Impediments To Success

We all have our own styles and preferences, and we go about attaining our goals and inspiring others in our own unique way. What we need to know is if our preferred style includes impediments to success.

There are ” minor” work place foibles which begin to chip away goodwill.
–Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith’s List of 21 Bad Habits

  1. Winning too much: the need to win at all costs and in all situations when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it is beside the point.
  2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgment: the need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
  4. Making destructive comments: the needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
  5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
  7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
  8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
  9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
  10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
  11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
  12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
  13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
  14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
  15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
  16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
  18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually trying to help us.
  19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
  20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.
  21. Goal obsession: Doggedly pursuing tasks or goals instead of paying attention to relationships or the personal needs of others.

We’re pretty sure some of these (if not most) hit home as you’ve likely observed them in others, and you may even have exhibited some yourself.

What’s key is awareness. Make an effort to avoid chipping away at the goodwill of others!

BONUS – QWIKTIP – Confidence and Competence

7 Leadership Traits

Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
-Jim Rohn, Author, motivational speaker

Leadership. Many of you have heard this before, but we define leadership as:
Taking others where they’ve never gone before and wouldn’t go by themselves.

We believe everyone is a leader, regardless of title or reporting structure since we all have the ability to INFLUENCE others. And, we also believe effective leaders are continual learners.

In order to be a strong leader, Mr. Rohn feels there must be a commitment for self- development and identifies 7 “must have” leadership traits:

  1. Learn to be strong but not impolite
  2. Learn to be kind but not weak
  3. Learn to be bold but not a bully
  4. Learn to be humble but not timid
  5. Learn to be proud but not arrogant
  6. Learn to develop humor without folly
  7. Learn to deal in realities

What were your thoughts when you read through the list? How many have you mastered? Which could you further develop?

Did any names come to mind (co-workers / bosses) where you thought these traits were either consistently displayed or severely lacking?

Pick two areas for development:
A strength you already have (how can it be further developed?)
An “opportunity” (which from the list left you feeling uneasy?)

Add them to your development plan, make a commitment, and check your progress monthly. Let us know how you’re doing!

Follow this link for more on Leaders Are Continual Learners

Leadership Can Be Simple

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —
John Quincy Adams

Everyone is a leader, in every profession, every role, no matter what title or pay level.

I was visiting a state national park this past weekend and will keep it nameless to protect the innocent.

Being a leadership developer and coach, I am curious to what people say about their leaders. I was walking out of the park and a friendly park ranger decided to open up about his management.

In his opinion, his current leader is outstanding and he wasn’t shy about telling me why. I asked what made the difference for him and he said this:

“My previous manager had no new ideas. He had been in the role for over 40 years and basically just tried to survive until retirement. He was a very good guy but had no ambition to make anything better.

When he was replaced, the new manager came in with fabulous ideas and encouraged me to make things better. I was able to clean up the area, put in new rocks and tables, fix and replace broken sinks, and paint the walls of the restrooms”.


While the ranger’s actions seem simple, it turns out that that is exactly the point. Leadership can be simple. It is empowering yourself and others to go where they have never gone before and maybe wouldn’t go by themselves (or wouldn’t without permission).

The new leader truly inspired and led this ranger to go and do what he wanted to do which was to make things better for the patrons of the park.

While the previous manager was a nice person, had good ethics and was easy to get along with, that wasn’t what was needed to make the park the best experience for the visitors.

What I noticed was the enthusiasm this ranger had for his job, his passion for excellence, and his ideas to make things better. All he needed was the spark to excel.

He could have easily taken a different road and just bided his time for his retirement. Instead he opted to make a difference. I would advise this wonderful ranger to go a step further – speak to his leader about his improvement suggestions for what could be done. (and if you have the latitude, just make the changes on your own). While there is risk, the rewards will set you free.



The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and to influence their actions.–
John Hancock

INFLUENCE. Some think you need direct reports in order to influence others. We believe that we are ALL leaders and that our behaviors and actions DO influence others regardless of our workplace title.

One great way to influence others is to understand their goals. What are they trying to achieve? What obstacles are they facing? How could they be helped? Do they want assistance?

If yes, determine what and how you can help them attain each goal. A friend found this formula:
LEAP = Listen, Empathize, Agree and Plan

Listen to their goals, empathize with their situation, agree on tasks and options to achieve them, and begin to plan together.

It’s our past experiences, our observations, and how we’ve interpreted situations that affect levels of influence. This includes understanding and utilizing our own attitudes and beliefs, and our perceptions of the attitudes and beliefs others.

Our “self-talk” also greatly impacts if and how we’ll influence others. A lack of confidence will inhibit us from expressing our opinions, especially when we fear rejection.

There are two different styles that are used in influencing others:

1. Openness in communication
2. Consideration for others

Our level of openness is what dictates how willing we are to share our life experiences, our thoughts, and our emotions with others. (In contrast with volunteering minimal information).

Consideration is displayed by our willingness to accept and respond to others in the way they prefer. To some this includes an intensity to preserve the rights of others as they would their own. The opposing style is to display little respect for the opinions, feelings, and reactions of others, with no interest in showing support.

Last week we talked about body language. Skillfully and positively influencing others includes paying attention to:


Passion has a lot to do with the effort we’ll make to influence others. If passion is missing, it’s easy to defer to others and step back. When passion exists, we’re much more likely to influence others to a greater extent, and risk disagreement or rejection.

Do you actively influence others?


Follow this link to read about SELF TALK

Leaders Developing Leaders

Why top companies have our leaders train theirs

American Express, Sinclair Broadcast Group, and Balfour Beatty know the value of investing in their best.

That’s why they turn to PEOPLETEK. Our professionally certified coaches – many with impressive backgrounds from influential companies themselves – have been developing corporate leaders nationwide since 1996. It’s a process of leaders developing leaders at its finest.

Equipping leaders at all levels to achieve their goals helps your organization reach its highest potential. In 12 comprehensive sessions, the Leadership Journey gives your best people the tools, training, and self-awareness to lead their teams to enhanced results and effectiveness.

During the 12 interactive group sessions, attendees grow in confidence and effectiveness by:

  • Assessing their strengths and gaps via coaching, behavioral assessments, and 360 feedback
  • Learning to apply essential leadership skills to motivate peak performance
  • Strengthening communication, relationship and decision-making skills
  • Becoming adept at understanding, leading, coaching and influencing others
  • Overcoming differences in personality and work style to achieve common goals
  • Learning to cope with stress through change, conflict, and other challenges


Or, sponsor a TEAM JOURNEY and we’ll customize the delivery to support your goals and challenges! ASK ABOUT GROUP DISCOUNTS!

Results Require Growth

Results. It’s what we as leaders want; it’s what our shareholders demand. Your goals may remain relatively constant, but how you achieve them (and hopefully surpass them) will change with the times.

The skill-sets of last year’s top performers may no longer provide you with the results you aspire for this year, and Benjamin Franklin summed it up perfectly:

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

Always Be Growing For the Best Results

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

We must commit to providing continual growth and development opportunities for individuals and organizations, and we can’t forget about the need for self-enrichment.

No matter how experienced, tenured, or mature we may be, we all need to minimally “refresh” our abilities, attitudes, behaviors and skill-sets.

Some of the Top Issues Impacting Results

  • Unproductive behaviors
  • No/minimal accountability and ownership
  • Lack of passion, motivation, and commitment
  • Inability to address issues or deal with difficult people
  • Ignoring stress levels
  • The inability to give and receive feedback in an honoring way
  • Trust issues

And there are more:

  • What new technical skills must be acquired?
  • Are strong relationships built and sustained?
  • Does listening truly occur?
  • Do you know your customer’s needs?
  • Does planning include strategic and Innovative thinking?

This is just a sample of areas for development. Think about where you are now and where you want to be before the end of the year. Assign priorities for taking action, and make it happen. Do the same for what you want for next year, and also for 5 years from now.

Be realistic; growth and attaining desired results does not happen overnight but a commitment to continual learning will drive progress that leads to success.

What do you want to accomplish for the remainder of 2016?


Change Is Constant and Often Challenging

How to Empower Others

Organizations that empower folks further down the chain or try to get rid of the big hierarchical chains and allow decision making to happen on a more local level end up being more adaptive and resilient because there are more minds involved in the problem.

–Steven Johnson

Empowerment. This concept gained heightened awareness in the 1980’s / 90s for management and business administration with the intent to increase autonomy, responsibility, and levels of influence. It is also intended to minimize frustration and low self-esteem for those that have so much to offer and are prevented from doing so.

HOW TO EMPOWER OTHERS – Here are 6 Behaviors that will increase your leadership effectiveness:

1. Let go of doing the actual work; DELEGATE! Stop being a technician and allow those that need to do the work the time and space to actually perform and they’ll rise to the occasion. When I first started to delegate to others I always felt they never did the task as well as I did. WOW was that wrong. They did it better. Yes, at first they needed some time, coaching and feedback on how to perform better, but they learned and grew; I was truly impressed and never looked back.

2. Train others: You have to give others a chance and then you need to ensure they have the proper education/development to perform the task you’re requesting of them. If it’s sales then they need sales training on how best to serve the customers, how to understand their needs, how to listen and communicate. If they are a technician, they need to know the process and possess the tools/skills necessary to perform at their highest level and satisfy the wants of the customer.

3. Give feedback and Coach– How can anyone know where they stand unless they are given feedback on how they are performing? So many times a leader just goes back to either doing the work or giving the task to others. This prevents the new person from learning and growing. It also creates an increased workload for the more tenured/experienced team members resulting in burn-out.

4. Reward individuals (and teams) when they excel. Provide incentives for continual learning and growth opportunities. Additionally, provide incentives for those that become leaders of leaders, especially when they mentor and develop others.

5. Create a team where each team member utilizes their skills, abilities, and talent. They need to understand and leverage each others strengths, and they need to want to help one another develop areas of weakness. No one can act on their own. Everyone needs and requires help. Build a team where members hold each other accountable to the highest level of performance and where they refuse to settle for mediocrity.

6. Have fun and make it a game! Everyone wants to get joy out of their work. It’s up to you, the leader, to set the tone that the only competition is about satisfying the customer and achieving goals.Why not make establishing best practices and improving the work environment fun?

Get everyone involved in the process and create a culture that others want to be part of. To learn more about empowering others contact us.

Click here to obtain a tip for DEVELOPING OTHERS 


Reward The Positive

People improve more by magnetizing their virtues than by brooding on their shortcomings”.
–J. Donald Walters

Part of being a leader includes addressing negative behaviors and attitudes that are impacting the success of a team. This is a required role, but another role is to reward the positive, effective behaviors that support the attainment of goals.

Understanding your team’s strengths as a composite, and from individual contributions, will improve results as well as satisfaction and appreciation levels. It will also enable you to point out the behaviors that lead to success.

How to Reward the Positive & Banish Negativity in the Workplace

J. Donald Walters, author of The Art Of Leadership provides the following tips:

  • Work to strengthen a subordinate’s best qualities, rather than harping on his worst. You will accomplish far more by encouraging others than by belittling them.
  • Work more with your organization’s strengths than with its weaknesses. Channel more energy to those people in it who are in tune with what you are doing than to those whose tendency is to resist you.
  • Don’t invest a disproportionate amount of energy in addressing negative situations. Strengthen the positive side, rather, and any negative vortices of energy that exist will tend either to be dissipated or to remove themselves from the scene.
  • Don’t allow subordinates to offer merely negative criticism. Teach them that they must earn the right to speak by offering solutions when they want to point out problems.
  • Encourage the DOERS under you, not the mere talkers.
  • Never court popularity for yourself. Be concerned with issues, principles, (and goals).
  • Never speak from your own emotions or private prejudices, but always from a sense of justice, fairness, and truth.

We’re not saying to eliminate development plans as they are needed and add value, but we are advocates of acknowledging, and whenever possible, rewarding the behaviors (and skills) that allow teams to flourish.

Do you consistently acknowledge the strengths of your team?

You’re What Kind Of Leader?

The journey to growing in self-awareness requires discovering, developing and leveraging the raw material and talent within.
-Steve Knox, Coach and author

We all benefit from increasing our self-awareness levels and by leveraging our “magic dust”. (What we do well, living our passion, and using our strengths to add value and improve the bottom line).

We encourage continual learning, and we often use assessments and tools such as DiSC and Myers-Briggs to validate individual (and team) strengths and to obtain suggestions for leadership development areas.

Mr. Knox shares our belief that everyone is a leader since we all have the capacity to impact
and influence others.

He also says that knowing your leadership style can be determined by answering two simple questions:

1. How do you prefer to plan?
2. How do you prefer to implement that plan?

We don’t feel it’s quite that simple, but it’s a great start for increasing self-awareness. He adds:
Some people like to start planning by first considering the details of the project, task or new idea. Others like to start planning by first considering the possibilities of the project, task or new idea.

When it comes time to implement the plan, some people prefer to think through the process of accomplishing the project first. Others prefer to begin implementing by first considering the people involved in the project
So what kind of leader are you? Mr. Knox provides the four possibilities:

1. Details + Process = DRIVERS
Drivers are logistical leaders focused on efficiency, precision and getting the job done on time. They literally drive behavior by focusing on the details of the process and striving for the most efficient way to operate.

  • Drivers make up an estimated 35 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Key characteristics: realistic, logical, pragmatic and systematic

2. Details + People = DOERS
Doers are tactical leaders focused on support, encouragement and getting the job done together and are motivated by the needs of others. They work diligently with a mental checklist of what needs to be accomplished in order to fulfill the commitments they have made.

  • Doers make up an estimated 35 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Key characteristics: responsible, cooperative, tolerant and loyal

3. Possibilities + Process = DESIGNERS
Designers are strategic leaders focused on ingenuity, innovation and creating a better way to get the job done and are fascinated with what could be. They are motivated by the latest theory or strategy for getting work done. They desire competence in those they lead and those they are being led by. They literally design long-range solutions driven by curiosity and effective outcomes.

  • Designers make up an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Key characteristics: analytical, autonomous, clever and theoretical

4. Possibilities + People = DEVELOPERS
Developers are ideological leaders focused on engagement, development and adding value to the job and strive to live an integrated life. They are motivated by a deep sense of compassion and their own personal values. They literally develop people, programs and products that will add-value to the world today.

  • Developers make up an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Key characteristics: flexible, empathetic, original and enthusiastic

Any insights as to what kind of leader you are? Does one definition or the list of key characteristics help? You may not be 100% clear, but we hope this provided some insight into leadership styles and why they ALL add value!

A multitude of tools/assessments are available if you’re willing to take your awareness to a deeper level; let us know!

#3 The Power of 360 Feedback

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
–George Bernard Shaw

Effective Leadership Part 3

When we are fully aware of how others perceive us, and our actions, we have a clear advantage!

Check out this short video which is part 3 of our 4 part video series about Effective Leadership.

Watch All of PeopleTek’s 360 Plus Video Series

If you missed the first or second videos of the series, click on the links below:

Effective Leadership Part 1

Effective Leadership Part 2

Video 4 – the last in the series – coming soon!

What to learn more about 360 Plus?

View Program Details

Maintaining Focus

How’s your ability to remain focused while working? Maintaining focus requires skill to block out the many distractions we encounter on a daily (hourly?) basis.

If you struggle to consistently accomplish your goals and objectives, are late to meetings and conference calls, and find that multi-tasking is your norm, maintaining focus may be an issue.

Maintaining Focus

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.
–Jack Canfield

We need to assess whether or not we struggle with keeping our focus, and if yes, determine and track the distractions that are impacting us.

Here are tips for planning your day:

Start with what’s important

  • These items contribute heavily to your goals and objectives and have high value

Next work on items that are urgent

  • These are items that require immediate attention but may or may not contribute to the success of meeting your goals and objectives. (Ex: production problems, legal issues)

Build in time for phone calls and emails

  • Does your role require that you respond immediately or can you perhaps schedule time in the morning and again in the afternoon?

We can also review our daily routine.

  • Are we micro managing?
  • Do we actually enjoy being in the middle of everything and the feeling of being on over-load?
  • What can we delegate to others?
  • What are we willing to change?
  • Where are we spending time doing what we like to do, versus items that are important or urgent?

There’s the tendency to think everything we do is important, but is it really? Keep focused on the items that help you meet your goals and objectives and on those that require your immediate attention.

Want to know The Formula For Leadership Success. View the video below.


Leadership Journey I

  • Session 1 – in Phoenix – kicks off September 20
  • Session 1 – virtual – kicks off September 14 (Our June program is full)

Enroll Today

Tell Us – How Does Your Workplace Compare?

We want to invite you to take a short survey that looks at some important aspects of your workplace. We are gathering responses from Journey graduates and others so that we may paint a better picture of the workplace today. Here at PeopleTek we are interested in using the data to improve our curriculum and our collective workplace performance!

Please join us in this research. We will provide you with your own individual feedback, which you can use as you continue your individual leadership journey.

Take the Survey

Does Work Stress You Out?

If you get stressed in your work environment, you’re not alone. According to an American Institute of Stress (NY) study, job pressure is the number one cause of stress.

Does Work Stress You Out?

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
–Hans Selye

Strategies, technology, budgets, skill-sets, customers, partnerships, and shareholders are constantly evolving. As leaders, we need to take the time to pay attention to how we’re being impacted by the added pressures, and we need to pay attention to what’s happening to those we work with. What’s the pulse in your workplace?
How’s productivity? Absenteeism? Attitudes? Collaboration? Communication?

The statistics for how stress impacts individuals (and organizations) are staggering:

  • 48% – Are negatively impacted in their personal and professional life
  • 31% – Have difficulty managing work and family responsibilities
  • 30% – Are “always” or “often” under stress at work
  • $300 billion is the annual cost to employers in stress related health care and missed work

Here are some top contributors to work stress:

  1. Fear of being laid off
  2. Unrealistic deadlines
  3. Excessive work hours due to reduced staff
  4. Lack of collaboration
  5. Emphasis to “do more with less”
  6. Reduced recognition for a job well done (what is “above and beyond”?)
  7. Work just isn’t fun anymore
  8. Constant pressure to always deliver “at your peak” (the result is burn out)

Tips to help leaders manage stress:

  • Take the time to build relationships and learn what your team is doing at work as well as personally
  • Ensure everyone has clearly defined roles and understands priorities
  • Call out non-productive behaviors ex. Rumors, attitudes, lack of focus, reduced productivity, etc
  • Immediately address conflict / differences
  • Share what you know as soon as you can; consistent communication is key
  • Promote laughter and use humor to defuse stress

Are you doing all you can to minimize stress in your workplace? Hear what Mike and Marilyn say about the Leadership Journey.


Leadership Journey I

  • Session 1 – in Phoenix – kicks off May 12 – LAST CALL!
  • Session 1 – virtual – kicks off September 14 (Our June program is full)

Journey II – Moving Beyond The Barriers

  • Session 1 – in Phoenix – kicks off May 12 – still a few open spots!

Enroll Today

Tell Us – How Does Your Workplace Compare?

We want to invite you to take a short survey that looks at some important aspects of your workplace. We are gathering responses from Journey graduates and others so that we may paint a better picture of the workplace today. Here at PeopleTek we are interested in using the data to improve our curriculum and our collective workplace performance!

Please join us in this research. We will provide you with your own individual feedback, which you can use as you continue your individual leadership journey.

Take the Survey