Oops…Be Gone!

In Vancouver, a member of the B.C. Lions Football Club has come under significant media scrutiny for racial slurs he made in his Twitter feed.  Later realizing his error, he apologized publicly but the damage had been done!  The B.C. Lions are attempting to limit the impact of one team member’s impact on their organization by commenting on the situation in the media and removing him from the up-coming game.  This is a great example of how one message sent without considering its impact on others can come back to bite you. [Read more…]

What Steps are You Taking to be More Than Green(TM)?

October is Power Smart month.  Although this program is promoted by BC Hydro (the provincial utility company) it is a program I believe is important.  It is a reminder that each of us – as individuals, businesses and industries should be taking stock of how we use power in our everyday life.

More Than Green™

A key component of Ignite Leadership International is our More Than Green ™ approach to business.   This program is integrated into everything we do – individually, as a team, as a business and as members of our community. [Read more…]

Girls to School Project – An Update

If you follow my blogs on a frequent basis, you probably know that I have a strong desire to include a ‘give-back’ program in my business.  Giving back is, in my opinion, an important component of any business and their corporate social responsibility (CSR).  Corporate social responsibility offers a business a wonderful opportunity to connect with their community.  Employees and customers are becoming very discerning about which companies they align with.  CSR is one area that I believe should be included in every business, no matter how big or small. [Read more…]

3 R’s of Goals – Will You Be Prepared?

We are now 8 1/2 months into 2012 —

have you completed at least seventy five percent of your annual goals?

August is always a great time to review what you have accomplished so far  and to consider what changes are needed to meet your annual goals.  My strategic goals are such an important component in my business success.  My strategic  goals  are the longer term goals that I want to achieve in the coming year.  Each quarter I create quarterly, and then monthly goals which will keep me on track and focused on what I want to achieve while I maintain a successful business and continually introduce new tools, programs and products. [Read more…]

A 1 cm misstep = DQ

Today at the Olympics, the Canadian men’s 4x100m team ran an amazing race only to have the Bronze medal stripped from them 5 minutes after the end of the race.  A review revealed that one of the men stepped on the lane dividing line between the lanes which meant an automatic disqualification.  He quickly recognized his mis-step, accepted accountability and apologized to his teammates and to Canada.   What class! [Read more…]

Are You Ready for Change?

Last week I was fortunate to attend a speakers meeting.  Everyone attending the event was a speaker in their field.  The format of the meeting was quite similar to a Toastmasters meeting but each of us was asked to make two short impromptu presentations.

The topic for the meeting was “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking With It”.  When I was first told about the topic I was not very clear how I could incorporate that topic into a short presentation.  On my way to the meeting, I realized that the best topic to speak on was change! [Read more…]

Bad Decision or On-Track?

Today I have heard a lot of discussion on the radio surrounding the Hockey Hall of Fame announcements and the induction of  Pavel Bure – a former Vancouver Canuck.   Pavel Bure was recruited by the Vancouver Canucks just prior to his defection from the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s.  Pavel was known as “The Russian Rocket” and demonstrated his phenomenal skill while wearing the Canucks uniform. (sidebar:  I was thrilled to have watched him live on several occasions).

Pavel wasn’t a typical Canuck in that he wasn’t a major contributor to the community.  In my opinion, the Vancouver Canucks have set a high expectation on their team, and management, and their participation in community and charity efforts.  This can be quite different than other teams who have a lower bar in place.  Add to that, Pavel’s rocky departure from the Canucks.  Two years ago, Vancouver retired the jerseys of three key players in Canucks history and added others to a newly created Ring of Honour.  Pavel was not chosen for either.

At the time, I remember writing a blog post on how honourees were chosen.  Hockey skill,  leadership, community (social) and team contributions were all key factors.  Each of the players chosen unquestionably met each of these criteria.  Roll ahead to today.  Pavel Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.  He was arguably one of the best goal scorers of all time, so from that perspective a good inductee choice.  Sportscasters spent the day questioning why Bure hadn’t had his jersey retired or been added to the Ring of Honour.

How does this hockey story apply to you as a business person?
If you have established criteria for a particular role or recognition award that reflects your values, do you ignore some of those values and only focus on one component of the criteria to recognize an employee or co-worker?
I contend that an organization is only truly successful when their values are integrated into every aspect of their business activities.  These values are not just words on a wall, but living and breathing components of every action embraced and demonstrated by all levels of the organization.

I have been working with a client of mine on a project where the work we were doing had to truly integrate the four key values of the organization.  This made our work so interesting and provided a great “bar” to measure our work against.  It added life to what otherwise may not be “alive”.  Over the past year while I have been working on changes within my own business I have become very clear on my own values and they have become strong determinants in deciding what work to take on, who I work with, what I do and what I wish to project to others.

Are you really clear on your own personal values?  Do you know the values of your business (or those of your employer’s business)?  Are these values integrated into every component of the organizations activities, culture and decisions?  If no, why not?

Next Steps
1.  Become very clear on what your personal values are?  Evaluate how these values fit with your employer or business values.
2.  Identify ways to integrate the values of your business/organization into decision making, actions and the overall culture.
3.  Take steps to recognize when values, decisions and actions are all in alignment!  How does that look/feel and what does it mean to you and your team?

So, should Pavel Bure have his jersey retired?  I don’t think so because he didn’t embrace all of the components so important to and reflected in Canucks who embraced their values and culture.

Stretch Goals…Step Forward & Grow

How high do you set your personal and business standards?  In my mastermind group we determined that we all set the bar pretty high for ourselves and we are committed to reaching and exceeding our own goals and performance standards.  Each of us has been an entrepreneur for several years and have each enjoyed many successes.  We also set the bar high when we were in school and in our prior careers.  As a successful mastermind group that has been together for 3 years our commitment to each other’s success is a testament of our high standards.  Our mastermind provides a solid, safe place to face our fears, brainstorm ideas and celebrate our successes.  In order to achieve our goals and dreams, each member of our group sets business and personal goals that will move us 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 paramentersJohn Miller wrote about the conflict between stretch goals and smart goals in his blog.  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 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!

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

Take a Beeline to your Target

Have you ever wandered off course when trying complete a project or reach your goals?  If you are like most people, the answer is most likely a definite yes!  In my Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine article 5 Secrets to Turning Good Intentions into Great Results, I mentioned how creating a board of directors can be valuable in keeping you on course.  Staying on track can be a huge challenge.  Each day we are pulled in different directions by clients, suppliers, employees, our own career or entrepreneurial tendencies for innovation and by life itself.  Engaging with a Coach is one way to keep yourself on-track but this approach may not be for you.  Another option is to find an accountability partner or group, also referred to as a mastermind or peer mentoring group.   Groups can be facilitated by a Coach or self-directed.

I personally have used, and continue to use both approaches to keep my business growing and developing.  Without the support of my coach and mastermind partners, I do not believe that I would have achieved the growth and fulfillment I have.  I never stop learning from them.  I also love to share in their successes too. [Read more…]

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