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Category ArchiveBusiness Executive Coach

When Outcomes Matter

Many of us launched our careers in the “Boom” years.  Talent was in short supply and advancing was a given for motivated individuals.  And then things changed.  Instead of worrying about keeping their top performers happy, companies focused on survival.  Now, there is hiring freezes, and thousands of over-qualified resumes swamp HR departments for any open position.

In this tough economic environment outcomes matter.  Today’s companies focus on the bottom line and expect their executives to bring their best to the table.  Add to this that business is facing changes it has never experienced before.  Navigating these turbulent waters is about leadership.

If you want to succeed, if you want to get ahead – you need to lead the change created by an ever-changing economic environment – outsourcing,  technological developments and the globalization of the marketplace are just a few of the many contributors.  You can adapt to those changes or you will be left behind.

Leadership is about coping with change. Part of the reason it has become so important in recent years is that the competitive landscape has become more aggressive and more volatile. If you want to succeed, if you want to get ahead – you need to lead the change to meet these new needs.

  • Change Leadership – It’s about vision. It’s about empowering people. Leaders recognize the opportunities in the marketplace and led by engaging their people to cultivate a culture of learning, adapting, and leading within their organizations.
  • Emotional Intelligence – As an executive, it is not enough to be smart or simply good at what you do.  As an executive, you need to use and manage your emotions to effectively get the best from your people.
  • Personal Effectiveness – is about establishing goals, identifying values and establishing priorities.

You can go down the change path alone or you can get help along the way.  That is where I come in.  An executive coach is your guide, your mentor.  We hold you accountable and we pick you up when you stumble.  We are in this together.

So, if you are ready to be a better leader, to take it to the next level. If you serious, I am here.

When Outcomes Matter

Embracing Change

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end . . .
–Semisonic

Have you ever stayed at a job too long? Held onto a bad relationship with Mr. Wrong? We, humans, hate change and will even endure some pretty horrific things just to avoid change. And it’s not until you’ve undergone some major change, which you dreaded, that you begin to wonder what took you so long to change? Change doesn’t just happen – you have to have a purpose.

Visualize the Change

Thinking about change, then it is important to have a focus. Why are you looking to change? Many folks that I know that have embraced changes, such as quitting smoking, have done so with a purpose. My friend Margo quit because as she put it “I want to see my grandkids.” Another friend lost weight to fit into the wedding dress of her dreams. If you are working towards a new, healthier you, what is your goal?

Make a brief list of benefits the goal will achieve –

Examples:
• I’d have better health
• I’d have better self-esteem
• Clothes fit better
• I’d live longer
• I’d have more time with my kids

What’s stopping you?

Make a brief list of obstacles that would prevent you from achieving your goal 

Examples:
• I don’t have time to exercise
• I don’t have time to grocery shop for healthy food, take out is easier
• I am too stressed right now.

Now that you listed them, post them somewhere, so you don’t try to use them.

Develop an action plan

You’ve set your goal, now how do you get there? An action plan is a roadmap: it helps us turn our dreams into a reality.

1. Develop a plan – This is what I call “the what” exercise. What action needs to be taken? What resources will you need? What change needs to occur? What are your objectives? Be specific.
2. Reality Check – How does this solution improve your life? How much? How long – permanently or temporarily?
3. Will it work? – What is the probability of success? What are the risks? What happens if the plan fails?
4. Does it fit? Is the change consistent with your lifestyle, is it sustainable? If not, is it still viable?
5. Remember the Consequences – What are the intended consequences? What are some unintended possible consequences? What is the risk/reward outcome?
6. Think of Resources – What does the plan depend on in terms of time, support, equipment or emotional energy? What resources can you tap into?
7. Take it one day at a time – Very often we get overwhelmed when the task seems too big. Break it down into achievable bite sizes. What is your goal for today? That’s all you need to worry about.

Change is tough. Let’s not pretend otherwise. It’s against our nature. And most importantly – there are no magic pills, you won’t lose weight in your sleep and you won’t develop a six pack in less than three minutes a day! But you can make small sustainable choices that will improve your health.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Lao-tzu

Embracing Change

Does Your Business Have a Work Out Partner?

When I launched my business, I had an “office” in a walk-in closet off my living room. The view wasn’t so great. Back then my “enterprise” consisted of me and the cat. I would often venture out to Starbucks for a little human interaction. I knew all the baristas on a first name basis.

Studies have shown that we are more likely to stick with an exercise program if we have a workout partner. Someone to be accountable to, to encourage you, someone to share goals with, or simply someone to laugh with over the misfortune of the day.

And yet many of us go it alone when we launch our businesses? Why not find another business owner to be your workout buddy – you don’t have to walk into networking events alone – you can tag team the room. Someone to share with – what technology worked, what was the workaround to those Internet glitches or simply share a cup of coffee occasionally. The baristas tend to get busy!!

If you can’t find a business partner, why not consider an executive coach.  Coaching offers an independent third party perspective to your business.  It creates a safe space for you to brainstorm, share confidences and practice your approach.  You don’t have to go it alone.  In fact, most folks get help in the corporate environment.

  • An internal report of the Personnel Management Association showed that when training is combined with coaching, individuals increase their productivity by an average of 86% compared to 22% with training alone.

BENEFITS OF EXECUTIVE COACHING

Coaches can

  • Identify executive strengths and development needs
  • Help the client leverage existing strengths and improve performance
  • Create an Executive Strategy with an Action Plan and Accountability to help them stay on track
  • Facilitate positive and sustainable behavior changes
  • Assist develop leadership skills and offer a safe environment to practice
  • Offer enhanced career planning and development with an action-oriented plan
  • Provide regular ongoing feedback and support that assures professional growth

Matching tracksuits is completely up to you . . .

Does Your Business Have a Work Out Partner?

Be not afraid of going slowly

Be not afraid of going slowly, be only afraid of standing still . . .

– Chinese Proverb

If you’re like me, when you decide to do something, you go all out. When I decide to diet, I basically stop everything but water and watercress. When I start back at the gym, I try to train every part of my dormant body. The result? Great Abs? No. Lean mean fighting machine? No. One very tired, sore, cranky me? Oh, yea that’s the one.

I have tried every program under the sun. Lemonade diets, Hollywood Diets, you name it! I’ve zoned my carbs straight to South Beach! And while I’ve resisted the temptation of the Abdomizer or the Thigh Master, I do have a weight bench (good for storing unfolded laundry), Chin Up bar (good for the clothes that make it to a hanger) and an inclined sit-up bench (OK, this one just takes up space in the garage).

I am the guy they designed impulse shopping for. I buy the magazines at the Piggly Wiggly (yes, I shop at Piggly Wiggly, what’s your point?) while waiting in the checkout line. I am drawn to the promise of A New Body in 10 days, or The Secrets of Blasting My Biceps (I honestly don’t believe I have ever blasted any part of my body, and that has probably kept me out of the ER). I am pretty sure I have heard the checkout clerk giggle as I plop down the latest edition of Buff and Ripped.

So after years of research and a few Cosmo Sex Questionnaires (What? You thought you ladies had corned the market on those little secrets and tips?), I have learned that . . .

People hate change . . .

It’s easier to keep doing what we are doing, than trying to change. That’s why we revert back to our old ways so easily. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, it takes 21 days to change a bad habit into a good one. That’s 21 days without cigarette. That’s 21 days of walking. That’s 21 days without a latte. 21 days is a long time . . . It’s even longer, if you are set unrealistic goals or try to change too much at once.

And let’s not forget in the midst of our makeovers, life goes on. Kids get sick, the dog pees on the carpet and your boss, well – you know that one. Many people underestimate the inertia of their current job, their chosen role at work and at home, their partner, their friends and colleagues and associates, their current habits, their current tastes and family responsibilities. So, as we approach a new year, let’s look at resolutions . . .

Top 10 resolutions . . .

1. Lose Weight
2. Quit Smoking
3. Exercise More
4. Eat Healthier
5. Make more money
6. Go back to school
7. Pay off debt
8. Spend less
9. Make more time for . . .
10. Get more organized

Most resolutions fail within the first month. I would argue most folks don’t get over the 21-day hump. So, obviously, we need another approach.

Be not afraid . . .

Go slowly. Set realistic achievable and sustainable goals. I believe in doing one thing a day that was healthier than the day before. After a week, you will have done 7 healthy things for yourself. After a month (and that dreaded 21-day threshold), you will have done 30 good things for your body and soul. And, if you embraced this philosophy in 2005, you will do 365 things great things for your body. Will you lose 30 pounds in 2 weeks? NO. But, you will start to move to a healthier place.

Be not afraid . . .

Be not afraid of going slowly

How to Set Goals

“He went about his dull routine as if all the days of the world were still to come . . .”

Mitch Albom, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I am guessing that anyone who has made it to their 40th year has at least once in their lifetime wondered where the time went. Over the holidays, I was talking with a relative and realized we were talking about things that had occurred 30 years ago. How can that be when I don’t feel a day over . . .

If you are like me you have a laundry list of things you will do when you have a few free moments. The problem is there never is time and all of a sudden – well, the time has slipped away. Remember those 10 pounds you were going to lose? Well, now they are 30. Remember when you were going to quit smoking? That’s back when cigarettes cost a $1.75 a pack and you swore you would never spend $2.00 a pack.

I don’t mean to be harsh, so please forgive my directness – but, you’re not getting any younger. What are you waiting for?

Many of us dream of better lives, but figure there is always tomorrow. How many of us have made the same resolutions – year in and year out – only to promise ourselves to do better next year?

“This is the year that I . . .”

How do you want to finish that sentence? In order to achieve that goal, you need to take action, what is it? Let’s talk about your goal:

What you want and why? – Many of us grumble we want things to be better. This vague notion has no concrete meaning, thus how can we possibly move towards it. Instead, decide what you want (the goal) and why you want it (if it’s not personal it won’t motivate you).

Set a measurable, obtainable goal – A very common resolution is “I want to lose weight.” Without a measurable objective, it’s a wish not a goal. A clearly defined objective allows us to plan for its success.

• Develop an action plan – You’ve set your goal, now how do you get there? An action plan is a roadmap: it helps us turn our dreams into a reality.

• Set a deadline – Not unlike the vague goal of losing weight, without a deadline, there is nothing pushing us towards our goal. Set a time frame to accomplish your action plan in stages. Reassess your goal on a weekly basis.

• Bite-size steps – If you are having trouble accomplishing any goals by the specified time frames, are the time frames too strict or is the goal not at a small and manageable level?

• Don’t give up – Acknowledge that you will have successes and failures in achieving any worthwhile goal. It is in our nature to oppose change. If you fall off the proverbial horse, dust yourself off and climb right back on. Remember it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Be patient with yourself.

• Create Accountability – Tell your friends or coworkers about your goal. Post it on your Instagram account.  By making it public, you will be more inclined to stick with it when the going gets tough.

• Keep track of what (and how well) you’ve done – Always keep track of what the group has actually done. If the community change (a new program or policy) took significant time or resources, it’s also a good idea to evaluate what you have done, either formally or informally.

• Celebrate a job well done! Celebrate your accomplishments; you have worked hard, and you deserve it. Celebration helps keep you excited and interested in continuing.

Change is possible, but only if you personally want it. Understand, change means giving up our old ways, ways in which we’ve grown accustomed. But as we close doors to our old self, we open doors to a wonderful new life . . .

How to Set Goals

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