Aptitude + Attitude = Altitude. Part 2 of 3

Jul 4 19:29 2008 John Kenworthy Print This Article

You were created to soar at altitude like an eagle not peck the dirt like a chicken. Your attitude is more important than your aptitude to achieve your success. Here we consider three key steps to set you on your way.

Copyright (c) 2008 GainMore Advantage

Push mode,Guest Posting Pull mode and Drift mode:

Push Mode

If you have to drive others towards an objective, even drive yourself towards it, I call this being in push mode.

Push mode is typified by focusing your attention on problems that need to be resolved, or things that need fixing. Many people use a 'todo' list or a GTD (getting things done) system. Are you one of them? Take a look at yours now and see if it is a list of problems.

The fun, creative or enjoyable things rarely make it onto a 'todo' list - rather there is a tendency to say that once the list is done and I have time, then I'll do the fun stuff. You know that the things we pay attention to grow and the things we don't pay attention to tend to fade away. So if we focus on problems, we will find that they grow. So here's a radical thought, if we focus our attention on exciting, fun things, they will grow. And our problems, won't they fade away?

"But you don't understand. I have to get this report done, I have a ton of emails to clear, I have to attend this meeting, I have calls to make to angry customers, and if I don't I'll get fired. I simply don't have time to talk to people, take it easy, smell the flowers..."

And when your stress levels have made you so sick that you can't work, let alone afford the hospital bills you'll feel what exactly? Accomplished? Valued? Important?

Nothing more satisfying than lying in bed recovering from a heart attack knowing how much your contribution is missed.

I'm not saying that these things don't need to be done, but that by not focusing on them, they will (and do) fade away. Oftentimes, they just get done. Without stress, without worry.

In Push Mode, we are continuously pushing ourselves (and others) towards our goals relying on our own effort to keep us on our straight and planned track. Obstacles that we face in our way are enemies to progress which may force us to re- plan our route. Our motivation stems from outside forces, the concrete and measurable goal is frequently thought to be motivation enough and any resistance to achieving the goal, self-inflicted or external resistance, is just another obstacle.

In Push Mode, when progress is slow, we re-plan and consider time management a priority. Only, unless you have discovered the secret to warping the space-time continuum, you cannot actually manage time.

Pull Mode

Pull Mode, on the other hand, is about leadership and paying attention to growth and improvement.

Rather than focusing attention on problems to be solved or fixed or overcome, in Pull Mode we take time to clearly envision our future and allow the goal to pull us towards it. The results of Push Mode and Pull Mode may appear to be the same but Pull Mode takes less effort and allows our unconscious activity to take precedence over conscious linear processing.

The idea of Pull Mode is that you create a vision of the future that is so compelling for you that you cannot help but be drawn towards it. The things that you need to do on the way become minor irritants that simply get done and anything that really is not important is not done and fades into insignificance.

"Hold on, what if something that is important is not recognised as being important?" Excellent question. Things that appear to need to be done, whether important or not, on your journey are your friends - they are obstacles to your progress but think of them in terms of friends, or learning opportunities.

Let me take a personal example if I may. Two things about running a business that I personally do not enjoy: 1, Filing, 2. Doing the accounts. Some people just adore filing and doing the accounts but I don't. In Push Mode, I resist it until I absolutely have to or, usually, risk a penalty. It is the penalty that drives me to do it. I still hate doing it but I dislike paying a penalty more. In Pull Mode, these things still come across my path but now I see them as friends - the chance to look again at scraps of notes, letters or offers. I have learned to change my mindset from doing the filing to my enjoyment of a clear desk and just do it. It's no longer something I resist. Do I enjoy doing it? No, I don't if I think about it consciously, I just let it happen.

"But what if it should be done and it's not that critical or important?" The chances are, for me, that it won't get done. Importantly, if I find myself resisting doing something, I stop, tune into my thought processing and ask myself why I am resisting it?

For example, keen observers may have noted that I didn't talk about doing my accounts in Pull Mode above. You'd be right. It is something that I continued to resist - I can't really explain what it is about doing the accounts that I just don't want to do, and considering that I do enjoy building spreadsheets of budgets and am quite au fait with P&L and Balance Sheet - and then I realised that I like thinking through future scenarios, but what's done is done. I honestly can't be bothered about it. Now, of course, there's legal compliance... I really don't like to be told that I have to do something. So what did I learn from this resistance? I learned that I am quite happy considering the future and do not wish to have to create organisation of the past. Decision? Outsource to someone capable and trusted.

In Pull Mode, you only do the things that you want to do that move you towards your goal and work you are doing is effortless. Obstacles that need to be overcome that meet with your own resistance are a warning flag to you that something else is going on - stop and allow yourself to consider what the resistance is trying to tell you.

"Isn't it possible then that you'll go into Pull Mode, and miss the important things that need to be done?"

Sure it's possible, but unlikely to be important in the achievement of the goal. Things that are a requirement in your society but have no direct relationship to the achievement of your goal. Yet there's a third mode of being that is neither Push nor Pull, and that's Drift Mode.

Drift Mode

The stresses of Push Mode, always making things happen, the obstacles and 'time-wasters', causes many people to fall into Drift Mode rather than Pull Mode.

Drift Mode is quite different to Pull Mode, where one just 'lets things happen'. call it karma, fate, life forces, whatever - it generally involves emptying your mind of worries and anxieties and just letting life happen to you. Whatever way the wind blows, you drift along with it.

You might end up on an agreeable shore when you allow yourself to drift over the seas of life, or you might end up somewhere unpleasant, or most probably, you'll just continue drifting along.

Pull Mode is different because there is a clear and articulated vision of your compelling goal that is pulling you towards it. The aimlessness of Drift Mode may be refreshing for a while, but the anxieties of life will soon catch up and cause as much stress as Push Mode already does for the vast majority of people.

PushMePullYou

This mythical creature in Dr Doolittle provides a metaphor for how many leaders feel about leadership. They are in Push Mode for themselves, driving the agenda and encountering resistance of their 'followers' who have to be pulled, some suggest dragged kicking and screaming, in the chosen direction.

No wonder many leaders are exhausted. Many drive themselves to an early grave or opt-out entirely and fall into Drift Mode.

"How do I know which mode I'm in?"

Do you take pride in hard work? Brag about working more than 50 hours a week? Use ToDo lists? Do you think that in order for things to happen, you have to make them happen?

If you answer yes to most or all, you're in Push Mode.

Do you have a compelling vision of your future self? Find your work effortless? Know that everything that needs to be done will be done?

Sounds like Pull Mode.

Have a sort of idea what you want in the future? Take it easy whenever possible, avoid unpleasant tasks? If things happen they happen, if they don't 'they don't?

Drift Mode.

"Surely it's better for your health to be in Drift mode than Push Mode?" Sure, if you have a lot of savings or a rich family to fall back on. But if you have no goal in life, just what are you doing here?

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John Kenworthy
John Kenworthy

If you want to change your attitude and get into pull-mode, visit our website today at gainmoreleadership.com

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