- What a “Can’t Fail” Culture Costs your Bottom Line – “We do things right and we do things well.” Would you say this describes your organization? Hopefully it does! Read the values, vision, or guiding principles of most organizations and you’ll find some form of this description centered on the quality and integrity of the service or product being delivered. In juxtaposition then, for most organizations the word “fail” brings about an instantaneous reaction of “something to avoid”. Innovation and Integrity can be competing values. Though we may logically understand that trying anything for the first time will inherently provide the opportunity to succeed or fail, emotionally and culturally we are not okay with actually failing. The extent to which your organization promotes or chastises failure is in direct correlation with innovation, creativity, trust, collaboration, growth, and resiliency. Objective 1: Gain qualitative awareness of failure resiliency both personally and as perceived within your organization. Objective 2: Understand the foundation formula for creating and sustaining a culture of innovation. Objective 3: Increase organizational awareness following the presentation with a checklist of scenarios and keywords that help define missed opportunities for innovation. Watch a video here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/107896227
It’s been a great year. Best year in business, best year in marriage, best year with my health, best year setting boundaries both personally and professionally. It’s all so good… Right? But, I’m exhausted!
Many of us are feeling overwhelmingly anxious, tight, tense, tired, sore, … and there’s a name for what’s happening. It’s courage burnout, a.k.a. decision burnout. (Inevitably, decisions require the courage to draw a line in the sand, even if it’s choosing NOT to make a decision.)
Moving forward in our organizations, businesses, careers, and lives comes from understanding our motivations. We’re motivated by data, dreams, pain points, opportunities, values, emergencies, competition, signs from the universe, and the list goes on. Through these motivators, we get clarity on where we’re heading right now and why it matters. At the minimum, motivations are the fuel for our organizational machines. And if used most effectively, with clarity and purposeful intent, our motivations can connect us to each other in significantly more sustainable ways. Understanding our motivations and bonding them together enable our organizations to not only survive but thrive.
Sounds easy enough, let’s just share what we’re motivated by, right? Okay, here’s a test. What motivates you to do what you’re doing right now? What motivates you to achieve the task you just finished? What motivates you to care about something 5 years from now (assuming you do)? Many of us assume that our motivations are clear. But, that’s just not true. I estimate less than half of the hundreds of coaching clients I’ve worked with are clear on their motivations. It’s often a primary topic of executive, business, and career coaching: what do you really, really, really want…and why? Yet, as leaders, we often assume that others know what they’re motivated by and “wish they would just tell us” so we knew how to bond together to not only survive but thrive. (Or, let’s be honest, to get them to do what I need them to do!)
In my work consulting various teams across the globe through large scale, strategic, and transformational change leadership, we don’t tend to struggle with what or why we’re investing our time and resources into certain efforts. It’s almost always “how” we’re doing it that causes conflict. There are many, many more options of HOW to do something once we’re settled on what and why we’re doing it. In the minutia of completing the plan we felt so called to do, agreement on “how” we accomplish the task is where the sheer wall of decisions we must make come to the surface as stress, overwhelm, and fatigue.
There’s another factor that can lead to more courage burnout. Long range, strategic decisions often lead to more courage burnout than quick, tactical decisions. Why? When we’re backed into a corner, needing to decide purely out of reactivity (a.k.a. – putting the fires out), of course there will be stress in decision-making. But, it’s often easier to choose when we’re in such a reactive position. We have most of the information we’re going to get and normally something needs to be done right away. The decision to even make a decision has already been decided!
Now consider those longer range, strategic, “even better if” decisions. We must identify a desire, motivation, or consequence exists to do things differently. At NASA, I had colleagues tell me “better is the enemy of good”. Yes, sometimes that’s true, typically when we are backed into a corner needing to make a reactive decision. Unfortunately, better being the enemy of good is an attitude that can lead to complacency. Organizational complacency exists when too many team members and leaders believe someone else in the organization should or will take care of something that’s an irritant.
According to Brent Gleeson, NAVY Seal Combat Veteran, and owner of Taking Point Leadership, “There are many obvious causes of complacency. And when an organization and its leadership team can identify those causes, it becomes easier to develop a plan to combat that negative inertia. Those causes include but are not limited to: the lack of any real visible crisis, the wrong performance measurement criteria, leaders drinking too much of their own Kool-Aid, too much positive communication coupled with the fear of real transparency and respectful conflict, and a culture based on self-preservation rather than taking calculated risk. The list goes on.”
We can’t survive, let alone thrive, in a constant state of hustle, trying to be better than we were yesterday on an endless treadmill of change. Yet, these long-range, strategic decisions are the type of decisions that most often leads us to courage burnout. “Maybe it’s good enough the way things are.” “Why mess up a good thing?”
So, why am I doing all this work, feeling all this stress? If the desire to make a difference and make things better for yourself and others still burns in your soul, then our only option is to heal the courage burnout.
Luckily, we have some very simple strategies to help you heal courage burnout (besides quitting).
- Awareness is half the battle. To overcome burnout of any kind, being aware of it is where we begin to heal it. How do you know when you’re feeling courage burnout? Our body tells us in many ways. Sweaty palms, restless nights, upset stomachs, irritation when even your favorite person calls or emails with a request, etc.
- Staying focused on the initial motivation to make a change is what keeps us motivated. How much work did we spend in the beginning of a transformational change leadership journey to really understand everyone’s motivations? And how does this change support us all? This is the NUMBER 1 place change management efforts fail. It is still possible to overcome burnout even without having done the pre-work of getting everyone’s motivations aligned. It’s just much, much more effort after we’ve already shielded ourselves against a change. Go back to what motivates you.
- Celebrate milestone victories. It’s natural to be consumed by the day-to-day minutia of change when we’re constantly battling the options of “how” to do things. Is this the right way? We won’t know that until we leap in a direction to learn. “Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you needed to know it.” – (Elisha Goldstein) Consider all the things that feel like celebration to you and pick one for each of the major victories along your journey, even when it didn’t work out exactly like we hoped!
Laurie Hall – a certified facilitator, certified coach and seasoned speaker – founded New Horizon Strategies, LLC (NHS) in 2011 to inspire sustainable change in the professional world. Today, Laurie provides executive, career and business coaching for individuals and groups to help people achieve their vision, goals and desires. By applying Socratic questioning, she enables clients to seek their own answers. She has coached clients from Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and around the world: Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Singapore, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, The Netherlands, Brazil, Honduras and Great Britain. In addition, Laurie facilitates programs and events to help companies, government agencies and professional associations achieve the highest possible levels of effectiveness. Topics for facilitated programs and events include Operational Excellence, Culture of Innovation, Change Management, Organizational Development, Strategic Planning, Process Improvement, Project Management, Leadership Development, Team Building, and Dare to LeadTM. A frequent keynote and breakout session speaker on technical and motivational topics to inspire personal and professional growth, Laurie has presented at dozens of conferences and professional meetings from small groups to over 350 people.
Laurie brings a unique perspective to her facilitation and coaching work since she spent the first part of her career in project- and system-level engineering and management, facilitation and organizational development to support human life in space and operational excellence on the ground. Her work affected change at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Sverdrup and Schlumberger-Dowell. For Johnson Space Center alone, Laurie facilitated more than 20 process improvement events.
October was an amazing month! We’re all celebrating Dare to Lead ‘s release and the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal list, and the Publisher’s Weekly list. Have you gotten your copy yet?
We all want to feel more alive, more connected, and less overwhelm. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to do that in your life and in your work. Let New Horizon Strategies know when you’re ready for a lunch-n-learn, half day or full day workshop, or an all in Daring LeadershipTM workshop including individual coaching.
Thanks for joining us for our monthly K.N.O.W. Seminar Series, better known as the TED talks of Clear Lake. If you missed it, click here for the video. You’ll need a printed copy of the handout to really ingrain the learning while you watch the video (linked below).
BONUS!!! Take a values assessment for you to try. As Dr. Brene Brown says in her New York Times Best Seller “Daring Greatly”, we need to let our values light the way. Contact us today to schedule a coaching session to go through any of this in more detail.
Click here to watch the video “Bringing YOU Back to Business”
Click here for the NHS_Bring YOU Back to Business handout
Click here for the New Horizon Strategies Values Assessment
Many teams struggle getting along. High performance work teams have not only established an effective cadence, they typically really like each other as people.
Do you have a high performance work team?
- Are you ready to take your innovative team to the next level?
- Do you have an intact culture able to catalyze another major success?
- Is your high performance work team experiencing a major transition?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, your team is ready for the Daring LeadershipTM Experiential Workshop. Contact us today to register your team.
Download this flyer as a pdf here: Daring Leadership 2018 Flyer
How often are your nearly perfect plans interrupted by something that requires time and energy to navigate getting back on track? Life gives us many unique twists and turns as we ride the wave in both our personal and professional lives. Our resiliency to changing events is a cornerstone in our overall stress level.
If you are like me, I found my stress level increasing just a little bit more each year, with each major product I was delivering. In some cases, I would hit a home run, where everything worked out better than I could have imagined. In others, I felt like I was getting a solid F! What was happening? Was it me? Was it my coworkers or my organization? Why can’t we hit home runs all the time?
We all want to have a positive impact, know that our life mattered, and feel respected for our efforts. This drive to make a difference is what keeps us charged, motivated, and joyful. The downside is when we start to feel as though it wasn’t enough, we didn’t try hard enough, or we aren’t perfect…enough.
Not being able to meet our expectations inherently causes conflict. The tension occurs when circumstances (both real and perceived) seem to prevent us from delivering the quality we strive for. It’s either good, or it’s bad. We did it right, or it was just plain wrong. I was successful, or I failed. Does this binary, all-or-nothing thinking resonate with you? If it does, then you may have perfectionist tendencies.
Perfectionism is generally defined as a combination of working towards excellence, often referred to as “strivings”, in combination with negative, self-flogging traits called “concerns”. Perfectionist concerns disable us from seeing any good when we did not meet expectations. These perfectionist concerns are often the repeated comments that silently play over and over, reprimanding us on how we could have or should have done it better.
The question is; how stressful is it to you when things don’t work out as you expected? Do you see an opportunity to learn, or the end of the world? On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your efforts? This number doesn’t need to be shared. It’s for you and you alone, so there is no need to be too humble or too cocky.
In my own journey, when I began to intently focus on just accepting what was happening to me instead of trying to control it, two things happened. I started to feel more relaxed. And, I began to notice both my desires and worries actually manifesting themselves in my life (an unexpected byproduct of accepting things as they are). The more I paid attention to this, the more I saw my thoughts became reality. Both the positive and negative energy we expend on our thoughts benefit us in tangibly positive and negative ways. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” is true! Being a perfectionist, I used to struggle with the concept that I wasn’t in complete control over how my life turned out. In many instances, my perfectionism was blinding me to the beauty of organic grace.
Jim Loehr authored “The Power of Story: Change your Story, Change your Destiny in Business and in Life”. In that book, he discusses how when looking in the rear-view mirror the seemingly random events of our lives connect. Does everything in life happen for a reason? In unison with your religious or spiritual beliefs (or regardless of them as the case may be), think about how your past experiences have affected your present life. Do you see a connection? Do you have any memories of wishing so much that something would happen, and it DID? Was that luck? (Please share your own story below!)
If there is even a whisper of faith that life is about more than good and bad luck, a world of opportunity opens. What would you do if you knew…if you believed that focused intentions actually make a difference in your life? How would those previously unexpected, unappreciated circumstances now appear to you? Would you still see completing a project past the due date, not delivering the quality you expected, actually getting fired from a job, ending a relationship, and even losing someone you loved in the same stressful, frustrated, robbed or betrayed ways you had before?
“Making Perfect People Better: An Engineer’s Analysis of Perfectionism” will echo the understanding that our old, limiting thinking can be transformed in ways to authentically live a happier life. The first half further defines perfectionism, and discusses it from different perspectives (like country culture, occupation, narcissism, codependence, etc.). The last half lays an intricate framework of steps to investigate knowing that being aware is half the battle.
Laurie Peterson is the founder of New Horizon Strategies, LLC. New Horizon Strategies offers professional coaching, consulting, and facilitation to individuals, teams, and organizations experiencing transition, investigating discrete improvement, and holistically addressing strategic planning. Laurie also facilitates intensives focused on perfectionism using Dr. Brené Brown’s research.
We seem to be pretty focused on how smart we are compared to everyone else, like it’s a universal predictor of success. While smarts is a key ingredient to the recipe for success, we are all smart. For example, I may be smarter than you in this area of testing, you may be smarter than me in this area of application. So the question becomes how are you smart versus how smart are you.
So what’s a ‘pretty good indication’ of your potential for success in emotional intelligence? I reviewed a lot of options before selecting my Emotional Intelligence certification. The EQi 2.0 was the tool I selected based on its wide-spread use, notable credibility, ease of completion, and integration of multiple aspects of our social and emotional selves. It’s provided by a company called Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS) and is a “leading publisher of scientifically validated assessments for more than thirty years.”
Applications of emotional intelligence include:
- Leadership Development
- Organizational Development
- Executive Coaching
- Team Building
- Student Development”
New Horizon Strategies, LLC uses the EQi 2.0 as well as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Personalysis assessments to compile a full profile of you and your team for follow on coaching, training and facilitation. Whether you’ve already had an EQ assessment and just want to dust it off or you’re interested in trying something new, this is a great way to create a measurable and repeatable impact within yourself and your organization.
Learn more by contacting us today!
Coaching is an amazing process used to catalyze professional growth and transition. Most of my clients are already wildly successful, but may be at a point wondering whether or not they’re putting their energy into the ‘right’ place. Read on to see if you’re ready for coaching now.
A lot of people don’t really know what coaching is outside of the sports arena. It’s a process where we use Socratic questioning and active listening to determine what your top goals are and why for real professional (and personal) growth. Goals can focus on near-term items (in the next ~6mos) and more far-reaching visions. Sessions are typically an hour long conducted face-to-face in a relatively private setting, over the telephone, or via video-conference. Progress can be made within as little as 20 minutes, and the coaching process can continue for years.
We use the GOOD model (courtesy of the College of Executive Coaching), which stands for defining Goals, understanding Opportunities and Obstacles, and ultimately defining what you’re going to Do to achieve your goals. A coach acts as a mirror, reflecting back to you what they hear you saying and following your verbal and non-verbal ques to confirm actions and words.
Coaching is an on-going relationship which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals, or desires. It uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility, and provides the client with structure, support and feedback. The top three reasons why coaches are engaged are to: 1) develop high potentials or facilitate transition (48%), 2) act as a sounding board (26%), and 3) address derailing behavior (12%), Harvard Business Review.
Coaching is holistic, values-based, and action oriented. The goal is to reflect what the client is saying in such a way that it enables future action. For the most part, we will offer advice only occasionally based on our own experiences. You typically have the answers within you, you just need a little support in rooting them out and prioritizing what steps to take right now. Coaching is focused on success-oriented client feedback based on client input. Personal and leadership assessments (such as the Meyers-Briggs, Personalysis, and emotional intelligence inventories) are also commonly used in coaching.
I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.
Executives who get the most out of coaching have a fierce desire to learn and grow.
A coach may be the guardian angel to rev up your career.
Across corporate America, coaching sessions at many companies have become as routine for executives as budget forecasts and quote meetings.
Coaches are not for the meek. They’re for people who value unambiguous feedback. All coaches have one thing in common. It’s that they are ruthlessly results-oriented.
“Many of the world’s most admired corporations, from GE to Goldman Sachs, invest in coaching. Annual spending on coaching in the US is estimated at roughly $1 billion.”
So, are you ready for coaching?
Embarking on your entrepreneurial instincts can invoke multiple levels of fear, excitement, anxiety, serenity, and joy…sometimes all at once. Picking a name for your company that meet the needs you dream of, as well as communicate to your target clients the intentions of your business, is a tricky ‘business’ in and of itself! My experience was one of amazing serendipity.
Five years ago when I started New Horizon Strategies, I knew the name of my company was something I wanted to motivate and inspire people, while giving them a sense of professionalism. I might love “Happy All the Time” (apologies if anyone actually used this as a company name), but for my pursuits, I just couldn’t imagine one CEO saying to another CEO, “yeah, I used ‘Happy All the Time’ for my executive coaching services.” At the same time, I considered things like ‘Tactical Strategies’, which made me feel like I should work for the Department of Defense. Not the vision I had in mind. Striking the balance is a difficult endeavor for us all.
Sometimes, what seemed like the perfect name would come to me in a dream, or in that perfectly serene time when my subconscious was in 5th gear (right before I go to sleep or upon waking). I’d think, “Yes, that’s it!” Then, I’d do a search on the internet to see if anyone else was using that particular name, and…more often than not that ‘perfect’ name, was already ‘perfect’ for someone else. In today’s social media environment, having a webpage is critical. Having a webpage that mirrors your company name, as well as “.com”, make it easier for your clients to find you. I’ve heard this is the rationale for many entrepreneurs using their name for the business (i.e. Laurie Peterson). Not a bad idea, especially if you have a unique name.
Waiting on the right name felt a bit like a river being dammed up. I couldn’t build my website, I couldn’t make business cards, I couldn’t start working on my brand, I couldn’t initiate my business bank accounts, etc.
Finally, after more than a month of high stress (more than I would have expected actually), it dawned on me, pun intended. I really like things like “Blue Sky” for that specific balance of inspirational and professional intricacies. My husband said, “What about something to do with ‘horizons’?” That’s been my path, truly, following new horizons. Within 20 minutes I had checked the internet for anyone using www.newhorizonstrategies.com, and there weren’t any takers! I signed up for a web-page provider (I’m sure you can recognize the one I chose), and felt an immediate sense of relief.
After locking in the details, I broadened my internet search on what someone searching for ‘New Horizon xxx’ might find. I found a New Horizons funeral home (catchy), New Horizons architecture service, and then … could it be? … a NASA webpage. I have a long history with NASA, (as you may already know) and was excited for this new endeavor to be a non-NASA embarkation. Yet, here is NASA again.
I clicked on the link for the NASA New Horizons mission (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/index.php). Turns out, in 2006, NASA launched an unmanned spacecraft to take the first detailed images of Pluto (which at that time was still considered a planet). If you chose to read further on the link above, you’ll discover that the Kuiper Belt (of which Pluto is a part of) may contain many more object similar to Pluto, hence the new designation for the ‘non-planet’ called Pluto.
As I read further, I saw images of Jupiter taken from the New Horizons spacecraft when it swung by for a gravity assist. (Who out there doesn’t want to see more pictures of Jupiter…the gas GIANT?!? I think we’re all a little in awe of a planet that’s big enough to hold ~1300 Earths inside its mass, and has a storm called The Red Spot that can hold ~100 Earths that has been tumultuously churning for over 300 years. Reference: http://www.planetfacts.net/Jupiter-Facts.html.)
The pictures of Jupiter taken from the New Horizons satellite were shot with a camera called the LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) which encounters data from long distances away, and provides high-resolution of those images, specifically geographically. “New Horizons has also crossed the orbits of Saturn (June 8, 2008) and Uranus (March 18, 2011), with Neptune coming up in August 2014.” The Planetary Society wrote up some technical background on the LORRI camera which I found interesting (http://planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2008/1638.html).
Even more interesting.
How truly ironic. How amazingly serendipitous. I have always enjoyed space, and was blessed with the opportunity to support NASA. I now embark on my own path, and after more than a month of considering what intrinsically felt like the right name for my own company, I end up choosing a name that also shares a NASA mission. And on that NASA mission, a camera, that will allow us to see things very large, very important, and very far away. And the name of that camera is almost identical to my own name…Laurie. And it’s the LORRI that will allow the world to see those distant images and make sense of them. And, the vision for my company, Laurie’s company, is to be the champion inspiring the professional world to really come alive through reflection, resonation, reform, and refocus. New Horizon Strategies facilitation, coaching, speaking and consulting will help individuals, teams, and organizations really SEE what they want, where they’re not getting it now, and put into place the holistic action plan to reach their goals.
Is that just a coincidence? I don’t think so. Reading about the NASA mission 2o minutes after selecting my company name was an acute awareness that I had yet again been graced with having a vision, and receiving far more to fulfill that vision than I ever could have expected.
What’s your vision? Have you set your intentions? If yes, enjoy the beautiful, graceful things that will show up on your path. It’s such an intricate interweaving, that we often fail to notice it. Pay attention to those. And, most of all have the courage to discover your new horizons!!