Constructive Living : Be the Change You want to See happen–Self-Coaching and Personal Change Model

Constructive Living Self-Coaching Personal Change Model: T.R.U.S.T

Step 1.  TELL the Truth to yourself and others – Be clear on change wanted and goals. Tell truth to yourself and others… no lies, be authentic and open.

Stop and answer the following:

  • Know Your Desired outcome and purpose for changing.
  • Take deep breath Center yourself.  Calm down. Count to twenty.
  • What do you want in the future given your present situation?
  • What do you need to do to get from present situation to the future?
  • What resources do you to bring to bear on the situation to succeed?

Ask the following of yourself:  I want… I need… I resent… I demand…in order to create a better future?

Step 2. REALITY check:  Assess current situation and its impact

  • What is important to you right now?
  • What is currently happening?
  • Do you resent or want to change anything in the current situation?
  • What are some of your current successes? What’s worked? and Not?
  • What are your initiatives for NEXT Week ?
  • What are your problems (things you have now that you would like to be rid of)?
  • What are your dreams  ( things you do not have presently but want to create)
  • Are your wants and goals  reasonable and achievable?

Step 3.   UNDERSTAND self and others point of view and perspective Demonstrate empathy through understanding and non-judgmental communications and actions.

  • How do we create effective and authentic dialogue?
  • Your level of empathy and understanding of the other persons situation?
  • What  are a couple of “top of the mind” priorities in this situation?
  • How do you keep balance in your life?
  • Conduct a personal inventory or a self-assessment of listning skills?
  • What SELF-TALK  do you need to send to get moving toward your goals?

Step 4.   SYSTEMATIC Review of Alternatives

  • If you had a “magic wand to wave what would the situation look like?
  • What would an outside  observer’s perception or view be of your situation?
  • What would a perfect solution look like?
  • When weighing the pros and cons of alternatives –What alternative looks best?
  • What are some negative or unattented consequences that might occur if you proceed with this alternative?

Step 5.  THE Plan of Action –Make a (choice) focus 100% committment on change .

  • How can you remove the obstacles  blocking you from creating the kind of future you want?
  • What will it take for you to commit to positive action for change?
  • What resistance or interfernce must you overcome?
  • How will you overcome these forces to change?
  • Are you still committed to go ahead with plans?
  • What is the Plan of Action that demonstrates “Self-Leadership in Action” ?

In summary, the Constructive Living Personal Change  Process is a practical tool that you can use to become more empathic and effective in many different situations. The questions are merely meant as broad guidelines to stimulate your thinking and decision-making.  In some cases or situations different questions may be called for to establish a meaningful dialogue with yourself. You need to develop flexibility in tailoring this process to fit your unique situation.  The key to success is for you to take action on your plans;even if they are just small changes.  This process will provide a simple structure for personal coaching. Good Luck with the CL Self-Coaching model and keep us informed of your successes or when you get stuck. Remember in order to change– the new behavior must be put in place of old habits and this takes time (thirty to forty-five days). And never forget the old adage—Be the change you want to see happen.

Thought Stream: On the Meaning of Leadership

“The truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” Wallace Stevens.

Let’s take a walk together and reflect on what leadership means.

I spent the last few hours pondering and responding to this incomplete sentence.

Leadership is…

On this post you will find my list of 25 leadership statements. Let’s see if you can add a few more insights on the meaning of leadership and then as an individual or team begin to change the climate of leadership in your organization.


1. Never completed or finished—it is life long.

2. Leadership is being RESPECTFUL AND CURIOUS about others ideas and suggestions

3. Leadership is squaring action with rhetoric.

4. Leadership is measured by results not just intentions.

5. Leadership depends on integrity, trust and authenticity.

6. Leadership is making mistakes; then understanding the lesson.

7. Leadership is never giving up on your vision for the future.

8. Leadership is appreciating the power of passion and people.

10, Leadership is trusting others abilities to do the job.

11. Leadership involves being present in the moment not day dreaming.

12. Leadership is all about knowing that the more you understand; the more you have to learn.

13. Learning is a deliberate intention to be both efficient (doing things right) and effective (doing the RIGHT THINGS) to creste a better future.

14. Leadership is tapping the potential and passion of  change and renewal.

15 Leadership is creating the climate of respect and making others feel important so that we continue to move forward.

16. Leadership is creating credibility through following up and executing against plans.

18. Leadership is all about flexible and open thinking.

19. Leadership is absorbing data turning it into information and then into usable knowledge.

20. Leadership is taking calculated risks to change and make a difference in people’s lives.

20. Leadership is experimenting and using trail and error; then remembering what was right and what was wrong.

21. Learning is listening to a preacher or teacher and taking home one or two useful ideas.

22. Leadership is long-term planning excuted day in and day out.

23. Leadership is showing up and being present.

24. Leadership is caring enough to challenge irrational ideas and selfish behavior.

25. Leadership is being a servant to others by following the creed of being “Men for others.”

Add your ideas about leadership; at least it will take your mind off of the economy.

How to build on these ideas of leadership?

  1. Add at least one  of your own ideas of leadership
  2. Make a list of five that ring true for you.
  3. Turn each idea  into a question, beginning with the words “How can I show more caring for others as a leader?
  4. Brainstorm each question – alone and with your team.
  5. Then, Get started on doing  something about one of these leadership ideas  within the next  week

Poem and Reflections:Professor in Chief Obama “

Professor in Chief

He reaches for words to explain the complex.

Some ring true others confuse.

He goes on in a pedantic manner, somber and hesitant.

At the heart the struggle is moral.

And yet he uses logic and reason to persuade,

Strong words that focus on caring.

To an audience that hears only the same refrain

As seconds slip into hours

Frustration, repetition and stories go on

Leave us thinking

Is anyone listening?

Or is this just an experience in futility.

There appears a chasm between integral true caring

And game playing that hides greed and mistrust.

In working out new ideas we show trust

By letting others room to grow in their own way and time.

Trusting the other means risk and a leap to unknown

Both require courage,

There are no guarantees when molds are formed,

After the event,  the criticism and truth emerges…

We are lost in our selfish “point of view”

The professor is “present for” the other,

So that a solution may emerge …

And no one finds the room to let go…

To let go… and provide caring for all !!!!

Reflection #21: A Model for Leadership– Alan Grayson a Profile in Courage

“Words are like heavy burdens for some. Like rocks or weights on your back. If birds talked they might not fly.” 

President Obama is carrying a heavy burden in trying to live up to his lofty words–Change You can believe in, Yes, we can etc and now the  Nobel Peace Prize adds to the expectations. An example of “high expectations” is Health Care Reform.  His promise during the campaign season on Universal Health has morphed many times during the last nine months.  At first, the talk was about the need and right of all Americans to Health Care through an ambitious and long over due single payer system like “Medicare for All”.  The “Single-payer” idea was thrown under the bus before it was even given a chance, then a public option to provide competition for insurance companies is being attacked by opponents as a government takeover and a Co-Op Health System was too hard to figure out. So, the latest compromise being discussed is to just let the States choose whether to adopt a public option or not. What a mess is created when there is little leadership shown on driving a simple, clear, and consistent message.  As we all know words are cheap, but action and follow-through are hard because it requires courage, risk, and an understandable message delivered over and over again.

Obama and his team seem to be ready to settle for any bill so they can  justify the time and political capital spent on this intractable problem. Maybe they need to reflect on this powerful message from Eric Hoffer, long time change philosopher and longshoremen. Hoffer said: “In human affairs every solution only sharpens the problem, to show us more clearly what we are up against, there are no FINAL SOLUTIONS.”  

President Obama the time for leadership is now. Leaders Serve Period, so no more waiting for others to carry the burden of action. You and your team must step-up, people are dying everyday. The following speech by Alan Grayson, House Rep from Florida, demonstrates the assertive and “profiles in courage” we need. Please Mr. President show this to your team and stop fiddling around. 

Reflection #12: Our 43th Wedding Anniversary– Priceless Relationship

“Being connected and personal is to be in the process of discovering and accepting each other…trust begets trust; fear escalates fear.”    Jack Gibb . author of Trust: A New View of Personal and Organizational Development

Birthday, anniversary, new year all are  stopping points for me. I take the time  to stop and reflect and celebrate.  Helen and I are celebrating our 43rd wedding anniversary. WOW!!! What a great day. I found a special person to live my life with. We are best friends and partners. Each of us are fallible human beings with our own strengths and weaknesses. The luck side of this is the way we compliment each other and learn from one another.  This is a journey together through good and bad times. What lessons have I learned in this special relationship called marriage? Continue reading “Reflection #12: Our 43th Wedding Anniversary– Priceless Relationship”

Obama’s “yes we can” Leadership: Risk and Caring Confrontation Essence of Diplomacy

” I think risk is important…You only get out of something what you put into it and the fact that you are willing to risk something (money, friendship health etc.) means that you are going to get a lot more out of it.” 

 Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia, the clothing company   

I have not written about the Obama Leadership Effect for awhile and yet I am tracking the elements and characteristics of his pragmatic and empathic leadership style. By now we all know and respect Obama’s ability to connect through articulate, approriate and inspiring messages. His calmness, executive presence and ability not to take things personnally demonstrate an extraordinary tolerance and respect for other points of view. People in general do not demonstrate this openness to truly listen and examine their own points of view while taking responsibility for challenging others actions vs. their professed beliefs. Continue reading “Obama’s “yes we can” Leadership: Risk and Caring Confrontation Essence of Diplomacy”

Decision-Making and Risk Taking for Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership

According to Dr. Warren Bennis, leadership is all about making more effective decisions. Decision making takes rational assessment of the situation, gathering as much information as possible, identifying and agreeing on the problem to be solved, weighting the pros and cons of alternatives, calculating the possible outcomes (unintended and intended consequences), measuring the risks and then deciding. Leadership decisions often strike out in new directions that can define our nation’s reputation and identity, perceived power, and progress toward our dreams for a better country individually and in a collective sense. Continue reading “Decision-Making and Risk Taking for Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership”

Obama’s “Yes We Can” Leadership Challenge– Building Trust

“Trust knows no limits–trusting opens the doorways to the spirit…Trust begets trust and fear escalates fear”.  Jack R. Gibb
Trust is the foundation of ” Yes We Can” leadership. Trust is built by doing what you say you will do (dwysywd), showing respect for all, openness, credibility, honesty and communicating the truth to others and your self.  Without trust, leadership efforts are generally not successful.  How do we build trust? I believe that trust develops from the way we treat people and how people respond to and relate to each other. In fact most research indicates that trust can be build in systematic and deliberate ways.  The  following list provides some of the most important trust principles:

1. Showing respecting to others– listening and acknowledge their contributions, points of view, skills/talents. Speak directly, do not put people down through criticism or sarcasm and learn to disagree in a pleasant and non-judgmental ways.
2. Openness– being personal by self-disclosing and sharing with people information, feelings and points of view. When interacting using two-way communication techniques questioning, clarifying, demonstrating understanding through restatement and /reflecting and responding to request and bids for contact and attention.
3. DWYSYWD- keep your promises by communicating often and doing what you say you will do.
4.Being present when others speak. Encourage involvement of others in opportunity finding and problem solving.
5. Trust is more than confidence. One dictionary tells us that trust implies instinctive, unquestioning belief in and reliance upon someone or something. Confidence implies conscious trust because of good reasons, definite evidence, fact-based data or past experience.  Confidence is cerebral, more planned and based on expectations than trust. Trust is more intuitive and instinctive, it is spontaneous and more freely given. So ask yourself:  What is trust?  How do you know, when it is present? When broken how do you repair the damage? How can Obama restore trust to government?
6.Let’s talk about how fear stops open interaction and discourse and arouses the defenses. When I am fearful I direct my energies not into discovering and creating, but toward protecting myself from seen, expected, or disaster fantasies or dangers. I am not sure of who I am, cover up and put on protective masks, become concerned about how I ought to meet the expectations of others, and find it difficult to be myself and openly interact with others.
Trust enriches my experience; fear robs it. When Obama smiles he seems to be reaching out and connecting to a friendly world he knows and has experienced and he expects reciprocity and acceptance. To me he is transparent, open, ready to be engaged. He seems to be saying he will trust me in his world. In my very best moments, I feel inside the way he seems to be when he is smiling at us. Trusting, calm, confident and full of life.  Obama and other government officials can boost their odds of harnessing the power of trust and collective action by using the right tactics, such as emphasizing two-way communication with Republicans. For example, having a bi-partisan dinner for John McCain or inviting the Republican caucus to explain the “stimulus package”.

Trust is…

As Congress contemplates an auto loan or bailout for the automotive industry I started pondering that at the core of this issue is trust. When we look at organizations and their employees, union and management  adversarial relationships, political candidate promises, teams that are working together to solve scientific and health problems, doctor-patient relationships, family members, and relationships in general  trust is the glue that holds them together. Without trust, listening and understanding are impossible, connecting with others difficult, and collobration to solve problems next to impossible. To be trustworty means to be dependable or that you can be counted on to do what you said you will do (DWYSYWD). Continue reading “Trust is…”