Isn’t It Time To Breakthrough?

How high do you set your personal and business standards?  Do you really reach for the stars and take actions to realize those goals, or are you more inclined to set more attainable goals that are “realistic” and less risky?

For the most part, I set  the bar pretty high for myself  and I’m pretty committed to reaching and exceeding my goals and performance standards.  This doesn’t come without a few challenges and set-backs but I haven’t stayed in business for over 25 years by always playing it safe.

 

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.        Duke Ellington

Over the years I have come to realize that most successful business leaders also set their goals high, take the risks and capitalize on the opportunities which move them forward toward these lofty goals.  As a result they achieve what many believe to be exceptional successes.

A mastermind group is one place where you can connect with other high achievers.  The benefit of a mastermind group is how you can leverage the knowledge, experience and insights of other members of the group to drive your goals forward.  A mastermind can provide a solid, safe place to face your fears, brainstorm ideas and celebrate your successes.

One of my previous mastermind groups consisted of experienced entrepreneurs who had each been in business for over 5 years and were continuing to grow and develop into new areas.  This success was reflective of success they achieved while in school and in their prior careers.

Stretch to New Heights

In order to achieve your goals and dreams, each member of your group sets business and personal goals that will move you forward and allow us to grow. These are stretch goals.

Stretch goals are commonly referred to in the business world as a way to achieve more.  Stretch goals require a person or business to ambitiously extend itself  beyond what seems realistic within current parameters

Many years ago I read an article written by John Miller.  Miller wrote about the conflict between stretch goals and smart goals.  Here is the acronym he presented to explain how the two fit together:

“S = SMART goals that

T = teach an organization how to

R = reach higher levels of performance by

E = engaging everyone in

T = testing hypotheses through

C = cross-functional cooperation

H = in a humane fashion.”

Setting the bar high should be reflected in your performance as well.  Is the quality of the product you offer your customers reflective of your standards?  Continuous quality improvement will

Image compliments of David Castillo-Dominici | www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image compliments of David Castillo-Dominici | www.freedigitalphotos.net

occur when you continually reassess current systems, standards and outcomes and then set the bar higher.  Rejig to keep things current, and to maintain quality and performance — it also keeps life challenging and interesting!

 

You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don’t win, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve tried. If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, you don’t branch out, you don’t try – you don’t take the risk.      Rosalynn Carter

 

Elevating operations, goals, expectations and deliverables takes planning and dedicated effort.  A Coach or Mentor or Mastermind Group can help make you stretch and achieve your goals by keeping you accountable.   A VIP Day Strategy Session is another great way to gain clarity, stretch your goals and create the action plan you can implement immediately to reap the rewards of your vision.

I challenge you to raise the bar in business and your own life and reap the rewards that follow.

 

Catherine Rocheleau is a Leadership & Change Strategist and the Founder & CEO of Ignite Leadership International.  We empower professionals and business owners to illuminate the excellence within themselves, their team and organization through team dynamics, communication and leadership.  When you engage others business is more productive, profitable and your team is happier and more motivated.

 

Subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter where we share valuable articles, resources, and business insights.

Luck Has Nothing to Do with It

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, the concept of luck and how people associate it with success in business got me thinking.

How many times have you heard a successful business leader say their success is “just luck”?  They may feel as though they were in the right place at the right time, or an opportunity just came their way.   Anyone who has achieved their own business or career success knows there is no such thing as an overnight sensation!  Success doesn’t just fall in your lap.  You have work to do to prepare yourself.

In an Inc Magazine article, author, Eric Holtzclaw, said

To claim that you are just “lucky” is
a disservice to those considering following an entrepreneurial path.
If success is just based on luck,
then small business owners have no control over their eventual success
and “being unlucky” becomes
an excuse for failure or choosing never to start.”

Richard Branson shares a similar, yet different view.  In fact, Branson says “people and businesses that are generally considered fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and, by association, are also prepared to fall flat on their faces every so often.”  He goes on to say “You can’t get lucky if you’re playing it safe.”

Luck ispreparationmeetingOpportunityI know I don’t attribute career or business success to luck.  In fact, I believe that luck is the result of making decisions and taking action!

One client I worked with started her path to change by making the decision to seek external help.  I was the person she decided to work with during the transition phase.  These two steps, decision and action, lead her to identify gaps in her team which she addressed, systems that were not working for the team or for her business, and clarified the results she wanted to achieve.  Our collaboration resulted in set expectations for client interactions by each team member, development of tools and resources to assist in improving client retention and to boost sales.  This didn’t happen overnight, and at the end, she indicated she “felt lucky that I came along to help turn things around”.  Her determination, hard work and a willingness to make tough decisions and take action lead to her new success, I was just there to help her remain accountable to herself and her goals.

In the well known book, Good to Great, Jim Collins shares his insights on luck.  He says luck is part of pattern he coins “the window and the mirror“.  He explains Level 5 leaders (individuals who let go of their ego and self-interest while being very ambitious and focused on their organization), will

look out of the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck).  At the same time they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.

If you want to enjoy your own luck, now or in the future,

  • recognize what you have accomplished to date and
  • recognize the steps you must take to prepare yourself to be ready to capitalize on opportunities that present thomas-jefferson-luck-wallpapers_18165_1024x768themselves to you.
  • build a good network of like minded people, such as a mastermind group, to keep you focused and moving forward.
  • consider working with a Coach to raise the bar and
  • be willing to take risks and stretch out of your comfort zone!

Are you ready to take action?  

Book your complimentary Ignite Call to explore how we can help you to build your own luck!

3 Steps to End Procrastination

Go Confidently QuoteHave you ever wondered why some things are so quick and easy to accomplish while others just feel insurmountable before you start, and so simple once they’re done?   Delay tactics become very imaginative when we see that task on our list that we don’t want to do.

Rarely is the time you spend trying to avoid doing a particular task substituted with another high priority productive task.  For example, you have to do follow-up phone calls with prospective clients.  You’re not sure if they will say “yes” and so you delay making the calls so you don’t have to hear “no”.  Instead of making those calls, and potentially adding some new clients who will pay you money, you rewrite your list of things to do, delete emails from your mobile phone, grab another cup of coffee, walk the dog, or daydream.  You get the idea!

Why do you procrastinate?

Procrastination is an automatic habit that causes us to needlessly delay timely, relevant, priority activities to another day.  The good news is that as a habit, it can be changed.  The challenge is that procrastination is a reinforced habit, meaning we don’t always experience the unpleasant outcomes of our choices/actions.  We often beat ourselves up because we delay action on a task or project.  Inaction is not necessarily procrastination as long as what you are doing is as important as the task you are delaying.

Interestingly enough, procrastination is on the rise.  Is this because our world is racing by and we just don’t have enough time to complete everything we want to do?  Or, is this because we have too many distractions, between email, the internet, meetings, games and social media?  Researchers at the University of Michigan suggest a change in society’s philosophy from one focused on hard work and prosperity to a more socially focused philosophy underpins this shift.

Brian Tracy, in his best seller “Eat That Frog” offers 21 habits that you can change to stop procrastinating.  A strange title for sure until you read the book.  Tracy explains, “…your frog is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on…the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.”  Tracy also contends that if you are faced with two frogs, you should ‘eat’ the ugliest one first (the biggest, hardest and most important).  You should tackle your major task first thing in the morning (without taking a lot of time to look at it) to reach high levels of performance and productivity.

Here are 3 key changes you can take today to move your projects forward.

  1. Prepare Before you Start
    Planning and preparation are a key steps in getting more in less time and achieving better results.  Planning helps you get clear on what it is you have to or want to achieve and the steps that need to be taken.  Assemble all of the necessary tools and resources to do the job at hand quickly and efficiently.  Create a good work environment for yourself, including the right lighting, a comfortable chair, and a tidy desktop.  (This is my biggest challenge for sure but I keep working on it).  A few minutes of preparation will help you tackle things more easily.
  2. Plan 3 Priorities Every Day. 
    At the end of each day, take the time to review your day and set the top three priorities for tomorrow.  Setting your daily priorities will help your focus and will help reduce distraction until they are Journal 2012completed.  This is one habit I learned early on when I was in Food Services.  A disaster could occur at any time.  When you set your priorities for the day in advance, you can deal with the unplanned and then quickly refocus on your priorities.  This has saved me more often than I can count.
  3. Allocate Blocks of Time
    Do you try to multitask?  I used to multi-task all the time but found that details would fall through the cracks.  Now, I block time to complete a task.  This isn’t fool-proof but it definitely does improve efficiency.   When you block time, you are able to focus and complete high quality work.  Multi-tasking causes you to be more fragmented and this makes your task more difficult (easier to procrastinate on). Tracy states “one of the keys to high levels of performance and productivity is to make every minute count.”  He adds “Pyramids were built one block at a time.  A great life or career is built one task, and often one part of a task, at a time.

Procrastination is a habit.  Like any habit you can learn new ways to overcome the process and change the outcome.  Your change affirmation is….. Don’t Delay, Do it Today!

To your success, one task at a time!

Our Business Leadership Journal offers a proven system to setting goals, tracking your progress and staying on track.  Learn more

See the Bucket Is Full Before Looking Elsewhere

During a very insightful meeting with the CEO of a growing business I recognized why his business was experiencing a significant upswing, when his competition is tanking. I loved his view on his business and the values he holds personally, which reflected in his insights.

1. Lead by Example
As a business leader, whether you are the business owner, a manager or an executive in a business, you have to lead by example. Do your employees, sub-contractors and your customers know what you expect of them?  Do they see your passion? Do you “step up” with confidence to assist your team to get the job done and move the business in the right direction?

When others see you striving to be better and to achieve a clear vision, they are more likely to follow.  Failing to lead lets the team down and business will crash.

I have been working with a business who has outsourced to service providers.  One service provider is lacking the leadership and isn’t there to lead their team.  They hold the belief that every member of their team is doing a fabulous job, despite external feedback to the contrary.  The lack of strong leadership is costing them a contract.  In contract, a second service provider has been involved and has encouraged staff to take on new opportunities.  This proactive leadership has resulted in an expanded role and future growth opportunities on the horizon.

2. Invest in your People
When you are recruiting or making decisions on internal opportunities for your staff, do you recognize what they bring to the table? Every person you work with offers you an array of skills.  For continuous Holding Dollars suphakit73_ID-100110359improvement to occur, staff training and development is critical.

Investing in your staff shows them how much you value their contribution.  It also fosters a long-term commitment and reduced turnover which saves you time and money.  Training may include bringing in outside suppliers to educate on how to fully utilize the equipment that you have in your business.  It could include sending staff to outside conferences, workshops or training events, or it may be an opportunity for one member of your team sharing their knowledge or expertise with their fellow colleagues.

Leadership is a process, and incorporating continuous improvement is a valuable component which converts to strong results.

3.  Optimize the Cash
Creating a profit is a vital aspect of business growth and development, yet it should not be established on the backs of your team or customer.  Whether you are working within a corporate budget or own the business and have to manage your own revenues and expenses, identifying ways to make your money go further, and used in the right areas is a fundamental skill to your leadership.

I was working with a small business owner who was cash strapped and frustrated with the lack of profits.  Upon further investigation, this business was not working to its full capacity, it was not recruiting the right people and marketing was almost non-existent.

When I asked the owner how much it actually cost them to provide the services and how much it cost to bring on a new employee and how much business was needed to off-set these costs, they were unable to answer these questions.  This became to focus of our work together.  We identified ways to generate cash flow from existing clients with prepayment options, more effective ways to connect and communicate with their target clients to boost customer engagement and referrals, and an internal cash management system to monitor the business.

Keys to business growth

When the business bucket is full, you have an opportunity to increase the size of your bucket!  The keys to business growth include:

  • strong leadership,
  • committed team members who work in alignment with you to meet the goals and vision of the business, and
  • positive cash flow with effective cash management.

What steps do you have to take today to reap the benefits tomorrow?

Please contact me for a complimentary exploration session if you are ready to make changes, strengthen your leadership or you are primed for business growth.  Book today!

 

The Sky is the Limit…

No Journey Is Long

 

 

 

 

 
 

Are you ready to reach for the sky?  If so, our programs offer 1:1, group and online options to help you achieve your dreams!

That Little Voice

Every day I work with people who are bright, successful and “go-getters” yet their vulnerabilities have a huge impact on their lives.  Unlike those who do not experience success, these business leaders and entrepreneurs recognize they have an insight that enables them to continue.

The Gremlin

Gremlins-Wallpapers-Movie-HD-1080p-2Everyone has that little voice which questions what you are doing, instills doubt or tries to talk you into the safe option instead of taking a risk to

grow and develop.  I call this voice your Gremlin.  Your Gremlin can be loud and distracting, or it can be silenced – the choice is yours.

When you are stuck, your Gremlin is most likely very vocal — telling you why you shouldn’t make a decision, or adds doubt to what you think is right.

Why Do You Get Stuck?

Dr Timothy Butler, a professor at Harvard Business School, and author of the book “Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths” says

“This feeling of being stuck in one place, while troubling, is part of a necessary crisis leading to personal growth.  Without it we cannot grow, change, and—eventually—live more fully in a larger world.”

According to Dr. Butler, an impasse doesn’t happen overnight.  Instead it is something that grows over time.  “When we feel stuck, getting our energy moving can feel like a Herculean challenge. It can seem as if we are glued to wherever we are, with no hope of a remedy,” says Dr. Butler.  “Feeling stuck can take a lot of forms. It can manifest as boredom, the blues, impatience, frustration and even hunger. If you stay stuck long enough, it can translate into more serious things like depression, hopelessness and despair.”

When is it Time to Take Action?

Have you ever known that things are not ideal but you rationalize the situation, believing things will be better?  As time goes by, the situation doesn’t improve; it only gets worse and if you wait long enough it comes to a peak and you face a true crisis.  The ideal time to take action would be when you know things are not right.   You hear the Gremlin talking you out of making changes or ideas or you are letting your head talk you out of things your gut feels are right.

The reality is we generally do not activate changes until a crisis point is reached.  This is the toughest stage of an impasse (Butler, 2007) but it is also the impetus for a new beginning.

Tame your Gremlin and silence the negative voice in your head.  Success follows those who are willing to take a calculated risk so they grow and stretch to new heights.    Isn’t it time for you to make the decision and silence the Gremlin?

“Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action.

If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”

~ Anthony Robbins

 

Feedback

When you think about feedback, what comes to mind? 

Does it invoke a positive thought or experience or a negative one?

Feedback is a powerful tool that allows you to communicate information to another person.  This information can be positive, inspirational, thoughtful, and valuable.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, feedback can be negative, hurtful, pr thoughtless.  Sometimes, feedback can be neutral — neither positive or negative, and when given you wonder what point they were trying to make. [Read more…]

That’s Impossible

And Your Answer Is…?

Today’s Inspiration!

This video was shared on Twitter.  I remember this event and was touched at the time.  This video sends all of us two key messages.

Don’t Give Up!  You don’t  have to do it alone!    You cannot succeed if you give up!

I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
 

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
http://www.igniteleaders.com/category/motivation">
YouTube
YouTube
LinkedIn
Instagram