Stop thinking that leadership is in the job title and has to be awarded or earned.
If you are sitting around waiting for a promotion or an organizational change to make you a leader then you will have a long wait.
Most leaders experience over time a set of circumstances that fashion their leadership mindset, whilst others can be thrust into a situation requiring immediate thought and action.
Some say leaders are born; do you believe that leaders are born. Of course everyone is born so it must be true.
Born with a leadership mindset!!! What nonsense.
We are influenced by those around us, by our environment, our senses, successes and failures. We are in a constant state of learning in our personal, working and community life.
Many people are not aware of their own leadership abilities and simply drift thru life.
Are you such a person.
- Do you aspire to greater things but don’t know how.
- Do you start with the best intentions and then tail off never reaching your goal.
- Do your friends and colleagues race ahead of you.
Do you want to have a leadership mindset…forever!
There are a myriad of books, tutorials, videos and management gurus available teaching every conceivable leadership trait or behavior on the planet.
It is nigh on impossible to be a leader with a sharper recall than google. The task of acquiring leadership is daunting enough without new concepts appearing on a regular basis. How on earth do you keep up.
There are of course major factors that differentiate leaders across all walks of life and profession; namely skills, experiences and values. There are no substitutes for these for any rational leader.
It is these that separate the good from the great from the best.
From my research and experience there are certain repeatable thoughts that a leader constantly falls back on that ensures his continued focus on leadership.
The thoughts below are arranged in a form of letters that can be easily remembered…spelling out the word MYCASKI.
All you need do is recall each letter and repeat and focus on the sentiment on a regular basis. After a while that thought will be subconsciously recalled as you go about your business. Try it and see your performance and leadership improve.
The thoughts are:
- Make things happen and Make time for others
- Do not dwell too much on Yesterday and You must want to do this
- Challenge yourself and be Confident
- Be Accountable and Allow others to grow
- Set an example and See the bigger picture
- Improve your Knowledge and Know your limitations
- Be emotionally Intelligent and Integrate relationships
Test yourself against these. Do you have all these thoughts; if so then you have a leadership mindset.
If not and you want to improve your leadership…put MYCASKI to the test and join the growing leadership community.
Let me know how you get on.
Best Regards Raymond
Dear Leaders and anyone who has a desire for Leadership,
I am sure you are aware, that there is so much to leadership and, anyone who claims ‘I am a leader now!’ does so at their own peril. It is also worth knowing, and I think you would agree, that a leader continues to develop year on year by acquiring new Skills, strengthening Values and fashioning their bedside manner through new Experiences. There are no substitutes for these and it is imperative that every leader is unconditionally aware of each. A diversity of each determines their leadership character and style.
My particular focus is upon maintaining the desire in you for leadership whatever your walk of life. Each day brings you new challenges, some daunting, some enjoyable and some simple, but nonetheless challenges. I have developed a mindset that traverses the boundaries of working, personal and community life and focuses upon providing a reminder to ensure you have a consistent and repeatable approach in engaging whatever comes across your path.
Throughout my life experiences I recall a myriad of traits, behaviors, strengths, habits, manners to name but a few, exercised by a variety of disparate leaders. My thoughts centered upon how I was ever going to be a leader of any note with so many things to remember. What I did recount however was enlightening. In culinary parlance, I threw everything, all of these attributes, into the pot, simmered and reduced to provide a fulfilling sauce.
The outcome was that leaders in essence; Make things happen, they do not dwell too much upon Yesterday, they Challenge themselves, Allow others to grow, always Set an example, Know where they are going and finally Integrate relationships by recognizing their team. You can remember this through the key word capital letters MYCASKI. I consider and practice this mindset repeatedly.
I believe that if all was going awry with things in general…this mindset would surmount all in its path and create a great foundation for leadership endeavors in anyone’s working, personal and community life, forever!
Thank you all for taking the time to read this and I wish with all my heart that you can find the time to consider and practice MYCASKI. I encourage you to at least try; a follow on Twitter will indicate such.
It will cost you nothing but the desire to be a better leader.
Best Regards Raymond
Ask yourself these simple questions below then rate each response out of 10.
Be honest in your assessment.
If your score is less than 140 you need to focus.
MAKING things happen?
MAKING time for others?
really doing what YOU want to do?
letting go of YESTERDAY?
able to sustain CONCENTRATION? and focus
ALLOWING others to grow?
SETTING an example?
able to SEE and visualize the results of your actions?
improving your KNOWLEDGE?
KNOWING of your limitations?
INTEGRATING your relationships?
achieving emotional INTELLIGENCE?
Consider these daily. You can recall them by remembering MYCASKI
After a short period of time you will subconsciously practice them.
Best of Regards
Note…please share thru social media and let us stimulate the leadership in everyone
Hi everyone. Thank you for visiting this post. My desire is to try and get you to consider and then commit to the MYCASKI leadership reminder system. As with exercising or new years’ resolutions or any endeavor that requires commitment; our biggest challenge is to stay the course and actually achieve what we set out to do.
If you are comfortable in picturing the future and have great faith in your abilities and of those around you then this post may not be for you. However if you are open to suggestions, thank you for taking the time to read on and I believe that you will not regret it.
In the next 10 minutes, should you consider it, you will comprehend a mindset that will sustain your leadership forever. So how does MYCASKI achieve this!
I would like to share with you what has fundamentally transitioned my leadership from green field to mature meadow.
It all started over 30 years ago when I was pitching to ARAMCO. They were heaping praise on me for a job well done and we shook hands on the contract right there and then. I did not think that I had done anything out of the ordinary but their feedback suggested otherwise. Something they saw and heard but something that seemed normal but unrecognized by me. I subsequently made note of the comments and too my surprise realized they had collectively hit upon what I was subconsciously recalling. The more I thought about it the more it became apparent. Over the years I had heard on many occasions ‘Raymond gets it done’ ‘He stays with it’ ‘He would be in my first five’ ‘Always moving forward’ ‘Will have a go at anything’ ‘So passionate’ These comments had made an impression and, in my view but not too scientifically, had stuck and obviously influenced my thinking. I take no credit here, that goes to those commentators and to them I say a thank you for noticing, without them MYCASKI would not have been born, subconsciously or otherwise. I am sure that you have heard similar and achieved great things yourself.
It is what I did next that fashioned my mindset and is fundamental in how I perform today. I instinctively knew there was a lesson to be learned from this experience, one that could be beneficial and it was important to remember it well. As a trigger I identified key words from the comments and created a prompt that was memorable. That prompt is MYCASKI. Fortuitously it points to being a very personal prompt as a friend remarked ‘it begins with MY and ends in I’
Throughout my career I have freely shared this with my friends and colleagues at work, in the community and in my personal life. It has fashioned who I am and if it has helped just one person, then I consider that my experience has been worthwhile.
There are two parts to it; conscious and subconscious. I have consciously recalled it during job interviews, motivational speeches, sporting occasions, presentations and problem solving. Subconsciously it is a major factor in shaping my leadership by providing a mindset that consistently calibrates my performance. I recall and repeat it daily.
This post is written to encourage you to share my experience and create and sustain your own leadership aspirations. After a short while you, those around you and those connected with you will noticeably benefit and/or continue to benefit from your leadership.
I truly believe and have faith that you can acquire the MYCASKI mindset.
Please find below explanations and suggestions to support your journey.
A Scientific Approach
I recently came across a body of scientific work by Colin Robertson that I have found to be a great source of inspiration that is helping me stay the course and I believe that it will benefit you too!. As I have followed the process the more I am convinced that MYCASKI would benefit from its conclusions. I have outlined below a direct reference to mental exercise utilizing Colin’s physical exercise mindset [¹].
Let me state right up front that there is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experiences and it is these attributes that separate good, great and exemplary leadership. The objective of MYCASKI is to provide you a reminder system that continually sets a standard mindset enabling your leadership aspirations to stay the course. With planned consideration and practice MYCASKI will make you a better leader!
I incorporate MYCASKI into conversations with my work colleagues, friends and my family and it has served me well to this very day and I know it to be timeless.
Each letter of MYCASKI represents a primary and secondary focal point acting as a powerful and personal reminder to me that fashions my mindset. It is this mindset that enables my goals and commitments to be achieved on a regular basis.
It is a subconscious reminder system and nothing more.
M= MAKE things happen and MAKE time for others
Y= Do not dwell too much on YESTERDAY and YOU must want it
C= CHALLENGE yourself and be CONFIDENT
A= Be ACCOUNTABLE and ALLOW others to grow
S= SET the example and SEE your vision
K= KNOW your limitations and improve your KNOWLEDGE
I= INTEGRATE relationships and be emotionally INTELLIGENT
Outlined below is the process of how Colin scientifically created a habit of exercise and how I believe its application can enhance the mental subconscious mechanism to ensure you leadership journey prevails.
- DO NOT FAIL
The single biggest hurdle is setting the goal and then achieving it. Failure to achieve it is soul destroying and creates a further hurdle when you set out to revisiting that goal. It becomes a difficult cycle to break. So uppermost in your mind should be on winning with failure not an option.
A quote from Colin ‘When setting up your exercise habit, ensure that no matter what you will achieve it. It does not matter if it is 1 day per week or 7 days per week. The important thing is that you will never skip it. You cannot set up a habit if you are not consistent’
- DO IT IN THE MORNING
When is the best time to engage the grey matter? I guess most people plan for after work, after they have exhausted themselves applying their minds and bodies to their job at hand. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, does it? Wisdom from Colin suggests there is too much going on in the evening; our willpower is at its lowest as we try to navigate our way around and thru what life has in store for us…it is easy to give up or put it off in favor of an easy choice.
Fortunately there are fewer temptations in the morning, hence our willpower is at its highest, and therefore it makes sense to calibrate the mind to completing a task first thing. In our case the task is nothing as onerous as getting ready to go to the gym or taking on the forest trail; it is only a simple matter of recalling a mental reminder. In the early days you can simply write a giant letter on your bathroom mirror; who doesn’t look at the mirror first thing…simple repeat the meaning of the letter (ie M = Make time for others) whilst doing your teeth.
- HAVE A PURPOSE
The Leadership journey is a lifetime endeavor, and genuine leaders do not simply switch off when they leave the office. They utilize their skills, values and experiences gained in a working environment throughout their community and personal lives. Underpinning these attributes is a dependence upon an emotional, physical and intelligent mindset. If you have ambition to become and continue to be a leader you must fashion your mindset in a way that suits your aspirations. Some people take no attention to forming a mindset and simply fall away and fail their followers and themselves as time passes.
MYCASKI provides you with a common thread that has more than likely coursed thru the minds of historical leaders, statesmen and philosophers alike. If your purpose is to establish a deep rooted mindset in your subconscious, then MYCASKI will provide a suitable recall system that allows you to become a balanced leader and sustain your objectives.
Let me reiterate that there is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experiences and it is these attributes that separate good, great and exemplary leadership. MYCASKI does not provide an easy or alternative path to leadership; what is does provide is a mindset that enables your goals and commitments to be achieved on a regular basis.
- TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
This is a tricky task. How do you measure a leader or their leadership? What do you hold performance or their effectiveness up against?
You could use a form of self-assessment to judge your own performance or effectiveness. This may be difficult as we may not be objective but it may be worth doing to provide a personal benchmark. Alternatively you could conduct a 180º subordinate assessment to see how they view your leadership. You could also offer this to your peers and superiors to obtain an overall view of how your leadership is observed.
My recommendation is to create a MYCASKI assessment indicator. List the first 7 primary points then assess and score each out of 5; then score the 7 secondary points. Use this as a personal benchmark. At the same time ask for 180 º assessment using the same indicator. After a period of time, say 3 to 6 months request a reassessment and compare scores.
This approach should not prove too complex and will at least provide you with fairly reliable feedback. It will be up to you to interpret and act upon the results. You decide which needs the most attention. There is no right or wrong direction. My belief is that not only will your performance improve but that of your team also as there will be a direct benefit for them.
- FOCUS ON ONE POINT AT A TIME
If you try to remember what MYCASKI represents from day 1, and then repeat it at a regular frequency say hourly, daily or weekly; it is highly probable that you will fail. So take it one point at a time.
Take the letter M and what it primarily and secondarily represents and say it either subconsciously or out loud until you are confident that you can remember it. Do not force it. Then move to Y and repeat the process as for M. Follow this with repeating both M and Y before moving to C. Then repeat M and Y and incorporate C. Continue thru ASKI. Move at your own pace.
Before too long it will sink in and you will be amazed at your recall. Not only that, the points that are introduced to your mindset will start to be performed subconsciously.
- FOCUS ON THE PROCESS NOT THE RESULT
As time passes you will find your effectiveness and performance improving without much recollection of recalling MYCASKI.
This is a great sign. Just like what you may have already experienced. Have you ever driven a regular route from A to B and on occasion arrived safely at B never remembering the last part of the journey. How did you do that? It is the process of repetition that embeds the details into your subconscious, that is how; and it is that which takes over and reminds you what to do and consider along the way.
I recall MYCASKI daily to improve my performance and to sustain my leadership mindset. I do confess that somedays I only concentrate on a single letter. The point is that I do it repeatedly. I follow the process.
I look forward to hearing of your successful leadership and in conclusion offer below a quote from Colin…
‘It has been a long journey since I set out to become a habitual exerciser. My biggest ally throughout the entire journey has been patience. So often we overload ourselves with exercise because we are impatient to get results. We want hard abs and we want them now! But this is completely contrary to what will actually get you results.
Great things take time. It has taken me over 3 years of persistent effort to go from zero exercise, to being on the verge of becoming a sponsored athlete. And it all started with exercising 1 day per week. You will likely live many more years, so there is no rush to begin exercising every day. Remember, a river cuts through rock not because of its strength, but its persistence’
‘They can because they think they can’ Virgil…
I am drawn to the above translation from Latin and find myself absorbed by just how far ahead their leaders were then compared to where we think we are today.
Things are fairly much the same aren’t they? and have remained so over history. How so? Surely things have changed. As we have moved thru the centuries we have developed Regionally, Nationally and Globally and in so doing, Skills, Values and Experiences have changed; all tempered and adapted to account for improvements in Trade, Communications, Society, Data, Movement and Technology. They will continue to change as we progress. Virgil’s quote is just as valid today as it was then and will continue to be true way out into the future. Our leaders today think no differently than they did then. There is a basic ‘mindset’ that has prevailed.
To get thru their day and survive, leaders would Make things happen and Manage the situations presented to them; they would not dwell on what happened Yesterday and they wanted to be the leader; everyday they Challenged themselves and had the Confidence to rise to the occasion; they were definitely Accountable and always Allowed others to grow; without a doubt they Set the example and had Sight of where they wanted to go; they Knew their limitations and each day sought to improve their Knowledge; and finally the greatest of them Integrated their followers into cohesive teams and made sure they knew what buttons to press to get the best out of their followers…today we would call it being emotionally Intelligent.
We all have the opportunity to be leaders by adopting the right ‘mindset’. You too can acquire it. It is as simple as ‘just doing it’ make the commitment and have the courage to just do it. Believe in it ‘they can because they think they can’. I am sorry to say the opposite is equally true so do not get caught up in the negative. There is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experiences. It is these that differentiate leaders so you must continue acquiring them as is appropriate for you.
Please notice the bold highlighted letters above; they spell out MYCASKI a word I practice on a regular basis; it helps me recall what it is I need to consider to be a better leader. It is a personal (begins MY and ends with I) powerful reminder of a ‘mindset’ that sets a standard, brings consistency and sustains leadership.
Try it! It costs nothing but your time and desire…it will improve your leadership, guaranteed.
Share this article and improve the leadership base. Let me know how you get on.
Businessdictionary states Self-motivation as ‘the ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. People with self-motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them’ In its simplest form it is the impulse that drives you to do things.
What is that all important trigger that grabs your attention to enable you to pull this off. Your pals are off playing games or partying; but you decide to get a casual job or volunteer to help out. Why? There are many scientific answers and surely too many to contemplate adopting in an effort to acquire the impetus to do, rather than do nothing.
Reading this post is proof positive that you want to…rather than not.
Let me state, in line with my other posts, that my constant held belief that there is no substitute for Skills, Values and Experience and nothing I advocate in this post challenges that belief.
There are many articulate and professional sources and theories that explain self-motivation. Many say it is a skill and can be learned. Many state it is a desire borne out of love and because we want to or alternatively because we have to for money. Many say it is inherent and part of our genes. I expect that all contribute to the often overwhelming desire to succeed.
There is no doubt that motivation drives us to fulfill our ambitions in our personal, community or business lives; as does lack of motivation destroying that fulfillment in equal measure.
There are many techniques to frame the mind that encourage us to define objectives and requirements. By setting out short and or long term personal goals and commitments you can measure progress or lack of it then make the necessary impetus to complete. I have found thru my own experience that however noble I was I invariably came up short because other things got in the way; like New Year resolutions, how long did you pursue or achieve them?
As life goes on you must develop and learn those techniques together with acquiring new skills and experiences which will definitely lead to you to being more motivated with subsequent benefits. But this obviously takes time. So how can we establish an earlier desire to succeed and also sustain that desire as well as underpin Skills, Values and Experiences…in other words initiate and keep motivated.
MYCASKI offers a way that strikes a balance by providing a powerful mindset that focuses upon motivation as you continue your leadership journey. MYCASKI is a system with each letter representing a formal consideration that when practiced instills a subconscious reminder that raises performance, benefits others and feeds a natural desire to succeed.
Quite simply you need to remember what each letter represents then repeat and practice it as often as you wish. MYCASKI is the word to remember…how simple is that.
Have you ever driven regular route from A to B and on occasion arrived safely at B never remembering the last part of the journey. How did you do that? Repetition and practice embeds the details into your subconscious and it is that which takes over and reminds you what to do and consider along the way. Ever wondered why the top professional golfers practice so much.
Repeat the following often and improve your leadership mindset and motivation…
M = Make it happen and Make time for others
Y = Do not dwell on Yesterday and You must want to do it
C = Be Confident and Challenge yourself
A = Be Accountable and Allow others to grow
S = Set the example and See the desired outcome
K = Improve Knowledge and Know your limitations
I = Integrate relationships and be emotionally Intelligent
I invite you to join me and adopt the MYCASKI mindset. Develop your own Consideration and Practice reminder frequency; personally, I think about it all the time. I would welcome your feedback.
Best Regards Raymond
Let me applaud those experts that have mastered either Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Business Management, Customer Relationships, Law to name but a few. These are vast undertakings comprising a variety of subjects and becoming an expert entails thorough knowledge driven by new approaches, practicing new and old skills, values and experiences.
Keeping them at the top of their profession and underwriting their journey is a dependence upon their immense thought processes and recall. They have heightened awareness to making things happen, are motivated, mindful of others, manage their time, have great morale, believe in what they do, want to do what they do, visualize the outcomes of what they do, have a great attitude, are true to themselves, do not dwell on yesterday, they have conviction, confidence, challenge themselves, others and the status quo, they communicate, care about themselves and others, embrace change, collaborate, are clear and courageous, they get things done, are accountable, achieve results, are not afraid, allow others to flourish, they set an example, are self-reliant, self-aware and exercise self-control, they improve their knowledge, know their limitations, align to key objectives, are kind, keep their distance and are guided by facts not interpretation, they are intelligent, innovative, integrate relationships, have great situational awareness and impact, involve and influence others; and last but not least, as I could continue for many pages more, they provide inspiration in their working, personal and community lives.
So if you consider and practice the above observations together with reading every leadership book available and attending a variety of training courses you too can become an expert. How daunting is that.
Have no fear help is at hand and it is freely available to anyone with the inclination to succeed. My point is that there is too much to remember and think about…therefore don’t try at this stage…settle for MYCASKI as it will provide you with stability of purpose…the other will come over time. Let me point out that there is no substitute for hard work, acquiring skills, observing values and feeding off experiences.
MYCASKI has struck a balance of what is required to set you out on and sustain your leadership ambitions. Whatever level you are at is of no consequence to MYCASKI as it is designed for all that care to consider and practice it. Each letter of MYCASKI represents the minimum requirement to developing and sustaining a “Leadership Mindset’. As time goes by the thought processes above, and more will become part of your armory; but MYCASKI will always keep you focused.
MYCASKI is designed to be personal, starting with MY and ending with I. It is a reminder system and nothing more. I recall and practice it daily. M reminds me to Make things happen, Y to not dwell too much on Yesterday, C to Challenge myself, A to always be Accountable, S to Set an example, K to improve my Knowledge and finally I to ensure I Integrate relationships.
I sincerely hope that you will consider MYCASKI as a reminder to help with your leadership aspirations and I look forward to hearing from you with any feedback. It would be very much appreciated if you can please share this post.
‘A reminder to ensure more outcomes’
Invariably the problem with New Year resolutions is that they are only focused upon once a year. Another major drawback is they are often set as difficult in nature. Typical examples are setting the commitment to give up smoking, or to attending the gym three times a week or to writing a novel. These are tough goals and in all likelihood we are setting ourselves up to fail. The purpose of the resolution as the word implies, is to be ‘steadfast or determined’ in our objective to achieve the goal. How do we persevere with such difficult goals? The truth is that in the main we don’t. I am not saying that they should be easy but we could make them less difficult and should be more positive. Route 1 may be the direct road to take to arrive at your destination but there are plenty of alternative scenic side roads that will get you there.
Take the first example of giving up smoking. You could reset that goal that would more than likely lead to the same result. Instead you could pursue a leisure activity like golf or simply join a rambling/walking club. You could volunteer to help out at the local hospital, kindergarten or the community library. How about a commitment to help out the old folk’s home? Either choice is a commitment that puts you into a non-smoking environment as well as being something more worthwhile and fulfilling.
Another problem with resolutions is that failure indicates that we cannot honor commitments causing an internal battle with discovery often leading to denial.
I consider resolutions on a more regular basis. Why would you do that I hear you ask, considering the observations above. Let me ask you this; would you consider them quarterly or monthly? ‘You must be joking’ I hear you say. Well how about weekly? Now I can hear the laughter. I can hear you saying ‘why not weekly or hourly?’ and I agree and say yes…why not.
Remember all those times when you set a resolution and actually achieved it. Do you remember how that felt? I bet it was good. Wouldn’t it be great to get the feeling on a more regular basis benefitting not only yourself but all those connected to you as well.
Setting the goal is the easy part; as I stated earlier the biggest challenge is persevering and following it thru. To do that everyone at all levels needs to have the right mindset. Without it we are doomed to failure from the very start.
Throughout my career on a continuing basis many people have said ‘Raymond gets the job done’ and ‘He honors commitments’. I know that my passion and desire have a large part to play and underpins all of this. It is nothing to do with Skills, Values and Experiences. It is the mindset. Running that last grueling mile thru the woods in driving snow, ice and freezing temperatures to deliver that vital assistance; burning the midnight oil to ensure that presentation was a success; believing you can and then making it happen. It is regular consideration and practice of the mindset that allows me to be so successful in honoring my commitments and achieving my goals time after time after time. Not just annually, but always.
The secret to my success is the word MYCASKI. Each letter representing a focal point acting as a powerful and personal reminder to me that fashions my mindset. It is this mindset that enables my commitments to be achieved on a regular basis. Details are provided in my ‘Fundamentals of Mycaski Leadership Mindset’ post and summarized below.
MAKE things happen
YESTERDAY is history…do not dwell on it
ACCOUNTABILITY as routine
SET the example
KNOWLEDGE is key
INTEGRATE relationships…two heads are better than one.
May I invite you to consider the MYCASKI reminder, as a method to underpin your resolutions and other commitments or goals you may have. I have great confidence that you and others around you in business, in your personal life and in your community will benefit from such a commitment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and good luck. I look forward to hearing how you get on.