Thursday, December 23, 2010

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: You Can Do It! (click) Affirmation by Louise Hay from her 2010 calendar:

  • “I am very good at giving encouragement and compliments to others.” I thought this was appropriate for the holidays. If you haven’t already, remind yourself of all the people, places and things you are grateful for.

  • Now, throughout the holidays, make it a point to offer validation to all those people you are grateful for. These relationships are the foundation of your happiness. Here are a couple of options for you:
    1. Take 3.5 minutes to watch Marshall Goldsmith’s You Tube video: "Failing to Express Gratitude" click.
    2. Take 16 minutes to watch a short film: "Validation" click from one of my favorite monthly subscriptions: “The Spiritual Cinema Circle” (“your choice of feel-good entertainment that inspires compassion, conversation and change”).

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

Along those lines, we are grateful for our relationship with all of you. We would love to continue to be part of your lifetime journey of happiness. In that spirit, below are a couple of great gifts you can buy yourself and share with those you love to make 2011 the best year ever:

  1. The Power of Intention - Gift Edition - "Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way” (Click)

    1. Watch his YouTube video - Watch his YouTube video (click)

  1. Happy the Movie, The Movement (click) HAPPY is a feature documentary that takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research and real life stories of ordinary and extraordinary people around the world, HAPPY uncovers the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Elaine and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! See you in 2011.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: You Can Do It! (click) Affirmation by Louise Hay from her 2010 calendar:

  • “When I wake up in the morning I plan for a good day. My anticipation attracts good experiences to me.” Last night, Elaine, Andrew and I were playing cards. As we were jibber-jabbering, someone said something that made us all belly laugh. Over the course of the evening, we laughed like this several times . . . you know the kind . . . laughing so hard your belly shakes and tears come to your eyes. I thought to myself: “Wow, I could sure use more of that every day”!

  • So this morning, right on queue, I get this e-mail from Simple Truths with the subject line: “A movie to brighten your day . . .”. Did you know that laughter is one of the simple joys in life; and recent studies say we need 12 laughs a day just to stay healthy. Well, this little three-minute movie is our contribution to your good health. Just sit back, turn up your speakers and take a little vacation . . . on us! Just “click here” to watch. Wake up every day with the intention to laugh at least 12 times! I know I have a ways to go.

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

WHAT ARE YOU DREAMING?!!! More importantly, are you on a path to realize those dreams? Watch this one-minute video click here by Marcia Wieder; “America’s Dream Coach.”

I ask you this now because I want our 2011 to be the best year ever. I say “our” because we will be able to accomplish this best by doing it together. Starting in 2011, I will be offering a refresher on the XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence process that emphasizes your authenticity. I believe the clarity and focus of your authentic self is fundamental to personal and professional leadership success.

Most of you who have worked with Elaine and me over the last 10 years, came away with a heighted sense of your authentic self following your week-long leadership experience. Remember our measurement system that consists of:

What do you really, really, really, really want? . . .


Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream;

merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream!

My guess is that most of us have not kept up with a periodic review of these measures. Indeed, I have stated to our recent “graduates” that if we leave you with anything from our coaching, it is the desire and habit to keep updating and revising these measures over time.

This statement has inspired me to offer you a forum to revisit this work and keep moving in a positive direction to living a life of your dreams. Since we are continuously improving the process, most of you have not been a part of our latest thinking and techniques that will deepen your own work and hopefully make it easier for you to assist others. For those of you who have not worked with us, then we would be honored to get you started.

Between now and the New Year, I will be providing you with some additional background as to why this is important that inspires you to participate. Reading this blog is indeed the first step. Thank you for that.

Let me leave you with Napoleon Hill’s quotation which is the heading on our Passion Cards – “Cherish your visions and dreams, as they are the children of your soul, and the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” As Marcia stated in her video, the world needs our dreams!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: You Can Do It! (click) Affirmation by Louise Hay from her 2010 calendar:

  • “When it is time for a new job, the opportunity presents itself.” One of my clients has an interesting story that is still unfolding which relates directly to this quote. He separated from his last job at the end of 2009. While he hadn’t been happy there for a while, it still came as a shock. I was lucky enough to start working with him based on the recommendation of his next-door neighbor. Actually, his neighbor recommended me several months before. So how was this unemployment and forced life transition a gift?
  • For me, it has been the joy of being of service to him and helping him become clear and focused on what is most important to him. For him, it was the opportunity be fully engaged during his parents’ passing since they lived six hours away. His Mom’s death was expected and occurred a little before the Leadership Week he attended in the Spring, while his Dad’s was unexpected a few days ago. That’s where he was called to serve and he is grateful for that gift of time, even though it was very difficult.
  • I had coffee with him this week and while he was making the final arrangements for his Dad, a very promising job possibility materialized. He had a great phone interview with the President of the company and looks forward to the follow-up visit to the company. It will make a great story if this is the job that he has been waiting for particularly given the timing. Wish him food fortune, along with us!

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

I received a new Audio-Tech Business Book summary of a book I read just when it hit the New York Times Bestselling list in early 2010. The book is Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us - click by Daniel Pink. (If you would like the PDF file of the book summary, e-mail me.) It is a must read for anyone aspiring to be a better leader. Not because we need to “motivate” people, but rather we need to create a culture that allows people to realize their intrinsic motivations.

In order to better understand “Motivation 3.0” as Daniel calls it, take 10 minutes to watch this RSAnimate of YouTube-Drive - click. He talks about Type X and Type 1 behaviors. “Motivation 2.0” depends on Type X behavior, which is fueled by extrinsic desires - meaning the external rewards to which that activity leads. Quite frankly, it is what many still think is leadership’s job - to motivate using the carrot and stick approach.

”Motivation 3.0” is fueled more by intrinsic desires or Type 1 behaviors - meaning the emphasis is less with the external rewards and more with the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself. If leadership wants to strengthen their organizations, they need to move from Type X to Type 1. Ultimately, Type 1 behavior depends on the following three elements:

  1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives and work.

  1. Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something that matters.

  1. Purpose – the yearning to do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves.

After a thorough explanation of the above, Pink spends the last third of the book on the strategies that individuals and then organizations can do to put them into action. This alone is worth the read since he makes a convincing case that organizations ignore intrinsic motivation at their peril.

Those who have read Alfie Kohn’s book: Punished by Rewards (referenced in my 6/13 – 6/20, 2010 blog) or Brady Wilson’s, Love at Work, know this isn’t new information. It hasn’t gained wide acceptance and must be repeated often because the current generation of senior leadership, by and large, have been brought up by “Motivation 2.0”. While we will understand the merits of “motivation 3.0” and will hopefully encourage our successors to adopt it, most of us will have a hard time changing our old habits.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

XLR8 The Passionate Leader (G + L + F = JOY!!!)

Weekly Inspiration: You Can Do It! (click) Affirmation by Louise Hay from her 2010 calendar:

  • “I am dancing with joy. My life is so good.” I picked this one because I’ve had a series of physical challenges lately that literally makes it difficult to dance (nothing serious - just “old jock” stuff). I like the title because it starts with the word “learning”. We don’t feel like dancing with joy every day. How do we learn to live in gratitude for all the reasons to dance? One way is getting in the habit of watching the Simple Truths video - Learning to Dance in the Rain – The Power of Gratitude
  • Last week, we passed the one-year-to-go anniversary to my daughter Molly’s wedding – 09-10-11. They haven’t picked the song for their first dance as a husband and wife. I’ve sent them a couple of suggestions just for the fun of it. I just put my favorite on my desktop - Colour My World, by Chicago, to remind me how to feel love around me every day. Enjoy!

XLR8 YOU!!! – An invitation to our vision:

For all of us to awaken to the magnificence of our limitless possibilities.

I was planning on moving on to The Passion Test as the next important step in providing clarity and focus in your life and leadership, however, something very interesting happened with one of our clients following her second 3600 assessment that I’d like to address.

We All Need Loving Critics

When Kouzes & Posner came out with A Leader’s Legacy in 2006, it immediately became the book we gave to all our “graduates” of the “XLR8 YOU!!! Leadership Excellence” process. One chapter that had an immediate impact on our coaching was Chapter 3: We All Need Loving Critics.

We use The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), their 30-question behavioral assessment, as one of two 3600 assessments. Their most recent analysis of data from more than seventy thousand individuals found that the statement that ranks lowest from the observers perspective is question # 16: “He (or she) asks for feedback on how his/her actions affects the other person’s performance.”

We found the same true was true from our experience with our coaching clients. We asked ourselves how we could help our clients ask “How am I doing?” more. Going forward we tried to emphasize the following:

  1. Getting back to their raters: While fundamental to initiate change, many find this very difficult.

  1. Creating an XLR8Forward inquiry on the leadership behavior they want to demonstrate more and handing it out at the feedback session and then again several months down the road.

  1. Read Marshall Goldsmith’s audio-tech summary: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (e-mail me if you would like a copy) and utilize Feedforward for quick ways of asking “How can I do better?”.

We are currently participating in a study of these changes with a PhD student in St. John Fisher’s Executive Leadership program. We chose to look at this because of one of our client’s remarkable second 3600 results.

Her second LPI showed the largest gains of just about anyone we have worked with. When we looked at question #16 (hers was also last at #30) in her first 3600, however, it was #19 (the highest we have ever seen) in her second 3600. She did an excellent job with all of the above suggestions, as well as acting on the ideas she felt would help the most.

We’ll let you know what we find in the research study. In the meantime, just ask the question: “How can I do better?”.