Culture: When One Plus One Equals Five

I have observed in my in my practice of personal business coaching in the Woodlands and also in business coaching in Houston that certain concepts become the major focus of the time. Time management was big and coming into its own in the 1980’s and 1990’s. You just weren’t with it if you hadn’t taken a time management course. And, time management is still just as important today as it was back then.

Today, much of what I encounter has to do with company culture and how it is either helping or hindering a company. Culture comes from the Latin word cultus, which means care. Culture at its highest level has a clear purpose as expressed in the vision and more importantly, the vision statements.

These statements are more than just words. They define a purpose and a way to get there that is bigger than any one person. It gives the individual something to belong to and helps form a sense of team and cohesiveness. Culture sends a number of signals of how we belong to something. And when we belong to something as a teamwe can do greater things than if we siloed ourselves off and did it alone.

This is where one plus one equals five. This is where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When it comes to culture, I become more of a personal development business coach in the Woodlands with an emphasis on self-improvement business coaching.

In order to have a geometric progression in growth, efficiency and effectiveness a team must feel safe. This allows them to be creative. The members of the team must feel like they belong. And, the individuals in the team must focus on their personal development or self-improvement. Why? Seldom will whatever we want to achieve individually or as a team exceed our personal development.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet Part 3

In the last post I shared with you three more questions to ask yourself on your path to achieving your best year yet. Altogether here are the six questions presented to this point.

1. What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2. What were my major disappointments?

3. What did I learn?

4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop? This question, to me, is one of the most challenging. You have to take a deep introspective look at yourself and come to an understanding of how you may limit yourself and how can you stop.

5. What are my values? As with the other questions, there are no right or wrong answers here. If is important to define your values. It will give you a mirror into how you conduct your business and your life. It will show you your priorities in how you accomplish things.

6. What roles do I play? This is critical. Identify all the roles you play in your life. Most people are fascinated when they discover all the roles they play?

In this segment, I will finish up with the last four questions. As I have shared in the last two posts, I do business coaching in The Woodlands and surrounding areas, including Houston. Not all business coaches offer the same types of services. I am definitely not the business coach for everyone. It is important that you interview your coach thoroughly and that they do the same for you. This is a collaboration. My practice includes not just the business, but the personal side. The two, in my opinion are strongly linked and it is a must to address both areas in order for a client to achieve the success or results he or she desired. My role at times can be strictly as a business coach. Other times it can be more focused on self-improvement business coaching. And, when you put it all together it adds up to what is personal business coaching. All business coaching, in the end, is personal. It is about what you, not the coach, is going to gain from the coaching relationship.

In striving for your best year yet, it is important to have someone to hold you accountable. This may be a coach or someone else. Regardless, when you have accountability, you increase your odds greatly of achieving your goals.

On the road to your best year yet, here are the last four questions.

7. What are my goals for each role? You have defined the roles you play. Now what are the goals for each role.

8. What is my major role for next year? This is a great question because your answer guides you to where you will want to focus a large part of your time and energy in the coming year. And most importantly, it starts you on the path to creating priorities.

9. What are my top 10 goals for next year? This brings greater focus.

10. How can I make sure I achieve my top 10 goals? Here is where you put in the action steps you must take to achieve your goals and to have your best year yet.

In the end, everything you have done can be distilled down to one page. Start with listing the top two or three priorities in terms of behavior and habits, not goals that will allow you to achieve your goals.

Next, write a paragraph about your belief system that will enable you to achieve your goals. This is your new paradigm.

Next, write down your major focus and how you are going to make it a reality.

Finally, write down your top 10 goals for the year and when you wish to have achieved them during the course of the year.

Keep it brief. The goal is to fit it all on one page of paper. When you have it you now have your blueprint for your best year yet. Keep it where you can read it once a week. When you do, you will be on your way to having your best year yet.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet Part 2

In the last post I started with three questions to ask yourself on your path to having your best year yet.

1.What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2.What were my major disappointments?

3.What did I learn?

In my practice, which for the most part is as a personal business coach in The Woodlands, there are different roles I must play to be effective for my clients. Part of what I do is collaborate with them on purely business challenges. That is the business coach role. I may also collaborate with them on personal challenges that can lead to breakthroughs in their business. That is when I do self-improvement business coaching or what some call personal development business coaching.

When focusing on how to have your best year yet all these roles come into play. After all, I believe you must look at the whole situation. It is easy to develop strategies for the business but maybe those strategies don’t fit the leadership style or the person. Then adjustments need to be made as we discover what needs to be addressed. The exciting aspect for my clients and me is that they are not the same person today as they were two weeks or a month ago. When you are involved in the business coaching process, regardless of who you collaborate with, you must be willing to stretch.

So, you have answered the first three questions. I find that these are relatively easy for most people to address. Based on your accomplishments, your disappointments and what you learned, here are the next three.

4. How do I limit myself and how can I stop? This question, to me, is one of the most challenging. You have to take a deep introspective look at yourself and come to an understanding of how you may limit yourself and how can you stop.

5.What are my values? As with the other questions, there are no right or wrong answers here. If is important to define your values. It will give you a mirror into how you conduct your business and your life. It will show you your priorities in how you accomplish things.

6.What roles do I play? This is critical. Identify all the roles you play in your life. Most people are fascinated when they discover all the roles they play?

Once again, write down the answers to these questions. In the next segment we will start putting together the goals to have your best year yet.

How to Have Your Best Year Yet- Part 1

When you come to the end of a calendar year, it is a wonderful time to reflect on our past year. What did you accomplish? What were our disappointments? What did you learn? These are a few questions that can get you started on reflecting and evaluating.

I have learned over the years in my personal business coaching in The Woodlands and surrounding areas, that this reflection is good to do annually, yet if you truly want to stay on track with your goals, it works even better to do a quarterly evaluation. If you are getting off track, you can more easily alter your course to refocus on your goals. If you get too far off, the difficulty and energy required to get back on track is much greater.

In a way, your life is like a football game. If you divide your year into quarters, you can see how you are doing at the end of each quarter and make the necessary adjustments to win, to achieve your goals. That’s what football coaches do.

At times, a large part of what I do when I collaborate with clients has to do with their personal development in their business. Yes, we find ways to improve processes, hire better people, streamline operations for efficiency, be more effective in our communication in the teams we have, create and execute a better marketing plan and the list can go on and on. To achieve these things, the client has to embrace the idea that self-improvement business coaching will accelerate the process of his or her successful performance.

Quite simply, you and your business will only rise to the level of your self-improvement, which in essence is your personal development. Fortunately, the clients in The Woodlands I have collaborated with over the years understand this. They understand that something has to change on the inside before it will manifest itself on the outside in attaining their goals both business and personal.

To start on your path to having your best year yet ask yourself these three questions as regards your business and life. Why look at your business and life? As a personal business coach in the Woodlands, or anywhere for that matter, I see that there is always a dynamic link between your personal and business life. If you achieve a goal on the personal side, it may have a great effect on the business side and vice versa. Once you have your answers to the following questions, write them down. Writing down your answers increases the odds of taking the necessary actions to have your best year yet. Here are:

1. What did I accomplish in the past year? Or what did I accomplish in the last 12 months? You can start having your best year yet at any time.

2. What were my major disappointments?

3. What did I learn?

Those three questions will get you started. In the next post I will give you three more questions to accelerate your process of having your best year yet!

Self-Improvement Tips for Success

Your personal development and growth are built directly on the foundation of your self-improvement.  The more you embrace your own self-improvement the greater the possibilities in your business and life.  As a business coach, very often my primary role with clients transitions into that of a personal development coach and personal development coaching.

Today, business owners, executives, and managers have a wealth of information available on systems, processes and what I call the “how to” of how to have a successful business.  If marketing is a challenge there are hundreds of solutions and services.  If manufacturing to higher tolerances is the challenge, there are processes to achieve them.  Regardless, almost anything you need to improve business today can be found.

Yet, there is one area where you can’t call someone in or bring a company to institute a process without your active participation.  And, that area is your self-improvement.  Much has been written on self-improvement.  Some people call self-improvement personal development.  I will use the terms interchangeably here.  Why is self-improvement or personal development critical?

Quite simply, seldom will whatever you want in life exceed your self-improvement or personal development.  The following I have found to be useful guidelines for many clients when I am in the role of personal development coach and do personal development coaching.

  1. Know your philosophy. Your philosophy is how you think.  Your world and your personal development can only become as large as your thinking.  What are the lids of your thinking?
  2. Know your attitudes. How do you feel, your attitude, about what you think?  All thoughts are things.  Every thought has an emotion attached to it.  Thoughts are things.
  3. Activity is the result of your thoughts and how you feel about your thoughts. If you wish for increased activity to accelerate your personal development than you must examine your thoughts and how you feel about them.  If your activity is not leading you to where you want to go then you must re-examine your philosophy and your attitudes.

At this point, to have the activity you want, you must be willing to amend your thinking.  When you amend your thinking and attitudes that is when you can create new habits and activity.  This is where a personal development coach and personal development coaching can be helpful.  It is important to have someone outside of yourself to support you in making the advances you want.  After all, if you are in the picture, it is hard to see yourself as you are.

  1. Results are the accumulation of your philosophy, attitude, and activity. If you wish for different results all you need to do is go back and amend your philosophy and attitude.  In turn, this will change your activity which will change your results.

To bring these four areas together, philosophy, attitude, activity, and results you must have one purpose at the forefront.  You must be willing to take action and to take it consistently and to be persistent.  Learning about your philosophy, attitude, activity, and results are good.  But, without the miracle process of applying, taking action on what you have learned, you will remain stuck.

Take action and the other self-improvement tips for success will transform you, your business and your life.

Definitions: Part 2-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the previous post, I have shared some of the definitions to bring a better understanding as to what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches. Self-Improvement business coaching which is truly what a personal business coach or personal development business coach does can, like any coaching, have tangible and intangible results.  Whether I am business coaching in Houston or outside the area my goal is to collaborate with my clients to see real benefits as well as discovering others that are not so readily seen.

When you have an understanding of the terms and their definitions that coaches use, you will gain insight into how a personal development business coach or a personal business coach may benefit you.

Self-improvement does not happen in a vacuum.  The greatest strides in self-improvement are intentional.  They are intentional in that they require us to reach out and beyond ourselves to obtain the feedback and education to create our personal path to greater growth, satisfaction and happiness.  With that in mind, let’s continue our voyage of self-discovery and understanding with some more definitions.

Needs:  To me, as a personal business coach, the understanding of needs is central to connecting with a person you are coaching.  And, if you aren’t a personal development business coach, your ability to understand your needs will provide an essential key as to what drives you and what path you must take to self-improvement.

Needs are the emotional aspects that drive individuals.  The driving force behind needs is based in a human yearning for wholeness.  Often, needs direct major life decisions until they are met. Needs can also sit on top of, or get in the way of, a person’s clearly identifying their values and living life based on those values.

The kinds of needs I am discussing here go beyond the basic needs for food, air, water, and shelter to the things that person feels they must have.  Notice the word “feels.”  What you feel is emotional and defines your needs and drives you to satisfy them.  For example, one person may feel the need to be accepted.  Another has to accomplish. Needs take many forms such as acknowledgement, to be loved, to be right, or to be cared for.

People have multiple needs.  Yet, to be a successful personal development business coach you must be able to identify two or three key needs of your client.  If you create pathways to meet these needs, you have provided great value on a person’s path of self-improvement.

Wants:  All of us can get our needs confused with our wants. What’s the difference between a want and a need.  Wants, unlike needs, are flexible and/or optional; if you get it, great, if not, you are still okay.  When your needs are met, and your life is oriented to your values, your wants tend to proportionately decrease. For example, a person may want to succeed in business, have a great body, or have a big house.  Since these are flexible, they can change over time.

Goals:  A lot is written about goals and rightfully so.  Goals allow us to create a future and a pathway for our self-improvement.  With a goal, once the future is finished in your mind, then what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

A goal is the objective of a strategy.  Or, I like this definition.  A goal is a dream with a deadline.  A goal can be very simple or extremely complex. It is the result or achievement, toward which effort is directed:  the aim or end of something.  A goal implies that work (or effort) is involved to achieve it.

Priorities:  If you are to accomplish your goals, meet your needs and satisfy some of your wants, you must have priorities.  A priority is something that takes precedence over something else: something given special attention.  In general, priorities are a set of ideals (physical, spiritual, or emotional), that when grouped together compose the items most important to an individual.  They are considered to be at the top of any list of things to achieve in any area of life.  As an aside, there are many self-improvement tips, self-improvement tips and ideas or tips on self-improvement or however you wish to phrase it.  Yet, without priorities, most people will not take the first step, which is taking action, to enhance their self-improvement.

Moving forward on your path of self-improvement take a moment to write down your needs, your wants and your goals.  Then decide what your priorities are to achieve in each of these areas.  When you do, you will start creating pathways to accelerated the process of your successful performance.

Are You Ready to Work with a Personal Business Coach?

Are you ready to work with a personal business coach?  Or, another way to say this is, are you going to be receptive to self-improvement business coaching?

Over many years of coaching I have observed that those who do well with my style of personal development business coaching, have a good personal foundation.  They have many things working for them.  They are now at a point where they want to take it to their business and life to the next level.

What is the next level, you ask?  It is a good question.  There are hundreds of paths to self-improvement and they all lead to the same place.  So, it really doesn’t matter which path you take.  What matters is that you take a path and commit to it.  That’s where I come in to support others in going on their chosen pathway.

I am not here to fix anyone.  I am not here to help anyone.  Yet, I am here to give others my unconditional support.  A fix it mentality in coaching or the “I am here to help” offering, for me, is starting from a negative.  The implication is that something is wrong.  The truth is there is something wrong, or that can be improved in all of us.  That includes myself.

To me, the best path for self-improvement business coaching has four key elements.

  1.  Unconditional support
  2.  Accountability for the things the client wants to be held accountable for
  3.  Collaboration:  This is not about me and you.  It is about us.
  4.  Co-creation of pathways to accelerate the process of the client’s successful

performance.

Now that I have listed the components for successful self-improvement business coaching I want to get back to the original question, “What is the next level?”

The next level for virtually everyone is greater peace of mind and happiness.  You may say, and rightly so, this doesn’t make sense.  Don’t most people want more success in their businesses and lives financially?  Yes, in a sense.  No one has ever hired me and said, “I want to earn less money and have a diminished lifestyle?  All of them would like to earn more, sometimes it is very little, sometimes it is a great deal more.  Yet, the one thing they almost always agree on is that they want a better lifestyle.

And a better lifestyle, which comprises your business and personal life comes from understanding who you are and what can bring you greater peace and happiness.  Very often, when we focus on what the ultimate goal is, greater peace and happiness, we end up doing things that improve our lives and lifestyle significantly in other areas.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a better lifestyle and identifying steps to accelerate the process of your successful performance, you are a good candidate for collaborating with a personal business coach.

Self-Improvement: It Is All About Your Personal Foundation

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

What Is Your Lid?

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.