Blog

SONY DSC

Let It Rest

Let it rest. Within earlier blogging discussions I’ve discussed the dynamic of our wanting success too fast … or of what I call the ‘rush to rapport’ in trying to connect to quickly with others. For me this is an important echo of that same concept. Let it rest, and it isn’t just observational, it’s actionable. It is practical as well as theoretical. It is clear cut counsel to regularly and purposely set a work aside for a bit. To let something percolate, to let it rest, and to allow our subconscious to take over. My mom used to say, “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can … found seldom in a woman, and never in a man.” Thanks mom! Old school but right on. And letting something rest, developing the virtue of patience, is even less common today.

We’re not alone in this. There actually is such a thing as the “Pace of Life Project.” Researchers involved secretly measured the speed at which pedestrians walk within city centers around the world. Asia and Western Europe clock in the fastest in covering a twenty-meter distance. The slowest appears to be the Middle East, with North America somewhere in between (except for New York City which came in seventh fastest around the globe).

The group in fact measured downtown walking speeds, as well as work speed (postal clerks) and even the accuracy of public clocks in thirty-one international capitals. Correlations? They show that a more hurried pace produces higher death rates from coronary heart disease, and higher rates of smoking and indigestion. I believe that our need for speed is also correlated with diminished interpersonal effectiveness. Let me add insult to injury as well. We’re getting worse. In the last twenty-five years, not surprisingly we’ve acquired ten percent more haste in our daily living – and nearly all of us even hurry along on moving escalators and sidewalks because they’re just not fast enough for us!

My point? Learn to let it rest. Rest: a refreshing quiet or repose; mental or spiritual calm; an interval of inactivity; to be quiet or still. Give it a try.

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Go there now –Hit the pause button. Do that. Consider your interactions within the last week. Which were especially meaningful for you? And why? Write it down now so you’ll remember tomorrow and the day after.
  2. Consider a higher calling – in trying to create movement in others. Why do you want to impact another person? For what greater purpose? Write that down too.

Now, just let it rest. Don’t worry about being productive; don’t think about targets, goals or objectives. Just let it rest, or if you like, take a short nap!

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

 

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
white flower growing on crack street, soft focus.

My New Year

My New Year

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is always my time for a quick look back and then forwards to our next trip around the sun. With a birthday just 30 hours into any new year I’ve extra fuel for this reflection, and it always starts with a visioning exercise to review the previous year’s peaks and valleys. During the process I acknowledge the disappointments, but then focus my energy on what went well. It’s a simple two-part exercise to articulate, “what were your best moments” in the previous year – and then “what actions or good judgment on your part brought them about”. This second activity, describing the catalyst of my positive outcomes in 2017, is what I’d like to share with you now – along with what I learned from it.

A Gift … a gesture of assistance … grants meaning

My first catalyst to positive result last year was the giving of some kind of gift – a simple gesture of assistance to someone in my life. It turned out that each time I made the gesture it was I who profited. An overt gesture of assistance will grant meaning to the life of the giver.

Belief … a confidence in truth … yields possibility

My second catalyst to positive result in 2017 appeared to be raw belief in myself – a confidence in truth as I saw it. With faith and belief in oneself there are very few possibilities out of reach.

Initiative … leading movement … produces action

Upon in-depth review of much of last year, I realized that good things happened when I took the initiative – when I launched a leading movement. I believe it happens this way because taking up the initiative always brings about some sort of action … my own or another’s.

Grit … firmness of character … affords achievement

Last year’s final lesson for me was that my own firmness of character – my level of personal discipline – often made the difference between success and failure. Grit affords achievement. Applied effort almost can’t help but result in success.

__________

A gift, belief, initiative, grit. This year, I hope you fill your life with meaning, possibility, action and personal achievement. I wish you abundance and contentment, and don’t forget to give yourself a heavy dose of forgiveness … you deserve it.

Peace.

 

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
Development - Three Arrows Hit in Red Target on a Hanging Sack on Green Bokeh Background.

Set Your Intention

Set your intention. Intention could be defined as a “wish”; it could be construed as a “purpose” behind an act; or an aim that guides action. In any case, I am simply asking that we consider the “why” of our actions when we lead, sell and serve. I am asking that we premeditate our efforts – to lead with purpose. And this might seem obvious, but in today’s no-normal world, it’s easy to become so distracted that when asked, we might be unable to identify purpose in anything we do. Don’t get caught up, to influence effectively, let intention be your first consideration.

This truth resonates with me, set your intention is in my top-five. If you understand it, if you internalize it, your leadership practice will transform. It’s that powerful.

Intentionthe thing that you plan to do or achieve … what one intends to bring about … your goal, purpose, aim, motive, hope, objective or design

Apply the whole definition to each and every interaction you set out to engage in. Otherwise, you’re just ‘walking around’. And one single word that embodies the above definition? Why. Why will you approach, engage and ultimately carry out a chosen interaction? More questions now come into play: what result am I looking for, and most importantly, what do I want to evoke with it?

I’ve discovered along this journey that the base intention of influence is to evoke. The purpose of influence is to evoke, to bring into the conscious mind of your audience, an image, an emotion or an action. The base intention is to create movement in another.

Want to know how to set your intention for each and every interaction you engage in? Simply answer one question; in approaching this person, what do I want to see, feel or do – and after interacting with me, what do I want them to see, feel or do? It’s as simple as that. And may I add, if you can’t answer that question – leave them alone for now. Don’t start it up until you can answer it. There is no right or wrong answer to the question, but when you have one, you have your intention – and you won’t have much choice anymore.

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Pick one target – select one person, one interaction, one outcome that you want to influence on your team.
  2. Set your intention – make it your goal today to engage in just one interaction that you begin with an end in mind. Select an image, emotion or action as that end result.

Plan to be amazed and gratified when you see the very image, emotion or action that you’ve targeted. It’s simple, but not easy … but once you make it happen, it’s magic.

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

 

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
Finger about to press a change button. Concept of career development or changing life

Don’t You Stop It

Achievement doesn’t come easy! We’re all running uphill, and fully loaded these days. Obstacles abound, and getting around them takes creativity. This favorite lesson – don’t you stop it – it came recently from one of my mentors, but it’s also one I lived long ago. My mentor’s full advice was,“just don’t you stop it by saying I can’t”, and it really demonstrates the power of our core beliefs, the foundation of how we view the world.

Our core beliefs form our take on – and what we expect of – the world, ourselves, other people, and our past, present and future. I’ve mentioned that I come from a Scottish/Irish heritage, but my core beliefs in fact run counter to some of the Scots’ immigrant mentality that I grew up around. Two generations before mine, my grandmother and her sister worked as maids in mansions along Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores. Matter of fact, take a look at Downton Abbey sometime and you’ll see that most of the characters doing the disagreeable work downstairs are all Scottish. On the show as in the lives of some of my family members, the traditional immigrant paradigms of the day were to mind your station in life – and don’t think about rising above it!

But when my parents moved out of urban Detroit in the 1960’s, instead of moving to the expected and appropriate neighborhood on the west side of Detroit, they sought out anything they could afford in Grosse Pointe Woods. Believe me, it wasn’t along the lake (far from it), but it was within the five “Pointes” and we then attended Grosse Pointe public schools. The difference was, in that very different environment, young people believed they could do anything in their life. I then grew up with that core belief as well, even though we didn’t have much money. In fact, my mother worked outside the home her entire life in an era when it was not the norm (especially in Grosse Pointe). The traditional “mind your station” mentality had been broken.

Yours truly would not grow up to be one to think or say, “I can’t”. On the contrary, I might even be described as just delusional enough to think I can, regardless of the facts. “Just don’t you stop it by saying I can’t”. These are words to live by, especially in an age of uncertainty and unpredictability.

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

1. Know your enemy – take some time to reflect upon you own core beliefs. Which ones might be limiting your very success? “I’m no good at … I can’t do … I’ve never been able to”. Which single belief might be holding you back the most?
2. Make a decision – is this part of you something you wish to accept or to change? I don’t advocate change for the sake of change. I do advocate conscious choice.

If you do want something, once you decide on a course of action, then “just don’t you stop it by saying I can’t”.

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
Diverse Beach Summer Friends Fun Running Concept

Happier In Motion

“The body is much happier in motion than at rest, and our actions are just a translation of the rhythm of our heartbeat.” -Uwe Kruger

A body at rest, a body in motion! Both literally and figuratively it’s easier to maintain momentum than it is to overcome inertia. A body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion stays in motion. It costs energy to alter either state, and our bodies are built to move – and so it goes in leading and influencing others as well. The more we move, the more we do. The more we do, the more energy we generate within.

Are you an exerciser? How do you feel when the alarm goes off at 5:15AM for a 6:00AM workout … not so good? Lethargy, aches and pains. How about two hours later when the run or the weight training is done? Energized, fluid, smiling and ready for the day. We are happier in motion! Now, how about when it’s time for the formal ‘mid-year review’ for all of your direct reports, and you haven’t spoken with them of goals and objectives since setting them in January? “Lethargy, aches and pains”. Regardless of context, we are born to move. We conquer disease, then live and lead in such a way as to counter what we conquer. We know a great deal about the applied behavioral sciences, but again we live and lead in such a way as to counter what we might have conquered in a workshop, coaching engagement or real-life experience.

This makes me think of my father too. From his 60s on he did less and less, and it’s a common response to aging for many of us. The longer we’re here, the more life “hurts” when we move. One strategy is to move less, right? If you move less, it doesn’t hurt. The problem is, with this strategy then the less you move – the more it depletes you when you do move. What we focus on expands. If it’s our limitations, they will grow. If we focus on what we can do, our capability grows. It takes energy to overcome inertia. Don’t stop. Keep moving. Don’t waste energy just trying to “get going” every time. Keep going. In leading as in living, it doesn’t have to be fast and furious. Just keep going. We are happier in motion!

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

1. Take stock – on a scale of one to ten, give yourself a rating on your movement and motion in the last 30-days (literally AND figuratively, living and leading).
2. Take action – Make a 30-day promise … in living and in leading raise the bar. If you’ve done really well over the last 30-day period, then change it up a bit. If you haven’t done as well over the last month, pick just one thing to attack in the next month.

Go for consistent movement every time – we are all happier in motion! Whether it’s a walk to improve your health, or the needed phone call to one of your people, make it happen.

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
fbbcb1bc-e2f7-49fc-913d-289b67268c33

If The Universe Conspires… How Will You Know

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”  

                                                                                                                  ~ P. Coelho

‘The universe conspires’ … ‘Lord willing’ … ‘If it’s meant to be’… there are countless ways to say the same thing. We’re speaking in each case of events that seem to happen to us – usually with significant impact, and often unexpected – that occur outside of our own centers of control. It’s the power of happenstance, or is it? Is it just a manifestation of our helplessness in a world beyond our comprehension? Is it evidence of a divine power? In the end it’s none of my business whether you believe that it’s coincidence in play or a higher power at work. Nor is it my point. What I would like to ask is how do you know when your life has changed or transformed … how are you keeping score?

Simply put, a lot of us are not keeping score in life. In launching a recent coaching engagement with a new client in the healthcare industry I began by asking lots of questions, including those related to his “now state”… about his fitness, diet, rest and recovery, and even about some spiritual, social and personal variables. I was actually surprised at how few of the questions he had a ready answer for, yet he’s a very driven, successful and thoughtful executive. He’s also about as busy a human being as you’ll ever find. The end-result of our first conversation told me that much of his directed consideration, drive and concern were limited to others. His family, friends, associates and staff. Leading in an organization that prides itself on metrics, measurement and accountability, the same discipline didn’t have to apply to him … and frankly, he lacked the energy for it.

This is true of a growing number of us as well. With so much tension, polarization and misery on display in just about every form of media, we in many cases become unaware and unmoved by early indicators of change in our own lives. Burned up or burned out on the job, we’re often just trying to keep on keeping on. So what do we do about it?

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Pick a list, any list – find a set of measures or questions that you can ask yourself regularly (at least every six months). Here are just a couple of ideas, https://bhmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/BHMT_CC_Life-Values_Inventory.pdf or http://www.sethchernoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/LifeInventoryWorksheetDownload.pdf. If you prefer it really simple, there are five questions advocated within the circles of ‘sobriety’ that actually apply to all of us; “Am I helping anyone?” / “How is my spiritual condition?” / “Am I taking care of my body?” / “Am I spending time on myself?” / “Am I holding on to any resentments?” (SoberNation.Com)
  2. Take some time reflect and discuss – find an accountability partner to compound the effect.

Net-net, we do almost nothing alone … make it a habit to notice what happens to you.

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
conceptual chess

Results x Shared Experience

Morale – emotional condition with respect to cheerfulness … attitude, mood, spirit, humor, temperament or disposition.

I’ve  coached dozens of executives and managers, and one common question I am asked that seems to transcend industry and organizational level is; “How do I improve the morale of my team?” In most cases, both symptom and root cause remain eerily consistent. My answer to the practicing manager also remains the same across the board.

“Morale = Results x Shared Experience”

Let’s take on the variables in that order then. If results are poor, if we aren’t successful, if we are not ‘hitting our numbers’, morale doesn’t stand a chance. As management or leadership practitioners we are responsible for two things in relation to our people. The first is that they perform, and the second that they feel good about it. The enterprise pays us to achieve results, make no mistake. The only way to do that in a 21st century information economy is with a self-directed work group. If you have to ‘joy stick’ the performance of everyone within your team, there won’t be enough of you to go around. But performance comes first. The first step to morale then is helping them perform … to enable them to achieve and surpass expectations. There is no shortcut, but popular thought seems to reverse the order. I’ve heard countless managers passionately lament, “If I can just get them to buy in, I know they can give me the results I need.” I am not discounting buy-in when I tell you that it’s out of order. Only when someone is performing, or at least see’s the path to performance, will they or can they truly buy in. Professional happiness is starts with performance, not the other way around. We can’t find true happiness when we are failing.

“Morale = Results x Shared Experience”

Once the team is achieving it’s targeted objectives, now only “shared experience can give us the collective happiness we’re looking for to sustain long-term, self-directed performance. Shared experience doesn’t just mean superficial interpersonal communication either. The occasional “How is your son’s soccer team doing?” isn’t going to do any harm, but it won’t provide a significant shared lens for viewing the world either. That’s what I’m going to suggest to improve morale once you’re getting the results you want, a shared perspective of the world is what I mean by shared experience – an experience that can be a future point of reference for you both. What specifically do I prescribe?

Do something different – you can’t help but get better:

  1. Follow this link to a free Forte report – http://www.theforteinstitute.com/SurveyRequest/Start.aspx?CompID=19835&SurveyID=247&First=Steve. Take five minutes to complete it – and then share the link to ask your people to do the same – to discover something meaningful about their personal communication patterns.
  2. Now share what you learnedshared experience means just that, that you have had the same experience and that you get the data out. Pass the profiles around to discover something about one another. Share the data … share the experience!

DonPic-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

 

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
dream catcher in sunset background blur, vintage color

Sins Of Omission

Regret – to feel sorrow or remorse … a sense of loss, disappointment or dissatisfaction

With all of the research that has been done as to what we regret in life – things we don’t do top the leader board. People around the world almost universally use a simple 3-letter word to describe their regrets, their disappointments. That word is “not” – and it opens a long list.

We regret not; traveling(the world or just visiting the kids), learning (a new language, a musical instrument), leaving (a bad relationship), applying (ourselves … sunscreen), seeing (people), doing (what’s right), moving (our bodies), saying (what’s in our hearts), listening (to those we love), letting go, speaking, giving, caring, forgiving, thanking, or apologizing. It is a never-ending list, and it seldom contains what we have done. It usually consists of what we didn’t do.

When it really matters, like when we are at death’s door, we express regret for five of life’s sins of omission; not following dreams, not taking time off, not expressing feelings, not staying in touch, and simply not letting ourselves be happier.

If you’ve met me, you know I am a “so what” and “now what” kind of guy. I constantly look for the simple truth – the meaning within data – and then I search for what to do next, the appropriate action revealed in what I’ve learned.

Sins of omission – so what? My takeaway here is in fact the call to action. Think of the final lyrics to the chorus of one very special song by Kris Kristofferson; “I’d rather be sorry for something I’ve done, than for something that I didn’t do”. There is a time for learning and reflection, and then there is a time to do. Especially within the arena of leadership – we influence through our actions, not just our thoughts, feelings or values. Others respond to us based right or wrong upon how they interpret our actions … how they see what we do. So what? Take the risk of regretting what you’ve done, not what you haven’t done.

Sins of omission – now what? Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Start now – select one behavioral change, one new action you can take in the company of each of your team members. Try it out … and make it one that you’ve previously omitted from your repertoire; asking, listening, trusting, praising, apologizing … you choose.
  2. Pass it along – send this blog to one of your team members. Ask them to discover their own path out of regret. Ask them to pick just one action they can take to eliminate regret in their lives – at work or at home.

We may not always get it right, but we’ll give it our best. Let’s soften regret, or even eliminate it from our lives.

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
Successful big ideas

300 Minutes

I read an article recently that contained a simple quote that stopped me in my tracks. The author said, “If you want to be fit and healthy, you pretty much have to exercise really hard for an hour, five days a week, for the rest of your life!” Three hundred minutes a week, it’s a simple concept, but of course not easy to do. So many ‘experts’ tend to recommend about half of that, and others even less; we’ve all heard it, “just 30 minutes, three times a week”. I don’t buy it. “300 Minutes” has become a new mantra for me, a valuable mantra I can use.

Most of us are familiar with the “10,000-hour” rule that Malcolm Gladwell made famous in Outliers. It’s been widely accepted that ten thousand hours is what it takes for functional mastery … essentially five years working full-time at something to just earn the chance to gain a significant level of expertise. And, that’s if the game doesn’t change much within those five years. Let’s face it, for most of us a five-year horizon is a difficult vision to maintain. It’s a long ways off. It’s hard to maintain enthusiasm, let alone any consistency of application over a 72-month time-frame. 10,000 hours is a ‘nice to know’. 300 minutes is a useful tool. Let me tell you what I mean by that.

Being healthy, strong, fit … playing a musical instrument of any kind … playing tennis or golf, exploring a hobby such as birding, photography or gardening, I think we can all agree that any of the above would take a righteous 300-minutes every week to get the rewards we’re after. Then what about effective leadership?

If you’re reading this, most likely you are in a leading role somewhere – formal supervision, informal leadership, or the highest levels of management – effective influence matters to you. So, how much time and attention do you give it every week? How many minutes do you dedicate to learning and practicing the concepts of facilitating performance and engagement for your organization? Do you give interactional fitness a good 300 minutes a week … one hour every day … one eighth of every work week? Will you give it that investment – for the rest of your leadership career?

Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Learn your craft – online, in print, via audio, podcast or video. Study, articulate and reflect upon the simple truths of effective influence.
  2. Apply the skills – this isn’t done alone. Invest the time it takes actually interacting with those you depend upon … with those who depend upon you.

If it matters to you, give it 300-minutes. Don’t worry about 10,000 hours … just focus on five.

 

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
Hand with marker writing: It Starts With You!

I Don’t Matter

I love it when a part of the universe is overtly revealed to someone … just a simple truth, just another piece of the puzzle not previously noticed. And sometimes it’s the missing spark that can provide powerful illumination … and the epiphany I’m talking about is, in short, that I don’t matter. Please don’t take this as a mournful cry for help, or even attention. It is actually quite the opposite, it’s very liberating!

You see, I provide two types of coaching for my clients – transitional and behavioral. With transitional coaching, I work with leaders that are moving to the next significant level within their organization’s pipeline. It may be from individual contribution to leading others, from leading others to leading leaders … and all the way up the chain. I’ve found that there is a very predictable set of cues and timetable for when a leader in transition will need a sounding board, a bit of advice, or just some plain old help with their new role. Benchmark companies today provide transitional coaching for the people in their leadership pipeline. The need usually lasts for only six to eight months, but if you are wondering why their boss doesn’t provide it, there are three reasons; either their boss has no time to coach, no skills to coach, or it may not be ‘safe’ to even admit that you want or need coaching. The reason though is secondary, what is critical is that the leader receive the coaching they need.

The second type of coaching I provide is a stakeholder-centered process that I learned from Marshall Goldsmith, and it’s usually to help correct behavioral deficiencies that block leaders from effectively running their teams – regardless of organizational level. It’s more involved than transitional coaching, and requires at least double the time and effort.

So, I had been speaking with a client recently, specifically one who over time had purchased my services to coach several dozen practicing leaders within her organization. We reviewed our regular progress report on each of our current coaching engagements, and I proudly ended with a spectacular report-out on a leader having made significant positive behavioral change in listening – and in becoming someone whose team will look forward to interacting with him (instead of dreading it). Let’s call that leader Gary.

My client surprised me a bit when she responded to my obvious enthusiasm with, “Yes, but Gary wants to improve … he wants to get better.” That’s when the epiphany hit. In her mind, I don’t matter in the equation. It is the candidate’s desire and willingness to change that predicts the success or failure of coaching. We’ve espoused this truth for a long time, and it’s nice to see validation from another. I bring experience, process, tools and perhaps wisdom to an engagement – but implied in my clients statement was, “if they don’t want it, who is doing the coaching won’t matter … and if they do want the coaching, guess what? The coach still won’t matter all that much.” What a lesson in humility and perspective for coaches around the world. Whether an outside resource – or a line manager desperate to improve the performance and engagement of their people, we don’t matter … we are not the x-factor.

And as a practicing leader and coach, we can do more. Let’s do something different – we can’t help but get better:

  1. Chart your team – of the coaching opportunities you’ve identified within your group, make a list of who you think wants the coaching and who may not.
  2. Make the call – have the conversations you need to reinforce one’s desire and effort toward personal growth, and to acknowledge in another the absence of that same willingness.

These very conversations can provide significant reward to the former, and a focused new awareness to the latter.

 

DonPic

-Don Brown
don@donbrown.org

Don Brown dedicates his career to ‘helping people with people’ in leadership, sales and customer service. Bilingual and experienced at the executive and line-level alike, you see the results of his work across dozens of industries, including brewing, automotive, airline, banking and medical equipment.

Speaking, writing, coaching and selling to the best – Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, United Airlines, Harley-Davidson, Jaguar Cars, Hilton Hotels and many, many more – Don takes great pride in long-standing customer relationships (some running well over twenty years).

Posted by Kelly Eden  |  0 Comment  |  in Uncategorized
  • Stay Connected

Copyright © 2011-2016 Don Brown.