Confessions of an Accidental Leader

The Titanic Effect pt. #1

Don’t Continue to Blindly Go Full Steam Ahead, or You Could SINK!

Business men assembling the pieces of a puzzleMake this one change and you’ll be able to keep your finger on the pulse of your business and be able to truly assess things appropriately. If you don’t, I can guarantee you’ll be the last to know there are problems that could have been averted if you had only known.

We’ve all done it at one time or another, used the fatal flaw of coming to conclusions prematurely, before we have ALL the facts. When we do this, come to conclusions with partial, incomplete, inaccurate information, we end up coming to misconstrued, wrong conclusions. And when we do this we end up creating our own disaster for ourselves, and those around us! However, we can change this if we will slow down and take the time to investigate by inquiring into all the FACTS of the matter, and then double checking to be sure they are accurate! One wrong piece of information or partial fact can engender misinterpretation, therefore wrong conclusions. How am I so well versed in this? Because I’ve been the worst offender!

You see, our actions are a direct result of our assumptions. If an assumption has been made without double checking to be sure we have all the facts and that these facts are correct, we could be making assumptions that are dead wrong. From these wrong assumptions comes a subtle corruption of our judgment. Now, to really understand the gravity of ill gained conclusions, just think of the Titanic. This is an amazing example. It was built with the most advanced technology of the day, taking what they thought was every precaution to avoid sinking. They used the most advance methods of their day, but because of the excessive opulence it gave them the illusion of being the safest ship to have ever been built. Or so they thought. These conclusions were effectively sold to people in 1912 in the guise of the ship being utterly UNSINKABLE! They unequivocally believed that the 70,000 ton vessel would NOT SINK. Harland and Wolff, the Irish shipbuilders insisted they never advertised that the Titanic was unsinkable, but that people misinterpreted their articles in their Shipbuilder magazine and the Irish News. They also attest that the myth was inflated after the accident. To learn more about how the assumptions were made that IT WAS UNSINKABLE go HERE

However it was done, affluent people came from far and wide to experience the trip of a lifetime, the maiden voyage. So, the actions that were taken as a result of the thinking it was UNSINKABLE are pretty wild to look at.

BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED THE SHIP WAS UNSINKABLE THEY:ST.THOMAS AND PRINCE ISLANDS-1998: Edward John Smith and Titanic

• Sailed with “reckless abandon” into dangerous waters that were infested with ice bergs.

• Only loaded 20 of the 64 lifeboats on the ship

• Never conducted a single lifeboat drill

• The crew didn’t even know how to lower the lifeboats safely into the ocean

• Were dulled by the lies they believed, so the crew felt the jolt, but no one was alarmed and instead life on the boat returned to normal within just a few minutes

• When another ship, the California just a few miles away, stopped in the treacherous waters, and began sending out warnings to the other ships, (the Titanic received 6 warnings) these warnings were completely ignored

The MAIN issue I encounter in businesses that are struggling is that they’re moving so fast that they don’t take the time to properly, appropriately check in with people to see how things are going, or check for the facts and then correctly evaluate the situation accordingly.  We then make judgments from faulty information or hear say. When this happens we then come to flagrant conclusions which are mistakenCome to conclusions in this manner, making fast assessments without all the facts, and I guarantee impending disaster is right around the corner.  So to be sure YOU are assessing things correctly you must:  

PART #2  in the next post!

What are your thoughts so far?  Have you experienced this yourself, or in an organization or business you’ve seen?  I’ve love you’re honest thoughts below!

You Can Set the Tone for Greater Productivity, But You’ll Never Believe How!

Are You Kidding Me?  Take a Break Every 52 Minutes for 17 Minutes, Really?

If you have to concentrate deeply in your work throughout the day, is it true that you should take more, longer breaks? And if this is true, can it really be possible that you will then have a better work-force who is more accurate, sharper, and creative? Will they really have greater focus while being less likely to burn out? As a Business Coach I had to ask, could it really be true? It sounds crazy to me, even counter-intuitive. In fact, it goes against the almighty American “Hard Work” ethic. Don’t we seem to view people who:mission and purpose in life

  • Work long hours

  • Sacrifice their lunch time to keep working

  • Stay up all night working just to finish a project 

  • Come in to work no matter how sick

as THE “RESPONSIBLE” ONES? But is it? The research I discovered regarding productivity totally debunks this time-honored perception. In fact, one article I read (link) states, “Frequent breaks throughout the day give a person better focus and creativity”. Then, a study done by the University of Toronto regarding lunch break patterns found that when people skip lunch THEY LOWER THEIR PRODUCTIVITY. The article goes on to say that John Trougakos, associate professor of Organizational Behavior and HR Management, found that our brains have just so much” psychological energy”. Use it up and you’re less productive. As I continued reading I discovered, and found it was validated scientifically, that you need to take a break every 52 minutes, and the break needs TO BE FOR 17 MINUTES of quality time off. Unbelievable, this was just too much to believe, but after the 3rd article sighting similar findings, I began to be convinced, especially with the scientific evidence pointing to the effect on the brain, including pictures! (link) What if these articles are really onto something? If your employees could be more:

  • Productive

  • Alert

  • Sharp

  • Creative

  • Able to make less mistakes

all of which will bring you greater ROI from their productivity, isn’t that worth it? That is unless you’re like one of my clients, who is paid by the amount of time their employees log for their clients. In this case it’s going to be a challenge to meet both demands, but still possible with some creativity! Besides this, it’s just not good to sit all day.  So let me encourage you, check out these articles for yourself. Do a trial experiment either on yourself or by tracking and observing your employees. If you can have them do better, faster, more accurate work, along with the ability to be more energized and feel your trust, why not! So, here’s to your success and greater productivity in all you and your employees do! And if you test this out for yourself, let me know, I’d love to hear the results!

As an Executive or Business Owner, Are Your Employees Driving You Crazy, or is it That Someone is Out of Position?

business meeting - woman ceoLove ‘em or hate ‘em you can’t live without ‘em.  If you want to build your business to levels that will pay while you’re retired, you will have to maximize your time and hire employees to delegate work to.  However, if you don’t take the time to thoroughly follow a process to hire the “right” person for the appropriate job, everything will decline from there.

When you have an employee positioned incorrectly in a job, believe me you’ll know.  The tell-tale signs are:

  • Do they avoid doing the very thing they were hired for?

  • Is their performance less than adequate?

  • Are they unhappy?

  • Do they make those around them miserable and FRUSTRATED?

  • Do you constantly have to explain the fundamentals of their responsibilities?

  • Are you ready to pull out your hair?

Then you may have an employee who is misplaced and out of position in the workforce.  You’ll do yourself and them a favor if you’ll either find the right fit for them, a different role, or let them go!  (Personally I’ll go the extra mile to help make it work for them to stay!)  However, I hear it all the time, “Being let go was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I would have never left on my own, and I wouldn’t have found this work that I love, without being let go from the position I was in.

If this post sounds familiar with you, but you’re still not sure, give me a call. As a Business Coach and Executive Coach,  I can spot an out of position person in no time!  And, we can use the  “DISC Profile” to be absolutely sure.  With the profile, I can coach any employee to discover for themselves where the best fit for them will be.  You’ll be glad as a leader/manager you did!  It’s the first main responsibility of managing people.  Making sure their behavioral style fits the requirements of the role they’re in!

Does this sound like your story?  If so, please share it with us below!   We’d love to know. . .

Why Successful Executives and Business Owners Are Consistent Readers

Readers Are Leaders!

Opened magic book with magic lightFor me, as an Executive/Business Coach, the most important aspect of being an avid reader has to do with the most successful executives, or business owners.

According to Why Successful Executives Read” according to PSP Metrics, they have:

  • An increased awareness of the issues

  • Better preparedness to take strategic action

  • More relevant information regarding their industry

  • A broader understanding of the issues that may affect their employees, customers, and community

  • Become aware of those ideas that will expand their thinking and problem solving processes

  • A better understanding of ideas that will broaden their thinking and create greater confidence!

Because many CEO’s deal with governments as well as cultural issues, even though reading doesn’t take the place of first-hand experience, it is the next best thing to assist them in successful interactions!

Without reading some believe they:

  • Become less equipped to deal effectively with the issues

  • Less prepared to evaluate the information they receive

Therefore, they’re not as capable of: Understanding more complex issues

Reading the signs of impending shifts in thinking, and Reading just plain gives one a competitive advantage! You’ll be more equipped to deal effectively with the issues, and to evaluate crucial situations that could take you out. More important, without reading, you could miss the signs of impending shifts in thinking and the needed implementation. And, because you’ll be introduced to the “thought leaders” within your industry, and others, you’ll have an attuned, well-rounded global perspective. This then provides you with elevated “higher levels of thinking” to be able to assess situations with the relevant filters of diverse ideas and creative problem-solving.

 

So, if you..

  • want a promotion

  • need to re-create yourself to acquire a new job

  • want to prepare your business to sell

  • or just want to know how to work more effectively with your colleagues,

READ the right material and it will take you where you need to go.

 

To conclude, reading is so important, successful executives and business owners make the time to read in the middle of their hectic, helter skelter day, attesting to its place in making them who they are, SUCCESSFUL!

The Value of Introverts,or the “High S” and “High C” Behavioral Styles

In a world that rewards the personality of extroverts, we overlook the extraordinary talents and abilities of gifted introverts.  Susan Cain is a perfect example of how to embrace one’s own introversion, even celebrating it!  This video reveals and underscores the value and benefit of those in our midst who are introverted.  Some how our culture values the dynamic, driven, outgoing, gregarious . . . see below

personalities, causing those who don’t comply to feel inferior, or “WRONG”.  As a coach and trainer of Behavioral Styles, I observe this rejection and abhorrence of one’s introverted nature during group activities.  Susan Cain is a breath of fresh air, exposing our prejudice and superior cultural stance on personalities with grace, eloquence and poise!  She  courageously delivers this phenomenal presentation on “TED Talks”, gently putting those of us who are extroverts in our place in a rather deft, skillful way .  In fact, she’s so contrite about it, you may not even realize you’ve been admonished.  We, as leaders in the business world, need to recognize the values we admire, and must be sure to include our gentler, eloquent counter parts, the introverts of this world.

“Massive Action for Client Attraction” Teleseminar Fri.

Get Clients Now Mastermind Coming in September!

Do you need Clients?  Leads that will become your ideal clients?  Would you like to experience the synergy, motivation, and energy of a powerful mastermind that will challenge you to do more than you can do on your own?  Then apply now for the “Massive Action for Client Attractionmastermind, beginning the third week of September.  This is a “Coach in a Box” program that Sue’s been testing, and working on for two years. With this program Sue will personally coach and work with you to create a tailor made system that fits you, your personality, giftings, and strengths, along with uncovering your personal motivators.  Wouldn’t you like to work with a coach who has coached executives of billion dollar projects, to overcome their weaknesses and blind-spots holding them back, who’s greatest gifting is intuitively knowing what is, and isn’t working in a business?  Who’s clients make major breakthroughs in their business, and in their life, therefore gaining a new confidence?  Just look at her recommendations.  Now, combine all of this, along with the right people in a MASTERMIND, and you’ve got “MASSIVE ACTION FOR CLIENT ATTRACTION.”  Wouldn’t it be more fun to ramp up your business doing marketing and sales together?  Bet you wouldn’t let yourself out of those appointments, phone calls, drop-bys, and follow-ups when you know others see what you are and aren’t doing!  Putting yourself in a little forced accountability can do wonders in helping you GAIN MORE LEADS, THAT TURN INTO MANY MORE CLIENTS!  What if? 

Now, we’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t work harder, work smarter.”  And that’s a fantastic goal, but what if, for a short period of time, just 30 days (Phase 1 of 3) you did both: WORKED SMARTER, AND WORK HARDER to magnetically pull in clients before the end of 2013.  (Want to Apply NOW?) Then once you gain the big “MO…” (MOMENTUM) you can ride that baby right on through the Holidays, not missing a step when the New Year arrives!   So, let me ask you, what if, just what if you could get something going now, and keep it going, with a few strategic breaks through the holidays, so that you’ll be all REVVED UP AND RUNNING in JANUARY OF 2014How would that feel?  This, and so much more is exactly what “Massive Action for Client Attraction” will do for you.  You’ll “Be” more, “Do” more, and “Have” more than you’ve had before.  All right along with other serious minded, motivated, fun loving, team mates who like you, won’t settle for ordinary, and instead want to be extraordinary leaders in their industry!  So, join me this Friday at 12:00pm to hear more, and APPLY HERE.  Go to www.AccidentalLeader.com/teleseminarsto sign-up for the teleseminar.  Can’t come but want to hear the details?  Go ahead and sign-up below now.

DATE: Fri. September 6th

TIME12:00pm-1:00pm (MST) same now as (PST)

 

Join “The Holiday Schmooze a’Palooza”

The Schmooze a'PaloozaThe most successful people know themselves, how they act and react, and understand the actions and reactions of others !  And you can learn them too!

Sign-up to the right to join this complimentary telecall for the next 6 weeks and receive the 40 pg. manual.

WHEN:  Wednesdays at

TIME:  1:00pm MST 3:00pm EST

Join the “Holiday Schmooze a‘Palooza” and enjoy a few interesting stories Sue’s collected over the decades of working with, and training in Personality Styles. You’ll learn the secret to finding success with and through people. Please write me with any and all questions that will help you understand people, any and all people!  (not including mental-health issues)

  • This Holiday would you like the secret to being around your relatives without letting them drive you crazy?

  • Did you know the first step to success is knowing yourself and others, how you would act and react.

  • Are you tired of being everything to everyone, and instead want to be YOU, discovering the REAL, AUTHENTIC YOU, then this palooza is for you.

  • Uncover YOUR strengths and skill-sets that will GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE to go for your dreams in 2013.

  • Learn to magnetically, naturally draw the right people to you in your business as clients.

  • Find the perfect collaborative partners with whom you enjoy working.

  • Receive the KEY to building the most AMAZING TEAM around you, one where you can accomplish more in this next year than you ever thought possible.

  • Or if you have a team, learn which ones are out of place, and how to reposition them for their success and yours, exponentially!  (Nothing can hold you back more than having the right people, but in the wrong seats.)

This is the same information Sue has personally used to develop teams in two different billion dollar companies to coach the executives and staff through conflict resolution, team building, and to find the right new hires for new positions.

You will learn an easy to detect system to determine which of the Four Basic Personality Styles a person displays. This information is like having a crystal ball that reveals their strengths and weaknesses or limitations.  It’s astonishing how accurate and fun this Personality Style System is, not to mention practical, and vitally useful to one’s business and life!

You will be gifted with a one year subscription to “Tips For Accidental Leaders” worth $97.

20 Things to Do to Keep From Being an Accidental Leader, Part I

Strategically Create the Life and Work Worthy of your Talents, Giftings, Education and Experience

  1. Take A Behavioral Style Profile to learn your strengths and weaknesses.  Contact me for more information.

  2. Take a Strengths Finder to compliment the Personality Profile

  3. Interview your parents, assuming you have a good relationship with them, and ask them what they saw in you as a child, i.e., the strengths they perceived in you that would translate into a career, or other direction for your life

  4. Ask 5 friends what they see you’re good at and one thing they see you might work on for greater success

  5. Deal with any and all childhood issues that could be showing up as blind-spots, limitations or weaknesses.  This is KEY to your progress.  Ask me for more information if this intrigues you, as I have a workshop that could get you started, and would gladly tell you about my experience with it

  6. Learn to use the 24 hr. Rule, to get over a crisis, disappointment, or a “win”, and keep yourself moving forward. (I’ve written on this in past posts, and will write on it again this week.)

  7. Begin aGratefulness Journal” and write every day of at least 5 things you are most grateful/thankful for.

  8. Take a class on “Time Management”, creating systems for every area of your life and work

  9. Create your own personal “Mission Statement” and choose 5 to 8 values by which to base, and use as a plumb-line,  all the major decisions you make life

  10. Once a year go on a week or month long “Negativity Fast” where you allow family and friends to fine you if you say anything negative about yourself, others, or circumstances.  You’ll be amazed at how cleansing this is!  Take it up a notch and add not listening to any negativity as well!

  11. Determine from now on to make decisions based on living out your values and Mission Statement.

  12. Find a mentor.  Look for 2 people you admire in different aspects of their life, and then ask them if they would consider mentoring you.

  13. Create some form of self imposed accountability for yourself.

  14. Learn to be a better communicator, especially in the area of listening.  Most leaders get into trouble more by not listening than by talking.

Stay tune for the rest of the list of 20things, and how to get some help accomplishing these in the next post!

Are You an “Accidental Leader” Because You’re Out of Position? Pt.II

You may be trying to operate your own business, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. You know something’s wrong, but you don’t know what.  What I’ve written in this post expands on the post in pt I of this series, and will help you discern if you’re out of position.  Meaning you’re in the wrong role for what naturally fits you.  (Now I’m all for temporarily doing this to gain great perspective, and acquire new skills.  However, stay in the wrong roll too long, and it’s called STRESS!)  Don’t lose hope though, I run into entrepreneurs all the time who struggle with this very issue, and yet gained the necessary assistance and are now highly successful. One way, is to create a culture of accountability, and then to plug into it.  There are ways you can make a position that doesn’t fit you, still work!  But first you have to recognize the cold hard facts, be brutally honest with yourself.  Then you can create an action plan that works, and fits you.  So, if you’re ready to discern your situation, let me ask you if any of the below scenarios and/or feelings sound like you?

  1. You have employees to supervise, but you loathe, no you despise confrontation and avoid it at all cost!

  2. You prefer instead, to allow things to work out on their own.

How’s that working for you?  Things won’t work out on their own-they usually escalate and get worse. 

  1. In fact, you know you’ve got someone out of position, when a company-wide policy is made for everyone, instead of correcting to the one person abusing the system.

  2. You’d rather fix things, and work around the facility, than deal with people, avoiding them until absolutely necessary.

  3. You don’t have a natural sense of what to do to motivate, lead, and redirect those in your charge.  Worse yet, you’ve never been given any formal training on how to be a successful leader – manager.   If this is the case, please HEAR ME.  This was not your fault!  Let me say that again, “You are not to blame for being in this position!”  However, that said, you have no excuse to not take the responsibility to obtain the tools and skills necessary to successfully influence and lead, even if you only have two employees!  In fact, every personality style can be an effective, successful leader, by using their personality style appropriately, along with maximizing their strengths, while delegating or eliminating their weaknesses!  In fact, what some would consider natural leaders, can be the very worst leaders, leading like a bull in a china shop!  I liken this to a strong willed horse that’s never been broken. They’ve never learned to bring their strengths “Under Control” to best utilize them.  Luckily, we live in a day and age where resources on this topic are in abundance!  GREAT materials, books, DVD’s, mp3’s, and podcasts on the subject are prolific, especially at our public library.  In fact, go to my LinkedIn profile and you can see my reading list filled with some of the best in leadership.

Stay tuned.  In part III of this leadership series, you’ll find how and when it’s time to move on, or step down from the frustration of trying to be something you have never enjoyed, and have never felt successful doing! You will also discover how to best adapt your style to be the best leader/manager you can be, and how and why a Business Development Coach or Executive Coach can be your best resource to assist you and your organization in establishing successful leaders and managers of every behavioral style.

Are You an “Accidental Leader” Could You Possibly be Out of Position? Pt I

Did someone wave a wand and say: “POOF”, thou art a manager –NOW  LEAD!

Are you, or someone you know, in the wrong role/position in your company?  Did someone wave a wand and say: “POOF”, thou art a manager –NOW  LEAD!  But you have NO CLUE WHAT THAT MEANS or what you’re to do differently?  There could be all kinds of reasons you’re out of position:

  • Your personality doesn’t align with the requirements of the role – i.e.  say the position needs someone who is commanding, one who is able to change easily and move quickly.  However, you’re a process person and like large amounts of details to then check, double check, and even triple check before you make a move. If so, then you’ll be frustrated in this role, along with making everyone around you frustrated.

  • Talents – say you’re very gifted with high amounts of creativity, but you don’t have an outlet to use it . . .

  • Your education didn’t support this role, and you’ve been struggling to try to make it work, but no matter how hard you try, you feel like you’re always behind.

  • The experiences you’ve had didn’t prepare you for this role, and your interests don’t align either

This doesn’t mean you’re bad or wrong, it just means that this role/position is not a natural fit for you.  You can still stretch yourself and take on the role.  However, be aware that it will take considerably more effort, energy, and possible skill sets you don’t now have to fulfill.  Not to mention you may not enjoy it.  Another way you’ll know you’re not in the best role for you when required to be THE leader, is if:

  • Setting the big-picture vision isn’t natural for you, and instead is difficult!

  • Directing people – such as:  Providing them with the instructions as to what to do, which may be impossible for you to do – due to your personality style.  For some personality styles, and I know it’s hard for some of us to fathom, this would mean confrontation to them.

  • Correcting and leading people is difficult and/or frustrating for you, so you’ll avoid it like the plague!

If these sentences resonate with you, then you’ve got another clue that you are an “Accidental Leader”.  If so, then one solution for you is to acquire a Business Coach to assist you to discern why you may be discontent, ineffective, and possibly even miserable in the position you’re currently in.  If you do, then you’ll receive the assistance to be successful!

On a positive note, I’ve had the most amazing opportunity to pursue what I’ve loved, and what fits me, for the past 35 years.  Because of my supportive husband, I was given the gift of creating and designing a career that I thrive in, am passionate about, and which gives me the ability to continually grow with and into.  My life mission emerged from one class here and an experience there.  As a result, along with my personality, certifications, and education over the years, it has slowly emerged, until one day I realized I was The epitome of an “Accidental Leader”.  I didn’t begin with the end in mind, as Covey recommends.  I didn’t set out to be a “Business Coach”, that didn’t exist when I went to college.  And I didn’t set out to pursue being a leader or trainer, however I was strategic about each small thing I pursued, until it cumulatively transpired into this awesome role called a Business Coach, Executive Coach and Corporate Trainer.  Like a puzzle that emerges from the similar colors, shapes, and connectivity of its’ pieces, I now help others to be strategically excellent, by making sure their life and work aren’t built upon accidents, but on the best of what they bring to this world, aligning themselves with the people they’re suppose to connect with and serve.

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Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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