Category Archives: Business Coaching

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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New Perspectives on How to Best Serve

17 Apr 12
Michelle Cubas
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A dear friend forwarded an inspirational article I’ve included in this entry. The theme enlivens and emphasizes how words matter and have different energies. Often, without being aware we diminish others with our good intentions. We may take power from them by implying they are weak and need help, or we may satisfy ourselves while we were intending to fix something for someone else. These outcomes can be reviewed in esoteric writings like the Kabbalah. Accordingly, the Universe is cause and effect, so when something creates imbalance, like the article reference, the entire system is thrown off balance. One such reference is called the Bread of Shame.

The Bread of Shame in essence is when one person always gives to someone and the someone perceives no way of repayment. Consider children who want to make a parent a card. That is their way to “pay it forward” on the care and attention they receive. They want to be part of the family unit and do what they see others doing. Another thought is a homeless person who turns around and offers selflessly to help others. The CNN Heroes Program has many examples of people who were in need then turned around to help others.

Along this line of thinking, at a seminar, I brought up a question as to the meaning of compromise. I drew a formula of: 1 + 1 = 1/2. With compromise, both sides left “hungry,” unsatisfied they had wholeness.
The flip side was agreement based on the cliché “Win-Win” that looked like 1 + 1 = 3.
Everyone left with more than they came in.
Which way do you prefer?


What are ways to serve?

  1. Make your contribution anonymous so no ego energy becomes involved with the act.
  2. As the author suggests, the service is feels like it is generated from outside oneself, while the fixer feels they are generating the energy. Join a community of like-minded people.
  3. Offer what you can with no idea of receiving anything in return.
  4. When you manage an employee, allow them to rise to their talents. Serve them with encouragement.
  5. Parents can serve their children with creative space and stop hovering over them. The children’s beauty will emerge with enough comfort and safety like tending a plant.

Whatever your beliefs, we can all be more accurate in saying what we want to convey.

Todays’ Challenge: Where might we change meanings of help, fix & serve in our lives?
Please leave your comments.

PS—Too bad the presidential race doesn’t understand this type of thinking. From an esoteric perspective, they do not realize the giant circuit they create with negativity—it will only come back to short-circuit what they are doing. mc
DailyGood: Helping, Fixing or Serving?, by Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

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5 Tips To Energize Your Job Search

17 Apr 12
Michelle Cubas
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A Twitter colleague asked me a pertinent question about job searching. I said I would respond in the blog. Let’s begin.

 5 Tips To Energize Your Job Search:

 1. What turns you on? What do you love to do even if you did not receive payment. Famous Footballer Dick Butkus shared that idea with me. I keep it in mind.

Do you enjoy doodling? What “make do’s” have you rigged up to make a task easier? For example, I have kitchen tongs that lost the slider clip that keeps them closed like for salad mixing. I put a thick rubber band at the base and it does the job. Could I patent that idea?

2. What three skills can you generalize into a field you have eyed from afar? Technology guru? Gadget master? How about mini seminars to show others who shrink with fear at the thought? Local community centers and colleges offer classes. Create an outline and see where it goes. How well do you organize your thoughts? These may be clues for new pursuits. Follow the trail to the lowest common denominator.

 3. How much additional training do you need to be adept at a new-to-you skill? You can be self taught. Start with How to sites the trail will be long, but you will be wiser at the end.

 4. Would you hire yourself? What first impression do you make? How is your vocal tone–whiny, nasally, robust, booming? Record your voice. Most phones have recording capability today. Listen as if you were answering a phone message and heard you. What is your reaction? How is your vocabulary? Are you using bloated language because you think it makes you sound smart?

 5. Dust off the credentials. Are you the sum total of a list of tasks? How do your personality and positive traits shine through? What is the freshest upgrade you have? What were life changing moments as you pursued your goals?

ACTION Plan: 
  • Once you have selected companies to put on your wish list, respond to what attracts you to it. 
  • Do you like their logo, colors, images on the website? What does a website or job posting bulletin say about the company culture that appeals to you? 
  • Does the language they use sound inclusive, diverse, progressive, and do you know if they promote from within? 
  • Keep a separate folder for each company on your computer. When you take action, record your progress.

This is a start. Please ask me questions.
Your comments and ideas are invaluable. Please share your strategies. Remember to interview the company as well. Show up curious and meaning business. If is something you want, ask for the position with examples of how you can handle similar circumstances. Good luck. Be fearless. The interviewer is scared too. They don’t do this everyday. MC

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When common sense died . . .

24 Oct 11
Michelle Cubas
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So many meaningful articles are focused on ideas that used to be known as “Common Sense.” It may be common to one generation and not another. Here is an example on innovation. Sound contemporary advice founded on what the Silent Generation already knew!
Consider the American Revolutionary, Thomas Paine, who wrote a pamphlet with that title. His effort to stir the Colonists to oppose British rule was successful because it spoke in “plain language,” everyone could understand and he inspired the readers.
Every generation must define what Common Sense means to them. In the world of social media, abbreviations have become the common language that baffles older folks. However, Common Sense exceeds a simple definition of words.

In my universe, Common Sense is a method of thinking something through to include the impact of the action or words. It relates to timing. It is not just stating the obvious. It opposes short-sightedness. 
Consider the recent statement of Bank of America’s CEO, Brian Moynihan, who said he has a right to make a profit for his company. Is this view one that advances good will or positive presence in the marketplace? 
If he was my client, I would “play back” his response and watch his body language. My guess is he would cringe when he heard his words played back and he could hear them outside his internal voice. We would dig deep to get to what he really meant and craft a new comment in Plain English. We could discuss how it matters what people think, especially when they feel robbed and cheated with the threat of rising fees! 

I would remind Mr. Moynihan about Peter Drucker’s business wisdom about the purpose of business—to create a customer—and, how his focus on profits makes him appear cold and greedy. Also, I would show him how he can drive away his existing customers with his lack of sensitivity that will ultimately cost him money he so dearly protects. A dose of Common Sense would have served Brian.

So,  Common Sense can be a business tool to test a message before broadcasting it:
  1. The unintended consequences of statements made, for example, by politicians and business tycoons, are more powerful than ever because of the speed and repetition of digital media.
  2. Words matter and stand the test of time (and You Tube video!).
  3. Select words that support your meaning rather than have you appear out of touch with the moment. Consider Eric Cantor’s use of the word, “mob”, to describe the Occupy Wall Street participants. Given a do-over, I bet he would choose a different word like “protesters.” See how less inflammatory that word is?
  4. Above all, say what you mean. Ask for what you want. Double talk and hyper-speak turn people off. (Consider the usage of “utilize” when “use” is the accurate word.)
  5. Earn the trust of your audience by being authentic and accurate. The “fact checkers” on news channels and interview programs must have migraine headaches with the tsunami of misinformation pounding us everyday.
  6. Avoid clichés. They muddy meaning because Gen Y does not get the older references, for example.
  7. Offer your audience a message that helps them align with what you are seeking.
  8. Avoid motivating by fear—it is negative and short-term. You will be forever associated with it, too.
  9. Listen to generations different than your own. They “hear” things differently.
  10. Align your actions with your words. Generation Y is watching and they despise phonies—have your word mean something.

Now, go and inspire someone with your ideas. There is so much work to be done. mc

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Reach out and touch your audience’s concerns

15 May 11
Michelle Cubas
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Host Deb Scott gave me a platform to discuss a pertinent business coaching issues on job creation and how to apply the 4P’s—People, Profits, Purpose, and Performance/Productivity in your business. Enjoy. Please leave feedback in the comments section. Thank you. MC  Enjoy the show here!

Complimentary materials download is available at http://www.positivepotentials.com/jobdownload.htm

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