Get into the Actuation Zone to Be a Super Bowl Champion, says Change Leadership Expert, Brett Clay

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Change leadership expert, Brett Clay, who attended the National Speakers Association (NSA) Conference during the Super Bowl, says people can achieve their goals and feel like Super Bowl champions if they get into the actuation zone--the mindset of putting change into motion. Only by making changes can people improve their success and attain their goals. Clay discusses how people, such as the NSA Conference attendees, can put change into motion.

Change Leadership Secret #90

Many Tiny Changes Yield Big Results

"Put change into motion and you can achieve your goals." --Brett Clay

Change leadership expert, Brett Clay, returned from the National Speakers Association Winter Conference held this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. The conference, whose theme was "Monetize Your Message," featured many world-class speakers presenting cutting-edge marketing techniques.

Conference attendees went away with a large amount of new knowledge. Says Clay, "The 'Monday-morning question' for all the attendees is, Will we put the new knowledge into practice? Or, will we return to our laundry list of client issues, problems, overhead, and all the other items that keep us from moving to the next level in our businesses and lives?"

To grow in their businesses and lives, people must enter the 'Actuation Zone'—the zone where they put change into motion. 'To Actuate' means: a) to put into motion; 2) to motivate.

"What new idea, process, technique, tool, relationship, skill, or attitude are you putting into motion, today?" asks Clay. Just pick one new thing to do, today. The item must be new, though. Because, the only way to get different results, is to do something different.

Same actions = same results
New actions = new results

The second definition of 'actuate' is to motivate. "What will be your motive?" asks Clay.

The words "automotive" and "locomotive" mean: of, relating to, or being a machine that moves about by operation of its own mechanism; self-propelled machines. People are also 'loco'—locomotives, that is. "Only you can motivate your actions. Only you can step up into the actuation zone and put the changes into motion that will take your business and life to the next level. No other person, or thing, can do it for you," says Clay.

So, how does one get started? Simply take one, tiny step—now! People are not in motion until they take the first step. For example, at the conference Randy Gage and Anthony Iannarino said they blog daily. Clay says, "I haven’t been blogging regularly for a long time. So, today, I am taking the first step of writing a blog before I tackle all the other items on my to-do list. Will I be blogging tomorrow? It matters not. I cannot let my fear of what might happen, tomorrow, prevent me from taking the first step, today."

How then, can a person maintain the momentum and stay in motion, tomorrow? From a physics point of view, there are only two things that impact momentum: 1) resisting forces and 2) driving forces. To maintain momentum, reduce the resistance and reinforce the drivers.

Alex Mendossian, speaking at the conference, warned the audience that when they return home from the conference and go back to work on Monday, there will be a number of people waiting to hit them with the 'reality shovel'—the reality of all the existing forces pushing them back into their current situation. He says people have to be “martial-arts, shovel duckers” and avoid these resisting forces. Clay says there are two key questions for addressing the 'reality shovel':

1) What are the items, people, tasks, knowledge, skills, and other forms of ball-and-shackles that will slow you down as you put your change into motion?
2) How can you reduce or eliminate them?

"The best way to not let 'reality' hold you back is to eliminate the items that are standing in the path of your progress. If you go on a trip, you can't take the kitchen sink. What will you let go of that is preventing you from starting on your journey?" says Clay.

On the other hand, what will be the driving forces that will work to maintain momentum? One of the forces in Clay's Four Forces model of human motivation is “cognitive strategies”. These are strategies a person purposefully and mindfully (aka “cognitively”) puts into place to force oneself to behave a certain way. Examples are daily calendars and time budgeting, routines, daily affirmations, project management techniques—even the classic string-around-the-finger. "What systems can you put in place to force yourself to continue taking the new action?" asks Clay.

The key is to 'just show up' and 'keep showing up.' Clay says, "If you take a small step every day, then, at the end of the year, instead of being in the same place and a year older, you’ll have grown tremendously in your business and in your life!"

About The Actuation Zone®
To hear interviews with authors, scholars and practitioners who share ways you can grow in your business and in your life, listen to The Actuation Zone Radio Show, hosted by Brett Clay.

About Change Leadership Group and Brett Clay
Clay is the author of “Selling Change,” named the best business book and best sales book of 2010, and is the CEO of Change Leadership Group, LLC, a firm that helps clients improve their sales, marketing, and leadership capabilities. A veteran of 20 years in international sales and marketing management, most recently with Microsoft Corporation, he is an award-winning author, award-winning marketer, trainer, speaker, consultant, and business leader. Follow Brett Clay on Twitter at @SellingChange.


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