About Sam Kilkenny

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So far Sam Kilkenny has created 3 blog entries.

How to Develop Better Habits: Leadership Training and Committing to Change Pt. 1

We see it all the time at our leadership training events in Denver; our participants are hard-working, intelligent, and they have a strong desire to improve. Yet, they struggle to get new habits to stick. They want to blame themselves. These teams come to us thinking if they worked harder or were more intelligent they’d fix the problem. But they are not the problem. The reason they struggle –the reason we all struggle with developing better habits– is because of the approach. We tackle a new habit thinking that we are the problem, but the problem is actually the thing we are trying to accomplish. We all ask, “How can I get this new habit to stick?” Implementing a new practice is a system and the devil is in the details. You are fully capable of becoming the person you want to be if you are willing to take a good hard look in the mirror. Here are some recommendations for getting new habits to stick:

Jumpstart the Process

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

– Mark Twain

Renowned author J.K Rowling has always prided herself on her ability to write anywhere, anytime. She told Oprah in 2010, “For years and years and years I would just go to a café and sit in a different kind of noise and work.” But when it came time to start on her most anticipated novel, the final book in the Harry Potter series, the noise hit her like a wall. All the pressure that swarmed around her during this process was overwhelming, so after trying and trying she decided to make a grand effort of commitment by ‘moving in’ to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh where she stayed until she had completed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was not just the quiet that had helped her, it was the effort itself. She had proven to herself that she was willing to uproot her life if necessary to finish the novel. She jump-started the process. 

This is one reason our leadership training events are so successful. Simply by showing up to the event in Denver, you are making 100% more progress than someone who doesn’t. You are demonstrating to yourself that you are willing to invest the time and effort in your own growth. All subsequent lessons are amplified by this show of commitment and your success rate is astronomically higher because of it. A jumpstart provides a well of motivation to draw on when things get tough. And trust me, things will get tough.


Add new habits to old habits

At the start of 2019, I set the goal of reading a book a week knowing full well that I had no time in my schedule to accommodate this. Conventional wisdom teaches us that we must get rid of an old habit to make room for a new one, so I planned to replace my nightly Netflix ritual with quiet reading. I did so not realizing I had just doubled the difficulty level of getting my new habit to stick. I still had to adjust to the discomfort of reading for hours and now I had to fight the urge to turn to Netflix, a routine that I was comfortable with and had come to rely on. I didn’t even view my television watching as a problem. I enjoyed it and didn’t want to get rid of it, yet I thought I had to. Safe to say the habit didn’t stick. 

So I tried the opposite. Instead of looking at my schedule to get rid of something, I looked for places in which I could add reading. Although my schedule was packed I realized that I could listen to audiobooks on my morning runs and since I had already developed this habit into a pattern, the only thing I had to do was press play on my book when I started. My new habit had the power of benefitting from an old one and I was able to turn a supposed weakness (my current habits) into a strength.


Make It A Pattern

Josh Waitzkin is a world-class performer of many different disciplines. He was an eight-time National Chess Champion in his youth before moving on to martial arts where he holds several World Titles in Thai Chi Push Hands. Josh now spends his time teaching the world’s top performers how to perform at their peak, consistently. Here’s what Josh has to say about the importance of patterns: 

“To have success in crunch time, you need to integrate certain healthy patterns into your day-to-day life so that they are completely natural to you when the pressure is on. The real power of incremental growth comes to bear when we truly are like water, steadily carving stone. We just keep on flowing when everything is on the line.”

This is part one of our three-part series on how to develop better habits. If you are interested in jumpstarting your growth into a better life, check out the leadership training events we host around Denver. Leadership training is great for anyone who wants to take on more responsibility at work or at home.  It’s also a great way to show yourself and others that you are ready to make a change in your life. Click here to speak with a specialist today.

The art of striving – and how a team building event can help rediscover it

The best of the best in any field all have one thing in common: focus. While we worry about results, the distinguished focus on their effort. At our team-building events in Denver, we facilitate the art of striving and shifting the focus from results to efforts. In the office, we can’t appreciate the growth that comes from making every effort. We’re blinded by the results, whether good or bad. It is only in hindsight that we are able to see the steps that create success. When we look back we recognize the long days, the team-building events we attended, and the keynote speeches we watched; we see and appreciate our efforts. When we strive, we push our limits higher. We become capable of more. 

Ultramarathon runner and former Navy Seal David Goggins learned this at the crux of his life. Goggins was on a series of quits. He had quit USAF Pararescue (PJ) school in the middle of training, he quit eating healthy, he quit working out, and in a few short months he had ballooned up to 300 pounds. He was depressed with his low-paying job and lonely life. His dreams of becoming a Navy Seal seemed impossible. Goggins decided one day to turn it all around. That day he set out on a 5-mile run. He got a quarter mile in and turned around. He walked home, sat on his couch and cried himself to sleep. It would not be that easy. So Goggins got rid of any expectations of results and focused on what he could control, his discipline to strive. Goggins went on to graduate Army Ranger School as a “Top Honor Man” and is the only man in history to complete Navy SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and USAF Tactical Air Control School. Then he became a competitive ultra-distance athlete, with 10 first place trophies and 21 podium finishes, and he beat the World Pull-Up Record with a total of 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours. We can admire his results, but he knows it’s his mastery of the art of striving that got him these outcomes. 

So how can we cultivate this focus in the workplace, where it is always a race? CBST Adventures' team-building events in Denver create the space to achieve this. We remove all the stress of the office and allow teams and individuals to focus on efforts. During these team-building events, many teams achieve hindsight on past projects for the first time. They draw parallels to the efforts that were blocked from sight by the numbers. For the first time, they are able to see what truly went right or wrong. By removing the risk of failure, we remove the impediments to seeing clearly. Let us at CBST Adventures facilitate this experience for you. At our team-building events, teams learn that they are capable of more and they practice how to get there together.

Community Matters

A Harvard Business School study of more than 50,000 employees found the true cost of having a toxic employee among your team. We’ve all had the experience of tolerating a toxic employee at one
point or another and wondered “How do they have a job?”. While their negative impact may be noticeable to those around them, an employer looking at the numbers may have a tough time finding
this bad apple’s true cost.

Well, now we have the numbers.

The aforementioned study proves that having one toxic employee on your team is much worse than having a superstar performer on your team. A ‘superstar’ team member, someone who ranks in the top 1% for performance, brings in $5,300 in cost savings while avoiding a toxic hire brings in $12,300 in cost savings.

Just look at the ripple effect one bad employee can have on coworkers:

  • Over 80% lost time worrying about this employee
  • Over 70% said they were now less committed to the company due to the toxic behavior
  • Over 65% said their performance suffered
  • Over 60% wasted time avoiding the offender

We have all have experienced this on a personal level, perhaps having to cut out friends or partners for the negative influence they’ve had on us. Studies have proved that if you have a friend that
smokes you are 61% more likely to begin smoking. We understand that who we surround ourselves with effects who we are.

Community matters.

And yet, employers continue to focus on hiring the best performers over avoiding negative hires. The best thing to do if this mistake has been made is to nip it in the bud before it wrecks more havoc.
When was the last time you took a step back to examine your work community?

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