How to Understand the Law of Attraction!

shareasimage (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)Have you ever thought the world was there only to make you fail? Do you think that If you didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck at all? This is an example of stinking thinkin’!

In reality, you make your own luck, your own failures and successes with your choices. Yes, we can blame others but we are responsible for how we handle the external impacts of outside services, products or people.

If you are one of the positive ones who think everything happens for a reason! ?
Excellent, good for you! You are correct! Well, sort of…

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Ikigai – How to See Growth in 2016!

ikigai DiagramAs we start 2016, I would like to open our imaginations a bit and examine work and life from a couple of Japanese concepts that we have all heard about but few truly understand.  The first we are going to look at is “Ikigai” or “the why you get up every day” and the second is “Kaizen” or “the philosophy of continuous improvement in work and personal lives”.

Many authors discuss these topics independently but I really feel they need to be combined to realize the real power that is present in their use and empowerment. Here we are going to examine an integrated process that can help you become more intentional and empowering in 2016.

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How to Tackle Change & WIIFM!

ID-10018273 (2015_09_21 22_53_07 UTC)In times of change, “What’s in it for ME?” (WIIFM) is the “BIG” question everyone wants an answer to as soon as possible. Basically, we are all self-centered so this should be no surprise.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to see that the communications are clear, concise and authentic. Where possible, we need to understand another component in change and that is “What’s in it for “US” as a group?” The answers to question WIIFM can actually be included with a WIIFUS response.

In my experience, the biggest mistake most leaders make when trying to change something in the life or structure of the enterprise is to lead by announcement, by propaganda, or—worse yet—by executive dictate.

What may make perfect sense in your mind may not be understood so clearly by the rest of the organization. To you, the idea is completely logical. Trouble is, to win the support of others you must appeal to the intellectual and emotional bandwidth of people.

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Building Blocks for an Innovative Culture

Building a culture takes everyone at the table.
Building a culture takes everyone at the table.

As a leader, you are probably interested in the sustainability of your company, if you’re not then it may be time to find something else to do for a living. The key to continually being on the sustainable path, you really need to focus building blocks that can provide the base of a culture of innovation. That’s because, in a fast-moving, VUCA world, where people expect things to get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, innovation is your primary tool that can be used to get ahead of your competition and stay there.

Innovation is not some mystical, close your eyes and with wishful thinking have something appear that is new, improved or revolutionary. It is something that must be done intentionally, proactively and with full participation by all within the company. Building blocks can make it easier for everyone.

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How to Bust Procrastination

Procrastination is Opportunities Assassin2015

“How to Bust Procrastination.”

I am assuming that you have passion to do what you do in terms of a business, so have you ever lacked the drive and ambition to actually get anything done? Staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen can get frustrating, and putting in unfocused effort is a waste of time. Procrastination is one of a few inhibitors that are at the root of this type of mentality. It tends to get in the way of the creative experiences that you crave, but then end up neglecting or ignoring.

Busting Procrastination

In order to maintain success and keep things rolling with any of your goals, it’s crucial that you fight off any procrastination and negative energy that gets you in that uninspired mood. Below are a few tips to help keep you motivated to get out of your comfort zone every time you have the opportunity. Have your all of your stakeholders in mind when you’re thinking about your next set of tasks, decisions or processes!

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How Collaboration Can Succeed 21st Century Organizations

Board Meeting PictureIn an older survey from the Center for Creative Leadership, a large majority of the senior leaders believed collaboration was essential to success. Yet, only 30% of respondents believed leaders in their organizations were actually skilled in collaboration. In my mind, this indicates that leaders must learn and embrace working across boundaries, physical, cultural and political, to collaborate effectively in the coming years.

In theory, collaboration is a process of participating through which people, groups and organizations work together to achieve common, desired results. Generally, there are some common factors and characteristics have been identified by research as influencing the collaborative process, including the skills of leadership (hard & soft). communication, sustainability, unity, participation, and a documented history of successful accomplishments

Below are some key factors that I feel are necessary for success in a collaborative project.

  • Initial Research and Evaluation – A needs and gap assessment should always be conducted. Goals can be made clear and there can be measurement processes in place to collect data and review those goals. Use of a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) format can help you prioritize the stages.
  • Clear Understanding of Catalysts – The need for collaboration is usually based on the existence of problem(s) or the reason(s) within the organization therefore, for collaboration to exist, requires a comprehensive & unified approach. The team must know the WHY or it will flounder.
  • Know the Impact of Policies/Laws/Regulations. – Can collaboration function effectively under the existing policies, laws, and/or regulations, if they are understood and subscribed to or is there authority and process to alter existing or create new ones? (Environment)
  • Understanding Stakeholders – The collaboration team must understand the stakeholders, including the people, cultures, values and habits. Flexibility and adaptation are vital within any collaboration process. (Culture)
  • Positive Political Climate – Ideally, there should be a positive history and environment surrounding power and decision-making. A negative political climate may occur within the group as a whole, systems within the group or networks of people who could prevent success so this is an important point to monitor. Political climate can be affected by many external elements to communications are vital. (Communications)
  • Commitment to Resources – There must be an access process to acquire the required resources. Resources, for this process, refers to four types of capital: human, environmental, in-kind, and financial. (Transparency)
  • Clear, Concise Communication – A transparent & open communications style with an established process. (Vision)
  • Team Sustainability – There should be an agreed to plan for sustaining participation and resources throughout the project including guidelines in regards to the replacement of members, if necessary. (Mission)
  • Is There a History? – It is always good if the group collaborating, already has a history of working cooperatively and solving problems, but if this is not the case then one will be built in the process and should be documented for future collaborations. (Vision)
  • Strong Connectedness – Members should be connected and have established informal and formal communication networks at all levels along a dispute resolution process and a decision-making process that is accepted by all. As John Maxwell says in one of his latest books, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. (Communication)
  • Leadership – Leaders who promote, facilitate and support team building, and who can capitalize on diversity and individual, group and organizational strengths should be encouraged to step up and empower the other members to excel.

By using the thoughts outlined above as a focus for discussion you can reduce disruption within any group, new or existing. The group conversation should migrate from generic discussion to focused dialogue which leads to sound decision-making, and action.

Open and honest communication within the group will increase group effectiveness and commitment. It will also allow for viewing issues and problems in a more holistic manner. Open, transparent and honest communication within the collaboration team and with stakeholders is critical to success.

Setting the direction and focus must begin with establishing the vision, mission, values, and principles. Defining the outcome(s) further establishes identity and fundamental purpose. This creates the foundation for the team to work from, however, if the foundation is fluid you will run the risk of instability within the team. Activities also need to be segmented and aligned to provide value to the collaborative team and ultimately to the stakeholders.

Overlapping activities with similar focuses will confuse. Task/role clarity will create greater engagement, discussion and understanding. Applying the factors above to the existing and new processes and contexts of the process results in a greater shared understanding of what the collaboration stands for(WHY), where it’s going (WHERE), the internal and external environment (WHO), and how it intends to make its outcomes a reality (HOW) and (WHEN) it will be completed.

Collaboration often means different things to different people, therefore it is useful to think about collaboration as a continuum. There will be ups and downs as issues are discovered and dealt with by the team and this is normal.

Team members will consider themselves in relationships that vary from ordinary exchanges, in which the groups are more independent, to extraordinary relationships, in which they are more interdependent. Ultimately, collaboration involves networking, cooperation and coordination with empowered members who can lead in absence of orders.

If your company is having issues with collaboration and implementation, please check out our website at Transformative Leadership Group or send an email to

Excerpt: A Field Guide to the Workplace Jungle

Elephant BehaviourThis is a brief excerpt from our newest book released in March, 2015 entitled; “A Field Guide to the Workplace Jungle” In this section we are responding to those possible “elephant” behaviours in a team and how to work with them best. You can find the kindle book on Amazon today!

“You may also have heard the expression ‘The elephant in the room’. Sometimes elephant behaviour can hold you back, if not dealt with promptly. Their relentlessness can be very destructive when dealing with someone without the vision to appropriately apply their knowledge. However, although you know you need to deal with it, it is a potentially huge problem.

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4 Tips to Develop a Team Competitive Advantage

Courtesy of Stuart Miles at
Courtesy of Stuart Miles at

In a previous article, we discussed the idea of problem solving broken into a mindset structure, in this article we will look at ways to make a team building strategy that can become a competitive advantage, if done consistently and transparently using those mindsets.

If you are a team leader or senior leader, this same process applies. You must realize that the process takes time, a lot of effort and most importantly connecting with your team members. It cannot be done remotely nor can it be done in a vacuum, i.e., without input from the team members. There must be integrity, trust, and transparency in the whole process.

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2015 Challenge: Ideas for Engaging Employees

Thanks to Stuart Miles & FDP
Thanks to Stuart Miles & FDP

How can we, as leaders, engage employees’ heads, hearts, and hands? Much has been written on the subject of engaging employees  however in this article I will endeavor to highlight a number of areas were leaders should strive for excellence in dealing with their people. These will yield engagement.

1. Always Connect: Leaders must demonstrate that they value employees. In the book, “First, Break All the Rules”, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman argue that leader or manager influence usually trumps companies. While company driven programs such as profit sharing and implementing work–life balance initiatives are important, there is much more to the equation. If, for example, the employees’ relationship with their managers is fractured, then no amount of benefits or incentives will persuade them to perform at top levels.

Employee engagement is generally a direct reflection of how employees feel about their relationship with the boss. They look at whether organizations and their leaders walk the talk when they proclaim that, “Our employees are our most valuable asset.” If employees feel that leaders do not believe in this mantra then high levels of disengagement will occur. While they may not flip entirely to disengaged, they may fall in to a middle group that is neither fully engaged nor fully disengaged. They will get the job done adequately but they will fall short of being company advocates for growth and innovation. There is always room for improvement when it comes to engaging employees.

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Revelation: It’s Not All about Authority!

freeing_from_control_sm_nwmToday, many executives dream of ascending the ladder for the sole purpose of gaining more authority. Once they have arrived then they truly, believe they can make “things” happen which will create a change that they have in mind, usually without much input from others. In addition, current senior executives, often report they are frustrated by how little power they really have. Is there ever enough authority?

First, authority is not all bad. The issue, in my opinion, is that while authority can compel action it does little to inspire trust or belief. Only leadership can do that. While getting people to do what you want done seems to be paramount, it is not enough, they have to also want what you want or any permanent change is bound to be short lived. Continue reading “Revelation: It’s Not All about Authority!”