• Productivity

    A client once shared this with me … let me know if you can relate?

    I sat down at my computer to do some writing for a report that was due at the end of the day – lots of time I though. Then I realized my coffee mug was empty. I went to the kitchen to make myself another cup. While I was in the kitchen, I loaded some dishes into the dishwasher and wiped down the cabinets. I headed back to my home office with my fresh mug of coffee and sat down at my computer again. It was time to write. So, I checked my Facebook. Then I checked Twitter. Then I responded to a few emails. I must focus! So, I opened the two documents I needed for the project I was writing on. Then I spent some time cleaning out my Twitter followers and reading some blog posts. Finally, I saw it was time to prepare supper. It was a busy day but I am not sure what I did all day or what I meant to do but I did a lot of things today, but I still have a lot to do.

    Day after day, we often find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, and not in control of our time. So we use "busyness" as a badge of honor. But the question is not are we “busy” (who isn’t), the question actually is – are we productive.

    What is productivity ?

    Creating good habits and untangling bad habits

    so you can  achieve your outcome.

    However, a real danger is that often our Habits can become Handcuffs – they are what can keep us where we are, and from where we want to be.

    Yet here are two more truths:

         Everything worth doing has some sweat and hardwork involved!

         Everything worth reaching for is uphill with some kind of struggle.

    So our habits are designed to take us Up Hill. But the question is do some of our habits in fact take us downhill?

    Despite the ambition, commitment (and good intentions) we can find ourselves stuck in a rut and unable to move forward in achieving our goals. Often, the reason for this is that our habits are not in alignment with our goals.

    Are your habits taking you uphill or downhill?  Not sure what I am talking about? Well take a listen to these episodes from our You Can Make It So Podcast

    Episode 107 - Up Hill and Down Hill Habits

    Episode 106 - Increase Capacity

    I also encourage you to read our Blog posts on Time Management and Time Blocking. They are among some of the great tools we have available on our Make It So Platform

    Preparation, engagement, understanding, knowledge, and planning are essential to success. I know, it’s obvious. But if these were easily incorporated into our habits, everyone would do them…  So.... newsflash: Everything doesn’t matter equally. Setting priorities is essential.

    There are a lot of distractions in life and if we don’t have a system in place we can follow to filter that which is demanding our attention, that we can rely on as a framework, then we’re going to be, like my client in the opening story use to be  -  "busy" and not "productive".

    Remember at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada we work with individuals and teams helping them lead with confidence and grow in clarity. Find out more about how we can help you personally and professionally - reach out today - Do not hesitate to Contact me

    Remember - Great Leaders Don't Grow Alone


  • 2024: Are you interested or committed ?

    Welcome to 2024, a brand new year brimming with potential and opportunity.

    In these first few weeks of January, people are joining gyms, buying planners, and making bold claims of sweeping change in their New Year’s resolutions—a time-honored, but often fruitless tradition.

    Unfortunately, the reasons people resist change, and why resolutions often fail, are nuanced and many. Some of us have a difficult relationship with change. Some don’t see their goals clearly enough. Some have trouble managing their priorities to make change happen. And for some, it’s a complicated mix of all three.

    But for all the reasons they fail, there is one thing that all those who succeed have in common: commitment to a strategy.

    The reality is this - When you’re interested in something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

    If you want to experience transformation in the New Year, you must be committed – not merely interested. You must have a strategy not just a resolution. You must commit to habits not just a goal.

    These four exercises will help you create that transformation:

    1. Be Retrospective

    How would others describe you? Would they say that overall you are a casual or a committed person? How about when it comes to the things that are important to you?

    As you look at the change you wish to make is it rooted in your values? It’s difficult to develop commitment if you don’t see the fundamental reason for the change.

    As you look at the change you wish to make are you willing to accept the cost? Every change has a cost both in success and also one to be paid for lack of commitment. The cost might be monetary, but often it is in time, access or other things you wanted or are doing. If you don’t devote yourself to the change you want to make, what will you forfeit? And on the other hand, if you accept the cost, what benefit will you gain?

    2. Be Resolute

    A standard of excellence motivates daily discipline. Think about the change you’re trying to make this New Year. How have you approached it in the past? Have you committed the kind of time, attention, and resources to it that will allow you to accomplish it with a high degree of excellence? Be resolute in your approach to it. Then use that experience to examine how you approach the rest of your year.

    3. Be Resourceful

    Change is uncomfortable, and commitment is almost always inconvenient. Plan ahead to ensure your follow-through. What is your strategy for winning the battle to stay committed to your goal?

    Do you need inspiration or motivation? Think why you want to change, and keep reminders nearby to keep your resolution top-of-mind. Will accountability help you stay disciplined? Look for a coach to schedule weekly goal check-ins with you that will help you stay focused. Click here to find out more about One to One Coaching.

    Use whatever tools work most effectively for you. Our #Makeitso So Platform has over 100 tools and resources. Click here for more details.

    4. Be Open to Re Evaluating

    Commitment may be the one thing that will make or break the change you want to create this year, but all commitment is, is daily management of one or a few critical decisions.

    Have you already made a decision about what you will use this year to create? Ask yourself…

    Do I know what daily disciplines and practices will help me bring about the change I want to accomplish this year?

    Have I already made the decision to make and keep those commitments daily?

    If I have, when did I make that decision?

    What does that decision look like in practice?

    As you review the above, I also want to encourage you to consider the Highly Productive Leader Challenge. It is a personalized 21 Day Challenge beginning January 5th that doesn’t create a resolution - but rather a Strategy.

    The difference between goals that get realized, and goals that don’t, is the actualized presence or absence of a strategy and accountability.

    Together we will ……

    Master Your Time: Say farewell to distractions and hello to laser-focused clarity on your dreams and goals.

    Feel Energized Again: Forget about feeling stressed out and exhausted. Spend each day energized and working toward what matters most.

    Turn Your Goals into Reality: Ditch the endless to-do list that never get done. Start checking off your goals one by one—all without sacrificing time spent with family and friends.

    Learn How to Kindly and Confidently Say No: No more saying yes to things you really don’t want to do or need to do.

    Whether focusing on a healthier lifestyle, strengthening relationships, or achieving professional goals - hope, resolutions and determination will lead us there - but it is strategy and accountability that get us there!

    You can sign up now.     BEFORE January 5th when registration closes.

    Remember at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada we work with individuals and teams helping them lead with confidence and grow in clarity. Find out more about how we can help you personally and professionally - reach out today - Do not hesitate to Contact me

    Wishing you a 2024 of Thriving!

    Remember - Great Leaders Don't Grow Alone


  • Time Management

    Deadlines, and a to-do list that seems to get longer each day, often make us boldly trying to fulfill goals to “manage time better,” “be more productive,” and “focus on what matters.” Time Management seems to be an enduring dream, and a very real nightmare for many.

    It is true that time is your most valuable, non-replenishing resource. You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time. You must learn to manage your time wisely. 

    It is equally true that poor time management results in well intentioned leaders who consistently allow the urgent to overwhelm the important.

    This month we focus on managing your time effectively as an important professional skill to develop. Having strong time-management skills can ultimately lead to accomplishing key goals and advancing in your career. It can also lead to a great sense of calm in your personal life.

    On Episode 92 of the You Can Make It So Podcast we introduced Four Principles of Great Time Management.

    1. Schedule your values.

    2. Say ‘no’ to many small things to say ‘yes’ to a few big things.

    3. Create artificial deadlines for increased effectiveness.

    4. Empower others

    These four principles aide us also in tackling a Myth of Time Management - Multi Tasking. 

    The  title “Multitasker”  is a badge of honor many like to wear. It’s almost as if we celebrate being busy with many things more than being great at one thing. Don’t believe the multitasking myth. 

    Doing more things does not drive faster or better results; doing better things drives better results.

    And even more accurately, doing one thing as best you can drives the best results. This is why I like to say “One Person, One Problem, One Promise” Otherwise, if you commit to nothing you’ll be distracted by everything.

    On Episode 93 we discuss a Time Management Myth – Multi Tasking

    The power of choosing one priority naturally guides your behavior by forcing you to organize your life around that responsibility. Your priority becomes an anchor task that holds the rest of your day in place.

    Great leaders confidently know where they get the most return and prioritize their time accordingly. These leaders experience the most success because they are secure enough to focus on mastering their one thing.

    In order to remain focussed we often need assistance. This is why on Episode 94 we give insight to Time Management tip – Daily Templates

    These templates help you:  Prioritize tasks, ensuring key ones are tackled efficiently. Automate the day, reducing decision fatigue. Batch tasks for increased efficiency. Protect deep thinking work and person time.

    Your leadership will thrive if you refuse distractions and focus on doing what you do well.  

    Time management skills are a constant practice when attempting to balance work and personal obligations. Another great tool is Time Blocking which helps you use your time carefully because it is a valuable resource.  We discuss it in Episode 95 of our Podcast.

    A great book on Time Management and Tools for Productivity is – Come Up for Air – How Teams Can Leverage Systems and Tools to Stop Drowning in Work by Nicholas Sonneberg. He is our guest this month in Episode 96 of our Podcast and his book is on our list of 23 Books for 2023. 

    As you make your way through enhancing your skills at Time Management and becoming an even better steward of the greatest resources we have - time - please know I would love to help.

    It is what I have done now for over 20 years – helped individuals and teams – lead with confidence and grow in clarity through one to one coaching or team coaching.

    Do not hesitate to Contact me 


  • Where can you generate your focus?

    For the past several days the picture above has been my “working office”. It is at the JW Marriott at Lake Rosseau in Muskoka where I have hung my hat (or better said - rested my feet). I have some business interests there so it is a good time to check in, and yes full disclosure, some phone calls and client check ins do happen when I am here, but most of all, it has been a place of quiet retreat for me for almost a decade. I go up occasionally – and with that view – wish it was often. (may be one day). This week away has been exceptionally regenerative.

    During my time away, I celebrated a few milestones, but most of all looked back on memories. I am so grateful for this chapter in my life and for the clients I get to work with. Each day (literally), I think about them and their accomplishments, their aspirations and their acceleration toward thriving with a #Makeitso mindset. 

    Whether it is the start-ups that I coach, or the three trades businesses, two food retailers, the automotive supplier, the insurance industry leader or the national corporate teams I serve as a trusted advisor to – all of them – to me are more than clients – they are friends - whom I want to see succeed and one day enjoy this view with me. It has been a very positive year for all of them with several hitting income milestones, others being on the verge of major deals, and still others setting the stage for an exciting next chapter.

    My profession is so satisfying. I help others succeed - one person, one problem, one promise at a time. It is challenging at times, yes, after all no road is without speed bumps or pot holes, but it is rewarding when you see others looking at the view of thriving due to their hard work, not in the distance, but within their reach.

    I am so deeply grateful to my family who have supported me, cherished friends who keep me grounded, to my team of collaborators who encourage me, and to colleagues from past chapters who check in on me to offer encouragement, sage advice and even just some humour along the way.

    As the summer begins to set, and the signs of Fall begin to rise – where does your gratitude evolve from, and where can you generate your focus for the next chapter? As we like to say #letsgetafterit and #makeitso

  • Chase Cash or Seek Revenue

    I tend to encounter two types of entrepreneurs in my work as an Executive Coach, those who “chase cash” and those who “seek revenue”. Now before you think it is the same thing, or that is too simplistic or even judgemental, hear me out a little as I try and demonstrate the difference and the characteristics that each provides. I have come to see that one is about ‘surviving today’ and the other about ‘thriving tomorrow’. To illustrate let’s give you some frameworks.

    First, people generally become an entrepreneur for several reasons: to be their own boss, to provide a unique service based on their skillset or passion, to offer a unique product that meets a need in the market, to experience financial freedom, or just because they can’t work for somebody else anymore. I am sure there are other reasons, but that is a good start.

    Second, when people get started at something, sure they ‘just do it”. They take whatever work they can and keep the bank balance positive. However, over time, as they ‘figure it out”, they begin to decide what they want, who they want to serve, and why they are doing what they are doing. And that is when the rubber hits the road - they can “chase cash” or “seek revenue”.

    If they choose “chase cash” then they enter the endless olympics of “doing it all”. They say “yes” to the most pressing or most lucrative option before them, they get it done (eventually without a sense of service as it becomes “a task to get done”), they forget why they became an entrepreneur (if they ever really took time to ask themselves), and eventually their “word” means little, their reputation means less, their staff and client turnover is high, their relationships are strained, and the only thing that is actually happening is they are growing tired from all the chasing.

    All of that does not happen overnight. Actually at first “chasing cash” seems successful. At first you are “busy”, your phone is ringing, and your calendar is full. But slowly you also sense yourself pulled in every direction. You are reacting, not deciding. But there is “cash”, so it must be alright. But soon the pace of “just do it” and “yes to everything” catches up to you because you cannot keep up with it. Anxiety increases, your reputation wobbles, details fall through the cracks, and envisioning tomorrow is replaced with surviving today.

    Now, those who “seek revenue”, are deciding a different pathway. Yes they want “cash”, but they are deciding there is a calmer (albeit at times slower) way to get it. They chose “productive” vs “busy” and they begin by asking a few “who” questions before they embark upon “do”.

    They ask themselves “who” they want to be known as, “who” do they want to best serve, “who” do they want people saying they are. Taking time to ask the “who” questions defines your lane in the race you are about to enter, and enables you to begin to “seek revenue” for the long term. Let me illustrate this for you.

    If you discern you want to get into landscaping, you set forth ….. you obtain the equipment, set up a website, put your name on the truck and just knock on every door until someone says yes. Not a bad start, and one most entrepreneurs can relate to.

    After the first yes, you seek the second yes, and so on and so on. With each yes, a different job. One person wants a lawn cut, another wants flower beds pruned, a third wants bushes trimmed. All are “cash” and so all get a “yes”. As the seasons change someone asks: “do you shovel snow?”, “do you trim trees?”, “can you gather leaves?” They all get a “yes”. After all, you tell yourself, it’s all landscaping and that is what I “do”, and it keeps the bank balance healthy. Again, nothing bad here. After all, it’s the start.

    Eventually someone asks about a paved walked way, another inquires about a pool installation, and before you know it you have lots to “do”, and it all fits “landscaping”. It is good, you are ‘busy’ and the bank balance looks good. You are hustling and you are landscaping everything you can. But then, the first three call back, and still want their lawn, flower beds and bushes done. Now comes the moment… will you chase the cash or will you begin to “seek revenue”?

    At first, you say, ‘good problem to have’, and you hire someone to do the smaller job in your name in the short term, or even “get the smaller job done when you can”, but the problem will expand and repeat. Lots of little jobs, and a growing number of larger jobs. You are pulled and streched and you do not want to "say no" or turn away work. Maybe you will get smaller jobs done, get fast "cash" and enable yourself to do larger ones, but, what if the larger ones go elsewhere. So you "chase cash" and keeping saying yes to everything and "busy" becomes your bumper sticker!

    Sooner or later, however, you have to decide what will guide you, “the job (“do”) of the day” or “the vision (“who”) of tomorrow”? You see the “do” is motivated by cash, the “who” is powered by revenue.

    The “who” is about knowing your values, your priorities, envisioning your larger expression of getting it done. It is about knowing when to say “not yet” or maybe even “not anymore”, and when to “yes now”.

    It is about defining the “do” by discerning the “who”: having a ‘rally cry” to guide, the right team to assist you, a sense of where you add value to propel you, and determination to ‘stay in your lane” as you seek revenue not only to survive today, but a better tomorrow. Doing this helps you respond, not react. Serve not just finish. Accomplish with pride, not just complete with sweat.

    Too often, entrepreneurs are afraid to ask “who” questions and just keep deciding to be about “do”, but the pace gets you and “busy” bites you. Worst of all, you ‘loose” yourself. If you came into being an entrepreneur “to serve” you lose that and “just get it done”. You begin to resent the phone ringing, the client calling, the supplier seeking. You are tired of chasing. As I said before, busy bites you. Productive motivates you.

    When productive is your motivator, then you see purpose, keep perspective and are focussed on principle. Your name matters, your quality counts and your vision is soundly not on accomplish, but achieve! 

    Take a listen to this Podcast episode I did on “who” before “do” and consider working with an Executive Coach to help you discern your “who”. You can learn a bit about me and what I do here.

    I am sure you will agree “seeking” is a lot less strenuous than “chasing”, and “productive” sounds so much better than “busy”.  #letsgetafterit #makeitso


  • Blackberry teaches the confusion between certainty and clarity.

    “BlackBerry”  the Movie, released on May 12, 2023, tells the story of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the two men that charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world's first smartphone.

    “BlackBerry” pays close attention to the details of what happened and explains important moments without being condensing. At the same time, it treats the characters and events with a scriptic freedom. But what struck me, as I watched the movie, as probably one of the last Blackberry owners in the theatre that day, was it reminds us that too many people and companies cling to a calcified long-term strategy completely confident that things will improve with just a little more time for the strategy to unfold. 

    One of the reasons I hear most often, as I coach executives, business owners and individuals, for this hesitation to change or progress is the confusion between certainty and clarity. 

    When making a decision, we reach certainty when we have all the necessary information available to us and know the best choice for us, beyond any reasonable doubt. Needless to say, certainty is rare.

    In contrast, clarity comes when we know what information we have at our disposal, we know what degree of uncertainty we are working with, and we have a sense of the best choice. Rather than giving us perfect confidence, clarity simply points us toward the best decision based on the incomplete information we have.

    Knowing this distinction is important – because it helps us Avoid Decision Paralysis

    Imagine you’re lost and reach a fork in the road. You can turn left or right, and you have little reason to know which way to go. Certainty is impossible—you probably won’t realize which direction is correct just by sitting at the intersection waiting for an epiphany. Clarity, however, is achievable; simply accept that you cannot know which way to go and pick a direction as best you can based on the reasoned information you have at that moment.

    If you can summon the will to choose, you’ll discover that, once you’re moving, you may see a landmark, road sign, or some other indication of whether you made the right turn. Plus, you can always change course later if you realize you’ve picked the wrong direction.

    Achieving certainty often requires more information than we have available. And, in many cases, the worst thing we can do is avoid deciding until we are certain we are right - that is Decision Paralysis. Instead, we have to gain clarity based on what we know, and what we don’t.

    No one wants to be proven wrong. But, in many cases, being unwilling to make and commit to a decision is more damaging than making the wrong decision and course-correcting later.

    Plus, being wrong, and learning from that mistake, helps us make better choices in the future. The path clarity gives us isn’t always straight, but it is often better than staying frozen in a paralysis at a decision point, waiting for certainty.

    The movie Blackberry reminds us of the company that reshaped the telecommunications landscape is destroyed seemingly overnight by the advent of the iPhone, a development that catches Blackberry totally off guard. If you’re looking for an easy answer as to how that happened, BlackBerry doesn’t have one for you. It boils down to hubris yes, but also the inability to be prepared for the next evolution of the technology they innovated because they wanted  certainty over clarity and gave into Decision Paralysis.

    The last few episodes of our podcast "You Can Make It So", encourage you to consider the value of Agile Decision Making - a method that helps avoid Decision Paralysis and to filter certainty over clarity 


    Episode 66 got us started with adefinition of clarity and how to avoid Decision Paralysis. It gave us a peak into the elements of Agile Decision-Making

    Episode 67  we unpacked the elements of Agile Decision-Making

    Episode 68 asked are you always running out of time, feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by an endlessto-do list? Does this shake your confidence & make you doubt your clarity, let alone certitude, in what you should do next?

    Episode 69   One of the most challenging elements to Thriving is having the confidence to do so. As we continue to pathway to a better understanding of clarity and certitude, and growing in Agile Decision Making, let's tackle the need to understand that Confidence comes from experience.

    Episode 70 - You might have Clarity. You may have Certitude. You may possess Confidence, but do you have Courage?  As we finish our understanding of Agile Decision Making, find out in this episode.


    We also have a great Masterclass on Time Blocking - a great tool that leads to higher productivity. This tool will equip you with a roadmap for success. Take control of your family time and your professional time will reap the benefits. For more information contact us 

    If we can help you here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada to develop long-term solutions and drive your personal success and professional success - do not hesitate to Contact us.

    One of the ways we do that is with Full Service Coaching – which gives you not only one to one coaching with me, but also access to our #Makeitso Platform with over 100 tools, articles, masterminds and resources to help you, free access (including unlimited replays) to our Group Coaching Masterminds and lets you be part of our Facebook Group as well as so many other features including tools like our #Makeitso Journal, some of our 23 Books for 2023, our Summit in the Spring and so much more. If your are not a member of Full Service Coaching - it’s time to join

    #letsgetafterit #makeitso

  • Time Blocking

    We’ve all experienced the feeling of time running away from us. A meeting goes on too late, a work related phone call means you miss family time. You’re too stressed about a deadline so you skip a friend’s invite.

    But what if you could take control of your time? What if you could become a master of calendar planning and achieve your tasks efficiently—without the stress of missing deadlines or running late? Here are three tips which are part of Time Blocking

    Tip 1: Be Proactive

    Time is a reflection of our reality, so take control of yours. The key is proactively organizing your time rather than reactively responding to demands placed on you by others. If you want to dedicate all of Monday to meetings or need Wednesday mornings at home to concentrate on your next task, set that goal and make that happen.

    Tip 2: Create Boundaries

    Whether it’s leaving at 5.30 pm to be home for dinner with your family or a 20-minute gap between meetings to get up and move around your house, creating rigid boundaries enables you to shape your time more effectively and efficiently. If you know you have to leave at a certain time, your brain will focus on meeting that deadline.

    Tip 3: Share Your Week with Your Team and Your Family Too!

    Inadvertently, your employees or co workers (and even family members) can derail your week’s plans. Consider sharing your Ideal Week with individuals in your life to communicate how you want your week to go. Of course, life happens, but if others know that you like to keep Tuesday afternoons free for client calls, they will be less likely to schedule you for nonessential (and nonurgent) commitments during that time.

    Patrick Lencioni explores the three primary biases that often prevent leaders and organizations from embracing organizational health. They can also be some reasons why people choose not to use Time Blocking as a means to growth and success.

    Time Blocking is a great tool that leads to higher productivity. This tool will equip you with a roadmap for success. Take control of your family time and your professional time will reap the benefits. For more information contact us 

    By the way, we have a great new Masterclass on Time Blocking - For more information contact us 

    The last few episodes of our podcast "You Can Make It So", encourage you to look at this tool

    Episode 65 - Don't Quit

    Episode 64 - Follow Through

    Episode 63 - Get Over Excuses

    Episode 62 - Three Ingredients

    if we can help you here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada to develop long-term solutions and drive your personal success and professional success - do not hesitate to Contact us. One of the ways we do that is with Full Service Coaching – which gives you not only one to one coaching with me, but also access to our #Makeitso Platform with over 100 tools, articles, masterminds and resources to help you, free access (including unlimited replays) to our Group Coaching Masterminds and lets you be part of our Facebook Group as well as so many other features including tools like our #Makeitso Journal, some of our 23 Books for 2023, our Summit in the Spring and so much more. If your are not a member of Full Service Coaching - it’s time to join

    #letsgetafterit #makeitso

  • Who Before Do and Ryan Reynolds too

    Ryan Reynolds!  What an inspiration, not only is he a brilliant actor and comedian but a SERIAL entrepreneur.

    From being a co - owner of a English football team (Wrexham AFC) to having multiple successful businesses. He has just sold his company, Mint Mobile to T-Mobile for $1.35 Billion, this is on top of selling his Gin company (Aviation American Gin) for over $600 Million in 2020!!

    This is a man who knows how to build a business empire, that too whilst being a part of the largest movie franchise in the world - Marvel Studios.

    Who would have predicted that he would be one of the most fascinating entrepreneurs in the world right now?

    He’s not only building businesses, but he’s getting involved as a content creator too.

    He has over 1.7 million followers on LinkedIn, describing himself as “Part-Time Actor, Business Owner”, regularly posting about how “Social Media Managers don’t get enough credit” and taking us behind the scenes of one of his many business ventures.

    Ryan Reynolds is leading a new generation of celebrities who are not only leveraging their fame, influence and attention to accelerate and scale fast-growth companies, but refusing to sit on the sidelines with it and instead fully immersing their brand in entrepreneurship.

    Watching his progress has been a masterclass in knowing your WHO before Your DO.

    The last few episodes of the You Can Make It So Podcast our focus has been nothing gets better by accident. We have been seeking to help those in our Phoenix Community to understand where they are coming from and where they want to go - check out these episodes

    Episode 59 - Who Before Do

    Episode 58 - What's Your Story?

    Episode 57 - Don't Settle Without A Vision


  • The Way You Go At Something

    Several decades ago now, I was invited to be part of program at a university here in Toronto. This program was one that I wanted very much to get into – so I thought – and so I worked very hard at the academic requirements (which all of the applicants did) and now came the time for the admissions decision.

    Well the letter came, and to my surprise, I was told there was one more step before admission could be discerned – it was a gathering of all the shortlisted applicants into a room where we were given a series of problems which we had to solve.

    The problems were not overly complex, but they did require some thought and there certainly was a process to getting to the conclusion. At the end we handed in our paper, and we waited, and met with one of the professors – who to our surprise told us on the spot if we were accepted or now.

    I saw several people walk away disheartened, and so I prepared for my own rejection – however I found out that I was accepted.

    Some time after, I inquired into the process used and I was told their answer key for admission – something I have never forgotten - “the way you go at something tells about you.”  They were looking for people who would not use a short cut to get the answer – but the right way to find the truth.

    The way you go at something!

    In the midst of our often changing, complex and confusing professional world – may I suggest 3 Ways to “Go At Something.”


    It may surprise you, as it did me, when I found that most of the wildly successful CEOs practice some pausing or meditation. From Ray Dalio to Bill Gates to Arianna Huffington, there is no shortage of successful people who rely on this tool to relax their minds. Meditation has been shown to boost resilience, emotional intelligence, creativity, relationships, and focus—and I’m going to be another voice telling you that it should be a key tool to the way you go at something! I believe really strongly in this, and think it’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

    I’d be lying if I said I’m perfect about meditating every day, but I do make an effort as much as possible, and hold myself accountable, because self-care is incredibly important. I have always loved this quote:

    "Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, not even if your whole world seems upset."- Francis de Sales

    Denying ourselves the gift of inner peace, is not helping our professional pursuits, it’s hurting them, and it’s making life harder in so many ways. Start small, but be consistent.

    I think you should meditate, but at the same time I want to assure you that not meditating will not be the reason you don’t burn the boats. Try different things, figure out what works best for you, and stick with it. Do what you can, forgive yourself when you don’t achieve perfection, and keep trying. Find that ‘north star’ for your self – spiritually, intellectually – but seek that inner peace as you go at something.


    My family and close friends accused me of showing up way too early to things. I am that guy that gets to the airport way before you have to, the person who sits first in the theatre before the movie, and that fellow that often is at the door of conferences before it is unlocked. Yep that is me. But you know it has served me well, for so many reasons, but one in particular, I get to see the entire circle.

    From the outset I observe, and make it a point to see everyone who is arriving. In the course of it I watch the dynamics, listen for the hidden messages, and become synced in to everything at play. From picking the right seat, to figuring out the wrong spots, I like doing my due diligence. We do that, or at least we should, in the professional and personal circles we have.

    Is it our circle a source of strength or a source of conflict? Do those around me offer signals of contempt such as undercutting jabs or subtle eye rolls, if so I know there’s trouble coming. Our circle of professional support should ethically, morally, financially and intellectually help us in “the way you go at something!” What we need to look for is sensibility, desire for common voice (after vision is selected), and a unified passion.

    Long my favorite author CS Lewis, speaks of it this way: “You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down.” Your circle should lead you toward your best, strongest self, even tackling the winds. But the authentic way to do this comes from the knowledge your circle has got your back!

    Take your time, even go early, and choose your circle as you decide “the way you go at something!”


    In my office I have a very simple looking plaque, the origin of which I can not recall, but I glance at daily – it reads:

    If there is righteousness in the heart; there will be beauty in the character.

    If there is beauty in the character there will be harmony in the home.

    If there is harmony in the home there will be order in the nation.

    If there is order in the nation; there will be peace in the world.

    These challenging words recall for me that way to “go at something” might commence with my action and character, but it requires others along the way.

    Now this simplest strategy, tackles the short cut of our greatest asset being one day what might sabotage a career. Our greatest asset, ourselves and our own very talents, can also become our fatal albatross. If we believe it all begins and ends with us then we jeopardizing success.

    Our greatest strength is to know that ‘the way we go at something’ is always flawed alone, and always full with others. A very wise man, whom I met at 14 years of age, who went on to study in Europe and lead organizations in London, Edmonton and here in Toronto once said to me “I know what I know, and I seek those who know what I do not know.” How we go at something must always include asking for help. His words, which he refreshes for me even today during occasional early morning breakfasts at a local dinner, remind me that the way you go at something is never alone.

    Maybe I could finish with this….

    There is a fictional story of a Captain in the Army who received a huge promotion to General. He was feeling pretty good about himself, and to be honest he liked the stars on his uniform, how people stood when he came into the room, and how so many catered to his every need. One day he was escorted into his new office - it was huge. That day his pride got the best of him, and as he sat behind his large new desk, and sat on his plush new chair, he heard someone come into the outer area of his office and his secretary said “no, I am sure the General is not too busy, go right in and see him”.

    The general wanted to impress who ever this was, and so he grabbed his telephone and pretended to be having a conversation with an important person.

    As the visitor walked in the door he pretended to say on the phone “yes, Mr President, of course Mr President, I am happy to help you in any way I can. Thank you Mr President.” Then he put the phone down and stared at this lowly private who was standing there and said “that was the President of the United States on the Phone, congratulating me and asking for my help”. Then with his chest puffed out and a tone of huge arrogance he turned to the private and said “and who are you and what do you want?” The private stumbled in his words and finally uttered – “Nothing Sir, I just came to hook up your phone.”

    May “the way you go at something” be different!


    On our You Can Make It So” Podcast - you may have noticed a certain theme in the form of questions asked:

    If your are not a member of Full Service Coaching - it’s time to join

  • I bet you’re in one of these 3 groups…

    January is already halfway over, so I wanted to check in on you.

    How are the goals and habits you started at the beginning of the month going?

    I’m guessing you fall into one of three categories…

    You’re still crushing them and going strong, but you could use some encouragement to keep it up.

    You’re a little less consistent than you were the first few days, but you’re still making progress.

    You’ve already decided to try again next year.

    No matter which group you’re in, I’ve got something that’s going to encourage you and slingshot you to the finish line.

    Can I suggest participating in our 5 Week Leadership Challenge.

    What do you get:

    Daily short Podcast send to your inbox (listen to at your pace).

    Daily PDF worksheets to focus on and work at your pace (syncs with Podcast).

    Two Zoom sessions during the 5 Weeks (and a replay link)

    Lots of knowledge and tons of growth!

    By the end of the challenge you will have expanded tools in 5 areas of your life.

    Discounted opportunity to attend (if you wish) #Makeitso Summitt in Spring 2023

    You get to be part of a community that wants to grow in 2023 because Great Leaders Don't Grow Alone.

    Sign up Here.

    Alright - let’s get after it - let’s #Makeitso


    p.s. - everyone is a leader: in the office, the factory, on the job site, and in our homes and we all need to grow as leaders… so yes this is for you!

    BTW - P.S. - Did you listen our latest  episode of the "You Can Make It So Podcast"? Click here for the link to 2023 so far