Secret to Personal Change–Art of Intentional Living or Sleep Walking through Life

Daily Quote: As Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian said, “A good coach will make a player see what he can be rather than what he is.”

Reflection: To create a strong and clear purpose in life means doing things purposefully or intentionally and not just letting things happen.  It means doing what you want to do. Learning to say “no” to things that do not fit your values or goals. To me experimenting with a new strategy or activity means actively pursuing something of interest to see if you enjoy them and are good at doing them. It means that you must stop sleep walking through life, so that you can create a life of purpose and fulfillment. Stop wondering what you have done with your life and start creating it with intention and purpose.

I say this because many people I coach lack the understanding and motivation to make personal changes and commitment to change things that are not working for them. Many people settle just for things in life because they mistakenly believe that successful people are either lucky or “have” an inborn sense of greatness or “god” given talent. It is my believe that our mindset and lack of a strong belief in self (self-efficacy) are the critical factors that many of us overlook when it comes to changing our life circumstances.

More often than not, a change of mindset from fixed to growth needs to take place in order to create new habits and behaviors that support your goals for change. In order to make personal changes that “stick” you need to LEARN and GROW in a number of ways to support yourself both mentally and emotionally to take on personal challenges and self-directed change plans.

What does research tell us?  We need to coach ourselves so as to create strong self-efficacy (belief) and a Growth Mindset to get what we want in life. A strong belief in self is not sometime you have or don’t have (fixed mindset)  it real is something you create through effort, failure, feedback and deliberative practice.

Self-Coaching Challenge: This weekend or next week identify a personal habit or activity you want to change in order to create a better quality of life. Use the Smart Step and Plus One techniques to accomplish your goal. 

Living On Purpose–Your Perfect Right !!!

Just a short note: Living ” On Purpose” means living with respect and empathy as core values and not settling for less than what you think or know you deserve in a situation. To be proactive we need to ask for what we want and need from others rather than assuming others know what you expect or want. When interacting with others speak your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behave in-synch with your personal values and beliefs. Make choices based on what you believe, and not what others tell you to do. This approach will bring clarity to how you want to live your life and help you put your authentic and assertive self forward. This is important part of your Self- Coaching Process. If you want to read more about this assertive approach to living “on purpose” buy a copy of this wonderful book written by a friend of mind many years ago. It is the best resource I have found on Assertiveness. The title of the book is Your Perfect Right by Robert Alberti, Ph.D.

Creating the “New You” 2011– Get started by Assessing Relationship Strengths.

“It is also true that our family, friends, and coworkers learn how to treat us by what we teach them. That is, the  new “golden rule” in relationships. To simplify– we teach others how to treat us.”

Assertive and Focused Self-Coaching

We teach others how to treat us. Yet we all interact and make choices in the context of interpersonal relationships. Our attitudes, values, beliefs and behavior are shaped by interpersonal relationships. Although it has been extensively noted that negative relationships are the biggest barrier to happiness and satisfaction at work. It seems that most people continue to struggle with them because of mindset and past experiences.  Luckily, the cure for these troubles are in our own hands.  Relationships are made more complicated than they need to be. If we stop and take the time to do an audit or assessment of relationship strengths at http://www.plusoneperformance under Free Resources. This Relationship Inventory gives you a chance to measure your self on a number of important people issues. You can then give it to a friend to assess where perceptions don’match. If done correctly this will provide a start to see the changes that you need to make to improve your interpersonal relationships.. Continue reading “Creating the “New You” 2011– Get started by Assessing Relationship Strengths.”

Challenge for Obama’s Presidency: What went wrong and where to go from here?


Obama caves-in and gives the Party of No another astounding victory against the majority of Americans declared opposition to wealthy tax cuts, those of us who expected an assertive and pro-active President are puzzled by his inept style of negotiating with himself before confronting the Republicans failed policies of more tax cuts, greed and accumulation of more money for the wealthy.  Obama announced yesterday to continue to play “kick the can” with the Republicans at the expense of the middle class.  It seems to me this White House does not care to or want to fight for the 84% of the Democrats who said no more tax cuts for the wealthy and no more deficit spending. This was a moment of truth for this President in the war for the soul of our Representative  Republic. He failed by looking weak and incompetent.  We must try to save him from his own tragic and ill-advised strategy of “rope a dope.”  Maybe he just wants to be known as a nice guy. But really how many punches can you take before fighting back?


Continue reading “Challenge for Obama’s Presidency: What went wrong and where to go from here?”

Message for President Obama– Inspirational leaders listen,tell stories and assert beliefs.

“A story can translate dry, abstract numbers into compelling pictures of reality and relevance for listener. Storytelling is a critical skill for all those seeking to be an inspirational leader.”  – Tom Peters

New role for Obama–Facilitator and Assertive Story Teller . Continue reading “Message for President Obama– Inspirational leaders listen,tell stories and assert beliefs.”

Developing Your Leader Within–Focus on Discovery, Learning and Assertiveness

“Leadership is not the private reserve of a few action orientated and charismatic men and women. It is a process of discovery and learning that ordinary people use when they are bringing forth the best from themselves and others. What I’ve discovered is that people make extraordinary things happen by being curious, thoughtful and assertive in respecting their followers needs and liberating the leader within through recognition and participation.” Mark W. Hardwick, Ph.D.

Identifying the Leader Within.

Are you comfortable with yourself? Are you able to speak-up for your needs and wants? Do you accept your strengths and weaknesses? Are you okay with you? Living life is about learning and discovery. It is about answering your own questions. Necessity is understood to be the mother of invention, but assertiveness is the father of leadership.

How assertive are you? I would like to focus on two different approaches to confronting this question. Some people have no time to reflect and be curious they are the action pragmatist. They solve problems through trial and error, by doing something now with high energy and enthusiasm. The downside of the pragmatist approach is that it is difficult for them to stop, reflect and learn from the experience. Their slogan ” let’s keep going” just “keep kicking ass”does not teach them why they were successful or failed.

The second approach to the assertiveness question is the person who embraces the status quo. They are comfortable with their own position in life. For them there is no need to change things or reflect on what and why things happen. They are successful and that is that. This a self-centered and non-reflective approach to live. They have formed their mental maps and approach to life and there is no need for further explanations. There slogan when facing problems or thinking about curiosity is “There will be an answer – Let it be, Let it be.”

The third approach is the assertive leader. Assertiveness is very important in leadership – it is one of the key leadership skills for achieving success in leading a group of people. Leaders who are not assertive enough fail to stand up for themselves or their groups or organisations and thus allow themselves (or their group or organisation) to be taken advantage of.

There are many benefits to being assertive in the right way – by standing up for yourself and your group and communicating your needs, you will gain respect for yourself and your group, because people respect those who can honestly express their feelings and needs in a non-confrontational manner.

Being assertive can help relationships to become more authentic, as you will be able to share your honest reactions with others and encourage them to do the same with you. In addition, expressing your feelings about other people’s behaviour gives them an accurate indicator of where they stand and enables them to modify their behaviour.

In fact, although many people fear being assertive because they worry about the potential for conflict, not being assertive can also damage relationships because you end up sacrificing your integrity and denying honest, personal feelings – which can lead to resentment and damaged relationships.


Assertive Leadership–Message to President Obama on Health Care Reform

“All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights.” Constitution of Massachusetts, 1778.

The question for all of us is whether Health Care is a right guaranteed by being a citizen of the United States or a privilege bestowed on the fortune few? Continue reading “Assertive Leadership–Message to President Obama on Health Care Reform”