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.


• 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. . .

Do You Feel Buried Alive by All Your Conflicting Priorities? HELP IS HERE!

Would You Like Life to be Balanced and Extraordinary?  You CAN!

Do you feel buried alive by all your conflicting priorities, and the various hats you  wear throughout each day?  Are you finding your electronics ruling your life, instead of you ruling them?  With all their pings, bleeps, and blips demanding your attention, NOW?  Do you feel guilty you’re not getting to everything?

So, how can successfully navigate all your priorities?

In fact, did you know that taking time for other priorities outside work, including elements that affect our heart, brain, and spirit will bring greater fulfillment to our lives. The younger generation seems to know. They’re demanding work-life balance after watching what’s happened to their parents, who gave it all the work!

Well, it’s here, a way to assess and take into account the various important, diverse hats we all wear each day.  Roles like dad or mom, brother, sister, soccer coach, volunteer, housekeeper, nurse, grandparent, rocket scientist, accountant, leader, manager, or other, that make up the complete YOU!  And, in this day and age we’re finally recognizing that success isn’t just about setting goals and achieving them, it’s about the quality of your life you experience in each of these roles, every day, not just when you retire. So, let me ask you, how would you like to drill down to explore these important roles, to determine how and when to live them with intention? This is exactly what you can expect on May 22nd.  You’ll discover how you can more effectively manage your ENERGY, DECISIONS, and where you could more effectively put your ATTENTION and focus?

It is so much more than time management.  Check out this Franklin Covey workshop, 5Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, I’ll be facilitating with Eric Timmis.  Eric and I are honored to be the Franklin Covey trainers for the Greater Tucson American Society for Training and Development this May 22nd here in Tucson.  If you’d like to know more, Check out this excellent overview of the program: Then go HERE to learn more and to  SIGN-UP and join us.

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!

3 Amazing Reasons Aspiring Leaders Read Books!

stack of books isolated on white background

             Leaders Are Readers!

In this day and age of multiple electronic devices that entertain us, vying for our attention, why READ BOOKS?  Isn’t that a bit boring, cliché?  In fact, a recent Huffington Post Poll of 1,000 U.S. adults they discovered that 28 percent of people had not even read 1 book in the past year.  So, why do I practically require all of my clients add this competency to their learning suite while being coached?  Let me explain:  



  •  Expand your Vocabulary

  •  Boost your Creativity

  • Improve your Writing Skills

  •  Enhance your Memory

  • Develop greater levels of Analytical Thinking

  • Be in tune with the “thought leaders” of this day and age

  • Become known as a thought leader yourself



2.  Then, if you’d like to know THE most effective way to deal with STRESS, even over the standard remedies such as listening  to music, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee or even taking a walk.  And how many of us who are running organizations or businesses are stress free? Right, my point exactly.  So, instead, READ A BOOK for at least 15 min. See the facts here

3.  And, if you’d like the ability to “read another’s mind”, and who in leadership wouldn’t.  The research here (published in the journal Science)  says that reading literature will literally give you the ability to ‘read’ the thoughts and feelings of others, according to what NPR describes.  This then increases your higher levels of thinking and discerning, and who doesn’t need that when making important decisions day in and day out!

Therefore, reading can decrease your stress, increase your intuitiveness, and assist you in developing greater leadership competencies needed to run your business or organization.  I proclaim, let the reading begin!


Your Coaching Corner Today, What’s a Man or Woman to Read. . .

  1. Your industry periodicals

  2. Fast Company

  3. Inc. Magazine

  4. Harvard Business Review

  5. Best Books of 2013

  6. Best Business Books of 2013

  7. Did you know your public library has books you can download onto your phone or an mp3 player!  It’s awesome and free!

Share below what books are your favorite to read and why?  We’d all love to hear your picks!


Avoid Leadership Miscommunication

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  • How do misunderstandings begin?
  • What can you do, as a leader, to be sure your communication isn’t taken wrong?
  • Find how to better mitigate conflict when it arises in your midst.

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.

Words For Leaders For Monday Motivation

As a leader you have to find what keeps you motivated.  You may be an entrepreneur, executive, manager, or business owner, it doesn’t matter which.  You set the tone with your attitude, so let it begin now, on Monday!  What one thing can you take away from these comments that will give you Monday Motivation?  Share it below in the comments.

If it’ won’t show, please go here:

As an Executive Coach and Business Coach, it’s my privilege to find the resources to encourage, support, motivate, and put a fire under my clients.  Here’s to you having a great week!  Sue

5 Steps to Survive, and Keep Your Focus During Holidays Part I

Create a System to Make it Through the HolidaysStay in the Game and Keep Building, Leaders Stay focused, and Get Energized!

With the Holiday season here, conflicting priorities can challenge the best of your time management abilities.  You know you have to keep your business moving and your marketing continuously flowing, because what you do in December are the seeds you’re planting for March and April.  However, right now, it’s time to celebrate with all your family, enjoying the traditions, while making new ones.  BUT, without a plan that you lay out with clear intentions, all the festivities can neutralize your drive, and blur your crystal clear focus.  You can’t help contemplating what gifts to give, cards to send, client appreciation presents to acquire and deliver, not to mention meals to plan, family arriving, or travel preparations to make.  And, I’m not even addressing the distraction that family issues can cause you at this time, encroaching upon your emotional health during the Holidays, causing you to revert back into the family constellation, right along with all the old emotional dysfunction you’ve worked so hard to eliminate.  So, just how do you keep it all going without losing your sanity and momentum?  I’m so glad you’re thinking the same way I am so. . .

  1. MAKE PLANS TO KEEP YOUR FOCUS AND KEEP BUILDING – Refuse to lose ground.  If you don’t want to slow down, make sure you begin by writing out your goals for both your business and your personal life during the holidays. If you’ve been able to take the Franklin Covey 5 Choices course with me, we do all this planning in Outlook!  (And it ROCKS)  At the beginning of each week, write out everything on your plate.  And by all means . . .

  2. HIRE HELP – Even if you’re financially challenged. Try utilizing a High School student to help with your housework etc. Believe me, just this is worth it!   And for your business, you have to check out or for a Virtual Assistant.  Remember, anything on your list that would be billed out for less than what you’re worth per hour, (and you should absolutely know this number!) should be delegated to someone else on staff, or to a Virtual Assistant.  So, anything where you can have someone else do the work instead of you, by all means delegate it so you can keep your head in the right game.  Just try it, lose control and relinquish any wrong thinking that only you can do it, well, “right”!

  3. NEXT, each evening write out your plan for the next day, going back and arranging it according to your priorities, making sure you’re spending 80% of your time on the 20% that bring in the most income or ROI on your time.  Make sure your focus is on first things first.  Just ask yourself, “Is this activity going to bring in the needed funds in the next three months?”  If so, that’s at the top of your business list.

  4. Then, mark each item on the list “a”, “b”, “c”, or “d” items, and don’t move on to “b” items until all your “a” items are complete, and don’t do a “c” item until all the “b” items are accomplished.

  5. Once you have your daily plans for business and life, then aggressively follow them both!  Remember to give yourself permission to delegate, defer to another time, or dump those non-essential items during this season. Keep focused on those things that are essential, that aren’t sucking away your valuable time or energy.  And this system is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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