067: Disruptions provoke renewal

067: Disruptions provoke renewal

067: Disruptions provoke renewal

The history of the world is a history of disruptions. We human beings like predictability that gives us a sense of safety. We like to know what’s going to happen next so we can prepare for it. Disruptions throw us into a state of panic as chaos swirls around us.

But disruptions provoke a necessary renewal of the status quo by throwing it into chaos to shake us out of our ruts. It’s in the middle of this disruptive chaos that things get interesting and we adapt in ways we might not have thought possible.

In this episode of the Spirit of Leading podcast, I discuss why disruption is necessary and healthy for our continued survival. I share some examples and offer a perspective that disruption provides renewal. And that’s a good thing.

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The INPowered Leader must be able to manage many relationships. The 3 INPowering Keys in this FREE GUIDE apply to any relationship: family, friends, co-workers, customers, and professional relationships that leaders must keep in balance.


Stop the trash talk

We goof up all the time. Sometimes we mess up really badly. I can tell you a boat load of stories about how I messed up in my life. But I never set out to make any of those mistakes on purpose. And neither did you.

So, get over it.

I published an INPowerment Tip about getting real about our circumstances that I learned while playing golf. Check it out here.

Here’s the point. We can bad mouth and trash talk ourselves over our mistakes, but that will just make matters worse. When we go negative on ourselves, our friends, our team mates, our employer, or our government, we spin a story that might not be true at all on the whole. We take a relatively small issue and blow it totally out of proportion to create a narrative in our minds that does not resemble the real world in any way.

Focus on improving, not on how bad we think we have been.

I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes. I have my regrets that some cannot be undone. I resolve to be better going forward and learn from the consequences of my misdeeds and missteps.

When we admit our shortcomings and seek to learn from them, that’s healthy. That’s what I mean by getting over it. Be honest and real with ourselves. Learn, improve, move on.

Find a friend in whom you can confide

I have one or two close friends who will help me keep my head on straight. I’ve learned to seek them out when I start feeling down on myself. I rely on them to get me back in touch with reality. And guess what? Sometimes I do that for them, too.

You can INPower yourself by finding those in whom you can confide.

Sometimes we need that kind of help
in order to be
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

What if I tried something different?

What if I tried something different?

Everything you need to find joy and fulfillment in life is within your reach–literally.


Eye peaking

All you have to do is get off your seat, and put yourself in position to grasp it.

I’ve learned over and again that when I put myself out there, good things are more likely to happen for me than when I sit on my sofa and wonder why I’m not getting anywhere.

You, too, huh?

I drift into routines. Routines have benefits, but they can result in mindless, rote behaviors that dull our sensitivity to what’s happening around us.

So, let’s shake it up a bit.

I discovered Jessica Hagy’s work on such an outing. Here’s the story.

I was visiting a friend one weekend and we were about to settle into our routine of watching our favorite political pundits on cable TV. When I said, “I’m bored. Let’s do something different.”

“Like what?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Let’s just get in the car and drive somewhere,” I said.

“OK,” she agreed.

So we did.

Within the hour, we drove into a small town a few miles down the road where we found a combo coffee shop and curio store and decided to stop for a cup of coffee.

While milling around, sipping my coffee, I spied a book title displayed on an old crate used as a merchandise display (a technique often used in curio stores). The title read, How to Be Interesting (in 10 simple steps).

I so want to be interesting, and if I can do it in 10 or fewer steps, so much the better.

I was curious and bought the book. And that’s how I discovered Jessica Hagy, the author, and her work. Click here and save yourself the trip to the curio store.

The very first chapter is, “Go exploring,” (See how that works?). She offers some ways to be creatively curious. I’ll not spoil the fun of learning her secrets for yourself.

There is, by the way, a direct correlation between being interested and being interesting.

Henry Miller, a trendsetting author, advised, “Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”


Then, share your interests with others. It encourages them to share their’s with you. Before you know it, everything just got more interesting.

Curious . . . how that happens.

The INPowered are seekers. They want to know what’s happening in the world around them. They want to engage with different ideas, people, cultures, tastes, nature, and ways of understanding and knowing each other.

Take an interest in becoming more creatively curious.

And you will be more
Leadership training, leadership development, Garland McWatters


Holding yourself accountable

Done IconSay what you are going to do; then, do what you say.

When you commit to a goal but slack off, it should really gnaw at you until you do something about it. If you just blow it off by saying something like, “Oh, well. It wasn’t that big of a deal,” then it must not have been important to begin with.

In a previous post What turns you on? I wrote that how bad you want something will determine how dedicated you will be to accomplishing it. Click to listen to Tim McGraw’s song about that subject.

My strongest motivational drive has two sides to it. Side one is the feeling of accomplishment when I do what I say I will. Side two is the resulting self-shame when I do not because I chose to not do what I promised myself I would do. Call it conscience–that sense of self-accountability.

If this happens to you, all is not lost. Get back on track immediately. It might mean rearranging your priorities or working harder to eliminate distractions that lure you way from your commitment.

Others will respect your determination and relentless commitment to a goal. They will have more confidence in your leadership and feel safer when you are in charge. Furthermore, self-accountability builds trust and underscores your integrity.

Remember, every day that you follow through on the goal you set will more deeply embed the good habits of accomplishment and accountability. Such is the stuff of champions.

Such is the stuff of those who are
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INPowering Creativity Simplified

Smiling designer using tablet with team at work behind herMany underestimate their creativity. Do you? When I present a lab session on thinking approaches, I ask participants how creative they think they are. Few rate themselves above 5 on a 10-point scale.

When I ask, “Why?” most say they are not as creative as someone they know. They mistakenly compare themselves to whomever they hold up as the example of creativity and rate themselves as less.

Let’s debunk the notion that some are creative, and others are not.

Creativity is looking at usual patterns, ways of doing things, ways of thinking about things, and rearranging them in different ways. Sometimes we arrange them in ways no one else has tried. The more “un-usual,” the more creative we regard them. So, people who are more unusual more often are thought of as more creative.

Here is what I have come to believe. Those we credit with being more creative simply give themselves more permission to be more unusual more often.

But many find comfort in conformity because it is less risky. Standing out attracts attention. Attention attracts critics. And critics can be cruel, which is threatening to self-esteem.

Critic definitionCritics delight in telling you why something won’t work before it’s tried, why it can’t work while it’s being implemented, and why it would have worked better if only we had listened to them earlier.

Here’s my advice: don’t get distracted by the critics, and don’t get boxed in by other’s limits, when you are more than you think you are!

One of my first posts was about seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Here’s the link in case you missed it.

Trust me, You are more creative than you give yourself credit for being. But if you want to improve your creative energy, all it takes is a little practice. Here are three simple things you can do today to stretch your creative boundaries.

  1. Think of three free things you can do this weekend that you have never done, and do one of them.
  2. Identify someone you do not know very well and invite them to lunch or coffee for the expressed purpose of getting better acquainted.
  3. Try a different genre of book, movie, music, etc. or a different taste in food. Experiment and experience.

In a recent movie,The Yes Man, the hero, Carl, changed the direction and quality of his life by accepting a challenge to say, “Yes,” to any request no matter how trivial. INPowered people make things better for themselves and others.

When you say, “Yes,” to opportunity,
you unleash your creative energy,
and you become 
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