Learn from Your Mistakes

Last night I was watching a discussion of Canada’s role in Afghanistan was discussed on “The West Block” Mr. David Mulroney, the former deputy minister in charge of the Afghanistan Task Force, said there are some important lessons to be learned from the results and mistakes made during that mission. He also indicated that a recently released report indicated that there was  little attention given to really understanding of the context surrounding Canada’s mission.  This fact alone amazed me!  We were sending our armed forces into a war-torn area without a really good understanding of what was possible to achieve?  Wow!

In fact, Mr. Mulroney went on to say the government should “figure out how we got it wrong before moving ahead”.   This seems so obvious!  Learn from your mistakes so you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

According to Mulroney, the key to success in international missions is “setting a small number of modest, definable and achievable goals”.

You may not understand Canada’s role in Afghanistan, or support efforts overseas in war-torn areas, but there is a learn-keyvery strong message for every business and not-for-profit leader to make a major impact

1.  Set a small number of modest goals.   Too many goals or lofty goals sound great but offer more opportunities for missing the mark.

2.  Ensure your goals are clearly stated, measurable and achievable.  This may sound like old news but too often goals miss the mark in these three facets.

3.  Learn from your mistakes.   Listen to different perspectives, review new information as it comes in and be willing to make those tough decisions and changes needed to really advance your efforts.


People are remarkably bad at remembering long lists of goals. I learned this at a professional level when trying to get my high-performance coaching clients to stay on track; the longer their lists of to-dos and goals, the more overwhelmed and off-track they got. Clarity comes with simplicity.

Brendon Burchard

If you could use some help in aligning your goals with what you can achieve and make a big impact, book a complimentary Business Assessment Session.  

May the Luck of the Irish be There With You

Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.   Irish Toast

St. Patrick’s Image by Rattikankeawpun at FreeDigitalPhotos.netDay offers us a great opportunity to think about and enjoy all of the wonderful fun and thoughtful Irish quotes and toasts.  It’s also customary to wear a shamrock or green clothing.  You can even enjoy green beer!

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world in some interesting and fun ways.  I enjoy the idea that money is at the end of the rainbow… I’m yet to find that pot of gold but I have fun looking!  What about you?

In honour of this unique day, here another St. Patrick’s Day toast for you…

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.

‘Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!’
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Does leadership impact results?

One of the best ways to learn about leadership and the impact it can have is to watch others in action.  A great opportunity to see the impact of leadership occurred in during a recent curling brier (Canadian curling championship) in Calgary.

I digress a bit…

If you are not a curling fan, curling is a game of strategy and skill. Very simply, a curling team consists of 5 members – 4 who play plus a spare.  Each team is led by a skip, followed by the 3rd, 2nd and lead.  The coach is not allowed to consult with the team during play unless a timeout is called.  Curling rocks (44 lbs of granite) are pushed along a pebbled sheet of ice into rings at the opposite end (known as the house).  Games consist of either 8 or 10 ends.  Each team tries to get as many rocks in the house closer to the centre (the button) than the other team.   Learn more in this fun 2 minute video from Curling Canada.

Now… back to our discussion on leadership.

During the off season, Team Canada underwent a change at the skip position.  They had added a guy who is best known for playing the 3rd position.  The team had enjoyed some success prior to this Brier, and five games in they had won 2 lost 3.  This was not going to be good enough to win.  After a team meeting, they made the decision to switch the roles of the skip and 3rd.  This change turned the tide, and they went on to win 8 of the next 9 games and retained their reign as Team Canada.  The same 4 men – a completely different trajectory.

So how does this relate to your business?

I do believe leadership has a major impact on the results a business and a team can achieve.  If you are not getting the results you know you should and can be achieving, leadership may be one of the causes.  If you are the leader, sometimes you have face the mirror and what its telling you.

  • Are you motivating and engaging your team?
  • Are you asking for and/or listening to them and considering their insights and feedback?
  • Are you the best person to be the leader?  Is there someone else who could do that job better than you?

It’s a tough situation to face but it can be critical to your success and you may have to put your ego in your back pocket for awhile.  If stepping aside is the right decision, it’s not because you can’t lead.  You may not be the best person in that role at this point in time.  Acknowledging this demonstrates you are a leader – one who is  focused on getting the right people into the right roles for the right job.  Looking at Team Canada, the same four men, in slightly different roles were like night and day.  They stayed focused on the goal (to win the Brier) and the process needed to get there.

 How can you know what is the right decision?

There is no one right answer.  Instead, leadership requires you to gather information and make a decision.  In the case of Team Canada, they worked with their Coach and masterminded together to find the right solution.

You too have those options.  

1)  Working with an Executive Coach can help you identify challenges and then establish alternative to implement to reverse downward trends.  Your Coach can offer support, another perspective, and can help drive the process as you take action and transition yourself and your team.

2) A mastermind group consists of other people like you who are committed to being the best they can be.  During meetings (and between) you are able to ask questions, receive feedback, different perspectives and support.  A good mastermind group is like a board of advisers for you and your business.   (Personal note:  I have belonged to mastermind groups for over 20 years – long before I began leading them – and my masterminds have helped me advance and transition my business in so many wonderful ways).

If you think Executive Coaching or a mastermind group could help you, please book a complimentary Ignite Business Assessment call so we can determine what you need and what next steps are right for you.

I think this quote says it all very well

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.       Robin S. Sharma


Do you feel defeated?

“Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat”
— Napoleon Hill,

Does this quote resonate with you?

Just when you think you are not able to take another step, an opportunity walks around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I cannot count the number of times I have hit the wall only for something to clear the clutter and whisk me off to great new things.

The word defeat is an interesting one.  It can mean

: win a victory over (someone) in a battle or other contest; overcome or beat.”  

: to cause (someone or something) to fail

: to control or overcome (something).

The definition tells us that we can defeat something or someone, and this reflects a success.  On the flip side, it can be a low point reflecting a failure or a lack of control.   Just like a coin, how you view defeat is based on which side you are seeing.

writing_block1.1.1.1How does this relate to your business?  Well, over the past 25 years in business I have faced some situations where I was focusing on the positive side and kept my eyes and mind open.  In these instances, the hard work I had done previously set me up perfectly to be opportunistic when something new came along. I refused to see failure – only opportunity.  Much of this mindset came with the help of  my mastermind group or Coach, who’s insights, ideas and support have helped me focus on the positives, set myself up for success and speed up the process from idea to action.

If you want to avoid hitting that wall and to know you have someone to turn to so you can quickly ignite your actions, then now’s the time to step forward and explore your options.  A free Ignite Business Assessment session offers you that opportunity.  You have nothing to lose.  I know you will walk away with some great insights.

What will it cost you if you don’t take action?  The opportunity cost of inertia is through the roof.  Don’t let it take away from your goals and the success you aspire to achieve.   Book your free Business Assessment session right away.

Video: The Introverted Leader

While I was in Orlando in November, I had the honour of presenting a short talk on “The Introverted Leader”.  During this presentation, I share some insights on the strengths and value introverts add to the leadership arena.

I hope you will enjoy this short video

Happiness Matters

There is much written about the impact of an organization’s culture and employee contentment on productivity and quality.  Entrepreneurs are more successful when they are passionate about what they do.  The long hard hours don’t feel like work when you love what you do.

“Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500.”

As many of my regular followers know, I am an avid Vancouver Canucks fan.  Last year, the team was struggling and it was clear the players were not enjoying the game they love.  The Coach also didn’t seem happy and his frustration erupted at one point in the season, and he was suspended.  Wind the clock forward to today where TV commentators are talking about the changes they are seeing in the Canucks.  They are performing, scoring, and playing more like a team.  Commentators cite the change in coach and the fact that the guys love coming to work as fundamental factors for this change.

What is the atmosphere like in your business?  

Are your employees happy and engaged?  

Do they like coming to work?  

Executive Leadership Coaching has been identified as an effective method for organizations to enhance employee engagement and improve productivity.  The rollover effect is improved customer satisfaction.  Each of these outcomes are good for your bottom line.

Coaching is utilized by organizations to enhance leadership, performance and to develop employee skill.  I have hyena reality| freedigitalphotos.networked with many business owners and managers for this exact purpose.  In each situation, the goals of the organization and those of the individual manager have been explored and directs our time together.

Coaching offers a non-judgmental supportive environment for each manager to grow and stretch.  When we confront challenges, short-comings and strengths, we are also able to focus on solutions and next steps.  This vulnerable point of coaching offers the most growth potential and is essential for shifts to occur. I am always so impressed with the shifts that occur as we work together.   Coaching really does bring out the best in you and builds on your skills and interests and self confidence grows in a positive way.

Contact me to discuss how Ignite Leadership can help you and your organization improve leadership, employee engagement and your organizational culture.

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