Tag Archives: coaching


The Top 10 Tips on How To Have a Positive Attitude

Sometimes we let our attitudes control everything in our lives.  Here are some great reminders of how to positively affect your life by simply changing the way you think!

The Top 10 Tips on How To Have a Positive Attitude

1. Take ownership of your attitude.

We control our attitude. It is not something that is genetically or environmentally determined. Each of us can decide what our attitude is going to be. We can choose to have a positive attitude about life. A ready smile is a gift to all those around you.

2. Take action to eliminate what bothers you.

You may be putting up with more things than you have realized. Think about what you are tolerating. You may be tolerating things, or ways that someone speaks to you, that you don’t like. Just paying attention to what you are tolerating will be the first step towards eliminating it. Tolerations infect your attitude.

3. Live in the present.

Let go of living in the past or in the future and enjoy the present.

4. Let go of things that don’t matter.

Stop wasting energy on being irritated and annoyed at things that really don’t matter.

5. Be non-judgmental.

Let go of being critical of others. Try instead to listen and understand. As you open yourself up to not judging others you will be able to accept yourself and others more.

6. Listen to yourself and trust what you hear.

Let go of other people’s voices that you carry in your head. Instead, listen to yourself and take responsibility for what you can and want to do.

7. Live your values.

By living your life according to your values you will develop an attitude of true acceptance of yourself. You will realize that you are fine the way you are. You may choose to make some changes in your life simply because you realize that you have greater potential than you have utilized so far.

8. Have fun and enjoy humor.

Take delight in life and create fun experiences for yourself. Don’t make life be too heavy.

9. Invest energy in the people who you love and care about.

Meaningful relationships are developed and sustained by positive attitudes and commitment.

10. Develop an attitude of love.

By developing a loving attitude towards yourself you will in turn interact with others from a basis of love.

Your Coach,


About the Submitter
This piece was originally submitted by Kristina von Rosenvinge


Opportunity; The Cornerstone of Accomplishment

I love that quote from Jordan! That’s saying a lot since Earvin “Magic” Johnson is my favorite basketball athlete of all time. But Jordan encapsulates the reality of what winning really is. Regardless if you’re into sports or not, the spirit of Jordan’s quote should ring true for any leader.

I want to highlight what the cornerstone of winning is. Namely, opportunity.

Interesting, I would have thought it was Jordan’s unmatched work ethic and talent. Why is “opportunity” so significant?

Opportunity is more than significant, opportunity is imperative. Think about this, what would Michael Jordan’s life (or his quote) have been like if he had been born in 1863 instead of 1963?

Enter Opportunity

Of all of the things that we work to control, our time, energy, effort, relationships, career, health, etc. one of the biggest things that we can not control is opportunity. Yes, we can position ourselves to align with possibility or a “lucky break”. But in its simplest form WE CAN NOT CONTROL OPPORTUNITY.

In other words, you and I did not choose when we were born. We had no say in the family-system that we grew up in. The era of life was not on a menu of options that we chose. You did not determine how much or little hair you would have.

Okay, I see what you’re saying but help me connect the dot to its importance.

To be clear, I’m not saying you should be experiencing some life-altering “a-ha” moment (but maybe). I am implying that there needs to be a high level of awareness that in some way, shape or form you need to grasp that you can only control so much.

When life aligns to success. When you meet your ideal partner. When you experience break through…be sure to pause and experience gratitude for the opportunity to “win”.

Top of Mind

That’s it. Its simple, I know, but we must remember that you and I are going at warp speed (or at least we would if we could!). As we are pushing hard, fast and forward there is a gravitational pull to look at ourself and feel satisfied with all that we have accomplished. All that we have completed. Look at how well I am moving the needle!

Let’s be prepared to win, no doubt. In fact, I regularly and quasi-kiddingly say:

There are only two things in life (1) Winning and (2) Winning.

However, keep top of mind that winning would not be possible if you were not granted the opportunity to accomplish your goal. When you create space to remember this fundamental reality, you will be a naturally grateful person.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel’s book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.


The One Question you Should be Asking

There is a relatively short list of people who have had direct and personal influence on my life like Dave Kraft! He is a man who is a living definition of how Shandel Group defines leadership. All the more, he has stood the test of time. Now in the latter part of his life, he is leading and loving people very well.

Today we are honored to share a recent write-up Dave did on determining priorities.


Alan Andersen

Here’s Dave….

As a leader, you need to regularly ask yourself this question!

What Is The Most Important Thing I Should Be Working On Right Now?

What are the most important things I should be working on…

  • This day
  • This week
  • This month

Not what is…

  • The easiest thing
  • The urgent thing
  • The most fun thing
  • The coolest thing
  • The what-I-most-feel-like-doing thing
  • The keep-people-off-my-back thing
  • The keeps-nipping-at-my-heels thing
  • The what-will-make-me-popular thing

But what is… The Most Important Thing?

The most important thing as it relates to your mission, your purpose, your vision, your gifts, your calling, your capacity, your job description and your deadlines.

It was Peter Drucker who said, “Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing the right things.” As a leader you want to be more about “effective” than “efficient.” You can be extremely efficient at things that really don’t matter in the long run. Many leaders are proactive rather than strategic in how they make their decisions and use their time.

Ask yourself at the beginning of a week: What are the 5-10 most important things that you need to accomplish this week?

Ask yourself at the beginning of a day: What are the 3-5 most important things that you need to accomplish this day?

Then, stick to those identified items. Don’t distract yourself with things of lesser value and importance, and don’t allow others to pull you off mission, unless what they are asking is truly of greater value than what you had originally planned to do.

This is one of the most helpful, practical things I have learned in my 45 years of pastoral ministry.

Don’t let the winds of other people’s demands and your own inner compulsions drive you onto a reef of frustration. Paraphrased from: “Tyranny Of The Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel.

Do all of this in total dependence on Jesus as you seek to be led by him, empowered by him and honor him.

–Special thanks to Dave Kraft for sharing his wisdom with us. This was originally posted on www.davekraft.org

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group


Learning from Tesla | The Value of Clear Communication

We interrupt this broadcast with a special report… Okay, not really.

However, I just wrapped up a great meeting with a colleague in the Professional Training and Development world. As we discussed ways to engage and motivate people to growth, I was reminded of a sobering story about genius.

Namely that of Nikola Tesla. In this quick video (3 minutes, 20 seconds to be exact), I pass this genius’ story along as a way to fuel your thinking about the value of clear communication.


Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel’s book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.


Cross-Learning Clarity

Like you, I want to become better.

Better in my practice of faith, loving and providing for my family (wife and kids, which I wish someone would’ve told me are two different responsibilities!), partnership with Shandel Group, participation in local civic duties, member of the Seattle community, etc.

But why are we unable to quickly and significantly get better?

In a word, “clarity”.  It boils down to our lack of clarity in priority and motivation. Which then bleeds into a lack of uncertainty in how to accomplish our growth process. We simply don’t know why, where or how to start the growth process.

Thinking outside the box to jumpstart growth.

One of the most effective and “out of the box” ways I’ve learned to gain clarity (in various areas of life and leadership) is in practicing Interdisciplinary or Cross-Curricular Learning. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll call this Cross-Learning and I’ll share a recent example.

I just finished a book about weight loss and personal organization, two things I have a pretty good grasp on. I chose to work through “Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight” because I wanted to jumpstart my brain into thinking about fresh ways for hitting my targets and attaining my goals by subtracting something in my life.

Alan, this is all fine and good. But I am more interested in how I can lead more effectively. And I certainly do not believe that I have extra space in my schedule to go research and find some sort of Cross-Learning subject to help me do that!

I get it, I’m here to help!

A starting point for practicing Cross-Learning.

You may know that Malcolm Gladwell (author of best sellers like The Tipping Point, Outliers, etc)  has started a new podcast called “Revisionist History”. It is a brilliant podcast that “will go back and reinterpret something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood.” The most recent episode is called The Satire Paradox.

In this episode, Gladwell and team uncover a brilliant but very sad reality about Western Satirical Comedy. And even more amazingly, whether podcast crew realize it or not, they uncover 2 important lessons that you can take note of. Primarily to gain clarity and learn to be a more effective leader!

So if you are ready to sharpen your leadership skills, click the image below and engage in the Cross-Learning. Listen for the two subtle takeaways (though there may be more than just two).

Consider the following as you practice Cross-learning.

  1. How the general public critically think or process particular topics
  2. In light of this, how can you lead by communicating more effectively

Gaining Clarity Through Cross-Learning.

The two Cross-Learned takeaways that I took from Revisionist History are…

  1. If there is a lack of clarity in communication around a specific directive or discussion topic, your hearers are more likely to comprehend your topic as they want to hear it. Not necessarily as you intend for it to be understood. I.E. They will conform your message to meet their agenda. (A big pitfall in leadership!)
  2. When there is room for interpretation in directive or discussion topic, your people use energy that is intended for execution or implementation of directive. Inevitably wasting energy on thinking and therefore lose effectiveness in taking action or completion of said directive.

Do you agree?

What were your takeaways from this Cross-Learning resource?

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel’s book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.


Oops! Five Ways to Recover After You’ve Made a Leadership Mistake

As a coach, it is my constant quest to help leaders lead well. All leaders at some point will make a mistake…And when that happens, it is vital that you immediately work on regaining trust, communication and influence with your team. How you may ask?

Ron Edmundson has some great tips below that are brief and effective. It will take clarity, courage and character to take the next step, but it will be worth it!

Your Coach,




5 Suggestions to Recover after You’ve Made a Leadership Mistake
by Ron Edmundson

Communicate quickly – You don’t have to tell the world, but those who need to know should hear it from you and not from anyone else. Let the offended parties know and the people who will have to answer for the mistake. This can’t be done too soon. Surprises like this never turn out well, but with advance knowledge many times further damage can be averted

Own it – Don’t make excuses. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Don’t blame others. Don’t say, “I’m sorry”, but then try to wrap the other person into your story. Ask forgiveness if necessary, but own it now. You made a mistake. Be a leader. Own the mistake and be willing to accept the consequences. You’ll be far more respected and stand a better chance of bridging support in the recovery process.

Stop the loss – Do whatever you can to stop further damaging from occurring. If there are financial issues involved, try to recover as much as you can. If there is collateral damage with relationships, apologize quickly and try to restore trust. I have always found a humble, yet not martyred, but confident response is usually best in these situations.

Figure out what’s next – Help the team recover. Find solutions. Don’t leave the clean up to anyone else. As you lead into the mistake — or even better — lead through the recovery. Help bring people together, seek wisdom, and help steer energy back to a more positive position.

Learn from it – The best thing you can do is to grow from mistakes — all of them. They can shape us as people and leaders — either positively or negatively. The good news is that we get to decide which one. In the process of recovery, sometimes keeping a journal is helpful. Start with the question, “What can I learn from this that will help me make better decisions in the future?”

Of course, the intensity of need for this depends on the size of the mistake and the size of injury caused to the team or organization, but the principles still apply in context.

Do you have any examples to add to this post from your own experience?

Adapted from its original text.

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel’s book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.


Healthy Leader

Recently we  looked at Healthy Leadership. Now let’s look at characteristics of a Healthy Leader. How would you define Healthy Leader?

Gratefully, I’ve been in some form of formal leadership for over 15 years. I’ve heard a lot of varying definitions for “Leader”. Within the last 5 or so years however, I’ve landed on a less than conventional take on what leader means. Ultimately, I don’t believe that you can be “a leader” and pass the test of time without being a healthy leader.

A healthy leader is first and foremost a servant.* A servant-minded person who has unmatched character, clear competence, and significant capacity.  In other words, a healthy leader is a man or woman who knows what they know, knows what they don’t know, knows the difference and can bridge any gaps.

Okay, Alan, given your definition of a healthy leader, what are the concrete attributes or virtues that I can look for in a person? Great question!

I love Chuck Palahniuk’s quote, “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” That is true of all of us! And I use this quote as a segway to “tip the cap” to some of my favorite models for healthy leadership.

I’ll start with Patrick Lencioni and Michael Hyatt. I love Hyatt’s formula, which I believe is initially based on Lencioni’s The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable.

Hyatt’s Formula is H3S. Your Job is to Attract people that are:

  • Humble. A humble person has a good sense of himself. He doesn’t think more highly of himself than he should (pride), nor lower of himself than he ought (poor self-esteem)
  • Hungry. A hungry person is intellectually curious. He reads constantly—newspapers, magazines, and books. Lots of books. He loves learning new things and sharing what he is learning with others.
  • Honest. At the most basic level, an honest person does not lie. He does not exaggerate or misrepresent the facts.
  • Smart. A smart person is a quick study. He can “connect the dots” without a lot of help. He has a natural ability to “think laterally,” that is, across disciplines.

Now there are several other influential, healthy leaders that we can observe. However our main priority is to distill out all of the correct ingredients to retain the right mix of needed knowledge. So however you slice and dice being a leader and the practice of leadership, I encourage you to consider this.

The essence of engaging and motivating people to productive action has its roots tied to influence.

Let us continually consider how we can mature into a healthy, influential human.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

This article previously appeared at Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel’s book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.

sunshine_meditation quote

Healthy Leadership

What does your mind think of when you hear a title like “Healthy Leadership”? Maybe you’re reminded of the time(s) you worked under an ill-equipped supervisor. Or more positively you’re mindful of great leaders from the past like Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.

Well, have you looked up the definition of “Leadership” recently? If you’re like me, you have. Here are just 2 of the dozen similar definitions that I found.

Leadership is…

A position as a leader of a group, organization, etc. (Merriam Webster)

The position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group; ability to lead. (American Heritage)

Anything missing?

What is amazing about these definitions is that they are silent as to the quality or value of leadership. In other words, the health of the leader and his or her leadership style is not necessarily a factor! Maybe this is why we seem to have a shortage of great men and women to “lead us”.

When we mention the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., one of the common themes for these great people is that they influenced others. They did not merely persuade or manipulate, like is common practice now. Let’s look at the basis of influence in the context of healthy leadership.

A healthy leader will…

  1. Engage their people to trust

  2. Empower their people to productive action

  3. Equip their people with the necessary tools and resources

When a leader engages, empowers and equips their subordinates, colleagues, and superiors they are essentially creating a collaborative environment where people are able to transform and thrive over the long-haul through the medium of influence! Boy, that is a mouthful, but do you need to read it again?

“Well, no. I get it. And I even think this is all fine and good, Alan. But how can I know if I or my managers are truly healthy leaders?” Great question!

The litmus test for a healthy leader is your people. Namely, your department or organization is a reflection of you. And yes, I even mean that the person who is lowest common denominator still is a reflection of you and your leadership.

To be sure, there are several factors to consider as we look at growing into a healthy leader. For instance…

  • How long have you been leading this team?
  • Did you assemble the team from scratch or inherit from a previous manager?
  • How long have the respective employees been with the organization?
  • How much interaction do you have with your people?

However when you look at net result, you see that your people are striving to grow, just like you. They are showing consistent, albeit incremental growth on the daily.

I’ll land the plane with this question, “Are you set up for a ‘Win’ to be a healthy leader?” If the answer is not a resounding “yes” then I would consider how you can create space to grow your capacity for healthy leadership. Look at getting an executive coach, mentor or model for healthy leadership.

After all, healthy leadership is the only way to pass the test of time. Influence always trumps persuasion and manipulation.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen


blue-dark-wall-texture-background quote

How are you Investing?

How are your investments doing lately? Not your monetary investments, but your investments in the PEOPLE that work for you?

In Week 17 of Clarity I talked about how important it is to invest in your team. YOU are the one who has the greatest ROI!

Mark Miller shares some great suggestions below to empower, develop and align your team.

I love his quote:
I don’t see our people as an asset…
I see them as a gift.

I want to steward that gift well.

Take your greatest assests to the next level this week!

Your Coach,

Today’s Challenge: Investing in People
By Mark Miller of Great Leaders Serve

In challenging economic times, one of the easiest items to cut from the budget is training and development. The rationale is understandable. Rarely will any organization see immediate negative consequences when training is discontinued. It looks like found money in the budgeting process.

Unfortunately, this logic is flawed. Learning and development is like time-released medication: the benefits are derived over time.

Imagine someone who believes they don’t need to save for retirement. This month, even this year, they see no ill effects from their decision. However, if you play the movie forward, many of these same people live their final years in poverty. The decision not to save was painless in the moment – the pain arrives later.

Today I want to respond to a question I received just last week from a business leader: “Why should we invest in learning and development for our staff?” There are many reasons. Here are some of mine…

  • Improve performance – Learning and development may not have immediate impact on the Profit and Loss statement, but it better have long-term impact. We help people grow so we can help the business grow.
  • Ensure an adequate supply of prepared leadership for the future – We’re trying to build a leadership pipeline. This will not happen without thoughtful design and construction. Pipelines don’t build themselves.
  • Increase individual and organizational capacity – Growth should generate capacity. Every organization I know of is asking their people to do more with less. Without new thinking and methods, this mandate is a prescription for disaster.
  • Establish common language and models – When people align their thinking, it’s much easier to align their actions. My favorite example of this is around the topic of leadership. Does your organization have a common definition of leadership? If not, you’ll always struggle to create a leadership culture.
  • Build cultural cohesiveness – Shared learning experiences create common bonds. These experiences also help us grow a small company. Doing life together, including learning, fosters a unified culture.
  • Help staff increase their level of contribution – If you’ve created a healthy organization, people want to contribute at a higher level. People want to add more value. Learning and development facilitates this.
  • Introduce new best practices – Left to their own, organizations can easily become insulated from the outside world. They settle into patterns of behavior that often do not represent global best practices. Investments in learning and development can mitigate this tendency.
  • Combat complacency and stagnation – Living things grow. Growth creates energy and movement. Investments in learning and development are like water on a plant. Without it, growth is stunted and death is not far behind.
  • Maintain people as a competitive advantage – Are your people a competitive advantage for your organization? If so, an on-going investment will be required to maintain that edge. If they’re not, you’ll never enjoy that advantage without investing in them.

For me, there’s one more reason to invest in learning and development. I don’t see our people as an asset… I see them as a gift. I want to steward that gift well.

Why do you invest in your people?

next+level+leadership w title

Why Should I Partner with Shandel Group?

I love great questions. After all, the value of an answer is directly tied to the quality of the question. Unfortunately our society has forgotten this interdependent relationship. However, one of the best questions that I was asked recently was why a prospect organization should partner with Shandel Group and adopt our tools and techniques.

What an important question! And truth be told, this is a question that we ask internally on a regular basis. Seeking the answer to this question fuels our fire for continuing to hone in our unique value as a collaborative partner.

Why Shandel Group?

We practice what we preach. Period.

This should be the #1 factor you take into account with a prospect of any sorts. Considering if the person or group that you are going to partner actually follows their own recommendations. Unfortunately “drinking your own kool aid” is undervalued in the marketplace today, however it is a chief reason Shandel Group is growing and overcame the two worst economic downturns in recent history.

Wait, why are you bringing up the 2001 and 2008 recessions? Namely because the training and people-development budget is the first line item to go when money and time are tight. Gratefully we’re approaching our 2nd decade in the people-development business!

Does it matter that the collective Shandel Group team has a combined century of people-development experience under our belt? Or that Shandel Group has been strategic partners with organizations across the marketplace spectrum, from fortune 500 companies like Pitney Bowes to a startup technology business that we can’t share further information on. We even equip churches and nonprofits.

The reason that we have been successful is the same reason that you and your business will be successful. We share undeniable truth in kindness paired with a proven infrastructure that our entire team practices on the daily.

What are your Tools and Techniques?

First let me share what a Shandel* is. It is the fastest way to gain altitude while changing directions. Cool, right!? Our CEO’s namesake is what we do with Organizations, Executives, Teams, Individuals, etc.

Naturally our tools need to be robust enough to pace your speed and direction. Paired with techniques that you and your people can use time and time again. (Not just when Shandel Group associates are onsite with you or coaching you over the phone!)

I’ll liken our tools and techniques to the constructing of America’s Roadway.

Think about this. “Why aren’t there more driving accidents?” Answer: In the late 1800’s Gen. Roy Stone spearheaded the implementation of an effective nationwide driving system for individual mobilization. The efficacy of this system doesn’t matter if you’re heading north or south, you are always on the right-hand side of the road with the same expectations. Most importantly, you essentially share the same vantage point as your driving peers. Regardless if you’re coming or going! Amazing.

In other words, we have fewer accidents because there is a great system in place no matter the superiority of the drivers. This infrastructure minimizes incidents and maximizes likelihood of reaching desired outcomes.

Shandel Group tools and techniques are more like an infrastructure. Given employees varied background, differing experiences, and unique preferences for communicating and interacting, we equalize the playing field and align the team to a common road map.

Here’s how:

  1. We measure your team’s human sciences through our online assessment partner, Target Training Int’l. Looking at how you and your team behaves and what drives you.

  2. Building on step 1, we assess and develop infrastructure for cultivating team trust, increasing efficacy of communication and common trajectory.

  3. Finally, we integrate various tailored training modules for you and your team. Trainings that empower you to maintain sustained growth over the long-haul.

We want to help you take your leadership to the next level. When we partner with you, we are sharing proven development practices that will help you layout the road map to your success.

Pulling for you,

Alan Andersen

*original spelling Chandelle