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Innovation During Crisis: Changing the Way You Do Business – Sales Enablement Soirée, Summer 2020

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SS: Welcome to the Sales Enablement Soiree session on Innovation During Crises: How to Shift Your Brilliance and Lead Differently. Crises don’t need to bring your business to a screeching halt. It can be an excellent opportunity for innovation and creativity, whether it’s altering daily operations or potentially even shifting business strategies. Now might be the right time to rethink your business strategy and understand how sales enablement can help lead and drive that innovation to tangible business impact.

Today I’m excited to have the world-renowned author and speaker of “Success is an Inside Job”, Simon T. Bailey, join us today. Simon, with that, I would love to hand it off to you.

SB: Hi, I’m Simon T Bailey and today, I have the opportunity to guide you on the path to understanding how do you shift your brilliance and lead differently. I know when you hear shift your brilliance, you’re like, what is that? Well, if you’re taking notes, I would invite you to just write down ‘shift’ as an acronym and it simply stands for See How I Fit Tomorrow. And when I talk about brilliance, brilliance is something that I’ve been writing and speaking about for literally the last 18 years since I left Disney.

And brilliance is your insight, it’s your potential, it’s your unfair advantage as a sales enablement practitioner and a sales enablement marketing leader. And so, when I talk about this whole thing of shifting your brilliance, it’s really recognizing my unfair advantage is doing what I love to do.

And when I love what I do, I quit my job and I go to work. Now, why is that important? Because job stands for Just Over Bored. When you go to work, it’s not so much what you’re getting but it’s about who you are becoming. And as you are shifting your brilliance, (see how I fit tomorrow), you’re understanding that this is the greatest time to be alive in the world, despite the global pandemic, despite COVID-19, because you have the ability to understand that life is not a remote control.

You have the ability, oh, brilliant one. That’s right. I called you oh brilliant one. to shift your brilliance and change the channel on your tell-a-vision. Okay. So, you’re probably wondering, how did I stumble upon talking and writing about this whole thing called shift your brilliance?

Well, professionally I have 30 years of experience. I’ve worked for six different companies, 10 different jobs. And at the truth be told, I’m going to share a little secret with you. I was sitting at my desk December 10th, 2001. And I was sales director, new business development director for the Disney Institute. And whenever you work at Disney, Mickey Mouse rule #1 is you never talked to the media unless authorize. So somehow this guy calls me, and he says, where do you see yourself? 10 to 15 years from now. And I said, I see myself as the president and CEO of the Walt Disney World Resort and eventually the chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney company. And he puts this in print!

So, the article comes out page 12 of the Florida Business Trend Magazine, February 2002. And my boss called me in the office. He’s like, “What were you thinking when you did this interview?” And I said, Larry, I work at this company whose model is, if you’re harvesting your dreams, no request is too extreme for when you wish upon a star it makes no difference who you are. Funny today, not funny then.

So, HR shows up a couple hours later. And let’s just say Disney didn’t fire me that day, but about year later I heard the footsteps coming and they were not singing, “It’s A Small World After All.” So, I decided that I would put my resume out on the street. I got four job offers and I turned them all down because I realized it was time for me to go for it.

So, in the last 17 and a half — 18 years, I’ve worked with 1800 organizations in 49 countries. And I literally reinvented myself at least five times and I’m on my fifth re-invention. I love all things as it relates to sales and marketing, and I’m going to share with you. Some things to really think about right now, some keys and some principles that can help you really level up, take it to the next dimension.

And so first up, I want us to think about what is the mental agility that you need right now is especially in leading a remote team? And if you’re taking notes, please write this down. Write down 15-7-30-90. 15-7-30-90. And if you’re going to really shift your brilliance, see how I fit tomorrow, starting today, I have to think about my mental agility and my mental agility literally starts with getting up 15 minutes early. That’s right, starting tomorrow morning, I want to invite you to get up 15 minutes early, take the 15 minutes and chunk it down into three, five-minute segments.

The first five minutes, I want you to meditate. Just get quiet. You know, meditation is really big in the Eastern part of the world. Here in the Western part of the world, we call it mindfulness. Harvard Business Review has been writing articles at least for about 20 years regarding mindfulness. So, whether it’s mindfulness or meditation, it’s the ability to slow down in order to speed up. The ability to meditate is to quiet the chatter in your head because sometimes something has happened. Global pandemic, economic uncertainty. Racial injustice. Right. And it’s happened. It’s real. And that story becomes more powerful than us taking control to say, what, what can I do to create a better outcome?

So, the first five minutes carving out time to slow down and in order to speed up. There’s an app called Headspace or Calm. I highly recommend either app for you to set the time to three minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever works for you just to meditate.

The second five minutes, I invite you to read or listen to something that inspires you. Because how you start the day determines the day. And if you’re going to have mental agility that second five minutes critically important, because it will determine and how you show up that day. Okay.

Then the third, five minutes, I want you to stretch. That’s right, stretch and get alignment with the day because here’s how the formula works. 15 minutes a day creates seven days a week. Seven days a week creates 30 days. 30 days creates 90 days. So, if I’m going to have mental agility and really understand how to shift, I have to start with carving out 15 minutes at the very beginning of the day, to set your intention. And then that impacts everything else that transplant in that day. Okay.

Now, another thing to think about as it relates to mental agility is taking time to journal. There’s an app called Day One. Day One Journal that you can download to your smartphone and it allows you to import photos, videos, audios, and certainly write, “What are you thinking and sensing that day?” The reason I really encourage leaders to start with this whole piece of how am I going to show up? How do I enable myself before I enable others?

And so, we have to kind of go with it, but here’s the other tip that I’ll give you? What would it be like, to have a personal board of directors? A personal board of directors, that challenges you, a personal board of advisors that is made up of three to five individuals that have a different core competency than yours. And then you connect with them at least once every 30 days, obviously in a virtual world on FaceTime or whatever works for you. And you can connect with them to say, “Here’s what I’ve learned. Here’s how I’ve grown. Let me ask you some questions.”

So, if we’re going to stay sharp, we won’t really grow by ourselves. It’s in the context of relationships. So, if I’m going to have mental agility and really make that shift and sustain it, I got focus on getting better. Now let me tell you why this is so important, and I learned this the hard way. So, I leave Disney. I’m now out of my own. And before I realized I needed to reinvent to stay relevant for where things were going, I was literally on autopilot. I was just kind of phoning it in. I was showing up and business has been great. I’ve written a few books and I was getting booked by clients to work with them. But what I recognize is I became comfortable. And when I became comfortable, I was no longer hungry. And the moment I stopped being hungry everything just kind of flatlined. Right? And what I recognize if I didn’t shift, I was going to be shifted. Right?

So, I had to implement these practices of 15 minutes a day, meditating, reading, journaling, stretching. Some may do yoga, whatever it is, to get my mindset right. But then I had to surround myself with different individuals who would challenge me to really move to a higher dimension. And that’s the personal board of advisors. Alright?

So, then the question then becomes, okay, Simon, this is great. I want to shift my brilliance. Do you have any, what I would call, best practices or best practice recommendations or leading remote teams. And I do. Number one, please make the note, fortitude is the new attitude. Fortitude is the new attitude.

Fortitude counts from the word fortis, which means courage in the midst of adversity. It’s also from this Latin word, fortis, that we get the word fortify. So, if I’m going to fortify my future, I have to understand what is the mindset of the team that I am collaborating with. And certainly, as professionals, as sales enablement practitioners, as sales enablement leaders, we have to recognize that people are nervous. People have either been furloughed, job loss, loved ones now working from home, children who may or may not go back to school. There’s so much facing them and oh, by the way, they still have to deliver on taking care of customers internally and externally.

So, when I say fortitude is the new attitude, here’s a quick exercise that I like for you to do. And this is something that you can do with your teams. Take out a blank sheet of paper. And, I want to give you 15 seconds to write down everything that is right about you. Everything that is right about you, because so often we focus on what’s wrong. Okay so, 15 seconds go. Okay, stop. Did you do it? I hope you did.

Whatever you wrote down that’s right about you. That’s how you built your fortitude and have courage in the midst of an adversity to say, “Wait a minute. This is what’s right about me.” And what this exercise allows you to do with your team is to refocus them on what’s right instead of what’s wrong.

We know that right now in this world, there is information that is swirly, industries are being transformed, and people are worried. They may not say what’s going on, but they’re thinking, “Does my leader value who I am and my contribution to the team?” And how we have to show up is recognizing that fortitude is the new attitude by helping people fortify their future, to say here’s what’s right. Alright?

Now let me just give you some quick examples of what fortitude looks like. If you saw the movie “300”, right. King Leonidas, right? That’s fortitude. If you saw “Wonder Woman”, that is fortitude in action. If you saw Jennifer Lawrence in “Hunger Games”, that’s fortitude in action. Courage in the midst of adversity.

So, then the question becomes, “Simon, how do I now encourage my team in the midst of uncertainty, especially when people are working remote?” Well, think about when you do your conference calls with the teams that are obviously happening virtually. How do we start with the question? And the question is “What are you most grateful for?” And it’s a different question because you’re probably saying it has nothing to do with business. But it has everything to do with business. It’s counter intuitive. So, allowing people to start with the first exercise, What’s Right. But then to answer a question, “what are you most grateful for?” allows them to be centered when everything is shifting around them. So, if I see how I fit tomorrow, starting today, when I answer I’m most grateful, what they’re doing is they’re setting that intention, creating that tone, and that disposition that I am totally present to this moment. I am supposed to be right here, and everything is working out for my good.

Here’s the second recommendation that I have. If you’re leading teams, remote teams, please write this now. Connectedness is the new currency. Connectedness is the new currency. When we think about the term ‘social distancing’, [right. I don’t like the term social distancing. I really wish that we would use the term physical distance safe. Why?

Because we’re social creatures by nature. That’s how we bond. That’s how we grow as individuals. So, in a physical distancing world, right. People need connectedness. So, here’s the first thing I want to invite you to think about. Be empathetic and authentic. Empathetic is you walk a mile in the shoes of those on the team. Those that you’re collaborating with those that you work with. But you’re also authentic to tell the truth because everybody’s wondering, ‘so what’s the latest, what do you know, what is it going to be?’ And when you’re empathetic and authentic you’re believable. Because trust is the emotional glue of all environments right now. So, building trust is here’s what I know today. And it may change within the next 24 hours, but I’m going to tell you as much as I know, so that you can be the best that you possibly can be.

Another thing to think about is, as it relates to connectedness, is taking time out to ask them something that is personal in nature. Especially in a virtual world, because that’ll be with everybody on these different platforms and zoom to WebEx, you name it. You’ve gotten to see, you know, cats, walk chairs or dogs barking the doorbell ringing, a loved one coming in and out. Right. And don’t ignore it. Don’t block it. Allow them to tell you more. In other words, what am I saying? Be more human during this time. We were all in this together.

Another thing to think about is when you do the one-on-ones, and do you have one-on-ones with your colleagues, your team members, just to check in right. And say, ‘how’s it going? How are you doing?’ Very important question: ‘What do you need from me? What is it that I can do to help you be more successful?’ That allows people to feel connected in social distance world. Right? When you just ask them that question. Another thing, when you create an agenda (and I hope you do create an agenda for the team meeting), and let’s say that team meeting is going to be for 30 minutes. Guess what? Shave off five minutes. End five minutes early. And you’re probably saying, What!? Why should I end five minutes early? Here’s what it does. Everybody has a different dynamic working from home. Some may be by themselves. Some may have developed a routine to do whatever, because this is all new, we’re all learning on the fly and adjusting. So, shaving off five minutes is the gift of five minutes back. They’re like, “What!?” Here’s the power of it. It also increases psychological safety. Psychological safety it says that, “wow, not only am I valued, but we got done five minutes early. And what else can I do to go above and beyond?” Right. Just shaving off five minutes creates psychological safety.

Here’s another suggestion. What would it be like to create a buddy system? That’s right, a virtual buddy system where every 30 days someone is now paired up with a colleague that they need to collaborate with. Perhaps someone that they don’t know that they get to know. And they find out little factoids about that person that might be personal in nature, fun, interesting. And another way to keep the team connected is do a rotation from time to time where people will say, Hey, here’s something I want to tell you about my buddy that we’ve worked together. And it creates more connectedness; because when I belong and I really feel and sense that I belong, I will work harder than ever before, because I know that I’m not just a, how would I say this? I’m not just a social security number in the HR payroll system, but I’m a human being who is seen, recognize, and celebrate, instead of tolerating it.

Okay. So, people want to be celebrated, not just tolerated, especially during this time. Here’s another little insight before I give you the third recommendation. What would it be like to find out that person’s appreciation language and appreciate them in the way that they want to receive it?

So, for example, years ago, when I was working at the mouse house, I brought the team together and said, “We’re going to celebrate the top sales performer for the quarter.” So, I had Candice, I said, ladies and gentlemen, Candice did a great job. And Candice turns, flush red, runs out of the room. And I was like, Whoa, what just happened?

And I said to Beverly, my executive assistant, I say, go after her, find out, like, why did she run out? Because we’re going to recognize her. It Beverly came back and said, Candice, doesn’t like public recognition. And I was like, “what! I thought everybody liked public recognition.” So, I said, Beverly, what do you think we should do? Because all women are right. I hope you caught that. And Beverly said, why don’t you send a handwritten note to her home address, thanking her for her production for the last quarter? And that’s what we did. And that’s what I learned. Oh, my goodness. Everybody has a different appreciation language. All right.

Now, moving on third best practice recommendation. And this one is going to be like, guess what? Your team needs hope to cope. That’s right. Hope is a superpower. Dr. Shane Lopez, a Gallup senior scientist, says in his research when, when the future is bleak people are less hopeful, but when people believe that there is a better future horizon, they work even harder.

So, one of the things that you can do is to infuse hope. How do you do that? It’s in your communication, upgrade your verbal software. Language is the software of the mind. What language am I using to create a hopeful environment? Because a hopeful environment creates a helpful environment. Alright, now people have to ask me, okay, Simon, this is great. I’m shifting my brilliance. How do I begin to process ambiguity quicker and execute better?

So how many of you have had to face ambiguity, right? Where you are kind of like, okay, what in the heck is going on? Right. And we know that we are in a VUCA environment. Which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. All right. So, here’s the first thing clinical psychologists have a practice called calm commotion. Calm commotion is just setting aside a minute and thinking about the happiest time in your life. So literally you could do this with me right now? Take a deep breath. Okay. Let it out. Right. And I want you to think, in a moment, I’m going to invite you to close your eyes, and think about that happiest moment ever.

When you think about the happiest moment ever get a picture of the movie screen of your mind. And attach a feeling or an emotion to that happiest time ever. That feeling or emotion is going to start at the top of your head. It’s going to move down through your neck is going to move into your shoulders and your hands. Happiest moment ever. It’s going to move down through your gut. 80% of your nervous system is in your gut.  It’s going to move through your legs and through your feet. And then what I would say is, when I count to three, I want you to open your eyes and say the first word that comes to mind. All right.

Let’s imagine you actually did that. And I would say one, two, three, and you would open it the eyes. And you would say the first word that comes to mind. So, I would say awesome sauce. Like I’m feeling great. I’m feeling awesome. What you just done in the midst of ambiguity is you shifted your state. You didn’t allow the ambiguity to take you down a rabbit hole or to pull you into a vortex. You controlled it. You didn’t allow it to control you. All right.

Now, if you say Simon, that’s a bit traumatic for me, you know, closing my eyes. Okay. So, here’s another thing that you can do. The next way you process ambiguity is to process quickly what I call the three second rule. So, let’s say you’re in a dialogue either with a team or an individual, and they just said something to your list, like, okay, like what, what did they say? What, where’s this going? What does this mean? So, what you do is you simply just say three, two, one; Cassandra, here’s what I heard you say, is this what you meant? I would like to unpack it some more.”

So, what you’re doing to process the ambiguities, you are inviting that person into a conversation to go deeper. Because what you’ll discover is that sometimes in the midst of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, we can have selective hearing instead of authentic listening. And authentic listening is understanding the same letters that spell the word listen, spell the word silent. So, when I wonder go a little bit deeper and listen, leaning in. I’ll say, “so Cassandra, so here’s what I heard you say, you, you said is this what you meant?” Okay. Alright.

So then finally you’re like, okay, Simon, I’m so ready to shift my brilliance. How do we give our teams permission to innovate the culture? Right? And so, giving permission to innovate simply starts with one of my favorite exercises. And I hope you will write this note down and that is Park, Start, Accelerate. If we want to create a culture where everyone is thinking in a fresh, new way, and guess what? I’ve got good news and I got better news.

The good news is you’re alive. The better news is you get to create the future as a sales enablement practitioner and a sales enablement, marketing, sales leader you get to create the future, but it starts with what behaviors or habits do we need to put in park? What behaviors or habits do we need to start? And then what are the behaviors or habits, things that we do really, really well, that we need to accelerate and do more of it?

I’m going to give you a quick example. So, I was invited by an organization called Dunn Humvee and Dunn Humvee had this really cool thing they create called iFriday. Innovation Friday, and obviously this was pre COVID-19. And so, on iFriday, once a quarter on a Friday, 700 men and women would go and work in a different department, a different area of the organization. Now imagine they would go and work in that area on Friday and they would have lots of questions. Why do you do this? How does this work? What’s your go to market strategy on and on and on. But on Monday, they would go back to their regular assignment and they would come with a fresh lens to say on Friday we discovered X. What if we try to do something different in here? That is creating giving permission to a culture, to innovate, to say you saw something, how do we make it better? Okay.

Giving permission really looks at park, start, and accelerate. And you can do this individually as a department, as a team, as an organization. To say, okay and if you start with the accelerate, because that’s always like, okay, here’s what we do really, really well. We are brilliant when it comes to guidance, right? How do we accelerate more of that? But then what are those things that we are doing? That we need to start doing. And then what are those things that we need to park? That’s just a quick tool to help you think about what is it that we do to really shift our brilliance?

So, wow. This has been such an awesome time and I want to really connect the dots from everything that I shared from mental agility, to the best practice recommendations for leading a remote team, processing ambiguity, and really thinking about innovation. And I want you to think about it this way.

There was a man having a reoccurring dream of a ferocious lion chasing him. And whenever he would have this dream, he would take off running. And one day he went to see a counselor and the counselor said, the next time you have the dream, I want you to stop and face the lion looked him in the eye and asked the lion, who are you and why are you chasing me?

So sure enough, couple of weeks go by and this guy has this reoccurring dream of this ferocious lion chasing him. So, he takes off running and then it dawns on him what the counselor says. So, he stops, turns around, faces the wagon, looks the lion in the eye and says, “Who are you? Why are you chasing me?”

And the lion said, “I’m your strength and courage. Why are you running from me?” When you understand how to shift your brilliance, you turn and face the thing that you have ran from for who you become in the process. You are absolutely positively brilliant. Why? Because Simon T Bailey says so.

SS: Thank you. That was a fantastic presentation. Now, before we cut over to the live Q and A, I want to just take a moment to say thank you to all of our sponsoring partners that you’ll see on the following slide. As a reminder, we’re taking live Q and A questions in the chat box below, please enter them and we’ll open up the livestream now.