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Be a Good Boss – The Provide a Human Shield Mindset

Good bosses play a critical role in helping people achieve success at work. It could be the most important and rewarding role you will ever play in business.

My coaching clients repeatedly tell me stories of how a good boss removed obstacles so that they could get their work done with minimal hassle. I could experience my client’s level of engagement soar when they felt their boss had their back.

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

Provide a Human Shield

Great bosses protect their people, going to bat for resources and support. Even when they may suffer personally, great bosses are willing to take such risks. They shield their employees from red tape, meddlesome executives, nosy visitors, unnecessary meetings and a host of other time wasters.

“A good boss takes pride in serving as a human shield, absorbing and deflecting heat from superiors and customers, doing all manner of boring and silly tasks and battling back against every idiot and slight that makes life unfair or harder than necessary on his or her charges,” Sutton writes.

You know you’ve been successful when your subordinates believe you have their backs.

The Questions to Ask Yourself

     Human Shield

a.  Do you see your job as caring for and protecting your people?

b.  Do you fight for them when necessary?

c.  Do you consider it too much trouble or too risky to battle superiors on their behalf?

d.  When your people screw up, do you take the hit or hang them out to dry?

e.  When you screw up, do you admit it?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders protect their people by go to bat for them providing resources and support?  Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I see my job as caring for and protecting my people?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for leaders who can admit when they make mistakes.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Good Bosses – The Small Wins Count Mindset

Good Bosses

Exceptional bosses know how to motivate people tapping into their intrinsic motivation. They set goals that empower people and builds confidence. Big audacious goals can initially sound great, but can backfire when people fail to achieve milestones resulting in a de-motivated workforce.

As a boss who strives to do great work, you may need to adjust your thinking about goal setting. Small wins over time can add up to tremendous success. Sometimes less is more.

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

If you set big goals to energize and direct people, you can fall into the trap of overwhelming and discouraging them. The path to success is lined with small wins. Framing goals as a series of small steps helps people see the importance of their participation.

Smaller goals also help people make better decisions, sustain motivation and manage stress. When subordinates experience a challenge as too big or complex, they can freeze up. When problems are broken down into bite-sized pieces, a boss inspires clarity, calmness and confidence.

The Questions to Ask Yourself

                       Small Wins

a. Do you frame what your people need to do as a series of small, realistic and clear steps?

b. Do you propose grand goals?

c. Do you break things down into bite-sized steps?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders set goals that instill confidence and motivates people? Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I set smaller goals that helps people make better decisions, sustains motivation and manage stress?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who know how to establish appropriate goals when working with people.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Gritty Bosses – The True Grit Mindset

Gritty Bosses

Good bosses are hard working and resilient. They keep employees inspired in good times and bad. Failure is seen as bumps on the way to winning and success.

One of my Chief People Officer executive coaching clients models true grit. She taps into the creative DNA of employeesby helping people weather failure and instilling optimism that success is just around the corner. She believes in her people and their shared purpose.

Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) He focuses on how to be a better boss.

 “Gritty bosses are driven by the nagging conviction that everything they and their people do could be better if they tried just a little harder or were just a bit more creative,” Sutton writes.

Such bosses instill grit in subordinates. Without creating the impression that everything is an emergency, great bosses have a sense of urgency. They are dogged and patient, sensing when to press forward and when to be flexible. As Albert Einstein once stated: “It’s not that I am so smart; it is just that I stay with my problems longer.”

University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Duckworth, PhD, and her colleagues define grit as perseverance and passion toward long-term goals.

“Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress,” they wrote in a 2007 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology paper.

Without becoming discouraging, bosses with grit believe that progress isn’t always good enough—that you can never stop learning or rest on your laurels.

The Questions to Ask Yourself

     True Grit

a. Do you treat work as a marathon or a sprint?

b. Do you look for quick fixes?

c. Do you instill a sense of urgency without treating everything as a crisis?

d. In the face of failures, do you persist or give up?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders focus on strengths and persevere?  Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I demonstrate true grit at work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who persevere through adversity.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            415-546-1252      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Savvy Bosses – The Goldilocks Management Mindset

Savvy Bosses

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

Bosses determine how people experience work: joy versus despair, enthusiasm versus complaints, and well-being versus stress. Most bosses want to be good at what they do, yet many lack the mindset that precedes positive action and behavior.

As a boss who strives to do great work, you may need to adjust your thinking. The beliefs and assumptions you hold about yourself, your work and your people will determine your actions and ultimate success.

Goldilocks Management Mindset

Managers who are too assertive will damage relationships with their superiors, peers and subordinates. Conversely, those who aren’t assertive enough will fail to inspire their teams to strive for stretch goals, according to a study conducted by business professors Daniel Ames, PhD, and Francis Flynn, PhD (of Columbia and Stanford Universities, respectively).

Ames and Flynn speculate that the best bosses would receive an “average” rating from subordinates if measured in competitiveness, aggressiveness, passivity and submission.Stanford experiments confirm that micromanaging employees with relentless attention and advice usually undermines their efforts.

There are times when bosses need to coach people, discipline, communicate direction and intervene. The savviest bosses look for the right moments to apply pressure or encouragement to get the best out of their people. In choosing their moments, they command respect instead of contempt.

The Questions to Ask Yourself

1.  Goldilocks Management

a. Are you managing with just the right degree of assertiveness?

b. Are you creating ways to walk the line between enough intervention and micromanaging?

c. Are you neglecting to give your people guidance, wisdom and the feedback they need to succeed?

d. Are you obsessively monitoring every move and metric?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve their interpersonal skills?  Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I use just the right amount of direction and intervention with company employees?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who have a balanced approach when working with people.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and growing. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Are Killer Bosses Worse than Killer Bees?

Most of us can tell horror stories about the boss from hell. He or she might have been a micro-manager or so work-driven that employees didn’t have a life.The boss was unhappy and took out his/her frustration on employees. Bad bosses can be more destructive than those nasty “Killer Bees”.

Killer Bosses

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

Bosses also have bosses. In the United States alone, their ranks have swelled to an estimated 21–38 million. Even CEOs answer to boards of directors and shareholders.

Myriad studies prove the link between a boss’s effectiveness and team performance.Having a good boss may also increase longevity: A Swedish study that followed 3,122 men for 10 years found that those with the best bosses (considerate, clear and proactive change agents) suffered fewer heart attacks than did those with bad bosses. Study participants who stayed with good bosses for 4 years had at least a 39 percent lower heart-attack risk, according to coauthor Anna Nyberg, PhD.

Personality-assessment specialist Robert Hogan, PhD, researched studies of diverse workers conducted in 1948, 1958, 1968 and 1998 in cities like Baltimore, London, Seattle and Honolulu. In his meta-analysis of postal workers, milk-truck drivers, schoolteachers and other members of the labor force, 75 percent reported that dealing with their immediate supervisor was the most stressful part of the job.

Over the last 30 years, Gallup surveys of more than 100,000 employees in 2,500 diverse businesses have revealed that one’s immediate boss has far more impact on engagement and performance than any other factor. A 2007 Gallup survey of U.S. employees found that 24 percent would fire their bosses if given the chance.

Indeed, 56 percent of disengaged employees cite bad bosses as a primary reason for their unhappiness. People don’t quit their jobs; they quit bad bosses.

Good bosses create employee satisfaction that leads to retention, performance, productivity and profitability. How you treat your direct reports creates a ripple effect that travels down and across your company’s hierarchy, ultimately shaping its culture and performance.

A study of 66 of the fastest-growing new U.S. firms shows that the best CEOs blend a top-down directive approach with a participative shared-leadership approach when managing their top teams.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders become better bosses? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “What are the qualities of a great boss where I work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to develop great bosses.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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How to Be a Better Boss

Ninety percent of us work for someone else, regardless of our seniority or status. As with great works of art, we have learned to recognize good bosses when we see them, but their specific qualities may prove difficult to define.

The word “boss” is often used interchangeably with “leader,” “manager” or “supervisor,” and it conjures up memories of the good, the bad and the ugly ones we’ve endured throughout our careers. The boss is the authority figure who has direct and frequent contact with subordinates—the “head honcho” responsible for personally directing and evaluating work.

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

“Devoting relentless attention to doing one good thing after another—however small—is the only path I know to becoming and remaining a great boss,” he writes. “I wish I could promise you that the path was easier.”

Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a restaurant owner, athletic coach or store  manager, your success depends on how well you deal with the people who surround you. In any position of authority, great or small, you are expected to personally guide, inspire and discipline.

Anytime you have more power than others, you must interact in productive ways—especially when facing strong emotions and gut reactions. A boss evokes feelings of confidence and comfort, as well as insecurity, fear, anger and confusion, in every communication medium: face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, emails, text messages and video conferences. Emotions can intensify when relationships are inherently unequal.

In many situations, the boss-employee relationship requires that you work “up close and personal,” which means you’re exposed to others’ quirks, foibles and habits. To benefit your team and company, you must excel at accepting differences and finding workarounds.

There are no magic bullets, and the work may seem relentless. Besides getting things done and meeting performance objectives, you must shepherd your people through every hard turn. Your principal rewards for success are keeping your job and receiving even more responsibilities and challenges.

The best bosses keep chipping away at a huge pile of tasks—some interesting, others dull but necessary. Their leadership prowess is measured by how well they handle the frustrations associated with people and performance.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders become better bosses? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “The best boss I worked for possesed which qualities?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for developing good bosses..

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help good bosses create a culture where all employees are fully engaged. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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5 Kinds of Stories That Create Our Reality

Stories

The stories we tell ourselves can either create struggle and pain or happiness and fulfillment. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to tell themselves positive stories that create untold possibility.

Enlightened leaders are able to help their organizations shift its culture from good to great. They guide their people in retelling the history and growth of the organization that fully engages people to create a prosperous future.

5 Kinds of Stories

We tell stories related to five basic subjects:

1. Work

2. Family

3. Health

4. Happiness

5. Friendships

While there are myriad variations, these themes form the basis for everyday complaining or bragging—two facets of storytelling.

Do a reality check to see if your stories excuse your actions or inspire new behaviors. How do you feel about your results? Are you happy with the way you conduct yourself? Answering these questions allows you to uncover how your internal stories influence your behavior.

3 Steps to Rewrite Your Story

1. Make a list of your current stories. Identify the areas where your stories are clearly hurting you.

2. Articulate, as clearly as possible, a story that isn’t working for you. Are you, for example, rationalizing a behavior or scapegoating a colleague? Are you bitter or boastful? Your story should be as authentic as possible.

3. To rewrite your story, first identify its faulty elements. Ask yourself these three questions:

a. Does the story reflect the truth?

b. Will it take me where I want to go in life (while allowing me to remain true to my core values)?

c. Does it stimulate me to take action?

Constructive stories contains three key components:

  • Purpose
  • Truth
  • Hope-filled action

If your story lacks one or more of these elements, it remains flawed and unworkable. Only a purposeful, truthful and hope-driven story will inspire you to unleash your intrinsic energy and achieve what you want from life.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I transform an unhealthy story to ahope-driven story that inspire me to unleash my energy and achieve what I want from life?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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Stories Create Our Reality

Stories

I taught a self-management class for fifteen years, and work with scores of coaching clients to improve their self-management. One critical insight that I’ve observed over the years is that the happiest people construct their reality by telling themselves positive stories.

I manage my own life by taking time to reflect on the stories I’m telling myself about people and events. I’ve learned that by changing my internal narrative and becoming less reactive my personal and business life is more fulfilling. We interact with people and events, but have choice over how we explain our experiences to ourselves and others.

Humans are wired to create and tell stories. Our brains continuously look for explanations to the events around us. Whatever we encounter, whether random or planned, forces our minds to impose a chronology and apply cause-and-effect logic.

“We automatically, and often unconsciously, look for an explanation of why things happen to us, and ‘stuff just happens’ is no explanation,” according to psychologist Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at Oxford University’s Centre for Anthropology & Mind.

We use stories to find meaning amid chaos. This is how we organize and give context to our experiences. Facts are meaningless until we create a story around them. As business consultant Annette Simmons writes in The Story Factor (Basic Books, 2006), “People don’t need new facts—they need a new story.” In most cases, these stories matter more than what actually happens.

We tell our stories constantly, even when we’re unaware of doing so. They reflect issues with our work, family, overall happiness, and personal strengths and weaknesses. Each story has a theme, hero, villain and conflict, and the way we communicate it involves both verbal and nonverbal communication.

Because we alone craft our stories, we may as well make them as inspiring as possible, suggest leadership coach Rosamund Stone Zander and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Zander, authors of The Art of Possibility (Harvard Business School Press, 2000).

Consequences of Negative Stories

Some of our internal stories are so tragically inaccurate that they lead to stress and burnout:

·         “It’s a competitive, cutthroat world out there.”

·         “If I don’t look out for No. 1, nobody else will.”

·         “The world is moving too fast for me these days.”

·         “I’d love to spend time with my family, but I have to work.”

·         “If I’m not the first person at work and the last to leave, I’ll be viewed as a slacker.”

·         “I'd exercise and eat better, if only I wasn’t so busy.”

·         “I’m smarter than most people at work, so I don’t need to prepare, train or worry.”

A USA Today survey reveals that one in six employees is so overworked that he/she doesn’t use up allotted annual vacation time (even though Americans receive the fewest vacation days in the industrialized world).

Another survey shows:

  • 34% of workers report that they have no downtime at work.
  • 32% eat lunch while working.
  • 32% never leave the building until they head home.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence?  Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “What are my faulty stories that I tell myself self over and over again?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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How to Generate Personal Energy - Find a Faulty Story

Personal Energy

I recently facilitated a Leadership Retreat at a beautiful ocean resort for the Managing Partners of a law firm. We focused a great deal on improving their emotional intelligence-based leadership skills including self-awareness and creating more work/life balance.

The legal profession is a highly rewarding, but increasingly demanding profession. Managing partners are often stressed out and some burned out. One of the partners shared that he was in a perpetual state of “fight or flight”. He had little time for himself or his family.

During the three day retreat, we engaged in some very powerful exercises where each participant reflected on the beliefs or stories he or she had regarding work/life balance. The partners then spent some time writing a new story envisioning both a personal and work life that prevented burnout and promoted well-being. Each person created a Leadership Development Action Plan with specific action steps and accountability to improve desired behaviors.

To generate the energy you need to fulfill your greatest desires and goals, you must identify your faulty stories—the erroneous old chestnuts that you tell yourself over and over again. We rarely examine them or question their usefulness. We simply go about our workdays and lives, telling ourselves these familiar tales to convince ourselves that we’re OK.

Answer the following questions to determine whether your stories are working to your advantage:

1. Do you feel energized?

2. Are you managing your time well?

3. Do you get things done?

4. Are you living the life you dreamed?

If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, then your stories aren’t working for you. Now’s the time to develop a story that compels you and improves your energy.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence?  Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “What are my faulty stories that I tell myself self over and over again?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams.He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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What’s Your Story?

Your Story

I recently facilitated a Leadership Retreat for the Managing Partners of a law firm. We focused a great deal on improving interpersonal communication and creating more work/life balance.

The legal profession is a rewarding, but very demanding profession. Managing partners are often stressed out and burned out. One of the partners shared that she was in a constant state of “fight or flight”.

During the retreat, we did a very powerful exercise having each participant reflect on the beliefs or stories they each had regarding work/life balance. They then spent some time writing a new story envisioning both a personal and work life that prevented burnout and promoted well-being. Each person created a Leadership Development Action Plan with specific action steps and accountability to improve desired behaviors.

“The most important story you will ever tell about yourself is the story you tell to yourself.” ~ Jim Loehr, The Power of Story, Free Press, 2007

Stories

Stories that don't work happen to everybody. Each of us operates with a variety of organizing principles, or “stories,” that swirl around our brains. They often prompt us to work harder and faster, even though we're not getting any closer to achieving the life we want.

Even the most successful people, with brilliant professional histories, carry old stories in their minds. One of the most commonly shared (and seriously flawed) beliefs is that simply spending time on something will generate positive results. If you buy into this premise, then you’re probably rushed much of the time.

High-quality, focused energy is necessary to achieving results. As performance psychologist Jim Loehr writes in The Power of Story (Free Press, 2007), “…the key to almost all of our problems, more fundamental even than poor energy management, is faulty storytelling, because it's storytelling that drives the way we gather and spend our energy."

Indeed, energy is the most precious resource we possess—the heart of the solutions to our most pressing problems and needs. The stories we tell ourselves, however, cause us to lose valuable energy, leaving us too tired or stressed to perform at optimum levels.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Are the stories that I tell myself creating more energy or making me more stressed out?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

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