Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of March 31, 2010
Elevate Those Around You

Nathan came to me in a state of exhaustion.  After years of struggling with his eight-person executive team, he felt that he was getting nowhere.  No surprise that the team of 300 below his eight direct reports were not as productive as they could be. 


"They just won't step up, get creative and do their jobs to the best of their ability."  Nathan wanted fast 'tools' to change them, or guidance with the decision to "fire the whole bunch and start over with new blood and fresh ideas."


We went to work.  My goal was to see the bigger picture, not just the immediate frustration. 


  1. Who is Nathan as a leader?
  2. What talents does each member of his team already possess?
  3. What will strengthen both Nathan as a leader and his team, both individually and collectively?


I soon learned the depth of Nathan's frustration.  It seeped into his entire life experience, both inside and out.  This frustration was pulling him into a slow, downward spiral which unwittingly leads to very small thinking. 


As he was thinking small, his team followed suit.  (Leaders too easily forget that their team watches and emulates them moment-by-moment throughout the day. If a leader is upbeat and forward thinking, so is the team. If a leader is frustrated and small thinking, so is the team.)


Rather than thinking of each person on the team individually, he looked at them as one big disappointment, and his attitude communicated this loudly.


It was a stretch for Nathan to separate out each direct report and to list their talents. He was instead eager to look at their failures - only how disappointing they were.  This was the small thinking that was pulling his team down.


Once Nathan separated each member of his team out and looked at their strengths, talents, who they are at the core, and why he originally hired them, things began to turn around.  He could see more clearly what each individual needed in order to grow.


Nathan surprised his team members when he asked each to come into his office individually.  Cautiously, they agreed, not knowing if it was to be fired.


He genuinely acknowledged their talents and then sought their expertise: 

  • "What do you like about your job?"
  • "What's the next level for you?"
  • "What can you do to step up to the next level?"
  • "What can I do to support you in this?"
  • "What vision do you have for our company?"
  • "How can you move us closer to that vision?"


His relieved team was re-energized and on fire.  They were once again a team, not eight struggling individuals with no vision for the future.


If you want your people (including spouses, partners, friends, children) to become better at what they do:


  • First look at who you are as a leader (spouse, partner, friend or parent).  How can you improve who you are?


  • Next, look at each individual and recognize their strengths and talents.  It's a win/win way to elevate yourself and those around you.
If you are challenged with this concept of 'elevating those around you,' begin with taking small steps.  Hire one of our coaches to guide you.  At GV&A, we have a variety of skilled, talented, certified coaches to serve you.  It can be fun and easier than you think to attain the success you are after.

Enjoy your discoveries and have an amazing week.


To see more of my published articles, including ''Strengthen You As a Leader" go to:Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Executive and Leadership Success

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for March 31, 2010 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.