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Your personal management style is based on a combination of three needs: to achieve, to dominate, and to affiliate.  Throw into the mix your personality traits and you are either setting yourself up for success or failure.  The difference is your level of awareness of how you impact your relationships, whether it matters, whether end results justify means, and whether positional power trumps collaborative power.

Setting up for failure:

  • You may have a high need to achieve with an equally high need to dominate.  With this combination, you will want to be too involved with details, micromanage, be too demanding, while your delegation skills will be impaired by your need to control.
  • If your need to achieve is too focused on individual gain, teamwork will suffer, as well as, your ability to see the big picture.
  • If you’re the “I work alone” type with a need for dominance, you’re likely to not cooperate with colleagues, demand strict allegiances and put up walls to maintain independence and control.
  • If your greater need is dominance with a capacity for aggression, you will likely exhibit a warlord mentality with an abusive management style.  You will tend to push through decisions that lead to quick fixes and reap resentment and lowered performance from staff.

Dominance, with an appropriate combination of achievement and affiliation, and with attuned personality traits can prove to be a winning mix.  As an example, if you’re low on deference (giving respect), you will experience tension between yourself and your boss vs. having high deference for others, thus making a success of relationships.

New Perspective:    We each have exceptional strengths to counter our self-sabotaging tendencies.  Becoming more aware of our strengths, needs and traits helps us to make improved choices.    

Setting up for success:Heightened awareness of responses (tone of voice, abruptness, impatience).

Confident enough to ask for help when needed.

Ability to pull together a group of people to act on shared goals.

Evaluate information more carefully (use SWOT Analysis and SMART Goals).

Develop the ability to see multiple solutions.

“It takes more work (emotionally, mentally, spiritually) to be a Collaborative Leader, but it’s worth it — both for the organization’s sustainability and the leader’s personal growth.”   

(Article originally printed Jan. 28, 2014)

Often clients come to coaching with generalized goals such as learn new skills, to be more assertive and confident or improve their lives in some way — they may not be clear or certain but something has happened to bring them to a tipping point or there’s a recurring event or issue that keeps them stuck.  Most people want to live a fulfilling life, experience joy at work, feel happy, productive and purposeful.  Their conscious mind is telling them they need to make changes or accomplish something and yet something is keeping them from moving forward.

They intensely want to grow but their subconscious mind is sabotaging their conscious mind with an inner conflict.  While the conscious mind wants to achieve a clearly defined goal, the subconscious is blocking that clarity (the subconscious is not happy, it has unresolved issues).  In coaching the client discovers how their limiting beliefs have a negative impact on their actions and how ineffectual patterns of a lifetime interfere with their growth.  Coaching supports a new frame of mind and creation of new life patterns – creating a bridge between the two minds and affecting a happy alignment. With this awareness you are ready to clearly define your game-changer goals and set on your path, taking on challenges,  initiating actions and producing results.

 New Perspective:

Tips to determine whether your goals are clear and your game winnable: 
  • Gain clarity so you can assess whether your goals are structured for success
  • Decide on essential skills needed to achieve a successful outcome
  • Assess and then focus on your strengths and talents
  • Identify the success gap from where you are now to where you want to be
  • Identify tangible steps and create actions that lead to results
  • Obtain the support and resources necessary to help you succeed

Maybe defining purpose is not as important as having purpose.  It’s easier to figure out what it’s not.  It’s not that emotional response to a heated situation or moment or even picking up a cause. It’s not an unresolved pattern that keeps repeating itself throughout a lifetime and makes one react in a circular fashion so that it appears to be a quest. What drives purpose is probably passion.  Finding your passion will lead you into your purpose.  The purpose of life is simply a life of purpose – said by Robert Byrne.

I once met the Dalai Lama, and while brief, my encounter truly touched me.  His whole reason for being is about being happy and helping others find the happiness we all have a birthright to experience. As he pointed out, there is joy in helping others and if you can’t help others, at least don’t hurt them.  Finding purpose for me is about having the courage to see things clearly and to be clean my own responses to life as it unfolds. Having an open mind and heart allows us to see the truth about ourselves and discover our passion and purpose.  When you look at the sky on a clear night, you see millions of star.  If you used a paper towel tube and looked at the same sky, you would see a very small piece of the universe.  How you view your universe defines you.

New Perspective:  

Your life has purpose

Your story is important

Your dreams count

Your vote matters

You were born to make an impact


We all know that corporate culture influences performance and that the impact can be positive or  a source of misery. So what makes for a great corporate culture? Certainly, a culture that communicates the organization’s mission and purpose gives employees a sense of resolve. Purpose orients every decision made, whether on a grand scale or at every desk. Think Google, Zappos, Disney, Wegman’s. Vision, the very foundation of an organization is also shared with employees.   Values are the guiding force and provide the guidelines of behavior. For a company like Google, values are “a better world, faster” and using innovation to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.  This company is about creating lasting global impact and successfully engages their employees to embrace this culture.

What are the core values in your organization?

Do they impact mindset and behavior in such a way as to elicit greatness?

New Perspective:  John Coleman in the Harvard Business Review blog network, writes about the six components that make for a great corporate culture.

  1. Vision: A great culture starts with a vision or mission statement. Example, Oxfam envisions “a just world without poverty.”
  2. Values: A company’s values are the core of its culture.  Guides behaviors,and mindsets needed to achieve the vision.
  3. Practices: Of course, values are of little importance unless they are preserved in a company’s practices. They are reinforced in all policies and operating principles. Practices reflect: “I mean what I say and say what I mean.
  4. People: No company can build a coherent culture without people who either share its core values or possess the willingness and ability to embrace those values
  5. Narrative: Any organization has a unique history – a unique story. And the ability to unearth that history and craft it into a narrative is a core element of culture creation.
  6. Place: Place shapes culture. Open architecture is more conducive to certain office behaviors, like collaboration.  Place – whether geography, architecture, or aesthetic design – impacts the values and behaviors of people in a workplace.
 In her recent “Your Stairway to Wealth” blog, Hazel Palache reminds us of the 80-20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, a perspective I use

with clients to pull back from the stress and overwhelm edge. This principle works really well in tandem with Stephen Covey’s concept of what to put in the jar first – his big rocks approach.

In Covey’s video, he half fills the jar with small things that fill our lives, using sand as the analogy. He then tries to fit in all the big rocks beginning with the rock labeled, not urgent but important (planning, preparation, prevention and empowerment), next in the jar, he places the rock symbolizing relationships and family, the third, employment issues and then major projects. Another rock included community, service and spirituality. One of the bigger rocks was called “sharpen the saw” which relates to being so busy cutting you forget to sharpen the   saw and waste lots of time and energy cutting with a dull saw – or as a relatable example, too busy driving to take the time to get gas. More rocks were labeled as big opportunity, or urgent and important, like getting back to your biggest client. Obviously, all these rocks did not fit into the jar. But, when we shift how we do things and use a different paradigm, we get extraordinarily different results. By putting all the big rocks (important things) in first, and all of the sand poured in last (the small things), all the spaces are filled make everything fit

New Perspective:

The Pareto Principle says that 20% of your actions will account for 80% of your results.  This is like paying attention to your big rocks first to get an 80% return. The next time you’re daunted by a long to do list determine what’s on the list: big rocks or tiny sand pebbles? Select one or two big rocks for the day, preferably what is not urgent but important – the urgent and important stuff are the things you must address no matter what. Having too many of these gives you less time to address your big rocks.

  • Evaluate whether you keep yourself in a state of crisis and urgency.
  • Share these concepts with the people in your life and increase productivity all around
  • What action taken today will give an 80% result for 20% of your efforts?

We are starting our new talk show series this February, emphasizing dynamic leadership traits for best workplace results.  We’ll explore the topics that are most meaningful to you and how you can best improve yourself, your situation, your workplace environment and have an advantageous impact on the organization. Future topics:
Create a Compelling Vision of Your Future
Keys to Building Resilience Reduce Stress and Have More Fun Level Five Leadership Traits
Best Leaders Develop Future Leaders

If you’re in a leadership position, then you are an influencer in your organization – someone with the potential to initiate positive change, innovate and take advantage of new trends beneficial to your workplace. Are you personally taking advantage of the tools and skills necessary to proactively impact your industry? We are in an age of online connectivity impacting culture and economy in a way we haven’t yet quantified. What I do know is that personal branding is the new resume and that most people across all generations are creating an online presence to effectively tell their story. Personal Development is a billion dollar industry, part of the new economy of sharing advice to inspire and instruct others on how to improve their lives and achieve their goals.

People are no longer satisfied to play a smaller game. They know they deserve to play big. We are not a third world economy living in survival mode, albeit reports to the contrary, and people are asking those top of the pyramid, self-actualization questions, like: Do I live a full life? Do I love and have love in my life? Do I make a difference? This attitude of wanting and having a purpose and meaning is pervasive in my “tribe” of middle managers to senior executives. It’s not enough to accomplish a task.  People want to experience a sense of fulfillment.

Proof that we live in the transformation age: A company like Apple didn’t just invent a product to meet a need. Apple was seeking a higher ambition and led us there! Did anyone need an iphone before it came to market? But once people experienced the potential of all it offered, they were sold. Apple was visionary and anticipated change. It’s time to shed the industrial age mindset. Have you noticed that people are now in the business of transforming lives? Have you also noticed that the old mindset no longer fits in our new world framework?

New Perspective:   

Here Are 10 Skills and Behaviors to Lead Transformation:

  1. Identify your best people and then invest and develop that talent.
  2. Remain flexible and maintain an attitude of experimentation
  3. Have the desire to continually improve and accelerate progress
  4. Cultivate a collaborative network of people inside and outside your organization and surround yourself with key contributors. You cannot solve problems alone!
  5. Engage all the people necessary to measure results so as to learn from failures and successes, refine new approaches and develop comprehensive solutions
  6. Think creatively, such as, assembling a group of expert advisors from different fields when initiating far-reaching change
  7. Coach your people in critical thinking skills using intellectual values: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness
  8. Instill confidence in your followers to support appropriate changes in the course of business
  9. Anticipate future trends and refine strategy and tactics to provide stronger positioning for long-term success
  10. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Seriously!

Some concepts from Level 5 Leadership by Jim Collins

I love Downton Abbey – unabashedly.  It’s reflective of a time when people had decorum, and breeding which was inculcated through the generations.  I miss the civility, the polished manners, the refined way of conversing, the almost instinctive training that elicits correct behavior.  People knew how to behave.  They knew what was proper, and what wasn’t.  Yes, it was a time of class distinction and while the gentry and their staff had very different rules by which they behaved, they all had certainty and knew how the game was played.  True, the politics, intrigue, and “dark-side” behavior was no different than today.  However, people were polite to each other.  There was a level of respect that was never crossed.   I value politeness. Good manners are always in style.

New Perspective:   

  • Make good manners a habit
  • The measure of good manners is how you treat those who don’t have any
  • Politeness is actually a necessity for successful teamwork.

    “Politeness is a sign of dignity…”  — Theodore Roosevelt

Starting February 6
We are starting our new talk show series this February, emphasizing dynamic leadership traits for best workplace results.  We’ll explore the topics that are most meaningful to you and how you can best improve yourself, your situation, your workplace environment and have an advantageous impact on the organization.

Future topics:

Create a Compelling Vision of Your Future
Keys to Building Resilience
Reduce Stress and Have More Fun
Level Five Leadership Traits
Best Leaders Develop Future Leaders


So you’re almost on page 365 and the story is about to end, you’re either so satisfied that you  can’t wait to read the next book or you’re disappointed in the ending.  Perhaps you’ve lost interest and never finished the book.  The story of 2013 is almost over and whatever your feelings, it’s time to close the cover and put the book on the shelf and before you  pick up the book title 2014, take this time to acknowledge the wins and the losses – big and small. Celebrate the year!  Whatever failures you experienced, use the knowledge to make you wiser, bolder.  Dare to be edgy.  There are no results without action and even “bad” results can be a learning occurrence.  We earn our wisdom as a function of taking in all our experiences.

New Perspective:  
Hold true to your compass and integrity.  Do the things that really scare you, yet bring you success. Take every opportunity to improve. Start with a “clean slate” and don’t allow past mistakes or inaction to write the chapters in your new 2014 book.  Write the stories you will love to read!

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things.  And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.”  — Stephen Covey
Start the year by cultivating a sense of clarity on your bigger ‘yes’ – contact me for a complimentary session.
Starting February 6
We are starting our new talk show series this February, emphasizing dynamic leadership traits for best workplace results.  We’ll explore the topics that are most meaningful to you and how you can best improve yourself, your situation, your workplace environment and have an advantageous impact on the organization.Future topics:

Create a Compelling Vision of Your Future
Keys to Building Resilience
Reduce Stress and Have More Fun
Level Five Leadership Traits
Best Leaders Develop Future Leaders

Edge = Emotional Intelligence.

“What having emotional intelligence looks like is that you’re confident, good at working towards your goals, adaptable and flexible. You recover quickly from stress and you’re resilient”  — Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author is best known for defining the five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills and empathy.

Some of us do well in some of these areas and may be weak in others.  The good news is we definitely have the power to improve in all these areas.  Test yourself with the following and see if you already have an edge or need to improve your workplace edge:

1. You are honest with yourself about who you are. You are aware of your shortcomings, you know where you shine, and where you struggle.  You’ve learned to recognize your area of strengths and weaknesses in a way to make the most of them.

 2. You can focus on the task at hand and withstand distractions.  You have the discipline to put off the diversion of social media until you’ve completed your task.

3.  You have enough self-awareness to recognize where your emotions are coming from and to know why you feel upset and can decide how best to handle your emotions.

4.  You notice other people and are not so self-absorbed.  You prefer to think of yourself as someone who is ethical and caring of others.  You’re able to sense how others are feeling.

5.  You can bounce back quickly from mistakes and setbacks.  You take it all in, including your negative emotions but you are also open to seeing your opportunities.

New Perspective:

Knowing the nature of your character, your strengths, talents, and values, creates certainty.  Having self-awareness about your actions, your behavior and its impact on your relationships opens your thought process to your blind spots.  Great leaders typically have a high measure of emotional intelligence and not necessarily exceptional intellectual ability.  What often determines success is the ability to sense how you and others are feeling, gauge what their needs are and leverage your relationships based on mutual benefit.


Join us Thurs., Dec. 12  at 1 PM Eastern
(Mark your calendar for the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month)      
The Power of Vulnerability 


“Willingness to be vulnerable is very powerful for a leader.”

Join  Dynamic Duo, Flo Mauri and Mia Turpel by conference call or go to blog talk radio to participate on the live call.  Mia and Flo will engage you in a conversation about the five ways to experience the power of vulnerability so you can come alive to your most authentic self:

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