Author Archives: Michelle Cubas

Strategy container defines resources–maps a path

22 Sep 16
Michelle Cubas
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Strategy is a powerful process. Here are several observations about strategy after serving and coaching thousands of clients:

I find many confuse strategy, vision, objectives, and goals. Defining terms is one of the first steps clients and I take together.

Clients have an expectation for the results they want to achieve. However, there may be a gap between the realism of the expectation and the “thinking” about how to get there. Here’s where strategy comes in.

Strategy is knowing where you are going.

Cheshire Cat said to Alice in Wonderland—”How can you be lost when you don’t know where you’re going? What difference does it make?” Let’s explore the difference here.

Consider these ideas:

  • Strategy is a container. It holds all the details to execute your vision.
  • Think of strategy as a treasure map, pointing us in a direction, posting markers along the path so we always have a place to return.
  • Your strategy is a scaffold to hang and connect segments that must meet to accomplish the goals.
  • A strategy is a flowing, sequential plan. It can show blockages that require correction.
  • The path is flexible enough to allow alternative routes depending on resources.
  • We can see the entire picture (vision) as a snapshot. This can spark more imagination and deliver an expanded view that we hadn’t considered before—more options!

First, strategy points to a clear vision to achieve.

The process requires activation of your imagination, and this may reveal another gap often created by fear.

Fear is a common cause of a gap filled with apprehension of rejection or unworthiness. Here is where you STOP the doubts, take a deep breath, and puncture the veil of uncertainty!

Strategy clears the way . . .

  • You’ve cleared the way, so it’s full steam ahead because we know in what direction we’re going. Lifting the fog of uncertainty renews energy and commitment that comes from an inner knowing, confidence, that we’re on the right track. We can see it!
  • We can better plan and allocate resources, because we have a realistic measure of what it will take to reach the end result.
  • The plan defines who must be on our team and what expertise will be the best fit to achieve our vision.

Consider these easy strategy steps to complete the portrait:

  • Create targets to aim at and continue to implement, monitor, and adjust going forward. In that way, nothing gets too ahead of the projections.
  • Set realistic time frames. Identify where there is room to adjust so down-the-line elements aren’t thrown off production or launch.
  • Craft the alignment of your objectives and goals. “Bake in” at least one option for a fall- back position.
  • Test your resources hypotheses—timing (duration),  quality standards, money.
  • Understand what milestones measure your progress.
  • Ask for objective input since we can be too close to a project; yes, it’s personal.

An easy formula to capture your strategy . . .
Rev. Robert Schuller, author of Possibility Thinking, said about testing an idea—
“Find it, Form it, Firm it, and Frame it!” Let’s do it!

How will you use these ideas next time?

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Calling All Purple Squirrels!

27 Jul 14
Michelle Cubas
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This is definitely hunting but not in the usual outback sense.

http://bit.ly/YhXgPX

Award-of-ExcellencePP

Enterprise Dynamics—Employee Engagement is About Purpose

10 Apr 14
Michelle Cubas
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What’s your premise about employees whether you’re the boss or the worker?
Do you think people work just for a paycheck?


As a coach, I ask what keeps people returning to a job over time?
Where do personal values fit in?

As a business coach, I find people at all levels make life more complicated than it needs to be. So, when I coach an individual, we distill down to reveal the simplest place to grow from. Reducing complexity can be challenging.

To discover some fundamentals of why people work, let’s begin asking these questions:
    1.    What’s your premise about employees?
    2.    Do people work just for a paycheck?
    3.    What keeps people returning to a job over time?
    4.    Where do values fit in?
    5.    What is the relationship between purposeful work and putting in time?

Often, power invades the work space, often based on titles and hierarchical positions. Interestingly, once people are removed from them, they are regular people (think the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain!).

Once we’ve exchanged ideas in a meeting, over coffee or asked for feedback on our questions, the review process can be revealing—Engaging employees brings us back to basics.
Let’s understand why they work at all.
How can we support them to be the best they can be in the position they hold?
What is the reality of a situation as it relates to the results we seek?

Employees like to belong to a company, association or organization that is larger than their world. They want to be part of something that surrounds them. This is one reason a company’s reputation is important; the “shine” trickles down on everyone. People want to be proud of where they work; they want to know they make a difference in their daily doings especially the Millennial Generation.

When leaders have issues with some of these, it is helpful to coach around their ideas and how they can relate or not to these issues. If leaders have no patience or appear rude, it affects employees. It sets a standard of behavior and broadcasts what is “important” to a manager or director. Often, higher level people do not even think about the impact of what they do. They do things because they CAN!

Simplify employee engagement by providing a welcoming, innovative space to function. Allow active exchange of ideas with ground rules, reward behavior a leader wants repeated and be authentic and caring when delivering company news, good or bad. After all, employees invest more time at work than they do with their families and friends. Let’s make it count in the plus column so they can bring that positive impact home with them.

What do you think? Please leave a comment. Thanks.
MC

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Thinking outside the box? Why are you in the box at all?

18 Feb 14
Michelle Cubas
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Everyone talks about thinking outside the box.
My questions is, “Why are you in ’the box’ in the first place?

You may find deeper insights here to generate your thinking cap:

·      First, whose box is it?
·      Who said it was a good idea?
·      Why is it important to be in a box?
·      What do you get from the structure or boundary the box offers?
o  Fear
o  Need for structure
o  Unsure about the future
o  Want to contain a situation
Antidotes:
Try on a new perspective and ask what your life and career look like without the box. Write it down and reflect on it at a later time.

What could be another metaphor you can use that has a positive framework around it?
For example, how about writing your own Instruction Manual for raising kids, managing your finances, or planning a big event in your life, like a wedding. 
The Payoff:
By being the author, you retain and enliven your power to be your best. When you’re in a box, it was someone else’s “bright” idea. Own your own™!
Let me know how it goes. Text to 480-510-7166 for five Coach Cubas Coins ($75 value)

Your Coach,
Michelle Cubas, CPCC, ACC
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