Leadership Log

Get a business coach or business advisor

5 Reasons to Get a Business Coach

What good is a business coach? I get asked that a LOT! Well, first I bring expertise from a long and varied background in business management. Plus, I am someone you can bounce your thoughts off of – like a knowledgeable friend who cares but is not directly or personally …
Read More

How to Increase Your Energy

Want to know how to increase your energy? Where do you get energy, anyway? Is it merely a diet, exercise, and sleep? I don’t think so. You get energized by engaging in activities that bring you joy. Of course, that includes eating, playing, and sleeping. But there is much more …
Read More

Don’t Avoid Turbulence

Finding the Lift As a leader, do you try to avoid turbulence and conflict? Well, when I first learned to fly hang gliders, I liked predictable conditions. Smooth, stable air – that’s what I wanted. I waited for calm before I’d ever launch. My glide was usually gentle because of this …
Read More

Need to Lead on the Fly? Get Prepared!

Be prepared to lead on the fly Leadership is not for wussies! It’s not simple – nor is it stable. Sometimes you need to lead on the fly. So get ready for it. If you’re prepared for leadership on the fly, you can take advantage of the opportunities – and even …
Read More

Networking for Introverts

Hate networking? Read this! Do you cringe at the thought of attending one of those networking events? Too many business professionals would rather throw money into advertising when there is a less expensive way to increase their business. True, your advertising and marketing may pique customer interest in your product or …
Read More

The Power of Your Smile

The power of your smile Consider the power of your smile. Recently, I received this email: “Hi Chris, I saw you in *** on Friday, and am sorry to say I did not recognize you with those sunglasses on. My wife and I both have different books of yours, and you …
Read More

Think You’re Being Pushed?

Think you’re being pushed? What happens when you think you’re being pushed? Try this fun little demonstration when you’re discussing conflict at a staff meeting: Get a volunteer, we’ll call him Jack. Stand in front of the group about two feet apart facing each other. Raise your right hand as if …
Read More

Improvise Your Way to Better Teamwork

Improvise your way to better teamwork At work, your teams have to take diverse, oddball, and sometimes disagreeable ideas – from each other, their bosses, their boards, or a regulator – and merge them into cohesive productive results. The team members aren’t doing it for fun and they aren’t usually laughing. …
Read More

Be Careful – When you Focus, You Filter

Have you ever watched a newborn baby take in his world? His wide eyes are looking at everything, but not focused on anything yet. What he sees must be overwhelming. There is so much to take in. Eventually, he learns to filter out some of his surroundings and focus on …
Read More

Six Ways to Deal with Distractions

Deal With Distractions Distractions happen! Do you welcome anything that breaks the routine? Or do you hate getting interrupted when you’re on a roll? It usually depends on what you’re doing and how much you like doing it. And it’s influenced by what or who is distracting you. Let’s get you …
Read More

Avoid Trigger Word Problems

Some of the words we use trigger emotional responses in others. If you are aware of them, you won’t get unwanted reactions from someone you’re trying to relate to. Let’s talk about how to avoid trigger word problems. Although most of our communication occurs through our body language and vocal tone, …
Read More

Don’t Eliminate Conflict

Don’t eliminate conflict Great efforts are made to reduce or eliminate conflict. Maybe it would be helpful to change our perspective. Don’t eliminate conflict. Learn to see its benefits. Try conflict appreciation for success. Conflict is simply the result of a difference of opinion. If you get two people together, they will …
Read More

Time Management is a Waste of Time

Time Management is a Waste of Time Forget time management! You can’t manage time. Time management is a waste of time. Leaders and teams alike are pressed for time – this scarce resource. I get many requests to teach time management. But the first lesson is that you can’t manage it! …
Read More

Show Interest and You’ll Get Interest

Show interest and you’ll get interest Here is the key to getting more out of the people around you. Take an interest. Be interested. Show interest and you’ll get interest. My clients who are business managers frequently ask how to get their employees more interested in the jobs that they do. They tell …
Read More

Making Moments Matter

Moments in a Laundromat I like to ask people what they do to keep their lives in the balance, and I usually get answers about family, spirituality, or hobbies. One day I asked my massage therapist and she said she had gone to a Laundromat over the weekend. Eeewwww, I thought, …
Read More

Customers Are NOT Always Right

I managed a group of tourist attractions and we strived for excellent customer service. So I told my employees that “the customer is always right.” Sounded like good management at the time, but I was young. To boost our admission income, I initiated a 100% money-back guarantee if the customer was …
Read More

How to Get Your Confidence On

It is one of those traits that empowers you when you have it and undermines you when you don’t. You perform better when you feel self-confident, and your team performs better when members feel confident in you and each other. If you lack it, the result is insecurity and unwillingness …
Read More

How Not to be a Sleazy Salesperson

How Not to be a Sleazy Salesperson Eeeewwww! There is such a negative stigma about “salespeople.” Why? Because they are often seen as gushing, insincere, and shallow. They care about you until you turn down their deal and walk out the door. Then, they are gushing, insincere and shallow to the …
Read More

Don’t Follow the Golden Rule!

Don’t Follow the Golden Rule Here’s a lesson I learned early on – don’t follow the golden rule! As a young manager, I wanted to reward my employees because they reached a lofty sales goal. I decided a staff party would be a fun way to engage and recognize everyone. You …
Read More

A Counterintuitive Guide to Improvement

When you think about improvement, do you focus on weaknesses? Here’s a counterintuitive (and much more rewarding) guide to improvement. Ask most people what about their lives they’d like to improve and you’ll usually get a litany of their weak points. They want to improve their problems with their business or …
Read More

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

For learning, take a lesson from a baby – get out of your comfort zone. How does a baby learn to walk? She takes baby steps. First, she learns to stand, then bounce, then hang on to something and take a step. Eventually, she lets go and takes another step. …
Read More

What Good is a Positive Attitude?

A Positive Attitude What good is a positive attitude? I’m not talking Pollyanna-type optimism, but a positive leaning. The answer is better performance. As the leader, your attitude is your approach to a situation. It is the way you look at your environment. If your attitude is too optimistic, you may fail …
Read More

An Eye-Opening Guide to Listening

Listening with your eyes as well as your ears is so important. Whether you’re the boss or the employee, the parent or the spouse, you’d better be a good listener, but how do you do it? Here’s an eye-opening guide to listening. Remember how to actively listen? You make eye contact, …
Read More

The Problem with Setting Goals

Goals don’t always work! Traditional wisdom tells us that the key to success is setting specific, measurable, and time-sensitive goals. You should know where you’re going and when you’ll get there. But there is a problem with setting goals. When you set out to accomplish something, you attempt to plan for …
Read More

Optimize Your Workforce Talent

Optimize your workforce talent. People – they are your most expensive and powerful business assets. Optimize your workforce talent and you create skilled leaders, dream teams, and productive and loyal employees. That will launch your business to new heights! Optimizing your workforce talent helps you situate people in the right places, at …
Read More

The Secret of Your Perception

The secret of your perception. Want to know the secret about your perception? I’ll illustrate it with an old joke, which is funny – and it’s true. A tourist pulled over to the side of the highway and asked a farmer who was tending his field, “What are the people in …
Read More

How to Increase Skill Retention

How to increase retention Whether you want to increase the skill retention of your employees or your customers, the secret is the same. – periodic workforce development. Wouldn’t it be nice if you trained your people once and they retained important business skills forever.? Well, a high level of performance requires …
Read More

The One Thing to Know About Stress

Stress is emphasis You learn it in music – it’s the most important thing to know about stress. If you are playing an instrument or singing, and you want to accent a particular note, you stress it. That emphasizes the note’s importance. When I’m delivering conflict resolution training, I ask participants …
Read More

Motivation Made Easy (and Free)

*Vicki Niebrugge, NOVA Group It’s easier to get cooperation from people if you know what motivates them. And – surprise! – it doesn’t cost money. Read on for motivation made easy (and free.) Whether it’s your friend or adversary, parent or child, or boss or employee, your skill at motivating other people …
Read More

Business Goals are Moving Targets

Think of your business goals as moving targets. Like shooting ducks at a carnival booth. Be sure you really want them before you get specific goal-oriented. Sometimes they don’t turn out to be what you expected. “Three tries for a dollar,” shouted the sleazy midway huckster over the din of the …
Read More

Working Together in Harmony

Your people all have different roles and personalities, yet you want them working together harmoniously for optimum performance. Here are a few teamwork skills I learned singing in a quartet. Each member of a quartet has a different role, a different approach, and even a different personality. A quartet doesn’t need …
Read More

Creative Process – The Right Way

When considering the creative process, what is the right way? What is the best approach for a big project? I asked myself this question when I sat my “flying by my pants” seat down to write my first book. How do you write a book? What’s the creative process? Who …
Read More

Career Coach Yourself from the Inside Out

And don’t be too specific. I tell young people to career coach themselves! I ask them if they know an older adult who hates his or her career. Most of them do. Then I ask them how they think that could have happened. Certainly, their adult friend didn’t plan it that …
Read More

Take Initiative and Move Beyond Normal

Me on the left, as Cinderella’s Stepmother, waiting for normal. During this COVID era, it’s especially easy to wait for normal before you get on with business. Don’t. Instead, take initiative. Be proactive. I was playing the part of Cinderella’s stepmother, in a theater production of “Into the Woods.” After several people …
Read More

Build Rapport Subliminally

I watched a couple of young lovers in a restaurant the other day and got a refresher course on how to build rapport. This couple sat across the small table from each other and stared into each other’s eyes and smiled while they talked. He raised his hand and cupped …
Read More

Customer Service Skills – Avoid the #1 Problem

Customer service skills are on many business leaders’ minds, so I am asked to deliver customer service training frequently. I recently asked employees in a department store what they thought the biggest customer service complaint is – not just in their business but in any business. They guessed some obvious …
Read More

4 Leadership Behaviors that Affect Staff Development

Your leadership behaviors impact staff development and employee performance. Let me illustrate. A pool of students, who all tested the same academically, were divided between two teachers. Each teacher heard a different backstory. One teacher learned that his students were the cream of the crop, the ones with the highest …
Read More

Get Lucky – In Three Easy Steps

It’s easy, right? Getting lucky seems as simple as falling out of bed when other people do it. But, identifying opportunities in the changing conditions you face is about as easy as finding thermal lift in the wild blue yonder. Ask any hang glider pilot. But like that pilot, you …
Read More

Easy Ways to Motivate Employees

Want to know how to motivate employees? Employee recognition is important, but not used often enough. Appreciation is a free motivator. It stimulates performance. When I managed a group of tourist attractions, I couldn’t pay my employees much. Since I didn’t have a budget to use for rewards and …
Read More

Your Organizational Chart – Made for Growth

Your business is a living organism, much like a tree. Consider your organizational chart. Does it look like a pyramid, with the boss on top and the worker-bees on the bottom? Or like a tree with the boss being the trunk and the leaves doing the work and serving the …
Read More

Stay Focused to Avoid This Pitfall

I was soaring my hang glider above Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon Coast. But I didn’t stay focused. The sun cast a sleek shadow of my thirty-foot wingspan on the sand dune below me as I passed. Because I was so engrossed looking at my shadow, I didn’t initiate my …
Read More

The #1 Confident Leadership Philosophy

I used to sing in with a jazz quartet. The drummer taught me a simple lesson in leadership philosophy, and a great way to lead by example. Think about this: As a leader, do you picture yourself walking or running? Have you ever watched a drummer in a band? Talk about …
Read More

How to Negotiate – Don’t Make This Mistake

To negotiate and create a win-win situation, understand the difference between interest and position. The best negotiation tactic is to focus on the interest. Here’s a little story to illustrate: Two chefs reached for the last egg in the refrigerator at the same time. The first said, “I need this egg, …
Read More

5 Keys to Adaptability

You’re flying by the seat of your pants through a new COVID normal. You need to know how to increase adaptability. Although “winging it” may have a bad rap, it is crucial to know how to do it for peak performance in business. So, develop your purpose statement, or a …
Read More

What You Need to Know about Team Collaboration

Team collaboration is often misunderstood. Collaborating in the workplace does not mean that each team member’s opinion or approach is the same. Quite the contrary. Teamwork and collaboration work best when there are different viewpoints! Think about the government today. There are right wings and left wings – each wing has …
Read More

What Great Leaders Know about How to be Present

The greatest holiday gift or year-end bonus might not come in a package. Knowing how to be present is more important than giving presents. Practice mindful leadership. I once worked as a nanny for Elizabeth. She lived in the nicest house in the richest neighborhood of the city. Elizabeth’s bedroom was …
Read More
%d bloggers like this: