To Innovate or Not to Innovate? That is the question…

In our ‘new normal’ economy we no longer have the luxury of being ‘fat and happy’.  Just like other business owners and executives, I’ve been there multiple times in my career as a principal of a consulting firm.

For every nano-second we allow ourselves to coast, to wait and see, to continue business as usual, we are turning over the reins of our businesses to others.

If we are not gaining market share, we are losing market share.

We must innovate and we must innovate effectively.  We must first assemble the ‘right team’ to innovate.  We must then research our options by inquiring of our best customers what they want and need that we are not currently providing.  How might we meet the customers’ needs in a more effective and efficient way?

We must reflect on our customers who drain us of energy, time and resources. How might we refer them to our competitors? We must ask ourselves tough questions and get the brutal facts out on the table.

Most importantly, we must get out of our comfort zones, bring clarity, focus and discipline to our innovative endeavors and be willing to look at our companies, products, services and customers from different perspectives.

Lastly, we cannot miss the important step of considering all potential unintended consequences of our innovative efforts.

By approaching innovation in a disciplined, thoughtful manner, our companies will grow, our people will grow and we will grow as leaders.

The gains in market share, revenue and profit will become automatic and predictable.

Gratitude Week – Be Thankful for Real Rejuvenation

Thanksgiving week is ending and we have the benefit of moving from 2-3 days of Holidays into a weekend . For me, I am on Day 3 of 5 of my Holiday Weekend .

Today I am grateful for this time away from my normal routines and obligations . I am grateful for time to be in nature and for a beautiful mountain setting. I am grateful for my health and mobility that allows me to move and breath in the mountain air.

How much time have you given yourself this holiday weekend for real rejuvenation ? How much time could you carve out today ? What would have to happen to allow you to give yourself this gift?

The more we can create an experience of real rejuvenation during our time ‘off’, the more likely we will be to build this into our regular routines .

This week I have been writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all. I hope you will read all my posts this week.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – A Powerful Example of Using Gratitude to Control Our Own Destiny – Karen Perry’s journey from loss to gratitude

In an effort to not offend my friends and colleagues who chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but focus on celebrating with their loved ones a Fall Harvest Celebration, I hesitate to say, “Happy Thanksgiving”!

I am with family and friends in the mountains of Northern Arizona with amazing weather and time for real rejuvenation.

This week I have been writing about aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all. In yesterday’s AZ Republic, Pulitzer prize-winning, columnist, Laurie Roberts, shared the amazing story of Karen Perry. Karen is the mother from Mesa, AZ that lost all 3 of her young children last Thanksgiving eve.

Her story is a powerful testimony to resiliency, gratitude and moving forward powerfully. She really is controlling her own destiny after devastating losses.

Please take the time this holiday weekend to read the full article at www.azcentral.com to read Laurie Robert’s 11/21/12 column on Karen Perry.

A search for Laurie Roberts will bring up yesterday’s column. Give your self the gift of this inspiring account.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Are we controlling our own destiny?

Sometimes life is hard.  Our loved ones become ill or even transition on.  We have health challenges ourselves.  People we care about lose their jobs and their homes, often for no fault of their own.

Sometimes, we just can’t sleep or relax.

Whatever we are faced with we still retain the opportunity to look for the silver lining.  While hokey, this is really our only productive approach.

When we adopt the victim mindset, we give control of our destiny over to someone else.  When we maintain a productive mindset and look for the growth opportunities and even the blessings, we remain effective and we move forward.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Be Grateful for the Little Things!

My older sister and I received a text on Sunday from our baby sister who was attending a bi-annual Women’s Retreat.  She acknowledged us for the ways we had contributed to her life when she was a child and now as an adult.

The text meant a  tremendous amount to me.  I believe we all have a basic human need to feel valued and appreciated.

Further, I believe that need is so great that it is just above food, shelter and safety.

Who in your world could benefit from an expression of gratitude and acknowledgment?

How might you provide that acknowledgment?  For me, the key is to first put pen to paper and to make a list of all the aspects that I can be grateful for.

From this, I typically find a theme. With or without this level of ‘think time’ and preparation, I am confident that your connection with this person will be strengthened.

More importantly, you will be helping this person get this basic human need met in a powerful and effective manner.

This is a powerful way to experience the full power of gratitude.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Gratitude Week – Try Post-it Note Coaching this week!

In an effort to not offend my friends and colleagues who chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but focus on celebrating with their loved ones a Fall Harvest Celebration, I hesitate to say, “Happy Thanksgiving”!

However, regardless of our beliefs and traditions, we can all benefit from more gratitude in our lives .  Gratitude is the single most powerful tool according to experts like Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman in the new field of Positive Psychology.

I know that when I have been feeling anger and intensity and literally feeling the adrenaline pumping through my veins, gratitude washes away those feelings in an instant.

I call it my Post-it Note Coaching Program.  If you know me, you know that I say my job is to work myself out of a job.  I believe that because I want my clients and their teams to coach themselves and each other.  This Post-it Note Coaching moves people in that direction with velocity.

Think of a situation where you are NOT getting the results you need or want.  Think about the people who have become obstacles to those results.  Think about the circumstances that have allowed this situation to fester.

Now, take a Post-it Note and write down 3 learnings for yourself from this experience. Think of mistakes you’ve made that you will absolutely not make again.  Think of things you’ve learned about yourself, your colleagues, and the situation.

This exercise only takes about 10 nano-seconds.  Once you’ve written down the learnings or gifts, the frustration will melt away nano-seconds later.  This is a powerful way to experience the full power of gratitude.

This week I’ll be writing about other aspects of gratitude that are important and useful for us all.

If you are enjoying these posts, I’m confident you would enjoy one of our free webinars on Total Team Alignment.  These webinars are filled with useful, practical and easy to implement solutions that produce record results right away.  I hope you’ll join us for one.  Here’s the link to register:

www.HalpinCompany.com/webinars

Please have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter and real rejuvenation!

Get Your Growth Opportunities or They Will Get You!

When I was a struggling CPA/Management Consultant, I changed jobs about every 18-24 months. It did not matter if I was in tax, auditing or consulting. It did not matter if my Boss was male or female. I had a daily conversation in my head that when something like this. ” Bob (Fill in the blanks with the Boss’ name) is an Idiot”.

You can imagine that with this perspective and negative mindset, I was not able to win a lot of friends or influence many of my bosses.

The growth opportunities were always therefore me. The problem was that I wasn’t picking up on these opportunities. I was in a victim mindset. People like my Mutha supported me in staying stuck. She said…”it’s not your fault you are really smart!” and she went on to say, “it’s not your fault you are a really hard worker!”. I would say “…you are right! It’s not my fault”.

That mindset kept the growth opportunities coming my way with more and more velocity. By the time I was 32 years old I had been diagnosed with a stress related chronic illness.

We can either get these growth opportunities when they come to us as a whisper, floating by our ear. Or we can wait until they feel like a rock in our shoe. If we continue to run from meeting to meeting in maniac mode, we will not be able to connect the dots or see these escalating patterns. Eventually the growth opportunity will be like a brick, hitting us on the side of our head!

Timothy Gallwey, Author of The Inner Game of Work, says that we all have to be a Student in the greatest seminar on Earth. The seminar is called: My Life. He goes on to say that maintaining this mindset of a student exponentially expands our intellectual, creative and emotional capacities.

Let’s all commit to take time today to give ourselves the gift of think time to reflect. Let’s start to put the pieces of our puzzle together. What are we putting up with? Where are we feeling frustrated and when have we felt that frustration before?

Don’t do what I did, spend almost 20 years of my life in a reactive, victim mindset, where the Boss du jour was controlling my career success and my quality of life.

What Does It Mean to Get The Right People In The Right Roles Doing the Right Work?

A few weeks ago during a radio interview, I had an aha moment.  The interviewer, Carol Blonder, was excellent and was really pounding me about this topic.

I shared my perspective on this critically important issue.

Not only do we, as leaders, have the mandate to help our colleagues identify their strengths  in order to align their roles with those strengths, we also must be willing to address their greatest vulnerabilities too.  If we want significant improvement in our teams’ productivity, we must be open to this level of forthright communication.  We must also provide ongoing encouragement to build in support structures to minimize the risk of those vulnerabilities becoming obstacles.  All of this is  critical to significant improvements in a team’s productivity.

I know that’s a mouthful so let me break it down so it can be easier to understand.

We all have these strengths that we are born with, like our thumbprint.  Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, the founder of the new field of Positive Psychology, says that our strengths are our ‘core values in action’.  For more about Dr. Seligman see his website at www.authentichappiness.org.

When we get the volume turned up too high on these strengths they become vulnerabilities.  Here at The Halpin Companies we have a program to help individuals grasp all this.  The program is called The Gifts and Gaps Program.  When we over-utilize a strength or an asset, it becomes a liability.

The key is to be willing to be vulnerable and share our own Gifts and Gaps so that others feel safe to share theirs.

The aha for me this morning is that there are still opportunities for me to be more vulnerable in my life, career and within The Halpin Companies.

Who might benefit from your sharing about your own vulnerabilities?

How might this level of authenticity aid in helping others see their own strengths and vulnerabilities?

How might these conversations help better align roles, responsibilities and expectations?

What would it take for you to create a work environment where people felt comfortable addressing these critically important issues?

How big would you want to play?

For our E-Book on Making More and Working Less click here: www.teamalignmentstrategies.com

We All Have Issues, The Question is….Can We Laugh About Our Issues?

For some decades now, I’ve been saying to clients, colleagues and friends, ‘We all have issues….the question is…are we working on our issues?”

About 6 months ago I had a shift and I realized the opportunity for growth for all of us, individually and as teams, is not to continue to beat ourselves up, working on our issues. The real opportunity for growth is to be able to share our vulnerabilities freely and with lightness and humor.

We all have vulnerabilities. If you’re breathing, you have them. We over-utilize our strengths and get the volume turned up too high. We move too fast and can’t think strategically. We clam up and withhold when we need to find our voice and share our needs, preferences and objectives. We confuse activity with results.

As Brene Brown, PhD shares in her TED Talk, vulnerability is the birthplace of Joy, Creativity, Belonging and Love. In a business setting, think of your team’s need for greater alignment, clarity, innovation and connections. Being able to laugh about our vulnerabilities and issues is the key to creating an environment where others bring their best selves and thrive. Record results will follow.

If you’d like to watch Brene Brown’s video, click here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

Hilton Worldwide’s President & CEO of Simple Philosophy

If you know me, you know I love the NY Times’ Corner Office in the Sunday Business section. Since my definition of R&D is to ‘rob and duplicate’, I always love to steal the best ideas from successful leaders.  This weekly column by Adam Bryant is always full of great ideas.

On Sunday, October 14, the CEO of Hilton Worldwide, Christoper J. Nassetta, shared some real gems.  He articulated the appropriate role of a CEO succinctly and eloquently.  He said he has one simple philosophy…keep steady hands on the wheel.  I so love this.

To read the full interview click here:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/business/christopher-nassetta-of-hilton-on-focusing-its-values.html

Think about your organization for a moment.  Are you driving results with such velocity that your colleagues feel intimidated or overwhelmed? Are you so innovative that they don’t know how to strategically capture all the potential opportunities for your company?  Or, if you’re like me, they all may have a warm fuzzy feeling about you and your company but they may not be clear about their Top 3 Strategic Initiatives for this quarter.

Whatever the opportunity, give yourself the give of ‘think time’ and see how you might, today, keep the steady hands on the wheel.  This way, you’ll be the strategic leader who is developing other strategic leaders.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what structures are missing?

Total Team Alignment requires both a ‘reserve of time’ as a team as well as ‘reserves of time’ individually.  Perhaps, you, as Bob’s Manager, don’t have enough time to sit at your desk, review the calendar, do a brain dump of the tasks swirling in your head, and think strategically.

If Bob is not performing, it’s most likely because you are not creating an environment for Bob to be successful.  Without the right environment, you will never know if Bob’s strengths are aligned with his role and responsibilities.

Without the required structures, you can never put Bob on the Step Up or Step Out Program.

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what structures are missing?

Perhaps a ‘reserve of time’ to meet with his manager?

If meetings are cancelled or delayed Bob could feel that his work is not critical to the company’s success.  If meetings are rushed, there is no time for Bob’s concerns to be brought forth.

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what structures are missing?

Interim Check-points?

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what structures are missing?

Perhaps a better opportunity to gain full understanding of our expectations?

Additional Resources or Guidance?

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.

Total Team Alignment Daily Question

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering a Daily Question.  In my opinion, the person asking the questions is the person being the Strategic Leader.  I hope you enjoy these questions.

If “Bob” is not meeting our expectations, what is missing?

Skills?

Commitment?

Structures?

If you find this question and your  subsequent ponderings valuable, you might want to participate in one of our complimentary public Webinars on Total Team Alignment.

Here’s the link to find the schedule.

http://halpincompany.com/webinars/

This link provides the opportunity to register and the opportunity to be interviewed during one of these Webinars.  Please feel free to share these links with your colleagues, team members, and leadership team.