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Author Archives: Caruso Leadership

Learn the New Rules, or Learn the New Game?

When you were a kid, you probably had a few games you cherished as favorites. Chances are your favorite games were the ones you were better at playing, and given the choice, you would prefer to teach someone your game than to learn the new game.

In a lot of ways, we are kids in grown-up clothes. And millions of us in corporate America are facing the same dilemma:

  • stick to the same game?
  • or learn the new game?

By and large, we would rather hold on to our old ways than embrace the new games these fast-changing times have forced onto our respective industries.

“Change is the only thing that is certain.”

It is hard to dispute that nearly every role in business today requires a different set of skills and competency than it did as few as five years ago. Business leaders are not oblivious to this challenge.

However, in an effort to help their teams adapt quickly, leaders often key in on the new rules rather than think about what it takes to master the new game. Herein lies a subtle, yet defining and often debilitating difference in approach.

Consider this: when we change the rules of any game often enough, it essentially becomes a different game entirely. You may be able to understand and even play the new game by learning the new rules, but this alone will not be enough for you to become proficient in the new game. Yes, it is important to learn the new rules, but it is best done by first establishing the context of the new game.

Leaders regularly place highly trained professionals who take great pride in their performance into new, complex, working relationships with other proud, highly trained professionals. These same leaders then ask that they perform those tasks with a set of skills they didn’t need to learn or use before.

When you consider that this scenario applies to a majority of positions in business today, and toss in our natural human aversion to change, you have the makings of a crisis. In organizations around the country, pride and ego are clashing with fear and ignorance, creating a cacophony of poor performance, miscommunication, stress and inefficiency.

When the New Game Impacts the Culture

When leadership appears more concerned with enforcing the new rules than with helping its team learn to excel in the new game, frustration, bitterness and perhaps even anger become a debilitating part of the corporate culture. We live and work in a time when a large number of American workers have developed a type of authority complex. This scenario may be more prevalent than one might think.

Take heart – it is possible to reverse the negative trend and help workers more positively meet the exciting new challenges that inevitably come with the changing times. A key element in this process is to teach people new perspectives and approaches that will help them accept, and more willingly understand, the new game.

How do you create a culture that is willing to embrace new ideas? It all boils down to the “law of letting go” which simply states: “Our willingness to grow is inextricably linked to our willingness to let go.”

When I work with leadership teams and organizations that struggle with change, (change that is often brought on by external forces), I begin by teaching each individual how to discern the elements of their game that no longer serve them. Then I show them how to comfortably let go of those elements so they can readily adapt to and even embrace the new game. Essentially, you must help take the mind out of the old game and place it in the new game. This shift in mindset is critical to getting a mind to be open to learn the new rules of the new game.

Learn the New Game Willingness to Grow

Change can be as difficult as it is necessary. The German philosopher Hegel taught us, “Struggle is the law of growth.” Pain, in my opinion, is an option. Our ability to mature is directly related to the amount of embarrassment we are able to stand as we learn how to become skilled at the new game.

Take the Next Step

How to you get a mind to consider a new notion (i.e. learn the new game)?
Watch Joe Caruso discuss ‘How to influence the mind’ in this brief video.

Need help with Letting Go? Get The Power of Losing Control

Joe Caruso Keynotes Training Event for the Navy

Joe Caruso Keynotes Training Event for Department of the Navy, Office of General Counsel

Joe Caruso, author, keynote speaker, and founder of Caruso Leadership, was honored to accept an invitation from the Department of the Navy (DON) Office of General Counsel (OGC) to address a team comprised of more than 750 civilian and uniformed attorneys at their annual training symposium. This team of attorneys provides a full range of legal services to Navy and Marine Corps clients worldwide.

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Cacophony Requires Clarity

I recently visited Lisbon with my wife and a few close friends. It was a wonderful trip; I enjoyed the history, culture, art and architecture, and of course, the food and wine. Those who know me know that no trip would be complete without some time spent on culture and the lessons we can draw from history – especially as it relates to leadership and success. Here, I saw a great example of a powerful lesson: cacophony requires clarity.

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Why We Long to Make Connections

As humans, we long to make connections. How well we do that may be linked to our happiness.

Neurologically, psychologically, emotionally and socially, we need to make connections. Making connections is part of the human experience.

Why do we long to make connections?

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Why Start With the Mind for Effective Leadership

Why start with the mind for effective leadership? The video below captures the essence of Joe Caruso’s work, in less than 5 minutes.

Joe explains why he focuses on the mind at the beginning of the relationship when he approaches problems with clients. “When I hear how the individual and collective mind is processing what this problem means, I am able to bring an objective perspective to an understanding of the problem.”

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Most Popular Reads on Caruso Leadership

Caruso Leadership enters 2017 poised to build upon the strong growth we experienced in 2016, thanks to our wonderful clients and engaged readers and followers.

Every year, we publish our top blogs and content from the previous year. For those of you new to our work, you can read some fan favorites, and for those of us who have been with us for the long haul, it’s a great way to brush up on important reminders or discover some words you might have missed.

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Ask Yourself, Who Do I Want to Be?

Before New Year’s Resolutions, Ask Yourself, Who Do I Want to Be?

In this time of year when we attend parties and meet new people, one of the first questions people often ask is,

“What do you do?”

This reminds me that there is a much more important question to be asked – one that not enough people ask themselves. And now is a great time of year to ask (or re-ask) the question of yourself:

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Life is a Choice Between Faith and Fear

Faith: a firm belief in a yet-to-be-proved, positive outcome.
Fear: a painful emotion excited by an impending negative outcome.

More often than not, life is a choice between faith and fear. At any point in time, our thoughts and actions reflect either our fears or our goals.

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Joe Caruso Discusses ‘Leading Change’ with YPO

Leading Change with YPO

Joe Caruso, YPO Gold Event, September 2016

[Pictured above, from left] Joe Caruso (left) with YPO members Stephen Kircher, CEO Boyne Resorts, Mark Bissell, Chairman & CEO, Bissell, Inc. – Bissell Homecare, Inc, and Molly Kircher, Senior VP-Brand Development of Boyne Resorts.

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Destiny Is More Uncovered Than Discovered

Success Strategy #40: Destiny is more uncovered than discovered.

 

We all have a destiny.  And it’s none of our business. The most important part of the plan of our life isn’t our destiny, but our greatest human gift – our free will. Every choice we make informs our path and builds to our ultimate destiny.

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