Category Archives: Executive Insight

Inspire and Be Inspired

Be inspiring.

Show up big, bold and outrageous.

Be the spark that ignites creativity and passion at home and at work.

Demonstrate what it means to be a true dreamer, by following your heart and encouraging others to do the same. Inspiring others to achieve their dreams can actually give you the confidence you need to achieve your dreams.

Let Life Inspire You.

To inspire means “to breathe.” And as oxygen is necessary to sustain life, so inspiration is to dreaming. Discover what moves you. Be open to the world around you and become aware of how your surroundings can help you achieve your dreams.

It may be as simple as finding a quiet garden, going for a run or finding a creative outlet.

It’s also possible that a friend may be willing to share resources that can put you on the path to success.

Keep your eyes open, remain aware of your surroundings, and don’t be afraid to rock the boat… You never know where it’ll lead.


environment, employees, morale

Every person is motivated. The challenge is to create a work environment in which people are motivated about work priorities.

Too often, organizations fail to pay attention to the employee empowerment, employee recognition, communication, and involvement issues that are most important to the employees.

The first step in creating a motivating work environment is to stop taking actions that are guaranteed to deflate people. Identify and take actions that will motivate them. It’s a balancing act. Employers walk a fine line between meeting the needs of the organization and its customers and meeting the needs of its internal staff. Do both well and thrive!

The key to finding out what issues are most important to the employees is to ask them. Conduct anonymous surveys that encourage employees to share their true opinions. These surveys can be used to determine what issues are valued by the employees. Once the employer understands what issues need improvement, they can work to formulate a plan for implementing changes that will highlight these issues.

Motivation helps people achieve goals, gain a positive perspective, create the power to change, build self-esteem and capability, manage their own development and help others with theirs. There are no real disadvantages to successfully motivating employees, but there are many barriers to overcome.

Barriers may include unaware or absent managers, inadequate buildings, outdated equipment, and entrenched attitudes such as: We don’t get paid extra to work harder” or “We’ve always done it this way.” Such views will take persuasion, perseverance, and the proof of experience to break down.

Commercial success depends on employees using their full talents, yet managers often view motivation as something of a mystery. Individuals are motivated by different things and in different ways.

In addition, the flattening of hierarchies can create insecurity and lower staff morale. Employee morale lowers when employees feel as though their efforts are not being appreciated. Morale also takes a dip when employees feel in the dark about important company issues.

Taking the time to acknowledge the efforts of employees and keeping them informed of company issues can prevent morale from taking a plunge.

employee motivation, productivity and guidelines

Twyla Dell writes in “An Honest Day’s Work”:

“The heart of motivation is to give people what they really want most from work. The more you are able to provide what they want, the more you should expect what you really want, namely: productivity, quality and service.”

Employers want to maximize their profits and the way that they do this is by motivating their employees to succeed. Successful companies know that hard working and effective employees are their most valuable asset.

Guidelines are necessary for employee motivation.

Make a minimum number of rules and policies to protect your organization legally and create order.

Publish the rules and policies and educate all employees.

Let many employees join management in identifying organizational values; write value statements and a professional code of conduct.

Develop guidelines for supervisors and educate them about the fair and consistent application of the few rules and policies.

Address individual dysfunctional behaviors on a “need-to” basis with counseling, progressive discipline, and performance improvement plans.

Clearly communicate work place expectations and guidelines for professional behavior.

Finally, do not just discipline undesirable behaviors but be sure to also seek out ways to acknowledge desirable behaviors. Creating employee recognition programs will motivate employees to strive to do their best in the workplace.

The Mess in Your Message – Integrity and the CEO of Exxon

During another amazing yoga class this week, the Sage brought a unique message to class: the mess in your message.

It is your actions that deliver your message – and at times, the mess is in the message. The mess shown may be an integrity issue, like what is happening with the CEO of Exxon.

The CEO of Exxon is in a mess right now. One of his competitors is fracking (a term used for the controversial technology of resource extraction from the ground) and building a water tower near his home. Exxon does a lot of fracking around other people’s homes. As the CEO, one would think if it were okay in one place, it would be okay everywhere.

However, he is suing to stop the fracking around his home, taking the competitor to court. His action shows a conflict in his integrity – what a mess. And what a strong message.

Where is the mess in your message? Where does controversy live in your life? The beautiful thing about the mess is it sends a clear message – even if you don’t realize it. Out of the mess, a solution can arise. Ask for help from a trusted friend or coach to clarify the mess and shift your message.

Our actions create a story, and are the result of a story.

Our stories emerge as a result of past actions and experiences.

Current actions are generated from the thoughts and emotions based upon what has happened to us.

This creates our experience of life, as well as our current circumstances.

Our fellow human being, the CEO of Exxon, had an opportunity to do something for the greater good. He is making a statement about a process that obviously is not in the best interest of humanity. He could have chosen to impact the problem and create a solution. However, he is choosing to exacerbate the problem based upon a serious integrity issue. He is also making a powerful statement about this fracking process: not in my backyard.

If not in his, why in anyone else’s?

This week, look at any ‘messes’ in your life. Are your actions amplifying or clarifying your mess? Becoming aware of the mess in your message is a critical step in creating an amazing life. Through awareness comes choice.

Create an amazing week!

Contributed by Executive, Life and Spirituality Coach, Jim Pehkonen

Integrity is the new black

One of the most critical attributes necessary for realizing your dreams is integrity.

By living a life of integrity, you can be proud of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and have confidence in your ability to rise to even higher heights.

In a conversation about achieving your dreams, integrity is essential and can be summarized as simple as: say what you mean and mean what you say.

Why is this so critical? How can you truly focus your energy if you are being held down by guilt or self doubt?

Live a purpose driven life by honoring your agreements and living by your word. People will want to work with you, and that is the key achieving your dreams.

The enemy of realizing our dreams? Self doubt.

Lying to yourself can fuel self doubt and be harmful to your dream. Many people color reality, making it better or worse than it actually is. If you don’t have a clear vision of where you are, how can you make clear decisions or know where you might need help?

Report accurately on where you are and the status of your dream. Define the necessary strategy for progress and to achieve your goals and adjust accordingly. When you accomplish a milestone, take time to celebrate or at least to acknowledge your achievement.

Self doubt occurs if you only dream but never take action. It is essential that the dream move forward. Break your dream into short-term projects. If you are unwilling to turn your dreams into projects, check and see if this is what you truly want.

Maybe you’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe this dream isn’t your dream at all, but the expectations of others. Be truthful with yourself.

Having integrity is the only way to truly identify what you want.


Everybody loves a leader, but dislikes a boss

Being on top ain’t always easy, huh? There’s a fine like between being respected and being feared, between being personable and being a push over, between being firm and being a b*tch.

How do you walk that line perfectly every day? In my opinion, you don’t. Being the leader of a company does not require super human skills, it just requires confidence in yourself, faith in your team and the ability to make mistakes gracefully.

Perhaps you remember that kid (or you were that kid) on the playground that everybody disliked for being “bossy”? That kid probably had great ideas, but just shouted out orders and spoke down to his peers. That kid was never able to recruit more than a couple kids to join his cause.

Now think of the playground hero. The kid who could rally a bunch of different kids in different cliques in different grades  into playing a huge playground-wide game of capture the flag. The kid who could unite a huge group of his peers to petition their teachers for 10 extra minutes of recess. That kid was a leader. That kid got everybody else excited about his cause, and made them want to be apart of it.

Learn from that kid.

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