ME to WE? Flip who? Say What?
How often do you get calls or requests to try out some personality test to help you understand yourself and then have phenomenal success? I bet you answer FREQUENTLY. And how many times have you taken those tests? Probably lots – as long as they are free. I am not talking about the garbage on Facebook. I am talking about Meyers Briggs, DiSC, the 16 PF, Hexaco, colours (yeah, colours), revised NEO EyeSinc ….. even the introvert/extrovert argument.
The reason I am chatting about this subject — this past week, I have had three requests about this stuff.
The first was from a friend to join her KOLBE group. So that I could understand my relationship with money. Since I trained as a CPA and my entire life has been about showing and delivering for others how to make a ton of money in their businesses, I think it is fair to say I understand my relationship with money.
The second was from a fellow I did not know who wanted to do an interview for his first book. It was all about success and introverts, and he wanted to discuss my personal intersection of success and introversion. Honestly? I had to study that phrase to understand what he wanted me to discuss. I am so not fond of the jargon of today.
Then I got an email from somebody in Asia wanting to sell me the Meyers Briggs certification for the lowest price in the world so I could understand myself better.
I believe all these personality tests can be highly illuminating. And the funny thing is, they show the same inherent traits when you are 20, 30, 40, 50, and even 90 years old. Because we humans don’t change our basic personality.
And there are also a few terrific benefits of these tests. For example, they can force you to look at some of the darker sides of your personality and help you understand why others have issues with certain things you say or do. They can fill in some of the blanks or holes and help you understand WHY you might be the way you are.
And they are terrific at putting you into a category of fellow kindred spirits. We, humans, love to take shortcuts, and LABELS are the easiest.
So, let me share with you some of my labels. I was born a LEO; am naturally an introvert, although I did learn how to be an extrovert. In Meyers Brigg, I am an INTJ, Introvert, intuitive, thinking and judgemental (10% of the population fits in this category); my Kolbe assessment says I am exceptionally quick at getting an idea off the ground and anything mundane and routine makes me very ill. And, with the fascination test, I am the victor – respected, constantly improving and an admired achiever.
So, why am I sharing all this? One. Reason. Only.
Is there anything there that sounds like it will make me more successful? NO.
These are just labels. I used to think knowing all this stuff was vital. But as I got wiser, I met and watched other LEOS, other INTJs, and other folks with similar assessments in Kolbe and Fascinate. Know what I saw?
Many people were categorized with matching labels and held very different attitudes and values from me. Within each label or category, each person was indeed on a very different life path.
And the level of success each person had in the same category was utterly different from mine. Some had very little leadership success. Others had a bit. Still, others had more. And their success was not dependent on their labels or categories.
There are many reasons for success. You have heard the one about Opportunity meets Preparation. And likely, the one about it’s who you know is better than what you know. I’ll bet you can also site a bunch of people you know who had lucky breaks – family, friends, strangers who gave them Opportunities. Or someone had a few extra degrees. Or married into the right circumstances. So can I.
There is one indisputable guaranteed success factor that has been around for centuries, doesn’t get a lot of airplay, is not taught in school, can be termed very old-fashioned or vintage, and takes a long time to gain traction. Yet when that traction takes hold, it is with you a very long time and pays dividends into perpetuity.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? I know. I have been using it for 40 years. It is called – flip ME upside down. What? Okay, how about turning ME into WE?
I am serious. The awesome and exceptional leaders RARELY think about themselves, their personalities, and their issues. The awesome and exceptional leaders think about the WE in their lives. Other people. Their teams. FIRST.
Honestly, we humans can’t do much on our own. For most of us, our lives are boring, with some very high and very low moments. And we rely on others – our family and friends- to help us navigate those moments. I have never met anyone who looked inward or had a huge ME Me me complex to have real, lasting, sustainable success.
But I have met people, and I have helped people who have an outward focus or a more significant global focus be very successful. And I am talking about ordinary people with everyday problems, alcoholics, drug addicts, divorces, little formal education, not born into money and across all industries.
They all got what they wanted by focusing on WE or allowing me to change their focus to WE!
I recently received a comprehensive report which revealed how world-class leaders set themselves apart. According to Harvard University, team building is the number one skill employees look to their leaders to do well. Yet, only 20% of all employees feel they experience it.
That means 80% of people working today are unhappy with how they are treated.
The best way to treat all people is to turn your ME into WE. How?
Let me give you two ideas I use all the time.
1. Quit obsessing about your corporate goals and how you will or will not make them. Instead, obsess over helping your people reach their goals within the context of what you want. For example, if you demonstrate that you are helping them to get 50% of their personal goals, they will give you a minimum of 125% of your corporate goals.
2. Share equally in the good and bad times. In the good years, I have never met anyone who held out for more money. And I have never heard anyone whining about how they were treated during rough times. Bonus plans based on results achieved (not rank or seniority) work exceptionally well, especially with short-term (monthly), medium-term (annually) and longer-term (2 to 3 years) For everyone.
And the same goes for when the results are less than stellar, there is no extra money to pay out, and you are even faced with cutting or laying off staff. Make sure whatever decisions are made impact you as well as them. The first time I announced I, too, would take unpaid weeks with my people was an eye-opener for everyone.
Please believe me. When your team realizes you see them as in it with you and there are no special favours for senior management, the bonds of loyalty and trust will never be broken. And collectively, you will get colossal cooperation to move as close to your objectives as possible.
Some fantastic team technology pieces are available now to help you flip ME into WE. They are very effective and not rock bottom cheap. If you are interested, go to the website www.bulletproofyourbusinessnow.com and let me buy you a coffee chat. I’ll show you exactly what I am talking about and get you headed in the right direction.
Hey, listen. Flipping your ME to WE is the one guaranteed way I know to bring you mountains of success. And you know, just like I do, anything is possible. There are just two things you need: Focus and Commitment. I believe in you. I KNOW you can make the impact you want.