilliance, and high-quality performance. I expect myself to always pursue excellence in everything I do, especially in difficult times when it is needed the most.
  • Meaningful Work: the work I do excites me, and I look forward to going to work and doing it every day. In difficult times, I would like my work to be meaningful, and something I love to do, because it will push me to keep going and give me less incentive to quit.
  • Does the personal vision you outlined reflect those values?
  • Yes, as far as I can tell.
    • If not, should your personal vision be modified?
      • If not, should you reconsider your values?
  • Are you willing to create a life in which these values are paramount, and help an organization put those values into action?
  • Now that I see how it could benefit me, yes. The things holding me back from doing so seem less important, and almost silly, so I have no reason not to go forward with such a life.

Real-World Application

So you’ve narrowed down your values and determined how to integrate them into your life. Try something out: write down your top three values and tape them somewhere so that you see it a lot, and strictly live by those values every hour of every day for the next few days. After a few days, monitor any differences in your usual days and the last few days of acting on your values. I tried this, and I found myself to be more productive in my work, more vibrant during personal interactions, and overall very happy. Hopefully you’ll get similar results, and if you do, you know you picked the right values to live by.

In my next post, I will discuss how to put your refined vision into a realistic plan of action, and I’ll give you some reflection questions. At the end of it, you should have a concrete plan of action that you can implement almost immediately, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great leader and college student.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credite www:flickr.com banksy graffiti

Meet Eric, College Student Blog Series – Defining Your Vision

Eric PhilippouI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my summer internship at Metcalf & Associates, a leadership and management consulting firm. I am entering my final semester at T­he Ohio State University in the fall, majoring in Strategic Communication. I like marketing, and I plan to go to business school in a few years. I’m also on the varsity fencing team at Ohio State.

If you’re a college student, you may often think about what you want to do with your life. Even after lots of soul-searching, many of you are still uncertain about what you want to do. This summer, I am starting a blog that helps students find their life purposes, plus a step-by-step guide on how to bring this vision into reality. The information I am giving you is from a workbook written by a combination of college faculty and leadership development and executive coaching experts who make business executives very successful. This book will be published late in 2014. I am working with the draft version to create a blog series. Throughout this blog, I will provide my own answers to the exercises as an example.

Here are the six steps to conquering your dreams, all of which I am covering this summer:

Innovative Leadership Development Process

In order to begin working toward your dreams, you need to have dreams. This brings us to our first topic – create a compelling vision of your future. This topic is broken down into four sub-topics. I will cover the first  in this post and the next ones in subsequent posts. You will see my answers to each question in italics below.

Define Your Personal Vision

  • Step 1: Create a picture of your future. Imagine yourself in the future, at the end of your life, happily reflecting on your success and how you achieved it. Answer these questions:
    • What is the thing of which you are most proud?
    • Motivating millions with my non-profit organization (NPO).
    • If you had a family, what would they say about you?
    • They would say that I would do anything for them, and I was selfless and great to them.
    • What did you accomplish professionally?
    • Climbed to the top of a large corporation, and then started a highly successful NPO.
    • What would your friends say about you?
    • Funniest guy they knew, always great to hang out with and that I’m an overall great guy.

 

  • Step 2: Write a story. Now that you have a general image of what you will do, write a small story going into further detail about these things. Include details about your answers from above, and consider the questions below. This will act as a roadmap for your journey and what you would want if designing the perfect life for yourself.
    • Who helped you along the way?
    • My wife, family, and friends – many of whom I met in business.
    • What did you enjoy about your daily life?
    • I always ate well because I am a great cook. I also had a lot of fun interacting with co-workers and clients, as well as my family.
    • Who was closest to you?
    • My wife, family, and a few friends who I knew for a long time.
    • What feelings did you have as you accomplished each milestone along the way?
    • Overwhelming joy and pride, and each accomplishment motivated me to tackle the next milestone. I am also proud that on the days I felt concern, and even a bit of fear, I kept focused on my goals and moved forward.
    • How did you mentor and contribute to the success of others?
    • At work, I mentored my co-workers who worked below me, and brought out the best in them. In my NPO, I touched millions with my work and helped many people around the world become more successful.
    • What did you do to maintain your health?
    • Exercised often to keep my energy up, ate nutritiously, and relaxed in order to recharge my batteries.
    • What role did spirituality or religion play in your journey?
    • Not a large role. I always stuck with the golden rule, unconditionally.
    • What job(s) did you have?
    • From entry-level to executive at a large corporation and then founder of my NPO.
    • What role did material success play in your life?
    • I won’t lie, I did enjoy making a lot of money. Money gave my family and I opportunities that we wouldn’t otherwise have. Material success played a decent role in my life, but it was not the main goal.
    • What type of person were you? (Kind, caring, driven, gracious, etc.)
    • I was always regarded as very generous, selfless, and driven. 

 

  • Step 3: Describe your personal vision. Now that you have more information about yourself, and how you want to live your life, create a two-to-five sentence life purpose statement. This talks about your highest priorities in life and your aspirations. This statement should ca­­pture the essence of how you want to live your life and project yourself.
    • An example: My vision is to bring maximum greatness to myself and the rest of the world. I will conduct myself with integrity, and I will always push myself knowing that succeeding in my goals will directly benefit the human race. I will live the best and happiest life that I could imagine. The world will benefit from me being here, long after I am gone.

 

  • Step 4: Expand and clarify your vision. Many of you probably have a mixture of selfless and self-centered elements to your vision. You may be wondering if it’s okay to want for wealth and luxury to be in your personal vision. For now, suspend your judgment about what is “worth” desiring, and instead ask yourself which elements of these visions are closest to your deepest desire. Ask yourself, “If I could have it right now, would I take it?”, and think about what about each element is so appealing to you.
    • For example, in my answer, my true deepest desire is to positively impact the world. I absolutely want to be wealthy, but right now, if I did that to the extent I desire, I could literally die and be 100% content with my entire life. In your life purpose statement, focus more on what would bring you to complete peace with yourself. Consider this, and revise your life purpose statement accordingly.
    • Some elements of your vision will not make it past this question, and others may only pass under specific circumstances. Some may change over time.
    • My previous life purpose statement looked like this: I will climb all the way up to top management in a large organization. I will have enough money to have an awesome house, luxury cars, and even create my own nonprofit organization that focuses on providing people with motivation and success strategies. Everyone who meets me will think, “Wow, what a great guy.” I will show respect for everyone.
    • Then I asked, “If I could have it right now, would I take it?”
      • Climbing to top management of a large corporation
        • Yes, but only if the corporation does things that I support, and I got to where I am in an ethical way. It’s more about having the power and resources to carry out what I believe will benefit society more.
      • Enough money for an awesome house and luxury cars
        • Yes, but only if I received it in an ethical way and it brings me the joy that I seek.
      • Enough money to start a nonprofit organization
        • Yes.
      • Everyone who meets me will be impressed
        • If I’m impressed with myself, and I feel my accomplishments have in fact benefitted humanity, then the desire to impress others is not very important – merely an added bonus.
      • I will show respect to everyone
        • Yes, that is a very broad goal that I can easily control right away.
    • After thorough analysis, I refined my life purpose statement accordingly, to the statement in the previous step: My vision is to bring maximum greatness to myself and the rest of the world. I will conduct myself with integrity and I will always push myself knowing that succeeding in my goals will directly benefit the human race. I will live the best and happiest life that I could imagine. The world will benefit from me being here, long after I am gone.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

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Building Leadership Self-Awareness using the Enneagram

Innovative Leader Pyramid Leader TypeInternational Enneagram Day is May 24. We are including this post in appreciation for the value the enneagram has added to our work in leadership development. Following is an excerpt from the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook. This chapter was written by Belinda Gore.

One of the challenges in building innovative leadership is learning to leverage the clarity of your introspection. Looking inside yourself, examining the make-up of your inner being, enables you to function in a highly grounded way, rather than operating from the innate biases of more uninformed decision-making.

First and foremost, when thinking about leadership, start by simply considering your disposition, tendencies, inclinations and ways of being. Innovative leadership hinges on understanding the simple, native manner in which you show up in your life. One way to observe is by examining aspects of your inner being, often called leader type, which reflect the leader’s personality type. The Leader Personality Type (referred to going forward as Leader Type) has a critical influence on who you are as a leader. It is an essential foundation of your personal make-up and greatly shapes the effectiveness of your leadership. The ancient adage of “Know Thyself,” attributed to various Greek philosophers, holds true as a crucial underpinning in leadership performance.

Your ability to use deep introspection relies on your development of  a capacity for self-understanding and self-awareness. Both allow you profound openness of perspective as well as a greater understanding of others. These critical traits support leaders’ abilities to self-regulate, communicate effectively with others, and encourage personal learning. You can employ a profound understanding of leader type for both yourself and others as a powerful tool to promote effective leadership.

It is important to keep in mind that this particular notion of type is native to your being and generally does not change significantly over the course of your life. This is an essential point: by ascertaining the distinct “shape” of your type, as well as that of others around you, you can begin to see situations without the bias of your own perceptions. You are then in a better position to leverage what you and others actually demonstrate, rather than acting from naive speculation. You learn to deeply understand the inner movements of your strengths, weaknesses, and core patterns. Typing tools are helpful in promoting this kind of self-knowledge and pattern recognition.

By learning about these patterns, you can gain perspective on your life and start connecting the dots among your different experiences. Most of us have a concept about how we behave, but that idea is likely clouded and not entirely true. One of the hardest things for most people is to see themselves accurately. How astonishing it is to see through the clouds and recognize yourself clearly.      

Deep Living, Roxanne Howe Murphy

Learning at this deeper level from your own inner dynamics as they appear within your immediate experience can offer remarkable insights about areas of life that, in your own personal experience, you may tend to exaggerate or overemphasize.

Self-awareness and the capacity for self-management are foundational to innovative leadership and overall leadership effectiveness. By becoming aware of your inherent gifts as well as those of others, you are able to improve your personal effectiveness and that of the teams and departments with which you work.

The Enneagram offers you a framework and language to discuss what you perceive about the intentions and see in the behaviors of yourself and others.  Each Enneagram type is based on a pattern of what you pay attention to, or more specifically, your naturally occurring perceptions and preferences. By understanding the types of experiences you habitually reinforce and put energy into, you can observe yourself more accurately and develop more self-awareness. By enhancing self-awareness, you can exercise more choice about your own actions rather than engaging in patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior in an automatic, habitual, unconscious fashion. This insight alone will allow you to tailor personal and professional goals to achieve better results.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.