Blog Archives

Tools for developing personal skills, as well as growing one’s mental powers and strengthening your ‘inner game’

Just Listen Again – an interview with Dr. Mark Goulston

Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 30:09 — 6.9MB) To be a better leader — more able to mobilize others — you must get through to them. The best way to get through to someone is to truly

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Selling Pot in Washington State, and How to Predict the Future by Journaling

Experience is mandatory. Learning is optional. Today’s headlines include the news that Washington State is legalizing the recreational sale of marijuana. How should a leader — or aspiring leader — handle such a potentially disruptive event? By learning from it.

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How to Ask your Efficient Friend for Help

My client Mick has a friend he admires — Jo. They’re both solo professionals, both lawyers, with adjacent specialties. They refer work to each other and don’t compete directly. Jo is a monster of efficiency. When they compare results, Jo

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Not Knowing Communication Styles can Sabotage your Work

Jim walked out of a recent meeting with his promising, smart new teammate, Jill, seething with frustration. “I can’t tell which Jill will show up — Jeckyll or Hyde,” he spluttered to his coach. Jim’s gestures were sharp, fast slashes at

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State of Your Personal Union

This year’s State of the Union address holds many lessons for all leaders.  Here are three, and the actions I suggest for you. Know your Strengths and Weaknesses Know your Strategy Negotiate Dispassionately Know your Strengths and Weaknesses Peter Drucker

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How to Simplify Your Life

January needn’t be a time to make well intentioned promises to yourself that you soon break. (And most do get broken. According to a University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1/4 of resolutions only last a

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Three Ways to be Nicer to your Future Self

Have you noticed how different your future self is, from yourself today? My future self, apparently, has lots of free time.  He has money. He’s very decisive. He goes to the gym with the regularity of a metronome. His self-control

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More on Acing your Personal Improvement Plan

Dear Matt – Thanks for writing and asking for help with succeeding in your Personal Improvement Plan (PIP), also called a Personal Development Plan or a Performance Improvement Plan.  You’ve already read the Basic Guidance.  Here are some advanced tips. Clarify

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How to Use your New Virtual Assistant

CEO Kathy had just decided to hire a virtual assistant, Sissy.  (I’m coaching Kathy.) “I’m trying to get ready for my first meeting with her, and I’ve got so much she could help me with,” Kathy said. “What does ‘so

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How to Ace your Personal Improvement Plan

Uh oh. You just got put on probation at work — your boss and HR gave you a “Performance Improvement Plan” or “Personal Development Plan”. The bad news is, you’re now half-way to being fired. The good news is, you

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Executive Jump-Start

Dear CEO: Thanks for enrolling in executive coaching. This will jump-start you to a higher level of effectiveness.  Here’s what we’ll be working on in the next four weeks. First, you have to know and control your time. Your assignment

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Why the Boss is Always Wrong

“Are you ready to be a transference object?” Fred hesitated.  The coffee shop seemed to become dead silent. One week earlier, Fred had been offered a dream job, as part time CEO of a startup, working for a proven star

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Keep a Thin Skin

Leaders shouldn’t be “thick skinned” — not if that means shrugging off negative feedback that might actually be correct. Leaders need to be emotionally resilient, unattached to outcomes, and assume positive intent. Our tool here is “The Ladder of Inference.”

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Creating a CEO Calendar

Create and measure success, month by month, with a CEO (or Executive) Calendar. Being a CEO (or manager or front line worker) typically means having more things to handle than you can actually pay attention to.  Most humans can track

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How and Why to Benchmark

Part of your end-of-year routine should be to take stock. What did you learn in 2012? How will you make 2013 better? This is a form of benchmarking. Comparing yourself to yourself, and to others, and looking for ways to

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