Why The Heart Will Always Outmatch The Mind

Optional Thinking Exercise – The Death Crawl Scene from Facing the Giants

 

Been a while since we did one of these. We will make it interactive this time.

Emphasis on Optional 🙂

Watch the video. It’s less than 6 minutes and well worth it, I promise.

Answer these questions

1. What 3 things did you like most about this video and WHY?
2. Is there anything here comparable to the things you do today for yourself and your teams?
3. Are there any lessons that you can take away from these?
4. What things can we change?
5. What was your favorite part and why? (mine was Minute 4:31 onwards)

 

AFTER you’re done with the video, Read through captions below with a few of my favorites (which are the KEY Lessons in my opinion)

 

 

 

Random player 1: Man, that’s not even funny, dude. Oh Yeah.

Random player 2: So, Coach, how strong is Westview this year?

Brock: A lot stronger than we are.

Coach: You already written Friday night down as a loss, Brock?

Brock: Well, not if I know we could beat them.

Coach: Come here, Brock. You too, Jeremy.

Brock: What? Am I in trouble now?

Coach: Not yet. I wanna see you do the death crawl again except I wanna see your absolute best.

Brock: What? You want me to go to the 30?

Coach: I think you can go to 50.

Brock: The 50? I can go to 50 if nobody’s on my back.

Coach: I think you can do it with Jeremy on your back, but even if you can’t I want you to promise me that you’re gonna do your best.

Brock: All right.

Coach: Your best.

Brock: OK.

Coach: You’re gonna give me your best?

Brock: I’m gonna give you my best.

Coach: All right, one more thing. I want you to do it blindfolded.

Brock: Why?

Coach: I don’t want you giving up at a certain point when you can go further. Get down. Jeremy, get on his back. Now, get a good tight hold, Jeremy. All right. Let’s go Brock. Keep your knees off the ground. Use your hands and feet. There you go. A little bit left. A little bit left. There you go. Show me good effort. Ataway, Brock. You keep coming. There you go.

Coach: It’s a good start. Little bit left. Little bit left. There you go, Brock. Good strength. That’s it, Brock. That’s it.

Brock: Am I at the 20 yet?

Coach: Forget the 20. You give me your best. You keep going. That’s it. Don’t stop Brock. You got more in you than that.

Brock: I ain’t done. Just resting a second.

Coach: You gotta keep moving. Let’s keep moving. Let’s go. Don’t quit till you got nothing left. There you go. Keep moving. Keep moving. Keep moving Brock. That’s it. You keep driving. Keep your knees off the ground. Keep driving it. Your very best. Your very best. YOUR VERY BEST. Keep moving, Brock. That’s it. That’s it. That’s it. Keep going. Don’t quit on me. Keep going. Keep driving it. Keep your knees off the ground. That’s it. Your very best. Don’t quit on me. Your very best. Keep driving. Keep driving. There you go. There you go. That’s it. You keep driving. Keep your knees off the ground. Keep driving it. Don’t quit till you got nothing left. Keep moving, Brock. That’s it. That’s it. That’s it. Keep going. I want everything you got. Come on, keep going.

Brock: It hurts.

Coach: Don’t quit on me. Your very best. Keep driving. Keep driving. There you go. There you go.

Brock: He’s heavy.

Coach: I know.

Brock: I’m about out of strength.

Coach: Then you negotiate with your mind to find more strength, but don’t you give up on me, Brock. You keep going, you hear me? You keep going. You’re doing good. You keep going. Do not quit on me. You keep going.

Brock: It hurts.

Coach: I know it hurts. You keep going. It’s not hard from here. 30 more steps. You keep going, Brock. Come on. Keep going.

Brock: It burns.

Coach: Then let it burn.

Brock: My arms are burning.

Coach: It’s all heart. You keep going, Brock. Come on. Come on. Keep going. You promised me your best. Your best. Don’t stop. Keep going.

Brock: It’s too hard.

Coach: It’s not too hard. You keep going. Come on, Brock. Give me more. Give me more. Keep going. 20 more steps. 20 MORE. Keep going, Brock. Give me your best. Don’t quit. No. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Brock Kelley, you don’t quit. Keep going. Keep going. Go, Brock Kelley. You don’t quit on me. No, you keep going. You keep going. Go, Brock. 10 more steps. 10 more. 10 more. 10 more. Keep going. Don’t quit. Give me your heart.

Brock: I can’t do it.

Coach: You can. You can. Five more. Five more. Come on, Brock. Come on. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Come on Brock. Two more. One more.

*Brock finally falls*

Brock : That’s gotta be 50. That’s gotta be 50. I don’t have any more.

Coach: Look up, Brock. You’re in the end zone. Brock, you are the most influential player on this team. If you walk around defeated, so will they. Now tell me you can’t give me more than what I’ve been seeing. You just carried a 140-pound man across this whole field on your arms. Brock, I need you. God’s gifted you with the ability of leadership. Don’t waste it.

Jeremy: Coach.

Coach: Can I count on you?

Brock: Yes.

Jeremy: Coach.

Coach: What is it, Jeremy?

Jeremy: I weigh 160

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Leader Pragmatips #034

Earning the Right to Give Feedback

Part 3: Be a Partner, not a Critic

A Critic calls out performance gaps, problems publicly and very condescendingly with visible detachment

Will ignore recommendations and stick to their own preferences and if this somehow ends in failure, will still blame the team

Will watch from above or the sidelines, offer no contribution to either creation or execution of action plans and when this is a success, will quickly step in front to reap the accolades.

A Partner collaborates, offer insights and when something doesn’t work they will focus on activities that build both solutions and morale

Will trust the expertise of the team, provide real time feedback, assistance and shares whatever outcomes and results right alongside the team

Participates in both work activities and social connection engagements that reinforces the atmosphere of genuine and values based partnership.

It’s a no brainer, one is Superficial the other is Authentic. 

And as Simon Sinek says; when Authenticity exists within a team, trust emerges and when a team trusts each other, they are able to work better, take more risks, and deliver beyond everyone’s capabilities.

Leader Pragmatips #033

Earning the Right to Give Feedback

Part 2: Don’t be a Helicopter, be a Bulldozer

Several studies show that Helicopter Parenting does more harm than good. The practice of hovering over your children, watching everything they do and constantly worrying about the mistakes they might make in life is impractical. Let kids be kids. Watching over your children’s every move is a bad idea, and the long-term effects are far worse than some of the benefits. The same is true for leadership.

We need to teach our people – The Skill of Problem-Solving. 

A great way to do this is by being a Bulldozer. Unapologetically removing obstacles, clearing a path that enables our teams to find their own way, establish their skill sets and competencies in a safe environment. 

And if at times they fail, then they fail. 

We then provide feedback based on the behaviors, measurable elements, and be cognizant enough that you’re only condemning the mistake and never the person. Make the feedback clear, crisp and succinct. And when it’s done it’s done.

Leader Pragmatips #032

Earning the Right to Give Feedback

Part of every leader’s responsibility is to provide constructive feedback when necessary. A more integral part is understanding when and how to do it.

There are a lot of examples out there of when & how to do it right. Our focus is the opposite, as a more direct reminder for us all. Breaking this out in 3 parts for easy reference. 

1. Celebrate the Win, Big or Small

2. Don’t be a Helicopter, be a Bulldozer

3. Be a Partner, not a Critic 

This week is Part 1

In the past I’ve witnessed business reviews where teams are presenting performance improvements but the “Leader” shuts them down because they’re still not at goal – Now, I’m not saying be blind to the fact that you’re still red, but if your team has shown a steady, consistent trend of improvement – pause, recognize the hard work, celebrate the win, enjoy the momentum. 

Let them have this moment, let them build some morale. Pick it up tomorrow, in private, and pressure test the way forward.

And for heavens sake, DO NOT interrupt them during their presentation – for any reason. That’s just uncouth of any leader regardless of rank or status.

Your team’s success is your success so be mindful if you are encouraging or inhibiting. Your choice.

Leader Pragmatips #031

A Pragmatic Example: Internal WBR week 4

Bernie: Supervisors A, B and C, based on the weekly results, seem to be doing a great job of exceeding the expectation on the CX metric but at the same time staying within appropriate AHT. How are they doing that?

Ops Team: What they do is (outlines examples)

Bernie: That sounds Amazing! Easily doable, has clear actions & behaviors you can measure. Has anyone created an ELP or anything that operationalizes those best practices, shared it with the outliers? Have we initiated our buddy system, set discussions between these two groups (Top & Bottom quartiles)and create a schedule to monitor ensuring the outliers are executing it and then checking daily results? (all SOP)

Ops Team: (Silence)

Bernie: Guys… are you still there?

Ops Team: Well sir, some of it we… and there are some that…

Bernie: So we haven’t?

Ops Team: (Silence)

Bernie: guys?

Ops Team: We will start this week Bernie.

—-

Lesson: Sometimes, we have the answers, all the tools, all the solutions but we let the “busyness” of it all prevent us from moving forward with clarity and purpose. Quiet down, re-center & focus on solutions. 

“Do not confuse motion & progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but doesn’t make any progress”

Leader Pragmatips #030

We had an unofficial best practice in our past company. A shared office, our “HQ” where we hung out together. There’s no agenda, no meeting, we each attended our own calls (with headsets) and sometimes held small meetings (in corners) with other leaders.

Fun fact: 90% of the people there are now senior leaders in our current company. You could argue coincidence or maybe we were on to something there, but I digress.

 

We did the same with one my mentors Circa Q4 2010 – Q1 2011 when there was a shortage of offices in our EDSA facility. Hung out in his office maybe 2 days in a week. Same thing, no agenda or meetings and really just went about our day in the same office.

In both these examples, a good portion of my skills, behaviors and competencies were enhanced. This forms part of what I shared prior on “Values & Learning by Proximity” Seeing how other leaders spend their time, “how they work” has a very organic learning benefit that is tough to quantify and define.

 

I highly recommend teams do this from time to time. There’s something magical here, a commonality across different successful teams and organizations I have personally seen.

If anything, the camaraderie and the time spent even if indirect – is a good practice that doesn’t need justification.

Mind You

The power of the mind, the power of belief, you are what you think, whatever your mind truly believes you can achieve and a lot of similar quotes and sayings. This premise is also the core of a lot of legitimate therapies and recovery strategies.

 

A lot of people believe this, some people don’t. The subject today isn’t about who is right or wrong but more on some light exploration around the core premise – Can our minds really affect change on a more physical and functional level?

 

Earlier this year I saw the movie Split which completely blew me away at how awesome it was, please make time to watch it if you haven’t. But beyond that, it explored the intricacies of dissociative identity disorder aka split personalities.

Some of the concepts they introduced are around real world studies, about a 25 year old male with type 2 diabetes and has multiple identities, it’s interesting to note that in one of his identities where he was a 18 year old athlete, he actually doesn’t have diabetes. There are other examples where a subject was cited with eye color changes depending on the personality assumed.

 

One of the biggest shocker was a 37 year old woman from Germany who developed cortical blindness after an accident when she was 20. One of her personalities was a 15 year old boy – who can see. Yep, you read that right.

Now much like everything else in the scientific community, there are a lot of studies and cross studies that disprove these but for me, the important thing here is that there seems to be a common theme which is our brains, our mindsets, the very core of how we think seem to possess a larger power than we all understand.

 

There’s even a study that prove out why some experiments say wine, coffee and other random things are good for you, but other experiments say these same things are bad for you. The overall synopsis is that well, it depends on the kind of mindset, the kind of person that you are. If you are a negative person, most of what you consume regardless of what it is, will be bad for you. But if you are a positive person, everything you digest provides positive impacts to your body.

Super interesting right? Is this maybe why people who think they will win always do? And people who say they never win anything really don’t. Could be why people who regularly say they are always stressed indeed are and those who say they are constantly blessed continue to be. Why rich people continue getting rich and poor people staying poor? Growth mindset vs Victim mindset? Something to think about.

 

If you do think about it, it all boils down to two things… that they (scientists) are wrong about how powerful your mind is, that it has no effect on how your body reacts whatsoever. OR that they are right and that whatever and however you condition and use your mind has a direct and more preeminent influence to your body and therefore your overall success.

 

Ultimately the choice is yours. Personally, I will always make a conscious choice to believe, practice and function in the positive.

Leader Pragmatips #029

Part 2: This talk is done at the end of Nesting. Post time on the phones and have had a glimpse of what their next few months/years are going to be. When things get difficult as they surely will at times, it’s important to Sit, Pause & Remember 3 things:

Remember HOW far you’ve come to get here. Those long lines, submitting documents, series of interviews, starting with a group of hundreds at the recruitment office and being part of the select few who finally received a job offer.

Remember WHO you’re doing this for. Your parents, siblings, spouse, etc. You got a job because you wanted to help, show that they can count on you. You wanted to make sure they’re taken care of.

Remember WHY you’re doing this. There are those that are destined for beyond the norm success. Those who won’t stay as frontline for very long. Those of you who are doing this for YOU. Because you want to prove something for yourself. Those with clear dreams and aspirations for greater than the average futures. 

Whatever these 3 things mean for you, keep them close to your heart to help you stay strong during challenging times and keep you focused on your future.

Because as another popular saying goes;

You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.

Leader Pragmatips #028

Whenever I to talk to new hires at the end of their training, one of the topics I cover is a grounded realization that as they go through their first few months, things can and will get difficult and it’s important to stay cognizant of 2 things so they retain or possibly regain perspective.

1. The Right options

2. Sit, Pause & Remember (For next week)

This week is about The Right Options:

You have the right to ask for help. What you don’t have the right to do is to complain and be a negative influence to your peers or your team

You have the right to rest and recharge. What you don’t have the right to do is demand for things that you didn’t earn e.g. turning performance based incentives into guaranteed allowances or lesser working hours but same pay

You even have the right to quit. Though I highly recommend that you don’t as tomorrow is always a brighter day. But what you don’t have the right to do is to take inappropriate short cuts, game the system or resort to fraudulent activities to help you achieve things but call your integrity into question.

A popular creed that I passionately believe in:

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.

Leader Pragmatips #027

Stop blaming the Tool, focus on improving the user. 

There are so many people, posts, articles about “death by PowerPoint” or how they brag about “oh, in our meetings, we don’t use Slides” and a lot of other similar but somehow perplexing disdain against a tool. For me this is like saying we should stop using hammers in creating furniture or crafts. It’s akin to saying we need to stop using pens when we write on our notebooks. 

Again, these are merely tools and in most cases the reason why a PowerPoint presentation is boring or why the slides are too cluttered is because of one thing – the person presenting. But of course, who would want to admit that? It’s so much easier to blame the tool. 

I have attended many presentations that were massively educational and entertaining at the same time – using slideshows. On the flip side, I’ve seen people present with videos, lights and sound accessories that still bored me to tears. 

There’s no magic bullet, but there are basics: 

-Mastery of your content

-Passion for your cause

-Engagement of your audience. 

The tools are just there to help YOU communicate your message, not replace it.