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Mastering Growth and the Spirit of Business

“But the disciplined self, moving among sense-objects with senses free from attraction and repulsion, mastered by the SELF, goeth to Peace”.  The Bhagavad Gita, 4th Edition, as stated in the Second Discourse, Line 64.

The 2019 Currie Leadership Development Program is open for registration and begins in February 2019.  This visionary program answers the question that all distribution company owners ask: “How do we maintain growth, develop new leaders, plan for succession, and evolve our distribution company into the next age?”  The Spirit of Mastery is the blueprint and it is the “oversoul” of the Currie Success Principles.  See “The Principles” below and see how they all come together for success:

  1. Audacity
  2. Vision and The Big Picture
  3. Focus and Purpose
  4. Strategy
  5. Continuous Development
  6. Execution
  7. Communication and Motivation
  8. Growth and Adaptability
  9. Results Orientation
  10. Poise and Gravitas
  11. Integrity
  12. Synergy

Visit our Currie Training Center website for more information about the Currie Leadership Development Program.  In the meantime, here’s the Currie take on Mastery, and what it means to me as a mentor and leader.  This work is an excerpt from an upcoming book by Robin P. Currie but has been modified to show how this concept applies everywhere – both at work and at home, and both in our businesses as well as in our spirits.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his 2008 best-selling work, Outliers:  The Story of Success, presents his 10,000+ hour theory.  Based upon an earlier (1993) study by Anders Ericsson, Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Römer, Gladwell coined the phrase, the “10,000-Hour Rule”, as he extracted a hidden gem within the research.  Gladwell’s position remains:  10,000 hours of application marks a critical threshold which one must reach to enter the phase of mastery for a particular endeavor or area of interest.  Although other factors are at play which are necessary to consider in order to support this conclusion, we get it: dedication, long-term commitment, and focus are essential elements of the odyssey into mastery.

Since Gladwell’s success with his book, part of the original team from the 1993 study, including Ericsson, has published another success guide entitled Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.  Although the authors, Anders Ericcson and Robert Pool, explain in this subsequent publication that their original study was not accurately interpreted by Gladwell, the works of all these researchers and authors is of great importance for the study of expertise.

Now consider some of the experts themselves:  Black Belts, Olympians, highest-ranking musicians, social justice leaders, best-selling authors, great painters of Impressionism, military geniuses, and brilliant scientists.  The study of those who have achieved greatness in a focused discipline reveals to us the complexity of the art of mastery, and the themes and practices required are oftentimes theories in paradox.  Below are Robin’s Elements of Expertise, in alphabetical order, so as to assign equal weight to each.

Augmented experience.  Learning that occurs both on the field and off is critical.  Nearly all endeavors require some measure of rounded study.  Professional boxers watch their competitors, learn how they move, and create a customized strategy to apply during a match with that specific opponent.  Coaches present films of matches for the players to review, so they may, outside of the heat of the game, better observe their own performance.  Military leaders learn a great deal of history, psychology, and the study of other cultures. Consider the elements within this piece itself:  the ideas are designed to all fit together, as augmented learning tools for the greater goal of mastery.

Clarity of purpose is sometimes elusive, frustrating, and mysterious.  Yet, discovering our purpose and receiving direction for the journey creates for us a joyous, exciting, and fulfilling life and/or career.  Clarity is an essential piece of the puzzle of success in any endeavor.  Yet these two things–clarity and purpose–place us in a precarious position.  In unveiling one’s purpose, one must be prepared to make major, life changing decisions, the first of which requires that one says “yes”.

Commitment.  This element will make or break any practice, any endeavor, and any plan.  Commitment may be the first area you, your team, or your organization need to address in your resolution to become leading masters of your trade.  Depending upon your desired outcome, it may be best to set a predetermined time and place, in order to engage in activities to help you to stay the course of your intentions.  This is where the commitment is made:  in a specified, dedicated time and place, and with specific action steps.

Focus. Do not look to the left or to the right.  Distractions are everywhere.  Disciplined focus requires a disciple to sometimes say “no”.  Others may not appreciate your priorities, but many will.  Shut out the noise, ignore the drama, and keep the faith.  Remaining intently focused on any mission is not easy, but with practice you will eventually master this important skill.

Flexibility is nearly always required.  Opportunity may present differently than expected, or perhaps not at all.  Disappointments and setbacks will create the need to regroup, re imagine, and rewrite the path to excellence.

Intention is expressed in many ways, and most especially through a mission statement—a highly effective way to set and maintain powerful intentions.

Passion is a spontaneous and exhilarating emotion.  Passion is required to obtain true mastery.  Passion is the holy grail of commitment, drive, and tenacity.  Passion is one of the Elements of Expertise which is not something which we learn.  We each already possess it.  But it may be hidden from view, secreted in your underworld, or concealed by social conditioning.  Passion is Jason’s Golden Fleece–that for which he embarked on an epic odyssey.  Along with his Argonauts, and Orpheus with his lyre, Jason committed to an ambitious undertaking–to seize the Golden Fleece for his people.  Find your passion and claim it for yourself and for all.

Perseverance.  Keep going, never stop, be aware of how far you have come, and renew yourself every single day.

Self-Awareness is always the very first step, as has already been mentioned within this work.  A journey into mastery of any type must be executed with an awareness of who you are.  For this knowledge is your power base and where you meet your true higher self.  Figure yourself out and embrace and develop who you are.

Vision is enhanced by the art of visualization.  The visionary mind of Nehemiah, from the Old Testament, is among the most outstanding.  His dedication and commitment were intense and unparalleled, and he was a resourceful entrepreneur.  Nehemiah commenced an enormous project he believed was ordained by God himself:  the holy work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem after the occupation had set in.  Read about Nehemiah and see what Nehemiah saw, hear what he heard, and believe as he believed.

The process of the Elements of Expertise you have just read may seem exhaustive, comprehensive, complete, and final–but it is not.  We are only just scratching the surface of what it truly means to be a master.  Let us “up our game” and continue to look to each other, and ourselves, as the ultimate masters of self, business, and service.  Masters understand the true potential of themselves and others.  They invoke and command.  They declare and manifest unimaginable creations of will and have transcended fear.  They do not play small.  There are no better leaders and mentors than those who have truly mastered their craft.  There are no greater guides than these.

Remember that Mastery is an art, and something which requires faith and passion.  Your own (or your company’s) journey of mastery may indeed take 10,000 hours.  Your resources are always there, whether you are focused upon them or not.  You may choose a practice, and then fall away.  You may forget, you may stumble, or you may feel overwhelmed and discouraged.  Those learning moments are part of the journey, and they are gems of wisdom, which can serve to advance you along the path, if you so choose to regard them in that manner.  Kurt Lewin (1890 – 1947), a well-known psychologist and organizational and business expert, taught about advancement in his theory of change.  As we desire to grow, we must determine the constraint point, then unfreeze, change, and grow.  We then refreeze as we adjust to the newness.  The process repeats.  So also, be warned: as we make progress towards mastery, we are changed forever.  It is said that once you have achieved deeper mastery, and understand the fullness of your purpose, you may never go back.

Q3 2018 Article Review: “No Means No”, by Robin Currie

Here’s the Quarterly Article Recommendation for third quarter, from the Currie Team.  Please read this profile by Marcel Schwantes, entitled “Warren Buffett Says This 1 Simple Habit Separates Successful People From Everyone Else”.  The priceless words of Mr. Buffett should strike a nerve for many Currie clients, and they provide a well-timed integration with some recent, and important, discussion points.  Here are my thoughts on this insightful piece:

Delegation

The discovery which is oftentimes made during the Currie Leadership Development Program, is that managers have a hard time delegating.  The reasons for this include lack of trust, lack of time available to train others, a preference for a more interactive management style, or some combination of two or more of these elements. The inability, or unwillingness, to delegate creates frustration, overwhelm, and erodes basic team foundations such as engagement and trust.  This article refers to author Jim Collins, and a book which has been recommended by Currie Management Consultants, Inc.  Good to Great[i] introduces the idea of a “stop doing” list.  In that process, we learn that a commitment to doing all of the work is considered a no-no.  Thus, delegation becomes a response to required task behavior and activities which a manager should be saying “no” to.  Delegation is smart, and the process will also help others on the team to develop and grow.

Time Management

What a natural lead in to another important item – the mastery of time.  Many time management theories are about boxes, quadrants, and lists.  Dr. Steven Covey, a renowned business behaviour expert, teaches the concept of rocks, sand, gravel, and water.  In this quarter’s recommended article, Mr. Buffet is quoted, along with Steve Jobs (another time management and business guru) and the belief is consistent:  there are things which fall onto the to-do list which must immediately be erased from the list.  Are we placing activities in our “time management boxes” which should not even be considered activities?  The Eisenhower Method of time management clearly states that any activities which fall into a “not urgent, not important” box should be eliminated.  How’s that for crossing some things off your to-do list?   Reducing what goes on “the list” will allow us more time for creative planning and balancing.  Which brings us to another great idea.

 

Life Balance

In her book Boom Life[ii], Michelle Currie provides us with a roadmap to assessing and balancing key areas of our lives.  Her segments include Health, Career, Environment, and Family, to name a few.  Achieving a balanced life both at home and at work is challenging, but it can be done.  Life is a journey, a work in process, and a grand adventure.  We are better at work, and better at home, when our time and energy is mastered in a productive and satisfying way.  And, that satisfaction may look different for each of us.  Page 2 of the recommended Inc, article speaks to us of Buffett’s viewpoint on happiness and balance.  If Warren Buffett says it, it must be so.  Do his statements ring true for you?  Does the meaning of the word “ambition” transform now, for you?  The very meaning of that word has changed over the generations, and this is precisely why I end here, with my ongoing praise for millennials and the often unrecognized, and underappreciated, gifts which they bring to the workplace.

Millennials

Language is important, and words matter.  We could say that Boomers are from Mars, and Millennials are from Venus.  I wonder how Dr. Gray would feel about that?  My hope is that we recognize that it is now a different world, and a different marketplace, and technology has changed our lifestyles forever.  As one in the generation between The Boomers and The Millennials, my observation is this:  Millennials are born right on the razor’s edge of these tremendous societal changes.  They have come here on the eve of the demolition of the Berlin Wall – a major turning point in our human history.  Millennials do not view the world as Baby Boomers do.  There is a new paradigm in the world, and the concepts listed on page 2, along with Jim Collins’ list on page 3, describe the New World.  Warren Buffett is close to 90 years old and, instead of verbalizing extreme viewpoints on ambition, performance, and hard work, he tells the story of dreams, strategies, engagement, and self mastery as tools for abundant success.  This piece depicts a man who seamlessly bridges a gap between generational workstyles.

 

As always, we share something which resonates not just with the Curries, but, hopefully, with all of our clients as well.  Wealth is a function of principled strategies for success.  And, this piece is in direct correlation with Currie Success Principle #3 – Focus.  Enjoy!

 

Robin P. Currie

[i] Collins, James C. 1958-. Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer : A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great : Why Some Companies Make the Leap–and Others Don’t. [Boulder, CO: J. Collins], 2005.

 

[ii] Currie, Michelle B. Boom Life. [Bloomington IN Balboa Press], 2015

Leaders and Heros by Robin Currie

Leaders and Heroes in the Equipment Dealership

 

What are the Jungian Archetypes, and how do we connect them to management and executive leadership at our dealership?  Why would we want to?  Self-awareness is a critical skill in which all successful leaders must become proficient.  The work to master oneself creates powerful positive relationships both at the dealership, and at home.  Understanding the archetypes leads us into a greater knowledge of our true nature:  our unconscious mind, the origins of our personality, and the patterns which drive our behaviours.  Carl Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychologist, identified 12 archetypes of humans (Jung, 1969).  The list is not as definitive as one would expect, as the subject of human personality is quite varied and expansive.  However, many interesting myths and legends, based upon the archetypes, have arisen from the depths of the imaginations of great artists.  The Hero’s Journey is one such epic story.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a personality assessment based upon the work of Jung.  It is an invaluable tool, which we introduce in The Currie Leadership Development Program.  Those on the pilgrimage to enhance their leadership skills, begin this one-year program by determining their Myers-Briggs four-letter type.  This is the very first step on the path toward increased self-awareness:  what are my preferences; what are my strengths and how do they serve me and my peers; what are my blind spots; and what drives my reactions and responses? In short, the assessment gives the student a glimpse into the answer to a timeless question:  who am I?  Some may determine, based upon the MBTI and Jungian psychology, that they are The Hero.

The Hero is driven.  His purpose is to defend, to lead courageously, and to provide for his family and neighbours.  The Hero does not play small, and he works tirelessly.  The Hero’s true victory lies in the depth of the need that others have for him.  Are you now connecting this information to The Hero at your dealership?  Is this you?  Can you identify managers or principals who personify The hero?  If you attended the Currie Conference last year, in Dallas, you would have had an opportunity to attend my lecture on Buddha, Jesus, and Greek gods.  The story of Jason and the Argonauts is the epitome of “The Hero’s Journey”.   Below is an interesting graphic which depicts the Hero’s Journey.

This graphic was found on Wikimedia.org,  at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heroesjourney.svg

Remember now the epic characters who also embodied The Hero.  From Jesus, to Jason, to Superman and Harry Potter, we see the determined drive for righteousness and honour, and the perseverance to win.  And, Luke Skywalker shows us the futuristic Hero’s Journey.  Of course, there are women on The Hero’s Journey.  You didn’t think I would leave them out, did you?  Let us consider real-life heroines such as Jean D’Arc.  And there is a great deal to learn from some modern-day heroes and heroines as well:  Erin Brockovich, Karen Silkwood, and Nelson Mandela. These people stood clear, in their conviction of purpose and were so impassioned they were willing to risk it all. Each of us has, within us, a great hero.  But each needs to discover for himself, which of the archetypes is our dominant one, and how that archetype becomes the persona which drives action.  Who are you?  Are you The Magician?  The Lover? Or perhaps you are The Nurturer.  What are your natural gifts?

Additionally, did you notice that most of these brave souls who embark on The Hero’s Journey are not necessarily alone?  Many are accompanied, and nearly always by a powerful presence.  Harry Potter and Dorothy (of The Wizard of Oz) had wizards by their side.  Jason had his power team, and Jesus had connection to God.  Think Aladdin, and the Genie.  The lesson here:  perhaps for each, the accompaniments were quite possibly connections to an additional archetype.  As in the teachings from the legends of the Greek gods, we draw from their skills whenever we have need of them.  The power to reveal solutions is always available.  No matter the dominant archetype, all are present within each of us.

If your interest is sparked, join us for the next Currie Leadership Development Program.  The new session begins August 6-7, 2018.  But, we are looking for a new kind of leader to work with:  one who is ready to engage with us in a new direction for the distribution company, and one who is ready to see with monocular vision, as opposed to singularity of sight.  As we head midway into 2018, we must continue to develop a laser focus, as well as excellent insight.  How do we keep our eyes on both the operational performance, and, at the same time, inspire new and emerging leaders?  This combined vision is imperative for bringing our enterprises into the future.  The distribution marketplace of today requires us to run faster, lead differently, and see with fresh eyes.  There is a new way to lead a successful distribution company:  practiced self-awareness is required, as well as the ability to build a bridge between your own preferences and tendencies, and those of all of the people you are leading into the future.  We are all part of the adventure, and all must find the ability to tap into both Sensory tendencies, and Intuitive preferences.

The overwhelming majority of our dealership leaders show us a Sensory result, when they take the MBTI Assessment.   This result is in keeping with the general population, where we find roughly 75% of people with the Sensor preference.  These people prefer to rely on data, sensory experience, and physical information with which to make decisions—think The Currie Financial Model, KPIs, and other performance metrics.  The remaining 25% of the population are those with the Intuitive preference, and they seek meaning within that which is present. Intuitives look for patterns within the information, and they look to determine what is the “story” which the performance metrics tell us.  Both preferences are important, and true mastery is the ability to recognize both, and apply both in all situations.   High level managers and executives must learn to access, and activate, their Intuitive personality traits, along with the Sensory tendency.  This activity may not feel natural, and it may seem difficult, but the Sensor is already using Intuition more than she may realize.  The leader must use all available strategies, including tenacity and perseverance, to tap into her resources, and retrieve that prize which is necessary for the thriving of her community:  her dealership.  But how does she accomplish this?  Through the strength of the Sensory side of one’s personality, one can journey into the Intuitive.  Here’s a unique example of what this means.  Below are five common phrases which describe an intuitive process using a sensory modality.

“I see what you mean” (sight)

“I hear you” (hearing)

“This leaves a bad taste in my mouth” (taste)

“I have a good feeling about this” (touch)

“This doesn’t smell right” (smell)

What we have, are phrases which begin with evaluation of a sensory input, and then convert into a statement which derives intuitive meaning from that same sensory input statement.  We have now discovered the bridge between The Sensor and The Intuitive.  The phrases above are descriptive of a sensory experience.  However, as we analyze the way we use these statements, a deeper meaning is discovered.  This is a simplistic manner with which to describe the connection between the tendencies of a Sensor, and those of an Intuitive.  But we can take this information much deeper, and Sensors can continue to engage Intuitive thinking by taking a more Socratic approach:  asking questions and seeking meaning.   Take the helicopter and see the view from the top.  It opens entirely different perspectives for the developing leaders and empowers the leaders with new inspiration and additional tools for their journeys.

The Currie Financial Model is a quantitative tool, applied in order to measure the financial performance of a dealership or distribution company.  What is immediately visible, are the numerical results.  Now, enter the Intuitive application—what is the meaning, what are the patterns, and what story are the numbers telling us?  Intuitive are all about concepts, Sensors are about logic.  If you have attended a Currie lecture on High Performing Executives, you will remember that the competencies of mental agility, curiosity, and the ability to embrace complexity are required. The Socratic approach, as mentioned earlier, is the way to find the answers.  What are the questions which arise out of the results: who do we ask, what is happening behind these data points, and what strategies or processes should now be created and implemented?

In this piece, we have covered psychology, personality, leadership, financial modelling, and perhaps a little bit more.  For more information about The Currie Leadership Development Program, and other offerings at The Currie Training Center, visit our website at www.CurrieTrainingCenter.com.

Happy Trails!

References:

Jung, C.G. (1969). Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious [sic], Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1), Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic, 1999.

Baum, L. Frank, and W. W Denslow. The wonderful Wizard of Oz . Chicago ; New York: G.M.

 

Summer at the Currie Training Center

Summer training is scheduled!  July is packed!  Some of the summer programs may not be offered again this year so please send your new hires, rising managers, and those seeking additional operational training!

 

Our top three programs are being offered in July (please note that you can visit YouTube to learn about the content offered in these courses):

Benchmarking and the Currie Financial Model, July 16-17, 2018.

Achieving Service Department Profitability, July 23-24, 2018

Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills, July 30-31, 2018

August Programs:

Parts Department Profitability, August 6-7, 2018

Leadership with Intent and Purpose, August 20-21, 2018.  This is a NEW program, and it is a little different from anything we have offered before.  There will be a free interactive webinar to introduce everyone to this program.  That’s coming up soon so watch the website for updates!  Here’s a little teaser about the topics we will work on in this seminar, and how we will apply them to a successful distribution company:  MBTI Workshop; Carl Jung study; Servant Leadership; The Eight Great Fears and the Six Perfections; and more!  The full agenda is available at http://currietrainingcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Leadership-with-Intention-and-Purpose-Agenda.pdf.  Check it out!

Click on any seminar title, from the list above, to see the Seminar Agenda!

Registration for all programs is available at www.CurrieTrainingCenter.com.

 

And don’t forget to plan for next year.  Leadership Development 2019 begins in February.  This is our one-year program.  Please register early, as this program fills up!  More information is available here.

Give us a call at 508-752-9229, or email Robin@CurrieManagement.com, and let us know what we can do for you!

Spring is here at The Currie Training Center!

Believe it or not, the snow is nearly gone from Massachusetts.  It has been a long winter!

This notice is a “Last Call” for Currie’s Running a Successful Rental Department.  This offering is coming up fast—May 7-8 and will be facilitated by Matt Hicks.  Please register as soon as you can if you plan to attend.  Thank you!  Register here.

 

Also coming up soon is Account Management for the 21st Century, facilitated by Jim Henderson.  This program is for Sales Department Managers, Account Executives, Branch and Regional Managers, General Managers, any additional rising managers of account reps won the move!  This program is happening on May 14-15 so please let us know who is coming!  Register here.

 

Other programs coming soon:

Benchmarking and The Currie Financial Model, Robin Currie May 24-25, 2018.  View the Agenda.  Click here for a free one-hour webinar or register here!

 

Achieving Service Department Profitability, Robin Currie June 14-15, 2018.  View the Agenda.  Click here for a free 40-minute webinar or register here!

 

Additional news from The Training Center:

The Currie annual conference is coming up.  This year’s conference is in Atlanta GA, November 12-14.  All the details can be found here:  Currie Conference.  Over the next several weeks we will be developing more detailed agendas, securing our guest speakers, and more.  We hope to see you there!

 

Finally, registration is now open for next year’s Leadership Development 2019 Program.  This is Currie’s popular one-year program and will begin on February 11-12, 2019.  Please register early to help us prepare for you!  You can see more details about this program by watching a free webinar replay, click here.  Or download the brochure and agenda here.  Call us at 508-752-9229 if you have any questions or register now by clicking here.

Have a wonderful Spring!

Currie Training Center updates!

Crunch time for

Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills!

April 12-13, 2018

This is a powerful two-day program packed with a collection of the essential skills from the one-year Currie Leadership Development Program.  Please register soon if you are attending this program.  We will be asking participants to complete an on-line assessment prior to arriving in Massachusetts for the program.  There are some spots available.

Other upcoming events at The Currie Training Center

  • Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills, Robin Currie

April 12-13, 2018

 

  • Leadership with Intent and Purpose, Robin Currie

May 3-4, 2018

 

  • Running a Successful Rental Department, Matt Hicks

May 7-8, 2018

 

  • Sales and Account Management, Jim Henderson

May 14-15, 2018

 

  • Benchmarking and The Currie Financial Model, Robin Currie

May 24-25, 2018

 

  • Achieving Service Department Profitability, Robin Currie

June 14-15, 2018

Registration is now open for all of these programs.  Sign up at the Currie Training Center!

Two upcoming programs and one free webinar!

The Currie Training Center is pleased to be offering two unique programs:

 

Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills—two days of essential skills to build self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and other critical leadership skills.  January 25-26, 2018.

Download the seminar agenda by clicking here:

Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills Seminar Agenda

Are you leading a team toward model performance?  Are you new to the industry, or to your company, and want to develop some additional skills to work with the culture?  Are you a rising manager or part of a succession plan?  If you answered ‘yes” to any of these questions, then register today for this program!

Join me for a free live webinar (approximately 20-30 minutes long) to provide an overview of the program plus offer Q & A.  The webinar is Tuesday, January16th at 1:00 PM EST.  Register, free of charge, for the webinar by clicking here:

Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills free webinar

 

Leadership with Intention and Purpose—very similar to Building Effective Leadership and Management Skills, but with a rising up toward the spiritual.  This is an unusual program which combines the practical and the pragmatic skills with the creative and the intuitive arenas.  You will become a visionary architect for your life, your department, and your world.    The learning within these two days will transform you into an inspirational leader with clarity and purpose  Please note this class is not religious:  all of the subjects are secular theories and philosophies, and they are powerful and timeless.  March 22-23, 2018.

Leadership with Intention and Purpose Seminar Agenda

A full schedule of events is available here:  Currie Training Center Schedule of Events.  Call us at 508-752-9229 if you have any questions.  We hope to see you here in Massachusetts!

News and updates from The Currie Training Center!

Here’s a list of our upcoming offerings.

**PLEASE NOTE**  There are currently only four spaces left in Leadership Development 2018.  All additional registrations will be added to the wait list, and those participants will begin on a different day (still in February).  Please register using the form on the Schedule of Events page and we will let you know what your status is as soon as we receive your registration.

Additional information for each program is available by visiting the Schedule of Events page.  Additionally, you will see some links for YouTube.  These videos are recordings of live webinars that you may have missed.  Visit our channel for videos about Leadership Development, Service Department Profitability, and Benchmarking and the Currie Financial Model.  There’s also a different type of video that you can watch–a 40 minute overview of global slavery and the state of human trafficking here in the U.S.  Watch the video and learn about what the Currie Team is working on in order to make this world safer for all.  Please don’t hesitate to call 508-752-9229 if you have any questions!

Building Effective Leadership Skills (Perfect for all rising managers!)

January 25-26, 2018

 

Parts Department Profitability

February 1-2, 2018

 

Leadership Development 2018 – One Year Program

Workshop #1 of 4

February 12-13, 2018

 

Benchmarking and The Currie Financial Model

February 22-23, 2018

 

Service Department Profitability

March 1-2, 2018

 

Overview of a Successful Equipment Distributor, with Bob Currie

March 12-13, 2018

 

Lead Like Jesus (pilot program), Robin Currie

March 15-16, 2018

 

Leadership with Intent and Purpose, Robin Currie

March 22-23, 2018

 

 

For more events or to purchase tickets you may visit the following link:

http://currietrainingcenter.com/schedule-of-events/

Quarterly Article Recommendation and Review, by Robin Currie

Did you miss the 2017 Currie Best Practices Summit?  Not to worry – this quarter’s Currie Article Recommendation is a piece which captures the spirit of Currie’s “learning organization” theme as we move forward into 2018.  In a comprehensive analysis, Mark Smith presents a central theory of Chris Argyris, and the prolific work on learning which Argyris was so dedicated to.  Smith’s article:  Smith, M. K. (2001, 2013). ‘Chris Argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning’, the encyclopedia of informal education, can be found on the infed website at http://infed.org/mobi/chris-argyris-theories-of-action-double-loop-learning-and-organizational-learning/. [Retrieved: December 18, 2017].  In anticipation of clients’ requests for my version of “The Cliff Notes”, here is my review and summary, plus a few of my own viewpoints.  Thank you, and happy reading!

First are the theories.  In this piece, we learn that Argyris is all about “mental models”.  The theories, and mental models, are employed in order to execute necessary activities and attitudes, which are critical to participating and contributing to a “learning organization”.  These are but a few of the dozens of valuable ideas that Argyris contributed to the business, academic, and leadership worlds.

One of Chris Argyris’ profound principles is called theories of action.   His discovery reveals what he, and his colleague Donald Schon, call mental maps. The notion is that our mental maps define our natural responses to a given set of circumstances.  Mental maps, unique to everyone, drive behaviours.

According to the developers of theories of action, mental maps dictate actions, and oftentimes the actions are performed without conscious awareness.  As stated earlier, they are natural reactions, and can also be described as tendencies.  Further, the theory also suggests that one’s natural response in a given situation, is not always aligned with one’s stated beliefs.  This theory makes for an interesting dilemma, as it smacks of the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality.  Thus, mental maps are considered to be drivers of behaviours and responses that may very well be in opposition to consciously held convictions.  This indicates that self-awareness is an important, albeit missing, factor in many response/react processes.  Self-awareness is the first, critical step toward self-mastery.  Argyris’ discovery of mental maps describes automatic responses, somewhat lacking in cognizance.

Chris Argyris defined theories of action by creating two categories:  theory in use, and espoused theory.  As mentioned above, theory in use represents the natural behaviour or response.  Espoused theory represents what the reacting person actually believes, or actually knows is a correct response.  These ideas of “mental maps”, theory in use, and espoused theory bring to mind a couple of other important models.

In the Currie Leadership Development Program, participants learn about their personality type according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.  This method helps to provide clarity to someone who is interested in identifying (and developing) their preferred style through an analysis of a psychological profile.  Let us now couple this concept with Situational Leadership theories, which assist managers and executives in identifying their natural response to a hypothetical situation.  By identifying their natural response, leaders can learn to adjust, and can then adapt a more appropriate response consistent with the circumstances of their actual situation.  MBTI, and Situational Leadership, are two models that are all about self-awareness, and the journey toward making conscious, and intentional, decisions for a specific set of circumstances.

This article continues with two models of “loop” learning—single-loop learning, and double-loop learning.  These systems are discoveries which depict what happens when theory in use creates an undesirable outcome.  Along with the principles of single-loop and double-loop learning, the author breaks down the theories further, and present two models, representative of Argyris’ work.  All of this information can be found in Smith’s article.

Where are we going with all of this theory?  Organizational learning.  That’s the name of the game this year, and the theme for Currie Management Consultants, Inc.’s 2017 Best Practices Summit in Dallas, Texas.  As mentioned in Bob Currie’s remarks:  “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”  This is a quote from the brilliant work of Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass.  Distribution continues to change, technology marches forward at an alarming rate, and we find ourselves running faster just to keep up.  We are working harder, and working longer.  Thus, the way to not only survive, but to thrive, is to become a learning organization of the highest caliber.  All of the tools and resources are here at our fingertips, at our disposal.  What is required of us is determination, commitment, vision, and endurance.   There is no other option.

 

More stream of consciousness ideas from the Currie Think Tank…

The ripple effect is a concept which is less quantitative.  The smallest shift can create that first movement, and can create momentum to learn, to understand, and to change.

Immense power lies in the observation of the theories at work, and of the right brain stimulation which Argyris’ ideas create, whether intentionally or not.  Student comments (including those of Peter Senge) and other descriptions create a picture of Argyris as a visionary who taught people how to make connections through deeper thinking.

Albert Einstein, inspired creativity, the methodology of the discovery of benzene ring structure, the esoteric genius of Carl Jung:  these elements stray from the (somewhat) pragmatic business theories of Argyris, and deliver us into a unique dimensional platform.  Studied independently, these ideas and others, present to us vast opportunities to enter into deeper levels of the drivers of organizational success.  Today, more than ever, it’s all about talent.  And, as any good team leader knows, talent needs visionary leadership; rigorous development; dedicated coaching; and a shared commitment to success.  So Argyris, at least to me, is less about strategy, and more about the quest for understanding and clarity surrounding the factors which propel people forward in their journeys.  Argyris now becomes the persona of a skilled and patient guru, guiding us to the critical practice, and mastery of, discernment.

Questions?  Comments?  Feedback?  We want to hear from you!  Call us at 508-752-9229.

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Robin’s 2017 Client Reading List

Here’s my latest reading list!  Most of these books (and two articles) were referenced at The Currie Best Practices Summit last month in Dallas.  if you missed the Summit, be on the lookout for next year’s conference announcement.  Details will be posted early next year at http://currieconference.com/.

Click Here to Download The Currie Best Practice Summit Reading List