Colin's Blog

Focus on Timeliness and It Will Change Your Executive Qualities

focus on timelinessHow important is being on time for you? If you’re an executive, you have probably dealt with a number of issues through the years with employees showing up late, even consistently. Being late every once in a while might not be a major problem, but for people who have a tendency to show up 10, 15, or even 20 minutes late several times a week, it can cut down on productivity.

It can also impact other employees and team members. When you’re looking at leadership coaching to improve your standing within your company and your abilities to lead your team, timeliness is an essential component.

When you have numerous meetings throughout the day and all week long, when you have deadlines that need to be met, timeliness is essential. It may be tempting to schedule a couple of extra meetings in the morning on Tuesday, just to get them done, but if you run behind in one meeting, you’re going to be running behind in others as well.

This may “tell” people with whom you’re meeting that they are not all that important to you. Whether it’s an employee or another executive, a client or partner, timeliness should always be a top priority. When you end up being punctual, it will have a direct impact on how others see your leadership abilities and skills.

Here are couple suggestions to help you focus on being timely and avoid being late.

Avoid double booking. You can’t be in two places at the same time, so don’t even try.

Plan on arriving early. No matter what time of the day a meeting happens to be, plan to get there at least five minutes early. Even if you’re running late by a couple of minutes, you’ll still be on time.

Timeliness shows others around you that you respect their time and it helps to establish stronger executive characteristics and leadership qualities within you. You’ll be setting an example others want to follow.

Avoid Slipping into a Vacuum when Improving Your Skills

don't get sucked into a vacuumOne of the most common mistakes too many executive coaches make when working with clients is operating within a vacuum. If you pay attention to any professional sports, especially team sports, it’s clear that every single team member has an impact on the overall team itself.

These players will work one-on-one with individual coaches to help improve their skills, but the head coach is responsible for ensuring that each player is in the right position and doing their job as effectively and as efficiently as possible to help the entire team.

When you’re talking about a business, it may be easy to think of a single employee as being out for himself or herself, but they are still part of a team. There is a complex system that executives have to work within, and leadership skills are developed by focusing on not only individual skills but the entire system as a unit.

Success is simply not a solo act. It’s important to focus on the context of any given situation to help somebody improve their leadership skills and abilities. It’s not just about determining what a client’s strengths and weaknesses happen to be. They also need to focus on organizational strategies that help to mold the client’s competencies, capabilities, and capacity.

It’s also important for an experienced executive coach to determine what the roles and responsibilities are for each team member. An experienced and qualified executive coach will be able to help you, as an executive, determine what your organization’s goals should be, communicate the vision for the future, and shape the culture and environment within that company in the best way possible.

When you seek out an executive coach, be sure to focus on one who understands the importance of team play, even for individual and independent leadership training. When you do, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right executive coach for you.

Getting a Solid Handle on Time Management Improves Leadership

get a handle on time managementIf you are in an executive position within any company, you already know the importance of time management. You may have had to deal with employees not getting work done by a deadline, or delivering on time. There’s a lot that goes into proper time management and improving one’s skills in this area can have a direct impact on your leadership abilities.

Why time management matters for leaders.

Most leaders within any organization will have extremely busy schedules. Running late to a meeting can often display the wrong ideas to those in attendance. If you have a tendency to show up late to almost every meeting, it indicates to those people there that this isn’t all that important to you.

The same holds true when you have other appointments with partners, other key executives, business associates, and even clients.

The best way to improve time management is to develop a system that makes the most sense.

If you have a tendency to overbook your schedule throughout the day, that can cause you to run late for one meeting after another. If you end up on a phone call for 15 minutes too long in the morning, it can set your entire day out of sync.

Schedule in some down time.

Every couple of hours it’s a good idea to schedule 15 minutes to have nothing to do. If everything runs on time, take this 15 minutes and go through emails, answer phone calls, or take care of other important tasks that you might generally do at the end of the day.

Be accurate in your estimations.

When you’re looking at a project and planning to establish due dates, be reasonable in your expectations. Even though you might want it delivered within the next 24 hours, it may not be possible. Even somebody working around the clock might not be able to do it in that amount of time.

When you are reasonable with your expectations and offer your team members a solid role model to emulate, you strengthen your leadership capabilities and that can have a positive influence on the rest of your organization.

Mental Floss, Mental Focus … Clearing Out the Clutter Can be Tremendous for Business Success

clearing out the clutterStaying focused is essential to be more successful in life and in business. If you have difficulty staying focused, it could be the result of having too much on your mind, trying to deal with multiple issues at the same time, and other factors.

Becoming a strong leader requires exceptional mental focus and below are number of strategies that can help you clear out the clutter in your mind, and the rest of your life, and allow you to focus on the most important tasks at hand.

1. Focus on your diet.

Believe it or not, what you eat will have a direct impact on your mental focus. You probably enjoy drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, but too much coffee or relying on energy drinks throughout the day can actually lead to a loss of focus. Also, eating a healthy breakfast is a great way to start your day off on the right foot.

2. Get plenty of exercise.

When you stimulate your body and get oxygen moving throughout it, with your heart pumping faster, your brain is getting more oxygen as well. Just 15 minutes of aerobic exercise every day can improve mental focus. You could get this just by taking the stairs instead of the elevator!

3. Take breaks as often as necessary.

Any time you complete a specific task or a mini goal, get up, stretch, and walk around. Just taking that simple break for a couple of minutes every hour or two could get you reenergized to focus on the next task in the queue.

4. Get plenty of sleep.

Sleep is one of most often overlooked aspects of quality leadership. If you don’t get enough sleep during the night you’re going to have difficult difficulty focusing on the tasks that need to be completed during the day. Many people incorrectly assume that just because they get four or five hours of sleep a night, that it’s more than enough. Everyone of us needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep. It’s what your body and mind should be getting, and what they deserve.

Driving for Perfection and Building the Right Team begins with Leadership

driving for perfectionIf you follow sports, more specifically professional sports, you probably know that perfection is seldom achieved in a highly competitive environment. However, that doesn’t mean any of those sport teams you follow don’t actually strive for perfection. It’s just that they are realistic in their expectations.

When you are the manager or leader of any business enterprise, your goals should always begin by striving for perfection. Some believe that doing this is counter-productive, yet when you reach for the stars and only make it halfway, you’ve made it to the moon. Now, consider what would’ve happened if people saw the limits of Earth’s atmosphere as being the ultimate goal to achieve. Man would never have set foot on the moon in the first place and we wouldn’t be looking at sending people to Mars.

In order to actively seek perfection from your company, you need to build the right team. That doesn’t mean you have to get the most talented people in every single position. It means you need some who are exceptionally gifted and some of the best, but also others who can follow directions and support the team in an unselfish way.

Let’s go back to the example of professional sports teams. Throughout history we have seen some of the youngest, no named athletes put together on the field and win championships. We’ve also seen teams with the most talent on paper achieve the same goals.

The Dream Team for the Olympics in 1992 consisted of the best players in the NBA. That included Michael Jordan, Isaiah Thomas, and many more. They were, essentially, undefeatable, yet they almost lost a couple of games that should not have even been close.

Perfection is a great goal, but you need to build a team that works well together and functions at its highest at all times. A great team is greater than the sum of its individual components and parts. In order to help build this ideal team, you need certain leadership qualities and characteristics. The right coach can help you work toward achieving that goal of perfection.

Establish Long-Term Goals that Will Put Your Business over the Top

business-goalBeing successful in business does not happen by chance. It’s a deliberate process and it all begins with hard, defined, and well articulated goals.

In business, a company without long-term goals is much more likely to flounder and ultimately fail than one with well-defined goals that needs to adjust them from time to time.

Leaders sit down with their team and determine what their long-term goals should be. They envision where the company would be best situated in the future and then work backward, marking milestones and smaller goals for each period of time.

Before you guide your company to ‘generating more sales,’ determine how many more sales is enough. What’s realistic right now? How can your team position the company to reach the loftier goals?

This is all part of being a strong leader. If you believe that you could improve in your skills, contact a leadership coach. The Holbrow Group is ideally positioned with the most experienced coaches to help you learn how to establish well-defined long-term goals.

Keeping an Honest Workplace Doesn’t Have to be a Full-Time Job: How Leadership Matters

honestyAs children, most of us were taught not to lie. We were told that honesty is the best policy, that those who lie and cheat never really get ahead. Yet as people get older they begin to see there are some benefits to lying and cheating (if you can handle the guilt, that is). That is an unfortunate byproduct of modern society, and when you get into a workplace these actions and behaviors become far too prevalent.

Keeping an honest workplace may seem to be an almost impossible goal.

It doesn’t have to be the. With the right leadership, any workplace can be transformed into one in which honesty is by far the best policy and where employees understand this and take pride in it.

Why people lie and cheat in a workplace environment.

One of most common reasons people cheat, lie, and even steal to get ahead is because they don’t really associate their efforts with being in line with the overall company or teams goals. They are out for themselves and are looking for the shortest and easiest path to promotion, raises, and success.

Steps to promote honesty.

Leaders will usually rise to the top and as a result they are in the best position to promote honesty as an invaluable policy throughout the company. Below are a few steps that can help a leader encourage more honesty throughout the company.

1. Be honest with yourself. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Be willing to admit what went wrong and this will set an example for the rest of your team to follow.

2. Promote an open platform. When you allow your team members to be open and honest with you without fear of repercussions for their disclosure, it will increase the amount of honesty that pervades your team.

3. Don’t turn your back on poor behavior. Far too often people who are whistleblowers or want to do what’s right for the company end up being ostracized and the violators are ignored. Take these reports seriously, investigate them, and do what is necessary and right to make sure they don’t continue.

4. Reward positive behavior. When you know somebody is honest on your team, highlight it and reward that behavior. This is called positive reinforcement and it will filter down to the rest of your team, ultimately leading to a more honest and open environment.

Making changes like this takes time, so don’t expect things to happen overnight. Be consistent and persistent and you can ultimately forge a more honest working environment.

What Leadership Style Do You Have?

confidence reguarding coachingThe type of leadership style that a person has can determine, to some degree, their success level or at least how they should best communicate with their team members. There are numerous styles of leadership to consider. Below are a few potential different types of leadership styles, and if you recognize yourself within one of these categories, it can certainly help you find the ideal leadership coach who can help you strengthen your skills and abilities.

A participative leadership style is one in which the leader includes the team in important decision-making processes. This is sometimes referred to as a democratic style. You can do well at boosting employee morale by using this type of leadership style as they will honestly believe their opinions and experiences matter to the company. Ultimately, though, the leader has to make the final decision, so it’s not really as democratic as one might think.

The autocratic style of leadership is actually the opposite. This is a style in which leaders make all decisions by themselves. They don’t ask for input from the team members and if it is provided to them, they make it clear that this is up to them and them alone. This type of leadership may work best for employees who require a significant amount of supervision on a regular basis.

A transformational style of leadership is one that requires an extensive amount of communication in order to establish goals. The leader keeps lines of communication open with his or her team members. They focus on the long-term goals of an organization and delegate more short-term tasks to other team members or team leaders.

Finally, the transactional leader is one who rewards team members based on results. They will work closely with their team members to establish goals and then the leader reviews progress and results and, if needed, corrects employees if they fall short or fail. These team members may receive certain rewards, including special privileges, bonuses, or other perks when they achieve their stated goals.

Learning to Think More Strategically Leads to More Victories

confidence reguarding coachingWhen generals were set to lead their soldiers out on the field of battle, they’re not just rushing the field haphazardly. They have studied the enemy, analyzed their weaknesses, and developed a strategy and then relayed that to their soldiers.

When you’re a business owner or leader, thinking more strategically will ultimately lead to more victories. This doesn’t mean you’re never going to lose. It means that you increase the chances of success when you sit down and have a plan for short and long-term success.

Think about the game of chess.

When thinking about business strategies, think about the renowned game of chess. Successful chess players will readily admit they don’t just look at the chessboard and figure out the move to make right now. They are planning 5, 10, 20, and even more moves ahead of the one they’re making right now. They are analyzing what their opponent appears to be doing or attempting to do and then counters those moves effectively.

It requires a great deal of concentration and foresight. That is how effective businesses operate. They look at their current conditions, the employees they have, what their competitors are doing, and what their target market is looking for.

Learning to be more strategic in your business plans and focus is something you can learn over time. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. Just like playing chess requires many years of study and practice, numerous losses and failures, the same holds true when it comes to strategic business thinking.

You can increase the chances of success when you have the right guidance helping you along. That would be in the form of a leadership coach. If you hire an effective and talented leadership coach who has many years of experience, you will be given guidance and instruction on the best methods to focus on and that will help you increase the chances of success in the short and long-term aspects of your business.

What Does Great Leadership Coaching Look Like?

business-womanThere are plenty of great leaders throughout history and all over the world. It is usually pretty easy to determine what a great leader looks like, especially after the fact. This is often referred to as Monday Morning Quarterbacking. It references American-style football and that people are quick to second-guess a person running the team, including head coaches, when things don’t go quite the way they expected or hoped.

In the business world, leaders don’t have the benefit or luxury of hindsight. They need to be proactive, focused on the organization’s goals, and dedicated to developing their team members.

In order to assist in maximizing the return on investment for each and every employee as well as department or division within a company, executives will have numerous options available to them. One of those options is known as leadership coaching.

Leadership and executive coaching are quite similar, for the most part, so what does this process look like exactly?

It is going to differ from one person to the next, but overall leadership coaching is essentially (and ideally) a one on one interaction between an experienced coach and any business leader or individual who is being isolated for promotion into a management and upper-level position within the company.

Leadership coaching is respectful. That means the coach is going to respect the executive’s time, position, and current ideology. They are going to work with that individual to help focus on their strengths and, as a result, minimize their weaknesses.

Leadership coaching is patient. There is no need to rush somebody through a process that will have lasting positive repercussions for the rest of their life. It takes time, practice, and failures to make changes and become the type of leader they want to become.

Leadership coaching is dedicated. When the going gets tough, leaders rise above. That doesn’t mean it happens overnight or the first time around. For any executive, manager, or other career minded individual who wants to excel and boost the productivity and prospects of their team, they should consider leadership coaching.

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