President at Think Like A Black Belt
My elevator speech goes like this:
“I’m Jim Bouchard- I teach people how to Think Like a Black Belt; and I’m the best looking bald man in this room! If you want to know more about what I do I’ll meet you right after this meeting.”
Inevitably people come up and ask me, “So- what the heck do you actually do?” Once in a while someone challenges my assertion about being the best looking bald man in the room!
Now the fun starts. I simply ask, “What do you think about when you hear the words ‘Black Belt?’” Now that’s not a rhetorical question; take a few minutes right now…what do you think about when you hear those words? The iconic symbolism of the Black Belt is now part of our culture- nearly everyone has some idea about what Black Belt is supposed to embody. The great minds at Six Sigma in fact borrowed the whole theme of Black Belt and martial arts ranking to symbolize what it takes to create a culture of quality, excellence and efficiency.
I ask that question whenever I do corporate presentations- “What do the words Black Belt mean to you?” Here are some of the most popular responses:
- Sense of inner calm
- Hard work
Once in a while someone says “a tough guy!”
Aren’t these the same characteristics and values you want in your C-suite? Wouldn’t you like everyone in your organization to possess and apply these traits of “Black Belt Mindset?” That’s what I teach.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a Black Belt to think like one. You do need to commit to continual personal and professional development. You need to understand that a truly effective organization develops authentic leaders at all levels of an organization and that all effective leadership is a process of sharing; you must share wisdom, authority, experience and power.
All the most effective executives I’ve ever studied or worked with possess most, if not all of these traits. They also understand that “perfection is not a destination; it’s a never-ending process.” This philosophy is the basis of building an innovation and creative organization culture essential for success in today’s extremely challenging environment.
I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this article, you already possess most of these qualities. You understand the importance of training and cultivating this mindset at all levels. If you feel deficient in any of these areas- you’re committed to improvement. Any and all of these characteristics can be trained and developed- and a Black Belt in martial arts or business is never satisfied. The Black Belt Mindset is not one of patting one’s own back- a Black Belt is always looking for ways to improve, grow, innovate and expand.
You may not be a martial arts Black Belt- you may already be a business Black Belt! If not, start today!