Developing Good Habits


I just had an interesting reframe around goal achievement.  Although, I pride myself in being a great goal setter and a really good goal getter too, there is more to goal achievement than the “outcome-based” approach most of us are accustomed to.

Let me explain. I just read an interesting book called Atomic Habits by James Clear. In his book, he makes a strong case for developing good habits – especially tiny ones. He says “if you want better results, then forget about setting goals – focus on your system instead.”  The system he refers to are the series of good habits you put in place and consistently execute. According to Clear, “goals are about the results you wish to achieve” and good for “setting a direction”, “systems are about the processes to get you to your goals/results” and systems are “best for making progress”.

According to Clear, there are 3 layers of behavioral change needed to get results:

  1. Outcomes.  Outcomes are what you get and the focus is on changing results.
  2. Process. Process is what you do and the focus is on changing habits and systems.
  3. Identity. Identity is what you believe and who you wish to become and the focus is on changing beliefs, worldview, self-image.

The way many people typically practice goal setting is to focus on the outcome first, then figure out the process, steps and action needed to be taken. The identity then follows process.  I.e. You desire to lose 20 lbs, so you eat 500 fewer calories each day becoming a thinner person. Or you wish to quit smoking so you wear a patch every day and become a non-smoker. Or your goal is to get promoted, so you meet with a coach twice a month and become a better leader. This is considered an “outcome-based” approach.

In his Atomic Habits book, Clear makes the case for flipping the order and taking an “identity-based” focus first. He argues that an “identity-based” approach is more likely to make your habits stick. And much more sustainable for long-term behavioral change. “True behavior change is identity change.” Following an “identity-based” approach starts with identifying who you wish to become. Clear states you have to change who you are first. Here are some examples he uses: “Goal is not to read a book, but to become a reader”, “Goal is not to run a marathon but to become a runner.”

I have a great personal example of taking an “identity-based” approach. A few years ago, I decided I was going to stop focusing on my weight. I was a serial yo-yo dieter for many years. Gaining weight, then losing the weight and then repeating the pattern over and over again. Finally, I told myself that the goal was not about the number on the scale but rather the desire to become a healthy and fit person.  Similar to what Clear describes in his book, I started to ask myself, what would a healthy and fit person do? How would they act? I signed up with a personal trainer and committed to 3 workouts per week. Regular workouts are now a habit for me. I increased my vegetable intake and eliminated meat from my diet. Eating healthy is a habit. Fast forward, almost 4 years later, during my annual physical, my physician praised me for my fitness level. “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it” she said.

In his book, Clear states: “Habits matter because they help you become the person you wish to be – you become your habits.”  “Habits matter not because you get better results (although they can do that), but because they can change your beliefs about yourself.” “The real reason habits matter is that they are not about having something, they are about becoming someone.”

For more information regarding Atomic Habits by James Clear, check out the book:

Note: all quotes, and general information above are from the book: Atomic Habits, An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, Copyright © James Clear 2018, Penguin Random House, UK

Interested in ways you can become a better version of yourself, and how to set up your habits and systems to support your desired identity, I’m here to help.  Contact me at or call me at 416-617-0734.

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5 Languages of Appreciation


A few years ago, I read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and shared it with everyone that would listen to me. It was a terrific book about communication in relationships. So, I was thrilled when Gary Chapman and Paul White came out with their book “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace”. It’s a book focused on work-based relationships. You don’t have to be a manager or leader to benefit from reading this book, every employee can benefit from understanding other people’s appreciation languages.

Why should we focus on motivating others by appreciation?

According to the research Chapman and White gathered to write this book:

  • “In a Glassdoor survey: 4 out of 5 employees (81%) say they are “motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work”
  • “In Gallup research conducted: engaged employees average 27% fewer days missed, business units with more disengaged employees have 51% higher turnover than engaged business units, companies in the top 25% of employee engagement averaged 18% higher productivity than companies in the bottom 25% and employers with the most engaged employees were 22% more profitable than those with the least engaged employees”
  • “In research compiled by a leading third-party exit interviewing firm in the USA found: only 12% of employees reported leaving for more money, while 88% left for reasons other than money. And reasons most often cited included not feeling trusted or valued.”

There’s a strong case for employee engagement. And while everyone expects to get paid in the workplace and make more money, according to Chapman and White, “the number one factor in job satisfaction is not the amount of pay we receive but whether or not we feel appreciated and valued for the work we do”. And the good news is that its not solely a manager’s responsibility. We can all play our part in appreciating others in the workplace, once we recognize others’ appreciation languages.

Here is a brief description of the 5 languages of appreciation:

  1. Words of Affirmation – People who best respond to words of affirmation appreciate verbal praise with specific feedback for their accomplishments. They may also value being affirmed for their character or personality traits. This can be one on one, or in front of others, in written format or in a public setting, with one on one often being the most valued. An example: “I really appreciate you staying after work to get that client report completed in advance of our meeting. Thanks for being so diligent and staying on top of this.” According to Chapman and White, “words of affirmation is the most frequently chosen language of appreciation – approximately 45% of employees.”
  2. Quality Time – People who have this appreciation language, appreciate time with those they value and enjoy focused attention and quality conversation. They may even enjoy shared experiences and/or team work. They don’t necessarily need one on one time with their boss. They may also value time with their colleagues. When you spend time with someone who has a “quality time” language of appreciation remember to maintain eye contact, listen intently, observe their body language and affirm their feelings.
  3. Acts of Service – People who have this appreciation language as their primary language enjoy being helped out or asked to be helped/supported. They like it when others come and pitch in and help them out. A few things to keep in mind with these individuals: make sure you ask them before you help them, don’t assume you know what help they want or need, do it their way and complete what you started.
  4. Tangible Gifts – While “only 6% of employees choose tangible gifts as their primary language, 68% report its their least valued appreciation language.”  For those that do value tangible gifts, its important to provide a gift they will actually value. One suggestion is to gift “time off” especially with younger employees. “Time” seems to be a valued resource regardless of age, so gifting time off has become highly desirable.
  5. Physical Touch – While physical touch can be contentious. Some acceptable examples include a firm handshake for a job well done, a high five or a fist pump.

If you are curious about your own language of appreciation, the authors developed an MBA Inventory which you can complete to receive an individualized report. Just go to:

For more information on The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, check out the book:

Appreciation in the Workplace

Note: all quotes, data and general information above are from the book: The 5 Languages of Appreciation inthe Workplace © 2011, 2012, 2019 by Gary D. Chapman and Paul E. White, Northfield Publishing, Chicago, IL

Interested in ways you and your teams can increase appreciation in the workplace, and how to navigate your personal and professional development, I’m here to help.  Contact me at or call me at 416-617-0734.

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2020 Roadmap to Success

Roadmap to success

Another year is here! Hooray and OMG! This is the time of year we set our intentions for the year ahead and identify any goals we wish to accomplish. It’s also a time for personal reflection on all the good things that happened last year and a reminder of what we didn’t get done.

So, to start the year strong, consider this 3-step process to get you going quickly:

Step 1: Visioning

Visioning is all about using the power of your imagination to envision the successful completion of your goals. Start by daydreaming about all you wish for this year. In your mind’s eye there are no limits. Make sure you consider every area of your life: Career, Family, Friends, Significant Other, Health, Finances, Environment, Spirituality, Personal Growth, Fun & Recreation. Imagine you are at the end of 2020 looking back on the year – what does it look like from this perspective? Describe that ideal vision. There are many tools to assist you in this step. Here are a few suggestions. Create a vision board by cutting out pictures from magazines or printing images from sites like Instagram that best describe your ideal situation. Create a collage of pictures, images & words to add to your vision board. If vision boards are not your thing, you can also journal about your ideal life or ideal year. To get a clearer vision of your future, meditate or daydream to get clear images or a feeling of what you envision for your future.

Step 2: Planning

Planning is the process of thinking about the activities you need to complete in order to achieve your desired goal. It’s the process of making an outline or plan to accomplish the goal utilizing the resources you have available or can make available and including any constraints such as time or money. There are many ways to do this step. I created a goals worksheet I use with my clients that helps minimize the overwhelm by chunking it down into smaller steps. Another simple process is to make a list of every activity you believe needs to be completed to reach the goal. Then prioritize the list by item of importance and in order of completion required. Note, some activities are dependent on the completion of others. Then identify timelines for each activity. You can consolidate all the activities and timelines into a spreadsheet, or word document to provide some structure to your plan. Finally, move each activity item into your calendar and block off time to complete.

Step 3: Actioning

The visioning step represents about 20% of developing the roadmap, and the planning step represents 60% of the process and where most of the work is thought out. The final 20% represents the actual action taken. When you have a clear vision and a well thought out plan, taking action becomes so much easier. One step at a time will get you to your goal.

And if developing your roadmap to success in 2020 still seems daunting, consider hiring a coach to assist you with the visioning, planning and actioning. Simply contact Linda at or at 416-617-0734.

Need help developing your personalized 2020 Roadmap to Success? Click here to purchase The 2020 Roadmap to Success Package

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How Long Will You Tolerate Being Undervalued?


Recently, I asked my online audience to share some of their career struggles and challenges. I heard comments such as: how do I get unstuck in my career that feels like it’s at a standstill, how do I get recognized for work done well, how do I move to a different and more senior role, how do I become bolder and more in control over my career, how do I show my value, and how do I get out of being undervalued, overworked, and disempowered?

Now, let’s get real here for a moment. Most people really want their current career situation to change. In fact, when asked how important it is to them – they will often score it a 7, 8, 9 or even 10 out of 10. But here’s the truth. While many people want things to change, most people don’t want to change.

People will tolerate their frustrating current work situations for a very long time before they will take the initiative to make the changes they need to make, even if it makes them feel undervalued, underutilized, overworked, overwhelmed, or over stressed.

Why? So many career professionals simply allow life and career to get busy and take over and then they get comfortable with the stress and the overwhelm and then they simply get stuck in their role, and over time they settle for the way things are and forget about the way things could be if they were willing to make the effort to change.

So what would you have to change? Here are 5 big bold steps you can take:

  1. Be honest with yourself. If you could have changed your current situation on your own, you would have done so by now. Accept the fact that you really don’t want to change. And as long as you aren’t willing to change, you will have to accept that things won’t change either. According to Henry Ford (1863-1947), American founder of the Ford Motor Company “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
  2. Get the facts. Find out what’s really going on. Don’t assume you know what your boss or others think about you. Ask for feedback on how you are doing and what you can be doing to get yourself ready for your next career opportunity.
  3. Evaluate your situation. You may think you are the star performer in your group or department but you simply may have become the workhorse. And if that’s the case, you will need a plan to proactively move from being a key resource to being seen as resourceful.
  4. Be bold. Speak up and make your intentions known. Let others know what your dreams and aspirations are. Don’t wait for others to acknowledge your efforts and results. This is not the time to be shy about your accomplishments. Let your boss and others know when you hit a milestone or complete an important project.
  5. Get Support. Hire a professional coach to assist you in getting you to your goals. There is a reason why coaching is one of the fastest growing professions today. Because it works! A coach can help you close the gaps and get you to your goals.

How much longer will you tolerate being undervalued? If you believe “there is no way out of this situation”, I encourage you to challenge your thinking and explore some ways to change your mind set. You can get unstuck! You can get recognized for your value! But first you must be willing and ready to CHANGE!

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How the Changing Workplace Could Affect Your Job Search

Job Search

Have you lost your job after many years with the same company? Has it been more than 10 years since you last did a job search? Do you know how to navigate a job search in this market? Are you a non-millennial? If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, you need to keep reading.

According  to a recent study “Workforce 2020” by Oxford Economics ( there are some major shifts happening in the labor market including the increasing number of intermittent/seasonal, contingent or consultant employees, difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills – companies and employees are unprepared for the growing need for technology skills, and the globalization of the labor supply.

Here are a few interesting facts from the Workforce 2020 study:

  • 82% of Canadian companies say they are increasingly using contingent, intermittent/seasonal, contingent or consultant employees
  • 60% of Canadian executives say that when a senior person leaves, the company tends to fill the role from within the organization
  • 30% of employees are most concerned about their position changing or becoming obsolete

So, if you have recently lost your job, are returning to work after a period of absence or are thinking of changing jobs or careers, consider some of these strategies to help you secure your next career opportunity:

  1. Take Personal Inventory – Your passions and experiences may have changed considerably since you last did a job search. Start with listing your greatest accomplishments to date. Pull out the most current resume you have as you will need to decide what you will change, add or delete. Identify any new skills, strengths, training/certifications, that you may have acquired since your last search. Also, identify what you are not good at, or any development areas you need to work on or address in an interview. Take the time to really understand yourself, your strengths, skills and be discerning about what makes it onto your resume.  Your resume needs to paint a picture of who you are.
  2. Know What You Want – Start with a review of what’s most important to you – is it flexibility? Or is it a base salary of x? or is it something else? It’s important that you know the difference between what is negotiable for you and what isn’t. Sometimes, you need to take a step back in your career for what could be a potentially ideal role for you. Holding out for a 6-figure job just because that’s what you were earning before might result in you missing an opportunity to walk to work or have the flexibility to work from home 2-3 days per week. A recent client of mine left a permanent role to take a maternity leave contract role at another company at 33% higher salary (because income was important to her at the time). It worked out for her. After being on contract for over a year, she was offered a permanent position and another salary increase.
  3. Do a Reality Check – By now, you may have decided that you really need that 6-figure income and a permanent job in your preferred industry. But guess what? While that may be your desired outcome, that may not be realistic or even available to you right now. You need to do some homework and that means getting out and talking to people. Perhaps checking in with a coach, a recruiter or two, or with people who work in the industry. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to understand what’s available to you now, how to best sell yourself, and land your ideal role.
  4. Develop a Plan – Doing the above 3 steps really is just the beginning. You next need a plan for how you will go about your job search. How will you source potential jobs? If you are relying on online recruitment websites alone, you’ll miss out on a lot of job prospects as 4 out of 5 jobs are still found through networking connections. How and when will you reach out, follow up, prepare for interviews, prepare for networking meetings? Looking for a full-time job, IS a full-time job and you should approach it as such. Working with a recent client, I shared that he could expect to apply to about 100 jobs (he applied to 87), meet with at least 2 dozen people in person or over the phone, to land a handful of interviews, with perhaps 1-2 second interviews which would land him a job at his level. He did land the perfect role for him, and he did have to make some concessions.
  5. Take Action – There are many, many actions to take. In the job search process (and it is a process), the order and sequence are important. As is tracking your daily, weekly and monthly activity, whether that is who you have reached out and connected with, or which jobs you have applied to, or who you are now following up with. This is no time to procrastinate.

Whether you are an old pro at job search or a newbie in this changing workplace environment, sometimes you need a little help. You may need some motivation from time to time (or a kick in the pants support), you may need help developing your plan, or you may need an accountability partner to help you stay focused on your goal. Regardless of your job search needs, a career coach can assist.

If you are currently in the job search process or considering changing jobs, and would like more information or help navigating the process, contact Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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5 Leadership Mind Traps and How to Navigate Them!


Every once in a while, you come across a book that really gets you “thinking” and maybe even “changing the way you think”. “Unlocking Leadership Mind Traps: How to Thrive in Complexity” by Jennifer Garvey Berger was that book for me.

My first introduction to Jennifer was through an online course I took recently (The Art of Developmental Coaching). Jennifer was one of the instructors and I found her to be very engaging and very deep in her perspectives and facts regarding adult and leadership development.

To quote Jennifer Garvey Berger:

“We are living in this strange, paradoxical time in our world where the massively increasing complexity around us could lead us to grow faster and more compassionately and more together, or it could lead us to get more defensive, closed, hard, and smaller.”

There is no doubt that the world in which we work and live is complex and becoming increasingly more complex. But just as we must deal with the complexity “out there” or external to our selves, we are challenged to understand and deal with the complexity “in here” and internal to our selves.

In Jennifer’s book, she refers to 5 Mind Traps. The premise is that we act as if the world is simple when in fact the world is quite complex. Recognizing these mind traps within our selves helps us to see things through a broader lens and provides us with greater resources for dealing with the actual complexity.

These are the 5 Mind Traps:

  1. Simple Stories – We love our stories. Stories often have a beginning, middle and end and are filled with heroes and villains. Often, we are the hero in the story and the other person is the villain. Our problem-solving nature looks for short cuts and so the story is riddled with our beliefs and bias. But simple stories keep us small and presume a certain outcome based on the past. One way to expand beyond our story is to consider the other person in the story. How might they be considered a hero?
  2. Rightness – Our sense of being “right” enables our decisiveness but on the flip side it can kill curiosity and openness. You may even confuse feeling right with being right. Ask yourself “what do I believe and how can I be wrong?” There are always 2 sides to a situation – exploring the other side is good practice. Make sure you listen carefully to learn rather than to win or fix things.
  3. Agreement – We are programmed to be connected to other people. Agreement fulfills our desire for belonging and connection. Sometimes, we want so much to belong that we down play our difference of opinion. We are oriented to not be socially disconnected because the pain of being left out is experienced the same way as physical pain in the body. To release this mind trap, consider how conflict could serve to deepen a relationship. Or how disagreeing might lead to expanded thinking and ideas.
  4. Control – Our sense of being in control is directly tied to our feeling of being happy. In fact, our being in control and perceived by others as being in control is often equated with good leadership. However, sometimes great leadership requires us to let go of control to enable better outcomes, especially in complexity. Ask yourself: What can I help enable instead of what can I make happen? Or what could enable me/us?
  5. Ego – Our sense of who we are helps us function with purpose. The person we are now is a culmination of our thoughts, experiences, beliefs, to this point in our journey. The problem however, is that we are protective of the person we are being now vs the person we are becoming. We believe we have changed in the past but for some reason probably won’t change much moving forward. This leads us to want to protect the person we think we are. For true personal growth to happen, we need to pay attention to the map of our own development and ask ourselves “who would I like to be next?”

If you’d like some assistance in identifying your own commonly used mind traps and how to navigate your personal and professional development, I’m here to help. Contact me or call me at 416-617-0734.

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Discovering Your Life’s Purpose


Lately, many of the clients that have made their way to me are in search of uncovering their passion and in search of figuring out their life’s purpose.

And while there isn’t a magic bullet to help you figure out why you are here and what you are meant to do, it can be hugely satisfying to finally figure out how to live your life on purpose, in alignment with your goals, dreams and values.

In the work I do with my clients, that’s the journey I take them on. I take them through a journey of self discovery, curiosity and exploration. Together, using many tools and processes I assist them in uncovering their passion and their purpose. And once they have a clear vision, we work on an action plan to align them and move them in the direction of their goals and dreams.

One of the many ways to help you self discover your own life’s purpose is to read books. Here, I’ve identified some of my favorite books on the topic

1. The Life You Were Born to Live (A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose) by Dan Millman

I love this book. This book will appeal to pragmatic as well as woowoo types. I think Deepak Chopra’s assessment of the book sums it up best: “The Life-Purpose System as expressed in Dan Millman’s book is absolutely amazing in its predictive value. It will help you sort out the conflicts in your life and guide you on the path of fulfillment.”

2. The Passion Test (The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Destiny) by Janet Bray Attwood & Chris Attwood

This is a simple and easy to follow book to help guide you through a process and series of exercises to assist you in uncovering your passion and what fulfills you in life.

3.  You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

This book is my go-to book for self help and healing. I believe you can’t achieve and manifest your goals and dreams unless you’ve eliminated the self limitations and roadblocks in your way. This book will help you identify what’s in your way and assist you in setting clearer intentions for what you want instead.

4. The Artist’s Way (A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity) by Julia Cameron

Sometimes you need to see things from a different perspective. The Artist’s Way will inspire you and allow you to think outside the box with numerous exercises and activities to get you creative in your thinking and your approach. If you participate in the journey this book takes you on, you will gain greater clarity.

5. The Road Less Travelled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck M.D.

This book takes you deeper into self reflection. “The Road” is meant not as a destiny but as a unending journey of spiritual growth.

While some people are very clear about their passion and purpose, others can wander most of their lives looking for greater fulfillment. If you find yourself wandering, wondering “is this as good as it gets?” Perhaps now is the time to make time for some inner work. If you need some guidance and coaching to assist you on your quest and journey, I’m here to help.

If you would like more information or assistance with your personal journey to greater passion and purpose, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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Turning Dreams into Reality


By Guest Author Matthew Brajuka, Competitive Long-Distance Swimmer

She’s doing it again. It frustrates me to no end. Finally, wide eyed, she stares up at me from the water’s edge, like something I say might unlock the secret to immortality or teach her how to swim backstroke properly. She wants to be fast so she foregoes the “unimportant” things like technique and flails down the lane in a frenzy. I don’t blame her. Every swimmer at that age wants to lead the lane. They understand that being fast is good but they have yet to comprehend the means by which one achieves speed. One of the other kids passes her and she starts crying.

The tears roll down her cheeks and memories from when I was that age come flooding back. In that moment, all the coaching courses and certifications in the world couldn’t have prepared me to deal with a crying child, but experience could. Besides, there was a time I was just like her. A past coach of mine often jokes about how this is divine retribution for all the years I put him through hell and, to some extent, he’s right: Coaching definitely isn’t easy. Maybe it’s because every practice is a different experience.

What works today might not work tomorrow and as a result, practices that have been carefully planned in advance are often pushed to the wayside. Maybe it’s because coaching is not simply giving an instruction. People must choose to follow the instruction given and to inspire others to follow that order is a challenge, especially when those you are trying to inspire happen to be children.

So, why is it difficult to inspire children? Well, it turns out kids are like goldfish. They can only remember things that happened within the last three seconds and spend a lot of time swimming without a clue as to what’s going on. So, to teach a kid anything you have to make it fun for them and often that means finding ways to relate to them. To teach this girl that everybody has to start somewhere, even if that somewhere isn’t the beginning of the lane, I shared my own experience with failure and what I did to overcome it. I told her about the first time I tried out for my swim club.

I was six. They had asked me to swim two lengths of every stroke. Determined, I poured every ounce of my six-year-old heart into them. When I finished, I watched intently as the assessor talked to my father about my future with the team. I was giddy at the thought of it. I showered, still excited, and asked when I was going to be starting. Calmly my dad explained that they really liked me but they wanted me to come back when I was a little older. How could they like me yet turn me away? Then it dawned on me: I wasn’t good enough. But I knew what I had to do. To my six-year-old self it seemed all too simple. All I had to do was get back in that pool and swim two lengths of every stroke until, finally, I was good enough. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I tore off my clothes, determined to get back in that water.

I don’t know if sharing my story made a difference for her, but from there on out she listened more intently, asked questions when she didn’t understand, and was content wherever she was in the lane… she swam with a purpose.

I know what brought these kids here, I know what they have to do to achieve their lofty dreams, and I know it will be anything but easy.

We will not fail.

Matthew Brajuka is only 17 years old and a competitive swimmer specializing in distance events. When he isn’t competing he coaches the next generation of young swimmers. Starting in the fall, Matthew will continue his swimming career while attending and competing for La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Leadership development is a journey and a process. If you would like more information or assistance with your personal leadership development, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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Are You a Leader or a Manager?


You may be a great manager, yet not a great leader. And if you are aspiring to elevate yourself and your career, regardless of your current job level, you need to be a great leader as well.

So, let’s begin by looking at some of the differences between “leadership” and “management”:

Management is…

  • often bestowed upon an individual through title, hierarchy, or assignment
  • managing by directing, controlling, planning, organizing things, processes and people
  • the transactional side of the business (getting things done)
  • focused on efficiency and productivity
  • operating within shorter time horizons

Leadership is…

  • mostly earned through consistent demonstrated leadership behavior like being a great role model
  • leading people by inspiring, motivating, coaching, impacting and influencing them (even if they don’t report to you)
  • the transformational side of the business (making an impact)
  • focused on effectiveness
  • longer term focused, purpose-driven

You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader. In fact, leadership can happen at any level within an organization. Leadership is about “being” a leader and demonstrating leadership qualities. Competencies such as: building strong collaborative relationships, setting an example for others, developing follower ship, interpersonal intelligence, maintaining composure, courageous authenticity, good decision-making skills, purpose-driven, and the ability to think critically and strategically. And while this is not a complete list of leadership qualities, what we do know is that few people are born with these qualities.

So, why develop leaders?

  • There is strong evidence that links leadership effectiveness to business results
  • Effective leaders outperform ineffective leaders
  • Organizations face escalating complexity requiring more leadership from their people at every level
  • Building leaders is a process

No matter what your role is today, you can be a better leader in your workplace. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Do your best work and be a star performer. Most people are just average, so with a little bit of effort you can be above average.
  • Build strong working relationships with your colleagues, peers, direct reports (if you have them), and others in your circle of influence.
  • Get better at managing yourself. This includes time and task management, punctuality, preparedness, as well as how you show up.
  • Model the behavior you observe and admire of effective leaders in your organization. Be a student of great leadership.
  • Hire a coach to assist you in developing your leadership competencies.

Leadership develops over time with experience, coaching and training, access to good role models and mentors. You can enhance your leadership competencies and become a great leader.

Leadership development is a journey, a process. If you would like more information or assistance with your personal leadership development, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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5 Steps to Move from Employee to Entrepreneur


Have you been considering quitting your day job in favor of starting a business? Have you just lost your job and are currently exploring alternative ways of earning a living? Have you always dreamt of owning your own business some day?

Before you take the leap of faith into self-employment, consider these 5 steps:

  1. Get clear on your goals/passions – It’s not enough to decide to become a business owner. There are several questions and things to consider before you move forward in becoming a business owner. You will need to think about what kind of business you wish to run. You`ll need to determine if you wish to grow it from scratch, buy an existing business or purchase an available franchise.  But even before you decide that– you should think about how the business will fit in with the rest of your life. Running a business can be a huge commitment of time and money. So ask yourself what do you enjoy doing or what will bring you joy?  You will spend much of your day on your business so it’s a good idea for the business to provide work you actually enjoy doing.  Ask yourself what you are most passionate about? What would you love to do? What is your dream job/business?
  2. Do your research/homework – Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions and don’t leave your day job until you are absolutely sure of what you want to do and have a plan for doing it. Take the time to do good research by researching the industry, the marketplace, your potential target clients, your competitors. Do proper business research including a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Get a good handle on projected revenues and realistic operating costs as well as an understanding on how long it will take to breakeven and generate more revenues than expenses. Identify your personal strengths and skills and determine if there are any skills gaps. Determine how you will close any skill gaps or lack of expertise. Which gaps can be closed through skills training? Which gaps can be closed through recruiting the right people? Which gaps can be closed through coaching or mentoring? Determine what options and opportunities are available to you right now?
  3. Learn from others’ mistakes – There is no shortage of people who have started or run a business. Speak to as many people as you can who have gone before you. Learn what you can about what works, what doesn’t, and what mistakes others have made. Don’t waste valuable time and money.  Be open to hearing others` perspectives on what they would have done differently. Hindsight is always 20/20.
  4. Business Plan ahead – Do the work and develop a business plan.  While it may be a lot of work, it will be time well spent and most financial institutions will require one if you are searching for financing. The process of business planning is not only to prove to the bank that your business will be a success, it’s also a roadmap for you to follow to ensure success. Running your business finances can be like running your weekly, monthly or yearly personal budget – so if you haven’t developed good budgeting and financial management skills, it might be particularly challenging and doubly important to have a solid business plan.
  5. Hire a mentor – Starting and running a business can be challenging or even lonely at times. In addition to the day to day operations of the business, you may be mentally or emotionally overwhelmed by being a business owner.  Having a safe place to go to for advice, guidance, and accountability or simply as a sounding board can be just what you need to help you make the transition into entrepreurship easier and smoother.  Good coaching and mentoring can really help you fast track your transition.

While there are many advantages to being an entrepreneur, it`s important for you to also consider the downside of self-employment. Become a business owner armed with as much information, skills and tools you can to ensure a successful transition from employee to entrepreneur.

If you are considering making a transition from Employee to Entrepreneur and need some support and guidance, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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