Articles in Category: Blog

Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

Posted in Blog

Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.

There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.

Read the article in it's entirety here: http://www.trainingindustry.com/blog/blog-entries/add-coaching-to-the-leadership-toolbelt.aspx

Get to Know Your Coach: Tony Marbury

Posted in Blog

Get to Know Your Coach: Tony Marbury
What is a recent challenge you’ve overcome in your professional life? What resources did you use to help you through this?

 
The company I had been working for in an executive leadership role relocated to another city. My family and I decided that we would not move.  I took a position with a company as a junior manager in a very unhealthy environment.  Every level above me had very little experience and no leadership/management training. Trying to use my experience, coaching and training was not being accepted.  Coaching up one level is not always an easy task, but coaching up two or three levels seems like an impossible feat. I used my life-long team building skills to keep my team and those around me as healthy as possible.  This was very successful but did very little to give me the support I needed to deal with senior management.  My wife, who is a very effective manager and leadership coach helped me focus on the big picture and cope with the day-to-day while other fellow MSB colleagues coached me to draw from all the qualities that make me an effective leader, coach, and person.  My wife and I were reminiscing not too long ago and came to a realization that all that we experienced leading into and during these events were preparation for the position that I hold today.

 

Is there a book that you’ve been recently reading? What book is on your bedside table or in your briefcase? 

I am a very active person, up early to exercise, and in the evening if I sit, I’m out like a light.  So, I don’t get a chance to read many books.  The books that I have read in the last year or two are:

  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr
  • ITIL Foundation Study Guide
  • ADKAR: How to Implement Successful Change in our Personal Lives and Professional Careers (in preparation for major implementation)
 
I have recently started listening to audible books from my favorite author Anne Rice.

 
Any new apps or websites that you go to?

My daughters recently turned me on to Snapchat, which is proving to be an incredible resource to keeping in touch with them while they are away at college.

 
How do you get ready for a meeting? 

 
I am an avid Lencioni follower, and one of my favorite books that I have read at least five times is Death by Meeting.  I would like to say that I approach every meeting with structure, but the truth is I only interject when the meetings are unhealthy or when my help is solicited.  The one thing I try to do most of the time is to arrive early and prepare myself for the meeting.  Usually, I am no different than anyone else running down the hall to the meeting room while talking on the phone dealing with an issue.

 

Please express an opinion or thoughts on technology in the workplace. 

I have been in the technology field for more than 25 years in many different specialized areas.  For the sake of brevity, I feel for any company to be able to grow and thrive for the employees, shareholders, customers and the world, technology has to become a part of the core fabric of the workplace.  It remains a division along with all the others and this has to change.  Let me explain…you need technology for successful financial practices.  You need technology for successful marketing practices, for successful HR practices, research and development, etc., etc.  Technology is the tool that enables us to be experts and really great at anything we do.

Sustainable Change for 2017.. and Beyond

Written by Michelle Braden, CEO Posted in Blog

Sustainable Change for 2017.. and Beyond
Time and again, as the years fly by, we find ourselves seeking to improve either our skills or our habits so that we might increase our chances of professional success. We buy new books, we attend shiny seminars; our hunger for success drives us to such extremes that we go through the same motions every year. It is because of this intense frenzy to improve that we forget the most essential fact in this whole scenario: with just a tiny bit of guidance, the ability to improve and succeed lies within our own control.

 

With this new year upon us, and working with the same drive and enthusiasm that we use every day to elevate your career, let’s look at the factors that will ensure positive, and sustainable, change for 2017.

 

Discover Yourself

It all starts with self awareness. Taking an assessment like Strengthfinders or Emergenetics will help you identify the types of activities that either give you energy or drain your energy . The insight you gain with this information will be crucial in understanding where your strengths lie so that you can capitalize on them and shine. Sure, you may be able to do any given job. Who knows, you might even be able to master it. However, the real payoff comes when you discover your underlying strengths (ones that you might not even know existed) and pursue them with the same amount of gusto that you otherwise might have wasted on a job that is draining the life out of you.

 

Gather Feedback

What have people said to you about your work or your habits? What have you heard them say that you are good at? Better yet, what have you hear them say that you are not good at? The more honest the feedback, the better. Because we are not the best at analyzing ourselves in these types of circumstances, gathering this type of information will be a tremendous help. Make sure to nurture a thick skin though, because believe it or not, none of us are good at everything. In American culture, we have heard time and again that we can do anything. Well no, sorry to say, the truth is that you cannot do anything. Just recognizing that can be liberating and empowering.

 

Question Yourself

With your personal values clear in your mind, ask the types of questions that will help you understand what is genuinely at your core and what it is that you truly seek. Do you want to be in a small organization or a  large organization? Do you want to be in a private, public, or non-profit setting? Does the purpose of the organization align with your purpose? What kind of people and team do you want to work with? Think about what it is that you are really looking for. For example, if you want a job with adventure and you get a job requiring you to be behind a desk all day, it  can be extremely unfulfilling. Of course, you can seek adventure in other parts of your life, but think about it: a day job is 10 hours a day. If you can find something that gives you energy, rather than drains it, that is the perfect start for positive and sustainable change.

 

Prepare for Challenges

If you are not careful, your career controls you. If you get on a path where you are getting promotions but being moved around and getting positioned where you are losing control of the important things around you, you are now wearing the golden handcuffs. You have a great job, a title and money, but you feel miserable. You’ve let your career control you instead of you controlling your career. If you are going to make a career change, this is your opportunity to slow down, answer these questions and figure out what you really want.

 

Sustainable change is difficult, there’s no question. We all face daily battles that seem to put us back five steps after we’ve fought tooth and nail for the last four . It is for this very reason that, before we set out into the unknown, we need to first do our homework and figure out what really makes us tick. Go take that assessment, talk to that trusted friend, ask yourself those important questions and, most importantly, prepare for what might set you back. With each step you take and question you ask, you are gathering the building blocks for a solid foundation for change. Finally, be confident that you will ultimately make the right decisions that will keep paying you back day after day. You owe it to yourself.


The Intangible ROI of Community Involvement

Written by Adrian Felts Posted in Blog

The Intangible ROI of Community Involvement

We are excited to have a new blog contributor on our team, Adrian Felts!  To learn more about Adrian, click here!  Adrian's insights on the ROI of giving back to our community is an imporant way to develop that imporat leadership competency in your organization and for yourself.  So without further ado... enjoy!

 


When is the last time you were able tell senior management in your organization the expected financial return on investment (ROI, because there's always an acronym) for time spent volunteering?  For workers who find personal value in giving back, this can be very frustrating.  For managers who have financial targets to hit, this too is frustrating. You want your employees to give back because you understand the value is creates for them in their lives and careers, and doggonit, it's good for the community!  But ultimately, time not spent on billable projects is revenue lost, regardless of whether it's volunteer time or time paid for by the company.  So, I have a few thoughts on how to go about doing this so it's a win - win for all involved.

  

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