You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Leadership’ tag.

I was working with others on the ICF-CO Fall Conference, where someone remarked, “You know, Fearless Leadership [the conference theme] isn’t about fear!”

So what IS it about? Well, here’s the answer …

Are you looking to speak to coaches and leaders in the Denver area?  You have two days left to submit your proposal!

deniz-altindas-38128Running a business is hard work, and you don’t have enough hours in the day. Big surprise! Your attention on self-care is one of the first things to go.

You know as well as I do that this is hurting the business. And it may well put you in the hospital at an early age.

So how do you maintain health and balance as a leader?

Physical health

Your mental state reflects your physical health. I’m not talking about extraordinary health care, either, just attending to health issues quickly, eating wisely and maintaining a good weight.

Read the rest of this entry »

tribesWho’s your tribe?

In 2008, Seth Godin wrote a powerful book titled, “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.” It digs into the concept of leadership by influence and attraction.

Some of the strongest leaders I work with have their own unique twist on this concept. Specifically, they map out the spheres of influence around their company’s mission.

This is powerful because businesses on a mission usually feel like they’re so unusual that nobody understands them. It starts feeling like nobody really cares.

That’s not true!

The fact is that if you’re working to make the world a better place — through people, products, services, or influence — that there are others who align with your values. They have a desire to help you succeed, even if they haven’t heard about you yet. Read the rest of this entry »

makalouI ran across a really good article today about the three toughest conversations that a manager needs to have with an employee or leader:

  • Delayed terminations
  • Companies outgrowing their leaders
  • Rumors about compensation

So go check out Meg Makalou’s advice – well worth a few minutes of your time!

handshakeAnything significant is a commitment before it is actually done.

Let’s think about that for a moment. Why is it true? Because we make progress by deciding to do something first.

Perhaps it’s a commitment to yourself: I’m going to clean up the yard. I’m going to have that conversation I’ve been avoiding. I’m going to get that job done this afternoon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Source: James on Flickr

Source: James on Flickr

I hate to say this, but you might not be doing everything perfectly.  Sorry to break the news!

But this isn’t about making you feel guilty about all the stuff that you’re behind on.  You already have enough pressure there, and it’s probably stressing you out.

When we look at the big picture, the leader’s job is to define the direction and then to set the organization up for success.  Other people can do the details, but it’s the person in charge who is uniquely qualified to do these two things.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s springtime! Time to poke your head out and look around a little!

I’m seeing a wealth of opportunities now for people to connect with peers, to get inspired, and to bring in some new ideas. Plus, for many, the energy has changed as the kids get out of school and we have more family time.

Small giants summitIn June, I’ll be reporting from the Small Giants Summit in Denver. That’s a great forum for business owners dedicated to changing the world through powerful, focused, and profitable business practices.

Sum+subThen the following week, Conscious Capitalism is sponsoring the local Sum+Substance event – a fresh and inspiring take on the TED talks that people know and love so much.

In July, you can catch the Quid Novi Summer Jams, a great chance to connect with innovators and business leaders in Fort Collins.

Jams_webThese are just a few of the creative gatherings which can help bring fresh ideas into your business. And, of course, take advantage of Denver Startup Week in September and whatever is going on in your particular industry.

Learn a lot, have fun, meet some great people, and drink some local brews!

It’s going to be a wonderful summer!


This article was first published in InnovatioNews.

graphI’ve been putting together a workshop at the local SBDC next week about incorporating mission and values into your business.  There’s a breakthrough concept that can be applied here which changes how you achieve your goals.

In business, we have assumptions that:

  • If it can’t be measured, it won’t get done.
  • Everything has to be measured in numbers, preferably with a dollar sign in front.

When I state it this bluntly, you can see where the fallacy is.  Can you imagine measuring your personal happiness this way?

Read the rest of this entry »

power plugYou can have the best strategy on the planet, but nothing gets delivered without your people. They are the powerful core of a great business.

What happens when your workforce isn’t pushing your strategy forward? Well, two things are happening. Some people are headed off in random directions, so you end up with chaos. Others are too afraid to take any significant action at all, so you get nothing.

Neither of those achieves your goals.

We all understand that a team’s actions, individually and collectively, must be focused on the right objectives. That’s what management does.

But out here in the real world, it’s not just about breaking big goals into team objectives and individual actions. If you stick to that, your competition will swiftly overtake you. You’ve ended up with a bureaucracy, where following The Plan is more important than actually moving forward.

This is where leadership comes in. Management operates best with logic and procedure, while leadership calls upon inspiration and emotion. Together, the two elicit focus, dedication, teamwork and self-management.

I’m not saying that your company needs to be overtly emotional. For instance, look at President Kennedy’s moon-shot program during the 1960s. NASA was an amazing engineering organization, and engineers aren’t exactly known to be emotional. But they were absolutely inspired, dedicated and focused — even to the degree that momentum powerfully continued past JFK’s death in 1963.

That’s also a great example of how inspiration is infectious. Congress was absolutely dedicated to the program as well, ensuring generous funding. The Legislature could have done nothing without NASA, and NASA would have done nothing without Congress.

Likewise, your leaders and managers can do little without your workers and partners. They, in turn, will achieve nothing of value without management processes and leadership inspiration.

Together, you can be absolutely unstoppable.

That brings up a major issue, though, with powerful objects. Consider a supertanker, or a freight train, or a rocket engine. They struggle with making quick changes of direction.

Your business needs to operate in a competitive environment, with shifting customer demands and ever-changing technology. In some industries, include unstable government regulation.

Yet your people are good at doing things a certain way, and management structures reinforce sticking to what’s worked well in the past.

This is where true leadership makes the most impact. The best leaders I’ve seen are the ones who refuse to sacrifice the core values and mission of an organization. make timely decisions to alter goals and strategies to keep up with (and lead) change, and drive the management systems to quickly align the workforce around a new direction.

This sounds contradictory: How are we to change direction but not change our mission? We can do it because these are two distinct levels.

Perhaps your deepest personal values are to be healthy and have a long, happy life. Within that, there are many options. A new exercise device comes out that helps you stay healthy while having more fun. Or you get sick for awhile and switch to different exercises. Or you just want to change because you’re tiring of the old routine. All of these changes are perfectly fine for helping you achieve your deeper values.

This is exactly why it’s important to distinguish between the two levels in your business.

If your employees think the purpose of your business is to keep them employed, then they’re operating at a very basic level. You have much bigger goals than that, even ones you would never ever sacrifice.

One way to tell the depth of your goal is with this simple question: Would you rather shut down the business entirely rather than sacrifice the goal? The closer you get to answering “yes,” the more you’ve identified the unshakable foundation of your company.

Does each and every employee understand what that is, and work every day to deliver their part? Is each manager constantly looking for improvements?

Are they inspired?


This article was first published in BizWest.