TransformationSummer is in full swing.   If you are ready to move to the next level, now is the time.  Life is ready for you — it always has been.

Enjoy the weeks of summer.  Be ready to jump into fall, spend a few minutes this week setting the stage for your personal transformation.

Transformation only happens when you are truly ready to shift and take action.  

Here are three steps that will help you be ready for your personal transformation in the months ahead:

  1. Listen to yourself.  Listen carefully to what you want and what you feel, then write it down.
  2. Jot down your concerns about what is next for you.
  3. Be truthful with yourself about each of your concerns.  Did you note all your concerns?  Did you note the real concern(s)?  Don’t stop with the surface issues and concerns.

Review your notes.  Reflect on the data.  For example, if you want a new job and you are concerned about the salary, make sure this is your real concern or your only concern.

Then ask yourself, “What can I do to address the salary of the job I really want?”  Often the limits people initially see are easily overcome.

These steps can help you accelerate your transformation to the life and career you want.

If you want to create personal transformation faster you can partner with a coach, a trusted advisor or mentor.

Try the three steps and share you comments below.

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Accelerate Your Search -Leaders hold the key to solutions for their teams. Leaders who own their journey and story, share in a way that teaches others, and continuously work to write a courageous ending, know that life is still a struggle at times. It’s all a part of the journey. They know that leaders of all abilities experience life and work and ever-present challenges. They also know that the responsive and responsible leader has a key to progressing through these challenges in a way that provides guidance and direction to the team that she/he leads.

Challenges exist. Leaders who are aware of what matters now and what is truly important, view and handle challenges differently than those who get stuck in the challenge. They have a unique key. It’s the key to their success and the success of their team.

In my work with clients and their teams, I guide them through work and life challenges and keep them on the tract to success. Learning on the journey is an experience that benefits us all.

I have a client who’s had a tough first quarter. His company is facing financial woes of serious levels and, of course, this is impacting his team.

Some of the distress can be attributed to the economy. Yet a major part is due to three errors of a freshmen employee’s continued poor judgement. Let’s take a look at those three, correctable errors:

  • lack of knowledge
  • limited insight
  • need to be viewed in a specific manner

My client is not communicating effectively in a way that supports his senior team. The senior team [all with ten or more years in their roles] is failing to hear from him what is important and what matters.

They [the team] are frustrated with his style and his ability to personally remain calm and peaceful in the middle of the current events. It gives them a sense that he doesn’t experience the stress and concern in the same way that they do and this creates a divide, instead of a sense of cohesiveness in the face of adversity.

They admire and want his key to a more meaningful, satisfying and joyful trek but, without communication, it seems like they are doing it wrong. They’re stressed, concerned, and anxious and his calm demeanor only serves to heighten their concerns, increase their stress, and raise their anxiety. Each of them has no idea how to have calm and satisfaction. They could learn if he shared his key with them.

Things are tough. The team is stressed, fearful, and, in some cases, falling apart. Their leader is following up, holding people accountable, and getting work done, amid emotion, conflict and, sometimes, the extraordinary push-pull of people.

The call of distress from one of this leader’s team came on a day when my own challenges for the first quarter have been tough. These are the times I am most true to myself and cautious to do my best not to compromise who I am, and, sometimes, that can be very hard for me.

My question for the caller was: “Do you really want his calm, peace, and level of satisfaction?”

The reply: “Yes.”

Follow up question: “What are you willing to look at and/or change to have it?”

His reply: “I don’t know.”

Follow up: “Give that some thought and we can set up a career chat call on [day and time] to discuss your answer.

Often people want what others have. Calm, peace, meaning, and a level of satisfaction rarely come without the willingness to give up something.

If you are ready for a change and your own career chat give me a call.

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moutainElevating your team provides endless opportunities.  It also requires focus and clarity.

Understanding what may be blocking your team’s success takes energy, time and a willingness to deal with tough issues and uncertain outcomes.

One leader I love working with says elevating a team is, “Like standing on a mountain top each day and breathing in the cool clear air and seeing the world unfold in the valley below.”  Cool vision, right?!

Another leader in the same organization [who I also love working with] says, “I agree, it can be like breathing cool clear air, yet some days it is like breathing in smog, dirt and who knows what from that valley below.”  Both visions paint a vivid picture.

For some leaders, elevating a team is a hustle, for others, a struggle, and for some, a joy.  I work with those who are in the joy space.  Yet, most of those will tell you to get to joy you have to walk the hustle and struggle paths, too.

There are four phases teams tend move through:  forming, storming, norming, and performing.

To elevate your team now, understanding each phase helps.  To fully unlock the potential of your team and have consistent growth — both in people and revenue — take a look at how you can move beyond the current phase where your team resides.

Beliefs and behaviors either drive success and growth or slow or block success.  Elevation requires a look at the drivers — what beliefs and behaviors are accelerating or slowing your growth . . . and why.

What are the beliefs and behaviors of your team?  Here are two belief areas to examine:

1. Determination and decision to grow

A team has never “made it.”  People evolve, business changes, the world shifts.  What do you know about the dreams and goals of your team members?  What are their plans for growth this year?  Who is happy and stable and who isn’t seeking a challenge?

Stable teams may have developed an ‘”we are fine” attitude.  Teams can become like the ostrich burying his head in the sand to avoid danger, risk or growth.  Take a look at your team.

Who is sharing and generating ideas?  Who knows what your competitors are doing or not doing?

Who is striving and seeking ways to bring in new business?  Who is playing, has too much time, or busy trying to be liked or stand in the lime light?  Is everyone on the team determined and committed to growing?

2. Current flow of business

Business flows — it has ups and downs.  Keeping a business growing means delivering value above expectations, always looking for ways to improve individually and as a team.

Is your team always asking and thanking existing customers for their business?  Do they ask customers for referrals?

You can’t take business for granted.  Values change for your customers as they grow and evolve and therefore your customers will come and go. If business has shifted and you team prefers the status quo, it is time to undercover the beliefs and behaviors driving the preference.

Some resistance to change is human nature.  However, a strong push or pull not to change or an unwillingness to be open to shifts may indicate a BIG red flag.

Your customers are people.  All people have a lot on their plates and your team is responsible for helping customers see value, share what’s valuable about what you do and why it matters and to ask your customers for referrals and how to add value.

Are you asking these important questions?

  • Who do you know that needs our product and/or service?
  • How can we increase the value of our service and/or product to you?
  • How else could our products and/or service meet needs that matter?

Teams are small communities, connected for a purpose. The beliefs and behaviors of the members of a team have an impact on the collective results.

When you are serious about elevating your team and having more meaning and satisfaction from your work, take time to think about the beliefs and behaviors of your team.  Clarity about who is on the team and what they do helps you quickly eliminate beliefs and behaviors that do not support the current work and your long term goals.

Understanding what leads to success and what may be blocking your team’s will be well worth the effort and time. Here is to a year with filled with purpose and impact.  To a year that matters to you and make the world a better and more peaceful place.

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pause buttonFor businesses, teams and individuals, January is filled with recapping the prior year’s results, impacts and challenges and looking ahead to the opportunities in the new year.  Over the last several decades I have not only done this in my business, but also in my personal life.

Taking stock of accomplishments, challenges and impacts helps me discern areas I need to shift or adjust.  This allows me to move to the next level and to find more meaning and satisfaction in my work.  I try to complete the process by mid-January.  Doing so almost always improves my impact and results going forward.

Last month as I looked at business, team and personal results, I found myself both filled with joy and profoundly sadness.  My work allows me to meet and work with so many professionals, executives, leaders, and teams of organizations that are inspiring, motivated, driven and reaching toward and achieving remarkable impact in the world.

But, why did sadness show up so profoundly as I reviewed the prior year?

Simple.  The Friday before I sat down to complete my recap I had an experience in which I found myself unable (or unwilling) to honestly and openly look at the behavior of another.  In the event, I judged the person’s behavior as directed toward me — I felt it was about my value as a person.

I was upset and, in fact, I got very little sleep that Friday night.

The story I was telling myself began to cloud my view of the past year and I couldn’t bring myself to complete my year-in-review that weekend.

Sadly, the story was not reflective of the previous year’s results, nor was my judgement about the person’s behavior correct.  My inner voice was defining the entire year based on one event . . . and how I wasn’t enough.  Luckily, I reached for the “pause button.”

Thank goodness I did.  By Tuesday I was able to tap into my own quiet space and willingness to look at the event, the year, and the true results.  I was also willing to look at the sadness and the joy for what it was.

It was a year of shift and transformation.  The prior year was filled with failures, lessons, bridges crossed, and successes. It included supporting and helping many people, leaders, and teams achieve their goals.  It was an impactful and meaningful year.

A review of the year usually offers me many insights.  The greatest insight from the past year for me is the fact that I have been more willing to stop and press pause.  Pausing created many important shifts for me.

For the coming year, the impact of this insight is a profound reminder that the behavior of others is a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves and not a statement about my value.

Transformation occurs one moment at a time. I am grateful for NOW.  A simple pause, allows me to create space and willingness to be present.

The biggest insight from last year?  Continue to use the pause button.

Did you do a review of the prior year?  What insight did you gain?

What will you continue to do this year?  What will you stop doing?

Share your thoughts below.

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leap yearWhat will you do with your extra day?

Will you Elevate Your Extraordinary™?  Would you like to do so?

If so, here is a simple action you can take:  look at your vision for the year.

Do this first in your mind’s eye.  Close your eyes and see the year unfold as you want it to be.  Now, read the vision or plan you created for 2016.

Next, jot down three actions you need to take on or before Feb 29th to shift your results so they align with your vision for the year.

Now, open your calendar and set a 30-minute appointment for a progress check-in with yourself in 60 days. In your calendar, note the three actions you committed to achieving.

If you didn’t create a vision for the year, no problem.  Pause and write down the vision you saw when you closed your eyes. Making the shift to align your current activities with the steps necessary to achieve more satisfying and fulfilling work is not hard.

Here are three things that help:

1.  A commitment to shift.  Be willing to shift and believe you can make a change.

2.  Willingness to take action.  Moving to the next level is not bestowed on individuals just because they show up and hang out. It requires action to see your gifts and use them to the best possible end.

3.  Tapping into support.  We live, work and have impact via our connected world.  Support is two-fold.  We all need support and we all need to give support.  Your gifts provide you with an excellent way to offer and give support to others.  Find (and give) support to discuss, brainstorm and get feedback.

If your goal is the next level and you are ready to Elevate Your Extraordinary,™ February 29th — your extra day — is yours to use how you wish.  What will you do?

Hope you have an amazing and insightful day and step into clarity and action for a more meaningful and satisfying year.

Share your thoughts and what you will do with your extra day below.

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legsStepping forward into a transition or transformation may feel uncomfortable.  When you have been doing something for a long time, feeling pulled to explore something new and different may find you feeling unsteady — without your sea legs.  For many successful people stepping forward in this way is an act of courage and vulnerability.

Brene Brown tells us, “Vulnerability – the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome – is our greatest measure of courage.”

You get to choose whether or not to step forward.  For those of you with a track record of success, I offer these words of caution:  Beware of your judgement.

Being really seen and showing up does not guarantee a specific outcome.  However, not stepping forward DOES guarantee that you will stay where you are.

If you love where you are now, great, you are all set.  Keep doing what you are doing.

But, if you are searching for meaning, purpose or more satisfaction and find yourself in a place of judgement, look around.  You may be your first and most harsh judge.  Use this week to look at how you show up to yourself.

At the end of the day, assess your work.  Look at your physical space.  Write down what you see.  Then, write down your judgements of what you saw.  Question those judgements.  Ask yourself, “What did I learn about how I am showing up?”

Post your comments below.

Are you ready for more meaning and satisfaction?

Is it time to stretch yourself and be visible?

Updating your LinkedIn profile and being visible online is an easy place to start.  Join us for a conversation, “Be Visible on LinkedIn-Start Your Shift.”

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phoneThe phone rang and the question was, “Why do they hate me?”

The person asking is a member of team I’ve worked with for some time.  This team leader set an intention to impact the team’s service at all levels before his retirement.  As a person, and a leader, he is legendary for his service focus.

The caller is always professional, liked by all new customers and those who casually interact with him.  He provides adequate service and has solid enough performance to maintain a place on the team.  However, he is seen by the team as a person unaware of several of his BIG blind spots.

We ALL have blind spots and this team knows that well.  In fact, all team members except the caller have identified many personal blind spots.  By doing so, they impacted results, fulfillment and increased their personal satisfaction, adding fun and joy to their work.

As the leader’s retirement approached, the team was deeply involved in hiring his replacement — interviews had even occurred earlier that day.

I confirmed the “they” he referred to was the team.  Then, knowing the team as I do, my reply was a question, “How do you know they hate you?”

I was immediately met with resistance and defiance (“No one is going to fire me or make me quit!”).  Then the caller hung up.

His resistance hung in the air around my desk for a bit.

The caller was stuck.  The story was spoken, believed and holding the caller in place.

What questions are you asking?  What stories are you telling?

Is your story creating resistance to satisfaction and fulfillment?

Have you created resistance that is holding you in place?  Share your thoughts below.

Ready to align awesome?

Contact me to discuss how the power of questions and coaching can transform your life, your results and your impact in the world.

Doing the work you love, living your purpose and having impact is fun and amazing!

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conversationSell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.” ~Rumi

A year of infinite possibilities has ended.  This year begins.

What are you seeking for yourself, your career, and your team?

You may be seeking more connection, more fun, or more impact.  Or you may be seeking a simple end to your transition period.

If you felt the ups-and-downs of the past year and bounced from overwhelm to focus, the quote from Rumi may make your skin crawl.  The last thing you want for this year, in your career quest, is confusion.

Do you want growth to the next level in your career and industry?

If so, pause and look at the clever actions and tactics you have been working at furiously.  Now, decide if you want an impact that varies from the past.  If so, are you willing to do something different?

A transition or transformation will not happen in a day — but it can begin today!

The wisdom and knowledge gained from your experience coupled with your distinguishing talents are ready to carry you forward. There is a generous spirit in this time.  To leverage these things seek out a conversation that sparks curiosity.

Yes, stepping forward alone works.  Forward progress will happen.  But, conversations with others can be game changers.  Learning and growing with support offers an entirely different experience.  If you are tired of trying to sort out everything on your own, making just small incremental steps, seek out a new exchange.

If this year calls you to examine your work, purpose, and impact in a new and different way, consider joining me for a Career Chat and share some time with others exploring how they will change their game this year.

For the next few weeks I am setting up Career Chats. They are short 30-minute conversations hosted on Wednesdays and Saturdays intended to inspire you, prompt questions, and/or create anticipation.  Sign up up to get the schedule and find more information.

If you are ready to pause from your action perch and explore what is next for your career, I’ll look forward to chatting with you.  If you are wondering what we will talk about, sign up and bring your questions, wisdom and knowledge and prepare to listen and share with others.

If you would rather have one-on-one support, go here.

Do the work you love, live your purpose, and have impact.  You are amazing!

Life is fun and satisfying when you align awesome.

Contact me to discuss how the power of questions and coaching can transform your life, your results, and your impact in the world.

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Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.” ~Brene Brown

This is an amazing time of year.  As the year is drawing to a close there is a unique spirit in the air.

Business focus shifts. People smile and care in a little different way.  In this season, giving flows with ease.

How do you give and receive?

giftHow does your team give and receive?

When I watch how people give and receive I see joy, purpose and connection.  I also see awkwardness, discomfort, and sadness.

The latter observation is why I started this post with Brene Brown’s quote.  My view is there is a very interesting connection between the willingness to receive and what is given to you by the universe and people.

I have to admit it, I have always been a better giver than receiver.

Once, years ago, I yelled at a girlfriend for putting food on my plate in a restaurant.  The food was given with love and care, yet I could not accept it.  After a scene, raised voices, and hurt feelings, my friend who had graciously shared her food with me, pointed out how selfish I was in her view. Her scolding has stuck with me.  The sorrow and hurt look in my girlfriend’s eyes are, to this day, a visual reminder that receiving is an art and skill.

Being open to receiving shapes who we are, how others care for us and what comes to us.    That day I learned my giving set the stage for others to be open to giving.  Minutes later, when I lacked the ability to receive, I experienced another shift.

We are often taught the art and skill of giving as a child and thus have much practice at it.  Cultivating the skill and art of receiving can be much more challenging.  It was and is for me — it is not a skill I began practicing in earnest until I was in my twenties.

Have you cultivated the skill of receiving gifts, feedback, and compliments?

Will you open your heart and demonstrate your receiving skills?

What might be the impact if you receive as well as you give?

Are you open to the opportunities receiving might bring?

Thank you for reading and receiving this post.

Doing the work you love, living your purpose, and having impact is fun and amazing!

Ready to align awesome?

Contact me to discuss how the power of questions and coaching can transform your life, your results, and your impact in the world.

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qyestionIf you read my blog regularly you may recall a recent post about “drift.”  Over the last year I have discovered much about the impact of drift in my own life.

This year one of my coaches, Laura Clark, has helped my explore my personal drift on a much deeper level.  One discovery in my work with Laura has been the power of experiencing the drift like the wind on my face.  I am also learning to use my own strengths in new and different ways — including asking powerful, and tough, questions.

Most people who know me, including my clients, will tell you I ask tough questions . . . and now I’m learning how to use them to help others who are experiencing drift.

If you are seeking more satisfaction, meaning and fulfillment from your career, it could be time for you to ask the tough questions, too.

WARNING:  Tough questions can cause discomfort, uncertainty, and doubt.

Before you blow by and quickly answer each question just to move on to the next task, I challenge you to pause.  Pause and feel the wind on your face.  If you are inside, pause and feel the temperature of the air in the room on your face.

Here are a few very powerful questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • Why am I here?

Do you feel the wind or temperature?

During the last year as I have focused on each of these questions in a new and deeper manner, I have rediscovered the power each question truly holds — and, the edge and discomfort of each question.

Whether you are on the edge of transition or transformation, these questions may be all you need to launch you to the next level.

This week, pause and answer these questions.  Answer them as they call to you.

Have a comment, share it below.  If the questions will serve someone you know, share this post.

Do you want to discuss your answers and how they impact your career, business and work?  Let’s talk. I  am happy to schedule a career chat with you.

Doing the work you love, living your purpose, and having impact is fun and amazing!

Ready to align awesome?

Contact me to discuss how the power of questions and coaching can transform your life, your results and your impact in the world.

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