Because branding. It's important.

Last weekend, I was starting Saturday gently, having a coffee and reading the BBC News. Or Reddit. I don’t really remember. My phone rang, and although I didn’t recognize the number, it didn’t say “Telemarketer” or “Scam”, so I answered it. Am I glad I did!

The friendly folks at Surfing Goats (from their website)

It was the friendly folks from The Surfing Goats in Pismo Beach, California. Yes, there is such a thing. And there is such a place.

They wanted to know what I do at Wild Goat Executive Coaching. Wanted to know if I could train their goats to do more than just surf…like surfing goats weren't cool enough! We even joked about shipping them up to Canada for training!
That's a picture of them, from their website.

I was reminded of the time a woman in a local farm store asked me if I would take her wild goat hunting. Me, a hunting guide. (You’d laugh if you knew me – I’m an extravagantly bodied pacifist…and yes, I do eat a little meat but I don’t personally spend my time hunting…

My goat. Not as cool as surfing goats.

I laughed so hard, and tried to explain that I try to work with people and organizations to become more goat-like…nimble, daring, climbing. And as much as I laugh at goats climbing and jumping around in fields, or while watching online videos, the idea of me trying to train goats had me laughing harder.
That's a picture of my very not-surfing goat.

I’m going to befriend them on Facebook because…well, why not!?

And I’m so glad that I called my business Wild Goat.

Because branding. It’s important.

Leadership Development Matters - Post 5

Successful leaders who achieve results do so in a variety of spheres.
Personal integrity.
Relationship building.
Keeping an eye on achieving desired outcomes.
And finally, transforming systems into frameworks that are evolving, effective and efficient.

The LEADS Collaborative frames five domains:

Lead Self
Engage Others
Achieve Results
Develop Coalitions, and
Systems Transformation

Systems Transformation

This final domain addresses how successful leaders are able to ‘pull back’ and see the broader scope of both problems and solutions, and work to transform systems. Systems are an integral part of successful business; being able to repeat successes, and build on them, is achieved through excellent systematization of results-based actions. It is imperative that in creating or redefining systems they are able to reliably produce the outcome that is needed for the situation they are designed to address.

Being able to envision and define needs, and transform systems to
meet those needs is one sign of a great leader.


Important capabilities within this domain include:

·        Critically Analyze Systems, and Apply Systems Approaches – question why systems exist, or function currently, identify shortcomings, design solutions to problems as they exist, and implement effective systems approaches to improving current situations.

·        Consider the Future: Forecast changing business environments, monitor trends and best practices, and develop leading edges that will continue to develop and shape the system

·        Encourage Innovation: Look for team-based approaches that will encourage ongoing systems-based innovation, improvement, and develop responsive systems.

·        Be Change-Makers: Encourage powerful change that allows teams to improve their results, and create systems that will sustain and even enhance ongoing improvements through system-wide improvements and transformation.

Working within organizations to build leaders at every level does itself require systems that encourage a leadership development.

Focused training and development using the domains of the LEADS systems can be a
valued and effective way to cultivate leadership on teams. 

http://www.leadersforlife.ca/ – Some of this content is from their brochure LEADS in a Caring Environment

Leadership Development Matters - Post 4

The healthcare field has provided a great service to leaders by researching and defining what attributes create great leadership. They’ve shown that when leadership is encouraged and developed throughout an organization, a culture of healthy workplace, innovation and success results. Knowledgeable Executive Coaches use this information to bring out the best leadership qualities in their clients.

The LEADS Collaborative for health care leaders generously shares its framework. It consists of five domains:

Lead Self
Engage Others
Achieve Results
Develop Coalitions, and
Systems Transformation

Develop Coalitions

The fourth domain in the LEADS framework addresses the importance of teamwork, and relationship-building.

Cultivated relationships help businesses and services share knowledge, capacity and service.

Each entrepreneurial field can be challenging when faced alone. Finding and sustaining success is rare, and developing coalitions helps breed success. Look beyond your business to colleagues around you who are also building their businesses; a referral marketing group like Business Network International (BNI) can help you cultivate quality connections.

The LEADS framework has identified and measured four important capabilities to help focus on productive strategies when developing coalitions. These are:

teamwork_gear_gears.jpg

·        Intentionally building partnerships – results-focused networking is fundamental. Cultivating trusted connections and shared meaning between individuals and groups builds success. Collaboration. Cooperation. Key frameworks for success.

·        Customers (and Customer Service) are key – committing to improved service for both individual and shared customers helps build coalitions, reputation and connections that will serve leaders. Diverse perspectives and abilities adds a richness and depth to business capacities.

·        Build knowledge and intelligence – leaders realise that in today’s business world, they cannot (and should not) be the ‘knowledge keepers’. Building teams that can mobilize information across systems encourages sharing of strategies that will influence actions and build success.

·        Understand larger political frameworks – when building teams that are flexible and informed, one advantage is superior capacity to negotiate conflict and support in changing environments.

Whether you’re building a superior product or service, building a strong coalition makes the work more satisfying and successful. It’s a pleasure to work towards a shared and meaningful goal when the people you work with are focused and leading their teams and sharing their strategies, information and success with you.

When you look around, who do you see that you would love to be working with?
Which business leaders have complimentary knowledge and capacity that would propel your business to the next level?
What three steps can you take to build professional relationships with them?

Pay attention to your colleagues.
Look for chances to work collaboratively.
Align yourself with colleagues you are proud to work with,
who share your values and vision for success.

http://www.leadersforlife.ca/ – Some of this content is from their brochure LEADS in a Caring Environment

Leadership Development Matters - Post 3

Great leadership can be encouraged and developed at any level of an organization, and building a culture that encourages leadership leads to a healthier work environment. It also helps build a language of teamwork.

The well-researched framework for understanding leadership was developed by the LEADS Collaborative for Health Care Leaders. It consists of five domains:

Lead Self
Engage Others
Achieve Results
Develop Coalitions, and
Systems Transformation

Achieve Results

The third domain in the LEADS framework addresses the importance of goals. In business, as with most activities in life, achieving results is the desired outcome; without results, businesses fail. Deciding on what those “results” will be is also important. Great leaders understand the importance of strategically setting goals, and creating dynamic action plans to achieve them.

For entrepreneurs, a challenge can be focusing so intently on outcomes that the process of great leadership along the way isn’t considered. Bottom line is the only thing.

Cultivating leadership gets the whole team moving
towards a goal in unison,
and a team can achieve much more
than an individual with a vision.

Focusing on important capabilities demonstrated by goal-oriented leaders is helpful in cultivating great leadership. These are:

·        Set Direction – Great leaders inspire a shared vision, communicate clearly and meaningfully to everyone on the team what that vision is, and encourage its evolution. They show enthusiasm for aspiring and daring to set and achieve extraordinary accomplishments.

·        Strategically Align Decision with vision, values and evidence – When setting sights on achieving greatness, it is important that the goals are in line with the overall values of the organization. As well, solid evidence backing their potential is necessary.

·        Implement Decisions – Achieving success, as defined by the goals, is a result of taking action – doing concrete things to achieve results. Hallmarks of great leaders: they are guided by values and principles, consider efficiency and effectiveness. Cultivating this model of implementation in others helps foster leadership throughout the organization.

·        Assess and Evaluate – Measuring and evaluating outcomes, and creating ongoing plans based on this evaluation allows leaders to correct how their team will achieve success. Understanding the need to evolve expectations based on incoming data, and streamline processes to maximize the potential for extraordinary results are activities imperative to great leadership.

It’s important to work together with teams, service providers and other entrepreneurs to keep the focus on achieving greatness by being results-focused. Meeting business goals is imperative to success.

How will you model results-focused leadership in your work?

What concrete steps will you take to share your strategic plans with staff and colleagues?

How will you know you are succeeding?

http://www.leadersforlife.ca/ – Some of this content is from their brochure LEADS in a Caring Environment

Wild Goat will explore the last two  domains,  Develop Coalitions and Systems Transformation, and their individual capacities, in the coming weeks.

Leadership Development Matters - Post 2

Engage Others

Great leadership can be encouraged and developed at any level of an organization, and building a culture that encourages leadership leads to a healthier work environment and helps build a language of teamwork.

The well-researched framework for understanding leadership was developed by the LEADS Collaborative for health care leaders. It consists of five domains:

Lead Self
Engage Others
Achieve Results
Develop Coalitions, and
Systems Transformation

teamwork_gear_gears.jpg

Wild Goat’s initial study of the first domain, Lead Self, is about increasing self-awareness, and leading with integrity and an eye on continuing personal and professional development, and was explored here.

The second domain, Engage Others, is about bringing this spirit of leadership to others on your team, or in your organization.

For entrepreneurs, cultivating great leadership is important as both clients and co-workers will look to you for confidence, and capacity. Entrepreneurs are well known to be lone wolves; they provide amazing customer service, commitment to goals and achievements, and building on prior successes. Often, they bring a temperament of “get it done” to their work, so cultivating leadership in others can seem like an added onerous task.

But developing leadership in those who surround you
is an investment in your business.

Engage Others

Great leaders encourage others to be great leaders. They demonstrate this by cultivating these capabilities:

·        Foster development of others – they support the personal and professional development of those who work with them. They show meaningful interest in their co-worker’s lives and interests, and encourage their ongoing learning and skill-building.

·        Communicate effectively – Great leaders work hard on communicating to ensure others feel able to openly contribute their ideas and concerns. They use appropriate tools for sharing information, and make sure those the receiver understands the nuances of their messages.

·        Build teams – Leaders who are progressive encourage collaboration and cooperation between individuals and agencies within their field. They foster in others an environment that builds trust and develops increasing capacity, and they recognize gaps and work to fill them.

·        Contribute to the creation and maintenance of a healthy organization – creating work-place engagement from every level of an organization will help foster creative and supportive workplaces. When co-workers or teammates understand their roles and the roles of those around them, they will work together in an evolving and engaging workplace.

Empowering others by engaging them meaningfully will encourage them to lead themselves. Cultivating these capabilities both for yourself as a leader, and in the promising leaders in your organization will contribute to success for everyone.

How do you meaningfully engage those you work with?

Which of these capacities is difficult for you, and how do you challenge yourself to improve them?

http://www.leadersforlife.ca/ – Some of this content is from their brochure LEADS in a Caring Environment

Wild Goat will explore the other three domains, Achieve Results, Develop Coalitions and Systems Transformation, and their individual capacities, in the coming weeks.

Transitions

This month is finding the Goat in transition – and transition stirs everything up. Here’s a little about what I’m learning.

·        Moving towards something is much easier than moving away from something. Clarity about what I’m moving towards is motivating!

·        Transition and change are inevitable. It’s great to be creating the transition rather than being forced into change in response to circumstances.

·        Transition is a great opportunity to create – create experiences, create environments, create focus, create relationships. Everything is amplified in richness.

·        Keeping track matters. Post-it notes and lists are my best friends right now.

·        Customer service really doesn’t need to suffer. I’m in transition. My clients aren’t. And it really is all about them.

Considering great questions while on the move has helped:

·        Which personal characteristics are you letting shine during this stressful time? (Change always adds stress – even good change.)

·        How will you take care of yourself during your progress?

·        What are you looking forward to? How will you mark mileposts along the way?

·        What are you taking with you that will serve you during this shift?
Once you’ve arrived?

·        What have you learned from what you are leaving behind?

·        How will you celebrate your journey?

·        What have you learned during this movement that will serve your continuing evolution?

Being self-aware requires energy, commitment, and determination - everything I want to bring to my clients to serve them during transitions.

What are you moving towards?
What will help you get there?

Wild Goat Executive Coaching is ready to help you have the most productive transition possible.

 

Happy Holidays!

It's one of my favourite times of the year - when families come home, and fabulous food is shared, and love really is all around. And then, the celebrations for New Years are upon us, and many people spend time reflecting on what they'd like to bring into their lives.

To honour this time of motivated change, and because your success is important to us, Wild Goat would like to help.

We are offering some "motivators", and invite you to share the offer with your colleagues and friends. 

Click here to read on.

It's not coaching...

This month I began Daring Imagination, writing stories about a fictional world where Kate, an executive coach, serves different clients. It starts with Bob’s Story, and I expect to publish a new installment every 3 or 4 weeks. Check it out here.

In developing this project, I wrote my evolving personal manifesto about what makes an encounter coaching, and thought I would share it with you. I welcome your feedback and ideas, because I know this will evolve, and become clearer. What is missing?


Wild Goat’s Core Essentials of Coaching
            (if these aren’t present, it isn’t coaching)

  1. Mutual safety, dignity, trust, & respect between client and coach
  2. Voluntary participation, with enthusiastic and motivated engagement
  3. Emphasis on the client as expert, capable, wise & whole
  4. A thoroughly client-driven process
  5. Goals that are defined through deep and curious enquiry
  6. Focused conversations that catalyse awareness, creativity & potential for transformation
  7. A clearly defined action plan
  8. Defined measurement for results & benefit
  9. Meaningful support & accountability (client-defined, created and facilitated)
  10. A process that is designed & modified, based on client needs & results

    I will use these essentials to both educate clients and assess my competencies, and expect the document to evolve. Please help me; I welcome your comments and feedback.

What exactly is Executive Coaching?

"What do you actually do?"

This is the most frequent question friends and colleagues ask me. What is this practice that is so satisfying for clients, and yields such extraordinary results?

Entering into a partnership with an Executive Coach gives you the opportunity to spend regular time one-on-one with a professional who will provide extraordinary support and assistance.  Imagine working alongside someone who knows you are wise and capable, and who cares enormously that you figure out the steps you need to take to succeed – whatever that means to you. A great coach listens for clarity, determination and strengths, and helps you build strategies and solutions from exactly where you are.  A good coach supports you; a great coach challenges you to strive for great heights.

Why be coached?

Having a safe and encouraging partnership allows people to do extraordinary things at a great pace. Coaching focuses on what works for you, while honouring your history, experience and challenges. It helps you identify any gaps in your resource, support or knowledge base, and then you can create a plan for moving forward. Often, fresh perspectives will not only help people determine  immediate, practical solutions to issues of concern, but in-depth work over several months will help you with ‘the big stuff’ as well.

Who are you, and what do you value?
How does that “show up” in your work and other relationships?
What matters the most to you now? In five years?

How will you get where you want to be?

When I completed my studies at Royal Roads University and became a Certified Executive Coach, there were two things I decided I will not do without. One is working with colleagues who care, and demonstrate that with great support. And the second is regular coaching.

Coaching makes a huge difference in my life – my health, my work and my relationships have never been more balanced and faithfully moving towards to exactly where I want them to be.

If you want to explore what coaching can do for you, contact me for a free introductory session.

I look forward to hearing about what matters to you.

Meredith Egan
604 832 0954
wild.goat.coaching@gmail.com

Before it's really begun.

This past few weeks has been a whirlwind of creation, of affirming my capacity and serving my clients, even as I elicited the support of friends and family to solidify plans for Wild Goat Executive Coaching. I am grateful to everyone! I anticipate the ‘becoming’ pains will continue as I work to ensure the content, administrative systems and public face of Wild Goat matches my intention, and the values and principles that continue to govern my practice.

My work has evolved over several decades, and while my values and principles haven’t changed dramatically, my focus and action have clarified with experience. What drives me?

I believe everyone is wondrous and unique, capable of achieving great heights when well supported. I have learned this from working with people who have suffered tremendous heartache and have chosen paths of love and forgiveness, from parents of young children who work tirelessly to provide opportunities they only dreamed of, and from brilliant intellectuals who share their visions and ideas with struggling community members, because they want to live in a world where that happens. My path has been shaped by people who work in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, helping individuals and communities become healthier, safer and more joyful through community development, and sharing.

I want to live in a world where together we strive to achieve great heights; our collective well-being depends upon it.

I am fed by meaningful hard work, joyful connection with my community, creative expression, and a deep abiding sense of wonder in my garden, and further afield, in the mountains and on the water that surrounds me. The values that guide my decisions include honesty, integrity, harmony, service, and meaningful connection, and I love to laugh. And share scotch with good friends.

I am excited to extend my practice to new clients, and commit to working honourably and with great dedication to your success, as you strive to define and reach your goals, as you learn and develop your skills, and as you fearlessly commit to making difficult situations better. I ask that you hold me accountable to this intention.

May we live fully alive,
Love wastefully, and
Creatively Adventure towards Truth,
Led by the Presence, Whisperings and Yearnings of Spirit.

I am thrilled to be accompanied on this journey by amazing folks. Thank you, everyone.

 

Have I included sufficient superlatives?
What can I say…it is great to be engaged in creating something new.