Coaching For Leaders

I find it inspiring when a leader steps out the boardroom to ask some brave, bold questions.

  • How can I be a better leader?
  • How can I serve the team more effectively?
  • How can I bring out the best in others?

And when confronted with those questions I say, “Hell ya, let’s dig in!”

This past week, the EDGE3 Team spent a glorious day at Gairloch Gardens in Oakville with a variety of leaders for our “Coaching For Leaders” program. Our secret sauce for exploring leadership potential is powerful content and thought provoking questions in a nature-inspired setting. Albert Einstein said it best, “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better,” and this is exactly what happened with this special group of leaders.

We were surrounded by lush gardens, blue skies and flowing water, and the setting helped take the group’s thinking to a whole new level. Time in nature clears our pre-frontal cortex from the complexity of our day to day lives and unleashes our thinking to newfound possibilities. Yes, there is a science behind our brain on nature, but there is also an unspoken magic that we can’t quite put our finger on. We asked the leaders their thoughts on nature and coaching and here’s what they said…

  • When I am close to water, it reminds me to go with the flow and not be as rigid
  • As I sit under the trees, I feel connected and a more grounded version of myself
  • The sun helps me focus on positive thoughts and illuminates the path ahead
  • Being outdoors somehow activates my altruistic and empathetic side
  • Under the open sky I feel the limitless possibility without feeling the roof over my head
  • Reflecting by the water brings an inner peace and distills the learning from the day

So, it appears that nature can be our greatest teacher and can lead to a greater sense of confidence and clarity; two of the most important components of being a great leader.

Unclear about your next steps as a leader? Coming soon we’ll repeat “Coaching for Leaders” and we’ll be launching Part 2 as well. Location is to be determined, but rest assured it will be a beautiful outdoor setting and they’ll be some tough questions along the way!

Drop us a line to find out more.

dave

David Graham and the EDGE3 Team develop good leaders who want to be great leaders. What growing EDGE would you like to explore to become a more effective leader?

 

EDGE3 Book Club – High Performing Habits

Got a High Performing Team? Here’s a great book to elevate their game.

As part of the leadership development package that we offer our clients we design workshops using the best personal development books on the market. It gives teams great new skills and it serves as a bonding experience to create greater team cohesion.

A team that learns together, grows together

The latest book that we have shared with our clients is High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, who has been coaching high performers for over 20 years. He explores questions such as: “Why do some people accelerate their success more quickly and are able to sustain it over time? Why are some happier during the journey towards mastery? And what motivates them in the first place?

His findings? High Performance is not linked to a typical type of person, but rather to a specific group of habits—6 as a matter of fact. These are: Clarity, Energy, Necessity, Productivity, Influence, & Courage. Ongoing commitment to each of these habits drives performance and puts us in the right frame of mind to get there.

“Live. Love. Matter.” – Brendan Burchard

If you are asking yourself, “Where do I land in on the scale of High Performers?” go online and take the quiz @ HighPerformanceIndicator.com

Here are the HP6 and some context from the author:

  • Seek Clarity: “It’s about how you think about tomorrow and what you do to stayed connected with what matters today.”
  • Generate Energy: “To stay on your A game, you’ll need to actively care for your mental stamina, physical energy, and positive emotions in very specific ways.”
  • Raise Necessity: “It’s about always knowing your why and stoking that fire all the time so you feel the needed drive or pressure to get at it.”
  • Increase Productivity: “High performers are more productive and yet also happier, less stressed, and more rewarded over the long term.”
  • Develop Influence: “Influence is not about feeling like you are giving more than others; it’s about feeling like your efforts are making an impact.”
  • Demonstrate Courage: “Express your ideas, take bold actions, and stand up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat or changing conditions.”

Reading these, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. Our coaches can facilitate a workshop or provide you with a learning guide to help you and your team to focus on one habit a time and break it down into an action plan.

Here’s one final word of advice to high performers. Avoid falling into the “never enough” trap. Burchard reminds us to shift our focus from “How do I achieve more?” to “How would I like to live?”

Strive towards a bigger, bolder version of yourself, but let the joy of the journey
be part of the goal.

 

dave

David Graham works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. What skill would you like to develop with your team?

 

Journaling: How to Create Your Own Map for Success

Typically, when we meet with new clients, we provide journals and some thought provokers to help encourage the first step in the self-discovery process. In our EDGE3 blogs, I’ve talked about the journaling I do. I’ve found that not only does journaling help me get my thoughts out and to reflect on things, I also refer back to it for a variety of reasons: for inspiration, when goal setting, and to gain clarity or a shift in perspective. This makes my journal a helpful tool—a map of my thoughts, if you will.

So, how do you get started using a journal as a support tool for your success?

The first step is to pick a time during the day when you won’t feel rushed. It could be before bed or perhaps in the morning – whatever works for YOU.

Next, choose a comfortable location and surround yourself with some of your favourite things; a soft blanket, feel good music, maybe a great cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine.

And now it’s time to dive in. If success is your focus, take a break from your “To Do” list, and take a look at your “What I’ve Done” list! Examine your what’s worked well in the past, and build on the momentum.

Here are some thought provokers to start your journey:

STEP 1: DEFINING SUCCESS
• What’s my version of success?
• Who are my heroes & role models?
• What are the traits that I admire in the people I respect the most?

STEP 2: LOGGING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• What personal traits make me proud?
• What was my proudest moment?
• What have my big achievements been to date?

STEP 3: RECOGNIZING THE PATTERNS
• What skills have contributed to my success?
• Where have I been most successful?

STEP 4: DREAM BIG!
• If failing weren’t a possibility, what would I do?
• Where do I want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

STEP 5: LETTING GO
• What’s holding me back?
• What do I need to let go of to move forward?

STEP 6: START NOW
• What is one small step that I can take today?

Committing time to check in with yourself and to record your thoughts will help you to fine tune and focus toward the goals you set for yourself.

Need a hand with the process? We have a complimentary EDGE3 journal and a ½ hour coaching session for the first 10 people who contact us.

Happy Journaling!

dave

David Graham works with good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders. He also works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams.

 

The Power of a Pause

I am often reminded of the power of taking a few moments to simply stop and breathe.

Recently, I completed a 21-day meditation challenge. Every day for 3 weeks, I woke up, fed the cats, put the coffee on and then sat in silence for 20 minutes. I was amazed at what it did for my patience, my creativity and the level of intention that I brought to my work. It also gave me a keen awareness of when I am not showing as my best self. I started noticing that the last few minutes before heading out to work, my mindfulness flew out the window in a flurry of activity of looking for my keys, packing my briefcase, all while balancing an extra-large coffee in hand.

And then I remembered a habit that one of my clients had adopted. Before he leaves in the morning, he sits on his couch quietly for just 5 minutes, drawing his attention to who he wants to be in the world. Not what he has to “do,” but who he wants to “be.”

Along that same line of thought, my partner, Justin, has developed an effective practice of meditating before he puts his car into drive. He starts the engine and as it warms up, he closes his eyes and takes 10 deep breaths, yep, about 60 seconds. As the car idles down and falls into a steady hum – so does he. I’ve noticed how this has affected his patience on the road and how much safer I feel in the passenger seat!

So, I thought that I would give it a try. I was surprised how often I’d say to myself, I don’t have time for that! I don’t have 60 seconds; I have to get to work! And then I would catch myself. What, I don’t have 60 secs? I don’t have 60 secs to centre myself to ensure that I bring my full awareness to driving?

The one thing that we share is the same 24 hours in a day. Time feels like it’s racing by, but we need to remind ourselves that time is passing at the same rate. It always has, and it always will. The only thing that changes is our perception of it. In every single moment, of every single day, we have a choice.

The greater awareness we bring to a moment, the more intentional we can be about how we are showing up in the world and how much presence we bring to our team, our friends and our loved ones.

What would a 60 second pause do for you?

If you were to take a pause, what time of day would be most valuable?

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Courage is leaning in

This past month I had a chance to revisit my acting days…

I was quickly reminded of the anxiety of the audition process; the nail-biting experience of call backs, the pressure of being in front of the camera, and getting the shot right. What I wasn’t expecting was sinking feeling of self-doubt, and the concern for what other’s may think when it hit the airwaves.

The negative self-talk was overwhelming, but a good reminder of what my clients must go through when I am coaching them: to embrace their fear and step out.

If you want to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, check out our blog below. Also, we’ve shared a great blog from Calm & Courageous that helps us understand more about the weight of negative thoughts and choosing to let go.

Courage is leaning in and accepting life’s challenges head on. Courage is letting go of what other people may think. So here we go, a 30 second commercial spot dedicated to each and every one of you who is living bravely, owning the moment, whatever it happens to be.

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Giving Yourself the Space to Grow

We love nature. I mean LOVE nature. Have you heard that already? Well, it’s because it’s true! Whether it’s a walking meeting around the block, a park bench coaching session, a hike while brainstorming, or an island retreat in Muskoka, we LOVE trying to activate an element of the outdoors.

That’s why we’re always so excited to hit Muskoka each year for a series of Fall retreats, to spend time transforming in such a beautiful space, during such a transformational time of year.

It feels like ‘the ultimate’ in inspired places for us to work with others, and it’s fair to say that our guests feel the same. It may sound cliché, but the reality is that people found themselves moved to action from the cues nature gave them. Here’s some examples:

  • Setting intentions around a large compass to articulate the direction of the day
  • Letting go of our obstacles at the evening fire
  • Cleansing plunges into the lake
  • Listening to the winds of change, and what they may be whispering
  • Grounding one’s self like the surrounding trees
  • Meditative walk barefoot over the various terrains on the island
  • Enjoying a sunset, and visualizing what the next day will bring

While we’d love EVERYONE to join us in nature for an event or retreat in future, there are always ways to achieve this in everyday life. We just have to be intentional about it. Elemental and sensory touchpoints lifts people and enhances experiences, so carving out time to get into nature is a sound (AND FUN!) investment.

Setting the stage for change is important. Whether it’s a small shift in thinking, or majorly impactful decision making, an office doesn’t always lend itself to the level of thinking, feeling, openness, etc., that one needs… or deserves!

So ask yourself,

“If I’m inspired to create space inside myself to grow, how can the space around me be more inspiring to support that growth?”

We’d love for everyone to experience first-hand what we’re talking about. (Or call us and we’ll set-up an EDGE3 date!) But in the meantime, look for opportunities to get into the spaces that inspire you to think, feel, share, develop – WHATEVER! – the way YOU ultimately need to.

Devon Domanski plans dynamic client workshops, team building and appreciation-themed events. She feeds her curiousities with writing, food dreaming, and adventures in all things beautiful.

 

JOURNAL FOR SUCCESS: YOUR “HOW TO” GUIDE

Through coaching, I’ve noticed that the most successful individuals are those who are highly intentional about the future they want to create for themselves. We can all do it; sometimes we just need a little help visualizing our path, charting our course, and navigating the journey.

Typically, when we meet with new clients, we provide journals and some thought provokers to help encourage the first step in the self-discovery process. In our EDGE3 blogs, I’ve talked about the journaling I do, and not only does it help me get my thoughts out and reflect on things, I also refer back to it for a variety of reasons – inspiration, goal setting, clarity, a shift in perspective – and that’s a helpful tool (a map of my thoughts, if you will).

Whether it’s moving up the corporate ladder, starting a new business, achieving a physical goal, or hitting a life milestone… there’s only one person that can define your success… YOU!

So, how do you get started using a journal as a support tool for your success? Take a break from your “To Do” list and focus on the “What I’ve Done” list! It’s time to examine your successes to date, and build on the momentum.

Here are some thought provokers to start your journey:

STEP 1: DEFINING SUCCESS
• What’s my version of success?
• Who are my heroes & role models?
• What are the traits that I admire in the people I respect the most?

STEP 2: LOGGING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• What personal traits make me proud?
• What was my proudest moment?
• What have my big achievements been, to-date?

STEP 3: RECOGNIZING THE PATTERNS
• What skills have contributed to my success?
• Where have I been most successful?

STEP 4: DREAM BIG!
• If failing weren’t a possibility, what would I do?
• Where do I want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

STEP 5: LETTING GO
• What’s holding me back?
• What do I need to let go of to move forward?

STEP 6: START NOW
• What is one small step that I can take today?

Committing time daily to check in with yourself, and record your thoughts will help finely tune your focus toward the goals you set for yourself.

Need a hand with the process? We have a complimentary EDGE3 journal and a ½ hour coaching session for the first 10 people who contact us.

Happy Journaling!

daveDavid Graham works with leaders to build high-performing super-focused teams. A book club hosted by Dave enables teams to learn new business strategies, develop powerful action plans and to understand each other on a deeper level. 

 

BOOK CLUB: “DEEP WORK”

We live in a highly distracted world. With social media, email, and text messages constantly demanding our attention, most of us spend 60% of our work week engaged in electronic communication and searching the internet.  The author of “Deep Work,” Cal Newport defines this as Shallow Work; tasks that don’t challenge us intellectually that we can perform even while we are distracted. This work is easy replicated and doesn’t really require us to challenge our full intellectual potential or what we are trained to do.

Deep Work on the other hand is defined as, “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to the limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard to replicate.”

What are the tasks that you consider to be deep work and what would be the value if you could do more of it?

Here’s a look at Cal Newport’s 4 basic rules that lead to deeper more meaningful work:

  1. Work Deeply
    • Determine how many deep hours of work you need and then put it in your calendar
    • Find the ideal location that you use only for depth
    • Create a ritual for yourself to support deep work
    • Be lazy – down time is equally important to deep work, so schedule the time to recharge and renew, too
  2. Embrace Boredom
    • When we get bored, we typically flee the work and give in to distractions. Determine the amount of time that you will commit to deep work and challenge yourself to stick with it
    • Working deeply requires commitment and training so start with a smaller amount of time to start
    • To give yourself a fighting chance, eliminate pop-ups and notifications and put your phone on silent mode
  3. Quit Social Media
    • Understand that social media is designed to be addictive and we get hooked on that dopamine rush when we get an email, a like or a retweet
    • Break it down…identify the benefits of each social media outlet, consider if it has a positive impact, a negative impact or little impact and schedule your time accordingly
    • Be mindful. If you are using it for entertainment or as a distraction – set a time limit
  4. Drain the Shallows
    • We need to respond to our clients in a timely fashion, but if we don’t limit our email time it can occupy our entire day. Schedule time for email and determine the importance of the response time
    • Consider using a sender filter or auto-reply email. This could either set the expectation that you may not respond right away or you can share timelines of when the sender can expect a response to emails
    • Rather than going back and forth, send one longer email that outlines all of the details. It may be more work up front, but it will save you time in the long run
    • Don’t respond to unimportant emails

Deep Work is rare, and it’s becoming even more valuable in today’s economy; those of us who can shut off the distractions and commit to deep work, have a huge competitive advantage.

Need some coaching on how to best structure your work day, give the EDGE3 Team a call.

daveDavid Graham works with leaders to build high-performing super-focused teams. A book club hosted by Dave enables teams to learn new business strategies, develop powerful action plans and to understand each other on a deeper level. 

 

The Entrepreneur’s Inventory – Isolate The Issue!

Sometimes we get out of our groove. I found myself disengaged and demotivated. But why? I love my work! I am very connected to my purpose! So what gives here?

I went to my archive of tools I’ve developed for entrepreneurs that I have coached and thought, this may be helpful when you feel out of sorts.

SELF COACHING EXERCISE

Grab your journal, find the stillness, and ask yourself these questions…

1. What is weighing me down?
2. What opportunities are available to me?
3. What decisions am I regretting that I need to let go of?
4. What gives me the greatest sense of purpose?
5. Who do I want to be?

After you run through this inventory, I encourage you to put the pen down, close your eyes, breathe deeply and reflect on these thoughts. How much am I loved? What am I most grateful for? How can I be of service?

You and your business are a work in progress. Take the time to isolate your thoughts, and refocus on the things that matter most. Now get back in your groove, your network needs that special something that you have to offer.

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Reconnecting with Young People

Recently, I found myself enjoying a Sunday afternoon concert with one of my best friends – FRED PENNER! Yes, that Canadian childhood favourite, Fred Penner.

My girlfriend and I danced and sang along to our favourite songs from days gone by. And it was a TRIP to watch a bar packed with parents and kids experience this afternoon of whimsy.

When he sang his songs, I listened to his lyrics… sharing, kindness, being silly, equality, sandwiches… all of the good stuff and more! And it made me think, “Why am I not spending more time with young people? When did we get away from this feeling?”

To date I’m a child free adult (that could change?) who LOVES spending time with young people! At the concert, it was just a spirit lift to watch the uninhibited joy spreading throughout the room. When I’m in Auntie mode, I watch my unofficial nieces and nephews explore the world with an abundance of curiosity and fearlessness. These are all good things and I can only hope I’m absorbing the value of their approach!

This past March, I was travelling the UK with twenty-nine teenagers, ages 15-19, and am again reminded of the value of being in the presence of young people. Between giving out hugs for homesickness, having thoughtful chats, and getting my hair braided (teenaged gals really know how to lock and load a solid braid!), I felt like these young women reminded me about confidence, self-worth, resilience, and reaching for our goals.

So what’s the bottom line here? I know my position may be unique – I’m not a parent having to do all the parenting stuff, and am often the ‘cool’ adult that comes around for the fun stuff – but I’d like to know how many of us are carving out time to just hang out with young people and see what unfolds?

I think as adults, some of us move away from our inner child – and that’s okay… often life demands that of us – but what do we do to reconnect and check in with that spirit?

As leaders, there’s huge value in diversifying the breadth, scope and experience of our trusted advisors and mentors. So why not loop a child, tween or teenager in that circle? Their level of honesty allows us to notice things about ourself, our work, and our approach. They will call us adults out if necessary, and give real feedback from a truly unique perspective. And they also ask lots of good questions, keeping us on our toes! I think when we’re open to a young person’s influence, we can celebrate the strength in our experience, and continue to honour our own current and future life moments… and make adjustments as necessary. Young people are truly a worthy and insightful reset!

How can you connect with your young spirit, and what does that reveal about your current experience?

edge3_dec16_01aDevon Domanski plans dynamic client workshops, team building and appreciation-themed events. She feeds her curiousities with writing, food dreaming, and adventures in all things beautiful!