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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!


You Are Sabotaging Your Communication!

 

“Leadership exists in conversation, makes 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 Business 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 in business’?

 

“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’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!

 


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 Entrepreneurs, For 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…..

 


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