Monday, July 31, 2006

Speaking the Truth: a Leadership Secret

"The secret that most people seem to forget to their downfall, is the power of unvarnished truth. Learning how to speak the truth, directly and respectfully, is the most effective communication technique known to humankind.

"Yet, too often in our modern world, it is a technique of last resort. Only when we are forced up against the wall with evidence that is undeniable, do we, often embarrassingly, admit to the truth."

- Dan Strutzel


Friday, July 28, 2006

Keyword: Vibrancy

Vibrancy affects how well we do and how positively we are perceived. Compare and contrast:

  • How vibrant are you typically?
  • How vibrant is the work you do?
  • How vibrant is your attitude towards others?
  • How vibrant is your willingness to accept new and varied challenges?
  • How vibrant are you when someone asks you for help?
  • How vibrant are you in unfamiliar circumstances?
  • How vibrant are you when being given 'constructive' criticism?
  • How vibrant are you when you're having the time of your life?
  • How vibrant are you after a major success?
  • How vibrant are you when you're consistently at the top of your game?
Asks the Coach: What's one thing you can easily do in the next 10 minutes to increase your vibrancy? What are three additional things to keep in mind, should you ever need a quick vibrancy acceleration?

Ready - set - go.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Elevator Conversations

It's happened before; it will happen again.

You're running late but you are able to step into the elevator just before the doors begin to shut - excellent! You take a deep breath to relax a bit and, as you do, you notice that you're not alone. Standing right beside you is a key company executive ... Looking right back at you.

OMG, what should I say? I can't just ignore him. I've got to say something. But what?! Can't this elevator go any faster? Why can't this elevator go any faster?
Classic good news/bad news situation, this is. You've suddenly got some incredible face time in front of an exec, but you're not ready to do anything meaningful with it.
If only I knew this was coming. If only I had been more prepared.
You try smiling and hope to leave it at that. But it doesn't' work - the elevator's going too slow. You know you have to try and say something. So you do. But it comes out sounding really lame. You feel your embarrassment growing further.

Why is this happening to me? Why is this happening to me ... Again?

Oh, it never has happened to you, you say? Right. If it wasn't in an elevator, it's likely to have been in a conference room, or hallway, or parking lot, or on a phone call, in the bathroom, or at the train station, etc. because it happens all the time.

Want the antidote? It's called getting ready. Here's what you do:
  1. Take out a clean sheet of paper and write down the names of all the people who'd likely make you tongue-tied if they appeared in this elevator scenario.
  2. Figure out - as in, ahead of time; as in, for the next time - what you want to say to/ask of each of them in the event that they do show up right next to you.
  3. Review and update your list regularly.
Good. Now take another deep breath. And get back on that elevator! You're ready.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Close Call Leadership

A United passenger jet came within 300 feet of a colliding with a cargo plane on Sunday in Chicago, prompting yet another O'Hare airport investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). It's the fifth such near-miss at O'Hare in 2006.

Now one close call - let alone a full handful of them - is too many, but I have to say that I'm really impressed that the NTSB is investigating even though no one was actually hurt by the mishap.

In business, near-misses are often seen as irrelevant. No harm, no foul, you might say. It's a pretty strong Leadership Move, though, to take a closer look at what went wrong ... even if nothing untoward happened as a result of the wrongness.

In leadership, the ends do not always justify the means; sometimes the getting somewhere is more important than the destination.

Take a look around your workplace. What close calls might deserve a second look-see? Not overlooking them might help you prevent a deadly crisis.

The NTSB knows that to be true ... literally true.


Monday, July 24, 2006


Hi All ~ D'ja miss me?!

I just got back from two-plus weeks of vacation! Ahhhh!

Yet as eager as I am to get back to work, getting back to work isn't always an easy task. Just like with the space shuttle, if you don't come back just right, you run the risk of skipping off the earth's atmosphere back into outer space, or worse yet, burning up on re-entry. Neither way is good.

So that's why I'm taking today kind of slow - Easing back in, if you will.

I'll have something more substantive for you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

GottaGettaCoach! Celebrates 6-year Anniversary

Thanks, everyone, for your continued support! - bz (7/4/2006)