All posts filed under: Leadership

Images are a powerful

Why People Think They Can’t Draw What I have learned over time is that if you put text on a screen or slide and then speak to people, they have a hard time retaining what you are saying. Think about it the next time it happens to you. It’s difficult to read and listen at the same time! A friend passed on a great video that shows you how to draw the basics of characters/cartoons on a whiteboard. Images are a powerful way to communicate your message. Have some fun learning to draw! Colin

How Bamboo Will Get You Through

Bend don’t break is a phrase you often here in times of challenge. Also called fortitude. Think about how bamboo bends in the wind and survives, while the huge, strong oak tree may break. Fortitude is the ability to endure life’s hardships and get back on your feet each time you are down.   We can’t always be strong. We want to show up and perform our best, we want to be fast, want to look good, yet in truth, we are not always capable of this.     What helps during uncertainty and disappointment is the virtue of fortitude, a sense of quiet strength and confidence, deep trust and faith and simple lasting willingness or stubbornness to endure.   Summary from “The Way of the Champion” by Jerry Lynch.   Colin  

How creating a board of advisors will make you better

In this great podcast on the learning leader show, the former President of Iams, a $1B organization talks about why as a corporate leader it was crucial to surround himself with a board of directors who could compliment his strengths. Even more important is his recommendation to have your own personal board of directors.   As I grew in my profession I learned to surround myself with a smart group of people who could help me fill in my gaps.  I started with a business coach, added a personal trainer, took on an athletic therapist, nutritionist and asked the CEO of one of my customers if I could grab coffee with him once a quarter.   I have a monthly meeting with some ex Salesforce leaders and find different ways to stay connected to people who compliment me.   Highly recommend this great podcast. http://learningleader.com/claymathile/   Colin  

Why it’s important to apply new filters

I was listening to a story of how Coca-Cola at the height of their soft drink market domination had 45 percent market share. They were trying to figure out how to grow. A new leader came in with beginners eyes and uncovered they only had 1 percent of the liquids market! Water, juice, etc. They pivoted their strategy to refocus on the larger market opportunity and we now consume many liquids and brands owned by Coca-Cola. Apply beginners eyes this week. Colin

8 Leadership Hats That Will Make You Better

We don’t just wake up one day and become a great leader.  It takes hard work, courage, testing, failing and looking at your self in the mirror constantly.   Like your favorite yoga pose, we all lean to leading from our favorite position or strength and often fail to work on a difficult pose. Knowing the pose or position you lead from is half the battle.   Which leadership pose are you spending too much time in?  Not enough?   Coaching Coaching is one of the primary roles. Leaders when coaching are asking good questions. Being curious. Helping people think for themselves.   Mentoring  You have skill or knowledge you want your people to have. “I did this before, here is how it worked for me.” Giving away something you have.   Facilitating  You are managing an agenda, outcome, meeting or conversation. It’s not teaching and you don’t have to be a teacher in this role. You hold the agenda for the session.  Role modeling  You are leading from the front. You ride shotgun and show them how, …

10 minutes of this per day will make you better

As I heard Tony Robbins say recently, “the mind is like a kite on the end of a string, and where everything starts is with breath. Control your breathing, you control how the kite flies.” We wake up each day, with the chance to start fresh, through your first few breaths. Be intentional about how you start it, instead of letting it happen to you! The holiday (Canada Day and Independence Day!) week is a good time to reflect. Even if you have a family, what you do for yourself impacts how you can support the rest of the team. As they say in case of emergency, “put your own oxygen mask on first!” I spend the first 20-30 min of each day meditating. Successful people I know spend at least 10 min asking themselves questions related to gratitude or visualizing what success will look like in the day. Whatever your method, make sure you are taking care of yourself first! Colin

Three things I learned from will.i.am

 When one door closes….create a new door. -Will.i.am   In this great Super Soul Sunday Oprah + Will.i.am interview you will hear about the future of social media and artificial intelligence and why Will considers himself a technologist and not a musician. “I create music but prefer to be in technology instead of the music industry.” Perhaps the amount of time he has spent with our own Marc Benioff has influenced him!   Will refers to many times in his career when one door closed, instead of brooding about a lost opportunity he focused on creating new ones.   Will shares “hip-hop and Jazz were created from a community who had nothing at the time and made there own way.  Without them, we would not have this wonderful music.”   What did I take away from this great episode?   1. Make your own luck  2. Appreciate the time when you struggle, it can be your greatest turning point 3. Break the mold – you can be a musician, technologist, philanthropist all at the same time, or whatever …

Are you slow twitch or fast twitch?

When you sprint like Usain Bolt you use fast twitch muscles. When you run slower like a marathon runner, you are using slow twitch muscles. Similar in business, I find there are people whose first instinct is to act (fast twitch) and others first instinct is to think and plan (slow twitch). Either method can work, and as people grow in professional maturity, a couple things I see. The fast twitch professionals are poised for action and if they stopped to take a breath and did a little more thinking and planning, their action-oriented style would increase in effectiveness. The slow twitch professionals are thoughtful and look for obstacles and if they leaned to action and let themselves be a little more uncomfortable as they stepped forward, they too would be more effective. Whichever way you twitch, get planning or get moving today! Colin  

A lesson for my son

A great lesson I saw on Instagram recently from a good friend of mine, Chuck Chung in Toronto. “Always be the hardest worker in the room regardless of where you are. Teaching this guy the importance of discipline, hard work and putting in the effort required to be the best. He doesn’t mind showing up an hour early for practice and working on his game. He understands he’ll have to earn every step as nothing will be handed to him. This applies to all aspects of life. I’ll never quit on my family and hopefully, he will do the same.” Words to live by. Colin

7 days of Tess

Wow, what a difference a week makes.  For those of you who haven’t seen the IG Posts, we welcomed a healthy bouncing baby girl into the world last weekend, Tess Gertie Nanka.  I decided (or so it happened) to wait until a little bit later in life to get married and have a child.  I was still learning about myself (and always will be). I’ve been on a journey to see the world, test myself, meet and learn from incredible people.  I’ve always wanted to be ready. I guess you become ready when it happens.  As I turn 44 this year, I have never been more ready. If not now, when? There is a new layer of accountability that has snapped in, to do what is necessary to make sure she is happy.  Who knew one of my new favorite activities would be to just watch her sleep.  A new journey is upon us. It doesn’t mean the other will stop, it’s just on hiatus for a little while until they come together as one.  The …