Leader Development

7 Steps To Effective Coaching

There are times when I want to start new things but hesitate because I am afraid I won’t know what to do. I felt this way for a long time with Facebook and LinkedIn. Everyone was doing it, it seemed simple and fun, but I didn’t want to look silly if I couldn't figure it out. I didn't know what to do, so I sat on the sideline and watched rather than jumping in and learning. I felt with same way with this blog. For over a year, I wrestled with the idea. Should I start blogging? What would I say? What would other people think about what I had to say? All this negativity swirled around in my mind.

Then one day I listened to a podcast by Michael Hyatt. I remember Michael saying something like, “Stop thinking about it and start doing it." He gave 5 simple steps that I followed to start my blog. And shazam! Here we are today. Those steps gave me the confidence I needed to start something I wanted to do.

This got me thinking; There are probably people out there that have this similar problem. Maybe there are people hesitant to coach others simply because they don’t know where to start. Maybe this is you! If only you had an outline of steps to take that would give you the confidence you need to do it.

This led me to reflect on what I do when I get a coaching client for the first time and outline the major ingredients that go into every coaching engagement that I do. Please enjoy my recipe for a successful coaching engagement in 7 simple steps below and try putting them to practice.

(I think this model is transferable. So if you are a professional coach, a supervisor of employees, or a Mom or Dad coaching a youth soccer team, following these 7 steps can mean the difference for your outcome being successful!)

7 Steps To Successful Coaching

  • Begin With an Open Mind Coaching never begins in a vacuum. We all come into coaching relationships with biases. Coaches must come to clients with an open mind. The client must be seen as being a whole and healthy person. While there are times when you will have received information from others, focus on what the client is saying to you.

  • Get to Know Your Client It is hard to coach without knowing more information about your client. Find out more about who they are, what they do, their life story, and what they hope to accomplish. Consider putting together a series of questions that could apply to any client you serve. Personally, I use multiple types of assessments with my clients.

  • Confirm With the Client It is always important that you validate the collected data with the client. You want the client to be confident that you understand their perspective on what is happening, why the did what they did, or what is the genesis of how they are thinking or feeling.

  • Compare the Data to a Standard Once the client agrees with the collected data, you'll compare it to an acceptable standard. The client must agree that the standard is acceptable. If they do not, then the data may become meaningless because the objective of what the data revealed could become irrelevant. For example, I had a client who gave the appearance of being arrogant. The data we collected from others in the organization said this person’s primary objective was to get their own way all the time. This behavior is the polar opposite of what is expected in the organization: being collaborative. Before I can coach the person to a more collaborative style, they have to agree that collaboration is the right standard. Once this happens we can begin work on the arrogance. If collaboration isn’t the mutually agreed upon goal then it is tough to improve the behavior.

  • Identify Gaps Gaps are the space that exist between the client's current behavior and the agreed upon standard. They are the difference between where the client is now and where they would like to be in the future.It is useful to talk these gaps out and to get examples of where they have taken place. Coaches should always be looking for gaps between current and expected performance.

  • Set a Plan to Close the Gaps When planning with your clients, develop a simple plan that is laser focused on one or two items. When we give people too much we lose focus and the person runs the risk of being overwhelmed. When examining the performance standard I use the Stop/Start/Continue model. Here's how it works:

    • What behaviors do they need to stop?

    • What behaviors do they need to start?

    • What behaviors need to continue?

      • Do not short change the "continue" aspect. Often by stopping and starting a few simple things, people will see dramatic change. Most of the time they are doing a lot of things right, which you want to encourage to continue.

      • Establish a Date to Follow-Up It is my opinion that this step is where most coaching fails. There is no date set to follow-up, no check-in’s to see how the person is doing, and little to no interaction at all once a plan is put in place. Follow-up with those you coach is the most important part of the coaching relationship! I recommend scheduling all follow-up meetings with your client at the end of your sessions together. This will enforce some accountability on their end and help you maintain the relationship.

Coaching is a valuable skill for helping others become the best person they desire to become. Coaching skills are important tools that anyone in a leadership position needs to possess. Whether you have employees on your team or you are responsible for a group of 8-year-old girls on a soccer field, coaching is the transportation vehicle you use to help an idea become a behavior.

Homework

Identify a person in your life who needs your coaching, or better yet someone who is already getting your coaching. Think about whether you have followed all 7 steps to successful coaching within that relationship. Is there any step that you have missed? How can you use these 7 steps to coach yourself to improve your own coaching outcomes? We would love to hear from you regarding what you think about this process. Leave us a comment below!

Quiz Yourself: Are You Using this Important Coaching Skill?

I am blessed in my coaching practice to be able to work with a lot of coaches. Everything from students who are learning the craft to executive leaders who use coaching as a leadership tool. 

I Have an Observation

The skill of observation is underdeveloped.  Here is what I mean.

This morning I am sitting having some quiet time of meditation and prayer.  As I was sitting in contemplation I noticed the breeze that was whisking through the trees in the conservation area behind my house at varying rates of force.  At times the leaves in the trees were hardly moving, and then, with no warning, the speed would increase to a gust force. After a minute or so the air would return to a more moderate flow.

This is the skill of observation. Blocking out all other inputs and paying attention to this one thing, and then not making any judgment about it. Don’t turn it into a metaphor, or think about how to explain it. Just observe it and practice describing it.  

This skill is harder to do than it is to read about, I can assure you. As leaders, we are constantly making cause and effect assumptions.  We become skilled at what is rewarded, making decisions or explaining things so that others can understand them.  All very important skills. I am not trying to say that your decision-making is not important, it for sure is. In fact, I often tell young leaders what they get paid to do is make judgments.  However, if we believe that quality inputs are critical to good judgment then perhaps observation trumps outcome.

Give It A Try

The next meeting you go to, or one-on-one interaction you have with a colleague, write down 10 things you observe from the interaction. Just make the observation and pay attention. Dial out all the distractions that might come your way and observe behavior. Notice things like tone of voice and inflection. Notice body language. Become aware of the “presence” the person exudes. 

The better we become at the skill of observation, the better coaches we will be.  We will notice things such as hurt or pain in people. We will notice when they are not on their “A” game. We might notice the exuberant joy that is written all over their face. The better we are at observing, the more skilled we will be at connecting with others emotionally.

Take a Quiz

One of the reasons I like to use assessments in my practice is that they help me, as a coach, make observations.  Sure, the person gets great feedback around important competencies. For example, in the EQi 2.0 assessment that I use, leaders get feedback on stress management. According to Dr. Henry Thompson, author of The Stress Effect, emotional intelligence is critical in determining the likelihood of the success of a leader. 

While the EQi 2.0 can give leaders feedback on competencies like stress management, often times it is the observation of the leader in the moment that can give the information that will allow the leader to make necessary judgments. If leaders don’t observe what their followers are feeling in the moment then they are more liable to react poorly. For example, an associate comes into your office and explains they have just made a mistake that could be costly in terms of dollars and customer satisfaction.  Are you able to manage your own emotion in the moment and observe what is going on with the person?  Are they anxious? Is there body language closed and distant?  Are they sweating? 

So let's play this out. What happens if:

A. You don't observe any of the associates “presence” in the moment

B. You do observe the stress the associate is under

Answer A: It is possible you will go right into fact-finding mode. Try to find out what happened, and then your natural next step is to go into problem-solving mode and to start giving orders you want the associate to execute with precision, clarity, and focus.

What is the problem with Answer A?  It isn’t physically possible when stress has hi-jacked the associate for them to focus on anything. In fact, there is a really good chance that they will walk out of your office and not remember a thing you said.

Answer B: You see the associate is stressed out, so you have them sit down. You go get them a bottle of water. You have them take a few deep breaths and perhaps you tell them a story that has a bit of self-deprecating humor. The goal here is to get the associate to relax so that you can trouble shoot and problem solve together.

What is the real skill in Answer B? You took the time to observe the situation. You notice the wind in the trees. You know the end result you need to get to but you also know you need your associate to have a clear mind when you need information.

Take Another Quiz

For this quiz, you are going to need to think about a recent interaction that you have had with an associate where there was some stress or tension in the situation. Keep this interaction in mind as you take this quiz. Use the quiz and your memory to reconstruct the events. 

This quiz is not meant at all to be diagnostic.  We are not trying to make you clinical psychologists. The purpose of this quiz is to help you dial in your skills of observation so that you notice more how your associates are showing up in your interactions.

I hope you enjoy the quiz. If you know others who might like to work on the skill of observation, why not forward this to them.










When Professionals Write Development Plans What Do They Do

Might as well get used to it, we are very much a “what have you done for me lately” society. The folks I work with say things like, “Scott, I just had the best year ever and my boss wants more," or “My team just voted me most valuable and want to know what is next for us.” As a society, why do we have such a hard time celebrating success and achievement for more than a day? Why can we not bathe in the success and enjoy the moment for more than a moment? Ah, but I am starting to digress from my main point already...

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By the time this article gets to you the Chicago Cubs will have celebrated winning the 2016 World Series. If you are reading this article, that means the rumor of the end of the world coming when the North Siders win it all has been grossly exaggerated. The accolades for the team keep pouring in, both in the major media and on my own personal text messaging. My good friend Ken Bish even wants Billionaire Joe Ricketts to give President of baseball operations for the Cubs, Theo Epstein, an ownership stake in the team. My answer was, Ricketts is a billionaire, they don’t give anything, that is why they are billionaires. Ah, but I am starting to digress from my main point again.

I woke up this morning, the day after the thrilling game 7, which kept me up until 1:30am. Come on MLB, really, you couldn’t have started the game at 7pmEST? Why not take a lesson from Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump? The people who care are going to vote for you no matter what, so why not make it most convenient and give the best product possible option for those who care and want to consume it? I mean really, this is a Thursday and some of us have to work so we can pay you $50 for a T-shirt that costs $1.25 to manufacture! Ah, but I am starting to digress from my main point again.

So, when I got up this morning, I put the coffee pot on and turned on the TV - something I never do. I practically ran into the living room to turn on ESPN’s Mike & Mike because I wanted to hear the celebration and insight from this historic event. One of the most interesting interviews was with Aaron Boone, who hit a home run in extra innings in game 7 of a League Championship series. He talked about how hard it is starting at 8pm the day leading up to the first pitch. Ah, but I am starting to digress from my main point again.

The Point

I just finished reading what I hope becomes a classic in the leader development space. The book is "GRIT" by Angela Duckworth and my main learning from her research is that those who succeed stick with it. They don’t let themselves digress from the main point.

Duckworth calls this perseverance. The most impactful research for me comes from a Stanford Psychologist, Catherine Cox, who studied 301 exceptional historical figures. According to the research, there were only two things that made the exceptional truly exceptional in their field: passion & perseverance.

“Quiet determination to stick to a Goal.” “Tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles." 

Theoverance

When professionals write development plans they practice Theoverance.

This term has its genesis for me as I have watched Theo Epstein craft this 2016 World Champion baseball team. There are three steps to this process, and the first and third one are often the ones that are ignored.

  • Have a vision for what leadership success looks like. Before you plan, you must dream and your dream has to be in sync with your definition for success. This is Stephen Covey’s famous “begin with the end in mind” principle. Many leaders have a vision for their organization based upon what is in front of them rather than what is possible.
  • Have a plan that is aligned with your vision. Is your plan filled with actions or is it really taking you toward your vision? This is where a lot of stress comes in for leaders. Is your plan taking you toward your vision or are you just putting in time? Are you choosing safety over satisfaction? No judgment here on my part. I understand safety and if this aligns with your vision then this is the plan that is right for you. You just need to manage the expectation that come along with a safety plan.
  • Persevere with the plan. If you have a vision and a plan, stick with it. Too many leaders I work with get bored, or when the going gets tough in the middle of the plan, they give up. When the going gets tough this is when you are learning what you need to do and not do for your vision to become a reality. If you like your vision and your plan, stick with it.

Baseball, and more specifically Theo Epstein, have taught me something about developing into a winner. I am now going to call it "Theoverance." Some call it perseverance, some call it grit. Some may even call it resilience. I am calling it Theoverance.

Theo had a five-year plan. Here are the results of that plan:

  • 2011 lost 91 games (56% of games)
  • 2012 lost 101 games (63% of games)
  • 2013 lost 96 games (60% of games)
  • 2014 lost 89 games (54% of games)

By now you have to be saying, yes, Scott, we know.. It is the Cubs. But wait! Remember, there was a plan… The vision took time to bring to reality.

  • 2015 won 97 games (60% of games)
  • 2016 won 103 games (64% of games)

You see, Theo and the Cubs management could have easily quit, given up, chalked it up to the Goat, or whatever mystical Bartman type curse could be dreamed up. But they did not! They stayed with the plan.

The Learning

Three points from our time together today:

  • Honestly assess your vision.
  • Have a leadership development plan. If you don’t have a plan, you will for sure stay where you are.
  • Stick with your plan. Believe in yourself. If you have a dream, you can achieve it.

It is vital for leaders to have a personal vision for where they want to head.

A significant part of managing stress is managing expectations. When reality does not equal expectations stress can sneak in and cripple your plans.

This article is dedicated to the memory to the three reasons I am an elated Cub fan today:

Harold “Poggy” Livingston  1899-1985
Ruth Ann Baker 1931-1990
Harold Robert Livingston 1936-2003
"Wait until next year" takes on a whole new meaning for me. Vegas has the odds of the Cubs winning in 2017 @ 3:1. Stay focused boys, stay focused and stick with the plan.

What Hurricane Matthew Teaches About Leadership

As I am writing this blog, my wife and I just went through our first major hurricane as Floridians. As of this writing, we made it through without any damage to property, although physically we are exhausted as we didn’t get much sleep last night. This was a unique experience for us. Having grown up in the midwest, we are used to tornados happening every spring. With a tornado, a thunderstorm would blow up over the course of an hour or so, the storm would happen, and then pass by quickly. The damage from the tornado can be horrific for those in its direct path and there just isn’t much warning.

Unlike the tornados in the midwest, with hurricane Matthew, we watched the devastating storm for days before it hit. We saw the destruction in Haiti and then watched the storm turn north with winds over 130mph. The storm was reported to be the size of the state of Texas, covering at times most of the Florida peninsula. The advanced hurricane warnings gave us several days to prepare both mentally and physically for what could lie ahead. I can personally attest to preparation being the key to making it through one of these beasts.

Huge hurricane between Florida and Cuba. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

As Matthew passed the Orlando area we experienced winds of 55mph with driving rains and localized flooding. While we were spared any damage at our home, there were some anxious times watching the trees bend and the eerie whistling sound from gusting wind. If you want to hear the sound of hurricane wind you can click this link to get a sense of the spookiness.

We are eternally grateful for being spared. A shift of 30 miles to the west could have meant a completely different outlook Ifor us. Kim and I hope you will join us in keeping those in North Florida, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands in your thoughts and prayers. If you feel led, I hope you will join us in giving a donation to the RedCross or a charitable organization of your choice who respond in times like this. The humanitarian work that organizations like the RedCross does in times of crisis is vital to bringing life back to some degree of normal for millions of those affected.

Matthew and Leadership

Preparation for the storm. Now there is a metaphor worthy of leadership!

It is not if you are going to go through storms as a leader but WHEN!

Some of the storms you will experience you will get ample warning about, like we did with hurricane Matthew. Other storms will pop up seemingly out of nowhere and will rip a narrow path of destruction across your leadership.

After having gone through this most recent storm, I can assure you that the time to prepare for those crucible moments as a leader is not during the storm. During the storm:

  • Things are crazy! Information comes from all directions. It is hard to know what to believe.
  • Anxiety makes it hard to think straight. The only thought seemingly available is to survive.
  • Thinking turns inward. Thoughts of others become more difficult.

As hurricane Matthew raged around us all night long, we just prayed for the storm to pass and that we would be spared the damage and devastation that was possible. We saw the pictures from Haiti. We knew the threat was very real. It is funny that during these tense moments in life, how God somehow seems a little more real and personal.

Preparation is the Key to Performance

I am convinced that for leaders to perform during the storms that come around them, preparation is key. We likely would have been much worse off had we not taken the time to get ready in advance for this storm. What is true for weather, is wisdom for leaders.

Yet I am continually amazed at leaders who refuse development, or to work on their leadership during the calm seasons. “We will get around to it sometime." “We just don’t have the budget right now.” “We are so busy, there is just no time.” “Sure, development is important, we just have too many priorities to fit it in now.” These are fairly common things I hear from organizations when it comes to developing leaders.

They wait until things get rough and the storm rages and then call in for help. One thing I learned during this storm we experienced that I did not know prior is that if the winds blew at over 45mph, rescue workers would not come and save you. If you did not heed the warnings given, and the storm got so bad, the first responders could not risk their own lives to save you. In leadership development often what we find ourselves doing is damage control when we are called in last minute. Why not be proactive and prepare?

Leaders, heed the warnings you get. Pay attention to the forecast. Prepare for your storms before they hit.

Here are some things we did prior to hurricane Matthew to get ready for the storm and some ideas for leadership application:

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How ready are you as a leader for your next storm? How ready is your team? The time to build strength and reinforce structures is when the weather is good. Florida Governor Rick Scott continually told Floridians: "Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst." Sage Advice.

Hope is a comforting vision..and a bad strategy.

As leaders let's not hope we will survive our next storm, let's put a plan in place to get ready now.

Homework

Reflect on storms you have experienced as a leader in the past. Where were you strong? Are there structures in your leadership that need to be reinforced? Are there things that need to be rebuilt altogether? What ONE action do you need to take today to plan for the next leadership storm? After you have thought about yourself, think about your team. Have them analyze where they are and what weaknesses they need to shore up to survive the next onslaught.

Who Else Wants to Develop as a Leader?

As I sit and write this article, the day is August 11, 2016. My beautiful wife Kim and I celebrate 32 years of marriage today. I cannot tell you all the joy that this relationship has brought me over the years. Which is why, when we were having coffee this morning, gazing into each other's eyes (well, maybe it was more like a stare waiting for the coffee to kick in…no, no I am sure it was gazing) Kim asked me a most curious question:

“When we got married, do you think we were best friends?”

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Those of you with any skill in the art of marital conversation will quickly realize the trap I was in. To say yes would potentially mean we were better friends then than now. To answer no would potentially mean we had not quite reached that “best friend” level but married anyway.

So, like any skilled married person, I said, “Tell me more about what you are thinking." She said, “Well..." and I breathed a sigh of relief that we were going to unpack this discussion together. Kim continued, “I mean, we are such good friends now. I know we were friends, and probably best friends, but there is no way we were as good of friends then as we are now.” Then she provided the wisdom,

“We have grown so much!"

Ah, yes. We have grown so much.

The Growth

The growth that Kim and I have experienced in our marriage is two-fold from my perspective.

First, we have grown as individuals. Each of us have different interests and callings. These differences in skills and abilities need to be honed, nurtured, and grown. Second, our relationship as a married couple has grown. Over the years we have made emotional and social deposits in our relationship accounts, building up equity and assets we can rely on that help to strengthen the trust we have in each other. This networking back and forth in the relationship relies heavily on the use of interpersonal skills and competencies such as mutual respect and empathy.

In a healthy and vibrant marriage you have to grow as an individual and the relationship has to grow as well. Both are important.  You certainly cannot focus on individual growth only. If you are only growing as individuals, the relationship will suffer. You will focus on yourself and your needs and the relationship will suffer. By the same token, you can not solely focus on the relationship, stifling individual growth and personal achievement.

Bridge to Leadership

Ok, so I know most of you read this for some perspective on leadership and not marriage relationships. Here is the point, in development, leadership is a lot like marriage. You have to focus on yourself as a leader as well as on your leadership.

Leader Development Is Distinguishable from Leadership Development

Leader development focuses on the skills, talents, knowledge, and abilities of the individual person. This can be in the form of formal courses where the leader does analysis and self-reflection. Courses on personality, such as the Pearman Personality Integrator, Myers-Briggs, or DiSC are examples. Training in emotional intelligence using an assessment like the EQi-2.0 is another example of leader development. There is knowledge of self that is then put to use inside the organization. Learning in the area of core values, or important skills like marketing or sales, are also part of the leader development domain.

Leadership development has more of an emphasis on building social capital, networking, and the interpersonal skills such as reciprocity and trustworthiness. Leadership from a social capital sense builds upon the work of Robert Putnam who gave three reasons why social capital is important:

  • Social capital allows citizens to resolve collective problems. People are better off when they cooperate.
  • When people trust each other they are more likely to interact more often and better with each other. As a result, everyday business and social transactions become less costly.
  • Understanding in the end that our fates are linked.

Leader development is key. It is clear. It is usually what most of us think about when we think of leadership development.

My premise is that we need to work on both, and what gets left out of the mix is our work in actual leadership development.

Think about your organization. Maybe you are in an HR, Training, or Functional leadership position. Whatever your organizational role, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What kind of environment am I fostering that allows leaders to solve collective problems? How are we rewarding and recognizing cooperation over individual achievement?
  2. How are we setting up our work environments and meetings so that they happen more frequently and better? It isn’t the frequency of your meetings that is the problem, it is the quality. Social Capital Theory would say that the more people are together and the better they are together this is what drives costs down.
  3. Do your leaders understand that their fates are linked? Are their reward and recognition systems linked? Do sales and marketing share goals? Have you done disaster scenarios around the possibility that your vision is not realized?

Too many times in the leadership development space, we focus solely on the leader and not really on leadership.

Success in marriage requires both focusing on developing the individual and the relationship. I would argue that success in the organization requires developing the leader and leadership.

Hey Kim, sign me up for another 32 years. Happy Anniversary!

Homework:

Do the 3 question assessment of your organization above. Have the discussion with leaders on your team. What do you need to do in your organization to both improve your leader and your leadership abilities?

Here is to wishing you many happy anniversaries leading your organization!

3 Leadership MythBusters That Will Shock You

Last month, celebrity scientists Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman wrapped up thirteen years of debunking theories with the grand finale of MythBusters. I'll admit that I wasn't exactly a loyal fan of the show, but I did enjoy a few episodes here and there. It's fascinating to see these scientists take a myth that most people have heard, then test that myth, typically proving it's simply not true. I'm not a scientist, however, I am familiar with many myths in leadership and feel they've run their course in holding leaders back from reaching their full potential.

Facts versus myths

Here are three major misconceptions that leaders commonly believe to be weaknesses, when in fact they are traits and strategies that can be used as your secret weapon to effective leadership:

Myth #1: To retreat is to give up.

The Buster: Retreat is actually a way for a leader to regain clarity of vision and engage their work again more powerfully.  The idea of a retreat comes from an old French word meaning “a step backward.” The word took on a military connotation in the 14th century as the act of withdrawing from action. The reason for withdrawal was to regroup so that you may re-engage the enemy again more powerfully than before. Retreat is a powerful tool for positioning yourself for strength, especially when the state of being overwhelmed or stressed is restricting you from doing your best.

Myth #2: To be vulnerable is to be weak.

The Buster: Stop thinking that you are weak when you open up and share! You’re actually the opposite – you’re incredibly brave to let someone else in. Chances are, when you do, you’ll find someone as desperate as you are to connect on a meaningful level. The Industrial Age leadership principles and the “shut up and just get the job done” mindset are things of the past. Today’s leaders must be more open and transparent with their teams. When you are open, transparent, and clear with your thoughts and your thought processes, I believe you will find a team of people – professional and personal – who are ready to jump in and help you, walk beside you, and strive with you to accomplish great things.

Myth #3: Asking questions jeopardizes your intelligence.

The Buster: People often think that asking questions may put your reputation of high intelligence, or your perception of it, on the line. What's intimidating about asking questions is the uncertainty of the response you'll receive. But what can you do with unanswered questions? Nothing. Imagine what happens when your questions are answered: you receive clarity in a situation, you solve a problem, you understand your relationships better, etc. Ask questions, good questions, and get the answers you need in order to move you forward with your team, projects, and leadership.

Homework:

Retreat. Take an hour and a half out of your work day to evaluate the progress of your projects and do some self-reflection. Be Vulnerable. Be honest with someone about how you are feeling and what you are doing. Do this with someone who already knows you well, who you can trust to help you. Ask Questions. What in your organization or team needs clarification? What questions do you need to ask your leader/mentor, your team, or even yourself? Make a list of questions and take time to ask them this week.

How Do You Answer Questions About Your Leadership Brand?

I recently watched a fascinating interview that the Wall Street Journal recorded with Logan Green, CEO of Lyft. The topic of the interview was “How I Work." While I am admittedly an Uber guy, I have to tell you that I may give Lyft a try the next time I am in need of a car service. I was really impressed (I was going to write "uber impressed," but that just didn’t seem right!) by Logan’s answers to the interview questions.

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Then I got to thinking, why would one interview with a CEO cause me to shift my loyalty?

Was it his personal style? Some of the attributes I noticed were

  • He was casual yet attentive.
  • He was informal yet focused.
  • He smiled and was also serious.
  • He was both humble and confident.

Not a bad list for a leader! However, as I reflected I realized that it really wasn’t his personal style that resonated with me. I have seen others with great style and, to put it frankly, in the long run I think style is way over rated.

Was it the questions that were asked? They were questions such as

  • Are you a morning person or night owl?
  • Tea or Coffee Guy?
  • What do you do first thing in the morning?
  • What kind of car do you drive?
  • In one word, what is one thing that separates Lyft from Uber?
  • What is the most important thing you are working on as a leader?
  • What is the most distracting thing that happens in your day?
  • If you had to take an Uber or a Yellow Taxi which would you choose?

No, it wasn’t the questions that were asked. I have heard them all before.

Was it his answers to the questions? He said things like

  • Night Owl
  • Anything with caffeine
  • I like to get up in the morning and go for a short run. It really helps wake me up and start the day right.
  • Nissan Leaf
  • We care.
  • Communicating better and more frequently.
  • I would take the Yellow Taxi any day.

Yes, that was it! It wasn’t necessarily what he said that struck me, but how he said it. His answers were thoughtful and penetrating. They were concise and relevant.

Play A Game

How might you as a leader have the same kind of impact with your followers?  I am going to ask you 6 leadership questions. What you have to do is come up with a concise (one to two words if possible, but no more than a sentence), thoughtful, penetrating, and relevant answer.

Ready? Here we go:

  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • How do you practice self-care?
  • What is the most impactful change you need to make in your leadership?
  • If you had to choose making an ethical decision or maximizing performance, what would you choose?
  • What is the most important thing you do in your day?
  • What is one “do over” you wish you had in your leadership life?

So, how did you do? Having concise and thoughtful answers to questions like this might take some time for you to develop. Perhaps you want to sit with these and reflect for a while. Perhaps you want to ask your team (or your family) how they might answer these questions for you, then compare their answers to yours.

The point

Leaders must have a balance of self-regard and empathy. If these elements are out of balance you will likely end up with a range of behavior from arrogance to paralysis. People will not want to follow you unless they have to. Being overly empathetic will get in the way of productivity. Reflection is a great way to improve both your self-regard and your empathy. That is really what I took away from the interview with Logan Green. He was both confident and caring. How about you? How do you measure up on this emotional intelligence spectrum?

Homework:

Last week I facilitated our Leadership Principles course for a client of ours. This is a course where participants explore their core values, then link them to their leadership principles across 11 different leadership dimensions such as coaching and hiring. At the end of that workshop, we have the participants write their Leadership Epitaph. An Epitaph is a short (no more than 15 word) description that you would want someone to say about you at the end of your life. Why not work on your Leadership Epitaph? What 15 words would you want people who follow your leadership to say about your leadership after you are gone?

Are You Embarrassed by This Leadership Addiction?

I was struck by something I found fascinating as I attended the Society of Consulting Psychology winter meeting in Orlando. Prior to the introduction of the speaker, the master of ceremony told the crowd, “Feel free during any of the talks and presentations today to stand up and walk around. It is not rude. Our desire is for you to be healthy.”

Wow! That was different. I have never seen or heard that before!

Then my mind started playing mental gymnastics with itself:

  • "I don’t like that because I have never heard it before."
  • You should be more flexible when you hear new things."
  • “I don’t like it because it is rude for the speaker."
  • “What a great idea to give people permission to be themselves."

As I was trying to decide if I liked this new approach to audience empowerment or if I found it rude, I realized something about myself...

I am addicted to certainty.

Thinking business woman with glasses looking up on many questions mark isolated on gray wall background

Confidence is the positive feeling of being self-assured. I get this overwhelming feeling of calm when things in my life are unwavering.

Certainty is like a drug. It has the power to give us a feeling of peace even in the midst of chaos. Along with this power comes a numbing effect, telling us that we don’t need to be aware of anything else going on around us. The lie that certainty brings with it is that you can stop learning. You know enough that you no longer need to be open to other ideas. You can shut off any discussion opposed to your position because you are certain.

Leaders need some level of confidence in the vision and direction they are taking followers. So, I am not saying you should be paralyzed by uncertainty. What I am saying is keep asking questions. Use critical thinking skills. Stay curious as an antidote against your certainty addiction.

According to Diane Halpern, a critical thinking expert at Claremont McKenna College, the critical in critical thinking signifies an evaluative component. This evaluation is a constructive component.

Yes, I am now a recovering certainty addict. Like any addict who wants to recover, I started digging into the topic to learn more.

When our brains are engaged with change, their default is to say "no way." The brain wants certainty.

As a result, we end up justifying our stance and fall in love with the assumptions that help us move through life. Certainty, then, is an addiction, because our brains become so accustomed to the way things are for us that we become more rigid in our stances. The instinct is to protect ourselves from that which we do not know.

I don’t want to be uncomfortable with people walking around during a presentation, so I have to protect myself from this idea by rejecting it out of hand. The thing that makes me comfortable is the certainty that I am right.

How do we adapt who we are today to the change that is happening around us?

To be relevant in times of change, we must understand the value we bring. Being open and flexible as a leader becomes paramount to your success. Remaining open and curious as to what is going on around you is the key. Flexibility is an important component in emotional intelligence. According to Steve Stein and Howard Book in their work on emotional intelligence, flexibility is the ability to adjust your emotions, thoughts, and behavior to changing situations and conditions.

Become comfortable with the uncomfortable notion that people walking around during a presentation is okay.

The Challenge

What are you doing as a leader to help commit your organization to an attitude of change? A 2003 study by Accenture Consulting found that 77% of organizational cultures embrace entrepreneurial ideas once they had been tried and proven.

As the leader of your organization, how are you doing with becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable things in your world? How are you fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in your organization? What are you doing to help others in the organization show that their ideas have merit instead of saying, “That will never work here."

Here is a great example my HR friends talk about all the time. The question from organizations goes something like this: "How do we attract millennials and keep them?"

I speak with leaders all the time who want to attract these young and creative professionals. However, after they attract them to the organization they treat them like they are something to be domesticated. Rather than learning from them and paying attention to what they are doing, we struggle to control them.

The world is changing and we cannot continue to apply our old assumptions to the new trends that are taking place. Stop fighting it. Stop resisting it. Start being flexible and resist your urge toward the comfort of certainty.

For example, instead of trying to domesticate millennials, which is the certainty principle, why not become playful with your approach to engaging the talent in your organization?

Breaking The Mold of Certainty

Here are 2 questions I picked up from the Futurist at the presentation on ways to break out of the mold of not changing:

  • What is at stake if you do it? What is at stake if you don’t?
  • Micro change: Change is hard, so what can we do? Pilot something different, find what you like, and improve upon it.

Homework

Find a place you are really certain about in your leadership. Now, begin to wrestle with the idea of what happens if you do not change. What is at stake if you don’t start looking at it in a different way?

Here is a method for helping leaders reduce organizational tension.

Have you ever heard the phrase “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country about of the boy?” You probably have, or at least a variation of it. It's a common saying, because of the truth behind it: We all have a cultural upbringing and background that cannot be easily ignored or changed.

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The culture we grew up in is a foundational part of who we are and provides much of our leadership frame. The culture we are exposed to as infants, children, and young adults forms the values, beliefs, and social norms we carry around as adults today. This cultural development is so integral to who we are that it can cause us to behave in ways that we see as entirely normal, but others may look at and say, “what planet did you come from?“

Culture is influential and inevitable in shaping every single person in this world.

According to Michael Polanyi (my favorite science philosopher), “…as human beings, we must inevitably see the universe from a center lying within ourselves and speak about it in terms of a human language shaped by the exigencies of human intercourse.” Everything we do as leaders is culturally situated by our entire human experience: race, sex, economic class, family of origin, family dynamics, teachers, coaches, friends. It all has an impact on how you see the world and how you lead.

Last week, I was at a conference speaking about leadership and the impact our emotional intelligence has on performance. Questions about the clash of cultures came up in our group discussions. Some of the participants observed that the culture of their company didn't completely align with their cultural background. The company, for example, values expression of emotion as a way to show vulnerability and authenticity. This created tension as the individual who raised the issue grew up in a family culture that valued performance without emotion, “just the facts." The young lady said when she was a teenager there was no empathizing with how hard a class was, just deliver the “A."

This young lady felt trapped between the successful model she was taught as a young person and the new culture of empathy and connectedness. I have to tell you, the tension in the room was palpable and the struggle for learning to navigate this dynamic seemed unyielding.

What we talked about as a group is the fact that the impact our formative culture has on our behavior is not something can easily change without full awareness and willing intention. In fact, it may not be a full-on change that is needed, but more skill in navigating between the two cultural dynamics. This is a real value for the discipline of Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence encompasses your ability to create space in a situation and make a behavioral choice rather than acting impulsively. Being emotionally intelligent equips you to assess the cultural tension, adapt to a culture, and even affect a culture with good leadership and team cooperation.

There is a lot that can be learned here from Young Yun Kim’s cross-cultural adaptation theory of "stress-adapt-grow." For example, the higher a leader's emotional intelligence, the more equipped they are to recognize the impact that the cultural stress is having on them. Self-awareness to understand there is a difference allows the leader to be able to feel the stress and deal with it rather than ignore it and let it mount.

If stress mounts to a point that can not be tolerated, all sorts of negative consequences are possible. If the stress is managed, then adaptation to the new culture is possible. Learning the emotional intelligence skill of emotional expression, for example, will allow this young leader to value both her culture of origin and her culture of destiny. When she adapts, she can grow to a place where she can feel less stress about the cultural differences. She will have grown as a leader without having to give up core aspects of who she is as a person.

Our theme for this month is going to focus on organizational culture issues. We look forward to a deeper conversation about the positive outcomes that may be achieved when you use emotional intelligence in any cultural situation.

Homework

Is there some place where you are feeling stress in your organizational leadership? Examine your culture of origin and compare it to your culture of destiny. Is there a place where growing your emotional intelligence could help you see the stress in a different light? Could you gain skills to help you adapt and grow? Look for places of friction in your work and see if it might have something to do with the clash of cultures.

This IS More Important Than Any 2016 Goal You May Have

Over the past few weeks, I have thrown myself into the goal setting literature. My goal in this quest was to find something pithy and interesting to spur you on as you set your 2016 goals. I wanted to share with you something that you might not read anywhere else, such as:

  • How to envision your goals and make them SMART.
  • How to set up accountability for successful goal achievement.
  • How to celebrate goal achievement, or correct your course if you are falling short on a goal.

Businessman writing Idea 2016 concept. Can use for your business concept background.

Alas, while you can find lots of support in the leadership literature for all of the above, each time I began to write something I felt it had already been written. I was a bit discouraged about what I was going to share with you on this subject.

However, this morning I was reading an article in the WallStreet Journal by Ben Summers who teaches at West Point. Ben was illustrating his point using the example of how the United States treats enemy combatants who are captured. He compared this strategy to how, throughout history, our enemies have treated us.

In the article, he states, “Character is often measured in how we react when our values are most tested." (Summers, Ben. December 29, 2015. WallStreet Journal electronic version.)

It hit me. Perhaps it is not what we write as a goal, but how we implement it as a leader that matters. This is so true of every leader, regardless of organizational role. It is true for:

  • The CEO and the mail clerk in an organization
  • The pastor and the janitor in a church
  • The Vice President of Sales and the Manager of Operations
  • The university president and the adjunct professor
  • The store manager and the night security

We will all set some sort of goal in 2016. Even if we don’t write them down (which the literature says you should do), we will be thinking of what we want to accomplish this year.

Character Matters

Could it be that more important than the commitments we make is the character we show in implementing our goals? It is not only the what we are doing, but how we are accomplishing our goals that matters.

This morning I was doing some meditation. When I meditate, I will often use the Bible as a source of inspiration. I was reading from Psalm 15, the first 5 verses. In this reflection, the writer of these verses gives an interesting list of character traits for leaders to measure themselves against. Traits such as:

  • Integrity: Do what is right and speak the truth.
  • Loyalty: Treat others with respect and fairness.
  • Self-awareness: Hold fast to what is right; Be willing to admit wrong and make changes.

How Will You Implement

What an interesting list of character traits for us to compare ourselves to in 2016!

By now, many of you have already set some goals and some stretch goals. Good for you! The question is, will you implement them with integrity?

Will you implement them without talking poorly of someone else to make yourself look good? Will you implement them with self-awareness, even if you have to say you were wrong? Will you implement your goals while not sacrificing what you know is the right thing to do? Can you muster the courage to speak the truth even when it goes against popular consensus?

Perhaps as we review goals with our supervisors and accountability partners in 2016, we can talk not only about “the what" we hope to accomplish, but also “the how” we will go about it.

My hope for you as a leader is that you will set some really outstanding goals for 2016 and that you will implement them with character, principle, and integrity!

A Challenge

Here is a challenge for you! What if when you die, you face God. And God is not as interested in “what" you did on earth but “how" you did it? Would you do anything differently in your strategy for implementing your 2016 goals?

Homework: Spend some time reviewing your 2016 goals and considering "how" you will accomplish them. Write them down if you have not already done so.  Share your ideas with a friend or colleague and ask them to hold you accountable to implementing your goals with character, principle, and integrity this year.

If you take the homework challenge this week, or even sometime this month as you are starting your year, I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment below or send me an email and let me know!

You Need This More Than Anything Else to Lead Effectively In 2016

Last summer my wife Kim and I ran a “Hit & Run 5K” This was a traditional 5k with an obstacle course built into the run. It was a blast, and even though my 5K time was pathetic, we laughed so hard it made my side hurt. As you ran this 5K you would come up to an obstacle that had to be navigated in order to continue the course. These obstacles were of the blow-up variety, so they all had some bounce to them and many of them included a water feature as well.

Atlanta, GA USA - March 5, 2014: A woman begins to slip and fall into the water trying to run through the wrecking balls event, at the Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge (ROC) 5K race.

One of the obstacles we had to traverse was a rubber air mattress that had plastic pillars all around it that were filled with air. People stood behind the pillars and pushed them into you as you ran across the mattress. Their goal was to knock you off balance so that you could not go straight through the course and finish the obstacle. These pillar pushers were trying to keep you from hitting your goal time.

Many of you, during this week between the Christmas holiday and the New Year, find yourself on such an obstacle course. You are trying to get in some meaningful family time while closing out 2015 and preparing for 2016. It is like your family, 2015, and 2016, are plastic airfield pillars that are trying to knock you off course, inhibiting your ability to finish the race you are running.

There is an important leadership concept that is continuing to surface in the leadership literature, and my guess is that it is only going to get more study time as the years go on.

What I am going to continue to reinforce with those I train and coach is the idea of Rejuvenation.

If you are going to run through an obstacle course, from time to time you need to recharge your batteries. No leader can stay on the course, being battered from all sides, all the time.

Henry Thompson, in his most excellent book The Stress Effect states that leaders have an effective energy zone they run in. If the stress gets too high, they can be subject to burn out. If the stress is too low, they can rust out. As you prepare for 2016, how are you going to be intentional with your rejuvenation?

I hope you didn’t miss that last sentence. If you did, go back and read it again.

Here is the key: Be intentional with rejuvenation.

Leaders face immense stress and pressure from all parts of the organization and their lives. You have to be equipped to handle the stress that is going to come your way. One of the best ways to be equipped is to plan for different types of rejuvenating events.

Here are some tips to help you rejuvenate as your day goes along:

  • Be self-aware of the impact that stress of others can have on you. Many of us have a habit of picking up on the emotional stress that others bring when we interact with them. Own what you can own, but do not be subject to stress that someone else is feeling. Be empathetic instead of sympathetic with them.
  • Pay attention to what you eat for breakfast and lunch. I had a conversation with my physician recently about my diet. I told him I loved hamburgers. You see I really lovvvvve hamburgers. I just know that when I eat one, I go into a food coma for about 3 hours. So, if I have one for lunch, I might as well take the rest of the day off.
  • Drink 100 ounces of water every day. This will rejuvenate your cells as they dehydrate. It wall also get you up and moving to the restroom more which will give you the short break you need to refocus when you get back to your desk.
  • Find an exercise you like and commit to it. I love my boot camp and exercising 5 days a week. It works for me. It might not for you. Try yoga, try walking in the park, get a dog and walk it. Ride your bike. I know this one isn’t new, but if you are going to rejuvenate and be an effective leader, you have to find some way to release the cortisol that is accumulating in your muscles throughout the day.
  • Find a leadership group to join. Talking with like-minded peers is therapeutic. When done once a month for an hour or two , it can revitalize your energy. There is real power in sharing where you are in your leadership life and hearing where others are as well.
  • Get a coach. If you have some intense conversations that need to be released, there is nothing like a coaching relationship to help you clear your head so you can navigate your leadership course.

Homework: Pick one of the 6 Leadership Rejuvenators outlined above and implement it starting the first week in January. Commit to doing this one thing for the next 6 months and see if you can notice any change in your leadership energy. If you decide to implement one of these, please let us know. We would love to hear your story so we can learn and grow as well.

The Lost Art of This Leadership Responsibility

Many of you find yourself in a different energy gear at this time of year. For some of you, this time of year brings some reflection and relaxation. Others of you don’t know where your energy is going to come from and are relying on Redbull and Starbucks to help you finish the year strong. No matter what psychological energy state you find yourself as a leader, one of the most important leadership responsibilities you have is to create memories for those you love and care about. Those you are responsible for can be either in your work life or your home life.

Big family with three children celebrating Christmas at home. Festive dinner at fireplace and Xmas tree. Parent and kids eating at fire place in decorated room. Child lighting advent wreath candle

As a leader, you have the responsibility to be  a memory maker.

Those who follow you, whether at home or at work, will remember for many years to come the impact of the memories you created for them.

My Story

Recently, I lead a group of students I teach in an intentional leadership exercise. I had them ask family members to all think about an event they participated in together. Something like a vacation, a sporting event, or even a meal. Then each person is to write a short paragraph recalling what the event meant to them. We call this a Family Journaling exercise.

Let me tell you, my students went into this exercise kicking and screaming (metaphorically of course). They came out of it with deep joy and gratitude for the experience. Why the transformation?

Many students reflected on the power of the memory sharing that family members had recalled. It was powerful for them to hear the depth of meaning brought by those who shared. Several students commented they were going to make this part of their holiday tradition. They were starting a Christmas journal to capture the highlights of the year and then read them in years to come.

My wife writes a Christmas journal every year. I can share from personal experience how powerful it is to go back over the years and reflect on the significance of that particular season. We collect some of our favorite Christmas Cards, recipes, and stories into the journal.  My wife will even play a game with us reading some of the collection and have us guess the year it took place.

Why not be intentional this holiday season about creating positive memories for those you lead? Here are a few suggestions for activities you could lead others to participate in. These types of activities are both fun and cathartic for those who engage, and for you as a leader there will be things that are shared that are valuable learnings for you to reflect upon.

Here are 3 memory makers you could lead for those who follow you:

  1. Create a Family/ Team Journal. Write down significant events, gifts, meals, from the season. Include some photographs and Christmas cards in the journal. Have those on your team or family help you by selecting what is meaningful for them.
  2. Do a Family/Team Journaling Exercise. This is an easy one, and you can do it in under an hour. Pick an event like a vacation, celebration, or a time when you all were together. Then give everyone a blank sheet of paper or a blank note on their device. Have them write a paragraph or two of what they remember from their perspective. When everyone is finished, spin a candy cane and the person the stick is pointing to goes first. After they read what they wrote, have others fill in the memories from their perspective.
  3. Lead a Gratitude Group. Sit your group in a circle and share something that someone in your group did this year that you are thankful for. This is a great one for kids of all ages to practice the freeing emotion of being thankful.

My hope for you as a leader is that you will take some time and reflect this holiday season on how truly blessed you are. I love being on this leadership journey with you and look forward to a great 2016.

Homework: Okay, this is an easy one this week. Pick one, two, or even all three of the memory makers outlined above and implement them with your team or family. We would love to hear from you if you do this, so drop us a line and tell us your experience.

How Top Executives Are Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are on your way to a wonderful Christmas season. I know for our family this is one of the best times of the year. One of my family's favorite activities is to sit around and play games together. Some of our favorites right now are Qwirkle, Bang!, Settlers of Catan, and our age-old favorite card game, Euchre. There is an interesting line of research that is showing how important the art of play is in learning. We all know this is true for kids growing up. I can remember as a kid going outside and playing for hours. We learned how to get along with others. We learned rules and boundaries. We learned how to win with humility and lose gracefully (well, at least we knew what the standard was for each of these even if we didn’t implement them correctly). Playing is an important part of learning for adults as well.

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So, why don’t we play a game? I will give you a couple of questions, and you see if you can guess the right answer. These questions come from a recent article by Robert Paglinarini titled “The Top 5 Coaching Myths” based upon research on Fortune 100 executives. Let's see how you do.

  • Executives who participated in formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in interpersonal relationships?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in teamwork?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in job satisfaction?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced, what percent improvement in quality of their work?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

Answer Key

How do you think you did? Let's find out...

Interpersonal Relationships The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their interpersonal relationships by 77%. The truth is that when it comes to interpersonal relationships the change or improvement that is needed is often quite small. Usually, it is something that will make the relationship mutually satisfying for both parties. Things like putting down your phone and making eye contact, taking time to connect socially before digging right into business, and treating others with respect.

Teamwork The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their teamwork by 67%. Teamwork can be a little trickier because there are multiple individual relationships as well as group dynamics that come into play. Some new research on how leaders handle risk is shedding light on improving team performance. Many teams struggle because the risk profile of the individuals differs significantly. Fortunately, we now have tools to diagnose and assist in helping teams perform at higher levels based upon risk profiles. If you are interested in learning more about this let me know, I would be happy to share.

Job Satisfaction The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their job satisfaction by 61%. This one is two-fold in my mind. First, just having someone to intently listen to you like an executive coach does can do wonders for your over feeling of satisfaction. It can be like therapy at work. The other factor is that most people who hire an executive coach are doing so these days to make themselves better. When performance improves people feel better, ergo increased job satisfaction.

Quality The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve the quality of their work by 48%. This is probably due to an executive coaches ability to clarify issues and help the executive focus on what is really important.

How About You

As you start to think about your performance in 2016, could a coach be the right next step? Are you looking to improve the quality of your work or maybe your job satisfaction? The return on investment (ROI) data for coaching is all over the board. Most studies cite numbers two to six times the investment range. My personal opinion is that most of the ROI data on coaching is suspect primarily because of the methodology used to calculate the data. What kind of return would you like to have on an important team's performance? How important is the project they are working on, for example? If the executives in this study say that coaching helped them that much, maybe you should try it for yourself. Conduct your own study and see what you think.

Homework: As you consider your goals for 2016 what would it be like for you to make an investment in a coach to help you reach your goal? Think about it, it might be just the bit of playfulness you need to learn and grow as a leader.

5 Visioning Mistakes Leaders Make

My wife and I are enjoying a beautiful fall drive in central Indiana today. We drove up from Florida to surprise and celebrate our daughter Gretchen’s 25th birthday. If you want to see what a surprised 25-year-old actually looks like, click here. I do enjoy fall. Fall colors. The crisp fall air in Indiana. Apple cider. College football. Playoff Major League Baseball (Go Cubs!). Fall is an amazing season.

For me, fall also brings working on my 1, 3, & 5-year business plan. My clients are busy putting training, speaking, and coaching engagements together in their organizations. In addition to planning next years activities, I have been working on setting a new vision for my organization.

I know visioning is a leadership topic that gets a lot of press, and not all of it is good. Much of it is confusing, such as do you establish a mission for your organization and then set a vision, or does the vision of the leader establish the mission the organization undertakes? I don’t want to get caught up in this chicken or the egg argument. Actually, I think both can be true.

Choices of a businessman

Rather, I would like to spend some time reflecting with you on common vision setting mistakes I have seen leaders make in the past. Each of these common mistakes I have either made myself or been associated with leaders who could have gotten better results if they had paid closer attention to these elements.

When most leaders think of vision, they turn to creating the vision or casting it to followers. While both of these are important elements, rarely are these specific items where the problem lies.

It Is Not Vision Creation

Vision gets created in a variety of different ways.

At times, the leader gets an inspirational or even divine intervention. In these cases, the leader is often in a reflective or meditative state, and a vision will be provided to them regarding the direction the organization needs to take. Other methods for vision creation are more organic, and the vision will evolve from the existing work being done in the organization.

Vision can also be created by groups that the leader pulls together. I helped create a vision for a drug and alcohol task force a few years ago using an open meeting concept. (If you want to learn more about open meetings you can click here and go to a blog I did on the subject several months ago.) Using this process, group members decide together what they want the vision of the organization to become.

In all my experience with vision creation, rarely have I seen a statement that was the issue. In fact, I can not think of one example of a leader or a group who actually created a bad vision. The issues for vision not becoming reality do not rest in the creation process. If things don’t go right in the implementation of the vision, the actual vision itself can come into question as being the right one. Rather than the actual vision getting the blame, maybe we as leaders need to dig a little deeper into the question of why our vision is not working.

The 5 Mistakes

The following are simply five common mistakes that I have found to be common in my experience and observation. If you have other thoughts or have seen other things, why not drop me a line in the comments section below? I would love to hear from you and learn from your experience.

  1. Not describing where the vision originated. In my estimation, this boils down to pure arrogance on the part of the leader. The image followers have is that you were sitting on a mountain and received the vision for the organization from on high. I am not saying that this cannot happen, but if it does you need to communicate it to those in your organization. Followers need sufficient detail in order to understand and have trust in where you are taking them. Some will follow blindly, but most will not. As you provide detail on how you arrived at your vision, you will earn their trust. The Fix: Spend time providing detail around the vision to your followers so they can catch your enthusiasm for where the organization is headed.
  2. Lack of role clarity for inner circle followers. Those in your inner circle must have clarity about what their role is going to be in making the vision a reality. Those who are direct reports to you must be able to articulate and own the entire vision, from the creation process to the communication and implementation. There must be accountability within this inner circle. In no way can the leader come up with, own, and implement alone. Development, creation, ownership, and implementation must be an organizational process.The Fix: Everyone in the inner circle must have specific accountability for an aspect of vision implementation.
  3. Lack of personal belief in the vision. Many of you who read this blog do not have direct impact or influence on the vision for your organization. In many cases, it is handed to you to embrace and make reality. Others in your organization need to know that you embrace the vision. I don’t think it is true to say that you have to agree with every small detail around implementation. However, it is vital that you believe in the vision and overall direction the organization is headed. If not, you probably need to do some reflection on whether you are in the place you really want to be. If you do not like the vision, influence it. If you can not influence it and you don’t like it, then maybe your calling is elsewhere.The Fix: Reflect on how you personally believe in the vision of your organization. Write out your thoughts. If you don’t believe in the vision, get out.  You will only be a barrier to performance in the long run. If you need to leave the organization, this exercise will help you articulate what you believe so you can match this with the next group you associate with.
  4. Abdication of the vision. Here is one I heard recently: “This is Pastor Eric’s vision for our church!" May these words never be uttered in your organization, whether you lead in a Fortune 500 company or a local church. The words you never want to hear are that those in the masses have not bought in and owned the vision for themselves. If ownership of the vision does not get passed down, the likelihood of the vision becoming  reality is quite small.The Fix: Everyone in the organization needs to be accountable for how they are implementing the vision in their own organization. As you interact with subordinates, have conversations about what they are doing to own and make the vision a reality.
  5. Devaluing Encouragement. People in the organization need to know that you believe they get the vision. Far too many leaders cast a vision then move on to something else. There is power in vision and the people need to know you believe it! The best way to build positive momentum around the vision is to articulate it, then catch people doing it. When you catch them, why not tell them, and everyone in the organization, that you caught them? Again, there is no better way to get the behavior you are looking for than to communicate success. Period.The Fix: Catch people implementing the vision and celebrate it with the world!

P.S. Some of you are working on personal vision for your career and your life. I think some of the same issues occur in personal visioning work. You may have to make some adaptations, but I do think the issues are worth thinking through.

Homework

Study the 5 mistakes leaders make when it comes to visioning. Write a 3 bullet point action plan that can turn your mistake into learning, and eventually a success.

Example: After reflecting, I realize that I have not fully owned my organization's vision. As a result, I am going to:

  • Sit with my supervisor to ensure I can clearly articulate the meaning and intention of the vision.
  • Hold a meeting with my direct reports to connect what we do on our team with the vision of the organization.
  • Assign staff members to make presentations on how what they do links to the vision of the organization.

If you try this homework, we would love to hear how it is working for you. Why not leave a comment below and let us know how it is going for you?

Have You Ever Felt Overwhelmed?

Recently, I felt overwhelmed. When I think of it now it seems a little silly. Here's the story:

I was running on all cylinders. Many of you know that in addition to writing this blog, I:

  • Teach and train emotional intelligence for corporate clients.
  • Speak at conferences on leadership topics.
  • Maintain an active executive coaching practice.
  • Am adjunct faculty at Indiana Wesleyan University.

I love it all, but I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with all the travel I was doing, which comes along with these responsibilities. Like many of you, when I show up to any of these responsibilities my goal is to do it with excellence. When I get tired and stressed I have to make sure that I can deliver what my clients need, no matter what the circumstances are in my life.

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I was describing my overwhelmed feeling to a very good friend who suggested I take a retreat.

Where I live we have a beautiful national historic landmark, Bok Tower, which bills itself as a contemplative garden. My friend suggested I go spend half a day there. Here is part of that conversation:

“Retreat! What do you mean?" I asked him. “Just get away and clear your head for a few hours," is what I heard in reply. "I don’t have time” was my response to him.

                                 Big Fat Lie. Really what was traversing my mind were thoughts like:

“What would I do?“ "How would I do it? “I don’t know what to do." “What would I do?” I actually remember thinking this one twice.

It is funny I said that I didn’t have time, but time isn’t really the issue.  I just didn’t know what to do, but I really didn’t want to admit that to my friend.

Here's what I've discovered since then...

When I get that overwhelmed feeling it means that I have so much going on in my mind that I can’t really think clearly about anything. The pressure of all that I have to get done starts to close in around me. My emotions really start to take over and I feel the stress in my shoulders and a shortening of my breath in addition to being overwhelmed.

Dr. Henry L. Thompson, an award-winning organizational psychologist, in his book The Stress Effect, emphasizes that an emotionally intelligent leader must be aware of emotion to be able to “choose when, where, and how to use emotion." According to Thompson, “Anything that interferes with this ability, such as stress, will tend to degrade the application of emotional intelligence." The feeling of being overwhelmed will trigger stress and could lead to outcomes where I may not deliver excellence for my clients.

The overwhelmed feeling I had, along with the stress it produced, meant that my thinking was actually inhibited. I was at risk for making poor decisions, not because of my intelligence or lack of information, but because I needed to step away so that I could be objective.

Retreat Is A Power Position

I didn’t need to step away, or retreat, as a sign of weakness. Actually, retreat is a powerful tool for positioning yourself for strength.

The state of being overwhelmed was causing me to not be able to provide excellence. I had two choices:

  • Slug through it and hope that no one noticed
  • Retreat. Take a step back so that I could re-engage into the circumstance more powerfully.

I chose retreat. And am I glad I did.

So what does this mean to you & me?

The next time you get that overwhelmed feeling, why not take a Personal Leadership Retreat?

A Personal Leadership Retreat is where you carve out a small amount of time (I did 4 hours) and gather your thoughts about the impact your leadership is having.

As a result of the conversation with my friend, I finished a Personal Leadership Retreat a few weeks ago and came out with much clearer thinking. I felt really good about how I spent my time. The benefits for me were:

  • I felt better about my relationship with God.
  • I was clear on what I had accomplished in the first half of the year.
  • I have clarity around things I want to get done in the second half of the year.
  • I have more focus around my core business moving forward.
  • I felt relaxed so that I was making better decisions.

If you are interested in doing a Personal Leadership Retreat, here is the agenda I followed:

8am - Arrive 8-9am - Bible Reading and Reflection 9-10am - Reflections on Leadership 10-11am - Nature Walk 11-11:45am - Leadership Issues that need to be resolved 11:45-noon - Final Reflection

The next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, why not take a few hours and do a Personal Leadership Retreat? Once you do, I think you will feel more focused, relaxed, and perhaps even improve your outcomes.

Hey Mike, thanks for recommending this to me. I owe you.

Let me know how this works for you, Scott

Homework: Schedule your own Personal Leadership Retreat. I've developed a step by step guide to help you. Click here to download. In this guide you will get hour by hour instructions on what to do during your retreat. You will get questions to answer to stimulate thought. You will get a list of resources to take with you on your retreat and much, much, more. I would love your feedback on the guide, so if you do take a Personal Leadership Retreat be sure and let us know how it went for you.

Leadership Tip of the Week

Click play below to watch a short video with some additional thoughts from this week’s blog, "Are You Making This Leadership Mistake?"

I would love to know what you think about this idea! Please leave a comment below.

If you know someone who might benefit from these tips, please send them the link to the blog and encourage them to subscribe!

Are You Making This Leadership Mistake?

“I can’t believe I got pulled into my bosses office the other day and accused of being a micromanager, when in my performance review last year I was praised for my attention to detail," was part of the conversation I had with a client a few weeks ago. Have you ever had a strength of yours be called into question as a barrier to your leadership?

  • "You have a lot of energy" becomes “At times he is over-bearing."
  • “You are such a team player” becomes “You can not deliver what you are responsible for."
  • “You are so flexible” becomes “You do not have a mind of your own."
  • “You have such a sense of hope” becomes “You see the world in rose colored glasses."

In all of these cases, the leader has a strength that became a barrier to leadership.

How does this happen?

Thinking about right solution. Young man is standing against blackboard with drawing weight.

Imbalance Diminishes Effectiveness

I ran across an interesting quote the other day while researching what it means to be a versatile leader:

“Leadership consists of opposing strengths, and most leaders have a natural tendency to overdevelop one at the expense of another. This resulting imbalance diminishes their effectiveness." (Kaplan & Kaiser, "Developing versatile leadership,” MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(4))

The definition I use for leadership is: "Leadership is a process that gets results via a relationship between a leader and a follower."

What Kaplan and Kaiser are saying is that leaders are relying too heavily on one strength over another strength and that this imbalance is creating a barrier to an effective leadership process.

Have you observed this in leaders you work with or maybe even in yourself?

The stories will go something like this:

  • “He is smart and a real expert in his field, but he needs to pay more attention to the relationships with those on the team." / Imbalance between intellect and interpersonal relationships.
  • “She is self-confident and has a clear sense of direction while showing little to no empathy along the way." / Imbalance between self-regard and empathy.
  • “He is so compassionate and caring about the people, its just that nothing ever gets done." / Imbalance between people and results.
  • “She is so flexible and calm, but it seems like she just isn’t aware of the tension we all are feeling." / Imbalance between flexibility and stress tolerance.

You can see the contrasts!

When a leader is highly results driven, which we all want, the people who are working to achieve the results can become a distant second in priority. This is often unintentional on the part of the leader, but this lack of intention does not lessen the impact that those on the receiving end feel. These imbalances are often caused by being strong in an area where there is nothing to keep the strength in check.

It would look something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.33.13 PM

My Phone Rings

As an executive coach, the conversation with HR support or the direct supervisor will usually include a statement that goes something like this: “We really like the individual. They provide a lot of value to the organization. They just seem to lack emotional intelligence."

What this means is that a leader is delivering or has historically delivered results, but feedback into the organization is saying things could even be better if there was some tempering of the quality that is valued.

Emotional Intelligence seems to be quickly becoming the buzz word catch all phrase for when a leader's strengths are out of balance, creating a barrier to their leadership. The emotional intelligence model I use in my practice was developed by Revue BarOn and is published by Multi-Health Systems.

It is comprised of the following 15 Competencies: Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 3.37.56 PM

Each of these competencies can be a real strength for you as a leader. The question is, are you over reliant on a strength to the point that it is becoming a barrier to your performance?

Assessment Tool

Since leadership is both results and people-oriented, we need a tool that helps us assess both factors. Karol Wasylyshyn, in her book Destined to Lead, has put together a results/behavior matrix that I have found very useful in helping leaders to see this imbalance. In this model, results and behaviors can either be positive or negative.

Four results are possible from this combination: 1. Results +/Behaviors+ 2. Results +/Behaviors - 3. Results -/Behaviors + 4. Results-/Behaviors -

For our purposes here we are going to assume the leader is getting results, so we will focus on whether or not the appropriate behaviors are evident. (If you want the full explanation of the matrix I do recommend Karol’s book as there are a number of excellent leader development tools.)

Because we are assuming results are positive, then we are really talking about 2 scenarios: 1. Positive Behaviors 2. Negative Behaviors

The scenario that most often we are concerned with when it comes to performers is that of positive results and negative behaviors.

Wasylyshn says, “These people can be high maintenance, sour others with their cynicism, or otherwise erode team performance.” These negative behaviors then become the barrier that Kaplan and Kaiser identified.

Bringing strengths into alignment is a leadership attribute that can pay huge dividends in overall team performance. Why not look at development using one strength to balance another so that leaders get performance results with people rather than instead of them?

Homework

Perhaps someone on your team is achieving results but not maximizing team performance. Can you identify one of their strengths that is out of balance? How could you coach them on bringing that strength into balance by using another strength they possess?

I would love to hear your story. Please leave a comment below and let us know how this balancing act is working for you!

How Emotional Intelligence Can Work for You

Emotions are an interesting aspect of being human. Our feelings provide color and vitality to our lives. They help us express our most basic human thoughts and provide the means for us to attempt to understand each other.

I have been teaching and training leaders to become aware of and improve their emotional intelligence for about 10 years now. Many of the clients I work with echo the research that says a person must be smart enough to be in a leadership role, but that it is emotional intelligence that modulates success.

brain

Emotional intelligence is a leader’s capacity to effectively recognize and manage their emotions and the emotions of others in order to enhance judgment and decision-making.

Have you ever found yourself having made a decision you wish you could take back because your emotions got the best of you? Perhaps you took a job just because you felt the pressure for income rather than waiting for a role that was a better fit for your talents. Many of you have taken promotions into roles because promotions feel good, rather than being content doing the work you love.

A story to Consider

I have a client who just got a new boss. The search for my client's new leader took a year, and in the meantime my client filled the gap so well that he was actually recognized by the president of the organization for his contribution, including a pay raise and a new title.  Most on the outside would say my client is extremely talented, very gifted in this role, and very successful in many past roles. Yet when I talked to him here is what he said.

I am:

    • frustrated
    • overwhelmed
    • overworked
    • stressed
    • feeling immense pressure
    • unsuccessful
    • emotionally drained

On the outside, everyone in the organization would say, “This dude is awesome!”, “Does he ever have it together!”, or “I wish I could be him!"

However, on the inside a different story is being told. One where my client is saying, “Am I really valued here? This work is not what I signed up for. I am stuck and I feel desperate. What am I going to do?"

The emotions he feels are something my client and his new boss both have to recognize, express, and use so that the talent in this young leader shines through.

How can my client (and his new boss) use emotional intelligence to turn these negative feelings into productive, positive, and powerful outcomes for the organization?

Important Questions to Answer

Let's assume this young leader has enough intellect to do the job. Since I personally know this person very well, I can assure you he does! Based upon the above definition of emotional intelligence, some interesting questions need to be asked:

  • Can this young leader and his boss work together to experience a positive performance outcome?
  • What risk does this young leader have for making a poor decision?
  • Can this young leader develop emotional intelligence to enhance judgment and decision-making?

Important Answers to These Important Questions

Let's start with the last question first: Can this young leader develop emotional intelligence?  

In the infancy of the study of emotional intelligence, theorists did not separate emotional intelligence from personality. Therefore, it was believed that growth in this area was not possible. This was based upon the assumption that since personality does not change, neither can the way a person uses emotion.

We now know after separating emotional intelligence from personality theory (which does not change much over time), that you can develop your emotional intelligence and make better decisions and judgments as a result.

Below is a chart from data I collected with a client at a large pharmaceutical company. In 2009 we gave a one-day baseline training (blue bar) to 125 people on Leading with Emotional Intelligence. Following the training, each participant received 2 coaching sessions, after which we retested the participants. Each of the EI competencies improved, which is what we expected. All except one: Interpersonal Relationships.

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We were puzzled by this at first. Why would we see increases in all competencies except one? After reviewing the data, we discovered that Interpersonal Relationship was the highest competency to start with and not many people had chosen it as a place to develop. This further strengthened our argument that if you focus on an EI competency it can be developed. Perhaps an even stronger argument is that if you choose not to work on this element of your leadership, then you can expect nothing to change for you.

I am curious how this sits with you. Are you feeling stressed but not doing anything to improve your stress management? Or are you a very technical, data-driven person, struggling with interpersonal relationships, who is just avoiding the topic and hoping it will go away? If this sounds like you, avoiding the development of your emotional intelligence will leave you right where you are today.

Is This Young Leader at Risk?

Without the use of emotional intelligence, this young leader will become a slave to his emotion.  This potentially leads to a decision to relieve the emotion rather than dealing with the source of what is really going on. The young leader may leave a job he loves too early, or stay in the job too long. The right outcome is in the heart of the young leader. In order to discover it, he must be able to think clearly in order to listen to what his heart is saying about what he wants for his life. Without this ability to clearly listen, leaders are prone to make emotional decisions that may relieve temporary pain but are not as valuable in the long run.

So, if you pay attention to an area you can develop, and you assess your risk correctly in the end, does this link to improved decision-making result in increases in your performance?

So what if my client can become aware of his heart's desires? So what if my client improved the emotional intelligence competency of adaptability?  He may be better at not being a slave to his impulses, but what effect does this have on his performance? Isn’t it all about performance in the end? Maybe, but maybe not!

Emotional Intelligence and Performance

As you probably have guessed there is strong link in the leadership literature between Emotional Intelligence and performance.

For example, Chew, Zain, and Hassan's report on positive social interaction with peers facilitated cognitive and intellectual development that led to good academic performance among medical students. (The relationship between the social management of emotional intelligence and academic performance among medical studentsBoon-How Chew, Azhar Md. Zain, Faezah Hassan, Psychology, Health & Medicine Vol. 20, Iss. 2, 2015).

  • My client could ensure his social interactions at work remain positive, and focus on the value he gets out of the relationships at work as a surrogate for performance.

Bar-On, Handley, and Fund empirically demonstrate that EI does indeed impact performance in their studies of the United States Air Force and the Israeli Defense Forces. In one study of officer selection those with leadership potential had significantly higher scores than those who didn’t have potential. The EI competencies that predicted officer selection are: Interpersonal Relationships, Stress Tolerance, Empathy, Independence, Reality Testing, Problem Solving, Self-Regard, Emotional Self-Awareness, and Happiness.

  • My client could take an EI assessment, benchmark where his emotional intelligence is currently, then work on his level of Self-Regard (confidence) to improve his performance as an example.

Is It All About Performance?

Absolutely yes, and absolutely no! Some of you may struggle with this absolute dichotomy. The way I see it, leadership is performance, and how you get there is equally important as getting there. We all know too many leaders who reached stated objectives then left the organization a disaster. What you do and how you do it matter a lot.

What matters besides performance? How about character?

Enter KRW International, a group of leadership consultants who found that CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period. That’s nearly five times as much as what those with low character ratings had; their ROA averaged only 1.93%. (https://hbr.org/2015/04/measuring-the-return-on-character

  • In all of the emotion surrounding my client, he must keep in mind that his character matters! Keeping the big picture of living true to himself and his morals in mind is significant as he develops as a leader.

The End of the Story

Let’s try and put a bow around what is going on with my client and the link to emotional intelligence.

  • He is smart enough to be in the role. 
  • The emotions he is feeling are real. 
  • The situation he is experiencing is happening. 
  • He can be more intelligent in learning how to use his emotions.
  • This improvement can lead to better performance.
  • The "what" of performance and the "how" of character matter.

So, how are you doing? What is your story? Are there places where your emotions may be impacting your judgment and decision-making? Are there any steps you need to take as a leader to assess how becoming more intelligent with your emotions could improve your performance and your character?  

Let me know if I can help.

Free Offer

For those of you who would like to learn more about emotional intelligence, I would like to offer you a free gift. You can download Chapter 3 of my book “Seven Secrets of an Emotionally Intelligent Coach” absolutely free.  Click Here to get your copy today!

5 Risk Factors for Becoming Emotionally Hijacked

Before I get into this weeks post, I wanted to say a word of thanks to all my readers for taking the time to give feedback on this blog. In exchange for your feedback, you had a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. And the WINNER is....Tim Puls!!!

Congratulations, Tim! My assistant, Brandi, has sent your gift card to your email address. Spend the money however you like! (But secretly we hope you will buy yourself a few leadership books that you have wanted to read!)

What You Told Us

If there was one thing we learned from doing this survey, it is that you want to hear more about Emotional Intelligence. By a factor of 3:1 over any other topic! Since this topic is one of my favorites, we will try and spend more time on it!  Thanks again to all of you who took the time to give us your thoughts. We really appreciate it.

2012 STOP Model Card-page-001

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a leader's capacity to effectively recognize and manage their emotions and the emotions of others in order to enhance judgment and decision-making. According to Dr. Henry Thompson in his book The Stress Effect, "As leaders advance in role level and responsibility, emotional intelligence becomes increasingly important in determining their likelihood of success."

Emotional Intelligence begins by being aware of your emotions.

Emotions can be very valuable when they are appropriate and can be trusted. There are times and situations in our lives, however, when emotions just seem to happen.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, we are hit with a feeling. If we are not self-aware emotions can take control of our thinking and cause us to do things that we normally would not do.

Sound familiar? Ever happen to you?

Really it isn't a matter of if this has happened to you, but when. From what is becoming some very convincing neuroscience research we know that there are certain factors that can put you at risk for your emotions taking over your thinking and potentially affecting your judgment and decision-making ability.

5 Risk Factors

The question for you to consider today is: Are there risk factors that may cause you to be subject to this emotional frailty when you otherwise would not be?

Risk factors are items that make conditions favorable for your emotions to take over.

When I was growing up in the midwest, severe thunderstorms and even tornados would happen when conditions were just right in the atmosphere. As conditions became more favorable, the storm would become more likely and potentially intense.

The same is true for your emotions. However, if you manage the conditions you become less prone to an event that could affect your thinking.

You are more at risk for your emotions taking over, and potentially even storming, if certain conditions are met.

Are there certain conditions that put you at risk for your emotions taking you to a place you otherwise would not go?

H.A.L.T.S Zone

Visiting the H.A.L.T.S. Zone will help you identify when you are at risk for becoming emotionally hijacked, whether it be in a business or personal situation. Identifying these factors early on will help you navigate potentially explosive situations and result in a healthy response.

You have entered the H.A.L.T.S. Zone when you are: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, or Stressed.

When you are in the H.A.L.T.S. Zone, conditions are favorable for your emotions to get the best of you.

Here is how to prevent entering the H.A.L.T.S. Zone and stay more emotionally centered as a leader:

  • Hungry - Most dietitians these days recommend eating 6 small meals a day. Hint: Do not skip breakfast!
  • Angry - Anger is often the response to an unmet social need or injustice. If you find yourself feeling angry, ask yourself if this is the appropriate response for the situation. If it is not, can you replace the emotion with something less impactful such as being annoyed?
  • Lonely - We don't have to be alone to feel lonely. The feeling of being alone can bring sadness and self-pity. If you are feeling lonely, recognize it and phone a friend. Pick up the phone or go have a coffee. You need socialization to reduce your risk for a poor decision.
  • Tired - Neuroscience is showing that our brains work in 90-minute cycles whether we are awake or asleep. If you are completing a marathon work session, make sure you are taking 30-minute breaks so you can relieve the pressure on your mind. Research shows that working in 90-minute cycles increases productivity over working with no breaks.
  • Stressed - The feeling of stress, over time, can lead to utter exhaustion. When you are exhausted you are at risk for not being able to control your impulses. The feeling of temporary satisfaction is not a substitute for removing yourself from the stressor.

When you find yourself in the H.A.L.T.S. Zone, do you have any strategies that have worked for you in the past? Please post a comment and let us know.

Homework: As you move through your week, see if you have any risk factors for your emotions taking over. Can you link your emotional frailty to any of the above risk factors? If so, what will you do to avoid the risk for the sake of emotional stability?

 

Leadership Tip of the Week

Click play below to watch a short video with some additional thoughts from this week’s blog, "A Vaccination for Leadership Failure."

I would love to know what you think about this idea! Please leave a comment below.

If you know someone who might benefit from these tips, please send them the link to the blog and encourage them to subscribe!