Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Are you Connecting Consciously?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

I just experienced one of those annoying internet modem failures. When the internet went down so did my inter office network and all the devices attached.  It occurred to me that just as we can suddenly be disconnected by technology, we can also be disconnected by day to day business challenges.

Where are you finding a disconnect in your business?  Maybe you’ve lost your passion, or dealing with a difficult employee, or too busy and overwhelmed to think, to plan, to take action?  Those times of feeling separate can make us question what we’re doing, or can cause us to be discouraged.

When we feel a disconnect in our business, the simplest fix is not to run to the computer store, but to go within.  To reconnect with our higher wisdom self, and to what is truly meaningful and important to us.  We can get back to center and reclaim our courage and our strengths.  I was amazed to watch the athletes in the Olympics.  Whenever they had a disappointment, they went back to their internal source of strength and got right back in the pool or on the balance beam or gear up for the next race. Only they know how many times they’ve needed to repeat that process to be a competitor in the Olympics!

When we are focused internally, we can connect with a deeper awareness. As business owners and executives, we succeed when inner guidance leads us toward compassionate, thoughtful leadership.

Then we can get back into the action.  We can connect with our management team, our peers and resume the collaboration.  With a renewed outlook we can shift perspective to see what is good and discover what makes best practices more powerful.

We each have immense potential for greatness and the opportunity to lead our businesses to successful outcomes.  As Andrew Cohen put it, “The newly emerging potentials….only come into being to the degree that you and I consciously participate together to develop those higher capacities within ourselves.”

The end game of course is to live life full out.  To be absolutely present in the moment and fully engaged in making a difference!

If it’s time for you to reconnect, I invite you to consider joining one of our Masterful Intentions Business Executive Groups.  They are based on three pillars:  The power of intentions, the exponential results that come from peer group wisdom and a connection with the Divine as a full partner.   To learn more: www.mi-program.com

Until next time,

Marla,

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davegray/5429335705/

 

 

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People, Profits and the GOD Particle

Monday, August 6th, 2012

 

When I was a little girl, I used to believe that if I covered my eyes  when I was playing hide and seek, nobody could see me.  A naïve perspective, admittedly, but no more naïve than thinking as an adult that the 95 percent of the universe that I can’t see, touch or hear doesn’t exist.

That’s why I think the recent discovery of the Higgs boson, or God Particle by scientists in CERN is so important to us in our business and daily lives.  (for more details on this, see the guest blog by my nuclear engineering husband Jim)

I have been emphasizing for years that our Thoughts are Things, that what we can create in our mind becomes our reality.   Now with this discovery of the Higgs boson, we have a scientific explanation of how matter comes into form and how our very existence is made possible.  So for those of us who need proof that there is a power in the universe greater than we are now we have it!

The next logical question….how do we utilize this new information?  How do we tap into this energy without a 27-km reactor?  By applying Universal Spiritual Principles to our business, we activate the God Particle with prayer, setting intentions and recognizing the oneness of all things.

Our oneness was really brought to our attention with the recent horrific tragedy in Aurora Colorado.  Within moments of learning about it, many of us felt a deep, heart connection, sadness, and a desire to do something to help.  Almost immediately offers of sympathy and support were pouring in from around the globe.

That same oneness is reflected in our business endeavors.  When we put the customer first, honor the contributions of our employees, produce quality goods and work with an attitude of service, we trigger our business Higgs boson. Because everything is connected, when we set positive intentions, focus on our vision and operate from the values that all the stakeholders share, we make a profit. The God Particle unleashes creativity, innovation and results we never thought possible.

So I suggest four steps to “re-connect” to the Higgs boson in our business:

  1.  Begin with yourself first.  Pause, take a breath, quiet the mind and tap into that Universal wisdom that is available to each of us. Then gather your team in a relaxed setting away from the office where you can tap into that wisdom as a group.
  2. Call on the strengths, talents and gifts of each member of the team, get back in touch with the purpose and mission of your organization.
  3. Set the intention for what you want to have happen, engage your stakeholders and develop the strategies and action items to achieve the objectives.
  4. Let it go and let it flow.  Have Faith in the good you have activated and Trust the process that will bring it into form.

 

Until next time,

NAMASTE

Marla

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“Each person forms his world from the rich, unlimited substance within him and around him, through his thoughts, emotions, words and actions.”  Catherine Ponder, author of The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity.

 

 

Connect with other business owners and leaders in a six month program where well-set intentions make better leaders, better thinkers and more dynamic decision makers.  Solve current business challenges with Practical Business Applications of Universal Spiritual Principles and get more consistent and positive outcomes.  Learn how you can bring the Power of Masterful Intentions HERE!

 

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lel4nd/3985490626/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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Learning to Ride Raindrops

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Most of us spend part of our summer trying to avoid or eradicate mosquitoes.  As it turns out, these tiny pests have an important lesson to teach us.

Recently a group of mechanical engineering students at Georgia Tech conducted an experiment to discover how mosquitos survive rain.  To the mosquito, rain is the epitome of significant change from a beautiful sunny day to life threatening danger. A single raindrop is the equivalent of a 3 ton boulder falling on them.  So how do they do it?

First they don’t try to resist the rain drops.  They don’t carry on about how the rain is unfair or ask “Why me?” Instead they’ve learned to adapt.  How do we react to change in our markets, in our workplace, in our lives?  Typically we try to fight it, avoid it, or look at change as a big problem to be overcome.

Second mosquitos don’t try to outrun the rain drop. That’s like trying to dodge comets.  By comparison, how often do we go into scatter mode, shot gunning our marketing, making impulsive decisions and panicking about money or results or some other measurement we’re using to try to be “in control”?

Professor David Hu says that his team learned that mosquitoes don’t actually dodge the raindrops, they hitch a ride.  When a raindrop hits a mosquito, the mosquito and raindrop join together and the mosquito rides the drop for about a thousandth of a second before its wings, acting as kites, pull it out of the water.

To relate that to business, when we are aware of change or a shift, we can choose to follow the momentum and move in the direction of the change; not struggling, not efforting and not resisting.    We can collaborate with our internal teams and external allies.  We can co-create with our customers, employees and vendors to adjust to what’s happening and make decisions and take actions that are in the alignment with the flow.

The other important lesson is to allow the new momentum to lift us out of the challenge so we can “fly off” to the next adventure.  We don’t ride the raindrop into the ground, but look for new opportunities and express gratitude for the lift.

According to Hu, by joining the raindrop mosquitos experience very little force and to them it’s like getting hit with a feather.

So in the face of challenge, change, and other things we can’t control; don’t resist, don’t dodge…RIDE THE RAINDROP!

Blessings, Marla

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Join us Thursday June 28 @ 9 a.m. MDT for our 15 minute virtual Inspired Coffee Break.  Listen in as we discuss The Four Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship. It’s free and all you need is a phone!   http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/coffee.html 

Learn how to include Universal Spiritual Principles in your work or business.  Join our next Business Owner and Executive peer group tele-seminar series.  Solve business challenges by incorporating focused intention, leveraging peer group wisdom and energy and partnering with the Divine. http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/masterful-intentions-2012.html

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BELIEVE AND THEN ACHIEVE!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012


“Abundance is not something we acquire, it is something we tune into,” says inspirational author and speaker Wayne Dyer.  The way we tune into our world is through what we believe to be true about ourselves, about others and about what’s possible.

Have you ever marveled at a business or professional colleague who succeeded against all odds because they didn’t know it was supposed to be difficult and impossible?  They simply believed they could do it and they did it!

Dr Alex Loyd, author of The Healing Code, says “You do what you believe 100 percent of the time.”  When you really think about it, that’s a very powerful and revealing statement.  Although we may be influenced by our outer world, and often we agree that we “should” adopt a new behavior, cold call more, eat broccoli, follow a budget, be on time, we often don’t adopt the behavior, or if we do, it doesn’t last.

Loyd continues, “The corollary is also true: You never do anything that you don’t believe.  If you are doing something that you consider wrong or counterproductive, it is because you believe something wrong or counterproductive.  If you are doing something that is right or good or constructive, it’s because you believe something right, or good or constructive.”

Old beliefs are stored in our subconscious and we very seldom stop to look at them.  Old beliefs may have come from past experiences, what you’ve been told by others or your industry’s thinking on what’s possible.  But are they relevant to what you want to accomplish today?  Making business decisions from old beliefs is like running DOS software on our Windows 7.  Time to Upgrade!

How do you begin to change limiting beliefs?  Notice the results you are achieving and inquire: “What do I believe about this?”  If the belief is negative, limiting and outdated, reprogram it!  Consciously declare a new “truth” for yourself that is positive, affirmative and in the present tense.

Change your focus to what you do want for your business or your life.  As you change your focus, you will begin to see new possibilities and opportunities that were always there, but you weren’t looking for them!  A good example: A client was feeling that the program she was offering wasn’t valuable and that nobody wanted it. (Notice the negative belief at work here)?  I suggested she begin to find evidence for the value, to remember all the people whose lives or businesses had been changed by attending her programs, and she changed her approach and messaging to reflect the new belief that her offering was life changing.  Her next workshop sold out in 2 days.

Once you have established new beliefs, you ask the Universe for what you want for your company (or your life).  It’s important to state the “essence” of the outcome, such as, increased profits, innovation to meet market demands, the right people to do the job. The essence is what you concentrate on because there are many avenues for achieving the desired outcome.

Then make decisions and act as if the good were already delivered, and you will begin to attract the results.  Continue to hold on to the positive belief, even if things don’t “look” better right away.

The Universe will determine the specifics of how it will all happen and when.  It may take the form of an unexpected sales opportunity, a powerful idea that comes to you as you drive down the road or an introduction to the person at a meeting that can provide the resource you’ve been missing.

At that point, you need to be open to receive what you asked for!  As crazy as it sounds, sometimes we get so addicted to the struggle we don’t notice things have turned around and that it was easy and effortless.  We continue to struggle because, you guessed it, we “believe” it has to be hard!

Suggested Action Steps:

1.  Ask yourself and ask your management team: “Where are we limiting our business success by holding outdated beliefs of what’s possible?”

2.  Look at where things are flowing in your business and what seems stuck.  Think about what you believe about the aspects that are flowing, and what you believe about the areas that are stuck.  Could be very eye opening!

3.  Make a list of things you’d like to ask for.  Then ask!  Notice any resistance you have to asking for help, from others or from the Universe.

Robert Fritz sums it up this way: “If we limit our choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, we disconnect ourselves from what we truly want, and all that is left is compromise.”

Until next time,

Marla

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Join us this Thursday and on the fourth Thursday of every monmth for our 15 minute virtual Inspired Coffee Break.  Listen in as we discuss in more details about how to recognize and re-program negative beliefs.  It’s free and all you need is a phone!   http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/coffee.html

Learn how to include Universal Spiritual Principles in your work or business.  Join our next Business Owner and Executive peer group tele-seminar series.  Solve business challenges by incorporating focused intention, leveraging peer group wisdom and energy and partnering with the Divine. http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/masterful-intentions-2012.html

 

Photo Credits:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/indalo_lucky_charm/5430152717/in/faves-53047939@N06/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/akhileshster/3307216834/

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Is there Room to Grow and Prosper in Your Business?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Springtime brings the excitement of growth and newness.

Many economic indicators are picking up, there’s more optimism in the air.  We need to clear out old leaves and dead foliage from our flower beds, and we also have some mental spring cleaning to make room for growth in our business and our lives!

“No one else can grow for us; we must each grow for ourselves.”  Thomas Troward.
Sometimes growth means expansion, bigger space, and more people.

Growth can also mean cleaning out and getting rid of what’s no longer useful to make room for something better, whether it’s physical clutter or mental clutter.  In The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, Catherine Ponder describes a Vacuum Theory,  “Basically the vacuum law of prosperity is this; if you want greater good, greater prosperity in your life, start forming a vacuum to receive it…get rid of what you don’t want to make room for what you do want.”

What do you need to let go of in your business or your life? 

How about negative thinking, old beliefs that no longer serve a purpose, and “the way we’ve always done business”.  Maybe it’s toxic relationships or even customers who are not a good fit, who don’t appreciate your services or see value in what you offer. It’s time to remove the mental weeds like fear, doubt, worry, lack, failure, and self judgment.

Now that you have cleared the space, look for opportunities to nurture yourself and those around you. 

Plan an outdoor adventure with family and friends, dust off the hobby that’s been on the shelf and throw a company picnic. At the same time, begin to increase your Consciousness and think bigger so there’s mental room to expand.  Just like you buy larger clothes so your children can grow into them; you need to have bigger dreams for your business and your life to grow into.  Pull out your vision statement, your long range strategic plan and visualize what your life or business would be like if that vision had already come true.  When you can see, touch and feel that vision, you’re awareness will expand and you’ll experience synchronicities and opportunities you didn’t see before.

Spiritual Economist Eric Butterworth tells us, “Your prosperity will always be a reflection of your consciousness, the degree to which your thoughts are centered in the divine flow.  Success is not getting there; it is earning the right in Consciousness to be there.”

Until next time,

Marla

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Events and Resources for Your Inspired Business:

Join our next Masterful Intentions Peer Group and experience the exponential results of incorporating focused intention, peer group energy and partnership with the Divine to grow your profits, your people and your personal fulfillment. http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/masterful-intentions-2012.html

Learn how to use The Power of the Visioning for your business in a one day interactive workshop at The Inspired Business Center Offices in Lakewood on April 20th  from 9 a.m. – 3:30 pm http://theinspiredbusiness.com/reclaim-your-business-vision

Treat yourself to an “Inspired Coffee Break” Tele-seminar Thursday, March 22nd @ 10 a.m. Mountain. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever suits you and listen in as Rev. Marla shares how to use Universal Spiritual Principles to make your business life easier and more successful. http://theinspiredbusiness.com/coffee

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vibrantspirit/2733187776/sizes/m/

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Is your Business Leading with H.E.A.R.T.???

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

There’s a lot of focus this time of year around matters of the heart; giving valentines, celebrating and reinforcing loving relationships. But what role does heart play in your business? Several books have been written about heart-centered leadership, but what does it really mean?

When I talk about leading with H.E.A.R.T., I’m suggesting a way to guarantee an increase in productivity and the bottom line without a dollar of direct cost!  Sound good so far?
Here’s what it takes to lead from H.E.A.R.T. whether you’re CEO of a large organization or you’re a self-employed entrepreneur.

H – Be Healthy.  Model good emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health in your own life and it will set the example for those you lead.  If your life is balanced and whole, others will want the same thing in their lives.  It’s easy to put your health “on hold” while you operate lean and mean and put more work on everyone in the organization.  But it’s not sustainable.  So remember the advice of every flight attendant you’ve ever listened to:  “Put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help others put on theirs.”

E – Be Empathetic.  Start with empathy for yourself and all the challenges you’re dealing with.  Then express compassion and understanding for your employees, your customers and your vendors.  What can you or the organization do to make their lives easier?  How can you put yourself in their situation and truly relate? One of my clients had a major vendor she owed money to call and tell her he understood her situation and would give her more lenient terms so they could continue to do business!

A – Think Affirmatively.  At any moment you have the choice of how you perceive things.  Do you see the glass half empty, half full, or overflowing to the point you need a bigger glass?!  You can frame your financials with doom and gloom or point out where things are improving.  Every problem contains within it the solution.  As Henry David Thoreau put it, “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” 
Start wherever you are right now and use the power of positive intentions to focus your resources on actions and innovations to move your organization forward.

R – Get Reconnected.  Maybe it’s time to pull out your vision statement, your mission statement and reconnect to the passion you have for the purpose of your organization. Then you can re-engage with your team members to get them fired up again.
In your personal life, what relationships have been neglected? What hobbies or fun activities haven’t you had time for?  From Lao Tzu, “Joy is the foundation of life.  What gives you joy? Joy comes from the inside to the outside and in the process of knowing yourself you learn what you love about life”.

T – Trusting.  Trust your decisions and the agreements you’ve made as a team.  Trust the process you’ve launched to implement your solutions, and most important, Trust your partnership with the Divine. In his book The Speed of Trust, author Stephen M. R. Covey says Trust is the one thing that changes everything.” 

When you lead from H.E.A.R.T., (staying healthy, practicing empathy, thinking affirmatively, reconnecting and trusting) you’ll experience a richness that’s beyond merely increasing the bottom line…it’s truly priceless!

“We work from within ourselves toward higher consciousness, greater freedom and more complex order to effect a change in the world, first and foremost through our personal evolution”. ~Barbara Marx Hubbard

Until next time,

Marla

 

Events and Resources for Your Inspired Business:

 

  • Learn how to use The Power of the Visioning for your business in a complimentary, 2- hour interactive workshop at The Inspired Business Center Offices in Lakewood on March 9th, from 9-11 a.m. http://theinspiredbusiness.com/execvisionintro

 

  • Treat yourself to an “Inspired Coffee Break” Tele-seminar Thursday, February 23 @ 10 a.m. Mountain. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever suits you and listen in as Rev. Marla shares how to use Universal Spiritual Principles to make your business life easier and more successful. http://theinspiredbusiness.com/coffee

 

 

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center and comes from an extensive business background, with over 30 years of experience in seven different industries. She has been training and mentoring business people all over the world for more than 20 years as a business, personal and spiritual coach.
Her client list ranges from Fortune 500 companies to Small Business and covers a wide range of industries, including IT construction, printing, manufacturing, telecommunications, finance, law and national service chains. For one large client, Marla created and implemented an international coaching and wellness program for 800 salespeople. Marla understands all facets of owning and running a business.

In addition to being a business coach and consultant, Marla is an ordained Minister and Corporate Chaplain. She holds a Master’s of Divinity Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in communications.  She is a Certified Coach and Consultant for Vail Leadership Institute, the KLA Sales Training Group and a Consultant with TranStratra Business Advisors.  Marla is also a facilitator for the Denver Metro Chamber Gold Member Alliance Program.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alicepopkorn/2250395225/in/faves-53047939@N06/

 

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Can Persuasion and Collaboration Co-Exist in the Business World?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As we have been exploring the concepts, principles, and characteristics of Servant Leadership some rather obvious parallels have emerged. As we begin 2012 we will continue to explore how these characteristics and principles align. If you are just now joining the conversation you may find it beneficial to take a quick read of our opening exploration of the topic Are you a Servant or a Slave to Your Business  as well as the follow up Servant Leadership: An Evolving Paradigm of Authentic Leadership and Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization: Characteristics of Servant Leadership and Personal Development: Servant Leadership Part 4. Today, in the fifth segment of our discussion we take a deeper look at how foresight and persuasion play a part in the principle of Trusting Relationships as a basic platform for collaboration and service.

I believe we can all see how foresight serves in creating trusting relationships. As business owners are we not always looking ahead and trying to figure out which organizations will create the most strategic partnerships for our company? Are we not always on the lookout to build collaborative relationships that provide a service we can benefit from? So how does the art of persuasion fit into all this? Normally persuasion is viewed as convincing someone to see things our way. Persuasion is often viewed as an aggressive form of moving someone away from their best interests and into a position that benefits us more than their company or best interests. More often than not persuasion is used much like propaganda; as a blunt object used to slap the intended audience into submission until they have no choice but to agree with the party wielding the club.

We believe persuasion is something all together different. In order for our relationships to be based upon trust and foresight it would be necessary for each party to have some of their values in common. Identifying shared values makes the process of collaboration easy and graceful. Persuasion, therefore, is not about pushing you to see things my way but determining how we are each aligned with the other’s values.

Servant Leadership is then about building Trusting Relationships through the use of “Collaborative Persuasion” We must be open to seeing how our values are aligned with our clients, customers, potential partners. We must also look at how their values are aligned with ours. Yes we are allowed to make our points and share our perspectives, and we must also listen deeply for their values and guiding principles. Once we are open to be persuaded to their point of view we can invite them to experience our point of view as well.

Building Trusting Relationships is about much more that just using our foresight and skills of persuasion. There are so many other ways to nurture these collaborative relationships. The use of Collaborative Persuasion is only one of many skills we must bring to the process of building relationships. At the Inspired Business Center we fully believe in “Living from what is real and true to you, as well as aligning others to your values.” As we are able to bring this concept to bear on our business relationships we are bringing a true aspect of spirituality into the equation. We thus have begun to bring balance into our relationships.

 

We believe in bringing all four aspects of our lives, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Financial into harmony so that we may live a balanced life and experience prosperity in all aspects of our business. Building Trusting Relationships is one of the various aspects of becoming a true Servant Leader.

 

Now is the time to learn more about how to become an authentic Servant Leader and bring balance to the primary aspects of life. In order to experience a more balanced work life, give us a call and schedule a confidential no-cost consultation. We are here to begin building a mutually Trusting Relationship with you by providing an honest, down to earth, no obligation overview of how you can use our unique model of business coaching to expand your bottom line and elevate your skills as a Servant Leader and Authentic model of business consciousness.

 

So…Can persuasion and collaboration co-exist in the business world? We believe they can and are confident you can be coached towards a balanced life and a thriving business. You can apply Universal Spiritual Principles to solve today’s business challenges in building Trusting Relationships through persuasion and collaboration. Call today and schedule your complimentary session to determine if you are truly ready to take the next evolutionary step in the creation of a business that fulfills your dreams and desires. Remember, it’s confidential and complimentary so you have nothing to lose and so much to gain as you begin to utilize these Proven Universal Principles.

 

Until next time,

Robert

 

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Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayfresh/3471106034/

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Personal Development: Servant Leadership Part 4

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

As we have been exploring the concepts, principles, and characteristics of Servant Leadership some rather obvious parallels have emerged. During the remainder of this year and into January of 2012 we will explore how these characteristics and principles align. If you are just now joining the conversation you may find it beneficial to take a quick read of our opening exploration of the topic Are you a Servant or a Slave to Your Business  as well as the follow up Servant Leadership: An Evolving Paradigm of Authentic Leadership and Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization: Characteristics of Servant Leadership

This week we’ll be looking at how being committed to the personal growth of other people is actually a route to better serve your clients and customers. I think we can all agree that happy employees make better workers. When someone is feeling satisfied with their work they do a better job. It’s quite easy to see how the better your employees do their job the better products and services they create.

While the theory is quite easy to understand, putting that theory into practice can be a bit more of a challenge. Not long ago I was at the San Jose airport. While waiting for a flight with my family, my son asked if we could go for a walk. As we wandered around the terminal building I came across a rather normal looking door. There were no big signs leading me to this door; however the letters on the door indicated it was a Meditation Room.  I informed my son that we had to be quiet as we stepped inside the door. It was amazing to discover this little meditation sanctuary in such a busy public space. I didn’t notice any other people in the room at the time, and I remember thinking how wonderful it was that the airport provided such a place for travelers. It was then that I noticed one of the workers from the fast food stands that fill the terminal. The young man was dressed in his uniform and sat quietly in the corner. Not wanting to disturb him, my son and I quietly slipped out of the room.

I share this story because I completely believe this man was able to provide incredible service to his employer’s customers after taking time to get centered by using the practice of meditation. Now I don’t eat fast food very often but I can say I never thought that the guy or gal behind the counter might have just invested their break time in meditation. Imagine what could happen within your company if even a small portion of your workforce invested some of their personal time in personal growth each day. What if the employee break room had access to inspirational magazines and reading material rather than the traditional sports and gossip magazines? What if you allowed your employees to use their computers to read a spiritual blog or view meditative video during their day?

According to the Alliance for Servant Leadership, “The servant-leader acknowledges that the organization’s capacity to provide for the liberation of human potential is the cornerstone for success. A commitment to holistic growth and development of every person means that the servant-leader ensures that the organization has structures, programs, and activities where everyone can grow. He or she accepts the need to create awareness, even when it disturbs more than it comforts.”  This implies so much more than an on-site workout facility or an occasional company sponsored health fair.

A true servant leader is creative in ways that serve the evolution of the whole person.  Yes, health fairs and work out facilities are portions of an overall strategy, and meditations spaces, allowing employees to volunteer in local charities with pay, and various other ways of supporting their personal growth are also important. Perhaps your organization provides ½ day Friday retreats or even late Monday start times. Have you ever considered offering a free yoga class during the lunch hour or a Tai Chi class before work? How about a company walk around the building during the afternoon? The key is not in offering one or two things but offering enough things that everyone becomes involved. A great plan does nothing if 1% of the company participates. We must strive to support 100% of the employees, manager, supervisors, directors and leaders in their personal growth.

The end result is spectacular. Imagine if you will for just a moment your entire company filled with self-actualized people. An organization where everyone is not only happy to come to work, but actually looking forward to making a contribution to the company because they know the company is making a contribution to the world, or at the very least their perfect clients and customers.

Building an Inspired Business is not an easy task and yet it needn’t be terribly difficult either. The key is finding ways to innovate, finding ways to think outside the morns, asking ourselves the vital questions and having someone that can guide us through the maze of perspectives, offerings and ideas that abound in today’s business climate. At The Inspired Business Center we believe every executive, every owner, every entrepreneur can benefit from having a coach on the sidelines cheering them on, and more importantly reminding them to watch their blindside. A coach can see a bigger picture, one that encompasses the entire field, not just the current targets and goals.

As part of our contribution to the personal development of our clients we offer a complimentary coaching session to anyone that feels they would like to explore how to become an Inspired Business. Simply call the office and we’ll schedule a complimentary session that will look at how you can position yourself and your company for greater success in the coming year. Give us a call today and learn how you can use your own personal growth to grow your company as we close out 2011 and get ready to grow ourselves in twenty-twelve.

Until next time,

Robert

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Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

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Listening, Empathy, Conceptualization: Characteristics of Servant Leadership

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

As we have been exploring the concept, principles, and characteristics of Servant Leadership some rather obvious parallels have emerged. During the remainder of this year and into January of 2012 we will explore how these characteristics and principles align. If you are just now joining the conversation you may find it beneficial to take a quick read of our opening exploration of the topic Are you a Servant or a Slave to Your Business  as well as the follow up Servant Leadership: An Evolving Paradigm of Authentic Leadership.

This week we begin with looking at how the characteristics of Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization fulfill the principle of Transformation. You may remember Transformation in this context is a vehicle for personal and institutional growth. At The Inspired Business Center we believe that Authentic Servant Leaders use Listening, Empathy and Conceptualization to help both their people and their organization as they develop new, improved and innovative forms of meeting the needs of all their stakeholders.

As authentic leaders we know that listening can sometimes not be as easy as it sounds. Authentic listening requires us to truly step away from our own notions of what the speaker is trying to convey. I know I have been guilty of forming my response to someone while they were still speaking. I wasn’t listening as much as I was absorbing some of what they said in order to refute their point. Authentic listening requires us to suspend any consideration of a response and allow the deeper meaning behind someone’s words to inform our consciousness. We are being asked to listen for content as well as context. We are being asked to allow the speaker to completely express themselves. Now this does not mean we allow them to ramble on repeating their point or perspective over and over. If we truly believe we understand what they are trying to communicate we can seek clarity and understanding without cutting them short. If we have fully understood their point they will let us know and we can then ask a question or two to gather more information or move to the second characteristic of supporting this transformative experience.

Yes the second step is to use empathy during our response to their communication. This not only conveys that we have been truly listening without trying to make them wrong or simply presenting our perspective but supports and serves the individual in recognizing that we do truly honor their perspective and experiences. Empathy says I have been where you are and I am willing to share what I know about the situation without demanding that what I share is the only way to accomplish the desired results. The very fact that others look to us as leaders implies they expect us to have some direct knowledge or experience of the situation at hand. Empathy says “I have been where you are now.” When we lead from a place of empathy we let our employees to see how we are allowing them to make their own decisions and not just demanding they do what we may have done earlier in our careers. This process allows the employee to experience a greater sense of respect and thus willingness to listen to our perspectives as leaders.

Now we can move to the conceptualization phase. By listen empathizing with a person’s situation, experience and perspective, we can begin to build a new way of dealing with any given situation. We may just be building a new cultural paradigm within the organization. All too often as leaders we are under constant pressure from our stakeholders, or even ourselves to find just the right niche, just the right market, just the right widget or product that will propel the company forward. Naturally, it is assumed that we know the most about the organization or what has worked in the past, as we do have a wealth of past experience, otherwise we wouldn’t have ended up in a leadership position.

This is where servant based leadership becomes incredibly important. You can serve and foster a culture of transformation for the individual and the organization by using the characteristics of listening, empathy and conceptualization. You can allow transformation to become the vehicle by which the organization enters a new paradigm of Servant Leadership. When someone comes to you as a leader with a great idea, a pressing concern or even a sense of failure you can listen deeply, allow yourself to gain a new perspective of the situation, share from the place of empathy and begin to conceptualize a new perspective, new way of handling the situation. You don’t have to tell the employee what to do, how you would do it, or even what worked in the past. You have allowed the process to work on your behalf and together discovered a better way of approaching the situation. How incredibly powerful is that?

Obviously, there is so much more to becoming a Servant Leader or fostering a cultural shift in your organization and we are not suggesting you run out and try to drive this change tomorrow. At The Inspired Business Center we strive to look at all the aspects of an organization and implement the most beneficial ideas slowly, with great care and consideration. What we are asking is that you consider the positive +implications on your life and the life of your organization by allowing the wisdom and intelligence inherent within every employee to be shared throughout the organization. Servant Leadership does just that. It taps into the brain trust you have developed and instills a culture of service to a greater good. That greater good is the profitability and proliferation of your company.

During the coming months we will continue to explore how you can slowly, with great care implement the principles and characteristics of Servant Leadership. If you would like to learn more about this powerful topic just keep reading this blog, or give us a call and we will be happy to discuss the topic with you at greater length. As always, we are here to serve your business and help to create a business culture that works for everyone.

Until next time,

Robert

 

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Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

 

 

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ky_olsen/3133347219/

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Servant Leadership: An Evolving Paradigm of Authentic Leadership

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

“Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly.” M. Scott Peck

Servant Leadership is not a way of aggrandizing ourselves or the position we hold. Even when the organization is one we built or started. Many leadership models are all about placing the leader on a pedestal. Making the leader the prime example of how to accomplish our goals, and fulfill our mission. Many organizations look for saviors when they are in trouble and many leaders can be set up to be the savior without knowing that is what they have agreed to. Keep in mind what we do to saviors on this planet. It rarely ends well.

Our last blog post introduced a perspective of Servant Leadership that we feel is not only beneficial to any organization, but fosters a culture of ethics and spirituality in a business setting. We looked at what are considered the principles of Servant Leadership and today we will look at the characteristics necessary to support those principles. Over the coming weeks we will take a more in depth look at each of these characteristics and how they relate to the principles themselves.

Here are the principles of servant leadership as defined by the Alliance for Servant Leadership are:

  • Transformation as a vehicle for personal and institutional growth.
  • Personal Growth as a route to better serve others.
  • Enabling Environments that empower and encourage service.
  • Service as a fundamental goal.
  • Trusting Relationships as a basic platform for collaboration and service.
  • Creating Commitment as a way to collaborative activity.
  • Community Building as a way to create environments in which people can trust each other and work together.
  • Nurturing the Spirit as a way to provide joy and fulfillment in meaningful work.

Here is what many consider the ten primary characteristics of servant based leadership:

1.     Listening

2.     Empathy

3.     Healing

4.     Awareness

5.     Persuasion

6.     Conceptualization

7.     Foresight

8.     Stewardship

9.     Commitment to the Growth of People

10.   Building Community

Even a quick scan of these characteristics leads to recognition of how closely aligned the concept of Servant Leadership and spirituality is aligned. With a few exceptions we find similarities between the aspects of living a spiritual life and leading any organization from the spiritual or servant based perspective. We want to once again remind the reader that our concept of a spiritual business is not necessarily one that profits from spiritual ideas or products. Any business can operate from sound spiritual principles and maintain their profitability regardless of their owner’s faith based belief system or lack thereof. This is not about pushing any one religion on your employees or proselytizing in any way.

The Inspired Business Center strives to facilitate leaders and organizations ability to provide spiritually based options to their employees and still maintains a healthy environment where everyone can get along regardless of where they spend their Sunday mornings. We truly are a place where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability meet and believe your organization can be served by emulating the practices and principles that have made us successful. Our goal is to encourage you to look at how spiritual principles and processes can serve you in creating the highest and best vision of your organization.

We understand how difficult it can be as a leader and or owner of a company. We understand that not everything we suggest will align with your current paradigm. We also understand that the business world is shifting. As leaders we are being called to shift with the rising tide of a new business paradigm. Servant Leadership is a concept whose time has come and we are fully prepared to support and serve you in determining what this new paradigm can mean for you and your organization.

We invite you to join us on this exploration of how Servant Based Leadership can serve your organization during the rising tide of Spirituality in Business. We can see well off to the horizon and we know the swell is coming. We still remember the old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. We invite you to join our fleet of boats and enjoy the collaborative atmosphere at The Inspired Business Center. Call today and learn how you can schedule a complimentary session with us. Together we can explore how you can be prepared for the cresting wave of Spirituality in Business.

Until Next Time,

Robert

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Robert Brzezinski is an expert team member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

 

 

Photo Credits:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/poptech/6035566374/in/faves-53047939@N06/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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