Do You Have Humble Intelligence?

Humble Intelligence is cool if you understand it. I was recently asked to step into a meeting with a group of very smart people. The meeting had some conflicting points which turned into a heated discussion. I like it best when issues are resolved amongst my direct reports, but in this case I needed to assist. We got through the meeting, came up with some action items, a follow up plan, and moved on.

The meeting bothered me and was on my mind. I learned a long time ago in an assertiveness training class where I learned a huge lesson on REACTIVING vs. RESPONDING. A big take away from the class was if something is going to bug you in the morning or the next day, you need to do something about it. If not, let it go as you will just be reacting.

The meeting was going to bother me in the morning and more so, if I didn’t address the root cause, it could be destructive to the team and culture we are building. So I did a retrospective – which simply means to review the situation and determine what could be improved. After you determine what can be improved, you incorporate that into the next situation. It is continuous improvement at the simplest form which I really like, because it stops us from making the same mistakes – that is insanity.

Anyway, the big find was one of the team members was certainly smart enough, but simply didn’t have strong interpersonal skills. So most of the statements from this individual put others on the defense vs. being a team. I had a few discussions with the individual and created a list of what can change to help. I prioritized them and discussed a few and will continue to review so we are in a continuous improvement mode. Here are a few that you may be able to use if you are in a similar situation.

Better Communications List

What Group are You the Stupidest In?

The question of “what group are you the stupidest in” is kind of a crazy question, but the fact is we grow when we are out of our comfort zone. So the next logical question is WHEN are you out of your comfort zone?

I was out with a colleague about a year ago and asked him the question, what group are you the stupidest in or at least feel very uncomfortable around the topics being discussed. He looked at me like I was crazy but then it sunk in.  He is a very successful person but he was the leader in his groups. We pushed this around a bit which was fun, however at the end of the day it sparked an internal review.  We all have groups we “hang” in:

  • Our family
  • Our friends
  • Our co-workers
  • Our colleagues
  • Our extended family
  • Etc.

There has to be a group where you are not the leader, the dominator, the one that knows all the answers. The group where you just have to be quiet and listen, observe, and learn. This is where we are all uncomfortable because we cannot answer the questions, where we cannot lead, where we cannot influence. This is uncomfortable for a lot of people because we never want to feel dumb or at least not know the answers like everyone else.

Proud of You vs. Thankful For

I was in an Executive Forums peer group meeting this week. One of the exercises any new member joining has to do is tell the group what they are proud of. After sitting through the opening company background, this slide came up and he had crossed out the Proud of and inserted Thankful for.

He explained that he grew up in a Christian home and his dad drove this into him as he stated “pride is before the fall”. I never thought of that because ever since I can remember, I wanted to encourage my 3 daughters and my wife. My wife and I would say the phrase “I am proud of you” a lot. It started at night when we used to pray together, then during date nights, at the dinner table, then via text as technology took over. We are very proud of our daughters!!

So I pondered this and am still reconciling the phrases, but it does seem like being thankful for _____________ make sense. It switches the view to gratitude vs. parent or leader. I like it and am going to start using it and challenge myself on this viewpoint.

Can You Spend 15 Minutes with Yourself?

66% of people shocked themselves to get out of spending time in a room alone for 15 minutes. According to a Journal of Science study and Jason Miller’s message on Sunday, people were asked to be in a room for 15 minutes with nothing but their thoughts. When I heard this, my mind started reconciling articles I have read regarding all the “noise” we have around us.

I am a huge fan of podcasts, audiobooks, online courses, and anything that can help me be a better person, husband, father, and leader. Intentional living according to your values and beliefs must be part of your life. One of my favorite quotes that my kids are “sick” of hearing is:

“You Don’t Plan to Fail, You Fail to Plan”

I wrote a blog on owning your day a few months back and part of that is having 15 minutes of quite time. Since I heard this study I really tried to pay attention to my thoughts during my 15 minutes in the morning. It was weird and cool when I heightened my awareness of where my mind was going and how fast it jumped around.

You are going to either control your thoughts, which you can do with effort or they will control you.

Action Items

  • Review my blog on controlling your day.
  • Set a date by the end of the year to have version 1 of your life plan.
  • Try 15 minutes of quiet time. See where your mind goes and see if you can be still just with your thoughts.

Good Luck and please leave me comments if any of my blogs are working in your life. Thanks.
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Top 10 Posts for 2014

Following my own advice on reviewing journals, Top2014Blogsv1performing retrospectives on life/work, and looking back at the last year, I am listing my top 10 posts for 2014. Interestingly, these posts continue to be useful guidepost for family, friends and others in the same phase of life I am in which is my intention.  If there is one or more of these that have impacted you please leave me a comment below.  Thanks for your feedback and comments this past year and I look forward to helping anyone that finds themselves in similar situations.

In case you missed them, here are my top 10 posts for 2014 in order of descending page views:

  1. Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should
  2. Turning Points – Who are You Going to Be?
  3. The True Value of Emotional Intelligence
  4. Do You Have Guardrails in Your Life?
  5. Do You Control Your Day or Does it Control You?
  6. Your Integrity or Character for Sale?
  7. Are you Keeping the Humble and Hungry Balance?
  8. Do You Have a Healthy Organization?
  9. Strengths – Do You Know Yours?
  10. Blind Spots – Who’s Watching Yours?


Good Luck and please leave me comments if any of my blogs are working in your life. Thanks.

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Think You Can Multi-Focus?

Well, maybe you can multi-task, but you certainly cannot multi-FOCUS. I wrote a blog on multi-tasking and some tips on getting roughly 30% of your day back a few months back. It turns out, computers can multi-task well, but we cannot switch like that.

Do you feel like you are rushing through your day and not giving any one thing your full attention? I know how easily this can happen because many people use a multi task approach which leaves them feeling scattered and their projects incomplete.

A lot of people think it’s better to multi-task. They rush around, pushing through everything. They bounce from one thing to do the next. But that doesn’t work for most people. We simply are a lot less productive when we switch back and forth. When we FOCUS we can accomplish big things and many things.

  • We lose roughly 28% productivity when you multi-task
  • We simply can’t multi-focus

Your Oxygen Mask First?

Have you ever really listened to the instructions you get when you are about to take off on a plane? Do you remember the part about putting on your oxygen mask first before you try to help anyone with theirs?

I was recently asked about my post a few weeks ago What’s Important Right Now? The question was why I was #2 under God. Well, the answer is solid and very intentional after doing my life plan with the guidance of Michael Hyatt’s eBook  on how to do your life plan. (link in my previous blog – turning points)

Since I am a man of faith, making myself #2 was hard even for me when I was doing my life plan. I questioned how I can be #2 when I care about my wife and family more. Well, the explanation after working through it was this:

If you are not taking care of yourself, how are you going to effectively help the ones you love, your friends you care about, and have impact in the world?

How Does the World See You?

Do you know how the world sees you? This was the topic of the podcast 49ArcheTypesI just listened to, and it is an eye-opener. I have been an advocate of focusing on your strengths to navigate educational, career, and life decisions. It has helped me a lot along with my family, friends, and co-workers. Sally Hogshead, the author of the book How the World Sees You, has an online strength assessment that is unlike all the others.

Now I totally believe in the strengths test that Markus Buckingham created. Strengths Finder 2.0 is about your personal strengths, or your natural wired strengths, which is extremely helpful. His newest strengths assessment is Stand Out, which is more about building your teams at work and how to work with each other better. I am in the process of implementing this with my team now. Sally’s test is about how others see you, which is a whole other way of knowing you. It takes Emotional Intelligence to the next level in my opinion. Especially the Self Aware component of emotional intelligence.

Permission or Forgiveness – Which One Are You?

Do you typically ask for permission or forgiveness when it comes to following rules? Do you know if your teams need rules to be tightly managed, or can they succeed by simply being pointed in the right direction? What I am asking is do you ask for permission if you know there isn’t a rule for the action? Or do you go for it with intentions being in the best interest of all involved? Do you trust your team in the same way?

Rules are for the norm and people that need them. Which anyone leading knows, you are out of the norm a lot. I often find myself “out of the norm” just because of who I am with one of my top natural strengths being futurist. Being a futurist means I am constantly researching and thinking about where we are going. This often conflicts with rules or processes as they really haven’t been developed yet for where I want to go.

Do You Want To Be an Essentialist? The Choice Is Yours.

Do You Want To Be an Essentialist? The Choice Is Yours.  Last week we visited our daughter in Nashville, TN. Ramsey1Our 2 other daughters and boyfriends were able to come with us. We had the opportunity to meet Dave Ramsey and see him on his show live. This was pretty cool for many reasons. Tate, Colton, Abby, and I (pictured above) have been listening to Entreleadership, which is one of Dave’s podcast series, while we have been working out for over a year. I have learned a lot from this series and so have they. There is just something cool about meeting someone in person that has character and purpose in their life that you are learning from. Dave is intentional about his purpose. Their Mantra is:

“The Lampo Group provides biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment that gives HOPE to everyone in every walk of life.”