Executive coaching Aberdeen – who’s in?

It’s a funny question to ask: who’s in for executive coaching in Aberdeen isn’t it? Why be so specific about a town, why be so focussed on senior leaders (CEOs, MDs, board members and senior directors)? And what are the benefits of answering ‘yes’ to this question? Are those who’ll benefit genuinely aware of how life could be richer (on every level)?

During the past 7 years UK businesses, like the rest of the world, have had challenges above and beyond anything experienced in 2 perhaps 3 generations. Funding from banks hit industry after industry, loans were called in, borrowing diminished, expansion came to a halt, businesses became leaner by cutting costs which meant jobs had to go, and with that tens of thousands of families had to make adjustments – some were major.

So, did this global financial adjustment impact all countries and all industries? Or have there been isolated sectors that have been relatively untouched (have some perhaps even thrived)? Well, here’s what doesn’t stop in the UK – a nation has to eat, a nation has to keep warm, a nation has to move its people and products around country and world in order to continue to trade. So food, energy and transport – untouched?

About 4 years ago I moved my family and my business out of London, 450 miles north to the east coast of Scotland. It was a temporary move for 18 months to allow me to write a book and to launch a new business brand. I arrived … and I stayed. In contrast to much of the country what I noticed was that Aberdeenshire was relatively buoyant in its industries. Energy, oil, sub sea solutions and supply, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals production were all continuing to hold their own … and in some cases they were expanding.

Energy in particular – which is what Aberdeen’s success is majoratively built on – continues to expand at an extraordinary rate.

So what does this mean for those leading the way in energy production, delivery and supply? It means that, for now, those leaders may well feel untouchable or they may feel under pressure – perhaps a bit of both. ‘It’s not going to stop any time soon’ (perhaps not in their own lifetime – not so for the next generation); ‘we don’t have time  to look at what’s coming next, there’s still so much to deliver now’; ‘we’re still expanding – it’s all good’.

And those are not necessarily unhealthy mindsets to have for a CEO, an MD or a senior direct – a company needs them to be convinced as well as convincing.

So what is the value of an executive coaching in this scenario? It’s almost too huge to quantify. It only takes a glance at the list below to see why it makes sense though. Executive coaches are hired by senior executives to ensure that those carving out the future success of their industry:

  • Are clear, inspired, motivated and motivating
  • Have a plan for both product and people expansion
  • See the opportunities long before they make sense to the competition
  • Remain balanced in work and life
  • Are creative and convinced when it comes to risk taking
  • Have characters and lifestyles that inspire people to aspire
  • Consciously seek to do business with integrity, resilience and grace

Back to the original question then. If it’s an executive coach in Aberdeen you’ve worked out your company needs, (or in fact in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Manchester for that matter),  and if the above benefits sound attractive to you, I’d say you’re a step away from a breakthrough.

Leadership Success: clarity, passion, teamwork

The great thing about coaching leadership success is that it naturally has a positive ripple effect throughout the rest of the company. Directors get clear, they speak with expectation and inspiration to their managers and in turn those managers create a culture of unlimited possibilities within their teams –  a win for productivity, for the organisation and for its customers.

So what does it take for a business leader to motivate a team to operate at peak potential? Clarity, enthusiasm and motivation all contribute – that takes body, mind and heart know-how. The ‘x-factor’ for limitless results is always the same …  add soul to the equation. Here’s some of what I know about that:

Energy organises around what is most articulate in your system. When your predominant resonance is one of expectation, you attract excitement, when it’s one of progress you attract action, one of confusion you attract mixed messages, one of conflict you attract aggression, one of expansion you attract opportunities.

It’s important to equip yourself with a colourful vocabulary around the subject you’re passionate about. Practice speaking out how great it’s going to be to achieve that promotion, build that team, launch that new product line, expand into that region or sell that millionth unit.  Everything is achieved with less effort when your predominant vibration is one of already having achieved the result you’re dreaming of.

As a leader:

  • Everything you do influences others: your words, your attitude, your humour, your discipline.
  • Be clear (and if you’re not, get a coach and get clear) – because directors and managers will model your message. There’s got to be a sense that a team know how their contribution fits into the big picture, and how that’s valued overall by the organisation. Clarity will cut through timelines like nothing else in business.
  • Get to know the human capital available to you.  You may have  an Einstein on your payroll; she may know how to deliver a process or a product that’s unlike anything anyone’s see before. If that’s the case you really want to have access to that genius.

Coaching leadership success is all about placing the success of a leader’s results squarely in the realms of their own responsibility. The more you invest in yourself the more limitless the possibilities you create for yourself and for those around you – personally and professionally!

Wow, December Already … Now What?

If I were to knock on your office door tomorrow and say this:  ’Knowing that you’re guaranteed to succeed, what is your plan – personal & professional – for 2012?

  • Would you know your answer?
  • Would you smile with excitement and be able to rattle off the details?
  • And are the people who’re going to support you in those changes already briefed and onside?

If the answer to those 3 points is ‘yes’, then congratulations, you can save yourself 2 minutes by skipping the rest of this blog and going back to your joyous state of clarity & attracting the dream!

For those who aren’t clear about what you’d like to see manifest before December 2012, that’s ok, welcome to the tribe!

Forward planning doesn’t have to be a laborious, drawn out kind of process, however, if you want a significantly improved version of this year though, trust me the 30 minutes you invest in this little exercise will be the most precious time you’ve spent … ever. Here’s the strategy:

  • Book a 30 minute meeting with yourself within the next 7 days and write it into your diary (because if it’s in there and you treat yourself with the respect you treat other people, you’ll stick to it!)
  • Go somewhere quiet whether it’s in the office or in the house, or out to a favorite hide away in a library or a coffee shop (and put your I’m-serious-don’t-bother-me face on so that people know to keep their distance)
  • Ask What Do I Want? …. and with your blank paper and pen at the ready, let this simplest and most powerful question in the world sink beyond your intellect and into your heart & soul … just wait … then
  • Write your thoughts down, and if it helps use these 8 headings: Career; Finances; Relationship; Friends & Family; Health; Recreation; Personal Growth; Service to Others (if you’re not that structured, just let all the ideas in your mind find their own words and form on the page)
  • Hold the mindset of ‘I’m guaranteed to succeed’ – and write from that place of trusting (because for sure your sub-conscious has a field day during these tasks with ‘but … well you can’t because … what will people say … how are you qualified … who’s going to listen … it’s never been done’). Be courageous with the intentions of your future.

When you’re finished the excercise – that’s round 1 done. Congratulations!

Round 2 happens over the next 5 days, when once a day for 10 minutes you re-read your vision and check in with yourself how that feels. Picture yourself living the reality that you’ve created for yourself and remind yourself ‘I’m guaranteed to succeed!’.

The trick with all of this mindset mastery is to keep away from the ‘how’. It’s counter-intuitive I know, but when we learn the skill of holding intentions without limiting the outcomes by leading with our intellect, that’s when we tap into ‘success with soul’, infinite possibility and extraordinary & speedy results.

Round 3 happens by paying attention to how the thoughts you think and the actions you take over the rest of this month are subtly reframed and purposeful. Regularly read and meditate on your 2012 plan throughout December and on through the beginning of the new year. Relax about how it’s going to play out.

It IS going to play out.

Successful Leadership – Get Plugged In!

I’ve often heard when working with a corporate leadership client – ‘well I haven’t told anyone I’m working with you – I don’t want them to know there’s a problem’. And I have to ask myself ‘where has this message come from’ because I certainly don’t work with clients because there’s a problem (nor do any of my associate executive coaches) – I work with clients who are whole, capable, already successful AND have unreleased potential.

And here’s the thing – everyone I know has unreleased potential, even the highest fliers in their field – JK Rowling, Bill Gates, Paul Polman (CEO Unilever), Larry Page & Sergey Brin (Founders, Google), Roger Federer – whether sport, business or creative arts there never comes a point when you can say, ‘I know all I could ever know’ or ‘I have contributed all I’m able to contribute’.

The shift I work with my clients on is to become conscious of their infinite power to create and contribute. You see 99.9% of people on our planet don’t yet know that with every thought they think, they create something – thoughts are things. So we meander through life with unchecked thinking – what will I write in that proposal, I wish I had a different boss, wouldn’t it be great to win the lottery, who would I date if I could choose anyone at all, what shall I have for dinner tonight, oh, yes, that proposal – having no idea that these thoughts are creating an attraction to the outcome as we think them.

Also, about 97% of the thoughts that occur in our mind happen at a subconscious level. Anything that has to happen frequently – movement, driving, assessing a persons status, choosing the words we speak out, our emotional response to seeing lovers kissing – is predominantly in the domain of the automated part of ourselves. To actively manage what we’re creating, we have to override some of that automation (where there are limited beliefs) with some new likelihoods.

Infinite possibilities come from our ability to tap into our soul – the design of who we are in connection to all that is. It’s like a toaster plugging into the electricity supply – it can only do what it’s designed to do by having this network of power run through it. And that electricity is always there – just waiting. It doesn’t care if it’s powering a kettle, an iMac, a hairdryer or a mobile phone. It just gives out the essence of what it is to allow a product to be of service.

Same thing applies with Infinite Possibility (or universal potential) – our soul’s the plug by which we get consciously connected to it. And the ‘flow’ we connect to doesn’t make choices around worthiness, status or level to which we aspire; it’s just fully available to everyone  – man, woman, rich, poor, clear, confused, young, old – all cultures, all abilities, all visions.

So when you’re considering what it takes for you to be even more of a successful leader that you already are, ask your executive ‘electrician’ about how to connect your soul to unlimited Source energy. Infinite Possibility is what dynamic, fluent, innovative leadership is all about. Make the shift from unconscious to conscious business leadership; from ambition to meaning; and from seeing problems to acknowledging unreleased potential.

12 Principles for Using the Law of Attraction: Part 2

… continued …

6. Law of Connection: nothing happens by chance. Every action has a consequence or a reaction. Everything is energy – light, sound, heat, emotions, thought, even those things that appear static or solid, like rocks, sea, cars, jewels and planets. We are connected through this field of energy to all other beings, to the things we desire and to Source itself. All that we do has a greater consequence in contributing to the ‘everythingness’ of the universe. Like a pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples are ever expansive. We reap what we sow.

“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul” Dr Wayne Dyer

7. Law of Rhythm: everything has a flow. Seasons, cycles, stages of development, patterns. Night follows day, tides rise and fall, wake follows sleep, peace follows conflict and wisdom follows challenge. When we begin to live conscious lives the cycles become clearer and it allow us to step back from challenges, pain or learning curves and say ‘it’s part of life in same way as happiness, victories and progress’ – we live trusting that this too will pass.

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each” Henry David Thoreau

8. Law of Allowing: all things manifest from thought to form in their right time. Our holding to these laws, practicing, refining ourselves and committing to lifelong learning is what’s called for here. If we’re thinking the thoughts and taking the action, the rest is about trusting the process. The more we can let go of our limited agenda and allow the universe to do it’s stuff (and allow other people to do theirs too!), the more room it has to maneuver a stunning result.

“Once we plant the seed of intention in the ground of pure potentiality, our soul’s journey unfolds automatically, as naturally as a bulb becomes a tulip or an embryo becomes a child” Deepak Chopra

9. Law of Patience and Reward: true mastery requires patient persistence, expectancy and joy as we focus on the goal. Know that success doesn’t lie at the destination, it exists in every moment of HOW we journey. Developing that mindset includes the art of allowing and that combination is powerful in manifesting the dream you’re heading for.

“He that can have patience, can have what he will” Benjamin Franklin

11. Law of Humility: the purpose of an individual is unique. Whilst there may be similarities to what other people are creating in their time here on earth, your life is not theirs and theirs not yours. Each life mix is as individual as a fingerprint – history, expectations, family, fitness, intellect and spiritual journey. Allow difference. Respect it. Celebrate it. There are many right ways. Be constantly aware to acknowledge and encourage others’ chosen path and keep well away from comparison unless it serves to inspire you.

“It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is” Hermann Hesse

12. Law of Gratitude: an attitude of gratitude aligns purpose, soul and Source in one straight line. Developing gratitude and feeling it deeply on a moment-to-moment basis (which takes practice!!) is like laying a flawless road for a performance car; the potential for speed is immense. Being grateful when living with challenges is when the skill of ‘reframing’ comes into its own. I want to be thinner – ‘I’m grateful that today I lost a pound’; I want to earn more – ‘I’m grateful for my contacts at director level’; I want to find my soul-mate – ‘I’m grateful for my social life and friends’.

“When you are grateful, fear dissolves and abundance appears” Anthony Robbins

Remember … Everything is energy. And thoughts become things.

This is the briefest outline of the Universal Laws of Success. Knowing them and adjusting your life to fully benefit from them aren’t so far apart, however it requires intimate understanding of the principles and disciplined habit changing. Simple … but not easy. You’ve got to want the results and be willing to do the learning and make the adjustments!

What I can tell you is this though. As a Success with Soul Coach, I’ve seen clients embrace these secrets with dramatic effect– not even all of them, just one or two pertinent to their particular circumstance. I’ve had clients double their salary while reducing the number of days at work; shift to a new career & country; get pregnant after years of trying; get fitness goals on track within weeks; renew on-the-edge professional relationships to a place of respect ; and receive unexpected money in the mail. These are exceptional examples in a short time frame, however they demonstrate that the laws do work. In other cases, clients have reported increased happiness and meaning; a greater sense of connection and purpose; more inspiration and motivation; and an overwhelming sense of peace.

Personally, you can’t put a price on that stuff – it’s where miracles begin.

12 Principles for Using the Law of Attraction: Part 1

Here are the first 6 of the 12 universal principles which form the basis of all success generated on the planet.

Being ‘universal’ means that they apply to you whether or not you’re aware of them, much like gravity. However, knowing the principles is the first step to increasing your choices and raising your game in health, wealth, love and happiness, so … read on, you’re in the right place.

1. Law of Thinking: thoughts are catalysts, shifting dreams into form. Using thought every second of every day, each of us is the creator of our own life experiences, our own reality. So if we change our thoughts, we change our world.

“What we think, we become” Buddha

2. Law of Abundance: There is infinite supply for each of us to create our dreams – materials, people, resources, power, energy, knowledge, passion and wealth. More for someone else doesn’t mean less for you. Body, mind, heart and soul will thrive in this life when we embrace the true meaning of abundance. If you can think it, you can create it.

“When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” Lao Tzu

3. Law of Expansion: Change is a constant and through it the universe intends for growth. Each of us has a unique purpose in the short time we exist in this physical form. You can choose to engage with personal progress or at any time to sit it out – neither is better than the other. Expansion happens you in an infinite number of ways; deep thinking, experiencing, mediating, praising, sharing, collaborating, acknowledging, intending, reading, writing, coaching, mentoring … forever.

“All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward” Ellen Glasgow

4. Law of Attraction: thoughts, feelings, words and actions produce energies which vibrate out from us, then in turn, attract like energies towards us. What we focus on we attract. By paying attention to what is inspiring, positive and affirming, we attract back those same energies in various forms.

“ … Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if something is excellent or praiseworthy – think on these things” Philippians 4:8

5. Law of Responsibility: to experience success, take 100% responsibility for everything in your life, positive or challenging. Give up blaming and complaining. Think. Work out what has to change, then change it. Only when you make decisions from a place of 100% responsibility can you take charge of the future you’re designing for yourself.

“I am the master of my soul: I am the captain of my ship” William Ernest Henley

6. Law of Action: life requires our participation. To manifest on earth we must translate our thoughts into action. Even the smallest action towards our goal counts – a conversation had, a compliment given, a form completed, a piece of research filed, a cup of coffee well made, a gathering of like minds, a ticket booked, an article written, and email sent – all inspired action whether to further our career, health, relationships or knowledge is increased by the universe under the law of expansion.

“The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” Confusious

… Laws 7-12 will follow shortly on my next blog …

Self Improvement & The Talent Myth

Your self improvement is dependent on a number of factors, 95% of which are entirely within your control. I work in an industry where someone’s excellence is often publicly observed – a tv presenter, a radio host, an author, journalist, politician, sports person, musician, speaker or a CEO or corporate leader.

We’ve all heard comments like ‘she’s just SO capable’, or ‘he’s such a gifted singer’. But here’s the thing … why is it that the most talented people are also the ones who happen to have put in the most hours?

What you see when someone appears to be displaying a great talent in the time you spend with them, is barely the tip of the iceberg of their story.

A 10-year old tennis ‘genius’ is certainly an awesome spectacle. However, seeing a ball, reading an opponent, selecting the right grip, choosing a return shot and and hitting it with conviction are all learned responses. You see, when his peers were riding their bikes, playing their play stations, sleeping in late and swapping their football cards, he was on the tennis court. Hour after hour dedicated to his sport, rain or shine, loving the challenges, celebrating the breakthroughs and over time, reaping the rewards.

When a person is fully engaged (that’s the secret!) in the process of excellence, focussed on their personal development and ultimate vision – that’s when their rise to recognition in their sector is fast-tracked.

Experts have passion for their subject area whether it’s art, music, business, parenting, cooking, sport, science or engineering. And one thing my experience has shown me time after time is that hours, days, weeks, months and years dedicated to a vision is guaranteed to pay off over time.

Two things that all successful people have in common:

  • They’ve practiced their skill for thousands of hours
  • They’ve been purposeful in their self improvement (that is, they’ve been active in stretching themselves out of their comfort zone on a regular basis in order to reach the outer-limits of their present capabilites).

There are no tricks, no short cuts and no secret formulas to sharing your calling with the world. There’s only passion, commitment, steady growth and … one day… celebrating the reality of the vision that drove you on year after year.

So, be encouraged … if you want it so bad you can taste it … keep going. Every hour you invest in purposeful practice is a step closer. YOU are no less capable than Winston Churchill, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Piccasso, Coldplay, Einstein or Bill Gates.

I see your brilliance!

Everything is Energy

I’ve been reading this amazing book – The Wave, by Susan Casey. I’m gripped! It’s research into understanding ocean waves, from regular moon pulling currents, to random, ship-splitting, gargantuan rogue waves. And about how surfers use and interact with the ocean, especially now there’s a $500,000.00 price tag out there from Billabong (world’s no. 1 surf brand) for the first person (or nutter!) to surf a 100ft wave.

What’s really drawing me about the book is the detail of the culture of the world’s surfing elite. The passion involved, the commitment, the risks, the relationships, the trust and the victory when a new and mighty wave is conquered; and overriding all of this a soul-centred respect for a power greater than ourselves.

I see parallels of this tribe mirrored in all walks of life – business, sport, science, faith, family, nature. A confirmation that passion drives us, wipe-outs happen, persistence brings success, and connection to your purpose adds something ‘other-worldly’ to your journey of success.

Everything is energy!