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: 

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Little Secret

I want to let you in on a little secret. The future is unknowable and the future is also uncontrollable. Furthermore, the future is filled with paradoxes, mysteries and confusion.

And at the exact same time, we live in an imperfect world. As leaders, our schedules for the day will get interrupted. Our work will get side lined with “Oh, by the way...” comments. Our well organized projects will get reorganized by factors over which we have no control. And we will get frustrated and angry by the craziness around us.

In truth, the future and the present are always scary on one level. So given this little secret, what do we do?

We try and protect ourselves from this imperfection. We prepare for it. We fear it. We search for predictability, explanations and answers. We search for order so we can have a sense of peace and a sense of control. 

We want to feel order. We want to feel valued. We want to feel certain. We do not want to feel alone with the unknowable and uncontrollable future. In short, we want perfection.

Surprisingly, people who find and maintain balance in their work and in their personal life have discovered something other than perfection. It is through shared connections and shared knowing that they can handle the now and the future. That’s what we have been doing all these years at the Spring and Fall From Vision to Action Executive Roundtables, and in the From Vision to Action Leadership Training. We have been building shared connections and shared knowing. 

It is pretty amazing that with shared connections and shared knowing, we can find balance in an unbalanced world.

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