You’re Kidding – No Coach? Three Power Benefits

Remember any of the coaches you had as a kid in Little League or Soccer or Softball? Or maybe for a school sports team? The best coaches I remember are the ones my children had.

When my sons were in Little League, they had a pair of coaches that were super terrific. I remember the very first meeting of the season. Bob, the older one, pulled out a scrapbook and proceeded to show clippings he’d collected about baseball players at local schools, at universities, in minor leagues…all people he had coached. He made a promise…. “If you are serious about baseball, I will support you all the way…no matter where you play, I’ll be cheering you on.” Together he and Jim, the younger coach, created an individual profile of each player and their strengths and weaknesses. They charted a path of improvement for each player, and at the end of the season they celebrated the progress each had made.

As adults who aren’t in sports, many of us still have coaches in our lives. There are professionals and programs to help us reach all kinds of goals — to help us lose weight, get fit, get sober, improve our finances and strengthen our relationships. Olympic and professional athletes have coaches, of course! What’s incredible is how many times the athletes and the coaches both talk about how they “focus on the basics.”

If that’s what it is all about, then why do we need coaches? Perhaps it’s because while setting goals, we get distracted from the fundamentals by the lure of doing something “uniquely me”, something new, something fun.

Or perhaps it’s because finding motivation to persist and achieve our desires can be a challenge. How many times have you “restarted” a diet? Or an attempt to change a habit?

When it comes to our professional goals, desire is one attribute executives and entrepreneurs have in excess. We can make goals, and even write out plans to reach those goals, but will I force myself to keep those plans if no one is there to help me focus? Most of us, sadly, are not able to be accountable to ourselves.

Look Into The Powerful Mirror of Accountability

One of the most significant reasons successful people meet or exceed their goals —personally and professionally — is accountability. Accountability is a mirror, and it often is the difference that keeps us on track and making progress towards a goal. Numerous studies have shown that social accountability — such as posting a goal on Facebook or LinkedIn – improves our chances of sticking with the effort. One of my biggest challenges in working “solo” has been finding ways to keep focused on the long-term objective during the day-to-day activities. And people who are really good at making and crossing items off of daily task lists are sometimes just as guilty of not staying aligned with their dreams and long-term goals.

External accountability — having someone who “is watching” you do the thing you’ve told them you need to do – is the most powerful form of accountability.” Accountability is the number one reason people hire personal trainers, not expertise. It’s not so much that we don’t know WHAT to do… after all, as Jim Rohn has said

Think about the last great motivational speaker you heard. What big idea do you remember? Chances are, it wasn’t something totally new. What resonated with you was most likely a different way of stating the fundamentals that you already know. And that is exactly why it resonated…. It was an echo of what you know to be true, brought back to your consciousness by a great story, a compelling twist of phrase. A leadership coach should have that same effect: they should bring to consciousness that which you already know unconsciously – and then keep you accountable to that.

Plug Into The Energy of Professional “Me Time”

I’ll bet (about $5k in Monopoly Money) that far more executives fill their “me time” with workouts at the gym or watching sports on TV as opposed to filling it with personal growth and development. Then there are those who get so caught up in the success of the business and employees that they allow their own professional development to take a back seat.

Just like physical exercise is more invigorating and refreshing than it is draining, personal development “exercise” heightens motivation and sustains us energetically through the drain of the day-to-day. It also plugs us into our often-subconscious big dream that could – and wants to – pull us toward itself, guiding our daily choices that determine our lifetime path.

Leadership and personal development is a process, not an end goal or status that can be achieved. This is where a business coach gives a huge advantage; long-term coaching relationships create history, through which a coach helps the executive see patterns, or bring to consciousness ideas and opportunities that may have been overlooked or forgotten. A good coach not only leads us in self-discovery, but also gives us the truth – even when we don’t want to hear it. When we slam into our own blind spots, a coach helps us leap into a new opportunity with renewed energy.

Unearth Your Own Motivation

We all have heard (at least once) the path to accomplishing goals: make them s.m.a.r.t., and track your progress, setting and meeting smaller, benchmark goals — all the essential steps to building momentum. More difficult is making sure that our professional and personal goals are in tune with our inner, often unconscious, desires and motivations.

Rather than specifying how-to steps or giving directions, a good coach will focus on helping you dig deep and unearth – and then articulate – the inner world that holds your aspirations as well as your most powerful roadblocks: fear. One of my mentors, Eric Worre, said something that slammed me in the face. My subconscious mind is making decisions all the time — I’d better make sure it I train it to be working FOR me and not against me. A coach not only helps bring subconscious motivations and roadblocks to the surface, but also helps us get our selves (inner and outer) on the same page.

Get Better Faster

Yes, most of this learning, unearthing, and growing can and does happen without a coach. I’m learning that it happens a LOT faster with one than without. Success loves speed. The Try-Fail-Learn-Try approach (which now has the fancy moniker of “lean process” works best when it’s done quickly – and for almost all of us, that speed happens when we have the advantage of a third party who can hold us accountable, help us see and embrace what’s inside of us, and teach us to see when we’re not aligned with our inner, true self.

Coaches can come in many forms. Earlier in our history, it came through apprenticeship and deep, meaningful extended family relationships. Today, though we may have many mentors and thought leaders in our lives, few can devote the time to coach us. Hiring a coach, even for a 6-12 month timeframe, can yield high-impact, high ROI results.

John C. Maxwell, hailed by Inc. Magazine as the #1 Leadership guru in the world, has spent the last six years mentoring, training and developing a team of coaches who can provide one-on-one coaching for you and your executives, managers and emerging leaders in your business. John has also equipped them to provide group leadership development programs online and offline, on-site and off-site. If you’d like more information about our programs, services, and coaching from The John Maxwell Team, just contact me here using the contact form or call / text me at 505-510-0056.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Total Networking @ Total Wine

Tuesday, Jul 18, 2017, 5:00 PM

Total Wine & More
1670 East Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ

8 Business People Attending

Meet and mingle with fellow business owners and leaders. Find new business partners, new customers… new friends and reconnect with those you’ve met before! The nice thing about this location is that when we get to 20+ people, wine tasting will be included. RSVP and bring a guest with you!We WILL have a sign-in sheet at the door and tracking, so …

Check out this Meetup →

Date: July 18, 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Event: Total Networking @ Total Wine
Topic: Networking
Sponsor: Social Media Marketing - Business Networking
Venue: Total Wine & More
Location: 1670 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ
Public: Public

How to Subtly Piss off Your Employees and Make’em Skedaddle

What does it take to get employee engagement down, turnover up, and your Glassdoor reputation score down in the pits? The answer is simple. Make your culture stink. Here’s how.

All Work and No Play? Jack and Jill Become Dull – no, make that EX – employees.

Step One: Don’t Let Anyone Have a Sense of Play in their jobs. I’m not suggesting that a lack of ping pong tables and Nerf guns is going to sink your company. Far from it. That’s not the kind of play I’m talking about. (Although group recreation can have a positive effect on employee morale and performance – and many convicted murderers have never played!).

I’m talking about the idea that if your team members really enjoy what they’re doing – it can be as fun as play. So, what does that take? At highly innovative companies (think Southwest Airlines, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon), employees are free to put their ideas and their personality into their jobs. If you’ve ever had SWA flight attendants sing the safety instructions to you, you’ve experienced one way in which play can be effective in business.

Play is the way we learn: It’s tied to curiosity, experimentation, and exploring challenging problems. All of those are things that make businesses grow.

Leaders can maximize this motivation first by matching the right people with the right positions. Once matched, give team members the freedom to apply their passion, their ideas, and their curiosity to solving the challenges that lead to success for them and for the company.

Does it matter? If they don’t care, they’re not going to stick with it.

Step 2: Hire people that don’t value what the company does, or their role in it. One of the first jobs I had out of college was working for a book publisher, managing the back list…all those books that need to be reprinted. A huge part of why I loved that job was because we published books that helped people grow. Every time I reprinted another 5000 books – that was 5,000 people I was helping with their relationships, their parenting, their spiritual life or their finances. On the other hand, marketing software that helped the telephone company make more money? Meh. Not so fulfilling.

Not that helping companies make more money is bad. For me, it just wasn’t a match to what I valued most in life.

“Behind every winning organization is a unique identity,” writes Lee Williams of Success.com, “one that sets it apart from others and gives employees a strong sense of belonging, ownership, value, and meaning.”  Who wouldn’t prefer to work where he or she felt part of a greater purpose?

When leaders maximize the match between corporate mission and individual purpose during the hiring process, they maximize the likelihood that employees will stay and thrive in their jobs. Every day, keeping the intrinsic purpose of the company front and center brings satisfaction to employees. If you want them to leave, make it all about margins, accounts won, market share, and them being darn lucky to be employed.

All Take and No Give? If they don’t grow, they’ll go.

Step 3: Avoid giving your employees opportunities for personal growth. I worked at a small startup where the founder-owner cast a vision of the company as a place where each of us could work long-term, with a huge payoff for those who loyally did. A key part of his strategy for keeping employees was to invest in their personal growth. It was marvelous! I needed to create a marketing database that couldn’t be bought off the shelf. I was given permission to learn SQL and use that knowledge to develop customized reporting. I needed to learn how to be a better manager and team player. I was sent to the Dale Carnegie Course. Three to four times a year, we all took part in management training and consultant workshops that not only developed our workplace skills, but also our character and relational skills. Many, but not all those original two dozen employees stayed with the company for a decade and longer.

When the outcome of work benefits the individual’s identity, the work enhances his or her potential. By giving employees the opportunity to develop new skill sets, receive training, or try new things, leaders can harness their natural self-interest to create a win-win scenario.

So there you have it. The formula for sick culture: (Stifle Play.)+ (Obscure any connection between company purpose and individual Purpose.) x (Neglect developing an employee’s Potential.) = High Turnover & Poor Performance.

Now, on the chance that you might really want to build a great company culture, just flip those around. Focus on why people work, and connect that why with every prospective employee and teach every manager the leadership skills to guide your current employees. Behavioral screening such as that done by ZeroRisk HR and other companies is a great way to ensure that you’re interviewing people who will find personal growth and fulfillment at work. And leadership training and coaching from certified members of The John Maxwell Team will guide your leaders into the habits and mindset that nurture the culture you really want.

Think about this:What kind of culture do you really want? Do you promote or stifle play (curiosity, fun, innovation) at work? Is there a match or a disconnect between your purpose and the company mission? Do you grow at work? Do you help others grow? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Four Ways Leading Virtual Teams Is Different

And How You Should Adapt

It wasn’t that long ago that the “workplace of the future” was a Jetsons image:  commuters going to work in flying cars. At the turn of the century, I worked with team members a few thousand miles away — most of the time via video conferencing, but still using once-a-month face to face meetings after 3 hour flights (in a plane, not in my flying car!). But, technology has taken us a different direction…enabling us to work together without physically being together with video conferencing from our phones, co-work and collaboration tools on our computers, and real-time work tracking.

For the past decade, I’ve worked with team members whom I see face to face perhaps only once or twice per year. Sure, virtual teams have advantages. The commute time can be turned into work time. But the effects of computer-mediated communication are not always great, and it’s certainly not true that virtual teams are always effective and productive.  A 2012 study from SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) found that brainstorming and generating ideas was the most successful task for virtual teams to accomplish, and that actually going through the processes of implementation was a bit harder.  The difference may be that team leads and executives haven’t adapted their leadership style to the unique challenges of virtual teams.

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Three Reasons Why You Should Stop Being Responsive

(In your relationships, not your website!)

Google declared being responsive as the Gold Standard for web design, so the responsive vs adaptive argument is over.   Responsive design usually refers to a website that adjusts it size to fit the dimensions of your device … resulting in just the right display size for your phone, tablet or large screen. Adaptive, on the other hand, refers to changing not only the format of the information, but changing WHAT is presented based upon your device and a number of other factors.

Photo: Sure, responding is nice, but often its not enough.

But this (repackaged content vs. highly customized content)  is the age-old challenge of not only marketing, but of all communication, including interpersonal communication. Do we simply fit what we have to say into a convenient package for each audience or person (respond)? Or do we adapt, and present what each audience or person perceives they need?  Google can’t answer that one for you.

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