“Experience is not what happens to you...

Learning What are you doing with your pandemic experience to be a more effective leader?
...it’s what you do with what happens to you”This quote by Aldous Huxley, the English author best known for his book, “Brave New World” speaks volumes about what leaders are asking themselves and their teams as the next phase of post-pandemic business starts to take hold. In previous posts, we’ve talked about the VUCA business environment and how leaders must adapt to the challenges it presents. The foundation for adapting is how leaders and their teams are learning from the events of last year and creating new experiences to support sustainable success.To help leaders better understand adaptability, it is helpful to look at the learning process through the lens of the Four Stages of Competence Model created by Noel Burch of Gordon Training International in the 1970s. He identified four stages of skill development providing leaders with a structure to identify and assess where they and their teams and companies are...
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Changing your Habits...

Old-vs-New-Habits What is your process to develop new leadership attitudes and habits?
...of ThoughtIn recent months, largely driven by the massive information assault on our lives due to the pandemic, social unrest and politicizing nearly everything under the sun due to the upcoming election, we’ve focused our writing around critical thinking. We’ve challenged readers to ask themselves why they think the way they do and digging deeper into how they think versus what they think.We know our thinking is a function of our beliefs and values and that our attitudes reflect our habitual thinking. With that in mind, let’s explore the five key questions leaders need to ask themselves as they change the way they think and act to stay relevant as 21st Century Leaders. These questions stem from multiple research sources and are conveniently summarized in “Leadership, Enhancing the Lessons of Experience” by Richard Hughes, Robert Ginnett and Gordy Curphy.How does a leader know what attitudes and behaviors to change? ~ One...
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“The Secret to Success without Hard Work…

discipline-1080x550
…is still a Secret!” At the end of last month’s edition, I mentioned how we would explore the widening gap in our soft skills relative to what 21st Century Business requires. However, when I began to write my thoughts on the topic, I realized I had skipped a step in the process of enhancing and improving our soft skills. Being effective in any skill requires practice until the skill becomes a habit. It occurred to me I would be remiss by not addressing the biggest obstacle to changing habits first before continuing our thought process on soft skills. In this edition, we will discuss the obstacle most anyone looking to change to more productive habits encounters ~ self-discipline! As the title suggests, there is no secret to success without hard work. Because this journey involves work that does not come easy, it is fair to say our desire to achieve a...
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Better Than Before

Effective Communications, Goal Planning, Time Management, Prioritization.  These are skills at the heart of sustainable leadership.  Not because they exist from time to time but because they are habits of effective leaders, they exist repetitively and are consistent over time.  That is the idea behind "Better Than Before" by Gretchen Rubin.  While drawing upon the latest research, she also uses herself as her own study to see and feel firsthand what it takes to set and make something a habit.My favorite chapter is titled, “Nothing Stays in Vegas: Loophole Spotting” where she talks about the loopholes we rationalize our inability to maintain a habit.  She pretty much covers nearly all the reasons why people procrastinate and I recognized a few of them from working with my own clients.  In that same vein, my other favorite chapter is titled, “Someone’s Watching: Accountability” which clearly speaks to the value of enlisting the help...
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“I’m a much different Athlete…

Habit-change How will you be a better leader in the next two years?
…than I was two years ago!”These were the words of a world-class competitor just before competing in the most recent World Cross-Fit Games. Two years ago at the same games, he tore his quad halfway through the competition and had to withdraw. This year he stood on the podium winning the Bronze Medal in the 50-54 year age bracket! He would be the first to acknowledge that what changed in those two years was less about his physical abilities and more about his mental approach. A different attitude took him to the status of third best in the world!What does this tell us about being successful lifelong leaders? Plenty, and more than most of us realize! I would argue most people acknowledge the value of a positive mental attitude and mindset as a key element of success. This is especially true for those who have ever participated in activities (athletics, music,...
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Leadership Lessons...

...From Running TriathlonsSeveral weeks ago I ran a Sprint Triathlon in our hometown, something I’ve done for the last four years. However, what made this year special is I ran it with my youngest son who was running the race for the first time. Since it was his first race and our plan was to run it together, our motto for the race became “Start Steady, Finish Strong”. Undoubtedly, most of you reading this have heard of the famous Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. The Sprint Triathlon is the shortest of the four official distances but still involves the same three events – swimming, biking and running in that order. So as I reflected on the race, it occurred to me the parallels between training and running triathlons with the leadership coaching I do as part of my practice.When I first began competing in triathlons, I viewed them as separate events in...
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