Winning ways

“The important thing is that in 20 years, those boys know that they didn’t leave anything on the table. They played their hearts out.” Herb Brooks, coach of 1980 U. S. Olympic Hockey team that won the gold medal (as quoted in the movie, “Miracle”)

As the Olympics approach, I am excited about the stories of the people. The triumphs and defeats, the power and the celebration. The emotions and the energy.

The Olympic athletes put everything on the line for a brief few seconds or minutes of their competition. It’s a fascinating study of performance, commitment, dedication and personal strength.

One of my favorite movies is “Miracle” about the 1980 United States Men’s Hockey team that beat the Russians to win the gold. It was truly a miracle as the Russians dominated the world in the sport at that time.

Herb Brooks, the U. S. coach, reinvented the way the U. S. team played hockey. He looked at hockey in a whole new way. Then he engaged the hearts and minds of the players. He evoked their commitment to the team and the possibility that they could win gold.

A true leader reaches to the hearts of the people they lead. Herb Brooks demanded long hours of practice, new ways of thinking, performance beyond any current expectations, new ways of playing. The team wouldn’t have won, however, if he didn’t win their hearts and commitment throughout the long hours of practice and preparation.

As a leader, we may get caught up in the goals of reaching targets, being on time, meeting the budget, keeping customers happy, innovations, change and trying to have a sense of balance in our lives. We can forget that we need the hearts and commitment of our team members.

It’s good to stop and remember that your team is essential to winning. Whether you are an entrepreneur that outsources work to your team or a corporate executive overseeing a large division or company, your team pulls you through.

Win their hearts and loyalty to gain their commitment. You’ll be amazed at what they will do for you.

Last summer, I was fortunate to visit Olympia, Greece where the first Olympics were held. This is a photo of the Temple of Zeus. The ruins also have the original field for track games. Tourists have their photos made on the original start line, channeling the energy and drive of the athletes. If you ever get a chance to visit Olympia, I highly recommend it.

Share

The beginner’s mind as a leadership trait

Several years ago I attended a workshop in Austin for a Public Speaking Workshop at The Wizard Academy, www.wizardacademy.org. At the time I’d been speaking for nearly 15 years, however, I was very excited to learn from someone who charges $25,000 (yes that’s right) per speech. Think there might be something here for people who want to speak?

For me to get the most out of the workshop, I needed to enter the classroom as though I knew nothing about speaking. I decided to have the attitude of a beginner.

If I had gone in the classroom tomorrow holding all I know about being a speaker, that would have shut out the possibility of me learning and experiencing something that could greatly improve my speaking and success.

In the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I have to have all the answers and have it perfect. If you can identify with this, think about it because you may miss opportunities by already having the “right answers.” There are times we need to have the mindset of a beginner so we don’t shut out possibilities to big breakthroughs and insights. A beginner is curious. A beginner has an empty slate. A beginner has no baggage from past history.

The beginner’s mind can absorb more than a mind filled with the best way to do this and the right answer for that. The beginner mind is pliable, moldable, open.

There are times it is advantageous as a leader to have a beginner’s mind. With problem-solving, a beginner’s mind helps eliminate the “we’ve done it before” syndrome and can lead to innovation.

A leader with a beginner’s mind can see solutions from different perspectives and involve her team in developing answers to problems.

It seems contrary to common wisdom, however, to empty your mind on a subject matter you feel you are an expert in and put yourself in the shoes of a beginner, is a powerful exercise.

For a complimentary consultation on managing your leadership style, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

 

Share

Intention directs your attention

Recently while coaching a group of managers and executives, I asked them what they wanted to make sure they left with at the end of the day.

One woman said she wanted to discover two ideas or insights that she could use in managing her team and being a more effective leader. At the end of the day, she had discovered at least three key insights she could apply immediately and said that probably more would surface as she returned to work.

Her intention to discover key insights to help her be a more effective leader directed her attention during the day. She didn’t consciously evaluate every activity or conversation to look for insights. They emerged throughout the day during our table discussions and over lunch with her colleagues. And to make sure she understood the value of intention, I asked her in the afternoon debrief and wrap-up what she learned to direct her attention back to her intention.

Setting an intention is a great way to start each day. Recently I was on a business trip to Boston with a friend and we decided to stay in Boston over the weekend. As we set out on Saturday morning, we stated our intention of the experience we wanted to have that day. We wanted to have an easy, fun day, meet interesting people and be joyful everywhere we went. We did have a great day and accomplished what we set out to do plus discovered more along the way.

You can use intention in any area of your life. The most important thing is to make it simple. Create one intention and then let the day emerge.

You can set an intention for what you want to learn from a book or a conversation.

You can set an intention of the experience you want to create for a client meeting.

You can set an intention for how you want to be in your relationships.

Intention indicates present and future focus. Intention directions your attention.

Here are some examples:

Today, my intention is to stay present and focused in all my conversations.

Today, my intention is for my meetings to be efficient and create the best solution for everyone involved.

Today I want to create clarity so I can move forward on <you name the project here.>

Today, I bring energy and enthusiasm to everyone I meet.

When you make statements of intent like this, your conscious and subconscious mind will direct your attention and your focus. To get the full benefit of this exercise, give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on your intentions and what you noticed.

For a complimentary consultation on the power of setting intentions, contact me and I will connect with you to schedule a phone appointment.

Whether it is mentoring people to lead more effectively, improve their own performance or step into what is next, Kathy Garland is passionate about guiding leaders to achieve business goals and reach their highest potential.

© 2014 Kathy Garland

Share

success starts with listening

The reason I am sharing what I am sharing with you today is so you can learn some tips about marketing your services from my experiences.

If you are fortunate enough to have your parents still together (mine just celebrated their 65th anniversary,) then you may be familiar with the needs of adults as they age.This past week I interviewed individuals and franchise owners who provide companions and caregivers for seniors. My parents want to stay in their home and as they age, they need support with everyday living. I see the difficulty they have keeping up with the house, food, doctor appointments and daily life. My brothers and I want the best for them and to make sure they are comfortable and safe in their home.

If you have navigated the maze of senior services, you may have experienced what I did. After asking for referrals and making a number of calls, I scheduled interviews with two companies. Here’s what I experienced during screening calls and interviews and what you can learn from the successful strategies people used and the mistakes (in my opinion) that others made.

Most of the people started the conversation with me by asking about my parents and their needs (a success strategy.) They listened with care and answered according to my interests and my parents needs. During a phone interview, one gentleman began our conversation with a long litany of why his company is the best (a sure fire mistake.) He used terms like:

– bonded and insured

– the number of people he employed

– all sorts of facts and detail about his company

What I really wanted to know was what his company stood for. What he is passionate about and how he approaches working with seniors interested me. All those facts are important, but not the first things he said. He could have asked a couple of questions to start our conversation such as “Can you tell me a little about your parents’ needs?” or “What are you looking for in a caregiver?” Both great questions that would enable him to guide the conversation as to why I should consider his company.

His start to the conversation was quite robotic (and nervous.) I was actually speechless for a minute trying to decide whether to say thank you and hang up. Then I decided to give him a chance and ask him what was different about his company. His energy and focus completely changed and he shared why he wanted to help seniors stay in their home. I really got that he cared, however, by that time it was a little too late.

Other people I talked to connected personally with me right away and the needs for my parents. Ultimately my parents chose a woman who showed passion for her work with seniors, demonstrated that she understood their needs and was ready to start immediately. She built trust with them and they liked her, so she is starting this morning with my parents.

It’s a good reminder that success starts with listening to your potential customer and sharing passion and heart for what you do, not facts, grabs the attention of your market.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join the Market You Mondays community on Facebook to learn more about marketing yourself as an expert.

Share

What do you do?

Last week’s Market YOU Monday tip was about How to Say What You Do in Ten Words or Less (scroll down to my blog post for January 10, 2011 to read last week’s tip.)

I promised I would share what to say when someone asks you what you do – which is different than last week but involves what you decided you would say about yourself.

When someone asks what you do, with a smile, share your positioning statement or your ten-word or less statement you wrote last week. You should talk about the change that people have as a result of working with you. You want this to be interesting enough that they ask you to tell them more.

This is an opportunity for you to learn more about them so when they ask more, I suggest you add a sentence or two more and then ask them questions. It’s always a good sign when someone is asking you questions about what you do.

To keep your dialogue from becoming a monologue, turn the tables and work in some questions for the other person. Start with questions such as:

1. What type of people (or businesses) are your ideal client?

2. What is the most important thing you are working on now in your business?

When you ask these questions, you find out a little more about the other person that you can use to further discussion. Your goal is to find out several things:

– are they a good fit for your network?

– are they interested in what you do?

– do they have the qualities, needs and attributes of your ideal client?

– have you said yes to at least two of the above?

If so then set up a time to meet them for coffee or lunch, or set a follow up call. You will want to find out what you can do to stay connected with them so you can continue to build a relationship of trust.

Next week watch for tips on building relationships.

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join the Market You Mondays community on Facebook to learn more about marketing yourself as an expert.

Share

You can have everything you want

Zig Ziglar, master sales trainer and motivational speaker said, “You can have everything you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” When you focus on helping other people get what they want, you develop a wide network of relationships.

Recently, I had lunch with the CEO of an consulting engineering firm. Part of our discussion centered around how important relationships are in doing business. She said her network and her relationships, including those of the firm, have gotten them through these last few years. She’s a firm believer in community participation and staying connected with key people in her network.

As you think about your career or your business this month, make a list of people you would like to meet. Think big on this exercise.

– Who has connections that would benefit you?

– What can you do to help to that person?

Most people realize that the strength of their connections and network contribute to their success. People say yes to those they know, trust and like. Whether you are a business owner or employee or independent professional, you daily have the opportunity to persuade people to support you, your ideas, your budget, your career, your business.

Your chances are much higher that people will support you if you have a good relationship with them and they know, trust and like you. Whether through a professional organization, a networking group, an educational program or community group like church or non-profits, you can meet people anywhere that can support you and be in your network of relationships. It’s up to you to take time to get to know them. 

If you’d like to learn more about Building Relationships through Networking, please join me on Wednesday, January 19 at 3 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Central or noon Pacific for a no-charge webinar where you will learn important strategies to build strong relationships through networking. I’ll lead the webinar and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions as well.

The webinar is filling up quickly. Register now for Building Relationships through Networking to secure your space before we reach our capacity. We’ll be delighted for you to participate.

 

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Share

What You Do in Ten Words or less

Today’s Market You Mondays tip is how to tell people what you do in ten words or less when you are networking and meeting with people. It’s a big challenge and worthy of your time. When you effectively communicate what you do in ten words or less, it helps build your personal brand.

To get started ask yourself a few questions:

1. What do you do best that benefits other people?

2. What do you do to make their lives easier?

3. Think of your best clients. What are their problems and how have you helped them?

What you do is not your title or your profession. Most people tune out when you use your title to tell them what you do. Titles such as designer, accountant, coach, artist, chiropractor, speaker, consultant, therapist, counselor, financial services advisor, CPA and many others do give people an idea of who you are. Your job is to explain to them how you do what you do in a way that is relevant to them and distinctive from other people in the same profession.

This is one of the most important tasks you need to complete this month. Spend some time brainstorming words, phrases, outcomes that could describe what you do.

It’s always a great idea to ask your clients what results they’ve gotten by working with you. Take their words and add to your list.

Coming up with what you do in a phrase that resonates with people takes time so give yourself several rounds of brainstorming and editing. Keep narrowing your content until you can get it into ten words or less. The benefit is that when you meet new people, they can learn a lot about you in a few seconds.

I’ve changed the words I use several times over the last few years. What I’m most happy with right now is “Translating Business Challenges into Opportunities.” Most of my clients are experts in their field who have a great reputation, however, they are not getting the business results they want for themselves. What I do is explore with them what they do best, listen to client stories and then find the words to describe what they do. Often clients don’t realize the gold mine they have in their business or they are looking at the benefits from their point of view, not from their clients’ perspectives. Once we discover that nugget, we create opportunities that result in revenue growth.

People tend to talk about the process of what they do, not the results. Start thinking in terms of the results you provide. Write down what your clients say.

At first, you may write a page or several pages. That’s fine, don’t stop. Each time you look at it again, keep paring away until you get to the essence of what you do.

You’ll want to be able to use this in several ways depending on the situation. You will want flexibility so you can use your phrase several ways while networking. You can use it as a tagline and to create a short introduction or a 30-second commercial. Your goal is for people to ask you more about what you do or even better set an appointment with you.

Make sure to use action words and benefit-oriented words. Words that Sell: More than 6000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas by Richard Bayan is a great tool to help you get started. I find his books to be very helpful.

Next Monday, I’ll share more tips about what to say when people ask you what you do. I’d love for you to join my Market You Mondays community on Facebook and add your comments and ask questions.

 

Kathy Garland specializes in translating business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. Join her conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Share

Stepping up in 2011

What one thing, that if you do it or accomplish it, would make 2011 a breakaway year for you? That’s the question on my mind as we end 2010.

Having a focus and a driving vision of what you want is much more powerful than having the attitude that everything will be the same.

To be a more effective leader, step up with a vision for 2011, a BHAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Don’t be afraid you won’t accomplish a big goal. Go for it and you will learn and experience new things along the way.

How do you think about what you want to accomplish that would make your year a breakaway year? Here are my thoughts on that:

1. Write down dreams and goals you have that you haven’t accomplished yet.

2.  Where do you see yourself in a few years? What do you need to do to move yourself in that direction?

3. What is it that you are passionate about? That makes it much easier to accomplish than forcing yourself to do something you think you should do.

3. When you know what you want to accomplish, share your big goal with your trusted confidants. This declaration fuels your energy and drive to make it happen.

A few years ago, a friend and client, Brittany Allen, really wanted to serve children in need, particularly sick children. Her dream was to be a caring clown. She was at my annual planning retreat and really got clear that her year was about stepping up to create her clown personae and get out in the public performing. Here is a photo of her making that declaration during our weekend:

IMGA0082

 

Brittany had created her clown shoes as a way to get started. Now she has regular performances to entertain children in need and she is going on an international trip to entertain orphans. She is extremely happy and fulfilled. It all started with deciding what she wanted and then stepping up to take the actions. She was supported by the other people at the retreat who also believed in her vision.

Have a fantastic 2011 and step up by getting focused on the one thing that when you accomplish it, would create a very memorable and breakaway year.

Happy New Year!

 

Kathy Garland specializes in turning business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She hosts a radio show, “The Leader in You” and speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Share

Merry Everything!

One of my friends greeted me with Merry Everything! at a holiday party. It’s a fun greeting when you don’t know what tradition people celebrate and covers all sorts of occasions.

I trust that whatever you celebrate this time of year that you are enjoying life. It’s a good time to bring back or start family traditions and rituals which help connect us and bring meaning. Today and tomorrow our kids are coming in from California and we are so excited to see them. We always go out to dinner together so we can catch up without the distraction of the kitchen, and we also love to prepare at least one meal together. Both of these always bring us closer.

Another part of the holidays that is important to me is the music. This morning at the gym, I tuned into Pandora and have found several holiday stations that set a peaceful holiday environment. Josh Groban’s holiday station plays some of my favorites like The Prayer, Ava Maria and O Holy Night, all of which reduce me to a puddle of tears of joy for their beauty and meaning.

Make sure you take time for what brings you joy and the it will make the holiday stress that could be pass much easier.

When the celebrations are over and you have some quiet time to reflect, look back and appreciate yourself for what you did this year, who you helped, what you figured out, what you moved forward and for all the joyous times in your life.

Merry Everything! Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Feliz Navidad!

Kathy Garland specializes in turning business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She hosts a radio show, “The Leader in You” and speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Share

A personal story

On October 4, 2010, Private Cody Board from McKinney, Texas was killed in action in Afghanistan. I do not know Cody or his family. His story caught my attention at a high school football game. His father and brother were there in his honor, only a few days after he died because his high school alma mater dedicated the game to him.

The story doesn’t stop there though. The media reported that a radical group from Kansas, who hates soldiers, was planning to protest at his funeral. They have a record of protesting at soldiers’ funerals and travel wherever they can to disrupt memorial services. On Facebook, a counter-protest was organized to show support for the family and the deceased soldier.

My heart told me I needed to be there, not from a counter-protest reason, but because if it were my son or daughter that had died, I would want privacy to grieve and say good-bye without experiencing anger and protest. Because it spread so quickly through Facebook, on Saturday morning, a large crowd turned out for support and protection for the family. McKinney residents, off-duty police, citizen patrols, Patriot Guards (Harley riders who attend veteran’s funerals for support and protection) and even a small group of men dressed in red, white and blue Colonial military uniforms surrounded the church.

Because of the pro-active thinking of one man who put up a page on Facebook, we surrounded the church with people, signs of support, flags and love for the family. I held up ok until the funeral procession left the church. As we watched the cars head out of the church, surrounded by police on motorcycles and the Patriot Guards, I realized the finality of Private Board’s life and the heartbreak of his family. I was comforted to see that people in the funeral procession were grateful we were there and appreciated our support.

I was only one in a crowd that day, however, together we all made a difference. The crowd is a powerful force. Our intention and show of support created a special experience for us as well as the family.

Never underestimate your power as an individual.

By the way, no signs of protestors were seen. I like to think that when they saw that they couldn’t get close to the church because of all of us and the police, that they just went away.

Photos below: People lining the streets, Patriot Riders supporting the family, a group of men dressed up as Colonial soldiers guard the front of the church, and the McKinney mounted police with many other police showed up to protect the family.

 

McKinney Supporters         Patriot riders show up for the family      

Colonial soldiers on honor guard           McKinney Mounted Police

 

Kathy Garland specializes in turning business challenges into opportunities that result in business and personal growth. She hosts a radio show, “The Leader in You” and speaks frequently on business growth and leadership topics. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Share