Thursday, April 30, 2009

Playing for Change: Stand by Me

Got five minutes and twenty-seven seconds? Enjoy these musicians from across the globe doing their collective thing, virtually!

Playing For Change Song Around The World "Stand By Me"
from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Thanks, Andy!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Expert In" AND a "Student Of"

Just read a very interesting post by Andrew Bryant in which he talks about the importance of Intentional Practice:

"Intentional Practice is perfect practice and perfect practice makes perfect. Intentional practice requires knowing “Why” you are doing what you are doing and complete “Attention” to the task."
It reminded me of the value of striving to be BOTH, "expert in" and a "student of".

Perhaps some examples would help:
  • An Attorney can be both expert in intellectual property law and a student of litigation.
  • An Architect can be both expert in residential housing and a student of eco-responsible design.
  • A Musician can be both expert in music theory and a student of creative expressionism.
  • An Executive can be both expert in getting things done and a student of leadership.
  • A Life Coach can be both expert in asking the right questions and a student of the human condition.

Indeed, embracing the "mind of a student" often helps the Expert get past the ego-imposed limitations of not wanting to look foolish from, or be embarrassed by, not already know everything there is to know about their particular area of expertise.

Students continue to learn and grow as a matter of course. Experts, similarly, continue know and do with incredible skill.

Striving to be BOTH "expert in" AND a "student of" may take a fair amount of Intentional Practice, but it's most definitely a worthy goal.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Collaboration? Why Bother?!

“Collaboration? Why bother?! It only slows things down.”

So who hasn't said that to themselves – or aloud? Taking the time to properly ‘socialize’ an issue, to get input from key (and not-so key) players, to spend yet another round of meetings seemingly obfuscating the obvious, can feel like an incredible waste of time, effort, and resources, can’t it?

So why collaborate? What IS the upside that makes so many companies think that collaboration is the Holy Grail of effective decision-making?!

Building a Better House through Collaboration

Let’s say an architect is designing a house and specifies doubling the amount of insulation for the house. While that will increase the cost of the build, it makes sense because it will also decrease heating and cooling costs on an ongoing basis. No collaboration, per se, but not a bad plan, either.

Now consider what could happen should the architect reach out and collaborate with the HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) guy.

Knowing that the walls will be better insulated (and will have fewer leaks), the HVAC supplier knows he can install a smaller (read: less expensive) system than he might otherwise. So not only will the ongoing heating and cooling costs be less, but the cost to build the house will be less, too!

Building Better Relationships though Collaboration

Let’s say you’re working on a project and pretty much have everything figured out. So you go ahead and begin implementation. No collaboration, per se, but not a bad plan, either.

Now consider what could happen should you reach out and collaborate with some of your peers on the project.

While, yes, it may slow things down at first, the rapport and willingness to collaborate you’re showing today, will likely pay dividends in the future on projects where you really do need others’ help.

What examples can YOU share about how collaborating helped you learn something you didn't already know or resulted in saving you, your company, or your customers, time, effort, and/or money?

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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Art of Leadership

Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."

Runner courtesy of:

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Friday, April 17, 2009

"Leadership Moves" Email Learning Series

If you subscribe to the GGCI Mailing List you might have seen in the March 2009 blog digest that I'm putting the final touches on a 32-part email-based learning series called:

Leadership Moves ...
Superbly Motivating Direct Reports, Every Day, Every Way

The idea behind the program is this:

In order to become truly effective, leaders must be able to interact with staff -- that is, to "move" -- flexibly and consistently, responsively and proactively, powerfully and respectfully.

If you can't do that, you can never become a (capital L) Leader. Period.
End of story.

But, because aspiring (capital L) Leaders are typically so busy, they rarely make the time to actually think through how to actually become a better leader. They just "go from their gut", "wing it", "shoot from the hip". No real plan. No real learning.

No real progress.

That's why Leadership Moves was designed the way that it was -- as an email-based learning series. Here's the logic:

  • Since the more you think about how to be more effective as a leader, the more likely it is that you will actually become a more effective leader, Leadership Moves automatically sends you a new and different email lesson every 2-3 days SO THAT you CAN think about how to be more effective as a leader more consistently.

  • Since there really ARE a lot of subtleties in (capital L) Leadership, Leadership Moves is a compilation of 32 different leadership "moves" SO THAT you can develop a full picture of the real breadth and depth of (capital L) Leadership effectiveness.

  • Since aspiring (capital L) Leaders really ARE busy people, Leadership Moves is delivered to your email inbox in small, digestible pieces, each one taking only a few minutes to read SO THAT you actually CAN, and more importantly, actually WILL read them, and learn from them.

Consider the Leadership Moves program as your very own "virtual mentor," sharing with you what works, what doesn't, why it's essential for (capital L) Leaders to keep certain things top-of-mind. and providing you wherewithal to do just that.

If this sounds like something that would be of use to you, you can learn more, or subscribe, at: And, if you're one of the first 50 to order your subscription -- and use coupon code 3019Z --you'll receive a 20% discount on your purchase.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New URL for GottaGettaBLOG!

The URL for GottaGettaBLOG!, the official blog of GottaGettaCoach!, Inc., has changed.

It's now located, here, at

It's Atom and RSS feeds have similarly changed, as well:

Kindly update your bookmarks and aggregators accordingly.

Friday, April 3, 2009

If I was Lou Piniella's Executive Coach

I’m a business/personal life coach. I do executive coaching, leadership consulting, life coaching. I don’t work in baseball, or with baseball players.

But I AM a big Cubs fan, so, in honor of Opening Day, I’ve been thinking about what I’d talk with Lou Piniella about, as his executive coach …

C, as in, “Circle the Wagons” – If ever there was an “Us Against Them” season, this is that. So, Lou, the sooner you can get your team to realize that this season – Year 101 – is not so much about winning it all, as it is about PROVING you guys can win it all, the better. And we’re not just talking about doing it during the regular season, either, are we, Lou? We’re talking regular season AND post-season … BOTH.

So, Lou, what, specifically, do your players need from you so that the proverbial “chip” stays firmly planted on their individual, and collective, shoulders?
U, as in, “Use Everyone” – You already know this: What wins regular season ballgames is the exemplary play of a team’s stars, but what wins playoff and World Series games is the exemplary play of a team’s stars AND some surprise performances by some of the team’s other players, too. So it’s up to YOU to make sure that no one is too tired, or banged-up – or rusty – come September, October … and November, Lou. That’s YOUR job. And only YOU can do it, Lou. You know you need to rest your players BEFORE they get tired, so that they DON’T get tired. And you know players hate that whole idea because, to them, “resting = weakness.”
So, Lou, what are YOU gonna say when your players push back about being rested?
B, as in, “Brand the winning strategy” – Again, it’s not just about the Cubbies winning; it’s about HOW the Cubbies win. In other words, what’s their style, or reputation, going to be in 2009? Is it getting an early lead and keeping it? Winning the close ones? Coming from behind? Scoring in multiple innings? The BIG inning? Lights-out pitching? Whatever it is, Lou, you’ve gotta recognize it, and talk about it … early and often … so that your team can start owning it as their own … as the inevitable.
So, Lou, what *brand* of baseball will you be making sure that the Cubs are playing this year?
S, as in “Sound off” – I love the whole Sweet Lou thing, but what makes the nickname work is that it’s seeded in an unpredictability, a danger, and maybe even the promise, that *Mount St. Lou* is a-gonna blow! I think this is one of the Cubs’ secret weapon’s … Sweet Lou going Ka-BOOM! Especially when talking with the media. It may seem counter-intuitive, Lou, but making a bigger noise off the field, will make it easier for your guys to make a bigger noise ON the field … where it counts.
So, Lou, what distractions do you know you need to create the passion, intensity, and gitty-up ease in each and every one of your players on through November?!
So Cubs fans, whadeya think? Say, Skipper, how'd I do?!

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