Archives for posts with tag: aligning behaviors to vision

The other evening in the dusk of a summer night I ran with my dog. As I took in the familiar sites of natural beauty along a favorite stretch of hilly road, I noted how my pup wasn’t quite the spastic fella he once was. It struck me that his six years resulted in our matching of our paces. (O.K., so I also noted how the distance and speed of my runs had also diminished in most recent years – which had nothing to do with my dog!)

They say you measure one dog’s year as being equivalent to seven human years. So basically, my dog and I were the same age! I smiled as I watched him plod along in front of me up a steep hill; both of us determined to keep going. “I wonder what his pace will be a year from now when he’s nearing 50 in human years, “ I thought as we trudged along.

I did a bit of mental math as I continued his age progression in a few more “dog years.” That didn’t last long. (Partly, I can hardly do math in my head when I’m sitting – and running didn’t aid my numbers sense!) I quit doing age progressions in my head of, “So in three years I will be ___ age, which means my dog will be ___ years old in people years.”

What if in one year’s time everything about my life equaled seven years from now – like it was fast-tracked and seven years passed all within an actual 365-day year?

The thought that in three years’ time my dog would age as much as 21 years in my life wasn’t something I want to think about. I love my dog and hate the thought of him not being able to go for runs with me because he’s too slow or that it’s too hard on his body. So I made what I thought was a wise choice and thought about next summer and how, Lord willing, he and I should both be a bit older but still be able to enjoy a summer’s evening run like now.

“What if my life’s years were measured in “dog years”?” I mused. What if in one year’s time everything about my life equaled seven years from now – like it was fast-tracked and seven years passed all within an actual 365-day year?”  I pondered that for a bit.

I wondered, “Would I change the way I lived these next 12 months if I knew that in a year my body would be seven years older, even though my life expectancy hadn’t been extended? If I knew that a year from now it would be as if seven years had passed, and my daughter would not be sophomore in college but would be into her life beyond college, and my son would not be a sophomore in high school, but would be in the middle of his college years – would that change how I lived this next year?”

How much more purposeful would I be with the gift of each day God blessed me with if it was “seven times” more valuable (as far as my finite mind can contrive) than normal? By living my Work-Life Balance Roadmap with diligence, I was pleased to feel at peace that I’m on track with each important “destination” in my life. Because of years of diligence in those important areas of my life, I didn’t freak out with a sense of panic that if seven years passed during the next 12 months that I’d find myself someplace I didn’t intend to be.

But these thoughts of living my life in dog’s years did make me assess the question, “If the passage of these next 12 months equaled the passage of seven human years, what would change in the way I lived life?” Col. 3:17 came to mind. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

I think what would change for me would be the intensity of focus of purpose of each day. If I was involved doing what I believed were the “right” activities, pursuits, relationships, and use of time, then the question would become, “Am I doing these things and spending each moment as truly unto Jesus with a thankful heart?”

If this next year of your life was equivalent to a dog-year, or to put it a different way – if the passage of these next 12 months equaled the passage of seven human years, what would change in the way you lived life?

By Dr. Heidi Scott, Speaker, Coach, Consultant to Leaders, Teams, and Organizations   Book Chapter “Charting Your Course Toward Work-Life Balance” coming in the soon to be released book Roadmap to Success        ISBN 978-1-60013-664-1

I spent last week with coaches and athletic directors from the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) at their annual convention that I spoke at. What a dynamic, focused, and joyful group of people!

Kicking off the NCCAA Convention in St. Louis: Vision to WIN

Three things stood out to me about these leaders:
1. Authenticity is attractive. In listening, observing, and talking with these leaders, I could tell there was a connection in “walking their talk.” Their personal convictions and value of their school and athletic program mission and purpose statements rang true.
2. They possess an ethic of care and love for people over profit. In today’s world, this is refreshing and magnetic. This is not to say these coaches and athletic directors aren’t interested in the bottom line – whether it’s measured with their department/program budgets or their win-loss records. Their concerns for developing people around them to know and love Christ and live with meaning and purpose simply trumps their desire to “profit.”
3. A sense of urgency to improve the performance of themselves as leaders, of their teams, and programs focuses them. Like most college coaches, desiring a general sense of improvement “down the road” isn’t good enough. Their openness and desire to learn launches their quest for leveraging tools and consulting strategies to equip their team to improve . . . now, this season, beginning today.

These key questions may help us reflect and grow as leaders:
• Am I authentic in my life and work? Do I “do” what I say is important?
• Do I value people or profit (measured in financial gain or wins) more than the other? How do my behaviors and attitudes reveal this?
• What is my sense of urgency to improve the performance of my leadership effectiveness and of my team in and out of the heat of battle?
• How attractive is my leadership?

By Dr. Heidi Scott, the Leader’s Coach

“How do you know when you need to leave an organization because of a values mis-match from the C-level, even if you are a leader who enjoys the department you lead and your client interactions?” This was a recent question asked to me by a high-level leader in a large organization on the other side of the nation. She wanted to know if we could talk and if I could advise her.

Advise her about this in a coaching session? No. Ask her the right questions in a coaching session? Yes – or at least I’d give it my best shot.

Values mis-match at work? These coaching questions may be of help.

When you discover that the espoused values of the “CEO and company” are different than what you signed on for, and that your values aren’t aligned to them, it’s time for some soul searching and contemplation. Regardless of what values are hanging on the wall in a corporate mission statement, you just know in your gut when there’s a values mis-match.

Some questions to help you discover what to do may include a few of the following:

  1. Are you operating on assumptions about the values that the C-level is embracing by its behaviors? Or have you inquired with “them” to check your perceptions?
  2. Are the corporate values being lived out ethically, legally, or morally wrong? If the answer is yes to any one of these, is it safe for you to continue working in that organization?
  3. Are you able to shelter the people you lead within the organization from the poor values being embraced at the C-level? If so, does this exhaust you to an unhealthy point, or is it a challenge that leaves you engaged and motivated most of the time?
  4. Where is your point where you know it’s time to move on? Is that point related to your physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion? Is there a point where a loss of joy will indicate it’s time to exit?
  5. If the values mis-match is not one that could land you in jail, does it make financial sense for you to jump ship now, or do you need to wait for a more opportune time? Do you need to begin looking for the next career place to step? Or do you need to have your next career move lined up before you leave where you are?
  6. If for a week you mentally “pretend” that you are sticking it out where you are indefinitely, what does that feel like in your gut? During a week of not entertaining the question of leaving, are you spurred on to thinking of creative ways to modify the culture or make it much more than simply tolerable?
  7. And if you take a week and mentally plan on leaving your current company to work in one where there is a strong values match, how do you wake up feeling each day? Does it bring stress or relief – and why?

A great coaching session rarely ends with coachees having gained perfectly clear “answers” to challenges. But if a person leaves the coaching session with the right issues to ponder and consider, he or she will usually discover the right steps of action to take. And those will most often be the right ones because they emerged through marinating thought – and (hopefully!) will resonate with the heart.

Is it time for you to proactively change the culture and espoused values of the company you work in to more positive ones? Or is it time for you to seek a better fit between the values you esteem and those of the organization you work for?

Dr. Heidi Scott, the Leader’s Coach