Mike's recent published articles,
If you have 10 years or less experience no need to read this,
As I was riding home from a local Fayette County, Georgia Chamber event one night this week, I was dealing with a ton of emotions I have not felt in a long time. Some of these emotions dealt with excitement, surprisingly, some were remorse, and some were simply hard for me to even identify. But my head was spinning…
It was the first time for this new event in my community. This concept was a “Pitch Contest” for new entrepreneurs. Nine speakers of all ages and ethnicities gave brief presentations (seven-minutes) on their ideas for a new business, followed by another brief session of questions from the judges. The top three finalists were to receive great prizes on website development, mentorships, logo designs and other great donated prizes to help to launch their ideas.
The concept sounded so interesting to me, and Alice was out with old friends, and I thought it would get me out of the house and the location was minutes away. I did not expect to do much networking, and I did not. I did not really expect to meet any new target clients in leadership development, and I did not. I went just because I thought it would be interesting to listen. And it was… But what I did get was what I had never expected and invaluable.
Some were new apps projects, some were non-profits to help young kids, some had already started their businesses, some had not, some seemed concepts seemed legitimate, and some ideas (to me) were a little “out there.” Some had strong business plans, some did not, some had strong financial projections, some did not, some were very professional and some not as well polished presentations so much… Regardless they all had one thing in in common despite the individual differences. It was a deep passion and excitement that was somehow infectious throughout the evening.
I kept thinking “if I could only bottle this passion and share it or sprinkle it on my clients” and perhaps more poignantly “if on some days I could only sprinkle it on myself…”
For my older peers, can you remember the first day of your job? Can you remember the first time you hit $20K per year, or $40K per year? Can you remember the day you opened for business? The excitement, anticipation, and passion?
I am thinking to myself, “At the end of the day it is all under my control. ““After 40 plus years in the business world how many days do I look at my job without passion I once had.” I could easily list a litany of excuses and circumstances, but they are irrelevant.
I am so, so thankful that I attended the event. So appreciative of what I learned or re-learned from these beginner “dreamers” about passion. Now I am old and blessed with an impressive “resume” filled with awesome experiences, incredible management clients, local and national media appearances, decades of experience, and an MBA education…
Yet I learned so much from a local Chamber event three miles from my house. Hopefully, we are all in business to help people in some way shape or form. Controlling my/our excitement and passion is well within my/our control, and frankly we owe to ourselves and our clients to never lose sight of this. The details and daily activities are minor compared to our desire and passion to make a difference. Today is the first day of meeting new challenges, attack it with the passion that made you great!!!
Mike Muetzel, Author, Leadership Development, Speaker, Coach
“Leadership” are You a D1 Leader?
Although I have continued working and speaking in the world of generational leadership I had not done any executive coaching for a decade or more. I kind of came to the realization most leaders are not willing or deep down see the need to change. Then for the last two years I have been working with some incredible upper middle management folks in helping them be better leaders in addition to being steady managers. These have evolved into great relationships and frankly as good for me as it has been for them.
Many of you are also aware of the time I spend in the world of Lacrosse Coaching. I had a training website for lacrosse coaches, over a million page views, interviews, podcasts, website, articles and clinics and coaching. It is kind of amazing how in the unique characteristics of today’s employees and the unique characteristics of today’s athletes in these two worlds for me intersect.
I am amazed in interviewing NCAA Coaches how they aggressively attack thinking about change. For them any success is directly related to the talent on their squad. Honestly perhaps good companies are just slow to move, or maybe the current success for them has them a bit complacent, although few would recognize it.
But for a D1 Coach, talent and “Buy In” (in the corporate world we call it - “Engagement”) is so much more paramount to job security. There is just no such thing as “long term.”
I understand that all corporate executives are under fire and evaluated with every press release, if not at least annually. I have been in that world, and now have small companies of my own. But I am not sure I ever understood the difference.
But the “Urgency” (great reference back to Dr. John Kotter’s Book Leading Change,) is so much different from my perspective. Honestly, I think if we were to examine our Leadership Style and the performance of our teams, compared to great coaches, we would see some opportunities to grow,
3 Key Comparisons
I was raised to manage off my MBA, if you can’t measure it, then don’t do it. But in the world of college coaches every day involves film study and analysis and a sense of “Urgency.” And most I have interviewed over the last ten years spend a lot of time on self-analysis as well as team analysis.
Yes, we analyze and measure. But for Leaders in the corporate world it is a monthly or quarterly exercise at best. And it is done in the “Conference Room” not done daily or weekly or being evaluated week to week.
What if we were to, metaphorically of course, look at film every Monday morning of our key Leadership performance or activities, maybe our “Top Ten” key communication moments of the week. How would we react? If we were to improve or emphasize a sense of urgency in our own growth every Monday, how many books or podcasts would you buy, how many new ideas would you be exposed to and consider?
- Dealing with Change
College coaches deal with change as a matter of course and possibly it is also one of the key elements relating back to urgency. Imagine if you will, your entire organization turning over every four to five years. Or after every successful season your two top coordinators left for their own personal shot at the top.
Would this change the way we lead? Would it change our organizational structure?
I can assure you that most companies have a good handle on what they do well… but the focus is what they do well as a company… One key lesson that all top coaches share is that they cannot adjust their players to their way of doing things as successfully as if they were to change the way they do things to match the strengths of their personnel.
Clearly the Gen Z and Millennials come to work with different opinions and mindsets on a myriad of issues. But there are also great opportunities in these differences. At least in my experience we corporate folks have a tendency to say “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” when perhaps we should be looking at identify the next series of “Changes” ahead of the curve before they become necessary.
Most organizations, especially successful organizations hesitate to change, where successful coaches see change as an inherent part of their jobs and cultures.
- Recruiting and Retention – Teaching Training
I believe in today’s world key leaders should look at Recruiting and Retention equally as weighted as financial performance. As a former college coach, I can share that recruiting is everything. There are a lot of great leaders out there just like there are a lot of great coaches. But imagine if you will all things being equal at the leadership or coaching level the team with the most skilled players or employees will most often come out on top.
And the best coaches see themselves and their staff as “Teachers” more than as Leaders. I wonder how many corporate leaders would see themselves as primary teachers. It is interesting to think about. And if you do not see it as a role of you as a Leader, then your top people need to be even stronger at teaching and coaching.
Love to get your thoughts, [email protected]