Why Would Anyone Great Want to Work For You?

Bob had a look of shock in his eyes, one I hadn’t seen in the 18 months we’d been working together.  Bob owns a thriving landscaping business and he wanted to get my thoughts about adding someone to his office staff.  I asked several questions before serving up the one that triggered the look.  “Why would anyone great want your crappy little job?”(Did I say that out loud? I cringed after I said it.)   Bob was making the mistake that virtually every hiring manager makes: viewing his employment opportunity from only his perspective.   Bob had scoped the job narrowly…
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Life: By Design or By Default

A couple of years ago, I began to see a pattern that I could no longer over look.  Every time I engaged with an older female client, I experienced an internal dialogue that was critical of them.  YIKES!  That’s a big f-ing deal!  The foundation of my work as a coach is seeing the hero in everyone.  My internal disparagements were infecting my client relationships and souring their results.   Oh, I could always justify or disguise my critiques.   “She’s being a victim.”  “She’s just wanting attention.”  But when I looked at my default pattern of behavior and the results, it…
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Never Ever Give Up

Never Ever Give Up.  We’ve all heard that advice dozens if not hundreds of times.  So many times, in fact, that it can seem a bit trite, as least to me.  But then I saw Diana Nyad’s talk at last month’s TEDWomen and her words gave the saying a new meaning.      What You Probably Already Know – The Results   Unless you’ve been living in a remote village in Nepal (or you are an entrepreneur working 90+ hour weeks), you know that Diana Nyad is the 64 year old woman who recently did something no other man or…
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Hold My Hand

I had the most remarkable and meaningful experience yesterday...at the dentist.  That’s right!  I had a meaningful experience at the dentist.   And it was quite a surprise.   Dreaded Dental Work To me, dental work is in the same category as colonoscopy (which actually, I’ve never had, but I’ve heard of it and it sounds awful).  While I wouldn’t classify myself as clinically dental phobic, let’s just say that my dentist may need to replace his arm rests.   (And by the way, my arms were NOT resting.) Like for most things in my life that aren’t perfect, I blame my…
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What Does It Mean To Be An Athlete?

I like to think of myself as an athlete, though I’m not sure that’s true.   I’ve entered many races, but I’ve never won one.   I’ve never really played a sport.  (Throughout my schooling, my mother insisted that I stay in band.  Seriously.)    You wouldn’t necessarily look at me and say, there goes an athlete. And in those precious moments when I feel like an athlete, here’s why I do. Pushing Beyond Doubt Many times during a workout or in preparation for an event, I’ll have my fair share of doubts.    I doubt my ability.  I doubt my fitness.    Like the…
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Emotional Thinness

My heart ached as I sat across the desk as the stony faced CEO explained his company’s situation:  “I don’t know what’s wrong.   It just seems like any little issue can get out of hand.  My employees are quitting for what seem like minor issues to me.  And I don’t know what’s wrong with my buddy, Bill.” I had an idea of what was wrong and there wasn’t a quick fix.  I had performed an EQ assessment (a test of emotional intelligence) with the CEO, and had coached him for almost a year. It was clear that the CEO had…
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Leading With Intention

I swam with my trainer this morning, a relatively new venture for me.   I’ve always been more runner than swimmer.  Why?  As far as I know, no one has ever drowned running. And you can easily run without thinking (at least I can).  Running feels natural, in a “Born To Run” kind of way.  And unless you grew up in the water, swimming doesn’t feel all that natural.  Swimming is much more about technique. Technique, at least in the beginning, is about intention. Leading can be like running: easy, natural, like being ourselves.  You just show up to work and…
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Bottom Lining and the Long Talker

  “I’ve got this person in my organization.  She’s really sharp, does a great job and I like her.  The only thing is…..”  I hear this line a lot, with only the gender and the ending changing.   Most recently, I heard this from one of my CEO clients who ended it by saying that “he comes in my office and just won’t stop talking.  What do I do?” We all know these people.  I call them “Long Talkers”.  They are often social, well-meaning, happy people who tend to process out loud, and talk in stories.   While these folks are often…
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“But” Elimination Therapy

Do you remember the happy School House Rock singalong song, Conjunction Junction?   According to the song, the function of “but”, a conjunction, is “hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses”.    The song made “but” seem so innocent and even helpful. Unfortunately, a serious and unnecessary cause of stress today is what I call “but-itis”.  (I’d call it conjunctivitis, if that weren’t already taken. J)  But-itis is the frequent, chronic and inflammatory use of the word “but”.  The result of but-itis is to resist or mitigate what was just said before it.  And it has unintended effect of creating unnecessary tension.…
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