Friday, November 13, 2015

Don't get sideswiped! Create your "AHA! Vision"

I consider October through February the "season for strategic planning" for every organization. We can't help but think of the current year's successes, failures, challenges and opportunities taken or missed. At the same time we begin focusing our attention on the things we desire for the coming year and longer. If organization leaders don't do this, the teams lose opportunities for focus and creative thinking.

It can be mind-boggling! Do you feel slightly (or a lot) overwhelmed at the thought of creating a vision that will truly speak to your brand, your mission, your passion and purpose? Were you able to focus on those areas during 2015 or were you sideswiped from your intended path?

Let's start a revolution! Strategic planning should be more about the Aha! moments that lead to a lasting vision. It's exciting, not dull. It's liberating, not restricting. It's fresh and memorable.

I've facilitated many strategic planning sessions over the years, and here is the common denominator:

Over time the leadership team gets distracted, failing to keep a laser focus on the vision and mission, forgetting to tie every strategy and action back to that vision and mission.

I want to hang around longer, past the day or two of planning, so when you get muddled and sideswiped; when you see the trees instead of the forest; when that 30,000 foot view is cloudy I step back in as your coach to keep you focused. 

I've been where you are. I know the challenges, and it drives me crazy just as it does you, to miss those opportunities when they are right in front of me. You too, right?

So here we are in the season for creating the Aha! Vision. Jump on board, and let's take this journey together.  Call or email for a chat. Here are my open dates for the first part of 2016 + one in December:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Monday, February 1, 2016

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fears are little white lies

What are you afraid of? Okay, I'll guess. Is it public speaking? Mountaintops? Death? I'll tell you my greatest fear: rats. Oh, go ahead. You may want to call them mice as if they are sweet little pets. To me they are rats, and they are nasty and deadly!

But, before we get too far down that ratty hole, the topic of fear begs to be discussed, sliced and diced. In the business and career world fear can raise its ugly head every now and then. When opportunities and challenges knock on your door, it's better to be prepared and ready than to roll into a fetal position. I must admit I have never seen a rat in my entire career. Well, except the boss I'm about to tell you about.

Everyone is afraid of something. Once I had a boss who was afraid of being nice. I'm not joking. This woman (thing) could not be nice if I had choked her into it, which I was sorely tempted to do. I could not change her, but she could have changed herself and thus her career success if she had so desired.

I've held a few personality test workshops lately with a focus on leadership and communication. From my experience in this area I can promise you there are people who are afraid of many things, such as:
a) fear of losing control
b) fear of being in control
b) fear of not being noticed
c) fear of being noticed
c) fear of change
d) fear of no change 
d) fear of poor performance

 The list of fears goes on and on. Books can and probably have been written about fear.

To slice and dice fear ( I bet that's a fear too - slicing and dicing) here are some ways to overcome your fears.
1) The first step is to admit your fear head on because that will enable you to move beyond it.
2) Decide that conquering the fear is more important than holding on to the security your fear brings.
3) Acknowledge the difference between rational fears and irrational fears (i.e. drinking  and driving vs mice).  
4) Do that thing that scares you. Now. Make the appointment. Ask for the sale. Write the first page of the book. Confirm a speaking engagement.       
5) Train yourself to look forward to the energy and excitement of conquering the fear.

Speaking business here, I know you will benefit and grow when you overcome your fears. The worst thing you can do is sit around and admire others whom you feel are more confident, brave, adept than you, falsely believing you're not up to the challenge. It's simply not true. Everyone of those you admire has fears too. I promise.

You can overcome your fear and realize the success you've dreamed of. Get started now!