Coaching Feed

Making the Most of Your Team: The "I" in Team

We've all heard the phrase "There is no "I" in team". Actually, there is - YOU! If you lead a team, you are its most important component and success or failure rests and depends upon you. I've challenged many a leader to look in the mirror and see how their actions or inaction might be contributing to the very things they complain about.

Whether you inherited a team because of a role transition or desire to inject new life into your current team, following are some steps you can take to motivate and inspire your team to peak performance.

1. Know what they know...or don't know. How well do they understand their purpose and direction, roles and expectation? What are their priorities?

2. Know who they are ...individually. What do you know about each team member's background, goals, accomplishments or organizational contributions? Do you know what motivates them?

3. Know how they are ... collectively. What are their strengths? What causes strife within the group?

Team success starts with you, the "I" in your team. What will you do this week to take a step towards a more motivated and productive team?
Share what you will do by clicking the comment link below, then come back and tell us how things changed for you. We'd love to hear from you!

Related posts in this series:

Part 1: Hire 'em And Leave 'em: A Recipe for Failure
Part 2: Survive the Role Transition: Be Strategic
Part 3: Making A Change: Assess, Then Act
Part 4: Overwhelmed and Underprepared? Examine the Facts

Want a more productive or cohesive team?
Click HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

As a Certified Behavioral and Values Analyst, my assessments combined with group training and personal coaching can help you and your group achieve peak performance by better understanding your team's dynamics.

Hire 'em and Leave 'em: A Recipe for Failure

Think about the last time you took a new job or hired/promoted someone into a new management position. What was the experience like for you? Chances are the orientation process consisted of no more than completing some paperwork and taking an office tour of the most important spots in the building...the restroom, break room and the supply closet.

If you can relate to this scenario you are not alone. Most companies tend to hire new managers and quickly leave them to fend for themselves.

Most companies set up their new hires for failure rather than success.

Did you know that...

  • 46% of leaders in new roles will FAIL within 18 months?
  • 25% of top performers will likely leave your company within the next year.
  • Replacing employees costs YOUR company 3 times their annual salary?
  • On average it takes 6.2 months for a newly-positioned leader to become productive?
  • A primary reason leaders fail in their new roles is improper induction?

No one wants to feel the stress of failure and in our current economic times no one can afford to throw resources away on new leaders who might have succeeded had they been properly invested in from the beginning.

Successful leadership role transitions are possible with the right process. Stay tuned for an upcoming serious highlighting our accelerated role transition process and get helpful tips to get on track fast in a new role ... or to build a better foundation in your current role. 


Can't wait for the series? If you lack a formal induction process or you just got hired and were left to fend for yourself, click here for information on how you can reduce stress and still make an impact to get the results you desire.

A Salute to Everyday Courage

My coaching clients are some of the most courageous people I know. While they don't typically put themselves in physical danger like police officers, firefighters or military personnel, they put themselves at risk every day by taking on new challenges and stepping out of their comfort zones.
I admire them. Every day.
My clients risk:
  • realizing that the truth they thought they knew really wasn't true.
  • facing surprised reactions from others to behavior changes they've made.
  • learning that they may really be the cause of their own issues.
  • losing sleep because of excitement over new possibilities.
Every day I encourage someone to do things differently than they've ever done before. All of my clients rise to the occasion, and for that I salute them. Additionally, I'm consistently challenged to improve and reflect because of them.
My clients' courage to go for their goals at all costs inspires me. When I hear of their successes, I smile from ear to ear...and then ask myself "What will YOU challenge yourself with this week?".
People who hire coaches are willing to risk the comfort of the status quo for the hope of a better tomorrow. They are courageous. How courageous are you?

Need a Solution? Coaching May Be Your Answer

You probably need a coach but don't realize you do.

Generally speaking, people are more apt to know what they don't want rather than what they do want. If they did, they would spend more time and energy creating their ideal situation than complaining about their reality. This behavioral trait pervades our careers, our relationships and any environment where we find ourselves complaining.

It is a rare individual who knows what he wants and takes steps to get it, especially if the steps require long-term effort. Additionally, a lot of us aren't aware how much our reality differs from THE reality. We all have our own version of how we are the "American Idol" when reality is that the people around us just won't tell us how bad we "sing".

Today I'm providing a checklist for you to consider whether or not you or someone you know needs a coach.  In no particular order, a coach may be the solution if...

  1. You feel stagnated or lack motivation.
  2. You are overworked and overwhelmed.
  3. You consistently face obstacles to achieving your goals.
  4. You just got promoted.
  5. You hate your situation.
  6. You know you are a great leader but others don't seem to think so.
  7. You constantly fight "fires" of interruptions & emergencies.
  8. You need more skills or resources to get the "job" done. 
  9. You have no idea how your today will impact your tomorrow.
  10. You covet someone else's job more than your own.

If you or someone you know is in any of the above situations, coaching might be the solution if there is a willingness to leave the excuses behind and proactively take charge of the situation. Coaching works when we do the work.

Now its your turn to respond. What would you add to my list? If you've used a coach in any way, how has coaching helped you? Leave your comment by clicking the comment link below.

Do you need a coach? I love helping people make changes in their lives! Call me for a complimentary consultation today at 913-219-7844! You'll be glad you did!

Practical Personal Evaluations

When was the last time you took a few minutes to evaluate how you are doing in your life or work? Every week I ask my clients to do this by way of a Session Preparation Form. I participate in the same process with my own coach.
I love the Session Preparation Form! The process of answering the questions forces me to acknowledge what I've accomplished rather than what didn't get done. It also helps me to objectively and proactively address my challenges and provides me with the focus I need to move forward efficiently. 
Wouldn't you like to experience the same? You can!
I'm inviting you to share in the process I use with my clients each week to encourage forward movement in achieving their goals. If you fully participate, I know you will not be disappointed.  Are you ready to join us? 

If you are, pick a time and day of the week on which for the next four weeks you can allow 30 minutes to write out the answers to the following questions:

  • What went well last week ... forward motion, victories, learning?
  • What was challenging?
  • How could you best use your time this week?
  • What will you commit to doing this week to progress in your life or career?

Date each week's evaluation and at the end of the four weeks look back at the progress you've made. Then, come back to this post at Purposeful Leadership and comment with your success stories.  I'd love to hear them!

NOTE: If you would like to use the actual Session Preparation Form I use with my clients, download it from here. The questions are slightly different, but you can easily change them to match the above questions.

Accountability: A Leader's Best Friend

What is your experience with being "held accountable"? Most of us have had a bad experience with accountability at some point in our lives when it was used as a tool for condemnation or it failed to attach the action step to a goal of forward progress. However, "accountability" does not have to be a "four letter" word.

Accountability gets a bad rap it doesn't deserve. Accountability can be a leader's best friend!

Professional coaches are trained in the accountability process and leaders of all types should model what good coaches do with their clients.Through my coach training, being a coaching client and in coaching my own clients, I can attest to the power of a well structured weekly accountability process.

I wish I would have been trained in coaching skills while I was still in Corporate America so I could have used the process with my direct reports!

If you want some facts to back up my experience,this section is for you. Fairley and Zipp's "The Business Coaching Toolkit" quotes the following from the results of a research project performed by the American Society for Training and Development. The study related the probability of a person's completing a goal based upon the actions they took relating to that goal. These results speak for themselves.


1. If you hear an idea.............................................10%

2. If you consciously decide to adopt an idea..................25%

3. If you decide when to act on the idea.......................40%

4. If you design a plan to act on the idea......................50%

5. If you commit to another person to act on the plan.......65%

6. If you have a specific  accountability appointment
with the person to whom you made your commitment.......95%

Accountability can be our best friend.  What accountability structures do you have in place either personally or for your direct reports? What experiences do you have with accountability? We'd love to hear from you in a comment!

Want to experience or learn more about the accountability process? Contact me at 913-219-7844 for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how you can lead to your full potential.

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 [email protected], or call 805-646-8432.

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

A Smarter Way to Work & Live®

Coaching: How the Best Leaders Teach

Its not easy to teach people how to think, yet this skill is a must for effective leadership. It requires patience and foresight...and time. Yet if we don't teach others how to think on their own, we waste time in the long run because our subordinates will be forever dependent upon our knowledge base for answers. 

A leader who doesn't teach stunts his own personal growth and destines himself to the "same old, same old". This type of leader "teaches" people how to be forever followers.

I believe that the best leaders teach people to think by following a coaching model, whether they realize it or not. Coaching and leadership go hand in hand. Interestingly enough, coaching is a learning model.

The primary competencies of professional coaching, grouped into the four main categories of listening, creating awareness, planning and managing progress mirror the skills necessary for leaders to get things done through people.  Let's take a look at how each core area enhances a leader's ability to teach.

  1. Listening  - Through the gift of listening, leaders demonstrate humility and respect.  Additionally, new ideas often emerge when people process out loud.
  2. Creating Awareness - Great questions create learning because they encourage thinking. The process of answering a question creates more learning than a "lecture".
  3. Planning and Goal Setting - A good action plan teaches us to stretch beyond what we might ordinarily think possible.
  4. Managing progress and accountability - Done well, accountability teaches us to celebrate our success and to reflect and course correct if necessary.

When we teach others to think through a coaching model, we free ourselves up to blaze new trails and we build trust in those we lead in the process. As leaders, teaching the way a coach teaches is a win-win for everyone concerned!

What are your experiences as either a leader or learner? What developmental techniques have worked for you as you've mentored others? Leave your comment below to share your expertise.

If you would like to experience coaching for yourself, please contact me for a complimentary consultation by clicking here.

Living Intentionally: 3 Steps for Success

Deciding to live intentionally is the first step towards achieving your full potential. However, while many people sense that "there must be more to life", they often don't know where to start. If you are wanting to make changes in your life, read on! If you are wanting but not willing (i.e. if you will just make excuses for how things can't be done), click away now.

If you are still reading, I'm thrilled to present you with a starting point for making changes in any area of your life. First of all, download my Life Action Worksheet by clicking here and follow the three steps below to get started today for a better tomorrow:

Step 1. TAKE INVENTORY. Rate each major area of your life just as it is on a scale of 1 to 10 as to how satisfied you are in each area. What would a perfect "10" look like in each area of your life?

Step 2. TAKE CHARGE. Write down three baby steps, along with target completion dates toward achieving your perfect "10" in your lowest rated area from Step 1.

Step 3. TAKE ACTION. Tell someone what you are planning to do and have them hold you accountable for achieving your goals. (Note: Be sure to pick someone who will check in and not be shy about helping you stick to your plan.)

I use a version of this worksheet and process as a springboard for change with all of my coaching clients. Intentional living is all about identifying goals and taking baby steps to reach them. You too, can achieve your goals if you take intentional action. Any questions?

What is your process for making changes in your life? I'd love to hear from you! Or, if you just want to sound off with other comments or questions, I'd welcome those too.  Your thoughts may just help someone else.

Schmidt:Everyone Needs a Coach

Fortune magazine interviewed Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and asked him about the best advice he ever received.  He replied by saying the best advice he ever received was being told to hire an executive coach.  Additionally he states: "The one thing we are never good at is seeing ourselves as others see us. A coach really, really helps." For the 41 second video interview, click here

Of course, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Schmidt. I've definitely had my own eyes opened when I've been coached and know that I've surprised some of my clients as well through my coaching.  Objective feedback is one of most impactful things we can receive for leadership development.

What do you think about being mentored or coached?