That zone … you know when you are there. Everything comes natural, time flies by, and you get 10x more accomplished. This is when you are firing on all cylinders, you do no wrong, and when you are finished, you don’t feel like you have even worked. It is natural.
In his best seller “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, he discusses this concept in depth in order for people to get focused success in today’s world. Our world is filled with distractions that keep us ‘off task’. We call it multi-tasking, and in reality we are 40% less productive when we try to do two things at once.
Getting to that Zone is important for a lot of reasons. When we look beyond productivity, we can apply that to the process of Leadership as well. How can this apply? We move through the four growth stages of competence, that’s how. A quick refresher may be needed here:
Stage 1: Unconsciously Incompetent
At this stage in our leadership lives, we don’t know what we don’t know. We may have recently been placed in a leadership role recently, or purchase a running business, hired our first employee, or something of that nature. It is our responsibility to ‘lead’ these people, yet you are not sure what to do. Everything is done by reaction, not measured responses. You aren’t quite certain if you are doing the right thing, or just doing things. This is stage one for a reason, you haven’t been made aware of a proper way to lead people, or get people to want to do things.
Stage 2: Consciously Incompetent
At this stage, you begin to realize that what you are doing is not working. We look around to other groups, organizations, divisions, and see other leaders very successful in their efforts. You begin to realize that they know something that you do not. Afterwards, you begin to explore what those things. You realize you haven’t been made aware of those tools, nor do you know how to use them.
Stage 3: Consciously Competent
Here we begin to make a difference. You have taken a class or training in persuasion, or one of John Maxwell’s teachings on Becoming a Person of Influence. You deliberately apply these teachings and training towards your every day situations. When faced with a decision, you think for a moment, “what would John say to do?”, or “how would Zig Ziglar have handled this”?. You apply that thought, and learn from the results.
Stage 4: Unconsciously Competent
This is the zone. You unconsciously solve issues with people because it becomes part of your DNA. You are faced with a problem, dilemma, or opportunity, and you intuition kicks in. Intuition is nothing more than your experience and learned knowledge acting out.
Moving through the Stages
How do you get to the zone? You first have to learn what you don’t know. When is the last time you took a professional development course? Have you written a personal growth plan? What do you want to get good at? In Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws, there is a concept of your Leadership Lid. I teach this in Masterminds all over the country (let me know if you want to be part of a virtual group). The higher that lid, the more your organization can grow. We want to lead naturally, we don’t want to look fake in our efforts. It needs to be sincere that we add value to our team.
I hate to answer questions with questions, but you need to define your level of awareness. When you identify what you don’t know, that is the first step in getting from Stage 1 to 2. Learn it, apply it then. Make a conscious effort to get into that zone you are seeking. Before you start looking for what you don’t know, you should probably identify what you do know already. Have you or your team been assessed recently on your growth stage?
If you are a leader of a group, I have a new assessment tool available through the John Maxwell organization that can help you immensely. This tool is a way to get a first hand look at where your team falls on this growth stage. We facilitate this assessment with up to 12 of your team. At the end of a 2-3 hour period, you have a very good executive summary identifying pretty much where each of your team members is on the growth stage. An added benefit, is the team building that occurs during this event.
Want to learn more?
Contact me now for more information on this exciting new tool.
Pinnacle Sales is a Leadership Development and Executive Coaching firm, dedicated to continuous improvement. Certified by the John Maxwell and Zig Ziglar organizations to teach, coach, and speak on personal and professional development.