Your Next Leadership Moment

For every great achievement, there is a series of powerful moments fueling that journey toward our goal.

The sixth week of U.S. Navy SEAL training is lovingly referred to as “Hell Week”, especially by the instructors who seemed to take great pleasure in separating the wheat from the chaff in the most brutal fashion imaginable. It is a merciless rite of passage.  Prior to Hell Week, we were treated to a “pep talk” from a Navy SEAL who described his experience and how he got through it – he focused on how he would get to the next moment. That phrase… “get to the next moment.” It stood out to me; like it was audibly highlighted in yellow. Now, that’s advice I can use, I thought.

Hell Week came, and as expected, every training exercise was cranked up on the dial to an 11. Laying in the freezing ocean holding a log over my head, getting crushed again and again by waves, I mentally searched for anything that would help me make it through. First, I tried to think about the next meal. Soon, I started fading again. So, I thought about the next 60 seconds—surely, I can do anything for 60 seconds . . . until I couldn’t. Then it came to me, the advice from the pep talk: get to the next moment. Maybe the next moment was a wave; maybe the next moment was switching out the log over my head; maybe the next moment was moving to the next exercise. Finally, the adding up of those moments amounted to being done (for now) and mealtime.

Life is remembered in moments, not minutes. It’s rare we focus on the minutes or the hours of our lives; unless a significant moment is happening. In some ways, moments are timeless anchors we can use to look toward an achievement; or to recall as a way of motivation. And the rhythmic accumulation of moments builds our futures as well as achieves our dreams.

Harnessing the power of Leadership Moments

Moments as Anchors:

Moments are powerful forces that happen in a short amount of time, though they seem almost timeless. Many of us aren’t aware of when a moment begins or when it ends, yet they serve as anchors along our timelines.

When recalled in applicable situations, moments when you or your team achieved a goal, or experienced a breakthrough, can be used as motivation. This motivation can be used to keep going, to stay true to a decision, or even make a better call in the here and now.

Imagining a moment in the future – such as completing a task, meeting a team goal, or completing a client project – can serve to pull you and your team forward through tough decisions or complex problems.

What moments can you remind your team of? Moments that will help them with where they are at today? To inspire them to greater accomplishments, personally or professionally? What moments in the future can you vision-cast to your team to refocus their efforts and move them past challenges?

Making Moment-by-Moment Progress:

Whether we’re conscious of them or not, every achievement comes at the end of a chain of smaller accomplishments, or moments. Can moments be planned? I think so. We can plan to create anchors along the timeline of a project, or even the development of a relationship, that can accumulate to your ultimate finish line. Those anchors are their own milestone goals.

Would you like to have a loving, respectful, friendly relationship with your children when they become adults? All parents do! And there are moments you can create over the years that will help get your family to that point.

Would you like to see your team exceed its sales goals over the next two years? Of course! Barring circumstances outside of your control, there are moments you can create for the development of your team, as well as the development of the individuals on your team, all aimed at getting you there.

What moments can you plan for yourself and your team that will help you meet your goals? How can those moments build on each other? These are important questions to ask an answer to help make and plan for moment-by-moment progress.

A Rhythm of Moments:

When I began to understand that I could intentionally create moments for myself and for others, and when I saw the power that collective moments have, I began to realize that moments can be organized and even set to a rhythm. Whether the rhythm is daily, weekly or monthly, setting up our lives for regular moments of insight, inspiration, breakthrough or accomplishment can make a sizeable impact on the goals we achieve including the level of leadership we grow toward.

Now, the key to creating moments like this, or even happening upon moments like this, is opening yourself up to being in the moment. Being present as moments are happening, even the moments you’re creating, drives the anchor deeper. This makes a more lasting impression and highlights its significance.

As you look at your calendar, can you set up your week to include a moment of insight, inspiration, breakthrough or accomplishment? Decide what you want that moment to look like, sound like, or feel like. How can you create a moment that will serve as an anchor along your leadership journey?

Moments Make a Difference:

We often think of moments as small, or being a solo happenstance in our journey. But if we pay attention, the power of moments can be harnessed. They can motivate us forward, they can accumulate in our achievements, they can be crafted into a rhythm that continues our path of growth. Moments don’t always happen by chance. Moments can be created for yourself, your family, your team and your company. Take the next step and make moments that matter in order to make a difference.

At Team Performance Institute, we believe in the power of moments. And we believe you are poised in this moment in time to make a difference. If you’re ready to bring your team to the next level, now is your moment. Contact us, and ask about our executive performance coaching and virtual services.

Leading Well in Times of Crisis

If each of us has a belief, consciously or subconsciously, about our ability to control outcomes, what is yours? 

In SEAL training, I was the only officer in my class of 140 guys. This was unusual because typically, there might be 10 or 15 officers in a class. The helmets worn by officers were different from those worn by enlisted men. Although the same color, officer’s helmets were green with a wide white stripe painted from front to back. As the only officer out of 140, I might as well have had a target on my back.

One day, as we entered our classroom, we all took off our helmets and lined them up neatly outside the door, with the officer’s helmet, mine, placed on a separate line from the enlisted men’s helmets. You can imagine how this one helmet with the bright white stripe, separated from a long line of green helmets, drew the attention of the instructors as they quickly realized there was only one officer in this class. And if they could harass this one officer enough, maybe he’d quit. The instructors soon made it their mission to find out if I had any quit in me.

Every day as I sat in class, I heard, “tink, tink, tink,” as my helmet was bounced across the parking lot, collecting dings, nicks and chips as it went along. After class, I’d search for my helmet, set it on my head and endure an entire day of harassment and ridicule for my dinged helmet. When the day ended at 11 p.m., I’d returned to my room to spend the next three hours painting my helmet. At 4 a.m., the day started again: class; helmet kicked across the parking lot; ridiculed all day; repainting at night; two hours of sleep; repeat.

By the end of the second week, my performance began to slip due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. Noticing this, the instructors decided to up the ante by asking me to join them at the beach to put me through a rigorous, seemingly unending workout—all while my class stood and watched. Six enlisted instructors, one trainee officer. One after the other after the other, commands were shouted at me. Instructors yelled at me to quit, and I found myself in the middle of one of those moments—those very dark, am-I-going-to-make it moments. I was overwhelmed. The odds seemed to be stacked against me. The instructors weren’t letting up. I didn’t know when this would end, or how much harder this was going to get. It felt like a helpless situation.

Maybe you can relate to this as you find yourself navigating this historic COVID-19 health pandemic. Here you are, trying to lead from home, with your team working from their homes, while juggling homeschooling, disrupted vacation plans, watching your 401k plummet, as well as maintaining your home and relationships. It’s overwhelming. At times, it feels hopeless.

Leading Well Through a Global Pandemic

At TPI, we’re managing some of the same complexities, with varying degrees of success. Together, let’s take a look at practical ways we can manage ourselves well through this pivotal season. There are many lessons to be learned when disruptions occur. These ideas are our starting point:

What Questions are You Asking?

Each of us has a belief, consciously or subconsciously, about our ability to control outcomes. Generally, people fall into one of two categories: An internal locus of control, or an external locus of control. According to Psychology Today, locus of control is a person’s belief system about what causes an experience and what factors to which a person attributes success or failure.

For people asking questions such as “Why me?” or “How much longer?” or “When will things be normal again?” their locus of control is external—they are looking at outside influences as having control over their circumstances.

Questions such as, “How do I want to remember myself during this season?” or “How can I make an impact on my team during this time?” are questions from someone with an internal locus of control, the belief that success can be attributed to their efforts and abilities.

While neither category of locus of control is “good” or “bad,” it’s a proven fact that people with an internal locus of control tend to handle conflict and change more effectively when compared with people who have an external locus of control.

Which category do you identify with? Even if you believe you have an external locus of control, you can learn to be introspective and reflective about how you’re handling this disruption in your life. Ask yourself:

  • How am I going to look back on how I handled myself during this time?
  • How do I want to remember myself during this time?
  • How did my personal character show up and hold up?
  • What was I personally proud of during this time?

Four Actions Elite Leaders Take in Times of Crisis

There are many more than four actions leaders take during a crisis, but we’ve chosen the following as they relate to our unique situation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Keep a rhythm. Your day-to-day rhythms and routines look vastly different than they did months ago. Still, finding a new rhythm and keeping to it will provide stability and predictability to your day. A routine allows you to stay active and to make time for your priorities.

Define the win. Even in uncertain situations, you can define a few criteria for pulling out a win from the experience. Reset expectations of yourself as well as your team. What would you be happy with achieving during this time?

Connect with your support team. Your support team should be made up of the best people you know. People who make you better, people who encourage you, and who help you reach your goals. We all need support as we navigate these new challenges; lean on your support team before, during and after you need them.

Keep your perspective. Because of the current health pandemic due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all the rules have changed. As the disruptions in work and social life continue, keeping perspective may often keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Two Things to Remember in Times Like This

As you begin to take action, there are two ideas that we want you to keep in mind: 1) People fall to the level of their training, and 2) People are capable of success and to build upon those successes.

Training ourselves—our minds, our bodies, our hearts—lays a foundation for the future you’re building. Often, when faced with difficult circumstances, people fall to the level of their training. This means that working on our characters, our motivations, our belief systems and our disciplines play a crucial role in our ability to lead ourselves and others well. How sturdy of a foundation have you built? In what areas of your life would you like training, or retraining?

In partnership with training is the belief in yourself that you are capable. People are capable of success and to build upon that success. Many times, in order to move forward, they first must believe that they can. They must tell themselves, “I can do this.” Taking even that small step of reshaping the thought process changes pathways in the brain and begins to open up a new way of thinking. How can you turn around some of the thoughts you have about your situation or your abilities? Try telling yourself, “I can . . .” or “I will . . .” and then believe it.

You’re Not Alone

On that beach, as I was being beaten down physically and psychologically, I had choices: I could succumb to despair and give up, or I could gut it out. I decided to take an extreme position and gut it out. I stood up and said: “You can’t hurt me. Bring it on!” Did my instructors suddenly realize I wouldn’t break and stop? No. They turned up the punishment, and the night wore on.

The next day, sitting in class, I heard the familiar “tink, tink, tink,” as my helmet skipped across the parking lot. Nothing had changed in the instructors’ eyes. After class, I retrieved my helmet, and as I bent down a classmate came over and handed me a helmet, perfectly painted stripe and all, an exact replica of my helmet. “Here ya go, sir,” he said as we exchanged helmets. With a thumbs-up, he walked away. My classmates had taken 19 helmets from a supply closet while I endured the punishment of our instructors out on the beach. They had me covered. That simple act showed me that I wasn’t alone.

And you’re not alone either. You have a support system – reach out to them. You have resources like TPI – reach out to us. You have experiences under your belt that prove you can do difficult things. You are not alone. You can take action. You can recognize the control you do have over your success and you can ask the right questions.

You lead well through crisis when you lead yourself by keeping a rhythm, defining the win, connecting with your support network, and keeping a healthy perspective. Remember your training, and most importantly, believe that you can succeed.

To learn more about Team Performance Institute executive performance coaching and our virtual services, go to www.teamperformanceinstitute.com.

Naval Academy Graduate and Army Special Forces Veteran Pete Jensen, PhD. Joins Team Performance Institute as Program Director for Performance & Leadership

Cincinnati, OH – July 31, 2019 —Team Performance Institute (TPI), a global leadership development and executive coaching firm, has added Dr. Pete Jensen as Program Director for Performance & Leadership. In that role, Jensen will lead client engagements as a thought leader and subject matter expert in leadership development, organizational change and human performance. He brings more than 25 years of military and corporate experience and an impressive academic background that includes a master’s degree in organizational and social psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in kinesiology from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.

“Pete has one of the most incredible collections of experiences, accolades and skill sets of any executive coach in the industry,” said Jon Sanchez, founder and chief executive officer of Team Performance Institute. “From military combat tours to yoga and mindfulness, Pete’s diverse background has given him an approach that transcends the typical consulting relationship to something that is truly life-changing and impactful. He has a gift for connecting with people right where they are and taking them to new levels of awareness and motivation. We’re so excited to have him on our coaching roster.”

Jensen served as the Human Performance Program Chief at U.S. Special Operations Command. While there, he led more than 200 strength coaches, physical therapists, performance dietitians and sport psychologists responsible for the physical and mental readiness and resiliency of 30,000 special forces operatives, including Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Army Rangers and Air Force Pararescue operators. Jensen also served as Director and Associate Professor at the U.S. Military Academy Center for Enhanced Performance at West Point. In that role, he oversaw extensive research in the area of human performance and has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals on the psychology of everything from military hand-to-hand combat to mixed martial arts and ultra-marathon racing competitions. Jensen also built and directed the Thayer Scholars Program at West Point to provide comprehensive academic development for cadets with outstanding potential.

An alumnus of the U.S. Naval Academy and an honor graduate of the U.S. Army Special Forces Sniper Course, Jensen served as an officer in the Navy and Army, leading combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and serving on planning staffs for strategic engagement throughout the Middle East. He retired as an Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel after 22 years of service. He is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, a certified yoga teacher, black belt in Aikido, and a rated instructor in the Russian martial art Combat Systema. He regularly practices mindfulness meditation and recently moved to Richmond, VA with his wife Carolyn Westlake and their son.

Launched in 2016, TPI has rapidly expanded its executive coaching staff and client footprint, helping companies ranging from Fortune 500s to start-ups with talent recruitment/onboarding, culture development/integration, and coaching of executives for effective leadership. TPI’s client roster includes national and international brands such as Dell EMC, Cisco, Procter & Gamble, Unisys, Deloitte and Cincinnati Bell, among others.

ABOUT TPI

Team Performance Institute is a leadership development and executive coaching firm that combines unique insights from the battlefield to the board room to help companies maximize performance. To learn more, call 800-360-1807 or visit www.teamperformanceinstitute.com.

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Team Performance Institute Adds Norma Fiedotin, Ph.D. to Growing Roster of Executive Coaches

Cincinnati, OH – July 22, 2019 — Team Performance Institute, a leadership development and executive coaching firm, has added Dr. Norma Fiedotin to its roster of executive coaches and facilitators. Fiedotin brings more than two decades of experience to TPI, building healthy teams and helping organizations maximize the potential of their leaders. She served as vice president and senior consultant at Leadership Alliance, Inc. and as a partner at RHR International. In these environments, she worked with high-potential executives for Fortune 500 companies, built and maintained a private equity practice, and facilitated key strategic planning and team-building initiatives. Before that, she led human resources functions for high tech startup companies with a strategic focus on corporate culture.

As Executive Performance Coach and Expert Facilitator at TPI, Fiedotin brings extensive experience as a business psychologist to her client engagement. She is skilled at assessing individuals for senior roles in organizations and has supported several corporate leaders during their onboarding/transition into the CEO’s chair. Fiedotin has developed executive coaching and advisory practices that allow her to engage business leaders on how to navigate organizations, create transformational change, and achieve success at the highest level. She has served clients across various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, private equity, automotive, insurance, technology and finance.

“Norma is one of the most accomplished and passionate leaders and team builders I’ve ever met,” said Jon Sanchez, founder and chief executive officer of Team Performance Institute. “She’s able to motivate and relate to C-level executives in a straightforward but powerful way, helping them develop collaborative, engaged and healthy teams that hold themselves accountable. We’re so fired up to have Norma on our team as we continue to grow our Executive Performance Coaching practice.”

Launched in 2016, TPI continues to expand its executive staff, offering and client footprint, helping Fortune 500s to start-ups with talent selection and onboarding, culture development and integration, and coaching executives for effective leadership. TPI’s client roster includes national and international brands such as Dell EMC, Cisco, Procter & Gamble, Unisys, Deloitte and Cincinnati Bell, among others.

Fiedotin earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She is fluent in Spanish.

ABOUT TPI

Team Performance Institute is a leadership development and executive coaching firm that combines unique insights from the battlefield to the board room to help companies maximize performance. To learn more, call 800-360-1807 or visit www.teamperformanceinstitute.com.

Download the PDF

Happy New Year from Jon and Team TPI

“Leadership isn’t about winning. It’s about bringing people with you to the finish line.” – John C. Maxwell

Leaders know all about finish lines. They deal with them constantly and make dozens of decisions every day that impact schedules, goals, strategies, attitudes and motivations – for themselves and the people they lead. As we approach the big end-of-year finish line, it’s a great time to recalibrate our priorities, recharge our resources and arm ourselves for the opportunities and challenges 2019 will bring.

The demanding push and pull of the finish line makes this time of year one of my favorites. It’s a chance to take an honest look at how I performed against my goals, how well I led in the face of adversity (and success), and how well I’m prepared to set an aggressive new finish line out into the distance. For the past several weeks, our team at TPI has been helping organizations ask those very questions and recalibrate to maximize the potential of their top performers.

Celebrate your wins. Find some downtime to recharge your batteries. Set new personal, team and organizational goals for 2019 that take you out of your comfort zone. Here’s to a strong finish to 2018 and a New Year’s filled with hope, love and blessings.