The Magic of Leadership – Converting

By January 30, 2013Millennial

The Magic of Leadership - ConvertingWhat drives success? It is a question that drives people to unwise jealousy. Other times, the answer leads people to a flurry of motion…. commotion really. It becomes a cloud of stirred up dust with no seeds planted in the fertile grounds of momentum and growth.

Let’s declare this the Year of Converting!

Values, philosophy, and vision all play a role in being successful. Having the right content of character makes a huge difference in the outcomes of what we put our hands, mouths, and feet to work in. The ingredient to make our work successful is the magic of converting.

The magic of converting is not about magic, however. It is about doing the work of converting, and it does take work. The magical part is seeing the conversion happen. When it happens, a sparkle appears in the eyes of the people involved, and it becomes contagious in a very good way, in a momentous way.

What can we convert?

Previously, we discussed how information productivity required a step of converting in order to make the cycle valuable and complete. The magic of converting is the step that creates big value when it turns forward.

Let’s look at four points where converting leads to high value and meaningful momentum.

Point 1: Converting information to actionable steps. Information without action just sits in a document, stored away. When information is used to facilitate action, words turn to power of achievement. It is about not being silent in knowing, but active in knowing.

People who can analyze and convert information into actionable plans are the ones we rally behind and, ultimately, admire.

Point 2: Converting thoughts to actions. Similar to the previous, information though sits in our minds. We think it through and through and through and…. We just keep thinking. Continuous thinking keeps our mind active, but it does not lead to meaningful actions.

Thoughtful actions are vital, so put your thoughts into play in purposeful ways.

Point 3: Converting plans to action. Information and thoughts can lead to complete and perfect plans. A logical plan is a good thing only when someone’s passion converts it into real actions. Plans need to come alive through the work we do. It is the only way to move forward in a positive way, making measurable progress each step of the way.

Point 4: Converting actions to results. Taking action in the arena of life and work brings sweat, yet real fulfillment unfolds when results are achieved. Simply illustrated, we can run on a treadmill for 3o minutes, work up a sweat, and be in the same place afterwards. We cannot afford to spin in place. We need to convert our actions to results in a trustworthy and meaningful way.

There are many points of conversion.

Everyone is unique in their gifts and capabilities so what each of us can convert can be as different as who we are. We need to identify what we need to move forward and then practice the act of converting. This expands the list of what to convert:

  • Converting creativity to product or canvas
  • Leads to prospects; prospects to customers; customers to advocates
  • Converting ideas to fundable ventures
  • Converting leadership principles to consistent actions during challenging times
  • Converting life philosophies to life plans

The magic of leadership is converting.

The key leadership trait is to convert. Converting – making a turn of progress – is required to make meaningful progress in our initiatives.

What would you add to the list of items that need to be converted to gain real value? Is there magic to the act of converting?

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • robbiecat says:

    I love your nuanced perspective… focusing on conversion as a movement towards something rather than an away from… ‘making a turn of progress.’ To add to your great list, maybe we could add converting dreams into reality, converting expert-based learning to inquiry-based learning, and problem-focussed conversations to developmental conversations.

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Robyn. I love the ones you added to the list of converting. All of those are great turns toward progress. Appreciate your insights, and I will definitely be reading your blog more now, as I really enjoyed your generational post. Thanks again! Jon

  • Terri Klass says:

    Hi Jon,
    Love your insightful post. Really got me thinking about how challenging it can sometimes be to “convert”. I find that the people around me can help in that respect and get me to convert my ideas into actions. Sometimes all we need is that little push of someone believing in us. Thanks again for another great post. Terri

    • Jon M says:

      That is a great point, Terri. We do need to surround ourselves with a community that will encourage us and give us a push to help us make that turn, converting our thoughts into actions. A great add! Thanks! Jon

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  • AjmaniK says:

    The magic is in knowing and acknowledging the price of converting from those habits that are keeping us stuck, keeping us clinging to our established ways. Once we know the price, and decide to pray the price, a quantum conversion happens. A change of state. Like water going from 211 to 212F. Steam! 🙂

    • Jon M says:

      Great point, Kumud. There is a price to converting and not converting so need to recognize. Going to the next state may be a way to rise up, just like steam! I knew I could count on your for a science reference 🙂 Thanks so much for adding it in! Jon

  • Suzie Carr says:

    Point 1: Converting information to actionable steps. This one really resonates with me. I’ve seen it happen too many times, I work really hard on drafting a solid marketing strategic plan, we discuss as a team, and months later, it is still sitting in the to-do pile. Why? It’s because my team and I have clearly forgotten the most important step and that is to back up this plan with actionable, measurable plans.

    • Jon M says:

      Appreciate your adding your experiences into the mix. We all are guilty of doing this; it just highlights the need to focus on converting those important items. Thanks so much for joining the conversation! Jon

  • Jon, as always, I appreciate how you frame things to get us thinking. Not sure if it’s a matter of “converting,” but something I believe is important is taking action on passion and ideals. No matter how passionate we feel about something or how much we hold to our ideals, they don’t do much good if we don’t bring them to live, whether in *how* we do things we already do, or create new things, such as products and services that lead to prospects, then to customers, then to advocates that you pointed out. Passion and ideals might fall into one of the buckets in your typology, like values or philosophy, but I feel they’re qualitatively different things. Thank you for starting this dialogue! Alice

    • Jon M says:

      Thank you, Alice, for adding to the dialogue! Appreciate it. I agree with your distinctions and, in the end, it is about bringing things to life, leading with that passion and high ideals. Thanks again. Jon

  • SusanMazza says:

    You have given new life and meaning to the word “convert” for me. The way you describe it, converting is a process of alchemy, perhaps with the key ingredient being a commitment. The one that come to mind to add is converting theory to practice. Like your “unlife life” concept last year I have a feeling I will be thinking about this one for a while!

    • Jon M says:

      Thanks, Susan, for your feedback. Appreciate it so much. Your content always challenges me so I am glad that I can return the favor in some way. And, I agree; anything can be converted. We just need to be aware of where we are and then act to convert it into something meaningful. Thanks! Jon

  • Hi Jon — I’ve long been interested into the issue of overcoming inaction, and I love the way you break it down here into discrete kinds of conversion — some of which we may be better at than others. There are some high order kinds of conversion implied here, such as converting barriers to opportunities and conflict to synery and collaboration. The point is that each is its own beautiful kind of transformation story, and in that there’s always the magic of how one thing translates to another. We wouldn’t love our Pygmalion stories as much as we do without the fundamental conversion that changes us in the process — an act of loving that is so powerful it turns a stature into a real human being.

    • Jon M says:

      Dan, I love how you took this deeper, and I agree completely. No matter what the barrier, converting it into something better is the key. It is that turn we realize the benefit and our story continue forward in a stronger manner. I am very grateful for your added insight here. Thank you! Jon

  • Alli Polin says:

    Jon – This post really gets me thinking in new ways. Love that you have broadened the art of converting beyond converting prospects into customers and brand advocates. We are always converting something into action… ideas, desires, vision. It’s a new way for me to think about transformation and what I’m doing to facilitate transformation. Reading a book or going to a conference is great… but then what. If the information and inspiration just sits inside of me, dormant, I missed the opportunity to convert those ideas and possibilities into possibilities through action. Thanks, Jon!

    • Jon M says:

      Alli, Thank you for your feedback! It is that magic of converting that separates leaders. It takes work, no doubt, but it is work worth doing. It makes ideas come to life and change happen. Your added insights and voice to this conversation is very much appreciated! Jon

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