America’s Leadership Expert : Mental Capacity

Clay: This is Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert with Tulsa Business Leadership with podcast number 43, preparing for growth. As the leader of Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, I find that more often than not the primary problem in the company is its leadership. If you remember John Maxwell saying, that everything rises and falls on leadership. This is so true when it comes to leading a company. Oh my gosh. A company. We’re not moving, we’re not getting traction. The company is stuck. That’s because the leader is stuck. There’s something going on with the capacity of the leader. Mental capacity, emotional capacity, physical capacity, what a financial capacity, whatever it might be there are the limitations that are in the leader will be reflected with limitations in the company.

It’s Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert with Tulsa Business Leadership, what we get to spend time with is helping the leaders of the company expand their capacity to process greater measures of complexity. In Napoleon Hill’s book The Lost Prosperity Secrets of Napoleon Hill, he refers to the great unseen hand. This is like the universal force that guides us and directs our external circumstances to inform and shape us into the person that we were intended to become. I felt this hand in my life numerous times. I’m sure you have too but the problem was is that I can’t say that I always understood the leading of the hand or recognized its presence until it came crashing down on top of me. I guess the unseen was the operative word for me with this hand. I didn’t see it and I didn’t understand how it worked. At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership what I get to do is help leaders recognize the unseen hand to see the invisible.

As I said, I’ve had multiple times where this hand has been active in my life. One place where I saw this was when I got a phone call from my now ex wife. Completely blind sided she said, Clay I’ve moved out and I’ve taken our daughter. Wham. Napoleon’s hand felt like it had just pushed me over the cliff. Obviously I was not in control. I was working so hard to keep things going the way they had been going, I was holding on way too tight to the way things had been. I didn’t know how to move forward. Yes, obviously we were having marital problems. We were having marital issues but the problem was is that we weren’t moving forward because I didn’t understand the hand. Totally. The hand came crushing down on me. I didn’t understand the hand. As a result, I interpreted the hand’s activity in my life as cruel and unfair. I didn’t know how to grow appropriately. The hand had come to prune.

Does this make sense to you where all of a sudden some life circumstance has come along? Some circumstance in your business, some circumstance in your family, in your marriage, with your children, with your health, with your finances. Something out of the blue or some final statement or some final demarcation where the great unseen hand has entered into your life and has caught you unaware. Before we step into this thing called personal growth and expanding our capacity, we have to understand how to prepare for growth, how to position and get ourselves ready for the growth that we want. Personal growth isn’t just a formula. It’s not a black and white formula that moves everyone from point a to point b. Growth is a process. It occurs as you add or exchange, which is a key thing I like to talk about at Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert Tulsa Business Leadership. We have to exchange new learning for old preconceived ideas.

People resist or avoid changes for many reasons. Habits, values, beliefs, comforts, fears, the list goes on and on. Growth will never occur until you become willing to change. Sometimes circumstances have to become pretty desperate. They have to get very desperate before I get willing. This was one of the key things that I find through Tulsa Business Leadership. As I work with leaders and managers in companies, that they want to see new results but when they realize the personal changes that need to go on, the personal responsibilities of the part that they play in the desperate circumstances they were in. They begin to find really quickly, well maybe I’m not as interested in change as I thought I was. I have an idea. I think we should do it this way and we begin to move away from this thing called me changing.

Adjust doesn’t work. Growth and change are synonymous. If you resist change, you are resisting growth. This is why so many times as I’m working with people with Tulsa Business Leadership, I find that people are very energetic at the beginning but it doesn’t take very long before I am confronting them with the change that needs to take place and they begin to dig their heels in. Why is it that I need to prepare for growth? The thing is that preparation is key. I played football in high school and had a lot of success at my school. America’s Leadership Expert I went on to play at the University of Oklahoma for Barry Switzer and had a wonderful time. The point is here is that I knew how to play the game so it seemed only natural that since I had, had success as a player I could have as much success when I became an assistant coach. But unfortunately, when I became a coach I discovered immediately how much I did not understand about the game because I never learned how to play the game. I just did what came naturally.

When I got the ball, if someone got in the way, I moved around them. If someone was chasing me, I ran away from them. The idea was that I never learned how the game was played. Problem was solved simply by intuition. You can probably grow your business and get success in your business to a point just by running off of intuition. Just by using your natural gifts and your natural talents. America’s Leadership Expert But you will never find freedom from your company until you expand your capacity. Your company’s growth will be limited to your capacity. When it came time for me to help someone else do the same thing that I was doing in sports, I was pretty clueless. I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t even learn the game, I just learned how to play the game. Because I had some success playing the game, I interpret that as knowing the game.

That year as a football coach we went O and ten. Obviously I did not know what I did not know. It’s the same thing with our personal growth. Preparation is key. Trying to prepare when you’re in the midst of some force change, like a change in your marriage, a change in job, change with your kids, health, school, relationships. It can be very, very difficult. We need to prepare for what that inevitability comes. At Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert Tulsa Business Leadership this is where we begin with our executive coaching. We help the leader prepare for growth. Are you relating to any of this? If you’re saying out loud, yes. This makes sense to me. Then I know it may sound a little hoaky but trust me. It’s critical in helping you prepare your mind for change. Mental changes must be voice activated. If this makes sense, you need to say that out loud. I need to grow. I need to make changes.

In the first phase of growth, which is what I call preparation, we’re going to walk through four steps of preparing for growth. Let’s talk about those four steps here. The first step in preparing to grow is making the decision. This is one of the key things that keeps people from moving forward is they don’t make the decision. So many people out there want certain things to happen in their life but they don’t know how to make the decision so they continue to remain in the same spot for weeks, months, even years. For you, if you are wanting to move forward, it’s going to be critical that you learn how to make a decision. Just because you want to grow doesn’t mean that you will grow. At least not consistently in a desired direction. Any type of positive, effective growth has to be intentional. You have to decide to grow. You have to decide to change. You have to take measures to bring that change about in your life.

Or else if you wait, if you sit back and wait for that change to come you are purely at the mercy of external circumstance that you can not control. The only thing that you can control is your decisions. This very first step in preparing for personal growth, preparing for expanding your capacity is to make the conscious, intentional decision I am going to grow. It’s a deliberate activity that must be said as a priority in the midst of all the noise of life. Clay Staires America’s Leadership Expert  with Tulsa Business Leadership, this is how we help our business leaders with executive leadership coaching. Schedules, commitments, requirements, meetings, family, kids, expectations, relationships, Facebook, let’s face it. There are a ton of things violently fighting for your attention and your time. I spent many years being a mentor to 18 to 26 year olds. Many of them have come to me over the years with an excitement for personal growth and development. Clay, will you be my mentor? They ask.

I will almost always begin with giving them a small task to complete and then ask them to contact me once they are done with this. I’ve even done this with clients before that seem to be dragging their feet. They’re not making decisions that bring change. I say, how about this? Let me give you a homework assignment. When you get this done, call me and we’ll continue. I know specifically of three of them right off the top of my head with Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership America’s Leadership Expert. I’ve never heard from since. They never completed the task. About one in four call me back within an acceptable amount of time. The idea of growth was really cool for them but doing the growth was a whole different ball game because they didn’t understand the concept of intentionality. Deciding to grow personally is much like deciding to go to college. Making the decision doesn’t mean you automatically pass your classes.

I guess you could say that you have to make the decision every day intentionally. I have to go to college today. Unless you’re like me, when I was 19 this may come as a shock to you, but I remember talking to my dad. Hey dad. Is a 1.8 GPA good? Like many other endeavors, decisions require follow through. Let’s talk about a few things that often get in the way of that. Let’s avoid the obvious ones like being lazy and unmotivated or the classic I don’t need to change because again, we’re making the decision to change. America’s Leadership Expert Let’s talk about some of the reasons that usually end up surprising people. Three reasons. Number one is that there is this unexpected obstacle. Number one is not creating space in your life. I want to grow but I don’t have time. I’m a single mom with three children working two different jobs. It is going to be very difficult in that season for you to find the time to grow. Again, you’re already in the game. It’s hard to grow and improve when you’re already in the game like that and there’s so many things going on.

We try to just add personal growth onto our schedule and for some reason it doesn’t happen the way that we wanted it to. We have to make sure that we create space in our life. We schedule it. We block out time and we use our pig headed determination, PHD, to make sure that, that personal growth occurs. Again, change is more than just adding on. Remember talking about transition and transformation. This type of change requires replacement thinking. Not just add on thinking. Something has to leave before something new can come in and stay. Notice how I said come in and stay. It’s easy enough to read a book. It’s easy enough to go to a workshop and receive something new. But for some reason when I go back to work, when I go back to my life, when I go back to my schedule, it leaks out and it doesn’t stay. That’s because I haven’t transacted. I’ve just done the add on learning.

Unexpected obstacle number two is the timing is off. It’s just not the right time for me right now. This often comes up when we try to force change upon somebody, even ourselves. When there’s already some kind of mental, emotional, educational, or even relational pressure going on, we all have our limits. We need to be aware of them. America’s Leadership Expert Getting married and having children while you’re still trying to go to college full time, hold down a job is very difficult. Then I’m going to start a new company. Now’s not the time to do that. There’s too many things other than that, that are going on. We need to be aware of this obstacle that the timing is off. Then our unexpected obstacle number three is you don’t have the resources or the tools you need for successful growth. Americans will spend this year over 11 billion dollars in self improvement products. Bookstores are filled with rows and rows of books and resources promising to help you get where you want to get.

But when I say that you don’t have the resources you need, I’m not talking about the books. I’m not talking about the seminars. I’m talking about lacking an internal receiver to make growth happen. We are extremely blessed with information. There’s a ton of information but that’s not the real problem. More information isn’t the complete answer.  America’s Leadership Expert The resources that we lack are those that help us with interpretation and application. It’s one thing to get the information but then we have to interpret it correctly and then we have to implement it correctly. These resources that I’m talking about here are simply mental resources. It’s also emotional resources. This is one of the key things that I find with business leaders that keeps them from moving forward. As I work with them through Tulsa Business Leadership is the emotional capacity isn’t there for growth.

As soon as things get difficult, they just refer back to their default step of I’m just going to do everything. There’s also educational resources. I don’t know how to learn. I hate to read. These are educational resources that we lack. Even spiritual resources. Having that positive encouragement, that positive spirit in our life that helps us move forward. These are resources. If we’re not careful, if we don’t have them in place then even at the very beginning, once we have decided to grow, if we aren’t aware of these three unexpected obstacles again, number one not creating space. We don’t put it in our time. I promise you. You do not have time for growth. You don’t have time to just add growth into your schedule. You will have to take something out before you can put this in. Unexpected obstacle number two is the timing is off. Number three is you don’t have the resources or tools you need to help you get successful growth. This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership America’s Leadership Expert with podcast number 43, preparing for growth session one.

Clay Staires