Are you stuck in a mental quarantine?
Last month marked the anniversary of Roger Bannister running the FIRST 4-minute mile in 1954. This was a goal runners where chasing since 1886. It was track and field’s most notorious barrier. Roger ran it with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. It was a remarkable moment. Newspapers from around the world called him an innovator and icon. How did he do it? His training was unconventional. He didn’t use a coach. Experts said it would require perfect conditions. It was raining and the track was muddy that day. What’s more remarkable is that after decades of trying, 46 days later that record was broken again by John Landy. Thousands have broken the 4-minute mile since. “Was there a sudden growth spurt in human evolution? Was there a genetic engineering experiment that created a new race of super runners? No. What changed was the mental model. The runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said they could not surpass the four-minute mile. When that limit was broken, the others saw that they could do something they had previously thought impossible.”– The Power of Impossible Thinking Today, the mental models of yesterday are shattering. Three months ago, if you had asked a Fortune 500 CEO if they thought they could move their workforce to their homes in a matter of a couple of days, we all know the answer would be ‘not a chance’. Our minds couldn’t wrap around the change and what would be needed. This shift was driven not from policies or productivity but by survival, and with it new possibilities. A mind-shift. An unthinkable shift from commuting morning and night to setting up the home office. A shift from kids-at-school to kids-at-home. A shift from in-person meetings to Zoom calls (lots and lots of Zoom calls!). Why not take this disruptive season and use it as an opportunity to reset our mental models to break out of our longstanding mental quarantine? Three months ago, if you had asked me if I could run a workshop for 200 executives over Zoom with massive engagement and participation, I’d say hell no! I actually think it was the best workshop I’ve ever held. Pharmaceutical companies are now working at warp speed on vaccines….what would conventionally take six years is now expected in six months. What would have been impossible three months ago is going to happen. What limiting mental models can you change right now to live an even greater expression of your purpose? A shift in mindset is where innovation, change and leadership emerges. Now that we are not traveling (for the short-term), what can be created with all of this new found time? Think about the money companies are saving without the travel costs. Now think about the possibilities of where that money could be redirected. 80% of people say meetings are a waste of time. The mind-shift around meetings if figured out could bring huge value to our days and might even make some connections stronger. The conventional thinking around education is now upside down. Think about how the workforce could level up to combat automation now that people can learn a new skill or receive an advanced degree with the ease of online classes. We all have our own rule books that we operate from. Stuffed away in your subconscious where you operate under constraints of how to do things. Ask yourself, what rules am I following that make zero sense and don't serve me anymore? Burn the rule book. Let possibility lead the way. Mental models are about us and the beliefs we have that hold us in a place of comfort. When you ask the right questions -- how can it be different? what can I do to create a work-around? what would happen if I just said no? – the past beliefs welcome ‘yes and’ and ‘why not’. I keep thinking about how organizations will recognize people for their exceptional work without the water cooler or face-to-face in those ‘too many’ meetings. While I don’t have the answers, I do know that each of us needs to level-up right now and redefine our personal brands. Those who take on the challenge of shifting their minds and begin thinking unconventionally will break barriers to success, and standout in the sea of sameness to their superiors. Just as average is over, conventional is outdated. Innovation and change happens when we shift our minds from the conventional to possibility. Let’s follow Roger’s lead and beat the clock and forge new firsts. If you need help with your mind shift, you know where to find me. And, if you figure out the answer to too many meetings, please let me know! My Favorite Things This Week: Love this visual below especially the Reset! What’s motivation: HERE Some of my story: HERE Reimagining the Post Pandemic Organization HERE
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