Mental Training for Leaders: Video Series

Elite performance in any genre includes mastering the mental game.  Athletes and leaders alike know they must work to master their minds to accomplish their goals. John Evans, PhD, Director of Mental Conditioning and Suzann Foerster, Leadership Coach discuss the key skills to improve focus and consciously direct attention to improve leadership performance.

In these videos, you will learn practical mental training exercises to improve your mental game.   We’ve included a handy reference that summarizes the exercises.  Please let us know what you find helpful and share our blog with other leaders.

Video: Part 1

Video: Part 2

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How to Improve Your Focus


Staying focused during these complex times can be very challenging.  Maximize your mental resources with these 8 practical tips.

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How can you inspire commitment?


Communication that inspires commitment is a critical skill for high performing leaders. We’ve created a model that provides a step by step process for clear and effective communication.  Our Communication Model has many uses.  It’s impactful for presentations, daily interactions with people and helps format written content.   It’s very simple to use and incredibly effective.

Show that you respect & care about the people receiving your message by taking time to thoughtfully design it.

Download this free tool today:

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Do you lead or manage?


The leadership challenge is to leverage both disciples and discern how they can balance each other.

Management is coping with complexity. The goal is to create order & consistency.
Management involves planning, allocating resources, organizing, staffing, controlling and problem solving.

Leadership is coping with change. The goals is to inspire people to adapt and evolve.
Leadership involves creating a vision, aligning people, motivating and inspiring them.

In working with leaders I’ve noticed the tendency is to over-manage and under-lead. This happens because as leaders we want to control what’s happening. We are responsible for making sure things get done so our default is to try to control it. However, more often we need to work with inspiring people and help them evolve to take on the very things we are trying to control.


>>Are you over-managing?  Where are your opportunities to lead?


Click here for an infographic on Management vs Leadership.

People Quit Managers, Not Companies

50% of New Managers FAIL IN THEIR FIRST YEAR1.

Moving from an individual contributor to a first-time manager is one of the most difficult leadership transitions.  It requires new ways of thinking, behaving and working.  Many new managers receive little or no training to prepare them to succeed.  The consequences are costly; both financially and to the culture.  Companies lose good people because of poor managers.

We are excited to share our Emerging Leader Program!  We’ve worked with our clients over the past 3 years to develop and refine a program that teaches the most critical mindsets and skills to help new managers succeed.  We now offer both online & in-person programs.  And, when you add leadership coaching to the program, the results are exponential.

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Sources: 1. Inc. Magazine, The Easy Way to Help a New Manager Succeed, 2015

FeedFORWARD: The Future Is Positive

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Feedback is hard for us to hear; especially if it challenges our “desired idea of ourselves”.  It makes us feel bad & we avoid feeling bad.  This means some of the most valuable information we can receive to improve our performance goes unheard, unaccepted.

FeedForward can change that dynamic. It focuses on the future, not a failed past. It’s suggestion based & driven by the person that’s receiving the feedback.  This makes it a more positive experience, dramatically increasing the ability to hear & accept the information to improve.

>> Why not FeedForward, instead?

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Mad Presentation Skills

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Creating a killer presentation can be overwhelming.  Following these key steps can get you laser focused & ready to rock the podium in no time.  Download this Mad Presentation Skills worksheet to guide you through the process & check out our infographic on Concise Communication.  We’ve also compiled some great additional resources below.

>> Before

  1. Define your desired outcome.
  2. Decide what you want the audience to do &/or experience.  Put yourself in their shoes.
  3. Determine what’s in it for them.
  4. Consider why they should listen to YOU.

>> During

  1. Organize your draft.
  2. Make it concise & compelling.
  3. Connect through emotion.
  4. Engage your audience.
  5. Deliver using your passion & freak factor.
  6. Practice & tweak until it’s natural.

>> After

  1. Get feedback.
  2. Apply the learning.


How to Prepare Checklist

Top 10 Rules to Keep In Mind When Designing Presentations



Make a Difference In Your Relationships By Creating More Safety


Safety is paramount to creating relationships & communication to deal with the difficult challenges of leadership.

Safety doesn’t mean we aren’t uncomfortable or experience some pain.  That’s part of being human.  What it does mean is when we work to make it safe we have the best shot of honest, meaningful dialogue.

So how do you make it safe – for yourself & others?

Here are 4 strategies for setting the groundwork for good, healthy dialogue:

1. Assume Good Intentions

It’s hard to understand our own intentions sometimes, let alone assume we know what others are thinking.  Give people the benefit of the doubt & assume they are doing the best they can.

2. WHO do you want to be?

Be intentional about how you want to show up & how you want to communicate.  It’s tempting to want to win & be right, but focusing on being curious & understanding will foster far better communication.

3. The power of AND

We get stuck in either/or thinking & assume we can’t be kind AND direct, or I can’t take care of myself AND still be successful at work.  When you feel resistance to having a tough talk see if you are stuck in either/or thinking & if using an AND opens up new possibilities.

4. Third Chair Perspective

Only until you can honestly make the other person’s argument do you truly understand.  We have a natural pull to be right & resist being open to information that would make us “wrong”, however that’s where are greatest learnings can grow from – a willingness to suspend your own opinions & beliefs & work to understand the worldview of others.

We want to hear from you!  Please comment at the bottom of this post.

Which one seems like a good start for you?  Where can you make a difference in your relationships by creating more safety?


The Power of Safety: Presentation

What Gets Measured Gets Done

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Practice, Practice, Practice.

This is my mantra daily to clients that want to develop or change behaviors. Many behaviors are automatic reactions & habitual in nature. By consistently practicing new behaviors & actions, we can train our brain to do it differently. And what’s cool about consistent practice is we develop a new habit – & habits are a great hack.  

Habits & routines are stored in a part of the brain that requires less cognitive effort – therefore leaving us brain energy for more important tasks.

Measure, Measure, Measure.

A powerful strategy in enforcing your new habits more quickly is to measure them. What behavior are you practicing? Track it everyday and see the power of the measure. Check out these tools we’ve gathered for creative & fun ways to measure, track and ultimately develop new habits. Whether you like tech, games or hand-written tools, we have something that will work for you.

Want more ideas? Check out Michael Hyatt’s blog for his thoughts on when & how to use habits to achieve your goals.   

Let Us Help.

We want to know how this goes!  Email us on your progress & let us know what we can do to support you on making your habits stick.

Habit Tools: 

Infographic: What Gets Measured Gets Done

Bullet Journal Habit Tracker