New Release: Positive Cultural Impact

You’re leading a team: could be you and one child, or you and a sales team, or you and a massive corporation or nonprofit institution. In any case, you have a culture you want to build, values to instill. But how?

For the last few months I’ve been blogging less as I was working to refine a concept into a concise e-book which details my formula for making a positive cultural impact in the form of a cycle which I very creatively decided to call the Cultural Impact Cycle.

Graphic4

Last Friday I published this e-book, reasonably priced at $2.99 USD. Here’s the link: How to Make a Positive Cultural Impact.

In a recent discussion with a random stranger, I told the stranger I am a life coach.

“What do you teach people?” he asked.

“Coaches don’t teach… but I’m also a writer,” I said, and proceeded to give him the elevator version of the cycle and the book.

“So, it’s the simple things,” he said.

Yes… it’s simple. The concepts here aren’t complicated. It’s implementation that may be difficult… perhaps even challenging enough you’ll want to work on them with a coach.

There’s more to come. Soon I’ll have a video course available for purchase that includes a workbook and an online forum. In the meantime, you can check out the book itself, it’s a short read at 8,300 words.

Enjoy!

–Adam G. Fleming

Coach like a Pace Horse

Great coaching involves helping people get outside perspective, and this often means changing the pace up for them. Daily life runs its course, and most leaders feel they are sprinting for their lives from sunup to sundown. Often they’ve completely forgotten how to slow down for reflection.

At the end of a horse race, there’s always a pace horse that trots up alongside the racer during cool down. This horse isn’t bred for her ability to sprint, she is there for her ability to calm down the racer. Coming alongside leaders is like that. You have to be conscious that the client is running hard, and help them change their pace so they can catch their breath.

It’s easy for people (those who are a D on the DISC for example) think they need a coach who can sprint just like they can, but that’s not the case. You might find it disconcerting or disruptive to work with a coach for 90 minutes instead of a 15 minute conversation… but exploration doesn’t happen in a linear fashion. If you’re a hard-driving, highly motivated leader, you may want to consider finding a coach who can help you ease off the gas once in a while. You will be surprised at the value that coach can provide!

Perspectives from Cairo

There wasn’t much mental space for poetry or writing much of anything while I was in Egypt. I also had technical challenges to dumping pics from my camera to the blog.

It was a whirlwind of making connections, tourism, eating amazing food, meeting new people, and so on. My hosts (people I met in Thailand last February) even commented on the last day that they thought I had made the most of my time. All my meetings went as planned, and I was even invited to lead a five hour training for two groups.

The opportunities in Cairo are daunting, like looking at a pyramid and thinking about climbing it. (These days you are not allowed to climb the pyramids at Giza).  But they’re also exhilarating and the doors are wide open for doing some things there that would be very new for Egyptians. The opportunities are huge, but whether or not I can handle it is simply a matter of perspective. Pick up a pyramid and stick it in your pocket.

There’s a lot I can’t discuss publicly regarding my trip, but here are a few pictures from my time in Egypt that give you a bit of flavor.

dscn0016

above: meeting for dinner and finishing up with some sweet mint tea on the Nile with a new friend. You can see some river cruise boats in the background.

dscn0024

training group: I spent one day working with this org. and several of their non-Egyptian friends (none are pictured) and we all had a blast (and also some really deep moments).

I’ll post a bunch more photos on the next blog.

 

 

Coaching for Options: SEVEN approaches to the “binary” election process

I’ve been careful to avoid discussions of politics unless absolutely necessary. Yesterday I talked to a friend who said “I don’t want to vote.” I can understand the desire to abstain: it’s like someone is offering us a potent drink, as if we’re being offered some hallucinogen, really, and they’re telling us it will go down smooth, but it makes us sick just looking at it. Aside from the Anabaptist theological stance against voting that my Mennonite friends take, which I respect, and believe is worth reading up on, abstention from voting is considered in the broader culture to be un-American, yet more and more Americans don’t do it. It makes me wonder: when push comes to shove, do we not want to be Americans anymore? Whether you think voting is in itself a right (which means you can abstain) or a responsibility (which means you should vote, although you still might not) it’s worth considering all the options, even the crazy ones.

When coaching people who have tough decisions to make, a coach’s job is to encourage them to generate options. Establishing a minimum of five is yeoman’s work, and helping someone get to ten is a good day at the office.

If you’re struggling to see beyond two options in a system often called “binary” I have a list for you. I’ve started by challenging myself to brainstorm for ten options. I’ve put them in alphabetical order so that you know I’ve reserved my opinion.

  1. Abstain, because it’s your right to vote or not vote.
  2. Anabaptist: because you’re “going Amish” and have decided not only will you no longer vote but will also no longer participate in any litigation, etc. (2B: Or some other version of taking the theological or complex philosophical road out).
  3. Clinton, because it’s your responsibility to vote.
  4. Flip a coin between the two major players, or another game of chance, because (4A) in your state the polls show it doesn’t matter, one of the candidates is a shoo-in, and/or because (4B) it’s your responsibility to vote but you can’t bring yourself to take the responsibility seriously.
  5. Johnson, or (5B) other third party candidate who happens to be on the ballot in your state, because it’s your responsibility to vote.
  6. Move to a different country and change your citizenship, because you don’t want to be an American anymore if this is what we’re coming to.
  7. Trump, because it’s your responsibility to vote.

Okay, I got to seven. I was going for ten and got stuck. Now that the options are listed, you get to be the judge. You don’t decide whether or not the options are legitimate until AFTER you’ve listed them, and that’s a key to generating options. Now that I’ve looked this list over, I will tell you there are some of them I find worthy of at least a little consideration and some I don’t like at all. Interestingly, of the options I really don’t like, two of them are the so called “binary” options. That’s how powerful — empowering — it is to brainstorm options.

Before generating seven options, I was stuck with two distasteful choices. Now I can make a decision. Abracadabra.

Getting Busy With It

Not another blog about how busy someone is and how they haven’t had time to write their blog and how they feel guilty about it. Please, not one of those. OK, I promise. Here’s a bit of what’s going on, followed by some encouragement to go out and work on your own stuff!

Besides working on multiple book projects, some with co-authors, there are as many as six or seven speeches, training groups or classes I’ll be leading this fall, two international trips (and fundraising to make that happen) and oh, yeah, I need to get my kid’s soccer schedule on my calendar. All that before Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving, I will probably get a bit of a break… except it will be prime time for fundraising for the nonprofit’s 2017 budget.

I’m starting to find a sweet spot in spending money on marketing that actually brings in a decent return on investment, so there are more clients these days for individual coaching.

I have this to say to aspiring life coaches, motivational speakers, and authors: if you think you’re good at one of those three, get better. Then learn to market, manage websites, network your butt off, give lots of real value in exchange for the buck you earn, earn that buck for real, no scams, and then start getting good at the other two disciplines. They all go hand in hand to support you, like a stool with three legs. The bottom line is that in addition to providing great service, giving good speeches, and writing good books, you have to learn a fourth skill: that of entrepreneurship. Which means sales. Which means recognizing you aren’t going to close every deal. Get over yourself. You aren’t the best coach for everybody, but for the right people you’re very good.

People are going to ask you if you’re like Tony Robbins or John Maxwell.

I liked what Simone Biles said the other day, something like: I’m not the next Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.

Yep. I’m the first Adam Fleming. I’m not like Tony Robbins or John Maxwell, but I have every reason to be confident I can help people just as much as one of those guys could, and certain people I’m going to be able to help a lot more. Realize that you’ve got a unique perspective, nobody else has it.

Then, when you can’t sleep at 1 AM, don’t watch TV. Post another blog. Keep working.

Then, when the weekend comes, know how to take a break.

This goes for a lot of people with the entrepreneurial spirit. Get good at what you do, present yourself with confidence, work hard, over-deliver, and learn how to rest.

Want to partner with my nonprofit efforts, get involved with one of the workshops I’m leading, or check out my books? Cool. I’m glad you said “yes, I’ll read on!”

Here are the two primary websites, followed by my Amazon author page:

www.motivationallistening.net

www.evergreenleaders.org

Adam G. Fleming author page

Start Writing, don’t stop rolling.

You want to be a writer but… what are the five things a writer does?

Then,

Intimidated by the great ones,

Scared of vulnerability.

You must start to write!

The great ones started writing one day, and refused to stop.

They found their way to vulnerability perhaps by writing about stuff that mattered.

Seth Godin always talks about working on things that matter.

You know why I hardly ever write stuff specific to my industry? You would think that matters, but I rarely write about it.

(If I did, the titles would look something like “Five Ways a Life Coach Can Help Blah, Blah.”)

Actually, I do write about stuff that pertains to the industry:

I write about stuff that happens while I live my life, to the full extent of my ability to embrace the epic nature of each day I see before me, sitting on a counter top like a knife, ready for me to dissect and slice, not for the science of it, but to cook, to eat a satisfying meal. To be filled with the goodness of life.

A coach embodies and models living the life you’re made to live, so instead of writing “Five Reasons a Coach Writes Poetry Blah, Blah,” I just do it.

Want to be a writer? Write, and keep writing.

Want to be alive? Start living, stop explaining the five things alive people do. The five things they do don’t matter if you don’t do them.

That’s why my coaching blog is full of poems: I’m full of living. It’s awesome.

Join me. Start living.

 

Learning to say I have enough

About a month ago an old acquaintance sat down with me and asked what I was doing.

Coaching full time, I said.

How many clients do you have?

Not enough, I replied, feeling like Eeyore again.

Five minutes later, I turned to him and apologized. I’m sorry, that’s a really negative way to look at it. God is providing what I need, when I need it.

I have enough. And I always want more!

Now, “I want more” still sounds like I’m discontented, but that’s not the attitude the statement carries in my mind.

“I want more” not because I’m greedy for the money that a fuller coaching load would bring. It’s because I have time to spare, and there are lots of people to care for. out there I want more, because I have so much more to give.

The Tao Teh Ching says “He who knows when he has enough is rich.”

Most of the people who can read this blog are rich. You have enough.

This change in attitude has been really helpful for my sense of internal peace. Coincidentally (?) within two or three weeks of that penitent moment, I landed several new clients.