Win More Through Collaboration

Women are natural collaborators.

To collaborate literally means to work together. A second definition refers to working with an enemy, which emerged during World War II, and collaboration got a bad name. I think this is the frame of reference a lot of people have when they are told they need to collaborate.

Our survival instincts kick in and we develop a natural protection for our teams, our ideas and our processes. However, why should we collaborate? Here are a few reasons you can benefit from collaborating with others:

–       Extend your reach

–       Hone your influence skills

–       Develop relationships

–       Build trust

–       Create better solutions

–       Build your reputation

One of the biggest wins in my career relied heavily on collaboration. I was head of business development for a creative agency. When I received the call to participate in an agency review for a large account, the whole company was excited. It was just the type of company we wanted in our portfolio.

The review process was demanding and required our best thinking and talent. Our competition was world-class and we were the ones that had to step up. Had I tried to hold onto the process and direct the teams on what to do, there may not have been a story to tell.

Because we were a small company, everyone from the owners to the bookkeeper had a role in this business development opportunity. The designers and researchers played a central role in developing the strategy that ultimately helped us win the largest account in the history of the company.

My role during that whole process was, as I like to describe it, more like an orchestra conductor. I worked to bring out everyone’s best and brightest ideas to create the multiple presentations we gave during the agency review process. I relied on my strategic thinking to ask questions of the team to help them solve the client’s problem and to position our company as the best one for the job.

However, during the process, I constantly stayed in communication with all the team members, interacting with each one of them to make sure our pitch was rock solid. The result was a solution that ultimately changed the way our client’s industry marketed to consumers.

Our ability to collaborate and bring all the ideas together created miraculous results for us. A few years later, I left that company and found myself in a company culture that was extremely competitive and judgmental where people focused on promoting their own ideas and playing what appeared to me to be an adult version of “King of the Hill.” I didn’t stay long at that company as I didn’t like being in such a highly competitive environment.

Bottom line, if you can learn to collaborate effectively, you will be more successful as a leader. To improve your collaboration skills try these tips:

–       Ask great questions

–       Be open to new ideas

–       Set your ego aside

–       Study leaders like orchestra conductors or team coaches to understand how to foster group collaboration

You can also learn some tips from Software Advice‘s article on these five women executives who have risen to executive ranks by using collaborative and questioning skills.

For a complimentary consultation on your leadership challenges and opportunities, 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


Win More in 2014

Whether you want to win more business, win in relationships, health, prosperity, there are certain habits and practices that will contribute to your success. While I was writing an article this morning, I looked for some decision models to support leaders during times of change and transition. Stephen Covey’s Quadrant Model from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People came to mind. During my search for more details and perspective on the topic, I found an article in Forbes by Eric Jackson on what to focus on from The Habits.

His best advice is to use the 4 quadrant model at the beginning of each week to plan your time. Most people focus on the Urgent and Important things, not enough time on Important/Not Urgent projects and too much time on Not Important/Not Urgent such as mindless browsing on Facebook and other sites. Note I said mindless. If you are using these sites to build your business that fits into one of the important categories, however, make sure you know what return you get for your time investment.

I offer coaching sessions on how to prioritize your work, bring out your best strengths and help you focus you on the path to success and prosperity. Please contact me for more information.

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

Below is a graphic you can use each week to keep focused on what is most important.

Use this matrix, adapted from Stephen Covey's original Time Management Quadrant, to plan your weekly priorities

Use this matrix to plan your weekly priorities




Reaching Your Goals with a Vision Board

Expressing your dreams in a visual way by putting photos on a poster or in a journal is a powerful way to document what you want in your business or your life.

I’ve used vision boards for years and it always amazes me when I create or receive something that is on my vision board.

In the past year, I’ve been to Europe twice, spoken at a conference in France, doubled my income and improved my relationships. Below is a photo of some of the exciting things in my life that were dreams – time with family, travel, time in nature and great clients. It’s time for me to update my vision board for what I want to create next.

My dreams – family, travel, nature, working with amazing leaders.

You can create outstanding results and have more of your dreams come true when you use a vision board or vision tool of some type.

There are several steps to creating a vision board that will support you in reaching more of your dreams.

Pick one of these to display your photos.
Poster for display where you can see it
Big journal with blank pages. Mine has colorful art on the cover.
Digital version using Powerpoint or iMovie (you can add music to these.)

It’s also easy to start with either a full or 1/2 a standard poster board for the project.

Next make a list of things you want to do, be or have. Strive for at least 25 – 50 items.
Review the list and add anything that comes up for you. If you are familiar with a bucket list, this is a similar list.

Prepare your vision board

There are photos everywhere you can use. Take the things on your list and search images on the internet or use magazines. Print them out and/or cut them out from magazines. Along the way when you see images that draw your imagination and fascination, go ahead and clip them. You may not know why you are drawn to a certain location, scene or item in a photo. That’s OK, just go with it.

Once you have 25-30 photos assembled, you are ready to start. Again the easiest way to get started on your vision board is to use a poster or blank journal.

Attach the photos in a way that is pleasing to you. Use whatever style works best for you. If you love creativity and expression, you can draw, add stickers, lettering or other decorations. The vision board must create happy thoughts and feelings when you look at it.

Once you have your vision board the way you want it, display it in a place you can see it everyday. If you use a journal, leave it in a place that is easily accessible. You will want to look at it once or twice a day. During this time, let your imagination and heart take over. Ignore any ego or mind thoughts that tell you that what you want isn’t possible.

Faith’s role in making your dreams come true

From now on, you must trust that what you want is possible. When you spend time with your vision board, your dreams will come true much faster if you let go and are not attached to how they happen.

Trust your higher power – God, The Universe, your guides, your higher self – whatever your particular belief system is – you will want to put your faith there.

For without faith, your mind will take over and create roadblocks. With faith, all things are possible.

Another aspect of faith is intention. Intention is defined by Webster’s as “the end or object intended; purpose.”

You will also create more of your dreams with an intention that they will come about. Intention is a strong energy – it is yours to use and draw to you what you want.

Documenting what happens

In my vision journal, I always write down the date something happens. Some things happen right away and some take several years or more to evolve. Let whatever happens be OK. Enjoy the miracle of watching your dreams unfold.

If you haven’t taken time to dream and create your own vision, on November 15 – 17, 2013, I will be hosting the Step UP! Retreat Workshop in Houston. Contact me with questions or request for additional information.








YOU can only go UP! from here

This morning on the way home from my workout, the song “Up!” by Shania Twain came up on my playlist. It’s a funny, upbeat song about a day that started out bad and her positive attitude that life can only go up from here.

That’s a theme that you can adopt in your business and life. Simple, yet powerful. You can use this approach to change your thoughts and attitudes about what is happening to you.

Next time you have a frustrating or discouraging moment or result, tell yourself “I can only go up from here!” Notice your reactions and your feelings. Over time, you’ll retrain your thought patterns to be more optimistic and open about your challenges.

If you are going through change, figuring out what’s next or in some sort of transition, you can especially use “I can only go up from here!” as a mantra to lighten up your stress.

I’ve used this phrase (and I admit – even sing along enthusiastically in the car) plus a few others including “What else is possible?” to get me unstuck and moving forward.

Kathy Garland's weekend seminar

Write down your 2014 plan

This is the time of year to plan a starting point for 2014 focus and goals as well as finishing 2013 strongly.

What will you do to move confidently into 2014? If you’d like to get started now, I’m offering a weekend seminar that will help you finish 2013 strong and have an early starting point for 2014.

This weekend seminar is focused on you and drawing out what you want to accomplish and where you want to spend your energy and time in 2014.

It starts November 15, 2013.

Here are more details on your starting point for 2014. Visit my website for other programs on navigating transition.