Posts

Practical steps for taking your game to the next level

A lot of my one-on-one coaching work is focused on helping leaders and professionals take themselves, their performance, and results to the next level. I coach people who are in various stages of their evolution and growth. Some are at the beginning of their professional careers. They are often working on getting their business started or establishing consistent results. Others are senior executives – directors, general managers, presidents or CEOs – who are at the prime of their career. They command large organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees. They are often concerned about how to get all their team members and functions on the same page, rowing in the same direction. While each coaching […]

How to make meaningful progress when taking your game to the next level

If you want to be successful at taking your game to the next level, you have to be conscious of how you think and what comes out of your mouth. I was leading a meeting recently with a telecom management team that had taken on a bold commitment to take their team’s leadership and performance to a higher level.  This was a good team that had been performing well. However, the changes in their markets, customers, and technologies were requiring them to think, innovate, and perform at a different level. They were about three months into their transformation process and, in this meeting, we were reviewing their progress. One by one, the leaders shared their […]

Life is Too Short to Compromise

My wife and I try to live life according to the mantra: “life is too short to compromise.” There are multiple phrases you could put at the end of the phrase: “Life is too short to….” …Wait for what you want, …Hold back, …Spend time with people who drain your energy rather than give you energy, or …Not express your love to the people you care about. However, how often do we actually stop to reflect if we are living our life accordingly? Living without compromising on the important things is a powerful and courageous way to live. How many times have you compromised on personal and/or professional relationships that mattered to you, or sold […]

Create and achieve more possibilities for yourself

When people believe a goal, ambition or dream is unattainable or unlikely to be achieved, they usually do not invest their time, heart and effort to pursue it. In plain words, they don’t go after it. For most people this is how the story begins and where it typically ends. However, so many people have desires, ambitions and dreams that they sincerely want to achieve and have not done so. They may have believed in these dreams in the past or even made attempts to pursue them. But, if they felt challenged or simply didn’t succeed, they gave up their efforts. I meet so many people who have become resigned about “having it all” in […]

Why is Leadership so important NOW?

In today’s market environment, thriving and struggling businesses alike seem to be experiencing increasing challenges in competitive, economic and market conditions. In these times when the business opportunities and challenges are bountiful and the tangible material and physical resources such as budgets, expenses, resources and travel are scarce, most leaders I speak to seem to feel a growing need to unleash and promote the intangible assets. They seek to boost the mental and leadership energy, creativity, ownership and resourcefulness of individuals and the team as a whole. Leaders often talk about the fact that in today’s environment “the only constant is change.” In this environment, any team weaknesses or dysfunctionalities that could have been avoided […]

Even senior executives need to build their team

True Story: I was coaching a senior executive – fictional name: George – who is the head of a big division in a global technology company and he was expressing his frustration about the fact that his direct reports, who are also senior executives, were not gelling together as a team the way he needed them to and the way he expected and hoped they would. George’s organization went through significant changes in the last year because he was asked to take on an expanded mandate of running one of the key growth areas of the company. As a result, he ended up with a brand new team that was larger than what he had […]

If you want to have power, take ownership

I truly believe that there are no coincidences in life. Things always happen for a reason. Many times, it is easy for us to see that cause-and-effect reason. For example: we raised our voice at someone, they were offended and it caused a rift in our partnership and trust. Now they don’t want to work with us. Other times we can’t immediately see the bigger reason or lesson taking place. We scratch our head and wonder “why did this happen to me?” or “why did I not get the result I wanted when I wanted it so badly and/or I worked so hard to get it?” But, after some time lapse—which often gives new perspective—we […]

It’s Easier Than Ever to Make a Difference

Apathy, resignation and cynicism are the enemy of everything that is good and the friend of everything that is bad. When employees and managers come to believe that they can’t make a difference, the organization is doomed to mediocrity at best, and to failure at worst. Unfortunately, I see this take place on a regular basis. However, in my years of experience with client organizations – going back long before the rise of social media – I have also seen many examples of how a single person who is courageous and determined to effect change can start a movement. Here’s one example: Many years ago, I worked with a woman who was a secretary in […]

Are you asking for what you want?

You would think that asking for what you want would be the easiest thing in the world to do. But it isn’t! I see so many people struggling with this. In my coaching work I often ask people, “So, what do you want?” or “what do you want the outcome to be?” or “what do you want to accomplish?” Many people, when confronted with this direct question, find it hard to spit out a clear answer. Some say, “I know what I want” but when they attempt to describe it they get caught up in a long-winded conceptual description that is very confusing and vague even to them. A few simple follow-up questions such as, […]

Empower yourself to have more courageous conversations

In last week’s blog I stated that most people in most organizations avoid having the courageous conversations. They want things to change, they want more empowerment, responsibility, involvement and authority, but when push-comes-to-shove they often have diplomatic, watered-down or politically correct conversations. In private conversations with leaders, managers, and employees in many organizations, most acknowledge that they are not as courageous as they need or want to be. So, in this post I want to suggest some steps that could empower people and teams to go to the next level in this area: First step – Fess up – In order to change their behavior, people need to first own up to their current behaviors […]

Brutal honesty is not enough.

In my last blog I emphasized the importance and benefits of creating an open, honest, authentic and courageous communication environment in teams and in life. In this blog I want to dig a little deeper. Living with a courageous and relentless commitment to openness and honesty is a powerful and, in my view, noble virtue. I am not merely saying this because I have personally adopted this commitment in my own life. I am saying it because I have seen the power of openness and honesty triumph over resignation, despair and challenge, as well as nurture opportunity many times. BUT, I have also seen openness, honesty and bluntness deeply hurt and deflate people. People often […]