Three Keys to Sustainable High Performance

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As a business leader do you wonder: “How can I create a culture that consistently produces sustainable high performance?

I recently interviewed leaders from nine high performing organizations who shared their accomplishments and challenges in creating sustainable organizations.  Clearly three areas consistently require a leader’s attention.  They are:

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Learn from Mattel – Wake Up to Your Business in 2015

shutterstock_241730578The Mattel Corporation, home of Barbie and Hot Wheels, is struggling with shrinking revenues and declining market share (similar to Coke, McDonalds, Hewlitt-Packard…).

As an executive or owner trying to create and maintain a sustainable business, what can you learn from them?

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Creating an Intentional Re-charge Day

christmas ornamentThis year I am encouraging my coaching clients, emerging leaders in their businesses and organizations, to take a whole day over the holidays to re-charge and re-set their systems.

This is critical in a world where we have trained ourselves to mostly react to outside stimulation. The mind and body become exhausted and depleted from this constant outward focus.

December and winter are a great time to go inward. Business activity slows for many. It is cold outside. Time to come in.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a special re- charge day: [Read more…]

Mud, leadership and Kauai

Traditional flower of Hawaii

Traditional flower of Hawaii

This summer I took a a twelve-day trip in Kauai, Hawaii, organized by the Sierra Club. I travelled and lived with eleven other people from around the US I didn’t know. By the end, we twelve were a team who could do anything together.

Muddy Hiking trainin in Hawaii

One of our many muddy trails in Kauai – but look at the view!

The first days we hiked up incredibly steep mountains in the rain and mud for hours. This intense physical challenge quickly changed the fact that we hardly knew each other. [Read more…]

My Writing Process Blog Tour

hummingbirdI am happy to join a whole group of talented writers on a blogging tour sharing something about their writing process.

Sara Arey passed the torch to me. She is a powerful mindset coach for entrepreneurs.  Check out her amazing work here.

What am I working on – I am excited about a couple of new projects.  I have just launched a free Skillful Means Productivity Tool Kit for my subscribers who recently completed a short survey.  (You can get it too – go here.)  It gives us a chance to work together over three weeks.  I am curious if the sustained support will help people try out some new ways of working that will create big positive jumps in productivity as well as joy in their work. (Yup, they can go together quite well.) [Read more…]

Why Your Team’s Mistakes are Essential to Grow Your Business

Want to grow leaders who take real responsibility in your business?  Pizzeria Toro owner Gray Brooks shows us how in part 2 of our interview (go here for part 1).   Conqueror this and you begin to stop wasting the likely most under-valued resource in your business – your team.

storefront slight comp

The team in front of their temporarily shuttered storefont. All the writing in the windows encourages passers-by to dine at locally owned restaurants. See part 1 of the interview to get the latest news on the fire and the planned re-opening.

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What is Your Vision for 2014?

growth-out-of-wood-compressedThe greatest accomplishments in life are often born out of a vision that reflects of a seed, a person’s core reason for being. 

Such a seed resides in you.  Do you know your seed?

A vision, that is, a picture of the future reflecting what you are meant to bring into the world, develops from the seed.  Inc. Magazine just published a wonderful post called Vision is Greater than Sight.  Indeed.

Work is often our way of expressing this seed and vision, of creating and contributing something unique and important.

Leadership is taking responsibility for your seed and vision. [Read more…]

Is Leadership Born or Built?

VIEW OF B lue Ridge MountainsThis is the title of a recent article in the Washington Post by James Clawson.

He shared these opinions around this question of leadership:

 

 

Nigel Nicholson author of Executive’s Instinct suspects there may be ‘a leadership gene,’ that some people are simply born to ‘be in charge.’

Noel Tichy author of The Leadership Engine from the University of Michigan says leadership style and ability emerge from experience.

An unnamed former corporate executive says leadership is irrelevant.  A company’s performance is all about the proper employment contracts. [Read more…]

Eliminate Boring Meetings (pt 2): Skyrocket Performance

group thumbs upIn the last blog post I suggested it was possible to kill the deadly boring meeting and a great practice to begin the process.

This week let’s look at ways to lead successful meetings that are productive and meaningful for everyone involved and how to translate it into improved overall team performance.

As a meeting leader, the first question is: What is the purpose of the meeting are you leading? [Read more…]

Banish the Deadly Boring Meeting

energy being sucked out of a meetingOh, the dreaded meeting.

Many of us spend a lot of time there.

When I ask people why they don’t like meetings I hear:

•    They’re boring.
•    They waste lots of time and are too long.
•    They take away from what I should be doing!
•    There is too much tension, too much drama.

Badly run meetings create organizational inefficiencies, negatively affect everyone involved, and suck productivity right out of the company.  What can be done to shift this negative pattern?

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