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Leadership Playlist Built by Experience

I like a good play list as much as the next guy. Tunes I pay attention to are ones that have grown in my heart and mind over the years. Artists who hit a particular chord with me stay on my list a long time. I don’t shuffle all that often. However, I am open to new songs from young, aspiring artists.

Great Play List
Great Play List

Just like a good play list, the tapestry of leadership has been woven from experience shared with mentors, old bosses, and sometimes, younger, aspiring leaders too.

I like to look back at the influences that are now colorful threads in my own tapestry of life. I find it helpful to do a look back on a regular basis. By looking back, I get a fresh renewal of ideas and values.

Who Made You Be You?

Think back on your own story. Who contributed to getting you where you are today? More importantly, who made you who you are today?

No doubt there are experiences and little bits of perspective sprinkled all across the weaving. Good and bad, do’s and don’ts, to be versus not to be.

It is the wise who can take a bad experience and learn from it. Lessons like “OK, that’s NOT something I ever want to do again” are just as valuable as the good experiences.

If you are blessed, you will have a series of people who made great contributions to shaping you to be you. Perhaps they shaped values and principles for you. Or maybe they taught valuable lessons with tangible results. Some likely helped you set personal boundaries. Was there anyone who told you about the power in YES and NO!

Revisiting the Milestones

I firmly believe there is value in revisiting the milestones in your life. Take a moment to reflect on the mentors and their lessons. Recall the details of what they were teaching you.

Renew and refresh your own understanding of those key teaching points. Remind yourself of the golden truth you may have once learned.

We get beat up in day to day living. We forget things. Or more likely, things get fuzzy in our minds. We forget the distinct edges of the key principles we once learned.

Values get compromised and worn down.

This is why taking time to reflect and renew your core beliefs and strengths is so important.

We’re a Product of our Environment

There is little denying the fact that we are the sum of our parts. Whether good or bad, the experiences from the earlier chapters of life shape us and make us become what we are today.

You can reject the bad things that happen. That is fine. Going through a particularly bad chapter in life will make you stronger if you choose to learn from that experience. Take away a lesson. Let it simmer and ruminate into a contributing element of growth.

You can choose to be bitter, but that is very counterproductive. Rather, choose to take the best possible outcome. Even if the lesson is “I never want to be that way”, it is  a lesson that can mean something significant for your own growth as a person and as a leader.

Stroll Down Memory Lane

Allow yourself to recall the best parts of the learning you’ve experienced through life. Don’t get caught up in  a pity party of lost opportunity or bad choices. Instead reflect on the things you chose to keep. The ones that made you grow. By properly aligning the right experiences, you will see a beautiful path of stepping stones.

Look at the outcome. Celebrate a win. Rejoice in victory. Use that energy to push you forward today. Let it power you through a tough time you may be experiencing right now. Realize that the sun really does come up tomorrow.

Use the best from your life’s tapestry to mold and shape your future from here forward. Hit the replay button on that play list of greatest hits. Love it, use it.

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Holistic Coaching: Empowering Individuals to Achieve Wholeness

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, individuals often find themselves seeking a sense of balance and fulfillment in their lives. Holistic coaching emerges as a transformative approach that guides individuals towards achieving overall well-being by addressing various aspects of their lives, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions.

Unlike traditional coaching that focuses on specific goals, holistic coaching embraces a comprehensive approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of all aspects of an individual’s being. This approach acknowledges that changes in one area can positively impact others, creating a synergistic effect that enhances overall well-being.

Core Principles of Holistic Coaching

Holistic coaching is founded on several core principles that differentiate it from other coaching modalities:

  1. Individuation: Holistic coaches recognize that each individual is unique and possesses their own set of strengths, challenges, and aspirations. The coaching process is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each client.
  2. Balance: Holistic coaches emphasize the importance of balance in all areas of life, acknowledging that an imbalance in one area can affect overall well-being. The coaching process focuses on harmonizing the various aspects of an individual’s life.
  3. Self-awareness: Holistic coaches guide clients in developing a deeper understanding of themselves, their values, beliefs, and motivations. This enhanced self-awareness empowers individuals to make informed decisions and navigate life’s challenges effectively.
  4. Personal responsibility: Holistic coaches encourage clients to take ownership of their lives and their choices. The coaching process fosters a sense of empowerment and accountability, enabling individuals to take charge of their personal growth and development.
  5. Holistic well-being: Holistic coaches recognize that true well-being encompasses all aspects of life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. The coaching process addresses these interconnected areas to promote overall harmony and fulfillment.

Holistic coaching offers a multitude of benefits that can positively impact an individual’s life:

  1. Enhanced well-being: Holistic coaching promotes overall well-being by addressing various aspects of life, leading to improved physical health, mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual fulfillment.
  2. Increased self-awareness: Holistic coaching guides individuals in developing a deeper understanding of themselves, their values, beliefs, and motivations. This enhanced self-awareness empowers individuals to make informed decisions and navigate life’s challenges effectively.
  3. Personal growth: Holistic coaching facilitates personal growth by nurturing individuals’ capacity for resilience, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. This growth enables individuals to thrive in the face of challenges and pursue their aspirations with greater confidence.
  4. Goal achievement: Holistic coaching supports individuals in setting and achieving meaningful goals that align with their values and overall well-being. The coaching process provides guidance and accountability, increasing the likelihood of success.
  5. Improved relationships: Holistic coaching can enhance relationships by fostering better communication, empathy, and conflict resolution skills. Individuals can cultivate stronger connections with family, friends, and colleagues.

Holistic coaches employ a variety of techniques and approaches to guide clients towards achieving their goals and enhancing their overall well-being. These techniques may include:

  1. Solution-focused coaching: This approach emphasizes identifying strengths, resources, and possibilities rather than dwelling on problems. Coaches guide clients in exploring solutions and taking action towards desired outcomes.
  2. Positive psychology: Holistic coaches incorporate principles of positive psychology to focus on individuals’ strengths, virtues, and potential for growth. This approach cultivates a sense of optimism, resilience, and self-esteem.
  3. Mindfulness and meditation: Coaches may introduce mindfulness practices and meditation techniques to help clients cultivate inner peace, reduce stress, and enhance self-awareness.
  4. Creative expression: Creative modalities such as journaling, art, or music therapy may be employed to help clients explore emotions, gain self-insights, and facilitate personal growth.
  5. Lifestyle coaching: Holistic coaches may provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, sleep patterns, and stress management to promote physical well-being and support overall health.

Holistic coaching can be beneficial for anyone seeking to enhance their overall well-being and achieve greater fulfillment in life. Individuals seeking to address specific challenges or explore personal growth opportunities can also benefit from holistic coaching. Some common areas where holistic coaching can be particularly effective include:

  1. Life transitions: Navigating major life transitions such as career changes, relationship changes, or retirement can be challenging. Holistic coaching can provide support and guidance during these transitions, fostering adaptability and resilience.
  2. Stress management: Holistic coaching can equip individuals with effective stress management strategies, enabling them to cope with daily demands and maintain emotional balance.
  3. Personal growth and development: Holistic coaching can facilitate personal growth and development by helping individuals identify their strengths, overcome limiting beliefs, and pursue their aspirations with greater confidence.
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5 Mistakes Most New Managers Make – And How to Avoid Them

For anyone who is now working in their first-ever management role, you know things can be tough. No doubt you have already made a few mistakes (at least YOU think they are).

Well if you haven’t done these 5 things, your management career is well on its way to a successful run.

1. Dropping the Ball –  Every business unit is organized for a reason. Granted some reasons may be better than others,  but there is a reason in there somewhere. Think of this as “The Ball”.

When you become a first time manager you never want to drop the Ball. Learn what the reason may be for your team to exist. Then lock that in to your view of your role. Get as much information as you can to fully understand this purpose.

2. Losing Confidence – You have to believe in yourself. You ego and psyche may take hits. You may feel intimidated. Just remember you were picked for a reason. Hold on to that truth.

Help your support team (friends, family etc.) understand the things you might be going through. Then ask for help from them.

3. Getting Run Down –  It may be tempting to work long extended hours just to feel like you are staying one step ahead of everything. This schedule may work in short spurts, but you need to be careful. Pay attention to your mental and emotional fatigue.

Finds ways to recharge your own batteries. Whatever your personal preference may be for rest and relaxation (walking, running, the gym, cycling, meditation, etc.), DO IT. Keep up with it.

4. Losing Balance – Similar to #3, maintaining a balance of work, life and faith is vital. Your spouse, family and friends may have to take a slight adjustment of their expectations from you because you are trying to make the new job work. Just don’t take them for granted and don’t make that adjustment period too long.

As soon as possible, get back into balance. Make all the adjustments that need to be made, but try to resume your quest for balance before it is irreparably lost.

5. Never Asking for Help –  No one can know it all; especially not when you are hit with a new responsibility. There will be new demands placed upon you. There is no need to act like you “got this”. Somewhere, somehow, there will be things you need to ask others.

Use a mentor, coach, trusted adviser…somebody you can turn to for advice and wisdom.

Question: What other mistakes have you experienced?

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5 Strategies to Make Employees More Productive and Engaged

This is a recent post by a good friend and fellow coach, Mike Lejeune. Mike is a senior HR professional who has coached and mentored hundreds of key officers across a wide variety of industries. He hosts his own blog called “Simple Leadership“. Here is his post.

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The Paradox of Success: When Too Much Achievement Becomes a Burden

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your own success? Surprisingly, achieving too much can actually become a burden rather than a blessing. In the pursuit of success, we often set high goals for ourselves and work tirelessly to achieve them. However, once we accomplish these goals, we may find ourselves feeling unsatisfied or constantly chasing the next big thing.

This paradox of success is a universal phenomenon that affects individuals in various aspects of life – from career and relationships to personal achievements. The pressure to continuously outperform ourselves can lead to anxiety, burnout, and a sense of emptiness.

In this article, we will explore the paradox of success and delve into the reasons why too much achievement can become a burden. We will discuss the psychological and societal factors that contribute to this phenomenon and provide insights on how to navigate the challenges associated with it.

Join us as we unravel the complexities of success and learn how to strike a healthy balance between ambition, fulfillment, and personal well-being.

Understanding the paradox of success

Success is often seen as the ultimate goal in our society. We are taught from a young age to strive for success and are led to believe that it will bring us happiness and fulfillment. However, the reality is often different. When we achieve success, we may feel a temporary sense of accomplishment, but it can quickly fade away, leaving us craving more.

The paradox of success arises from the constant need to surpass our previous achievements. It becomes a burden when we measure our self-worth solely based on external accomplishments. We may become trapped in a cycle of chasing success, always striving for more without ever truly feeling satisfied. This constant pursuit can lead to a loss of personal identity and a lack of fulfillment.

Signs that success has become a burden

So, how do we know when success has become a burden? There are several signs to watch out for. One common indicator is a persistent feeling of emptiness or dissatisfaction, even after achieving significant milestones. You may find yourself constantly searching for the next big goal, unable to enjoy or appreciate your current accomplishments.

Another sign is the impact on your mental health. The pressure to maintain a high level of success can lead to heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout. You may feel overwhelmed by the expectations placed on you and struggle to find a balance between work and personal life. These challenges can take a toll on your overall well-being and hinder your ability to enjoy the fruits of your success.

The impact of the paradox of success on mental health

The paradox of success can have a significant impact on mental health. The constant pressure to achieve more can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. As we compare ourselves to others who seem to have it all, we may develop a negative self-image and question our own worthiness.

The fear of failure becomes amplified when success becomes a burden. We may become so focused on maintaining our achievements that we avoid taking risks or trying new things. This fear of failure can limit our growth and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

Furthermore, the relentless pursuit of success can lead to burnout. When we are constantly pushing ourselves to the limit, neglecting our physical and emotional well-being, we put ourselves at risk of exhaustion and mental breakdowns. Our productivity and creativity suffer, and we may find ourselves stuck in a cycle of diminishing returns.

Strategies for navigating the paradox of success

Navigating the paradox of success requires a conscious effort to strike a balance between ambition, fulfillment, and personal well-being. Here are some strategies that can help:

### Setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care

It is essential to set boundaries and prioritize self-care in order to prevent success from becoming a burden. This means establishing limits on your work hours, taking regular breaks, and making time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. By taking care of your physical and mental health, you can maintain the energy and resilience needed to sustain success in the long run.

### Cultivating a healthy mindset towards achievement

Shifting your mindset towards achievement can also help alleviate the burden of success. Instead of solely focusing on external validation and outcomes, cultivate a mindset that values personal growth and learning. Celebrate small wins along the way and embrace the journey rather than fixating on the destination. This mindset shift can help you find fulfillment in the process of pursuing your goals, rather than solely relying on the end result.

### Seeking support and professional help

Don’t be afraid to seek support and professional help when navigating the paradox of success. Surround yourself with a network of trusted friends, family, or mentors who can provide guidance and perspective. Additionally, consider working with a therapist or coach who specializes in helping individuals manage the challenges associated with success. They can provide valuable insights and strategies to help you navigate the complexities of achievement.

Setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care

To further illustrate the paradox of success, let’s explore a few case studies of individuals who have experienced this phenomenon:

1. John: John is a successful entrepreneur who built a multimillion-dollar company from scratch. However, despite his financial success, he constantly feels a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction. He realizes that his pursuit of wealth and status has taken a toll on his personal relationships and overall well-being. Through therapy and introspection, John starts reevaluating his priorities and finds a new sense of purpose by giving back to his community.

2. Sarah: Sarah is a highly accomplished lawyer who has won numerous awards and accolades in her field. However, she constantly feels the pressure to outperform herself and fears that she will never be able to live up to her previous successes. Sarah seeks therapy to address her anxiety and perfectionism. With the help of her therapist, she learns to reframe her definition of success and finds joy in the process of practicing law rather than solely focusing on external recognition.

Cultivating a healthy mindset towards achievement

In conclusion, the paradox of success reminds us that achieving too much can become a burden rather than a blessing. It is important to recognize the signs of when success becomes overwhelming and take proactive steps to navigate these challenges. By setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, cultivating a healthy mindset, and seeking support, we can strike a balance between ambition, fulfillment, and personal well-being.

Remember, success should enhance our lives, not define our worth. Embrace a balanced approach to achievement and find joy in the journey rather than being consumed by the destination.

Seeking support and professional help

Success can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can bring immense satisfaction, recognition, and financial rewards. On the other hand, it can also create a never-ending cycle of pressure, stress, and self-doubt.

The paradox of success is not just about reaching the top of the mountain, but also about staying there. It’s about the constant need to surpass our own achievements and maintain a high level of performance. The problem is that this mindset can lead to a sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction, no matter how successful we are.

To avoid falling into the trap of the paradox of success, it’s important to cultivate a healthy mindset towards achievement. This means recognizing that success is not a destination but a journey, and that it’s okay to take breaks, make mistakes, and learn from failures. It also means setting realistic goals, prioritizing self-care, and finding meaning beyond external validation.

By adopting a growth mindset, we can shift our focus from external outcomes to internal growth, and from comparison to self-improvement. We can also learn to appreciate the process of learning, experimenting, and creating, rather than just the end result.

Ultimately, cultivating a healthy mindset towards achievement requires us to redefine success on our own terms, and to align our goals with our values, passions, and purpose. Only then can we truly celebrate our achievements and find fulfillment in our journey.

Case studies: Examples of individuals who have faced the paradox of success

The paradox of success is not a theoretical concept but a real and pervasive phenomenon that affects individuals from all walks of life. Here are some examples of individuals who have faced the paradox of success and how they navigated their challenges:

### 1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, with six NBA championships, countless records, and a global brand. However, despite his immense success, Jordan has also faced the paradox of success, as he revealed in his documentary “The Last Dance.”

Jordan described how the pressure to maintain his status as a superstar athlete and public figure took a toll on his mental and emotional well-being, and how he coped with it by seeking solitude, meditation, and self-reflection. He also acknowledged the importance of teamwork, mentorship, and family support, as well as the need to find balance between his public and private life.

Jordan’s story illustrates that even the most successful individuals can struggle with the paradox of success, and that seeking support, self-care, and reflection can help us navigate the challenges.

### 2. J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is one of the most successful authors of our time, with over 500 million copies of her Harry Potter books sold worldwide. However, despite her massive success, Rowling has also faced the paradox of success, as she revealed in her Harvard commencement speech.

Rowling described how the fear of failure and the pressure to maintain her success led her to experience a period of depression and self-doubt, and how she overcame it by accepting her vulnerabilities, seeking help, and finding meaning beyond her achievements.

Rowling’s story shows that the paradox of success is not just about external factors but also about internal struggles, and that seeking help and finding purpose can help us overcome the challenges.

### 3. Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a visionary entrepreneur and innovator who has founded several successful companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, and PayPal. However, despite his groundbreaking achievements, Musk has also faced the paradox of success, as he revealed in his interview with The New Yorker.

Musk described how the pressure to innovate and disrupt multiple industries simultaneously took a toll on his mental and physical health, and how he coped with it by delegating tasks, prioritizing sleep, and finding fulfillment beyond his work.

Musk’s story highlights the importance of finding balance between ambition and well-being, and of recognizing that success is not just about pushing boundaries but also about taking care of ourselves.

Conclusion: Embracing a balanced approach to achievement

The paradox of success can be a lonely and isolating experience. It’s easy to feel like we are the only ones struggling with the pressure to perform and the fear of failure. However, the truth is that many successful individuals face similar challenges and can benefit from support and professional help.

One way to seek support is to connect with a mentor, coach, or therapist who can provide guidance, perspective, and accountability. These individuals can help us identify our strengths and blind spots, set realistic goals, and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

Another way to seek support is to join a community or group of like-minded individuals who share our interests and values. These communities can provide a sense of belonging, inspiration, and collaboration, and can help us learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives.

Finally, seeking professional help such as therapy or counseling can be an effective way to address deeper emotional and psychological issues that may be contributing to the paradox of success. These professionals can help us identify and manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, or burnout, and can provide tools and techniques to improve our mental and emotional well-being.

Overall, seeking support and professional help can help us break the cycle of isolation and self-doubt, and can provide us with the resources and tools we need to thrive.

I am happy to offer a complimentary discovery call to explore your journey and talk about dealing with the Paradox of Success. Just click the link below.

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Achieving Success through Purposeful Action: Why Moving with Intent Matters


In today’s fast-paced world, success seems to be defined by constant motion and achievement. But have you ever stopped to question whether the actions you’re taking are purposeful or simply keeping you busy? In this article, we delve into the importance of moving with intent and how it can lead to true success in various aspects of life.

By moving with intent, you become the architect of your own success. You gain clarity, focus, and a sense of purpose that propels you forward. Your actions become more effective, and you make conscious choices that align with your values and aspirations. The result? A life filled with achievement, fulfillment, and a genuine sense of accomplishment.

So, join us as we explore the power of purposeful action and discover how it can transform your life. Ready to move with intent? Let’s get started.

The power of purposeful action

Achieving success through purposeful action requires more than just going through the motions. It involves setting clear goals, aligning your actions with those goals, and consistently evaluating your progress. When you move with intent, every action you take becomes a deliberate step towards achieving your desired outcomes. It’s about being mindful and intentional in all that you do, whether it’s pursuing a career, improving relationships, or personal growth.

Moving with intent empowers you to take control of your life. Instead of being swept away by the currents of circumstance, you become the architect of your own success. Your actions become more effective, and you make conscious choices that align with your values and aspirations. The result? A life filled with achievement, fulfillment, and a genuine sense of accomplishment.

Understanding the concept of intention

To move with intent, it’s essential to understand the concept of intention. Intention is the driving force behind your actions. It’s the clarity of purpose that directs your efforts and shapes your outcomes. When you have a clear intention, you set the stage for success. It’s like having a roadmap that guides your every move.

Intention is not limited to the big goals and aspirations. It extends to the smallest actions you take on a daily basis. Whether it’s making a phone call, sending an email, or having a conversation, every action can be infused with intention. By infusing intention into even the simplest tasks, you bring focus and purpose to your actions, making them more meaningful and impactful.

The benefits of moving with intent

Moving with intent has numerous benefits that extend far beyond the achievement of goals. When you move with intent, you gain clarity and focus. You eliminate distractions and become more aware of the actions that truly matter. This heightened level of focus allows you to make better decisions and allocate your time and energy more effectively.

Moving with intent also helps you align your actions with your values and aspirations. When you are clear about what you want to achieve, you can make choices that support your goals. This alignment between your actions and your values brings a sense of coherence and authenticity to your life. You no longer feel like you’re just going through the motions; instead, you are actively shaping your own destiny.

How to set meaningful goals

Setting meaningful goals is a crucial step in moving with intent. Without clear goals, it’s challenging to know where to direct your efforts. When setting goals, it’s essential to consider both the short-term and long-term outcomes you want to achieve. Short-term goals provide the stepping stones towards your long-term vision.

To set meaningful goals, start by reflecting on your values and aspirations. What is truly important to you? What do you want to achieve in your career, relationships, and personal growth? Once you have a clear understanding of your values and aspirations, you can set goals that align with them. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Developing a clear action plan

Once you have set meaningful goals, the next step is to develop a clear action plan. An action plan outlines the specific steps you need to take to achieve your goals. It breaks down your goals into actionable tasks and provides a roadmap for success.

When developing an action plan, start by identifying the key actions that will move you closer to your goals. Break these actions down into smaller, manageable tasks. Assign deadlines to each task to create a sense of urgency and accountability. Regularly review and evaluate your action plan to ensure you are on track and make adjustments as needed.

Overcoming obstacles and staying focused

Moving with intent is not always easy. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way that can derail your progress. It’s essential to develop strategies for overcoming these obstacles and staying focused on your goals.

One powerful strategy is to anticipate potential obstacles and plan for them in advance. Identify the potential challenges that may arise and develop contingency plans to address them. This proactive approach allows you to navigate obstacles more effectively and minimize their impact on your progress.

Staying focused is another key aspect of moving with intent. In today’s digital age, distractions are everywhere. It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your goals. To stay focused, create a conducive environment that supports your intentions. Minimize distractions, set boundaries, and establish daily rituals that keep you grounded and focused on your goals.

The role of mindset in achieving success

Moving with intent requires a positive and growth-oriented mindset. Your mindset shapes your beliefs, attitudes, and actions. It influences how you perceive challenges and setbacks and determines whether you see them as opportunities for growth or roadblocks to success.

To cultivate a success-oriented mindset, practice self-awareness and self-reflection. Challenge limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones. Embrace a growth mindset that sees failures as learning experiences and setbacks as temporary obstacles on the path to success. Cultivate resilience and optimism, and surround yourself with individuals who uplift and inspire you.

Cultivating self-discipline and perseverance

Moving with intent requires self-discipline and perseverance. It’s about consistently taking action, even when faced with challenges or setbacks. Self-discipline allows you to stay committed to your goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Perseverance enables you to push through obstacles and keep moving forward, even in the face of adversity.

To cultivate self-discipline, start by identifying your priorities and eliminating distractions. Create a routine and stick to it, even when motivation wanes. Break tasks into smaller, manageable chunks to make them more manageable and less overwhelming. Celebrate small wins along the way to stay motivated and reinforce positive habits.

Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals

Moving with intent is not a solo journey. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals is crucial for success. These individuals can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability. They can serve as mentors, coaches, or simply friends who share your aspirations and values.

To build a support network, seek out individuals who have achieved what you aspire to achieve. Join communities, attend networking events, and seek mentorship opportunities. Be proactive in nurturing these relationships and offer support in return. Together, you can fuel each other’s growth and success.

Embracing continuous growth and learning

Moving with intent is a lifelong journey of growth and learning. It’s about embracing the mindset of a perpetual student, always seeking new knowledge and experiences that expand your horizons. By continuously learning and growing, you stay adaptable and open to new opportunities.

Embrace a growth mindset that sees challenges as opportunities for growth. Seek out new experiences that push you out of your comfort zone and expand your skills and knowledge. Invest in personal development through books, courses, workshops, and seminars. Surround yourself with individuals who inspire you to be better and push you to reach new heights.

In conclusion, moving with intent is the key to achieving true success in all aspects of life. It requires setting clear goals, aligning your actions with those goals, and consistently evaluating your progress. By moving with intent, you gain clarity, focus, and a sense of purpose that propels you forward. Your actions become more effective, and you make conscious choices that align with your values and aspirations. So, embrace the power of purposeful action and start moving with intent today. Your success awaits.

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The Real Power Behind Doing a Strategic Plan for Your Small Business

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve and outperform your competition. One of the best ways to achieve this is through a strategic plan. A well-constructed strategic plan can define your business’s goals and provide a roadmap to help you achieve your objectives.

However, not all small business owners see the value of strategic planning, often thinking it is too complex or time-consuming for their needs. But the truth is, a strategic plan can be a powerful tool for your business, regardless of its size or industry. In this post, we’ll explore the challenges and benefits of strategic planning, and why it should be a core practice for any small business.

Defining Your Business Objectives

The first and perhaps most obvious benefit of strategic planning is that it helps to define your business objectives. By establishing clear goals, you will be able to make more informed decisions and create an actionable plan that reflects your business’s unique strengths and weaknesses. By defining your objectives, you’ll be able to focus on the tasks that matter most and avoid distractions that could hinder your business’s growth.

In a recent episode of my podcast “Leadership Powered by Common Sense,” my guest Roy Osing explained his method for establishing a great plan. First, decide on where you want to be in the next 24 months not five years, just 24 months. Specifically, think about revenue growth. Then identify the exact market segments / target customers that will get you there. Begin building your plan from these two easy data points.

Outlining Strategies for Growth

Once you’ve determined your business objectives, the next step is to develop a strategy and tactics to achieve them. This usually involves an analysis of your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. (see my article on SWOT)

By taking a comprehensive and systematic approach to this analysis, you can identify areas of opportunity and potential areas of risk. With this information, you can develop a plan that leverages your strengths and mitigates your weaknesses. Ultimately, this plan will serve as a guide for action and enable you to make better decisions as you continue to grow your business.

Aligning Your Team

A strategic plan isn’t just a document outlining objectives and strategies. It’s a tool that can help your team align around a common vision and a set of shared goals. When all employees understand and support the company’s goals, they are more motivated to work towards them, leading to improved productivity and higher-quality work. Additionally, when each individual knows how their role contributes to the overall goals, they are better able to prioritize tasks and focus on what matters most.

Get alignment with your leadership team. Wait, what? You don’t have a leadership team? Then this is a whole other issue we need to talk about in another article.

Anticipating and Reacting to Change

A strategic plan is designed to be flexible and adaptable to change. While it outlines current objectives and strategies, it also provides a framework for monitoring progress and making adjustments as needed. By regularly monitoring your business’s performance and comparing it to your strategic plan, you can identify when things are off track and adjust accordingly. This helps you to be more proactive in responding to market changes and remain competitive in the long run.

Once you develop your plan, create a discipline about reviewing the plan at least quarterly. Again align your leadership team, get their updates.

Enhancing Decision-Making

Finally, a strategic plan can help you to make better decisions. By having a clear understanding of your business’s objectives, strategies, and key performance indicators, you can evaluate decisions based on how well they align with your business’s goals. This enables you to make decisions more quickly and with greater confidence, knowing that they are aligned with your overall strategy.

This is a high value-add for any leader. Knowing the master plan helps you create clarity and focus for your organization. Without the plan, you are relying on reaction not response when things happen. You always want to be able to respond not react. The only way to stay centered and purposeful in your execution of your business objectives is to have a plan.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, a strategic plan is not just a “nice to have” for small businesses – it’s a powerful tool that can help you define your objectives, develop a growth strategy, align your team, anticipate and react to change, and enhance your decision-making.

By embracing strategic planning, you can position your business for long-term success and outperform your competition. While there are certainly some challenges to overcome in the process of developing a strategic plan, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Start working on your strategic plan today and watch your business grow and thrive!

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SWOT Yourself

There’s a popular business analysis tool known as S.W.O.T. It provides a method for looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

SWOT reviews are done for business issues of all kinds like competition, market position, product design, sales, and technology. As applied to a business, you can see the merit of doing this review periodically.

SWOT

However, it can be useful on a personal level as well. Managers and leaders should take time during annual reviews and goal setting to add this powerful view as well. Here’s how it can work.

Personal Review Using SWOT

A plan of action using a Personal SWOT Analysis can be developed for every aspect of development and execution because there are always three critical components in every chosen role you may serve. Whether you are husband, wife, father, mother, community leader, volunteer or other, you can SWOT your contribution to that effort.

Why? Because every role we serve has three key components.

Identity, Purpose, and Intention.

These three components form a process of right action. Without understanding who you are or what your business or organizational core competence is and what is the purpose you intend, you are always going to be guessing more than you have to.

In the following analysis, you are taken step by step through a proven process of creating clarity of the right action.

However, to do so we have to begin with a simple way of fleshing out the context within which you intend to work. It doesn’t matter what context or role you choose, each of them requires you to be clear.

In order to reach clarity we take some simple, yet critically important steps. The first steps begin with a SWOT Analysis.

You will focus on the following overriding questions:

  • Do you know your personal purpose?
  • What are your goals or objectives?
  • What are your values?
  • HOW Can YOU match your STRENGTHS to OPPORTUNITIES/Openings?
  • How can you reduce the impact of your WEAKNESSES and THREATS?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

Strengths

Trying to analyze one’s own strengths can be tricky. Throughout all of my coaching, I seldom see anyone who gets this exactly right the first time. Some might be modest and undervalue great strength in areas like collaboration, employee empowerment, decision making, or planning.

Others can be more boastful, seeming to know without a doubt they are great leaders who people should feel honored to serve; “my way or the highway” approach to leadership.

Entrepreneurs can be especially blinded by the emotional connection to their idea. While the great new product or service has great potential, the business will fail because the founder doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know.

Before isolating your own estimation of your strengths, seek some 360 feedback. Get input from others you value as trusted advisors. Do an informal ask session.

Then compile a list of the strengths that you can use to accomplish your goals and objectives.

Weaknesses

Just like your strengths, identifying “weaknesses” in your personal domain can be hard. Objectivity can be lacking. You may even be suffering blindspots where your weaknesses reside. Using 360 reviews and stakeholder feedback can help inform you of areas where there is an opportunity for improvement.

However, you may know exactly what areas or what issues give you the most trouble. Stating what these may be will help round out the SWOT analysis.

Opportunities

These are the things you can see as a new direction; changes that allow you to reach new goals. Taking a good look at the road in front of you can reveal opportunities for growth and change.

Listing them while doing this personal inventory helps bring motivation and inspiration to the plan.

Threats

Making a good assessment of personal threats is also tricky. I recommend starting with your mindset.

Do you hold any limiting thoughts about who you are and what you can do?

If you ever wondered about a limiting thought, they sound like this:

  • I’m too small
  • I’m too slow
  • I’m too ugly
  • I don’t have the right degree.
  • You failed at this the last time.

Any statement rumbling in your head that starts with or sounds like these needs to be eliminated first. Then you can deal with identifying true threats to your personal goals.

Performing a Periodic Personal Review

Just as every successful business invests time to perform SWOT analysis from time to time, you too should perform this review with your work life, home life, and career balance.

See what the data may tell you about the direction you are heading. Use the informed analysis to redirect your path, redefine goals, and set a new course.

Have a great and prosperous New Year!

If you want to know more about the ways I can help you or your business, click the button below.

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Embrace the Discomfort: Operating Out of Your Comfort Zone

Operating outside of your comfort zone is like stepping into uncharted territory. It requires taking risks, facing uncertainty, and pushing yourself beyond your limits. While it may seem daunting, operating out of your comfort zone can lead to personal growth, new opportunities, and a sense of achievement.

We all face moments in our lives when we are looking over the edge of the known into the valley of the unknown. Think about changing jobs, moving/relocating, changing relationships, or being assigned a new role at work. It also applies to those who may be buying or selling a business. Making these changes usually takes us out of our comfort zones.

In this blog post, we will explore the challenges that come with operating outside of your comfort zone and discuss effective ways to overcome them.

Fear of the unknown:

One of the biggest challenges of operating outside your comfort zone is the fear of the unknown. It’s natural to feel anxious when facing something new and unfamiliar. However, embracing this fear can be empowering.

To overcome it, try reframing your perspective by focusing on the potential for growth and learning that comes with trying something new. Recognize that growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone, and every new experience is an opportunity to expand your horizons.

Lack of confidence:

Another common challenge is a lack of confidence in your abilities. When you’re operating outside of your comfort zone, it’s easy to doubt yourself and question whether you’re capable of succeeding. To overcome this challenge, start by acknowledging your accomplishments and strengths.

Remind yourself of past situations where you accomplished something despite initial doubts. Surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people who can help boost your confidence. Remember, confidence is built over time and with experience.

Resistance to change:

Humans are creatures of habit, and change can be uncomfortable. The resistance to change often stems from a fear of failure or losing control. Overcoming this challenge involves embracing a growth mindset and reframing your perspective on change.

Focus on the potential benefits and opportunities that come with stepping outside of your comfort zone. Remind yourself that change is a necessary part of growth and progress.

Lack of skills or experience:

Another challenge that often arises when operating outside your comfort zone is a lack of skills or experience in the new area. However, every expert was once a beginner. To overcome this challenge, take proactive steps to learn and acquire the necessary skills.

Seek out training or mentorship opportunities, read books or articles on the subject, and learn from others who have experience in the domain. Remember, growth happens when you push yourself to learn and improve.

Overcoming self-doubt:

Self-doubt is a formidable obstacle when operating outside your comfort zone. It can create a barrier to taking risks and exploring new opportunities. To overcome self-doubt, challenge your negative self-talk with positive affirmations and realistic self-appraisal.

Surround yourself with a supportive network of people who believe in you and can offer constructive feedback. Celebrate small victories along the way and acknowledge your progress.

Conclusion:

Operating outside your comfort zone is an enriching and transformative experience. While it may be challenging, the rewards are worth it. Embrace the fear of the unknown, build your confidence, embrace change, acquire new skills, and overcome self-doubt.

By stepping out of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new opportunities, personal growth, and a richer, more fulfilled life. Take that first step, and remember that growth happens when you dare to venture outside your comfort zone.

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8 Time Management Techniques for Busy People

There are only so many hours in the day. You can’t store it, nor can you borrow more for later.

Only you can decide what you spend your time on. Naturally, you’ll want to spend your time on things that add value to your life. But with life being so busy in these modern times, what with jobs, kids, and other activities, how can you have time for those things that matter the most to you?

Luckily, you can use time management techniques that are tailor-made for busy people. Discover techniques that help simplify how you work, ensuring that you get tasks done more efficiently and giving you more time for whatever you choose.

See how these techniques can free up your time:

  1. Organize your work around your energy levels. Your productivity levels are directly related to your energy levels, so schedule your hardest tasks for when your energy levels are at their highest.

    • Any low-value tasks that require little energy, such as responding to emails, can be scheduled for the times when your energy levels are lower.
  1. Make a plan for the day. Before you go to bed, write a to-do list for the next day. When you plan ahead, you’re mentally preparing yourself for any challenges you may face.
    • This will also help to limit procrastination at the start of the day and ensure that you work faster and more efficiently.
  1. Start your day with the most important task. When you start the day off by completing your most important task, you’ll give yourself a boost of momentum and a real sense of accomplishment.
  1. Prioritize tasks. When every task is a priority, nothing is. Urgent tasks should be the highest priority, then look at any high-value tasks, while relegating low-priority tasks to the back of the queue.
  1. Learn to outsource. You don’t have to complete every task yourself. Especially those low-priority tasks. Sometimes it’s better to outsource these tasks, so you can focus your attention on the more pressing tasks.
  1. Automate repetitive tasks. Nowadays there is technology available that can help automate many of your tasks. There are tools to schedule your social media postings, create canned email responses, and automatically fill in online forms at the touch of a button.
    • Automating these tasks could save you hours a week.
  1. Cut out distractions. When you are distracted, it can take a while to get your focus back. This can greatly limit your productivity.
    • Consider turning off the notifications on your phone.
    • Invest in a pair of headphones, as this makes others less likely to approach you when you have them on.
    • Browsing social media is a big distraction and should really be avoided if you want to increase productivity.
  1. Realize that things don’t need to be perfect. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make everything perfect. However, perfectionism will slow you down and could result in deadlines being missed.
    • Having the attitude of “that’ll do” will save valuable time. Your work will be adequate, and you’ll finish in less time.

To start, try each of these techniques. Once you find those that work best for your situation, use them daily. Your productivity will increase, and you’ll save precious time in your busy life, giving you the time to do what matters most to you.

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