What’s your vision, mission & values? Flavour of the day or …

Posted August 5th, 2015 in Business Coaching, Leadership, Values, Vision by admin



Over the past few years I have been coaching a number of small business owners and am continually amazed that they have not spent the time developing and living by their vision, mission & values. I’m not sure why I’m so surprised as many have not had that type of training or have not been able to take the time to reflect. They may have worked in organizations that had a vision however no one had bought into it – mainly because it was wordy, developed by the leaders and not moved down into their organizations.

Realizing this, developing these key ingredients has become a first step when working with an enterprise or team. Without the vision, how can you know where your going? What I emphasize with my clients is that every activity must be able to relate back to your vision. If it doesn’t, then the next question is ‘why are you doing it?’ The vision must also be able to excite you as the owner and your employees also. If it doesn’t, it might need work or the employees might not be the right fit for the company. When working with groups and entrepreneurs I very often use the original Star Trek example – ‘Space, the final frontier’. If you were an explorer, how would that not excite you. This thought fits very well into the work of Simon Sinek (Start with Why) and Ben Zander’s work with the Boston Philharmonic. The Boston Philharmonic’s vision is ‘passionate music making without boundaries’. The examples of how they live it are very powerful!

Another key element is values – for you and your organization. How well have you identified your values? How well do you live them? In my workshops and time spent with business owners we do exercises to identify what their values are and how will they and their business live them. I find it very exciting when we finish these topics and they have created their vision and identified their values. I hear excitement in their voice and a spring in their step as we exit!

So – how exciting is your vision? How well do you live the values you or your team have committed to? If they’re not working for you, find a coach who can lead you through the process and help you discover the spring in your step again!

The Need for Leaders Having the Soft Skills

Posted February 12th, 2011 in Leadership by admin

I’m prompted to write this note after reading a blog from the BNET site. It asks the question Should ‘Soft Skills’ be Key Executive Traits? The author speaks to this being a trend and while there is some good value in the soft skills, they are very hard to measure (especially in job interviews). I believe the author has some very valid points however I would counter that for businesses to survive in our global economy, there will continue to be a greater reliance on these soft skills.

Many organizations have a strong command and control culture that is necessary in certain instances. I’m thinking in particular of those in health care, the military and fire fighting. Their common thread is the fact that significant resources, even lives may be at stake and decisions need to be formulated quickly. In those instances of split decisions, all team members understand their role and someone is required to be in charge and make the calls.

In most instances though, this level of decision making is not required. My observation of the impact of an overused command and control management style is that it leaves many staff with a feeling of not being valued. This takes the passion out of their work lives and minimizes their potential to provide leadership. Leaders who practice the use of soft skills which include listening, visioning, empowerment, empathy, etc., create people and teams that have passion, feel empowered to move their portion of the organization forward and generate a high level of positive energy which generates upward momentum.

The great news is that soft skills and emotional intelligence can be learned. Some people have more of an abundance of it naturally however, these attributes can be acquired and nurtured. Great leadership demands working on the continuum of skills – and knowing the best tool for the situation is what great leaders master.

Where on the continuum do your skills lie? What have you done to enhance your soft skills?

NuStride welcomes your comments – just click on the title of any of the blogs and a comments section will appear at the bottom of the page.

Communicating as a Leader

Posted December 2nd, 2010 in Leadership by admin

Have you ever wondered why you have been successful as a leader? If there was one competency that contributed to your leadership success – what would it be?

I’m wondering what your reaction would be if I said that one of the most effective leadership competencies is communication. Let’s take it a step further with the idea that the most effective part of communication is listening! I enjoy the thought that with the ratio of two ears to one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak.

I remember, as a manager, going into meetings with supervisors regarding resource allocations. It required a lot of restraint on my part to not participate actively in the conversation but to step back and really listen to what was being said. I was able to limit my conversation to asking questions and getting clarification. When I did provide my thoughts at the end, people felt they had been listened to and were much more supportive of a decision – even if it didn’t follow their recommendation.

A few quotes on this topic that ring true for me are:

  • the ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people – Woodrow Wilson
  • silence is a source of great strength – Lao Tzu

So, the next time, in your leadership role that you wish to say something, ask yourself – is this a time to listen or a time to speak?

NuStride welcomes your comments – just click on the title of any of the blogs and a comments section will appear at the bottom of the page.

Being Authentic

Posted October 26th, 2010 in Leadership by admin

It’s interesting that in the past few days I’ve had heard several people referring to being their authentic self or being true to themselves. I started to reflect about that coincidence and how I have been impacted by the same need in the past and how it continues to shape my future. The challenge seems to be even more so for those who hold or have been placed in leadership roles as very often they wear a mask to fulfill what people expect them to be.

I remember when I started a new position as a manager for an office. I didn’t live in the community so I would arrive on a Monday morning and then leave later in the week depending on what my schedule required. I wanted to let everyone know I was in the office and available for them. I would grab a cup of tea and wander the cubicles briefly chatting with those present to share our weekend stories, find out what’s going on this week and to let them know I was there if and when they needed me. It was a demonstration of my compassion and leadership to them – they had become part of my new family and I cared for them and their community!

Their community was undergoing some tough times with mills shutting down, families having to move and there was some real concerns for the office future. I started the Monday afternoon Fireside Chat over the coffee break for people to share their stories and activities and to identify rumors that myself and the other members of the management team could check into and report back on. It created a very positive atmosphere around the office and I believe enabled the trust factor to build. It was my way of showing my authentic self – my caring and compassion for their community and its challenges. If I was not authentic it would be very apparent to them and I would not have been true to me. My personal trust factor and confidence in myself would have dropped.

After leaving my organization earlier this year, I have watched its trust factor drop rapidly as a result of how change was being implemented. Had I stayed, I would not have done well as I would not have been able to maintain my authenticity and honor the values I hold dear.

I would like to ask – how do you bring your authenticity to your position? What is allowing you be authentic and how does it drive your passion? What are your values and how are they reflected in your work and how you carry out your duties? We’d love to share and learn from your experiences!

NuStride welcomes your comments – just click on the title of any of the blogs and a comments section will appear at the bottom of the page.

The Effectiveness of Funding Initiatives

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Uncategorized by admin

I keep wondering how, when trying to support local industries, organizations only use hindsight and the present situation to determine what to fund. As an example, I’ll use the pairing of federal infrastructure development and matched provincial funding. The focus was on necessary infrastructure development (roads, bridges, etc) in the hopes of keeping the economy moving and people employed. The opportunities have been welcomed by construction companies with the spinoff of working employees and strong assets. On the flip side, have we missed some opportunities by limiting our focus on what we’ve done historically. Development such as road building is good for the economy and helps to prepare for the future. What though, if some of that money had been diverted to non-traditional uses and allowed creativity to work? What other activities are out there for those same firms focused more on what the future business might be or look like? How better prepared might we all be to face another downturn in the economy?

As a coach, why am I interested in such a topic? Well, I was involved in several projects requiring the pairing of funds. Now, looking back, I wonder what other businesses or work could have used that funding to increase their markets or their markebility? While the initiatives kept people working, a small portion of that funding would have gone a long way helping firms determine what their new markets might look like. It also supports their ability to show creativity and be ready to transform themselves into something new and exciting. Generating the momentum for change will be a key ingredient for success as we move more aggressively into a knowledge base resource economy in Northern BC!

I’m wondering what others are doing to promote the change in their business needed to participate globally and deal with change in a proactive manner? How could a coach in your corner support you moving forward?

NuStride welcomes your comments – just click on the title of any of the blogs and a comments section will appear at the bottom of the page.

Feeling Reinvigorated

Posted October 11th, 2010 in Uncategorized by admin

How have you reinvigorated yourself? What did it take to find that feeling? I have to say that I’m finding that feeling for me and NuStride. After having a great summer and some awesome family time, I started re-branding NuStride with a new symbol, a redesigned website and new ideas for helping leaders move forward.

For me it has generated a lot of excitement but what has really happened? Well, going a little deeper, I found I met more new people, had a new look and learned over the past few months more about myself, my family and the people I work with. It’s generated a great deal of energy within and around me – and I think it’s been tied to the learning side of my development. That has created more fun in my life! I’m on a roll so watch out!!

What has created the energy in your life lately? What can you do to become reinvigorated? I would love to hear what you are doing to continue moving forward!

New website launched

Posted September 16th, 2010 in Uncategorized by admin

Hi! Thank you for visiting our new website. We will continually update and improve our online presence so that we can best communicate with our clients and community. If you have any ideas or feedback for NuStride we’d be pleased to hear from you.

Please email us at nustride@telus.net.

Have a great day!