Archive for the ‘Leadership’ category

Holistic Business

June 21, 2012

Holistic health is a concept I’ve embraced for more than 30 years. It’s a belief that true health is found when the psychological, physical, social and spiritual aspects of people’s needs are all taken into account. I’ve been teased about my belief in vitamins, use of herbal remedies and such – but I’m okay with others thinking I’m crazy because I’m living proof that it works.

I also believe in Holistic Business, but you don’t hear much about that. Companies are applauded when they offer options like job sharing or on-site daycare to create a family-friendly culture. But for the most part, the American marketplace has completely failed to integrate “work” life into a  picture of health and well-being.

Business in America is primarily an intellectual pursuit. Which is supposed to result in financial advancement. So why is it that  according to the Wall Street Journal, 70% of Americans live pay check to pay check?  We’re missing something.

It’s “politically correct” to check your faith in God at the door when you enter the workplace. This emphasis on the intellect and isolation from our basic motivations has resulted in a big fat mess. I have proof there’s a better way – but some think I’m crazy to think I can change the prevailing mindset.

Over the centuries, Jewish people have modeled the holistic business concept because God created it. Consider the fact that Jews are the richest religious group in American society. They make up only 2% of the U.S. population but represent 25% of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Our Judeo-Christian Heritage is rich but we have cast it aside.

When we recognize the connection between the intellect, the heart, relationships and physical health –  supporting people  at a deeper level –  we will get to the heart of transformation. God is in the transformation business.

Cultural transformation starts with you. You have a calling that will lead to fulfillment, success and significance. It is built into your personality, your gifts and the desires of your heart and calls you into your destiny. 

If you’re ready to get it all together – mind, body and spirit – and take it to the next level in business, don’t miss next week’s conference call:  “Seeking Grape Tasters and Giant Chasers”. Register HERE

I’m teaming with Becky Harmon of Success Not Sabotage to make sure you know about the best deal out there….

You can trade in what YOU know for what GOD knows.

P.S. “Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The troublemakers. The ones who see things differently. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs)  So yes, I’m still crazy after all these years.


Ruffled Feathers

June 4, 2012

In the world of birds, ruffled feathers can indicate a number of things;  the need to cool off, an attempt to appear larger because of being threatend, annoyed or fearful. It can even be a sign of a virus. An interesting figure of speech that describes people quite well.

With people, ruffled feathers refers to someone who is offended. Much as I hate to admit it, being offended is really just pride.  So, your sense of being right has been challenged, huh?  Welcome to the club. Most of us have opportunity to take offense at something someone has said or done at least on a daily basis.

Bottom line – it’s too expensive to go there. Negative feelings are viral and don’t have to be verbalized to be spread – nonverbal communication spreads just as fast.

Being offended leads to unforgiveness which opens the door to bitterness.  It’s said that bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.  If you’ve sipped of that poison, I HAVE THE ANTIDOTE!  It’s found in the book of Phillipians. I memorized this long ago and it serves me well…

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is fair, whatever is pure, whatever is acceptable, whatever is commendable, if there is anything of excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy-keep thinking about these things.”

Feathers ruffled? Shake it off.

Note: One of my taglines as a business coach is. “I work with teams to take the “dys” out of dysfunction and put the “fun” back in. I’ve had lots of experience with smoothing feathers. Let me know if I can help.


June 1, 2012

The success of the reality TV show “Survivor”  has spawned more than a few copycat shows that pit man against nature along with a psychological battle of men and women competing against one another. I have friends who have entertained the idea of being a contestant but I’m comfortable to observe from my living room, thank you very much.

All of us have amazing abilities to survive and adapt. We use these skills every day, even if we never set foot in the jungle. These abilities have certainly been put to use the past few years as the economic volcano blew and changed the landscape of our lives, jobs, businesses and home ownership, thus affecting relationships and everything else.

The science of how the brain copes with change reveals that all of us create mental maps. It is a psychological process that develops as we mature – children don’t have it.

Adults, on the other hand, have strong mental maps that chart our understanding of where we are in reference to where we are going. Vision and goal-setting exercises are known to pull us into the future that we can design. Our  capabilities to create the future through our imagination are extraordinarily powerful.

But what  happens when you lose your map or have no clue where you are? It’s downright stressful. And it’s happened to all of us.

Admitting that you are lost is difficult because having no mental map, being no place, is like having no self. Without a mental map, people become very disoriented and begin to deteriorate rapidly. We’ve all seen people have a total meltdown when they’ve lost a job or gotten a divorce.

The good news? If your old map got blown away in a storm, you can make a new map. I’m an experienced mapmaker  – more often known as a business coach – and am glad to share my tools and knowledge.  There is adventure and award ahead.
Never underestimate the heart of a champion – and you are one.

Of Blogs, Vlogs and Thogs

May 30, 2012

Blogging started out as an online journal, as defined by the word derived from combining “Web Log”. Then we got the term “Vlog” when YouTube got hot and video clips became popular.  Video Log = Vlog. So what are we going to call the new trend with making quotes into visuals that has gotten hot along with Pinterest? Thogs? (Thought logs)

P.S. I must admit I had fun creating this one from a photo I snapped in St. Lucia a few years back. It’s pretty and fits the thought about difficulties and challenges. We swam around this point and the current was ferocious. : )

Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

7 Essentials for Navigating Change With Courage & Grace

May 22, 2012

Change. You can love it or hate it but a critical element of success is learning to navigate it.

Cultivating essential skills can give you a huge advantage over those who are unprepared. This positioning has been known to create exceptional leaders that leap from history into our minds daily because they are quoted so often; Churchill, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur and countless others.  All of these led during times of extreme change. (And it doesn’t get much more stressful than war.)

All elite performers and leaders train hard. Technical knowledge in your field is essential but emotional control is just as important. Leading well in the midst of change requires skills – and the good news is they’re learnable. Just like you can exercise to acquire agility and reduce the pain of sore muscles that have been worked in new ways, you can develop the agility to navigate change with grace.

Change typically flips the body into the stress response. Especially if there’s some fear involved – which is the norm.  I like what Mike Tyson’s trainer says about fear: “Fear is like fire. It can cook for you. It can heat your house. Or it can burn you down.” 

Here are 7 ways you can position yourself to benefit from change:

1.   Get the big picture. Create a forecast for the future by considering cycles and patterns.

2.  Make a plan. But recognize when it’s time let go of the plan. Adaptation & flexibility are important.

3. Introduce changes gradually whenever possible. Incremental change is easier to accept. Think about how critical it is for divers to decompress – it’s really painful (and dangerous) for them to ascend too quickly.

4.  Be slow to react when presented with unexpected news.  (Unless someone’s yelling “the building’s on fire”! ) Normally,  you should give yourself time to formulate a response instead of reacting in the heat of the moment.

5. Cultivate an attitude that recognizes the benefits of change and look for seeds of opportunity within it.

6. Travel with a team that represents different personality types. I run full force into change with sword drawn, ready for action. One of my partners gets out the calculator, gathers information and ponders long and hard before taking action. Neither one of us have the correct approach. Different perspectives are invaluable.

7. Change the Changeable While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable. A specific exercise is to create a file on your computer or on a dedicated page in your organizer on which you make, modify, and maintain a list of those things that never change for you. Those things will be your anchor. List your core values, as an individual and in your business. (Thanks to Rabbi Daniel Lapin for this wisdom!)

The computer makes us fantastically more able to calculate, analyze and gather information, but it doesn’t make us more intuitive. We have instruments that have immeasurably extended our gift of sight, but not of insight. And it is these qualities; perception, wisdom and discernment that will serve best in navigating change effectively.

We are all born with ability to change, to adapt and to grow. So what is it about change that makes some people cringe and others grin? Is it personality? Experience? Leadership style? Comfort zones? Risk-taking ability? It’s probably elements of all of those things but our choice to prepare for it (or not) counts the most.

I find the comments of a Lockheed engineer regarding the Columbia Space Shuttle accident very interesting and directly applicable to the pioneering spirit that has been part of what has made our nation great. It’s a spirit of creativity – one that grasps the importance of change. Sometimes something’s lost to make great gains. Dan Canin wrote in his summary of the accident, “Every astronaut knows that it’s a known risk that if the soft tiles (of the module) are damaged, the shuttle burns up. But the odds against it are pretty good, especially compared to the rewards of being an astronaut, so they’re willing to take the chance. In fact, they fight for it…as would a lot of us. But the public expects every risk in their lives to be mitigatable to zero. Doing bold things isn’t about engineering risk to zero. Sh-t happens, and if we just want to restrict ourselves to things where sh-t can’t happen…we’re not going to do anything very interesting.”

Remember… security is mostly a superstition anyway.

Note: You are warmly invited to join me for the Free Tele-Class on Navigating Change liek A Champion. May 30. Register Here

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

May 16, 2012

I just finished reading Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  This is not typical reading fare for me but has a profound message that’s directly applicable to business.

The author tells true stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death–how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not). Who survives and why.

What it really boils down to is the ability to handle crisis. Which often comes upon us when we fail to anticipate the possible outcomes of decisions made in haste. Or when a series of poor choices place us in a precarious position.

My heart was in my throat as I read about the 2 college girls on  “the trip of a lifetime” who went on a day hike in Sacred Falls State Park on the island of Oahu. It was the middle of August on a mild and clear day. They parked in the parking lot and carried water bottles and snacks as they set off on a short hike. They were never seen again.

It’s thought that they miscalculated the density of the jungle (since it bordered on a well populated area) and wandered off the path. The triple-canopy jungle is vast and you can’t even see the sun through the chaotic overgrowth.  It’s not uncommon for people to hear the sound of the surf, thinking they’ve found the beach, and run off the edge of the 4,000 foot cliffs in the park.
Heartbreakingly tragic.

I am intrigued by the fact that a child under the age of 6 typically has a better survival rate when lost in the wilderness than an experienced hunter. It has a lot to do with being intuitive, paying attention to signals from your body and  not projecting a grim outcome onto the movie screen of your mind.

Since I study change and the ability of leaders and teams to navigate it successfully, I was fascinated by the lessons.

The most profound truth about survival in extreme circumstances is that it is not  really dependent on training, intellect or even attitude. It has more to do with heart. With hope, courage and resilience.

All of which are necessary attributes of effective leaders.

You are invited to explore the essentials of Navigating Change Like a Champion, a  Free Tele-Class on May 30th.  Deep survival skills can come in handy when you find yourself in unfamiliar situations. And that’s a matter of when, not if.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.  ~Helen Keller