I’m not talking about Felix and Oscar – instead, lifeitself! Life is really good at presenting interesting dichotomies and odd couples. Here are a few unlikely combinations that I’ve found to be critical to success. Let me know what you think:
- Confidently Humble – Powerful individuals that others turn to because of their confidence and wisdom, and because they’re the last ones to tell you how great they are. They’re confident in what they know; they’re confident that they don’t know everything; and they’d rather assume others have something to teach them before they presume to have the answers.
- Invulnerable Vulnerability – Vulnerability is a frightening concept to some and, interestingly enough, those that demonstrate the most vulnerability are the ones that are least vulnerable. They don’t allow that which they’re worried about to eat away at them and stay hidden. Instead, they share their vulnerabilities, put them out on display and, in turn, sleep well knowing they have nothing to hide.
- Patiently Persistent – Be persistent, even unwavering, in the pursuit of your goals and what you want. And, similarly, remember that great success rarely happens overnight. Be patient as progress is achieved and steps are taken, but be persistent in following through, and you’ll find extraordinary feats can be accomplished.
- Carefully Decisive – Don’t rush in, but don’t put off the decision either. Look at the information you have; challenge it, carefully, from multiple perspectives to see if you can open up more angles. Use that information to make the best decision you can, within the timeframe that you have, and then move forward with confidence, knowing you’ve put your best foot forward.
- Flexibly Focused – Focus is a key attribute to success, but don’t allow yourself to get tunnel-vision. Know your goal and know that there are likely many paths to reaching your goal. When you’re focused on your goal, yet remain open minded and flexible, you’ll often be able to arrange seemingly divergent directions into a path that leads you right where you want to go.
What successful odd couples have you found that work for you?
You’ve seen this term tossed around, extensively, thanks to the Debt-Ceiling debate.
For absolute clarity, I went to the always friendly and readily accessible source, Wikipedia, and it offered this insight:
Brinkmanship is the practice of pushing dangerous events to the verge of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome. This maneuver of pushing a situation with the opponent to the brink succeeds by forcing the opponent to back down and make concessions.
For some reason, I don’t usually see those underlined phrases as principles espoused by leadership experts. This approach is, quite literally, about beating your opponent into submission. It’s pure level 2 (catabolic) energy — to borrow from the Energy Leadership lexicon for a moment.
While, like some catabolic energy, it can achieve a result, we need to consider at what cost.
Consider these questions:
• What pathway does this create to foster collaboration?
• What example (or precedent) does this set for others to follow?
• What’s the likely response you’ll receive from others?
• How does any of what has transpired inspire a nation to come together?
• What was the real goal of this debate?
Our communities, our nation, and our world are begging for collaboration, for help, to stand united and not divided.
The above would simply say the goal of a debate is to win. I’d look for a new goal. In my opinion, debates are, by and large, invaluable for an expression of divergent ideas that push each party past their comfort zones and points of view — the goal being the expansion of ideas to ensure the discovery of new points of view and the creation of new alternatives, which are greater than any one individual could have seen from the start.
The result of a debate may or may not be a “win” in a traditional sense; however, the manner in which a debate is conducted can demonstrate leadership and partnership, and pave the way to collaboration.
Stepping away from the political arena, rarely do we find that after a good, healthy debate, can we declare victory and move on with our plans without the other person involved. Whether the other people at the table (in the debate) won or lost, or are in the majority or the minority, simply doesn’t matter. In the business arena, as in life, we move forward together. And that’s pretty hard to do when you take an issue to the brink in order to force your opponent to back down and make concessions.
The next time you’re debating how to approach a challenging situation, consider the real goal – meaning what the collective group is trying to achieve, NOT simply HOW one side wants it done. Consider how all sides may need to work together to take action once a course has been charted. Consider that all sides might just be adding new perspectives and viewpoints. And, consider the example that you want to set, as a leader, for all those involved – on both sides of the table.
Because coaching has become such a fast growing field over the past decade, there’s a lot of information out there about coach training and certification, and it can be a bit confusing. Let’s see if we can sort out a few things.
Certification – A certification program is one that requires you to complete a program that has an established set of core competencies; that evaluates you on your proficiency within these competencies; that has been audited by an accrediting agency; and that requires the institute delivering the program to be approved as an accrediting agency.
76% of HR professionals and coaching clients are now saying that formal training and recognized certification are either important or absolutely essential.*
Certificate – A certificate program is typically a certificate of completion – meaning that you’ve completed the course work and have potentially been evaluated on what you’ve learned. While it can be extensive, this is not necessarily a certification and is not typically recognized by an industry association.
Certifiable – A certifiable program is one that certifies you in a new profession for $99 – $899. It’s incredible to think about, but nonetheless, because of the growth of coaching, there are those that are looking to cash in on the marketplace and its consumers. Buyers beware. There are some good programs out there that will help you learn about coaching, but watch out for those that represent that they “certify” you.
Actually, in the case of the latter two, the only one doing the “certifying” is the company itself. It’s not an industry recognized credential by any association.
At iPEC, we’ve been accredited by the International Coach Federation (the governing body and largest coaching association globally) since 2002. We passed our accreditation on our first application at a time when most programs were being turned away for not meeting the requirements and competencies of the profession. We’ve been sanctioned to provide you with your industry-recognized certification.
This isn’t simply about the quality of our training; it’s about the quality of YOUR training. We’re here to support you to be the most masterful and successful coach that you can be.
In business, it’s no secret that maintaining existing customer relationships and developing customer loyalty is far less expensive than the cost of acquiring new customers.
Similarly, developing your existing employees and helping them flourish is far less expensive than the cost of hiring new ones. A high rate of turnover isn’t a sustainable business model; it’s simply too expensive and time-consuming for companies to recruit and train, qualified, new staff.
What causes some employees to be successful and remain satisfied in their jobs? And what, by contrast, creates dissatisfaction for others and propels them to leave?
Earlier today, we announced the release of groundbreaking new research that reveals a single factor for determining success in work and in life. Called the E-FactorTM, this conclusive indicator of success can be determined in a mere 20 minutes using an online assessment. The research clearly indicates that people with higher E-Factors are more satisfied with all aspects of their lives, and are able to engage in their activities and relationships with greater energy.
When the researchers analyzed samples of participants whose E-Factors fell in the catabolic range (E-Factor less than 3.0) and in the anabolic range (E-Factor of 3.0 or more), those in the catabolic range were less satisfied with each of the 14 success indicators that were measured. They also identified stark contrasts in key areas such as Leadership Ability, Engagement at Work, Productivity, and Working Relationships.
Let’s considerengagement for a minute; more specifically, let’s consider that Engagement at Work, or employee engagement, begins with strong leadership.
Leaders who are able to tap into anabolic energy are more apt to provide the quality supervision and leadership required to engage and empower their staff. They also foster an environment that effectively shifts engagement, allowing satisfaction to increase, and innovation, growth, and productivity to flourish.
Let’s look at the flip side for a moment. Leaders who don’t tap into anabolic energy create cultures that drain creativity, halt innovation, and leave little or no discretionary energy. Their organizational behaviors block innovation, and de-motivate and de-value employees, resulting in a culture of disengagement.
When leaders recognize the importance of engagement, and make it central to their business goals, they’ll build self-motivated teams and create cultures that inspire, enable, and empower their employees — and demonstrate a high regard for human potential. These are the companies that experience better returns and long-term business success.
Is it any wonder then, that an investment in engagement is one of the most rewarding — and lucrative — investments a company can make?
How are you investing in engagement?
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)