Category: Responsibility

7 Ways to Improve Your Personal Power and Influence as a Leader…

By , October 24, 2012 3:53 pm

“One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.”

 ~ Stephen R Covey, Author.

Many of us struggle when trying to influence others (sometimes we can’t even influence ourselves!)

One of the key elements of influencing is credibility.

You may have heard the saying: perception is reality – Other people judge you by your actions (what you do, what you say or how you act) and NOT by your intentions. Your behavior has a huge impact on your credibility.

You are your demonstrated behavior…

I’m often asked the question: How can I build my personal credibility?

Just because you’re CEO of your company or a manager/team leader in your department, this doesn’t mean that others will listen to you. Credibility isn’t guaranteed – you have to create it.

Sometimes you can leverage your expertise or use your status to influence others. You also may have witnessed where this power is over used (usually when someone’s ego kicks in and they become power-crazed!).

One often overlooked power-base is integral to your credibility (and authenticity): your personal power. It can be very effective.

I believe that we all are all born with unlimited personal power. Life bestows this gift upon us. As kids, we test it out in its purest form. Over time our personal power is shaped by cultural, social and parental influences around us.

These create layers of structure and conditioning that teach us how to blend and fit in. We unconsciously follow what is ‘acceptable’ behavior for someone in that role being influenced by those who we perceive to have authority around us.

 We are taught to keep our head down, be a ‘good employee’ and we blend into to our surroundings. Our own personal power is pushed down and subdued.

Sometimes we play small, perhaps over-awed by the perceived power of others. We become de-sensitized and numb to our own personal power, falsely believing that others have higher value and worth.

Your own personal power is ALWAYS available to you… You just have to choose to use it by becoming the power point in your life.

Here’s how to develop your Personal Power…

Clarity - People with high levels of personal power are clear and focused on what is important. They know what they want to achieve and can describe it to others. They have clear goals and take deliberate action.

Self-awareness – Most people struggle to allow their own voice to speak out. Finding your voice allows you to contribute, lead and make a difference. It is an evolving process: You don’t just wake up one morning and it’s lying next to you! You have to become a Student of YOU and go in search of it.

There are untapped talents lying dormant inside all of us. Tap into your strengths: What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? Build on your strengths by looking for opportunities to use them in your daily work. Share them with others: I have value…Here’s how I can help.

Energy and Enthusiasm - Energy and enthusiasm are linked. They feed off each other and are key components of personal power. Successful, positive people have an abundance of energy. Enthusiasm is infectious: What are you infecting the people around you with??

Empathy - Understanding the other person’s map of the world, as they see it, is hugely important if you want to influence them effectively. If I believe that you understand me I will be more open and honest with you. Listening and understanding is important because people buy off people they know, like and trust. Genuinely show that you care. This isn’t about YOU… It’s ALL ABOUT THEM. Tune in to the people you are serving – Get to know them.

By being empathic you are demonstrating that you understand and respect their point of view (Even if you disagree). You are giving them value, showing you care by being authentic.

Self-belief - You are what you believe. Your thinking is YOUR reality. People with high levels of personal power believe in their vision and take deliberate action to make things happen. Learn how to reframe your limiting beliefs and change your thinking. Become the power point in your life. Believing in yourself makes you credible to others.

Lead the way – You don’t need formal authority to lead – Our conditioning just makes us falsely believe this. Stop waiting to be one of the ‘chosen few.’ Decide to step into your power and be proactive rather than reactive. Stop waiting for someone to give you permission to lead. Self-leadership begins from the inside out. Lead yourself and others will follow… Just be YOU!

Look for support  – A coach can help you develop and leverage your personal power. This can make a huge difference to your confidence and success.

Re-connect to your personal power.

Stop Blaming and Start Claiming Responsibility for Your Results

By , October 1, 2012 9:35 pm

“This is YOUR life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now.” 

 Natalie Goldberg, author.

A few years ago a HR Director asked me to come into her organisation to coach a senior executive called John, who desperately wanted to be a director.

John was a technical expert in his field but had no idea how to interact and lead people. He lacked self-awareness and empathy.

He struggled with people skills and had upset a lot of people. Some of his own team had even complained to HR about his behaviour and approach.

I was brought in to help him to develop his emotional intelligence – He was a very talented guy.

When I met him for the first time, he was sat behind his big desk with his hands behind his head. The first words he said to me were:

“Hello dear, now aren’t you the girlie who’s going to make me a director?!”

I politely explained that I wasn’t going to MAKE him a director. He was going to make himself a director, but that was totally up to him and only if he REALLY WANTED to do the work!

As a coach one of the hardest things to coach is responsibility and ownership…

You cannot make someone change – they have got to want to change.

There have been occasions when I’ve wanted success for my clients more than they have wanted it for themselves… I am responsible to my clients as a coach but THEY are responsible for their own results – In other words…They have to do the work!

My client has to take it, walk the talk and own their own results.

Forward motion, stretching out of your comfort zone and making change all begins from the inside. It’s not something that can be done to you.

There is a huge difference between interest and commitment

…Your success is totally down to YOU.

Your business, career, aspirations, relationships, family time and fun time are ALL down to you.

It’s your choice…

Some people like to whine, moan and collude about what is not working and how it’s someone else’s fault. In fact, it’s a full time occupation for some people! It’s okay to get things off your chest, as long as a line is drawn and the individual then steps into their power to take responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Here’s how Stop Blaming and Start Claiming Responsibility for Your Results:

Own your results – Being successful in work and life is ALL about your relationship with YOU. It’s about taking responsibility for the thoughts you are thinking, the feelings you are creating and the actions you are choosing to take. Remember you create your own outcomes and you ALWAYS have a choice.

Stop blaming everyone else – It’s socially acceptable to blame someone else. It’s easy to point the finger and blame other people or circumstances because it conveniently allows you to remain stuck and play small. You create a barrier of external excuses of: why I wasn’t successful or how everyone else has got it in for me (victim mentality). Blaming others is your ego’s way of avoiding ownership and responsibility for something that has or hasn’t happened!

Be the power point in your life – Claim your power back and STOP waiting for someone else to make things happen. I always used to give my power away to others, expecting them to save me. My coach made me realize that I was the power point in my life and that I had to get out of my story and claim my power back. I learned the importance of clarity, the power of intention and that I always get to choose. I have  to re-decide each day to keep making forward motion towards my goals and dreams.

Stop trying to change others – Don’t wait for someone else to change – because you’ll be waiting a very long time! It’s all about you and how you show up. Get back on track and take responsibility for what you can do. Get out of other people’s stories and focus on what is important to you – Your goals and dreams. Use that energy instead to make things happen.

Your ability to respond – I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Responsibility IS your ability to respond. This is all about increasing your self-awareness and knowing when things aren’t going well, choosing a different approach, even when you don’t feel like it… This is TRUE self-leadership. Lead yourself through by taking responsibility and ownership for your actions and results. And remeber that it’s okay to be imperfect!

Yes…taking responsibility can be painful at times, but it always brings you back to your true self.

Owning your power changes your life.




Why business meetings are painful, boring and unproductive…

By , March 28, 2012 6:27 pm

“Bad meetings, and what they indicate and provoke in an organization, generate real human suffering in the form of anger, lethargy, and cynicism. An while this certainly has a profound impact on organizational life, it also impacts people’s self-esteem, their families, and their outlook on life.”


~ Patrick Lencioni, Author


Have you ever attended one of these?

“I could get my work done, if I didn’t have to go to so many pointless meetings!” ~ John, a coaching client. He went on to summarise that most of the meetings he attended were unfocused, lethargic and boring, but a necessity of business life.

I can remember attending many meetings in my corporate life that were frustrating and pointless. Yet I was told that had to endure them because it was part of my job.

I remember a low point once where ‘Fun’ was listed as an agenda item and we were actually forced to ‘enjoy’ a team game as part of a meeting. Have you ever pretended to have fun? – It’s counter-productive. If you ever get to this stage you need to step back and explore WHY you’re contemplating this as an agenda item in the first place. It might be because of some of the reasons below…

Why are meetings so painful and unproductive?

…Because they are! – Acceptance that part of the process of doing business involves the tedium of attending meetings. You have to go through the ritual of attending to get the job done. Many people believe that meetings are bad in every company so it’s just the way it works in business. Brace yourself and just get on with it! We’ve got used to hating them!

Lack of ownership – Participants attend with the mindset that it’s something that is done to them rather than taking RESPONSIBILITY for the role they play and how to get the best outcomes. Mediocrity and complacency sets in. You show up because you feel you have to. You’re a silent observer and the meeting becomes passionless and dull.

Little or no leadership – Ineffective meetings happen because of the approach and attitude of the people leading them. The leader models and influences the attitude and approach of those attending. Sometimes it becomes a forum to exercise the ego of the highest ranking person in the room. The focus is lost as individuals drift off-piste to satisfy their own agenda or because they’re bored! Participants aren’t sure of their role: should I be debating? Discussing? Brainstorming? Or listening?

Boring – If you had nothing else to do with your time, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to spend it in a dry, tedious un-engaging meeting with some people that you might not even like that much! Sitting and listening for long periods of time to uninspiring content is monotonous. Every one moans that it’s boring – but no one does anything about it. It’s a ritual to attend every week. People are scared to give an opinion or challenge – so they sit like nodding dogs. Poor decisions are made as a consequence. Awkward situations are avoided by staying quiet, nodding where appropriate and writing your weekly shopping list!

No structure – The regular staff meeting is a classic example of this. Weekly? Monthly? Where everyone gets together for an unfocused random discussion about everything! There’s little clarity about topics and there’s no context for discussion. Individuals literally check out.

Pressure and anxiety – Most people have loads of other things to do. Attending a bad meeting only amplifies the anxiety and pain. Focus on the meeting is lost and you start thinking about how you could use this wasted time. If it’s a conference call – you’re probably multi-tasking doing your emails at the same time! You’re not used to sitting still and doing just one thing at a time so it’s easy to get distracted.

Recognise any of these?

Harvard Business School a few years ago claimed that over 50% of meetings are a waste of time…

Here’s the thing…

It’s possible to make meetings compelling, engaging, interactive and productive. It starts with changing the mindset of those attending and involves a little re-thinking on how to manage them effectively. Here are some of the benefits: Better decisions, improved morale, shorter time away from your desk, better results and increased value.

Which meeting would you rather attend?

(More tips soon on how to make meetings engaging, interesting and productive)



5 Things To Do the Next Time You Feel Like Quitting!

By , March 7, 2012 8:02 pm

“The difference between success and failure isn’t the absence of fear but the determination to pursue your heart’s desires no matter how scared you are.”

~Martha Beck, Author and Coach – Finding your Own North Star

Sometimes I feel like quitting!

The last time was a few weeks ago after my cat died suddenly. I’ve had three deaths in the last six months and was getting sick to death of death! I’d reached the “WTF!” stage. I felt like giving it all up throwing my laptop away and getting a job in a tea shop. I could happily spend my days serving cups of tea and chatting to customers. Blissfully avoiding any responsibility!

How many times have you felt like giving up, throwing the towel in and running away to start a new life or career?




Life isn’t always easy. There are times when things get difficult and we struggle with loss, uncertainty and doubt.

Quitting is always an option especially you’re faced with what seem like impossible challenges.

Here’s the thing…

There is a difference between TALKING about quitting and ACTUALLY quitting…

One involves THOUGHT the other ACTION.

The truth is that EVERYONE FEELS like giving up at some point. We all hit a roadblock that’s hard to get around:

  • You’re scared to begin because you might fail
  • You’re riddled with uncertainty and doubt – Especially when things become murky or unclear.
  • You’re questioning whether you were really cut out for this after all?
  • You’re feeling like a dumb-ass for giving up your well paid job to go it alone and now no one’s knocking at your door for your services!
  • You’re repeatedly asking yourself WTF am I doing?!
  • You have more excuses for not carrying on than reasons for carrying on
  • You’re questioning the answers the Universe appears to be showing you just now!

Fear and doubt are dream killers and in moments of uncertainty it’s easy to allow them to erode our confidence and win-out. We want assurances on how things are going to turn out and when these aren’t available we become uncomfortable with taking action. We hesitate our energy drains away and up pop the excuses. Avoidance strategies kick in and we skulk back to hide in our comfort zone, waiting for either divine intervention or for someone else to save us!

We stop being successful…

This lack of energy towards your goal reinforces the limiting beliefs that “I’m not cut out for this…” and you become locked into a lack-mindset.

These are the defining moments that make us question and challenge ourselves. You have a choice between Getting Out and Going Deeper in.

Here’s what to do when you feel like quitting:

1. Take responsibility. Let go of any excuses and accept where you are right now. You might not be able to influence what has happened in the past, but you can influence the present and shape future outcomes. Stop blaming others, the recession or the moon being in retrograde! Dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.

2. Get in touch with your passion. Re-align to your dream. WHY do you want to do this? Re-ignite the flame burning deep within you. You CAN do this but ONLY if you REALLY WANT to. Take time to re-connect and renew your energy. Get giddy about your intention!

3. Get out of your own way. Recognise the voices in your head as naysayers who are not real! Change your thinking because it will change your results. Check the quality of your inner dialogue and only allow space for positive language. Create goal cards or affirmation statements to re-focus your attention. Use the problem as raw materials for the solution. Instead of asking: Can I really do this? Ask “How can I do this?”

4. Be disciplined. An idea will ALWAYS remain just an idea unless you create systems and habits that enable you to take deliberate action. Plan your next step and take conscious step by step action to make it happen. Create systems to help you show up and be 100% present and committed.

5. Get some help. Having a coach as a sounding board and mirror to reflect back your behaviour really helps you to blast through any roadblocks and challenges. Having someone on your side makes ALL the difference and stops you feeling isolated and alone.

The grief that I was going through wasn’t a mistake I was on the verge of huge transformation. Grief, silence, emptiness is a gift AND it’s the hardest thing to go through, especially when you just want to run away. I was working through my deepest fear – Loss.

What I realised was that there is NO GETTING OUT, I had to walk DEEPER IN. Loss wasn’t the enemy I was being broken open for transformation. I felt vulnerable and uncomfortable but getting out wasn’t an option. Grief has a way of peeling back the bullshit and getting you closer to the core of who you are. As you let go and things fall away a new deeper level emerges.

Grow into your challenges by Going Deeper into the uncertainly and the unknown. The solutions for success are waiting to be found as you to connect deeper to your authentic self.

5 Ways to Make 2012 A Brilliant Year…

By , December 31, 2011 11:52 am

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it’s an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”

~ Bob Moawad

I always get chills when I read this quotation… It reminds me about taking RESPONSIBILITY and how easy it is to ‘blow it off’ and blame someone else for me not achieving my goals or creating opportunities in my life.This got me thinking about goals and making things happen.

Okay… As it’s that time of year again let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions for a few minutes.

A few months ago I read a study by Gallop and USA Today. It stated that New Year’s Resolutions don’t actually work:

25% are broken within the first week.

53% are broken within three months.

92% are broken by the mid-end of the year.

While these statistics are common knowledge and available to everyone – How many of us still pitch up on New Years Eve and set the same old Resolutions adding the declaimer: “…Ah! But THIS year it’ll be different!”

According to the research here are the reasons WHY people break them:

  1. We set unrealistic expectations
  2. We weren’t really committed
  3. We were looking for a quick fix

Which of these have you used in the past?

(I’m guilty of all three!)

Here’s the thing…

Most goals involve discipline and persistence to make them happen. Without taking conscious sustainable action your goals are just wishes. …And we’re all very good at creating ‘wish lists!’

So here are five ways to make 2012 the MOST Brilliant Year Yet:

  1. Set your intention on multi-levels – The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. 
It doesn’t address the core of the issue. 

Often they are set from the OUTSIDE-IN not from the INSIDE-OUT. That’s why most diets don’t work and why gyms are always busy in January! You set off with a good intention but you’re focused only on the doing not the thinking or feelings behind the intention. So as soon as it gets difficult, out come the excuses and we stall. Understand your WHY as well as what needs to be done. Sustainable change happens when you engage thinking, feeling and action – You get the desired results.
  2. Be Committed and take FULL responsibility – Are you committed or interested? Well? Which one are you in relation to your intention? There is a huge difference between the two. You have to be committed for things to happen. Even when you don’t feel like it. Growing and changing requires two very important ingredients: DISCIPLINE and PERSISTENCE. (A great coach will help you to stay accountable!) Take 100% RESPONSIBILITY for your life. Decide to BE excuse free in 2012.
  3. Quick Fixes Don’t Work! – We live in a world of quick fixes and short-term goals. We want results NOW! Some goals take time to achieve so we become impatient and frustrated. Short-term fixes don’t create sustainable change. Sometimes we set an overwhelming goal before we begin. E.g. lose 20lbs in weight. It’s unrealistic. Write down your goal. Break it down into smaller milestones and do-able steps. Set timeframes and deadlines. This gives you something realistic to aim for in the shorter term. You create forward motion.
  4. Believe and Achieve – Have faith.  Wishing keeps your goal out there somewhere. When it’s external to us it’s much easier to come up with excuses and reasons not to achieve it. You have to believe to achieve. Set your mind for success. If you don’t believe it will happen – I guarantee that you’ll never achieve it.
  5. Choose a word to help you navigate your year – This is a powerful journal-writing tool that will get you clear and focused as this New Year begins. I have used it for the last three years. It will help you set the most authentic and powerful intention for yourself and your success in 2012! I use my word as a touchstone to re-align myself to my goals throughout the year. Click here to download this awesome tool.

Don’t become one of these statistics in 2012… How are you going to make a different difference in the next twelve months?

TODAY could be the day that your life REALLY begins – Don’t waste it!

Finding the Courage to…

By , October 28, 2011 3:01 pm

“When courage finally comes you never see it coming. Right out of nowhere you open your heart and that changes everything. You’re going somewhere and all you need to know is that you’re free to go”

Christine Kane, Mentor, Singer Songwriter

This year so far courage has been a huge theme for me. I have experienced it on many levels and in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes I’ve found myself praying for courage; other times I’ve found myself writing in my journal about how grateful I was for receiving some. A few people closest to me have also shown extra-ordinary courage this year. They have been great teachers (including my kitty, Charlie!).

Courage was overflowing recently at Christine Kane’s Gold Mastermind that I attended in Asheville, NC, USA.  I watched people as they got clear and reached a deeper level of courage. Despite being scared, they decided to take some real action steps to seriously Uplevel their business and their lives. This is a BIG deal and life changing for those involved. Yes, there were tears as people faced their fears and decided to let go of playing small.

Finding your courage creates a whole new level of freedom.

Here’s what I’ve learned about courage…

I have many examples to share from this year, but my personal story below is one of ultimate courage between a Father and Daughter and how it changed everything…

My Dad passed to spirit on 25 June 2011.

When I arrived at the hospital (after a 270 mile race up the M1!) my Dad whispered to me that he was so ready to die, but didn’t know how. He was frightened. I was so scared for him and felt helpless. What do you say? How should you act in a situation like this?

So I did nothing except sit next to him and hold his hand. I was physically present, but inside, my heart was falling apart. I continued this vigil for several hours.

These hollow words kept echoing in my head: Be strong and be brave.

There were 11 of us around the bedside (family and friends). We just sat in silence waiting and watching as he stopped interacting with us and drifted in and out of sleep. The silence in the room was broken only by the sound of his breathing and this became our focal point. I felt the room fill with a thick blanket of fear that surrounded and engulfed us all.

We were all scared of hearing that final breath.

I couldn’t stand the intensity and felt compelled to do something. So I left the room and spoke with Ward Sister. I asked her if my Dad could still hear us. She said that she thought he could. She told me that he was very strong and he may not die for a few days. Then I remembered my Dad’s words from the morning: “I’m so ready to die now, I just don’t know how.”

Something happened inside of me at that moment and it changed everything.

I got clear that I wanted to help him find his own courage to let go. I sat beside him and decided to coach him through this last journey.

I had no idea what to do! And Yes! I was shit scared!

I had no idea how to help someone pass. I’d never seen anyone die before. Deep inside I opened my heart and my intuition took over. Something told me to talk to him about his life and to support him through this ultimate challenge. I remembered how he’d taught me to drive and encouraged me through. His words of encouragement had always made the difference.

Something shifted for me. It was like changing gear. I opened up my heart, leaned through my fear and reached out to him.

My Dad was so courageous. He opened his eyes and connected with me, smiled, tried to speak and within 20 minutes he had passed peacefully. I spoke with him constantly through this time, talking about his life and through my words I helped him to let go.

It was the most beautiful and profound experience of my life.

I am no different from anyone else on the planet. Everyone has to be brave at times in their life, whether it’s standing up to someone, sharing your heart and speaking honestly about something, quitting the corporate world to start your own business, or saying goodbye to a loved one for the last time.

There are times in our lives we all have to find extra courage. When you need courage the most you never see it coming, it appears as if outta nowhere and creates a positive ripple effect on you and those around you. It can change everything.

This is so poetically described in the lyrics of Christine’s beautiful song called Right Outta Nowhere (see the lyrics at the top of this article). I never realised the true depth of what they meant until this year.

I know that courage is always waiting at the other side of fear. If you get clear and reach through your fear, you’ll find a deeper level of courage that is pure, beautiful and always there for you…Always. It’s deep in the core of your existence waiting to be let free.

What are you finding the courage to do?

Connect to your heart and reach through your fear.

LiveBrilliant Women’s Retreat 11-13 November 2011

By , September 28, 2011 1:46 pm

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