No. 17 – How Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll Ups His Game

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll

Earlier this week, I recommended that you write your story — where you came from, what and where you learned what you know, the experiences that caused you to be you, and so on.

Korn/Ferry Briefings magazine interviewed Pete Carroll to find out how his leadership philosophy evolved after regrouping from being fired from the New England Patriots:

“I wasn’t sure yet what was really at the fundamental core and essence of who I was. I needed to figure that out if I was ever going to have a chance….I picked up a notebook, and from that point forward I started writing down my thoughts about what was important to me in coaching. I was trying to get at the essence of what I was all about and what was meaningful to me.  And out of that came a clear realization that I’m a competitor and that’s the way I had spent my whole life……So competition became the central theme of our program, and I realized that everything I was doing, that I would undertake, would be with a competitor’s mindset….And we needed to figure out who the guys (players) were that we were working with. We needed to understand them as well as we possibly could. We needed to uncover their unique, special qualities that made them them….” says Carroll.

So that’s another reason to write your story.  To find out what you already know but kind of forgot about yourself.  It’s a good practice to learn the same about your own team players. If you help them find themselves and find their best qualities, then you’ll help them in their highest ability to perform.


Photo:  Ted S. Warren via Flickr Creative Commons

No. 16 – Why Should You Write Your Biography?

Posted on January 26th, 2015 by in Professional Growth

Emerson Spartz, the 27-year-old Internet media entrepreneur, recently raised $8 million in venture capital funding for his aggregate site At age 12 he created the most popular Harry Potter fan site in the world, MuggleNet.  Spartz tells The New Yorker magazine that when he was growing up, his parents made him read four short biographies of successful people every single day.

Not a bad idea for your kids — or you — and is one good source.

But don’t just read others’ biographies; write your own too. Include:

  • Where and how you grew up
  • Early influences and influencers who shaped you
  • Choices you had and decisions (good and bad) that you made

Write your career and life progression but don’t make it obituary-like with just the facts.  Add the “color” of your life — your loves, your losses, your dreams, and your goals going forward.

Your significant other will enjoy reading it, and when the kids are old enough, give them a copy.

Think about it. How many of you have lost a parent or someone important to you, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to read their life story?  In addition, it’s a great refresher/reminder when you have to talk about your background in a workplace conversation.

– Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 15 – Speaking Highlights and a New Video

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by in Speaking Professionally

As a professional speaker, I need to have a video demonstrating my style and sampling my content.  Videographer Ben Westdorp put together this new, 18-minute short for me.

If you know someone planning an event and looking for a speaker please forward this link or direct them to my website’s Speaking page. Thank you in advance!

– Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 14 – Four Things Your Boss Won’t Explicitly Tell You But That You Need to Understand

1.  You being trustworthy is more important than you being smart.

2.  You being self-confident is often more important than intelligence, skill, or talent.

3.  You can and should argue with the boss as long as you do it with respect and you have a valid point to make.

4.  You being great is necessary but not sufficient; you have to make others great, too. Best is to do both.

– Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.

No. 13 – Leadership Development — Now, Then and Beyond

Posted on December 15th, 2014 by in Best Leadership Practices, Executive Coaching

Father and son

Today a client called me to provide advice to his son who is the president of their company. Twenty-seven years ago, I coached the father in his career. All this time later, he said he still remembered things we discussed and he wanted some similar help for his son. As we caught up with each other, he told me that a lot of his plans, goals, and dreams were realized because of our discussions. One specific hope he’d had was to have a son who wanted to and could take over the helm of the successful business he’d built.

Of course, I immediately reached out to his son and we had a productive conversation around a leadership situation he wanted advice on.

Yes, I’m bragging to you with this story because:
One, I’m proud of having a bit of an impact in this important man’s life.

Two, to remind you that if we work together, you get me “for life” as your coach. Nothing makes me happier than to hear from a past client seven years or seventeen years or in this case, twenty-seven years later.

Each of my clients is important to me, and I’m here for them — and you.

— Debra

P.S. If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


Photo: SvenWerk

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