Gg Launch Kit V1.0


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The concept of reaching out to others for support isn’t
about changing who you are. It’s about enlisting the help
and advice of others to help you become who you can be.

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Gg Launch Kit V1.0

  1. 1. The Greenlight Group Launch Kit A companion resource to Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back
  2. 2. CONTENTS Intro 3 Recruitment 5 The First Meeting 8 Group Goals/Expectations 9 Take an Intimacy Break 10 Exchange Your Vows: Promises 11 Principles 12 Rules of Engagement 13 Personal/Professional Check in: Goal Setting 14 Develop an Accountability Plan 15 Going Forward 16 Playback: What Worked, What Didn’t 17 Ongoing Meetings Regular meeting agenda 18 Special meetings (recruitment, family day, special speakers) 21 Troubleshooting 22 Resources Who’s Got Your Back excerpt 25 The Four Mindsets Cliff Notes 30 The Eight Steps to Instant Intimacy 31 Places to Go 32
  3. 3. INTRO The concept of reaching out to others for support isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about enlisting the help and advice of others to help you become who you can be. Keith Ferrazzi, Who’s Got Your Back Welcome to the Greenlight Group Starter Kit, a companion resource to the “Do It Yourself” chapter of Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back! That chapter, along with the info here, provides a basic process for launching your own formal, sustainable peer support group – aka “Greenlight Group.” What is a greenlight group? A group of people who meet regularly as a team to help each other achieve their most aggressive goals by giving each other feedback, supporting each other, and holding each other accountable to progress. It is a powerful, sustainable FREE tool to accomplish your most challenging goals and ditch those crippling behaviors we all struggle with. Do I really need one? Are you looking to improve your career, or wanting to leapfrog to something new or more challenging? Are you looking to improve your overall quality of life? Are you looking to accomplish a specific goal, personal or professional, in a specific period of time? Would you like to improve your game? Are you looking for additional advantage? Do you feel stuck or out of balance? Have you ever had the suspicion you were put on earth to accomplish something unique but you’re not sure what that is or how to get there? Despite your accomplishments, do you sometimes find yourself getting in your own way? Are you ready to break through your own self-imposed glass ceiling? Would a little more discipline help you? Do you feel alone in your pursuits? Wouldn’t it be terrific to have people who have your back and who’ll be there for you, in your career and in your personal life? Would you like to move beyond mediocrity to ultimate success? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then YES, you need a Greenlight Group! 3
  4. 4. INTRO Three Things to Know Before You Get Started: First: This document is intended as a companion to Who’s Got Your Back – in other words, read the book first! Before you start a formal Greenlight Group, you should already: • Actively practice the Four Mindsets • Have experienced mutual support with individual partners • Have done some focused work around goal setting and diagnoses of what’s holding you back. (Check out Discover Your Currency, The Goals Toolbox, and The Pick One Diagnostic for more help there.) The Resource section of this kit provides a Who’s Got Your Back primer for people who are new to the book. Second: Always remember that YOU are the architects of your own group; this kit only presents some guidelines to help get you started. Third: We need your help! By starting your own group, you’re joining an important and powerful movement of people committed to helping each other succeed. Support the movement by contributing to the evolution of this kit – share your feedback, ideas, and critique on the discussion board at www. What’s missing? What’s confusing? What did we get wrong and right? We’ll be updating the kit regularly. It’s YOU who will make the difference to millions of people who will benefit from a free resource for building a mutual support circle that won’t let them fail. Congratulations on making an incredible commitment to your success and to others! 4
  5. 5. RECRuITmENT Every tribe creates lifeline relationships, and it is through those relationships that we become aware of what is unique in us. Keith Ferrazzi, Who’s Got Your Back Recruit your Greenlight Group team in seven steps: 1. Brainstorm. Come up with a list of potential members. Ultimately you want 3-6 people in your group, but not everyone will take you up on the offer, so don’t limit yourself in the brainstorming stage. For a discussion of what kind of person you’re looking for and where to look, consult the Find Your Lifelines and Greenlight Groups chapters in Who’s Got Your Back. In short, you’re looking for 3-6 members who are: • People you respect and admire and wouldn’t want to let down. • People who will truly hold you accountable and respect the other core values. • People who share your level of commitment and ambition • Highly motivated people who are ready to roll up their sleeves. • Goal-oriented people—even if they haven’t yet articulated their own goals. (They need your help!) • People with a positive attitude, no matter what their field of expertise. • Empathetic listeners, who tend to repeat what you have said in a way that makes it clear they “get it” • People with diverse backgrounds, for a variety of viewpoints. Ask yourself: • Is the person willing to speak candidly to you? Does he have the courage to tell you the truths you need to hear? Will he allow you to be candid with him in return? • Is she able to be open and vulnerable with you? Is she understanding about your fears and struggles? • Is he ready to hold you accountable to help you achieve your goals, and overcome the behaviors that are holding you back? Will he let you do the same for him? 5
  6. 6. RECRuITmENT • Is she generous to you and others? Is she generous enough to let you help her? • Can’t answer these questions? Then it’s time for a long, slow dinner to get to know them better! Also check out the “Eight Steps to Instant Intimacy” – there’s a cheat sheet in the Resource section of this kit, and a more detailed version in WGYB. 2. Reach out. Send your potential recruits (whether you’ve identified one or twelve) a casual email or give them a quick call – whatever feels right to your relationship - to feel out whether they’re interested. The email might look like this: I’m putting together a peer support group to make a big push toward accomplishing some major career goals. The idea is that as a team, we can get further faster by giving each other feedback, supporting each other, and holding each other accountable to progress. I got the idea for this by reading Keith Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back. The goal is to become a group who’s deeply committed to not letting each other fail. We’ll be meeting biweekly for at least the next three months. If you’re interested in hearing more, give me a call! Don’t be offended if people say no! You’re asking for a big commitment and not everyone will be at a moment where they want to pursue their success with such focus and commitment. 3. Follow up. If they express interest, have a phone call to: - tell them more about the vision of the group and the four mindsets it’ll operate around - talk about your personal goals, and theirs - talk about the time commitment they could make: meetings should run two hours, but will they be weekly, biweekly, or monthly? Overstate, not understate, the commitment. --tell them not to decide now: take a couple days to think about it first. After the call, send them this kit (or if you’re feeling generous, a copy of the book itself) to familiarize them with some of the foundational ideas and get them excited. 6
  7. 7. RECRuITmENT 4. Register your group at the Greenlight Community. This will give your group a private online hub to share info and continue discussion on a site where groups from around the world are congregating and sharing tips. How: After you’ve joined the Greenlight Community, click the “Add a Group” button at: Make sure that under “Privacy” you click “Moderated Membership” – that way only the name and description of your Group will be viewable to the public. Everything else will be TOTALLY PRIVATE, seen only by the members you invite. To see a public example of what your Group page might look like, go to: 5. Once you’ve invited everyone to your Greenlight Community Group, use your Discussion Forum there as an easy way to get everyone’s input on: - when to meet (ask everyone to post three weekly 2-hour windows of availability) - where to meet (anywhere can work, as long as it’s quiet, comfortable and convenient to all, and reasonably private. - the names of other potential members, if you need more 6. Confirm the time and place with an email that includes the Goal Toolkit download (part of the Who’s Got Your Back Free Resource kit). Everyone should fill it out to prepare for the first meeting. 7. Surrender your crown. Once you’ve got your team onboard and aligned around a first meeting date and place, it’s time for you to step down as leader. Everyone has equal ownership of the group. Congrats and get set for your first meeting! 7
  8. 8. ThE FIRST mEETING The goal of the first meeting is to move from Me to We – to get everyone aligned around shared norms and expectations. It’s the formal group version of WGYB Section III’s Long, Slow Dinner. It’s helpful if everyone in the group comes to the meeting having read WGYB. A 2-hour Agenda (based on 4-6 people): 0:00 Group Goals/Expectations (15 minutes) 0:15 Getting Acquainted (15 minutes) 0:30 Exchange Your Vows: Promises (10 minutes) 0:40 Exchange Your Vows: Guiding Principles (10 minutes) 0:50 Exchange Your Vows: Rules of Engagement (10 minutes) 1:00 Personal/Professional Check in: Goal Setting (30) 1:30 Develop an Accountability Plan (20 min) 1:50 Going Forward (5 min) 1:55 Playback: What Worked, What Didn’t (5 min) 2:00 Finito! 8
  9. 9. ThE FIRST mEETING GROUP GOALS/EXPECTATIONS 0:00 Group Goals/Expectations (15 minutes) While your group is first and foremost about advancing each of your individual goals, having a shared group goal helps ratchet up everyone’s belief in the power and purpose of the whole as more than the sum of its part. You no doubt already have some idea of your shared goals, since you’ve gone to all the trouble of getting together, but it helps to make them explicit. You’re shared goal will fall into one of two types: Practical or Visionary. A Practical group goal makes sense when you share career or performance goals. Examples: - Finding Employment - Changing Careers - Losing Weight - Launching a Small Business - Reducing Expenses A Visionary goal makes sense when you have completely different on-the- ground ambitions but share some kind of “meaning-of-life” or behavioral goals. Examples: - Commitment to Success through Mutual Support - Improving Follow-Through - Integrating Spirituality into Daily Life - Mastering Time-Management - Staying Proactive and Motivated Consider creating a mission name that evokes your unifying goal at launch – and of course, that mission can be revisited if the group shifts in purpose over time, as individual needs change and members come and go. BOX / GREENLIGHT COMMUNITY TIP: In the Discussion Forum in your Greenlight Community Group, you can upload documents to create a private info clearinghouse so that everyone in your group can access meeting notes and all of your group’s documents at any time. 9
  10. 10. ThE FIRST mEETING TAKE AN INTIMACY BREAK “When someone lets themselves be vulnerable, it opens the flood- gates for change. If people see one person take the leap into the void, it strengthens everybody else’s resolve. You feel proud, because you’ve helped the person take a chance. And you know you’re not the only one.” Greenlight Group Member, Los Angeles O:15 Getting Acquainted (15 minutes) During this part of first meeting, or anytime the group needs time to reconnect, use some or all of the questions below. For each question, go around the table and give each person the opportunity to speak. 1. What is your humble gift – something innate to you that helps you help others at work or outside of work? Share a story about that gift with your peers. 2. What is a struggle you went through that influenced who you are today? 3. What was the lowest point in your career, and what did you learn from it? 4. What’s the most important thing you want to have accomplished before you leave this earth? Tips: - Share stories for a great exchange: Stories are emotional transportation. - Be an active listener, and tease out stories from your partners. Find out when they realized they had that gift, or about a time they helped someone. Don’t accept a three-word answer. - Be ready to be the first one to risk being vulnerable. 10
  11. 11. ThE FIRST mEETING EXCHANGE YOUR VOWS 0:30 Exchange Your Vows: Promises (10 minutes) The Promises are a list of what you might call the end goals of your Greenlight Group. They’re not about the tactical goals you’re pursuing, individually or together, but about the positive changes you vow to create by working together Greenlight Group Promises Rewrite these with whatever words you all agree on and feel comfortable with as a group. Together We Will Become: • Joyful, by discovering and fulfilling our true potential with others’ help • Authentic, grounded, and secure in who we are • Free from behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs that may have held back our growth • More willing to aspire to ever-higher levels of achievement, beyond what we once thought possible • Positive in our approach and attitude, with genuine encouragement and enthusiasm for all, generously shared • Forgiving, full of patience to deal with shortcomings—others’ and our own • More willing to trust our instincts, courageously following our inner voice, taking risks, and learning from mistakes • Connected, not just to this powerful circle of people who care, but in all the relationships that matter in our lives • United, never letting each other fail! NOTES: 11
  12. 12. ThE FIRST mEETING EXCHANGE YOUR VOWS 0:40 Exchange Your Vows: Principles (10 minutes) From the list below, choose the principles that feel most appropriate and important to the success of your group. Or make up your own, or rewrite the principles in words that reflect your group’s personality. Revisit, add more, and discuss them frequently for ongoing group development. • Coddling is counterproductive and selfish, not generous. • Support is about picking someone up off the floor—then telling him how he got there. • Service to others rewards the giver as much as the receiver. • Relationships are dynamic; as members graduate, celebrate the time you had to learn with them. • Instincts are an important aspect of your decision-making process. • Accountability starts with the individual. • Scrupulous honesty is a must. • “We’re all liars”—meaning we all have moments when we’re less than candid; the key is to celebrate a quick recovery. • Holding others accountable is an act of generosity. • So-called failures are celebrated as opportunities to learn and grow. • Humility is a virtue. • We are all addicted to something; winners admit it and ask others for help. • Each of us has unlimited potential for growth, no matter where we start. • There are no quick fixes—we are in this for a lifetime of continuous growth. • Our ears are always open. • Encouragement and support are inseparable components of holding others accountable. • Create a safe place for taking risks. • Air grievances right away. Don’t allow resentment to fester. • Conflict—sparring—is a part of the process • You own your own decision-making process, no one else. 12
  13. 13. ThE FIRST mEETING EXCHANGE YOUR VOWS NOTES: 0:50 Exchange Your Vows: Rules of Engagement (10 minutes) You should have a set of Rules of Engagement that outline expected conduct during meetings. These rules don’t need to be complicated. Here are some that we consider ‘musts’: • Total confidentiality: What’s said at meetings stays at meetings. This will ensure that members feel free to share. • Be punctual. Starting on time and finishing on time show we’re respectful of one another’s time. • Be committed. Repeat absentees, or those who fail to uphold the core values of the group, must be asked to leave. • Be attentive. No cell phones or BlackBerries on during a meeting; everyone is listening and focused. • Skip the small talk. It’s fine before or after the meeting, but never during. This will ensure that meetings are productive. • No business transactions between members. Group members should not conduct business with one another, although they are welcome to share contacts and sources. • No alcohol at regular meetings. NOTES: 13
  14. 14. ThE FIRST mEETING PERSONAl/PROFESSIONAl ChECK IN 1:00 Personal/Professional Check in: Goal Setting (30 min) Time for a brief discussion around each member’s goals and commitments. Remember that: • These early goals will almost certainly change as members spar and offer insights, but everyone should start with something specific. • During Spotlights in future meetings and with buddies, you’ll have more time for deep-dives on goals. In Prep: • Fill out your Goal Planners in advance • Review the Sparring section of WGYB for background on how to help each other refine goals In Practice: • Use a stopwatch to keep time so everyone gets a chance to present • Encourage people to frame their goals in positive terms: Say what you want, not what you don’t want, or what’s going wrong. • Have each person clearly state a goal to work on between this meeting and the next. Some suggested sparring question for goals: • So you want to go where? Why? Will that make you happier? • What is your motivation for achieving your goal? Is it internal or externally motivated? • How did you analyze this decision? How thorough was your thinking? Did you ask yourself enough questions, and were they the right ones? • What are the potential pitfalls and downsides? Do you have a contingency plan in place? • Describe the thought process that brought you to your decision. • Are your short and long-term goals in alignment? If not, why not? 14
  15. 15. ThE FIRST mEETING DEVELOP AN ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN 1:30 Develop an Accountability Plan (20 min) Together, make three decisions: 1. how will you track individual commitments? Your tracking of group commitments could be as low-tech as a notebook, but we recommend making use of, so that everyone has access to group documents and individual commitments at all times. Do whatever works best for you – results, not the medium, are what’s important. 2. What are the consequences when a group member repeatedly lets himself and others down? Put in writing how your group will deal with: - Failure to follow through on weekly goal-commitments - Missed Meetings - Disrespectful Behavior Options include reviews, warnings, and ultimately, expulsion. 3. Who’s whose accountability buddy and when/how will they meet outside of group meetings? Pair buddies up by considering: - Who will have the best insight into each others goals and behaviors - -Group dynamics: Pairing up members who don’t know each other well can help promote the group’s bonding Rotate buddies every six months for: - Diversity of thought - Avoidance of cliques - New energy Once you’ve paired up, use the rest of the time for buddies to determine a schedule for in-person, email or phone check-ins during the week. GREENLIGHT COMMUNITY TIP: Each person should log their 1 year, 60 day, and 30 day goals in the Greenlight Community group, so that all members are clear and can readily monitor their peers’ progress. You can do it privately in your group space, or on the community boards for the world to see! 15
  16. 16. ThE FIRST mEETING GOING FORWARD 1:50 Going Forward (5 min) Choose a moderator, spotlight, and time & place for the next meeting. The moderator rotates weekly and is responsible for: - Keeping time at the meeting - Recording commitments and any group-related business - Uploading those notes to the Greenlight Community group space afterwards (or if you’re lucky enough to meeting somewhere with Wi-Fi, right away), along with the time and place for the next meeting - Serving as the meeting’s “Yoda,” someone who speaks up when the Four Mindsets aren’t being upheld or used actively BOX: Why Do Greenlight Groups Need a Yoda? Having the moderator serve as Yoda gives everyone a turn at actively practicing and advocating for the Four Mindsets. For the hesistant, the Yoda role is permission to taste the Four Mindsets in a safe environment. Times when the moderator might need to pull a Yoda include: - When someone is failing to be candid - When someone is defensive - When someone is failing at “caring critique” The Spotlight in Brief (for more, see page 262 of Who’s Got Your Back): - Deep-dives into a particular problem or goal - Line up the spotlight for the next meeting based on members’ needs: Who has a major event or issue that needs attention? Who desperately needs a review of his life plan or goals for the year? - Lasts an hour, including sparring and “I might suggest” - Creates a time to call members out on chronic problems/handicaps - -Spotlighted member should prepare a presentation beforehand, in writing, and distribute it in advance 16
  17. 17. ThE FIRST mEETING PLAYBACK 1:55 Playback: What Worked, What Didn’t (5 min) Everyone should quickly jot down and then share round robin what they thought worked, and what might need to change. WhAT WORKED? WhAT DIDN’T? That wraps up your first meeting! 17
  18. 18. ONGOING mEETINGS REGULAR MEETING AGENDA Regular meeting agenda Agenda: 0:00 Reaffirm Group Vows (5 minutes) 0:05 Professional/Personal Check-Ins (20 min) 0:25 Spotlight (20 minutes) 0:45 Sparring (30 minutes) 1:15 “I Might Suggest” (15 minutes) 1:30 Group Issues (10 minutes) 1:40 Review and Setting of Commitments (20 min) 2:00 Finish! 1. Reaffirm Group Vows (5 minutes) Like a collective om before yoga class or an inspirational keynote that launches a conference, this is a quick check-in on the higher-level goals and values that your group has decided to celebrate—and a reminder that meetings are always confidential, and this is a safe space in which to share. 2. Professional/Personal Check-Ins (3 minutes per person; 20 minutes total) Each member volunteers personal and professional successes and challenges since the last meeting. Consider using a 0-to-5 scale for members to self- evaluate their success maintaining a behavioral change week-by-week. 3. Spotlight (20 minutes) A member selected at the previous meeting comes prepared, in writing, to discuss an important issue. It could be a new goal, a behavioral issue, a problem at work with a variety of potential courses of action, or something deeply personal. Other members listen carefully and empathically. (Read more on spotlights later in the section.) 18
  19. 19. ONGOING mEETINGS REGULAR MEETING AGENDA 4. Sparring (30 minutes) All members have a chance to engage in dialogue with the member in the spotlight. Questioning should be Socratic and designed to spur deeper insights. (See Step Six: Learn to Fight!, page 173.) Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information you need to make a comment; that’s just not possible in the space of a two-hour meeting, nor is it necessary. The point is not to “solve” a problem or issue, but to push the subject to think in new and fresh ways. 5. “I might Suggest” (15 minutes) Once an individual has discussed her issues and gone through the sparring round, each member offers his or her take on the situation, starting with, “I might suggest . . .” The language here, focusing on suggestion, is important: It reminds everyone that the power and responsibility of analyzing data and making decisions is always in the hands of the individual. No one is telling anyone what to do, and in fact, sharing experiences or stories is always preferable to giving advice. (Over time, a buddy might play a stronger advisory role.) “I might suggest” comments could include offering a referral to a potential mentor or someone who can provide tactical advice or services, access to a resource, information the members think the individual should consider, an insightful story, or anything else that the members think might help a fellow member. If a group member doesn’t have any insights or experience to share, all he has to do is say something like, “I’m not sure I’ve got anything useful to add here, but I’m here to support you; I know you can succeed.” 6. Group Issues (10 minutes) An ongoing discussion of team dynamics, challenges, membership, and logistical issues. Also confirm time and location of next meeting, and select the moderator and spotlight subject. If your group assigns homework such as reading a book, do so now. 19
  20. 20. ONGOING mEETINGS REGULAR MEETING AGENDA 7. Review and Setting of Commitments (3 minutes each; 20 minutes total) All members update the group on their goal commitments from the prior week or month—however often you meet or get together. This could include a review of recent work with each member’s accountability buddy. Commitments are recorded in writing and distributed to the group. BOX: A Final, Very Serious Recommendation Have fun! The ultimate key to the sustainability of your group will be first and foremost the professional value the group provides. But a close second is how much fun you have together. It’s fine to infuse the meetings with a little humor sometimes. Don’t be afraid if the occasional meeting becomes more about kibitzing than work. Let people get close to one another around subjects other than the serious business of growth and change. Now go ahead—get started! 20
  21. 21. ONGOING mEETINGS SPECIAL MEETINGS Special meetings (recruitment, family day, special speakers) Outside of your regular ongoing meetings, you might consider special meetings for: Recruitment: In general, meetings should be private. But if the group agrees, occasional visitors can be an effective recruitment tool. You might plan in advance to dedicate one meeting every few months to recruitment, then bring in several visitors Seeing the process in action is a great way to excite people around a concept that they may have never been exposed to. Just check in advance, and make sure all members –particularly the member in the spotlight that day–are okay with the visit. Education Have a meeting to listen to a guest speaker whose message could benefit all members. This can be a great way to split the cost of a session with a paid coach or time management expert. Often local libraries or other municipal buildings will allow free use of a space in the evening, if the speaker is of interest to a wide audience and you open admission to the public (a great recruitment tool, too!). You can preserve the spirit of your Greenlight Group by dedicating a portion of the meeting to a pointed question-and-answer session. Socializing: Organize occasional social events outside of your regular meetings, to meet spouses and family and just have fun. “Good of the group” issues: The time may come when you need more than the normal ten minutes allotted in your regular meeting to deal with group issues. These could concern team dynamics (some members are less committed or be kept out of the loop), individual issues (members aren’t making progress), process issues (meetings are feeling too long, too short, too infrequent), or anything else related to group harmony and progress. You may need to schedule an entire session focused on the good of the group. Don’t feel like this is a distraction from moving forward on your individual goals. If something is deeply wrong with the group’s progress, it could well be that it’s a deep reflection of the very issues that are holding individuals back. Focusing on the group problem could free the group to dig deep into challenges in a way that’s nonconfrontational. An issues meeting is the ultimate in “Me to We” action, and it’s guaranteed to benefit everybody. 21
  22. 22. TROuBlEShOOTING Trouble 1: You’re off to a bang – then motivation flags. In research on groups and group formation there have been studies looking at how motivation changes as a function of expectations. In short, motivation is often is related to one’s expectations and to what degree they’re fulfilled. So it’s important that expectation aligns with experience, or you may see members dropping out. Greenlight Groups may require some expectation management. Some people may join the group and show up at meetings, but forget they still need to do the work! Others may feel like since they’re making a major time commitment, they’d better see results – fast! Even a tool as effective as mutual support can’t promise overnight results. That’s why it’s important to enroll folks in the long-term view. That involves a candid discussion of expectations, starting in the recruitment stage. In a group with varied expectations, goals, schedules, and motivation, how does one even begin to manage expectations? Setting expectations too high may set people up for failure; go too low and people may feel they’re not getting enough benefit for their commitment. The answer? Leave it up to the individuals to set their own bar – but make sure that everyone communicates their expectations to the rest of the group. Besides managing expectations, here are some other tips for revving up motivation and morale: 1. Add a new member. Bringing in fresh blood will remind everyone of why you started the group in the first place. You’ll all be on your best behavior to set a good example, and it’ll provide an opportunity to refresh your Promises and Principles. 2. Take a break. Have a meeting devoted to fun, or an activity that inspires everybody to achieve. 3. Set time constraints. Sometimes you need the pressure of a deadline to get your motor running – and the promise of a rest afterwards. You can use your 30 or 60 days goals to get everyone aligned around a big push to the finish. 22
  23. 23. TROuBlEShOOTING Trouble 2: members Feel Cynical or unsure about “Getting Intimate” Many people shirk at the thought of participating in any exercise that involves talking about “feelings,” particularly with someone other than their spouse or a family member (and sometimes even then!) Here’s why it’s important: Emotions influence behavior. For those of you who are still thinking, “I don’t care about emotions; give me raw facts, data, and logic,” consider what psychologists call self-discrepancy theory. That’s the notion that each one of us has an idea of our ideal self, an understanding of our actual self, and a realization of the gap between these two selves. Our awareness of this gap is analytical, but our reaction to it is usually emotional –feelings such as anger, sadness, or depression may surface. That’s just one instance where thoughts spur emotions, both of which can then influence our behaviors. Awareness of these emotions, and the ability to share them and analyze them with others, can help us see how they might be holding us back. Trouble 3: meetings get contentious. Don’t fear conflict. It’s part of the process. In virtually every group, conflict is integral to team cohesion. It forces groups to pause and reflect on the current situation, to bring everyone up to speed, and to try to improve upon the status quo. Researcher Dean Tjosvold contends in the Journal of Organizational Behavior that well-managed conflict helps us “probe problems, create innovative solutions, learn from experience, and enliven relationships.” When dealing with group conflict, remind everyone that Greenlight Groups celebrate conflict. Conflict isn’t a battle, it’s a tool for growth. Engage problems promptly, and work toward consensus. Remember that in Greenlight Groups, the goal is always collaboration, not compromise. Try to take away a lesson from every conflict, to reinforce the idea that conflicts are truly a good, not an evil. It’s how you deal with conflict that matters. When dealing with conflict one-on-one, approach the person with patience, humility, and respect. (This applies to group conflicts as well.) Remember, you owe every member of your group the benefit of the doubt. Keep in mind that none of us is blameless. Forgive your partner before you even begin to work through the details of your conflict. It gives him the space to recover, and to apologize. Taking ego out of the equation allows partners to be their best instead of their worst. 23
  24. 24. TROuBlEShOOTING In his book Forum: The Secret Advantage of Successful Leaders, Mo Fathelbab offers some valuable guidelines for one-on-one conflict resolution, which I’ve summarized and expanded upon below: 1. Candor and transparency. Address the person you have a conflict with directly, not through a third party. 2. Trust your instincts. Address problems right away so they don’t fester and blow up. 3. Choose the relationship you have with others. If you have an issue with a member of the group, it’s your problem—at least until you bring it to the attention of that person. 4. De-heat the room (aka no drama). Avoid personal attacks. Focus on the behaviors that are troubling you. For example, say, “I’m bothered by how often you interrupt me,” not “I dislike you.” That keeps the conversation rooted in caring, not combat. 5. “I might suggest . . .” Avoid ultimatums that create a winner and a loser. 6. Facts are powerful. Don’t just talk about your judgments and feelings. Make sure you clearly state the facts, and the change you are looking for. 7. Get a reality check. If there’s a disagreement about what happened, bring in another member of the group to mediate. 8. Keep digging. If the problem is more than just a communication issue, try to push beyond the symptoms to the root causes. Are petty annoyances and nitpicky issues the signs of something deeper? For example, if someone is being overly negative and offending others, the core issue may be fear that the group hasn’t truly accepted him. Have a trouble that’s not covered here? Go ask for help at! 24
  25. 25. RESOuRCES WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK EXCERPT Why You Need the “Lifeline Relationships” that Create Success – And Won’t Let You Fail Adapted from Who’s Got Your Back By Keith Ferrazzi Behind every great leader, at the base of every great tale of success, you will find an indispensable circle of trusted advisors, mentors, and colleagues. These groups come in all forms and sizes and can be found at every level and in nearly all spheres of both professional and personal life, but what they all have in common is a unique kind of connection with each other that I’ve come to call lifeline relationships. These relationships are, quite literally, why some people succeed far more than others. There’s a good chance that you’ve already experienced the power and potential of lifeline relationships at some point in your life. Imagine some of the attributes of the best bosses you’ve ever had—the kind of boss who encourages you, who gives you space to grow, who appreciates your efforts, who doesn’t micromanage but guides your development with wisdom, and who handles your slip-ups with firmness, understanding, and candor. Or think back to that good friend or family member who dropped everything to be there for you at a critical juncture in your life and didn’t let you fail. Picture that associate you had at work who took a risk for you, and whose influence still touches you today. If you’ve ever had an important person or group of people in your life who’ve shepherded you in the right direction—even if you’ve had just a taste of it—you know what I mean. A Call to Action Each one of us is a salesperson, leader, and entrepreneur, seeking answers. All of us work hard at our jobs and careers—and I include stay-at-home parents in this category. We’re all entrepreneurs of our own ideas, whether we own our own companies or work for someone else. We’re all leaders in our own lives—with our colleagues, with our employees, with our kids, and in our communities. Each one of us is a salesperson of ourselves and our opinions, if not of business products and services. And most of us come up against personal and professional problems that are just too big to solve alone. If we want to be as successful as we know we can be, we need the help of others. 25
  26. 26. RESOuRCES WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK EXCERPT So whether you’re running a country, a business, or a household, you can’t know everything you need to know to be successful—no one can. We need the advice and feedback of people we trust. It’s why mothers instinctively reach out to other mothers for advice on schools and doctors. It’s why parents talk to other parents about schools, curriculums, student activities, social events, dating, teenagers, and the like. It’s why the most successful teams surpass each team member’s wildest individual dreams. It’s the reason presidents create “kitchen cabinets.” Reaching out to and connecting with others doesn’t show up on the syllabus of most business schools. But one day it will. Here are eight things that are clear as day to me: 1. Life coaching, with its hazy self-helpish title, comes in for more than its fair share of ribbing in the media and elsewhere. But look past the snarky skepticism and you’ll find a nearly $3 billion market of executive, life, and career coaches. And it’s growing at a clip of 25 percent a year! A massive industry has emerged suddenly to fill a relationship vacuum. As a society, we’re crying out for more community, more help, more advice and support. As individuals, we’re looking for lifeline relationships anywhere we can get them, even if we have to buy them. This is an issue that’s not going away. 2. Most organizations remain entrenched in the status quo. And the status quo is often a hierarchical structure where communication is downward, linear, and one-way, from management on down. But real, candid communication— communication that spawns open, honest relationships—is nearly impossible if based on such one-way communication. Top-down directives might have been fine when employees were factory cogs and work was all about efficiency. But most of us no longer do cog- like work. In the information age, success is less about efficiency than effectiveness—that is, the ability to get the right things done, rather than just the ability to do things right. Those who have a few close, deep relationships are able to get the feedback, perspective, and input that are the lifeblood of effective decision makers. The better you become at building such relationships, the better you’ll be at what you do, and the more value you’ll bring to the table, whether you work inside or outside an organization. 3. A seismic shift is now under way as passionate individuals, empowered by technology, come together to form ad hoc “tribes” capable of tackling all manner of projects. The Internet has provided the tools for sharing and cooperating on a global scale. 26
  27. 27. RESOuRCES WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK EXCERPT Everywhere you look, you can see people coming together around shared interests to work together, to make change, to take action. The potential to transform the workplace, society, and the economy is revolutionary. And those who’ll play the biggest part will be the ones with the skills and behaviors that I talk about in this book. 4. The Internet is an important tool, but it’s not the answer. There’s an explosion of new sites available to help connect people. Ning, Meetup, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook . . . the list is endless. There are now countless ways to coordinate and connect us, but “connections” are not lifelines. Online, we have more “friends” than ever, but we’re still damn lonely. In 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to him, according to a 2006 study in the American Sociological Review. That number has now dropped to two. More than 25 percent of Americans admit they have no confidants at all. 5. Considering the vacuum of skilled, effective frontline management in companies today, executives, managers, and employees who are proactive in finding a team of advisors to help give them feedback and coaching, accountability, and support are the ones who will flourish in today’s challenging environment. They’ll also save their companies a lot of time and money by being more knowledgeable, perceptive, productive, and innovative. Lifelines are prepared to take risks and speak openly with each other, fueling the creative interchange from which new ideas spring. 6. Most people want more out of work these days than just a paycheck. Heck, most of us want more out of life. Like no other time in history, people are taking the search for meaning in their work more seriously. There is no easier or more effective way to gain that meaning in our jobs, and find work enjoyable again, than creating lifeline relationships. In his book Vital Friends, author Tom Rath cites research from the Gallup Organization that attests to the fact that people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. Yep—that’s seven times. Not only are these people more joyful and more apt to innovate, take risks, collaborate, and share bold new ideas, but their customers are more engaged as well. In fact, if you have close friends at work whom you respect, your employee satisfaction level increases by 50 percent (you’re happier with your benefits as well as your paycheck). And that happens to be good for your employer, too. A study of fifty-five high-performing global business teams at fifteen global firms conducted for a 2007 Harvard Business Review article, “Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams,” found that deep social bonds were the major predictor of team success. The other two? Formal initiatives to strengthen relationships, and leaders who invest the time to build strong relationships with their teams. 27
  28. 28. RESOuRCES WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK EXCERPT But companies spend little effort to promote these kinds of friendships and relationships as of yet. Every one of those companies, though, is a tribe waiting to happen, a group of people hungry to be transformed by a few lifeline relationships. 7. For business, an initiative is not common sense unless it makes dollars and cents. There are a handful of forward-thinking companies that formally encourage employees to establish lifeline relationships. For the rest, their inattention has a price: According to a 2004 study by Deloitte Research, the annual cost of worker disenchantment in the United States is a stunning $350 billion, and approaches half a trillion dollars globally. American companies invest $50 billion annually in leadership training. A report published by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton (now Booz & Company) pointedly summarizes the situation: Senior executives in every industry and every region lament their organizations’ inability to execute. As firms grow in scale and scope in a global environment of increasingly rigorous stakeholder demands, the cost of complexity necessarily rises and the capacity to align and adapt invariably diminishes. In other words, as far as leadership training is concerned, the loss outstrips the investment seven to one. Which confirms my opinion that most leadership training completely misses its target. According again to the Gallup studies, only 18 percent of people work for organizations that provide opportunities for social bonding in the workplace. A few companies have created outright rules against employee “fraternizing.” But more firms unwittingly discourage teamwork and mutual support through misguided policies. Companies and individuals who reject mutual support are going against the grain of research—and pure common sense. 8. And finally, mama knows best! Consider my mother’s card club back in Latrobe. It was originally made up of eight women meeting regularly every month; for the past forty-three years they have shared their dreams for their families, their joys and struggles in their marriages, their frustration in making ends meet. When I called Mom to ask her about her group, she told me they were just talking about how angry they were over the growing size of the empty space at the center of a roll of toilet paper—not exactly what I was expecting! Of course, they did much more for each other than commiserate over the price of paper goods. The ladies helped each other through cancer, heart disease, and the deaths of two members, “Aunt” Rita and “Aunt” Ruth, giving and receiving love and support from each other around the card table. 28
  29. 29. RESOuRCES WHO’S GOT YOUR BACK EXCERPT Point is, look around and you’ll see the imprint of powerful peer-to-peer support everywhere. From FDR’s and JFK’s kitchen cabinets to church basement support groups to the larger-than-life examples of successful bosses and their high-performing teams on the covers of national magazines, we saw groups helping to provide support and advice to improve the lives of others, every day. A Personal Testimonial for lifelines Years ago, after I published my first book Never Eat Alone, I had plenty of relationships in my life – but not plenty of lifelines, people I could really open up to, share my fears and failures and goals and dreams with, and ask for help. I had started to think that because I was the boss and people looked to me as an expert, I was supposed to be the one with all the answers. But I didn’t always have them. The really powerful relationships I did have—my family, some intimate friends I’ve had for years—couldn’t deliver the kind of insight and feedback on my career and life that I most needed to hear. I needed people I trusted who understood my professional goals. I had those people in my life, too! I’d just never asked for their help. I was too afraid I would come across as weak or flawed; I was frankly embarrassed by some of my behaviors. Why risk undermining other people’s perceptions of me by admitting my weaknesses? But inside I knew I was fooling myself if I thought they didn’t already see it for themselves. Starting with 3 core relationships, I built the protective tribe I needed to support me, push me farther, and hold me accountable to change. Those relationships changed my life. They improved my business. They made me feel secure and grounded despite a world of constantly shifting parts. Four Ways lifeline Relationships Will help You Here are four ways I believe lifeline relationships are critical: 1. To help us identify what success truly means for us, including our long-term career plans. 2. To help us figure out the most robust plan possible to get there, through short-term goals and strategies that would tie us into knots if we tried to go it alone. 3. To help us identify what we need to stop doing to move forward in our lives. I’m referring to the things we all do that hold us back from achieving the success we deserve. 4. To have people around us committed to ensuring that we sustain change so that we can transform our lives from good to great. 29
  30. 30. RESOuRCES THE FOUR MINDSETS CLIFF NOTES Attract lifelines, Starting Now Too many people make the mistake of thinking serendipity, chemistry, or some kind of magic is required to bring these deep, trusting relationships into your life. Here’s what I know from experience, in my own life and through many years of working with corporate executives and their teams: You can usher lifeline relationships into your life, starting today. It may require some new mindsets, behaviors and strategies, but at the most basic level, all it requires is you making a choice – to stop going it alone and let others in. The Four Mindsets Cliff Notes There are four core mind-sets—which can be learned and practiced—that form the behavioral foundation for creating the deep trusting relationships that create success. • Generosity. This is the base from which all the other behaviors arise. This is the commitment to mutual support that begins with the willingness to show up and creatively share our deepest insights and ideas with the world. It’s the promise to help others succeed by whatever means you can muster. Generosity signals the end of isolation by cracking open a door to a trusting emotional environment, a “safe space”—the kind of environment that’s necessary for creating relationships in which the other mind-sets can flourish. • Vulnerability. This means letting your guard down so mutual understanding can occur. Here you cross the threshold into a safe space after intimacy and trust have pushed the door wide open. The relationship engendered by generosity then moves toward a place of fearless friendship where risks are taken and invitations are offered to others. • Candor. This is the freedom to be totally honest with those you confide in. Vulnerability clears the pathways of feedback so that you are able to share your hopes and fears. Candor allows us to begin to constructively interpret, respond to, and grapple with that information. • Accountability. Accountability refers to the action of following through on the promises you make to others. It’s about giving and receiving the feet-to- the-fire tough love through which real change is sustained. Learn more about incorporating the Four Mindsets in your life in Section II of Who’s Got Your Back. 30
  31. 31. RESOuRCES THE EIGHT STEPS TO INSTANT INTIMACY The Eight Steps to Instant Intimacy Put these steps into practice when meeting someone new or when you’d like to transform a relationship you already have into one that has Greenlight Group potential. 1. Create an authentic environment around you: Ever walked into a room completely intimidated in advance, having psyched yourself out before you got in the door? The first step is to get grounded. Take a deep breath. Relax. Let the other person see who you are and what you have to offer—your concern, your interest, your passion, your intelligence, your skill. 2. Suspend your prejudice: Walk into every situation with as few presumptions as possible. If anything, expect the best, and look for ways to express your interest in and concern for a new contact. 3. Project the positive: Be proactive and positive. Once you’ve found your inner voice and know you’re speaking authentically, from there it’s a simple step to projecting positive feelings onto other people—the kinds of feelings that will help to bridge the gap between you and establish a welcoming, safe environment for the other person. 4. Share your passions: Sharing initiates a chain reaction that opens everyone up. Start with your interests and passions. Talk about the things in life that really move you. Don’t feel as though you have to have shared passions; just share your passions, preferably by telling a story. 5. Talk about your goals and dreams: Everybody has goals and dreams—for themselves, their businesses, their families. Few things are more powerful than being able to talk to one another about where we want to go in this world! 6. Revisit your past: Allow yourself to be vulnerable by sharing past struggles. This may take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s worth the risk – it’ll invite your new contact to trust you, an important step to finding out how to truly help them. Most people find it easier to talk about past struggles because they’re behind us. In fact, talking about a challenge we’ve overcome might even be considered focusing on our strengths, rather than revealing a weakness. 7. What’s keeping you up at night?: Talk about what’s bothering you now – at home or at work. How are your workplace relationships? How’s your relationship with your spouse or partner, your kids or parents? Got any health concerns? How are you doing financially? You may not be ready to dive into this level of self-disclosure with someone you just met; be an attentive judge of when the bond is strong enough. 31
  32. 32. PlACES TO GO 8. Future fears: The final step toward intimacy and trust is being open and sharing your fears and concerns about the future, which is where our real insecurities and weaknesses come into play. Our concerns might revolve around the economy, our personal limitations, or looming questions about our life direction—whatever it is, in short, that makes us afraid. Sharing these kinds of fears both requires and builds the deepest level of trust. More Fun Stuff Join Keith’s Greenlight Community! There’s no better tool to support your new team-driven success strategy than the Greenlight Community – an online gathering of successful professionals who sign on to give and receive the encouragement, feedback, and generous mutual support every one of us needs to reach our full potential. Besides community support, you’ll find resources and tools to make your new Greenlight Group a major success. Sign up at! Check out Keith’s first book! Who’s Got Your Back gives you the tools to develop a small circle of lifeline relationships. Keith’s first book, the best-selling Never Eat Alone, teaches you how to build a broad network of contacts without becoming a networking jerk. Learn how to : • Manage the Gatekeeper, Artfully • “Ping” Constantly • Warm Up Cold Calls • Broaden your circle with an Anchor Tenant • Broadcast Your Brand For more info, visit today 32