Creating IMPACT in today’s Turbulent World

How are you doing in today’s changing and turbulent world? Today, more than ever, I believe our ability to create a positive impact through business can be our guiding light.

Hi, I’m Catherine Rocheleau, founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and the creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint online program.

I work with socially-conscious and purpose driven leaders to align profit and purpose so they can create great cultures that inspire impact-driven employees to do great work in the world.

It is hard to go through our day without facing the implications of the enormous impact of COVID-19.  It’s impact on our ability to conduct business, deliver goods and services, and plan for the future.

Change is challenging at the best of times.  When we have so many unknowns, risks greater than we ever anticipated, unforeseen circumstances that are pulling the carpet out from under us, and our employees, customers, suppliers and our community, it is easy for panic and fear to set in.

As a business leader, I believe we have to step forward and be leaders.  We don’t have to have the answers. We may feels like our world is crashing, yet, we have a responsibility to our teams, ourselves and our business to take a deep breath and hit the pause button – if only for a minute or two.

As each of us, as leaders, takes a minute or two to pause, we can start the shift – the shift to one of calm, thoughtful perspective, and openness to accept what we cannot change, take action on what we can, and keep an eye on the future and what we can become. 

Most importantly we can also recognize how we can have a positive impact on the world around us. Yes, opportunity abounds. 

I encourage you to take a moment to recognize what steps you can do to make the world a better place.

We have been asked to engage in social distancing and self-isolation depending on potential exposure.  Right now, I am in the middle of my 14 day self-isolation period after travelling from Vancouver to LA for a conference.  I believe it’s the one thing I can do to help flatten the curve in the spread of the virus.

In light of the cancellation of in-person events, how can you deliver products and services to existing customers in new or more innovative ways?

My business can continue to operate virtually with my global market.  Some programs I offer have moved from in-person to virtual, without skipping a beat, and without a loss of value.

The up-side, I have been able to adjust my pricing as my costs are lower and this benefits my clients without harming my business – a win-win situation.

Another great idea is exploring how you can spread payment terms over a longer period of time to help reduce the financial burden of your clients.  When we can maintain a continuity of business, we create some stability for everyone we impact.

If business has slowed to a crawl, is it time for you to take time out to work ON your business instead of IN your business?  Would a strategy session or coaching help you get clear on next steps, any areas to pivot, and on creating a positive future.

For those of you who have employees or sub-contractors, working remotely can present challenges, however there are tools like zoom, trello, and so many more that can facilitate collaboration.

Delegating clearly with designate job duties, milestones and expectations will foster a sense of calm and prompt the right use of time for everyone.

Communication is critical between team members at any time.  However, when you are engaging in social distancing and remote working conditions It is even more important.   I recommend you implement daily huddles as a way to check in, set priorities, identify bottlenecks and opportunities, while also celebrating successes.  Huddles are easy to lead, easy to participate in, they are also time efficient and deliver a high ROI.  This is definitely a triple-win strategy.

Reach out to colleagues, clients and suppliers. Is there some way you can assist them? How can you work together to keep business operating during this volatility?

What about your impact initiatives?  Can you tweak them to help front-line agencies and causes that are struggling to remain afloat?

Can you transition cost savings incurred by operating virtually and not communiting or travelling to different locations, into donations to help non-profits.  Can you volunteer your time or expertise?

Linking your business successes, even in hard times, to your impact strategies creates a positive ripple effect that benefits your business, and all your stakeholders.  Be a leader.  Take positive action!  Make an impact!

Be safe. Be Healthy. Be Kind… and let’s make a positive impact in the world to make it a better place.

If I can assist you please do not hesitate to book a consultation call so we can explore options that work for you.

The Ethical Evolution Podcast – Episode 18

I had the honour of being honoured on this podcast.

Listen here…

My next guest reached out to me online to be a guest and at first I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure how she met The Ethical Evolution criteria. The more we got talking, it was clear to see she was a perfect fit and that we were divinely aligned.

Catherine Rocheleau is the Founder & CEO of Ignite Leadership International in Vancouver, Canada.

If corporate teams are orchestras trying to make music, Catherine Rocheleau is the band leader helping them hit all the right notes.

As a leadership expert experienced in working with corporations, governments, the public sector and non-profits, Catherine specializes in assisting small to medium sized companies’ create meaningful workplaces where people and business thrive. To capture it in a nutshell Catherine coaches how to do business for good and with impact and profit – whether it be paying it forward as part of your business model or including it in the way you do business. This is true collective change.

This podcast is brought to you by Ethical Change Agency.

Profits and Purpose – They are not like Oil and Water

When it comes to embracing an impact business model, there are many questions that come to light.  One of the biggest questions I get asked is how do I balance my purpose with profit?

Hi I’m Catherine Rocheleau, CEO & Founder of Ignite Leadership International, host of the Purpose-Driven Leadership Summit, and creator of the IMPACT Business Blueprint course.

Contrary to popular belief purpose and profit are not like oil and water.  In fact, they are intricately linked.  

In the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance on Purpose and Profit, the authors stated …

“Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose—in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked. Profits are essential if a company is to effectively serve all of its stakeholders over time—not only shareholders, but also employees, customers, and communities. Similarly, when a company truly understands and expresses its purpose, it functions with the focus and strategic discipline that drive long-term profitability.” 

I think of profits as the fuel for your bus that allows your stakeholders to travel with you, and purpose as your path – your vision.  

If you run a for-profit business and want to use your business to create a positive impact in the world, you have the ability to re-allocate your profits to social/environmental impact initiatives. Although I have led non-profits both as an executive director and in a leadership capacity on the Board, I recognize my expertise is best suited to my “for-profit” endeavours.  I volunteer, mentor, and donate to non-profits who are better at delivering the change I want to support. 

However, non-profits are also businesses based on a strong mission or purpose.  As a non-profit leader, you most likely have a fund-raising plan to attract the money needed to drive your organization and deliver on your mission and purpose.

Funding, revenues, profits, capacity building are synonymous with the linking of purpose and financial status.

In order for business or non-profit leaders make a difference in the world I believe we have to shift our money mindset to one that reflects a positive relationship with a strong purpose reflected by our actions and how we back it up with adequate funding to make it happen.

I’d love to have you join me in the conversation on creating positive change through business.  I invite you to subscribe so you won’t miss future episodes.

Grind it Out

This week the PyeongChang Olympics have the Canadian Women’s Curling Team facing challenges we, as Canadians, are not used to seeing.   Skip Homan and her team lost their first three games and then began to turn things around.  In contrast, the Men’s team, skipped by Koe, won 4-straight before a losing skid.

To help add some support and words of encouragement, Mike Babcock, former Team Canada Coach for Men’s Hockey in Vancouver and Sochi phoned the women curlers.

 

What we do and what they do is exactly the same thing. The ability to execute under pressure is so important. You think it’s going to go good and it doesn’t go good. You have to find a way to grind.

I always tell people the difference between good and great is your passion and your ability to stick with it. Keep grinding. To me that’s what champs do.

As business leaders, Babcock’s words are wise ones for us to follow as well. How many times have you faced obstacles in your business? In my 25 years, I have weathered the economic ups and downs, shifts in client demands, lost revenue due to extended medical leave and more.  Yet, no matter what situation seems to step in my way I find a way to grind it out and come out better and stronger.

As an Executive Coach, I am often asked to work with business leaders to tap their true potential so they too can grind through adversity.  The advantage of working with me, is the ability to look at situations with different perspectives, run scenarios and optimize the solutions. Together we become a team with a goal and the passion and determination to overcome the challenge and create a new outcome.

As Michael Jordon once said:

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.   

Michael Jordan

The one thing we know is that Olympians have worked long and hard, navigated large and small obstacles and rise above them to be the best they can be.  Most importantly they haven’t faced these challenges alone.  They have a team surrounding them — coaches, family, friends, team mates and supporters.

In business, our own success requires we face adversity with the same dedication and persistence to learn, grow and deliver on our goals.  It also requires us to create a team that is there to support us, work with us and teach us.  The route we take to get there may have to be adjusted or take a little longer, yet dedication and perseverance and a strong team can be the difference maker.

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination. 

Christopher Columbus

 

Executive Coaching offers leaders the ability to add to their support team.  In fact, an Executive Coach can assist you in fostering better performance so you grow, learn and lead effectively.  It can also help you develop high-performers on your team. Book a call to explore how we can assist you and your team.

CUTV News Radio Interview

I had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by Jim Masters of CUTV News Radio.  Jim and I talked about organizational change and leadership.  I hope you will enjoy this conversation.

Click Image to Listen to the Interview

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

The Challenge of Delegating

In the book, The Winning Way, co-authored with Brian Tracy, I described three key attributes for good leaders — Communicate, Calculate and Delegate.  It is interesting that this week I was faced with situations where clients were experiencing challenges all related delegation-400x275to letting go and allowing their team take on the responsibility and ability to get the job done.

Delegation — the act of passing a task or responsibility along to others, most commonly to people who are below you on the totem pole.

Delegation isn’t just a top down action. In fact, delegation happens in all directions.  for example, my clients delegate projects and responsibility to me as their consultant (external delegation), a committee may delegate action items to specific departments or positions within an organization. Delegation happens between colleagues and collaborating departments too. When teams, from the leader on down, are engaged and share in the goals and vision of an organization, delegation is a fundamental component and can be a “make-it or break-it” facet of the results achieved.

I recently hired a new virtual assistant and I have been in the process of letting go of tasks I’ve been doing over the past few months.  This involves a change of thinking and planning.  My VA is eager to take on whatever I’ll send her way.  She’s also eager to assume role that offers me more value, and saves me time and effort.  What’s stopping me … bad habits!  Yes, its true.  I’m so used to just doing it all that I forget to delegate.

This week was a pivot point for us. My failure to effectively delegate was stopping both of us from being successful!  A great conversation where we shared, clarified and planned our next steps opened new doors.  My “aha” including the realization that I wasn’t  afraid my V.A. couldn’t do the job correctly.  Instead,  it was a failure to communicate what was in my head when I realized something needed to be done.

Do you delegate what and when you should, or do you fall prey to the common trap of “if I do it myself it will be done right”  or only delegate tasks you don’t like doing?

Delegation, when done right will enhance morale, build trust and facilitate success for yourself, your team and your organization.

 

Ignite Leadership has many solutions to develop stronger leadership and better teams.  Contact us to explore how our solutions may help you improve delegation, communication, leadership and team dynamics.

 

 

Trust is the Bottomline for a Great Organization

As a Delegate member of the International Women’s Leadership Association, I was thrilled this summer when I was asked to write an article for the Fall 2016 issue of their Inspirational iwla-logoWomen’s Trust Quote MarathonMagazine.  I was equally excited about the magazine’s theme for this issue, Trust“.

When I was asked, my mind began to explode with all of the things I could share about trust.  It is such an integral component to our individual and business success and too often it is not given enough credit or consideration.  When trust is lost, the cost is enormous and often not reversible.

The September 2016 issue of the Inspirational Women’s Magazine was just released and I loved the articles, insights and nuggets shared in the magazine.  Its amazing to read the differing ways each author, and every quote or story reflect on this topic.

I am sharing the issue with you. I hope you will find it inspiring and insightful.

Click Here to Read This Issue My article is on Page 24.

 

Going Rogue – Time to Rebuild or Breakup

I am sure many of you remember when the newswire was buzzing with the lone-wolf behaviour of one of the (Canadian) Tenors during the signing of Canada’s national anthem at a All-Star baseball game in San Diego in July.  During the anthem, Tenor Remigio Pereira substituted words to make a political statement.  This change was made without prior knowledge of his fellow quartet members.  The backlash has been huge and now the future of the Tenors is in question.

In this instance, one member of the group took it upon himself to act on his own, whttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-solution-vs-problem-solving-business-consulting-compass-arrow-pointing-to-word-problems-d-render-image-suitable-image32482606ithout permission or the support of his fellow teammates, to express his own political belief.  Not only
were his actions self-motivated, but the timing of his message was poor and the desired result not what he intended.

This is a very public example of how one member of a team can have a significant impact on the team.  In the case of the Tenors, trust was broken, member of the group no longer want to perform with Mr. Pereira, and their future must now be re-created.

Within most businesses, there are teams which are key to creating  and sustaining the business, its reputation with customers and its internal culture, to name only a few factors.  When someone on a team does something rogue these three steps can help salvage the situation.

  1.  Act swiftly —  If the rogue behaviour has the ability to cause damage, your swift and decisive action is vital to making a wrong a right.  A rogue act requires you to step in, initiate an impartial investigation to determine the facts and to hear all perspectives.  Sometimes a 3rd Party is needed to conduct this investigation.  The investigation should be quick and to the point so next steps can be taken quickly.
  2. Be transparent —  In all actions and communication associated with the incident, it is important to communicate clearly and often so everyone within your team, your business, and key stakeholders understand what is happening.  You don’t want to breech confidentiality or individual rights, but you also don’t want people second-guessing you.    When you are transparent with the rogue team member, they also know where they stand and what actions will be taken and what to expect.  Transparency and frequent communication goes a long way to build trust, repair your reputation and minimize the negative impact the rogue actions could cause.
  3. Follow Through — Once you have dealt with the situation, its important to follow-through.  This means confirming the conclusion of the incident, ensuring all actions plans identified to prevent a repeat are in place and to check in with each member of the team or key stakeholders to get their perspectives, feedback and comments.  This debrief process is often over-looked, yet I have found it to be the most important.

Sometimes you can’t repair the damage done and a break-up is the right thing to do.  When this happens, the swift action, transparency and follow-through will help you re-focus on the future and take the right steps forward.

 

We have lots of experience assisting organizations during and after a critical incident.  Contact us to learn how we many assist you.

Is your Team Losing its Way?

With the 2016 Olympics now on our door step and I’m very excited.  I’m an avid Olympics fan.  I love watching everything.  Celebrating the wins and recognizing the efforts of every athlete regardless of the medal count.   Each country creates a team of athletes who have a common purpose – to represent their country and deliver their best effort in their sport at each and every event.

The motivation and focus of these athletes to the team vision is amazing.  We see other teams like those of the CFL, NHL or NFL or NBA more regularly.  Due to the longer-term focus needed, these teams can demonstrate ups and downs similar to those of us in the workplace.  Team dynamics reflect the mindset, effort and productivity of each and every member of the team.

 

Team dynamics are defined as the unconscious factors that influence how teams interact, communicate and work together to a common goal.

 

Lack of Cohesion

Team dynamics are impacted by the different personalities in the team and the behaviours each team member brings to the job.  Athletes are highly motivated talented individuals who are competitive and want to win.  Losing is not ok.  Working and travelling in a close environment, circles-freealong with pressures from owners, coaches, team mates, the media and fans , as well as families, all come into play in how well a team can create and maintain positive dynamics that allow them to reach their goal.

In the business world, not every employee on a team may have the same inner motivation found on a professional hockey team.  Your team may consist of more leaders than followers, particularly at an executive level, or people who are not completely aligned with the team’s (committee’s) focus and purpose.

When this happens how can you, as the manager or team leader better understand their lack of “buy-in” and help them become engaged and a valuable asset to the team?

Have a Vision and Purpose

Every team is brought together to accomplish a goal.  Does every member of the team know and understand the vision and purpose of the team, and how their actions will make a difference?

Just think of a committee in your workplace.  How many people sit on that committee because “they have to”.  It’s just part of the job description but they’d rather not be there.  Do they complain that its a waste of time? Are they commenting on how their suggestions are ignored?  Are team members engaged and kept accountable to participate and take action?  When these situation exist, a lack of vision and purpose probably exist.

As the team leader, its important for you to understand what each person on your team is thinking and if they are on-board with the vision and purpose.  People always want to know where they are going and why its important. Recognize their efforts and dissenting comments and take the necessary steps to get them back on board.

Communicate Clearly & Often

This may seem like the obvious but all to often the team leader fails to keep communication open.Communication bubble ID-10060415 Communication is more than telling people what to do and when.  Instead it includes conversations with the team collectively, as well as with each individual team member.

A leaders role is to inspire others to think strategically within the terms of reference of the team/committee.  When you help them see the big picture, they are better able to understand how their role fits in and can make a difference.

Listening to the different perspectives and suggestions is critical.  It’s not your role to be right. It’s your role to lead the team to the right outcome.  Sometimes your original plan needs to be reassessed along the way when new information comes to light.

“Deep and sustainable change…requires changes in behavior among those who do not welcome the change.” ? Douglas B. Reeves

 

Is your team lacking focus?  Do you want to identify ways to better lead your team to be more productive and engaged?   Contact us to see how our solutions may assist you.

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