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!

Hang Up Those New Years Resolutions, Make S.M.A.R.T. GOALS INSTEAD

Grow Yourself and Your Business Using S.M.A.R.T. Goals and a Coach!Goals are Your Solution

Everyone began as a baby.  Everyone had teenage years where they were “RIGHT” about “EVERYTHING”, and they knew everything. Every great sportsman began learning their skills one small step at a time. To grow your leadership, management, yourself as an owner or overall person, begin by setting basic strategic goals. Get your foundation down, then set up greater goals, make a plan, and lastly find a way to hold yourself accountable. To get started,


By chunking down S.M.A.R.T. Goals.  This is an acronym with a powerful plan! Begin with S for Specific:

  • A. Specific – Who, What, Where, Which, When, Why

You don’t want to go for a general idea, such as lose weight. Instead be clear and make it precise, explicit! Instead of “read more”, you put “read one book in my industry a month,” beginning now. Instead of “learn to use video”, it could be something such as: “learn to shoot a 3 min. video and know how to upload it onto YouTube”. See the difference?

  • B. Measurable –

Figure out the amount of items and time. Measure progress according to the established criteria you determine in this step. Ask yourself:

i. How much? ii. How many? iii. How will I know when it is complete or accomplished?

  • C. Attainable –

Is it within my scope of skills, talent, knowledge, and financial ability. We’ve all had dreams. However, if you dream of being a famous musical performer but you’re tone deaf, that’s just not attainable. Ask yourself: Is this within my abilities and skill sets? Is it something I can really learn? Yes, stretch yourself, get out of your comfort zone, but not so far out it’s inconceivable and unattainable!

Read more

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!

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.

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.

Leadership for a Manager is all About Managing People Well!

Manage People Well and You’ll Succeed

Here’s where the rubber meets the road in successful businesses where people feel valued for their contributions! Managing people is all about developing other people to bring out their unique:

  • Talentsshowing the results

  • Gifting’s

  • Personality, Birth Order & Generational Bent

  • Knowledge, and Education

  • Skills Sets

to meet the needs of their position at work.  Great managers develop and release their employees by assisting them through training, coaching, directing, supporting, encouraging, and delegating.  Lee Iacocca managed to lift Chrysler Motors back from varying challenging issues including labor disputes and bankruptcy.  Through it all he managed to maintain his value of “succeeding at the people level”.  What this meant was that he insisted, and I quote:  “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words,


PEOPLE come first.”

If fact one of my very favorite quotes states that to be a superb leader, or manager:

“You need to develop the skill of:


Dr. John C. Maxwell

Handshake in front of business people

In fact,

“No man will make a great leader who wants to

do it ALL himself,

or to get the credit for doing it!”

Andrew Carnegie

Again, management isn’t about you.  It’s about what you can do with and through others to build and develop them, while simultaneously meeting the mission, vision, and strategic plan of the company.  J. Paul Getty, the wealthy oil mogul, when asked: ‘What was the most important quality of a successful executive?’ replied:

“It doesn’t make much difference how much other knowledge or experience an executive possesses.  If he is unable to achieve results through people, he is worthless as an executive.”   


Are you hearing a similar theme?  As a leader, it’s about extracting from your people, their very best on behalf of the company, in ways that honor, value, and build them. You truly have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else’s life.  Because of you they can gain a new skill, learn a new competency, or even be directed toward their dream position and ultimately live a fulfilling life.  You have the opportunity to be the difference in each and every employee who calls you their boss.  So, it’s important that you get the right perspective on your position, and learn what great leaders/managers say and do to create great employees.  A great leader says, as they work with their employees, “How can I make those around me more successful?”  In fact, one of the very best questions you can ask yourself, to evaluate why you are a leader, is to discern what your motive is in carrying the title leader/manager/supervisor while you support, coach, direct, and lead the people under you:

“Am I building people?

Or, am I building my dream

and using people to do it.”

Fred Smith of Federal Express


This question goes to the heart of why you are in this role, and what your true management motivation should be.  In fact, when you correctly understand what your “Job Description” is, you will begin to understand that everyone you work with is hungry.  Yes, that’s right, they’re hungry to be understood, to feel worthwhile, important, and ultimately in their own way, to be recognized as valuable . . . valuable to you and to the organization you both work for.  Now, if you still feel like you’re going to throw up when you reading a speech like this, and I understand, that was me not too many years ago, you’ve got a ways to go.  However, if this now resonates with you, motivating you to work toward finding out how you can genuinely meet the unspoken needs of those who are a part of your tribe, those who call you their boss, you are on your way to great leadership!  It all begins with the right attitude and perspective of things!

Be a Leader, by Understanding the Language of People – DISC!

business meeting - woman ceoYour Key to Success with People!

Understanding Behavioral Styles, DISC, gives you an edge to know what people want and need, the best environment most conducive for them, including how they’ll respond, and what they naturally avoid.  You’ll be clued in as to how to most effectively lead and manage, even how to market and sell to them.  You’ll know what their natural bent is, regarding the position that best fits them, so they don’t drive you and everyone else crazy being out of position!  Bottom line, know DISC, I mean really know it and you’ll have an immediate understanding of anyone’s strengths and weaknesses.  In fact, it’s so profound that it’s like a language, the language of people.  It’s as if you have a crystal ball guiding you as to how to best approach, respond, manage and well, work with just about anyone from your boss to a new employee.  You’ll be people SMART!  And that’s invaluable!


Leaders, Managers, and Owners Did You Know That 3/4ths of the Workforce Will be the Millennial Generation by 2025. Are you Ready?

Join the Conversion and Learn About This Amazing Generation!

Millennial GenerationThey can bang out a text message faster than thumbs are meant to move, are the multitask masters that keep more computer screens open on their desk, can following more trains of thought, all while you’re standing there trying to have a conversation with them.  They get more done in one day, than some of us hope to do in three, have a sense of social consciousness that puts most of us to shame, and are trying to live down the stereo types cast about them since they were still in diapers.  Who are they? They’re the next leaders of our country, the Millennials, also known as Generation Y.  (sign-up for the Teleseminar)They are the ones who are inheriting the mess of our fossil fuel crisis, disastrous environmental issues, declining value of the dollar, and poor management and leadership of our country.  These are the ones inheriting the debacled reign of the Baby Boomers.  They’ve been judged as, and rightly so 5 to 10 years ago, as being trophy children, wanting praise for just showing up for work, and being too dependent on their friends who they talk to three and four times a day, Mom and Dad.  These stereo types may have been true even just a few years ago, and some may still be maturing, but come on folks, let’s face it, they’re now hitting their 30’s and quite frankly, many of them are currently the same age that our founding fathers were when they formed our country and drafted the Declaration of Independence. 

                                            (sign-up for the Teleseminar)

Even they need to be given a chance and the benefit of the doubt that they can grow up, mature, and live down these once true statements.  Hey, it wasn’t that long ago we Baby Boomers were wearing halter tops, bell bottoms, tie died shirts with everyone’s hair being undistinguishably the same length, hanging out at Woodstock, engaged in all manner of rock and roll, and all it entailed?  And like all generations, not all participated.  Would we want othersw to continue describing us as if we were stuck in our 20’s when we were 30 something?  That said, we do have our challenges with this generation.  You see, by 2025 these Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, WILL BE 3/4ths OF OUR WORKFORCE!  Therefore, my question is, ARE WE READY?  DO WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO PREPARE your company, or culture to be ready for this insurgence of zeal, optimism, and techno savvy genius!  Are you onboarding them the best way for them to receive?  As leaders, managers, and executive coaches, it’s time to NOW! If you’re in Tucson, Az. You can join me next week, on Wed. March 5th at 3:00pm for a lively conversation about GETTING READY, BECAUSE THEY’RE ALREADY HERE!  Are you a Millennial?  Come set us straight, or give us your take on this situation. We’re all learning. Have some insights now, please share them below! And join us March 5th (sign-up for the Teleseminar)

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.

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Confessions of an Accidental Leader
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