I had a conversation with a client and it was fierce! Over lunch, my client told me that I wasn’t as good as a presenter as I was two years ago when she saw me present, “Smash the Box.” She said, “The keynote address you did lacked energy, audience interaction and the overall tone was negative.” In short, I turned on “Auto Pilot” during her session and the results showed.

After this conversation I re-grouped. I had a keynote address scheduled the next week and I practiced, began reading new material, and re-framed the address how I used to deliver it: high energy, interactive, engaging and focused on the audience experience.

And the result? Powerful! I did a 45 minute keynote address in Mason, Ohio and the audience loved it. They were engaged, asking questions, and gave me a thunderous ovation at the end. I have never signed so many autographs and taken so many pictures after a keynote address.

And the key… Getting off auto pilot. When we do things the way they have always been done we coast. We aren’t on guard and performing up to our full capability. We must hit the re-set button by dismantling our patterns, routines and doing things the way we have always done it.

For example, if your Monday meeting at 9:00 am is in the conference down the hall change the location and see if you get different results. If you are a teacher and use the same lesson plans you have used for 10 years try new plans. If you are a manager and manage your employees using the same skills and principles you learned years ago try a new approach.

Patterns and routines keep us on auto pilot! There is no thinking different, acting different when we do things the way they have always been done. When we are going through the motions, both personally and professionally, the results are average at best. Auto pilot is going to generate average results…

We should want to be better than average!

Want to not only think outside the box… but SMASH it?

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