Rachel Stewart has good news for all those who feel like they alone are unqualified to achieve their dreams, we all are.
Positivity makes us feel good, but does it have any power? Author and practitioner Rachel Stewart shares her insights into harnessing the power of the right mindset while pursuing success. Her book, Unqualified Success, is packed with examples from high achievers as well as a uniquely personal story which unfolds throughout the narrative. Rachel provides practical tools for personal development that will empower readers to embrace the journey of bridging the gap from where you are today to where you want to be.
Rachel makes herself approachable as an author. Introducing herself and kicking off the tone of the book with the first line, “I am unqualified to write this book.” By admitting this, she seeks to embrace this truth with those who feel as though they are unqualified and are willing to admit it as the start of their journey. The key is that, “The only qualification to get better: being willing to such when you start (p.180).”
Starting at Zero
At the time of writing this book, Rachel was serving as the Executive Vice President of Titan Restoration in Arizona. She started her career in the world of property damage restoration as a stay at home mother returning to the work force. Titan hired Rachel as an unqualified bookkeeper and office manager. As the company grew, so did Rachel and they found themselves reaching a five year goal in less than half that time.
Check Your Ego at the Door
At a critical point of choosing whether to merge with another company or continue on their own, Titan offers Rachel the opportunity to serve as their general manager. As the professional stakes grew the personal feelings of being unqualified did not diminish. It is in many of these uncomfortable moments of inadequacy that Rachel learns to lean into the reality of being unqualified rather than protecting your ego.
“This book isn’t about ego. In fact, it’s about the exact opposite. I have been highly unqualified for every position that I have ever held. But I have come to learn that we all are. We are all unqualified today for the life we could have tomorrow (p.9).”
From the Trenches
Unqualified Success weaves the stories of names we respect as achievers as well as new characters such as Magno Santos. Magno immigrates from Brazil and the reader is invited to journey with him throughout the book as he pursues the American Dream. Recognizing that we are all unqualified frees us to embrace the process of becoming by changing our perspective. Magno continually propels himself forward in the face of obstacles with the mantra, “If you can know it, I can know it (p.29).”
Change of Perspective
Paradigm shift is easier said than done but by doing so we are able to see that our actions do not create out feelings, our thoughts do. Rachel posits that no one is qualified when it comes down to it. The big secret is, “That having the mindset that you are qualified is the biggest determining factor in whether or not you are qualified (p.25).” Cleaning out your thought closet and taking ownership of your thoughts is key to unlocking your potential.
Change of Expectation
If our self-view is the starting point, the next phase is aligning our expectation. “Too many times we are waiting to arrive before we start (p.48).” Understanding that mastery is a process and practice is the key to pursuit of perfection, we should not discourage ourselves with a defined view of the end. Our battle for becoming is primarily an internal one. The imagery of the two wolves fighting inside each of us presented in Chapter 5 is apt. Which one will win? “The one you feed (p.68).”
Change of Environment
Ordinary people achieve extraordinary things. Greatness is not the exclusive property of the elite. “The willingness to stay in discomfort for extended periods of time is the essence of grit. It also happens to be an essential key to achieving everything you want (p.83).” As Rachel notes, discomfort is a factor both in failure and in success. Discomfort is the currency and working through it is the journey. When we are tested we must resist our numbing agents and lean into the process of testing our limits.
The Big Reveal
Rachel blends a beautiful mix of personal experience, representative stories and practical tools to assist the reader in building a resource base for feeding their growth mindset. She seeks to inspire others to embrace the journey. The book reveals that Magno’s relentless pursuit of bettering himself intersects with Rachel’s family in a very real way when is quality of care lead to an early diagnosis for her father. “Nobody starts out extraordinary. No one begins fully qualified and ready. The minute we understand this principle and it really sinks in, our whole work opens up (p.243).”
Are You Ready to be an Unqualified Success?
If you dare to read this book, you will find that your excuses melt and your obstacles become opportunities. You should feel unqualified but that should in no way stop you from pursing success. “When we are willing to trade in our need to win or succeed for a need to simply learn and grown instead, we open another world of possibility for achievement (p.186).” You are not alone, you have resources and a tribe of fellow unqualified successes rooting for you.
As Jim Collins noted in Good To Great, you need to get the right people on the bus [your organization] and you need to ensure they are in the right seats on the bus. When it is difficult to find people at all, growth minded businesses understand the value of investing in developing internal talent. Investing in the employees you have can produce significant return on investment.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or a person in a position of leadership at the helm of a large organization, attracting good talent starts with:
Key to Success: Process
Process. Culture and systems have to be in sync with each other for a company to succeed. While culture is a hot topic, it is more about what an organization does than what it says it will do. It is important for entrepreneurs and leadership teams to review whether their processes are in alignment with their vision. If there are setbacks to growth, a good place to start would be in reviewing the processes that are in place. Developing systems helps to ensure that there is consistency in your organization. Clarifying expectations helps team members to understand what they need to do in order to succeed. Communicating processes that are consistent with the vision enable everyone to see where they can help move things forward.
Key to Success: Production
Production. A company has to produce goods and/or services. Having the right people and processes completes the cycle of needs to ensure an organization will create value through production. Production issues help to reveal shortcomings in processes. Often failure helps us to better see areas we can improve than success does. Be sure to embrace the opportunity to grow as a leader and a team. Production, process and people all work together to create progress. If you are struggling to make progress start to work backwards to determine areas that need to be addressed.
Here is a good resources from EOS on how to trace down issues and establish better meetings:
Key to Success: Progress
Progress. Having the right people, developing your processes and improving production are all keys to success. There is no guarantee for success. There are no short cuts to success. Leaders can learn a lot from gardening on how to cultivate a growing team. In an article published with Restoration and Remediation Magazine, we identified keys to change for withering grass, flowering weeds and crab grass within an organization. Like a flourishing garden, growth in an organization is attractive and creates a sense of pride. If we invest in our people, process and production we will find that progress is much more attainable. As the organization moves forward together it is easier to identify and address areas of the company that need to be adjusted. Progress is not perfection. Progress means we are gaining on our goals.
To cultivate and maintain a healthy growth mindset, one must continue to listen if success is going to be achieved.
Coach John Wooden, widely respected as one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history thought it was essential that leaders continue to listen and learn. On the paradox of success and listening as a leader, Coach Wooden remarks, “One of the reasons it’s extremely difficult to stay at the top is because once you get there, it is so easy to stop listening and learning.”
We will discuss the dangers of a false sense of accomplishment, how to build real success and the essential nature of listening to developing a growth mindset as a business leader.
A false sense of accomplishment is a growth killer
Many entrepreneurs feel successful but they do not have any hard evidence to support their confidence. Like going to the dentist, they fear collecting financial data and allowing those numbers to tell them the truth. For most business leaders, if they have money to burn then they are successful. Keeping up with the Joneses is the common metric but it is not a true valuation of growth or achievement. Those cultivating a growth mindset understand the value of truth, regardless of how harsh it may be.
Looking successful is not the same as being successful
Achieving a level of success typically creates two extremes, either the extreme of comfort that will quickly lead to business death in the modern economy. The other extreme success can create is the insatiable desire for more at the sacrifice of everything else. Comfort entices us like a warm blanket and then smothers us as we give in to its deception. Businesses are dropping like flies, even large names that our posterity will never remember like Blockbuster . There is no room for comfort in the growth mindset.
Your prior success cannot be your metric for growth
Blockbuster used to be an industry leader and thought to be untouchable, now the only store remaining is in beautiful Bend, Oregon. Not only does their business no longer exist but neither does their industry. Companies like Netflix and Redbox have to be aware that the rate of decline is exponentially faster than it was for Blockbuster. If these new companies do not continue to listen and adapt they will be out of business quicker than Blockbuster’s three decades. A growth mindset will not allow us to rest in our former glory.
How do those developing a growth mindset keep listening a priority?
The growth mindset starts with what comes in through your ears. Growth is a discipline that must be cultivated by allowing the right information to infiltrate your mind as well as educate your perspective. Proverbs says, "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." If you want to develop a growth mindset as a person in a position of leadership (PIAPOL) then you need to receive good information regardless of where it originates from.
IZ Ventures - more than business coaching and consulting, we help you connect, collaborate and conquer.
Keys to ensuring that you are making progress on your personal and professional goals.
Moving forward isn’t the only measure of success as it is possible to be moving forward in an endless circle that goes nowhere. How do we ensure that our efforts are not being wasted? What steps can we take to ensure that our will is in alignment with reality?
We will discuss a few key components to skillfully navigating the challenges of the market place.
1. Measure correctly
Moving forward isn’t the only measure of progress. Like being lost in the woods, we can be walking with great effort and purpose and yet find that we have succeeded only in arriving at the spot from which we started. We moved forward in a large and arduous circle. It wasn’t for lack of effort, but for lack of skill and commitment to identifying a reference point. In business we need benchmarks that track our progress.
2. Identify a reference point(s)
We recently, and successfully, trained our first adolescent driver in our immediate family. The one thing that we continued to stress, whether they were positioning themselves in their lane or preparing to reverse into a parking spot, was that you have to identify a reference point. If we are going to reach our goals we need a reference point tells us whether we have made progress and directs our steps forward.
3. Onward and upward
Most in a position of leadership would say that they have the will to succeed, yet our dreams need a framework in order to evolve into plans in action. Align your will to succeed with a direction based on your reference point to ensure you are moving in the right direction. Honesty with one’s self is as essential as constructive input from trusted mentors.
Growth requires moving beyond one’s comfort zone and progress requires will, skill and chill in to reach one’s goals. The will to succeed combined with the skill to accurately assess whether we are making headway can provide the chill to endure any obstacle.
Moving in circles is moving forward, one must dig deeper to ensure effort isn't wasted.
IZ Ventures - more than business coaching and consulting, we help you connect, collaborate and conquer.
Jon Isaacson / IZ Ventures - Creative business solutions. We help you connect, collaborate & conquer. #MTWSL
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