Step 1: Rethinking What You Think About

Leaders and managers hold a unique position of authority in business. When they’re on the right track, they have the ability to make things significantly better. But when not, they can make things infinitely worse.

And fundamental to it all, is how we think. Because if we’re thinking the wrong things – or thinking about the right things in the wrong ways – our results can’t help but be substandard.

Take a closer look: As a leader of others, how many of these counterproductive thoughts are you – or the managers in your charge – guilty of?

Are you thinking that the complexities of your job are sometimes too difficult to manage?

If so, you’re likely struggling with…

  • Project and Program Management Success
  • Accountability Discussions and The Shaping Others’ Behaviors
  • Interactions Up, Down, and Across The Organization
  • Collaboration
  • Planning, Development, and Longer-term Deliverables

Are you thinking up excuses for avoiding difficult, challenging, and important conversations?

If you are, you’re likely having difficulties with…

  • Employee Performance Feedback
  • Preparing for Big Meetings
  • Evaluating Key Metrics
  • Managing Conflict
  • Clarity of Communications

Are you thinking about how impossible it sometimes seems to properly motivate, lead, and inspire others?

If so, you’re likely inhibiting…

  • Team and Team Member Performance
  • Thought Leadership and Vision
  • Priority Management and Follow-through
  • Change Management
  • Others Demonstrating Greater Urgency, Thoroughness, and Consistency in What THEY Do

Are you thinking about ways to justify how flustered and annoyed you get with sudden shifts in plans and priorities?

If you are, you’re likely undermining…

  • Organizational Flexibility and Agility
  • Employee Effectiveness
  • Intelligent Workplace Conversation
  • Working Through Ambiguity
  • Mood and Culture

Are you thinking about how explain away how defensive and resistant you get when others criticize you?

If so, you’re likely failing at…

  • Organizational Capacity-Building
  • Leveraging Employee Strengths And Mitigating Their Weaknesses
  • Control, Challenge, and Commitment
  • Grit, Resolve, and Resilience
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Delivering On Key Business Deliverables
p = P – I
[performance] = [Potential] – [ Interference]
– Tim Gallwey, Author of The Inner Game of Tennis

Step 2: Sharpening Your Focus

If any of the above resonates for you, then it’s time to change how you’re thinking.

Because if you don’t, others in your organization will soon start modeling your counterproductive thinking – if they haven’t already – and the tasks that they once found ‘easy’ to accomplish will soon seem too difficult. Less and less of your team’s potential will flow through to their performance. And the assignments they used to think were ‘challenging, but doable’ will soon become near-impossible.

And that type of thinking can only lead to one thing for them – and you:


Unmitigated, unavoidable failure.

But with the proper guidance and perspective – the proper coaching and mentoring – leaders can not only learn to avoid these pitfalls, they can start engaging with themselves, and those in their sphere-of-influence, in increasingly powerful and productive ways.

They key, of course, is recognizing that in order to change how you lead, you have to change how you think.

That’s where LeadershipTraction comes in.

While there are DOZENS of ways to help you – or the leaders you know – achieve greater leadership traction, having the conversations that would most benefit YOU is the fastest way to get there.

And that’s what LeadershipTraction is all about.

Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.
– Barbara Januszkiewicz, American Painter, Filmmaker, and Creative Activist

Step 3: Locking in the Learning

When leaders shift HOW they think – about leadership, in general, and their specific roles and responsibilities, in particular – good things start to happen sooner in terms of what they think, feel, believe, and do. In other words, when they change how they think, they change how they lead:

  • “I can’t,” becomes “How can I?”
  • “I don’t know how,” becomes “Let’s figure this out!”
  • “It’s too hard,” becomes “I love a good challenge!”
  • “I’m overwhelmed,” becomes “I’m confident I can do this!”
  • “I’m spinning my wheels,” becomes “How best to hit it ‘head-on’?”
  • “I’m not good enough,” becomes “I refuse to let this be a referendum on my self-worth!”

So take another honest look: As a leader of others, what’s you next move? Where do you need to ‘up’ your game?

Step 4. Changing How You LEAD

Consider any one of the following perspectives and ask yourself what you’d be able to achieve if you could consistently think – and lead – this way:

Every conversation you have as a leader has two related, yet distinct, purposes:

  • To address the work at hand
  • To build and sustain the relationships (and organizational capacity) needed to successfully complete all future work

Effectively managing conflict, and its triggers, is central to everything a leader does:

  • Asserting priorities always involves the potential for conflict
  • Knowing how to effectively navigate through conflict (and helping others do so, as well)  is a fundamental leadership and managerial competency

Just doing your job is not nearly enough:

  • That may get you an ‘average’ performance review
  • If you and those in your charge can’t consistently demonstrate a meaningful, timely, and visible business impact, however, you’ll rarely be recognized as essential contributors

Improving employee performance and engagement stems directly from how you manage commitments:

  • In holding others accountable for their commitments to you
  • In holding yourself accountable for your commitments to them

Strategically focusing your attention requires more than just managing your to-do list:

  • To solidify your leadership voice, vision, style, and executive presence
  • To expand your consensus-building, courageousness, and ability to navigate and expedite complex change

Delegating what you are ABLE to do is what allows you to do what ONLY you can do

  • Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should
  • Fear of delegation is really just a form of procrastination
  • Who’s doing the work that you’re not getting to?

Admitting you don’t know is a sign of strength, not weakness:

  • Pretending you know is ego-driven irresponsibility and sends the absolute wrong message about you as a leader – and human being
  • Properly focusing your learning (and the learning of others) not only reduces fear, stress, and strain, but naturally encourages everyone – including yourself – to perform at increasingly higher levels

These are all good places for any leadership or management development effort to start, but they’re especially important if you’re finding that you or members of your team are not achieving the results you’re hoping for – the results you’re actually needing.

By the Way, Who Do You Talk With When You Really Need To?

  • Your Boss?
    • Maybe, but bosses are often just too busy
    • And sometimes you simply need more time and Undivided Attention than your boss is open to, or able to, provide
  • One of Your Direct Reports?
    • You certainly can, but they often don’t have the perspective to provide effective counsel
    • And directs often should not be privy to some of the ‘uncharted’ thinking you’re still working your way through
  • Some of Your Peers?
    • Peers often face similar concerns, which can be helpful, but conversations with them can all-too-often digress into nonproductive gripe sessions
    • And, truth is, they often don’t have any more insight or perspective than you already have
  • Your Spouse or Significant Other?
    • Most people do, but many find it’s not always a particularly objective route because of vested interests
    • And when they can speak honest truths, it’s admittedly hard not ‘shoot the messenger’
  • Friends and Relatives?
    • They surely may want to help, but how often do they, really?
    • And how often have those conversations digressed into them wanting YOUR help?
  • Or Do You Just Keep It All Bottled Up Inside You?

No, It’s Not ‘Therapy’, But Yes, It IS ‘Therapeutic’

Working with a professional coach – particularly a fully-trained, certified, and experienced professional coach like Barry Zweibel – is all about helping you with what YOU need.

Coaching conversations are specifically designed to help you separate the signal from the noise and get clear from your muddled thoughts so you can carve out and clarify what’s most crucial for ensuring your goals and objectives can be adequately met, moving forward.

Coaching conversations provide a confidential, candid, and surprisingly-engaging exploration of what you need to get back to your ‘better’ self so you can enjoy greater confidence, clarity, ease… and success.

Why not see for yourself?!

So is it time? Are you ready to get back to achieving precisely what you know you need to achieve?

It starts as easily as arranging a simple, preliminary conversation.

Put your own twist to it. That’s how you stay relevant. Or things get old and boring.
– Lil Durk, Rapper

Any of These Topics Feel Particularly Relevant?

  1. “How do I complete my most important business priorities more quickly, easily, and thoroughly?”
  2. “How can I learn to focus better on what will really ‘move the needle’?”
  3. “What are the steps to ridding myself of procrastination or perfectionism?”
  4. “How can I become more influential in my peer-to-peer interactions?”
  5. “What’s the secret to running meetings more efficiently?”
  6. “What’s the one leadership development idea that will give me the biggest bang for the buck?”
  7. “How do I improve my time management and follow-through skills?”
  8. “Why does delegation only seem to cause MORE problems for me?”
  9. “How can I help a direct report get back on track?”
  10. “What’s the best way to do an employee performance review?
  11. “How can I learn to be less stressed at work?”
  12. “How do I not get so defensive when getting negative feedback?”

Or Maybe Some of These?

  1. “How do I stop being so hard on myself?”
  2. “How do I generate the courage I need to have the challenging conversations I know I need to have?”
  3. “How do I stop people from grousing and wasting so much time?”
  4. “What’s the secret to working better with my boss?”
  5. “How do I hold my staff accountable without acting like a jerk?”
  6. “How do I get more from my team when I really need them to be at their best?”
  7. “What’s the secret to teaching my direct reports to coach their direct reports more effectively?”
  8. “What are the best ways to influence without authority?”
  9. “How do I get a bigger raise or bonus or even promoted?”
  10. “How do I create a department vision?”
  11. “How do I get greater buy-in for new priorities, initiatives, and changes in plans?”
  12. “How do I get staff to be more responsive and show more urgency in the assignments I give them?”

Or Some of These?!

  1. “How do I increase staff morale?”
  2. “How do I get done all I need to get done without making myself crazier than I already am?”
  3. “How do I get people to follow-up with me and do what they say they’re going to do?”
  4. “How do I give my boss bad news so he (or she) doesn’t ‘shoot the messenger’ or hold a grudge?”
  5. “How can I continue to be nice but stop getting taken advantage of?”
  6. “What if some of my decisions stark getting second-guessed?”
  7. “How do I not take my frustrations out on people so much at work – or at home?”
  8. “How can I be more crisp and compelling in the presentations I make?”
  9. “How do I make the most of special projects I’m assigned to?”
  10. “How do I get better recognized for all the work I’m doing behind the scenes that no one seems to notice?”
  11. “What if I find myself completely unprepared for something?”
  12. “What if I just don’t know what to do?”

And What If You Have Some Entirely Different Questions or Concerns?

Awesome! Tell me and we’ll think about them, TOGETHER!!

LeadershipTraction® | Professional Coaching and Mentoring

Isn't It Time You Started Leading More Confidently, Capably, and Compellingly – and Without That Incessant 'Second-Guessing-Yourself' Thing You Do?!

If you think a brief conversation about your leadership development needs – or those of others in your organization – could be useful, call or connect to coordinate calendars.

"Let's Rethink How You Think ⇝ About Leadership!!"
- Barry Zweibel, MCC-Master Certified Coach and Mentor

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