In my role as a performance coach and a motivational speaker, I am lucky to get to work with a lots of different individuals and companies.
Many talk to me about their strategies… Most… unfortunately don’t actually have a strategy… or even know what one is.
In my experience, I think that the term “strategy” is used in most businesses just to make things sound more important, rather than being genuine strategic measures – instead of a ‘project meeting’ we will have a ‘strategic project meeting’… sounds much more sophisticated and business like!
Most leaders tend to have a clear goal or vision, but instead of a strategy, they end up just listing off a bunch of actions to achieve the goal… A bunch of actions does NOT make a strategy.
As Alistair Campbell states in his book ‘Winners’ – For any vision to work long-term, it is essential to have a strategy. In very simple terms a strategy is the ‘how’ an individual or business will approach achieving the vision. When the approach is clear, it enables everyone to stay on track when stuck in the detail. It creates consistency and adds weight and focus the the actions taken to achieve the goal.
So what is a strategy?
Vision – This is the main goal of the company/individual – This will be often value led… the “WHY” we do what we do.
Strategy – This is “HOW” we approach the goal – What will be the thread that binds all of the actions/tactics together, to ensure everything is focused on achieving the goal.
Tactics – “WHAT” actions will have to take place to achieve the strategy/goal.
For example, my life strategy is as follows:
Vision: To create environments where those around me can reach their potential.
Strategy: Focus on ‘being the best version of you’ – specifically within leadership and living a higher quality of life, by developing effective learning environments/programs.
Tactics: Write leadership books, develop on-line training programs, one-to-one online coaching and develop key note speeches.
Although it’s a simplified version… hopefully it is clear that my strategy will ensure that all my actions are intrinsically linked together, which will in turn allow me to achieve my vision in a consistent and structured manner.
What is your personal/business strategy?
Take some time today, to challenge yourself on this – Do you have a strategy? Or is it just a list of actions?
A great strategy will rapidly improve your chances of success.
Leadership has evolved over the last 10 years dramatically. The methods used decades ago simply just don’t stack up anymore.
The understanding of what great leadership is growing amongst followers around the globe… They expect and deserve more from their leaders.
If you want to keep up, then you have to add real and tangible value to those around you… this video shares some ideas on how:
In my role as a leadership and performance coach, I work with a variety of people… young adults who are just starting their careers, to company directors, to professional athletes.
No matter who I work with, time and time again, the most common desire is freedom.
Of course freedom comes in many different forms – financial, personal, performance, but it all boils down to the same thing. The ability to do what you love, without constraints.
When you think of freedom, what does it mean to you? Is freedom something you would want in your life?
If so, here are five intellectual steps that are necessary if you are to attain freedom in your life, inspired by motivational speaker Les Brown.
If you can master these five steps, you can manifest freedom. If you don’t freedom will always remain just out of reach:
It is possible
Earlier I asked what does freedom mean to you, in your mind you created a vision. Now think about this vision again. Make it clear and specific. Make it colourful and bright.
What happens with most people is that they start with a vision, just like you, but then say to themselves it can’t be done… This is wrong. It CAN be done.
Take a moment to think about this logically – is attaining your vision possible?
No matter how big your vision is, no matter how far away it feels right now, no matter how unlikely you think it is… The answer is YES… there is always a chance and that makes it possible!
It is vital that you understand this. Your vision is possible… It can be achieved.
It must happen
Once you know that your vision is possible, then you have hope, anticipation and momentum – Now you must choose to make it happen.
Your vision is possible – Think of how amazing your life will be when your vision manifests into reality – Don’t you deserve that future? Don’t you deserve that vision?
Make you vision so compelling and powerful… then combine it with the fundamental truth that it is possible. Do this and you will be unstoppable. Your vision stops being a dream and instead becomes essential. It becomes vital.
It becomes a MUST happen, rather than a COULD happen – and that changes the game!
It is down to me
The first two steps are about physiologically building motivation – the following two are about being mentally prepared for what it will take.
The bottom line is, you are the only person who can make your vision a reality. You are the only person who cares about it, you are the only one responsible for it, you are the only person who can drive it forwards.
If you hope someone else will do it for you – you are mistaken.
If you hope it will be given to you – you are mistaken.
If you hope you will just get lucky – you are mistaken.
Your vision is possible… You deserve it, so it MUST happen… The only person who can make it happen is you. Are you prepared to take accountability for your vision? If you want to make it a reality, you have to be.
It is going to be hard
Attaining your vision will not come easily… You will be knocked back, rejected and fail loads of times. There will be times you want to quit. There will be times when you will question your ability.
You have to be psychologically prepared for this – Because it is going to happen.
Most people are not prepared for how hard it will be and they quit – They try, they fail and they quit.
But when you know it is going to be hard, when you are ready for it to be hard, then you are able to get knocked down and get back up again.
The more you understand it is going to be hard, the more knocks you can take and keep moving forward – That is how your vision becomes reality – by NEVER giving up.
Understand it is up to you, understand it is going to be hard and it becomes possible…
It is inevitable
As soon as you have the mental toughness that comes with “It’s down to me” and “It is going to be hard” then something magical happens.
When you have a vision that you know is possible, that you are determined to make happen and are prepared to take accountability and can bounce back from any amount of failure – then your vision becomes inevitable.
If you keep on taking positive action towards your vision… and never stop, no matter what… then achieving your goal just becomes a matter of time.
One day you will win… You just have to keep fighting, until you get to that day!!
Putting it all together
You can achieve anything you want in life… anything.
But to do so you have to understand and master these five steps. The bottom line is your vision is possible – It’s then a choice if it must happen, if you are prepared to take responsibility and the knock-backs.
If you are, then success is only a matter of time… and it will be worth it!
If you want to succeed in life, then how you INFLUENCE those around you is critical… and that means you need great people skills!
This video shares ideas on how to improve your influence, standing and relationships with people at all levels, with QUICK and EASY strategies:
“He has asked me for a pay rise and I just don’t know how to say no.”
This was what I was asked in a coaching session earlier today. The person I was coaching is an established, credible and senior leader within her company.
The fact is, no matter what leadership level you sit on, difficult conversations are… difficult.
We will all encounter difficult conversations within our lifetimes, whether we are in a leadership role or not. So it is best to be prepared when they ultimately arrive in your life!
Here are four simple ideas, that if implemented successfully, will improve the output of any difficult conversation you have to orchestrate:
The number one factor of why difficult conversations turn into a verbal car-crash is… Being emotionally driven.
By definition, a challenging conversation will be emotive for at least one person (probably both people). As the instigator of the conversation, you will have adrenaline coursing through your veins. Your emotions will feel like they have just stepped up a gear, as your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. This is not helpful.
What is helpful is to, in a calm and mindful manner, focus on the facts. Rather than focusing our energy into how we feel. By doing this, the conversation has a good chance of remaining factual and real.
Reality is vital if you want a positive outcome to the discussion!
The single best way to lower your emotional levels before a difficult conversation – Preparation.
Understand the facts and rehearse the conversation. Physically practise saying what you want to say. The more you practise, the better you will get and the less emotional you will feel! Therefore, even if you have adrenaline pumping through your veins at the moment of truth, you will still be able to deliver the facts in a calm manner… because you have rehearsed it perfectly.
Also, it is powerful to rehearse the conversation with a focus on service.
When the conversation priority is a positive outcome for all concerned (not just a positive outcome for you!), you will have to alter your style and become less defensive. This approach has great benefits – it will lower the defences of the person you are talking to, thus lowering their emotional levels and it will enable you to talk in a frank and factual way, without it appearing as an attack.
A good strategy for a difficult conversation!
Understand you don’t know everything
You only know your facts… that is all.
When you understand this, it will allow you to focus on conclusions rather than delivery.
What I mean by this is that it is far better to be focused on a positive outcome, rather than being singularly focused on getting your side of the story heard.
So many people go into difficult conversations, bursting to say their piece. Bursting so much that it gets fired out like a machine gun… a surefire way to ruin the rest of the conversation.
If you enter the conversation with your main priority as a positive action resulting from it… then you will be more likely to listen… you will be more likely to understand… and you will be more receptive to the right course of action.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
Make sure your facts are facts
This is the oldest advice in the book of giving feedback, but there is a very good reason for this… because it is true!
The bottom line – Your facts have to have been observed and checked by you, if not you are setting yourself up to fail. The moment you rely on second hand information, the conversation will spiral out of control.
Again this is why preparation is so important. If you don’t do your homework properly, you are asking for trouble.
Give time and space
I have seen people utilse all the advice above, but then all that great work is destroyed with this common mistake… a tight time limit on the conversation.
You can make great strides, but if you have to cut the meeting off because of something else you have booked in to do, then you may as well not have bothered starting the discussion.
To rectify this you should plan and prepare for the discussion to go twice as long as you anticipate. If it is difficult for you, then it is difficult for them. Show them respect by giving them the time and space they need. They probably haven’t done all the preparation you have, so give them the opportunity to work through it properly.
If you do this, you automatically get two benefits:
- Shows that you are interested in them and a positive outcome, which will reduce their emotional levels.
- Allows autonomy – You give the person the time to come up with the right response, through their own judgement rather than emotion – 99.9% of the time they will develop a brilliant solution.
Putting it all together
We will all have to face difficult conversations in our lives… and they are going to be difficult!
You can make them much easier if you plan and prepare –
- Remove the emotion, rehearse and aim to serve.
- You don’t know everything, so focus on outcome rather than saying your bit.
- Ensure your facts have been observed by you.
- Give time and space to work it through properly.
It is the world’s worst kept secret… We all STRUGGLE… We all suffer from anxiety… We all want to be more confident in the situations that matter.
Confidence is a skill… and like any skill it can be trained. Learn more in this video:
It is at this time of year that I tend to reflect on my life more than usual – I think deeply about who I have been, who I am now and why.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was a very different person than I am now – In fact, almost three years to the day I was lost… lost in the fog and mist of depression.
You might know about my story, I have mentioned it in other posts… how I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, 50lbs overweight and utterly miserable – these were just the outward signals of the dark disease which was growing inside me.
I cannot accurately describe how I felt during this time… it was as though a cruel, oppressive and hurtful entity had been absorbed in every pore of my body and mind.
It felt separate from the “real” me, yet it was all consuming. I felt like I was drowning. It was scary and there didn’t seem like there was anyway out.
However there was a way out. I did escape, I haven’t fallen back, I never will – and I learnt some important lessons:
- Depression is very real and has to be taken very seriously. It is a disease and we should treat anyone caught in the midst of it with the same compassion and care as we would with any other physical disease.
- It is possible to recover from this disease.
If you have been caught by depression, please get some professional help – I can offer my advice on how I recovered and hopefully it can help – however, nothing can beat professional support, especially if depression’s claws are in deep.
The way I managed to free myself will sound simple – I decided I had to change and I started taking positive actions everyday.
I realise this will sound over simplistic and unrealistic, but it is true – I was in a desperate situation – I had to change, otherwise the consequences would have been the darkest possible.
When I made the decision it felt impossible. I had no idea what to do or where to start – what possible action could solve something as big as depression?
The thing is that is what depression wants you to think – depression wants to grow – and the perfect conditions to grow are in a static, absorbed and defeated individual..
On the contrary… I found that depression cannot grow when positive action is consistently taking place.
Success is “consistency”
It is not about one grand action that will rid you of depression forever. That is unrealistic and will make you give up when it doesn’t happen immediately.
Instead it is about momentum – lots and lots of small but positive actions to improve your situation. They can be tiny steps, but when you keep on adding more and more, the momentum becomes unstoppable.
Going for a walk in nature, writing down some goals, making the call, reading the chapter of a book, meeting with friends, seeking professional help and applying for a job… keep taking small actions.
None are the antidote to depression on its own, but together they will slowly remove the conditions for depression to grow.
As the momentum builds, so will you and so will your mind – The fog will start to lift and the oppression will be defeated.
Take positive action – any action, no matter how small… just do it consistently, don’t expect immediate results and you can change your life… I did.
What would you do for a job if you didn’t need the money?
I think that when we explore this question fully, we can discover our true passion and what we are destined to do…
Find out more in this video:
Joy and energy are items that can be attained – they are powers that are always inside you. The trick is finding out how to unlock these powers.
When you do, it will transform your life forever.
However, this is not a simple process. You will have to be prepared to look within yourself and work to release all the blocks and barriers that you have created throughout your life.
It is worth it though, because when you do, you and can experience absolute joy and fulfilment.
If you desire ultimate joy and freedom, then you will need to break down the following barriers:
Fear gets in the way of your dreams and goals.
You have to identify your deepest fears and then clearly surrender them. They do not serve you and your fear is a choice. Let go of fear.
What do you blame yourself for?
You have to accept the reality that these things happen. You cannot let guilt cloud and poison your life. You cannot change the past and if you genuinely want to be a positive influence on the world – you have to forgive yourself.
How have you let yourself down? What mistakes have you made?
It is vital that you accept and allow all aspects of yourself – even the mistakes and disappointments. Understand them, learn from them, then let go of them… they do not define you now.
Lay all of your grief out in front of you – in whichever form it takes.
Realise that love never leaves… never. You have to allow the pain to float away and re-birth love.
Love never leaves, it just changes form – allow this.
Be honest – what are the lies you tell yourself? What are the rules of life you create to protect yourself?
It is important to embrace your own nature and be happy in your own skin. You are imperfect, but that is okay – you don’t have to hide away or put on a mask – embrace the authentic you.
We are all connected, but often we see through divided eyes. Open your eyes and recognise that we are all the same – we all struggle.
When you can truly see we are all one life, you can understand others’ struggles, you won’t judge and you will be able to forgive – because you will see yourself in everyone.
Putting it all together
You have the power to live a life of ultimate joy and happiness – it is within you. Look deep within, release the barriers and become the best version of you.
Like this post? Then get my FREE ebook that will help you become the best version of you & design your destiny CLICK HERE NOW!
Autonomy and leadership are words that are often linked together when people discuss what a great leader means to them… Yet in reality it doesn’t materialise. In fact, do most leaders even know what autonomy is?
In this video, we will find out:
I now have my first book available on Amazon…. Only as an e-book, but this is my first toe in the water, so to speak, therefore I wanted to keep it simple (for me!).
The book is about emerging leadership… specifically the challenges leaders will face and some good advice on how to overcome them.
If you enjoy reading and watching my posts each week, then this should be a great book for you!
It is priced at £1.99 ($1.66), s, hopefully, accessible for almost everyone.
So if you are an emerging leader, please buy my book.
If you like my post’s, please buy my book.
Or if you just want support me in my attempt to become an Amazon best selling author… please buy my book!
If you are still not interested or this is something you can’t take on at this time… absolutely no worries, I still love you and will always post inspirational leadership on my website every week for free!
Be the best version of you,