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Want Different Results? Choose Better.

Want Different Results? Choose Better.

What is keeping you from getting to the results you want? Are you unclear about what to do? Are you mired in procrastination? Have you tried things that did not work? Have you given up in frustration or lowered your expectations? Many of my clients report these experiences when they are seeking to make a change, move in a new direction, or just keep up with what is going on around them. With the fast moving environment around you, you may feel that if you are not moving forward quickly, you are moving backwards. And, you may begin to believe without driving forward with at least some action, you will never get what you want. What if you are putting ...
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What Your Goals Are Saying About You

What Your Goals Are Saying About You

What was the last goal you completed and when did you complete it? Was it yesterday, last week, last month, or almost never ago? For many people, goals are the central focus in making things happen.  For others, goals are elusive and impossible to set because the myriad of possibilities becomes overwhelming. Our goals actually say a lot about us. We all operate with a unique personal internal system (our “software”, if you will) that drives the results that we create.  We go through life repeating patterns of thinking and behavior again and again.  Much of the time we are not even aware of these patterns.  Yet, they drive the results we get, both the ones we want and the ...
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Silent Partners and the Secrets of Change

Silent Partners and the Secrets of Change

Change, whether you love it or hate it, is always inevitable. Everyone knows that. However, how you handle change makes all the difference between getting the results you want or going down in flames. Martin's Story: A Case in Point A colleague named Martin decided he wanted to expand his influence and be seen as a thought leader in order to expand his business. He decided he needed to put his thoughts out there frequently with weekly blog entries, postings on LinkedIn and actively using Twitter more strategically. Easy and straightforward, right? Not so much for Martin. Even though he is really brilliant in his field, he wasn’t able to meet his own expectations of delivering these pieces according to ...
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Employee Engagement is Not What You Think

Employee Engagement is Not What You Think

Leaders and human resource professionals spend a lot of time thinking and talking about employee engagement. An annual ritual in many companies is the employee survey where senior leadership waits anxiously to see what their employee base thinks. Some organizations use Gallup’s famed Q12 survey to give them a pulse on their organization. Employee engagement, however, is not about the survey or people’s opinions. Employees become engaged or disengaged daily depending on how you, as their leader, work with them. Engagement means productivity, reduced turnover cost and greater acceptance of changing circumstances. Noted management researcher and theorist Frederick Herzberg published a landmark article in 1968 titled “One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?" It is one of the most ...
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Virtual Teams and the New Norm…

Virtual Teams and the New Norm…

No, it’s not a typo. I didn’t leave off the final “al.” I intended the title to say “norm” instead of “normal.” This distinction is important in the current climate in organizations. Everyone has had to adapt to working virtually and its likely that this will continue for the foreseeable future. Some people will continue to work-from-home, perhaps permanently. Some teams have been virtual all along. When I worked at IBM before starting my consultancy, I was on a global team where over the years I never even met 80% of the team face-to-face. Everything was telephone conference calls. Web conferencing was just starting to take hold (although we made software that did just that!). You got used to it ...
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Resilience is an Inside Job

Resilience is an Inside Job

Bouncing back. That’s an expression you hear a lot these days. The economy will “bounce back.” You will “bounce back” after uncertainty, stress and staggering change bend you all out of shape. You’ll “bounce back” from dealing with working from home, tending to the kids, enduring ‘Zoom fatigue’ and general mental, emotional and physical disruption. It’s a nice, encouraging idea. But maybe it’s kind of wrong. I’m thinking it’s more about “bouncing forward.” Being resilient, in my opinion, isn’t about bouncing back, like how a marshmallow resumes its previous shape after an aggressive finger press (sort of). No, resilience is about having the wherewithal to spring in a different direction or become something new necessitated by the circumstances. It takes ...
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Your Head is a Nice Place to Visit But Please Don’t Live There

Your Head is a Nice Place to Visit But Please Don’t Live There

One of the secrets about dealing with change and uncertainty seemed counter-intuitive when I first discovered it… Thinking can be dangerous. As someone who likes to be thoughtful and smart about the actions I take (heck, my company name is “ThoughtAction”), my first inclination in dealing with today’s unprecedented world situation is to try to ‘figure it out.” That works a lot of the time, just not right now. As a professional executive coach, my studies have explored the prevailing neuroscience research into how our brains operate and deal with change. The big learning:  the way our brains usually function to make our lives work doesn’t help so much in times of change. To deal with the onslaught of information, ...
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What Your People Need from You as a Leader Right Now

What Your People Need from You as a Leader Right Now

Your employees are dealing with a lot right now. If it’s not the effects of the unpredictable pandemic, the tectonic economic changes are rattling everyone from top to bottom in your organization. Add to that the societal and political issues that have everyone on edge and concerned about the future. Then there’s the “new normal” of “no normal.” No wonder it feels like uncharted territory. Whew! So, what do your people need from you as a leader right now? With “people being people” and all, this immense pressure and disruption means that members of your team need a level of understanding and support from you that has been amped up by the current conditions. Where to begin? Focus on five ...
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Distracted

My Mind Was There a Minute Ago

It is sure easy to become distracted these days. One minute an idea is there. The next, it's lost in the ether with another thought, email, text, pop-up, phone alert “ding” or incomplete task diverting me.  How about for you? At work and at home (which for me these days is 100% the same), I’m finding it increasingly challenging to focus on the “heads-down” work that is a portion of my daily work as a professional coach and consultant (like writing this blog). I don’t know about you, but I find the increased use of technology for every single meeting is exhausting and mentally draining.  And, I’ve used Zoom daily for my business for over five years - I’m not ...
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Dealing with Your Team’s Anxiety Even Though You Aren't a Shrink

Dealing with Your Team’s Anxiety Even Though You Aren’t a Shrink

The health of your business depends on the health of your employees. The mental health of your employees, that is. With so much rapid change, it’s hard to accommodate it. Work in many fields has gone instantly virtual (by necessity or by choice).  With the uncertain economy, many are experiencing layoffs and furloughs (or the fear of them). And, around the world society is shifting in massive ways very quickly. No wonder your people have a bit of anxiety. It’s a normal reaction to change. Our brains are instinctively wired that way. It’s what your people do with the fear and anxiety that makes the difference. And it’s what you do as their leader to create an environment where they ...
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You’re a Leader Without All the Answers? No Problem.

You’re a Leader Without All the Answers? No Problem.

A good leader is supposed to have all the answers, right? After all, people look to you for direction, guidance and what they should do. And, a good portion of your confidence as a leader is built upon your experience, your wisdom and you knowing what-is-what. Except that isn’t working any more. Everything is confused, turbulent and changing moment by moment. So, your usually-confident-self starts to doubt your value, your standing as a leader and your whole reputation, a little or a lot. It’s a pretty uncomfortable situation. And, without answers, your people feel uncomfortable. They lose momentum. Plus, you don’t have the answers they are looking for (or are not at liberty to discuss them). However, as much as ...
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