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7 Daily Habits for 
Outstanding Leaders

Would you like to be an outstanding leader? Outstanding leaders have outstanding habits. Use this checklist to guide your daily habit formation (and feel free to add more of your own).

For best results, focus on developing one habit at a time. Once that habit is ingrained, then start developing another one.

Your journey to great leadership has begun!

1) Get rest and make your bed

  • A great day starts the night before. Establish a nightly routine to sleep soundly and prepare you for the next day
  • Establish a morning routine that gets you nourished and ready for your day

2) Act according to your values

  • Clarify your values
  • Make decisions based on your values

3) Be creative

  • Write – daily journal or Morning Pages
  • Make something new
  • Be flexible –  let go of expectations and keep an open mind

4) Practice mindfulness

  • Practice mindfulness meditation – focus on your breath
  • Make time for mindfulness activities, like nature walks or a hobby
  • Integrate mindfulness into your daily routines

5) Trust others

  • Delegate
  • Empower your team
  • Encourage innovation
  • Give direction and positive feedback

6) Be authentic

  • Live according to your values
  • Practice compassion – for yourself and others
  • Communicate clearly: listen, pay attention to your body language, understand what you need to communicate

7) Exercise

  • Mental health: do exercises that lift your mood
    Physical health: do exercises that build your strength, fitness, and discipline

 

Developing habits is easy in theory but hard to practice. I’ve coached all of my clients at one point or another about adopting these habits and more. Those who take on these habits transform in their lives and businesses. Those who don’t, struggle.

If youre serious about taking life and business to the next level, use the form at the right to book your FREE 30-minute coaching session.  

Let me help you to be an outstanding leader!


5 Leadership Mistakes (and how to fix them)

You’re a leader in many ways. If you’re a parent, you’re leading your kids. When you’re friends come to you for advice, you’re leading your friends. If you’re a “sole-preneur”, you’re leading yourself.  When you’re an executive or business owner, you’re leading your team.

Many roles in life involve some type of leadership. You might be surprised by how easily your actions can impact others. Considering the many leadership positions you are in, and the huge impact leadership has on others, I invite you to strive to be the best leader you can be.

It’s easy to unknowingly make leadership mistakes. These mistakes can undermine your credibility and effectiveness.

Take a look at these leadership errors and how to correct them:

1. Avoiding the truth. Avoiding the truth is one of the worst leadership missteps. The minute you start lying or not sharing the whole truth you set yourself up for a fall. You’ll eventually lose the trust of those who matter to you. If they’re unable to believe what you say, how can you expect to lead them successfully?

  • At all costs, tell the truth. It doesn’t matter if it makes you unpopular. Popularity doesn’t usually win races or battles. Be truthful so you can be respected and trusted as a leader.
  • Be aware of your timing. Choose an appropriate time and place to be truthful with someone, especially if you’re saying something upsetting.

2. Refusing to take your own advice. It’s awkward to give advice that you aren’t taking! Those you lead will see that as disingenuous. They’ll start questioning your character if you’re doing the opposite of what you’re telling them to do. Practice what you preach!

  • Leading by example is one of the most powerful leadership skills you can practice! It shows that you fully believe in what you profess. It allows others to see that you’re genuine and trustworthy.
  • If you’re unsure about the advice you’re giving, avoid giving it! If it isn’t good enough for you to take, dishing it out to somebody else doesn’t make sense.

3. Compromising your values. Leaders have solid values that direct their decisions and behavior. Your inability or lack of desire to uphold your values makes it appear as if you lack integrity. If that’s the case, you’ll have a hard time getting people to rely on you.

  • Take a look in the mirror and define what matters to you. What do you value most? Is it hard work? Is it honesty? Whatever it is, look yourself in the eye and commit.
  • Each morning, promise yourself that you’ll live according to your values. You’ll find that you won’t even need to tell anybody what those values are. People will know what you stand for by just observing your actions

4. Failing to teach the tough lessons. Tough lessons are an important part of effective leadership. It isn’t enough to tell those you lead what they want to hear. Failing to teach tough lessons essentially makes you look like a pushover. Good luck getting any kind of cooperation after that.

  • Sometimes it’s necessary to tell others how you feel. It isn’t necessary to worry about hurting their feelings. If they recognize you’re coming from an honest place, they’ll accept and respect your candidness.

5. Failing to apologize. Leaders are human beings who make mistakes. “When you mess up, you need to fess up and dress up”.

  • Acknowledge your mistakes, take ownership and fix them. When you make amends and put effort into not repeating the mistake, you’ll earn respect and loyalty from those around you.

I invite you step into your leadership, powerfully! Embrace your leadership traits now, because sooner or later you’ll be faced with applying them. You want to be ready, so you can easily lead others in a positive direction when the time comes.


10 Critical Competencies of Great Leaders

 

Great leaders share many common traits exemplify certain skills.

By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

 

Develop the important traits necessary to be a great leader:

1) Self-motivation. It’s important to motivate yourself to take action and move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or business goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same. Self-motivation comes from knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. To find your why, check out the book; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

2) You can’t do it all yourself. Effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people, they define their responsibilities, and then get out of the way. A single person is quite limited, but many hands can get a lot done. Learn how to share your workload by reading; If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have To Do It Yourself, by Donna Genette

3) Effective Communication. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision, providing feedback, helping others problem-solve and sharing with people about how their behavior effects results. Learn how to maximize your communication skills with; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), by Dr. Thomas Gordon

4) Developing others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s about developing those around you. Great leaders integrate coaching into their leadership and the company grows as people grow. Learn how to coach your people with; Quiet Leadership, David Rock

5) You can’t expect greater commitment than your own. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Leaders are unreasonable…they don’t let excuses or reasons stop them or anyone on the team from pursuing the vision. Learn how to take your commitment to the next level with; The 3 Laws of Performance, by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

6) Inspire others. A great leader has an inspiring vision that other’s want to contribute towards. And great leaders ask people how they want to contribute and discovers what they can bring to the table in the pursuit of the vision. Then the leader provides the resources each person needs to make their contribution. Develop your purpose and vision and help others do the same with; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

7) Having a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision inspires others and serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively. Develop your leadership platform with this FREE course; CLICK HERE

8) Being respectful. When the stress of life and business show up, we don’t always behave our best. The same can be said for your staff. Remember, few people show up to work intentionally wanting to sabotage the company or your efforts. If you’re not getting the results you want, don’t blame or criticize. Instead, be curious and look with your team for the breakdown and what’s missing that’s preventing the desired result. Learn how to be more respectful and understanding with; The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruez

9) It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Define your vision and have a plan for executing. This is the source of confidence. Take your focus and confidence to the “next level” with; Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish

10) Leaders make the tough decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question. Practice by making small decisions and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. Learn how to make difficult decisions, faster with; Making Difficult Decisions, by Peter Shaw.

 

Leaders are made, not born. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, use the resources listed in this article and you will grow into an effective and powerful leader!


Achieving Goals Is All About Attitude

attitude for achieving goals

Your mindset, beliefs, and feelings all work together to create your attitude. Your attitude influences your choices of action and responses to challenges. In regards to achieving goals, your attitude about goal setting that will make or break your ability to create goals and follow through with achieving them or not.

Holding a positive attitude towards goals and goal-setting will be a THE factor determining whether or not you achieve your goals.

Answering these questions will help you create positive attitudes about your goals and can propel you forward toward success.

  1. How can your attitude hinder your success? What do you feel, think, and believe that may prevent you from achieving your objectives?
  2. How can your attitude empower you? What are your most positive attitudes that have propelled you forward in the past? How did you approach your goal(s) at the time?
  3. Do you feel that your prevailing attitude is helping you or limiting you? Why?
  4. List a goal that you feel challenged to achieve.
  5. What’s your attitude about this goal?
  6. What specific challenges are preventing you from achieving your goal?
  7. For each challenge, brainstorm possible solutions.
  8. Pick your most viable solution, create a plan to implement it, and get started
  9. Use Positive Self-Talk: What can you tell yourself to help you achieve the goal?
  10. Take Control: What are some steps you can take to get control as you move toward your goal?
  11. Compose your own affirmation that will help you work toward your goal.
  12. Who can you talk to about your goal? Can you find a mentor who may be able to help you move forward? Who?

 

Often we are not aware of what our attitude is or how it is affecting us. Working with a coach who provides objective feedback can help uncover these blind-spots and get you moving forward. If you are struggling to set or achieve goals, why not take advantage of Laura’s FREE coaching session to discuss this. Just click on the link to the right and Laura will follow up with you immediately.

 

Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura is a 2018 Woman of Inspiration Nominee and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your personal and business growth.


The Science of Goal Setting

goal setting for business

Goal setting seems simple on the surface. You define what you’d like to accomplish and take the necessary steps to make those accomplishments a reality.

Setting and achieving a goal is more than simply deciding and wishing. Each year, millions of people set New Year’s resolutions. Few of those people are still on track after just 10 days.

 

If setting and achieving goals were easy, there would be more happy, successful people running around. How many people do you know who are happy and pleased with their lives? Not very many. If you’re looking to take your life and business to the “next level” you need to master setting and achieving goals.

Set goals and achieve them more reliably:

  1. Set goals that are meaningful. Many people waste time with goals that don’t mean very much to them. Life is short, so create goals that fill you with excitement when you think about achieving them. Reaching any goal requires change, and humans are innately resistant to change. Big changes require a lot of motivation. Set goals that mean a lot to you.
  2. Use small, incremental behavioral changes. Change can be done easily if the changes are small. This requires patience.
  • Imagine someone attempting to make an overnight change from a diet of fast food, soda, potato chips, and ice cream to one of beans, vegetables, and fruit. His mind and body would revolt. It’s far easier to make small changes each week until the transformation is complete.
  1. Be accountable. Rewards are pleasant and effective if the reward continues. Behavioral changes tend to extinguish when rewards are no longer provided. It can be more effective to make yourself accountable for your poor behavior. For example, each time you skip going to the gym, you give $10 to a charity you don’t like or you wash a friend’s car.
  • Negative consequences are more motivating for many people. Use this fact to your advantage. How could you punish yourself for non-compliance? Make a list of at least 10 ways.
  1. Keep goals believable. Is it possible to increase your earnings from $50k this year to $1 million? It’s possible, but it’s not likely. And if you believe it’s unlikely, you’re unlikely to even try. The perfect goal is challenging, but not so challenging that you feel overwhelmed.
  2. Track your progress. Measuring your progress is extremely important. It provides information on how well you’re doing. You can’t know if you’re making progress toward your goal if you don’t measure it. You can shift your strategy if you realize that you’re not doing well.
  • It can also provide a boost of enthusiasm and positivity. When you’re making progress, you feel excited.
  1. Be prepared for setbacks. Achieving any goal is rarely a smooth process. There will be bad days with poor results. Rather than reject your goal when the going gets tough, be prepared for failures.
  • Have a plan in place to deal with failure and frustration. You might call a friend or remind yourself of the purpose of achieving the goal. Reviewing your success so far can also help.
  • It also pays to take preventative action. For example, if you know you’re likely to cheat on your diet later in the evening, have some healthy snacks available that you enjoy. Or head to bed earlier and enjoy some extra free time in the morning.

Goals are necessary if you want to consciously change your life. Everything else is a matter of luck and circumstance. Most people struggle to set and achieve goals. I frequently help business owners set and take action on goals so they can move forward, faster!

If you’re struggling to set goals or to follow through with your goals, consider taking advantage of my FREE coaching session. I’d love to help you get yourself back on track!

 

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura is currently nominated for the 2018 Woman of Inspiration Award and she was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.

 


Give The Gift of Great Feedback

Feedback is a giftI adopted a great belief from my husband; “feedback is the breakfast of champions”.  At first, I didn’t “get it”, but I have learned that receiving feedback is a powerful gift for personal and professional growth. I have also learned that giving feedback effectively is an important leadership skill that leads to powerful working relationships.

I did not always share this perspective. For many years feedback (a.k.a. criticism) was something I dreaded and avoided. I didn’t want to hear it and I definitely didn’t want to give it. However, I am pleased to report that I have moved from being a feedback-avoider to recently being crowned the “Feedback Queen”.

Leaders who give effective feedback experience less stress and conflict, their teams are more productive, their company morale strengthens, and their relationships at home with their spouse and children improve dramatically. Given the huge difference effective feedback can make, it makes sense to share the secrets of effective feedback with you now…

Secret #1: Feedback is about behavior, not your judgment of it

This is the first and most important consideration that makes or breaks effective feedback delivery. Often our decision to give feedback is triggered by feelings of anger, frustration, hurt or annoyance we feel towards another person. These feelings are triggered when someone does something and we judge or interpret the actions negatively. We make up a story about what the other person’s behavior means and we react to it with defensiveness, annoyance, anger or even sarcasm. Giving effective feedback relies on our ability to separate the other person’s actions (facts) from our story (judgment) of the facts. With this clarity, our own heated emotions usually dissipate and we are better prepared to give effective feedback.

Secret #2: Feedback requires timing

Give feedback any time someone says or does something that affects you, positively or negatively. Most of us avoid giving feedback and hate receiving it because it’s only offered when something negative happens. A great way to learn effective feedback delivery is to practice giving it during the good times! When your staff member says or does something that makes a difference in your day (i.e. takes initiative to send out some billings so you don’t have to), give feedback (according the steps listed below). Tell that person what a difference his actions made for you.

Secret #3: Feedback is about creating mutual understanding

Giving effective feedback is not about seeking agreement from another person, it’s about helping someone hear what we have to say without him defending himself, dismissing the information or making a counter-attack. Our emphasis is on understanding each other better. Remember, we all wander around the world, experiencing it from our own perspective. We forget that we all have different and unique ways of experiencing situations and events. Giving feedback helps others see better how their words and actions affect the people around them, which uncovers blind spots and helps them decide whether or not they want to change their behavior.

4 Steps for being a feedback Queen (or King):

Step 1: Ask permission

No matter what your relationship is with the feedback recipient, sincerely ask if you may, “offer and idea”, “thank you for something” or “clear an issue”. Asking permission demonstrates respect for the other person and paves the way for their openness to hearing what you have to say.

Step 2: Share your intention for the feedback

Why are you offering this feedback?  Is your intention to strengthen the relationship? Do you need to get an issue off your chest? Do you want to help someone improve his performance? Being clear about our intention, and sharing this, increases our chances for success and continues to keep the recipient open to hearing it.

Step 3: Describe the facts

Facts are words said and/or behaviors demonstrated (not our judgment of them). Spoken and written words that can be quoted are facts (i.e. when you said…..). Actions that could be videotaped are facts (i.e. when you sent the invoicing out without being asked). Facts not our judgements (i.e. when you were rude to me yesterday…). Describing the facts of the situation helps the recipient understand specifically and clearly what the feedback is referring to. By eliminating our judgment of the facts, emotion is removed and we reduce the likelihood of provoking defensiveness.

Step 4: Describe your feelings or story about the facts

Explain how the other person’s words or actions affected you or the story or judgment you made up about their behavior. It’s important to stay accountable, take ownership and use I-language (this will help decrease defensiveness and maintain receptivity in the listener). For example, we might say to a business partner, “when you told me the other day that you made this decision without talking to me, I felt disregarded. Making these kinds of decisions without me feels disrespectful and does not feel collaborative to me”.  The recipient of this feedback might not like hearing it, but chances are he will be more open to hearing the message and willing to stay engaged to solve the problem.

Are you ready to step up your leadership?

Feedback is a tremendous gift we can learn to give others. Creativity, connection, collaboration, productivity, innovation, and problem solving all improve when companies give and seek out meaningful feedback. And these improvements foster accelerated progress in business and in life. I challenge you to become the Feedback Queen or King in your business!

To Step Up your leadership abilities, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Prevent Conflict and Stop the Power Struggling

How to have effective relationshipsWhen my daughter was 3 years old, her personality and individuality really started to shine. This is a nice way of saying she didn’t always do what I wanted her to do and we were power struggling with each other. Said most accurately, however, I admit that I was one who was power struggling, she was just being 3 years old.

 

One day, during one of our power struggles, I had a moment I will never forget. I was trying to make my daughter do something (I can’t even remember what) and suddenly I heard my father’s tone and words coming out of my mouth. I stopped cold. What a flashback! I couldn’t believe what just happened. I knew I was not parenting effectively in this moment and I knew that over time, power struggling was not going to be a long-term, effective relationship strategy. I needed to do something different.

This “aha” moment was the catalyst that sent me on the hunt for new interpersonal skills. It helped me find the book that changed my life. While browsing the library shelves shortly after my epiphany, I stumbled across Parent Effectiveness Training, by Dr. Thomas Gordon. The title resonated with me because I knew I wanted to be a more effective parent. Little did I realize this book, combined with conscious, consistent application of its tools and skills would transform my parenting, my marriage, my coaching and the lives of my clients!

Leader Effectiveness Training Changed My Life!

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and its business counter-part Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) discuss how many of us use power to get what we want in our family and work relationships. We use power because that’s what we learned at home, growing up (ever heard the expression “my way or the highway”?)  These books show how using power is ineffective and how it damages our personal and professional relationships. And then the books teach us what to do differently. These books brilliantly coach the skills needed to create happy, healthy, effective relationships at home and at the office!

I liked P.E.T so much, that 1 week after reading it I enrolled in a certification program so I could teach it. Since then, I taught hundreds of parents, business owners and leaders how to use these essential relationship skills.

Repeatedly in my business coaching sessions, my clients share challenges they experience with business partners, team members, clients and family members. Everyone wants to improve their relationships they just don’t know how. I regularly advise my clients to read P.E.T or any one of the spin-off books; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), Sales Effectiveness Training (S.E.T.) or Be Your Best. The results are amazing! Their lives and businesses are more successful and satisfying when they learn and apply new relationship skills.

My daughter is now 21 years old. She has a playful personality and she is a strong, independent thinker. We respect each other, listen to each other and communicate openly. I feel blessed to have such a great relationship with my daughter and I’m thankful that I woke up and put the effort into learning and practicing how to be effective.

How could your life and business be different if you did the same?

 

Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your personal and business growth.


Conceive And Acheive

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, often spoke about how to achieve success. His books are a must read for any business owner or corporate leader! Don’t let the date of the material turn you off (it was originally written in 1937). The book was revised and updated many times because the message is still relevant.

The main message: “What we can conceive, we can achieve!”

This is a great video of Napoleon Hill talking about the success secrets he learned from Dale Carnegie.

Success is all based on what you think. Enjoy!

To learn more, call Laura Watson toll free at: 877-669-8684 or email her at: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs. Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support for new awareness, new choices and new results.


Is Your Technology Distracting You? Here’s What to Do

technology is distracting usClients often tell me they can’t get anything done because their email, phone calls and texting is pulling them away from their work. They feel constantly distracted, unproductive and at the mercy of their technology. What they forget is that they are in charge of technology, not the other way around!

Failing to notice this and failing to take corrective action against these tendencies and behaviors, is interfering with your ability to perform.

Recognizing you have a problem with overusing or chronically getting distracted by technology is the first step to solving the problem. It’s a dilemma most entrepreneurs face to some degree.

If you think technology is taking charge of you instead of you being in charge of it, there are ways to successfully manage this. Click through to our linked article for 4 strategies for taking back control!

Read more…

 


Stop Being So Hard on Yourself – 3 Steps For Managing Self-Criticism

nytimes.comBusiness owners are often very tough on themselves. They are driven to make their business succeed. They are also acutely aware of the risks at stake if they don’t. As they walk the line between feeling successful and fearing failure, they are often very critical of themselves.

“We’re all our own worst critics” says Dr. Richard Davidson, and yet “self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies”.

Evolutionary psychologists have studied our natural “negativity bias,” which is the instinct in us all that makes negative experiences seem more significant than they really are. “It can lead to ruminative thoughts that interfere with our productivity, and it can impact our bodies by stimulating inflammatory mechanisms that lead to chronic illness and accelerate aging,” Davidson said.

But that’s not all there is to the story. There are ways around our negativity bias, and it is possible to turn self-criticism into opportunities for learning and personal growth.

Read more…

 


How to change your habits

 

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
Warren Buffet

My clients often ask me, “how do I change bad habits?”. I think they secretly wish I have a magic wand that will take the old habit away and instill a new one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.

Instead of reciting some mysterious incantation, I start asking questions about their mindset and beliefs. At first my clients think the questions are irrelevant and sometimes I meet resistance to my questions. But the questions are key. They are key because the answers reveal their thinking habits.

“Anything you think over and over again becomes a habit”, says Kyle Colley and in order to form new habits, you MUST “take control of your mind”.

https://www.goalcast.com/2017/07/28/psychology-of-habits-how-to-become-master-of-change/?ct=t(The_Psychology_of_Habits_How_to_Become_a7_31_2017)&mc_cid=b4783859cb&mc_eid=9d6a774fc5Humans are creatures of habit. Think of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year.

Habits can excel our performance and sabotage our success. If you have some “bad habits” you wish to change, click the link below to learn how.

Learn how to change your habits here…..

 

I hope you gain some value from this article. I welcome your comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here).  You’ll get 12 Leadership Lessons (1 per week), guaranteed to take your life and leadership to the “next level”. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


The Lost Art Of Listening

 

“Seek to understand before being understood”, Steven Covey

In a previous post called “You are sabotaging your communication“, we talked about what NOT to do with your communication. I find it useful to help my clients build some awareness regarding how they may be ineffectively communicating and negatively impacting their relationships, so they are inspired to learn some new skills. Today we’re talking about what to do to make your leadership communication more effective.

In an age of email and texting, listening skills have become a lost art. One of the best compliments I get from my clients is that I’m a great listener. I think it’s a powerful gift to really listen to someone and give them an experience of being heard. When people feel heard, they feel understood. When they feel understood, strong relationships are formed.

In this video you will learn 3 types of listening skills and you will learn how to create clarity in your communication. We’ll also discuss some problem-solving skills so you can start to facilitate and coach your staff rather then being a constant problem-solver for them. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: The Lost Art Of Listening from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to notice where you’re “roadblocking”. I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


12 Communication Roadblocks!

 

“Leadership exists in conversation, make yours powerful!” Laura Watson

You are in an ideal position to be in a supportive, helping relationship with your staff and partners. But this relationship is not given, it is earned. In order for you to have this helping relationship, you must learn the difference between the “language of unacceptance” and the “language of acceptance”. I guarantee that sometimes you are inadvertently using the language of unacceptance, which is undermining your leadership.

Language that communicates unacceptance “roadblocks” communication. It subtly communicates to the listener that “I’m right” and “you’re wrong”. Over time, your listeners (staff, colleagues, spouse, children) will resist or shut down from communicating with you because they don’t want to keep feeling criticized.

I’m sure it’s not your intention to give those around you the experience of being wrong or criticized. These roadblocks represent blind spots that sabotage your communication. When I make my clients aware of these blind spots, they change their communication style and their relationships immediately improve. Today I want to help you discover your blind spots so you can improve your communication and your leadership. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Communication Roadblocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to notice where you’re “roadblocking”. I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


How To Give Effective Feedback

 

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, Ken Blanchard

Feedback helps people learn the impact of their behavior. Feedback is shared in order to reinforce so-called “right” behaviors and to let people know what behaviors are ineffective and need changing.

Feedback is an important skill for you to master. Given effectively, your personal and business relationships will thrive. Given poorly or not at all and you’ll likely end up frustrated with unhappy staff and high turn-over rates.

Here are some interesting stats about feedback:

  • Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability
  • 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized
  • 92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
  • 80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews
  • 77% of HR execs believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance

Feedback is a powerful performance-improvement mechanism. But it needs to be delivered in a manner that does not evoke defensiveness and (ideally) motivates people to change their behavior.

As a trained communication expert, I often coach my clients on how to give effective feedback. In today’s video I share some strategies for taking your feedback skills to the “next level”. Enjoy!

 

Lead To Succeed: Giving Effective Feedback from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to go out and practice giving great feedback! I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Emotional Mastery For Owners: learn to ‘flip your switch’

 

Will you control your thoughts or will your thoughts control you?

Today we’re here to develop emotional mastery for business owners. In 13 yrs of running my own businesses and coaching other business leaders, I find that emotional mastery is one of the key elements defining success. Leaders who develop mastery over their thoughts and emotions grow and thrive. Those who don’t keep themselves stuck in a constant state of survival-mode; they are stressed, they experience conflict in their relationships and they often get sick.

We need to develop emotional mastery because life is miserable without it! Without personal mastery, we react impulsively to situations and people, we procrastinate and get distracted. I’ve seen business owners derail their projects, lose staff and customers and even lose their entire business because they could not manage their emotions and reactive behavior.

When we learn to master ourselves, we have focus and our performance improves. We respond thoughtfully to situations, customers and business partners. Our effectiveness improves and we become more efficient allowing us to get more done in less time. And when we practice mental and emotional mastery consistently, all areas of our life improve, we feel happier and optimistic.

Many of my coaching sessions focus on helping my clients develop emotional mastery. Today I’m sharing the tool that has made the biggest difference in my life and my client’s businesses. I hope it makes a difference for you. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Developing Emotional Mastery from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to practice “flipping your switch”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Time Management: learn to block your rocks!

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”, Steven Covey

Today’s leadership lesson is not your typical “time management” conversation.

When I first start working with my clients they are often feeling overwhelmed with their schedule. They feel like a million small urgencies are flying at them all at once and they often complain that they never have time to address important, non-urgent matters in their life and business (ie. planning, exercise, family, even sleep).

If you’re feeling similar to my clients, today I want to help you change that. I’m going to give you an easy and very useful tool for helping you think about and schedule yourself based on your priorities. This tool has a made a world of difference for me and my clients so I’m confident it will make a difference for you too, if you apply it. I call the idea, “blocking your rocks”

Lead To Succeed: Block Your Rocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Check out Steven’s video here:

Now it’s time to “block your rocks”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Business planning for small business owners

 

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”, Benjamin Franklin

Some interesting facts about business planning and execution:
  • Businesses using plans are 12% more profitable
  • 86% of executive teams spend less than an hour a month discussing strategy
  • Of 26,000 start-up business failures, 67% had no written plan
  • More than 70% of companies with a strategic plan don’t execute it
  • Only 30% of Directors of 1,000 public companies say their company is achieving strategic success
  • Formal planning reduces risk
  • 80% of companies are dissatisfied with their planning and budgeting processes
  • Only 23% of companies use a formal strategic planning process to make important strategic decisions
  • 64% of leaders who use strategic planning processes say the planning leads to strategic decisions that allow the company to meet its goals and challenges
  • The top 10% of large companies surveyed experience real and material benefits from their planning processes – far beyond those of average companies. They’re enjoying improved control over costs, increased foresight, improved operational performance, increased transparency and insight into the business, a sense of shared purpose, and increased profit.

*stats originally reported by Mission Facilitators International

I work with business owners all the time who don’t have plan. If they do have a plan, they are usually not executing on it because they have not created actions steps and/or they are “too busy”. Yet research tells us that successful companies have and follow a plan.

I help business owners write simple plans they can execute! Because the planning is simple and action steps are included and scheduled in a calendar, execution rates increase dramatically and so does business success!

Today I want to share the business planning and execution process my clients find so beneficial. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed: Being Effective – Plan, Calendar, Execute! from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to get to work on your plan and follow through! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a leadership platform: setting business goals

Here are some surprising statistics about business goals:

  • more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of business goals.
  • 40% of people who write down goals don’t check whether they’ve achieved them.
  • 46% of companies review or revise goals throughout the year.
  • 50% of senior leaders, 33% of managers and 19% of front-line employees update their goals throughout the year as business needs change.

And here are some more interesting facts:

  • Those who write down goals achieve more than those who don’t.
  • Those who share commitments with colleagues and friends achieve more than those who just write down goals.
  • Those who send weekly progress reports to others achieve more.

Successful companies set goals. Without them, they have no defined purpose and nothing to strive for; consequently, they stagnate and struggle for meaningful accomplishments.

This lesson discusses goal setting in relation to creating a Leadership Platform. You’ll ask yourself some powerful questions so you can set exciting and inspiring goals for your business. Enjoy!

Lead To Succeed What’s Your Big Goal? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your big goals! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a Leadership Platform: what’s your ‘higher purpose’?

 

“Companies with a higher purpose are more profitable than those that just think about the bottom line”, unknown

The lower purpose of a business is about making and selling a commodity for profit. The higher purpose in business is about making a difference AND making profit.

All of the leadership experts and wellness experts seem to agree, that part of happiness is having a Higher Purpose.  Something to strive for that is bigger than you.  Our Higher Purpose is how we find deep meaning and fulfillment in our lives by contributing to someone or something that is bigger than ourselves.

I believe that life and business is way more fun and meaningful when it is connected with a sense of Higher Purpose. This means that our business is about more then just making money. It means that our business is about making a difference in the world of our customers (and perhaps beyond).

Any business can create a “Higher Purpose” for itself. I was recently impressed and inspired when a friend showed me a job posting that was listed at a local bank. The posting read that everyone’s job in the bank is to create “happiness”. I was stunned. This bank has defined a Higher Purpose and is building a corporate culture around the idea of creating more happiness in world.

If a bank, the epitome of profit generation, can create a higher purpose for itself, anyone can. This is a conversation I have with all of my clients and I want to share it so you can connect with your higher purpose as well. Enjoy the video.

Lead To Succeed: What’s Your Higher Purpose? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your higher purpose! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!

 

 


Develop a Leadership Platform. What are your leadership values?

 

“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are”, Roy Disney

A leadership value is a principle or belief that a person or organization views as being important. Our values define us and our leadership. They represent what we hold most dear and drive our success and happiness, meaning and fulfillment in all areas of life and business.

Leadership values establish our sacred ground. They guide us in making decisions, in setting priorities and evaluating the merit of opportunities. Our values are our source of strength, of skill, of positive experience and positive results.

Our leadership values make up 1 of 4 elements in our Leadership Platform (if you missed my prior post about developing a Leadership Platform and defining your Vision, you may want to start with that post HERE). Once defined, this foundation becomes the ‘measuring stick’ from which an owner and his team can make strategical and tactical decisions and take sound action.

Like a simple house with four corners, a Leadership Platform has four elements; Vision, Values. Purpose & Goals. These four elements, once defined, create a strong foundation for your business to be built on.

This post is the second of four, designed to help you define your Leadership Platform. Check out the following video to walk through defining your Core Values.

Lead To Succeed: Defining Your Core Values from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your values! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

Remember, this post is the 2nd of a 4-part series. If you’d like to continue developing your platform check out Part 3: Defining Your Higher Purpose.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Develop a Leadership Platform: What’s Your Vision?

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy what you stand for”, Simon Sinek

I love this quote from Simon. It reminds me that business is about way more then just making money. I believe business is about being in service to your customers and making a difference for them.

Most business owners want their business to grow (duh!) In fact, if we’re not growing, we’re dying. I see many owners go about growing for growth’s sake wanting to become bigger, faster, thinking that “bigger has to be better”. They do everything they can think of just to grow. Their decisions and actions often follow many different tangents which is exhausting for themselves and frustrating for their staff. It’s frustrating and exhausting because the decisions and actions seem haphazard and not based on a solid grounding with a sound direction. This type of growth feels like you’re flying by the ‘seat of your pants’ and is often unsustainable and doomed to implosion.

Successful, sustainable growth requires us to base our growth plan on a solid foundation. Like a house, you can’t build walls and a roof without a strong foundation. If you do, the house falls down. A successful business is the same, it needs a strong foundation to stand on. Once defined, this foundation becomes the ‘measuring stick’ from which an owner and his team can make strategical and tactical decisions and take sound action. This ‘measuring stick’ is called a Leadership Platform.

Like a simple house with four corners, a Leadership Platform has four elements; Vision, Purpose, Values & Goals. These four elements, once defined, create a strong foundation for your business to be built on.

This post is the first of four, designed to help you define your Leadership Platform. Check out the following video to understand more about building a leadership platform and to start defining your vision for your business:

Lead To Succeed: What’s Your Vision? from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your vision! Play with it and make it GRAND! Your vision should represent an exciting (and somewhat scary) possibility you see for the future of your life and business.

I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

Remember, this post is the 1st of a 4-part series. If you’d like to continue developing your platform check out Part 2: Defining Your Values.

If you enjoyed this post, you can also sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


The 5 Leadership Essentials

 

“Leading your business effectively happens when you lead yourself effectively”, Laura Watson

Success in life and business is highly dependent on your mindset. Your mindset will affect all areas of your life; business, health, relationships, finances, fun, you name it!

I am here to help you be more effective in life and business because I’m passionate about you being the best you can be.

You’re here because you want something different for your life and business. I see us playing this success game together, as partners.

Over 13 years of coaching I have discovered 5 Leadership Mindset Essentials that I share with my clients at the beginning of our coaching engagements. We end up revisiting these mindsets often to make sure they are doing their best to apply them.

Clients who take on and really embrace these mindsets see significant improvements in their lives and businesses. So check out this video and see how you can take your leadership abilities to the “next level”.

Lead to Succeed: The 5 Leadership Essentials from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Have fun working on your 5 Leadership Essentials. Take on 1 per day, make it a game, play with it and see what you notice.

I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can get more! Sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left of this post, sign up and stay connected!

 


Are You Getting The Leadership Feedback You Need?

How To Assess, Apologize and Act Like A Leader

Sourced from Ken Blanchard, Ignite! Newsletter, February 2017

“A lack of self-awareness is one of the biggest challenges leaders face when stepping into increasingly higher management roles and running their companies”, Ken Blanchard.

“As a leader, you need to be on your best behavior all of the time,” says coaching expert Madeleine Blanchard.  “What’s unfortunate is that just when a leader needs increased self-awareness, the quality of honest feedback they receive plummets.

“As the leader assumes increased power, followers in the organization start to modify the feedback they provide.  Feedback is more positive.  The boss’s jokes are always funny and their ideas are always good. People begin to suck up to power in a way that distorts reality for the successful executive, who no longer receives the straight scoop.”

“That can lead to blind spots, especially in the areas of communication and trust,” says Randy Conley of The Ken Blanchard Companies. Laura Watson of Venture Coaching has also seen how leaders can struggle—and how often they are completely blind to how they are coming across to others.

“The problems can usually be traced back to one of four areas,” explains Conley.  “A leader’s style can cause negative perceptions of their Ability, Believability, Connectedness, or Dependability.  Negative perceptions in any of these four areas can lead to decreased trust.”

One way to deal with this is to have leaders take the time to conduct a trust audit, which helps them evaluate where they currently stand, make amends where necessary, and modify their behavior going forward.

“It’s a three-step process where leaders assess their current behavior, apologize if they need to, and act more consistently”, says Conley.

Assessing behavior involves looking at your conduct in four areas, those areas being Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable.  A problem in any one of these four areas will have a negative impact on relationships and the ability of people to work together successfully.

Able refers to how people see you as being competent in your role.  Do people think you have the skills and experience to get the job done?  Sometimes it is a perception issue; sometimes it is a gap in experience.  Either way, it needs to be addressed.

Believable is always a perception issue—do you act in ways that are consistent with someone who is honest, truthful, and forthcoming?  This can be a challenge for leaders as they move up in an organization and feel it necessary to share some information on a need-to-know basis.  The problem is that people may perceive the leader is hiding information or not being completely transparent.

Connected is the relationship aspect of trust.  Do you demonstrate that you care about people—or do you come across as all business?  Working together requires a heart and head connection.  In addition to following you for logical reasons, people also want to follow you for emotional reasons.  Leaders need to check their style and make sure that they aren’t coming across as cold or aloof.

Dependable means following through on your good intentions.  This trips up a lot of well- meaning executives—especially the people-pleasers who can’t say ‘no.’  They over commit themselves and start missing deadlines. They are often surprised to discover how this diminishes people’s trust that they will do what they promise.

Both Conley and Blanchard caution leaders to be prepared to act on gaps uncovered by the trust audit.

“Make sure you are ready for what you hear,” says Blanchard.  “When you invite people to discuss these potentially sensitive areas, you have to be ready to listen.  Feedback is a gift.  There are only two things an executive should say when they receive feedback—either “thank you” or “tell me more.”

Also, explains Conley, be ready to acknowledge and apologize when necessary.

“You have to own up to areas where you have fallen short. The most important part of apologizing is being completely sincere—don’t explain, rationalize, or make it the other person’s problem.”

“It’s a simple concept, but one that leaders screw up all the time,” adds Blanchard.  “How many times have we heard a senior leader qualify an apology by saying, ‘I’m sorry if my behavior made you feel that way,’ or by explaining, ‘I was only trying to…’

“Less is more when it comes to apologies,” explains Blanchard. “Just say ‘I’m sorry. I hope you will forgive me for the way I have acted in the past.’ If you need to say more, save it for the next step when you explain how you will act differently in the future.”

“Most leaders are trustworthy.  It’s just their behavior that gets in the way sometimes,” says Conley.

Trustworthy behavior leads to trusting relationships. With increased awareness, the willingness to hear feedback and the humility to apologize for times when trust has been broken, leaders can take a huge leap toward building the types of relationships where people work together to move the organization forward.

If you think you’re lacking feedback regarding your leadership, Venture Coaching can help. If you’re ready to discover what your team REALLY thinks, and willing to take action to make things better, call me now to book your complimentary coaching session: 877-669-8684.

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW, Venture Coaching International


The Cost of Using Power in Your Leadership

When I coach my clients, most of them agree that using power is not an effective leadership approach. However, when these same clients get stressed, frustrated or disappointed with employees, power is often used to get things “back on track” again.  It becomes the option of last resort when no other methods or tools have been learned to replace it with.

Using power in your leadership undermines your leadership!

Read the following article to understand cost of using power in your leadership. And when you are ready to learn some alternatives, give me a call at: 403 669 8684.

Read more…

 


7 Easy Success Habits You Can Start Today!

Robin Sharma is one thought leader who helps me and my clients be more successful.  Today I received the following success rituals he recommends. I consistently work at following these habits and I coach my clients to do the same. When we practice these habits we find that success and productivity follow suit. I share these rituals with you today so you can integrate these habits into your life and business and achieve the success you’re seeking. Enjoy!

Robin writes:

Achieving massive productivity, serious success and spectacular impact really isn’t that hard…

…it’s all a pretty simple process.

…actually it’s a very simple process.

I’ve been blessed to be the private advisor to many of the world’s celebrity billionaires and grateful that my success tools have been used by top performers ranging from Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi to NBA and NHL superstars.

Please just remember that success is really all about a masterful consistency around the basic fundamentals.

Watch Kobe or Eminem, Michelangelo or Mozart, Philippe Starck or Jony Ive…they are all about stripping away complexity and hammering away at simplicity…knowing that’s the essence of outright genius.

The thing is that the vast majority of well-intentioned, decent and good people just don’t know what the epic performers know.

Schools teach math and geography. Televisions teach news and distraction. Society teaches materialism and hedonism.

But what about what to do to become great?

How about the daily habits of the performance masters?

And the key moves to make to get the big results you want?

Part of my passionately-held and emotionally-charged personal mission is to share the mindsets, practices and behaviors that those playing at BIW (Best in World) run so you can do your finest work…

…and carve out a life that truly matters.

Fair notice: these habits are a little strange…but they’ve helped hundreds realize elite personal performance, grow personal fortunes, positively influence communities and make the world a far better place…

…so please just stay open to trying them…and applying them for the next 66 days until they wire in as your new normal…

Habit #1: Use a Timer to Do World-Class Work

On the two days a week I schedule as “Creative Days”, I set blocks of time to achieve specific outcomes and results–generally working in the 90 minute bursts of intensity that have been scientifically proven to yield best performance (insight: each of your days only has 16 of these 90 minute segments so use them well).

I then use the countdown timer on my smartphone to heighten my awareness about the passage of each chunk of time. Not really sure why this ritual works so well (I’m deep into brain science these days so once I know, I’ll share of course). But it just does. So do it. Please.

Habit #2: One Hour Walks

Steve Jobs loved doing walking meetings. Thoreau loved walking in the woods. Mandela would walk for entire days. There’s just something beautifully special about installing the daily habit of walking…

…it’ll give you time to think and ideate. You’ll kickstart your creativity and multiply your innovation (bring paper or your phone with you to download the ideas that will pour into your imagination)…

…productivity will soar and your moods will elevate as your endorphins get released. And you’ll boost your fitness to your next level of wow.

After studying many of the creative masters, I’ve been doing a daily walk for years. It’s definitely been a game-changer for me, especially at the end of a productive day.

Habit #3: The Second Wind Workout

The daily walk ritual leads nicely into the “2WW” Ritual that has also served me so well: The Second Wind Workout.

Here’s the basic idea: given that exercise is one of the finest productivity tools ever created, why not use it more often within a day to get more valuable things done?

Yes–definitely do your morning workout to get you mentally and physically amped for a brilliant day. But then, at the end of your work day, go for that walk or take the swim or nail a run.

Creating a second workout habit later in your day will give you so much more energy each evening, relax you with your loved ones, minimize the dangerous effects of stress, deliver a deeper sleep and even reduce your cravings later in the night.

Habit #4: Talk to Yourself

The reality is that most of our daily choices and behaviors are not conscious. We think we know why we do what we do but the truth is 90% of our moves are driven by our subconscious programming (all the beliefs and rules that our parents/teachers/media/peers have taught us).

This is why we’ll read a book or go to a conference and say we’ll make fantastic changes–but rarely do.

For a new idea to create true breakthrough, you need to go to the source. And use autosuggestion to install a new story about your place in the world.

Our conscious mind really does want to make the improvement within our business and personal life. But all the negative patterns within our subconscious hold us back. And sabotage our progress.

Autosuggestion is simply using words and verbal commands to rewire and rescript the unconscious realm of our brain. The subconscious is dramatically influenced by words.

The average person uses words that create limitation, scarcity, drama and failure in their lives–without even knowing it.

Best performers know that words drive performance. And so they use them brilliantly.

To be specific, I suggest that you clean out the victim-speak from your vocabulary. Speaking “I hate this” or “this will never work” or “I’m not good at this” or “I can’t achieve that” or “I’m in trouble” forge subconscious beliefs that make your words self-fulfilling realities.

Instead, use the language of world-class. Talk words with power, grace and positivity. Speak like the person you’ve always wished you could become. With time and consistent practice, you’ll step into that person’s shoes.

Habit #5: The WTOH Question

Please remember that a problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem.

Many of the great business innovations came from a so-called “failure”.

Many of the greatest growth periods of our lives were derived from a period of pain.

Within every setback lies the gift of progress, advancement and outright mastery.

Too many of us encounter an obstacle and drop into victim-mode, giving away our power to it and throwing in the towel.

Instead, use “The WTOH Question” and ask what’s the opportunity here?

This ritual has saved my life. It has allowed me to leverage the unexpected into pure possibility. And turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

It’s helped my team produce epic results in the face of Plan A not going to plan.

And it’s moved my clients to achieve legendary businesses as well as lives they adore.

Habit #6: Thank the Value Chain

Key principle: Gratitude is the antidote to Apathy.

To get giant things done, you need to feel inspired and alive and highly confident and unbeatable…

…positive psychologists are teaching us that “deliberate gratitude” (the actual habit of practicing gratitude versus leaving it to chance) is one of the smartest ways to build that state.

Another one of the rituals that has served me so very well is what I call “thanking the value chain”.

When I eat an excellent meal in a restaurant, I silently thank the chef, the servers, the delivery people, the owners, the farmers and every other human being along the value chain whose hard work has allowed me to savor the meal.

On an airplane, I silently thank the attendants, the pilots, the ground crew, the aircraft makers and even the back office workers for the gift of the flight. And the opportunity for me to attend another event to inspire and share with people who want to win.

I do my best to run this habit as much as possible as I live out each day.

It completely changes the way I view each experience, encounter and person. And it fills me with energy, passion and hope.

I sincerely wish the same for you.

Habit #7: The Sunday Morning Planning Process

Every Sunday morning, I set aside an hour to review the past 7 days. I then write my “Weekly Story”, a fast review of how I performed and behaved over the past week (based on the notes on my written daily schedule). This alone breeds huge amounts of awareness of what’s working and what needs to be improved.

Next, I review my annual one-page plan, reconnect with my Top 5 Values and consider my commitments for the next 7 days.

All this moves me to then write out my “Blueprint for a Beautiful Week” on a written 7 day template that has time blocks from 5 am to 11 pm.

Everything goes in here from my early morning workouts and journaling sessions to my family meals with those I love.

This ritual is one of the best habits I’ve developed. And has helped so many of our clients achieve more in a few weeks than most people get done in a year.

The world needs you to be at your best. My promise to do all I can to help you get there.

If you found the insights and tools in this blog valuable and are ready to discover what you can do to get better results, I’d love to help you love your life and business.

Sincerely,

Laura


Productivity Tips From 30 Entrepreneurs

Business and executive leadership is stressful! And when we’re stressed, our ability to perform declines rapidly. During our day-after-day barrage of deadlines, emails and phone calls it’s easy to forget that stress is self-imposed.

My clients are often asking for “productivity tips”. The best “tips” out there are not rocket science! Basically, the busier you are, the more self care you need (I realize that might seem counter-intuitive and impossible….but it’s true).

If you want to be more productive, read this article and PUT THE IDEAS INTO PRACTICE!

Get your productivity tips here…..

 


What happens when real leadership shows up?

Are you complaining about your team not performing?

Don't be upset about the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do“There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”―Jocko Willink

What does the environment around you look like? Is your benchmark for success clear and understood by all?

Do you, as the leader, clearly reflect your vision and standards to such a degree that reading them is unnecessary? What you THINK is clear may not be….that’s why you’re getting the results you’re getting.

Discover the 10 things that abruptly happen when real leadership shows up:

read more at observer.com

 


12 Things Successful People Do On Sunday Nights

Do you get the Sunday-night blues? You’re not alone! Up to 76% of people admit to feeling a decline in their mood and motivation on Sunday nights as they start to think about work on Monday. It’s common for stress and anxiety to increase throughout your Sunday as your mind wanders to the looming deadlines.

Laura Vanderkam has written a book called What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off.

Experts report there are certain things successful people do at the end of the weekend to combat those Sunday-night blues and prepare for the week ahead.

Click here to get the Top 12 strategies.

Check out the book:


Proven Link Between Sleep and Leadership Performance

We live in a hyper-active, instant-everything world. And we’re losing sleep because of it. Sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership performance and eventually hurt financial performance. This Harvard Business Review article explores the link between sleep and leadership and goes on to discuss solutions that can improve both individual well-being and organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Check it out at: http://bit.ly/1XvbWX1


Are You Sabotaging Your Staff?

Louise is the owner of a retail clothing store. She has 1 store manager and several girls working in the store. Today’s leadership coaching session started off with Louise complaining about her manager’s poor performance. Louise was thinking she needed to “fix” her manager or let her go due to poor performance.

Louise’s goal is to have her manager, Sue, be independently operating the retail store. Louise thought Sue would take the reins as long as she felt supported and reassured by Louise. Louise’s frustration was that no matter how much reassurance she gave Sue, Sue kept asking questions and needing help, despite being on the job several months. The ongoing help Sue requested was not getting Louise the time freedom she was looking for and Louise was extremely frustrated.

Once I probed into the details, Louise and I discovered that Louise was actually sabotaging Sue’s success.

We discovered that when Sue comes to Louise with questions, Louise tells Sue what to do because Louise is not fully confident in Sue. We realized that Louise’s practice of giving Sue the answers was keeping Sue dependent on Louise and was undermining Louise’s goal of having Sue be confident and independent.

We framed the situation as follows:

Telling someone we believe in them puts a small deposit into the confidence “bank account”. But when we turn around and give that same person the answers to their questions, or tell them “just do it this way” (because it seems faster and easier to do so) we send a message to that person that we don’t really believe they are capable. This message withdraws “confidence capital” from the account for both parties. Over time, this behaviour of giving people answers actually sabotages their personal growth and success and keeps them dependent for the answers.

Asking questions that help the other person find their own answers, then letting that person put her solution in place to test the result, puts a much larger deposit into the confidence bank account for both parties and is an investment that pays higher returns over time.

Are you sabotaging or supporting your staff?

 


NOW Is The Time To Do

Richard Branson was posting recently about the importance of making lists and resolutions and there was an overwhelming response from people keen to reach their goals in 2016. It’s great to see such enthusiasm – and practical planning – for making positive changes from people all over the world.

Planning is extremely important, for any adventure in or out of business. But even more crucial is the will to simply get out there and do something new.

Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, said: “All human beings are born as entrepreneurs. But unfortunately, many of us never had the opportunity to unwrap that part of our life, so it remains hidden.”

He touches upon the potential within us all to bring new ideas to life. For those of us fortunate enough to have the chance to see their dreams come to life, it is foolish to waste our opportunities.

Another perceptive point comes from Seth Godin. On his blog, he wrote about the challenges of initiating any project. “Not enough people believe they are capable of productive initiative. I don’t think the shortage of artists has much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate. I think it has to do with believing that it’s possible and acceptable for you to do it.”

As Mr Godin suggests, it is absolutely possible for you to create, to take chances and to allow your ideas to flourish. While he is referring to artists, the same applies for the art of business.

“Now is the time to do” doesn’t just apply to starting businesses. It applies to relationships, to fitness and all aspects of your life.

Nobody else is going to start and grow your business for you. 2016 is the time to put your ideas into action. Now is the time to do.

If you’re feeling stuck in your current initiative or if it’s not unfolding the way you want it to, working with a business coach can help! A business coach will bring fresh perspective and enthusiasm to the table, while helping you plan your next steps and holding you accountable for following through. If you’d like to experience, first hand, the benefit of coaching, click on the Contact Us link for a sample, FREE session!


Taking Care Of Business: maximize performance in business and life

Entrepreneurs are famous for ignoring their health! When I start working with clients, many are exhausted, frustrated, anxious and even depressed. They’re not sleeping well, they’re living off coffee and take out food, they’re drinking to get to sleep at night and forget going to the gym…who has time for that?!

One of the things I work to help my clients realize is this, there is no business without you! If you don’t take care of your health, your performance suffers and your business suffers!

Jack Groppel is an expert is maximizing performance in business and life. He’s also the author of The Corporate Athlete. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of self care and then check out the book.

Corporate Athletes don’t try to decrease stress, they increase their capacity for stress. This is how we grow personally and professionally. If you’re ready to take on being a corporate athlete physically, mentally and emotionally, start with this great book!


Buyer Beware! How To Choose a Business Coach

“Hiring a business coach is about trust and fit” Laura Watson

15 000 new coaches enter the profession every year. Do you realize that coaching is an unregulated profession and anyone can call themselves a coach, whether or not they have training or adhere to any professional guidelines or ethics?

Investing in your coaching is an important decision. Watch the video to learn what to expect and for tips on finding the right coach for you.

If you’re considering hiring a coach, I’d be happy to speak with you. I’d like to understand a bit about your situation and goals so we can discover whether or not there’s a fit.

The call is FREE, so there’s no risk for reaching out. Just click on the banner to the right, fill in the contact form and let’s have a conversation!

 


Winning Gold In Business: plan performance like an Olympian!

Carla Macleod is a defense woman for the Canadian women’s gold-medal winning hockey team. I met her at a luncheon where she was speaking about what it takes to be successful. Here are the strategies she shared for winning gold in business.

#1: Hope is not a strategy

Hope-fingers-crossedCarla first fell in love with hockey as a teenager. She played hockey endlessly, hoping of one day getting onto the World Cup team. Carla had passion for her sport, drive, determination and a willingness to play hard. She thought she had all the necessary ingredients for one day making the team. Carla caught the attention of the World Cup coaches and was considered for the team twice. And twice she was passed over. Carla learned that hard work and hope is not enough to achieve success. She realized she needed to set an intention and support it with a plan.

Many business owners start their business because they are passionate about something. They work hard and they hope for success. Unfortunately, this strategy often leads to exhaustion, burnout, estranged relationships, financial ruin and shattered dreams.

#2: Set an intention, within your control, and set a measure of success

Business SuccessA few years later Carla was chosen for the World Cup Hockey Team, and then she was training for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team. When Carla shared her story about preparing for the Olympics, she said the team set an intention not to win gold, but to be the best prepared team amongst their competition. They set this intention because they knew they could control the outcome of preparedness. Carla reminded us that in the end, hockey is a game and that winning can go either way based on the referees, the skill of the other players, and feeling “on” or “off” any particular day. Many of those factors were beyond their control. What they could control was their training and how well prepared they were, physically, mentally and emotionally for the game.

Setting an intention means setting a goal, with a plan for execution. What’s your intention for your business in the next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? What’s the most important business project you need to focus on? How will you measure success of this intention? What action steps will you take to achieve the goal?

#3: Develop new habits

time-for-changeTo prepare for the Olympics, Carla and her teammates adhered to a grueling training schedule. The team members were brought together in an isolated location for their coaches’ version of “Olympic Boot-camp”. The training program was designed to help every member of the team develop and strengthen excellent habits.

Many entrepreneurs exhibit destructive habits (often stress-coping mechanisms) that sabotage success. In regards to the intention you have set for yourself, what new habit do you need to develop in order to achieve your intention?

#4: Get support

get-supportA fundamental element of Carla’s success and the success of the entire Olympic team, was that the girls had support. I’ve talked with many Olympians and every one I’ve met has been extremely grateful for the support they received from family, friends and especially their many coaches.

Why do so many entrepreneurs think they have to go it alone? Elite athletes tell us time and again that success does not happen in isolation. It happens from enrolling others in supporting us, and our vision.

Who will you ask to support you in achieving your stated intention? Do you need a mentor? A consultant? A coach? What kind of support do you need? Do you need fresh perspective? Or accountability?

#5: Manage yourself effectively

personal-mastery-yodaCarla, high performance athletes and successful entrepreneurs know that the most challenging and powerful key element to success is learning to master your self. Learning to master our internal mental and emotional game makes all the difference in achieving success! Roadblocks are going to show up as we pursue our intentions. When we hit these walls, it’s easy to step down, play small and sabotage our best-laid intentions. Mastering how to lead our selves separates the elite performers from the wanna-be’s.

#6: Stay committed to your intention

CommitmentCarla had a one-time goal of playing in the Olympics. She committed to working hard and getting support for a set period of time, and she won gold. Entrepreneurs; your Olympics is your business, and you live it every day for years and decades! Your success will be determined by your commitment to the intentions you set, the habits you develop, the support you seek and the coaching you invest in to master your internal game and keep you stretching to new heights.

 

Plan your performance like an Olympian and may you win gold in business and life!


Stop Self Sabotage Instantly!

The #1 Way To Stop Self-Sabotage And Be Effective In Life And Business
One of last week’s coaching sessions focused on the important and common issue of self sabotage. I started a coaching session with a client by asking Bill (not his real name) how he was doing. He said, “fine” with a tone that told me otherwise. When I challenged Bill he responded, “you’re right, I’m frustrated, irritable and having bouts of uncontrollable rage”. Then, with a chuckle, he tried to make light of his coping strategies of “driving like a maniac (140 km.hr) to meetings” and his plan to drink 40 oz of whiskey on the weekend (instead of his usual 26 oz). It was clear. Bill was stuck in a downward spiral of self-sabotage that was putting him, his business and others at risk. He needed to switch out of his destructive pattern and back into his constructive patterns again. Bill even knew he was in a downward spiral, he felt out of control and he didn’t know how to switch back again.
How many times has this been you? How much time, energy and money have you wasted being stuck? How many relationships or partnerships have you damaged? How many times have you realized you’re in a downward spiral and you don’t know how to get out?
Getting unstuck is a skill we can learn like any other. First we need to recognize the pattern, know what to do when it happens and then apply the skill. And, just like learning yoga or golf, it’s easier and more effective the more we practice. In order to help Bill get “unstuck”, I introduced him to the “switching model”.
The Switching Model:

 

 

Original Source Of Model: Personal Best Seminars
Understanding The Switching Model:
The Downward Spiral:
Everything starts with an EVENT. The downward spiral is triggered when we resist the event. Our resistance leads to an automatic negative emotional reaction. This reaction is based on some limiting beliefs we hold (whether or not we are conscious of them). We react with some automatic behavior (ie. defensiveness, anger, confrontation, drinking) that leave us feeling worse. The downward spiral has begun. We feel stressed, irritable and out of control. This downward spiral is our self-sabotaging pattern in action.
This spiral typically keeps spinning and we can sabotage our selves for days, weeks and months. This spiral keeps looping around and down until the negative feelings eventually dissipate over time. Meanwhile, we feel miserable, we lose sleep, we over eat, we over-react to people (damaging relationships) and we often use vices as coping mechanisms. A lot of time, money and energy is wasted while reinforcing the limiting beliefs that started the cycle in the first place.
Constructive Pattern:
Getting unstuck requires us to return to the event. The key now is to see the event merely as words or actions with no meaning attached (ie. not our judgement or the meaning we assumed). When we do this, we can see the event as being neutral. We can accept the event for merely being an event, with no meaning attached and we can initiate our constructive behavior patterns again. It’s important to remember that we may not always be able to control the events around us, but we can always choose how we respond to them. Once we shift ourselves back into a positive place of choice, we feel in control, confident and calm. We resume being productive and constructive.
Once Bill reframed his interpretation of the events upsetting him, he reaped the benefits immediately. His rage and frustration dissipated, his creativity opened up and we created a plan together for how he would approach an important meeting that afternoon. In a follow up call, Bill felt excited for hosting a successful meeting, he had not received any speeding tickets and he enjoyed his weekend with his family.
We all have an amazing ability to choose how we view events around us and choose how we let them affect us, destructively or constructively. A key role of a professional coach is to help people develop mastery over the ability to apply choice. When we apply the power of choice, the average destructive to constructive cycle-time shifts from days to minutes or even moments. Less time, energy and money is wasted and the positive impact can be huge!

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, processes and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


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