Today at the Olympics, Canadian swimmer bronze medalist, Brent Hayden, won the bronze medal in the men’s 100m freestyle. In his post event interview, Hayden said life is full of turbulence but you have to build bridges and when you have a strong foundation you cross the bridge and cut through the turbulence. [Read more…]
Is a Coach Right for You?
As I have been growing my new business, I have been asked by many people why a person would hire a coach, and what I bring to the table that would benefit my clients. These are great questions and ones worth responding to… so I am taking the liberty to respond in this article.
What is a Coach?
According the the Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey, “Executive coaching means regular meetings between a business leader and a trained facilitator, designed to produce positive changes in business behavior in a limited time frame.” Sherpa also indicates that business coaching is the new term for business consulting, whereby the Coach works to develop a clients knowledge and skill. Regardless of which type of coach you want, a coach will facilitate a positive change on a set schedule in a limited time period. A Life Coach focuses on your personal life and relationships, rather than on business activities and business behaviour. [Read more…]
Over the past weekend, the Grey Cup game was played between two great Canadian Football League teams – The Winnipeg Bluebombers and the BC Lions. These two teams came to the game with every intention of leaving the field the champion! Only one team could do so, but that didn’t stop the drive and determination of either team.
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Have you ever been inspired by an interview on T.V. or the radio? I know I often gain great inspiration from different mediums, outside of the usual business events. This happened in mid-September when I was listening to an interview with Daryl Fox, National Director of The Terry Fox Foundation. Daryl is the younger brother of Terry Fox and accompanied his brother in the cross-Canada Marathon of Hope. Terry was an amputee due to cancer in his knee. In 1980 he decided he wanted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Unfortunately, Terry was forced to end his trek in Thunder Bay, Ontario – just under halfway of his intended journey. Later that year, Terry succumbed to a second bout of cancer.
During this interview, there were several points that resonated with me. Daryl described Terry as “an average person who had incredible vision.” He also commented on Terry’s unshakable integrity. Terry wanted to ensure that he ran every mile he set out to run. When they couldn’t find the marker from the previous night, Terry would go back to a point he knew he had covered and start there, often covering 2-3 miles he had previously travelled.
Terry was also very driven – enduring on-going pain during his daily marathons. Daryl shared that Terry always put his pain in perspective. He was in pain for about 12 hours per day and could then find some relief. Many cancer patients are unable to gain any relief from their battle. His focus was unselfish and focused outward on his vision and others. In addition to running, Terry ensured his vision was shared with others, by generously conducting interviews and doing presentations around his daily runs. [Read more…]
The hockey playoffs are a great example of how teams have to play smart and overcome adversity in order to achieve the ultimate goal – the Stanley Cup. Despite their best efforts and great cohesive play, determination by the other team to capitalize on a weaknesses is steadfast and can quickly change a win to a loss.
The same perseverance and clarity of vision is necessary for business owners to remain successful and competitive when times are tough. It has been stated that companies who continue regular marketing during an economic downturn rebound more effectively and quicker than those who cut back or fail to market their business. Small businesses are the heartblood of our economy and are poised to lead the country to stronger economic times.
Businesses need to stay focused on what they do well, maintain a strong customer focus, remain visible and be ready to capitalize on weaknesses of their competitors so that they are easily differentiated. What are you doing to be a champion?
Change is a constant. There are many commonalities in how business owners, leaders, organizations and industries are dealing with this reality but there are also many differences. Some organizations are internalizing the changes (looking inward and identifying ways to restructure, identify efficiencies, and plan for the future), while other organizations are looking outward for support and ideas in addition to looking inward. It doesn’t matter if the organization is large or small, there are examples of both approaches in each category.
Some of the changes that are happening include:
- hiring freezes resulting in existing employees to taking on more work.
- reorganization of duties between employees.
- lay-offs and closures, which impact the morale of the organization.
- cut-backs or discontinued funding for projects or programmes.
- revisiting the organizational vision and strategic objectives
- shortening the horizon of the strategic plan (from the traditional 3-5 years into shorter term objectives)
What changes are you experiencing in your organization or industry? What trends are you seeing? Will these trends impact how you do business? Is there a better approach — internal vs external?