The Secret To Achieving Business Goals This 2021
- Hi everyone. Catherine Mattice Zundel here for our LinkedIn live show, the first LinkedIn live show of 2021. I have one of my favorite people here with me today. I think I say that probably every time we talk. Karie Kaufmann is with me today and she is my own personal business coach and has been for I think five years or so and she's been a business coach since 2005. She's certified in both ActionCOACH and Scaling Up methods.
And she does a lot of working with businesses to help them build and grow and executive coaching and she does strategic planning retreats. And Karie has taught me so, so, so much over the years and I definitely attribute a lot of my own success and Civility Partners' success to having worked with Karie. So thank you so much for being with me here today. - Well, thank you for having me and thanks for the warm introduction.
- Yeah, yeah. And one thing that you do so well Karie is a lot of Karie's clients know each other and so in addition to having a great coach we have each other and that's been really awesome too so thank you for that. - And of course you've won a ton of awards for doing all of the wonderful things that you do. - As have you.
- All right, so I'm curious to hear, what are some of your most successful clients doing now at the beginning of 2021? How are they kicking the year off? - Yeah, good question. So starting this year is a little different, it feels a little bit different. It's like we have this sense of optimism but there's also still a lot of reality that's being faced. So something I've challenged my clients to do that, I think I've always challenged them to do but we've been a lot more intentional this year, is to set a theme for the year personally with what they want the year to be about for themselves regardless of what else happens to them or around them or in the economy or in their business that what they wanna be most intentional, to be like, how they want to grow this year. Along with that comes having really clear goals, but then breaking it down into smaller chunks because the future is so unpredictable. So they don't necessarily need to change their long-term goals but they might need to continue to course correct on the path to get there, for some industries more than others.
So even breaking things down to a daily and weekly basis like for example, here's mine. I made myself a little habit tracker. I use just a daily, just for the small little daily rituals. That's not necessarily the most strategic thing that they're gonna do in their business but it's making sure that they show up, that I show up at my best every day to make sure that I've got the right focus, the right energy level to continue to persist and achieve the goals even in days when it feels like everything's out of my control. It reminds me that there's a lot that's within my control. And that, that makes the biggest difference.
So my clients have been doing a great job at setting those themes and breaking down to those daily and weekly tasks that connects to their bigger picture annual or five or 10 years goals. - Yeah, I like that, I like that. I'm curious, I wanna explore that a little bit more because one of the things that you always done and I think I've said this to you before is you do always show up your best every call I've ever had with you, I felt like you are 100% there with me as a coach myself. I know sometimes towards the end of the day, for example I don't feel like I'm giving my all, hopefully it comes across that way, but I, how do you do that? How I've always wondered what's Karie's secret. Cause you are giving your best, it feels like. - Oh, I'm certainly not immune to off days or off moments but I try to have a lot of resets regularly.
So I mean, it starts with the bigger picture stuff, taking care of yourself, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, those kinds of things that physically keep your energy up. But the mental and emotional energy is as I've grown throughout my business over the last 15 years I've had to learn how to manage my emotions. Cause my emotions used to be very much tied up to what my clients were experiencing. So if a client was going through a rough time I adopted that and wore it on me.
And it was very stressful and exhausting. It was a growth process for me to learn how to not take on things that I don't need to take on. And to also, when I do, even if it's on anybody else's trash let's say it's just my own trash but to kind of have a little mental reset. So sometimes like I'll just get up and go for a quick walk outside or I'll switch gears entirely and work on something completely unrelated to what I've been doing.
Just to kind of shake it up a little bit, to kind of reset my brain and then maybe come back to what I was doing or going back into the next coaching session. Those little micro breaks and just learning how to not let what happened an hour ago or over the past seven hours, impact what's going to happen next. It's something I'm still practicing and learning but like I said, I've gotten a lot better.
- Yeah, I'm the same way. Something I still need to learn. I know there's been many tears sometimes with you about clients and things happening to them.
- It's a sign that we care so much, right? That you're so closely connected. And a lot of business owners would feel that with either with their clients or even with their team members if people are going through a rough time or society is going through a rough time that we can just wear all that and it's exhausting. And sometimes you just have to say like what do I need to carry? And what do I need to just set down. And then before you know you pick back up and then you guys sat down again. - This is true. That's a great, yep.
So you, you started to say that part of this year it was obviously we're coming into a new year after a big ugly year, this year just cause this January 1 doesn't mean things are different, but hopefully there's more of an end in sight now with this year. So what are some of the other ways that this year is different than any other, other than the obvious? - Yeah, that's a great point. Like there is no great switch that flipped obviously we've even seen already this week that nothing's flipped.
Too many business owners I think are still just getting by acting as if a lot of the physical and environmental changes that we have are temporary. And in the grand scheme of things they are temporary, but as far as the foreseeable future goes, they're not. So there's too many workarounds. Like for example, team that is accustomed to being together and is now working virtually and they still haven't quite figured out how to communicate effectively when they're missing those hallway moments and those water cooler moments that have kind of serendipitous conversations that usually happen very naturally, that don't happen as organically in a virtual environment. And they still haven't quite figured out a new system. They're kind of just working around things.
Or there's a lot of manual processes that are taking place or there's new HR rules, right? There's new, all sorts of new information that we have to deal with in protocols we have to deal with it's like just band-aiding things together until they can stop or until they go back to normal. And I think they just need to stop that. Like we need to like take a serious look at where is there unnecessary friction or things that are just too difficult that they don't need to be like if we step back we could say, okay, well let's create a new system. Let's create a new meeting rhythm, let's look at what's a pain in the butt right now and how can we solve the problem permanently instead of just like drudging through it every single day. And there's a video that I've watched probably a dozen times over the past like 10 months. And it was a Jim Collins video on the Stockdale Paradox are familiar with that? He talked about it in "Good to Great" and I'd completely forgotten about it but he recorded a video last March about the Stockdale Paradox, was this the story of Admiral Admiral Stockdale who was shot down I thing in the 1960s Vietnam and was a POW for eight years.
He since gone on, I think he was a professor at a university for several years. He escaped obviously continued to live a long life, and Jim Collins got to know him. And so he asked him at one point because he was reading his book and like just how depressing the book was.
He goes, I found the book depressing and I know how the story ends. Cause I know the guy, he works down the street from me. I'm still depressed reading the book. So how could you have possibly lived through that without knowing the end of the story , when I'm depressed? and I do know the end, I do know that it all turns out okay. And his answer was that the difference between the people who survived and came out and continued to thrive and live healthy lives compared to those who didn't survive or never fully recovered themselves, was their ability to always keep faith. Never doubt it, he never doubted he would make it out alive but he had to face the brutal facts at the same time.
And the ones who struggled the most or who were less likely to even survive the prisoner camps were the optimist, the ones who said like, we'll be out by Christmas we'll be out by the like they'd set these kind of false put for this false hope and this like fake deadline. And then it would come and go. And every time that it did like they'd lose a little bit of hope. They'd lose a little bit of will, they'd be kind of broken down a little bit. So there's balance of this duality of keeping faith and hope and staying focused on your goals and also being willing to face the brutal facts and deal with them, not kind of put your head in the sand and wait for them to go away.
So I think those are just things that persist even into 2021 that we'll still be dealing with. That's like where's there's a sense of hope and optimism, but then there's also still a lot of nonsense that we gotta deal with. And a lot of less than desirable things that we need to work through. So I think that in "Good to Great" Jim Collins talked about how the CEOs of the great companies all embodied the ability to do that that ability to face the brutal facts while casting hope for the team, right? Keeping the vision alive.
- Yeah, that's great. That reminds me of a "Man's Search for Meaning" too by Viktor Frankl that he was looking at people in concentration camps and through his lens of I think he was a neuro psychologist or something don't quote me on that. But notice that too that the people who looked pretty unhealthy and that they maybe should sort of wilt away actually survived when they had this different point of view. And they had it sounds like some of that really accepting that they were there, but never doubting that they would get out versus others not making it. And I do think about that cause to be trapped in a concentration camp, that's the worst of the worst. None of us is ever gonna get there.
So yeah, yeah - It puts perspective on what we're dealing with really we'll get through it. - I'm in my house with food and my family. Yeah, one other thought that comes to mind, my most recent book, it was a collection of stories from people who were bullied and there's so, so many people who have been bullied and really see themselves as a victim and they've developed PTSD and it's ugly. And then there's a set of people who came out of it and really see themselves as survivors. And so I wanted to see what was it about those people that they saw themselves as a survivor and the one theme in the 23 stories is the decision. It's that same thing that they decided, this person didn't control them anymore.
And then whatever the decision was, it didn't matter but that's the theme. So some of them decided I'm gonna stay and fight, some of them decided I'm leaving saying, whatever it was that they had ultimately taken back control. So that's good.
- It puts you back in the seat of power even though you can't control other people or their circumstances, you can control yourself. - Yeah, so I have another question for you. So as a leader, I have a small team, but I'm the leader nonetheless, I have definitely sometimes struggled with my own ability to lead and have acknowledged that to my team that I feel exhausted. What tip do you have for a leader who's maybe in that, it kind of comes and goes where I'm just like, ah, I'm disengaged from my own company. How do I expect my team to be engaged? And then I kind of ramp back up and I'm good again.
So, you know, in all honesty I've definitely gone through that. I'm curious, do you have advice for leaders when they're in that lull a little bit to pull themselves back out? - I have contradicting advice because I don't think it's a simple subject that always has a single answer. I think there are times that as the leader, suck it up and press on is the right answer. I'm forgetting who said it, I think it was Greg Brenneman who, I heard him speak earlier on in the pandemic and he said, "A leader's job is to absorb fear "and exude hope." Right, that's our job for our teams, is to kind of protect them.
So it's one of my answers. My other answer is that, we're all human and we're all allowed to have off days. And that it's also okay to share the burdens with the team, 'cause as you know one of the top contributors to job satisfaction is that people have a sense of contribution, that what they're doing matters, and it's important and they're valued for it, and they'd be missed if they were gone, all those things. So the right team, when you have the right team they can handle that stuff because they're there to help and they want to be part of the solution, and they can handle, people like works in progress so they can handle somebody who's on a journey, an imperfect business and imperfect leader when that leader is transparent about it and not pretending that they've got it all together when they don't.
So it's balancing like that authenticity and being willing to share occasionally like, hey, I'm just having an off day, forgive me if I'm not the best today, but give me a little time maybe we can reconvene next week. And they respect that, that actually I think would probably increase the trust quotient 'cause you're a real person and you're being vulnerable but you're not making excuses for it, nor are you allowing it to become an excuse to like drag on to a point where it negatively impacted them or the business or your clients or whatnot. So those are my two polarizing answers and it's a spectrum and it's case by case, person by person situation.
But I don't think anybody ever needs to be inauthentic. So in other words, like how can you absorb fear and exude hope while still being a real authentic leader is just kind of a delicate balance, I suppose. - Yeah, I agree with everything you said. I think people will trust you more if they can see that you're also worried because everybody's worried.
So if you walk in being inauthentic and not letting anybody see that, then they're gonna wonder what's wrong with you and not trust you perhaps because they know it's not authentic. Yeah, there's been a few times where I'm like I'm cracking, I'm gonna go home. - You can't let that show so much to where people get, - Scared. - It creates fear in them. Where like, gosh I'm I gonna have a job? Or maybe I should look elsewhere. Like, you can incite panic through that.
So I think that's where that absorbing the fear kind of balance comes into place, but still saying, it'll be okay to say I don't have all the answers, but we're on the search for them and we're not gonna give up. So we're gonna try some stuff and it may or may not work, and then we're gonna try some other stuff. So, that's I think a good balance of like today I just need to take a break, so why don't we just close down early and got take a nap. - I've been pretty transparent about where we are financially.
I mean, I'm not just emailing out the budget or anything, but continue to say, we're good, financially we're good. We're doing all right. So, we have a LinkedIn user who says, "When you feel disengagement, ask yourself why "it's important to get to the root "of why you feel disengaged, even if temporary, "maybe there's something you're missing." - That's true.
- And if anybody has any questions for Karie, she's giving out free business coaching right now, so send it on over, post it. All right, so I have another question for you about keeping that new year's resolution energy alive, often, well we're gonna go to the gym and then it falls off or whatever, So business-wise we certainly have new year's resolutions too, any other tips for making sure we're staying on track? - Yeah, so I think little things like this, like the little, habit tracker can help a lot because it takes it one day at a time and you gotta just make sure that you don't try to do too much at once. Like at the beginning of the year especially everything's important, right? Oh, that's really important, that's really important, all these things you want or need to do and you're maybe excited for the new year feeling ambitious, so it all goes into the plan and then you end up doing nothing. So having a 90 day action plan or even like a very loose annual plan. You want me to show you my annual plan looks like? - We'd love to see it.
- Not a 100% finished, but it's close. - There you go. - Not complicated.
It's 12 boxes on a spreadsheet, right. Where I loosely pop, it was color coded as you could tell, so I kind of have things loosely plopped into the month that I'm planning to tackle it. Some of it's personal development or training or conferences, that I'm either speaking at or attending, sales and marketing stuff, service related stuff. So just all these different categories of things and it keeps the plans from living right here and the to-do list and kind of spaces it out in a way that makes it easier to manage. You're familiar with the Formula for Change but I'll share it 'cause most people probably are not. But the Formula for Change says, dissatisfaction times vision, In other words, the carrot and the stick takes both dissatisfaction and vision, plus the first steps, is the key to overcoming resistance to change.
So this is why new year's resolutions typically fail because they're too big right, we commit to making a massive change resistance spikes and we don't keep it up. I think I read this last year. I wanna say it's January 12th, is like the national quit your resolution day. Like most resolutions are gone by then.
But the reason why is because it's a first leap, It's the first mile, it's all the stuff at once. Your just focusing on the Kaizen, the constant but incremental improvement. 1% better every day and kind of spacing out your goals and giving yourself permission to say, I don't need to worry about that yet. I'm gonna worry about that next week or next month or next quarter. All I need to do today is these three things and kind of allowing not letting everything attack you at once, keeps the energy up. - It does and I'm sitting here smiling while you're talking 'cause I lived and breathed, I don't quite as much anymore but when I first started with you I'd print that thing out and every day I'd go up to it.
What am I supposed to be doing today? I would X that thing off. Now it's a little bit more like your plan a little bit sort of broader, but definitely got me from one point, from point A to point B over probably three years. I should get back. - One other tip if I could share on keeping the energy alive is, maybe the reason why I love the trackers so much, like you get those endorphins when you check things off the list or when you achieve even a micro goal, so to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate is like fuel. And entrepreneurs don't typically do this very well.
Like we usually really suck at it. 'Cause were too busy looking at the list of things that you still have yet to do, the list of undone things that we don't stop and acknowledge everything that was accomplished. So if it's a physical tracker, or just once a week doing a little digest of what were my top successes and accomplishments for the week, for myself or for the team, gives some perspectives.
We forget, like you forget like how much you've done and if you take the time, you're like, oh wow, okay. The week wasn't a total disaster, I actually did accomplish a few things. And now you feel a little bit more energized to keep it going to next week and not just let the never ending to-do list bog you down. - Yeah, that's a great point to celebrate all those little things that you do, awesome.
- Whatever you want more of, celebrate whatever you want more of. - I'm gonna work on that 'cause I'm one of those entrepreneurs that you've just described. Well, thank you so much Karie for being here with me today. - You're welcome.
- I really appreciate it, and Karie's at kariekaufmann.com, If you want to visit her certainly reach out to me, and she's on LinkedIn of course, and any other final thoughts for us Karie before I let you go? - No, I just want to wish everybody a happy new year to stay safe and healthy and keep focused on the goals which you can control and it's up to us to make it a great year. So I wish all of you watching this, a great, happy and healthy 2021.
Thanks for having me, Catherine. - Yeah, thank you and happy 2021 to you as well.