Monday, December 31, 2012

The Blazing Sun of Hope

Today is the last day of 2012, a year which has been filled with great challenges, sorrows, and a few special triumphs. Tomorrow morning, we start anew. 

As I pause this morning before warping up all sorts of projects and preparing for new ones in January, I am reminded of the following quote by Melvin J. Evans, “The men [and women] who build the future are those who know that greater things are yet to come, and that they themselves will help bring them about. Their minds are illuminated by the blazing sun of hope. They never stop to doubt. They haven’t time.”

My wish for you on this last day of 2012 and for the start of 2013 is that you are illuminated by a blazing sun of hope, where there are no doubts that greater things are yet to come. I look forward to being with you as this grand adventure continues.

Happy New Year!

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Holidays

The decorations are all up and the presents are quietly getting tucked under the tree. The anticipation of family coming home to visit grows each day. I sit back this morning and realize we are so blessed. In the midst of all that has happened this year and this past week, we are fortunate to have time, space and shelter to gather with our loved ones and to celebrate. 

For me, it is the simple pleasures that make this season special. A hug, a joyous retelling of old stories, a fine meal, the creating of new memories, a quiet moment of support - all of these small acts of kindness and consideration create in me a humble gratitude to be alive and to witness the miracle of this season.

My hope is that each of you will be surrounded by family and friends this holiday season. And that during your busy holiday schedules and celebrations, you will rediscover a deep sense of inner gratitude and peace, realizing that we are all inter-connected to the same source of love, light and wisdom.

My thanks goes out to all of you for allowing me to be a part of your journey this year. I am humbled by the depth of your kindness, sharing, and your willingness to listen and explore new ideas and perspectives with me. Your invitations to join you as you chart your path are most special.

Today and every day this month, I send you many blessings for a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to being with you in the new year.

Joyfully yours,


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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Preparing for the New Year

Around this time of the month every year, it finally hits home to certain people that the current year is about to end and the new year is right around the corner.  Furthermore, it is very common in the middle of December during executive coaching sessions and consultations for someone to tell me that they are feeling unprepared for the coming new year. And once this realization has come clear to them, they often ask me what to do and how to prepare for something that is coming so fast. My response this year will be to refer them to two important quotes.

“Most ailing organizations have developed a functional blindness to their own defects,” notes John Gardner. “They are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems, but because they cannot see their problems.” To truly see our organizations as they are rather than as we would like them to be is a great challenge and a great gift. The challenge is to accept reality but not to let it define us. The gift is to receive this depth of awareness and understanding to the degree that we own our problems and recognize we collectively created them. Once we start from the place of acceptance, we can definitely move forward to change this reality.

The second quote is from the late Stephen Covey who wrote, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Trust comes at three levels, namely personal, strategic and organizational.  We as leaders need to be constantly monitoring these three levels and constantly strengthening our relationships with others in order that we can communicate cleanly and clearly.  With a strong level of trust in the work place, we can resolve our problems collectively and not allow functional blindness to become the norm. 

Waking up one day and realizing that 2013 is just around the corner is normal. Choosing to stay functionally blind and not building healthy work relationships is dysfunctional.  Our challenge for the rest of this month is to do the following:

- listen carefully to others and learn more about what is actually happening within our organizations, not what should be happening.

- differentiate between technical and adaptive problems so we make smarter choices and decisions as we prepare for 1Q of 2013.

- invest more time in relationship and team building so we can achieve greater degrees of trust and understanding.

When we reflect on the above quotes and do the above actions, we will build a solid foundation for the future, one day and one relationship at a time.

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Talent Management and Preparing For The Future

As the negotiations related to the fiscal cliff take place, numerous companies are reviewing their current strategic plans and exploring a wide variety of contingencies in order to be well prepared for every possibility. One challenge from my vantage point as I listen and participate in these in-depth strategic dialogues is whether or not these same companies have the internal talent to execute each strategy or contingency plan they are exploring. 

Over the decades of doing this work, I have learned that strategies and contingency plans will come and go. Market share and profits will rise and fall. At times this will happen due to factors beyond our control.  But an organization that has a self-renewing team of first-rate leaders will always be prepared for whatever challenges come their way.

However, according to a 2008 study by McKinsey & Company, 59% of senior managers fail to spend enough high-quality time on talent management. As the authors of the report state, “Companies like to promote the idea that employees are the biggest source of competitive advantage, yet the astonishing reality is that most of them are as unprepared for the challenge of finding, motivating and retaining capable workers as they were a decade ago.” As I see it, many companies are eager to be well positioned on the other side of the fiscal cliff, but may not have the intellectual capital to generate sustainable results. 

Russ Banham in his article “Human Capital: Achieving Alignment - How to get your people behind your business objectives” in the November/December 2012 issue of the Chief Executive magazine, writes, “Ensuring that human capital is aligned with business goals - and vice versa - has become critical of late, given the recession’s axe-wielding impact on labor.” With numerous companies worried that they might lose top talent, the challenge is to develop high-performance staff before, during and after the strategy development and implementation process.

Furthermore, with the talent pipeline being squeezed by retiring Boomers and new entrants who may not have all the required skills to meet the coming challenges, this process of talent development and then talent management may not be very easy. One key to solving this problem is to create a culture at the management level which is built on a foundation of constant learning, particularly given the need to stay productive as we move through another period of turbulence and potential chaos. However, we have to accept the fact that 59% of senior managers do not have the time, and I believe, the energy, to focus on talent management.

One unique solution to this problem is to enroll your key people in the 2013 From Vision to Action Leadership Training.  Here they will learn important information about leadership, strategic planning and execution, and organizational change. With new perspectives, understanding, and capacity to execute in these vital areas, senior leadership will have a renewed pipeline of high quality talent, all who will be ready, willing and able to meet the challenges of the coming three years. 

Friday, December 7, is the registration deadline for the 2013 From Vision to Action Leadership Training. If you and/or members of your team want more information about this unique training opportunity, then please click on the following link: 

If you and/or members of your team want to register for the 2013 From Vision to Action Leadership Training, then please click on the following link:

With the future being so uncertain, now is the time to get prepared. The From Vision to Action Leadership Training is a good place to start.

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

How Successful People Manage Life - part #3

Over the last couple of weeks in this blog, I have been writing about how successful people manage life. Let’s review some key points.

First, successful people take 100% responsibility for their journey. Life may offer tremendous personal and professional challenges and difficulties, but successful people do not expect others to solve their problems. Instead, they proactively seek out mentors, friends, and routine coaching. This depth of visiting gives them fresh perspective and clear insights. During this time of sharing, they filter out peer pressure and popular opinions, and instead assess their own passions, skills and convictions. They also courageously act upon the feedback they receive from their mentors.

Second, they create a family culture more than just a set of family systems. They eat dinner together nearly every night, and avoid “marginal costs” mistakes in their personal and professional lives. 

Third, they are humble, and regard everyone with a high degree of respect. They do not put other people down to feel good about themselves.

Finally, they aim to be faithful, not perfect. They are faithful to those they love and faithful to what they believe.

It is the combination of the above with the other parts I have mentioned over the last couple of weeks in this blog that make certain people successful in a holistic manner rather than some one who is successful at work but continually looses at home.

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