FORBES: What Are You Focused On? How Your Thoughts Impact Your Future

As published in Forbes We create the world as we are. In a very real sense, you create in the external world whatever you focus on internally. Thoughts of lack create lack. Thoughts of problems create a life filled with problems. Thoughts of possibilities and solutions create new ideas, energy, possibilities and solutions. You can decide to focus your thoughts on the issues of the day or on the faults of others, and many do. If you are often disappointed, frustrated and angry, this may be why. Focusing only on the present situation or the shortcomings of others is a terrible way to live, but because so many people are doing this, it can seem normal. This is the antithesis of leadership. You can decide to focus your thoughts on things that happened to you in the past or on your own faults, but to do so is to be completely self-absorbed. Focusing only on yourself, you will interpret everything that happens as being about you. If you are easily jealous, hurt or offended, this may be why. This is another terrible way to live. I know because I spent years doing exactly this. Alternatively, you can choose to focus [...]

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 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 [...]

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 [...]

FORBES – Joining The Executive Ranks? Begin with the end in mind.

As featured in Forbes. Beginning a new executive role is exciting. It can also be daunting and overwhelming, with so many people to meet and things to think about, prepare, do, and achieve. The role begins as soon as your position is announced and everything you do from that moment on communicates and has a significant impact. Your first three months are critical. Get these early days right and the positive momentum you establish can do a great deal of work for you, making everything that follows that much easier. Get distracted and fail to think through who you need to be, the relationships you need to build, the communications you must have, and the culture you must live and foster, and this important first impression opportunity is lost. If you are beginning as an executive (or simply want to be more effective in the role you currently hold), take pen to paper and answer the following questions. Then, place your answers where you can see them daily and schedule time to review your progress weekly. What kind of leader do I aspire to be? Who do I want and need to be to foster the ideal culture and to [...]

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|

FORBES – Become A Better Communicator: One Simple Change That Changes Everything

As published in Forbes.  Listen to others speak, and one of the first things you will notice is how often people use words like “we,” “you,” “one” or “they” when they are really talking about themselves. For example: We are getting frustrated … You try to connect with millennials, but … If one hasn’t bought into the idea, then … They might not trust him … One of the smallest and most powerful changes we can make to significantly improve our communication is to replace these four words with “I”: I am getting frustrated … I try to connect with millennials, but … I have not bought into the idea, so … I don’t trust him … This one simple change changes everything, and it has a big payoff. When I speak from my own experience, my listener(s) experience me as more authentic, transparent and, often, trustworthy, all qualities we seek and expect from those we work with and through. Using “I” creates more trust because it actually is a more honest way to communicate. When I use the word “I,” I no longer get to hide behind vague identities like “one.” Instead, I immediately take ownership and accountability by [...]

By |2020-01-29T12:01:48-08:00January 29th, 2020|Leadership, Leadership Communication, Leading Culture, Self-Mastery|

FORBES: What Really Defines Leadership in Today’s World?

As published in Forbes. Lately, I have been thinking about what makes a leader in today’s world. Are we leaders simply because others report to us, or because we are responsible for an area of the business? Are we leaders because we have a future vision that no one else seems to be able to see just yet? Or is the answer that we are only leaders when others are following? After all, how can we call ourselves leaders if, when we turn around, no one is following us or the initiatives we need them to support? After much contemplation, I propose that a leader today is someone who sparks in us a desire to help. In our networked, matrixed, dotted-lined, ever-changing organizational structures, a leader today must be a follower tomorrow, and vice versa. Therefore, we are not leaders simply because of our titles or responsibilities, nor are we leaders because we have a vision for the future. What makes us leaders is our ability to connect with others in a way that makes them want to help us. I once received an email from a new colleague in Asia. This colleague needed information she hoped I could provide. [...]

“This is How We Do Things Here, Now”: How to effectively change your corporate culture

My mother and father were European, Austrian and Hungarian to be specific. One of the things this meant for me growing up was that if someone came to our house, everyone had to come out from wherever they were, say hello, and immediately we had to offer that person a drink (preferably alcoholic). If the person stayed for more than 30 minutes, it was necessary to offer them food and then, even if they declined (and sometimes especially if they declined), feed them. Providing the basic necessities of life (drink and food) was understood as a sign of abundance and wealth. We had it to give away and my parents took great delight in sharing what we had. If a guest refused our offerings, we (especially my mother), took offense. “What’s wrong with my cooking?” she would demand. “Mom, maybe they just aren’t hungry,” I would try to reason in front of our increasingly uncomfortable guest. She couldn’t conceive of it. The funny thing is that now when I enter someone’s home and they fail to offer me a drink, I find it strange, even a little rude. That’s the thing with culture, it colors how we interpret everything and, [...]

By |2017-12-18T12:19:23-08:00January 18th, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Communication, Leading Culture|
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