Having just returned after eight weeks of leading back-to-back Create New Futures strategy and leadership events with clients that took me to Austin TX, Seattle, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Durham NC, San Jose CA, Geneva Switzerland, and Tel Aviv, I am reflecting on three profound rewards derived from the intensity of this work.
First, discovering growth: testing my stamina and discipline forced me to update my management process and download a new "operating system" with extended capacities and versatility.
Second, unleashing brilliance: engaging with the smartest people in the world who work for some of the most admired companies in the world always stimulates discoveries, learning, and new framing techniques and methodology that enable me to help clients accelerate results by unleashing their individual and collective brilliance.
Third, fortifying purpose: these opportunities to operate at such a rarified level with highly sophisticated senior executive teams and to meet the demands of intense engagement and global travel impel me more deeply into a spiritual practice that nurtures the greater purpose that guides my work.
The Reframe Workshop
I'm excited to share a new project, the Re-Frame workshop. Last year, Ari, a young entrepreneur, reached out to me and said he'd like to learn how to do what I do and consult to senior leaders at the highest levels of business. Our subsequent spontaneous, high energy, inspiring dialogues led to the creation of the Re-Frame workshop. Here are a few words from my partner Ari about how we got started:
"In working with my mentor Aviv Shahar, a top strategy consultant who helps Fortune 100 executives redefine and reimagine their organizational futures, I noticed his ability to re-frame conversations, so they cut to the core of an issue and map its components. This re-positioning allows emergent opportunities to surface and leads to solutions that inspire and empower people to take action. I was impressed with this adaptive behavior and began to ask Aviv questions about how he situationally re-frame conversations. Our dialogues blossomed into a new endeavor: a workshop for leaders, consultants, and entrepreneurs seeking to create radical new outcomes by facilitating high-impact conversations."
Through this process, you will be able to:
- Consciously shape conversations
- Map the terrain of ideas
- Lead meaningful change
- Develop breakthrough strategies
- Increase your impact
- Clearly articulate your vision
- Unearth creative solutions
Learn more at re-frame workshop We're excited to have you to join us on this journey!
Prioritizing the CEO's most precious assets
"I want to be the best CEO I can be this year," Jeff stated as we began our trusted advisory call. "I need to prioritize my assets accordingly."
During our coaching conversation a few days earlier, I had Jeff reflect on the CEO's top most valuable assets by asking him a question I often ask senior leaders: "What do you believe are your most precious assets?"
Many leaders, including Jeff, have a ready-made answer to this question: "Our people. People are our most precious assets." Such responses do not cultivate new thinking, nor do they lead to new perspectives.
The first objective of my CEO advisory and coaching work is to create space for new ideas and perspectives. Clients don't pay me merely to revisit what they already know. Sure, validation is important; however, their higher priority is to upgrade the results they achieve by elevating their performance.
To achieve this much higher ROI during our engagement, leaders must create a new space inside of which it is possible for them to elevate their performance to attain the desired results. Too many business people, consultants, and coaches fail to realize this simple and important fact: we cannot create new outcomes inside a place that's already crowded by old thinking and cluttered with the debris of prior attempts. Creating a new thinking space inside which novel outcomes can appear because we can perceive and connect dots we previously were unable to see is the prerequisite to creating innovative breakthroughs.
How do we create such an innovative space? One technique is to introduce a new inquiry and a novel mental model. Adopting this approach can get us off the intellectual armchair of habitual thinking.
To bring our exploration to a realization point, my next question to Jeff was, "It's true that your people are your most important organizational asset. What, though, are your personal most precious resources?"
"There is a finite number of hours a day. My time is my most precious asset," Jeff replied.
I responded, "Your answer is partially correct: your time is one-third of a fuller equation. The fact is that your leadership resources, your precious CEO currencies, are your ETF assets: ENERGY, TIME, and FOCUS. Without focus and energy, time means very little to your impact."
Jeff's reflection on the nature of energy, time, and focus led to several realizations.
First, at different levels of focus and energy, we tend to experience time differently. For example, when I used to run competitively, I would enter the aerobic zone to find a state of flow in which I felt I could keep running for hours. Similarly, this sensation occurs while solving design challenges and addressing other creative problems when one enters a concentration zone that makes all other matters recede into the background.
Second, all three currencies have an elastic quality to them. By entering a zone of energized focus, the sense of time tends to become mutable, thus extending its perceived boundaries. For example, in the strategy and leadership workshops I lead, there are moments when the executive team breaks through resistance and enters a zone of creative focus, where time recedes because they produce profoundly meaningful agreements and identify their next action steps.
Third, and perhaps most critical, the outcomes we produce inside the high-energy, high-focus zone tend to dramatically exceed what is produced outside that special zone, and in less time.
The point of this coaching dialogue with Jeff is to develop his level of self-awareness to the point that, when he operates in that high-energy, high-focus zone, he integrates experiential and somatic mindfulness into the flow of impact and the results he creates.
The energy-time-focus awareness was the springboard for our priorities discussion. Jeff downloaded a list of 12 items he was working on, several of which contained a series of elements that required attention. To help him align his priorities with his purpose and intent, I offered Jeff the Impact-Must-Energy (IME) priority-setting formula. I propose that you too look at the portfolio of requirements and opportunities on your time and attention in the following three-fold way:
- Impact: Do what creates the highest impact, according to where you have the greatest leverage. For example, coach and mentor your team and hold them accountable to the highest level of performance.
- Must: Do what you must do. For example, lead a quarterly review. Or when people refuse to change when it's time to move forward in a different direction, let them go.
- Energy: Do what renews your energy and excites you. For example, engage with important customers, mentor young talent, and speak at industry conferences.
Jeff proceeded to implement the IME formula: Impact-Must dos-Energy renewal - to delineate and reflect on his activity map, and to prioritize the application of his precious ETF assets.
Now it's your turn. Turn the Key. How will you apply your energy, time and focus? Where do you create the highest impact? What must you do? What renews your energy?