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Thoughts on Leadership

What's up with the Sunsets?

There is time every day for reflection & self-improvement.  Some days, especially when the sun is setting over a body of water,  nature puts that reality into focus.  Above the horizon is the beauty of the day turning into night.  But below the horizon is the reflection.  It is the reminder that there are two perspectives with every experience.  We have the opportunity to reflect on those events, think about ourselves & improve on how we listen, observe, lead & how we can do things just a little bit better tomorrow.

The Problem with shove ready volunteerism

It’s a great experience that most of us can relate to.  We get together with a group of friends or co-workers & we help our community by getting our hands dirty for a day.  Believe me, I love being outdoors doing manual labor!  (see the cease and desist I’ve been given on planting trees in our yard:) Here’s the problem with shovel ready volunteerism & our opportunity for improvement:

- Professionals are typically extremely ineffective & inefficient manual laborers.
- We aren’t leveraging our years of domain expertise or professional experience.
- There is a huge gap between Academia & Business in applied learning.
- Most aspiring professionals don’t ask for help & don’t know who to ask.
- There are coaching/mentoring connections just waiting to happen in our communities.


That’s why I am building out my pro bono Career Transitions coaching practice for Technical College & University Students.

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Creating Tools for Teams to Shine.

We are taught at an early age that tools help us do work.  Unfortunately, I often see businesses mandate standards & call them tools.  There's a better way!

  1. Understand our team's current tasks through observation and interview.

  2. Provide foundational training to the collaborative approach.

  3. Collaborate with our team to define the "perfect" customer meeting.

  4. Lead team workshops to create the tools that facilitate customer meetings

  5. Apply those tools as soon as possible. 

Empower your team to SHINE the tools! They won't be perfect, but they will get better.

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Leading change is catching at the bottom...

...not pushing from the top!   We've all been there, rolling out a new initiative, motivating our team to try new things, rewarding the early adopters. Then, It happens... Fear, Resistance, Failure!  Lesser managers push harder with mandates and threats.  Great leaders encourage those that are nervous. They stand at the riskiest point and say, "C'mon, I'll join you and let's see how we can grow!"  When asking our teams to change, trust is built by how we react to failure and setbacks. How do we learn? How do we improve? How do we pick ourselves up and try again?  When we face the challenge together, we supercharge our team with confidence.  So step in and join a nervous team member on a "failure" today! Be compassionate. Listen. Enjoy the opportunity to help someone on your team and improve your business!

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Collaboration - Beyond the Trusted Advisor

The difference between a great sales rep and our BEST sales rep is the same as the difference between a great customers and our BEST customers.  Trust, expertise and advice are critical, but what differentiates our best accounts is "Willingness to Collaborate."  When we create that environment, our best customers emerge.  An environment of listening and problem solving WITH our customers is more sustainable than solving problems FOR our customers.  All of the tools are hiding in plain sight in the Continuous Improvement, Change Management, and Project Management communities.  Coaching our teams how to use them will accelerate growth!

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