Leadership Point of View

Since early May, I’ve had the honor and privilege of participating in an internal leadership program at Blanchard.  Working within the small cohort of some of Blanchard’s most brightest, talented and dedicated future leaders of our organization has been amazing!  Sadly, the program comes to end today, with a presentation to our leadership team about our personal highlights and learning from the program along with a report on the project we have been working on together.
Manager & Employee
The biggest highlight of participating in this program for me was the experience of creating my Leadership Point of View (LPOV).  I enjoyed the introspective exercise of looking at past events and people in my life that have helped shape my leadership style and how my personal values also play into that.  I feel that creating my LPOV is such a valuable tool when shared with those I lead, work with or report to, in order to enhance my working relationships and communication with others.

My Leadership Point of View is comprised of the following components: A key event in my life which was an experience I had during my first professional job, a key person in my life who became a role model for me as a Situational Leader, and how my personal values of Service to Others, Dependability, and Personal Growth is something that people I work with can expect of me and what I also expect of them.  Additionally, I gave examples of people or situations in which I had an experience of others demonstrating my own personal values.

Due to the experience I had crafting my own Leadership Point of View and the value in sharing it with others in order to enhance my working relationships, I highly encourage you to do the same.  You can create your LPOV by including the components of my LPOV that I shared above, using your own examples and values.  Also, for more detailed information on Blanchard’s Leadership Point of View program, please go to this link: http://www.kenblanchard.com/Solutions/Executive-Development/Leadership-Point-of-View

You have all the answers

The reality about coaching is that the client does the work.   A great coach creates an environment that illuminates truth for the person being coached, and a really great coach “stays out of the way” by caring enough to state what is observed and by avoiding judgment.   The coach doesn’t create the solution.  The answer emerges from the client because it was there all along!

Have you ever yearned to find a blog that answers and affirms the quest you are on?  Let’s treat this blog post as just such.

Sincerely ask yourself the following questions, and give yourself the time to allow the answers to emerge:

  • What is the resolution you seek?
  • What change is required on your part?
  • What do you have to stop doing?
  • What must you begin doing, or do differently?
  • Who is involved?
  • Who can support you in this?
  • How will you know you’ve completely addressed this?
  • How will you honor the fact that you’ve completely handled this?

Congratulations on creating your own caring environment to get to the heart of what matters.

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Drive by Coaching

A single coaching session can result in a client gaining clarity and jump-starting into action.

Last week, I participated in a “Drive by Coaching” session” after a former client requested an impromptu MH900310158phone coaching session. Sue [name has been changed to honor confidentiality] had an idea of writing a book. She was excited about the idea and had doubts about who would acknowledge her book. She was unsure if she should move forward with the book idea or if she was just “dreaming”. I heard the passion in her voice and jumped right into coach mode to help Sue gain clarity.

During the 50 minute impromptu coaching session, Sue became clear on her purpose for writing a book, narrowed her focus, identified her target audience, clarified her expectations, and created an action plan. Sue was very excited and could visualize the book and individuals enjoying it. She had a realistic plan and was even more passionate! Whew…! I was impressed in what Sue accomplished in our “Drive by Coaching” session.

Once Sue and I ended the call, I reflected on what caused Sue to accomplish so much during one coaching session. Sue had a general vision of a goal for a book project. However, she was doubtful on if and how she should proceed, which is common among many clients. My role as a coach consisted of the following for the “Drive by Coaching” session:

  • A strong connection (existing relationship with a former client)
  • Actively listening – client does most the talking; recap and summarize what is stated
  • Ask questions related to the alignment of client’s values
  • Ask thought-provoking questions to uncover and increase awareness of the purpose and intention
  • Acknowledge the passion and energy (or lack of it)
  • Move to action quickly, which should come naturally from the client

All Sue needed was a “Drive by Coaching” session to move her forward!

Being Positive in Challenging Situations

Generally, every individual has experienced a professional or personal challenging situation that has sparked negativity or a stifling outlook.

I have experienced several challenging situations that has caused me to spiral downward into a negative, unproductive, and self-pity mentality. Not a pretty picture!!!

It is not fun being around someone who is negative. A negative perspective does not serve anyone. Time will continue to move on as one wallows in a perceived unfavorable situation.

So, what is the key to avoid spiraling downward into negativity? You have a choice! You can consciously choose to think positive about a situation by controlling your emotions, looking for the learning, and creating a productive action plan/strategy.

Depending on the situation, it may take a lot of soul searching, support from others, and aligning your values and passion to gain and maintain a positive outlook. It can be done!!

Below are 6 Questions to ask yourself as you move toward negativity.

1. What is the reality of the situation?
2. What are the facts?
3. What control do I have?
4. What is the learning for ME? (What is my role in the situation? What are the productive and unproductive behaviors?)
5. What would it take to move beyond the situation?
6. Based on the reality and facts of the situation, what is my productive plan of action moving forward?

How will you handle the next curve ball that comes your way?

Success

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What is the most important element for success?  Good leadership from your boss?  The right resources?  Direction?  Support?  Autonomy?  Intrinsic motivation?  Optimism? Resilience?

All of the above matter, of course.  However, research  psychologist Roy Baumeister unequivocally answers that the most important element for success is  self-control.  Self-control is what keeps us on track.  Self-control reminds us that we have choices.  Self-control is something we are told to learn in childhood and many of us continue to work on every day!

Basically, self-control is what helps us look beyond immediate frustration or perceived loss, and look to the future benefit.  This keeps us “on track” to achieve success.

Our brains are wired to react to perceived danger.  (You can read more on neuroscience in earlier Coaching Source blogs by Madeleine Blanchard.)  Self-control can allow us to “wait out” the immediate reaction to danger and its corresponding focus on loss, pain and blame.  With self control, we can influence our mind to determine a better result.  How?  By asking what positive attributes are in this circumstance?

Most importantly, when you shift your mind’s focus from negative to positive, you shift your physical and emotional state, too.   Focusing on the benefits of any circumstance, creating images of hope and possibility are not just important for your success—they are critical for your team, too!   Helping others to focus on what can be (instead of what cannot happen) can influence  your team to shift to a “possibilities” focus.

“You always have a choice about where you put your focus.  Learning to use that choice is part of leadership development.”  (p 139,Care to Dare, Kohlrieser, Goldsworthy and Coombe, 2012.)

Work that “choice muscle” and you will remain on the path to success!

5 Questions to Match Your Style to Your Job

Man Working on Personal ComputerAre you a jack of all trades or are you a subject matter expert? Review the two definitions below. Think about the type of work you do now…which term best describes you in your current role?

generalist: one who has broad general knowledge and skills in several areas.
specialist: a person devoted to one particular branch of a subject or pursuit.

Some people are very passionate about having extreme task variety. They love to do a little bit of everything and get bored when focused on one thing. Others are very passionate about having a specific area of focus and being able to dedicate the majority of their time to learning and mastering that pursuit.

Now review the two definitions again. Think about the type of work you like to do…which term best describes you when you’re happiest and at your best?

If you answered the same way both times, then you’re likely on the right path. If the type of work you perform in your current role is not in alignment with how you work when you’re at your best, then it’s time to consider some changes. Analyze your current role to see if there are adjustments that can be made to position the role to better suit your style. Or, perhaps you need to consider if the solution is to find a more suitable position within the organization or elsewhere.

Begin by asking yourself some questions…

What does my ideal job role look like?
Where are the gaps between my current role and my ideal role?
How can I begin to close those gaps?
What obstacles to change am I likely to encounter?
Who can help me facilitate the changes that need to be made?

If you’ve discovered that you’re a specialist in a generalist’s role, or vice versa, preserve your sanity and increase your happiness by making the necessary changes. Navigating this type of journey can be a difficult, overwhelming adventure and you’ll need help.

Sounds like you could use a good coach.

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The Ultimate Achievement…Can Become a Reality!

The ultimate achievement begins with a simple goal!

The Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl victory was an ultimate achievement!

John and Jim Harbaugh, head coaches for the Raven and 49ers respectively, began their season with simple goals: To field competitive teams and make it into the NFL Playoffs. These simple goals led to a chance to accomplish the ultimate goal for all professional football teams.

It is easy to set a goal.  The real challenge is the mindset and work it takes to accomplish the goal.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself before you commit to a goal.  Also, ask these questions again 1-2 months later to ensure the goal is right for you.

  • What is the benefit of achieving the goal?
  • What is the goal worth to me?
  • How determined am I to achieving the goal?
  • What am I willing to give up?
  • Is it the right time for this goal?
  • How will I keep myself on track to achieving the goal?

Accomplishing a goal is fulfilling and memorable (and work)!  Just ask the Baltimore Ravens!!