I’m making it simple these days – one rule to follow: Are you above or below the line? What is the LINE? The line is the division between positive and negative. Above the line is about learning, being open to new ideas, generating energy, listening, taking time and effort to communicate better, giving people the benefit of a doubt, motivating others, taking care of details, being conscious, being thought-full . . . Below the line is shutting down new ideas and input. Below the line are behaviors identified as stagnant, protective, insular, negative, critical. This is where blame, excuse making, illness and close minded happens. And while I encourage people to be above the line – all of the time – we have to admit that sometimes we’re drawn below the line and deal with it. The first step is to be aware (isn’t it always) that there is a line and choices to be made. Yes, it’s a choice to react in a certain way and everyone can change their ‘automatic’ settings at any time. I credit the book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success, by Dethmer, Chapman, Klemp, (https://www.amazon.com/15-Commitments-Conscious-Leadership-Sustainable/dp/0990976904) for reminding me of this principal and their book is great, but the ‘above/below’ the line conversation is as old as the Ten Commandments, when you think of it, and is easy to practice. So that’s the challenge. Spend the next couple of weeks in the awareness of every choice you can make leading you either above or below ‘the line’. If they’re both above the line? Well, which one will generate...

3 Cancers That WILL Kill Your Business

  You watch your personal health for signs of sickness – checking your blood pressure, having a blood test, getting check ups, etc., but are you able to ‘diagnose’ threats to the health of your business? To make it simple, let’s focus on the three main cancers that can kill your business, or at the least rob it of its vitality. If you want to consider this for your personal life and not your business, these are the three things that can rob you of your personal vitality and joy. Resentments: these are judgements you hold against others. Your employee might resent, for instance, having to ask for permission to leave an hour early to go to the dentist when you, the owner, come and go as you please. They may resent you deciding what they will do with their time and energy while they’re at work. This resentment can come in many forms, and sometimes its an attitude they’re carrying through life. They’ve set up a filter of what ‘authority’ looks like in a chain of resentment from parents, teachers, government and bosses. It’s a silent killer that festers anytime you give instruction or even constructive criticism to all but your ‘healthiest’ employees. Regret: this is what someone will hold against themselves, for not saying or doing something, for a mistake, for saying yes when they wanted to say no, for opportunities missed. These are the things that repeat over and over again in their minds, like an endless loop that starts playing any time things are either going really badly or really well and include a lot...
Transforming Anger

Transforming Anger

I have clients who are angry, disappointed, frustrated, and a host of other negative emotions. They seem to think that things won’t get better and, in a way, perpetuate the condition, including fanning the “flames” of employee malaise. I want them to be able to use the energy, but not spread negativity, so my invitation to them is to transform it. Transforming looks like this: Anger becomes Passion. It’s a flip of the coin, actually, so that you share your passion for results with others without “landing” your negative energy on them or the situation. Ask them if they are at stake in getting a result and what they’re willing to do to get it done. Invite them to brainstorm, set goals and dream big with you. Disappointment becomes Accountability. Let people set their own deliverables and “by when’. Then hold them accountable by asking them if they hit their goals. If they DON’T hit their goals, ask them if they want to re-align, if they need help, what’s missing, etc. and get at stake with them creating a win for themselves. Frustration becomes Desire. State a problem and ask for help. For instance, it seems we’re always shipping product the “week of” rather than “day of” and I don’t know how to shift that in our culture. Can anyone suggest how we can ship sooner? Impatience becomes urgency and so on. You’ll see that this is not just a “nice idea” but it’s also a way to get more done. The energy it takes to remain angry or the energy drain of disappointment can’t be maintained for long....