Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Have you heard that 'proper planning prevents poor performance'?

It is TRUE!

Taking time to redevelop my website and polish up my branding, planning has been key to getting everything done, done well and on time.  It is still all in the works....and I know the plan will get me there with the team of awesome people that are on board to help me.

Planning, and goal setting are my critical key strengths.  Leveraging this skill, I have decided to launch a new segment of workshops/work sessions - Goal Guru.  Here is the sneak preview:

  • Goal Guru 1:  the 5-R Formula to Refuel Your Business - this is a 1/2 day session that will help you review your past business year so that you can learn what worked, what didn't work and how to repeated those processes for great results in the future.
  • Goal Guru 2: the 5-R Formula to Rev Up Your Business - this 1/2 day follow up session will give you the plan for your next 12 months in business...revved up and ready to roll!

More details will follow soon - even in podcast format (but a much shorter timeframe!) - if you want to learn more send me a quick email at - and we can talk about making you a Goal Guru!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Power of Habit

This is a MUST READ book - one that is hard-to-put-down lifechanging!

Think about all the habits we have - good ones, not-so-good-ones, and the ones we wish we could develop.  We often wonder why others can do what we cannot. Instead of focusing on them, turn the focus to yourself and learn how to reprogram that wonderful brain and build it for yourself.

The Power of Habit takes the fear out of learning about how to help yourself and shows you how habits link individuals, companies and communities in amazing ways.

I truly loved this book - have made it required reading in our household.
Once you read it, tell us what you think!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Does It Take to Reach the Peak?

This is my friend Alisson Dube - on her trek to climb the highest mountain in Africa - here is her lesson from the climb.  Alisson is one of the most insightful people I have ever met.  Her lessons and words always hit the mark.

 I know right?  Climbing a mountain as a metaphor for life or business... It's been done before.  Well, give me a shot because I think my experience was a little bit different :)

I was part of a group of 12 people attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, the 4th highest mountain in the world.  We had spent a year preparing: training, fundraising for the local hospital, buying the right gear, getting all the travel medical stuff in order and dreaming about it.  It was kind of like trying to open my business.  A lot of details riding on a dream.  This thing that you invest so much of yourself in: your money, your expertise, your time away from your family - all for the idea of what it's going to become!

So after a long 8 hours of walking/hiking on Day 3 I was sitting at camp at 4000m with a journal on my lap and Africa spread out in front of me.  And, not for the first time in the year, I wondered if we were going to make it.  Don't get me wrong, the dream was still there.  Snow-capped and solid behind the drifting clouds, the peak was there, getting closer every day but still an intimidating giant.  I had a tiny sense of what it would be like to be like to make it all the way.  It would be undeniable and a part of my story forever!

But this was a tough project.  It wasn't exciting.  It was tedious.  At the top of every rise there was another one.  And there wasn't much of a view.  Rocks, clouds, and more often than not, the person's heels in front of me.  We ate a lot of rice.  After a couple of hours there weren't many stories left to share, nor the breath to tell them.  And there were blisters, headaches, dizzy spells and sore muscles.

You get the parallels right?  To paperwork and hiccups, roadblocks and red tape.  Inevitably, at some point, we all wonder if the dream, the peak is worth it.  We don't need this.  We've come this far and that's a lot more than most people even attempt!  We want our steak and potatoes, our pillow top mattress, our career with benefits back.

So how did I finish the journey?  No differently than I had started it.  Say it with me now, "one step at a time!"  One tedious right foot in front of the next boring left foot.  Eating even though I wasn't hungry, planning out your yearly marketing plan even though you would rather be done working for the day.  Helping a teammate pack their tent up because they were feeling the altitude worse than me, taking the time to train a new employee even though your work is piling up.  Every meter, every meeting - they all matter.

5895m - Uhuru Peak at sunrise after climbing all night long.  The air is thin and cold at the top of Africa.  But there we were, a year in the making, standing at the summit.  Honestly?  I was cold.  And tired.  And knew that in a few minutes I was going to have to walk back down again.  One step at a time.

So what's the lesson?  Would I do it again?  No.  Would I tell my friends to try it?  No, because if they didn't have the desire on their own nothing I could say would give it to them.  But it's been a couple weeks now and I've been telling my story to a lot of friends and family.  I've noticed something.  Every time I tell the story my eyes are a little brighter, my trials and tribulations are just a little lighter, maybe even funny.  And my team?  We're a family now.  For the rest of our lives, we did this incredible thing together.  Every time I eat rice I'll remember wondering if it was really chicken in the stew.  Every time I can't fall asleep I'll be thankful that at least I'm not wearing a toque, and parka and gloves.  And every time I'm faced with a tedious, boring chore?  I'm not pretending it was that profound a change.  I'm not suddenly a disciplined machine.  But the dream?  The peak?  Your legacy?  There's a story there that's worth telling one day.  All you have to do is keep walking forward and get there :)

Thanks Alisson for the great lesson - it's always in the story!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Change in the Wind

We are moving towards the end of 2012, plans for 2013 are complete or at least really underway...there is the presidential election in the United States and more going on around the world.  Changes are always coming our way.  What do you do to prepare for change?  Or do you prepare for change at all?
Here are a few things to consider when working on creating change in your organization:

  1. timing - when is the right time (without procrastinating - I am thinking more from a fiscally responsible perspective)
  2. who is involved - directly affected by the change, team alignment, people elimination or respositioning
  3. how will customers react - or will they notice the change at all
  4. what will the organization look like after the change - compare org charts or product/service matrices
  5. what will the communication plan look like  -  and who owns it
There are a million more things to think about, but if you can start here, you are covering the bases to ensure that you are getting a 'global' view on the change.  

If you are not sure if this is the path for you, try this:
  • Ask your executive team to plan out the first three steps they would each take to get from where you are now to where you would like to be.  They must do this individually in the next 3 minutes - it's all about gut reaction - see what comes out and you will find a pretty common starting space if you are really aligned.  You may even tap into some creative/innovative ideas that can help you move the change along.  At the very least you will get a great dialogue on the subject.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Strategist

Penelope Trunk writes a great article in her blog about Strategists:
"Strategy requires thinking conceptually and creating something from nothing. So, for the most part, if you need to see something in order to do strategy then you are not doing strategy, you’re doing editing. 
Strategists usually favor thinking about the future instead of the present; strategists I admire are bored by what is and focus on what could be.
Also, strategy means constantly making decisions based on incomplete information. It means taking intellectual leaps of faith that could derail many departments in an organization, and doing that with confidence."
As a leader of my own business, my focus has moved towards evolution.  I took time during the last 10 months to simplify what I do.  In planning for the next 12 - 18 months, I realized I needed to have a better look at the focus I put on my work and where my true strengths + what I really love to do + I am good at it really lie.  When I look at Penelope's information above, I find my place....that + coaching.  
So, that being said, you will see a shift (soon) on the website and in my branding that focuses my direction and my business on strategy + coaching.  That means:
Plans + Coaching to implement
Goals + Coaching to reach those goals
Ideas + Coaching to put them into action
Perspectives + Coaching to see all sides
Clarity + Coaching to overcome the obstacles that enable risk-taking
I am really excited about this move forward and can't wait for your feedback. 
Have you taken time to look back and plan forward yet?  If not, the year is quickly coming to a close.  Get on it!  Let me know if you need a hand with it....I am happy to share my process and experience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How Would You Lead If You Were Not Afraid?

This is a guest blog post from my friend & fellow blogger Frank Abbruzzese.  You can follow his blog at  Building Circles - focusing on connecting and leading in your circle of influence.

Imagine if you were not afraid of anything.  Just think about what you would do differently.   What holds you back?   Even successful and great leaders have some fear.    Overcoming this fear and taking the chance to move it aside or deal with the consequences can help you become a more effective leader.

We tend to fall into two general “fear” categories:   afraid of failure or afraid of success.   Think about this for a moment……which one do you fall in?   

I am afraid of failure.   This is the biggest self-motivator in all that I do.    I’m still learning to say no if there is a good chance of complete failure.    Yes, we understand we must make some mistakes, we do fail from time to time and these experiences make us better and more successful.   

Now we cannot be effective leaders by waiting and weighing all the facts by delaying decisions or making non-decisions.   Effective leaders step up, take a snapshot and make a decision to lead successful for the team and for everyone’ best interest.   Making the tough decisions while understanding there may be resistant and even confrontation to those decisions.   Leadership is not about pleasing everyone.   Effective leadership is keeping the best overall interest of everyone in mind.

One of the biggest leadership decisions I have made, once I was not afraid, was to “move the cheese”.  (I did not even know I could move the cheese).  As I led to go find the “new cheese”, I was followed by the team.   Very happy to report had this decision not been made we would have been left behind with “no cheese”.    

Follow Frank on Twitter @frankabbruzzese

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cornucopia

So in Canada, it is Thanksgiving.
A nice long weekend....and time to reflect on what we are truly grateful for in our lives.

As leaders, this time is the perfect opportunity to share with your team; your colleagues and those in your closest circle how you feel about them.  Does this sound kind of mushy?  Yes.....I am sure it does.  So how do you help others know what they mean to you?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. a personal thank you - note, email, text message (for those who can't do the face to face)
  2. a group thank you and review of accomplishments so far
  3. a face-to-face thank you - with a big smile
  4. wishes for a great weekend -individually with a quick discussion on what the weekend holds
Take your own time to think of the cornucopia of blessings you have - Happy Thanksgiving.

I am grateful for you - my blog-readers and so much more!