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How much control do you think you have over your life? During any given day, do you have control over much of anything, really? Well, maybe a little. However, the real question is (and be honest with yourself here): Do you feel like you need to be in control of everything around you all the time? The difference between being in control of your own mind and being in control of your environment is night and day. Let’s pinpoint some of the key things involved in healthy control over your mind versus unhealthy control over the environment.

 

The one extremely obvious point to note is that one version of control turns your focus inward, while the other version of control turns your focus outward. Why does this matter?

 

Have you ever tried to control the ocean? That would be impossible for one person to do. And you know as well as I do that barking orders or yelling at the ocean wouldn’t change a thing. It would simply continue on its course, ebbing and flowing in its natural rhythm.

 

However, you can go within and make the decision to go with the flow of the water. This allows for collaboration and harmony rather than control and force.

 

We could learn a lot from the ocean. Actually, we could learn a lot from water in general.

 

Becoming Like Water

 

Water, though flexible, is powerful, steady, and persistent as it carves out its own path. It is confident (have you ever seen water hesitate?), reliable, and typically stays put unless it gets too hot, in which case it evaporates and eventually falls back to the earth. No matter how you look at it, though, water is always present in the now because it has no mind to think thoughts of worry about the future or regret about the past.

 

1. The present is everything.

When you focus your attention in the present moment, you begin to notice details and spaces that you may not have noticed before. Time may even stretch out for you. This is because you have found a state of being completely focused and present and your thoughts aren’t a part of this focus.

 

Should you notice your thoughts wandering, just bring your focus back to your breath. The breath is vital to us, not only for staying alive, but also for connecting with our inner selves and balancing us out.

 

2. Breathing is powerful.

Think about it. With each breath you take, millions of tiny cells carry oxygen to every part of your body to keep it functioning properly. If any part of your body loses oxygen, your body will begin to shut down. If your brain loses oxygen for too long, it dies and can no longer function.

 

Breathing is life. If you’d like to do some mindfulness breathing, breathe in through your nose, hold for four, then out through your mouth, hold for four. You can count out four seconds, and then as your lungs become stronger and grow in capacity, you may begin to increase your count.

 

3. Life is liquid.

Just like water is liquid life, life is fluid like water. You may be able to see the big things coming and prepare for them, kind of like large rocks, waterfalls, or a boulder in a river, but you can’t always see all of the little obstacles hidden beneath the surface, nor can you foretell what other unforeseen things may interfere with the flow of the river.

 

You must remain flexible. If you aren’t able to go with the flow and work with it, your entire life experience will feel like an uphill battle of “making” things happen. If you choose instead to consider multiple options for multiple potential circumstances or outcomes, you will already have a higher chance of success because you’re addressing the problem creatively. Master this and you will be able to handle anything life throws at you!

 

4. Maybe the world does revolve around you… just a little.

By that, of course, I mean YOUR world. This is true for every person on the planet; think of yourself as a smaller universe within a larger one, within a larger one, within a larger one. Each level is within another level, all the way on up to the entire expanding universe and all the way down to the tiniest atom.

 

Knowing this, you can approach people you lead in a way that takes their perspective (“the world revolves around me”) into consideration while also helping the whole. Your own perspective will broaden the more you understand this, so try to look at everything from as many angles as possible.

 

5. Nobody else is really any of your business.

When you spend the majority of your time worrying about what someone else is doing, saying, or thinking, you hand away your power over yourself on a silver platter. If someone else is constantly worried about what you’re doing, saying, or thinking, they have given you power over them and it isn’t always pretty for either person.

 

Instead, focus on what you’re doing and staying in the moment while you’re doing it so that you can milk it for everything it has to teach you and show you by studying the details. This is how to remain mindful while you’re working on anything, whether you naturally enjoy it or not.

 

Thanks so much for reading! I certainly hope that this article helps you become a more mindful leader than before.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Build Resiliency for a Better Life


As the New Year hits, most of us turn to recapping the year behind us, then setting goals for the year to come. Goals are fantastic as they help us set a direction. If you don't know where you are trying to go, how do you ever know if you get there?

When I think about resiliency as a goal, I think of being resilient as building a better foundation, so that we are more able to adapt, flex, and grow through the things life brings our way. Being resilient means demonstrating our ability to effectively and easily navigate our lives.

We have all heard the motto; "It is not what happens to us, but how we respond that matters." I am forever working to increase both my own and my children's level of resiliency. I want us to be prepared for those times when we may be knocked around, or even down. I want us to get back up, dust ourselves off, and have a reserve of energy to make what we want happen.

If you wish to take a look at your level of resiliency (or how well you bounce back), try taking a look at some of these aspects of your life.

  • How healthy are the key relationships in your life?
  • Are you able to nurture a positive view of yourself?
  • Do you accept change as part of living?
  • Do you see crisis as an insurmountable problem (perhaps it is part of our journey)?
  • Do you know your goals and continue to move towards them by taking decisive action?

Try to slow your pace a little. Stop, look, and listen, so that you understand what is really happening vs. what story you have built around the situation. The story is not tangible but will drive our emotions and therefore our actions. Be deliberate in the things you focus on.

Resiliency is a great goal. With a little focus, you can build it and be a better person for having it.

All the best!

Find out more about Jenna here.

 


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© 2015 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.



Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:42

Are You Good Enough?

Good Enough 9.3.13

As a coach who works with high level executives I am continually connected to this feeling of not being good enough.  It doesn’t matter my corporate background, level of training, years of experience, or level of success, sometimes I can’t shake this deep down feeling of not being good enough.  Now this isn’t just a “Dear Ann” moment…it is actually a really big challenge that most people can recognize.

Through the hundreds of executives I have worked with over the years I have seen this belief come forward time and time again.  Some say that not feeling good enough comes from our youth and the influence our parents and support system kindly passed down to us.  Others say it is a belief based on certain past actions or experience that change the way we see ourselves in this world.  I think it’s a combination of both influential people and experiences.

The beliefs we have about ourselves, and others, are a direct link to how we behave in our career, relationships, as a parent, as a friend, and colleague.  Beliefs are the undercurrent that drives our behavior.  Whether we are aware of it or not, we spend so much of our energy trying to reinforce the feeling that we know so well (i.e. I’m not good enough) and we play out those feelings in the behavior we portray. 

Take a snapshot of where you are right now:

  • Do you need to control things?
  • Are you angry or frustrated a lot of the time?
  • Do you feel like everything is out of your hands? 
  • Do you feel like you need someone or some thing to be happy?

 Take a moment and ask yourself:

  • What do I believe about myself?
  • What kind of person have I been?
  • How do I present that belief to the world?
  • What do I need to let go of that may not be serving me?

When we can question ourselves with a purely curious nature, without judgement or fear, we can truly see what is happening behind the scenes of our lives.  We can start to piece together actions we may or may not have taken in our past.  We can see with more clarity why we are in the life situation we are in and why we may not be moving forward. We begin to own these things.

This may be an uncomfortable place to sit for you. For most individuals it is.  However, you cannot change what you are not willing to open up your awareness to. 

If you really want to create different outcomes in your life, you need to look at yourself and what role you play in this.  It is really easy to play the circumstantial victim, but you are cutting yourself off at the knees and playing small when you do this.  You are too good to play small!

Take a good look at yourself and your beliefs. Go forward with courage and determination to give the world the best of you. I know you are good enough!

To your continued success!



© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
“Ac·count·abil·i·ty “
Webster’s Definition: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. 

Many leaders approach “accountability” wrong!

For instance:

  • Many leaders see “accountability” as just a tool to make sure their workers are producing at the level they want them to produce.
  • Many leaders use a number of exercises to bring this about: Dashboards, Accountability charts or graphs, even “accountability meetings.”
  • Many leaders miss the fundamental and transformational point – high performance organizations (and individuals) don’t just talk accountability, they walk it…constantly!

Now, for those who get it right:

  • A few enlightened servant leaders understand accountability is not a tool, it is part of the foundation…part of the value system that everything is built upon. And it starts with them.
  • A few enlightened servant leaders focus first on holding the image in the mirror accountable before anyone else.
  • A few enlightened servant leaders understand leadership is an inside out process.  They get the fact that others will not practice healthy accountability unless they demonstrate how it is done. 

Make sure your inner world and outer world are in alignment. Hold yourself to a higher standard than those whom you serve. They will get caught in your updraft. 

Once you accomplish this, you will differentiate yourself by being one of the few who actually practice accountability, not just one of the many who preach it!



©2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
Friday, 22 February 2013 20:45

Human Capital and Coaching

It is reported that recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent is widely recognized as the most critical challenge that organizations face.

Organizations are social systems.  All business is people business.  If an organization is having a cash flow problem, it’s not just a financial problem, it’s a leadership problem.  All organizational problems come down to people within the organization.

Most organizations still run under Pareto’s 80/20 principle where 20% of the work force does 80% of the work. This is endemic in almost every position, in every organization, and across all industries.  What does this mean?  The performance bell curve stills ends up being 10% top performers, 15% B performers, 50% C performers and 25% D performers.  This results in an almost uniform 33% human capital efficiency.

This factor in business creates the single biggest opportunity for increased growth and profit.  Your biggest asset is walking through your door every day and it’s not your customer.  Human Capital is the most important and most expensive asset of any organization.

Isn’t it time for you to invest in your biggest asset?

As a leader of your organization, is your energy spent enabling or disabling your workforce?  Many managers are unaware of their influence on the success of their employees.  Why?  Perhaps they never slow down enough to ask the tough questions of themselves to become aware of their contribution.  It’s time to own our actions, own our behaviours, and own our level of influence.   

What choices will you make to raise the capacity in your human capital?

How do you contribute to the level of success your organization is having?

Slow down and ask yourself the tough questions...and if you can’t, hire a coach that will.

To your continued success!

 

Jenna Forster

Director of Operations and Training

Executive Coaching University

© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

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Friday, 27 January 2012 23:39

ICF Certification!

ICF Certification!
BIG NEWS TODAY!

 

We just received word that our flagship Executive Coaching Training Program (CMEC) was approved by the International Coach Federation! We can now award 15 CCEUs (credit hours) toward coaching certifications with the ICF. This is a wonderful compliment to our SHRM certifications.




This is such a beautiful reflection on our entire team. Congratulations to all of you!

Many thanks to all of you for your support over the years. We are so blessed…

You can find details here:

http://www.executivecoachinguniversity.com/

Warmly,

Drayton

Founder and CEO

www.RescueInstitute.org

www.ExecutiveCoachingUniversity.com

Friday, 18 January 2013 21:46

Coaching in the Workplace

All of your employees are happy and productive, right?  Thought so…

According to Gallop (and other leading survey firms) here is the reality:

  1. 75% of people wished they had a different job.
  2. 51% of “A” workers are actively looking for a different job.
  3. Worker productivity is only at 33%.
  4. Lack of engagement costs U.S. businesses over $385 BILLION a year!
  5. 80% of people NEVER use their greatest gifts at work.

What do you think of these smelling salts?!

Coaching can address all of these issues…in fact; it may well be the ONLY thing that can cure these workplace “ills.”

If you don’t have a coaching strategy in your organization, I can guarantee you one thing—these statistics will not go down…

Coaching is the “cure.” Isn’t it time you used coaching to focus on your most important asset…your people?

 

A. Drayton Boylston

Founder and CEO

Executive Coaching University



© 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014 00:00

Do You Lead or Manage?


Are Leading or just Managing?

  • More than two million workers say their bosses are so overworked they don’t really have time to manage their staff properly.
  • 75% of people wished they had another job.
  • 80% of people never use their greatest gifts at work.


Pretty sad facts.  

Guess what? They more than likely apply to your organization too.

And...

If you manage people, you own this!

What’s happening within our workforce to make these statistics a reality? 

In the United States employee engagement only averages 30%. That's it.  

Why?

It comes down to poor leadership. 

We have spent so much energy creating “good managers” that we have become disengaged with what it means to be a good leader.

Managing comes from a need to produce an outcome, which of course, is important. However, when we can move to a place of leading those around us the organizational momentum transforms.  More than anything employees want to make a contribution. Once they feel that they are, they stay...and they stay engaged. Which boosts your bottom line.

  • Leading is about developing the soft skills that are required to inspire and motivate people.
    • Managing is about possessing the technical skills required in order to get a job done.

    If you have the management skills without the leadership skills your career will plateau at some point. That is a fact.

    The soft skills that good leaders possess are going to be in high demand as the battle for top talent continues to increase. Are you ready?

     

    Click here to find out more about Jenna.


    Want to learn how to become a better leader? Click here for details.

    Coaching In The Workplace - Training for Executives, Managers, and HR Professionals



    © 2014 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

    Tuesday, 12 February 2013 03:54

    Multitasking to Success? Not Likely!

    I was meeting the other day with a new corporate client.  This young woman was an up and coming executive within the health care industry.  We had just begun our work together, with this being our second meeting.

    While our time together progressed, my client must have glanced towards, or checked in some way, her “smart phone” three or four times over the course of our first fifteen minutes.

    I commented on her split attention and asked her to turn off the phone and just be focused on our time together for the next forty five minutes – fully focused upon our work.  The look on her face would have lead someone not knowing my request, to think I had asked her to do something exceptionally distasteful…maybe even illegal!

    Through our discussion around my request it became quite clear that she had NEVER turned off her phone – it was always on.  This meant she was always connected, always available, always “on.”

    She explained that this level of being available and connected was the status quo at her corporation and essentially had been the status quo since she was at University.  “What if I miss something really important?” she asked. “I’m not productive if I’m not juggling a number of issues, projects, or conversations at once!” she stated.

    This multitasking misconception arises quite often, especially with high performers who see their success as driven by the ability to do many tasks at the same time.

    Yet, there is a downside to always being “on.”  Consider:

    • “Attention Deficit Trait,” a new condition rampant in the business world, which mimics Attention Deficit Disorder and results from extreme multitasking behavior.
    • Researchers at the University of California found it took workers on average, 25 minutes to recover focus and attention after interruptions such as phone calls or answering email.
    • Dr. Rene Marois of Vanderbilt University found evidence of a “response selection bottleneck” that occurs in the brain when it is forced to respond to multiple tasks.  This results in diminished productivity.
    • In a 2008, a piece within the New York Times by Jonathan B. Spira, an analyst with the business research firm Basex, “estimated that extreme multitasking – information overload – costs the U.S. economy $ 650 billion a year in lost productivity.”  And that was in 2008!

    Is it possible that any of the above might contribute to the 33% worker productivity rate in the U.S? 33%!!!

    There are also other, more personal costs.  This particular client was referred to me due to increasing conflicts between her staff and those in her chain of command – she had become “hard to work with” and was close to losing the job she so valued.

    Additionally, her marriage was on the verge of divorce and she had been diagnosed with digestive/intestinal issues primarily caused by stress.

    Coincidence?  Not likely!

    Sound familiar?  Chances are if you are reading this then you have experienced, or know someone close to you who has experienced, a very similar chain of events.

    Take time to focus within the moment, express gratitude, and disconnect at least once daily.  You will find you are actually more productive, healthier, and happier.  Then lead all those around you to do the same!

     

    Greg Styles

    Director of Special Projects

    Executive Coaching University

    Multitasking to Success? Not Likely!

    © 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.

    Tuesday, 28 August 2012 08:00

    Turning Leaders and Managers into Coaches


    What skills does it take? How is it done? What would a “Coaching Culture” look like? What kind of manager can make the transition?

    The question is often asked - “Could our Managers/Leaders become good Coaches?” The answer is - Maybe.

    Here’s the reality - Most managers in corporate America are good technicians at what they do. They typically have deficiencies in the “soft skills” area.

    Here is where a big distinction needs to be made:

    There is a HUGE difference between Leaders and Managers. The difference is that Leaders have mastered the soft/people skills necessary to inspire people to work up to their full potential. Managers often have solid technical skills but don’t inspire others to work toward a collective goal. A symptom of a typical manager is that their people are often in need of a “task with consequences” approach to their work vs. leaders who inspire self motivation for the good of the cause.

    Here are the skills that Coaching takes:

    1. Desire - a true desire to help others succeed.

    2. Awareness - a trust in ones’ intuitive “gut.”
     
    3. Focus - on the individual and their challenges vs. a need to “solve” things for others.

    4. Listening - a sincere desire to truly hear what others are saying.

    A Coaching culture is typified by these attributes:

    1. Respect - you would see interactions that respect the word of the individual.

    2. Worth - individuals within these cultures feel valued and appreciated.

    3. Real Communication - not your typical “force fed” communication. You would see fully duplexed communication throughout the ranks.

    4. Stability and progress - these cultures display more stability and retain their best people better than others. That leads to greater personal and business success.


    Corporate Leaders that can make the transition to Coach are those that truly believe in investing in the individual - in time and money. It takes a sincere desire and belief that investments made in people pay off for the company.

    Does this resonate with you?

    Take good care,

    drayton blue sig

    Drayton Boylston

    Founder and CEO - Executive Coaching University

    http://www.ExecutiveCoachingUniversity.com

    © 2013 and beyond Executive Coaching University. All rights reserved.
    Published in Leadership Lantern
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