A Little Perspective Setting …

Okay, let’s do a quick inventory of what is happening here …

Precision marching in step with dozens of other people … Thumbs up

A large group creating massive and recognizable MOVING pictures … Thumbs up

 In front of thousands of people … Thumbs up

 Oh yeah, while playing musical instruments … Thumbs up

 … and they are not even the main event.

Now, let me get back telling you how hard I have to work to juggle MY priorities … on second thought, never mind.

This is one excellent example of the payoff from organization and mindfulness.   Everyone knows what to do, when to do it, and does so flawlessly.   These folks are paying attention to both planning and execution.

 Can your organization do this as well as these college students? 

 What gets in the way of performance like this?

 How can you create this ability in your organization?

 Wondering just how the heck they do that in the Heartland ….


Housekeeper“it is important to recognize that our achievements not only speak well of us, they speak well of those persons and forces – seen, unseen, and unnoticed – that have been active in our lives.”

Author Unknown, but brilliant

The Big Dog in the room usually is one of two types of folks:

1)  The Big Dog who thinks they are the most important thing in the room.

2)  The Big Dog who knows that the others in the room help create whatever is possible.

Our family, our friends, our colleagues past and present, and our mentors, heroes, and inspirations all contribute to who we are today.

Our experiences and culture shape our beliefs, our values, and our attitudes.

One of the most useful truths of life that we learn is the value of everyone’s contributions.   Often, one person – the most visible person, the most powerful person, the richest person – receives the accolades and recognition.   Hopefully, they deserve some praise for doing what they do well.

However, the star actor would be nothing without all the members of the production team.  The President would be overwhelmed without his advisers, assistants, and under-whatevers.   The CEO would have nobody working to make her vision real.

Shoot, we would not even have clean floors, working microphones, data to crunch, or people to listen … someone has to clean, set up, research, and invite, right?

In a more personal vein, imagine the trash not being picked up every week like magic or the food in the grocery store not being sorted and displayed.  Someone is providing utilities to me as I type these words, thank goodness.

Even those people and experiences which are “less than ideal” contribute to the shaping of our own contributions.  Be grateful for experience, which teaches us … sometimes gently, sometimes excitingly, but also sometimes painfully.

A real leader knows that they themselves are not the all … and recognizes others accordingly.  

Lauding someone else’s efforts does not diminish your own abilities.  It might just enhance them and insure that what you count on for your performance continues to appear.

Remembering who contributes what to the modest success I have in the Heartland ….


Coaching … Sliced Bread or Snake Oil?

For a profession that did not exist anywhere but in a gym or sports arena just a few decades ago, professional coaching is certainly in the limelight these days.

We have coaches for almost every type of endeavor or environment, it seems.  Every time I am around professional (certified) coaches, I receive many offers to help me sort out my life.  My cynical side prompts me to ask “Who helped people before coaching?”

The answer, of course, is that helping using what we now call coaching techniques, has always been part of our professional and personal development. The skill-sets of coaching were not invented in the past thirty years, just the idea of professionally identifying oneself as a coach.

Of course, sports coaching has existed for a very long time and some of the strategies now popular for life, executive, career, and other current coaching areas were originated and refined by athletic coaches.  That said, I do not consider most sports coaches in the same category with professional life or business coaches, which is where my comments are directed.

Disclaimer:  I have a love/hate relationship with professional coaching.  This post includes no citations of other sources – just me sharing some thoughts as someone who identifies as a coach as part of my professional repertoire. Continue reading







February 5~February 11, 2012

This yearly event lifts up the role of professional coaching in leadership, business, careers, and life.

Coaches help others change and grow through online, telephone, and face-to-face modes using proven techniques for behavioral and attitudinal change.

The INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION (ICF) sponsors this event.  For more information about professional coaching, visit their website by clicking the link above.

Reflect, Learn, Share, Repeat …

I was recently challenged to tell people what I do in five to seven words … sigh.

How do you distill all the things you do into a few words?   My particular curse is to be what generously might be called a “Renaissance Man“, with many interests and a wide range of experiences and background. 

A less generous description might be “He’s got ADHD out the wazoo”, but I prefer the more stately first version. 

Some folks have it easy – “I drive” was another response which I particularly liked.  Short, to the point, and completely descriptive. 

Others shared their value statement or a brief elevator speech.  

“I help people get better at doing things”.  Well, good for you, but how do you do that thing you do?

My response was the title of this post:

Reflect, Learn, Share, Repeat …

Not sure that I have done a better job than anyone else, so I’ll leave it to you. 

What does my short phrase evoke in your mind?

Better yet, how would YOU answer this question?

Waiting patiently for both your responses and spring in the Heartland ….