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!

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Stetson Jeff in Paperback!

Together with my co-author, Justin Fike, I’m proudly announcing the arrival of The Stetson Jeff Adventures, Vol. 1.

This paperback volume includes our first three books: Beatdown in Bangkok, Mayhem in Marrakesh, and Pandemonium in Paradise. We added an exclusive bit, a short story titled “A Very Stetson Christmas” which is unavailable in any of the e-book formats. It’s the perfect ending to a year’s worth of work for good old Stetson Jeff, who has been all over the world in search of justice, a place to sell cowboy hats, and a great steak.

Not sure you want to invest $17 in the entire volume? Why not pick up the first book on Amazon for FREE!? We think you’re going to laugh until… well, until you stop laughing.

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How Honest Abe would have Tweeted

“You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry.” — Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln had a practice when he was angry with someone. That practice was to write a letter in the heat of the moment; lay it all out there. Speak his mind. Say what he thinks.

Then, he slept on it before sending it.

Then, he didn’t send it. Ever.

I think it’s fair to say that Honest Abe would not have used Twitter much at all. The idea that you can get a message out blah, blah, blah, boom, would not have appealed to him.

If greatness is about what makes you angry (and you do get angry sometimes, if you’re passionate about life, and perhaps even about petty things) then your next best path is to write things down … and leave them out of the public discourse.

Lincoln did become angry. He also dealt with a country that was as divided as it has ever been. For us to reunite our country, we need leaders who don’t Tweet, they shut up. And I’m talking about you, dear reader. Oh, haven’t there been times when you got angry about something and posted about it on social media within the next two minutes? And have you looked back later to see how petty it was? Did you experience the shame you’ve thought others ought to experience? If our President-elect is going to use Twitter the way he has been, then the rest of us who are leaders in this country are going to have to rise above that. How? By not responding in kind. By not Tweeting in anger.

Does this mean we should never speak our minds? To heal the nation, aren’t we going to have to speak, and to take action? Of course we will, we do. That’s what I’m doing now.

I take consolation in the fact that a President is a figurehead – but we don’t have to follow his example. We can take our examples from other Presidents, other leaders. Leaders who didn’t fire off a postcard when they were mad, and send it by the next Pony-Express. Leaders who knew how to say what they thought, on paper, and then keep it to themselves. This will make you a better entrepreneur. A better parent. A better spouse. A better person.

Stetson Jeff #3 is here!

Announcing the release of Pandemonium in Paradise, the Third in the Stetson Jeff series by Cha’am Cowboys Publishing (Justin Fike and Adam G. Fleming). Stetson Jeff goes to Amish country in pursuit of some banditos, and does his best not to buy the farm. Moon pies are his newest delight, and he has to learn how not to fight, to fight Amish-style. It’s available right here on Amazon! If you have not read Stetson Jeff #1 (Beatdown in Bangkok) it’s here. You’d probably also want to read Mayhem in Marrakesh (#2).

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Coaching and Politics

It’s been hard to write much lately because I’ve been troubled about things and want to be careful what I put out in public. See, a coach’s responsibility is to not assert an agenda. My goal is to stay away from putting people off by espousing a particular ideology.

On the other hand, writers and artists have often had things to say to the world on political, social and cultural issues, and I fit into that bucket too.

Sunday night we attended an event to support the protesters at Standing Rock, those opposing an oil pipeline through their water supply. They are concerned about the possibility (or perhaps inevitability) of an oil spill. We heard people from diverse backgrounds do dances, give speeches and read poetry, play music. We listened to Peruvian music and poetry from Ecuador. Heard an African-American from South Bend do spoken word. And I sat there thinking, “what does a dopey middle-aged straight white male have to contribute?” Can I sit around writing about how “WE” are all experiencing this oppression? Of course not. I am one of the privileged.

The grouchy old white guy sits there with his flowing mustache, his wiry white hair sticking up every which way. He wears a white linen suit and bow tie. He sips a cool drink and begins to think less about what he can not say, and more about what he can.

There is precedent: the old white guy (Samuel Clemens and Garrison Keillor) writes satire. To borrow from Geico’s ad: “You write satire. It’s what you do.”

Sometimes satire is pointed and deep, other times it’s just fun. For now I’m closer to the fluffy end on the satire scale of “Cotton Candy to Habanero Pepper Sauce”, more like Mark Twain writing “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” than, say, his treatise on King Leopold II’s abuses in Congo. But if satire is a welcome relief to you, you’ll be happy to know that my book “Beatdown in Bangkok” a Stetson Jeff adventure, is available here  for free on Amazon! Sign up for our email list when you’re done reading it, and you can get the second book in the series free too: “Mayhem in Marrakesh”.

So, what am I doing when it comes to political, social and cultural upheaval? I’m making fun of white guys. It’s what I do. Hope you have a good laugh. It’s good medicine.

Stetson Jeff Kicks around in Amish Country

The adventures of Stetson Jeff Stetson, co-written by Justin Fike and myself, are finally becoming available in paperback. After cruising to the top of Amazon’s list this summer in the Satire category, with 1000 downloads plus in under a week, jumping ahead of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for a while, the first Stetson Jeff Adventure, Beatdown in Bangkok, has garnered rave reviews. While the second book, Mayhem in Marrakesh, only has one review posted as I write this, we feel that Stetson Jeff’s saga really comes of age in Pandemonium in Paradise. Set in Pennsylvania Amish country, this last book escalates Stetson’s growing awareness of a crime syndicate called A.S.P. with hilarious results.

As the end of the year approaches, our writing team decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to do pre-sales for the roll-out of the paperback, which includes all three of the books above in one volume. You’re going to love it! Check out the Kickstarter here.

If you’re still not sure you want to support the Kickstarter project, and want a free sample first to see if this is your kinda thing, you can get Beatdown in Bangkok for free by signing up for our email list here.