Seeing Red Cars


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Can heightened awareness, a focus on personal strengths, and intentional thinking create positive results? In Seeing Red Cars, author and consultant Laura Goodrich aims to prove that they can, and takes participants through a guided process that can help individuals and organizations achieve such results. Backed by Goodrich’s 15 years of consulting experience and research about how people are able to make positive changes, the Seeing Red Cars mind-set is a significant shift from business-as-usual. The Seeing Red Cars Toolkit contains 12 activities that individuals or organizations can complete, culminating in a 52-week action plan to help people achieve the success they truly desire.


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Seeing Red Cars

  1. 2. SEEING RED CARS Driving Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization to a Positive Future AUTHORS: Laura Goodrich PUBLISHER: Berrett-Koehler Publishers DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2011 173pages
  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK Seeing Red Cars provides a guide through the process of creating a more positive focus in order to achieve more positive results. The heart of the book resides in the Seeing Red Cars Toolkit, which contains the actual activities that participants complete (and is also available as downloadable PDFs from the author’s website).
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA In Seeing Red Cars , Laura Goodrich describes how rewiring the brain to focus on positive outcomes can help turns dreams into reality.
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION Can heightened awareness, a focus on personal strengths, and intentional thinking create positive results? In Seeing Red Cars , author and consultant Laura Goodrich aims to prove that they can, and takes participants through a guided process that can help individuals and organizations achieve such results. Backed by Goodrich’s 15 years of consulting experience and research about how people are able to make positive changes, the Seeing Red Cars mind-set is a comprehensive shift from the status quo.
  5. 6. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT <ul><li>Changing your focus from “I don’t want” to “I want” requires a conscious effort. This raise in consciousness involves three steps: </li></ul><ul><li>Think it : Make a commitment to focus your thoughts on what you want, not on what you don’t want. </li></ul><ul><li>See it : Picture the desired outcome in your mind, with a focus on specific goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Do it : Put your intentions into action. </li></ul>
  6. 7. WHY WE FOCUS ON WHAT WE DON’T WANT <ul><li>There are two primary reasons why it is so difficult to change behaviors: </li></ul><ul><li>We have 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts each day, of which 70 percent are focused on what we want to avoid. </li></ul><ul><li>When people encounter new information, there are three typical reactions: 20 percent are open and excited (which Goodrich calls ambassadors ), 50 percent are cautious and not forthcoming with their support (also known as fence-sitters ), and 30 percent are openly opposed (also called detractors ). </li></ul>
  7. 8. REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR BETTER OUTCOMES Recognizing the things that hold us back is important, but the real work is to change those things for the better. It can be difficult to create new neuropathways in the brain, and once created, these pathways need to be used and reused to gain comfort with them. It is imperative to start slowly when building new pathways. By trying to force large changes activates the amygdala and can trigger the panic response, releasing harmful cortisol. Moving incrementally is the only way to prevent panic, releasing serotonin instead of cortisol, and effectively promoting creativity and focus.
  8. 9. REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR BETTER OUTCOMES It is important to acknowledge your fears in order to move in a more positive direction. Once these triggers have been properly recognized, it becomes possible to move beyond the fear by following new pathways in your brain. It is also productive to be clear about your aims. Saying, “I want to be successful” is not clear enough. Rather, defining what success looks like can establish the clarity that is needed.
  9. 10. REWIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR BETTER OUTCOMES Keeping the Seeing Red Cars mindset at all times can be difficult, but it helps to have triggers to remind you to focus on positive things. These triggers act like road signs to keep you on the right track. Triggers can be visual, auditory, or tactile; they can even be actual red cars! They should be things that jog your memory to help reach your desired outcomes.
  10. 11. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS AND CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN Too often, people are forced by circumstances and the obligation to pay the bills. As a result, many people are forced to accept jobs that do not relate to their strengths and passions. It is easy for people to feel trapped in this situation, but it is never too late for them to find passion in their work. Research has shown that only 20 percent of employees feel that they are using their strengths daily.
  11. 12. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS AND CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN While very few jobs allow people to do what they are interested in 100 percent of the time, a job that does not allow them to work towards their passions at least 60 percent of the time will lose these people for other opportunities. The key is for people to recognize what their passions and abilities are so that they can use them in their work.
  12. 13. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS AND CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN In order to properly focus on your strengths, you must first identify your passions and interests. This is the first opportunity to use the Seeing Red Cars Toolkit, which will help guide you through the Seeing Red Cars process. The first tool is the Passions/Interests and Strengths worksheet, in which participants identify things that interest them and how those interests lead to strengths. At the end of this exercise, five interests/passions and five strengths should be identified.
  13. 14. TUNE IN AND TAKE CHARGE <ul><li>When listening to others, it is essential to utilize your supporters. Goodrich suggests that there are three types of supporters: </li></ul><ul><li>Been There, Done That supporters are often mentors. Make sure to ask them to challenge your assumptions and provide honest feedback, </li></ul><ul><li>Walk a Mile in Another’s Shoes supporters are people on a journey similar to yours. These people provide partnership for collaboration and sometimes a supportive shoulder to cry on. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll Always Love You, but That Doesn’t Mean I Won’t Challenge Your Assumptions supporters can help keep you on your path. They are advocates for your journey. </li></ul>
  14. 15. CRAFT PERSONAL “I WANTS” <ul><li>When crafting a list of interests and strengths, it is helpful to also identify your values. Strong “I want” statements should always correlate to your values. The Seeing Red Cars Toolkit Tool 2 invites you to add a list of Personal Values to your lists of Passions/Interests and Strengths . Sample values include: </li></ul><ul><li>Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Adventure </li></ul><ul><li>Boldness </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Curiosity </li></ul>
  15. 16. CRAFT PROFESSIONAL “I WANTS” Tools 1 – 6 of the Seeing Red Cars Toolkit consist of exercises to help create a better-rounded, more intentional, and more positive personal life. Tools 7 – 11 consist of these same exercises applied to professional life. Tool 7 is Professional Passions/Interests, Strengths, and Values , while Tool 8 is Professional Bucket List . The crucial difference between these two Toolkits is found in Tool 9, Professional Wheel , which contains the following 10 professional categories (instead of 12 personal categories).
  16. 17. TURNING ACTIONS INTO OUTCOMES <ul><li>Changing deeply ingrained habits takes time, effort, discipline, and planning. Whereas some categories of “I wants” can be achieved relatively quickly, expecting everything to change immediately is unrealistic. There are three steps involved when turning actions into outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>Think it : Control our thoughts. This happens through intentional, repetitive, positive behaviors that form new neuropathways. </li></ul>
  17. 18. TURNING ACTIONS INTO OUTCOMES <ul><li>See it : Visualize positive outcomes. Research suggests that visualizing your desired outcomes on a daily basis can also improve neural connections, making the changes more likely to last. </li></ul><ul><li>Do it : Take deliberate monthly, weekly, and daily actions. This can be accomplished through Tool 12: Action Traction . </li></ul>
  18. 19. DRIVE RED CARS TO CRITICAL MASS Critical mass of the Seeing Red Cars mindset is the existence of sufficient momentum in which the intentional focus on wants becomes a self-sustaining culture and fuels further growth. When the majority of people are actively engaged in an organization in the discipline of focusing on actions to achieve desired outcomes, it is possible to achieve great things.
  19. 20. DRIVE RED CARS TO CRITICAL MASS In such a culture in which people are encouraged to embrace their strengths, one of two things is likely to happen: individuals will recommit to the organization, or individuals will realize that this is not a good fit for them and will leave to find a better fit. Both of these outcomes are positive for the company as well as for the individuals involved, resulting in a workforce that is 100 percent committed and engaged.
  20. 21. DRIVE RED CARS TO CRITICAL MASS <ul><li>Companies that embody the Seeing Red Cars culture can leverage this culture through more successful hiring, retention, and knowledge management. Companies that are successfully Seeing Red Cars enjoy the following benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Employees strengthen the company with their unique cultural experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees are more aware of new opportunities that the company can capitalize on. </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions of organizational culture are accurate because of consistent communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees remain engaged in the company’s vision. </li></ul><ul><li>The organization remains tightly integrated. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Business Book Summaries is a product of EBSCO Publishing. The website is updated weekly with 4 to 5 new summaries chosen from among the top business books printed in the United States. For more information or to sign up for the weekly newsletter, please visit ABOUT BIZSUM.COM