Forbes: Leaders, Dreaming Matters.

As published in Forbes. If I could impart one idea that would have the greatest potential to advance you and your future success, it would be this: Master the ability to dream. Now, I know this sounds light and fun. Perhaps even easy. It isn’t. The ability to dream is a discipline, and it is one that few of us are actually good at doing well or consistently. First, let me define what I mean by dreaming: the ability to focus your thoughts on ideas that give you energy. It is the skill of keeping your attention for an extended period of time on an outcome you want to create, often in the absence of any evidence that its realization is even possible. Dreaming is the ability to see in your mind’s eye a positive future and glimpse the realization of that future, and to experience the feeling of the dream’s realization along the way, such that the accomplishment of the dream is merely another rewarding moment in a long series of rewarding moments. Unfortunately, many of us have a hard time focusing our thoughts. Sure, we can think about an outcome that we want to occur — a successful [...]

The Real Work Required for Exceptional Communication

We often believe we must become something other than who we are in order to lead and communicate with power and presence. We do not. We need only to become fully ourselves. This sounds easy, except it isn’t. This is where the real work of leadership development exists: to know ourselves, accept ourselves, and our reason for being - our dreams, purpose and values. Then, we must have the courage to live our lives accordingly, to create the world we intend, and when challenged, criticized, or mocked, to stand firmly in our resolve (and often alone). Being fully one's Self - the best, highest version of ourselves - is power, strength and presence. And, exceptional leadership communication that engages, connects, aligns, and moves people to act, results. Here is an example

By |2022-04-15T08:23:37-07:00January 15th, 2022|Leadership, Leadership Communication, Leading Culture, Self-Mastery|

CU Insight: Leaders, How Are You?

As published in CU Insight At this stage in your life, with everything occurring in the world and the vast implications to the global economy, your industry, and your business, few things get to be about you—how you are feeling or really doing, deep inside of yourself. As an experienced leader, your job requires you to give to everyone else: vision, strategy, answers, time, attention, information, approval, feedback, coaching, encouragement, validation, and confidence. It seems everyone around you either wants or needs something from you in order to perform and be successful. You focus on others all day at work. Then, if you are a spouse, parent, child to aging parents, and/or volunteer in your community, you continue this focus on others throughout the majority of your personal life. When is your life ever about you?  Steve Jobs used to walk with his coach, Bill Campbell, on Sundays, which he used as time for himself; time to reflect, talk freely, hear himself think, get perspective, and focus himself. If you don’t currently have someone like Bill in your life, please use this post as one way to quiet the demands, fears, and noise of the world to make time for [...]

CU Insight: Leadership Insight

As published in CU Insight How do you define leadership? Do you think of great leaders you admire and strive to be like them? Do you feel in order to be a good leader you need to be something more than you are? Do you ever feel you’re not doing “leadership” right, like there’s some special characteristic you’re not sure you possess? Perhaps you are waiting for some grand experience to call forth your leadership? If so, this may be the problem. Leadership does not live in the arena of grand actions and gestures. If it exists at all, it is found in our unglamorous day-to-day thoughts and the corresponding actions that occur to us to take as a result. It’s easy to busy ourselves with the appearance of leadership and many do. I know I have. We read the books, attend the courses, follow and quote the gurus, seek and hold the titles, but as we do so, we often fail to listen to and hear ourselves. In all our working and striving to be in charge of something or someone, we forget the only thing that actually matters: to listen to our own highest counsel and to be [...]

By |2021-07-02T16:24:39-07:00July 2nd, 2021|Latest Articles, Leadership, Self-Mastery|

CU Insight: Real Conversations – The Five Questions Worksheet

As published in CU Insight When I ask executive audiences, “How many of you know that you need to have a conversation but you have been putting off actually having it?”, almost every hand will raise. Maybe your direct report hasn’t delivered the report when he said he would. Or perhaps you noticed how a newer team member has been a courageous voice on a challenging project. Whatever it is, we know we need to get better at addressing the real conversation, in real time, and to do so directly with the person or people involved. However, not many of us are comfortable doing so. Many prefer to avoid confrontation or any form of conflict. We are also surprisingly inept at sharing the positive impact others have upon our lives and/or the incredible contribution of their work. There are so many great things we think and feel about others that we simply do not share. For some, sharing the positive impact others have can be even more challenging than sharing the things we want them to do differently or better. After all, why provide feedback that sounds like praise? Isn’t it their job to get the work done well? We [...]

By |2020-11-06T10:08:46-08:00November 6th, 2020|Leadership Communication, Self-Mastery|

CU Management – Leadership Matters: How We Build and Break Trust

As published in CU Management. Practice these leadership fundamentals to consistently convey your intentions, competency and reliability. Although many of us have had to deal at some point with a senior manager who seemed to lack morals, empathy or sincerity, the majority of organizational leaders are not compulsive liars and cheats, out to pull one over on the rest of us. Most leaders are healthy, well-adjusted adults who have invested greatly for the opportunity to contribute to their chosen profession and industry. They are often highly educated, competent and want to do the right thing. They are you. Why, then, does a lack of trust plague so many professional relationships, teams, departments and organizations? As we work at leadership level, we might notice that we still have these kinds of thoughts: “He is so frustrating to deal with.” “I don’t like her.” “We can’t count on the sales team.” But what we are really saying is that the person or people involved have not fulfilled some necessary level of trust: “He is so frustrating to deal with because I don’t trust him to follow through.” “I don’t like her because I don’t trust that she has my best interest at [...]

CEO Magazine: What Can Only You Do?

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I know it feels quicker or more rewarding to do it yourself: to answer that question, respond to those emails, and/or solve the problem of the day. However, every time you jump in and do something that others could do, you detract from your work, work that only you can do. You also hinder others from learning, leading, and working at their appropriate level. We each have only eight to ten good working hours per day, so it’s imperative we leverage ourselves first, and then coach and develop others to do the same. Start With You What are the two or three key things someone at your level of leadership needs to be spending the majority of his/her time on? What is your real job? What is it that only you can do from your title and position of power? Where do you need to show your face because your presence matters enormously? What communication can only come from you? Where do you currently spend the majority of your time? Look at your calendar. What changes need to occur? What do you currently do that really needs to be owned [...]

By |2020-09-30T15:52:07-07:00September 30th, 2020|Global Leadership, Latest Articles, Leadership, Leadership Coaching|

FORBES: Between Stimulus and Response, Where Are You?

As featured in Forbes Your CFO resigns. A merger proceeds. A key leader is let go. You lose a major deal. Your direct report handles an important task poorly. A water pipe bursts in your home. Authorities warn of a pandemic virus. Your children make decisions you wish they didn’t. Your spouse uses a certain tone of voice. World leaders take actions that scare and affect us all. How do you react? Do you find yourself wanting to vent to anyone who will listen, perhaps instantly taking to social media? Do you look for someone or something to blame, righteous about the fact that this should not be occurring? Do you allow yourself to feel hurt, angry, scared, sad or disappointed? Or do you mostly cover up your real emotions with a facade you believe to be more socially acceptable? Perhaps you shut off, go numb and, as Brené Brown put it, “have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin.” On the other hand, maybe you find yourself relaxed and able to easily lean into the event. Are you open, curious about the news and eager to research it fully, taking nothing at face value? Do you focus [...]

The Secret of Exceptional Coaching

I have spent the better part of the last 19 years teaching mid-to-senior-level leaders how to more effectively coach for performance. My clients have included thousands of successful men and women in some of the world’s best organizations. These talented professionals have advanced degrees, upwards of 40 years’ of leadership and management experience, and sometimes even advanced coaching certifications. Many consider themselves to be highly skilled at coaching. Some are, most are not. It is not that all of these exceptional men and women do not understand what great coaching entails. Having asked thousands of leaders in many parts of the world to tell me about their own personal best coach—someone who had a profound and significant impact on them becoming the person and professional they are today—I know they understand it well. Some tell me about their mother or father, a grade school math teacher or football coach, a first boss, or, better still, their current supervisor (although I hear this less frequently than I should). When I ask them to tell me about the character of their own best coach, the relationship they shared, and if there is something that this coach did or said that they still [...]

By |2020-03-06T01:55:16-08:00March 5th, 2020|Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Leading Culture, Self-Mastery|

The CEO Magazine – Up Your Mental Game For Your Strongest Business Year Ever

This article first appeared in The CEO Magazine 2019. Up your mental game for your strongest business year ever When stress builds it becomes harder to relax and enjoy your downtime. It’s time to take back control of your thought processes so you can raise your mental game. A number of clients have recently shared that last year turned out to one of the hardest. Whether their situation involved a merger, an acquisition, a significant restructure, a new (and much bigger) job, and/or a significant family illness or loss, it seems that many today feel that life is becoming more challenging and complex, and that fulfillment and success are more elusive than ever before which impacts your mental game. I feel so anxious on Sundays. Why did I spend my entire weekend ruminating over that conversation? Why do I struggle so much in being present at home? I am not sure I am having fun anymore. During the course of a single day, we each handle countless relationships and tasks, and then judge ourselves ad nauseam. We might feel grateful for a special moment we enjoyed with our partner, be excited we won the big deal, and feel on top [...]

By |2020-02-06T13:09:02-08:00February 6th, 2020|Leadership, Self-Mastery|
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