All posts filed under: Success

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.   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

Two questions that will help you break through the angst

There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in the world right now. People often ask how do you handle it? One, I am starting to put on less news on TV when I get home and do more reading and listening to music.  Two, I ask these questions at the end of every day. They are on my calendar.  What you focus on daily makes a big difference to your level of angst.  What am I grateful for? How could I have made today better? Too making each day better.  Have a great weekend! Colin   

Three things I learned from

 When one door closes….create a new door.   In this great Super Soul Sunday Oprah + 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  

Stew in Uncomfortability

A Friday throwback post from the summer of 2009. The first time I can truly say I stretched my limits is when I trained for the NYC Marathon in the fall of 2002 with one of my best friends from Edmonton. We took what traditionally is a four to six-month training window and cut it down to three so we could hit the Nov 2nd competition date. There is something about the unknown, fear of failing, that drives you. Unsure if you will be able to complete the goal and in a measure of time that lives up to your standards.  It was hard work! Six runs per week, three hour runs on Sunday afternoon, and when adding in post-recovery time (stretching, soaking, eating, nap), it turned into an all-day event that finished with an early bedtime. We had hilarious side stories and lots of learning that developed through the challenges overcome. The next challenge for me was a move from Edmonton, AB (the prairies) to Toronto, ON (the big urban city) the following year. …

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

6 things I learned while on Paternity

1. There is nothing like the birth of a child!  We are blessed to have a healthy baby girl, Tess Gertie Nanka. Getting to spend the first three weeks of her life together as a family has meant everything to me. See pictures of our adventures with Tess (so far) here on Instagram 2. I have gained a huge appreciation for how hard moms work!  I appreciate my partner, Blake, more than ever. She is an amazing mother and a resilient and inspiring human being. I’ll work very hard to tell her that. 3. You can integrate your child into many things.  I start most mornings with meditation. But now, my morning meditation comes second to Tess’s morning feed. I am learning to be more flexible and even try and incorporate some after-feeding quiet time with Tess into my meditation practice. I don’t always win, but I try. 4. Exercise has been important to me and will always be important. As sleepless nights and responsibilities prevail, I made it a priority to get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. Take …