Confessions of an Accidental Leader

One Vital Skill to Leadership Competency – Mastering the Art of Small and Talk Making Others Comfortable with You

Do This and You’ll Never Be Blindsided by Your Best Employee Leaving- or Before There’s a Major Conflict in Your Midst!

Leadership influence is asking questions and attentively listeningI’ll never forget the evening my husband and I were standing around the pool at a work party, when the CEO of the non-profit where my husband worked walked by. We greeted him, exclaiming how nice the evening was. As he walked past us he responded, “I’m sorry, I don’t do small talk.” I was stunned! We had held him in such high esteem. Both being in our early 20’s we had considered him our mentor, so I’ll never forget how that comment made us feel, as he went over and stood talking to a millionaire in our midst. This is one of the incidence that put the fire in me to coach, train, and develop leaders and their staff with the people skills  that will cause them to valued and care about one another, while fulfilling their calling and mission through their business.

“There’s hardly a higher compliment you can pay an individual that to help that person be useful and find satisfaction and significance.” by John C. Maxwell

So how do you do this, learn to genuinely care about people? You begin by asking questions, while attentively listening. As a leader, this is an imperative skill to master! Believe me, when people feel their leader is interested in them and their growth, they’ll be more engaged, more dedicated and produce more. So overall it’s just good business to attentively listen, and care about the needs of your employees!  

“Napoleon Bonaparte knew every officer of his army by name. -He asked about their home and discussed maneuvers and battles he knew that this officer had been involved in.  It’s no wonder their devotion to him!

Begin first by asking questions to learn the key elements of people’s lives. Where they grew up, how they fit into the family constellation, what kind of hobbies they have etc. You can then effectively follow-up with sincere interest and concern for them. This can be done one-on-one, during a round table discussion, at a team-building exercise, standing around at an event or when beginning a business meeting. I used to play a game seeing how long it would take, and how many questions I would h”Napoleon Bonaparte knew every officer of his army by name. -He asked about their home and discussed maneuvers and battles he knew that this officer had been involved in.  It’s no wonder their devotion to him!ave to ask before I would find some kind of commonality or connection with the person. Asking questions is a magical tool.

“What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? Not training them and keeping them.” Zig Ziglar

listen attentively,care about employeesQuestions are the answer when engaging in small talk. In fact, you don’t have to say a thing, just listen and ask another question, while giving them the physical cues that you are listening attentively. Such as stopping everything you were doing to pay attention; turn toward them and look straight into their eyes; even checking for their eye color. And by all means, don’t take calls, or allow interruptions from text messaging etc. As much as possible, for a few minutes, look at their eyes, and nod periodically throughout the conversation saying:

                     * hmmm . . .                      * Interesting. . .                                 * I understand. . .                      * Really?                      * Is that right?

I’ve been told you can learn a new skill if you’ll be willing to get out of your comfort zone and practice for 15 minutes each day. Try starting conversations with the clerk at a counter, while standing in line, when you’re in a group waiting. Work on making others feel comfortable with you. No, I’m not suggesting you become a Chatty Cathy, or attempt being the “High I” behavioral style if you aren’t one naturally, just practice being hospitable on a daily basis!

A GREAT LEADER says, How can I make those around me more successful?

The most successful executives have mastered the art of small talk! It is essential to their effectiveness and influence!

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!

Questions are the Answer

If you don’t know what to do, ASK A QUESTION.  Want to build rapport as a leader with a new client, ask them questions.  Deal better with conflict?  Ask away . . .

If you want to:

  • Progress beyond your own self inflicted limitationsstick_figure_sit_in_question_mark_400_clr

  • Become unstuck or make a change

  • Quit having to have all the answers yourself

  • Build a team and be collaborative

  • Discover what’s wrong, and what you need to change

  • Learn how to retain and motivate your staff

  • Resolve conflict

  • Be seen as one who is wise beyond your years

  • Determine the best use of your time

  • Make an impact on your generation

  • Develop into the kind of leader others willingly follow

  • Get over yourself, become humble, and at the same time put other people’s needs first!

THEN . . .

Do the one thing every great leader does, “ASK QUESTIONS” and keep asking until the right answers are found.  You see, when you’re open minded, and willing, and when you come from a stance of being inquisitive, you’ll discover the answer to just about anything for which you need an answer.  Of course, being genuinely interested in others helps the process.   You see, if you ask the right questions of the key people, you’ll discover pertinent data and uncover valuable information that will allow you to form better solutions.  This powerful process will allow you to build better rapport with key stakeholders, clients, or with the ones you love.  In fact, I find that if I will stay in a continual state of inquisitive curiosity (when facing any of the above bulleted items,) that I can then form pertinent questions that will naturally unlock their minds and uncover the appropriate clues.   Done right, those I’m speaking with will follow suit and be connecting the dots with each question, thus discovering on their own the solution.  And, it was there all along, the solution that is, it just took the right guidance to reveal it: “QUESTIONS”.  And I’m not talking leading questions where I already know the answer.  You see questions can profoundly re-framed the way we all think and see things, and I, the coach, don’t have to have all the answers because powerful questions are a tool anyone can learn to wield effectively.  As an example, here’s a group of questions that if I were to ask you to take the time to answer, could very well set your week in a profound, energized way.  Just give it a try and see:

  1. What one thing could you do on Monday, which if you did it completely, would set your week up for success?  In other words, you’d feel good about yourself, and get a good start to your week.

  2. What one thing could you delegate on Monday that would free you up, giving you more time for more important things?

  3. Take some time to discern the 5 things you do that bring the greatest return on your time investment.  Now be sure to do those things every day, before you do anything else.  If you did this consistently, do you think you’d feel you’re on the right track with your life and work?  Now, just be sure to do them!

conference_brainstorming_400_clrNow if you want to take it up a notch, become an “Undercover Boss” or better yet, have a trained coach/consultant conduct a “Needs Assessment” where they ask questions of the key stakeholders of your business to determine if there is any undercurrent of problems or complaints that need to be remedied, before they get out of control.   I can take a half to one full day to conduct one, and I guarantee that I when I’m done I will know what’s working, what’s not, and more importantly WHY and with WHOM.  From this, I can then make recommendations to resolve problems, introduce new, possibly different systems, or strategies for a more effective, enjoyable business environment.  And if you’ll consistently be asking your employees the right questions often, you should never be blind-sided by any move they make. How is that? It’s because through these questions you’ll be keeping your pulse on the heartbeat of your culture.  A bold statement I know, but I can prove it!  Want to know more, contact me today, and I’ll make it worth your while!  Just click here on the Sign-Up/Contact page and fill out the form and send it in now.

Copywriting SuccessTeleseminar With Debra Jason

“Pushing Your Prospects’ Buttons: A 5-Step Copywriting Success System!” with Debra Jason

 

Debra James of the Write DirectionOn this call you will discover how Debra empowers you to write your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal customers . . .see more below

DATE: Thur. November 21st 

TIME: 12:00-1:00 (MST) 2:00pm (EST)

 

On this call you will discover how Debra empowers you to write your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal customers– even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past. This way you reach a broader audience, attract more clients, and generate more income so that you can live the lifestyle you’ve dreamed about, which is why you went into business for yourself to begin with – isn’t it?

SUE: Being a leader, or business owner, means knowing how to use the right words and methods to communicate your message to gain exposure. Copywriting is one skill you either must know, or have an expert copywriter such as Debra, to do the writing for you! Where use copy you wonder? Everywhere, your website, blog, when advertising, on Facebook, and especially in your newsletter. Join the call and listen to Debra as she provides complete, powerful, clear methods as to HOW to do it, along with easy to use verbal templates. All on this call!

“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” 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.

ARE YOU PREPARING YOUR GOALS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN 2012?

ENTREPRENEURS CAN LEARN PREPAREDNESS SKILLS AND UNSHAKEABLE CONFIDENCE FROM MICHAEL JORDAN

Michael Jordan was being interviewed regarding how he would respond if he were faced with 0:01 second left on the clock at Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and his team is down by only one point.  He’s holding the ball at the free throw line, giving him two shots.  If he makes it, his team wins their first ever championship, but if he misses, they lose. The questions the interviewer, Susan Guzzetta, posed to him that day were the same ones I want to ask of you if this were your situation:

  • How would you feel?

  • Would you be nervous?

  • Would you be distracted by all the opposing fans screaming, stomping and waving their hands, purposefully attempting to move you off your game by breaking your concentration?

“Michael”, she said “How do you handle an uncomfortable situations like this, whether it’s in basketball, business or life?”  And what he said, as business owners/entrepreneurs, we can take to heart and implement ourselves!   He said, “That’s easy, that situation wouldn’t bother me because I would have already disciplined myself to make sure I had already prepared for success in that or any other situation!”

Are you?  Are you disciplining and preparing yourself for success in every area of your life?  Are you hoping and wishing that this is the year that will be different, but haven’t made the plans necessary to see it come into fruition?  Or are you taking the steering wheel of life, and making plans, setting goals, and practicing the preeminent skills necessary for you to BE prepared to be a SUCCESS in 2012:

  • Set GOALS in every aspect of your life and business, specifically high impact goals which will most affect the change or transition of your life/business

  • Chunk them down to be bite sized

  • Make a plan to accomplish them with a

  • Create a date by which each goal be accomplished

Remember, without a strategy, you’re just wishing, just as you’ve done every year!  This is the year to take a wish and make it a believable PLAN of ACTION whether you’re a boomer, Gen X’er or Millennial business person!  Every generation needs an ACTION PLAN.  Then once you have this, don’t stop there, go one step further and hire a coach to hold you accountable, and to support and cheer you along the way.  Do each of these steps and I can guarantee, with this you will gain unstoppable confidence and will reach your goals in 2012.

Over 20 Values an Executive Coach Provides

The Key Benefits of Enlisting a Business Coach 

The other day I was meeting with a woman who asked me, “Sue I know what a Life Coach does, but I don’t know the purpose of an Executive/Business Coach?”  Well, it’s not counseling, and it’s not consulting, although I shift into this mode frequently.  The best way I can describe it is for you to think of a coach of an Olympic Athlete.  Now, that elicits exactly what we do, but for a business leader.  We are your greatest supporter, your cheerleader, and a bit of a velvet brick.  Our purpose is to ensure you become successful:

  • To challenge, develop, and assist you in improving your leadership skills.
  • Uncover and develop your unique leadership style.
  • Provide essential feedback regarding gaps in your skills and abilities. Discovering feedback in a safe, private environment.
  • Reveal so you can abort any self-sabotaging ways which would jeopardize your leadership and your job.
  • Expedite the improvement of your time management and organizational skills.
  • Help you to develop greater abilities in making appropriate, time bound decisions.
  • Establish concrete goals for change and progress.
  • Someone to hold you ACCOUNTABLE to do the things you know you need to do, to become the leader you aspire to be.
  • A uniquely rich development opportunity to truly discover all you were meant to be.
  • Have a non-partisan, non judgmental, objective third party who is an impartial sounding board.
  • Assistance to execute key business initiatives.
  • Help in balancing work and life priorities.
  • Cultivate exceptional ability to influence those you lead.
  • Development of your unique personal mission, vision, and values.
  • Reduce turnover while building loyalty and retention.
  • Successfully navigate the white waters of conflict.
  • Enhance and fine-tune your decision making skills, learning to appropriately evaluate business risks, while navigating any politically entrenched environment.
  • Inspire peak performance in employees by employing fresh leadership insights.

Contact Sue right now, with the e-mail below, to set up a complimentary Discovery Session to explore if Executive Coaching is right for you right now.  Sue will be doing the same, discerning if you’re a good fit, as a client, for her.  If all is compatible, we then co-create a plan that works specifically for you, and your specific needs. Contact Sue at AccidentalLeader@comcast.net for more information, and to set up our Discovery Session.

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Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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