Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Many Thanks to You!

2011 - The Authority on Business Advice
I would like to thank my clients, supporters and friends - those who nominated me, voted for me and those who were there in spirit for the wonderful award I received in November called 'The Authority on Business Advice'.
I am honoured.
I am touched.
I am inspired by the business leaders in my community who are looking for ways to develop their own leadership potential and that of those around them.  You are a gift.

In my thank you speech I mentioned my boys- husband and kids! - they support me endlessly.  Most importantly I spoke about the opportunity to be back in a city that is changing - growing, fostering innovation, reinvention and development.  Windsor Ontario is home.  And I am proud of it!

Take a moment and think about your business.  I have been thinking about mine a lot in the last few weeks. 
  • Does your business model foster innovation or clearly remove it from the picture - keep the status quo - what ain't broke, don't fix?
  • Does your mind look to reinvention? To new ways to do old things?  To improvements to products, services or brand?
  • Do you focus on the future while working in the present?  Are you planning to develop - yourself, your business and your people?
More to follow on what I have been thinking about my business in the weeks leading up to the end of the year ....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What I Never Expected to Learn

Funny how the roads you travel on in the different facets of your life seem to converge every once in a while and land you right at not a cross-roads,  or even an intersection, more of a vortex that you can wade through..
What am I talking about?
I had the pleasure last week of filling 3 days with learning.  In Leadership Windsor-Essex our day was spent discussing and experiencing health and human services.  This was eye-opening to say the least.  I am now beginning to understand how human services work in my area - not sure of my conclusions yet...will keep you posted.

I spent another 2 days visiting Atlanta Georgia for a Host Retreat for Leadercast - an event my business partner and I host each year in May with the support of the St. Clair College Alumni Association.  This was an opportunity to connect with other host site facilitators as well as the company that sponsors the event - Chick-fil-A.  This is one of the most interesting (and amazing) companies I have ever visited.  The basis of their values is quite simple -
  Do not be a transaction company....give value beyond the transaction.  And there is a lot more to say with this....but I digress.
It was in connecting with the 187 other sites that attended that I learned about how others promote Leadercast and why they do it.  Not only why, but where.  It was the generosity of spirit and guidance the truly impacted me.  This, along with learning how these community leaders move forward and take care of each other in each community.  Many of the hosts are ministries or churches  - and their focus is on developing the leadership in their community so that they can all move forward together.  This is also our reason - for providing hope and inspiration, along with a day of networking and community about leadership.  I guess what really struck me was how they take Leadercast beyond, how it is integral to the work they do.  It was truly a transformational event.
Coming back to the city, I prepared for a fundraising and awareness event for Homelessness Awareness week which started on Saturday - again..the vortex continued to expand in my vision.
I never expected to be treated like royalty at the Detroit Metro Airport - amazing service.
I never expected to be taken care of and appreciated in the manner that Giant Impaet did this week.
I never expected to meet as many focused and like-minded individuals.
I never expected to look in the mirror and see a changed person looking back.
Who did you see when you looked in the mirror this morning?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Bother Blogging?

I spend time working with clients on developing their brand (and reputation) online.  I focus here because it is a great place to discuss their leadership, their values and their mission + those of their company. 

Alignment is critical.  Especially when you want to tell your story.  Alignment and Authenticity - the two 'A's' of credibility - walking your talk.

Blogging is a great way to tell your story and the story of others.  Some people blog for fun, others for business, some to be creative - have an outlet, and others blog to vent, show another side of themselves.  There are so many reasons and so many platforms.  I try to encourage my clients to blog - it builds traffic, creates a space for your words and deeds, gives you an opportunity to engage and interact, gives a more detailed place to provide insight...and it can be posted to other social engagement platforms - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more. 

I was reading stats in Sandy Carter's book 'Get Bold' and it said that in the next 5 years more than 20% of CEO's will blog.  This is an incredibly important stat with great ramifications - leaders blog.  Leaders engage. Leaders tell stories.  Leaders need to stay current with technology and up to date with the people they hire.  As the Millenials come into the workforce, and those beyond them, leaders will need to talk their language and speak in their forums...not the other way around.

Want to learn more about blogging?  Let me know.  Let me teach you my lessons that I learned along the way so that you don't have to make my mistakes!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Learnings

Interesting how kids interpret your work.  My son spent the day with me on Take Your Kids to Work day and he did learn a few things.

He decided that I spend too much time at the computer - and that I need someone to talk things out with on a regular basis because I would keep reading him things I wrote and ask what he thought.

He believes that I collect too many business cards and know too many people - after looking at LinkedIn with me and seeing how I use this social network to build my brand.

He also thinks that it is pretty cool that I can be flexible with my schedule and got to go for a run in the late morning because the weather was awesome - and yes, he did get to play Xbox while I was out.

Most importantly, he learned that you can do what you love and still earn a living and find balance with everything - a routine is not necessarily something that happens at the same time everyday - that work gets done due to effort and passion....not a simple checklist.

It was fun - he even investigated a few things for his own career.....imagine that!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mindset Change

Change is an action and a mindset.  Implementing action is one part of the equation, getting the mindset to change is another completely.  Focusing first on the mind, then the physical change can sometimes be less taxing because you will better understand the reasoning behind the change and why your actions need to take place.  How do you inspire a change in mindset?
  1. Listen - before all else listen and learn what the change holds for your team, or yourself.  'What's in it for me?' is the first question that will go through the minds of those with whom you are discussing the change.  Get that down first.
  2. Link - be able to articulate the change and link the change to all people involved - all stakeholders - from leaders, team members, shareholders, customers and even the community.  By articulating how the change can effect everyone, the idea that this change is singularly focused on a particular area or individual is mitigated.
  3. Understand - be able to provide examples of the change - direct examples of how each area would be impacted and the positive outcomes that will occur with the change. (Go back to listen to the roadblocks that will come up with this discussion and work together to develop plans to eliminate the roadblocks)
  4. Believe - be confident in the change, or do not make it.  Without confidence you will not get buy-in..others will see it as impossible.
  5. Seek - search for the one positive communicator who can help you share your message - an early-adopter.  They can also provide insight into the negative thoughts of others and how to overcome that negativity.
  6. Act - repeated behaviour gets remembered.  As the leader, model the way.  (If it is your mind that is having trouble getting around the change, try it - it will need to happen eventually and working through the process yourself will help you see the roadblocks that could appear for others along the way, helping you to develop ways to support your team)
What changes have you made recently that started with your mind and led to your actions?  How did you role this out to your team?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take Your Kids to Work Day

Today is take your kids to work day in our area.  My son asked if he could work with me - my office is in my home....thought he could get in a little extra X-box and stuff like that.  Not so much!  We have appointments and projects that need completing.  He is about to find out how this 'work-from-home' gig really goes.

I remember this day from when I was in corporate world.  Kids would come into the store or the office and work side by side with their parents or sponsors.  We would set up a tour, a Q&A session and more - they would write an essay on the day and explain what they learned.  My son's school is asking for nothing in return - so I guess this is just a day off for the Grade 9 teachers....Why send kids to work, to discover the opportunities that are out in the world and ask for nothing in return.  Is this a learning experience or what?

Those of you who know me by now, know that this will be a learning experience.  We'll talk, we'll dialogue, ask questions and of course, I will ask him for the 3 things he learned today.  I will post the learnings later for you to see.

Have a great day!  I know we will.