Category Archives: Success

I see GREEN people

coloredpeopleI had a wonderful conversation with a wonderful friend last week. At about the two hour mark, I got asked how it is that I assess people I meet. I have been asked that question before by others and myself. The process has evolved over the years. Continue reading

Listen !!

listenIn reading several human capital magazines and online forums in the past few months, there seems to be a growing recognition of the epidemic of poor listening skills, especially at leadership levels. I was recently asked if there was a connection between listening skills and EQ. Yes! Continue reading

Increasing Your Probability of Success

Take a look at the graph below summarizing the findings of a study by Dr. Gail Matthews.

I posted this last year and it is still relevant this year. This week, ask yourself, which group you belong to with the goals you have already set for 2013. What can you do to move into Group 5 and increase your success rate of achieving those goals?

Right Advice

There is a wonderful scene in “Father of the Bride” (Steve Martin comedy movie) where he tells his daughter to put a sweater on because it’s cold outside and she ignores him several times. Then her fiancée asks her to do the same and she immediately puts it on. The same good advice was not heard from one source, but immediately embraced from another. Continue reading

Before and After Pictures

I facilitated a session last week discussing Action Learning Projects that a group of leaders were embarking on. They had to pick a problem to solve that was in their immediate circle of influence. The problems are often easy to identify and in many cases, so are some of the solutions. Continue reading

Manage YOUR Performance Review

This week I had a coaching session with an executive who was very disappointed with his performance review. He had worked very hard and had met or exceeded many of his metrics but apparently, because of the force-ranking system of his company, he ended up in the middle of the pack. Continue reading

Happiness: Best Defense

The past few weeks I’ve been discussing how impactful past negative experiences are to present-day life and interactions. New pathways set as a result of emotional trauma change the way that our brain processes future experiences, thus setting the appropriate context for the “get up when you get down” mantra–so logical and popular but so hard to do. Continue reading

Increasing Success Rate of Goals

Take a look at the graph below summarizing the findings of a study by Dr. Gail Matthews.

I shared this at a session I did last week and several folks found it incredibly insightful. It is self-explanatory. So this week, ask yourself, as it is still very early in the year, which group you belong to with the goals you have already set for 2012. What can you do to move into Group 5 and increase your success rate of achieving those goals?

Mini Goals

I was working with a client last week and one of the first questions I asked this executive was how it was she was going to be measured for success. She gave me answers I had heard before like Stock Price, specific targets on sales, and a few other internal metrics. She showed me the annual performance targets, which was one page long document and had about five bullet points with specific and measurable targets. Continue reading

What vs. How

This is a topic of discussion I have been having with colleagues, clients, and personal friends for many years now. I am troubled by my peers in the business of professional development and the general confusion around the differences between the “what” and the “how” of a solution to learning and growing. Continue reading

Under-Performance and Poor Performance

There is a distinction between under-performance and poor performance. Poor performance often times means that there is a lack of skill involved in the root cause of this instance. This skill did not exist, or was learned incorrectly, or never mastered. In this case, the correction is fairly simple. Go back and learn or relearn the skill required to perform. Though this occurs in the workplace, it mostly appears at junior levels where the job function requires very specific skills. It occurs at top levels too, but at management positions and higher, I find under-performance to be more prevalent. Continue reading

Who are your benchmarks?

I have a young son, Hunter, and a young daughter, Lexi. They are very healthy, and other than acting their age, both are great kids. This weekend, I applauded my son for a good behavior he exhibited. His response surprised me – he asked, ”Did I do better than Lexi?”  I was surprised that he could not take a compliment, and even worse, his sense of accomplishment was based on how someone else did. Continue reading

Try Setting Different Goals

As some of you may know, I work with several professional athletes. One of them is a professional golfer and last week, I spoke with his swing instructor.  He talked about how hard the golfer had been working with him on his swing, the “technique” of the game. I played 9 holes with the golfer, mostly to assess where his “emotional intelligence” was (i.e., how he handled adversity on the golf course). Continue reading


Interesting that for the last two weeks I have discussed what “success” means to each of us–and most responses have been centered around our professional lives. This past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending my college reunion at Davidson College and in some cases, I had not seen some good folks in 20 years! Continue reading


Thank you to all of you that responded to last week’s question. I marveled at the myriad of responses and the fact that ALL were right. Continue reading