Archive for the ‘Training and Development’ Category

Be Coachable

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Think of the superstar high performers you’ve seen over the years in your business. How many have you seen dance the Big Dance for a while, then suddenly self-destruct?

I’ve seen far too many myself.

Once I started paying attention to this pattern, I started noticing what made the difference between those who would do well and then crash, and those who would do well…and then do better and better. The ones who crashed were not able to accept advice and coaching. The ones who persisted and thrived were. Period.

Being perfect is overrated. I don’t need to know that someone who works for me is perfect. I need to know they’re coachable.

Being coachable doesn’t just mean you’re open to suggestions. It means you’re hungry for them, thirsty for them. You DEMAND input, because you know that’s the golden road to rocking it.

Some high performers think they don’t need any more coaching. They’re high performers after all! But a real high performer knows she can always go higher. She…

  • Records her sales calls and asks the boss to review them.
  • Asks how she’s doing, often.
  • Asks how she can improve.
  • When getting coached, she’s open and grateful and NEVER tells the coach they’re wrong.

Master coachability and there is literally nothing you CAN’T master.

Plus One Everything

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

We used to have an intern in our office who thought of this principle—“Plus one” everything.

What this means is that—beyond doing what is asked of you, and doing it on time—you do something else, above and beyond. Every time.

For example, maybe you wrote a report and you got it in on time. To “plus one” this, you ALSO took the liberty of doing a quick analysis of the report, finding redundancies, and making a recommendation to your boss about how to make the process more efficient.

So why go to the trouble? If I’m assigned X, isn’t X good enough? Of course it is. And if you want your tombstone to read, “She was good enough,” stick to the minimum.

If on the other hand you want to be noticed, if you want to stand out from the crowd as exceptional, if you want to be the very first name that pops into executive heads when a higher position opens up—then X plus one is the approach to take.

In everything you do, find not just the time to give a little extra, but also the heart. It IS a matter of heart, you know. Once you’ve truly thrown your heart over the bar, “plus one” will happen naturally in everything you do.

Get Inspired for 2011

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The year 2010 has come and gone, and what do you have to show for it? A renewed passion for your job? A workplace free of every dysfunction you can think of? How about a less-stressed, more relaxed, you?

Who Else Wants to Get More Accomplished in Less Time?

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

People make “to-do” lists. That’s great. But try this tip that successful people do: They make “get-rid-of lists.”

Decide to get rid of the things that aren’t creating the best ROI for every minute of your time and every dollar you invest.

Things that could and should be on your list include: vendors that need to go, products that overstayed the party, employees who make you want to stop being an employer, mindsets you have that hold you back, mindsets your team members have that need to go, old systems that haven’t been challenged—you name it, anything that you wouldn’t want to start over should probably go.

New results don’t come with old methodologies, old thinking, or other clutter that keeps you stuck in yesteryear. Get out the shovel and clean house!

The Company You Keep

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

© Andres Rodriguez |

Parents are full of advice for their kids. Some of it doesn’t hold up (my face did NOT stay that way, Dad), and some is golden.

A lot of the best advice we give our kids translates just as well into adult life. But too often we fail to apply it to ourselves, as if there’s something magic about the age eighteen that turns golden advice to straw. And that’s too bad.

One of the things I remember Mom drumming into my head is the importance of choosing my friends wisely. Nothing has a greater influence on the person you’ll become, she said. I’m sure I rolled my eyes at the time. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s the single best piece of wisdom she ever gave me.

We’ve all had the experience of reflecting the people around us. If you are surrounded by grousers and whiners, you naturally feel yourself falling into a pattern of grousing and whining, partly because the grousing whiners will reward you for being like them. So how could you not?

On the other hand, when you surround yourself with people who are positive and optimistic and happy to be alive, you can’t help feeling the same.

I have several dear friends now who have that effect on me. When I’m around them, their smiles, their infectious laughs, and their ability to find the joy in life naturally puts me in the same frame of mind. I leave a restaurant or a party with these people and find myself smiling more, opening doors for others, letting people merge on the freeway. The effect is immediate and undeniable.

And it goes well beyond mood. If we want to achieve lasting changes in the way we approach our work and our lives, the very best thing we can do is surround ourselves with people who share those values. Want to be more punctual? Hang out with people who are punctual. Want to see the work you do in terms of service to others instead of a means to support yourself? You know what to do.

Most important of all, you want to choose friends and associates who share the deeper, more fundamental attitudes toward life. Choose to be around people who are enlightened learners, who choose wisdom, who take the high road, who have a heart of kindness, who decide to persevere. Surround yourself with people of strong character because they will hold you to a high standard. Just as the grousing whiners reinforce attitudes and behaviors that are like theirs, so will the decent and wise.

So sure, read all the books you can to improve who you are and how you approach life. But know that the greatest influence of all happens not between the covers of a book, but between people.