Why business coaching is a humbling career

I get to work alongside superheroes in the various fields who use their amazing powers to get their clients real results

Why business coaching is a humbling careerAs a business coach, I’ve been gifted with the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people on the planet. These are not the rich and famous, the lofty or the well heeled, though I’ve met and worked alongside some of these. Through my career as a business coach, I come in contact with some…

It’s halftime! Are you winning?

Most small business leaders have no defined goals, they’re unsure what to keep track of and they’re floating from year to year

It’s halftime! Are you winning?“How do we win?” I asked. “We need to score baskets,” they answered. “How do we score baskets?” Donncha asked. “We need to pass and we need to shoot,” they answered. Our questions went on and on. The scoreboard told the story. It was halftime and our team was down by six points. The girls…

Rock, paper scissors: creating a successful workplace culture

If you want to work in a place that’s fun, start making it fun. If you want to work in a place that’s excellent, start making it excellent

Rock, paper scissors: creating a successful workplace cultureRock, paper, scissors is a game we all played as children in the playground. And in a company department nearby, they hold a weekly Rock, Paper Scissors Championship. On Thursday of every week, the people in the department gather on their lunch break for a few minutes to play rock, paper, scissors to determine who…

Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer service

How many times do your customers leave your business because you’ve trained your staff to guard your products but not sell them?

Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer serviceI had just climbed the steepest part of the hill and was out of breath when out of the corner of my eye I saw the dog sprinting out of the driveway towards me. My heart was already racing and I was doing my best to stay on my bike when I felt its teeth…

Are you too busy to be really successful?

We’re fooled into thinking that there’s a direct relationship between being busy and success. In truth, we need to find a life balance

Are you too busy to be really successful?A business owner reached out to me to schedule a strategy session. First he emailed me and then he called me. I figured he must be serious. As we were talking on the phone, he told me that he was overwhelmed, he wanted to take his business to the next level but he needed to…

Turning business failure into success is a matter of focus

When we get into a downhill spiral of negativity, it’s often hard to change. And negativity can sink a business very quickly

Turning business failure into success is a matter of focusI recently worked with a company to solve a long-standing problem in one of their departments. The stressed owner of the company was frustrated at the lack of positive results. The company had brought in professionals over the years but to no avail. In fact, things were getting worse. Shortly after I came on-board to…

Does religion have any place in business?

Most of the world religions are based on love. What would happen if there was more love in our business relationships and functions?

Does religion have any place in business?The pastor was clear: “When you have God within you, the business you’re working with will thrive!” The words caught my wandering mind off guard and I tried to focus on what I’d just heard. I’d never heard anyone say from a pulpit that God could make a difference in business. In today’s world, the…

Ready to sell your business? Make sure it has value

Fifty-five per cent of businesses are going to transition to new owners or close in the next decade

Ready to sell your business? Make sure it has valueI recently gave a talk to a commercial real estate association. They asked me to talk about how they could sell more listed businesses. During the presentation, I asked them what percentage of businesses that are listed are actually sold. The response was “very few.” I wasn’t surprised. Not only is it hard to sell…

Battle scars of business the cost of excellence

Leadership isn’t always as glamorous as it seems and the wounds suffered in the pursuit of dreams don’t always heal

Battle scars of business the cost of excellenceI froze during my speech as I looked out at the faces of the members of that chamber of commerce. It was a temporary block that hopefully went unnoticed by my audience. Yet clearly, I was unfocused for a second. I had been asked to be the guest speaker at their awards celebration. I had…

Your business is lost without leadership

Good leaders provide a clarity of vision, decision-making structure and communication systems

Your business is lost without leadershipIt was 6 a.m. on a Monday morning and the instructor for the spin class didn’t show up. Lost without leadership, half a dozen women and a sprinkling of middle-aged men were sitting on their bikes pedalling aimlessly. Disappointed that there wasn’t going to be a fitness class, I considered what I should do for…

Are good salespeople manipulative?

The best sales traits include caring for customers, asking great questions, following a system and being persistent

Are good salespeople manipulative?The snow in 1979 was record breaking and it was still piled high in our yard late into the spring. My brother Rob was so anxious to see the green grass that he decided to sell the snow. He drafted a sign and put it in the front snowbank. He was determined to sell it…

Clearing the air: How industry should respond to public concerns

In Prince George, Canfor accepted the challenge to address pollution issues. Other businesses can and should follow suit to deal with social conflicts

Clearing the air: How industry should respond to public concernsA few years ago, I was involved with a small team of people in my community of Prince George who gathered with the sole goal of improving the air quality. I was spurred on by a letter to the newspaper by a woman unknown to me, Betty Bekkering, complaining about the local air quality. I…

Five skills we need to teach our emerging leaders

Communication, accountability, time management, servitude and mentoring all play important roles

Five skills we need to teach our emerging leadersThe surprise snowfall that spring day stopped just before I dropped my girls off at their high school. But more surprising than the snowfall was the vision I encountered at the school. The principal and the vice-principal were shovelling the sidewalks so the students didn’t have to trek through the wet snow. They were greeting…

The transition zone: how to hand your business off to new owners

You want to leave behind a functioning, viable business. And you want to ensure your employees are prepared for this stressful change

The transition zone: how to hand your business off to new ownersIt was one of my most embarrassing moments. I climbed out of the water at the triathlon at West Lake and in front of all the spectators, I threw up on James Sexton’s shoes. As his kids cheered me on, I moved to the transition zone where I quickly got on my bike and away…

How to overcome the sales/marketing disconnect

We need regular, repeatable communication systems that bring marketing into the sales cycle and allow sales to contribute to the marketing plans

How to overcome the sales/marketing disconnectOne of my clients was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing programs yet their customers didn’t seem engaged. They felt there was a problem with their sales team and asked if I could help. In many businesses, there’s a disconnect between the marketing department and the sales team. In an established business like…