Tap Your Introverted Side in Change

As a strong introvert, and a Coach and Consultant frequently asked to work with leaders (both introverts, ambiverts and extroverts), taking time to plan  and leading change while instilling calm comes as second nature.  I have also learned that my introverted clients are more likely to take action rather than step back when chaos hits.   But, before you tell me this isn’t true for all extroverts, I agree.  It’s just they manage chaos and change differently!

Have you noticed that when you are in the midst of change you feel like you are in chaos, even when things are going Ask an Introvertas planned? I know I do. When my clients are experiencing change in their careers or businesses, they frequently want to place things on hold so they can catch their breath. More often than not I help them see that it is better to live in the chaos and push forward than to stall their progress.

Change is hard and I think its only human to resist rapid change that pushes you into overwhelm.  I also believe it’s normal for things to feel somewhat chaotic when you are making progress.  As you learn new things, change routines, you have to stop and think.  Each change pushes you out of your comfort zone and may feel like you have lost control.

The key to managing this ‘lack of control’ or ‘chaos’ is to have a good plan in place.  Introverts often step away, even if only for a short time, to have quiet time to contemplate and consider the situation and next steps.  They can be very decisive yet thrive with a moment of quiet.  Extroverts frequently have a tendency to jump in an take action immediately.  This may come at the expense the longer term plan.

The plan will help you know when you are on course or detouring. When you ensure  your plan has key milestones included — times when specific items will be completed or are transferred to someone else to complete. These milestones allow you to recognize progress. They will also enable you to “weather the storm” when everything seems to be off-kilter.

Remember, review your plan. Tweak it regularly as new information comes to light and keep on marching forward. Before you know it, things will get back to normal and you will get back into your ‘normal grove’.

Regardless of your leadership style or personality traits, when in the midst of change, it is important to find an approach that allows you to continue to lead, go with the flow and instill calmness with your team, accept the uncertainties that you may feel, work your plan and celebrate your successes. You will be glad you did!

 

“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”

 Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Contemplation to Action

Comtemplation Reap Action ILI

 

What are you contemplating that can result into a great harvest if you just take action?   

Can we help you make that shift?  A Strategy Huddle is a day dedicated to your goals and creating an action plan you can implement right away!   Let us partner with you to Ignite Results!    Book your Ignition Session to see if a Strategic Huddle  is right for you?

Powerhouse Team

During an episode of “The Property Brothers at Home”, the twins were discussing a project they were working on.  Each had ideas they wanted to include in the project – almost polar opposites.  During the show they were bantering back and forth and a new (and better) idea surfaced that they both liked.  Interestingly enough, they commented about how they frequently bring different perspectives forward and through their discussions land on an even better solution than they would have arrived at individually.

This is a very simplistic example of how two (or more) minds coming together usually come up with better solutions brain ideas pd 11575587_sthan would occur individually.

Is a group always better?

When a team within an organization come together, they too can mastermind to enhance the decisions and solutions.  Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.  In most work situations, people attending a meeting have different levels of authority.  If the meeting is not structured to encourage the sharing of ideas and perspectives regardless of position (rank), then employees will most likely refrain from speaking up when they hMeeting Teamave a different perspective or idea than their boss.

Another phenomenon that happens in many groups occurs where complacency reigns.  Group Think occurs when everyone on the team begins to think alike.  The status quo is embraced and innovation and varied perspectives are fail to be embraced and encouraged.

Challenge the Status Quo

As a leader of a business, division or committee, creating and sustaining an effective group is important if you want to have a positive impact.  To help prevent group think in your team, always be willing to challenge what seems obvious.  When you challenge teams, they will be more creative and innovative and new and more successful solutions can result.

My recommendation is to always ask Why.  Not just once, but many times throughout the process.  This one simple word can invoke a wide variety of thoughts, ideas, and new solutions.

Case Study

I was working with a client, who I’ll name Joe.  He had a team of managers who worked well together but results from the management team were not helping them keep pace with competitors.  When we looked at past decisions and outcomes, a pattern became apparent.  Most of the decisions were introduced by one manager, and after a short discussion, minor adjustments, that solution was implemented.  It was quick, easy and painless.  What they learned is that it wasn’t the right approach.

Our solution was to create a structure which would guide the decision making process so that they would compete more effectively and grow their business.  This decision making process included brainstorming, risk assessment, resource evaluation, and a beta test before final launch.  Through the beta test they can ask what is working, what is not and most importantly why!  The answers fueled their future discussions and decisions and led to more innovation and better profits.

Working Alone or Looking for More Diverse Perspectives?

Small and medium business leaders often have a small leadership team.  Their ability to ask for feedback, gather different perspectives or garner support (cause it can be lonely at the top) is limited.

Arrow up ID-10022718So… a mastermind (peer-mentoring) group can be the solution!  Why!  You become part of a unique group of motivated, goal oriented, successful business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs who, like you, are focused on being a good leader, better business person and make better decisions that ignite results, engage employees, grow business and helps them professionally and personally.

A Mastermind Group offers all participants unprecedented opportunities to lead change, grow business and become a stronger leader and a confident person.   Learn more about our Achieve More! Mastermind   Sign up today to reserve your spot!  The Group is limited to 10 participants.

 

Is Avoiding the Pain Worth Foregoing Success?

Did you know that 50% of people who start an exercise program drop out within 6 months?  That statistic is high, but it is similar in other areas of our lives too, including goal attainment!  To me that is sad.  50% of people never attain their goals!  Why?

Well there are many reasons… too many to discuss here.  Some never set concrete goals — this way they don’t get let down.  Drifting through life may seem like a great idea but you’ll stay where you are or fall behind!  Some people don’t write down their goals so they are unable to stay focused on what needs to be done to achieve the goal.  As the saying goes…”failing to plan is planning to fail”.

Here are a few more key obstacles you may face in reaching your goals and some questions to ask yourself and actions to take so you become the 50% who do attain their goals!

1.  Change is challenging!

Yes, change is challenging.  Change causes temporary pain… and who wants pain?  Isn’t life challenging enough without adding new challenges?  Having said that, if you want different results you have to implement different tactics or use different processes.  Change forces you outside your comfort zone. You cannot operate on autopilot and you have to make time.

We are now in the middle of February.  Did you set goals for 2012 in January?  Are you still working the plan to achieve those goals or have they slipped to the side so you can deal with “today”.  If you pushed them aside, do you have a plan to bring them back to the forefront so they become integrated with your business or career?  If not, why?  What are you avoiding?  Why are these goals taking a back seat to putting out today’s fires?  Will these goals, if accomplished, solve the types of challenges you are facing today?

As challenging as it is, change is necessary for you to grow and develop so you make your goals and dreams your new reality.  No one said life (or business) was easy.  No one said you have to do it alone either.   Can your team assist you?  Would journalling help keep you on track?  Would a coach or mastermind group provide the insights and support needed when times are tough?

2. Want great results with little effort!

How many times have you wished you could have the goal without doing the work?  I know every time I am doing my fitness routine I wish the inches and weight would just melt away so I didn’t have to work so hard.    Determination, persistence and effort are all needed for change.  Great results occur when we change our thinking, our actions or our effort!  Nothing comes for free!

Consider this:  You have a goal  that you’re passionate about.  It’s a goal you really want to achieve, but there are critical steps along the way that you don’t like doing (or maybe you just don’t know how to do them).  This is normal if you are stretching into new areas.  Yet, you consciously or sub-consciously procrastinate or just don’t take action.

This is where the perceived pain of these critical steps (no matter how large or small they may be in reality) become a huge barrier to your progress.  When you exert a little effort to shift your mindset from negative to positive, why does it always seem less onerous than you thought?.  How is it, when you shift your thinking, you can identify new opportunities or approaches to reduce the pain!.  As Nike says, Just Do It!  If you don’t want to do these critical steps, can they be delegated, outsourced, or incorporated into other tasks to save money and time?

3.  Time

The biggest excuse in the book… I have no time!  I know, we all feel like that at times but there are ways to overcome this obstacle too.  Why is it some people are so much more productive and successful in the same 24 hours you have?  What are they doing different that would allow you to achieve the same results?

Creating efficient and effective processes is one way to achieve more in less time.  Are routine tasks being done in a way that helps you move forward, grow or save time or money?  Time is money!

Things can get out of hand when people fail to create new habits.  Habits take persistence and consistency.  There is no “success pill”.   If you fall off the horse… get back up and keep riding.  The same holds true for your goals.  If you stray, reposition yourself and get back on track (even if its a new direction) that will lead you to success!

My challenge to you…. go back and revisit those strategic goalsBreak them down into bite-sized goals and schedule time into your calendar each week   Value Yourself!!  Reach out for help and support from others to keep you focused on the big picture, particularly

Only you can ignite the process so the SPARK allows you to GROW and LEAD.

Take action today.  Book your complimentary business assessment session to identify key steps to add SPARK to your career or business.

(originally shared Feb. 2012)

End the Roller Coaster of Business

One thing I have learned over the years in business is there will always be some ups and downs.  Some are small, others more of a roller coaster ride!  When ups and downs happen, as the leader, you know how important it is to stay the course rather than make major changes.

Now, staying the course does not equal no change.  Instead, it involves connecting with your vision, understanding the market place and evaluating your systems.  Are they in alignment?  For example, as we enter summer, business may slow down as more of your customers take holidays and are away from work.  If your customer base is primarily business, the rotating holiday schedule may delay the decision making process, even when a sale appeared imminent just prior.  In this situation, you won’t make drastic changes, but may have to adjust your business operations or attract new clients who are open for business.

Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important to have a clear vision and strong systems in place so you can make subtle shifts effectively.  Recently I have experienced a series of ups and downs in my business.

The Spark in all of this was a major setback when a client backed out at the last minute.  Do you Is your biz on a roller coaster-Is it (2)believe in coincidences?  As I write this post, I have a smile on my face… realizing that coincidences do happen!  When one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

As I mentioned, I was speaking with a potential client who was indecisive on taking next steps. Long story short, we’d been doing the “sell-dance” and ended when they decided not to move forward on their project.  They loved what I could bring to the table and wanted to work with me because they could clearly see where I could lead the transitions they want to make … yet they decided to put everything on hold.

Ok, I must admit that this is not the first time I’ve experienced this same scenario, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.

When facing this situation, I have found two key questions can help potential clients to make a decision.  “What specifically will motivate you to make a decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?”

This gentle roller coaster ride resulted in some amazing business opportunities to appear because I was prepared and open for business.  After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

Who Do You Know?

Who do you know?”  Some say, “Its not who you know, but who knows you.”  Others say “its not what you know but who you know” that’s important.  Regardless which saying resonates, this seemingly simple concept is a priceless one, particularly if you are in business. Unfortunately, it is also a question we often fail to ask ourselves.  My own coach refers to it as Relationship Capital.

What is your Network?

The term network can be defined as a group or an alliance of people who you know.  These people may be co-workers, colleagues, friends, members in your running group or your church, competitors, present and past employees, suppliers, neighbours or people you meet at a networkingEach Contact with a Human Being or educational event.  They will most likely come from different walks of life, be in different roles, and yet, you have something in common – each other.

Why is building a Network Important?

The number one method of securing a new job or gaining new business is by word of mouth introductions – in other words, through referrals.  The success of “the old boys network” for decades demonstrates how these principles do have a positive impact on making connections and building business.

How many times have you asked friends, family and other people you know what brand they use, or which model they like best, or what they know about a company?  People trust the word of people they know, like and trust over that of a stranger or advertisements.

Another key benefit of your network if you are in business, is potential customers who are referred to you are frequently “sold” before they ever speak to you.  You are just the ‘cherry on top’.  This not only saves you time and money, but it allows you an opportunity to really add value to this customer.  Most people who were referred will refer others.   Wouldn’t you like an income stream generated by referrals?

Networks are Two-Way Streets

Great business relationships include two conditions: 

1)  Each person in the relationship offers value to the other.  

2)  Each person works effectively with the other.

Obviously the success of a network is in the way each person is able to help others.  Working your network only for what you will gain will back-fire!  Givers-Gain is a great mindset to maintain. When you refer others, or offer to help them achieve a specific goal i.e., meet a person in your network, they are more likely to reciprocate with you.   Always keep the interests of others in your network in mind and make sure you are giving as much as you are receiving, and everyone will win!

A few questions to ask about each relationship:

  1. What value does that person bring to you? Why do you need that person on your side?
  2. How would you describe his or her leadership and communication style?
  3. What criteria does he/she focus on when making decisions (e.g., technical, business, political or process issues)?
  4. Who influences this person? Who does he/she perceive to be mentors and trusted sources?
  5. What past issues and resentments need to be resolved before the relationship can get stronger?

Your Next Steps

Again I ask… Who do you know?

This exercise involves creating a list of 100 people you that know, their position, contact information and how they may help you and, most importantly, how you could help them?

Once you have created this list, identify a group of 10 – 25 who you can reach out to at first, then expand to others on the list.  Can you share something of value to them, or offer an introduction to someone who may be interested in their product/service, can you share their blog post or other social media activity to help increase their exposure?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help if they could help you, but remember to ask what you could can do to help them.  If they say nothing, try to be imaginative to show your thanks in another way.  You may share resources, articles, tools they may find useful, send a hand written card, make a donation to their favourite charity.  The ideas are endless.

Continue to stay connected with your network connections and try to add value wherever possible. Always be respectful of their time and “in-box” but when done well, most will be happy to keep in Processtouch with you.

Are you up for the challenge?

Will you do what it takes to build and maintain your personal and business network in an authentic and value-added way for the success of your business or career? Download a complimentary copy of our Network Circuit Board to get you started.  Please share your experiences with us.

 

If Ignite Leadership can assist you and your business, please reach out.  You may be interested in our mastermind or group coaching options to connect with other like-minded business leaders.  We offer a complimentary Ignite Business call to explore your next steps.  Click on the contact us button below to get started.

The Ripple Effect of Change

Have you ever noticed that once a change is initiated in your organization or in your personal life,  a series of subsequent changes occur?  The ripple effect of change is a normal phenomenon and rippleone that many people find uncomfortable.  Why?  Because these changes may happen outside of your control.

What is a ripple effect?

Wikipedia describes it as “a situation where, like the ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally.”

I have been working with a client on an organizational change project which has rippled through so many areas of the organization.  The most recent was repositioning a division to be more responsive to their clients.  The change was initiated by the CEO when he recognized a lack of relevancy between the division’s deliverables and the wants/needs of their clients.

This desire to change prompted the director to resign.  The change process continued and eventually two staff members also resigned.  It’s sad when you lose great people but the flip side offers you, and your organization, a great opportunity to embrace the changes and continue the process.

Here are five tips you should consider when leading changes

1.  Share your plan.  Communication throughout the change process is critical to success.  It is important to let all team members, and those who will be impacted by the change, what is happening.  Sharing the big picture and how they will fit into this new environment will settle fears, engage your team, and provide valuable feedback.

2.  Prepare for the Changes –  Once you know what you want to achieve, taking time to document the action steps that you want to take and the milestones you want to reach will pay dividends.  Not only will a written plan increase the chances you will actually achieve these outcomes, it also allows you to identify gaps and opportunities.

3.  Act decisively.   As a leader, it is important to be confident and decisive to keep team members engaged.  Expect others to push back, question or refer to “the old way”.  When you listen to concerns/comments/objections, and take action with confidence, people are more likely to accept the change process and follow along.  I often hear “You seem to know what you’re doing so I keep circles-freegoing.”

4.  Recognize the challenges others face and be willing to review and rejig the plan.  In every well created plan an unforeseen glitch will occur or new information will come to light.  Nothing is perfect.  As a change leader, you want to be open to options, feedback and other insights.  This new information may cause you to change your plan or adjust an outcome or methodology.  Review is vital and more often than not will only improve the process of change.

5.  Keep the momentum.  Change happens continually and maintaining momentum is key to avoiding the panic.  Systems that you have put in place will create a great foundation to leverage time and effort.  Keep the above four steps in place and you’ll be positioned to navigate the changes you, and your business, face.

Our done with you, done for you approach to coaching and consulting offers you a way to navigate the changes you’re facing.  Let us assist you.  Book an Ignite Call (using contact button below) and we can explore your next steps.

PS    Don’t forget to check out our Ignite Summer Mastermind Program to get started today in a unique coaching/mastermind program for business owners, professional and entrepreneurs.

Business Is Out there for the Taking

Welcome

This is Catherine Rocheleau, founder of Ignite Leadership International speaking to you from my outside office. I hope you will enjoy this short video on what summer offers you, as a business leader, so you too can ignite results! Let’s Ignite Summer together!  Click here to learn more or book a complimentary call using the button in below and we’ll chat!

 

“You CAN NOT achieve your major definite

Why You Should Take Advantage of Summer

I have always found that the summer is a great time for business owners, executIgnite Summer Infographicives, managers and professionals to take advantage

According to Peter Drucker, business leaders should “attack the problem of increasing business effectiveness systematically—with a plan of action, with a method of analysis, and with an understanding of the tools he needs.”

I love having more time in my day to look back at what I’ve accomplished in my business, identify what’s working, and what’s not.  Having quieter, and structured days in the summer allow me to make the changes needed to reignite and improve results, I’m also able to innovate, plan and create new programs and more.

My goal is always work smarter not longer in the summer so I can take advantage of the long days and warmer weather.

To help you I’ve created this new program “Ignite Summer”

This beta program has now launched!  Space is limited and the time is ticking — We start on June 15/15.

If you’re like me and you want to be more productive, make more money, save time and reignite business you’ll want to join me!  

Click Here to learn more!

Are You Ready to Get Going?

Decide what you want .. believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, believe it’s possible for you. Unknown

This is a great start. Knowing what you want to do really helps your get started.  Yet, many of my clients claim they know where they want to go but are still stuck and unable to make their vision a reality.  Yes, a good vision can be a stumbling block for many.

If you aren’t clear on what you want, try writing down ideas – which one(s) stand out as worth pursuing?  Which one(s) ignite your passion and energize you?  This exercise will give you an idea of what you want.

Next, visualize it.

I love to see what it is I want to achieve. To do this, I have created a vision board (dream board). A vision board helps to Holding Dollars suphakit73_ID-100110359visually remind you of what your goals and dreams are.  Once created, its important to see frequently each day.  Your vision board subtly imprints your goals and dreams into your subconscious (in a good way!).  Where will you hang your vision board?

“All men [and women] of action are dreamers.” – James Huneker

What would you put on a vision board? Visual images, words or symbols that reflect what it is you want to achieve, what you hold dear and what you want more of.  Don’t forget to include things that are a big stretch!

Your vision board can be focused on your career, your business or your personal aspirations.  I created my dream board in a way that focuses on both my business and personal goals.  Because getting more balance in my life is important to me, having both integrated into one vision board helps me keep  this focus front and centre.   Both aspects are important and can be achieved simultaneously.

Remember you want to think big!  I have a cheque for a million dollars on my vision board!  I’m determined to achieve that payday before I retire!  What’s a big stretch goal for you?

Remember…

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. – William Arthur Ward

 

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