One Thing

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.
–Vince Lombardi

If you had to pick just one thing you wanted to achieve or change in 2019, what would it be?

It could be related to your professional life (for you as an individual, or for your team/organization), or it could be related to your personal life.

From an individual perspective:

  • Where do you want to be more impactful? (personally or professionally)
  • What areas would you like to see grow? (financially or intellectually)
  • Are there relationships that need to be developed or enhanced?
  • Does communication need to be addressed – is it insufficient or lacking clarity?
  • Is there a commitment to continual learning?
  • Does complacency have any role?
  • How’s the home / work balance?

From an organizational perspective, do colleagues:

  • Trust one another?
  • Have open lines of communication?
  • Engage in healthy conflict?
  • Commit to decisions?
  • Hold one another accountable?
  • Focus on achieving collective results?
  • Does the work culture support the agile mind-set?
  • Is risk taking encouraged?
  • Are differences appreciated and leveraged? (strengths/behaviors/styles/values)

It all starts with awareness; what do you envision for 2019? How do you plan to make it real, and are there any barriers preventing success?

What’s one thing you want to achieve or change?

We can help!

The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.
–Anthony Robbins

Confidence, Courage, Success

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which
we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.
–Eleanor Roosevelt

Do you agree that leadership requires courage and confidence?  We do. So much so, we created the word “courageability” and defined it as “The single most important attribute any leader must have in order to be effective and successful”.

Not only is courage required for leaders to be successful, it must be supplemented with confidence.

Leaders are expected to be confident regardless of the situation. They are expected to be authentic (sharing what is meant and felt), they take risks to achieve results (and expect others to do the same), and they must “Take others where they have not been before and would not go by themselves”.

Success Magazine provides the following about CONFIDENCE:

1. Persevere
Take a step toward pushing your big idea off of the ground. Failure is inevitable. Don’t let it stop you from acting on your dreams.

2. Practice self-care
Words have the power to damage our self-esteem and leave us reeling. When this happens, list your strengths and remind yourself of the value you have to offer.

3. Push back
Today, build your confidence muscle by haggling five times. Ask for a complimentary drink at lunch, or request a loyalty discount from your cable provider. Revel in your newfound bravery and commit to negotiating once a week.  Note: This is hard for many!

4. Be good enough.
Perfectionism is good until it inhibits you from completing a task because you’re hung up on the details. Eliminate the word perfect from your vocabulary and accept that sometimes good is enough.

5. Be the calm.
A good leader knows the next crisis is just around the bend. Prepare for the bad times by anticipating various scenarios and planning your response.

They sound pretty simple but we all know that situations will arise that will challenge us. “Gremlins” may have us doubt ourselves and erode confidence levels.  Be aware of them. It doesn’t hurt to re-evaluate plans, but don’t over-think them. If it feels right to you, it probably is.

Bottom line – lead with courage and confidence!

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
–Winston Churchill

How Aware Are You?

Awareness is the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns . . . it is the state or quality of being aware of something.—Wikipedia

What plans do you have to kick off the New Year? Having defined goals and objectives is always highly recommended, but we suggest that in addition to having clear and communicated goals, you commit to amplifying your awareness levels.

Highly successful leaders are not only aware of their own styles, skills and gaps, they are also in-tune with the styles, skills, gaps, and professional desires of those they lead and interact with.

Additionally, they are keenly aware of their work culture. Why is this important?  The group culture impacts behaviors, attitudes, satisfaction levels, and the comfort of the environment, all which impact the ability to obtain results.

Things to ponder:

  • Every work culture has differing styles – are they all appreciated?
  • Is there tension or cohesion within the group?
  • Does the leader (perhaps you) recognize the style differences and address conflict if it exists?
  • Is the reason for the work/tasks/goals understood and supported?
  • What does the team value most?
  • Does there seem to be negativity in the break room?
  • Do people speak up or have they gone quiet?

Per Wiley’s Everything DiSC assessments, there are 8 components that uniquely define us as individuals, which then defines the style and culture of our team. The styles are measured by how we “live”:

  1. Challenges
  2. Results
  3. Actions
  4. Enthusiasm
  5. Collaboration
  6. Support
  7. Stability
  8. Accuracy

Note: How these components are distributed across the team will impact the overall culture.

How aware are you? Understanding group behaviors, fears, emotions, preferences, priorities and needs positions leaders and teams to be highly motivated and successful; don’t neglect awareness levels!

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. –Stephen Covey

Trust In The Workplace

When there is trust, team members are able to engage in unfiltered,
constructive debate of ideas.—Patrick Lencioni

How would you rate workplace trust within your organization? Are team members comfortable:

  • Admitting and owning weaknesses and mistakes?
  • Asking for help?
  • Offering and accepting apologies without hesitation?
  • Sharing their knowledge to help others grow?
  • Supporting shared goals where the team will be recognized as a team, rather than as individuals?

Trust issues continually score high as a “need” for individuals, teams, and organizations. This pertains to relationships with colleagues, peers, and bosses, and can also apply to strategic partners and vendors.

Why do you think that is?  Common responses include:

  • What’s in it for me to be vulnerable?
  • If I share my knowledge, I won’t have a “leg up” on others.
  • I prefer to work solo rather than in a collaborative mode.
  • It’s intimidating to speak up and I’m adverse to conflict

Below are some tips for increasing workplace trust:

  • Assess whether there are any reasons others may not trust you.  Work on them!
  • Do you consistently display the behaviors you wish to see in others?
  • How is your current work culture? What changes could be made to make it stronger?
  • Select a highly trusted leader; identify the behaviors you feel make then successful and add them to your “tool-belt”.
  • ASK your team for their ideas about improving trust.
  • Listen and be responsive! Author Patrick Lencioni says “Transparency, honesty, and vulnerability are the key ingredients required for a team to be trusting and truly cohesive”.

What actions can you implement to improve workplace trust?

One of the most valuable things you can do to create higher levels of trust is to trust others more.  Don’t wait for them to prove themselves to you. Trust them.– K. Eikenberry

A Leader; A Legacy

President Bush solidified his legacy of principled, pragmatic, and compassionate leadership.
— Gov. Larry Hogan

The world has lost a great leader. U.S. Republicans, Democrats, Independents and even those with no party affiliation, as well as foreign leaders, expressed their condolences with the passing of George H.W. Bush.  He is mourned and his accomplishments celebrated.

A simple summary of his life was that he was dedicated to a lifetime of public service and a desire to make the world a better place.

Here’s why many claim President Bush (41) was the most accomplished U.S. President:

  • A World War II veteran and Navy pilot
  • Two-term congressman
  • Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Vice President of the United States
  • 41st president of the United States
  • Father to the 43rd U.S. President
  • Helped end the Cold War
  • Instrumental in German unification
  • A lifetime Public Servant

Below are comments from both Domestic and International Leaders:

  • A true patriot and statesman who embodied decency and selfless service
  • A man of the highest character
  • His legacy of public service may never be matched, even though he’d want all of us to try
  • Sound judgment, common sense, and unflappable leadership
  • Through all that he accomplished, he remained humble
  • He loved his country and lived a life of courageous service
  • You did not have to agree with President George H.W. Bush to respect him
  • He served our country with dignity, integrity, and a commitment to American values
  • His administration was marked by grace, civility, and social conscience
  • He showed political wisdom and foresight, sought to make informed decisions even in the most difficult situations

There is no better summary than what son Neil Bush shared: This is the end of an amazing life.  And from the U.S. Navy: Fair winds and following seas, Sir. We have the watch.

May he Rest In Peace.

George H.W. Bush’s lifetime of service and decades of dedication to honor and duty leave an indelible mark on our nation and on our hearts.– Gov. Larry Hogan

What’s DiSC?

Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint (and awareness).
— Lewis H. Lapham

Words matter; styles and behaviors also matter. Are you familiar with the DiSC model and how our behaviors and preferred styles impact our degree of effectiveness?

The DiSC theory was developed by psychologist William Marston and focuses on four different personality traits: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). An assessment was then created that identifies and provides an understanding of our preferred behaviors in specific environments.

There are four basic dimensions of behavior in the DiSC profile.  They are:

D –   DOMINANCE   People who display the Dominance behavior shape their environment by overcoming opposition and challenges in order to accomplish results.  They like control, and they don’t like being taken advantage of.

I –     INFLUENCE  People who display the Influence dimension enjoy interacting with others. They shape their environment by persuading and influencing others and by building alliances. They like being involved and being recognized, and they don’t like rejection or loss of approval.

S –   STEADINESS  People with the Steadiness dimension of behavior are accepting of other people’s ideas, and they like a predictable environment with methodical approaches. They like security and stability, and don’t like sudden change or the loss of security.

C –   CONSCIENTIOUSNESS  People with a high Conscientiousness behavior value quality and accuracy, they analyze situations, and seek tactful, diplomatic interactions. They like accuracy and order, dislike a lack of procedures and standards, and may not be open to critical feedback.

If you’re thinking that all four behaviors add value, you’re absolutely right. Each of us has elements of each, but to differing degrees, and an ideal, well rounded team would be comprised of all 4 styles.

This is a very brief overview, but now you have a baseline understanding of “What’s DiSC”?. What behavior(s) do you most identify with? What about your colleagues? Do you want to take it to the next level?

The DiSC model is a very practical and user-friendly theory of human behavior. It creates a common language and a framework to better understand ourselves and others. It is completely non-judgmental with no good or bad categories, or high or low scores.

Why Career Coaching?

Coaching Is The Universal Language of Change and Learning.–CNN

Why is Career Coaching gaining in popularity? Generally speaking, the value of coaching is now being realized.

20 some years ago, companies most often utilized a coach to help manage/address toxic behaviors. That still exists, but more commonly today, career coaching engagements occur so high-potential performers become high performers as well as more influential, inspiring, and impactful leaders.

Joy McGovern, Ph.D shares:

  • Career coaching translates into doing
  • Doing translates into impacting the business
  • This impact can be quantified and maximized

Coaches frequently help their clients with leadership/management skills and behaviors, and with enhancing communication styles. The coaching engagement includes having a clear purpose, exploring improvement opportunities, agreements for action, and a commitment for change.

The coach validates perceived strengths, and will likely discuss behaviors that may be under-used or over-used. They listen, they inquire without passing judgment, and they increase awareness levels.

The coach/client engagement also includes exploring possibilities. The coach provides guidance for moving forward, they are a sounding board, and they remind the client of their purpose and commitments.

The value and benefits of coaching have been reported as:

Organizational Strength
Fewer customer complaints

Improved Relationships (with direct report reports, senior leaders, peers)
Improved Teamwork
Reduced Conflict
Increased Organizational Commitment

In summary:
Career Coaching=Career Development=Organizational Bench-Strength=Greater Results

A willing executive/leader is someone who enters into coaching voluntarily, with enthusiasm and the desire to examine their gaps as well as their assets. This implies that willing executives/leaders are those who are open to self-discovery and personal growth, and who want to be coached; otherwise, coaching is a dead-end street.—Christine Turner


Career coaching is valuable. PeopleTek offers other valuable leadership tips each week. Sign up today to take your leadership skills to the next level.

Toxic People

When you notice someone does something toxic the first time, don’t wait
for the second time before you address it or cut them off. . .  Shahida Arabi

Let’s be honest. We all know, or have worked with, toxic people who create workplace conflict. Toxicity covers a lot of territory; some examples include poor attitude, lack of commitment and accountability, taking credit for the work of others, whiners/complainers, finger pointing, intentionally misleading others, and having a closed mindset. (Any others come to mind?).

Author Dr. Travis Bradberry provides 12 ways to manage toxic people who create workplace conflict (excerpts are):

Set limits
A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix the problem. They may stop complaining to you!

Choose your battles
Stand your ground, pick the “right time” to address the conflict, and use your emotional intelligence skills to keep conversations healthy.

Rise up
Don’t allow yourself to respond emotionally and get sucked in; remain fact based.

Stay aware of your emotions
Recognize when your buttons are being pushed. Take the time you need to regroup.

Establish boundaries
Decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, this allows you take control.

Don’t let anyone limit your joy
Emotionally intelligent people don’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take away their sense of accomplishment or “happy” feelings.

Don’t focus on problems—only solutions
Quit thinking about how troubling your difficult person is, and instead focus on how you’re going to go about handling them.

Don’t forget
Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that they forget.

Squash negative self-talk
Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating.

Limit your caffeine intake
Caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline and is the source of “fight-or-flight”.

Get some sleep
Sleep has a direct link with increasing emotional intelligence and managing stress.

Use your support system
Recognize the weaknesses in your approach with toxic people and tap into your support system to gain their perspectives.

What can you do to better manage toxic people who create workplace conflict?

Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles,
and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.― John Mark Green

Top Leadership Challenges

When leaders are doing their best, they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.–James M. Kouzes

Many studies have been conducted about leadership challenges, and most have quite a few commonalities:

  • Developing effective leadership skills
  • Managing through change
  • Consistently recognizing and rewarding accomplishments
  • Inspiring others
  • Communicating goals and how they can, and must be, supported
  • Building trust within teams and across organizations
  • Being aware of, and having the skills, to address conflict

That’s a relatively short list.  Which do you find most troublesome? Which challenges would you add?

As leaders, we need to be self aware. How do we see ourselves? How do we show-up? Next is the tough part, how do others see us? Answering these questions may add to our personal list of challenges.

To SELF ASSESS, ask yourself:

1.    What’s the purpose of my leadership?
2.    Would my staff feel that I’m committed to their improvement?
3.    Do I feel I make a real difference and feel valued? Would my staff agree?
4.    Do I create and maintain relationships that help the organization thrive and obtain results?
5.    Do I know what’s expected of me and do I deliver on those expectations?
6.    Do others know what I expect of them?
7.    Are my priorities clearly communicated and supported?
8.    Do I take sufficient action to improve individual and team performance?
9.    Am I committed to self development?
10.  Is going to work enjoyable? (at least most of the time?)
11.  What keeps me up at night?
12.  What are my challenges and what am I doing do address them?

As we’ve said before, being a leader is not easy and requires courage. Did you discover anything new from the assessment?

Name at least one leadership challenge you’ll begin to develop, starting today!

If you want to have a significant impact on people, on organizations, and on communities, you’d be wise to invest in learning the behaviors that enable you to become the very best leader you can.
—James M. Kouzes


Workaholism has become such a problem that that many are calling it ‘the addiction of this century.’

How’s your work/life balance? Would you be surprised to learn that 10-25% of us are considered workaholics?

Our pace is quicker than ever before, and the ease and ability to stay connected can be a plus, but it can also be detrimental.

Few of us excel at saying “enough is enough”, and we rarely tell our colleagues or staff to improve their work/life balance.

Now it’s time to evaluate yourself. The Faculty of Psychology from The University of Bergen collaborated with Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and created “The Bergen Work Addiction Scale”.

The questions include, and are to be rated on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always):

  1. You think of how you can free up more time to work
  2. You spend much more time working than initially intended
  3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness or depression
  4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them
  5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working
  6. You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work
  7. You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health

If you scored 4 (often) or 5 (always) on four or more of the criteria, that classifies you as a workaholic.  How’d you do?

Maybe it’s time to set boundaries.

  • Pick 2 days a week when you will limit your work day to 8 hours
  • Pick 2-3 days a week when you commit to not doing additional work at home
  • And, we need to assess, based on our role, how much time to we truly need to make ourselves available each evening, on week-ends, and while on vacation or holiday.

Studies have concluded that people who work 50 or more hours per week were likely to experience both physical and emotional consequences. So, while it may seem like a good idea to work those long hours and attempt to achieve more, we can actually reduce our productivity level, increase error rates, and impact relationships.

Make sure to build in leisure time for doing the things you enjoy, and for spending sufficient time with family and friends!

MLK = Courage and Integrity

Average leaders focus on results, and that’s it. Good leaders focus also on the behaviors that will get the results. And great leaders focus, in addition, on the emotions that will drive these behaviors. –Hitendra Wadhwa (professor, Columbia Business School / Founder, Mentora Institute)

On Monday the United States celebrated the life and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King was a minister, a civil-rights activist, an advocate of nonviolence, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner (1964).

He was also a leader that lived his life with courage and integrity and encouraged others to do the same. He held true to his beliefs, and promoted the behaviors required for everyone to be judged on their personal qualities, (not their color) and that violence not be responded to with violence, but rather with actions of peace. Talk about living and leading with courage and integrity!

Dr. King influenced so many without being arrogant, without being a bully, without looking down and speaking poorly of others, and without being divisive.  Quite the contrary, his focus was on peace and unity, and one of his most famous quotes was “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

Professor Wadhwa provides the following insights from Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I HAVE A DREAM” speech:

  • Great leaders do not sugar-coat reality
  • Great leaders engage the heart
  • Great leaders refuse to accept the status quo
  • Great leaders create a sense of urgency
  • Great leaders call people to act in accord with their highest values
  • Great leaders refuse to settle
  • Great leaders acknowledge the sacrifice of their followers
  • Great leaders paint a vivid picture of a better tomorrow

In closing, we want to share one last quote: The time is always right to do what is right.
Great words to live by don’t you think?