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Delegate your Strengths

by CoachKevin | February 4th, 2016

“But because our organization has grown so much and in so many different ways, the delegation process places responsibility and authority on the shoulders of people you can watch grow, and watch the way they treat others.”

- Vince McMahon

Chair and CEO, World Wrestling Entertainment

One of the leaders I work with recently shared a big epiphany.

Their company had already delegated most of their weaknesses – the things they weren’t good at. But he realized that if they wanted to continue to grow they had to switch gears and delegate their strengths.

Think about it. If they are already strong at something, they know what great looks like.

They can quickly, and more easily, understand what’s going on – and know what has to happen next.

And, they can be a great coach or advisor.

CEOs hold onto too much, for too long. At a certain point, they need…

Bigger and Stronger

by CoachKevin | January 28th, 2016

Is your company growing bigger and stronger?

“Deep roots are not reached by frost.”

-JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Leaders involved in growth companies talk a lot about growing bigger. But as they focus on bigger, they forget to be stronger.  And, as a result, the company gets weaker the larger it gets.

As I walked with a CEO preparing for a planning session, we passed a spectacular tree that appeared to have a root system as wide as its 150’ to 200’ branches. Beside it was a spindly tree (center right in picture).

As we walked by, the CEO compared his company to the little spindly tree – which could easily have been blown over if a tornado hit – and said that’s exactly what they were when starting out. But the banyan tree,…

Purpose with Power

by janicew | January 22nd, 2016

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

- Kahlil Gibran
Lebanese-American artist, poet, writer

In my last blog, I talked about Medix, one of the companies I work with that is truly purpose led, and an experience we recently had helping at a children’s shelter in Mexico.

As a team we expected it to be great – but it was really, really difficult – and a reminder of how much easier it is for us to create a thriving life because of the environment we grow up in.

We went with a vision of what an orphanage would be like. We expected to see kids like in the movie ‘Annie’ – for the kids to look different. But they looked…

Is Your Purpose Truly Part of your Culture – or Just Marketing?

by janicew | January 15th, 2016

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

-Albert Schweitzer

German theologian, philosopher, physician, medical missionary

Many companies say they have a purpose and support a good cause. They’ll write a cheque or do some things. But I’ve found that few actually live it. Few are able to connect to their purpose in a way that the people in the company are directly experiencing the purpose…seeing it, hearing it and talking about it.

When it comes to purpose, I’ve noticed three types of companies:

  • No purpose beyond profit – it’s just about making money
  • Say they are purpose led, and say all the right things. But if you look at the actions behind the behaviours and actions, it’s about money
  • Truly purpose led, with a cause that drives the company ahead. It…
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Breathing Belief into People

by CoachKevin | January 5th, 2016

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.”

- Bill Bradley

American Hall of Fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former Democratic Senator

Did you know that the best coaches, advisors or leaders believe in you before – and more – than you do?

They have an ability to see our greatness in two ways: they see and call out the strengths we already have today, and they can see us performing at a much higher level. And then they give us the challenges and support to get us there.

As simple as it sounds, many of us aren’t amazing at seeing what’s already there.

But good leaders not only see it – they describe it.

I’ve had hundreds of conversations with CEOs and executives about what has helped them to grow most in their careers – like sporting activities as a kid, professors at school or any jobs they…

Breathing Room/Thinking Time

by CoachKevin | December 21st, 2015

“Poirot,” I said. “I have been thinking.”

“An admirable exercise, my friend.  Continue it.”

- Agatha Christie, Peril at End House

Most leaders become leaders because they are high-performing doers.

But it’s a trap.  If you want to make the shift to becoming a high-performing leader, you need to become a high-performing thinker.

The most important goal for any leader is to have a team strong enough to manage themselves – so that so that you have time to breathe, to think, to look up at other possibilities, to explore new opportunities and challenges – to think about the future moves of your company.

If you’re in fire-fighting mode all the time, and solving problems you’re going to be very busy.  And while that’s good for the business today, you’re not really doing strategic leadership.

The challenge is to find a way to carve out, ideally, one or two hours a day – or at…

High Productivity: Progress vs Perfection

by CoachKevin | December 16th, 2015

“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.

The more things you do, the more you can do.”

– Lucille Ball

What’s the one thing highly productive, busy people have in common?

They have very clear goals and plans.

And they work with them in a way that allows them to get an incredible amount of work done in a day.

It works. I’ve noticed my productivity is dramatically higher when I follow this system: articulated long-term goals, a clear plan of the biggest priorities to get done every week, and a breakdown of the most important things to do, every day. It’s incredibly simple.

(By the way, this perfectly dovetails with the 2015 Review, 2016 Plan exercise, which allows you to reflect and articulate goals for Your Work, Your Life and Your Self.)

Links to versions in pdf & Word below….

It’s All About You – A 2015 Review, and a 2016 Plan

by CoachKevin | December 8th, 2015

Hard to believe but 2015 is almost over, and before we know it, a new year will be here. That means it’s time to reflect on this year – and to set goals for the next one – using this new 2015 Review, 2016 Plan form.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

–Yogi Berra

Links to versions in pdf & Word below.  The word version may work better on mobile and tablet devices.

You’ll notice that, in addition to sections to reflect, brainstorm, plan and set goals for Your Work and Your Life, I’ve added a new one for Your Self…and here’s why.

Most leaders are very busy – and the successful ones are committed to their work, their family and other activities. But when time gets crunched they often sacrifice themselves the most to make it work for others – sacrificing eating well,…

Maverick Mark Cuban-One Week at a Time

by CoachKevin | November 26th, 2015

This October, I was fortunate to spend an hour with Dallas Maverick’s owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, before a Maverick’s game in the American Airlines Center.

From the many interesting things he talked about, my ears perked up when someone asked him how he stays on top of all the companies he’s invested in: 70 alone on Shark Tank, and another 75 he’s no longer as active in – plus all his direct reports in the Mavericks.

“It’s very easy,” he answered. “Everybody sends me a weekly report. It needs to be weekly, and you need to tell me the bad news first. If you don’t tell me the bad news, you’re fired.”

He said he needs to know where the risks are – where to pay attention – and where to help out.

Andrew Grove, the founder of Intel, also talks about the power of weekly reports in his book…

Leadership Skill: Train Your Brain

by CoachKevin | October 6th, 2015

It’s challenging and unpredictable. At times it’s painful. There is no magical moment of ‘arriving’ and experiencing nothing but ease evermore. This is why mental resilience is a fundamental leadership skill.

About 15 years ago I started training my brain to respond differently to life.  I’ve now fully convinced my brain that good things happen to me every single day. It’s radially changed my experience of life.

No matter what happens my brain automatically searches for the good in the situation. Initially I had to really help it along but now it’s my normal way of thinking.

Because of this, I waste far less energy resisting life. I move forward more easily and with less internal tension.

You have the option of choosing how you view events in your life. You don’t have to default to your brain’s first response…‘This thing is terrible!’ or ‘This thing is fantastic!’ Brains are dramatic and often…

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