Lessons I Learned from Jack Canfield
A number of years ago I decided to make a substantial investment in myself to grow as a person and as a leader. I regularly invest in myself to learn and grow although never at this level. This started an internal dialogue of justifying my worth in making such a substantial investment in myself!
I was literally ending my commitment to a year-long mastermind group (biggest investment in myself to date) and felt strongly about investing in a program that would support me in becoming a world-class facilitator and speaker.
Well, if I was going for world-class the price tag was going to reflect that. What better way to accomplish my goal than being taught by a master and surrounded by people who want the same thing. A master who knows his stuff lives by the standards he teaches and was focused on who I became, not what I got, by improving. This was the set of criteria that was important to me.
Jack Canfield is a transformational leader, America’s #1 Success Coach and co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. I wanted to learn from someone who was already making a difference in the world.
I am happy to say that the big scary commitment I made with my time, energy and money was worth all of what I invested. It took nothing away from my business, which was a momentary concern, based on the time away and the extra required work. Instead, it provided me with the fuel to expand my way of thinking and feel more confident about what I do.
I ask my clients regularly to get outside their comfort zone. The only way I can help my clients stretch and grow in reaching their potential is by stretching and growing myself.
Leaders who inspire model ‘lead by example’, not the ‘do as I say’ version!
The exposure to Jack and his team demonstrated a bigger way of thinking and role-modelled how to create an unforgettable experience. Here are four memorable lessons I learned from Jack:
You Determine Your Self WorthImagine checking your self-esteem at the start of each day. On a scale from 1 to 10, one being low and ten being high, how do you rate yours? Your self-esteem is based on how you see your value and is reinforced by treating yourself accordingly. It is an internal measure you set for yourself. What happens in your external world need not affect your internal world, your self-esteem.
During the first week of training, I allowed a circumstance to derail my self-esteem. I felt pressure based on the accomplishments of my colleagues and to get what I was assigned ‘right’. Because I was comparing myself, I began to judge myself and discredit my ability to succeed. Have you ever done this?
Once I was able to step back into owning what I do well, I was able to deliver and be open to learning. Because I was surrounded by such experts, the feedback I received from my group on how to improve my presenting style was very helpful. The feedback in no way had me questioning my abilities as a person but did provide an opportunity to be a better presenter.
Leadership Lesson: Self-esteem is an inside job. It starts with believing in yourself and can only be hijacked if you allow it to be. Own your talents, abilities, and potential. Don’t get wrapped up in being perfect or like someone else, do what you do well and be open to improvement. If it helps, build a victory file of your successes and accomplishments to review in the moments when you feel yourself coming off the rails.
Be AccessibleI have participated in many seminars over my career and never experienced such accessibility from a celebrity leader. Right from the beginning, Jack let us know he would be available for conversations throughout our training and during breaks.
Jack walked up to me at a break the first week to engage in conversation about what I did and why I was there. He had conversations with many of us in the same way we had with each other. He sat with us at lunch and openly shared stories from his personal life that allowed us to see him and connect to him as another human being. We had respect for him although we did not have him on a pedestal.
It was so refreshing to experience someone of his stature and experience to be one of us.
Leadership Lesson: To make a more meaningful connection with people on your team, or in your organization, how can you create this level of accessibility? This doesn’t mean having an open-door policy at work and not setting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are part of respect, for yourself and others. To create a more human connection as a leader you may consider inviting a few direct reports to lunch occasionally or ask them for coffee. This provides a more relaxed environment to learn about their dreams and challenges along with allowing them to ask you questions and see you as a person, not just the boss.
Be TransparentIn the third week of training, there was an issue with a participant from the group who was in California although not attending the training. There was some confusion and concern from people that were attending. When Jack was taking questions or comments on the second morning before we started the day, this topic was brought up.
Jack did not avoid it; he addressed the issue with the group. He clarified the situation to eliminate any questions or speculation, and he spoke about what happened and simply stated why this particular person was not in attendance. There was no drama and as a group, we were all able to move on. It was so fabulous to see this modelled and interesting how easily everyone moved on.
He made no excuses. He expressed no judgment of the person. He simply stated the facts of what happened from his perspective. He then asked if that cleared it up for everyone and that was it!
Leadership Lesson: If there is an issue or problem, address it head-on. Don’t make excuses for what went wrong. Don’t make assumptions about how someone is going to feel by discussing the issue. Don’t judge the circumstance or the person, talk about the problem. Transparency builds trust.
Surround Yourself with ChampionsTo play a bigger game it is important to surround yourself with people who want the same thing. Being around people who have an expansive way of thinking and encourages you to grow is like a breath of fresh air. There was never a feeling of competition, only a sense of how can I help?
The champions I shared this experience with were all accomplished professionals – TED Talk speakers, news anchors, lawyers, CFO’s, CEO’s, real estate brokers, accountants, trainers, orthodontists, professional speakers, authors, and film producers who were all making a difference in the world.
The level of support that has existed in this group felt nurturing and knowing they are all now a part of my network feels incredible. People are partnering and supporting each other in projects to make a bigger difference than we can individually. Imagine how the contribution of many will accelerate the speed at which things happen.
Leadership Lesson: I often work with leaders who are protective of what they are willing to share. They have experienced others taking credit for their ideas. Imagine? The answer to this is to share generously, feel honoured that someone thought your idea was good enough to use and let others know how honoured you are that Sally or Fred was so passionate about your idea they took the initiative to implement it immediately. Don’t get pissed, get creative in making the link for others so they are aware of the source.
What You Focus On GrowsImagine a workplace where all leaders take ownership of who they are. A place where leaders don’t separate themselves by their title or authority but are respected for the person he or she is. This helps build collaboration and meaningful relationships. Having total transparency is a bold move. Addressing the issues head on builds the trust that is essential in fostering a culture of champions.
As a leader what bold move are you willing to take or question are you willing to ask that will contribute to building greater trust and a culture of champions?
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!
Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.