Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is summed by up the equation "E=mc²". Scott Daly is no scientist, but the Navy SEAL veteran and master training specialist puts a lot of stock in the equation "E + R = O" as the formula for achieving elite personal and organizational performance.
The "E" in Daly's equation is the events of life, and the "R" is our response to them, which then leads to the "O," which is the outcome of our responses to those events.
"I don't control the events of life, but I do control how I choose to respond," Daly said. "And the quality of outcomes you're getting reflects the quality of your responses. If you want better things, don't blame the events of life. Choose a better 'R.'"
Daly offered his insights into what it takes to be an elite organization in the October episode of the 21st Century Business Forum.
The 21st Century Business Forum is a monthly webcast featuring authors, entrepreneurs and key leaders in business and sports. The show, hosted by Clay Young and sponsored by CHI St. Vincent, aims to inform and inspire Arkansas business leaders — executives, managers and entrepreneurs — with engaging interviews that yield practical advice for leading organizations and achieving success.
Daly, director of training for the Focus3 leadership training organization in Columbus, Ohio, learned a little something about overcoming the events of life when he broke his neck in freestyle wrestling at age 15.
"I had my own pity party for a while" as he lost all hope of potential college wrestling scholarships, Daly said. But he found inspiration in the words of his mother, who told him, "There's nothing you can't do."
"It's funny when that self-taught thought permeates your life and you believe," said Daly, who maintains it is how we respond to setbacks and the situations that challenge us that defines who we are.
"Did you step up or did you wilt?" he said.
It is Daly's belief that an organization's performance "rises and falls on human behavior," which makes coaching the most critical element of creating a winning culture.
"How I coach and develop and hold people accountable" to the cultural blueprint that the organization has developed and articulated determines whether it will be embraced, and it's a process that needs to be continuous, the leadership coach said.
Daly said it is foreign to most leaders to coach behavior. But, he added, "If I consistently recognize (among peers) the behavior I want to see, I will get there."
On the flip side, Daly said, one of the biggest culture killers in an organization "is 'BCD' — blame, complain and defend."
"We blame others for why we're not successful, we complain about our situation endlessly, and we defend our personal behavior no matter what," Daly said. All three serve no useful purpose, he noted.
"What we've found is BCD has never solved a problem, it's never achieved a goal, it never had made a relationship better," Daly said. Consequently, leaders must be willing to stand against their infiltration in their organizations.
"I tell leaders it's your job to outlast the selfish, the cynical and the satisfied," Daly said.
Watch previous episodes of the 21st Century Business Forum here.