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.


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, 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



The Reluctant Leader

Occasionally, I will have in one of my groups a person who isn’t quite aligned with his or her role as a leader. This could be because of the need for skill building or it could be some insecurities or uncertainties about being a leader. If you are a leader of leaders and you have a person on your team who is being disruptive, you could have a reluctant leader.

Sometimes, these uncertainties and fears play out in observable behaviors. Here are a few signs that you may have a reluctant leader on your team:

1. Inappropriate use of humor. Humor is good in the workplace unless it becomes overly sarcastic or is targeted at other people on the team in an uncomfortable way. Mostly I’ve seen inappropriate humor used to deflect attention from the person using it. It makes everyone laugh, the situation is deflected and everyone moves on avoiding an issue. Other times, the person using inappropriate humor needs to be the center of attention and chooses his or her comments at times that disrupt the work flow and conversation.

Inappropriate use of humor can diminish your team’s energy and should have no place in your company culture. Other impacts of inappropriate humor are that it can alienate people and slow down production and effectiveness. There is a fine line here because as a leader, you don’t want to squelch appropriate fun in the workplace. You have to know where the boundaries are with someone who uses humor all the time.

You may want to have a conversation with this person and find out more about them. Why do they use humor? Be prepared that the person may be defensive and make light of your comments.

2. Missed deadlines. Usually people have really good rationale as to why a deadline is missed. You will want to observe and consider whether this person has a time management issue or is afraid of making a mistake, which are additional signs of a reluctant leader. Another possibility is that he or she needs to learn better collaboration and influence skills. Missed deadlines are more than a nuisance. They impact the bottom line.

3. Solving the wrong problem. This may be more relevant to your team members who are less experienced leaders. However, solving the wrong problem has broad impacts from missing your customers’ expectations to lowering revenues and profits. If you have a team or a leader that is solving the wrong problem and you know you’ve been clear about the expected outcome, you will want to explore if that person really wants to succeed or is operating from his or her own agenda. Either way, there is a reluctance to align with the corporate vision and solve the right problems for the company and your customers.

New leaders are usually eager to do a great job and may have anxiety about performance. New leaders or those with less empathic or social intelligence may not be aware of their impact on others.

One of your main jobs as a leader is to mentor, coach and work with all your leaders. Regular conversations and feedback are essential to supporting your leaders and particularly your new leaders. The impact as they experience your support and guidance will help them gain confidence and eliminate any issues you may have with a reluctant leader.

For a complimentary consultation on mentoring your employees, 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


upcoming internet talk shows with tips for business owners

I’m lining up some great programs for the second half of 2010 for my Big Leap Business Growth for Entrepreneurs talk show on BlogTalk Radio in the DivaToolBox network. Below I’ve described some of the upcoming shows and also included how you can dial in on Monday nights at 7 Central, 5 Pacific, 8 Eastern.  Here are some of the upcoming highlights:

Monday, July 12 Maximizing Your Talents: Have you wondered how to get the most from yourself and your team? How to motivate and inspire everyone, including you, to do their best? One of the ways is to understand their unique talents and strengths. My colleague, Kay Lisch who is an executive coach and consultant and I will discuss our experiences and understanding of what it means to focus on your talents and strengths.

Monday, July 19 Hiring Your First Salesperson: Hiring a salesperson can be one of the smartest things you do or one of the worst mistakes you make. Learn from an insider who places salespeople the keys to hiring a good salesperson. Annie Daub and I will discuss what makes a productive salesperson and we’ll also discuss when it is right to hire a salesperson.

Monday, August 2 Get the Edge on Networking: Learn from experts Peggy Edge and Michelle Martin who both lead networking organizations on how you can maximize your time in your networking activities.

Monday, August 16 Marketing from Your Office: if you are more introverted and don’t like getting out of the office or you don’t like spending so much time going from meeting to meeting to find potential customers, join Leslie Mock and I for some insight on how you can effectively market from your office.

Monday, August 30 Business Relationships Do Matter! Kathy and Rita Reneaux will discuss the essentials you need to know to build strong business relationships. Both Kathy and Rita have extensive experience managing large accounts and multiple client relationships and understand how critical maintaining the relationship is to growing and retaining business.

Big Leap Business Growth for Entrepreneurs is a BlogTalk internet radio show on the Diva Toolbox Network that broadcasts at 7 p.m. Central on most Mondays. Check Kathy Garland’s show page to confirm details and phone number for dial in:

Big Leap Business Growth is hosted by Kathy Garland, who consults with small businesses on strategy and plans for growth,


how emotions can work for you

As human beings, we have a vast number of ways to experience emotions. Emotions such as excitement and passion fuel us with us increased creativity and productivity. On the other hand emotions such as frustration and overwhelm distract us from our goals.

I’ve noticed that when I am in a creative pursuit such as writing or developing a speech, I am more aware of a range of emotions that can support me or hold me back.

What have you noticed about your emotions and how much they control your life? Or do you let your emotions drive you?

One of the most profound things I learned in my management coaching program was the principle "Feelings in the face of commitment don’t matter." That stopped me in my tracks for awhile.

What I’ve come to appreciate is that feelings and emotions are part of our everyday experience and make us the rich, diverse and wonderful part of humanity that we are.

How do you let emotions support you or distract you? This is a critically important topic for entrepreneurs, company leaders, authors and speakers.

On Monday, June 28, join me for my Big Leap Business Growth for Entrepreneurs Talk Show on Diva ToolBox Blog Talk Radio. At 7 p.m. Central, I’ll be hosting a 60-minute segment on Emotions at Work.

My guest expert for Emotions at Work is Jan King, Founder and Director of the eWomenPublishing Network. Jan has years of experience working with leaders, authors, speakers and people who want to publish. She knows that unless emotions are recognized, the drive to reach the goal is much more difficult.

Join us for a lively discussion Monday night! You can call in (347) 843-4134 to contribute your ideas, questions and insights on emotions at work. All show segments are downloadable from my Host Page.

Kathy Garland International Join me on LinkedIn Read my Tweets on Twitter Connect with me on Facebook  972.529.6744 office


increasing your focus

January has been more challenging to focus than I thought it would. After all, I have my list of projects to complete, speeches to write and marketing programs to develop. I started the year knowing what I want to create in 2010. Besides that, I teach and coach people all the time on narrowing their focus on what they do best.

Yet, this month has been a slow transition into the year. I’d like to say it’s because of the new decade or that the dog ate my plans. I can’t blame the weather because it’s been wonderful here in North Texas.

So I looked at why I feel unfocused. Each January, like you, I have new opportunities, new plans, new clients and contract renewals. All these opportunities stir up my idea generating mind. There are endless possibilities in everything I do so narrowing it down and picking a direction can trip me up. I love to plan!

Yesterday, I realized I needed to get a grip. Writing always helps me focus. So I am going to use this blog to share tips about focus. Today’s tip is to use a Mind Dump process to calm your mind when you feel overwhelmed or have too much to do.

A Mind Dump can happen in two ways. The first is to grab a notebook and write down all the thoughts in your head. Let everything flow without censoring your words. You may put down items on your to-do list, your ideas, your complaints, your passions, your successes. Write down anything that comes to mind. Schedule this at a time when you will be uninterrupted. You’ll feel much calmer when you get it all on paper.

If you don’t like to write, you can still use a Mind Dump process. Simply talk into a small digital recorder or a use a service like AudioAcrobat to capture what is on your mind. You may want to save it because great ideas can come out in the Mind Dump process.

You can use this everyday or when you are feeling out-of-focus. Choosing to make this a regular practice is useful for you to keep on track. Feel free to share your ideas on focus with me and if you use these tips.

Kathy Garland,, is a transformational leader who improves the personal power of women leaders through branding, client acquisition and creating focus for the future. She is a radio show host for The Leader in You and a featured columnist on Empowering Women for McKinney Woman.

© copyright 2010,  Kathy Garland, all rights reserved. Feel free to link to this blog post. For permission to reprint, please call 972.529.6744.


setting 2010 goals


We all know the value of goals. Having goals is like having a roadmap to reach our destination. Here are examples you are familiar with:

  • sell one million dollars in products or services
  • achieve top salesperson
  • win a sales contest

Webster primarily defines a goal as “the end of a race” or “an area to be reached in children’s games,” which is not much help for our purpose. A secondary definition, “the end toward which effort is directed,” is a more practical business application. Very often we focus only on the end to which our effort is directed, our destination, and not enough on the journey to get there.

Goals set without a specific plan of action to get there are just words on paper. To make the most of your goals, look at the commitments, or pledges or promises you need to make to reach your goals. Commitments are a series of actions you take both for the short and long-term that will help you reach your goals.

Through deciding which commitments are needed to fulfill your goals, you can be more purposeful and successful about reaching them. Commitments are what you say we are going to do based on the goals we want to achieve.

A commitment is defined as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future.” It is the daily, weekly and monthly actions necessary to reach your goals. The key is to make commitments that are focused on achieving your goals. You are most likely to honor your commitments when you are emotionally connected to them and are honest with yourself and others about what you will and will not do.

In a coaching program, clients make commitments with specific time parameters that help them reach their goals. For example:

  • block off two hours each day to contact current and prospective clients
  • finish an article for publication by Friday
  • participate on one volunteer committee per quarter

Making commitments is a way to “chunk down” goals. Commitments are what drive you to reach your goals and focus your time. They need to be made on a regular basis. It is most effective to start with your yearly goals as a framework and make commitments monthly, weekly, and daily to make progress toward your goals.

Many people take their commitments very lightly and do not follow through with them. Make your commitments carefully and stay accountable to what you say you are going to do. For example, if you promise information to a client tomorrow morning and don’t get it to them until the afternoon or next day, you have not honored your commitment, which will hurt your credibility. Your reputation depends on how you honor your commitments to others.

True goal setting is a two-step process. First, establish your goals by deciding what you want to achieve. Second, determine what commitments or actions you are going to make to accomplish your goals.

Planning your goals and commitments is one of the most important tasks you can do to build your sales.

Once you have decided on your goals and commitments, find someone who will support you. This should be someone who is completely objective but will hold you accountable for your commitments. This can be a friend or a colleague. An effective way to stay on task is to hire a coach. Part of a coach’s purpose is to be a partner with you to manage your commitments so you do reach your goals.

If you would like to make sure you reach your goals this year, contact me at to schedule a complimentary consultation. I have individual and group programs that can help you reach your goals. My website is

Thank you for reading my blog posts!

Copyright, 2010 Kathy Garland. All rights reserved.


Play to win

The playoff series of any sports are fun for me to watch. One year I watched the Dallas Stars play the Colorado Avalanche. In game two of the Stanley Cup playoff, the Stars were down 3-0 after the first period. In the second period, the Stars scored 4 goals to go ahead. During the break, Stars player, Brenden Morrow, was asked what was going on with the team and why they bounced back so strongly. He said that in the first period they had been afraid to lose and not playing to win. So during the first break they must have done some regrouping because they came out in the second period playing to win. Unfortunately for the Stars, they lost in overtime.

Are you playing like you are afraid to lose your sales game? Or are you playing to win? Whether you are in sales or another type of job, you can use these principles to improve your results. After reading the lists below determine if you are Afraid to Lose or Playing to Win:

Afraid to Lose:

· Being hesitant about sales activities and tasks because you are afraid to lose

· Not having enough prospects

· Finding other things that “have” to be done instead of making your sales calls

· Procrastination

· Calling on accounts that are too small

· No system to monitor and manage your results

· Depending too heavily on the accounts you have

· Complaining about what is happening or not happening

Playing to Win:

· Planning and organizing your day around your sales calls and appointments

· Starting early; knowing your plan for the day before you get to the office

· Following a process and documenting your notes and follow-up dates

· Researching and understanding your target market

· Knowing where you add unique value to the sales process

· Measuring and monitoring your results

· Constantly studying and improving your sales game

Focusing your attention on the Play to Win strategies will improve your results and your attitude. You’ll be much more focused and confident with the Play to Win strategies.

© copyright 2009,  Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.

Kathy Garland is a transformational leader who improves the personal power of women leaders through branding, client acquisition and creating focus for the future. She is a radio show host for The Leader in You,  a Diva Toolbox Radio Show and a featured columnist on Empowering Women for McKinney Woman.


Pushing yourself to higher performance

On Saturdays, all belt levels in my Haidong Gumdo program show up for practice. Last Saturday, I was the total new kid on the block with many experienced people in the class. I could choose to sit back and watch or do the best I could to keep up.Of course, I stayed and kept up for the most part, but then the group went beyond the exercises and forms I knew. As I stumbled to keep up, they were patient and supportive. At one point I asked if I was the slowest ever to learn a particular move. They said, “We didn’t learn this till we were orange belts (2 levels above me.)

You see, I was trying to keep up with people three, four and five levels ahead. The good news here is that by being with people who have higher skills and proficiency than me, I learn more and faster. Part of the class for all students is to lead one of the exercises, which involves knowing the name of the exercise (in Korean) and counting to 10 (in Korean) as well as knowing the particular moves of the exercise. I didn’t expect to be asked to lead an exercise, so did my best with help from the class. However, since then, I have really stepped up my effort to learn these things. I have now mastered counting to ten in Korean. It’s a small victory, but hey, I’m counting everything!

In addition, I’ve started spending more time outside of class learning the forms, the language and the exercises. I want to move up and really I want to be less obvious that I’m such a beginner! If I hadn’t gone to that class with so many people at higher belt levels, I wouldn’t be pushing myself as much.

When you want to grow and expand your skills, thinking and success, it’s a good idea to hang out with people who are further along on their path than you. It takes a little confidence and courage on your part and you will be so glad you did.

© copyright 2009,  Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.

Kathy Garland is a transformational leader who improves the personal power of women leaders through branding, client acquisition and creating focus for the future. She is a radio show host for The Leader in You,  a Diva Toolbox Radio Show and a featured columnist on Empowering Women for McKinney Woman.


The Leader in you first radio show Monday sept 14

Join me, Monday, September 14 at 11 a.m. Central for my new radio show on Diva Toolbox Radio, The Leader in You. The purpose of the show is to discuss ideas and tips for women to advance their careers whether employed or entrepreneur.

My guest, Dr. Helen Harkness, has been coaching professionals on their careers since the 1970’s, is well-regarded, an author and speaker.

We’ll be discussing how to manage your career, juggle priorities and keep it all together without falling into the Superwoman trap – being all things to all people and not being able to say no.

You can log onto the internet and by phone with the link and numbers below:

Phone Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 62307

Hope you can join us!

© copyright 2009,  Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.