Monday, December 15, 2014

In The Midst of these Busy Days

The holiday season is always packed with so much to do. 

At work, we are still trying to get lots done before the New Year shows up. There are projects to complete. There are new plans to create. There are new goals to set, and performance evaluations that need to take place.

At home, there are gifts to be purchased, wrapping to be done, holiday baking to finish, plus all of the planning around having family and friends over to celebrate. The lists are endless, and everyday is long and full.

Some days we get so caught up in all of the lights, sparkle and busy work that we forget that there is a reason for this season. There is a purpose at the core of what we are doing. At times, it becomes secondary to all of the work that needs to get done. In short, the reason for the season gets forgotten.

My challenge to you this week is to pause and remember the core reason why we are celebrating at this time of the year, and to bring it back to the center of all you do. Open your heart and let it in. This core purpose will put so many things into perspective and rekindle in you a deeper understanding of the bigger picture of life.

In the midst of the busy days, do not let the joy get lost in the work. 

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rediscover Individual and Shared Purpose

Right now many people act as if they are a community of one. This me-oriented society is digitally connected to thousands and yet at times feels completely isolated. These individuals do not understand the difference between personal connections and connectivity. The former is the foundation for the later.

As an executive coach, I listen to a fair number of people who worry about their companies, their future and their ability to make a difference as a leader. My challenge to you today is to ask yourself the following questions when you are worried: 

- What gets you up in the morning? 

- What is your passion? 

- What kind of day do you want to have so you can go to bed with thanksgiving and wake up the next morning with gratitude?

When visiting with people who are living their passion as leaders, I notice one unique observation. They make family time a priority. They do this by creating new and celebrating old family traditions. It seems that these traditions ground them, and remind them of the purpose of their life. I believe these positive traditions create a shared sense of purpose which renews them at a deeper level.

This holiday season, I encourage you to make family time a priority. Create new traditions and celebrate old ones. It will bring a sense of purpose back into your life journey.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Quick Reminder

Friday, December 5, is the registration deadline for the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training.

We will meet for this unique learning opportunity at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, Coralville, Iowa on the following dates:
- March 3 - 4 - 5, 2015
- May 5 - 6 - 7, 2015
- September 15 - 16 - 17, 2015
- November 10 - 11, 2015

If you and/or members of your team are interested in the 2015 training, then please click on the following link for more information: http://www.chartyourpath.com/VTA-Leadership-Training.html 

Or you can click on the this link for the registration form: http://www.chartyourpath.com/pdf/2015-From-Vision-To-Action-Leadership-Training-Regist.pdf

I look forward to your participation in the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, December 1, 2014

Practice Being Fully Present

Before vacation, her children sat down with her and had a serious conversation. 

“Mom - are you bring the third child with us on vacation?”, asked the oldest.

“What third child?,” she replied. “I only have two children.”

“No, you don’t,” answered the youngest.

“The third child is your cell phone, Mom,” said the oldest. “You take it every where and you are constantly answering phone messages and e-mail on it. You take care of that phone more than you take care of us some days.”

“So,” asked the youngest, “are you bring the third child on vacation this year?”

There are days, note James Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass, 2006, when “we operate on automatic pilot, not really noticing what’s going on around us, believing that we know everything we need to know, viewing the world through established categories, and operating from a single point of view. Many leaders are not really “present” at all. The body may be in the room, but the mind has been turned off.”

We all know this place. We are in the meeting but our mind is some place else. We are not attuned to those around us, and we are not attuned to ourself. We are personally and socially unaware.

Years ago, on a flight out of Phoenix, I listened to a woman talk about her son’s girl friend. She told me that this young woman made her son want to be a better man. One key to being more present is to have allies and confidents in our life who can share with us at a deep level. With these people, we are open and willing to receive feedback if necessary. Through thoughtful dialogue with these people, important insights are gleaned. Our challenge as leaders is to surround ourselves with friends and family who make us want to be a better person. 

This week, I encourage you to cultivate these deep relationships. The cell phone does not need to be the center of the universe.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, November 24, 2014

Listen and Learn

One of my favorite times of the year is Thanksgiving. Good food, special friends and wonderful family all around one table.  It just doesn’t get any better than this.

One of my favorite things that happens over Thanksgiving is the telling of stories. Sometimes, we have heard them before and other times they are new. Which ever the case, it is in the listening and the learning that valuable, shared connections are made.

Today, I am reminded of a quote by the late Stephen Covey. As he wrote, “Real listening shows respect. It creates trust. As we listen, we not only gain understanding; we also create the environment to be understood. And when both people understand, both perspectives, instead of being on opposite sides of the table looking across at each other, we find ourselves on the same side looking at solutions together.” 

This week, listen with an open heart and discover new insights. May you and yours be well blessed with good food and great family times together this week.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Monday, November 17, 2014

Running Fast and Faster

People are burning out on a regular basis these days, and it is having a deep cost to them, their major relationships and their families. More and more marriages are at, or near the breaking point. It reminds me of the Red Queen Principle, namely people running faster and faster just to keep up with where they are right now. Clearly, more and more people are operating at capacity. They keep adapting and adjusting, hoping that every thing will not break at once.

One unique solution to this situation is to give yourself permission to de-accelerate as much as to accelerate. Many leaders can not work any harder, faster or more efficiently. Their bandwidth is full. It is time for us to recognize the importance and value of creating de-acceleration zones in our life.

For me, when I find I am running fast and then faster I have to consciously plan to do activities that help me de-accelerate. These include perennial flower gardening, listening to great music while cooking, going to the movies with my wife, or reading a good book. By giving myself permission to do these things, and by making time on my calendar to do these things, I find a greater sense of balance and focus. I am not overwhelmed and can work better.

This week, rediscover your de-acceleration zones.  Then, give yourself permission to go out and enjoy them.

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Importance of Buy-in

For many years, I have asked clients and students of mine to read John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow them and People Will Follow You, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998. In particular, I wanted them to comprehend “The Law of Buy-in: People buy into the leader, then the vision.”  As Maxwell explains, “When followers don't like the leader or the vision, they will look for another leader. When followers don't like the leader but they do like the vision, they still look for another leader. When followers like the leader but not the vision, they change the vision. When followers like the leader and the vision, they will get behind both.” 

At this time period, we need followers and leaders all pulling together in the same direction. But we have to recognize, as Maxwell so aptly points out in his book, that “people become real leaders because of character - who they are, relationships - who they know, knowledge - what they know, intuition - what they feel, experience - where they've been, past success - what they've done, and ability - what they can do.” 

While it would be delightful to stop by the local corner store and pick up a box of character, intuition or ability, this is not possible. However, we can increase people’s knowledge through thoughtful education, meaningful readings, and in-depth dialogue and sharing. 

Here is where the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training fits into this equation. Through this challenging, interactive curriculum which blends lectures, selected readings, small and large group discussions, and how to skill-building exercises, participants in this four part leadership training gain critical knowledge and skills which improve their ability to be become better leaders.

Now is the time to sign people up for this in-depth learning experience.  For more information on how to register for the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training, please click on the following link: http://www.chartyourpath.com/VTA-Leadership-Training.html 

Followers who buy-in to their leader and the vision always achieve results. We need this now more than ever. I look forward to you and your team participating in the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training. 

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257