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December 2009

Coaching Tips for a New Year's Planning

Dear Friends,

How will you make 2010 different from 2009? What does your change planning process look like?

This week while doing some business planning for 2010 and reflecting on 2009 in the process, I received a newsletter from my favorite productivity guru, David Allen, that made mention to year-end planning.  In his newsletter, he included some great questions to use for reflecting and planning. 

I'm going to share his questions...he calls them "David's Coaching Tips" below. His questions are a little more detailed than what I use and seem to me a great tool...hence, I just HAD to pass them along below. 
Even if you don't take an extended period of time with these (I take a half day for my planning process), at least take a look at them.  They are guaranteed to get you thinking.  :)
Here's to a fantastic 2010!

P.S. Let me know what you thought of the questions by leaving a comment below. If you need help with achieving your 2010 goals, give me a call for a free consultation regarding personal coaching. Coaching is probably the best change agent around! 

For those of you who want more form and structure, here are some questions that can guide you in your 2009 review and 2010 goal setting. When I go through these kinds of questions I like to consider my answers in several areas:

Community Service
Fun / creativity / recreation

Completing and remembering 2009
Review the list of all completed projects
What was your biggest triumph in 2009?
What was the smartest decision you made in 2009?
What one word best sums up and describes your 2009 experience?
What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2009?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2009?
What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2009?
What are you most happy about completing in 2009?
Who were the three people that had the greatest impact on your life in 2009?
What was the biggest risk you took in 2009?
What was the biggest surprise in 2009?
What important relationship improved the most in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have received in 2009?
What compliment would you liked to have given in 2009?
What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2009?

Creating the new year
What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2010?
What advice would you like to give yourself in 2010?
What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2010?
What would you be most happy about completing in 2010?
What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2010?
What would you most like to change about yourself in 2010?
What are you looking forward to learning in 2010?
What do you think your biggest risk will be in 2010?
What about your work, are you most committed to changing and improving in 2010?
What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2010?
What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2010?
Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2010?
What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2010?

Note: Following is David's contact information. I'm sharing this so I can share his wisdom with you here at Purposeful Leadership.


Please feel free to forward this message to friends, family, and colleagues, keeping our contact and copyright information intact.


Please visit us on the web at <>, email us at, or call 805-646-8432.

The David Allen Company
407-F Bryant Circle
Ojai, CA 93023
(805) 646-8432

A Smarter Way to Work & Live®

Leadership is Influence

Leadership. It’s all about influence. Without influence, effective leadership does not exist, yet too many people in positions of responsibility rely solely on their official title, assuming they have influence on their direct reports.

They may have less influence than they know. Influence comes from more than just a title. While position carries some influence, true influence happens with a heart connection.

Did you know that influence can be effortless? When we live from a place of authenticity and integrity with humility, vulnerability and a servant’s heart, showing vulnerability, people will be compelled to follow.

A true leader needs no title or position. Leaders influence with their lives.

As I sit here in the unusual quiet of a local coffee shop, I can’t help but think about a dear friend’s influence in my life. We were friends with a deep mutual respect for each other.  We didn’t work for the same company, but shared a passion for a common cause.

Because of her influence, I’m sipping coffee from a porcelain mug, listening to instrumental music on my ipod for focus, and smiling about the wireless mouse that we both love because it has the fastest scrolling capabilities on the planet. That’s influence.

I’m surrounded by and forever changed by her influence and I don’t even know how it happened.

Competent, caring leaders with influence have the potential to change the world by just doing what they do, being who they are. They don’t need titles or position. Who do you need to be so you can be a person of influence?

What stories of influence (or lack thereof) would you like to share in a comment below?

Time Saving Leadership: Teach for Time

Leaders must make time to teach so they can save time they do not have. 

Today skilled minds are worth more than skilled hands. Because everyone is caught up in the race of playing catch-up with too much to do with too little time, leaders must teach people how to think to save time in the long run.
Leaders who can't teach people how to think will be forever challenged with how long to "hand hold" their staffs or volunteers.
How effective are you at teaching people how to think for themselves?
Try this process the next time someone comes to you for answers. Ask them:

1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. What do you need to know, do, or have to accomplish it?
3. What will you do to move forward once you have what you need?

Facilitate the discussion, ask questions to dig deeper into their initial responses and watch those mind wheels turn!  Remember, teaching takes time, but saves time in the long run. Your time is worth the time!

What is your experience with teaching people how to think for themselves?  I'd love to hear of some tricks that have worked for you in the comments below. Also, if you try the above exercise, come back and let us know how it turned out. I love hearing from you!

Related Posts:

The Leader's Role As Teacher
Coaching: How the Best Leaders Teach   

As a professional coach I can help you or your organization develop a coaching culture where people set goals and think for themselves. Contact me for details.

Leadership and Management: The Balancing Act

What if everyone around you thrived on creating new ideas, initiating change and forging ahead to greater heights with reckless abandon? To the contrary, what if everyone was complacent and comfortable in the status quo? Can you picture the scene?

My guess is that in the former, everyone would on the verge of cardiac arrest from the chaotic environment, while in the latter, it would be Siesta time, all the time. Neither hypothesis would be very profitable or sustainable in the long term, demonstrating that both skills of leading and managing contribute to the success of any organization.

Simply stated, if everyone leads, no one will manage. If everyone manages, no one will lead. Great leaders know when and how to lead AND manage.

Both leaders and managers are important in their own ways. Without the leadership skills of casting vision and initiating change, forward progress stalls. Without the management skills of implementation and administration, great ideas go nowhere. Great teams have a blend of all types of behavior styles, with each person operating in their strengths for the greater good of the whole.

"To lead or to manage?", that is the question. The answer is "Yes". Know the situation. Know yourself. Know your team. Balance your people knowledge with an understanding of your organizational mission and you'll have a recipe for success!

How do you balance the strengths and weakness of your team? How well do you know your own strengths and weaknesses? What one step will you take today to increase your effectiveness? Share your goals and ideas with us in a comment so we can learn from each other.

If you would like help in identifying your strengths/weakness and modifying your behavior to enhance your communication/leadership influence, coaching with some assessment tools may be for you. Contact me today for a complimentary consultation.