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Filtering by Tag: focus

Communication - the real work of leadership

Alan Andersen

Communication is the real work of leadership. –Nitin Nohria

 The key to business success is relationships. Without high functioning relationships with employees, customers, vendors, and stockholders, your chances for success are nil. At the core of any relationship is a very small word and a very big concept:TRUST Without trust, communication breaks down, conflict escalates, productivity declines, business suffers, and mostly individuals suffer.

What is the source of trust, then? It’s simple, really: good communication. And we’re not talking about how people pronounce their words! Trust is being able to rely on your teammate’s character, skills, ability, and integrity. It is also, knowing and trusting the leader has well-defined roles, goals, and systems for sustainability and growth. Trust is knowing your team has your back.

When building a team, trust enables you to maximize the skills and talents of each individual and then bring those talents together to do something bigger than any one person can do alone. The one thing that gets in the way of having a high performing team is the lack of productive conflict, which leads to a lack of commitment and accountability. If you are not having productive conflict about ideas and issues you lack trust and simply stated are not a high functioning team.

The best tools to build trust and ensure good communication is through industry standard scientifically based assessments of behavior, motivation, and communication style. In our company, we use the TTI Talent Insights assessment to make sure all of our teammates know each other’s style and adapt their style to open up communication to the team.


When there is trust and stellar communication, you will find higher job satisfaction, decreased turnover, less interpersonal conflict, greater efficiency and productivity, commitment and ownership of the job, a greater sense of reward at work.


Remember trust is indeed earned and it is either growing or eroding. It is not something you “get” and then forget. It must be invested in and worked on daily, weekly, monthly, annually in order to maintain and grow it.

 Steps to Start the Process:

1. Know your own leadership style. Take a TTI Talent Insight and get a certified coach to debrief it with you. Be clear on your strengths and aware of your blind spots.

 2. Focus on Emotional Intelligence. The number one attribute of leadership is emotional intelligence: The wisdom of knowing how people are individually wired and how you can build a team from strengths that supplement your gifts.

3. Build a team. As soon as you can begin to let go! Let other people help you and give them authority equal to their responsibility. Continually invest in your people. It is tempting to overlook this in start up mode but if you are a natural task master you will only get so far so add to your wonderful talent of systems and processes the discipline of building a culture of trust and communication.

4. It all starts with you! If not now, when?

When you have trust you can then have clarity. With clarity and focus on the right thing, the right way, while focusing on key relationships, it will result in faster growth that breeds long-lasting results. 

Your Coach,

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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Leadership is about laser focus

Alan Andersen

Mary Beth King is one of our Shandel Group coaches that has a decade of proven success. She and I share the same heart and methodology for coaching leaders to their next level. 

Join her in this conversation about leadership and learn a few things about Leadership and Laser Focus. Clarity fans will love this one.

Join Mary Beth’s conversation…


Yes, strategically choosing to give time and energy to nothing but the goals.

What goals?

The goals that come from the leaders above and from personal leadership within.

Goals are over-arching and complex:

  • the company’s vision statement
  • the expected profit for the division
  • the two-year project
  • the date of the triathlon

 What gets in their way?

 Everything that is not the goal. Everything is a potential distraction.

 That sounds cold-hearted.

 Not if one of your goals includes being warm-hearted.

 Should it?

 There are no should’s for the leader. There are the goals and the focus.

 Where does the focus come from?

 Focus is born out of integrity.

 But why focus? It sounds rigid and inflexible.

 Not if your goals include flexibility.

 Why focus?

 Focus handles distractions. They melt away.


 When focused, the leader knows what to do and what not to do.

Knowing what not to do makes it clear what to do.

Many a leader has crashed simply due to lack of focus.

Distractions can be very compelling. Even dressed up to look like part of the goal.

I can’t focus like that.

There’s one of those demanding little voices inside that:

  • compares the leader with others
  • judges the leader incompetent
  • tries to crowd the leader’s plate with too many tasks

How can the leader get more focus and move beyond their own doubts?

Leaders get focus and combat doubts when they:

  • clarify their goals
  • create reminders
  • compare each potential task to the goals
  • choose those tasks that align

 That sounds easy.

 Simple, yes. Easy, no.

Gaining focus also means checking out the back burners for important tasks that are being ignored.

How far back?

All the way.

Leading is about focus.

Focus keeps the leader’s “doing” aligned with the leader’s goals.

Focus is the leader’s power to ignore negative internal messages.

Focus gets things done. Well.

Focus leads to success and it models the pathway to get there.

Focus lets the leader sleep at night. It’s part of the goals.

 I can focus. 

Mary Beth King

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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What are you ready for in this next season of life?

Alan Andersen

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love it all. The turning of the leaves, the duraflame in the fireplace, the football games all bundled up, the warm days and chilly nights and the familiar feeling of going back to school that still lingers in my 40 year old body.

I have to say it was a fantastic summer AND I am ready for a new season, how about you? I'm ready for the what's next and the next level that awaits me personally and professionally. What are you ready for?

Ready or Not – Jump in!

Maybe you can't see what is next, that's okay many of us don't but we want it. I am always in search for more clarity and focus regarding the season I am in and what the future holds. Truth is…it is a daily journey. The key is to have an intentional desire for more and the discipline to take the next step.

Do Something!

There is nothing that brings me more joy than to walk alongside coachable people who want to live an intentional life with clarity and focus. In July, we began a journey together through my newest book Clarity: Focusing on What Matters. The book is perfect for the ADHD leader or busy person because you only read 2 pages, 400 words or less each WEEK! For goodness sakes all of us can do that!

Each week, we provide additional tools, insights, and how to's here on the blog. We just finished Week #11 and next week will kick off the Fall Season with Week #12.

It's not too late!

Jump on in and get involved. If you just bought the book you can get into the stream because we have 40 more weeks together.

If you want to get caught up and follow along with the book. Just follow this formula (now just put the number that corresponds with the week you are reading in the book. For example week 1 (which is my favorite writing in the book)

Share the thing you love the most about Fall below.  I love to hear!

Your Coach For Clarity!

This article originally appeared at True Life Coaching

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