Leadership using coaching skills

What does leadership using coaching skills mean? Over the passing of time, I have facilitated many leadership courses. I have learned that most of the clients I have worked with wished that they had learned this powerful way of leadership years ago.

When a participant has completed the program, they are enthusiastic about the opportunity to put the skills to use right away. This is why we spend additional time observing how they use the skills with another person. We call the other person their peer as they have both been through the training. During this time, they have an opportunity to see firsthand how it works.

While observing, we listen to the questions the coaching person asks. We look for whether a question is leading, open to a yes or no answer or telling the peer what they would do. After a number of minutes the observer gives feedback pertaining to the session. The coach […]

What is your Exit Strategy?

John is in his early 60’s and we were talking because he was thinking about retiring and wanting to pass his business on to a person who used to be part of the business. It’s natural for business owners to want to pass the business to employees. The owner doesn’t want to business to just become extinct. He or she wants someone else to enjoy the same success that they have had.  Retirement, exit strategies and the succession of a business to others, all pose several issues that business owners need to think about.

Firstly, the valuation, how are you going to determine the value of your business? Even if you are simply selling the business, or in John’s case if you are passing the business onto others, have you determined what is the best method of setting that value? Are you going to determine the value based on multiples of total sales, profits, assets, […]

Rallying Your Team

If you were to ask each person on your team, “What is our main goal?”, how many different answers do you think you would get? If the answer is, “more than one,” or, “we don’t have a main goal,” then you have a big opportunity in front of you to lead your team! Whenever a team of people is expected to work together in synchronicity and to give their best individual efforts toward “success,” then success needs to be clearly defined. Otherwise, each individual is forced to rely on his or her individual perception of what defines success.
What is success to you as a leader of the team?
If I were to ask you to define what success means to each of your individual team members, could you do it?  Not without guessing you couldn’t, unless, of course, they specifically told you how they define it.  They can’t possibly know how you define success unless you […]

Are you a Leader or a Leader Developer?

What is the difference between a leader and a leader developer? Is there a difference? You are a leader if you have people following you. Many leaders have the title but are they really leading or are they telling?

When a coworker comes to you with an issue and they are looking for some help, do you give them the answer and send them on their way? Do you listen to them describe the issue and quickly give them the solution? If so, what will they do the next time they have an issue? Will they come to you for the answer?

What if your solution doesn’t work out? Who is responsible for the outcome? Will they come back to you the next time they have an issue?

Are you helping them to find a solution to an issue? What if they make a mistake? What is their solution doesn’t work? Do you say that you would have done it differently […]

Turning No into Yes

Does this sound like your business?

My Business is basically a sales business, and it requires a lot of phone calling. I do it well, but I do get tired of hearing “no.” Do you have any tricks for turning a “no” into “yes”? 

Of course I do. No one likes hearing a “no”, but I would venture to say we hear that word more often than we would like, if you are doing your job right. Your job is to continue to take risks and throw out proposals, plans, and products. Eventually, one is going to stick and you will get the next gig or sale, but in the meantime, you will be hearing plenty of “no’s.”

That is OK. That means you are on track.

But does it get easier? Probably not. Here though are a few tips for dealing with the dreaded “no,” and remember, “no” also means that the next “yes” is coming down […]

What is Your Value Proposition?

Do you know what your Value Proposition is exactly?
You must know it and be able to deliver it each and every day to add VALUE for our clients and customers.

So, what IS your Value Proposition? Many will say something like “Excellent Customer Service”, or “Exceptional Products and Service”. Others will suggest it has something to do with their reputation or their long-standing history of excellent performance. I believe it must be stated in terms of an outcome that they get when they do business with you. It needs to be specific and understandable. How do they benefit from your offer? What is in it for them?

That’s right – it is the OUTCOME! Have you ever defined your value proposition in terms of an outcome? Think about it. When a customer uses your product or service, how does change their business or life? Do they get a sense of confidence? Do they feel refreshed? Does […]

10 Ways to Grow Your Business

When the status quo just won’t do anymore, these 10 ideas will help you take your small business to a new level.

Small is beautiful.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Inch by inch, row by row, that’s the way my garden grows.
While such homespun wisdom might be fine for the common folk, it can be awfully frustrating for an ambitious small business owner determined to take the business to the next level of growth and profitability. Sure, a thriving one or two person service business with no inventory, rent, or employees can seem like an easy way to make money at first, but when the phone starts ringing off the hook and customers keep coming back for more, business owners who fail to plan often fall victim to their own success. Either they burn out trying to juggle everything themselves or they spend so much time and money hiring people to help them that their profits […]

It’s Time To Sharpen Your Axe!

Are you too busy working in your business to work on your business? 

Recently I spent some time at a Minnesota State Park and stayed in a camper cabin (photo above). It gave me some time to reflect on my business and where it was heading. When was the last time you took some time away from the business?

There is a story about a lumberjack who purchased a forest. His goal was to cut down all of the trees as quickly as he could and sell the lumber so that he could invest in more forests. And so, he grabbed his trusty axe and started swinging. The first few trees fell swiftly, for the lumberjack was incredibly skilled. Observers noted the huge smile on the lumberjack’s face. It was obvious to everyone that he was doing what he loved to do.

However, by early afternoon the trees weren’t falling as quickly. It took more effort and […]

Seven Business Lessons I Learned the HARD WAY


“We learn from failure much more than we learn from success.” Soichiro Honda

As an entrepreneur, I have made my share of mistakes. You will make mistakes too, but I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I have made. Learning from other people’s experiences is one of the smartest things you can do. I want to share with you seven mistakes I made so you can avoid them in your own business.

(1) Not All Sales Are Good
I used to think “as long as it makes us money, it’s a good thing”. Now I know how wrong I was. Keeping high maintenance clients will actually LOSE you money. Plus, they will take so much of your time that your focus will be taken away from growing your business.

Use the 80/20 rule: 20% of your clients will take up 80% of your time. Fire that 20% and go get more like the other 80%.

Also, determine […]

What is Strategic Thinking?

What is strategic thinking and when do you use it? You spent some time when you started your business to plan what type of business you wanted to start or purchase. You bought a franchise where you have a specific set of strategies for the business that are provided by the franchiser. You were educated in a particular technical skill like technology, doctorate, attorney, accountant, or some other skill. You spent many hours learning your skills and decided to start a business where you can utilize your skills. You thought that you only needed your skills in order to run a business. You like using your skills to help others, but you were not trained on how to run a business.

Does any of this sound like you? 

I know what you feel like, as I have owned businesses related to my education as an Information Technology consultant. I provided IT services to clients for over […]

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