How Present Are YOU?
We’re off to do another Show & Tell at the kids school later today; Year 4 this time so need to brush up on continental plates. We’re going to be sharing our recent adventure to Everest Base Camp (EBC), quite fitting as it’s International Mountain Day.
I had a massive flash back whilst going through the slides and videos, and it had nothing to do with yaks, the stunning scenery, or the toilet situation.
Let me explain: one of our Scale Maxims – how we think, act and behave – is Be Present.
Whilst EBC was completely out of our comfort zone, it only took a few days to get into the rhythm and routine of walking for hours on end, day after day (one of our phrases became Eat Sleep Walk Repeat). After summiting Base Camp, we then had the trek all the way back down to Lukla to get our plane back to civilisation in Kathmandu.
It was only on our descent down that I realised I’d subconsciously become part of the environment around me. I was so present in the moment that:
- My rucksack had now become part of me; it no longer felt a heavy cumbersome pain in the back (literally) …
- My poles had morphed into my arms; I didn’t have to think about my stride or balance, my poles now moving automatically with my every step …
- Despite no map or idea of time, I knew when we were approaching a village by the smoky smell in the crisp cold air …
- I could even tell who was behind me – without looking – merely by the sound of their breathing and the crunching of their boots on the ground …
This feeling was almost like an out of body experience, and it happened to quite a few of us.
The same goes for business; if you’re present then scaling a business is so much easier. Without it, scale is just not possible.
Being present – being aware – can mean many things:
- Creating the right environment for your staff, which includes a culture and a systemised process for open and honest feedback.
- Becoming aware of how you impact others, as well as how you’re impacted by others.
- Listening, not telling. If your style is telling, then when your team walk away from conversations with you, they’ll be feeling you’ve given them all of your burdens but taken none of theirs off their shoulders.
- Replacing bad habits with positive ones (by bad habits I mean procrastination, not letting go, not making decisions, getting distracted by shiny new things…).
- Stimulating conversations with questions and not engaging in monologue. This will make you the best Leader (note, not a manager) as it shows you’re listening, and your team will no longer see conversation as a ‘game to win’ but as an opportunity to challenge and learn.
- Communicating to your team (on a regular basis) how you expect them to think, act and behave.
Nailing them all puts you in a powerful position, and you’ll inevitably find that you, like your business, will start operating and performing smoothly and consistently.
And you’ll consistently be delivering results without the stress or burden of being stuck in an environment of chaos (which is a wonderful place to be).