How excellent are you?

Leadership excellence is about being able to inspire and grow your highest leverage assets: trust, respect and loyalty.

In good times and bad, everything flows from those three levers.

When you think about great leaders you have known, or admired, my guess is that you would give them all high scores in what I call the 4 C’s. Continue reading…

Fundamentals of Energy Management

  1. Values: know what matters most, and ask yourself if you have the energy to live the way you want to live.
  2. Nutrition: eat healthy meals and snacks to support your day, and know when treats help and when they hurt.
  3. Continue reading…

Pick an event and go for gold

One way Olympic Athletes maintain focus is that they always train FOR something. They train for national competitions. They train for world championships. They train for the Olympics.

They summon the energy to get out there rain or shine because for them, exercise has a purpose.

You may not picture yourself taking the podium for the luge, but finding an event, or a physical challenge is a great way to shift your mindset from seeing exercise as a chore to seeing its purpose in your life. Continue reading…

Train to be a gold medal leader

I have to say, ever since the Olympic torch relay ran past my house, I’ve been stoked about the games. (I hope my American and European readers willThe torch indulge me if a little Canadian pride sneaks into this email).

Did you see Alexandre Bilodeau win Canada’s first home-gold in the men’s moguls on Sunday? Can I tell you why I found it so exciting?

As Stephen Brunt wrote in his Globe and Mail article, “That great moment didn’t happen by accident.”

Bilodeau won because he trained hard. He won because he took risks no one else took. He saw opportunities no one else saw. One commentator said, “In his gold medal run, Bilodeau skied hard, fast, and on edge, walking the thin line between greatness and disaster.”

Great leaders also have to ride that edge. We also have to train. We also have to focus. We also have to get comfortable being uncomfortable walking the line between greatness and disaster. Continue reading…

Your Ticket to the Podium

What do you see as the Olympics of your career?

Your ticket to the podium:

  • set a goal: think big, make a plan and stick to a time line.
  • overcome obstacles: things will go sideways, deal with them and don’t let yourself get stuck.
  • pay attention to the details: little things do make a difference (provide regular feedback, don’t let meetings slide, etc.). Continue reading…

Brand yourself as a great leader

When I coach, I have a number tools that I use to assess clients. I use different tools for different reasons. But I’m excited about a new Personal Brand Assessment that I’m using to help people:

1) see what impression you leave with people

2) look at what you are doing in your career to consciously cultivate your brand or unconsciously sabotage it Continue reading…

The week after New Years!

We’re a week into 2008 so relax, I won’t mention the R-word.

Last month, I encouraged you to review your accomplishments. Building on that, do you now need to make any changes? (Come on, you knew it was coming.) Continue reading…

Year end review

December? Are you kidding me?

If you’ve been reading the blog for over a year, you know that in December I advocate looking back. If you weren’t with us last year, you might benefit from the self-coaching year-end questions I sent out. They provide a great basis for review.

Take 30 minutes to look back and appreciate all the good things that happened. Your year-end review is also a great opportunity to revisit the challenges you faced and ask yourself if the lessons learned have been effectively integrated into your behaviours. Continue reading…

Stop letting things slide

So let me ask you this: What are you tolerating that you have the power to change?

Think about your people, projects, systems, behaviours, technical issues, the nagging feeling that you need to brush up on something, the tension in the air about an unresolved issue.

3 things you need to know about tolerating stuff

  1. whatever you tolerate adds to the weight you carry, it adds to your frustration, clutter, and resentment.
  2. the stuff that bogs you down, bogs your team down. There’s no getting around that.
  3. the act of tolerating something drains you, and postpones the reality you are working to create. Continue reading…

Work to your ideal: Marc Allen’s Visioning exercise

Visioning isn’t just for business owners, executives, creatives or mystics.

This kind of work can be used to chart a course for your personal success, the success of your team, or even a specific project.

Marc Allen’s Visioning Exercise

  1. Turn off your inner critic, just for a moment. Go with your gut and give your creative self the floor – it’s just a moment.
  2. Write a description of your ideal scene. Imagine yourself 1 to 3 years down the road and see yourself living your ideal scene. (Careful you aren’t writing someone else’s picture of success. This is about success on your terms.) Continue reading…

You’re Number 1: self-care

Safety Instructions“In the unlikely event of a sudden change in cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop from the compartment above your seat. To activate the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you, place it over your mouth and nose, secure the elastic strap around your head and breathe normally. Please secure your own mask before helping children, or other passengers, who may need your assistance.”

People come up with a lot of reasons why they have to put themselves last. So it is interesting to consider that international policy requires people to take care of themselves first, and help others second. Why do they do that? Because anyone who needs your help, needs you at your best. Continue reading…

Start Simple

OK, let’s just say that you really want to get more active. That it is really important to you to improve your health, your energy levels and your overall performance.

But despite wanting to be more active, and thinking about being more active, you haven’t actually managed to get more active.

What might be stopping you? Have you tried to start? Continue reading…

Exercise for Energy

OK, I have to ask, did you make a New Year’s resolutions about fitness?

Because if you made the same tired resolution you made last year and the year before, drop it. If you made resolutions reliant on willpower, throw them out. And if you made fitness-related resolutions about looking different, I can guarantee you don’t have enough time in the day for a mirror to move you to action, so move on. Continue reading…

Self-coaching year end review

Look back over the past year, five, ten, fifty years. Think about the people, experiences, accomplishments and setbacks. And take a moment to appreciate all that you have gained. Try writing down your answers to some, or all, of these questions. This is important stuff – it is your life, your story. What do you have to say for yourself?

As you look back, what successes have you most enjoyed? Continue reading…

Look what you’ve done!

Whether you are planning for your own personal and professional success, or planning for the success of your team, it’s tempting to just look forward, and get on with it.

But when you do that, you are focusing on what you don’t have. Consciously or subconsciously – you are starting from lack. Why? Continue reading…

Take courage from your accomplishments

Here we are again, wrapping up one year and getting ready for another. As a coach, maybe I should be jumping all over you to set your goals for teh New Year, so that you can be and achieve all that you want. But I’m not going to.

There’s an important piece that I want you to do first. I want you to look back. You can use the energy that you cultivate by appreciating your accomplishments, to drive yourself and your team forward.

This is a strategy I use and it works.

Continue reading…