You think there are natural born leaders? Think again

Anyone can learn to be a leader, and not only that, you can learn to be an extraordinary leader. All that’s required is genuine desire, persistence and a commitment to modeling the behaviors of the best examples out there.

That’s the thesis of a new book, Superbosses, by Sidney Finkelstein who says:

Superbosses Possess Skills that Most Bosses Don’t Even Think of Pursuing:

-Geniuses at helping other people accomplish more than they ever thought possible.
-Not “team-building” or “mentoring,” but something much deeper.
-They transform proteges from talented apprentices to stars and superstars in their own right.

The must-have’s for any effective leader of people, both in my own experience of good and bad leaders and in my combined readings of the experts on this topic, are:

  1. Be curious – having an open mind about yourself and others around you, and avoiding making judgements
  2. Be courageous – being willing to take risks and being unafraid
  3. Be a learner – believing there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback and learnings
  4. Be persistent – never giving up on your goals, and if your first strategy didn’t work, finding a new one
  5. Be a giver – when you say you’re going to do something, put your all into it, give it all that you’ve got

To learn more about how to develop extraordinary leader mindsets and behaviors, contact me at information@coachshannon.blog

Why you should “own it” vs. blame others

Have you ever felt ignored, blamed or stuck, or like you have little or no control over a situation? We all have, and some psychologists say that our thoughts are in those places (aka, “below the line”) up to 80 percent of the time.

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The key is to learn how to be aware of and accept the moments when you’re feeling below the line. Ask yourself, “How did I get here? What has been going on in my life?” And, when you’re ready to move forward, ask yourself, “What can I do to take responsibility for how I feel? What do I want to believe instead.” When you answer the latter, you regain control of your interpretation of the event, which means you regain control of your circumstances.

Yes, mastering your thoughts means mastering your results. Have you heard of the law of attraction? The point is that our thoughts are more powerful than we think they are, and we attract the things into our lives that we focus on. So when we always see the problems, we stay in the problems. When we are waiting for others to do something, we hold ourselves back from moving forward. When we refuse to see our role or our choices in creating the situation we are in, we cannot get ourselves out of it.

Your personal power lies in noticing that there’s a choice in how you interpret the world around you. You have the control, if you’ll just decide to take it. Once you open your curiosity by deciding to learn from criticism or difficulties, and get courageous by seeing effort as a path to success and persisting in spite of setbacks, you are developing a growth mindset, as written about by Dr. Carol Dweck and illustrated below.

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Her research has shown that those with a growth mindset reach higher levels of achievement and fulfillment. You’ve heard the phrase, you are what you eat. You are what you think too.

So you need a coach! Here’s how to get started

Coaching is one of the top tools workplaces are leveraging to build high performing organizations, collaborative teams and successful leaders. Coaches can also be critical to the success of any change effort.

Key benefits of bringing coaching into your workplace:

  • Every organization’s success depends on the performance of its people. There is no substitute for human performance.
  • Coaching brings the best out of people by sharpening their acquired skills as individuals and enhancing collaboration in teams.
  • Coaching assists in the growth and development of leaders and the leaders of tomorrow and enhances productivity, improves job satisfaction and job longevity.
  • Coaching that focuses on the whole person, including focusing their attention, clearing up limitations and improving communications skills, can make the difference between project stagnation or success.
  • Coaching empowers the individual to decide on the best approach to solve their problems and how to effectively interact with their colleagues and business partners.

Fastest-to-results coaching techniques:

Coaching based on the study of neurolinguistics encompasses the most advanced techniques in the human transformation movement.

NLPgraphicThe guidance and tools focus on empowering people by helping them set achievable outcomes, master communications and behavioral flexibility, and plan for the future. For leadership development, the coaching is geared at modeling excellence. Leaders learn to model the behaviors that have brought success to others so that they, too, achieve their goals and improve their results. Read on to learn about specific outcomes of 1:1 coaching and group coaching.

Continue reading “So you need a coach! Here’s how to get started”

Focus on what you want

Focusing on what you want and interpreting the events around you in the most empowering manner are the first steps to mastering the world and circumstances around you. It’s the first step toward achieving what you want.

It’s also an important part of relating with others. We don’t wear buttons that others can push. Our buttons exist only in our minds, and we are the sole operator. Do you want others to control your confidence level, your mood and your results, or would you rather be in charge? It starts with having an “in charge” vs. victim mindset.

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Ask these questions whenever you feel yourself getting worked up by a situation or a person:

  1. What do I want to focus on? (make it something that you want vs. what you don’t want)
  2. What does it mean? (make it the most positive possible interpretation and don’t try to mind read others)
  3. Now, what do I want to do about it? (make your action step decision a thoughtful process so that you don’t react, you respond)

People management is out, people development is in

Anyone can be a manager. To get a job as one, you don’t have to have a degree or experience in management and you don’t even have to have a particular interest in developing people. That’s why there are so many managers out there struggling, and so many people above and below them who are frustrated.

When I coach managers into developing as true people leaders, it is tied to this wise perspective:

“All (of us) are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.”    – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Two years ago, I was a member of the executive team of a global nonprofit’s marketing division. As part of my professional development for the year, I sought certification as an executive coach in neurolinguistics. I believed it would help me guide my 15-person team during a time when demands from our growing global programs were dramatically increasing, and many team members were brand new to the organization. I was spending about 40% of my time at work on advising or “people managing” team members. Since HR resources are often stretched thin inside workplaces, I believed that I, as a manager, was in the best position to mentor my team members to career growth.

After completing the first level of the coaching certification, I realized that what team members needed was not my advice, but to each be empowered on their own to problem solve, set achievable outcomes, communicate with clarity, and to model other’s examples of excellence to speed up their own results. I now see that people already have what they need to achieve their goals; some just need a guide to help them learn what’s holding them back and encourage them to be persistent through the process of change.

Through the coaching training, I also gained skills that have moved me forward as an effective communicator faster than 10 years of experience ever could.  I’m now teaching that to others whether it’s how to have rapport with anyone, facilitate productive dialogues, give feedback in a way that motivates others, get rid of limiting beliefs that slow people down, or how to set goals that they’re guaranteed to achieve (with commitment and a confident mindset, of course!). All of these skills help people develop their own leadership, and most importantly, to be a model for the future leaders who surround them.

Every workplaces’ success depends on the performance of its people. There’s no substitute for human performance, so the key is to figure out what more should we be doing to change our focus from one of people management to people development. Everyone, and the organization, wins when we do that.

How to create your big “ah ha” moment

Here’s where my recent journey of self development started a few years ago. I filled out a “wheel of life” similar to this one, and whoa, it was a super-lopsided wheel!

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I was pretty satisfied in a few areas on my life, but I scored myself low on personal growth, career dreams, contribution (my positive impact on the world) and physical environment. If I’d tried to drive a car with off-balance wheels like that, I’d definitely run off the road!

That was an ah-ha moment. I finally knew what I needed to focus on! It’s the stuff we repress or blow off as unimportant (when it is important) that eventually catches up with us and makes us unhealthy in mind, spirit and body and unsuccessful in our attempts to improve our lives.

Within a few months of knowing what I needed to focus on my daughters and I were living in a better home that fit their growth and my needs for space. Next, I started studying again for the first time in 20 years and within a year I completed my first four coaching certifications. A year after that I was a Master Coach and in a new job where I feel like I’m having a greater long term contribution on people and our planet.

I’m still surprised at how fast positive changes happened in my and my family’s lives especially after not even knowing how stuck I’d been for so long. It started with simple clarity found in minutes with a tool like this and then a simple first action step.

Fill out a wheel of life for yourself, and something will pop up for you too! Ask me questions and comment to let me know how it goes.

Here’s to turning things around, starting with you!

If you’re a mom or mom at heart and want free coaching tips for yourself and your family, join my Facebook community @UTurnForMoms

If you’re looking to connect with other people on the learning journey, message me at information@coachshannon.blog for an invite to our private group on Facebook.