Archive for July, 2012

Heart of a Leader

Where is your focus?  Are you focused on personal and                   professional goals or on service to others?


An email popped up today about Ken Blanchard.  You may know Ken from one or more of his 25 books, especially his classic The One Minute Manager.  Ken has been noted for spending 20 minutes to call an 85 year old part time employee on her birthday.  Ken has been credited with spending an hour with a tape recorder to record the kind words from co-workers about an employee to give as a gift to his widow.


We all live busy lives.  Ken exemplifies the heart of a leader.  In fact, The Heart of a Leader is the title of Ken’s new book.


“An excerpt from
The Heart of a Leader

by Ken Blanchard

A river without banks is a large puddle ~ Ken Blanchard


Start your people on a journey to the land of empowerment, but don’t forget that they need boundaries. If you cut them loose without any direction, they will get lost and revert back to their old unempowered habits. Like the banks of a river, boundaries have the ability to channel energy in the right direction. If you take away the boundaries, your people will lose their momentum and direction. Boundaries that create autonomy include:

Purpose—what does your company do?
Values—what are your company’s operational guidelines?
Goals—where is your company headed?
Roles—who does what?
Structure—how is your company organized?

Don’t send inexperienced people off alone and then punish them when they make mistakes. Establish clear boundaries that will free them to make decisions, take initiative, act like owners, and stay on track.”


As we go about our daily lives, where is our heart?  Where is our focus?  Yes, we have to earn money to pay our bills and advance our careers.  Yes, we have commitments to friends, family, organizations and even to walk the family dog.  So what is the answer to the time crunch?  Priorities.  If you are like me, you make time for the priorities in life.


As President of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, we have a motto of “service above self.”  When it comes to living that motto in our daily lives, do we really practice what we profess?  It is all too easy to sit back and allow others to shoulder responsibility.  It is all too easy to say, “There just isn’t time to call an employee to say “happy birthday” or take the time to offer a kind gesture to a recent widow.  There just is not enough time to accept a volunteer leadership position and really perform as a leader.  Ken Blanchard does not have the time, he makes the time.


Today’s chapter in my new book Now to WOW focused on the walk away message.  Whether we are speaking to one, ten or thousands, we leave a walk away impression.  Even more important than the walk away message in one encounter, is the walk away message we leave in our life.


Ken Blanchard leaves a strong walk away message about The Heart of a Leader.  Rotarians leave a strong walk away message about “service above self.”  What walk away message are we leaving in our lives?

For more information on visionary leadership, stay tuned to  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to or

Plan? What plan?

What is your plan?  Perhaps the first question is “Do you have a plan?”  Without a plan, you are probably changing directions frequently.  You are making about as much forward progress as a rocking chair.  You are in motion but not going anywhere.

Only one plan?  That works if everything goes perfectly.  How often in you life has everything gone perfectly as you ideally desired it to happen?  If you are like me, it certainly has not been 100% of the time.

Come with me to my service club.  In my role as President Elect Nominee, I expected to be invited to all board meetings and start preparing for my role as President in two years.  Even though I attended many educational events, learned as much as possible from more experienced members and involved myself in every possible club activity, the board meeting experience did not materialize.  No problem because I could always do all of that in the following year as President Elect.

Excitement filled the air as the members filed into the Country Club for the annual changing of the leadership party June 28.  The gavel passed from the current President to the new President.  The new President spoke and conveyed his vision for the upcoming year to the membership.  The new board of directors was duly installed which moved me from President Elect Nominee to President Elect.

As President Elect this would be the year to plan for my Presidency next year.  There would be board of director meetings, President Elect training and close involvement with the new President as well as prior Presidents.  That was plan A.  There was absolutely no reason to anticipate a need for Plan B.  Consequently, I did not have a plan B.

Through an unfortunate set of circumstances during the next seven days, both the Board Secretary and the new President resigned.  Oh no, that meant instead of a year to plan my Presidency, the situation was immediate.  Had there been a plan B already in place, the trauma and scramble would have been drastically reduced.

Plan B would be to move forward as President and learn on the job.  Oh but it gets better.  The Constitution requires that the President Elect have completed various requirements.  One of those requirements was to have attended President Elect Training.  PET (President Elect Training) classes are held once a year – probably in February.  This is July; February is seven months away.  The move from President Elect to President has hit a roadblock.  We now require a plan C.

You get the idea.  If the world functions perfectly and everything falls into place, plan A might work.  The odds of every little challenge falling into line like ducks in a row is a very slim possibility.  Details may work perfectly for a few situations but rarely will the majority of events line up nicely and quack in unison.  Plan B and Plan C are essential.

How do you decide on plans A, B and C?  Look at every situation and describe in detail the possible outcomes.

Plan A – Start a new business and everyone will flock to your door to purchase your product and service.  The advertising costs will remain low because every marketing campaign will produce high quality results.

Plan B – Several people are coming to your business but not everyone is purchasing.  The advertising costs are slightly higher than anticipated because not every marketing campaign is producing results.

Plan C – Some people are coming to your business but few are purchasing.  A few of the marketing campaigns produced results; however, only 20% of the campaigns were successful.  The advertising costs are significantly higher than anticipated and less effective than desired.  Truthfully, this is the more realistic scenario.

Dan Kennedy, marketing guru said he considers himself successful if one of eight marketing campaigns really hits the mark.  He recommends test, retest and keep testing.

Plans A, B and C all require different budgets, different customer strategy and different long range plans.

There have been times when my game plan evolved into plans D, E, F and G.  Just like marketing, you test, retest and keep tweaking until you discover the best plan.

Even then, there is little rest for the entrepreneur because business changes with the economy.

The exact formula works with speaking.  Test your message, tweak it, test it again and keep adjusting it for every different audience and every different situation encountered by that audience.  Test, retest and keep adjusting.  You will probably have a slightly different speech for every audience, in fact, having a customized speech for each audience is ideal for them and for the speaker.

Expect to have plan A, plan B, plan C and even plans D, E and F.  Consider each possible scenario and adjust your plan with “What if this happens?” and adjust for “What if that happens?”

For more information on planning, stay tuned to  Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching.  Go to or

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
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