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Category Archive: Self-Management

Great Leaders Develop Via Relationships with Self and Others

I saw an interesting tweet from Dan Rockwell (@LeadershipFreak on Twitter) yesterday.

“Find harmony within yourself before looking for alignment with others.”

It caught my attention and I thought, hmm…wouldn’t that mean you might spend not so much time with people? So I tweeted back, ” I saw your tip about finding harmony. Wouldn’t that be lifelong quest? Not sure can’t happen in tandem”

Most people spend a good portion or all of their lives seeking to understand themselves better. Leadership is a relational journey. It can be a journey to get to a position where you are in a one-up position over others. That may not be the most pro-social relationship but it does exist. For others, the key is being compassionate and competent in having the difficult conversations.

Great leadership comes from developing one’s maturity. Things like developing patience and knowing that one’s outlook and mood can encourage or limit the productivity and morale of the staff. But the more I think about it, the more it seems that time and experience season us as leaders. We see our foibles and warts when we bounce off other people. But it isn’t necessarily a negative. Sure, in the moment, it might be an unpleasant lesson about ourselves. But we wouldn’t see things so clearly without people stopping us in our tracks.

Managing conflict may be the greatest test of how leaders manage relationships. Click here to read more »

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Managing the Small Business Owner: Control, Influence and Limitations

Managing the Small Business Owner: Control, Influence and LimitationsA coaching session with a client and a post on Forbes.com about span of control set a theme for me last week. How much do small business owners have real control and how to manage the limitations?

The traditional definition of span of control is “the number of people who report to one manager in a hierarchy. The more people under the control of one manager – the wider the span of control. Less means a narrower span of control.”

Important distinction for small business owners

In my work with small business owners who are growing their business, the question of hiring and managing employees comes up over and over. There is some anxiety about increasing one’s span of control too fast but more questions arise around trusting employees to move the business forward. It’s great to see one’s hard work come to fruition when you add new hires or create an executive team out of current employees.

CEO mindset, control and influence Click here to read more »

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How To Be The Sun When Leading Change In Your Small Business

leadership, change and small businessEvery now and then, a children’s story catches  my attention in an unexpected way. Recently I was reading Aesop’s The Sun and the Wind .

The Sun and the Wind were arguing about which one of them was stronger. They could not come to any agreement. When they saw traveller on the road, the Wind said, “this is how we can decide. The first one of us who can make that traveller remove his cloak is the strongest. The Sun answered the challenge, “That is an excellent idea! You may go first.” The Wind laughed and said, “You go behind that cloud while I show you how it’s done. Watch and learn.”

After the Sun went behind  a cloud, the Wind began to blow and blow. However, no matter how hard the Wind  blew, the traveller would not remove his cloak. The traveller just pulled his cloak closer around him and trudging down the road. Finally, the Wind gave up and stopped blowing.

The Sun came out from behind the cloud and began to shine. Eventually the traveller became so warm, he took his cloak off and carried it on his arm.

During times of change, are you the Wind or the Sun? Click here to read more »

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Managing the Business Owner: Get Out Of The Office!

small business owner, stress, relaxAs I’m about to embark on a vacation of my own, I noticed that I had let my business get to me. There is stuff to announce on my usual social media sites, information to process about upcoming programs, meetings to schedule and confirm…Yes, there is always something to do. A phone call, a networking event, checks to sign, meetings to facilitate…the list goes on and on.

When you can’t shut it off, it’s time to get away Click here to read more »

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Why Model Of Olympic Athletes Is Bad For Your Small Business

Olympic training negative for small business ownersAfter watching the Summer Olympics, it’s tempting to model the single-minded dedication and pursuit of being the best. Let me say this first, I love the Olympics! It’s extraordinary to see people who have dedicated themselves for a sporting event that only happens every 4 years. Their whole lives -diet, exercise, psychological training, competitions, downtime – are dedicated to improving their performance. Witnessing this performance is awe inspiring! And yet…this is a bad model for small business owners. Click here to read more »

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Managing the Business Owner: When Do I Hire A Coach?

business owner, choices, coaching It’s not unusual for a small business owner to be talented and intuitive enough to steer their businesses through early growth. In fact, you want that foundation! Then, one day, there is an  inspiration to go for a bigger push. Sometimes this inspiration is like a whack on the head…your biggest client leaves or you’ve hit some other financial wall. Other times it is illumination…your product or service feeds a need in your market or the business is attracting attention and interest from your uber-ideal customers.

What are you trying to accomplish?

Stephen Covey ( who passed away on July 16, 2012) recommended seven habits  and one of these is “Begin with the end in mind”. This is often the starting point when we consider our wishes, hopes and dreams. Sometimes we articulate them to our business partners or friends but often business owners keep them quiet. Like the business owner I was speaking with last week who said he wanted to increase his revenues by 50%, it’s easy to come up with huge goals. It’s harder to determine why they are the best ones for both your personal growth and the growth of your organization.

Where’s the gap between your big goals and you? Click here to read more »

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Small Business Owner, Why Hire An Executive Coach?

“Why should I hire you?” I get that question a lot. And frankly, I welcome it!

Since I work with established business owners, they want to know how coaching generates results they can see and feel. I can relate as a business owner. I don’t have time or money to waste either.

There are huge expectations for small business owners and most are ready to take on the challenges in front of them. However, it is common to want a place to express your dreams, aspiration, doubts and weaknesses. You want to maintain your authority and still make sure you have a solid support system that keeps you fresh and grounded.

What is coaching? Click here to read more »

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What Stressor Should You Tolerate In Your Small Business?

how tolerating stress can hurt your small business*Mary, a small business owner, is experiencing some difficulty fitting into her changing role in her small business. Over the years, she has been largely responsible for the actual work of her business. She often kept her strategic plan in her head and followed her gut instinct when opportunities came along. And it worked. The business has grown and is stable. Recently, she has been noticing a restless feeling; as if it is time to do something new. Mary is quite clear that she has no intention of closing her current business. She envisions her current business becoming so much more. Mary recognizes that the business is ready for growth and knows she wants the role of  leader; even calling herself CEO. She feels eager and apprehensive about making the necessary decisions that will move her business forward.

What’s behind her uncertainty? Click here to read more »

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One Step Closer

Business Owners, Crisis and KnowingIn my previous post, Back At TweakYourBiz , I mentioned I had taken time to assess what I wanted to do next. Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that I shy away from getting too personal.  But during a recent coaching session, I noticed that the questions I was asking my client were the questions I had to answer last year.

One Step Closer

A good friend of mine gave me a copy of U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb about 9 months ago. I have a copy already and some of the songs have resonated with me for a long time. Strangely,  it was like hearing the album for the first time. Circumstances had created a perfect storm that nearly ended my business. At one point, I actually thought it was over and I should just get a job. I truly felt as if everything in my life had just upended but this U2 song, One Step Closer kept echoing in my head. Click here to read more »

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Managing the Business Owner: Ready For the Long Run?

Preparing your small business for next stageThis past Monday, I went with my daughter to cheer on her teacher who was running the Boston Marathon. Every year, I am in awe of the thousands of people who run the 26.2 miles that snakes its way from Hopkinton to Boston. This year, it seemed more personal because I know one of the runners. It was a hot day and the Boston Athletic Association warned runners that the heat could be potentially dangerous.

Preparation is crucial

Even without the unusually high heat, preparing for a marathon is something that people think out and practice running often each week. Their diets and how they hydrate become key pieces of the plan.Their bodies and personality would combine to make it possible to finish or not finish this long race. They make a plan and follow it.

This became apparent as I was watching the marathoners pass by. Some were walking. Some were running very slowly and looked like they were in pain. Others were running by like it was nothing. As I reflected on all of this, it reminded me how running a small to mid-size enterprise (SME)  is analogous to running marathons.

Click here to read more »

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