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Archive for month: December, 2012

Leader Development Question: Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Are you tired of the continuing cycle of training your people on leader development and working on your own leadership skills without seeing the results you want in your team or in your own life?

If you find yourself on a chronic  path of learning and implementing, but aren't actually seeing the results you envision, it may have something to do with you. I certainly don't intend to make you angry or want you to feel bad about yourself. Instead please see this as a possible wake up call to look inside yourself and pay careful attention to what you find.

The holidays are winding down and we are closing the doors to 2012. As you begin to focus on your vision and goals for 2013, don't forget to check with yourself–your own beliefs, guidelines, and requirements for the way you work alone and with others. They do affect your results and the results of your team!

By this point you may be thinking that I've completely lost it–maybe I've had too many egg nogs over the holidays–but really the truth is that you might be sabotaging your own success.

Do any of these limiting beliefs sound familiar?

 

  • I'm not worth the amount of success that I desire
  • Managing a successful team is too hard. People don't want to put in the effort
  • The economy stinks, so it will be too difficult to make any real money right now
  • I need to work too hard to create success–it's just not coming as easily as I think it should
  • There is no way I can have it all. I need to choose between success and a life

If any of these sound like something you believe, you may need to change your thoughts. Limiting beliefs occur in each and everyone of us on a daily basis. The key, however, is to know that they exist. “You can’t fight the devil until you stand up and look him in the eye!”

While you begin planning your 2013, be sure to check in with your beliefs and how they may be holding you back from creating the success you envision. To start, pick 3-5 beliefs that you are telling yourself. Write them down so that you see them and know that they are there.

After you acknowledge them, rewrite them into something that is full of possibility and empowerment. You may even want to start the sentence by saying, "What if…".

This time of year is a great time to imagine the possibilities. Be sure that you believe in your potential and what is possible for you and your team. Really take the time to set your upcoming months and years to become the success you imagine.

Do you feel limiting beliefs are holding you back? Are you ready to finally kick them aside? Leave your commitment below and lets make this happen together!

Learn to Trust Your Inner Guidance

Take the Time to Learn How to Trust Your Inner Guidance

sailingWhether you are looking to lead a team or yourself to success, taking the time to develop a strategy for growth is key.

It is so easy to get caught inside of your head, wondering if this or that will work. However, sometimes all you need to do is to trust your

inner guidance. When you take the time to hone in on your instincts and really pay attention to what they are saying–you might be surprised at what you hear.

Tips on Trusting Your Inner Guidance

1. Pay attention to what makes your heart race. Do you ever have ideas that keep you up at night because they are so exciting? Do these ideas every take away your focus from other activities? Of course you have–we all have. However, the key is to take some sort of action on these ideas. If you keep them inside of your head, they are not doing anyone any good, especially you.

2. Jump in with both feet. Don’t be wishy washy with your level of commitment. If you have an idea that fuels your passion, commit to it fully. When you hesitate or go back and forth on the ‘shoulds’ or the ‘hows’, you lose momentum and focus.

3. Sometimes rules need to be broken. If you have created a rule in your mind or are listening to someone else’s rule, make sure they are still serving you and your goal. Of course we don’t mean going out to rob a bank or anything. Instead discover the rules you are saying to yourself that might be holding you back–maybe it’s time to create some new ones?

4. Don’t get attached to the path. As you develop your strategy for growth, remain flexible in the path. The road to success is not always a straight line. Keep your eye on the end result, but sometimes the methods of getting there need to be tweaked or altered. If you find that something isn’t working, it is okay to adjust your sails in mid-journey.

5. Kick fear to the curb. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but fear does nothing for your future besides keeping you stuck and lacking confidence. When you notice fear showing its ugly head, acknowledge it and toss it aside. You might try asking yourself if what you are afraid of is real? Is it your truth? If not, find a way to reword the fear into a positive.

To become the leader you envision requires you to trust in you and your instincts. You have the guidance within, you just need to learn to trust in it.

Do you have tips that work for you on trusting your inner compass? We’d love to hear them. Comment below and share, so we can all learn to lead a life we love.

Trust Your Inner Guidance to Develop a Strategy for Growth

Whether you are looking to lead a team or yourself to success, taking the time to develop a strategy for growth is key.

It is so easy to get caught inside of your head, wondering if this or that will work. However, sometimes all you need to do is to trust your inner guidance. When you take the time to hone in on your instincts and really pay attention to what they are saying–you might be surprised at what you hear.

Tips on Trusting Your Inner Guidance

 

1. Pay attention to what makes your heart race. Do you ever have ideas that keep you up at night because they are so exciting? Do these ideas every take away your focus from other activities? Of course you have–we all have. However, the key is to take some sort of action on these ideas. If you keep them inside of your head, they are not doing anyone any good, especially you.

2. Jump in with both feet. Don't be wishy washy with your level of commitment. If you have an idea that fuels your passion, commit to it fully. When you hesitate or go back and forth on the 'shoulds' or the 'hows', you lose momentum and focus.

3. Sometimes rules need to be broken. If you have created a rule in your mind or are listening to someone else's rule, make sure they are still serving you and your goal. Of course we don't mean going out to rob a bank or anything. Instead discover the rules you are saying to yourself that might be holding you back–maybe it's time to create some new ones?

4. Don't get attached to the path. As you develop your strategy for growth, remain flexible in the path. The road to success is not always a straight line. Keep your eye on the end result, but sometimes the methods of getting there need to be tweaked or altered. If you find that something isn't working, it is okay to adjust your sails in mid-journey.

5. Kick fear to the curb. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but fear does nothing for your future besides keeping you stuck and lacking confidence. When you notice fear showing its ugly head, acknowledge it and toss it aside. You might try asking yourself if what you are afraid of is real? Is it your truth? If not, find a way to reword the fear into a positive.

To become the leader you envision requires you to trust in you and your instincts. You have the guidance within, you just need to learn to trust in it.

Do you have tips that work for you on trusting your inner compass? We'd love to hear them. Comment below and share, so we can all learn to lead a life we love.

 

Keep Your Pants On!

There are times when we don’t try something new because we are concerned about looking foolish. Who wants to look dumb in front of …anyone?  Not me. Not you, either, I suspect.  That concern may hold us back from aiming high—getting out of our comfort zone to accomplish something wonderful.

Before this story begins, I feel the need to explain the situation and supply my excuses up front.

Years ago when I was an independent consultant, I booked client engagements on the Tour from Hell. I committed myself to too many cities all over the country, too many client meetings and workshops, and too many hotels back to back. I was in my third different hotel (out of seven total) when I first said to myself, “Jeanne, have you lost your mind? What did you do to yourself?” But it was too late. The proverbial train had left the station—I was on my way.

After I had been on the road for two and a half weeks straight without returning home for R&R (or clean underwear) and had crossed all U.S. time zones three times, I could visualize a faint glimmer of the light on my own front porch. I was almost finished with this craziness. I was going home in only two more days! I had just started my last gig on the Tour from Hell. Just two more days in Atlanta and when Friday night came, I would be on my way back home to Orange County, California.

Then the phone rang. It was my favorite client asking me to please, please, please go there on Saturday morning to work with his project team. He said they were approaching a difficult phase of their project and had lost confidence in their ability to pull it off successfully.

He needed me to help him stabilize and re-build his team.

My exhausted body and good sense were screaming, “NO!” but my mouth said, “Yes.” I got off the phone and worked on talking myself into believing that things would be okay. They were my favorite client…it was only one more event and one more day…I’ve always been able to find one more pittance of energy from somewhere…besides, Saturday work was premium pay!

I arrived in Oakland, California, from Atlanta, around midnight on Friday night. I was so exhausted that I could barely speak, but when I did, it came out super-crabby. The room I was given at the hotel was straight down the hall from the conference rooms where my meeting would take place. The front desk clerk gave me this information like it was an advantage. No, I did not want that room. I did not want to open my door and see hordes of people—some of whom I knew would be in my group—before I had to face them in the meeting. But there was no more room at the Inn. It was right off the conference area or sleep under a bridge. Okay, fine! I stomped away from the desk muttering loudly.

Even though I was tired, I immediately fell into my night-before-a-client-meeting preparation. I laid out my notes for the meeting so that I could run my eyes across them first thing in the morning. I laid out all the clothes I would wear and re-packed everything else. I fell into bed at 1:30 a.m., hoping I could “sleep fast.” 

It wasn’t fast enough. When morning came, I thought I could not live through the day. I had to keep chanting my Little Engine Who Could mantra over and over: “I think I can, I think I can. It’s just one more day, Jeanne. You can do this!” While I showered and dressed for the day, I focused intensely on convincing myself that I could not only show up, I could also do a good job.

I opened my door to find what I had suspected the night before.

The hall was filled with people chattering, getting their pre-meeting coffee, getting in my way. I had to get to the end of the long hall and past all those people to put my suitcase into my rental car. (I was eagerly anticipating a fast getaway once I was finished with the meeting.) I chanted to myself again, “You can do this. You can get past this crowd, and you can be congenial and polite. You don’t need to stop and visit with them…just be nice.” I took a deep breath and began walking the gauntlet, pulling my suitcase and computer bag behind me. I was obviously not Moses, and the Red Sea of people did not instantly part. I smiled pleasantly and kept repeating “Good morning. Excuse me. Good morning, excuse me,” as I wove in and out of the tightly-packed crowd.

When I got to the exit where I had parked my car and opened the door, I felt a strange rush of cold air. I looked around and then down to discover that…I had no pants on! Yes, you have read this correctly. No pants! I was wearing panty hose with (thankfully!) hot pink panties underneath. My short red sweater jacket only came to my waist. Not only did the sweater not cover much—it didn’t even match my panties! (Insult to injury!)

Could this be real? Have I really just walked past all these people without my pants? Yes, it was so terribly real.

I stood there with my back to the crowd (how terrible is that pose?!) for what seemed like an eternity trying to will myself to just die on the spot. But I didn’t, and I suddenly knew where those pants where—hanging in the closet in the room at the other end of that people-packed hall. I had to go back. Amazingly, this time I did not have to say, “Excuse me,” even one time. Without a sound, the crowd simply parted for me instantly. With my head down, I walked through the hordes and back to my room as quickly as I could while still dragging along the luggage and computer bag. Yep…the pants were there …hanging right where I had left them the night before.

I went into instant denial. “This did not happen. It was just a bad dream. I think I’ll just take my bags with me through the back way to the restaurant to meet my client for breakfast. Not that I can’t walk through that crowd again…nothing happened to stop me. I just don’t feel like it.” Denial, denial, denial—you are my friend! This approach worked until after breakfast, when it all came rushing back to me and I had to ‘fess up. I just knew my client would hear about this from someone. It would be better if it was me.

I went through the whole scenario with him. When I came to, “I didn’t have my pants on,” he breathed in quickly and his eyes became the size of dinner plates. We just looked at each other for a few seconds, until he literally fell off of his chair onto the floor laughing! Hmmm…I was so glad he was amused. I still wanted to die. But at least I wasn’t kicked off the job. (That was me trying to find a positive spin on this.)

Minutes later, I had to face his team.

I was sure that some (many/all?) of them had been spectators (voyeurs?) to my earlier “performance.” I said nothing about the incident until just before the first break. Then I could no longer ignore their too-wide eyes and repressed grins. I asked, “Did anything unusual happen this morning that you’d like to discuss?” The group of twenty people sat perfectly still and silent, with even bigger eyes. Finally, one man said, “You just lived my worst nightmare.” I responded with, “I’m so glad that I could take that burden from you.” 

At that point, the class erupted into exclamations of, “That was unbelievable! How can you get through this? I couldn’t believe my eyes! Good thing you were wearing panties! (from a woman in the group!) That was the most embarrassing thing that could ever happen to someone! (like I didn’t know that?).” It was obvious that even those who hadn’t actually witnessed the horror had heard about it. I couldn’t think of an appropriate way to quell the chattering, so I just stood there and waited for the noise to stop.

Finally, one of the men stood up.

He said, “I’ve been thinking about what happened a lot. (Snickers from the group, which he and I ignored.) No, not that! I mean, I figured that if you showed up for this meeting after what happened, then it would be some kind of sign. If you could live through that and face us, then we can live through what we have to do too.” The team instantly silenced while they processed that Life Lesson. I was so grateful for the man’s intervention that I wanted to take him home and adopt him! Finally I asked the group, “Is he right? If I lived through this, can you live through what you have to do?” They all nodded their heads in agreement, and we had a productive and successful rest of the day.

My husband was less than thrilled when I told him the story that night when I finally landed at home. Before I left for the next several business trips, he felt it necessary to say, “Now, please make sure that you don’t forget to put everything on.”


The next time you are concerned about looking foolish and let that hold you back, consider this story. Much thanks to Jeanne Gulbranson, BBD’s Strategist and award-winning author who shared this true story in her book “Pink Leadership: 15 Life Lessons for Women Leaders.”

Looking for a little motivation? Watch this…

Have you ever had a moment when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore? Have you ever had a day, when you feel like throwing in the towel?

Of course you have. if you haven’t, you aren’t really living. There is no denying that times may get tough, that you may not know what will happen next. However, if you let your mind take over and tell you it can’t be accomplished, one thing is for sure–it won’t.

Mindset means everything. It is the key to taking you from Point A to Point B.  Watch the video below and find the inspiration you need to keep moving and pushing towards your dreams.

I believe in you. Now it is time for you to do the same.

 

 

Are you ready to dream big? Tell me, by commenting below.

What is Motivation? If you need it, this will work, guaranteed.

Have you ever had a moment when you feel like you just can't do it anymore? Have you ever had a day, when you feel like throwing in the towel?

Of course you have. if you haven't, you aren't really living. There is no denying that times may get tough, that you may not know what will happen next. However, if you let your mind take over and tell you it can't be accomplished, one thing is for sure–it won't.

Mindset means everything. It is the key to taking you from Point A to Point B.  Watch the video below and find the inspiration you need to keep moving and pushing towards your dreams.

I believe in you. Now it is time for you to do the same.

 

 

Are you ready to dream big? Tell me, by commenting below.

Having trouble keeping your word?

Keep Your Word

On the list of how to demonstrate and maintain your unwavering focus on and commitment to the goals you’ve set, or that others have set for you, is to actually do what you’ve agreed to do—like a good race-horse—one stride at a time.

Only take on what you can handle! Do not volunteer or assume responsibility for everything that you want to do and/or believe that you should do! (This recommendation assumes that you have a strong work ethic. If you do not, then there are some other topics we should explore together.)  Many people have the same personal and professional challenges as do many of their leaders. They often agree to take on too great a work load. The evidence is when they don’t make the deadlines. If you often (more than once a month) have to say “I’m sorry, I wasn’t able to get that to you on time,” you are teetering on the edge of too much. You may have asked for extensions on deadlines for your last two special assignments. If this has been going on with you, then you need to get yourself and your work load under control. It does not matter that you tried hard but just couldn’t get it all done on time. In the working world, effort is not rewarded; results are.

Volunteering to take on extra assignments does not enhance your position or reputation in your company. Completing the assignments at a high level of quality and on time does.

If you don’t recognize a tendency in yourself to sign up for more than you can handle, ask someone else. The very next time you have to say, “I’m sorry…” and request more time, ask the person you’re speaking to. “I’m concerned about a possible trend of asking for additional time for assignments too often. Do you think I may be taking on more than I should? Or is it possible that I’m not prioritizing or organizing my workload as effectively as I should?” Then listen carefully to the answer! There is some reason why you are struggling to fulfill your commitments. Whatever it is, you will likely not recognize the cause yourself, and you may need some help to correct it. That’s okay…it’s a valuable self-understanding to know when to reach out to others!

Another aspect of only taking on what you can handle, besides the possible time available limitation, is your own knowledge of what you can and cannot do well. I’m aware that this is a sensitive topic that needs to be carefully explained. While I was recently teaching a workshop on Consulting Skills, I went down the path of knowing the limitations of your ability and when to reach out for help. I obviously did not explain it well the first time around because I got strong pushback from several astute attendees. “Are you saying that we should not continue to push ourselves and try to stretch our abilities? Are you suggesting that we would just walk away from something we don’t already know how to do? Where does the learning of new skills come in?”

If you need or want to learn a new skill, make sure that you can get through the whole learning curve in time to put it to use.

If other people are depending on your performance, this may not be the time to sign up for something that you first have to learn to do. If your next Project will require you to give a series of stand-up presentations to various groups across the company, and you have never successfully given a quality presentation, this may not be something you should volunteer to do, at least not right now.  First learn to give presentations well. Then, volunteer to take on the job.

Recognize that there is some other skill or ability out there that you need to add to your arsenal and start working on it for the next project. Stretch yourself—but stretch “on your own time.”  You will be doing yourself, your colleagues and your company a long-lasting favor!

From: Be the Horse or the Jockey by Jeanne Gulbranson, BBD strategist, leadership expert and award-winning author. You can purchase Horse or Jockey and Jeanne’s other books on Amazon.com.