Oktoberfest episode number 30. Getting promoted.
Where do you want to go? Is it from the first team to the more senior team? Is it from kindergarten to primary school? Is it from general manager to CEO full? Is it from being single to being in a relationship? The process for moving up the ladder is identical no matter what field of work you are in.
If it isn’t easy where you are it is going to be a bloody site harder where you want to go if it is up. If you are struggling domestically or personally with not taking things personally, keeping your daily routine, if you are making excuses as to why you are not getting things done, if you are blaming anybody for your current state of stress, then it is going to multiply times two when you get, if you get, where you want to go.
When my dad used to walk in the front door and we would say how was work today? He would reply with either fantastic I sold a car or terrible I had to spend money repairing a car. The fortunes of my father fluctuated with the number of cars he sold and as the number of cars he sold determined whether we could afford red meat or sausages for dinner, this became his mantra. And so my father’s business never went to the next level. The business ran him not, he ran the business.
Every now and again my dad would employ somebody at his car yard. He would employ a mechanic or a sales person to try and elevate him self above the day to day grind of being a car salesman, mechanic, car cleaner, Accountant, financier, father, partner and etc. Those employment never lasted long mainly because my father never changed the metric that drove his life. If they were selling cars and he was happy the employee was welcome. If they weren’t selling cars and my dad was unhappy and therefore in a state of self preservation, nothing that employee could do would be right. I always felt sorry for these people who were employed by my dad.
When you say to yourself you do not like your current job and would like to seek another job it is wise to go through a checklist before you decide whether this is a parallel move to another firm with the same stuff or whether you are aspiring to more money for a bigger job in a different firm all the same. The checklist would come down to this;
How am I coping with my family life, my daily disciplines of mind and body control, am I struggling with an addiction of any sort, and what am I prepared to give up that makes me comfortable in order to take on a higher job. Remember, unless you work for the government or a company like Telstra, you are always going to be in a commercially competitive environment where somebody wants your job and somebody who employs you wants you to perform or buzz off. The higher you go the more likely somebody is going to put their thumb on your head and say do it or buzz off.
Let’s talk now from the point of view of Innerwealth. When you do the 30 day program which I hope I by now you’ve done twice a year for every year you are coached, you will know that there are daily routines such as the power hour which are essential to remaining in control and growing.
When the going gets tough everybody put in and does their daily routine. They feel stressed and therefore are looking for anti-stress behaviour. They get up in the morning early and do the hair in Wells prep, arrive at work inspired with a good breakfast, sit down to their desk and do their vision inspiration and purpose exercises before starting work on a busy stressful day. What they find is that the stress usually goes away and thank goodness they did the 30 day challenge. Phew.
A few weeks later when the stress pressure has subsided, and everything has reverted to comfort, I ask some people how the Innerwealth daily routine is going and the answer will be pretty much sporadic and I do it when I feel like it.
And so the ambition of this person was comfort. As soon as they achieve comfort the need for uncomfortable daily routines that interrupt their comfort becomes hard to fathom and they drop it. There are a group of people who don’t do that.
When the vision is strong enough the how looks after itself. If the vision is ultimately comfort with more pay then the individual will lose the motive to do the daily routine during comfortable times.
This now becomes the difference between a person who is going to achieve what they want and another person who will spend their life dreaming about it but always getting themselves over their neck in stress. If you are stressed by your current job even one-day out of five then you have work to do. Nobody is going to promote to a high-level of business a person who is emotionally stressed by a lower level of business.
The first key to this is learning how to work on your job and not in it. I know that sounds a little bit like rhetoric but what it means is not to take it personally. You do your job, your boss might flip out or not, but you set the benchmark of excellence. You getting emotional or proud or worried or stressed or anxiety or smashed by your job reveals that you are not ready to be promoted. When you are not ready to be promoted whether you know it or not the only option you have is a sideways step into another job where you will be equally not ready to be promoted.
Now there are many metaphors for this. But my absolute favourite is acclimatisation. When I take people to Nepal there are laws in the unwritten rules of altitude acclimatisation, that govern how fast a group can ascend. Roughly, and this depends a lot on the group and the terrain, a person can send around 300 m per day for every three days in the mountains. The way we translate this is we ascend for two days 300 m per day and on the third day stay at the same altitude. That means in three days you can only ascend 600 m. But there are a few variables.
If we ascend 300 m and a person shows signs of altitude sickness or lack of adaptation we cannot ascend another 300 m no matter where we are. So unless there is comfort at the levels we have reached each day there is no way we will put a person into life-threatening adaptation process unless they have got a climatisation. Altitude sickness comes when a person did not acclimatise in the first 300 m and then, through ambition or simply ignorance, increased their altitude the following day by 300 m. That extra 300 m could kill them because their body and mind had not adapted.
I have taken more than 50 groups of people to the Himalayas. I have never had somebody carried out or helicopter down with altitude sickness. That has cost me a few friends because some people think just because they have a headache or lost a night sleep it should not mean they could not continue to go higher. But I will never promote somebody who is not coping at the level they’re already add to a higher level it will just simply sabotage my track. Yes, as a leader I call the trek mine. Just as your boss will call what they are responsible for, theirs.
In all of these 50 trips at least one or two people are carried down the mountain on a stretcher unconscious. They are certainly not with my group but have been tracking with a leader with probably too many people to observe and suddenly during the night become extremely ill. And as a coach in the real world of life there are many people who have been led by leaders who are too busy to realise that the stress of an individual is revealing that that individual should not be promoted, should not be given more work to do but possibly escorted a little bit down. The problem is not always with the boss.
Sometimes, even when a person is not able to fulfil the disciplines that will make them strong, every time they get comfortable they think they are ready for a promotion and don’t take into account that they are operating at low altitude. In business, just like nature, everything grows but never in a straight line. So there are periods of intensity and there are periods of recovery in business growth as well as personal growth. When a business grows too fast everybody enjoys the rewards but, the human struggle will reveal those who are incompetent at the higher levels of stress. So we do not promote people on how good they are at low altitude but promote people on how good they are under the pump.
I have met people who work in the opposite way. When they are under the pump, under pressure they thrive, but when the pressure comes off they don’t know what to do with themselves and start agitating for a promotion. This is a big mistake. Recognising that a period of low-pressure always comes before an intense period of high-pressure in which self-discipline becomes the critical winning factor might lead people to think that they are as good as they are in the low pressure times of business or even at altitude.
The image most people have of a Himalayan track is quite different to the reality of it. As I’ve mentioned above we only ascend 300 m a day on average. But to ascend 300 m in the Himalayas of Nepal we will usually track up 1000 m over the top of the hill and down the other side and stop 300 m higher than we were yesterday. So the overall challenge of the day is not just going up 300 m it is tolerating 1300 m above acclimatised comfort but at the end of the tracking day sleeping at 300 m above yesterday. Getting people over these 1300 meter altitude gains is a very tricky process and if a person has not fully acclimatised the night before they will certainly blow out during that 1300 meter assent over a hill. So they will be literally at 1600 m for a few hours during the day for which their body is completely unprepared. They will then descend all the way back down 1000 m. If they can’t get over the 1600 meter peak then they like a Rolling Stone have to go back down the old hill back to where they started for the day.
Can you see this metaphor playing out in business? It’s usually pretty conspicuous. But can you see this also playing out in your family relationship? A couple can be acclimatised at 300 m but nature always grows people and relationships and if both people cannot acclimatise to the next 300 m then one will be stuck at 300 m and the other capable of 600 m in altitude. This results in attitude sickness when one person complains that they don’t feel loved. It’s actually the topic of acclimatisation and growth not the lack of love. The amount of stress and individual experiences in their day will reveal the acclimatisation of that person.
Innerwealth is development of a mindset that involves with you. But there are clear benchmarks that must be put in place to know whether you are applying the Innerwealth tools and technologies for busy people. Those benchmarks include the amount of enthusiasm we have for our work, the amount of gratitude we have for yesterday, the amount of certainty we have for the future (our vision,) and, love. Now love in a business context might be difficult to explain but if I replace the word inspiration for love you will understand.
Those benchmarks are sometimes confusing because they are easy to achieve in the easy times and they are really difficult to achieve in the tough times and so it is quite often important to reverse them and see what it looks like not to evolve at work or at home in relationship. The four opposite words to the benchmarks of evolving Innerwealth, R; frustration, overthinking, doubt and emotion. You can if you want, replace emotion with the word stressed.
Innerwealth when we say the word stressed we mean reactive. The definition of emotion is attraction and propulsion. That can be translated into the search for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. But ultimately all of this comes down to an attack on our Bing and the drive to make us revert to a place of self-preservation which sometimes translates into hate. If there is one word that exemplifies a person who has all four of frustration, up in the head, doubt and emotion it is hate. Hate is natures absolute self preservation mechanism and it is an attack, a very personal attack on anything that might intrude. Hate is the last line of defence when a person has reached a level of their own incompetence.
It is said in business that we rise to our level of incompetence. And I think that is absolutely the truth unless you are coached from somewhere outside the business. The condition of that coaching is the person is at arm’s-length and is also not commercially bound to you for their survival which is the predominance of cases with life coaching.
It is also wise to realise that reading books on self-help is a complete and utter waste of time and energy because your mind will filter out all the things you need to learn and all the things you like already and don’t need to learn but already believe are true I remember 20 years ago reading books on Zen and underlining very important quotes and paragraphs. I still have one of those books and it’s ridiculous to see that most of the things that I underlined were the things that I needed to let go of and change in order to be where I am today. I actually made my life harder by studying the things that I thought were going to help me but all I did was reinforce the rubbish that I was holding onto.
When I launched the Innerwealth book are used to go into bookshops in New York and San Francisco and find my book I would then relocated on the bookshelf of the bookstore to make sure that it was at eyelevel. You see books in book stores are usually arranged in popularity because people will buy the things that are in front of their nose. To a certain degree this worked but what I observed while I was there and when I even offered people to buy my book holding my book in my hand and offering them my book in the bookshop, they said they were looking for something different. I asked them specifically what they were looking for and they would say something along the lines of I am looking for a book on peace and meditation for example. When I looked at that person I thought to myself that is the bloody last thing you need in your life. You don’t even have a job little loan need to have meditation to enlighten you right now.
Yeah I know it was really judgemental. But the point is not my judgement the point is that we search for information to reinforce the stuff that we already think we need to reinforce because we already think what we’re doing is right and we need to do more of it. That’s about as far from the truth as you can get. That’s like a person in the Himalayas being at 300 m and feeling comfortable and saying I may as well run up the mountain.
That’s the end of this episode. With spirit. Chris.