March 9th, 2011
The catch phrase of the month (and certainly for the first two months of 2011) seems to be Charlie Sheen’s “Winninnnggg!” Now, this isn’t going to be a Sheen-like rant, but let’s take a look at what winning is really about.
Winning can be equated to the vague and illustrious word “success.” And coaches – whether a Certified Professional Coach, a life coach, an executive coach, an internal coach, a Coach Centric Leader,™ or a Coach Centric Educator™ – define what winning is at all times, in specific terms.
One of the things I do with clients, and what our team here at iPEC tries to do at all times, is make sure we’re clear on what we’re trying to accomplish.
To be “clear” means that we take everyone’s unique and differing perspectives and understanding of “winning” into account. We talk about it. We discuss what it looks like to us. And, we acknowledge what it looks like to others.
Once you create a vivid, 3D picture of “winning” in the minds of others, you can ask everyone how committed they are to achieving it. You can’t commit to winning, and you can’t ask others to commit to it, unless you and they know what that win looks like.
But wait! One last element to the winning formula that coaches and Coach Centric Leaders and Educators create – they don’t define the “win” solely as a destination. Almost everyone thinks of a goal as the end result only.
Coaches help their clients, employees, colleagues, and even students, define the process of achievement. How you’re going to be, how you’re going to communicate, how you’re going to adapt, how you’re going to perceive, how you’re going to relate to others. The process is about how you show up. Showing up the way you intend – putting your best effort in, putting your best self forward – that’s what creates “Winninnnggg!”
We need the end result in mind, of course. We want to know where we’re going to end-up. How else would we be able to chart our course? But, pay attention to the journey – to the process of achieving that much sought after win. It’s the process that will get you there and, it’s the process (and the adaptability and flexibility you exhibit in that process) that provides focus, clarity, and control along the way.
So, HOW do you win?
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
February 23rd, 2011
Chaos… Just writing the word brings up feelings of being out-of-control. But really, what is chaos? Webster’s Dictionary has four basic definitions of the word. They are:
1. a state of things in which chance is supreme
2. the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system
3. a state of utter confusion
4. a confused mass or mixture
Certainly doesn’t sound like something you want to experience, does it? Let’s take a closer look…
From a coaching perspective, chaos is often the result of a shake-up of the status quo. When we live our lives by the same old patterns, experiencing very little, if any, change, it can be like reaching a plateau. While this may have become a rather comfortable and routine way of life, it’s certainly not an empowering one.
By choosing to leave your comfort zone in pursuit of your true personal or professional desires, you’re often inviting chaos, in some form, into your life. In other words, you’ve actually taken some very specific steps to positively “disrupt” your predictable way of being in order to make significant changes in your life.
The challenge, and often that feeling of being surrounded by chaos, arises when we set our expectations that these changes will be easily incorporated, and done so in a certain way. All too often, life seems to have other plans for us.
Initial reactions to chaos typically are resistance, concern, and stress. The primary reason? Chaos and change bring about uncertainty. One thing I know about uncertainty is that it never likes to travel alone. Like a movie star or rock singer, uncertainty often brings along its own entourage of doubt, stress, and even fear. This is ESPECIALLY true for someone who seeks clarity and has a value around that clarity. Chaos itself may simply be a conflict in your values — your value for growth or change may be fighting with your value for clarity or certainty.
Even so, it’s key to remember that there’s a difference between seeking clarity and needing clarity. Seeking clarity is something you strive for and a forward-moving process you can feel good about. Needing clarity is a fear-based or “lack” mentality – one that suggests things can only be alright if there’s clarity. This is a natural human response, one that represents what we refer to at iPEC as Level 1 (victim, “at the effect of”) and Level 2 (resistant, conflict) energy.
So, it’s important to be patient – especially with yourself – during these times. Every change has an incubation period, particularly those changes that are worthwhile. Know what your intended results are, and then remember that chaos is part of obtaining those results. Chaos simply becomes part of the process. Knowing this makes the chaos not something to fear, but rather, something to embrace.
Chaos may simply mean that change is occurring… and chaos itself is neither good, nor bad.
How you respond to, and then redirect the energy within you that’s being caused by this chaos is what’s most important. What will be your response-ability? Will you react with resistance and force, or respond with grace and fluidity by using the energy to your advantage and moving it in the direction you most desire?
If you choose to recognize the opportunity in chaos, it can be a very positive sign that change is working – even if the chaos seems to be coming from all directions. After all, everything’s connected, right? So don’t be all that surprised when changes start occurring in other areas of your life and work as well.
Remember, chaos does not mean a thing by itself. It just is what it is. How YOU respond to that chaos is up to YOU.
What are your thoughts on chaos? Is it your friend or foe?
Until next time, live on fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
April 15th, 2010
By Jeffrey Gitterman
Jeffrey Gitterman is a long time friend of iPEC and the founder and CEO of the financial planning firm Gitterman & Associates, LLC. (www.gittermanassoc.org). In these challenging economic times, Jeff recently co-founded Beyond Success (www.beyondsuccessconsulting.com), a consulting firm that brings more holistic values to the world of business and wealth management. His first book, Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, was recently published by AMACOM, the publishing house of the American Management Association.
As a financial advisor, money is a subject that’s certainly close to my heart. When I give group seminars, I often like to begin by asking people to give me definitions of what money means to them. And I always get a similar range of replies: freedom … security … opportunity … power. I’ve asked this same question to hundreds of financial planners over the last several years, and I rarely ever hear the standard dictionary definition, which is simply that money is a means of exchange.
What is important about their answers is that they illustrate something about our culture. The problem is not just that we think money can buy us things, but also that we tend to define money as an end in and of itself. My personal definition of money is “a means to satisfy a desire.” That may sound straightforward enough, but things get complicated when we tend to measure our satisfaction, happiness, or success by how much money we have.
Through the work I do, I see proof on a regular basis that having a million dollars in the bank has no relationship to happiness—but people continue to insist that it does, even when their own experience seems to show otherwise. Many of my clients who have reached this milestone tell me that they still wake up in the morning and feel as if they’re broke.
To be clear, I’m not arguing against the importance of money—but my point is that money itself is a neutral force—not good or evil, moral or immoral. Some Christians love to quote the Bible as telling us—it’s been said many times before—that money is “the root of all evil,” but I think it would be more accurate to say that “attachment to money is the root of all evil.”
Implicit in the statement “money won’t buy you happiness” is the idea that something else will, even though we don’t quite know what that something is. What do we mean when we say “happiness”? Usually it represents a certain emotional state—a feeling of peace, joy, contentment, satisfaction—that we may have experienced in brief moments of our lives and that we want to experience as often as possible.
When I got to a point in my own life where I found myself “successful” by common standards yet far from happy, I had to rethink what success was all about. For the previous several years I’d been chasing a dream, religiously visualizing my goals, and attaining them one by one. And I’d found a lot of joy in that process. I didn’t know then that my brain is wired this way, but I saw in my own experience that there was actually more joy in chasing the dream than there was in actually getting it. There was nothing wrong with having the money, and it sure was nice not to have to worry about paying the bills each month. But I had attained everything and then found myself missing the thrill that came from the pursuit itself.
Now, we could conclude from this experience, as many brain scientists do, that our evolutionary wiring is a kind of curse, condemning us to perpetual letdown. The anticipation mechanism can seem like a cruel trick of nature. But I looked at it another way. I realized that the problem was not that the goals I’d reached weren’t good enough. The problem was that I was standing still again. I had no journey anymore. So I started to turn my attention to the journey itself, to the sense of striving and reaching ever-higher, and decided to seek my happiness there, rather than in any particular outcome. I guess it’s a kind of “living in the moment,” but it is a moment that is always moving. This approach doesn’t try to short-circuit the process of desire, but rather to channel that powerful motivational drive outward.
When we really understand that there’s nothing we can get that will make us happy, we can stop striving to accumulate more and more. But because we’re not made to stand still, we need to redirect our “seeking system,” and enlist it in the service of what we want to express in the world, rather than how we want to feel.
That’s the key to this approach—we have to become less concerned with how we happen to feel moment to moment. When we begin to pay less attention to our feeling states as a measure of our success, we will find that we have a tremendous resource of energy and attention at our disposal to begin to have an impact—on our own lives and on others around us. This is what I discovered when I set out to find what lies beyond success and to redefine success itself in the process.
I say “beyond success” because success, I’ve discovered, is not an end point, a state of outer wealth or inner peace that we can achieve and then stop. We as human beings are not made to stop—we are creatures of change, curiosity, and creativity who need to always have our goals set a little beyond our reach. We thrive on challenge and engagement. I am convinced that this is what we are here for. We are designed to give of ourselves—of our energy, our unique creative expressions, our talents, our strengths. It is my deepest belief that we are each a unique vessel for the creative impulse that is animating life itself. And I feel that it’s only through aligning our individual strengths with that universal source of creativity, in such a way that simultaneously fulfills our own deepest desires and serves others, that we will we find what could be called lasting happiness.
For more information about Beyond Success Consulting and Jeffrey Gitterman please visit Beyond Success Consulting (www.beyondsuccessconsulting.com) and Gitterman & Associates (www.gittermanassoc.org).
Adapted from Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity
Jeffrey L. Gitterman
© 2009 Jeffrey L. Gitterman
All rights reserved.
Published by AMACOM Books
A Division of the American Management Association
March 15th, 2010
That’s what happens when 400 like-minded change agents, coaches and community leaders gather in a hotel in Morristown, New Jersey! On Thursday, March 4th, iPEC Coaching hosted S.H.I.F.T. New Jersey, an event which is part of a national consciousness-raising movement, as well as a celebration of iPEC’s 10th anniversary.
The keynote speaker was Bruce D Schneider, Master Certified Coach, founder of iPEC, who personally shared the transformational power behind “The Slingshot Effect,” a unique phenomenon that occurs when a significant amount of pressure builds up within and around us. By simply learning how to release this pressure, one can be at the cause of his or her life – and create a ripple effect of extraordinary results. Dr. Schneider invited all those in attendance to take the challenge of making a difference in at least one person’s life over the next 30 days. The crowd was more than excited to participate.
Other presenters included iPEC’s CEO, D. Luke Iorio, and other iPEC executives, Deborah Van De Grift, Cheryl Wilson, and affiliate partner, Ed Abel from Abel Business Institute, Network Plus, Powerful You!, and Affinity. Events have occurred in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Jersey, with additional cities being planned.
Listen to what some of the attendees had to say about this extraordinary evening:
“It only goes to show you the transformation power of iPEC and Bruce Schneider when they sell out a room to 400 people. The S.H.I.F.T. NJ event was an evening of inspiration, energy, motivation and it left a lasting impact! Bruce’s presentation was mindful and full of enlightening purpose. Definitely, do not miss the next S.H.I.F.T. event!!”
Ed Able, Abel Business Institute
“Thank you, iPEC, for the incredible evening at SHIFT NJ! You provided inspiration, motivation, and meaningful insights to propel forward anyone interested in improving their own life or making a difference in the lives of others. I am grateful to have experienced the power of iPEC and look forward spreading the word so others may benefit as well. I can now understand why Bruce D Schneider is such a well-loved leader.”
Sue Urda, Co-Founder of Powerful You! Women’s Network www.powerfulyou.com
“SHIFT is a movement emerging from these challenging, yet exciting times. We were thrilled with the reception of the New Jersey event, which, like all SHIFT events, was intended for professionals, leaders, and change agents who want to see positive change happen and seek support and ideas for new ways to progress. The room was filled with like-minded people who wish to seize and create opportunities, and make a significant difference in the world.”
D. Luke Iorio, CEO, iPEC Coaching
“I came to SHIFT because I always get inspired when I listen to Bruce speak. (and I did). It lifts my energy level and always gives me new and interesting things to expand my mind and therefore my business. The bonus factor of being at SHIFT that I did not think ahead about was reconnecting to so many people in the iPEC family. It is unbelievable uplifting to be in a room filled with people whose values, consciousness, and love of living and learning bond us together.”
Ivy Slater from Slater Success Coaching
“SHIFT New Jersey was an absolutely inspirational evening. The energy, the people, and the practical, down-to-earth information were all remarkable. And if that wasn’t enough, I found “The Slingshot Effect” was not only a fantastic transformational tool but a revolutionary “shift” in perspective that turns tension into triumph. Great stuff from start to finish!!”
Brett Ramsdell, Coaching Student
“SHIFT offers a powerful and concise reminder of the absolute necessity of being fully engaged as the leader of your own life, and making the conscious choice to affect others positively. Watch your world expand as you shift!”
Kimber Britner from Bright Life Coaching
March 1st, 2010
These days, more and more of us are freelancing, or running solo businesses.
The life of a solo practitioner can be a lonely one. Alone in your office or home, without the stimulation of colleagues and the energy of a busy office or institution, it can be a challenge to maintain your positive energy and stay motivated.
In other words, the life of a “solopreneur” can be a lonely one.
For those who chose that route because of all the benefits it offers – being your own boss, choosing your own clients, setting your own schedule – there are a number of ways to stay sharp and positive.
Attitude is everything! Believe in yourself and the work that you are doing and don’t let negative people get you down.
Surround yourself with positive people – clients, friends, family, partners. Working with clients who are passionate and excited about what they do and who have reasonable expectations of what you can do for them will keep you motivated and interested. Friends and family help to keep you grounded, and their faith in you is invaluable. A good job coach can also help you to remain motivated and to focus on your goals, both professional and personal.
Speaking of goals, focusing on short-term, realistic goals will also help to keep you motivated. Think about your client load, their expectations, and how much work you can reasonably handle without driving yourself crazy.
Be realistic about your strengths as a sole practitioner and reach out to others to help you with everything else. Better to play to your strengths, and hire talent to fill the gaps, rather than struggle to be good at everything..
As you work with clients to help them achieve their goals, keep your own goals in mind. Visualize what you want to accomplish and remain faithful to that. Focus on the larger goals.
Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult when things don’t go exactly as planned. Take time to work through the negative feelings, realizing that they are temporary, and work at getting back to a positive place.
When things don’t work out as planned, turn disappointments into opportunities for growth. Learn from failure and use it to build success.
And finally, be good to yourself. Take time for friends and family. Step away from the computer. Put down the Blackberry. Eat well, get enough sleep, and indulge your passions. Nourish yourself.