Monthly Archives: May 2008

The winning edge

Most people never reach their full potential and they may not know why. You can have the drive, the desire, the passion and the qualities to perform beyond your dreams but it doesn’t happen.

Look at the professional golfers and you’ll see something they have in common. They have someone who helps them reach the winning edge. They have a coach that helps them go beyond their own mental and physical boundaries.

Coaching though isn’t about teaching, mentoring or counseling. Coaching is about helping the client find their true self so they can achieve maximal success.

What does it take go get to the winning edge? It takes a person who wants to do the work that it takes to make the necessary changes that will allow the full range of talents to be released. Coaching is for people who know that self-improvement rarely works and are willing to invest in coaching so that they can continually improve their performance.

You are coachable when:

You allow others to help you.

You have a teachable spirit and a willingness to learn.

You are willing to let go of today to reach for tomorrow.

You are willing to be held accountable.

You are willing to look at yourself in the mirror.

Inside of us there is something waiting to be released, it is the full power of our self. Are you ready to take the first step? What is your plan? Take the first step.

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Smile

Take just a moment and practice – SMILING

Oh, yeah — are you down –come on – smile, just a little smile, you can make it a bit bigger, oh, stretch those lips, you are getting there, now one last big move – all the way now — SMILE — SMILE, you can do it and I knew you could.   Let your day be a bit brighter and bit more lively and let yourself smile inside and out.

I hope you are feeling a bit better. I hope you have a bounce in your step and a smile that is contagious on your face. It’s OK – you can do it.

Find your strengths

Marianne Williamson writes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “

What does it mean to really, truly believe in our abilities? Do we know that we can change the world if we change ourselves? Releasing the hidden potential we have within us can be transformational not only for us but those around us. Often though we don’t know what we want to release. We aren’t sure where our strengths really lie. Even with introspective looks at ourselves we don’t always find our strengths.

We need to step back from the daily grind and listen to our hearts at times. Take a step back, relax, and just listen to your heart. Listen with open ears to the voice that emanates from within. What do you hear? Is what you hear familiar or is it something new and different, liberating, energized, and filled with potential.

Strengths, therein lies our potential when we can mobilize and utilize the strengths that we have. Peter Drucker the guru of business thought wrote, “… one cannot build on weakness. To achieve results, one has to use all the available strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities.” (The effective executive, p. 60).

When we maximize the use of our strengths we find fulfillment in what we do. The use of our strengths also releases positive feelings within us and that fuels us to continue in that endeavor.

Check out www.viastrengths.org to get an idea of what your strengths are.

Succession pathway

Are you a coach? Do you help others grow? If you are a leader then one of your jobs is helping others become more successful. Ideally you would grow your followers so that they could assume the position of leadership. Creating a succession path to carry on what the leader did allows the leader to further contribute by mentoring others who are just beginning their walk into leadership.

Where do you start and who do you start with if you are a leader who is intent on growing other leaders? The humble and servant leader will always be looking for someone to develop into a position of leadership, perhaps even one day assuming the top leadership position. The first place to look is right within the current staff that the organization has. Look for those who have a natural tendency towards leading others. This is different than looking for those who want to manage others. A leader influences others and in many cases may not even look like a leader. The servant leader and the humble leader may be invisible to others in the organization but they are able to influence change. Look for people who have character, integrity, humility, honesty, openness, and authenticity. These people have the attributes for leadership. Look at how they grow others. Do they command people or do they lead people? Do they encourage people? Do they acknowledge the work that is being done? Are they trustworthy and are they relational?

Leaders are grown. Leaders need to have experience on the front lines. Leaders will have had to fail at some things and they will have to have walked in the shoes of other people. Leaders will have to have vision, not the vision of the future, but the vision to see what other people see and feel. Yes, they will have to be future oriented as well but they need to see the environment they work in as well so that they can understand the issues that need to be resolved and to see what really works.

Winston Churchill wrote this leadership moment line, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. Great leaders put developing leaders into places where failure may be frequent. The idea being that failure leads to success. The lessons learned from failing are often not repeated. A child learning to walk will fall many, many times before mastering balance. We need to support new leaders like we would support a child who is beginning to walk. What is interesting though is that we need to support everyone like they are beginning to walk if we want a growing learning organization.

A leader coach will help others grow.

You can do it!

Here are some powerful words from Goethe,

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back —
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment of one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

When we take that first step we can realize something far beyond what we thought possible. What is stopping you? Take that first step today.

Building trust

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” Marcus Aurelius

What does that have to do with trust? Trust that tomorrow will bring what is good into being rather than the opposite.

Trust based on thick and thin would signify that there is something there that is tangible and solid in good times and bad. What would the relationship be if things were only good in good times? That would not be a strong relationship and one certainly not based on trust.

Think of trust as being intentional vulnerability? Are you willing to open your heart to someone else and believe that what you say will not be held against you? How many people can do that? I’m sure it is a small number of people who feel they can trust fully those around them.

In our workplaces does trust between a manager and employee exist with vulnerability? Is there that willingness to accept risk and help each other over obstacles? If there is, then real trust must exist.

Honest communication takes trust and the trust must be more than a superficial level of trust. It takes time and effort to build a trust that accepts without judgment the bruises of the soul. Too often we take what others say and use that against them rather than using what they say to help build them up so they can chart a new path or strengthen the path that they are already on.

If you think you would like a coach – openings are available.

The first step

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.  That is something you have charge of.”

— Jim Rohn, American author & motivational speaker

If you are stuck somewhere or you find yourself sinking into a morass of gooey mud then perhaps you could use a coach to help you get out of that mire you find yourself in.

Coach with HEART is a simple framework that focuses on Humility, Encouragement, Acknowledgment, Relationships and Trust.    Using those five key elements a proper environment for coaching can exist.  Taking those elements and applying them to your own life will help others.   If you encourage someone or acknowledge a success that have had you will inspire them to greater things.    Being humble helps open doors and that allows for trust to increase which is the foundation of a relationship.

The first step is the hardest step and with each successive step a bit easier. Take that first step today.

“Take the first step, and your mind will mobilize all its forces to your aid. But the first essential is that you begin. Once the battle is startled, all that is within and without you will come to your assistance.” Robert Collier

“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine

Tomorrow lets look at trust.