January 23, 2020

Why Do Our Differences Get in the Way of a Great Relationship?

It seems that more and more, humans’  relationships are suffering because of what we call “irreconcilable differences”.

But…what if we could all really get along and be best friends in spite of our differences?

Maybe this video will give you a dose of inspiration.  (Sent to me by my husband Mike).

A Classic Case of the Brain Getting Hijacked: Two Thumbs Up for Dustin Johnson

Picture of Dustin Johnson Hitting Out of Bunker

Dustin Johnson makes a brilliant shot out of what was deemed a "bunker" (looks like trampled grass and dirt to me) at the PGA Tour 2010

At 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, I turned to my husband as we watched the final round of the PGA championship, and said:  “Dustin Johnson is going to win this tournament.”  Of course, Mike just nodded like he was trying to appease me.

As Johnson closes in on the tournament, things start to turn.  He is in the lead on 17, and I am jumping around like a mad woman, and Mike reminds me that I am “calling it too soon”.  Darn…he was right.

If you didn’t watch the final round, you may have heard that  Johnson was leading until the 18th hole, when he lost a shot but gained a chance for a 3-way playoff for the championship.  But, when he headed to the clubhouse, the course of events drastically changed.   Johnson was informed by a PGA official that on hole 17, he hit his ball out of a bunker (which to me looked like a small piece of dirt…it looked like grass that had been trampled on all day and the dirt had just become exposed, and spectators were STANDING IN THE BUNKER, which I have NEVER seen in my life and I don’t recall seeing a rake.  Duh…all bunkers have a rake.  It looked like a waste bunker.  The spectators were all over DJ…trying to get as close to him as possible, he asked them calmly to move out of the way, and guess what he did…he grounded his club in the bunker.  The rules clearly stated that every piece of “dirt” was a bunker (and that basically the whole course was a bunker…if you see dirt, it’s a bunker)  and that grounding a club in the bunker is an automatic 2-stroke penalty.)  Geez!

This is a classic case of what we in the world of leadership coaching call brain hijacking.  I feel in my heart that this was the case for Johnson, because David Price, the rules official who followed Johnson around on Sunday reportedly told the press that DJ asked for bunker rulings on Nos. 14 and 16 on Sunday.  Dustin Johnson is no idiot.  He even admitted during his post interview that it never crossed his mind that this was a bunker he was standing in and that he should have “read the rules more closely.”  Here’s my take:  Johnson knew the rules, so in my own world, here is what I think really happened.

1.  Johnson knew he was in the lead.  His adrenaline was pumping.  He was excited.

2.  He approached the bunker, and the excitement and adrenaline probably hijacked his brain and he forgot about the bunker situation…this looked like dirt to him…an area that had been walked on multiple times by spectators.  Rules officials can’t give advice unless asked, and he just did not ask…it never crossed his mind this was a “bunker”.

3.  A huge crowd was pushing up against him.  He seemed really concerned about getting them out of the way…not only so that he could see but so that he would not hit someone with a club or a ball.

4.  You mix all of this together, and it really just did not cross his mind that he was in a bunker.  I doubt he had been in too many “bunkers” that looked like this mess of dirt.

5.  He went through his usual pre-shot routine, which includes grounding the club a bit.  (this is what caused him to get a 2-stroke penalty).

Was the PGA right in their ruling?  Maybe or maybe not.  It seems like they spelled out the rules that everything was a bunker, and at the end of the day, it does not matter what I think or what DJ thought…rules are rules.  If they had not penalized him, I am sure there would have been an uproar from the team and fans for Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson., both who ended up in a 3-hole playoff for the lead.  Congrats to Martin Kaymer for his great win!  (Way to go Gen Y!)

So, why am I talking about this as a leadership coach?  If you are in a leadership position, you are going to come up against high adrenaline, chaotic, people packed,  what do I do? moments….Times when you only have a fraction of a minute to make a decision, and it’s time to close your eyes and think.  Just step back for a moment and get in check with what’s going on.  Don’t let your team or the crowd or the rush of the moment make you end up with a big 2-stroke penalty (in this case for DJ, a few hundred thousand dollars!)

And…to close this off…I give DJ two thumbs up for admitting he should read the rules more closely next time and not making a stink.  When asked after the tournament: Do you think that’s a good ruling? Is it the ruling they had to make? Johnson said:  “I don’t know, if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have thought I was in the bunker but it’s not up to me, it’s up to the Rules Committee, so I’ve got to deal with it.”

Here’s a snippet of the video.  Watch and make your own decision, and leave your comments below:

Why Should You Hire a Leadership Coach?

Coaching is Now a Standard Support Mechanism for Some of the World's Top Companies

I get this question about three times each week, and the business owner or CEO usually responds by saying “We have had to cut our budget, and leadership coaching and development were the first things to go.”


Of course, I am going to say this…I am a leadership coach, but here is the reality:  With leadership coaching, training and development, your employees will be:

  • More productive at work (productive time equals greater revenues)
  • Happier at work (when people are happy at work, they show up earlier and call in less often for sick days)
  • More committed to your company (it costs thousands of dollars to replace and train new employees)
  • Promotable (it is so much more cost effective and easier to be able to promote from within…your employees who are moving up KNOW your company, so their learning curve will be much flatter than a newbie exec)
  • More aligned with your company (with leadership coaching, it is much easier to get people on board and aligned with your vision and mission)

Dave and Wendy Ulrich wrote and recently published a must-read book The Why of Work.  It is fabulous.  Their research found the following about companies who actually invested in the development of their people, including coaching and training:

  1. Over a 10-year period (1998-2008) “best companies to work for” have a 6.8 percent stock appreciation versus 1.0 percent for the average firm.
  2. Over a seven-year period, the most admired firms in Fortune’s list of admired companies had doubled the market returns of their competitors
  3. A one-standard-deviation increase in high performance work practices yields $27,044 increase in sales per employee and $3,814 increase in profit per employee.”
The Why of Work Can Teach Your Company How to Become a "Best Company to Work For"

The Why of Work Can Teach Your Company How to Become a "Best Company to Work For"

I am not going to tell you the full list of their findings, because this is in their book, and I truly believe that all leaders and leadership coaches should check out their findings.  (I am not getting one cent for endorsing this book or anything from the authors…I do not know them…I just respect their work).  Just click on the photo to the right and pick up a copy from Amazon.

On page 71, the authors spell out the competencies leaders need to get fully ingrained into their DNA to lead “abundant organizations” (as they call the great companies of the world) and they give examples of best companies who embody these competencies.  (Apple for Innovation and Nike for Strategic Clarity as two examples).  If you follow these companies on page 71, you will see quickly how much they value their employees and the time and effort they invest in their development.  They KNOW their employees are their biggest assets, and of course, if you are smart, you will invest in your top assets.

So, if you really want to know why you should hire a leadership coach, pick up a copy of this book, read it and then take a big step by hiring a leadership coach…I am not saying hire me necessarily…I am suggesting that you hire a leadership coach if you are not currently working with one.  When hiring a coach, make sure to interview at least three coaches to find the best fit.  Some will be great for you and some just won’t click with you or your company.

As a leadership coach, here are a few of the benefits my clients have received.  There are many others, but these are the benefits I usually notice very early on in the coaching sessions:

  1. Clarity on next steps
  2. Improvement in strategic thinking
  3. Coaching skills (to lead in today’s world, you need coaching skills under your belt.  When you work with a leadership coach, you will pick up the skills just by being coached)
  4. Improved ability to influence and inspire others
  5. Ability to listen more deeply
  6. Improved questioning skills (Asking the right questions with an appreciative approach is critical to being able to lead today)
  7. More time to attack critical projects
  8. Improved organization and productivity
  9. Stronger team relationships
  10. Better use of skills and talents of employees
  11. Greater flexibility to adapt to change

If you are someone who is interested in leadership coaching, please contact me today for more information.

If you are a leadership or executive coach, please leave comments below about the type of leadership coaching you offer and benefits your clients have received.  The more we can educate the public about leadership coaching, the greater chance a company will have of becoming a great/best company to work for..

Video: Why You Should Invest in Leadership Development and Leadership Coaching

This is an edition of the Management Minute.

Management guru Peter Drucker once said: “Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.”

Recent studies performed by Bersin & Associates, Talent Intelligence, the Harvard Business Review have comments like this: The message is clear leadership development matters. It is hard to find a company which has survived many economic cycles that does not have a proven leadership development strategy in place.


How to Get People to Know, Like and Trust You: Part 2: Do People Like You or Despise You?

Guess what?  It is not hard at all to get people to like you.  However, more often than not, many people exhibit behaviors which make others want to run from them when they see them.

I am going to present again a “do” and “don’t” list.  The “don’t list may sound ridiculous, but I have observed every single one of these behaviors in people…behaviors which made me not want to spend time with these people.  So, look at the list and see where you fit in.

The “Do List” (these behaviors will make people LOVE you!)

  1. Be curious about the other person.
  2. Write thank-you notes (this is becoming a lost art, and we need to bring this back!)
  3. Acknowledge people for their successes, and make it public.
  4. Listen closely.
  5. Smile and be open and warm.
  6. Ask people “How can I help you?” and then…go help them.
  7. Be interesting (without talking a great deal). When you have something to say, make it as interesting as possible.
  8. Remember people’s names (This is a weakness of mine, and my husband is helping me on this, but I do have to work on this one).
  9. Admit it when you are wrong.
  10. Walk your talk.
  11. Be gracious and grateful with the people in your life.
  12. Tell people how much you appreciate them (only if you are serious about this!)
  13. Have a sense of humor.  The best humor is one that is a bit self-depricating.

The “don’t list (This list may sound silly, but I have seen each of these in my lifetime.  You may think these are insignificant, but if you are someone who presents these behaviors, you are almost guaranteed to run people off!)

  1. Always have an ax to grind.
  2. Live with a huge chip (boulder size) on your shoulder.
  3. Talk about your problems ALL the time to anyone and everyone.
  4. Go to a friend’s house for a visit. Mess up their bathroom, bedroom and kitchen even if they’re having a renovation with the Cuisines Gatineau renovation company.
  5. When you visit friends, take your pets without asking.  Oh boy…that’s a great way to win friends.
  6. Don’t speak to people as you pass by them.  Ignore them as if they are invisible.
  7. Walk around with a permanent scowl on your face.
  8. Act like you know EVERYTHING about EVERY SUBJECT and make sure people know they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG when they throw in an opinion!
  9. Constantly give unwanted advice to people (oh yeah…that one goes over really well).
  10. Talk non-stop…don’t let anyone get a word into the conversation.
  11. Interrupt people.
  12. When people are trying to give you hints that they don’t want to talk any longer, just keep talking.
  13. When people are physically walking away from you as a message they are finished with the conversation, keep following them around.
  14. Practice poor hygiene…don’t wash your hair, bathe, brush your teeth or use deodorant for at least 4-5 days
  15. Smoke in people’s homes without asking if it’s okay to do so.
  16. Brag about yourself constantly.
  17. Drop names of famous people you know to impress others.
  18. Spend at least 50% of the day gossiping about others.
  19. Spread rumors that are simply not true as a way to occupy your time.
  20. Be late for every occasion.
  21. Send a nasty email to a co-worker and copy 10 other people in on the email.
  22. Chew with your mouth open and talk while you have food in your mouth…watch it drop onto the table.
  23. Just “show up” at someone’s house uninvited for a week-end stay (this will irritate even your best friends and family members…people want to know if you are coming).
  24. Keep your house as messy and cluttered as possible, and don’t clean up when guests are visiting.
  25. Fill your car up with trash. Leave just enough room for a driver to drive your car.
  26. Roll your eyes during every conversation at least five times.
  27. When you are talking with someone, don’t make eye contact…scan the room to see if there is someone “better” to talk to…then, just walk away from the conversation so that you can rub elbows with the “more important” person.
  28. Go to a networking event and hang out at the food table. Let people know you are just there for the free food.
  29. Whine and complain A LOT!
  30. Always be the loudest, most obnoxious person in the room.
  31. Have a yelling fight with your spouse or family member in public.
  32. Make fun of other people and be sarcastic about them as a way of showing how funny you are.

If you are living with any of these negative behaviors, it is never too late to change.  Look at this entire list and just be honest with yourself about what you need to change..

O Stands for Overcoming the Oscillating Fan Syndrome Podcast

Coaching Employees: 5 Coaching Power Words

Want to learn more about what coaching really is and 5 powerful words to get employees to grow and develop?  Watch this quick video from the Center for Management and Organizational Effectiveness.

Video Rating: 4 / 5

Blogging Strategy Class Coming Tomorrow: Mark Your Calendar

Reminder:  Our Blogging Strategy Class is Tomorrow.  Registration still open.  We would love to have you.

Details Here: http://www.bloggingforbankers.com/webinars.html.

E Stands for Emerging Leaders: 10 Ways to Spot Them

bankeraIt is not uncommon to hear senior leaders talk about their fears around their succession plans.   They aren’t really sure who will be stepping into their shoes following retirement but the bigger question is usually “How do I know who will be a good fit?”

There is one thing that I feel sure about…the best people to begin focusing your leadership development around are those men and women between the ages of 24-35.  Many companies say they don’t want to offer leadership development to their younger employees, because they will more than likely be gone before they have the opportunity to step into a critical leadership role.  If this is your view, then you are probably not a visionary leader.  The goal is to develop high potential candidates…even those you are afraid may leave you one day, because if you treat them well, and train them well, there is a great chance they might just return to your company down the road.

So, the first question I hear is this “How to I spot an emerging leader?”

Here are a few qualities to look for.  While an emerging leader may not have all of these skills, they should have at least 7-8 of these skills which are quite evident to you and your senior team:

1. Intellectual horsepower: IQ of 130 or higher.  The person needs to be a quick learner/quick study.

2. Vision: Emerging leaders can communicate a compelling vision for the future.

3. Quick, sound decision making: Emerging leaders need to be able to  make sound decisions without undue delay.   They gather as much information as quickly as possible, and move on the decision, and at the end of the day, the decision they make is usually one that you can stand behind.

4. Change agents: Great future leaders stand for change, initiate change and get behind cultural changes happening inside your company.

5. Energetic: Emerging leaders have a passion for work and are high energy in nature.  They aren’t slaves to the company, but they give 110% while they are working, and they are willing to go the extra mile and pitch in to help out when help is needed.

6. Ability to mentor and coach others: Our future leaders must be able to coach other people so that they are empowered to make smart decisions and can develop out their skills, both soft and hard skills.

7. Marketing savvy: Top leaders understand the trends in the marketplace and know how to help the company build out the brand so that customers are clear about your company and receive red carpet treatment.

8. Strategic agility: Emerging leaders need to be able to think ahead, to spot trends and to be able to paint a crystal clear picture of how plans “fit together” so that a breakthrough plan can be developed out.

9.  Communication skills: Both oral and written skills need to be professional, crisp and clear.  Emerging leaders need to be able to communicate not only by text, e-mail and Facebook but in face to face conversations and through a well-written letter.

10. Team player and collaborator: Emerging leaders need to be able to play well on a team.  They need to be able to seek out the opinion of others and build consensus so that the team moves in sync in the direction of established goals and the vision for your company.

Once you have spotted your emerging leaders, it will be time to sit down with these individuals and formulate a true leadership plan.  The plan should focus on strengthening the above skills and also addressing topics such as:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Critical thinking
  • Networking with higher management
  • Learning everything they need to know about the past, present and future of the company

Just remember…don’t worry if you think you are going to “throw away” training on a high potential candidate who may leave you.  If you focus on leadership development, they will leave your company and RAVE to others about what you did for them…trust me…this is most always the case!.

Are You Asking the Question “How Can I Help You?” On Linked In? If Not, You Are About to Find a Treasure!

payingitforwardA little over a year ago, I was intrigued with a young man named Ryan Allis. The then and now 24-25 year old CEO of one of the fastest growing companies in the USA, i-Contact, was not only a cracker jack businessman, but he was (and still is) on a mission to see world hunger end during his lifetime.  Because of The Gen Y Project, I wanted to interview this rising rock star for my interview series.

As with all “in demand” CEOs, Ryan had a “communications person” to go through. My immediate thought was “Great…I have to go through one more communications director to get to someone I want to interview.”  These interactions often end in a “Sorry…but our CEO is too busy to talk to you right now,” so naturally, my balloon was a bit deflated.

But…something happened that shocked me!  I immediately had a call from  the i-Contact Communications Director, Chuck Hester, and my belief  about communications directors being difficult to work with was shattered in about two minutes.  He was a sheer joy to work with, called me back immediately, made me feel as if my internet radio show was so important to i-Contact, and I suddenly had a new person in my network who I consider to be in the top 5 of my list of the greatest business people in the world (and folks…I have met a LOT of people in my lifetime.)  I got the interview with Ryan Allis, and it was a big hit!  No surprise there!

I had the opportunity to meet Chuck for i-Contact’s birthday celebration last year, and he was just as endearing in person as he was over the telephone…no phoniness to this man, and I learned a little secret.  He was a Linked-In genius.  He began describing to me how he uses Linked-In as a tool to meet people as he travels around the country and how it has helped him personally and has supported i-Contact in becoming a multi-million dollar company.  As a matter of fact, the company is so successful that it was recently named the #1 Email Marketing Service Provider and Resource for Web professionals by Website Magazine

As a result, Chuck has now written a book by the name of Linking In to Pay it Forward, and this is one of those books that every business owner should have.  Chuck has been generous enough to offer my network a great offer, including:

  • an autographed copy of the book
  • a discount off the retail price
  • free shipping
  • an entry into a contest to receive a free Linked-In consultation with Chuck

Read the full details about the book and Chuck Hester here.

To get this great offer, simply go to http://book.chuckhester.com and type in payitforward10 as the promo code during check out.

Bea Fields Companies, Inc. has no material connection to the above endorsement.