How Conversations Will Help Your Business

According to research conducted by Gallop, trusting conversations between a manager and their employees is the best way to engage employees.  Engaged employees are happier, more productive (c) alexwhite www.fotosearch.com Stock Photographyand innovated.  These factors boost the success a business can achieve.

So, my question for you, how do you, as a manager, leader or entrepreneur (particularly if you are at the top) stay motivated and engaged?

A New Approach

I am thrilled to be introducing a new program designed to stimulate great conversation between participants, help you learn more about key business successes, and motivate you personally and professionally to take action and lead change.

Leading business books like Good to Great, the Purple Cow, Pivot, Developing the Leader within You and many more offer readers great success insights that can help each of us be better at what we do.

How many of these insights do you implement after reading a book?

If you’re saying to yourself, not too many, you are not alone.  We are all busy and implementing new habits into our busy lives is difficult without daily commitments to yourself and your goals. Consistency = change success.

Amplify Learning

Coffee and Conversations offers a unique approach to network with other motivated, like-minded business leaders, help identify and extract key learnings from leading business books, dissect and share insights with the group, and create an action item you can commit to for 30 days.  Our daily on-line check-ins take less than 2 minutes a day for 30 days but, most importantly, they keep your action item top of mind.conversations-iphone

Unlike book clubs where you must commit to reading a different book each month, Coffee and Conversations provides you with a short synopsis of the book which take about 10 minutes to read prior to the meeting.  During the meeting, your Leader will facilitate discussion by asking probing or thought-provoking questions. This approach not only amplifies your learning, it also saves you time and improves your own engagement in your job.

Will You Join Me?

Join me in late March 2017 for our first 4-month Coffee & Conversation series.  I will be hosting a group in the Metro Vancouver area, and an on-line group via video-conference.  Space is limited for each group to ensure each participant has an opportunity to share.

 

Eventbrite - Coffee & Conversations Business Group (4 part series) - Vancouver BC

 

PS — If you aren’t in Vancouver BC, or you would prefer a Virtual Group format, please add your name to our notification list.  We will launch a Virtual Coffee & Conversations Business Group in April 2017.

Add me to your notification list

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)

New… Strategic Huddles

The Strategic Huddle: Focused Sessions to Align. Activate. Advance Your Business

 

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached,

don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

Confucius

 

According to the definition, a huddle is used in sports and “is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to strategize, motivate or celebrate.” Canadian, American, Association football, cricket and Australian rules football all use a form of a huddle during games/matches.

In business, a huddle offers many opportunities to strategize, plan, motivate, communicate and build teamwork between teams. I have successfully implemented the huddle concept in a large not-for-profit with 5 different departments. Through daily huddles, the teams are more integrated, focused on top priorities, and more proactive. The daily huddle has become the hub from which operations flow.

You may be thinking I’m not on a sports team so what’s this have to do with me?

What if….

  • I am a solo-preneur and juggling all the tasks and responsibilities of my business.
  • I’m overwhelmed and lacking focus – I want to get back on track so I reach my goals.
  • I’m stuck in my middle-manager role – it’s time for a change.
  • I want to take my business into new areas but not sure how.
  • I want to motivate myself to get more out of my career and find time for life.

Well— Strategic Huddle Sessions are for you!

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They combine the key attributes of the sporting huddle and offer you an opportunity to gather together with me to strategize, plan, and move forward in a more innovative and effective way.

Unlike a traditional coaching session, these 90 minute strategic huddles are working sessions. I’m not there to just listen and ask more questions. Yes, I do ask a lot of questions, but I will also help you cut to the chase and find the right solution, approach or resource to make things happen quickly. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves, take out the paper and pencil, computer or tablet and join me to dig deep, think outside the box and take action! Where we find a gap, we’ll brainstorm and problem-solve together – that’s the fun part!

So, step up, make the decision and you won’t be disappointed.

 

I have gained so much more focus for myself and my new business – even my friends are noticing that I’m calmer. I’m psyched about what can be achieved. Boosting my income is top priority and I already see that happening within 3 months. Joyce Sagi – Disaster & Associates LLC

 

Before Your Session

Like any sporting event, you must come prepared to the Huddle. This means taking time to really look at the issues and what your goal(s) are. To assist you in this process, I will send you a short questionnaire. Your responses will help me zero in so we maximize the benefit you gain.

 

Your Strategic Huddle Session

Align

We will look at where you are now. What your dreams and goal are for the coming quarter and beyond. What is happening now and in the near future that can impact or deactivate you plans. You set the direction and I’m there to help you through coaching, exploration, brainstorming, and more!

Activate.

Knowing where we are starting from will allow us to create the plans that will map out what you want to accomplish and how you will navigate through the maze of challenges, obstacles and opportunities – everything from day-to-day operations, identifying and accessing the right resources at the right time, and more!

Nothing can happen to stretch and achieve those goals and dreams unless you hit the accelerator and take action!

Advance

When staying still is not an option, we will help you ensure your plan keeps you advancing with forward momentum. Growth is an advancement of a seed to a plant that provides food or other materials used for many purposes. Together we will take your seed of an idea, surround it with the right systems and resources so it too can grow and develop to be of use to you, your clients, team or superiors and your support network. We will identify where you add value and how to reap the benefits along the way.

If you are the CEO of your life, career or business these Strategic Huddle sessions are for you!

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Catherine looked at my skill set and very quickly made recommendations to transform my business in a way that totally fit with my vision. She then took me through a step-by-step description of exactly what needed to be accomplished in order to achieve the end result.

If you believe your business can operate more efficiently, or you want to shift your focus to increase productivity, Catherine Rocheleau will amaze you. Thanks Catherine.                                                                                     Bruce Langford, Stand Up Now!

 

But that’s not all….

If you want to ramp up your execution and extract more out of our time together, take advantage of the Strategic Huddle Add-On package.

You can

  • Extend your Strategic Huddle to dig deeper on the same issue,
  • Start anew and focus on something different,
  • Choose a coaching session to brainstorm, problem solve or role-play,
  • or mix it up – You decide!
  • Decide when you want to book your second session… the following week or in a month’s time… whatever meets your needs and will bring the greatest value.

What’s included in the Add-On?

  • More focused time in your 60 minute call with Catherine
  • A copy of the recording so you can extract even more out of our work together.
  • A copy of my Networking Worksheet so you can expand your connections and interact effectively with others who can become customers, suppliers, supporters, colleagues or employers.

 

“Catherine is highly gifted in giving clarity to one’s thoughts and vision.   She will be a great asset in initiating change in an organisation which is willing to move forward to the next level.”

Grace Ng – FInd Business Solutions

 

Now is the time… Don’t let Your 4th Quarter be less than spectacular!

Book Your Strategic Huddle and Add On Session Today!

Only 15 spots are available at these execptional prices!!

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Note: If the dates or times I’m offering don’t quite work for you, book your session and send me an email sales@igniteleaders.com and I’ll see if I can adjust the time (no guarantee). All Strategic Huddle Sessions must be booked on or before September 18th, 2014. Add-On Sessions must be booked by October 31, 2014.

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!

 

Announcing… Ignite Your Social Media – A Guide for Professionals

I am really excited to (finally) announce the release of my latest book —  “Ignite Your Social Media — A Guide for Professionals”.

This book has gone from concept to reality over the past year.  Prompted by a friend and colleague because I understood this medium as a communication channel and I was successfully using social media to drive business.  At first my reaction was “I can’t write a book on social media because I’m not a social media expert.”  In response to this I heard from colleagues that they recognized I understood the challenges they face with time, privacy, professional ethics and image.

I then agreed it was a void I had to fill!  Over the past 4 months I have researched, learned and shared information and experiences with social media from a professional’s perspective.

 In typical “Catherine” fashion, “Ignite Your Social Media” is organized for effective use and filled with high-value information and engagingly-shared personal experiences.

This is a book designed to offer a clear business perspective and operational guidelines to what may have seemed daunting (or frivolous) to the business owner/entrepreneur.

In a business climate where “risky is the new safe”, this book will get you past your fears. Well done, Catherine!

                              Bonnie Sainsbury, LeftBrain-Media & social media guru

Here is an excerpt….

Who to connect with?

The purpose of social media is to have ¯followers or ¯connections, people with whom you communicate.  Without followers your communication on social media would be no different than talking to a blank wall.  The goal is to establish two way conversations.

Who you accept in your social network, or who you follow, is voluntary.  Every person on social media is there to connect with others.  Unfortunately, there are also spammers who follow everyone and inundate your ‘inbox’ with useless messages or offer illicit or malicious content. Most social networks have a way to report spammers and/or have a way for you to block them from following you.  You can also stop following them.

Social media is effective only when you grow your list of connections.  When you start out, you can search for friends, colleagues or others you know who are using social media and follow or invite them to connect.  This lets them know you are now part of the community.  Many will follow back or accept your invitation, particularly if they know you.  If they don’t, don’t despair – others will join your community.  Just be patient and keep at it.

For example, during my first five months on Twitter, my list of followers was slow to grow, going from 0 to 70.  It seemed to plateau at that level for awhile and then it began to grow again, increasing to 500 within the year and 1000 within 2 years. Growth is continual.  My Facebook friends increased slowly but steadily, but many were not engaged while others were prolific.  When I began to really use LinkedIn, the number of connections grew steadily, and the sphere of connections also expanded a lot.  I now try and connect on all social media platforms with people I have met so that we can keep connected beyond our face to face meetings.

Social media is not a media.  The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.

David Alston

 Order Your E-book or Print copy TODAY

Opportunity Knocks…

In July 2012 my article “Opportunity Knocks — Are You Ready?” was posted by Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine.  I thought I would share it here as well… I hope you will enjoy it. [Read more…]

The Power of Many

Are you feeling stale in your job?
Do you have a sense of uninspired leadership?
Are you isolated or feeling unsupported?

If you answered yes, our Leadership Mastermind programs are for you.

A mastermind group is also referred to as a peer mentoring group or personal board of directors. Napoleon Hill shared the concept in his book “Think and Grow Rich” [Read more…]

Love Yourself this Valentine’s Day

I know there is just over 1 week until Valentine’s Day

but NOW is the time to act!

I am really excited to announce the launch of my newest program —

Group Coaching.

[Read more…]

Mindset & Change

This week I was reminded how quickly things change.  I was working with a client who was experiencing change so quickly they began to feel overwhelmed.    This professional is highly proficient in their career and has a successful business.  No one is immune to these situations.
Together we worked on the priorities and identified the greatest opportunities, what could be delegated and what needed a quick fix.   My client was very positive and open to the changes and his goal was to remain on the forward edge.   In the end his plan to manage these changes were clear and his stress level was in check. [Read more…]

Why Businesses Lose Customers

 I attended a Burnaby Board of Trade Boardroom Series workshop today.  The guest speaker was Roy Prevost, who describes himself as a customer service strategist and small business crusader.  Roy began his session by asking what is the objective of your product or service?

And your answer is …? [Read more…]

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