It Takes Others to Own Your Strengths

others

Do you know your Top 5 Strengths Themes?  Achiever, Responsibility, Relator, Strategic, Learner.  Awesome!  Do you recognize them when they show up? It is not enough to be able to name your strengths, you must know how they influence what you do and how that impacts others.  This is self-awareness.  If you’ve been part of a strengths workshop, you likely completed an exercise that asked you to think of a time when you used your …

What Does It Take to Own Your Strengths?

own your strengths

It delights me to hear someone say “I know my strengths.  I took the assessment and loved it.”  Awesome!  What are your Top Five?  Long pause.  “Intelligence, Connected, ummm…Related!  Darn, I can’t remember the rest.” What does it take to own your strengths?  More than simply taking the assessment.  There are three key components: Self-awareness – I can see my talent and how it impacts me and others Self-expression – I am aware of the …

Limited by Talent

taking action

A friend is working on a new business idea and it is brilliant.  The enthusiasm in her voice and manner when we discuss this topic is amazing.  With her talent and track record of success, as a friend I might caution her from jumping too soon.  She might undermine her other established, profitable business.  It is just the opposite.  I keep asking when she is going to start it. A new business is nothing to …

Who Do You Have on the Bus?

on the bus

Act!  Act now!  Act on the information you’ve received.  Asking for feedback requires action, particularly when asked of employees.  Consider a few situations. If asking has determined that someone on the bus is not a fit, act now.  Moving quickly can preserve the culture and morale of the team.  It also increases trust, one of the four attributes of great leadership.  It may be hard to believe but relieving the team of a bad fit …

Ready Set Action

action

“You mean I need to say it again?”  Yes.  “Even though we just had our weekly meeting?”  Yes.  What is so important that I had a client repeat it again and again?  In this case, it was the company’s vision.  It could also be the mission statement or the firm’s values.  It may be a reminder of this quarter’s goals.  As mentioned previously, communication is the most common failing in an organization larger than one.  …

Turn Your Vision into Action

vision into action

Now that vision is out of your head and onto paper or its technological equivalent, what do you do with it?  That grand exercise you undertook has yielded fruit and your excitement is palpable.  Purpose and mission as well as action steps are the obvious next place to go.  But let’s keep this at the 30,000 foot level and recognize the importance and power the vision statement brings. For a solo-prenuer, the next step is …

You Must Listen in Order to be Heard

listen

Waa-waa.  Waa waa-waa waa waa.  Sound familiar?  Perhaps like the teacher or the parents in the Charlie Brown features?  Or did you say your significant other?  Each one of us has surely thought this at one time or another when someone was speaking.  Is this what is being heard in your team meetings and other company communications?  How can the vision for the organization be shared if this is all that is heard? There are …

Did You Start Your Business With a Vision?

business

Did you start your business with a fully formed vision of what you wanted it to be?  Most of us don’t.  Circumstances such as a loss of a job, relocation or dissatisfaction with a previous position cause us to just take action and launch.  Our focus is on “doing” our business, and getting it off the ground rather than what we want the business to “be”.   Ready, fire, and then aim (maybe!). The vision (aim) …

Increased Communication: Listening is the Key

communication

The Gift of Listening addressed the importance of quieting your mind and giving your full attention to the person speaking, listening to the words, and also hearing what is not said.  Listening involves more than just letting the voice hit your ears.  It is providing a safe place for someone to truly share. Lack of communication is one of the most common challenges I hear in my work with teams.  While there might be complaints …

Give the Gift of Truly Listening

listening

Listening is one of the most natural yet difficult things to do.  We say we are listening.  We pretend we are listening.  Yet most of us aren’t, we are simply taking in the auditory notes of the other person.  When we do listen, we can hear things that aren’t said and we learn more.  Truly listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give anyone.  It is also our key to success in life …

You Should Be Able to Figure This Out, Right?

figure this out

Are you at a point where you have done and tried everything you know to move the needle on your personal and professional goals?  Do you feel that as a capable business person, you SHOULD be able to make this happen? The glut of information on the Internet contributes to this feeling of “should.”  With information so freely available you SHOULD be able to figure this out, right? Just because you are a capable business …

What Happens When Interests, Talents and Purpose Meet?

interests, talents

Engaged workforce. Purpose. Accountability. Ownership mentality. Balance. Autonomy. Collaboration. Communication.  These are the words heard daily in conversations with business leaders and their employees.  Seldom are the words money, pay, compensation, salary heard…from either party.  It suggests that we all seek something more than just the paycheck. At a recent presentation, the speaker asked participants to think about a time recently when the participants had felt powerful.  After a few quiet moments of reflection, three …

Have You Ever Wanted Something Really Badly?

wanted

Have you ever wanted something badly?  So badly, that the thought of “it” consumed you?  Perhaps you felt that you were incomplete without it.  Or maybe that you couldn’t do something without it.  Other relatively important things in your life faded into the background.  Your sole focus was “it” and the fact that “it” was not part of your life consumed time and energy. Perhaps a feeling of regret or let-down was part of it …

How Do You Define a Powerful Experience?

powerful

I recently attended a presentation given by another executive coach and gleaned two interesting observations.  See what you learn from this. Question to the audience: How many of you have worked with an executive coach? Out of 40 plus attendees only two hands raised, mine and one other. The presentation proceeded focusing on the topic of life and balance.  Then the next question came:  Think about a time recently when you have felt powerful. A …

What Does it Take to Have an Engaged Workforce?

engaged

What does it take to have an engaged workforce?  37 companies around the world have found just the formula for their workforce.  These are the winners of the annual Gallup Great Workplace Award.  This is the 11th year for the award that recognizes organizations that achieve performance excellence through engaged workforces. Only 16% of employees are actively engaged in their workplace, according to Gallup’s worldwide research.  That leaves an astounding 84% that are not engaged, …

Have You Found a Greater Purpose at Work?

purpose

How do you find that greater purpose with your work?  Does it require a retreat into the woods for some navel gazing?  Does it just appear like a vision?  Is there a course you can take?  Sounds like a daunting task with few guidelines to help you get there, doesn’t it?  Let me offer a hands-on, action-focused way to get you there. As a college student I could not wait to graduate and get to …

When Did Work Become a Four-Letter Word?

work

When did work become a four-letter word?  Always.  It literally consists of four letters.  Figuratively speaking, even back to its earliest roots, work has more of a negative than positive connotation.  Is work a four-letter word to you?  It does not have to be.  I won’t be changing the spelling but read on to see how you can change your perception of work. From the first use of the word, work has been synonymous with …

One For the Record Books

record book

19 years without a major win.  19 years of finishing in second place or worse when it comes to the big matches.  19 years, but who is counting?  Would you stop counting?  Or would that number loom large in your head as you faced yet another challenge in your professional career? Almost two decades is a long time even in our ever-increasing lifespan.  Assume a life span of 100 years and it is one-fifth of …

A Book Review: Mindset

mindset

Confession time.  Have you ever read a book because you thought it would confirm something you already knew or understood?  Usually I seek out books to learn about something new or for a view of the world that differs from mine.  When I starting reading Mindset by Carol Dweck, it was for a different reason.  I fully expected the book to confirm something I thought I knew about myself.  I was wrong. Carol’s oft-referenced book …

Start With This Time Management Tool

tool

What if you could get a grasp on this slippery nebulous topic of time management?  How would your days, weeks and life look and function differently?  If only…if only you had a trick or magic wand.  If only… Instead of a trick or magic wand, how about a tool to help you identify the areas of time management that are holding you back?  Yes, there is a tool that can help you do just that. …