Voss Graham interview by Jeff Blackman – Part 1
YOUR NEXT LEVEL! / part 1
The first time Voss Graham and I met, we were sitting next to each other, both doing something we love. Watching a ballgame. Nope, not the Chicago Cubs. It was actually a New York Yankees game, in famed Yankee Stadium.
We soon discovered we had a lot in common. A passion for professional sports. A rabid loyalty to our respective college alma maters and their teams’ wins and woes. For me, the University of Illinois. For Voss, Louisiana State University. A passion for our profession. A shared and valued collection of mutual friends. And an ongoing curiosity about human potential.
Voss is the CEO and Senior Business Advisor for the InnerActive Consulting Group in Cordova, Tennessee. As you’ll soon discover, he’s one smart dude. Especially, when it comes to understanding what helps people and companies succeed and get to “the next level.”
Jeff Blackman: What does it mean, “to think like a winner?”
Voss Graham: There’s only minimal skill, competencies, or attributes gaps between winners and losers. Yet, the difference in results between the two classes is very significant. Since skills, competencies, and attributes can be measured, what’s the factor that leads to such big differences in personal performance? It’s simply the attitudes people bring to the game.
Attitude has a multiplier effect on both our inborn attributes like intelligence and behavioral style and our learned attributes of skills, knowledge, and experience. Using a positive multiplier, a person can distance themselves from both peers and competition relative to the results and outcomes.
JB: What else do winners do?
VG: They have an ability to remain positive and optimistic, no matter what’s happening to them or in the marketplace. Research has shown in several cases, the ability to see the good in any situation allows for improved decision-making and thus higher levels of performance.
Optimism is a key factor for winners. It’s not based upon blind faith or positive thinking. It’s based upon learning new information with each situation that comes across our paths, looking for the lesson to be learned or the opportunity to go after.
Too many people miss excellent opportunities because they’re “bad mouthing” situations and feeling like victims totally out of control. No learning + no opportunities = little chance for advancement. Stay focused on moving forward and look for chances to excel.
JB: The Chinese sage, Lao Tzu said, “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” How does the ability to assess one’s self, drive success?
VG: The starting point for every “leadership” process we’ve seen, read about, or participated in, was self-awareness of our strengths and weaknesses. Now this isn’t just about your intelligence or IQ, it’s about how and why you do the things you do on a regular basis. It’s about your personal behavioral style preferences and the things you value in life. Knowing what makes you tick and being fully aware of these traits and factors influence your priorities and behavior. It allows you to take more control of your life and performance.
JB: So what role does behavioral style play?
VG: Your personal behavioral style has been with you for a long time, and while some say it’s hard-wired in your brain, I believe we have certain levels of comfort regarding “how” we do things and we attempt to simplify our lives by using a primary behavioral style on a daily basis. I say this, because as humans, we can choose to use different behaviors whenever we choose to do so. However, using a secondary behavioral style can lead to personal stress, if we use it for long periods of time.
If our job requires us to use a secondary behavioral style every day, then we’ll become so stressed that eventually, we quit, get a transfer, or get fired. Why? Because if we mismatched our strengths and weaknesses to a job that
requires us to suppress our strengths and use our weaknesses, we’ll become stressed and burnout quickly. What a mess!
Yet, people enter i.e., a profession on a daily basis where the position expects a certain type of behavioral style and these people are adapting their style to meet these expectations. Then as the stress heightens, turnover and burnout become more common.
JB: Then how does one’s perception of themself, their strengths and weaknesses influence performance?
Our self-concept is the bundle of beliefs about everything we are. It’s a cumulative or composite effect of our beliefs as to just how good we are in all aspects of our life. Our self-concept impacts the subconscious mind or personal super computer. It really controls our overall performance on a daily basis.
This super computer operates on a program we’ve designed and implemented during our lifetime. If you believe the old computer cliché of “garbage in-garbage out,” then be very careful in how you program your mind, since it’ll deliver on “your programs!”
The Law of Subconscious Activity works to ensure your mental programs are followed and executed on a daily basis. Subconscious activity is the method of following your personal beliefs regarding how well you perform, what results you get, how you’re perceived in the marketplace and what your limits are.
By self-programming our minds, we determine the limits of our success and what we’re willing to do, to achieve in life. This factor is in play in all facets of our life; yet, most studies have been in the areas of human performance.
The research in high performance is very clear, it’s the soft skills making the significant differences in performance levels. And an interesting footnote on this research is that high levels of intelligence or IQ show no direct correlation to high performance. Yet, it’s a handy thing to have in your toolbox. True intelligence has been defined as how well you apply knowledge. And my experience shows the ability of knowledge application, is always in high demand!
Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at: 847.998.0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller) and the revised 4th edition, of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults